ACS Publishing Panel: Publishing advice, tips, and tricks

how many are on your way to publishing your first manuscript that's great because regardless of where you are in your journey we hope that this panel discussion today will kind of help you whether you just beginning the process or you've already published the first question to you three if you could just briefly tell us about your first publishing experience I can start on this one my first publishing experience was many years ago and tetrahedron letters and there's going to be things that you guys will never have to experience which includes pen and ink drawing having to draw out a synthetic scheme with a black pen now the thing is is that you do it you go through it you get almost done and the pen would go you get a big black blob and then you try to figure out well can I kind of work around it can I put way down on it whatever and that was my first publishing experience you have to know what is what is the problem that you've chosen to work on what is it other people have done in the field what is your hypothesis what goals do you have all of that is the introduction to your paper and if you go into the lab and you do research without having those things in hand then you're going to get done and you're gonna say how do I write a paper but if you consider everything that you do as a section in that paper from the beginning that paper writes itself I think it's good to think about what audience you want to reach make sure that you read the author guidelines and you understand what the journal actually publishes them and also published in the journals you read you know those are the ones that you know and if you you know if you're saying wow this is this is the kind of stuff I'm interested in likely the community is going to be consistent some journals have guidelines checkmarks that you can go through and so they're like contributed experiments like did you contribute experiments did you contribute reagents did you contribute intellectually and then finally did you help with the writing what I tend to do is I tend to say did this person make a contribution did did what this person provide make it a better paper or make it a paper that happened much faster I would add that I don't think that that would be your decision alone I think if you have a collaboration or if you're working with other people these are the things that you need to actually work out with them as an editor we're not going to sort out your authorship issues I would be much more likely just to simply reject the paper and let it be sorted let let everything be sorted out and I have done that in the past and there is a statement that you have to sign saying all of the author's agree to this publication they couldn't agree so I had to reject and withdraw that particular paper but why should it get to that point if these are people who are helping you and you're working with talk to them so imagine that you're an entrepreneur and you've got all these people who have money and they want to support your business and you're going into the elevator for the 30-second ride up and you have 30 seconds to convince them to give you the money for your company I look at the abstract as that executive summary that really tells me exactly what this paper is about and how important it is so know what you're going to say because that clearly comes out and how you write every section you guys do not suffer yet I believe from reviewer itis there everybody has to review manuscripts and so you shoot yourself in the foot if you have typos if you know you have random fonts if it just doesn't look clean make it accessible because the reviewer and the readers are all overloaded the nicer you are to them the nicer they'll be to you when your papers rejected and you revise for a different journal people have shown that those papers tend to have a higher impact that is they tend to be cited more usually the paper is rejected in in my case and I'm sure everybody else's case because you did not communicate clearly what the point of the paper was so that so I think yeah yeah lots of times then when you revise you actually strengthen the paper significantly in other words if they misunderstand you can say oh that reviewers an idiot and I don't need to deal with it it means that they misunderstood it and that you should go you should think about well what can I do to make the make it communicate better what's important and Vince was saying that it's quite clearly is that you respond to every point but not necessarily change your paper to what the reviewer wants to see is a paper so just remember it's your paper that's the most important message and that process becomes easier and easier the more that you do it

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