Dec 06, Anarmaa rated it it was amazing This is not a fiction book you read before you go to bed. It is one of the "boring" science related books; probably more aimed towards people who just started their career in science as PhD students.
It helps the editor decide whether a paper should be published, and which changes they should request or require. It helps the author by offering guidance on how to improve their work so that it is clearer and more compelling for a reader.
But keep in mind: When wounded soldiers are brought into a medical unit, busy doctors must separate who is likely to die regardless of what surgeons might do from those who can be saved by appropriate medical care.
Across all those, not a single paper has ever been accepted outright—not one. Some only needed a light bandage, others required major surgery, but they all needed some editorial care. When a paper is submitted, the editor and reviewers must therefore do triage: An editor at a top-tier journal such as Nature is like a surgeon on a bloody battlefield, getting a flood of patients that overload any ability to treat them all, and so a higher proportion must be rejected and allowed to die.
Typically, an editor makes a first triage cut—if the paper is so badly off that it obviously has no chance of surviving, he or she will usually reject the paper without getting external reviews.
When you are asked to review a manuscript, the first question you must address is the triage question: A paper may have a dataset that is fundamentally publishable but an analysis or story in such poor shape that it would be best to decline the paper and invest limited editorial resources elsewhere.
Thus, when you are writing a review, the first paragraph s should target the triage decision and frame your argument for whether the paper should be rejected or should move forward in the editorial process. Is the core science sound, interesting, and important enough for this journal?
Is the manuscript itself well enough written and argued that with a reasonable level of revision it will likely become publishable? You need to explain your reasoning and analysis clearly and objectively enough that the editors and authors can understand your recommendation.
This section of the review should focus on identifying places where you think the authors are unclear or wrong in their presentations and interpretations, and on offering suggestions on how to solve the problems.
The tone should be constructive and fundamentally supportive. In this section, you are free to identify as many issues as you wish—but you need to be specific and concrete.
It may not be obvious to them what you mean—you must explain your thinking and educate them. A good review needs to be clear and concrete. When I do a review, I usually make side notes and comments as I read the paper. Then I collect my specific comments, synthesize my critical points about the intellectual framing of the paper, and write the guts of the review—the overall assessment.
I target that discussion toward the editor, since my primary responsibility is to help her with triage. She will ultimately tell the authors what changes they should make for the paper to become publishable. Then, I include my line-by-line specific comments. Those are aimed at the authors, as they tend to be more specific comments about the details of the paper.
The specific comments typically run from half a page to a few pages of text. Sometimes reviews get longer—I have written 6-page reviews, reviews where I wanted to say that I thought the paper was fundamentally interesting and important, but that I disagreed with some important parts of it and that I wanted to argue with the authors about those pieces.
I typically sign those reviews because a I figure it will likely be obvious who wrote it, and b I am willing to open the discussion with the authors: How to offer a specific recommendation? The paper is ready to publish. You should almost never use this on a first review. Accept following minor revision: The paper is wounded, but savable.
The problems go beyond clarity or minor edits; the paper requires some rethinking. It will therefore likely need re-review. The paper should be allowed to die. Keep in mind that as a reviewer, you are typically anonymous. The editor is not. If I choose not to take that advice, it makes me the good guy and helps me push the authors to fix the problems: I signed on to do that job, but I do appreciate your help.
Give your most honest and accurate assessment but remember that the editor must make the decision and must attach their name to that decision. Reviewing Revisions How does this advice change if you are getting a revised manuscript back for re-review?
First, remember that the editor likely received two or three external reviews that might have varied in their assessments and recommendations—editors need to synthesize all that input before making a decision and offering guidance to the authors. In my experience, reviewers are usually right when they identify problems, but are less reliably so in their suggestions for how to fix them.Buy Writing Science: How to Write Papers That Get Cited and Proposals That Get Funded by Joshua Schimel (ISBN: ) from Amazon's Book Store.
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How to write papers that get cited and proposals that get funded. How to write papers that get cited and proposals that get funded. About Josh Schimel; August 23, / jpschimel In Writing Science, I focus on professional skills: framing story, developing flow, and using language powerfully.
But professional skills should be balanced. Find great deals for Writing Science: How to Write Papers That Get Cited and Proposals That Get Funded by Joshua Schimel (, Paperback).
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If you want to write proposals that get funded, and papers that get widely-cited, then read this book and put its lessons to work. I loved the book: it's now the lab-group reading for next semester. Read more. 77 people found this helpful. Helpful. Comment Report abuse. Amazon benjaminpohle.coms: How to write papers that get cited and proposals that get funded. How to write papers that get cited and proposals that get funded. About Josh Schimel; May 1, / jpschimel. In Writing Science, I focus on professional skills: framing story, developing flow, and using language powerfully. But professional skills should be balanced. As he states, ‘the papers that get cited the most and the proposals that get funded are those that tell the most compelling stories’. Therefore, the craft of writing is something that any enthusiastic researcher should want to pursue and eventually to reach.
For the last four years, I’ve taught Writing Science or Science Communication (#SciComm) using Josh’s book, Writing Science: How to write papers that get cited and proposals that get funded. Communication skills, like those described in the book or developed through Science Communication classes, are what set young scientists .