Why Publish? Q and A with Mat Collins

On Friday 5th June we talked with Mat Colins about: Why Publish? Here is a summary of the most relevant questions.

Q. How do I choose between shorter page limit (eg GRL) vs long journal articles (eg J. Clim)?

Shorter page limit articles are not necessarily easier to write so do not assume shorter is easier. They require concise explanations and fewer figures. So you will spend more time editing and reformulating. The fit to the journal is more relevant than the page length of the article.

Q. When should I start writing?

When you feel the story you are trying to tell is becoming clearer. This is a personal perspective and you may want to start writing very early in the process. Experiment and see what works best for you.

Q. What do I do if I get a review back that is offensive or inappropriate?

This is not common but can happen. If it does, contact the editor directly and ask for their review to be discarded and explain why.

Q. Can I challenge an editors decision?

For example the paper is rejected and one reviewer had very negative comments. Yes you can challenge the decision but only if you feel you have a very strong reason to and do not do it regularly. Write a description of why the you the reviewer’s assessment was not correct and explain your position. Then contact the editor to explain.

Q. Do you have any tips for staying on top of the literature?

Twitter is excellent. Find the people in your area and follow them. It is common to tweet about new papers and a great way to interact with the authors and community.

Q. Should I include supplementary material?

This can be tricky and journal specific. In general, people do not read supplementary material unless their are very interested in the paper or are trying to recreate your results. So keep that in mind.