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EXPERT COMMENT
Year : 2018  |  Volume : 5  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 139-140

Why, how, and where to publish?


Senior Consultant, Vascular Surgery, Sultan Qaboos University Hospital, Muscat, Oman

Date of Web Publication8-Aug-2018

Correspondence Address:
Prof. Edwin Stephen
Senior Consultant, Vascular Surgery, Sultan Qaboos University Hospital, Muscat
Oman
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/ijves.ijves_52_18

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How to cite this article:
Stephen E. Why, how, and where to publish?. Indian J Vasc Endovasc Surg 2018;5:139-40

How to cite this URL:
Stephen E. Why, how, and where to publish?. Indian J Vasc Endovasc Surg [serial online] 2018 [cited 2018 Oct 16];5:139-40. Available from: http://www.indjvascsurg.org/text.asp?2018/5/3/139/238736



Editors Note: This article would make an excellent read along with the article

“Art of Crafting a Scientific Paper For IJVES”

Published in April 2018 in IJVES



  Introduction Top


There is a dearth of scientific publications that are available, from India, specific to the specialty of vascular surgery and it is certainly not for the lack of clinical material. Then why do the sayings — “Publish or perish” or “Publish early and often” not stimulate writing up a manuscript!


  Why Publish? Top


The Indian population stands at about 1.3 billion and rising. This brings along a vast and amazing variety of pathology that is treated in several centers across the country by competent clinicians.

However, the knowledge base, both success and failures are not published. As a result, the medical fraternity is not able to pass on the benefit to their patients and avoid errors when they face situations that are similar. As doctors, our expertise is available only to a certain population, but by publishing, information can benefit millions more. It will enable appropriate referrals, help patients connect with experts, give the author/s national and international recognition, help to get funding for projects, establish collaborations, and bring about innovations.

India has a significant number of surgeons and physicians working in the nonacademic sector whose level of competence is commendable. Their experience needs to be brought to the forefront and knowledge of the scientific community.

When an individual or team starts to write-up a manuscript, it helps them to get a clearer understanding of their practices, outcomes, and of the pathology managed, as well.

Failures should also be published. For long editorial staff and journal publishers would be biased toward studies with positive outcomes. Essential and at times significant negative data were not published, thereby wasting time and resources in re-inventing the wheel! The uniqueness of a new theory should remain even if it comes to an early end. The WHO has said that outcomes of all clinical trials should be published in a peer-reviewed journal within 12 months of completion of the study. As almost half of the clinical trials do not see the light of day—important know how about drugs and interventions that we use on a daily basis, is buried for good.

Of the two million or so publications a year, a good number may not be path-breaking, eye-catching, or have fundraising potential. However, for science to grow and be able to bring about change that matters, the scientific community must aim to publish.

Having said all the above— publications add credibility to one's C. V and provide a shot in the arm when applying for a job or a fellowship overseas. It gives the author/s visibility and hence invitation as speakers at conferences, join editorial boards and committees that evaluate grants, etc.


  How to Publish and Be Recognized? Top


It is said about going to a gym— “getting to the gym is in itself, half the battle won.” Similarly, one needs to commit to publishing, that's a start!

  • There are academic centers in the country that conduct short courses on scientific writing, how to collect and analyze data, use of reference managers (e g., zotero), etc. While certain universities have made it mandatory for postgraduates to attend these, those of us who missed out on such opportunities must make an effort to participate and learn the art
  • Start early in your career. An initial couple of publications may seem hard-language, references, etc., Thereafter, it only becomes easier
  • Encourage medical students to conduct an audit of your practices or write-up a case report, postgraduates to publish their dissertation, fellows to write-up a case series
  • Follow the “instructions to authors” to reduce the time of correspondence from the editors office and facilitate faster decision-making about the manuscript
  • Use a standard form of your name as author and update contact details, every time
  • Collaborating with a statistician will help draw information and interpret your data better
  • If you feel there are ethical issues with your area of interest/article, then an online guide-like committee on publication ethics can help guide you
  • Choose keywords for the article, carefully and use them often in the abstract. This will lead to higher visibility (once published) when prospective writers conduct an online search
  • When writing an article, use as references any past work that may have been published by you or your team. Use recent literature, perhaps limit to the last 10 years of literature search
  • Avoid plagiarism and always cite your resources. An online site like — https://smallseotools.com/plagiarism-checker can help you screen 1000 words at a time, for plagiarism
  • Present your work at conferences; interact with other members of the fraternity, share and pool data, get intellectual input— thus enabling you to make the manuscript robust
  • Send your article to peer-reviewed journals and even if the article is not accepted, the reviewer's comments will help to make the manuscript more scientifically relevant.



  Where Should I Publish? Top


Authors are often at a loss as to whether they should go by the “impact factor” of a journal when deciding which journal they should send the article too.

It is natural to want a publication in a high-impact journal.

What's the hype about “impact factor?” Essentially, this factor is a measure reflecting the average number of citations to articles published in that journal. It is meant to reflect the importance of the journal in the scientific world. Journals that are available on PubMed, Medline, Embase, Web of Science, Index Copernicus, Scopus med, Inmed. Nic. In, Clinical trials register of India and Google Scholar, have a good impact factor. Another site that can help turning research into practice is — TRIP-UK (tripdatabase.com).

Therefore, one cannot ignore the impact factor as the performance of an individual, department or institution can be assessed by where their articles are published.

A website that is helpful in deciding where to publish, which journals are indexed, by inserting the title, abstract, keywords of the article, is— Jane (journal/author name estimator); www.jane.biosemantics.org.

Young authors should aim to get their initial publications in journals with high-impact factor, while more mature counterparts should aim at improving the number of citations that they can accrue.

In conclusion, I would not be out of place to say that, we in India have no dearth of scientific material. The practice of medicine today is based on scientific evidence. The evidence gathered and published would not only help colleagues to improve their outcomes but it would also provide the material needed in medico-legal cases. There is little or no role for anecdotal medicine. It is the responsibility of doctors in academic and nonacademic organizations to gather data, analyze it, and make time to publish.

We have benefitted from work done by others; time do our bit!.

Financial support and sponsorship

Nil.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.






 

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