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Question: how to make a good story out of the the results for publication in high impact journal
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I am sorry if the question is off the topic of the forum and sounds too general. I am wondering if there is any rule of thumb to convert a set of results on bioinformatic analysis i.e. phyologenetic analysis into a nice story to publish in a good journal. Do you suggest any nicely written paper with simple results got published in a good journal? Otherwise having tons of figures and results seem not good enough for a high impact journal. Thank you.

ADD COMMENTlink 5.6 years ago Pappu ♦ 1.9k • updated 5.6 years ago Pierre Lindenbaum 120k
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This is like asking how do I write a good novel?

In a nutshell it takes a certain special storytelling skill that directly targets and plays off the human element, targets the editors, reviewers as well as the global audience.

To get better at is you need to write, submit then write some more, and repeat and do it again.

Every good writer got there by writing a lot.

ADD COMMENTlink 5.6 years ago Istvan Albert 80k
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Adding to this, because you asked about examples, is to simply read papers in the journals you are targeting that fit the same general theme of your work. I did my PhD largely in phylogenetics and developing software to do various sorts of phylogenetic analyses. Of course my papers read the way they do largely because of my supervisor, who is a truly excellent writer (and editor) and helped me learn to craft good papers. But I also made sure I read a lot of papers in the journals I wanted to submit to. In my case that was mostly Molecular Biology and Evolution, Systematic Biology, Bioinformatics, PLoS Computational Biology, etc.

Secondly, too many people spend too much time focusing on "High Impact" journals. There is a difference between "glamour" High Impact (Science, Nature, etc), which unless you have something extremely interesting isn't going to happen anyway. Focus on what you consider good journals within your field that seem reasonable for the work you have done. Not all good papers are material for high impact journals, and that is ok.

ADD REPLYlink 5.6 years ago
Dan Gaston
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Thanks for your comment. I understand the fact that practice makes perfect. But my worry is that it might take too long in the process, and one might become too old to get a long term job.

ADD REPLYlink 5.6 years ago
Pappu
♦ 1.9k
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This is important to realize early on - the amount of progress one makes will be a combination of hard work and innate talent.

Not everyone is a good writer, but that is ok too. In that case you need to set your goals to be good at a job that does not require you to be the very best at writing. The vast majority of scientific papers are written by just one or two individuals, the rest of them contribute with work. I would estimate that less than 10% of published authors would themselves, at an individual level, be capable to write their papers at the level required to be accepted in the journals that they publish in.

Science is teamwork.

ADD REPLYlink 5.6 years ago
Istvan Albert
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I'd add that so-called high impact journals are rarely interested in the details of methods and analysis. What they want, as the answer suggests, are stories - often "topical" or "quirky" stories. Expect your lovely bioinformatic work to be relegated to the supplemental material.

ADD REPLYlink 5.6 years ago
Neilfws
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I am not a fan of high impact journals as I see many poor quality papers are being published from famous groups want from people who have contacts. Those journals seem to be controlled by an elite group of scientists and it is very difficult to enter that circle.

Basically one needs a couple first author of papers in journals with IF>10 to get a long term position. Thats why I am interested in that. For me publishing in standard journal in every few months is satisfying. But it is not good enough from job point of view.

ADD REPLYlink 5.6 years ago
Pappu
♦ 1.9k
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draw your story ?


Via Anthony Fejes's http://www.fejes.ca/2009/05/science-cartoons-2.html.

ADD COMMENTlink 5.6 years ago Pierre Lindenbaum 120k
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Indeed! More often journals have illustrated abstracts or the public relationships dept wishes to use something visual. So, once it is written and written well, consider artistic expression.

ADD REPLYlink 5.6 years ago
Larry_Parnell
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