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BITC: Publication Class -- 3. Technology Assists

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When we're writing scientific papers, it's not like it was just a couple decades ago where we sat down with pencil and paper, and write a narrative word-by-word. Now, we have a lot of assists that we can get from technology. Though there are many more, I'm going to give you 4 examples of ways in which technology can help you be an effective writer. One of my favorites is Google Documents which is now Google Drive. This is a platform which promotes collaboration by allowing you to share a document to be worked on by multiple people simultaneously. This is a paper on open access in small society journals that several of my colleagues and I are working on. What you can see is, we have basic text. And then, we have comments from different contributors. This is a great way of brainstorming when you have a group of colleagues that can't necessarily sit down in person to work together. Maybe this is out of order. Maybe this should be first, But, another thing we use are discussion lists and email forums such as Google Groups. You can see a series of discussions about how we are developing this particular manuscript. 'Here attached is the most updated version of the manuscript including blah, blah, blah...' And you can see different notes to different people as far as what they need to do. We've got quite a few members in this group, all of whom are working on this paper, and it's a very good way to coordinate steps forward in developing this paper. This is not the only platform for this. There are many platforms for collaborative discussion lists. But, this is one very robust way that you can coordinate efforts with your colleagues and co-authors. We have the potential for saving a lot of grief when we deal with literature cited sections. This is a detail thing. EndNote is one possibility. There are several other platforms for managing a bibliography. What you need to do is find a solution by which you can manage your bibliography. I don't think that it is practical or advisable to do this by hand. Why? Remember, we talked about choosing a journal. You will have papers rejected. When your paper is rejected, the last thing you want to do is spend half a day reformatting all of the literature citations and all of the in-text citations, and going through every last detail in making sure you have it in the format of the new journal. Things like EndNote are effective platforms by which you can manage the database of your literature and output your citations in a consistent format that fits with each of the journals requirements. One more bit of technology that can help us is Mendeley. This is a platform by which you can do several of the things I've just talked about. You can communicate. You can share documents. You can manage literature. Mendeley is a very interesting platform by which you can coordinate collaborative research. So, this is another thing that I would advise you to take note of. The whole idea in this piece is, what are the bits of technology you can use to make your life easier and your function as a scientist more efficient? I'm not into grabbing technology just because technology exists. I want you to see concrete advantages, because you're using this or that bit of technology.

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Duration: 5 minutes and 5 seconds
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Language: English
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Posted by: townpeterson on Jul 5, 2016

Publication Class: How to Publish a Scientific Paper

A. Townsend Peterson, University of Kansas
In English

Academic productivity and effective communication of research results depend critically on publishing scientific articles in scholarly journals. This set of 13 video segments aims to provide an overview of the entire publishing process. It is not specific to biodiversity informatics, but rather can be quite general for the natural sciences at least.

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