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					B.I.F. FUTURA Vol. 21 (2006)                                                                                                              SCIENCE
                                                                                                                                                          13




                 CONTENT     Crafting a scientific manuscript for publication can be a daunting task. Here two former editors
               attempt to demystify the manuscript writing and review process. This article contains tips on how to start writing,
               organize the writing process, create informative figures, select a journal, work with editors, and respond to referees'
               comments. The authors also offer hints on what »trendy« journals are looking for and what they avoid like the plague.




               Science nonfiction
               Tips for writing a scientific manuscript
               Kelly LaMarco*, Novato, CA, USA
               Rebecca Ward**, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA



               • So, you’ve invested several years in     your first paper in one sitting just be-   the University of California in San
               learning to be a scientist. You’ve         cause your supervisor or P.I. can.         Francisco (UCSF), CA, USA***, may
               worked hard, produced provocative          She’s had a lot of practice. Do under-     provide a different angle on the prob-
               results – and you’re ready to write a      stand that this skill is a basic profes-   lem. In reading it, consider the
               paper. This should be the easy bit,        sional requirement – if you want to        source: one of us is an ex-editor of
               right?                                     be a scientist, there is no way to get     Science, and the other is an ex-editor
                  Wrong. Maybe writing a paper isn’t      out of writing papers.                     of Nature. This may bias our perspec-
               the hardest thing you have to do as a         Take a deep breath. You can do it.      tive on occasion, but we’ve tried our
               scientist, but manuscript drafting is      Very few people find paper-writing         best to offer widely applicable tips
               one of several skills (for example,        easy at first; graduate students often     and information.
               grant writing, lab management, how         reach the manuscript-writing stage
               to be a good boss) that new prinicipal     years after the last time they had to      When to stop doing experiments
               investigators (P.I.s) often find them-     produce a serious bit of text, and a re-   and write
               selves having to learn on their own.       search paper is very different from        • When do you have what it takes to
               And it’s a crucial skill. You might be     anything you’ve ever had to write be-      make a paper? The only way to an-
               the best experimentalist in the world,     fore. So it’s not surprising that it’s     swer this is to try to draft the manu-
               but if you do a poor job of communi-       hard. However, you can find comfort        script. This process often exposes
               cating your results your contribution      in the fact that nearly everyone gets
               to science will be undervalued.            dramatically better with practice.
                  Is this introduction making you            Writing, like interpretation of re-     *** K.L.: Scientific Writer/Editor,
               feel worse? Are you now even more          sults, is hard to teach except by exam-        e-mail: klamarco@ix.netcom.com
               unwilling to sit down and write?           ple. We hope that your P.I. takes seri-    *** R.W.: Executive Director, Department of Systems Bi-


               Does the bench suddenly look amaz-         ously his or her responsibility to help        ology, becky@hms.harvard.edu.
                                                                                                     *** This document is intended to be freely shared, in the
               ingly friendly and inviting by com-        you learn to write. But because scien-         same spirit as the »Copyleft« standard publicized by
               parison? In emphasizing the impor-         tists are usually not trained to be pro-       the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2 or
               tance and difficulty of writing a first-   fessional writers or writing teachers,         any later version published by the Free Software
                                                                                                         Foundation; with no invariant sections, no front-
               rate paper, we are not trying to in-       it may be hard for your advisors to ar-        cover texts, and no back-cover texts. The GNU Free
               crease your anxiety level. Rather, we      ticulate exactly what they think you           Documentation License can be found on line at
               are attempting to make it clear that       should change about your style. This           http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/gpl.html, or obtained by
                                                                                                         writing to the Free Software Foundation, Inc.,
               this skill, like any other, needs to be    article, which was originally used in a        51 Franklin St., Fifth Floor, Boston, MA 02110-1301,
               learnt. Don’t expect to be able to draft   course on the Practice of Science at           USA.
SCIENCE                                                                                                              B.I.F. FUTURA Vol. 21 (2006)

14




holes in your argument that cause           The text                                     do this. And remember to define ab-
you to go back to the bench and do                To write simply is as difficult        breviations that your audience might
more experiments. Thus the drafting                       as to be good.                 find unfamiliar (such as your pet
of a manuscript is a useful exercise                       –W. Somerset Maugham          name for the buffer you used).
to undertake as soon as you think           • First things first: you’re writing a          What to include in the discussion
you know where your research is             paper because you have something             is, in part, a matter of taste – and of
leading.                                    important to tell the scientific com-        where you plan to send the paper. We
   To draft a paper, begin by working       munity. What is it? Before you start,        think that the discussion should do
out what the figures and tables will        decide on the one thing you want to          more than merely reiterate the re-
look like. Write a sentence or two          get across in this paper. It’s your bot-     sults. It’s your chance to put your
about the conclusions each of the fig-      tom line, and it should be conveyed          findings in perspective, propose a
ures and tables is intended to convey.      clearly in the manuscript. Repeat the        model, outline a direction of investi-
When the sentences look as if they          bottom line over and over again – at         gation, and make the reader think.
tell a story, it’s time to start writing.   the end of the abstract, in the intro-       But be aware that if your speculations
   Deciding what to leave out can be        duction, in the results, and in the dis-     go too far beyond what you’ve actu-
as important as deciding what to in-        cussion.                                     ally shown in the paper, the referees
clude. Fascinating little bits of infor-       Once you have figured out what            will challenge you. Make sure that
mation that are off the main point are      you want to say, draft the results sec-      you clearly distinguish between what
distracting to reviewers and always         tion of the paper. It’s best to first lay    you’ve shown and what you imagine.
cause trouble. At best, you have to re-     out the figures that you need to make        (After all, you could be wrong.)
vise the paper to leave them out; at        your point in a sequence that tells the         We’ve left the introduction until last
worst, criticisms of the incidentals        story. Any result that isn’t relevant to     because many people prefer to write
can be used to reject the paper even if     the bottom line should probably be           it last, when they’re clear about ex-
the main points are unassailable. We        deleted. If the result seems really im-      actly what they have to introduce.
realize (from personal experience)          portant to you, yet is irrelevant to the     The introduction should be written
that it can be painful to slash these in-   bottom line, you probably need to re-        with a view to setting up the back-
sightful asides from your manuscript,       think the bottom line.                       ground for what the readers are about
but the ability to do so is crucial.           It often works well to let the story      to learn (the bottom line) and why it
                                            unfold in the way it actually hap-           matters. It should cover the aspects of
Getting started                             pened in the lab. Write down why             the field that raised the question you
      The art of writing is the art         you did the experiment and what the          addressed in this series of experi-
  of applying the seat of the pants to      conclusions are. If it’s not too late, get   ments. In an ideal world, you really
         the seat of the chair.             into the habit of doing this in your         did know about all these points be-
                  – Mary Heaton Vorse       laboratory notebook as you go along.         fore you started, and the experiments
• Most people put off starting to           (It may seem impossible that you will        really were designed to elicit the an-
write until the last possible moment.       ever forget why you did an experi-           swer you got. More often, the back-
There is something about a blank            ment or the conclusions you drew             ground evolved for you as you did the
page that causes the mind to go just        from it, but when a series of experi-        work. This doesn’t matter as long as
as blank. Train yourself out of this ter-   ments stretches over many years, mo-         you can give a coherent reason for
rified-rabbit syndrome by writing           tivations and inferences can get lost.)      thinking that your question is inter-
early and often. Most people find it        Unless your experiments were done            esting, and for having believed that
easier to edit something, however           for reasons that turned out to be irrel-     the experiments you did would ad-
close to garbage it is, than to start       evant to what you actually found out,        dress it. To end the introduction,
from scratch.                               simply writing down what you did             briefly summarize what the reader is
   Writing gets easier as you get used      and why will be a good first draft of        going to learn and why it is impor-
to doing it. Different scientist-writers    your results section.                        tant.
have distinct rituals that help to shift       After completing the results, list
them into »writing mode.« Some of           what methods were used to generate           The figures
these fetishes are temporal (reserving      the results, then write down what you        • Each figure should have one clear
the same hours of each day for writ-        did to carry out the experiments. Sim-       point or purpose. Describe it suc-
ing), others spatial (a sunny spot at       ple. But if you’re re-using a methods        cinctly in the figure legend; usually
the kitchen table or in a secluded cor-     section from elsewhere (such as a stu-       you can use this point as the first line
ner of the library or a local coffee        dent thesis) don’t just cut and paste;       of the legend. Make sure that the fig-
shop). You may decide to take walks         check that all the methods described         ure is clearly labelled and that sym-
or exercise before settling in front of     in the sections you pirate were indeed       bols are defined in the legend. Avoid
the computer. However you do it, the        used in the current paper. You’d be          complicated figures if you can. Con-
important thing is to persist.              surprised how many people forget to          sider whether different ways of pre-
B.I.F. FUTURA Vol. 21 (2006)                                                                                                     SCIENCE
                                                                                                                                             15




               senting the data would better serve            (ii) As well as the paper having a      confusion over whether »they« re-
               the same purpose. For example, do           »bottom line«, each paragraph should       fers to the microtubules or the fila-
               you really need to show 20 binding          have one. What are you trying to ex-       ments.
               curves, or would a table of 20 Kds do       plain to the reader in this paragraph?        (vi) If you provide several lines of
               just as well?                               What should they have learnt by the        evidence that all tend toward the
                  When constructing a figure with          time they’ve finished reading it? It is    same conclusion, don’t simply say »1
               multiple parts, give some thought to        because of the need for a paragraph        is true, 2 is true, 3 is true. The conclu-
               the pattern the reader’s eye will fol-      to have a bottom line that many            sion is…« Help the readers to under-
               low. In the Western world, we’re used       teachers advocate outlining an essay       stand why you’re giving them all
               to reading left to right, then top to       before you write it. Some people find      these facts from the start, by pointing
               bottom. Therefore, showing a se-            it useful to list the points to be made    out how all the lines of evidence sup-
               quence of events that runs left to          in the order in which they should be       port one another: »1 is true, suggest-
               right then right to left and back again     made, and then to expand each point        ing this conclusion. Similarly, 2 is
               is usually not a good idea. Using dif-      into a paragraph. For others, it’s not     true, and furthermore 3. Thus it
               ferent orders of presentation in dif-       necessary or helpful. But try it before    seems clear that…«
               ferent but related figures is also con-     you decide that you’re one of the lat-        (vii) Don’t be afraid to say what you
               fusing for readers. Certain colours         ter group.                                 think is going on. But don’t claim that
               (e.g. bright red) attract more attention       (iii) Treat each paragraph as a         a hypothesis is proven if it’s not. »An
               than others. Does your colour code          thought. Starting a new paragraph in-      obvious explanation is … but many
               correspond to the message of the fig-       dicates a new thought. It should be        other explanations are possible« or »a
               ure (that is, does it highlight the key     clear how the new thought follows          plausible explanation is that…« are
               points)? If your figures are unusually      from the previous thought. There           two ways to show the reader how
               complex, persuade a graphic designer        should be a clear link (or transition)     you’re making sense of the data with-
               at your institution to help you, or in-     between the end of one paragraph           out misleading them into thinking
               vest in a good book on how to design        and the beginning of the next, and         that you believe you’ve proved the hy-
               figures for scientific texts.               the successive bottom lines of the         pothesis conclusively.
                  If you have intricate colour photo-      paragraphs should follow a logical or-
               graphs, consider the quality of the         der. If you didn’t originally outline      Ways to improve your text
               photos in the journal you choose. For       your paper, summarize the finished         • Most people explain things better
               example, Development does lovely            paper in the form of an outline to         when they’re talking than when
               colour photos on high-quality paper,        check that the ideas in your para-         they’re writing. In part this is because
               whereas Nature and Science use              graphs follow a logical progression.       many people seem to think that sci-
               lower quality paper (not great for             (iv) Sentences within a paragraph       entific writing requires you to use
               colour photos). Colour figures can be       need to be connected by an obvious         complicated multi-syllable words, the
               pricey: do you really need colour for       flow of ideas. Keep sentences fairly       passive voice, and intricate sentences.
               your message to come across?                short and to the point. Bear in mind       First, try writing the way you talk.
                                                           that sentences in English tend to be       Dictate into a tape-recorder if that
               The thank-yous                              considerably shorter than »good« sen-      helps. Most journals don’t insist on
               • Carefully consider whom to name           tences in German or French, for ex-        the passive voice, and none of them
               in the acknowledgements. It is much         ample. Trying to get too many ideas        require you to use five syllables
               worse to forget someone who de-             into one sentence (or one paragraph)       where one will do (utilization instead
               serves to be acknowledged than to in-       will make it hard for the reader (or re-   of use, for example).
               clude someone who doesn’t deserve           viewer) to decipher your meaning.             When you’re writing your first
               it. Err on the side of inclusion.           Remember, people are busy, and few         draft don’t worry about minor issues,
                                                           of your readers will understand your       such as using the same word over and
               General tips for clear writing              system as well as you do. Points that      over, ending a sentence with a prepo-
               • You have a story to tell, and its logic   you think are blindingly obvious may       sition, and splitting infinitives. It’s a
               is clear to you. The question is, how       well not be to your reader.                draft; don’t expect it to be perfect.
               do you make that logic clear to the            (v) Check that phrases within the       You can always tidy up later. Most
               reader? Here are our tips:                  same sentence connect with each            texts undergo several rounds of edit-
                  (i) help the reader all you can with     other and do so unambigously. When         ing and revision before they are ready
               signposts. For example, it sometimes        you use a pronoun like »it« or »they«,     to be submitted to a journal. Worry
               helps to start the paragraph with a         check that it’s clear what the pronoun     about organization of the manuscript
               question that indicates where you’re        refers to. For example, »there are sev-    and how best to ensure that it makes
               going with the argument that follows.       eral differences between micro-            sense. Worrying about style too early
               Subheadings can be very useful, if the      tubules and actin filaments; first,        tends to lead to a loss of clarity or the
               journal allows them.                        they are larger« leaves the reader in      dreaded writer’s block.
SCIENCE                                                                                                                B.I.F. FUTURA Vol. 21 (2006)

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   Ask an intelligent colleague or two       The pleasures and pitfalls of high-            Despite all we’ve said about the
who are as far removed from your im-         profile journals                            negatives, undoubtedly you’ll want to
mediate scientific field as possible to      • Publishing a paper in a high-profile      run the gauntlet at some point in your
read the draft and mark all the places       journal can do you a lot of good. But       career; so, what is it that Nature and
where they get lost. Ask some other          it’s a risky business. There is a huge      Science are looking for?
colleagues who know a lot about your         element of luck in getting a paper ac-         It’s easier to define what turns
field to scrutinize it for errors; you’ll    cepted by a journal like Nature or          them off. Describing your results as
get entirely different comments from         Science. Both of those journals select      additional confirmation for a well-ac-
the two groups. Do consider every            about ten papers a week from over a         cepted theory is a certain route to re-
comment carefully, but don’t feel that       hundred submissions. Even though            jection, for example. The editors are
you have to accept every suggested           up to 70 of those 100 submissions           primarily looking for papers that fall
change. Sometimes you can fix the            may fall short of the journal’s criteria    into one of the following categories:
problem in an entirely different way;        for interest or technical quality, there       (i) an advance whose implications
occasionally the reader is plain             is still some level of subjectivity in      cross disciplines, i.e. a result of »gen-
wrong. Remember that sometimes               which of the remaining 30 are se-           eral interest«. For example, the dis-
the best way to fix a problem is to          lected. Sometimes a referee will show       covery of cyclins and cyclin-depend-
delete a sentence. Maybe it was off          an inadequate level of enthusiasm,          ent kinases was interesting to re-
the point and shouldn’t have been            while giving no real criticism of the       searchers in many fields, including
there in the first place; maybe that’s       data; the referee might just have been      cell-cycle regulation, DNA replication,
why your readers are asking what ex-         having a bad day when he or she re-         transcription regulation, tumour sup-
actly you mean.                              viewed your manuscript, but your pa-        pressors and oncogenes, and so on;
   Once you’ve produced a draft, put it      per is rejected just the same. Another         (ii) a result that connects two previ-
aside for a week and do something            factor is that some papers are hard to      ously unrelated areas of research;
else. Then read it again. You’ll be sur-     write in a Nature or Science short for-        (iii) a really big advance in a trendy
prised how much easier it is to spot         mat. If you really need to show six or      field, even if it isn’t all that relevant to
the parts that are difficult to under-       more figures to make your story con-        anyone outside the field; or
stand when you’ve been thinking              vincing, or if you need more than              (iv) supremely important methods,
about something else for a while.            about 2,000 words to say what you ab-       e.g. polymerase chain reaction (PCR),
                                             solutely have to say, you should prob-      differential display.
Where to send the paper                      ably give in gracefully and go else-           Other criteria constantly change.
• This is a decision you need to make        where. Depending on your field, there       For example, the editors will periodi-
early on, unless there are several jour-     may be equally high-profile journals        cally decide that a particular subject is
nals in your field that all use the same     (usually, alas, equally selective) that     under-represented and accept papers
format and have similar length re-           offer more space.                           in this area to show an interest. Or pa-
quirements. In most cases it’s not too          Because most papers submitted to         pers that use a pioneering technique
difficult to narrow the choice to a          Nature or Science are rejected, decid-      such as gene knockouts may be given
couple of journals; think about who          ing to submit a paper there will, more      an easy time for a while, until the
you want to see the paper and why,           often than not, cost you time – usu-        technique is no longer perceived as
who is likely to be interested in it, and    ally at least 1-2 months. Half the pa-      pioneering.
which journals publish papers on             pers are rejected after two weeks, and
similar subjects, at similar levels of in-   you then have to rewrite in another         Dealing with editors
terest.                                      format (another two weeks). The rest        • It is important to realize that when
  Usually you’re looking for a quality       of the papers that are rejected are ref-    it comes to editors, there are two dis-
journal with the right kind of audi-         ereed first, which usually takes an ex-     tinct kinds of beasts: academic edi-
ence that is not too painfully slow          tra 3-5 weeks.                              tors and professional editors. Some
and whose editors and referees seem             If you submit to one of the trendy       journals that use professional editors
to make reasonably sensible deci-            journals, do so in the full knowledge       are Cell, Current Biology, PLoS Biology,
sions. Sometimes you’re just look-           that your paper is quite likely to be re-   Nature, and Science. These are also
ing for a journal that’s respectable         jected even if it’s good, and you will      the journals that attempt to select pa-
and won’t give you a hard time (for          then have to rewrite and submit else-       pers that have a poorly defined char-
example, if all you want to do is            where. Don’t get suicidal when this         acteristic called »general interest«,
archive something that’s not particu-        happens. Nobel-prize-winning re-            measured by the effect of the paper
larly interesting). The decision is          search has been rejected by these           on the jaded palate of the profes-
hardest when you have what seems to          journals. If the paper’s good, and it’s     sional editor. If you want to publish
you to be a really exciting paper.           published in a high-quality journal,        in one of these journals, make sure
Should you try one of the »trendy«           it’ll be recognized for the ground-         that the elements that make your pa-
journals?                                    breaking research it is.                    per »spicy« are obvious.
B.I.F. FUTURA Vol. 21 (2006)                                                                                                       SCIENCE
                                                                                                                                               17




                  Professional editors probably will         like you, send them a marked-up copy           (iv) invalid criticisms that seem
               not be experts in your field. This has        of the new version showing which            valid unless you know an awful lot
               the disadvantage that these editors           bits have changed.                          about the subject;
               will rarely be able to make their own                                                        (v) matters of opinion, or
               judgements about the quality of your          Referee selection and the                      (vi) deliberate attempts to delay the
               work. Academic editors are much               review process                              paper for no good reason (fortunately
               more likely to be knowledgeable               • Peer review is a crucial component        rare).
               about your field than professional ed-        of scientific research. Therefore, edi-        Obvious pitfalls in dealing with the
               itors, and will more often be able to         tors must carefully consider what           comment types listed above include:
               supplement the referees’ criticisms           kinds of scientists are needed to as-          (i) not addressing the easy valid
               with their own or dismiss a referee’s         sess the quality of a given manu-           criticisms because you’ve put too
               criticisms as irrelevant. But profes-         script. Editors will almost always se-      much work into this paper already. If
               sional editors are, in the end, profes-       lect at least two expert referees, usu-     it improves the paper and it’s easy,
               sionals: they spend all day, every day,       ally with complementary expertises.         just do it. That’s what the review
               reviewing and judging manuscripts,            Sometimes the editor will also select a     process is all about.
               and they have access to a database of         referee with a broader perspective,            (ii) Complaining about the incom-
               information on what has been ac-              who may be in a field that is only          petence of the referee instead of ad-
               cepted and rejected in the past and           loosely connected to the one that is        dressing her comments, or rubbing
               why. All of this influences the deci-         the subject of the manuscript. For ex-      the referee’s nose in how stupid the
               sion-making process. (And remember,           ample, let’s say your paper is about        invalid criticisms were. If a referee,
               when you call a professional editor to        discovering a transcription factor that     carefully chosen to be expert in your
               complain about how long it’s taking           (i) regulates development in flies and      field, had a problem with your paper,
               for your manuscript to be reviewed,           (ii) houses a helicase activity. The edi-   then 99% of the rest of the world will
               that she knows all about how long             tor will certainly have the manuscript      as well. Try to see where the mis-
               you take to review papers.)                   reviewed by a Drosophila develop-           understanding came from, and be
                                                             mental biologist and someone who            thankful for the opportunity to fix it
               Writing to editors                            understands helicases. However, the         before prime time.
               • When you submit a paper, or resub-          editor might also enlist the help of a         (iii) Mistaking comment types iii-v
               mit a revised paper, make the editor’s        developmental biologist who uses ze-        for comment type vi;
               life easier (and thus expedite the re-        brafish as her model system, or a bio-         (iv) Failing to realize that there re-
               view process) by including a cover let-       chemist who studies other proteins          ally can be two opinions regarding
               ter. This should concisely explain the        that regulate transcription.                the interpretation of your data.
               major conclusions of the paper, as               An important part of an editor’s job        The case of the valid criticism that
               well as why and to what fields they           is finding and calibrating new re-          will take a lot of work to fix is perhaps
               are important. This is particularly im-       viewers. Is the reviewer close enough       the hardest to deal with. Do you go
               portant for »trendy« journals.                to the field, without being so close as     away and do the work, taking a year
                  It is often helpful to list possible re-   to be an almost-certain competitor?         and perhaps being scooped in the pro-
               viewers. But it is more important to          Are they generous enough to spend           cess, go to a less high-profile journal
               list people that you absolutely, posi-        hours helping to improve a paper in-        (and perhaps run into the same prob-
               tively do not want to review your pa-         stead of writing one of their own?          lem), or try to persuade the editor and
               per. Be reasonable. It is not acceptable      Will they look beyond the irritations       referee to let you talk your way out of
               to rule out all of the major players in       of poor prose and minor mistakes            it? One argument you can use in this
               your field. (Science once had an au-          and ask whether the main point of           situation is that one paper doesn’t
               thor request that »no one from                the paper is securely established, and      have to solve the whole problem.
               Boston, San Francisco, or San Diego«          important?                                     When responding in writing to a
               review his paper!) Also let the editor                                                    reviewer’s comments, do respond to
               know if you have concrete informa-            How (not) to deal with comments             every point (even those you think are
               tion about competition. For example,          from reviewers                              ridiculous or incorrect). In a letter to
               if you know that a related paper has          • Comments from referees fall into          the editor, list these points, along with
               been or is about to be submitted to           several classes. Most can be catego-        the changes you’ve made to address
               another journal, tell your editor so          rized as one of the following:              them (or the reasons you haven’t
               that she can take steps to minimize              (i) valid criticisms that are easy to    addressed them). Point out which
               your chances of being scooped.                address;                                    pages in the manuscript contain the
                  The cover letter for a revised manu-          (ii) valid criticisms that are hard to   changes you’ve made in response to
               script MUST include a point-by-point          address;                                    the referees’ comments.
               rebuttal of the issues raised by the ref-        (iii) invalid criticisms that you can       In all dealings with reviewers and
               erees. If you really want the editors to      easily show to be invalid;                  editors, you will do better than aver-
SCIENCE                                                                                                        B.I.F. FUTURA Vol. 21 (2006)

18




age if you work under the assumption      means write it and get it out of your     tious referee can save you from ap-
that all editors and referees are, like   system, but then throw it away and        palling errors. As a referee, remember
you, serious, conscientious people        write a more measured response the        to keep a sense of perspective; just be-
who are doing their best for science      next morning.                             cause you’ve spent hours reviewing a
and for the scientific community –                                                  paper doesn’t mean that every single
even if the evidence appears to indi-     Our bottom line                           thing you found has to be fixed be-
cate otherwise. Be polite, however        • Take writing seriously, and work at     fore publication. Finally, making an
provoked. Editors and referees are        it. Science is a community effort, and    effort to work with your editor can
conscientious people, and so they will    communicating your results prompt-        help to facilitate the review and pub-
probably forgive your rudeness. But       ly and clearly is part of your job as a   lication processes.
why take the chance? Don’t fire off a     professional scientist. Take reviewing
furious e-mail the moment that you        seriously, too, from both ends. As an       Good luck, and happy writing!
receive the rejection letter. By all      author, remember that a conscien-

				
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