Publishing a Scientific Paper

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I have a question regarding the process of publishing. Is the preferred method to first submit to a pre-press (such as arxiv) or to directly send in to a journal for review. If submitting to arxiv, how does one find a suitable endorser? Apparently one can find endorsers by reviewing topical papers but is that the only method available?

Thanks for any info.
 

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  • #2
eri
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What you do first - send it to a publisher, put it on arXiv - is up to you. One of the groups I work with submits simultaneously to both. My group likes to wait until the publication is accepted before submitting to arXiv. If you have a .edu email address, apparently that's enough for arXiv without need an endorser - I submitted a paper to arXiv without an endorser and it showed up. Many of the co-authors could have endorsed it, but it didn't ask for them to. If you don't have a .edu address or a co-author who can endorse it, you'll need to find someone else - did you consult with anyone while writing the paper? Do you have a former professor who could read it over for you? It's always a good idea to have someone you know review it before submitting it to a journal to catch any obvious problems.
 
  • #3
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Is it just me, or is sending something to arXiv not really publishing it? (Well, it is in the "it's out there now" sense, but not on the "I can put it on the resume now" sense.)
 
  • #4
eri
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As far as I can tell, it's counted as a non-refereed publication. I have a few arXiv numbers on my CV from papers that have been submitted to journals but not yet published, but none that haven't been submitted to journals.
 
  • #5
cristo
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What you do first - send it to a publisher, put it on arXiv - is up to you.

You need to be careful about this if submitting to some journals (nature, for example), since they only allow you to upload to a preprint server something like a week before the journal is published.


As for whether submission to the arxiv is classed as publication; I would say no. Papers on the arxiv have not been peer-reviewed in the same way as a journal article is. Whilst the majority will pass through peer review at some point in the future, this is certainly not true for all.
 
  • #6
turbo
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There is a definite advantage to using arXiv only after peer-review and acceptance. The referees may suggest some changes and additional analysis, and in some cases, that might alter the structure of the paper significantly, so you would have to post a revised version later. It looks a whole lot better to post a finished product in one go. If you submit to a Springer journal, once they have accepted the final draft, the editor will likely email you to encourage you to post it on arXiv, and they will post it electronically to subscribers before the print journal comes out. Other journals have different guidelines, and I'm not familiar with them, but put yourself in the editor's shoes - would you prefer to publish a paper that had been submitted to your journal first, reviewed and improved (if necessary), or one that had already been posted on arXiv and might need revision before it meets the standards of your journal and your chosen referees?
 
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  • #7
cristo
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There is a definite advantage to using arXiv only after peer-review and acceptance.

There are different schools of thought on this, and one can also see the advantage to putting a paper on the arxiv before submitting to a journal. This way, if someone reads you paper and has comments/corrections/suggestions, they can email you before you submit to a journal, and thus you can submit a revised version to the journal. This can be seen as a sort of earlier step in the peer-review system. After all, someone who reads you paper and sends you comments may very likely be a referee in the future, so making changes before official peer review may allow your submission to go through more quickly.


Other journals have different guidelines, and I'm not familiar with them, but put yourself in the editor's shoes - would prefer to publish a paper that had been submitted to your journal first, reviewed and improved (if necessary), or one that had already been posted on arXiv and might need revision before it meets the standards of your journal and your chosen referees?

I don't think it matters either way. I also don't think it a negative if a paper has corrections/additions between an arxiv version and a submitted version.
 
  • #8
f95toli
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Other journals have different guidelines, and I'm not familiar with them, but put yourself in the editor's shoes - would prefer to publish a paper that had been submitted to your journal first, reviewed and improved (if necessary), or one that had already been posted on arXiv and might need revision before it meets the standards of your journal and your chosen referees?

I think this varies quite a bit; some journals (e.g. Physical Review) even allow you to submit a manuscript by simply linking to the files on the arXiv (instead of uploading the files to them). This would suggest that they really don't mind.

That said, I would recommend putting a manuscript on the arXiv unless YOU think it looks like something that COULD be published; i.e. it should be "polished".

The version I upload to a the arXiv is generally very similar to what I later submit; one difference between the version on the arXiv and what is eventually published is that the former might be somewhat longer (maybe 1/4-1/3 of a page) if I am submitting a 4 page letter.
The reason being that I never to the final "trimming" to fit the manuscipt onto 4 pages until I see the replies from the referees (which will often suggest that you add/remove something) and know what the final layout (size of figures etc) will look like. Starting out with a manuscripts that is just slightly too long is therefore rarely a problem and it obviously don't matter when it comes to uploading to the arXIv.
 
  • #9
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Many thanks to all - for the courtesy of your replies.
 
  • #10
eri
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You need to be careful about this if submitting to some journals (nature, for example), since they only allow you to upload to a preprint server something like a week before the journal is published.

Good point - I haven't published in Nature yet, so I was not aware of their policies.

As for whether submission to the arxiv is classed as publication; I would say no. Papers on the arxiv have not been peer-reviewed in the same way as a journal article is. Whilst the majority will pass through peer review at some point in the future, this is certainly not true for all.

Yeah, but conference proceedings aren't refereed either, and those count as publications. Or at least I've been putting them on my resume (as a grad student, I need all the 'publications' I can get!).
 
  • #11
ZapperZ
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Actually, publishing in Science and Nature needs to be clarified, especially as far as embargo is concerned.

Contrary to popular beliefs, Science and Nature do not prohibit uploading one's manuscript to ArXiv, etc. before publication. http://www.nature.com/authors/editorial_policies/embargo.html".

Nature journals do not wish to hinder communication between scientists. For that reason, different embargo guidelines apply to work that has been discussed at a conference or displayed on a preprint server and picked up by the media as a result. (Neither conference presentations nor posting on recognized preprint servers constitute prior publication.)

The problem comes in if your preprint is then picked up and reported by another media or news agency. Then that constitutes prior publication and disqualifies that preprint from being considered for publication. I've attended many conferences in which the presenter explicitly stated that they have submitted the work to Science or Nature, and that no part of the presentation should be reported on until publication, and so far, I haven't heard any issue with that.

So the risk in such advanced presentation or manuscript upload is that it might get reported in a news media. That is why many authors chose not to assume such a risk and wait until they have confirmation of acceptance before reporting on their work. But neither of those two journals prohibit communications about the scientific work, either in verbal or written form.

Zz.
 
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