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IDENTIFYING PREDATORY CONFERENCES

In scholarly community, all members are well acquainted with the increasing menace of predatory journals and publishers. The predatory conferences are the most recent entries in the league of predators in academic publishing. Now a days, many academicians have been receiving an increasing number of invitations to attend conferences or present conference papers. Many of these conferences are appear to be scholarly, but are in reality an exploitative means used by predatory conference organisers or publishers to make money in the form of registration fees. So early career researchers are an easy target of these fake conferences. Sometimes, the attendees or speakers are subsequently informed about the cancellation of the conference due to some unavoidable reasons, and the registration fees are also not returned. Therefore, in addition to predatory publishers and journals, now researchers also wary of predatory conferences. But whether a conference is fake or legitimate is the question in every researcher’s mind.

To check the reliability of a conference, you can prepare a checklist before registration:

  • Who are the Organizers and Sponsors?
  • Are you aware of the association or the society organizing the conference?
  • Can you identify the conference venue? It is a valid place? Check the Pincode.
  • Are the organizers conducting the conference for the first time?
  • Have you or your colleagues attended this conference previously?
  • Are there any Sponsors involved in the conference?
  • Are you aware of any of them, especially with industry- related fields like Biomedical research and Engineering?
  • What fees will be charged like conference fee, registration fee, etc. Check if you are participating as a Speaker, are they willing to waive off the registration or other fees?
  • Did you check the conference website?
  • Have you read any papers before from this conference proceedings, if published before hand?
  • Can you find all the information like conference date, attendance fees, submission date, program details, editorial committee, and venue at the website?
  • Is there any pre-formed Agenda and Editorial Committee?
  • Do the objective and scope of the conference fit your field and core interest or not?
  • Is the committee clear about the type of peer review and the editorial control over the conference presentations?
  • Are you clear where these papers will be published? Does the conference make it clear to which indexers it will submit to for evaluation and to which indexing services it can guarantee published proceedings?
  • Is the publisher of the proceedings a member of the recognised industry initiative like DOAJ.COPE, OASPA, etc.?

The above questions should be answered by researchers and attend the conference or submit their abstract only if they are satisfied. A check list can be used by researchers and avoid falling prey to bogus conference organizers. The peer review process is not used by the conference organizers in their abstract selection process. This means the acceptance takes place in little as twenty four hour and has a very short turnaround time. Sometimes, the speakers from irrelevant backgrounds may also be invited by the predatory conference organizer. For example, at a plant virology conference a cardiologist keynote speaker might be invited. A clear conclusion can be drawn that the conference organizer does not have interest in the content quality but rather in collecting fees for the conference attendance.

All researchers need to be vigilant while registering for any conference. Just by following some basic guidelines, one can easily spot out the predatory conference.

TYPES OF PEER REVIEW

    

Peer review is a process of subjecting research findings and research methods to the scrutiny of others who are experts in the same fields. This process is also integral to scholarly research. Peer review is conducted before publication of the research manuscript. The main purpose is to ensure that whatever comes out published will be virtually free of errors. Different types of peer review models are followed by different journals based on the type of research they publish and their journal management style. The most commonly adopted format are single blind peer review and double blind peer review. Recently another type of peer review process is adopted by some journals, i.e. open peer review and post publication peer review.

Single-blind: In this type, the reviewers are aware of the author’s identity but authors are unaware of who reviewed their research manuscript. There is a possibility that making the author’s identity known could influence the review, while this method serves to reduce chances of bias and conflict of interest.

Double blind: In double blind peer review, both the peer reviewer and the author are not aware of each other’s identity. So here is a risk that sometimes it may allow the reviewers to give irresponsible or inaccurate feedback to the authors.

Open: Identities of both the reviewers and author are known. This method of review also allows the author’s responses as well as peer reviewer comments to be published along with the final manuscript.

Post-publication: To bring back the time of immediate feedback called post publication peer review, recently publishers, entrepreneurs and scientific societies have begun using the web. Although these days most scientific journals are published online, peer review is still most often done according to the publication, and the status of peer review is held as an important hallmark of quality.

The review process is one of the most distinctive features of scholarly publication. While it is not perfect, this is the process used by almost all scholarly publications to identify weak data analysis, filter out bad science and make suggestions for better presentation of research results.

RESEARCH PAPER VS REVIEW ARTICLE

 

 

The research paper is based on original research work. The type of research may vary depending on the topic or field like experiments, questionnaire, survey, interview, etc. However, the author needs to analyse and collect the raw data and conduct an original study. Sometimes research articles are referred to as primary or empirical sources that report on the original research. Review articles are called secondary sources or literature reviews, which analyses or synthesizes research already conducted in primary sources. The current state of research on a given topic can be summarized on this. The existing literature on a topic is generally summarized by review articles, in an attempt to describe the current state of understanding on the topic. Review articles are of three kinds as follows.

  1. Narrative Review: Based on all the published research available on the topic a narrative review explains the existing knowledge on that topic.
  2. Systematic Review: In the existing scientific literature on a topic, a systematic review searches for the answer to a particular question.
  3. Meta-analysis: The findings of previously published studies are compared and combined by meta-analysis, usually to assess the effectiveness of mode of treatment or an interventions.

In a research paper, each step of the research work should be reported in detail. This includes the hypothesis, an abstract, background study, results, methodology and an interpretation of the findings. A discussion of the possible implications of the result should also be included, which shows scope for future research and how the present study can contribute to the existing literature base. On the other hand, the review articles reports and identifies the commonalities between the results of the selected studies in a systematic review. From the published work the authors analyse available information, with a balanced perspective and reports any problems or gaps within the existing literature.

The valuable scientific literature is formed by review papers as the findings of existing literature are summarized by them. So in a particular field without having to read all the published work, readers can build an idea about the existing knowledge on that topic. Review articles are published by most reputed journals, and are most of the time invited. If the review article is published in a good peer review journal then it has a high impact and receives a lot of citations.

 

 

UNDERSTANDING THE PEER REVIEW PROCESS

  

Peer review is a process of subjecting the findings and research methods for the scrutiny of other researches who are experts in the same field of research. The process involves evaluating or checking the scholarly work by a group of experts in the same discipline. This is one of the integral part of the manuscript publication process.

Academic journals provide an opportunity to professionals to share their research results and examples of best practice with their colleagues who belong to the discipline of study. On the other hand, the scientific and academic journal publications serve as a reference of knowledge and evidence for novice practitioners, students and researchers to contribute to their professional development. To effectively serve these purposes, the appropriate scrutiny of manuscripts is done before appearing in the print and electronic version. This is done to assure quality, worth, utility, methodological rigor and publishability of the research work. To ensure publication of reliable, scholarly evidence and high quality research, such type of quality assurance mechanisms are essential. The publication process starts with the manuscript submission to a journal by a researcher. Before the actual publication of manuscript, it goes through several stages of review. The first step of the process aims at assessing the quality and merits of the manuscript is an editorial review process. The concerned Editor or the Editor-in-chief of the journal reviews the manuscript to identify the manuscript’s relevance and its suitability to undergo peer review. Further checking of the manuscript takes place by an editorial assistant, which includes checking for similarity to other sources by using a similarity detection package like iThenticate. The manuscript may be rejected and returned to the author for further amendment, if plagiarism is high. Additional checks for the extent and readability to which the manuscript conforms to the standards of the research paper, for example the use of international reporting standards and word length of the paper takes place. This work is done by a Managing Editor and the manuscript may be returned or rejected again to the author for any changes or modification. Once it is satisfied, an editor assesses the manuscript and feedback on its rigor, quality and publishability. The Managing Editor identifies and assigns two to three reviewers having appropriate knowledge, methodological expertise, skills and experience in that particular field. The feedback of peer reviewers helps the editor to decide whether the manuscript is accepted, rejected or needs revision before the acceptance for manuscript publication. When a revision if necessary before accepting the manuscript for publication. The manuscript then moves to the third stage which is called the production stage. Once accepted the final draft ensures production of a comprehensible and readable article free of spelling mistake. As the peer review process is often an individual/solitary exercise it is important to understand not only for potential authors but also for those who were involved in the process.

 

Types of peer review:

 

There are two types of peer review – Closed peer review and Open peer review.

Closed peer review:

The reviewers’ identity are not disclosed in this type of review. This process can be worked in two different ways like single blind and double blind. The author is not aware about the reviewer’s identities in single blind review but the reviewers are aware about the author’s affiliations, identities and credentials, etc. It is one of the most common approaches which is used in the majority of scientific and academic journals. Many professionals also use double blind review. In this process, the reviewers and authors are not aware of each other’s institutional affiliations and identities. This method eliminates chances of bias in the process of manuscript review. While giving feedback to the authors there is a chance that the reviewers may become unnecessarily critical, like single blind review.

Open peer review:

In this system of review both the reviewers and authors are known to each other throughout the process. The reviewer’s name might be published alongside the author’s name. It is also believed that this is one of the better approach as the author’s intellectual property rights are respected and here nothing is done in secret.

In the process of manuscript publication, peer review is an essential element which claims to ensure excellence and quality in the papers published in educational, scientific and professional journals. It is considered as a gold standard process which not only helps the journals to judge the manuscript, but it also acts as a criterion to judge the journal quality.

HOW TO AVOID ARTICLE RETRACTION

The way of alerting readers to questionable credibility of a research paper is called retraction. The research papers, before they reach for publication, go through a thorough review by peer reviewers. After publication, even after extensive peer review, errors are detected in the papers. If the errors are minor, like correction of an author’s name or an incorrect correspondence address then an erratum notice can be issued. However, if the errors are maximum in the paper then it brings validity of the paper under scan. At this time, it may required to be retracted. It is one part of publication and some reputed journals have had to retract the research papers.

Causes of article retraction

It is very important to recognize in the first place why articles are retracted in the research papers. Unfortunately, due to some dishonest researchers those who are willing to bypass research ethics code and falsify data in order to find recognition for the result they want, retraction is done.

How retractions can be avoided?

There are some steps explained below that can be followed to prevent article retraction.

1.The relevant ethics guidelines should be followed

 It is important that the researcher should get familiarized with the ethical guidelines concern by the recognized body in the field of expertise. Research is deemed unethical because of the treatment of issues of privacy surrounding studies on people or animals.

2.Conflicts of interest should be stated clearly

Transparency is for journals and publishers and is just as important for authors; to evaluate the limitations of the research work, the readers must have all the information available to them.

3.To avoid plagiarism take all measures

While writing the research paper be sure that references are added comprehensively and correctly. When referring and using any material or procedure of other researchers , the research work must be correctly referenced. Self-plagiarism is a type of plagiarism which may lead to article retraction or at least redundancy.

4.Transparency of Author

Authors and their affiliations must be correctly and clearly indicated.

5.Selection of journal wisely

It is one of the important points to carefully consider which journal to submit the research paper to.

A reputed and reliable journal will have a rigorous review or editorial process in order to identify any calculation or experimental errors; therefore, reducing the risk of the research article being retracted further down the line.

Research articles can be retracted because of publication problems or unreliable

data, according to the guidelines drawn up by the directory of Open Access journals, the Committee on Publication Ethics, the Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association and the World association of Medical Editors. Unreliable journals sometimes follow the practices which can compromise the material published in it or until after publication of the paper it may allow for honest mistakes which are unnoticed.

 

IMPORTANCE OF RUNNING HEAD AND FOOT NOTES

 

The using of head and footnotes correctly will add value to the research paper .These is used for expanding upon the references which are used in the text. This will also allow the readers to learn extra thing about the resources that are used during the research work. If necessary they can verify the research that presented by the researcher and learn more about the research work.

The Header

The header is found at the top of the research manuscript, which is mainly used for building interest and is well, designed to gives an image to the manuscript. It is also used as a teaser which pushes and tempts the reader to continue reading the paper and discovering the interesting content. It should contain the important information about the research work, including the name of the research subject and logo. The header content should be relevant to the content of course. The header should be consistent and the date of publication, issue and mainlines should be clear of the content.

The Footer

The text which appears below the research paper’s content is called the footer and it is also very much important like content .The main objective of footer is to ensure that it contains all the information that a reader might want to learn.

Content notes should be used or not

To provide additional information to the readers the researcher can add content notes with the foot notes. These will tell the readers , from where the researcher got the information and that will also describe a little bit about that what the specific reference tell them .During editing a paper this can also  lend clarity to the foot notes.

Why foot notes are useful in writing?

Foot notes are helpful to the reader in the way that they clarify information they read through the research work. The important point is the use of foot notes correctly so that they do not become distracting and are purely useful.

Tips to understand the importance of footnotes

Keep track of the footnotes which are needed to use as the researcher craft the initial draft of the research manuscript so that the researcher can easily add them at the time of editing a paper.

.Always use the footnote format as per the instructor prefers so that it can be easily used by them to get additional information.

.To reduce clutter in the research manuscript uses the shortened version of footnotes while necessary.

.The foot note can be used if it is necessary to identifying where the researcher got the information from.

.The footnote should be placed properly at the end of each page of the research paper so that they can be easily found.

For a research paper both the head and footnote are essential components. The use of header and footer in the manuscript provides great privilege and flexibility mechanism to every reader.

 

 

 

 

 

TIPS TO AVOID PLAGIARISM IN RESEARCH ARTICLES

                

 

For most of the research papers it is easy to find information but for adding information into the research paper it is not always easy without falling in to plagiarism trap. To avoid plagiarizing the source’s sentence structure and language, the researcher need to summarize or paraphrase the whole sentence in his/her own words. There are some easy ways to avoid plagiarism in a research paper by following some basic tips.

Paraphrase

First one needs to find out appropriate information for drafting the research paper.That information has to be read thoroughly and put in own words in the paper. One should not copy verbatim for more than two words from the text in a single row. If more than two words are used together then quotation marks should be used.

Cite

To avoid plagiarism, citing the source is one of the most effective ways. The manuscript formatting guidelines like APA, MLA, CHICAGO, etc., needs to be followed which is used by the research or the educational institutions to cite research works in the particular paper checked for plagiarism. This usually requires addition of author’s name and date of publication of similar information or publications. Citing is a simple process but when not done properly, it may lead to plagiarism.

Quoting

While quoting a source, the quote should be exactly used as it appears. Nobody wants to be misquoted. Most materials should be effectively paraphrased by the research scholar. This process may take time but effort pays off. To avoid plagiarism allegations quoting must be done correctly.

Citing quotes

It is different from the paraphrase citing material. This is usually includes the addition of a paragraph number or a page number in case of web content.

Self-citation

 If some materials used in the research paper was used by the researcher anywhere then it must be cited by him. If someone else wrote the text then it must be treated as self-cited material at the time of final manuscript formatting, especially the in-text referencing part.

Referencing

To avoid plagiarism one of the most important ways is including a page of works cited at the end of the research work or a reference page. This referencing page should meet the manuscript formatting guidelines used by the educational institution. This is a very specific information which includes the author’s name, title of the paper, date of publication, volume number, issue number, and the source.

 Checking the research paper

Before submitting the research paper to the target journal it should be checked carefully for plagiarism.

Using plagiarism checker services like Writecheck, Grammarly, Turnitin, iThenticate, etc., is considered a great way to assess the other anti-plagiarism skills. For checking the research papers, most of the educational institutions and educators use different kinds of plagiarism checker software. The researcher should always make sure to check for plagiarism of the manuscript at the end of the research work. If the research paper contains plagiarism than it could mean the loss of the academic career or degree of the researcher. Even though we borrow certain great research ideas, we need to put down these ideas in our own words that would avoid plagiarism and keep the research ethics intact.

DESIGNING A PERFECT GRAPHICAL ABSTRACT

 

A perfect graphical abstract is a complete visual summary of a manuscript’s main findings. The readers who are trying to search for a particular finding through databases or to get a sense of the scientific research work at that time a perfect abstract can be of great help for them. These are widely accepted by scientific publishers like ACS, Nature, Springer, Wiley, IEEE, RSC, etc.

Gathering details of research work

Consider the scope of the study

The aim is to describe the main point of the work in easily digestible image. Thus, it is important to present a visual abstract that talks about the concept of the research work. If the paper is based on a particular molecular change then the mechanism should be included as one part of the image. Here, one can use an open source image or create an image by taking help of any graphic designer. After finding the apt image, one needs to add relevant titles or legends in text boxes. The image may be a chart or graph which is created in excel or similar programs suiting the journal requirement.

Focus on key concepts of the work

In this section, some text will be needed within the image. Always make sure that the text should contain key phrases which will be easy for readers to find the focus of the scientific research. The abstract should contain the image relating to the field of research.

Use concepts from study rather referenced literature

The referencing literature is a main part of all manuscripts but it should be used moderately in a visual abstract. Here, anything outside the research work should be avoided.

Creating and Designing the Graphical Abstract

Choosing of appropriate software

The researcher should use the software or program that he/she is comfortable or familiar with. Generally, Microsoft Office is a good choice here. To create a professional pictorial abstract Microsoft office provides enough flexibility in its programs and also people are very much familiar with using Microsoft Office. To create a visual abstract sometimes power point is used, in which one can also overlay other objects and text boxes as needed.

Summarize the findings in visual

The important point here is to focus on what you found rather what you have done in the research. It also provides the readers exactly what they want for in form of a visually pleasing image.

Design new image

It can tempt to snag a figure from somewhere in the research paper to serve as the visual abstract. It is the easiest route but not the best way. Designing a new image that is centred on the study can also help in getting potential readers to have a comprehensive look at the study.

Target interdisciplinary researchers

Technical jargon is necessary in research but it is difficult for other discipline researchers to understand it readily. To relay technical information which appeals to a wide range of audience without losing on too many technical jargon a clear and concise abstract is needed.

Choosing of a professional font style

The text used in a visual abstract should be presented in a professional font style like Times New Roman or Courier. When the image is focused on a pictorial representation in the research, like wise some text is also needed in the image.

Designing a simple graphical abstract

The abstract should be one image only. The abstract which is made up of a series of images should not be submitted like a slideshow. If the author feels that a number of images are needed then he/she can collate the pictures into one. This is often referred to as split panel formatting.

Formatting and Submission of the abstract

In different disciplines, the guidelines are different for submission of abstract. Within a same discipline they are also vary from one publisher to other. It is needed to work closely with the publisher for meeting the appropriate requirements of the journal.

A perfect graphical or visual abstract is like a movie trailer, which provides key points, a preview and also helps the readers to decide whether to read the whole work or not. Many journal editorial boards screen the manuscripts on the basis of graphical abstract only. Therefore, abstract are the pivot of a research paper. The reader will consider reading the rest manuscript if and only they find the research abstract interesting.

MEASURING JOURNAL IMPACT AND ITS QUALITY

The journal impact factor of a journal shows the frequency by which the journal’s research paper are cited in the scientific research. During manuscript acceptance, impact factor is considered as the quantitative measure for determining journal quality. The validity of journal impact factor is rated by the researchers by testing its association with the quality of journal. This is used for evaluation of individual scientists and institutions, funding allocations, and academic promotions in many countries. A journal’s impact in scientific research field depends largely on the importance of the research to the research community.

Why the quality of a journal matters?

The higher correlation between the journal quality ratings and the impact factor in the research group as compared to a practitioner is not surprising. The impact factor determined by the citation frequency strongly connects with the quality of journal judged by the researchers, who generate citations themselves.

Journal impact factor tool

The SCImago journal ranking and impact factor are two common ranking systems or measurement of quality of journal.

How to demonstrate impact?

While applying for promotions and grant applications for manuscript acceptance, researchers are being asked to demonstrate their research impact. For creating a profile of the scientific research work, citation reports are one of the methods used. A single quantitative measure is the h-index which looks at citation-based impact and productivity simultaneously. To demonstrate the influence and impact factor within the manuscript esteem measures can be included.

Measures of esteem

In any grant or promotion of application, esteem measures are also included in addition to citations. For ERA, the only esteem measure eligible are: Editor of prestigious work of reference, fellowship or membership of AIATSIS and a learned academy, a nationally competitive research fellowship recipient, a statutory committee member, etc. Other measures may include invitation to speak like the keynote speaker, involvement in societies or organisations, committees, reviewer or editors on measure journals.
At last, when submitting the manuscript to a journal, the readership is the most important consideration and not only the IF of the journal. By the acceptability evidence and the usefulness in subsequent publications of journal, the quality of publication should be judged. Journal impact factor is recommended as a criterion for evaluating the manuscript published or the quality of research work performed by the researcher.

HOW TO INCREASE RESEARCH PAPER VISIBILITY?


The quality of a research paper can be improved by using various tools developed by many scientific institutes.While establishing the research work on world ranking or allocating research grants and determining whether the researcher is promoted within his/her institution, some indicators are taken into consideration like the number of published paper of a researcher and the number of times these research papers have been cited.Now a days to publish a paper, a researcher has to put a lot of effort.Therefore, to overcome the hurdles, a research paper visibility should be good enough before and post-publication.There are some strategies which can help to enhance the visibility of a paper.

 

Consideration of scientific collaboration: In general, intersectoral, interinstitutional and international collaborations help to improve the paper’s global impact.

 

Publishing in indexed journals: These journals are included in Scopus and web of science or linked with other indexing organizations.These journals have a rigorous data processing and selection criteria for that these are taken as the reliable sources of bibliometrics. The best sources of these indicators are the databases.

 

Suggestion for a journal to be added to Scopus and Web of Science: Most of the journal databases are open to suggestions to include new titles in their purview provided that they meet the required eligibility criteria.

 

Publishing in open access journals: Free open access system of publication with no publication fee is a significant advantage to the authors.It is also beneficial to readers as the manuscript acceptance is free of cost and it is easy to find the research work by searching through search engines.

 

Keeping the pre-print and post-print versions of accepted paper: The pre-print version is that part of the manuscript that precedes the peer review.The green road to open access allow the researcher to submit the post -print version or the final version.

 

Popularizing the scientific papers and research work: If the researcher wants to increase the visibility of the research paper and to catch the attention of large audience and to be known widely, the language used should be more accessible and easy to read.This may help in manuscript acceptance.

 

Listing all publications in an online platform: To increase the visibility of the paper and to share the research findings, individual publication profiles should be created online.This process can helps in peer review part.

 

Connecting with scientific social media and influential researchers: This is the best path to keep with developments on provided research area.Then follow the well-known and research groups and researchers and participate in discussions which is one of the best networking strategy.

 

Share the research work on social media: To post the research work social media like Facebook and Twitter are used by the researchers.This can help the readers to share the information with other people.