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Workshop on article-reviewing process held at WHU
Author:Luo Jun  Date:2019-12-03  Clicks:

A two-day workshop was presented by Nature Research Academies Editorial Development Manager Jeffery Robens at the Wuhan University Library lecture hall on 5 and 6 November. It was attended by graduate students and researchers from different natural sciences disciplines of WHU. The workshop, co-hosted by Office of International Affairs, Wuhan University Library and College of  Life Sciences, focused on how to best illustrate the research to journal editors and readers.

On the first day of the workshop, Robens stated that relevant breakthrough, robust study structure and transparent reporting are the three major criteria for getting published in a reputed journal. He stressed that the manuscript should be concise and follow a logical structure. “Using short sentences and avoiding unnecessary words will make it easier for readers to understand the ideas expressed in the manuscript.” He suggested, “And the employment of active voice and strong verbs will improve the readability.”

The manuscript has to define why a particular research needs to be done, what the researchers did and how the research will advance the field. It has to be transparent so that the peer reviewers and researchers can validate and reproduce the findings. The methodology section of the transcript should reveal what method was used in the study, how the study was conducted and how the data was analyzed. Robens also stated that the figures like line graphs, scatter plots and box plots should have clear and objective captions. In addition, researchers have to be mindful of the colorblind readers while presenting figures. He emphasized that a concise title with keywords is important for improving the clarity of the paper. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) uses keywords to look for relevant articles, therefore, keywords in the title will facilitate the searching process of the specific article.

On the following day, he shared ideas on how to publish a research in the most appropriate journal. The selection of the appropriate journal can be done based on the publication goals and the impact factors of a journal. The researcher has to shortlist potential journals, evaluate those journals and create a strategy for article submission. They can make use of free online journal selector tools like Journal Guide. The researchers will also have to consider whether or not to publish in an open access journal as these journals charge a processing fee. He also talked about the matter of publication ethics which involve the issues of authorship, data falsification, transparent reporting and plagiarism. “The author of the article should be responsible for the published content.” He said.

The workshop helped researchers and students understand the article-reviewing process used by reputed peer-reviewed journals like Nature and gain insights into how to best tailor researches to get accepted by these journals.

Edited by Wei Yena, Zou Xiaohan & Hu Sijia

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