CHANGING COMMUNICATION in Atmospheric and Environmental Sciences Peter Brimblecombe School of Environmental Sciences University of East Anglia Norwich NR4 7TJ UK photograph courtesy <a href="http://philip.greenspun.com/">Philip Greenspun</a>
MODES OF COMMUNICATION SCIENTISTS JOURNALISTS, POLICYMAKERS, PUBLIC Presentations Policy/briefing papers Demonstrations/games Juries Interviews Science cafes • Journal publications • Books • Posters • Presentations tomorrow… with students etc
DISSEMINATION BEYOND THE JOURNAL ARTICLE UK RESEARCH COUNCILS PROMOTE TRAINING • Presentations • both scientific and popular • Policy/briefing papers • UK Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology* • Demonstrations – science fairs • Interviews • media analysis, practice in studios, media secondments to BBC etc • Science cafes *http://www.parliament.uk/parliamentary_offices/post/pubs.cfm
SCIENCE CAFES Participation is the key… popular with British Council and in Europe
Big public debatesneed science speakers • Congestion chargingLondon from Feb 2003 • Climate change • GM foods • Incineration • Vaccination • Childhood obesity • Swine flu
RESEARCH OUTPUT PRIME IMPORTANCE OF JOURNAL • Writing papers • ...also writing lectures/presentations • ...also writing grants …but really it is doing research first and positioning the output second perhaps even for grant applications
DISCIPLINARY TRENDS GRANT WRITING FORMALDEHYDE VOLATILE ORGANIC COMPOUNDS
CHOOSING THE JOURNAL • Key place for the article so it will be widely read (electronic!) – audience, scope • Influence within field of study • Accessibility (electronic!) • Publication times • Page, figure charges • Impact factors and other myths Research papers must demonstrate novelty, significance, and competence.
IMPACT OR INFLUENCE • Impact factors relate to journals • Some major journals have no impact factor! • Indices derive from commercial products, so reflect publisher’s design criteria • ISI Web of Knowledge, SCOPUS, GoogleScholar • H-index, citations relate to authors • Citations derive from authors: • downloads derive from readers • Citations have long growth times: • downloads often grow quickly
Marine DMS oxidation (1986) CITATION RATESCLASSIC TREND VS SLEEPERS Kuwait oil pollution (1993) Event based or temporary relevance An idea ahead of its time…
IMPACT FACTOR • Politics of impact factors – journal only • Delays to publication if choose wrong journal • (Mis)calculation of impact factors: Ncit/Nart • Time span and citation half lives (2 year) • Individual impact relates poorly to impact factors: IF ~ 20% of variance “UK Committee on Science and Technology to remind Research Assessment Exercise panels… they are to assess quality of individual articles, not the reputation of the journal…”
ZERO CITATIONS VANISH PROBLEMS WITH IMPACT FACTORSMYTHS AND SHORT TIMESCALE Atmospheric Environment 1995
CUMMULATIVE CITATIONS Nature Environment Science & Technology Atmospheric Environment
GOOD PAPERS LOW IMPACT JOURNALS SILK PURSE FROM A SOW’S EAR Funnell, B.M., Boomer, I. (1998) Bulletin of the Geological Society of Norfolk, 46 31-55 Microbiofacies tidal-level and age deduction in Holocene saltmarsh deposits on the north Norfolk coast • Marine Micropaleontology (2) • Geological Society Special Publication (1) • Proceedings of the Geologists Association (1) • Quaternary Science Reviews (1) • South African Journal of Geology (1)
IMPACT FACTOR- ALTERNATIVES • Downloads: immediate and reflect readership not authorship • Cummulative citations- advantage to those with longer careers e.g. H-factors – avoid the tail • Subject dependent
PERFORMANCE Baseline CUMMULATIVE CITATIONS mathematics
THE JOURNAL MANUSCRIPT • Experiences as a journal editor for Atmospheric Environment • 8000 pages a year • Receive 1500 manuscripts a year • Publish ~600 papers each year
PUBLICATION ETHICS • Authorship – significant contribution • Conflict of interest • Prior publication – duplication • Websites • Conference publications • Multiple submissions • Referencing • Plagiarism • Referee suggestions
STRUCTURE OF A PAPER TITLES • Not a sentence • No punctuation • Emphasises importance of content • Searchable • Think carefully about words like: • Integrated analysis • Case study • A new approach, interpretation etc "Put on a jacket, you wuss": Cultural identities, home heating, and air pollution in Christchurch, New Zealand
EDITORS:PROBLEMS WITH TITLESTHE RISE OF THE COLON % titles with colons Atmospheric Environment 1970-2007
STRUCTURE OF A PAPER ABSTRACTS AND KEYWORDS • Give results not promises • Numbers • Equations • Results • Keywords • Use words not in titles
STRUCTURE OF A PAPER FAIRY TALE STRUCTURE • Once upon a time • They lived happily ever afterwards … the study of palm oil production has become increasingly important. … further work is necessary.
STRUCTURE OF A PAPER INTRODUCTION • The context of the topic, its growth, relevance… • The particular approach taken within the paper Can be just two paragraphs if the literature is reviewed in a subsequent section.
STRUCTURE OF A PAPER THE GRAMMAR OF SCIENCE • Mathematics- italics • Chemical formula not italic • SI Units and abbreviations – s not sec! • Quantities – “6g of NaCl” or “NaCl(6g)” • Labels to tables and graphs- dimensionless! • Statistics, error and rounding • Rigour, consistency
STRUCTURE OF A PAPER PLAIN GRAMMAR • e.g. sentences starting with the infinitive, conjunctions, numbers and abbreviations • “2 g were typically taken...” rather “Two grams were typically taken...” • “And subsequently experiments...” rather “Subsequently experiments...” • “To study the oxidation...” rather Oxidation was studied by... or even “We studies oxidation by...”
STRUCTURE OF A PAPER FIGURES • Do not cut and paste from Excel default! • Colour choices – best in black and white • Bar graphs - order! • X-Y plots • Regression analysis • Fitted lines • Clustering similar figures - axes common • Insets
Think about the problems of clarity, xeroxing and the expense of colour printing…
STRUCTURE OF A PAPER DISCUSSION VS CONCLUSION • Discussion • Detailed analysis of the results • Comparison with the work of others • Drawing out the science • Conclusion • The broad context, applications, social relevance • Further research and what it might offer
STRUCTURE OF A PAPER CONCLUSIONS • Not a review or even summary • Should not have references • Should not introduce new materials • Derived from content of paper • Not a repeated abstract!
STRUCTURE OF A PAPER REFERENCE LISTS • Should be up to date • A kind of completeness, but relevant and accessible • Probably reference the journal you will publish in • Acknowledge past achievements – to avoid plagiarism • Right format
SUBMISSION • In good order • Referencing • Section numbering • Page numbers • Electronic • Figures separate as *.tifs?
FOLLOW-UP • Check time typically taken for review • Don’t trouble the editor prior to these dates • Understand the effort in refereeing
RESPONDING TO REVIEWERS TAKE A DEEP BREATH – REMAIN CALM • Avoid insulting the editor or reviewer • Can you meet editor’s demands? If revisions will take a long time: explain to editor. • Return the MS explaining what you have done and what you could not do • If you really believe you are treated unfairly ask the editor for adjudication • If this seriously fails: submit case to COPE http://www.publicationethics.org.uk/
END Peter Brimblecombe School of Environmental Sciences University of East Anglia Norwich NR4 7TJ UK