Newsletter example: How to publish a lot

Hi << First Name >>,

if you are attempting an academic career path, you are surely aware of the need to publish a lot.

But the task is not easy: experiments and analyses take a lot of time and never run 100% smoothly, and academic journals are slow with the publication process, typically including multiple extensive rounds of peer review and revisions.

Recently, I have come across this personal report on how to publish a lot as a PhD student. The author Mark Tschopp claims that during his 4-year PhD, he published “12 journal papers in good journals (10 or so as first author), a 100-page book chapter, a dissertation, and numerous conference papers”. I checked his Google Scholar profile and his publication list is indeed impressive.

So what is Mark’s secret to numerous publications in a short amount of time? Well, there are several factors that play together like frequent collaborations, combination of long and short papers, and interdisciplinary research. He also stresses the importance of writing skills and a smart approach to dealing with the peer reviewers.

Mark’s report shows a clear strategy optimized for a high publication output on different levels of the research & writing process. I highly recommend to check it out & get inspiration for your own work!

Now, if you are looking for ways how to better deal with difficult requests from peer reviewers, have a look at this answer to the question What is the best way to rebut an inaccurate comment by a referee on your research article:

“Politely and convincingly. Remember – the burden is on you to convince the editor that the reviewer’s comment is incorrect. And it is the editor you’re trying to convince – not the erring referee. I mean, it’s nice if you can convince the referee that they’ve misunderstood what you were saying or that they just made a mistake – but ultimately it’s the editor who’s making the decision as to whether or not to accept your work.”

The rest of the article explains the optimal procedure: first, check that it’s indeed the reviewer who is wrong and not you, then try to understand why the reviewer did the mistake. Maybe it’s still your “fault”: maybe you didn’t explain your point clearly enough or forgot an important reference. So at the end, it might still make sense to change something in your manuscript to prevent such mistakes in your other readers…

And lastly, I would like to share with you this journal editor’s checklist for avoiding a desk rejection. The author presents eight major reasons why your manuscript might be rejected before it makes it to the peer reviewers. It covers everything from incomprehensible language to methodological problems. “By avoiding these pitfalls, you will save reviewers, editors and staff time and frustration, and ensure that your work is judged by its scientific merit, not mistakes.”

I wish you inspiring reading! If you have any questions or thoughts on these topics you would like to share with me, don’t hesitate to reply back to this email!



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