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国际顶级作者和杂志编辑教您如何更有效的写作和发表论文 zz  

2010-12-19 01:18:58|  分类: 论文 |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

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1. The moral of the story is that the publishing process requires not only hard work but also resilience — and struggling young authors can learn valuable lessons from those who have already navigated that process.

2. You are only as good as your last paper — previous success does not guarantee future acceptance. 

3. A key to winning over editors and reviewers is having strong data to support conclusions. Some people don't appreciate the fact that a lot of weak data does not make up for having less, but more powerful, data.

4. Authors should try to resist the urge to let their findings trickle out over many years and many papers.

5. Younger writers need to recognize their own working patterns and write when they are most productive — whether it is early morning, late at night, at a desk or during a walk.

6. Recognizing that writing is a long process is valuable. Find a mentor in that process, somebody to guide and coach you.

7. For many publishing veterans, the writing process starts at the earliest stages of designing a research project.

8. Aspiring writers should have a template to hand — a previous paper published by the lab or a 'near-neighbour' article from the same journal. Paralysed would-be writers should take the template concept one step further by counting the number of paragraphs in each section, the number of figures and the number of references. 

9. Start every day of writing by editing the previous day's material — a useful tactic that helps to ease us into a writing mindset. 

10. The usual writing advice applies to manuscript writing as well — be clear and concise and use simple language whenever possible.

11. Editors stress the importance of clarity above all else, to help convey arguments and logic to them and to readers.

12. You've got to hook the editor with the abstract.

13. Most writers make the mistake of assuming too much knowledge on the part of their audience.

14. Editors say that one way to identify holes or gaps in logic that would be vulnerable in peer review is to imagine a sceptical audience reading the manuscript. Think of the most adversarial reader you can imagine, and write to substantiate the veracity of your arguments and to anticipate criticisms and answer them. 

15. Some editors suggest that 'winning over' a sceptical editor, reader or reviewer should be the ultimate goal of any paper's abstract.

16. Editors read the abstract and start formulating a thumbs-up or thumbs-down, looking for reasons to rip it apart. 

17. Authors should avoid an abstract structure that says: we did X, which told us Y, and has implications for Z. Instead, he says, start with why a reader should care about learning more about Z and then explain how this work furthers that goal.

18. The introduction should persuade readers “that you know what you are talking about and have something new to teach them. 

19. Authors should clearly distinguish between data in the results section and inferences about what they mean in the discussion section.

20. The introduction need not cite every background article gathered, the results section should not archive every piece of data ever collected, and the discussion is not a treatise on the paper's subject. 

21. The writer must be selective, choosing only the references, data points and arguments that bolster the particular question at hand.

22. Once a first draft is complete, the work has only just begun. “Revise and revise and revise.” Even polished authors go through an average of 10–12 drafts, and sometimes as many as 30.

23. Writers should ask not only the principal investigator to view drafts, but also every co-author, as well as fellow students or postdocs, and colleagues outside the immediate field of research. Lead authors should give co-authors set deadlines of 10 days to two weeks to suggest changes. Experienced authors counsel letting the draft sit for a few days before reading it with fresh eyes to catch mistakes or problems in flow. It is better to read drafts aloud with your students to spot errors.

24. Authors should not suggest reviewers who are personal friends or institutional colleagues; including those people could immediately erode the editor's trust. Authors need to find a balance — it is fine to exclude a couple of reviewers who are direct competitors or known naysayers, but restricting too many qualified reviewers can backfire.

25. As an author, your job is to make the editor's job as easy as possible.


1. Before starting to write the paper, authors should carefully choose a journal audience for their research story — and initially aim for the highest-impact, highest-profile journal possible. The submission process is fast enough today; it's worth the effort of sending your paper to the highest journals where it belongs.

2. Established authors and journal editors suggest thinking early about the right journal and finding an appropriate editor, the best reviewers and, of course, an appropriate audience of readers. 


1. New authors can feel overwhelmed when the reviewers' comments come back. Wojtal likes to let reviews sit for a week to let his “blood pressure return to normal”.

2. Blumberg advises copying all of the reviewers' comments into a new electronic document to address each one step-by-step. 

3. Authors should work through the list and explain how criticisms were addressed, or why they were not, in the resubmission cover letter to the editor.

4. A clear, succinct resubmission letter may result in an editor making their own decision rather than sending the paper back out for another round of review.

5. New authors should be careful to polish their work and respond meticulously and politely to reviewers' comments without getting overwhelmed or frustrated by lengthy, time-consuming queries. Those who follow such advice are more likely to find success. Those who don't could end up on the wrong side of the 'publish or perish' divide.

6. The worst thing an author can do is to ignore a reviewer's criticism and send it back without an explanation. This wastes an editor's time trying to resolve the issue on his or her own. 

7. “If you strongly believe the reviewers have erred and that the editor should hear from you, definitely send an e-mail,” says Blumberg, who, as an editor, is happy to hear from authors. “Be as polite as possible, stick to the facts, and keep it to the point.”


Young scientists would be wise to embrace written communication as the foundation of an academic career and the key to earning tenure, winning funding and, ultimately, sustaining a research programme, says Hauber. “If your result is not published, you haven't done anything,” he says. “You might not set out to be an enthusiastic writer, but you should try to learn to love it.”



作者:Kendall Powell

Mark Hauber的学生于2007年向Nature投稿,这是一篇关于捕食一种海鸟的论文,被拒。接着向《科学》杂志投稿,被拒。这位气馁的学生Matt Rayner建议向《Conservation Biology》投稿,这是该研究领域的二类期刊。但是Hauber因为经验丰富,认为这篇论文应该去投更好的杂志。他修改了少许内容,向级别更高的《Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA》投稿,几周以后就收到接收通知。

现在已经是新西兰国立大气与水源研究院博士后的Rayner提到:“我已经深深明白人们会对投稿被拒这种表象信以为真。如果你认为文章内容包含了好的资料与数据,你需要做的就是坚持。能在《Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA》上发表文章令我非常兴奋”。Hauber表示同意,“文章审核的过程具有偶然性”,他现在是纽约城市大学Hunter学院的动物行为学家。这个故事的寓意告诉我们,发表文章需要努力的工作和抗挫折的能力,而正在奋斗中的年轻作者应该从那些已经发表过论文的作者身上学习宝贵的经验。



对于经验丰富的作者,撰写始于项目设计的最初阶段。Mark Blumberg指出:“全面综合考虑的实验会比较容易成功,预先计划会使你的撰写过程更容易一些”,他是爱荷华州立大学的神经病学家,也是《行为神经病学》的主编。加尼弗利亚大学伯克利分校的环境工程师Bill Nazaroff建议一种有用的方法:将科研项目设想成将来论文的标题,它会时刻提醒该研究应该包含的内容。

Eileen White(职位及职务省略)认为研究者应该有一个简要的框架,包括有意义的问题、测试方法和预期结果,而取得最后的胜利则需要强大的数据来支持该研究的结论。她还说:“总有一些人认为许多较差的数据可以取代很少却强有力的数据”。








年轻作者需要了解自己的工作习惯,在精力最丰富的进行写作——可以是清晨,深夜,电脑旁或散步中。Steven Wojtal 是欧柏林学院的结构地质学家,专门负责论文发表的进修课程,他指出:“你如果清楚自己在YouTube上看10分钟的视频可有助于清醒你的大脑,那这是好事”。

撰写科研论文的通常建议是:尽量使用明确、扼要、简单的语言(see G. D. Gopen & J. A. Swan Am. Sci. 78, 550–558; 1990)。Blumberg撰写的很多科学书籍都是畅销书,他指出: “当你想表达‘rats’时不要写个复杂的‘rodents’,这种创新不需要,因为科学本身就已经够复杂了。”编辑们因为工作忙碌,根本来不及细细品味那些不好生撰写的论文,即使有重要意义也难逃被拒的命运。


论文逻辑上的漏洞很容易被同行在评审中发现,编辑建议找出漏洞的方法就是假设一个苛刻的读者在阅读这些文章。Wojtal 提出:“想象最强劲的对手在阅读你的论文,为了证实论点的真实性和回答可预见的质疑(你应该如何去安排内容)”。有些编辑认为征服苛刻的编辑、读者或审稿专家是任何论文摘要写作的终极目标。White认为,“编辑在浏览摘要时就开始进行评价文章的好坏,所以文章的开头很重要”。Leslie Sage是Nature天文学部分的编辑,认为作者应当避免这种写法:我们曾经做过X,发现了Y,提示Z。而应该这样开头:为什么读者应该更多地了解Z,接着描述本文的研究是如何进一步发现Z的意义。







Wojtal在the Journal of Structural Geology担当了6年的编辑,他认为最糟糕的事情是作者在回复中忽视审稿专家的意见不予回答,对于编辑而言,他们则需要花时间去重新分析这些有争议的地方。Blumberg很乐意与作者进行交流,无经验的作者希望知道在被拒时是否应该再去争取一下,他认为“如果你觉得审稿专家的意见不中肯,而编辑应该听听你的意见,那么请邮件联系我们,并紧密联系文章内容说到点子上”。

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