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Nature发文:国际顶级作者和杂志编辑教您如何更有效的写作和发表论文

更新时间:2015-11-10     论文范文网     http://www.akltc.com

Nature发文:国际顶级作者和杂志编辑教您如何更有效的写作和发表论文

2012-11-15 20:45 来源:丁香园 作者:yujintai

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本文可谓论文写作和发表秘籍的精华版,国际顶级投稿人,审稿人和编辑从他们各自的角度言简意赅的讲授了论文写作和发表的技巧和要点,读了之后,感觉非常实用、给力,收获颇丰,现将全文小结如下,以便大家学习:

写文章

1. The moral of the story is that the publishing process requires not only hard work but also resilience — and struggling young authors can learn valuable lessons from those who have already navigated that process.

2. You are only as good as your last paper — previous success does not guarantee future acceptance.

3. A key to winning over editors and reviewers is having strong data to support conclusions. Some people don't appreciate the fact that a lot of weak data does not make up for having less, but more powerful, data.

4. Authors should try to resist the urge to let their findings trickle out over many years and many papers.

5. Younger writers need to recognize their own working patterns and write when they are most productive — whether it is early morning, late at night, at a desk or during a walk.

6. Recognizing that writing is a long process is valuable. Find a mentor in that process, somebody to guide and coach you.

7. For many publishing veterans, the writing process starts at the earliest stages of designing a research project.

8. Aspiring writers should have a template to hand — a previous paper published by the lab or a 'near-neighbour' article from the same journal. Paralysed would-be writers should take the template concept one step further by counting the number of paragraphs in each section, the number of figures and the number of references.

9. Start every day of writing by editing the previous day's material — a useful tactic that helps to ease us into a writing mindset.

10. The usual writing advice applies to manuscript writing as well — be clear and concise and use simple language whenever possible.

11. Editors stress the importance of clarity above all else, to help convey arguments and logic to them and to readers.

12. You've got to hook the editor with the abstract.

13. Most writers make the mistake of assuming too much knowledge on the part of their audience.

14. Editors say that one way to identify holes or gaps in logic that would be vulnerable in peer review is to imagine a sceptical audience reading the manuscript. Think of the most adversarial reader you can imagine, and write to substantiate the veracity of your arguments and to anticipate criticisms and answer them.

15. Some editors suggest that 'winning over' a sceptical editor, reader or reviewer should be the ultimate goal of any paper's abstract.

16. Editors read the abstract and start formulating a thumbs-up or thumbs-down, looking for reasons to rip it apart.

17. Authors should avoid an abstract structure that says: we did X, which told us Y, and has implications for Z. Instead, he says, start with why a reader should care about learning more about Z and then explain how this work furthers that goal.

18. The introduction should persuade readers “that you know what you are talking about and have something new to teach them.

19. Authors should clearly distinguish between data in the results section and inferences about what they mean in the discussion section.

20. The introduction need not cite every background article gathered, the results section should not archive every piece of data ever collected, and the discussion is not a treatise on the paper's subject.

21. The writer must be selective, choosing only the references, data points and arguments that bolster the particular question at hand.

22. Once a first draft is complete, the work has only just begun. “Revise and revise and revise.” Even polished authors go through an average of 10–12 drafts, and sometimes as many as 30.

23. Writers should ask not only the principal investigator to view drafts, but also every co-author, as well as fellow students or postdocs, and colleagues outside the immediate field of research. Lead authors should give co-authors set deadlines of 10 days to two weeks to suggest changes. Experienced authors counsel letting the draft sit for a few days before reading it with fresh eyes to catch mistakes or problems in flow. It is better to read drafts aloud with your students to spot errors.

24. Authors should not suggest reviewers who are personal friends or institutional colleagues; including those people could immediately erode the editor's trust. Authors need to find a balance — it is fine to exclude a couple of reviewers who are direct competitors or known naysayers, but restricting too many qualified reviewers can backfire.

25. As an author, your job is to make the editor's job as easy as possible.

选杂志

1. Before starting to write the paper, authors should carefully choose a journal audience for their research story — and initially aim for the highest-impact, highest-profile journal possible. The submission process is fast enough today; it's worth the effort of sending your paper to the highest journals where it belongs.

2. Established authors and journal editors suggest thinking early about the right journal and finding an appropriate editor, the best reviewers and, of course, an appropriate audience of readers.

修稿

1. New authors can feel overwhelmed when the reviewers' comments come back. Wojtal likes to let reviews sit for a week to let his “blood pressure return to normal”.

2. Blumberg advises copying all of the reviewers' comments into a new electronic document to address each one step-by-step.

3. Authors should work through the list and explain how criticisms were addressed, or why they were not, in the resubmission cover letter to the editor.

4. A clear, succinct resubmission letter may result in an editor making their own decision rather than sending the paper back out for another round of review.

5. New authors should be careful to polish their work and respond meticulously and politely to reviewers' comments without getting overwhelmed or frustrated by lengthy, time-consuming queries. Those who follow such advice are more likely to find success. Those who don't could end up on the wrong side of the 'publish or perish' divide.

6. The worst thing an author can do is to ignore a reviewer's criticism and send it back without an explanation. This wastes an editor's time trying to resolve the issue on his or her own.

7. “If you strongly believe the reviewers have erred and that the editor should hear from you, definitely send an e-mail,” says Blumberg, who, as an editor, is happy to hear from authors. “Be as polite as possible, stick to the facts, and keep it to the point.”

结束语

Young scientists would be wise to embrace written communication as the foundation of an academic career and the key to earning tenure, winning funding and, ultimately, sustaining a research programme, says Hauber. “If your result is not published, you haven't done anything,” he says. “You might not set out to be an enthusiastic writer, but you should try to learn to love it.”

为了进一步方便大家的学习,现将demi_xl1987战友翻译的全文的中文版本也转贴在这儿()

高产作者与杂志编辑分享如何撰写论文

作者:Kendall Powell

Mark Hauber的学生于2007年向Nature投稿,这是一篇关于捕食一种海鸟的论文,被拒。接着向《科学》杂志投稿,被拒。这位气馁的学生Matt Rayner建议向《Conservation Biology》投稿,这是该研究领域的二类期刊。但是Hauber因为经验丰富,认为这篇论文应该去投更好的杂志。他修改了少许内容,向级别更高的《Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA》投稿,几周以后就收到接收通知。

现在已经是新西兰国立大气与水源研究院博士后的Rayner提到:“我已经深深明白人们会对投稿被拒这种表象信以为真。如果你认为文章内容包含了好的资料与数据,你需要做的就是坚持。能在《Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA》上发表文章令我非常兴奋”。Hauber表示同意,“文章审核的过程具有偶然性”,他现在是纽约城市大学Hunter学院的动物行为学家。这个故事的寓意告诉我们,发表文章需要努力的工作和抗挫折的能力,而正在奋斗中的年轻作者应该从那些已经发表过论文的作者身上学习宝贵的经验。

尚无投稿经验的作者在文章发表过程中要考虑很多因素,也要克服许多困难,从找到克服障碍的方法到从容面对杂志投稿和审查过程。已发表文章的作者和杂志编辑都建议要及早考虑合适的杂志,找到一位合适的编辑、最好的审稿人员以及合适的读者人群。而且年轻作者们应该仔细润色文章,认真而礼貌地回答审稿人员的意见,而不要被冗长费时的问题吓倒。能遵循这些建议的作者很可能取得成功,否则只能任由文章不见天日,以失败而告终。

开始阶段

对于经验丰富的作者,撰写始于项目设计的最初阶段。Mark Blumberg指出:“全面综合考虑的实验会比较容易成功,预先计划会使你的撰写过程更容易一些”,他是爱荷华州立大学的神经病学家,也是《行为神经病学》的主编。加尼弗利亚大学伯克利分校的环境工程师Bill Nazaroff建议一种有用的方法:将科研项目设想成将来论文的标题,它会时刻提醒该研究应该包含的内容。

Eileen White(职位及职务省略)认为研究者应该有一个简要的框架,包括有意义的问题、测试方法和预期结果,而取得最后的胜利则需要强大的数据来支持该研究的结论。她还说:“总有一些人认为许多较差的数据可以取代很少却强有力的数据”。

作者在撰写论文之前应该仔细选择投稿的杂志,最开始尽可能投高影响因子的高级别杂志。Hauber认为如今的投稿过程非常之快,值得你努力将论文投到它应该属于的最高级别杂志上。

Hauber认为作者应该抵制让科研结果“细水长流”而获得多篇论文发表的想法,过去有人会将博士学位论文拆分为几篇稿件来发表,但是在今天,即使是研究生水平的科研工作者都应该争取一两篇高质量论文,而不是许多“垃圾”,因为科研发展的每个阶段都是将重点放在质量而非数量上。Hauber有着平均每两周就发表一篇论文的惊人速度,但是他指出年轻的科学家应当有一篇科研论文,足以让他们自豪地置顶于个人简历、工作申请和推荐信。

何时开始撰写论文呢?在学术会议上口头报告或是海报展示研究结果后就可以开始着手写论文了。但有些研究者认为开始撰写的时间从不会嫌早,研究生应该每天写一点点。将相关文献放置在统一的文件夹中,并从中提取相关论点,在写作前有一个简单的大纲,有助于提供论文前言部分的重要信息。同样地,做实验的时候花点儿工夫记录下关于研究资料和方法部分的重要内容,这有助于原滋原味地反映整个实验过程(可参见“有效撰写的建议”)。

勤于练手

这些年诸如电子邮件和网络游戏这些会让我们分心,面对闪着光标的空白文档而无从下手相当可怕,本文有一些方法会克服这些不良的开始。

充满斗志的作者们应该有一篇范文可供学习,实验室过去的论文或同一杂志的同类文章都可以。Nazaroff建议那些初次写作的研究者在学习范文写作之前,将范文每一部分的段落数、图表的数据以及参考文献篇数搞清楚,这样你就大概知道自己需要写多长的文章。分段落同时可以将比较难搞的内容(比如前言)分解成许多容易写作的部分。

撰写看似非常困难,但Nazaroff在动力驱使下,通过列出必需事情清单和优先处理简单事务(比如找合作者或查参考文献)来克服写作上的障碍。他喜欢在开始每天写作前修改前一天的内容,好让他进入撰写的状态。他说:“意识到写作是一个漫长的过程是很重要的,同时需要找一位导师全程指导和训练你”。

年轻作者需要了解自己的工作习惯,在精力最丰富的进行写作——可以是清晨,深夜,电脑旁或散步中。Steven Wojtal 是欧柏林学院的结构地质学家,专门负责论文发表的进修课程,他指出:“你如果清楚自己在YouTube上看10分钟的视频可有助于清醒你的大脑,那这是好事”。

撰写科研论文的通常建议是:尽量使用明确、扼要、简单的语言(see G. D. Gopen & J. A. Swan Am. Sci. 78, 550–558; 1990)。Blumberg撰写的很多科学书籍都是畅销书,他指出: “当你想表达‘rats’时不要写个复杂的‘rodents’,这种创新不需要,因为科学本身就已经够复杂了。”编辑们因为工作忙碌,根本来不及细细品味那些不好生撰写的论文,即使有重要意义也难逃被拒的命运。

编辑特别看重文章的思路是否足够清楚,能将所想表达的观点和逻辑传递给他们和读者。他们认为大多数作者往往错误地以为读者有足够的相关知识背景(来理解他们的观点),但事实上即使是最专业化的杂志,也只有少许的作者是相关内容的研究者,只有他们不需要任何基础知识框架。

论文逻辑上的漏洞很容易被同行在评审中发现,编辑建议找出漏洞的方法就是假设一个苛刻的读者在阅读这些文章。Wojtal 提出:“想象最强劲的对手在阅读你的论文,为了证实论点的真实性和回答可预见的质疑(你应该如何去安排内容)”。有些编辑认为征服苛刻的编辑、读者或审稿专家是任何论文摘要写作的终极目标。White认为,“编辑在浏览摘要时就开始进行评价文章的好坏,所以文章的开头很重要”。Leslie Sage是Nature天文学部分的编辑,认为作者应当避免这种写法:我们曾经做过X,发现了Y,提示Z。而应该这样开头:为什么读者应该更多地了解Z,接着描述本文的研究是如何进一步发现Z的意义。

Nazaroff同样提到介绍部分应该让读者相信,“你清楚自己所讲的内容并有一些新东西会告诉他们”。Wojtal则建议作者分清讲述结果部分的数据和讨论部分这些数据所代表的意义。因为即使编辑或审稿人不太赞成该实验设计,但如此重要的数据他们是不会放过的。

通常来说,年轻的科研工作者撰写的内容范围应尽可能的小。前言部分不需要引用检索到的所有背景方面的文章,结果部分不要把收集的所有数据都列出,而讨论部分也不需要像专题报告那样详尽。作者应该有选择性的列出相关文献、数据和论据,以支持所要阐述的某一方面问题。

再议投稿

Hauber认为初稿形成只是整个工作的开始,要不断地修改。初次写作的研究者想当然地以为“最初写出来的东西一定是完美的”,但事实上审稿过程是非常严格的,即使是已发表过文章的作者也会经过10-12次甚至多达30次的退修。

作者在修改论文过程中,不仅要让主要研究人员来阅读,也需要每一个共同署名者,包括学生或是博士后,当然还有未参与此项研究的同事。第一作者应该对其它作者提出异议的时间有个限制,比如10天至15天。有经验的作者建议不要每天都去检查论文以免疲劳,而是每隔几天再去阅读文章,才会发现新的需要修改的地方。Blumberg喜欢大声朗读论文,好让学生们能找出错误。Wojtal认为作者在投稿前应该设计一个稿件封面,内容包括本文主要观点的梗概、对选择本文审稿人员的建议。这些信息会对繁忙的编辑们有所帮助,他们总希望找到对此领域的研究比较熟悉的审稿专家而尽快完成审稿。作者不应该推荐有私交或是同一研究所的同事作为审稿人员,当然还有那些不能取得编辑信任的人员,在这里需要找到一个平衡点——排除一些直接的竞争者或对此研究排斥的专家是可以的,但是排除太多有资格的审稿专家可能会适得其反。Blumberg指出作者的这些工作就是为了减轻编辑的工作量。

第一次写文章的作者在看到审稿专家的退修意见时脑袋肯定都大了,感到气馁。Wojtal乐意让自己恢复平静后再来仔细阅读专家意见。Blumberg则建议不需要一次性要把所有问题修改完,而是分点列出专家意见,依次进行修改或是解释引起专家质疑的地方,最后同样以列点的清单形式回复给编辑。一个简洁清楚的回复会让编辑决定是否采用本文,而不需要再次送外审。

Wojtal在the Journal of Structural Geology担当了6年的编辑,他认为最糟糕的事情是作者在回复中忽视审稿专家的意见不予回答,对于编辑而言,他们则需要花时间去重新分析这些有争议的地方。Blumberg很乐意与作者进行交流,无经验的作者希望知道在被拒时是否应该再去争取一下,他认为“如果你觉得审稿专家的意见不中肯,而编辑应该听听你的意见,那么请邮件联系我们,并紧密联系文章内容说到点子上”。

Hauber指出,年轻的科研工作者应该把写论文当作学术生涯的基础,它是获得职位、申请基金、维持一个研究项目的重要手段,“如果你的成果不能被公布,你的努力也是无用功,或许你不想成为一个写作狂人,但至少你应该试着去喜欢去学习写作。”

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编辑: zhongguoxing

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