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Science manuscript - 'under evaluation'??

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Science manuscript - 'under evaluation'??

Postby Nat S. » Sat Feb 14, 2015 12:45 am

Hi, I'm looking for some help. My manuscript is being reviewed by Science, I'm wondering whether to speak about it at a seminar - my worry is that I'll get scooped if I do so prematurely before Science makes a decision. I don't really understand the various stages reflected in Science's online submission form. I was wondering if anyone else does.

The stages where it says 'with advisor' or 'out to review' are fairly clear, but since then it seems to have come back from review, and is 'under evaluation' right now. Does anyone know what this means? The 'last activity' date keeps changing - I also don't know what this means! It seems to be 'under evaluation' for much longer than it was with the referees, which confuses me - does anyone know what this step means and how long I should expect it to take?

Thanks!!
Nat S.
 
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Re: Science manuscript - 'under evaluation'??

Postby Yandorio » Sat Feb 14, 2015 10:17 pm

The guys at the top of the totem control what gets into Science/
Cell/Nature. Sorry for the bad news but they'll often use their
editorial position to torpedo your paper so they or their cronies can publish first, even if it's your stuff. I had to play hardball when Nature was playing games after their stated maximum time and we went to Cell and got it published. If they violate their own
stated rules call a lawyer. The playing field is tilted in favor of the
Big Boys. Sorry for the skepticism but I got scooped by a Nobel laureate
enough times to know the publishing world is not fair, as I once thought it was.
Last edited by Yandorio on Sun Feb 15, 2015 3:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Science manuscript - 'under evaluation'??

Postby P.C. » Sun Feb 15, 2015 12:13 pm

I had an experience where I was part of a hot project and a collaborator gave a talk on it at a national conference. Then we could not get the paper out fast enough. The discover was picked up by a big lab that took the hints and information and scooped us in a high impact journal. So I would say DO NOT GIVE AWAY your discovery until you get it accepted somewhere.
"I have never let my schooling interfere with my education" - Mark Twain
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Re: Science manuscript - 'under evaluation'??

Postby Nate W. » Sun Feb 15, 2015 5:03 pm

Loose lips sink ships. Competitors will use information in a poster and lecture. Only talk about the unpublished data once your manuscript has been accepted.

Yandorio raises an excellent point. Science and publishing is NOT an egalitarian process. Unless you are in a top tier lab that has a well established Cell Science Nature JCB or <15 impact factor, you are fighting an uphill battle not based on science but the reputation of your PI or you.

This is at heart of why many post-docs can't compete for tenure track positions, top publications, and grants. A honest discussion about this by PI or a sage academic scientist would be so helpful to young and mid tier scientists. However most PIs are not frank with their students.

If you have a great paper, collaboration is the only way to get it published in an excellent journal that helps your reputation (i.e. career).
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Re: Science manuscript - 'under evaluation'??

Postby Nat S. » Mon Feb 16, 2015 3:07 pm

Thanks all for the advice... I'll make sure not to mention anything about it in a talk lest it leaks out and we get scooped before our manuscript is published :p I just don't know what's happening at the Science editorial desk... I guess all I can do is wait at this point. Thanks for the advice!
Last edited by Nat S. on Fri Feb 20, 2015 1:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Science manuscript - 'under evaluation'??

Postby PACN » Mon Feb 16, 2015 10:12 pm

If it is back from review, it likely means that it is at the editorial office. If it is taking a long time, it could mean that the editor who was handling it is on vacation, at a meeting or otherwise unavailable. It could also mean that the reviews were mixed and he/she is looking for another opinion.
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Re: Science manuscript - 'under evaluation'??

Postby Nat S. » Wed Feb 18, 2015 11:11 am

PACN, thanks - that makes sense!
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Re: Science manuscript - 'under evaluation'??

Postby Nate W. » Wed Feb 18, 2015 4:47 pm

The big journals like Science and Nature take:

4-5 weeks to get an initial editor decision about whether it it will be sent out for external review.

4-8 weeks for an complete external review.

If your PI is politically astute, he can suggest reviewers to the editors who he knows well and are aware of the paper's main finding.

Randomly sending your paper to high end journals for a greater impact factor is a timely and unwise publication strategy. Don't let your PI do this.
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Re: Science manuscript - 'under evaluation'??

Postby P.C. » Wed Feb 18, 2015 7:14 pm

There is one other thing.... to get into Science the paper not only has to be excellent work in your field,, it has to be novel, groundbreaking, AND of interest to a wide scientific audience. Just being a great manuscript in your field don't cut it .. the work has to be very interesting to all scientists and laymen.
"I have never let my schooling interfere with my education" - Mark Twain
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Re: Science manuscript - 'under evaluation'??

Postby HST » Mon Mar 02, 2015 3:38 pm

Hi Nat S., any update about your case? My friends told me, most of manuscripts are accepted or rejected in 3 months.
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