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Publication strategy

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Publication strategy

Postby Ana » Fri Dec 14, 2012 1:00 pm

I was talking to some colleagues today about this and I'm curious to know what you guys usually do when it comes to submitting a manuscript for publication.

(a) Do you start by those with high impact factor to test the waters before going down until it gets accepted?

(b) Do you go instead for the most likely fit? (usually society/speciality journals which usually are around mid-IF)

(c) Or do you follow a mixed strategy from the start, deciding your will send it to a few higher journals and then if it is rejected after X tries or X months go down to society/speciality journals?

The debate of whether impact factors should matter as much as they do is a separate one. Whether we like it or not the fact is that they make a difference to your career. I think "impact factor" could refer not the citations they have but to the impact they play in your CV and career.

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Re: Publication strategy

Postby Duffy P. » Sun Dec 16, 2012 9:14 am

If, and only if, we have a result which we think could be high-impact(on a cross-disciplinary level) then we will try science or nature. When that doesn't work we will try the next-highest impact factor journal for our field, and so on, until it gets published.

However for "normal" results, we usually go for the speciality journal which best fits the paper (mid impact factors, if you like). Sometimes there are still multiple options in this case. In the beginning I tried to publish in lots of different journals, just to show that I could. Now I tend to favour journals with a fast reviewing process because there's nothing more annoying than losing citations simply because some reviewer or editor has filed the work away in a drawer for 6 months.
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Re: Publication strategy

Postby P.C. » Sun Dec 16, 2012 4:19 pm

Publication strategy depends on which stage of your career and which discipline.

Specialty pubs are great as a student, and post-doc, and high impact journal pubs greater. These days it seems that in some life science disciplines the only way to get a tenure track interview is with at least one high impact first authorship. (But fit rules).
My old bosses said that when they were assistant professors, it was more a numbers game, so, lower impact journal pubs were acceptable, the point was to demonstrate productivity early in the career pre-tenure.
They actually stated that the department head and the tenure committee had informally given them expected numbers of pubs to reach a certain threshold before they would be considered for tenure. They even got into some questionable funny business with their friends trying to get tenure. One assistant professor got his name as a co-author on two of my publications, even though all he did was read the final draft before submission.
So many pubs and grant dollars were expected. Tangibles.
Last edited by P.C. on Sun Dec 16, 2012 7:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Publication strategy

Postby Ana » Sun Dec 16, 2012 5:17 pm

That is very interesting PC, and it makes much sense. I guess the key is to determine what would be more critical at that point of your career: numbers or big impact.
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Re: Publication strategy

Postby PACN » Thu Dec 20, 2012 2:07 pm

Competition is also a factor. Submitting to every journal down a list of impact factors takes quite a bit of time. If you are working in a hot area or you know of competing groups/papers, you should probably submit to a journal where acceptance is more likely and the revisions requested are likely to be less extensive.
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Re: Publication strategy

Postby RGM » Fri Jan 04, 2013 2:18 am

I don't think one can properly answer this question without talking about impact factors and the absolute, SHEER, arbitrary and artificially created perceived "value" they have.

I have never let a journal's impact factor determine where I was going to submit a manuscript. WHY you may ask? Because impact factors are not arbiters of excellence. If you think they are, you are sadly mistaken.

I've been in labs where one year we were in Nature Neuroscience, and literally a year or so later, when the lab provided a more thorough and complete analysis of the initial discovery we were told in short "this is nice work, but not good enough for us, go publish in a lower impact factor journal" Which we promptly did of course. However, we were all surprised at the outright rejection. We were given no review, a flat out rejection! After they liked us so much previously.

I tend to decide where a manuscript is going based on where it will get the best readership. What questions am I answering and who's my audience? Based on those criteria and the strength of my story, because a manuscript IS a story, I determine which would be good journals to submit to.

If anyone has questions regarding impact factors, please let me know, and I will be happy to supply you with literature.
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