How to Write and Publish Engineering Papers and Reports
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However, this method did not work well. Robert K. The Royal Society was steadfast in its not-yet-popular belief that science could only move forward through a transparent and open exchange of ideas backed by experimental evidence. Early scientific journals embraced several models: some were run by a single individual who exerted editorial control over the contents, often simply publishing extracts from colleagues' letters, while others employed a group decision making process, more closely aligned to modern peer review.
It wasn't until the middle of the 20th century that peer review became the standard. In the s and s, commercial publishers began to selectively acquire "top-quality" journals that were previously published by nonprofit academic societies. When the commercial publishers raised the subscription prices significantly, they lost little of the market, due to the inelastic demand for these journals.
Unlike most industries, in academic publishing the two most important inputs are provided "virtually free of charge". Publishers argue that they add value to the publishing process through support to the peer review group, including stipends, as well as through typesetting, printing, and web publishing. Investment analysts, however, have been skeptical of the value added by for-profit publishers, as exemplified by a Deutsche Bank analysis which stated that "we believe the publisher adds relatively little value to the publishing process A crisis in academic publishing is "widely perceived";  the apparent crisis has to do with the combined pressure of budget cuts at universities and increased costs for journals the serials crisis.
The humanities have been particularly affected by the pressure on university publishers, which are less able to publish monographs when libraries can not afford to purchase them. In the Modern Language Association expressed hope that electronic publishing would solve the issue. Several models are being investigated, such as open publication models or adding community-oriented features.
In academic publishing, a paper is an academic work that is usually published in an academic journal. It contains original research results or reviews existing results. Such a paper, also called an article, will only be considered valid if it undergoes a process of peer review by one or more referees who are academics in the same field who check that the content of the paper is suitable for publication in the journal. A paper may undergo a series of reviews, revisions, and re-submissions before finally being accepted or rejected for publication. This process typically takes several months.
How to Write and Publish Engineering Papers and Reports, 3rd Edition
Next, there is often a delay of many months or in some fields, over a year before an accepted manuscript appears. Due to this, many academics self-archive a ' pre-print ' copy of their paper for free download from their personal or institutional website. Some journals, particularly newer ones, are now published in electronic form only. Paper journals are now generally made available in electronic form as well, both to individual subscribers, and to libraries. Almost always these electronic versions are available to subscribers immediately upon publication of the paper version, or even before; sometimes they are also made available to non-subscribers, either immediately by open access journals or after an embargo of anywhere from two to twenty-four months or more, in order to protect against loss of subscriptions.
Journals having this delayed availability are sometimes called delayed open access journals. Ellison in reported that in economics the dramatic increase in opportunities to publish results online has led to a decline in the use of peer-reviewed articles. An academic paper typically belongs to some particular category such as: .
Note: Law review is the generic term for a journal of legal scholarship in the United States , often operating by rules radically different from those for most other academic journals. Peer review is a central concept for most academic publishing; other scholars in a field must find a work sufficiently high in quality for it to merit publication.
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A secondary benefit of the process is an indirect guard against plagiarism since reviewers are usually familiar with the sources consulted by the author s. The origins of routine peer review for submissions dates to when the Royal Society of London took over official responsibility for Philosophical Transactions. However, there were some earlier examples. While journal editors largely agree the system is essential to quality control in terms of rejecting poor quality work, there have been examples of important results that are turned down by one journal before being taken to others. Rena Steinzor wrote:.
Perhaps the most widely recognized failing of peer review is its inability to ensure the identification of high-quality work. The list of important scientific papers that were initially rejected by peer-reviewed journals goes back at least as far as the editor of Philosophical Transaction's rejection of Edward Jenner 's report of the first vaccination against smallpox.
Experimental studies show the problem exists in peer reviewing. The process of academic publishing, which begins when authors submit a manuscript to a publisher, is divided into two distinct phases: peer review and production. The process of peer review is organized by the journal editor and is complete when the content of the article, together with any associated images or figures, are accepted for publication. The peer review process is increasingly managed online, through the use of proprietary systems, commercial software packages, or open source and free software.
A manuscript undergoes one or more rounds of review; after each round, the author s of the article modify their submission in line with the reviewers' comments; this process is repeated until the editor is satisfied and the work is accepted. The production process, controlled by a production editor or publisher, then takes an article through copy editing , typesetting , inclusion in a specific issue of a journal, and then printing and online publication.
Academic copy editing seeks to ensure that an article conforms to the journal's house style , that all of the referencing and labelling is correct, and that the text is consistent and legible; often this work involves substantive editing and negotiating with the authors. In much of the 20th century, such articles were photographed for printing into proceedings and journals, and this stage was known as camera-ready copy.
With modern digital submission in formats such as PDF , this photographing step is no longer necessary, though the term is still sometimes used. The author will review and correct proofs at one or more stages in the production process. The proof correction cycle has historically been labour-intensive as handwritten comments by authors and editors are manually transcribed by a proof reader onto a clean version of the proof.
In the early 21st century, this process was streamlined by the introduction of e-annotations in Microsoft Word , Adobe Acrobat , and other programs, but it still remained a time-consuming and error-prone process. The full automation of the proof correction cycles has only become possible with the onset of online collaborative writing platforms, such as Authorea , Google Docs , and various others, where a remote service oversees the copy-editing interactions of multiple authors and exposes them as explicit, actionable historic events.
Academic authors cite sources they have used, in order to support their assertions and arguments and to help readers find more information on the subject.
It also gives credit to authors whose work they use and helps avoid plagiarism. Each scholarly journal uses a specific format for citations also known as references.
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The CMS style uses footnotes at the bottom of page to help readers locate the sources. Technical reports , for minor research results and engineering and design work including computer software , round out the primary literature. Secondary sources in the sciences include articles in review journals which provide a synthesis of research articles on a topic to highlight advances and new lines of research , and books for large projects, broad arguments, or compilations of articles.
Tertiary sources might include encyclopedias and similar works intended for broad public consumption or academic libraries. A partial exception to scientific publication practices is in many fields of applied science, particularly that of U. An equally prestigious site of publication within U. Publishing in the social sciences is very different in different fields. Some fields, like economics, may have very "hard" or highly quantitative standards for publication, much like the natural sciences.
Others, like anthropology or sociology, emphasize field work and reporting on first-hand observation as well as quantitative work. Some social science fields, such as public health or demography , have significant shared interests with professions like law and medicine , and scholars in these fields often also publish in professional magazines.
Publishing in the humanities is in principle similar to publishing elsewhere in the academy; a range of journals, from general to extremely specialized, are available, and university presses issue many new humanities books every year. The arrival of online publishing opportunities has radically transformed the economics of the field and the shape of the future is controversial.
Unlike the sciences, research is most often an individual process and is seldom supported by large grants. Journals rarely make profits and are typically run by university departments. The following describes the situation in the United States. In many fields, such as literature and history, several published articles are typically required for a first tenure-track job, and a published or forthcoming book is now often required before tenure. Some critics complain that this de facto system has emerged without thought to its consequences; they claim that the predictable result is the publication of much shoddy work, as well as unreasonable demands on the already limited research time of young scholars.
To make matters worse, the circulation of many humanities journals in the s declined to almost untenable levels, as many libraries cancelled subscriptions, leaving fewer and fewer peer-reviewed outlets for publication; and many humanities professors' first books sell only a few hundred copies, which often does not pay for the cost of their printing.
Some scholars have called for a publication subvention of a few thousand dollars to be associated with each graduate student fellowship or new tenure-track hire, in order to alleviate the financial pressure on journals.
An alternative to the subscription model of journal publishing is the open access journal model, which typically involves a publication charge being paid by the author. The online distribution of individual articles and academic journals then takes place without charge to readers and libraries. Most open access journals remove all the financial, technical, and legal barriers that limit access to academic materials to paying customers.
Open access has been criticized on quality grounds, as the desire to maximize publishing fees could cause some journals to relax the standard of peer review. It may be criticized on financial grounds as well because the necessary publication fees have proven to be higher than originally expected. Open access advocates generally reply that because open access is as much based on peer reviewing as traditional publishing, the quality should be the same recognizing that both traditional and open access journals have a range of quality. It has also been argued that good science done by academic institutions who cannot afford to pay for open access might not get published at all, but most open access journals permit the waiver of the fee for financial hardship or authors in underdeveloped countries.
In any case, all authors have the option of self-archiving their articles in their institutional repositories in order to make them open access , whether or not they publish them in a journal. If they publish in a Hybrid open access journal , authors pay a subscription journal a publication fee to make their individual article open access. The other articles in such hybrid journals are either made available after a delay or remain available only by subscription. Proponents of open access suggest that such moves by corporate publishers illustrate that open access, or a mix of open access and traditional publishing, can be financially viable, and evidence to that effect is emerging [ citation needed ].
The fraction of the authors of a hybrid open access journal that make use of its open access option can, however, be small. It also remains unclear whether this is practical in fields outside the sciences, where there is much less availability of outside funding. In , several funding agencies , including the Wellcome Trust and several divisions of the Research Councils in the UK announced the availability of extra funding to their grantees for such open access journal publication fees.
In May , the Council for the European Union agreed that from all scientific publications as a result of publicly funded research must be freely available. Letters to the Editor: Letters to the editor may be submitted on any subject of interest to the journal readership.
Letters commenting on previously published articles will normally be sent to the authors of the previous publication for possible response prior to publication. Conflict-of-interest statement: If there are any conflicts of interest, authors should disclose them in the manuscript. Authorship: Authorship credit should be based on 1 substantial contributions to conception and design, acquisition of data, or analysis and interpretation of data, 2 drafting the article or revising it critically for important intellectual content, and 3 final approval of the version to be published.
Authors should meet these 3 conditions. No changes of authors are allowed after the acceptance of a manuscript.