Thing 23

This blog post will enable me to reflect on the 23 things for publication programme. I enjoyed being able to compare papers and the different styles journals have to offer. It was also interesting to see how different journals gave different requirements to authors.

In the future I think this programme will have great benefit. It will help me decide a journal to submit to, and will aid in the writing of the paper. The tasks have helped me see how different sections are written which is important for writing an academic paper. It has also helped me understand the peer review process and hopefully now there won’t be any surprises!

Exploring further I will be looking even more closely at requirements each journal has for publication. This will help me decide on a journal to publish to. I will also try and read future papers in a more critical light to help me evaluate tips and tricks for when I am writing my own paper.

From now on I will be using the blog for reference when I am to write my own paper. I think the blog posts on each section of the paper will be very useful as general guidelines to help support my writing. I will also pick up on the layout of papers I read when reading new papers for the first time.

Hopefully I will be able to find a writing buddy when I write my journal paper (hopefully next year!!).

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Thing 22

For this blog post I will discuss some of the academic networking sites. I currently use researchgate, although I’ll admit, I am yet to use a lot of the features. I have set up a basic profile but I am yet to interact with other researchers. I am still yet to add published literature. However I have used it to access some papers and proceedings from other users. This week’s blog post has inspired me to pursue the other features of the network and I am going to interact with some users from my field soon.

I have not explored other networks as I am under the impression that most researchers use researchgate as it has the most features. I think LinkedIn is also underrated for academic researchers as this now has a feature which allows you to upload papers.

Between researchgate and LinkedIn I believe these are adequate networks to socialise with other researchers. Of course the online world is always changing so I expect these networks to not only improve but eventually encounter competitors!

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Thing 20

This blog post is all about Peer Review. I think Peer Review is vital in academia and it vastly improves the quality of the output from research. It also ensures that only the best quality research is taken forward for publication. Overall I consider the system useful and important and cannot imagine a better way of doing peer review – although I am yet to experience it first hand. My opinion of this may change once a paper gets submitted for review.

I have yet to have the opportunity to be a reviewer this early in my academic career, although it is something that interests me for the future. I’m not sure if becoming a reviewer increases your reputation in the field but it sounds like it certainly might help!

Hopefully once I have had a paper go through a peer review process I may be able to blog more effectively about improvements to the system. I’m sure it will be interesting to see how my opinions change after going through a peer review process!

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Thing 19

For this blog post I am to assess and rate (on a scale of 1-5) the abstracts given in the 4 papers I selected in Thing 5. Whilst I will not directly show the text for the abstracts these can be accessed online for reference.

The first abstract I will assess is from ‘Emulation of reactor irradiation damage using ion beams’ by G.s. Was et al. The first thing to note is how short this abstract is. 78 words! Whilst it gives a very broad overview it fails to really show any depth and insight. It is however, well written and includes keywords which are useful to the passing reader. Due to the short length this abstract receives a rating of 2/5.

Next I will assess the abstract from ‘Small and Medium sized Reactors (SMR): A review of technology’ by M.K. Rowinski et al. This abstract is clearly much longer and really gives a good overview of the paper. However, it doesn’t seem to flow well, and struggles to tell an effective narrative. It does however make you instantly aware of quite a few of the finer details I would expect to read in the article. Due to the thorough approach but sometimes poor structure this abstract receives a rating of 3/5.

‘Greater tolerance for nuclear materials’ by R.W. Grimes et al. Only has a two line abstract as it has been presented in Nature. It would therefore be unfair to rate this abstract.

‘Ductile particle ceramic matrix composites – Scientific curiosities or engineering materials?’ by J.A. Yeomans is the strongest abstract of the 4 papers assessed. It is concise whilst not leaving the reader feeling vague. The text also has a good flow and leaves the reader wanting to read the rest of the journal article to find out more. The only critique is that it could perhaps be a little longer and go into slightly more detail. This receives a 4/5 rating.

Overall whilst I have been critical of the abstracts, they do all give a good introduction to the articles they present. It has given me ideas and inspiration for how to structure an abstract of my own.

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Thing 15

For this thing, I will be comparing the abstract with the conclusion of the journal article “Small and Medium sized Reactors (SMR): A review of technology” by M.K. Rowinski et al. By doing so it should highlight the main differences when writing these two important sections to the article. Worth noting is that only 2/4 papers I selected in thing 5 have a conclusion heading, showing that not all publications demand this section be specified.

In this paper there are many interesting comparisons which can be drawn between the abstract and conclusion. Firstly it is apparent that the conclusion is actually longer than the abstract. From experience I consider this quite unusual. The conclusion has also focused more on the impact of the work, which whilst the abstract has touched on this is not covered in even nearly as much detail. The abstract is also written in a much more accessible tone. If I read the conclusion without reading the entire paper, I would probably struggle to follow all of it, whilst the abstract is much more friendly for the first time reader. As noted in the thing 15 blog post it is very clear that the abstract is stand alone and the conclusion forms part of the full text. The conclusion relies on much of the information found in the bulk of the article.

Overall this thing has been very useful to see how and why to avoid replicating the abstract when writing the conclusion. It will now be interesting to see how to write a good abstract, something that I have previously found one of the more difficult sections to write!

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Thing 14

This task requires me to explore the 4 papers I chose back in Thing 5 and see examples of the introduction filter structure. This is an introduction that first sets the scene, narrows the focus, identifies a gap and finally introduces the study. After looking through my 4 papers, it became apparent that none of my papers particularly followed this structure. Of the 4 papers, only 2 actually had a headed introduction section!

Of the two that did have an introduction, “Ductile particle ceramic matrix composites—Scientific curiosities or engineering materials?” by J.A. Yeomans and “Small and Medium sized Reactors (SMR): A review of technology” by M.K. Rowinski, is it quite apparent from both that they have at least used elements of the filter structure. However, there is limited discussion to identify the gap in the field, and they don’t particularly introduce the paper in a traditional sense. They both very much focus on setting the scene and then narrowing down the topic of research. Whilst this is good for understanding what the paper is likely to talk about, it doesn’t particularly portray what the reader is about to read.

Having thought about the filter structure, I think using this could have vastly improved the introductions analysed. Identifying the gap in the research more clearly could have helped lead to know more confidently what the paper was going to talk about. Narrowing down in the introductions I read was very technical, and probably could have had its own sub section in a theory section or other.

Overall, this has taught be that in the future, this structure will be important to follow to implement a good introduction to my publications!

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Thing 13

For this blog post, I am to analyse the discussion section of one of my chosen articles. However, since none of my chosen articles include a discussion section, I will analyse a paper with a discussion section I used last week, “Improvement of corrosion resistance of materials coated with a Cr2O3/NiCr dilayer using a sealing treatment” by Li et al.

In terms of tone, this article has been very confident in the technical output of the research. The discussion is very numerical, with many numbers and data analysis discussed. In doing this, it has perhaps become a bit overwhelming to the reader. The language is very concise and precise, wasting no words and being as clear as possible. The discussion overall does come across as very confident.

There is some discussion as to the paper’s contribution to the field. The discussion makes claims that would perhaps be better suited to the conclusion section. In terms of the phrases used, sentences summarising the work are used such as “Fig. 9 indicates that water can be adsorbed in the sealant resin by hydrogen bonding, which supports the assumption that the weight increase of the sealed specimens in the immersion test is caused by the adsorption of water by the sealant resin. This is a very long sentence, although I don’t think this could be any more concise.

Overall, the discussion in this article is all valuable. Although perhaps some conclusions are drawn that could be left for the conclusion paragraph. The article is also very confident and should perhaps be more cautious with the results obtained.

Thing 13