Writing good scientific papers


In case of submission by mail: prepared as many copies of your text, tables and illustrations as are required



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In case of submission by mail: prepared as many copies of your text, tables and illustrations as are required.

  • In case of submission by mail: prepared as many copies of your text, tables and illustrations as are required.
  • or
  • In case of online submission: prepared the files according to the instructions for authors, and provided the software you have used.
  • Kept for your files a complete copy of your manuscript and accompanying material.
  • Enclosed copies of releases for material requiring releases.
  • Included on the first page of the typescript the address to which letters, proofs and requests for reprints should be sent.
  • Note:
  • nowadays, tables and figures are usually inserted in the
  • (electronic) manuscript at appropriate positions,
  • with captions included. Refer to “author instructions“ in case!

Letter to the editor

  • Letter to the editor
  • Example (AE):
  • Dear Professor ….:
  • Please find enclosed our manuscript “Cluster Formation and Rheology of Photoreactive Nanoparticles”.
  • We studied the cluster formation of photoreactive nanoparticles upon irradiation, and the effect of this process on the rheological behavior of dilute colloidal dispersions.
  • Since our work should be of interest to many readers of ………., we have decided to submit our paper to your journal, hoping you will find it acceptable for publication.
  • Sincerely
  • …………

Ethical Policy

  • Ethical Policy
  • From:
  • “Best Practice Guidelines on Publication Ethics: A Publisher‘s Perspective“
  • Wiley-Blackwell
  • see www.BlackwellPublishing.com/PublicationEthics
  • Authors must disclose all sources of funding for their research and its publication.
  • Authors must disclose relevant competing interests (both financial and personal)
  • Credit for authorship should be based on:
  • - substantial contributions to research design, or the acquisition, analysis or interpretation of the data
  • - drafting the paper or revising it critically
  • - approval of the submitted and final version
  • Authors should meet all three criteria.
  • Authors must acknowledge individuals who do not qualify as authors but who contributed to the research
  • Authors must acknowledge any assistance they have received (e.g. provision of writing assistance, literature searching, data analysis, administrative support, supply of materials). If/how this assistance was funded should be described and included with other funding informations.
  • The copyright form (see journals webpages)
  • Authors must declare that the submitted work is their own and that copyright has not been breached in seeking its publication.
  • Authors should declare that the submitted work has not previously been published in full, and is not being considered for publication elsewhere.
  • Authors of manuscripts describing experiments involving human participants must give assurances that appropriate consent was obtained.
  • Authors of manuscripts describing experiments involving animals must give assurances that appropriate methods were used to minimize animal suffering.
  • For further instructions:
  • see “guideline for authors“ on journals webpages

Responding to the editor:

  • Responding to the editor:
  • Acceptance without revision
  • You need take no further action untile the proofs reach you, except prehaps write a note thanking the editor.
  • Minor revisions requested (“accepted“)
  • Consider the suggestions carefully, and if you agree that they will improve the paper, modify or rewrite sentences or sections as necessary. Retype any heavily corrected pages before you return the paper to the editor, but enclose the original corrected paper as well as the retyped copies. In your covering letter sent with the revised version, thank the editor and referees for their help and enclose a list of the substantial changes made in response to their suggestions; if you have rejected one or more of the recommendations, explain why.

Major revisions requested (“further consideration“)

  • Major revisions requested (“further consideration“)
  • You will have to think hard if the effort is worth while. You may eventually decide that the paper is better as it is, and proceed to try another editor (another journal) in the hope that he will agree with you.
  • Rejection
  • If the editor says the article is too specialized or outside the scope of the journal, your best course is to send it to another journal, first modifying the style to comply with the instructions of that journal.
  • If the article is rejected because is is said to be too long and in need of changes, consider shortening and modifying it according to the criticism – and then submit it to a different journal (if the editor had wanted to see a shorter version he would have offered to reconsider it after revision!).

Rejection (continued)

  • Rejection (continued)
  • If the editor thinks the findings reported are unsound or that the evidence is incomplete, put the paper aside until you have obtained more and better information, unless you are sure that the editor and his advisers are wrong.
  • Consider contesting the decision only if you honestly think, after considerable reflection and at least one night‘s sleep, that the editor and referees have made a superficial or wrong judgement. In this case write a polite letter explaining as briefly as possible why you think the editor should reconsider his decision.

Summary: Steps in writing a paper

  • Summary: Steps in writing a paper
  • Assess your work: decide what, when and where to publish. Refrain from duplicate publication, and define your purpose in publishing.
  • Obtain and read the Instructions to Authors of the journal chosen
  • Decide who the authors will be
  • Draft a working title and abstract
  • Decide on the basic form of the paper
  • Collect the material under the major headings chosen

Steps in writing a paper - continued

  • Steps in writing a paper - continued
  • Design tables, including their titles and footnotes; design or select illustrations and write titles and legends for them
  • Write for permission to reproduce any previously published tables, illustrations or other material that will be used
  • Write a topic outline and perhaps a sentence outline
  • Write, type or dictate a preliminary draft of the text quickly (!), to give it unity.
  • Check completeness of the references assembled
  • Put the manuscript or typescript away for a few days

Steps in writing a paper - continued

  • Steps in writing a paper - continued
  • Re-examine the structure of the paper
  • Check the illustrations and tables and make the final versions
  • Re-read the references you cite and check your own accuracy in citing them; check for consistency, and reduce the number of abbreviations and footnotes
  • (Re)type the paper (= first draft)
  • Correct the grammar and polish the style
  • Type several copies of the corrected paper (= second draft)

Steps in writing a paper - continued

  • Steps in writing a paper - continued
  • Ask for criticism from co-authors and friends
  • Make any necessary alterations
  • Compose a now title and abstract suitable for information retrieval, list the index terms and assemble the manuscript
  • Compile the reference list, cross-check references against the text, and ensure that all bibliographical details are correct
  • Retype (= penultimate version) and check typescript
  • Obtain a final critical review from a senior colleague
  • Make any final corrections (final version)

Steps in writing a paper - continued

  • Steps in writing a paper - continued
  • Write a covering letter to the editor, enclosing copies of letters giving you permission to reproduce any previously published material or to cite unpublished work
  • Check that all parts of the paper are present, and post as many copies as specified to the editor
  • If the editor returns the paper, revise it as necessary, send it elsewhere, or abandon it
  • Correct the proofs

Scientific ranking of journals –

  • Scientific ranking of journals –
  • the impact factor
  • From:
  • http://www.sciencegateway.org/rank/index.html

Journals Ranked by Impact: Mater.Sci.

  • Rank
  • 2007 Impact Factor
  • Impact 2003-07
  • Impact 1981-2007
  • 1
  • Prog. Mater. Sci. (20.85)
  • Nature Materials (37.04)
  • Mat. Sci. Eng. R (69.87)
  • 2
  • Nature Materials (19.78)
  • Mat. Sci. Eng. R (31.54)
  • Prog. Mater. Sci. (65.57)
  • 3
  • Nature Nanotechnol. (14.96)
  • Ann. Rev. Mater. Res. (18.77)
  • Ann. Rev. Mater. Sci. (49.05)
  • 4
  • Mat. Sci. Eng. R (14.40)
  • Prog. Mater. Sci. (17.76)
  • Int. Mater. Reviews (40.38)
  • 5
  • Nano Letters (9.63)
  • Nano Letters (17.48)
  • Nature Materials (37.04)
  • 6
  • Advanced Materials (8.19)
  • Advanced Materials (16.28)
  • CR Solid St. Mater. Sci. (32.83)
  • 7
  • Adv. Funct. Mater. (7.50)
  • CR Solid St. Mater. Sci. (12.48)
  • Advanced Materials (32.36)
  • 8
  • Small (6.41)
  • Adv. Funct. Mater. (10.53)
  • Acta Metall. Mater. (26.54)
  • 9
  • MRS Bulletin (5.17)
  • Curr. Op. Sol. St. Mat. (9.71)
  • Ann. Rev. Mater. Res. (25.61)
  • 10
  • Chem. Materials (4.88)
  • Chem. Materials (9.63)
  • J. Mech. Phys. Solids (23.45)
  • Impact Factors
  • Rank
  •        Journal
  • Citations in 2006
  • Rank for 2005
  • 1
  • Journal of Biological Chemistry
  • 410,903
  • 1
  • 2
  • Nature
  • 390,690
  • 2
  • 3
  • Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA (PNAS)
  • 371,057
  • 3
  • 4
  • Science
  • 361,389
  • 4
  • 5
  • J. American Chemical Society
  • 275,769
  • 5
  • 6
  • Physical Review Letters
  • 268,454
  • 6
  • 7
  • 212,714
  • 7
  • 8
  • New England Journal of Medicine
  • 177,505
  • 8
  • 9
  • Astrophysical Journal
  • 162,136
  • 9
  • 10
  • Journal of Chemical Physics
  • 157,334
  • 10
  • The Ten Most-Cited Journals of 2006
  • Ranked by total citations tallied in 2006 (the most recent year covered by Thomson Scientific Journal Citation Reports) to previously published articles
  • in each journal.
  • Rank
  •      Country
  • Papers 1998-2008
  • 1
  • United States
  • 2,798,448
  • 2
  • Japan
  • 757,586
  • 3
  • Germany
  • 723,804
  • 4
  • England
  • 641,768
  • 5
  • France
  • 517,096
  • 6
  • People's Republic of China
  • 511,216
  • 7
  • Canada
  • 388,471
  • 8
  • Italy
  • 370,053
  • 9
  • Spain
  • 271,753
  • 10
  • Russia
  • 262,982
  • SOURCE: Essential Science IndicatorsSM from Thomson Reuters
  • SOURCE: Essential Science IndicatorsSM from Thomson Reuters
  • The top ten countries ranked according to average citations per paper in all fields
  • (that is, 22 main subject areas, (including general social sciences))
  • Science Impact – Top Ten Countries
  • Rank
  •    Country
  • Papers 1993-2003
  • Avg. citations per paper
  • 1
  • Switzerland
  • 142,982
  • 13.24
  • 2
  • United States
  • 2,799,593
  • 12.63
  • 3
  • Netherlands
  • 202,184
  • 11.33
  • 4
  • Denmark 
  • 79,929
  • 11.14
  • 5
  • Sweden 
  • 158,136
  • 10.85
  • 6
  • Scotland 
  • 96,571
  • 10.75
  • 7
  • England 
  • 619,707
  • 10.74
  • 8
  • Canada 
  • 370,928
  • 10.25
  • 9
  • Finland 
  • 74,106
  • 10.17
  • 10
  • Belgium 
  • 103,181
  • 9.74

The end

  • Questions/comments ???
  • Next:
  • 1. Present your own figures (evtl. with captions)
  • 2. “Write a paper (first draft)“ based on selected sets of figures with figure captions
      • (title, abstract, (introduction), (materials/methods),
      • (results and discussion), conclusions)


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