Global Research Letters

Advance Your Research – The Basics of Journal Submission

Today’s webinar is on advancing your research, Journal Submission Basics. I’m Hillary Miller. I’m Julie Arendt. We wanted to go over what we’re not doing first in this specific webinar because you may have seen or may not yet have seen that we have done a few webinars on similar topics in this Advance Your Research series before. Previously we talked about how to pick a journal out of so many journals available at present, how to match the journals l to the specific article that you’re looking to publish. We’ve talked some about authorship criteria, and we’ve also talked avoiding publishing scams or scam journals. When you go to advance your research guide on the library website, you can see a publishing box that’s going to have recordings of previous webinars on these topics. If you’re looking for information on how to convert a dissertation chapter, or thesis into an article, this is something that we advise you to see an advisor about, or the writing center as a resource because the libraries don’t do as much in the area of writing an article for publication. What we are covering today is compliance with requirements of journals, so how to make sure that you understand sometimes very specific requirements that journals have for submission and publication. We’re going to walk through a journal submission system so you can see what this looks like if you’ve never seen it before, and along the way point out what issues can crop up during the submission process. We’re going to go through the peer-review process and the potential snacks you might see there as well, and then we’ll finish up by talking about what happens after an article has been accepted for publication. The first step, as we saw it was making sure that you understand and that you’re able to comply with all of the requirements of journals for publication. The idea here is know exactly what you’re getting into upfront because there would be probably few things worse than submitting to journals, going through a really long process of peer review and being accepted, and then realizing that there may be some requirement that you are not able to comply with for publication.

The first one I want to talk about is copyright permissions. This is going to apply if you are using any third-party materials. It was just a term usually used in journal policies or the policies followed by various journals, basically, what that means are you using anyone else’s stuff? Publishers generally want authors to get explicit written permission to use other people’s works rather than relying on copyright exceptions, such as fair use. For example, if you’re familiar with this, that sometimes say you don’t need to get permission but generally speaking, publishers want to see written permission for everything that is going to be a part of your article. The exception here is a brief quotations of text, from other articles or other sources are usually excluded for this. But if you’re using images, figures, tables, or very large quotations of texts from other articles it’s likely going to require permission to be a part of your new article that is to be published in any journals. Here is one example of a copyright permissions policy. This is from one of the journals that’s published by SAGE. The journal is actually called Research Ethics, and I’m going to use this journal and SAGE in a couple of examples to provide you with some on-the-ground specific examples of what you might see in these policies. You can see here it’s pretty basic. Ensure that you’ve gotten the necessary permissions to reproduce these. It also illustrates what I think is a pretty important concept that you should be aware of in the publishing process, so like a lot of other journals, this individual journal called Research Ethics is published by a very large publisher. SAGE actually publishes over 1,000 individual journals. When you’re reviewing these manuscripts submission guidelines, you’re going to see a mix of language that may be specific to the journal, and a lot of places where you’re told to see here for more information that’s going to direct you to policy that applies at the publisher level to all journals that they publish.

You might have to visit multiple pages bouncing back between the journals and the publisher websites in order to answer any questions you might have about the submission or publishing process. If you ever have any trouble finding answers in the mix of all of this policy, you can always contact the libraries for help. This is an example of a very brief permissions policy and points you to the SAGE policy, which I didn’t include here. It’s far too long to copy or even screenshot in for a webinar. It’s a little confusing in my opinion but, it says as I mentioned before, you don’t necessarily need permission if your use falls under the concept of fair use, which is a copyright law exception. But there are no concrete rules about what is or isn’t fair use and at the same time SAGE says, if you have any doubt about whether your use is fair use or not, you should go ahead and get permission. I think this can look like a gray area, but it underscores that concept I shared earlier which is that publishers generally want to see explicit written permission when you are using other people’s works. Some of the key takeaways for the permissions process overall. Number 1, I don’t think I can emphasize this enough, I think it’s really important to go through the motions of getting this written permission for third-party materials before you submit the article. You don’t necessarily need to go all the way through, get the written form, sometimes there may be fees involved. You don’t need to necessarily pay those upfront. But what this will help you do is identify any possible issues that might come up in the publishing process in various journals. For example, a lot of the permissions might be free of cost. Some might be more expensive than you are able to cover, the things you want to use might not have a clear way to get that permission, or it might not always be obvious who you should be asking for permission. It’s really important to figure this out upfront because if you’re doing this at the end of the publishing process in journals, it can be really difficult at that point to leave out the materials that you want to use.

You might have to find alternatives if you can’t get the permission you need. It’s always best to have this out of the way as soon as possible. You can also always contact the publisher of journals, the editor of journals, or the libraries for help with this process. Like I said, whether that’s just navigating permissions or figuring out who the copyright owner even is in some cases. Here is an example of an article from one of the journals. Let’s say you want to use a table from this an article from one of the journals. There is something I wanted to see if anyone notices about this an article from one of the journals right off the bat that tells you something actually pretty exciting about how you might or might not get permission to use this article in your own research. Does anyone see anything on the screen here? Chat is open. Chat is open if you want to shout out. It’s a little bit small, but if you can see this little logo here, it says CC and it’s got some other symbols on it. This is something called Creative Commons. That means that this article is an open-access article. It’s been published under an open license, and what that means is that the permission for you to use this article including figures, or quotations, or images from it is already given to you. You don’t need to go ask for permission after the fact, you already have these permissions they’re built into the publication process. Here is another example from one of the journals by SAGE. This is communication and the public. This one you can see there is no open access symbol here, this is a traditional subscription access article. There’s also another tiny button here on the page called request permissions. You’ll see some variation of this on the landing page for most articles. That’s where you go to get the permissions you need to reuse a part of this article. This on the screen here is an example of a platform called RightsLink.

Well, from the Copyright Clearance Center, this is really common for most publishers of various journals, especially large publishers journals to use this platform to give you an automatic process to request and get permission to reuse articles or parts of articles. You can see here, we won’t walk through it all, there are a lot of different fields you have to fill out here, but what you’re hoping for and looking for is that quick price there at the bottom right. In many cases, if you are using, for example, one figure from an article to publish another article, you’ll fill this out and that quick price and a lot of cases will be zero, although it can be a couple $100 in other cases. We won’t go through again all of this, but this is another case where if you have trouble filling out a form like this, or if it’s asking for money that you might not be able to pay, get in touch with the libraries for help and we may be able to help you navigate this process. The next requirement by most journals that I want to talk about is sharing research data or data sharing policy from the journals. This applies to data underlying the findings presented in the article, so it might not be every bit of data you’ve collected throughout your entire research project. But it will be the data, for example, that underlies figures you use, or tables, or the specific findings within the scope of the article. It’s not something that’s required by all journals, although it is becoming more common. If it is required, the data may or may not be a part of the peer-review process that your article goes through. I’m going to use one of SAGE’s journals as another example here just to point you quickly to the way that they break down their data sharing policies in their journals. They say that their journals will follow one of these options. Option 1, which is the vast majority of their journals right now. They really just encourage authors to share data somewhere publicly online, site the dataset within the article, and linked to it.

Option 2 is a requirement to do all of these things with the data and option 3, which is the least common for now, but it’s the highest level of work required on your part is called verification. Not only do you share site and link to the data, but the data is actually going to be a part of the peer review process. The peer reviewers are going to be asked to consider that data as a part of their review. Why should you care about all of this? One reason is that if you are making any decisions about sharing data similar to publishing an article in one of the various journals, your research collaborators absolutely need to be involved in the decision making. There may be questions about who owns the data. For example, if you are working with an adviser on research, if your research is conducted in some lab setting. Everyone needs to be involved in this decision making and this decision making actually needs to happen a lot sooner in the process then at the point where you’re submitting an article. If you submitted an IRB and got approval from IRB for your research, they would have asked about your plans for data sharing. You may not have intended to do that at the time. If this is something you later want to do, you may need to go back to the IRB to seek approval or at least check and see if that was a part of the plan you submitted. The other important question is, is your data ready to be shared? Preparing data to be reviewed by someone else who was not a part of your research process is quite a bit more work usually than just sharing data internally with your research team or an advisor. The last one, I’m going to talk about before I pass things over to Julie is are you publishing an article that’s based on your thesis or dissertation research? If so, you need to consider whether or not this counts as what’s called prior publication. Sometimes called previous publication, duplicate publication, redundant publication, a lot of different names you’ll see in journal policies for this.

These terms I’ll describe a situation where some part of your article has already been published or shared in a public setting or shared online in some way. There are three important questions that you need to answer before you submit an article to any one of the many journals if this is the case. First is, does the journal have a policy on prior publication? The answer is almost certainly yes and you’re going to find this in the author guidelines or manuscript submission guidelines but the policy might not be very detailed. If it doesn’t answer questions you have. If it doesn’t specifically for example, mentioned the situation where the article may be based on thesis or dissertation or other graduate research you should definitely contact the editor before you submit. The next one is, how does the journal define prior publication? Again, do they have these exceptions for articles based on a thesis or dissertation? This definition really does vary from publication to publication among journals. You’re probably familiar with the standard definition, which is that the article shouldn’t have been published in any one of another peer reviewed journals, shouldn’t be under review, and other peer review journals for example. But in a lot of cases, there are exceptions for thesis or dissertation for research that was presented at a conference or even working versions of the article that you shared on preprint platforms. Lastly, very importantly, what requirements do you need to follow to indicate that your article was published or shared online in some way. Again, we’re going to turn to an example from the journal research ethics by SAGE. This one here may not seem very promising at first. This is from the journal page, if the material has been previously published, it’s generally not acceptable for publication in one of SAGE journals. However, there are circumstances where maybe considered. If you go to the actual SAGE author Gateway, it takes you to a much more expanded policy and luckily this one does specifically say dissertations and thesis, including ones that are posted publicly online in an institutions archives or publishing platform, which is the way it happens at VCU, can be considered.

The hyperlink also it gives you information about what you need to do in order to make sure that you’re completely in compliance with this. First is that you disclose this when you submit so when you submit the manuscript to any one of the journals, you need to let the editor know upfront. It’s also important to ensure that you provide proper attribution to the publications so that may be a thesis or dissertation or wherever else it’s been shared and that you quote. Even if you’re quoting yourself, you were identifying that as quotes so that anyone who’s reading the article can reference the original place where this work was shared. This policy is not unique to SAGE. SAGE, like a lot of other publishers, follows a set of best practices based on this committee on Publication Ethics, which basically underscores the same things we just saw there. Always let the editor know upon submission where else your work has been published and include a citation or acknowledgment to the thesis or dissertation. The reason I bring this up is because of some real-world examples I have seen or heard of in this space, a couple of ways that this concept of prior publication could play out in the publishing process or if the plagiarism software your article goes through actually flags your article because it finds your thesis or your dissertation somewhere online and it may have a similar title or some similar portions of text to it. It’s also possible that a peer reviewer finds your thesis or dissertation online as well and might raise this as a question of prior publication in their comments. What do you do if you find yourself in either of these cases? The best way to not have this be too stressful or too much of an issue is to know the policy before you submit and comply with any requirements. The easiest way to answer any questions, for example, a peer reviewer might raise, is to be able to point directly to the journal policy itself and state that you are fully in compliance.

We’re going to pause really quickly. I’m going to turn things over to Julie. During the post, please, if you have questions about what Hillary talked about, put them in the chat so that we can address them now rather than waiting all the way for the end to address questions. She’s right here. We can come back in over if anything comes up. I think I’ve waited long enough, so we’ll move on to the next slide. Now that you’ve looked at all of these policies and figured out that you’re able to comply with them for various journals that you want to publish with, it seems like the next step is pretty straightforward. You’re just going into a website that the publisher has provided and filling out a whole bunch of paperwork. Most of the paperwork in journals seems like it’s just asking you to repeat some of the same things that you already have put in the article; the title, the abstract, the names of your co-authors, maybe some author affiliation information. Boring form filling to do. But in each step of filling out what seems like a fairly basic, straightforward form, there are some issues that can come up with authorship and with making sure that the information is accurate that you may not have thought of before you got to this point. Even at the first page, in this case, I’ve chosen one of Emerald’s journals and using the ScholarOne manuscript system, which is one of a few of the products that are used by multiple publishers for their submission systems. Even on this login page, there’s already an opportunity for something different. You see that you create a username and ID, and then below it is log in with ORCID ID. This is not quite the same as logging in with your Facebook ID, ORCID is actually a system of assigning identification numbers and putting an identification number to be associated with a particular person.

This can be useful for people who have undergone name changes, that they’re able to have publications follow the different names that they prefer to have used for them without having that publication record becoming spotty that someone who is trying to look at the history of that person’s work having to know about all of those name changes in order to track someone down. Our computer systems sometimes make some effort to do this, but really, because there are so many people who have exactly the same name, who may even work in similar fields, at the same institution, you can run into trouble if there’s not a way to uniquely identify yourself as yourself. ORCID is a system used by journals that tries to alleviate this problem by allowing you to have an individualized identification number, which is saying, yes, I am me, even if I went by this other name 10 years ago and 10 years from now I might go by a different name. I am me. I’m not to this other person who has the exact same name as me. This allows journals’ computer systems to aggregate data better, which sometimes becomes important because research funders and universities and other organizations are starting to use these data aggregation services to head hunch people and find who the most prominent researcher in this area is. If you’re trying to build a strong profile for yourself, you want to have all of that data aggregated to show your work over time and your accomplishments. I would say that for most people and journals ORCID is a good idea to be creating for yourself, even early on in your career, because then that makes it simpler for you to just have things automatically associated with you. That also may be something that will come up with your co-authors, that they will have an ORCID ID, so if the opportunity exists to be entering that information, you’d have to check with your co-authors and make sure you actually have that information and or entering it correctly for what they want to be including in there. Because on occasion, there are people who even have reasons that they have created two separate ID’s for either different research lines or different times in their careers, and they actually want to be treated as two separate people.

Looking at an old paper to check on their ORCID ID might actually not be what they would want to have done, so it’s better to ask your co-authors and make sure that you have the correct information for them. Now, when you get a little bit further into this particular submission system used by journals, it asks for a structured abstract. Hopefully, you’ll have already realized this when you were looking at the instructions for authors and know that you have to have this structured abstract and know exactly what the word limits are for each of the portions of the structured abstract. But I personally had the experience of discovering when I got to this point that they were much more specific about what they wanted for the length of each of the portions of this structured abstract than I had been, which meant that I had to go back and revise the abstract when I got to this point. This is just a reminder to first read the instructions carefully beforehand, but then also to be prepared to spend a little bit more time and even possibly have to revise your article as you’re doing something that just seems like it’s a little bit of paperwork. Similarly, you want to be paying attention to any requirements that journals might have about the figures and the document types that you’re uploading. Occasionally run into journals that will have unusual policies saying things like, your images must be in TIFF format. Oftentimes, you would not have thought of that until you got to this point of, “Oh, I have JPEGs.” Or, “I have PNGs and not TIFFs.” Then you have to go through a little bit more revision of figuring out, okay, how can I get to an image editor that will allow me to save in that format. Another fairly straightforward looking thing here is where journals ask you for keywords. In some cases, the journals may have specified keywords that they use it as a classification system, or they use it as a specific set of subject headings in their system, and you’ll have to look up the keywords in the list that they provide.

If you have the opportunity to just be including your own keywords in the form, you want to keep thinking about what the keywords are going to be used for. The keywords are going to be what will help someone locate your article if they are looking in a library database because the library database is pulling information from your title, from your abstraction, and from the keywords. You may want to think about what additional words are not included in your abstract that someone might care about when they’re looking for this article. For example, if you’re using a particular qualitative method, you might have included the specific name of that method in your abstract, but you might then want to say qualitative in your keywords so that someone who’s looking for qualitative research would be able to locate your article because you had that word included in your keywords. In addition to just trying to pick the most important words for your keywords, also think about what’s missing in your abstract that someone is going to care about and that you’d want to highlight by having these additional terms that you’re able to enter in this form. Then I mentioned already about including the ORCID with the author’s information for not just you but your co-authors, but you also want to check with your co-authors for other information. Does your co-author go by Will or Bill or William as a published author? You may know that already from seeing all of their prior publications, but you may not know that. You may be calling your co-author one thing in the lab when they want to be called something else as their official published title. It’s worth the time, even though it feels a little bit silly, of checking with your co-authors and saying, “What’s your name?” So that you can be sure that the name that they’re publishing under is the name that they want to be publishing under.

Similar thing with institutions. Sometimes faculty in particular will have dual appointments in different departments or at multiple institutions, and because of the way their promotion tenure system works at the particular institutions they’re affiliated with, they want to have the institutions listed in journals in a particular way or comprehensively. You may not know that without asking your co-authors, “Do you just need this one department at this one institution, or is there additional or other information that needs to be included in here?” As you’re filling out, again, what seems like a basic form. You know your co-authors, you know where they work, sometimes it actually is more complicated than what you’re encountering in your day-to-day interactions with the people you’re working with. Then, the slide will advance. Then we get to the order of the author names. This is something that we talked about in your previous events to your research, so I’m not going to go into a ton of detail here other than just say, you should go and look at those previous videos where it discusses how the author order has meaning. But unfortunately, depending on the discipline you’re in, that may be variable. In some fields, it’s just traditional that everyone gets their name listed alphabetically. It doesn’t matter how big the contribution was. In other fields, the person who did most of the work is listed first and the person who provided the funding and resources is listed last. That person usually is also supervising the work of the person who is in a day-to-day lab operation, conducting an experiment. Hopefully, you’ll be learning this as part of your graduate studies as you’re working with faculty. If not, this is the kind of thing that you might want to be asking about if you’re planning on publishing regularly; what are the customs here? Then once you know the customs, there’s still the issue of working with your co-authors so that the order that is listed there reflects the meaning that is implied by that order in your particular discipline.

We talked about this more in the previous AYR; the social difficulties that you might encounter of going through that negotiation when trying to get your work published in journals. Then in addition to that, there is this field where you check off who is the corresponding author. By default, it usually assigns the corresponding author to be whoever is submitting the article. But you may not want that to be the case because the corresponding author is marked with a little asterisk on the article saying this is the person to contact if they have questions about the content of the article. The first instinct here would be to have the person who is most knowledgeable about the article be the person who is going to be answering those questions. But then it gets a little bit more complicated, especially for you if you’re a graduate student, that you may be in a transition phase where you’re going from graduate school to post-doc, to first permanent position or something along those lines where your email is going to be changing several times over the next few years and that someone contacting you five years from now may or may not be able to reach you at the email that is listed on that particular article. Oftentimes, the corresponding author is selected as the person who’s going to be most reachable in five or 10 years, someone might be contacting not just the person who is most knowledgeable with the idea. If the question is something that that person can’t answer because they weren’t directly involved in what that question is about, that they will know where the person who can answer it is and be able to forward it to the appropriate person. In some cases, some of the issues involved with author order are handled more directly than just having the authors listed in a particular order if they’re handled by explicitly crediting people for the types of contributions that they made.

NISO standards making body has actually created a list of standardized roles that can be used to assign people to have done different things to contribute to the article published in journals. These roles can be used both in journals that ask for you to explicitly state who contributed what to it. But it also can be used in the acknowledgments so that people who you’re acknowledging, who have contributed to the article but not sufficiently to be credited as an author have their specific contributions described in a way that then, again, thinking about computer systems that are going around aggregating information about authors and other people who are involved in scholarship are going to be able to pull and gather that information, credit that person for what they did as a contribution. That is a fairly complicated version of submitting to any one of the journals where you have this form you have to fill out and a lot of the information is just duplicated from what you’ve already put in your title and abstract. There are some journals like some of the journals that are published by Wiley, where you don’t have to do any of that. It takes the document that you submit and pulls the authors names off of it and pulls the abstract out and takes care of all that for you. Then also, oftentimes these journals also will say use whatever citation format you want. You can take care of formatting then later to be in compliance with the requirements for this particular journal. This is so much easier. Isn’t this great? The Wiley side, they are just very much praising itself for how much easy they’ve made the process for audit. That’s true, but as you saw when I was going through that form, you have to have the information correct. What correct is has a lot to do with what the people who you’re working with want. How do your co-authors want to be addressed? Are you using the right number of words in different parts of the abstract? Those things, even if a computer can suck all that information off to your cover sheet, doesn’t mean that you’ll have had the correct information there.

You want to make sure you have the ORCID iD for the people who you’re working with and for yourself. You want to make sure that all the emails are correct and all of the institutional affiliations are covered here. The computer isn’t going to know that without you having done the like work to make sure that you’ve done it beforehand. Now, in addition to this paperwork, there are some more complicated pieces to an article submission. One thing that journals often ask for is a cover letter. This is just a letter to the editor of the journal saying, “Hi, this is what this article is about. This is why I think you would be interested in for this journal in particular”. It’s not just copying your abstract over, but it’s more of a personal appeal to the particular editor of why is this a good idea to publish in this journal out of so many other journals? There are a lot of websites from editors saying what they’re looking for in, what they are looking to be pitched to, but at the same time you want to be professional in this messaging. My personal preference for how I write this cover letter is very much based on the process I used for selecting a journal out of the numerous journals available. If you go back to the previous AYR and watch the video, you’ll know that I just select journals largely based on finding which journals have published something similar previously. Then it is easy for me to write this cover letter because I can say this is like these other articles you’ve published because blah blah blah, this is different and unique and novel because of blah, blah, blah, in stead of saying, yes, this is appropriate for your journal because it’s like these other articles that you publish and here’s why you still want to publish this thing, there’s something new and different to what you’ve published already. This gives me two benefits. One is I’ve covered all of those bases without having to think very hard because I did all that work by just picking out the journal out of so many journals.

But the other thing is in that process, I’ve in a sneaky way suggested some people who are going to have the expertise to be good reviewers for my article because I’ve mentioned specifically these other works and then editors of journals can possibly say, “I know who wrote that other article. Maybe they would be a good reviewer.” Because one of the later steps for the editor is to find someone who’s actually going to be qualified to review your article. You usually have at least better comments from the reviewers of journals if they understand your work and where your work is coming from than if it’s someone who’s broadly in a similar field to you, but may not be specifically working on the exact kind of project that you’re working on. Then, once you’ve submitted it, you should get an automated message saying it’s been received. If you aren’t seeing that automated message, check your spam folder because you want to be basically marking all of these automated messages as not spam so that they actually land in your inbox. Because it’s a computer-generated message, it has some similarities to messages that are spam. It’s worth making a little bit of an effort to verify yes, these messages are coming through. Then, once you’ve hit that part, it becomes a complicated process because the editor of journals makes some decisions about what the next step is at several points. Initially, the editor of journals makes decision of should this go out for peer review? If it goes out for peer review, then the editor gets comments back from the reviewers of journals, he has to decide, “Okay, I’m going to send this to the author. How explicit do I want to be about whether they’re likely to get published or not and how firm do I want to be in the message that I give the author about what needs to be done in order to make it possible to be published?” Oftentimes usually, the author has to make revisions and then the editor of journals is making additional decisions of, are these revisions adequate that can just be accepted or just need to go through another round of peer review by reviewers of journals? This circulating between rounds of peer review can go on for a while.

Now, that very first step of even deciding to send out to peer review can be challenging for some people. Sometimes the editors have an easy time of choosing not to send something out for peer review, they got something that’s just spam or that’s totally out of the scope of the journal or that they can’t read or make sense of, they’re going to send it back pretty quickly. If they realize that there are huge portions of the document that are plagiarized, oftentimes editors are fairly quick to just say, “No,” and send it back. This is why Hillary’s talking with you about that issue of previous publications in dissertations because sometimes it’s just that the editor, because they’re processing so many articles isn’t really paying attention. Some editors of journals are very much sticklers for all of the details of submission requirements, others will say, “No, it’s fine if your citations are formatted correctly. This is something that can be handled at the end of the process.” Normally, the degree of stickliness is, so described in the journals submission requirements. But there’s still this variation from one editor to another in two journals that may have otherwise similar looking submission requirements. I mentioned plagiarism checking; a lot of journalists and journals rely on automated software to flake publications that have plagiarized or very similar content in them. What that tends to do is create a situation where the editor of said journals can see a document and can look at where the similar content is coming from and how similar the content is through this automated software. Some editors of journals are very good at being thoughtful about whether the similar content is being used appropriately, others again, may be rushed, and if they see a number that’s really high in the percent similarity will be like, “Nope.” even before they’ve considered whether that might be appropriate for the particular work that is being submitted.

One of the questions that can come up is that there may be situations where you do want to reuse content from previous publications. Here, I’m not talking about dissertations, but I’m talking specifically about perhaps your own published research articles, where you are using the same basic method across say several different animals; for example, that you initially do some research with fish, then you do a very similar process with mice, and then you do a similar process with rats that you’re looking at something across. Totally making this up, it just is an example. You may have a large part of the methods that are similar across all three of these studies that you’re doing and then some details that are specific to each species. When you’re in a situation like that, you may want to specifically say, “These processes are identical.” One thing that people will do with that is just say, “Okay, I’ll refer back to the first time it was published in any of the journals,” But you’re creating a big nuisance for your reader to have to go back to that original article rather than describing the process you used. On the other hand, if you describe it in exactly the same way across all three articles, then that by a lot of their software versions will treat that as plagiarism. This has become more and more of a discussion among editors of journals because in the past they wouldn’t even necessarily have realized that this was the exact same content that had been copied and pasted between articles. But now it’s sitting there right in front of them from this computerized system. We’re in a transition stage of figuring out how to handle this. The Text Recycling Research Project has been involved in talking with editors and authors to try to figure out how to handle this. Because in the recent past, editors of journals had been very firm of, “If it is copied from a previous publication in any one of the other journals that is plagiarism.” They may allow quotations with crediting, but like in the sciences oftentimes, direct quotation isn’t norm.

How do you handle this? The Text Recycling Project has created some new guidelines to offer researchers some rules to follow if they’re using content from their previously published works in various journals and these guidelines can help you navigate the process of telling the editors of journals, “Yes, this part of the article is the same as from this previously published article,” and addressing how you would cite the previous work and indicate that it’s being copied pretty much directly from a previous work. Right now the Text Recycling Project is just in the process of publicizing what they’ve done and working with COPE to convince editors of journals that this is a good approach to handling this issue. Editors of journals haven’t necessarily fully signed on to this concept, but this is one way of you navigating this process. There’s no guarantee that the particular editor that is working for the journals that you’re interested in submitting with will be following these guidelines, but at least you have some guidelines to go on that can give you some way of approaching it, and if someone is questioning the ethics of what you’re doing later, you can basically say, “This is how I was approaching this problem and that I’ve followed all of the requirements that these guidelines set out for me.” Then the article will go for review, oftentimes this can take a long time because the editors have to find people who are available and qualified to review. Then those people once they agree, are usually given a three-week window in which to do the review. Oftentimes that can still take a while, but the reviewers of journals don’t always meet that window. What seems like it should be not that long because the reviewers not only have three weeks to review it, can turn into six or 12 weeks minimum, and that’s assuming a very tight turn around for the reviewers. Some journals will give reviewers a lot more time depending on the depth of review that they’re expecting and also depending a little bit on what the reviewers say.

Like a reviewer might come back to the editor and say, “I’m willing, but I can’t even start on this until three weeks from now. Can you give me an extension on it?” That’s going to take time and you just need to be prepared for that. In some cases you can get information about how long it takes to get a typical review, then go to previous AYR and find out about the capitalists database, get that information. In other cases, you just have to wait and check your email, check your spam folder, make sure you’re not missing it when you get the reviewer comments back. With the reviewer comments, again, this is something where you can find a lot of information on the web about how to handle it. I’m just going to tell you how I handle it, which is to take the reviews and create a checklist. Everything that the reviewers of journals write, compile it into some checklist, and then you have some choices about what do you want to put in order of which things appear in the paper rather than separating by a reviewer. That’s, my preference is to put in an order, some people will go by reviewer, but breaking out what might be a paragraph of text into individual items to be addressed. Then you can make decisions about how are you going to address these comments. A lot of authors sometimes run into the problem of, well, this reviewer’s asking for something that’s ridiculous. My philosophy in dealing with these comments and this is just me it is that I try to address everything that I feel comfortable addressing and that I’m able to address, so then when I get down to the handful things where I think, no if I did that would completely change the meaning of the paper; or no, if I did that, I would have to spend just as long working on the paper as I spent on it in the past because they’re asking for all of this additional work. I will then just leave those items as the ones where I’m writing my description of what I’ve done in that description is where I say deeply.

No sorry, I’m not going to do that, but in that context of the whole checklist indicating everything else that I have done to respond to the comments, it becomes clear that I’m not just being obstinent and not just refusing, but then I’m trying to address as much as I can and only skipping the things where I feel like I can’t recently do those things. Then I’m just trying to create an atmosphere where to the editor and to the reviewers, it looks like I’m working toward improving the paper in the way that they want it to be improved and that I’m not trying to just fix it exactly how it was written, as if that were perfect because I know it’s not perfect. Even if I’m able to address all of the reviewer’s comments, it’s still not going to be a perfect paper, it’s just going be a paper good enough to be published in that journal, hopefully. The next step, which is that the editor will make some decisions about the revisions on whether those revisions were enough to meet what is needed to publish in that particular journal out of the many journals available. Sometimes, they’ll think that there is too much that needed to be changed that they’re not qualified to really make that decision and they might send it out for a second round of review. The way that second round of review goes can vary on whether you going to get the same reviewers or not, how much the new reviewers will see of the previous reviewer’s comments, things like that. That’s so variable, I’m not going to go into the details other than to say that it’s variable. There are a lot of other things about peer review that can be variable that some journals have blinded peer review where the reviewers don’t know who the authors are and the authors don’t know who the reviewers are. Others have open peer review where that information is known. Some also will have blinded peer review, but then post publication, the review comments get posted on the open web, possibly with the reviewers names attached to it. What’s on this slide, is the Publons system used by journals and I will share the site after the presentation, I’ll be able to look at all of the details of all the variations on how much of that information you might get share it out on the open web.

With that it’s back to Hillary for the last few minutes of the presentation, but I will give a minute while we’re transitioning. If you’ve any questions quickly reach out. For this last portion, we’re going to quickly go over the post acceptance. There are a couple of things that are just really basic, almost like another round of checklist to make sure that you have complied with all the requirements of journals. First, is actually really important, the review of final proofs sent out by journals. You’ll usually get sent a formatted document where you will be asked to do line-by-line review, line-by-line edits of the article. This is your very last chance to catch errors. Usually you can’t make very substantial changes here, usually just spelling errors, grammatical errors, that thing. But it is your very last chance, very important for a close review. Copyright permissions. If you have been accepted for publication and you needed to get those permissions, you will just be doing a giant round of uploading probably a bunch of PDFs tied to each one of those tables, figures, whatever you used, and you’re going to be getting signatures from each of your coauthors. You may be responsible for corralling this or you may just need to make sure that every other author has received, possibly by email a publishing agreement, and that they have all returned to the publishing agreement so that the article can move forward. The last major thing we’re going to talk about is, what is in one of these publishing agreements? Generally speaking, like with lots of other contracts or terms and conditions, this publishing agreement is going to outline the rights and the responsibilities that you have and that the publisher has. One of the key things in these publishing agreements for you to look out for are what rights you have to use and share your article after it’s published? I’ll turn back to an example from one of SAGE’s journals there, what they call author archiving and reuse guidelines, which you can find on their website and which outlines what you’re going to see in a publishing agreement.

This is really critical here. Journals have these definitions of three different versions of your article. These versions can go by a lot of different names. You’ll see here. The first one is original submission, sometimes called a pre-print. This is the version of the article that was submitted right from the start before any peer review. The second version is sometimes called an accepted manuscript or post-print. This is the version that’s been updated to include all of the revisions based on peer review but it hasn’t yet had any of that final type setting or layout, so usually like maybe a final Word document you send to the publisher after peer review. The last one is the final published PDF, sometimes called the final version, the publisher version. This one has all the copy editing, the layout, the typesetting. It’s that same version that’s going to be published on the journal’s website. These three are really important because generally speaking, you have rights to use and share your article after publication, but it depends on which three of these versions you’re using. Here are some common examples. You can share the final published PDF, only person to person, for example, with research colleagues, not publicly online. Or you could use portions of it in your thesis or dissertation. Let’s say you publish an article based on graduate research and that publishing happens before you finalize your thesis or dissertation. This is a really important right, because you need to be able to fulfill the requirements of your graduate degree and include that information in your thesis or dissertation. Another common right is you can share that second version, that accepted manuscript version in an institutional repository anytime after the article is accepted.

Although usually there are some restrictions on this. SAGE, this is an interesting example. This happens anytime after the article is accepted. It’s also really common that you might have to wait to be able to do this, sometimes called an embargo period, maybe one or two years after publication, before you’re allowed to share that accepted manuscript version. A quick pitch for you, if you do publish any articles while you are at VCU, we have an institutional repository here called Scholars Compass. This is the platform where in a lot of cases you are going to have the rights to share that accepted manuscript of your journals article and Scholars Compass is indexed by Google so right when people are searching online or search in Google Scholar for your research and let’s say they don’t have access to a journal through a subscription or through an institutional access, this is a way that they can still find a free copy of your article online. With that, may all your articles be accepted and read and cited. We are right at time, but we can stick around for just a moment if you have any final questions. We have been recording this, so we will be getting that recording out to everyone as well. Any final questions? Feel free to type them into the chat if you would like. I have a question, please. Can you hear me? I’m not seeing any. We will be sending out this recording to everyone, we’ll have IS email addresses attached to that if you have any questions and you’d like to follow up there as well. Can you hear me? I have a question. Thank you all very much for being here with us, for bearing with us as we had to make some last minute changes based on Internet. I see someone has raised a hand. If you’d like to enter in the chat or feel free to unmute and ask a question. I’ve already unmuted but I have no idea if you can hear me. Can you hear me? Interesting. I can’t hear you, but I can see your question in the live transcript, so I think you can go ahead and ask and I’ll be able to see your question.

Can you hear now? Is it clear? No, I’m not sure it’s coming through. All we’re getting is it clear? I’m not sure it’s coming through. Can you hear me now? No, I can’t hear you, but strangely, I can see it on the transcript, so I’m not sure exactly what’s happening. I have no idea. Now, can you hear me? I have no idea. I have changed the headphones. Just go ahead and ask your question. It’s okay. Transcript is working fine. I think everyone else can hear. It must something on our end. When I publish a paper and it gets accepted, then I want to apply for like a postdoc position or for a company or anything else. I’m not allowed to share my final PDF version of the publication unless I take the permission from the journal or journals or is it okay as it’s my publication? Good question. I rushed through that last part a little bit. One major decision point on that is whether it’s an open access journal or whether it’s a subscription access journal. If it’s open access journals, it will be free to read, free to access. You will have full rights to share it with whoever you want in whatever way you want. There are more and more open access journals that charge to be used for publishing and that’s not always something that is very accessible for graduate students. We do have some agreements with publishers from some journals, we and the Virginia Academic Library Consortium that cover those fees. I think I can send out a link with some of that information when we send the recording out. Beyond that, it really depends on the exact terms of your publishing agreement. I mentioned it is very common now that you can share that accepted manuscript version even publicly online, for example, usually in a non-commercial repository like a scholars campus. You may have to wait a year or two to do that, so that isn’t always the best automatic way to share. You can usually share that final PDF with research collaborators. Let’s say you’re in a postdoc position, or you’re like you said, working in another company or something.

If you’re working with collaborators in your future job, your future position, you may be able to share that article directly with them so long as you are not sharing it publicly online. It depends on what exact needs you have for sharing. If you have a specific article publication already in mind, you can get in touch with me and I’m happy to look over the policy or the publishing agreement and figure out exactly what you’re permitted to do with the article. Oftentimes the policies will explicitly talk about situations like sharing on and a locked down system a staff Intranet for your employer where it’s not available to people beyond your employer. But the terms of whether that’s allowed or not are going to depend on the particular publication agreement. Thank you very much. Any other questions? If anybody wanted to unmute or add in the chat quickly. Great. Well, thank you all again so much for being here. Recording will be on its way. I’ve got some ideas for some additional links that I mentioned that we can add in there as well. Thanks so much and we will hopefully see you for a future advance to your research. We’ll have the slides up within the next couple of days and on the recording up within the next couple of weeks. Thanks everyone.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *