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Editage, a brand of Cactus Communications, is a leading provider of specialist English-language and communication solutions to authors, journals, publishers, and corporations worldwide.

At Editage, in everything we do, we want to accelerate the development of global scientific research. We are constantly innovating to create new solutions to help international researchers communicate better.

Editage was established in April 2002 with an aim to accelerate global scientific research communication. We take great efforts to understand our authors’ needs.

Our unique service packages and educational programs have helped over 72,000 authors across 116 countries to get published in high-impact factor journals.
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  • Beall's list of "predatory" publishers and journals no longer available
    Beall’s List of “predatory” publishers and journals no longer available

    Scholarly Open Access, a popular blog that listed questionable journals and publishers, has recently been taken down. The blog was maintained by Jeffrey Beall since 2008 who is an academic librarian at the University of Colorado in Denver.

    Scholarly Open Access, a popular blog that listed questionable journals and publishers, has recently been taken down. The blog was maintained since 2008 by Jeffrey Beall who is an academic librarian at the University of Colorado in Denver. Incidentally, his faculty page too is no longer available. While the exact reasons behind this decision remain unclear, according to a UC Denver spokesperson, it was Beall’s personal decision to take this step and added that, “Professor Beall remains on the faculty at the university and will be pursuing new areas of research.” Lacey Earle, Vice President of Business Development at Cabell’s International, tweeted that “threats & politics” forced Beall to shut down the site.

    Beall’s blog that listed more than 1000 “potential, possible or probable predatory scholarly open-access publishers” now stands blank, and it is not known whether this closure is permanent. While his efforts at exposing fraudulent publishers were applauded by many academics, his list – popularly known as “Beall’s list” – had been a source of controversy as some open access advocates believed that he was negative toward the model. He also received flak from some publishers and journals that objected to being included in his list. One such publisher is OMICS Publishing Group that threatened to sue Beall with a $1 billion lawsuit for defaming the company.

    Cabell’s International, a publishing services company, had announced that it has been working with Beall since 2015 to develop a blacklist of publishers. Hence, there has been some speculation as to whether this was the reason behind pulling down of Beall’s blog. However, the company publicly stated that it is not involved with this incident. The shutdown of Beall’s blog is perceived by many as a loss to academia. Though it received considerable criticism for being overly biased, it was unique in the industry and many researchers considered it to be a valuable resource. It remains to be seen what effect the closedown of this blog has on academic publishing. 

    References:

    Mystery as controversial list of predatory publishers disappears

    Why did Beall’s List of potential predatory publishers go dark?

    No More 'Beall's List'

  • Can we fix the reproducibility crisis that is plaguing science?
    Can we fix the reproducibility crisis that is plaguing science?

    Lack of reproducibility is one of the biggest challenges facing science. In this opinion piece, Ira Krull discusses his views on whether there is a way to rectify this problem. 

    In my 30 years of working in the field of analytical chemistry, I have reviewed many manuscripts for a variety of journals. Most of the manuscripts contained little or no analytical method validation, which means they lacked evidence of repeatability, reproducibility, robustness, ruggedness and/or most of the other requirements to demonstrate method validation. Surprisingly, most of these papers were submitted to analytically oriented journals, as opposed to biological ones, such as Science, Nature, Cell, or BioTechniques. Therefore, it does not come as a surprise that the existing and recent literature lacks reproducibility and other aspects of analytical method validation.

    Perhaps the essence of good scientific research and publications is that the work, when successfully completed and published, will be reproducible in the hands of others, similarly trained, prepared, and equipped in their own laboratories. The authors should, at the very least, ensure that their research is repeatable in their own lab and reproducible in other labs, before it is submitted for publication. If this crucial element is not met, then the findings should never be published. The original work should follow scientific protocols, such as using good laboratory practices (GLP), and ideally be conducted in a GLP facility with quality control and quality assurance. And, there must be sufficient hard data (numbers) with at least three repeats for each and every measurement, all of which is statistically treated and tabulated.

    Why is this so important? More and more manuscripts are rejected because they do not contain elements of repeatability or reproducibility, and such papers will only add to the existing literature that is irreproducible. If my own experience is relatable to others reviewing the current, analytically oriented literature, then it is clear that more demands must be placed on the authors by the journals and editors when the manuscript is being evaluated. The manuscript should include evidence of repeatability, reproducibility, robustness, ruggedness and other aspects of true and complete, analytical method validation. And, if these things are not evident, then such work is likely to fail when published; other researchers will not be able to reproduce these findings, and we will continue to face the situation we are now facing: a generic lack of past/present reproducibility for many, or most, scientific publications.

    Most of the analytical manuscripts I receive contain either partial or no analytical method validation. This means they lack robustness, ruggedness, repeatability, reproducibility, limits of detection, limits of quantitation, calibration plots for linearity of quantitation, statistical treatment of data where the number of repeats, n, must be at least three or more, stability of reagents, quality control, quality assurance, good laboratory practices, and so forth. And, a majority of the papers that lack elements of reproducibility come from academia, as compared to those from industrial or government labs, pertaining to fields such as analytical instrumentation, pharmaceuticals, biopharmaceuticals, and others. Labs/firms must meet relevant regulatory requirements laid down by U.S. Food & Drug Administration, European Medicines Agency, and Japan Pharmaceutical Association, which means high quality method validation evidence – something that academia is even now not forced or required to pursue by most journals or editors. Most academics prefer to save the time, money, and effort in pursuing any aspects of analytical method validation, which if they had followed all along might have avoided the current crisis of irreproducibility.

    Considering the above arguments, how can science rectify these issues and produce literature in the future that will be fully reproducible? Does the fault reside with authors, reviewers, editors, journal publishers, funding agencies, or somewhere else? It is the authors who are ultimately responsible for submitting valid, repeatable, reproducible, and honest results/data. For their part, reviewers must be more rigorous while evaluating submissions that do not contain elements of repeatability, reproducibility, method validation, and such other criteria that give credibility to the work. Some journals provide guidance and instructions online on their website to reviewers, so that only the best papers reach publication. Editors should consider reviewers’ comments and recommendations before arriving at a decision. Perhaps they should not forward to reviewers the manuscripts that have no evidence of repeatability or reproducibility. Finally, it is the publishers who must change their policies about what must be contained in all submissions to better ensure their validity, repeatability, and reproducibility once published.

    Therefore, journals have been approaching the problem of irreproducibility and retraction (which usually follows) in ways that would prevent such instances. Some journals such as Nature, BioTechniques, and The Analyst request authors to indicate in the research description certain initial goals, such as evidence of repeatability and reproducibility, as well as the number of repeats for each experiment. Some of these guidelines discuss analytical method validation criteria that should be provided in the body of the paper. Perhaps, journals editors and reviewers need to be more circumspect in what they are approving for final publication, especially when there is little to no evidence of any analytical method validation, as it can lead to failed attempts at repeating and reproducing the studies. The overall goal should be to ensure that the final manuscript will contain enough data, details, and method validation to ensure it will be reproducible in the hands of its readers after publication.

    A lack of reproducibility and replicability affects the pace at which science progresses. Apart from this, it can have an adverse impact on funding patterns, as irreproducible research is a major burden on science spending. Such research can also put health care policies in jeopardy and even lead people not to trust science. Therefore, publishing good, high quality science should be a priority for the major stakeholders of science. 

  • My article got rejected after the journal editor changed. What should I do?
    Question Description: 

    Dear Dr. Eddy, My article was submitted to a journal last year and has undergone three rounds of reviews. For the first round, I recieved a major revision and for the next two rounds, I received minor revisions.

    Around the end of last year, the journal changed its chief editor who was responsible for my article. Then I received a reject letter from the new editor. After contacting him, I was told that he thought it was a new submission and didn't know it had gone through peer review. He also assured me that it would be fine if the article got minor revision. I contacted him two weeks ago to inquire whether there was any update, but received no reply. What would you suggest I do next? I feel quite anxious about this. Thank you.

    Answer

    You have mentioned that the new editor said it would be "fine" if it was a minor revision. What exactly do you mean by that? Did the editor say that it would be considered as a revised submission? If he did not clearly mention this, you should clarify with him. Since you had written the last email two weeks ago, I think it is fine to write once again. Perhaps you could begin by apologizing for bothering him, and then go on to express your anxiety over the fate of the manuscript, and seek more clarity. Keep writing to him every 2-3 weeks till you get a response. Since he has responded the first time, I'm sure he will eventually respond to your other emails as well. 

    In the worst case, if you do not receive a response even after writing several emails, you can send an email to the editor saying that you are considering the rejection decision as final since you have not received any further communication from the journal. You can then submit your paper to another journal. however, make sure you inform the editor of the second journal about this situation at the time of submission, attaching the rejection letter as supporting evidence.

    Recommended reading:

    What to do in case of delay at the journal end and no response from the editor?

    Will my manuscript be considered as a duplicate or simultaneous submission?

  • David Kipler
    David Kipler
    David Kipler is a specialist in biomedical communications for pharmaceutical companies, journals, and authors. His enduring professional focus is helping researchers whose first language is not English to reach a larger audience.

    David Kipler is a specialist in biomedical communications for pharmaceutical companies, journals, and authors. His enduring professional focus is helping researchers whose first language is not English to reach a larger audience.

    After receiving a BA in history from the State University of New York at Buffalo, David traveled to Japan and has been working with biomedical researchers there and in other countries for more than 20 years. David obtained his certification as an Editor in the Life Sciences in 2005. In addition, he has acquired extensive experience as an instructor in English reading and writing and English for Medical Purposes: he was a member of the Toho University Faculty of Medicine for 14 years and has held faculty appointments at top universities in Japan, including The University of Tokyo, Meiji University, and Niigata University. In April 2017, he will be offering classes in medical communication at Keio University School of Medicine. David has long been involved in biomedical publishing and has served as language editor for several journals in Japan, including the Journal of Epidemiology.

    David has written and presented on English education in Japanese medical universities, medical terminology, and professional development for biomedical communicators and is coauthor of the Medical English Listening Course for ALC NetAcademy. He is a member of the American Medical Writers Association, the Board of Editors in the Life Sciences, and the Japan Society for Medical English Education.

  • Yateendra Joshi
    Yateendra Joshi
    Yateendra Joshi has over 25 years of experience editing technical documents and is an accredited editor with Diplomate status certified by the Board of Editors in Life Sciences. As an academic publication trainer with Editage, he has conducted several training programs across India on academic writing and publication for researchers.

    Yateendra Joshi has been editing technical documents for over 25 years, a career change he made after working for a decade as a scientist with the Indian council of Agricultural Research (1978–88). He was with TERI (The Energy and Resources Institute) in New Delhi for 15 years, moved to Pune to work with WISE (World Institute of Sustainable Energy in 2005, and has been on his own since 2007, dividing his time between working for WISE and Editage, freelance copy-editing, and teaching.

    He has copy-edited more than 250 manuscripts in the past few years for an international agency. He is an accredited editor with Diplomate status certified by the Board of Editors in Life Sciences. Diplomate status is awarded only to those who demonstrate exceptional editorial proficiency (currently, only 30 editors worldwide have the diplomate status, and Yateendra is the only one in India.

    Yateendra has participated in several international conferences of EASE, the European Association of Science Editors: Oxford, Helsinki, Tours (France), and Tallinn (Estonia). He is a Member of the Editing Office, Atomium Culture, Brussels, and a Member of the Editorial Board, Information Design Journal.

    His book, titled Communicating in Style, was favorably reviewed in a dozen international periodicals.

    He has taught one-semester courses on communication skills at TERI University, NCL (National Chemical Laboratory), and IISER (Indian Institute of Science Education and Research); currently, he conducts a block course at TERI University twice a year. In addition to this, he has conducted shorter programs and lectures at many institutions. He was also a member of the committee of experts constituted by IGNOU, the Indira Gandhi National Open University, New Delhi, to advise IGNOU on the diploma course in publishing.

  • I'm unclear about the future of my submission. Can you guide me?
    Question Description: 

    I submitted a manuscript and received comments from three reviewers. One of them recommended publication after addressing minor issues. The other two recommended rejection because the manuscript did not give enough credit to one of the references. Therefore, the editor rejected the manuscript. The manuscript was revised based on all comments and resubmitted to the same journal. The editor rejected the revised manuscript. In the rejection letter he wrote, "By separate e-mail, I have asked the reviewers to reconsider your original manuscript based upon your responses. If they feel that your manuscript should be reconsidered based upon your comments, I will be in touch with you by e-mail". So, what should I do?

    Answer

    It seems that the editor is not willing to consider your revised manuscript as a new submission. That is why it has been rejected. Whatever decision is to be taken will be based on the original submission along with your responses.

    I think you will have to wait for the editor's email. As long as the paper is under consideration by the journal, you will not be able to submit it to another one as this will be considered duplicate submission. You should wait for a month and then write to the editor. You might have to follow up with him/her once every two weeks or so. In case you feel that the process is taking too long, you can choose to withdraw your manuscript. However, make sure that you receive a confirmation of withdrawal from the journal before you submit it elsewhere.

    Recommended reading:

  • Bacteria advertise to recruit new members to their community, new study suggests
    Bacteria advertise to recruit new members to their community

    Biologists at University of California, San Diego, have discovered that bacteria living in biofilm communities interact with each other using “ion channels,” which is an electrical signaling method that is similar to the communication signals used by neurons in human brain. Biofilms are thin films composed of communities of bacteria as well as other microorganisms. They are difficult to get rid of owing to their high resistance to antibiotics and other chemicals. The research team studied the behavior of a biofilm composed only of Bacillus subtilis bacteria and found that the biofilm was able to attract bacteria of other species through electrical signaling. They observed that bacteria forms protective biofilm communities and expand the communities by “advertising” themselves to other bacterial species. Gürol Süel, a professor of molecular biology, and the leader of this study, said, “Bacteria within biofilms can exert long-range and dynamic control over the behavior of distant cells that are not part of their communities.” These findings will help in the development of approaches that would control bacterial behavior within biofilms and could also help in regulating gut microbiome.

    Read more in Science Daily

  • Researchers create the most tightly knotted physical structure ever
    Researchers create the most tightly knotted physical structure ever

    A team of researchers at The University of Manchester led by Professor David Leigh in Manchester's School of Chemistry have been successful in producing the most complex regular woven molecule. They braided multiple molecular strands such that the tightest knot has eight crossings in a 192-atom closed loop -- which is about 20 nanometres long. The team used a technique called “self-assembly,” which means just like knitting, the molecular strands are woven around metal ions at crossing points and the loose ends are secured by a chemical catalyst to form a complete knot. They believe that using this technology can help in developing a new generation of super-strong and flexible materials.

    Read more in Science Daily.    

  • Effective networking tips for early career researchers
    Effective networking tips for early career researchers

    "How can I interact with highly experienced scientists as a mere student?" This is a question many students and early career researchers face when they attend conferences. This article provides simple tips to successfully navigate through a conference.

    As a graduate student, I was quite fortunate to attend several conferences. Initially, their purpose was limited to attending talks, grabbing free food, and catching up with long-distance friends. Occasionally, someone would mention the dreaded word: networking. Networking is pivotal in building and strengthening symbiotic relationships in academia and industry. However, early career researchers avoid networking with the usual fear — how can I interact with highly experienced scientists as a measly student? Here are a few tips to successfully navigate through a conference.

    Don’t be shy

    Approaching senior researchers is the biggest challenge that one faces as a student. You have to push yourself to do it, even when the mere idea seems intimidating. My confidence-boost came from the first time I mustered up the courage to compliment a professor on his talk. His friendly response brought forth the obvious, yet forgotten, perspective: professors are only humans. In my opinion, the best way to have a decent chat with the most-sought-but-often-busy professors is to briefly introduce yourself and invite them to your poster/talk. This way, they can get acquainted with your work without you encroaching on their time. Even a brief chat will help you transition from a stranger to an acquaintance, opening doors for future follow-up lab visits.

    Names matter

    When Shakespeare wrote “What's in a name…”, he forgot to mention certain exceptions. Knowing names is helpful, if not essential, at networking events. It would be ironic to dine across influential people from your field and miss out on a golden networking opportunity, being clueless of their identity. I recall an embarrassing situation when my mentor introduced me to a researcher, adding that I am surely familiar with her work. I most certainly was (I found out later), but having known only her last name, I was embarrassingly at a loss of words at that moment. Thereafter, I got into a habit of pre-conference preparation: researching names of potentially interesting speakers or attendees. This small change was remarkably effective in narrowing down my potential targets from a crowd of attendees.

    Poster session: a topic based sorting hat

    I find that poster sessions are highly underrated. They are the water cooler equivalent of offices; this is where science is freely discussed, where the 'what did not work' information behind papers is out in the open. What turned out to be perhaps one of the most important suggestions during my PhD came from a poster-visitor at my first conference. He pointed out an important flaw in my experiments that I had missed, saving me from a future disaster. I pondered over the horrible consequences had he not luckily stopped by, and started using poster sessions to actively gather as much information as possible regarding my topic. I usually researched the attendees in related fields and went armed with their name, poster number, and specific questions to discuss with them. Try this, and you will find that most fellow researchers are helpful and even open to follow-up discussions.

    Leave behind more than just a good impression

    Imagine that the stars line up and everything goes smoothly — you research Mr. X, muster courage to approach him, and discuss your captivating work with him. Then what? I have often scribbled my contact information on random scraps of paper, then worried if it was a lost cause. Don't take that chance! Keep some business cards ready to circumvent such situations. As a student, my personal issue against having a card was not feeling accomplished enough. It was only when free 'networking cards' were handed out at a conference one time that I witnessed their effectiveness firsthand. My advice to young researchers: business cards should be treated as simply a smart provision to give out contact information, not like a degree.

    Post PhD, I transitioned from research into a career in science writing and communication. Even though I hung up my lab boots, the importance of networking in my life has not changed. In fact, having moved to a new country with virtually no professional contacts beforehand, I regularly attend networking events, niche group meetings, and volunteer workshops, where my networking experience helps me confidently break into a crowded room.    

    This article is partly based on Ms. Prabhune's write-up Networking: a dark science for young researchers.

  • Increase the reach of your research – Things to do before and after publication
    Research promotion checklist for authors

    This post contains a list of things you need to do to start promoting your work. This checklist should help you list all your ideas and channels of promotion in one place so that you’re able to keep track of your activities.

    In the previous segment, we discussed how as a researcher you can’t just stop at writing a research paper. In order to be successful you also need to promote it to increase impact and engagement. We also shared a few basic things you need to know about promoting research on social media.

    Here, I’ll share a list of things you need to do to start promoting your work. This should help you list all your ideas and channels of promotion in one place so that you’re able to keep track of your activities.

    Build the checklist
    If you have followed the tips in the previous segment, you should now be in a great position with consistent online profiles, effective tracking, and a good idea of the different promotional opportunities you have available. Now let’s create a clear list of tasks to follow:

    Things to do before you submit your paper (or while it is being reviewed):

    1. Create any content that will be sent to other websites. Send in any pieces that take some time to get published (explaining that you will need to add the paper’s URL when it becomes available). Remember to check with the editor of your target journal if this is okay. Also, note that you are only promoting your paper, not reproducing parts of it before it is formally published, so rewrite relevant parts of the paper in simple language instead of copying the entire content.
       
    2. Prepare emails for people who will be interested either in your paper, or in one of the pieces of content you have created (again, add the URLs once available). These may be for co-authors and collaborators (whom you may wish to share this article with!), funders and sponsors, previous colleagues, experts in the field, notable industry figures, and so on – anyone with an interest in your area and with who you have a relationship. This is also a great relationship building and networking exercise!
       
    3. Draft the information that PR and marketing support needs to be able to disseminate your work.

    Things to do after the paper is published (and you have the link):

    1. Update and send all of the emails and content prepared above.
       
    2. Share the paper on all of the platforms that you can access directly.
       
    3. Monitor social media accounts of the organizations, groups, offices, and people to whom you sent content, and retweet, like, and share any mentions they make.
       
    4. As they get published, record and cross-promote the pieces of content that discuss your work.
       
    5. Get started on your next piece of research!

    An ongoing challenge

    How well you plan and execute your promotional checklist will contribute to each paper’s success. But the size of the audiences and following you are able to build on different platforms will also have an impact. This is why promotion never really stops; so add to your network by following contacts on several platforms, share useful insights and resources regularly on social media (including previous papers and articles), and follow up with opportunities to create content on websites that can eventually link to your work.

    A promotional checklist can, and should, be refined over time. Not every technique suits every researcher, and different topics will be suitable for different target websites. But the work you do to organize resources and build a strategy around each paper will help you be more efficient and effective in your promotion, every time.

    Good luck with promoting your paper!

    Read part 1 of the series: 8 Tips to increase the reach of your research in 2017

    Do you have any tips of your own? Share them in the comments section below.

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