How to Write a Great Research Paper, and Get it Accepted by a Good Journal - Live Q&A 論文投稿線上講座-與期刊編輯與出版人空中相約

2020/7/2 Thursday 15:00-16:00

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活動介紹 Introduction

Background: Knowing the best way of structuring your paper when writing it, and the most appropriate journal to send it to, really helps in getting your paper accepted. Understanding how editors and publishers think and what they expect, and knowing how the peer review process works, is an invaluable insight into the publishing process.

Results: After viewing the recently recorded author workshop, and then taking part in the live Question and Answer session participants will have a clear idea of the steps needed to be taken before starting to write a paper including selecting the most appropriate journal to submit to. They should be able to plan writing manuscripts using the logical step sequence – not the sequence in which the paper will be read. Important tips and tricks include knowing what aspects of their papers Editors, Reviewers, and Publishers look at critically, so their papers are much more likely to be accepted. Dealing with referees’ comments, understanding open access, and publishing ethics, are also clearly explained and so with this extra information participants should get their papers published more easily.

Keywords: Scientific Publishing, Paper authorship, ethics, journal




講者 Speaker

Anthony Newman

Anthony Newman


Anthony Newman is a Senior Publisher with Elsevier and is based in Amsterdam. Currently responsible for fifteen laboratory medicine and biochemistry journals, he joined Elsevier over 30 years ago and has been Publisher for the last 20+ years. Before then he was the marketing communications manager for the biochemistry journals of Elsevier.  By training he is a polymer chemist and was active in industry before leaving London and moving to Amsterdam in 1987 to join Elsevier.


Prof. Yung-Sheng Huang/ 黃永勝教授

Prof. Yung-Sheng Huang/ 黃永勝教授

Associate Editor-in-Chief of Biocatalysis and Agricultural Biotechnology

Prof. Yung-Sheng (Vic) Huang retired from Department of Food Science and Biotechnology of National Chung Hsing University.   He has served in editorial board in Prostaglandins, Leukotrienes and Essential Fatty acids (PLEFA), and Informs. He currently serves as a member of editorial advisory board in Lipids in Health and Disease (LHD), and also the Associate Editor-in-Chief of Biocatalysis and Agricultural Biotechnology (BAB).  His research focuses on the role of lipids and antioxidants in chronic diseases, development of functional foods and production of high-value lipids through the genetic engineering technique. Prof. Huang has published over 240 scientific papers in many peer-reviewed journals, over 170 conference papers, and edited five monograms in the area of lipid biochemistry, metabolism and nutrition. He is an inventor/co-inventor of 43 U.S patents. He has organized numerous international conferences and has been invited as a speaker/keynote speaker at many national and international conferences.


尚未回答提問回覆 Answers to the unanswered questions

  • If the authors of the manuscript are from Asian countries (non-native speakers), the manuscript review mostly asks for English editing? Why?

The quality of English language in submitted manuscripts is often below standard. Not only from non-native speakers! The quality of English needed for publication of a paper in the scientific record is higher than many people are used to writing if they are English second language. Therefore, it is wise to ask a native English speaker to polish your paper, or invest some money in an English language polishing service.

  • Is It ok to have an almost like similar title as my previous publications?

If your paper is part of a series of research papers then you could have similar titles – but remember the reader has to know it is not your last paper but a new one! Always try to have a novel aspect in the paper title so that readers download and open your paper. If it is too similar to other papers of yours, they may think they have seen it already. Remember to also cite your earlier paper(s) in the references.

  • When we prepare Reviewer’s reply letter, how to start and end. Is a tabular form better?

If the referee comments your received are numbered and in plain text, then reflect that when replying. If the referee comments are in some tabular form, reflect that. You are trying to make it easier for the Editor to see what they asked you to change, and what you have changed. Their preference usually is the style they sent you the information. The usual way is to cut and paste the referee comments one by one and then after each comment write what you have changed to reflect those specific concerns or suggestions of the referee. Some journals ask for color-coded text to show what you have changed. Read carefully the letter from the journal editor as that gives instructions. Such instructions are normally not in the Guide for Authors.

  • Sometimes, editors ask for more time-consuming experiments, while editor also says to submit the reviewer’s reply letter as soon as possible. How to address that situation in positive way?

If the requested experiments will improve your paper and increase the probability of acceptance you should estimate how long it will take to run the experiment(s), analyze the results and add these to your manuscript. If it is more than 2-3 weeks, then write to the editor or editorial office asking for more time to complete your revision as you have to run the extra experiment(s) required by the referees. You always get granted the extra time, and the editor/editorial office then knows you are working on the revision,  and not submitting your paper to another journal instead.

  • Is it easier to publish in a high-impact journal if working with a renowned collaborator or having better connection?

Working with an experienced researcher usually means they write clearer papers, or comment wisely on what you need to change in your paper to make it better, and so more acceptable to the journal editor. That said, there is talk that some journals/editors are more favorable to papers either coming from top institutes that are active in that field, or have co-authors from top institutes. It seems to matter more about the institute than the author as there is a body of quality knowledge at that institute on the topic.

  • In a journal which limits the number of words to under 15,000, is a 7,000-word article too short?

If you have laid out your research in the manuscript in a clear way, and the paper is complete and has no gaps of knowledge or reasoning then it can be any length. Do not start adding extra descriptive text to increase the article length to get closer to the 15,000 words as it then dilutes the message. It is actually far harder to write a ‘compact but complete’ paper than it is to write a longer paper.

  • I sent my article to one journal and the editor rejected it but provided many helpful comments for revising. Can I still resubmit my article after it was rejected once by the journal?

You (and your co-authors) must read very carefully the letter you received from the editor. If the editor says that there are many things that need fixing and says - in effect – fix them and try again - that is clear. Sometimes the editor says what is wrong with the paper and is also clear it is not up to the quality of the journal. If the editor is not clear, and you and the other co-authors all agree to try again, then correct all the points mentioned and resubmit stating in your covering letter that this is a manuscript based on a previously rejected one will all referee points addressed, as you really would like to be accepted by this journal. It is important you give the title and manuscript number of the previous paper as it is likely that if the editor is willing to accept into review your submission that the same referees will be asked to handled the peer review.  More and more journals do not have the major revision category, only minor revision or rejection. So, in case of such a journal, if there were many points to address it is expected/hoped by the editor that you will fix them and try again. Sometimes they hint at this in the rejection letter – which is why all co-authors should read the rejection letter to agree what exactly the journal/editor is saying.

  • We need to pay to get access to some journals, my question is: Is this money also shared to the researchers that submit their paper to those journals?

There are two ways that journals are paid for – subscription or open access. In the former, the libraries pay for access to the content. The publishers produce the journals, distribute print copies, put the papers online and maintain that platform for hundreds of years to come. Publishers also use some of this money for improving submission systems, marketing the journals, and providing educational resources for researchers to use to improve themselves. Editors receive honoraria from this subscription money, but researchers do not receive any specific funds. With the other model, the librarians pay nothing for the readers to access the content, usually electronic only. Instead the authors pay an Article Processing Charge (APC) which creates the money needed for the online hosting and distribution, editor honoraria etc. Authors receive no money from the OA model, instead that have to pay an APC on acceptance, but this is normally paid by a funding body etc.

  • How long should a research paper be? If my paper is too long will it get rejected? If my paper is too short, does it mean that my paper is not good enough?

Each scientific field has a different mean and median length of article. Usually social science papers are longer than life sciences papers for example. Some journals do have a word limit mentioned in the Guide for Authors, and some limit the length of the Abstract. If your paper has lots of content, with several experiments described, and a clear discussion on the research and the applications, then the length is not relevant – it can be 60 pages long! Unless that journal has a word limit of course. If your paper is complete, has a clear experiment, results and discussion, but is not that long then that does not matter. It is the completeness that is the question, not the length. However, when you have selected the journal you are planning to submit to go to the online journal and check out 10-15 random papers for their length. That then gives you an idea what that journal editor, field, and the readers are used to reading.