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Library Support Information for Summer Science Fellows


Certificate of Completion in Scholarly Publishing.

Each week I will be sending you all one email with searching tips & tricks or thought questions about issues related to scholarly publishing.  If you reply for all ten weeks, you will earn the Certificate of Completion that you can display on your poster this Fall.  


The Schedule

Week 1, June 1 - Introductions & Your Lab Space: 
Tell me more about your research project and send me a picture of your lab space (a selfie is great!)

Week 2, June 8 - Advanced Database Features 

There are multiple databases that cover your discipline/project.  So, although you may have a favorite, don’t forget the others. Scroll through the database A-Z List  or split that list into subjects to discover other databases for your discipline.   

There are often advanced features that may help your search.  Select one of the short tutorials or help sheets from the list below and tell me what you think.  Was there anything new you learned? Anything you think you could use?

Week 3, June 15 - Citation Management

Now that you are thinking about which databases you could use and techniques to optimize your searches, what do you do with all of those citations you collect?  You could use a citation management tool!  The college offers Endnote Basic.  (There are others such as Mendeley, ProCite, RefWorks, and Zotero). Once you create your own account you can move citations from a database into Endnote and organize them all there.  How do I do that you may ask?   

Well, please watch these video tutorials on Importing Citations into Endnote (5:31 minutes), how you can then organize them (2:19 min)  and share them (3:13 minutes) with others.  In addition to managing citations, the other cool trick that Endnote can do is to format all of your citations for you.  Take a look at the attached 4 slides of how I formatted over 30 citations in just seconds in my Endnote Account.

This reflection questions for this week are:

  1. How have you been keeping track of your citations (for your  research project or other classes)? 
  2. What are the pros and cons of your current strategy? What pieces of your current strategy would work if you suddenly had to keep track of 50+ citations?
  3. What do you think of citation management tools? When would it be beneficial to use one?  

Week 4 - The Peer Review Process 

Much of scholarly dissemination relies on the concept of peer review.  The most popular avenue being to publish in a scholarly peer-reviewed journal.  But what does that really mean? What does the whole process look like for an author? 

First, watch this 3 minute video for a refresher on the peer-review process.  Then browse the Peer Review Policy Page for the journal Nature (focus on the Peer-Review Process and Selecting Peer Reviewers sections first).  In the future you may need to suggest reviewers for your manuscript when you submit it for publication.  This page will tell you how to find reviewers for your paper.   Once you have seen how the whole system functions, check out these Top 9 questions about Peer Review that address additional questions, like what to do when your article gets rejected.  

Reflection questions for this week (due 11:59 Wednesday June 28th):

  1. What are your thoughts about the time it may take to complete the peer review process? 
  2. How is this process similar and different to the peer review and/or instructor grading that occurs in your classes?

Week 5 - Authorship

What determines who is an author of a scholarly article?  What if someone helped you create the tables for your article, are they a co-author of the article? If a friend reviewed your article for grammatical mistakes and suggested revisions, do they deserve authorship?   Think about it and then look at this site from the ICMJE

Reflection Question for Week 5  (due 11:59pm Wednesday July 5th)

1. In your own words, who is an author and who deserves acknowledgment?    

Week 6 - Instructions for Authors

Now that you have thought about who is an author, the next step for authors would be to submit a manuscript to a journal for publication.  Here are the Instructions for Authors for publishing in Nature, take a quick look. 

Reflection questions for Week 6 (due 11:59 Wednesday July 12th)

  1. What is the purpose of a cover letter for an article submission to Nature?
  2. What might you include in a cover letter about your current research?

Week 7 - Open Access

Once an article is published how do people access it?  Access may come in several forms, either by institutional subscriptions like through a library, individual subscriptions to a journal, pay-per-view options for individual articles, or open access.   Here is a 2 minute Open Access in a Nutshell video.   Nature has both Gold and Green Open Access options available for its authors. It is very common for scientific and medical journals to have an Article Processing Charge (APC) for Open Access and this charge can range from $500 to $5,000 per article. (Some of you may remember this Article Processing Charge from your Gen Bio lab with me Freshman year J).

Reflection Question (due Wednesday June 19th, 11:59 pm.)  

In your own words what are the positive and negative aspects of Open Access publishing?    

Week 8 - Undergraduate Research Journals

As you think about disseminating your research, one option is an Undergraduate Research Journal.  These journals are often peer reviewed and open access.  Below are three examples of different Undergraduate Journals.  Please pick one journal from the list that best matches your research topic and answer the weekly reflection questions.

Reflection Questions, due Wednesday 11:59, June 26th.

  1. How often does the journal publish? Once a year? Quarterly? Other?
  2. When are submissions due?
  3. What citation style does it use? CSE? APA? Other?
  4. Does it cost anything to publish in this journal?
  5. Is there a word limit/max? If so what is it?
  6. How do you submit an article? Log in to a system? Email it? Other?

Week 9 - Critical Reader, Smart Submissions

During your time at Fisher you have been asked to be a critical reader of research, critiquing methods, results and discussions. Likewise,  you will need to apply those same skills when you are choosing a journal when submitting manuscripts.  Last week, you looked at one of three undergraduate journals that I hand selected, but in the future you will need to choose your own journals and not all journals are created equal. 

Take a look at this scandal regarding less than credible journals as reported in Science, Who’s Afraid of Peer Review

Then watch the 2 min video at Think, Check, Submit

Reflection Questions, Due Wednesday August 2nd at 11:59 pm.

  1. As a reader of research, what thoughts do you have about the impact that journals and the peer review process can have on the quality of articles published?
  2. As a producer of researcher, what questions will you ask yourself when selecting a journal for your manuscripts? 

Week 10 - Final Reflection


For this final week I am going to ask you to pick from of the three scenarios below.  Each requires that you reflect on a particular situation and scholarly publishing.  While I will enjoy reading them, you may also want to consider including these pieces as part of your e-portfolio.  As I mentioned in week 1, exploring scholarly publishing as an undergraduate is unique and you did excellent work in your reflections.

1. Graduate School Interview:

You are applying to graduate school and have been invited to an interview.  During the interview you are asked the following question: What are your thoughts about scholarly publishing? In a paragraph or two, please craft your response to their question. 

2. Clinical Practice/Industry:

Your unit has just completed a quality improvement project at work.  You saw some statistically significant changes in outcomes due to the project.  In addition to internal communication, Senior Leadership has mentioned it would like to more broadly disseminate the findings from your project and has asked to meet with you to discuss it.  In a paragraph or two, please summarize a plan for dissemination in a scholarly journal.     

3. Medical School Application

You have chosen to use your experience as a Summer Research Student as one of your meaningful experiences on the Medical School Application.  The entire entry would address the following prompts on the application, “Please explain why this experience was particularly meaningful to you.   When writing your response, you might want to consider the transformative nature of the experience, the impact you made while engaging in the activity, and the personal growth you experienced as a result of your participation.” 

For our purposes please write a few sentences or up to one paragraph describing your understanding of scholarly publishing and how it relates to research.