Understanding the peer review system

Guideline for the online seminar on Peer review for Yobe State University:

Introduction to peer review
Types of peer review
  • Single-Blind review
  • Double-blind review
  • Open review
Types of responses one may expect
How long does it take to receive a review of a paper?
  • Patience! Good reviews take time
  • 3/4 months is reasonable, although it varies greatly by field.
  • Never send your manuscript to more than one journal at once.
  • Whenever you feel that there are big delays you can always contact the editor. Be very polite.
  • If the delay is unacceptable you can always withdraw your submission and then send it to another journal.

Responding to reviewers’ comments

Politeness and its limits

Things reviewers look at

Formal issues:

  • Manuscript within the journal’s scope – Example journal scope Another example
  • Clear structure
  • A comprehensive message: Good writing-style
  • Your paper has to have a story
  • Literature review up to date and up to the point

Content-related issues:

  • Novelty and complexity
  • Clear methodology
  • Reproducibility
  • Adequate methods
  • Good interpretation of findings
Sending the manuscript to the wrong journal
  • You can submit case studies to international journals, but they have to be well-framed. An exampleanoter example and another one.
  • In some cases, local cases my be very important. For instance here.

Other questions

Should I cite articles from my target journal?
  • It is logical to expect that related papers to your topic have been published in the journal to which you are submitting your paper.
  • In no case citing papers from the target journal should be made mandatory by editors or reviewers. This is a malpractice.
  • Reviewers may suggest papers to cite, as long as it is reasonable to do so, it is fine to include them. Some of these papers may be his/hers, you should not be obliged to cite them.
The journal asks me to recommend reviewers. Who should I recommend?
  • Good practices pay off in the long run. Recommended reviewers should not be directly related with you. That is a conflict of interests.
  • They should be experts in the field.
  • Choose and recommend world-leading experts, their reviews may be harsher but it sends a message of rigour and honesty to the editor.
  • Editors are no fool! And if they are, maybe that is not the right journal.
  • Recommending does not mean they will be contacted. But it helps editors to find similar experts.

Peer Review II – Elaborando la respuesta a revisores

Llega el email con la ansiada respuesta del editor y nos piden Major Revision junto a dos extensas cartas llenas de comentarios de dos o más revisores. Algunos comentarios son más acertados que otros, otros no nos parece que tengan mucho sentido y otros nos exigen rehacer gran parte del trabajo. ¿Qué debemos hacer? ¿Cómo debemos contestarles? ¿Debemos incluir todas las modificaciones que nos indican? ¿Y qué hacer cuando revisor #1 y #2 incluyen sugerencias contradictorias? En este curso abordaremos desde un punto de vista puramente práctico todas estas cuestiones, basándonos en ejemplos reales y mostrando distintos tipos de revisiones y comentarios. Asimismo, ofreceremos a los alumnos un posible modelo de respuesta a emplear cuando deban redactar su respuesta a revisores.

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New research line on COVID-19 and scientific communication

In the last weeks, as a response to the coronavirus outbreak and the spread of scientific misinformation, we have started to work on understanding better how scientific communication is being transformed by the pandemic and tensions arising between scientists and the public. So far, we published a preprint which was referenced in Science Magazine. Now we have also received some funding from TU Delft and we are participating with the CWTS COVID-19 Research Programme.

Read more “New research line on COVID-19 and scientific communication”

Science covers our work on COVID-19

Update 29/05/2020: a printed version of the Science story is now out

A couple of weeks ago we uploaded along with Daniel Torres-Salinas and Pedro A. Castillo-Valdivieso, from the University of Granada a preprint in which we modeled the publication growth and social media attention to COVID-19 papers to make predictions. A specific aspects we considered was the distinction between OA and non-OA publications. This is a work in progress and we hope to deliver some more solid results in the future.

Read more “Science covers our work on COVID-19”

“Meaningful Data Counts” project has been granted!

I wanted to announce that I’ll be collaborating in the project Meaningful Data Counts, funded by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation led by Stefanie Haustein (PI) and Isabella Peters (co-PI). You can read more about it in the official announcement posted in the ScholComm Lab.

Stefanie Haustein announced the funding yesterday on Twitter

Read more ““Meaningful Data Counts” project has been granted!”

Los entresijos de publicar (o no) en revistas TOP:

Curso impartido dentro de la acción formativa #yosigopublicando organizada por la Universidad de Granada.

Resumen: Uno de los objetivos más ambiciosos que se puede plantear un investigador a nivel de publicación es que uno de sus manuscritos sean aceptados por revistas como Science, PNAS o Nature, los superjournals científicos encargados de dar a la luz los descubrimientos más importantes de la ciencia. Pues bien, para este curso contamos de nuevo con el investigador Marie Curie Nicolás Robinson que ha logrado o intentando publicar en dichas revistas. En esta conferencia Nicolás nos expondrá lo que ha denominado entresijos de publicar, es decir que elementos debe tener un artículo para ser publicado en top journals y que sucede con nuestro manuscritos cuando lo envíamos. Read more “Los entresijos de publicar (o no) en revistas TOP:”


New entry at The Bibliomagician: An interview with Juan…

This blog post was originally published at The Bibliomagician.

Nicolas Robinson interviews Juan Gorraiz, who works at Vienna University Library as a professional bibliometrician. Juan is editing a special issue for Frontiers in Research Metrics and Analytics on best practices in bibliometrics. Along with his professional activity giving research support to scientists and conducting bibliometric analyses at his institution, he has authored more than 60 scientific publications in journals such as ScientometricsResearch Evaluation, and Journal of Informetrics. Furthermore, he is one of the promoters and founders of the European Summer School for Scientometrics and organized the STI and ISSI Conferences in 2008 and 2013 respectively. In this interview he talks about his personal experience as a practitioner and scientist, how to bridge between both communities and the role professionals should and present challenges impeding a more fluid communication between these two communities. Read more “New entry at The Bibliomagician: An interview with Juan Gorraiz”


Jornada MOTIVADxS en la Universidad de Granada

El pasado viernes día 29 de noviembre participé en la jornada MOTIVADxS: un encuentro UGR para jóvenes investigadores, organizada por la Unidad de Bibliometría del Vicerrectorado de Investigación de la Universidad de Granada. La jornada fue inaugurada por el vicerrector de investigación Enrique Herrera-Viedma y pilotada por el compañero Daniel Torres-Salinas. Mi participación fue doble. Por un lado, di una pequeña charla en la que compartía experiencia y consejos sobre mis diversas estancias de investigación internacionales. Esta charla me dio la oportunidad de reflexionar sobre las cosas que fallaron y las que no las diferentes veces que he marchado al extranjero a buscar colaboraciones, así como estructurar un poco cómo debe de ser la organización previa (en teoría, que luego la práctica es otra cosa). Aquí abajo os comparto las diapos.

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Results from the 2019 Responsible Metrics State of the…

Post originally published in The Bibliomagician on November 12, 2019 by Nicolas Robinson-Garcia and Lizzie Gadd

Since 2015, the LIS-Bibliometrics Committee has run annual Responsible Metrics State-of-the-Art surveys in which we analyse the penetration of responsible metrics awareness and implementation in universities. Every year, the number of participants as well as the number of countries involved has increased, and already last year reported a total of 115 respondents. This year again, we have seen a notable increase with 218 respondents from 42 different countries with 72% of the respondents being from outside of the UK. This increase is partly due to the fact that alongside the Lis-Bibliometrics, ARMA Metrics (SIG) and INORMS Research Evaluation Working Group lists, it was also advertised on the Spanish speaking lists IWETEL (Spanish mailing list for information professionals) and INCYT (Indicadores de Ciencia y Tecnología (Science and Technology Indicators). This has resulted in a high number of Spanish and South American participants which allows for the first time to show comparisons between the UK and other countries. We plan to look at this in a separate blog post. But first let’s have a general overview of what the respondents indicated about the inclusion of responsible metrics practices in their institutions. Read more “Results from the 2019 Responsible Metrics State of the Art Survey”