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Mount St. Helens erupted on May 18, 1980. A cloud of hot rock and gas surged northward from its collapsing slope. The cloud devastated more than 500 square kilometers of forests and lakes. The effects of Mount St. Helens were well documented
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and gas surged northward from its collapsing slope. The cloud
devastated more than 500 square kilometers of forests and
lakes. The effects of Mount St. Helens were well documented
with geophysical instruments. The origin of the eruption is not
well understood. Volcanic explosions are driven by a rapid
expansion of steam. Some scientists believe the steam comes
from groundwater heated by the magma. Other scientists
believe the steam comes from water originally dissolved in the
magma. We need to understand the source of steam in
volcanic eruptions. We need to determine how much water the
When sentence openers do not vary, the sentences do not seem to connect
Mount St. Helens erupted on May…
In minutes, the mountain emitted…
Recently, debate has arisen...
Although the exact time of the eruption surprised scientists, evidence had been collected...
To understand the eruption, we have to...
collapsing, the mountain emitted a cloud of hot rock and gas.
In minutes, the cloud devastated more than 500 square
kilometers of forests and lakes. Although the effects of the
eruption were well documented, the origin is not well
understood. Volcanic explosions are driven by a rapid
expansion of steam. Recently, debate has arisen over the
source for the steam. Is it groundwater heated by magma or
water originally dissolved in the magma itself? To understand
the source of steam in volcanic eruptions, we need to
determine how much water the magma contains.
Varying sentence openers enlivens the
writing and allows connections.
The more muddled the original, the more revisions are needed to streamline it
In our study, we examined
the electrical breakdown of
nitrogen in uniform fields.
For these experiments, the
electrode gap distances
were typical (1 mm), while
the pressures were
relatively high (760 torr).
At high pressures (760 torr)
and typical electrode gap
distances (1 mm), the
electrical breakdown of
nitrogen was studied in
Download from WebCT the excerpt from Pilsik Choi’s dissertation.
Three questions to ask of every manuscript
• Do I understand it?
• Do I believe it?
• Do I care?
Skim the paper. What is the "intellectual plot-line" of the article?
While reading the manuscript, ask yourself,
• Is the research question or objective clearly stated?
• Is the research question interesting and important?
• Is the work original? Has it missed the literature?
• Is the work valid?
• Are the conclusions supported by the data?
• Is the work well presented?
• Is there a fatal flaw?
• Should the journal publish the work?
• Head any separate documents with the paper’s title and
other identifying information.
• Begin with a brief outline of the paper.
• Say something nice about the paper.
• Major comments then minor comments. Number them. Don’t submit handwritten edits on the margins of the paper.
• Stick to what you know.
• Don’t get personal or make disparaging comments. Reserve tough-love for cover letter to the editor.
• Be courteous and constructive.
• Don’t allow the best to be the enemy of the good.
• Make a recommendation.
There are no bad authors, just bad manuscripts.
Steve Shugan, Editor in Chief, Marketing Science
A good review is supportive, constructive, thoughtful, and fair. It
identifies both strengths and weaknesses, and offers concrete suggestions for improvements. It acknowledges the reviewer's biases where appropriate, and justifies the reviewer's conclusions.
A bad review is superficial, nasty, petty, self-serving, or arrogant. It
indulges the reviewer's biases with no justification. It focuses exclusively on weaknesses and offers no specific suggestions for improvement.
A publisher rejected George Orwell's Animal Farm because "[i]t's impossible to sell animal stories in the U.S.A."
Paul Samuelson states: "Yes, journals have rejected papers of mine, some of them later regarded as 'classics.' I used to say, with only moderate exaggeration, that the quality of papers of mine at first rejected is not less than the quality of papers accepted at once."
Nobel Prize Winner 1970
“I presented my paper (on the Duesenberry-Modigliani consumption function) at a 1949 Conference on Income and Wealth, and then submitted it for publication to Econometrica. The paper was returned with a letter rejecting my paper with no offer to revise and resubmit. As I recall, the only reason for rejecting the paper was that in his view these were no times for formulating ingenious new hypotheses, the important issue of the time being to pursue better estimation methods recognizing problems of simultaneity. By contrast, my paper used single equation methods."
Franco Modigliani, Nobel Prize Winner 1985
"I submitted it in June, 1967 to the American Economic Review. I got a reply from the editor which said that the article was interesting but the American Economic Review did not publish such trivial stuff." The article next went to the Journal of Political Economy. Again it was rejected. Akerlof kept trying. "I next sent the article to the Review of Economic Studies. I had been urged by one of its co-editors to do that. Instead it went to another editor whose view of 'The Market for 'Lemons" was decidedly less favorable. It was rejected on the grounds again that it was 'trivial.' Finally I sent it to the Quarterly Journal of Economics which accepted it with some degree of enthusiasm."
Akerlof believes that journal editors refused the article both because they feared the introduction into economics of informational considerations and “...they also almost surely objected to the style of the article which did not reflect the usual solemnity of economic journals."
George Akerlof, Nobel Prize Winner 2001
"We have read your manuscript with boundless delight. If we were to publish your paper, it would be impossible for us to publish any work of lower standard. And as it is unthinkable that in the next thousand years we shall see its equal, we are, to our regret, compelled to return your divine composition, and to beg you a thousand times to overlook our short sight and timidity."
10. Will you finish your dissertation before arriving on campus?
9. Can you publish in the major journals?
8. Can you tell a researchstory that they can remember when asked at a faculty meeting a week after the interview?
7. Do you recognize a good research project when you see it? A not so good one?
6. Do you generate good projects on your own?
5. Do you fit a recognized need?
4. Would you add intellectual vitality?
3. Could you (eventually) handle a classroom filled with MBAs?
2. Will the profession say, “Wow!” when they hear of your hiring?
1. Would they have fun lunching with you for the rest of their careers?