The left overs..

Being a researcher myself our job is to publish our findings in scientific journals as a form of knowledge dissemination. To compile a publication it takes some serious time and effort. The higher the impact factor ( a measure of quality based on average # citations/ article) the journal has the more effort, the more data, the more luck and the more editorial connections you need to have to get your article published.

One thing that I am constantly seeing, irrespective of lab group or life research field, is that only portions (albeit the main ones) of the research actually gets published. In some cases this could be simply the consequence having an inefficient project design, killing off projects or more commonly the result of having to pivot the direction of your research according to the results you get at each stage and now your previous results don’t fit into the new ‘story’.

Whatever the case maybe what ends up happening is that certain pieces of research, potentially high impact and useful data does not reach the research community.


The solution?  Shrink the amount required for a publication. A number of journals in each respective field allow short communications which only require a quarter to a third of the amount of data approx. depending on the impact. These pieces are typically reserved for high impact research but even so their size limit might still be a push for your ‘left overs’ to meet.

Why not compile these small publications under a new publication type? Journals specifically set up to capture these left overs. E.g. 1000 words and 1 figure (9panels) max – the tweets of the science research world almost. Still keep them peer reviewed of course. Their objective is purely to 1- disseminate the research 2 – give the research a publication (albeit being of lower scientific standing)


Graeme @


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