Getting Published 101

In this episode of K9 Conservationists, Kayla speaks with Dr. Charles van Rees, our conservation correspondent, about getting research published.

Science Highlight: None

How is getting published in academia the same, or different from other publications?

  • There are two major misconceptions:
  • 1) that it’s the same as other kinds of publishing,
  • 2) that is different than other kinds of publishing (in being somehow infallible)

What’s next? How do you find partners to co-author a paper? How do you assemble your Avengers team?

How do you target a journal? How do you know who’s a good fit for your paper? Do you write to fit their style?

How long should it be? Like do you know ahead of time, or is it just ruthlessly edited later?

How do you submit? Can you just submit cold?

Can you do this without a master’s or will you just get rejected immediately?

How do you deal with peer review?

What happens after acceptance?

What’s normal for self-promotion and sharing?

Links Mentioned in the Episode:

Dogs, Personality, and Breeds Podcast

Data Carpentry

Where to find Charles: Website | Blog | Instagram | Twitter

You can support the K9 Conservationists Podcast by joining our Patreon at patreon.com/k9conservationists.

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Transcript (AI-Generated)

Kayla Fratt 

Hello and welcome to the K9 Conservationists podcast, where we’re positively obsessed with conservation detection dogs join us every week to discuss detection, training, dog welfare, conservation, biology and everything in between. I’m Kayla Fratt, one of the cofounders of K9 Conservationists, where we train dogs to detect data for land managers, researchers, agencies, and NGOs. Today we’re talking to Dr. Charles van Reese, who is our conservation correspondent, all about getting academic research published. Welcome back to the podcast, Charles.

Charles Van Rees 

Good morning. Thanks for having me. Very nice to be back here with you, Kayla.

Kayla Fratt 

Yeah, always. So for everyone at home, Charles is a little bit of an expert on this, there’s a really good reason we brought him on for this episode. He’s got 22 publications under his belt to peer reviewed academic book chapters, and a bunch of papers on the way. In short, he’s absolutely the person we want to be talking to about this topic. And again, the goal here is kind of figuring out how to get from this point where Okay, our dogs have detected some data. Now, how do we actually turn that into a journal article and further science and make the bigger impacts that we’re really interested in making? I’m really excited about this interview. And we’re actually going to skip the science highlight because this episode is going to be lengthy and dense enough without it. So let’s jump in with kind of a broad picture question, Charles, of how is getting published in academia, the same or different from publishing and kind of other venues?

Charles Van Rees 

I think this is actually a really good place to start. This is certainly the kind of conversation that I would have loved over here when I was started graduate school a decade ago now? I guess I think it is, it’s kind of a weird concept to grasp academic publishing. And people just don’t talk about it enough. In a coupleof ways. And that that leads to two major misconceptions, I think so. So one of those is that it’s the same as other kinds of publishing, which we don’t, you may or may not understand very well, depending on what your background is in first place. But it’s not the same as writing newspaper articles, or columns, or posts on a blog or anything like that.

Charles Van Rees 

For one thing, you don’t get paid to do it. Just yet, but But you know, it’s not one of those things where you are the asset, right, that people are competing over, you are competing for the opportunity to publish in academia, which is an interesting, interesting change of pace. And there are other differences too, which, which we’ll get into, right, the peer review process is a major one. But there are things that make this a very different world. And as a result, it is a very different culture, with different norms and different practices and different assumptions. And so you can’t come into it thinking the same way, it’s going to be a whole different world.

Charles Van Rees 

On the second side of things, though, is also the other misconception, which is that it’s so different than every other kind of polishing. So I know it sounds kind of conflicting, contradictory, but in fact, there are also a lot of aspects of scientific publication that are the same.

Charles Van Rees 

One of the major ones, of course, is yet peer review. We have all these processes of setting, right we need citations, we need support for things people for to demonstrate things, but it still has, you know, a lot of the issues you would run into with other forms of publishing other forms of writing. It is still fallible, it is still done by people. People still make mistakes, there are still judgment calls, handles, no even if it is academic, it has all these practices involved with these, these best practices, if you will. There are still very many different ways of doing any individual thing you want to do in academic publishing, you want to write a certain paper, just like any other kind of essay or article, you can still you still have to develop a pitch, you still have to appeal to people, you still have to be convincing to do all these things, even though it is a dry are different, more formalized process with its own rules. But we’ll get into that.

Charles Van Rees 

But yeah, so weirdly enough, two major things I want people to know. It’s very different than other kinds of publishing. In some ways, it’s exactly like other kinds of publishing and communication in other ways. Hopefully, that actually comes across somewhat coherently in total.

Kayla Fratt 

But I think we’ll get into it I think we’re going to kind of explore that and I think that is a really good point that like yes, and a lot of ways it is really different. However, it’s not on this like infallible pedestal where you know, the peer review process inherently means that everything is going to be perfect.

Kayla Fratt 

So let’s say you’ve got an idea for some research, or maybe you already even have a data set. So and this is where I’m at, we took a bunch of data on something that we were doing, we have spreadsheets on spreadsheets on spreadsheets, and we think we’ve got something here. What is kind of the the next step, as far as trying to move from data to publishing.

Charles Van Rees 

I don’t want to start over to zoom down here. So maybe I’ll be a little quick. There are lots of different kinds of papers. And so there as a result of that, there are lots of different types of messages that you can get out, or that you might be shooting for when you’re starting from a data set. But the most zoomed out view is just, Is this a dataset that lots of people want to see, just by nature of the fact that it’s an awesome data set? Or is it telling us some story that I in particular want to get across? In a scientific publication? Okay, and this is a distinction is probably, I mean, I think 99% of listeners would be on the story side, 1% might be on the dataset side.

Charles Van Rees 

But sometimes people bring together these gigantic datasets where they’re collecting them themselves, they assembled them from lots of other work. And they actually publish what’s called the data paper, which is literally just a paper telling the world hey, this dataset exists, hence, we can access it, knock yourselves out. And you’re only going to do that if it’s something worth having fun with, right? If it’s maybe like I don’t know, global occurrence dataset of all the large predators or something like that, just some massive thing that people can use to ask lots of different questions. That’s worthy of data papers.

Charles Van Rees 

But again, 99% of time, that’s not what’s going on, people have their own small scale the data that they collected for a particular project. Now, usually, you will have collected those data for a purpose, you had some question. And so that’s, that’s a good place to start. So then you’re going to analyze those data and see if they tell you some story about that question you want to ask, or maybe you already have the data, because they were collected for some other reason, maybe they were either collected from different project, or they were collected because of some mandated monitoring plan or something like that, depending on where funding is coming from, or the type of projects you’re working with. Then you’re gonna analyze those data and ask some questions about that. Right? Can they teach me anything about these things? And so then it’s all the math stuff, which probably we’ll talk about some other times.

Charles Van Rees 

But if you’re at the point where you want to write a paper about something, you have those data and you have used them, you have you have kind of put them to the test, right with, with some form of mathematical inference, to test hypotheses, ask questions, see if they show you something. And now you want to tell a story about it, you have found something that okay, you know what? This is interesting. I want people to know about this. That’s where we start. Okay.

Kayla Fratt 

That makes sense. So yeah, so you kind of start, once you’ve got your data set, you do a little bit of exploring to kind of see, okay, we think we’ve got a story here, we, you know, maybe you’ve done some kind of preliminary analysis. But now you’re at this point of, okay, we’re going to actually take this to the next level. I would imagine at this point, now, you’d be starting to think about potential co authors and people you want to bring in if you don’t already kind of have that team assembled from day one is, would that make sense? And if so, then how do you find and approach potential co authors for a paper? Who do you need on board?

Charles Van Rees 

Okay, so there are a couple kinds of things worth talking about there. So, so one, I would say, you don’t, you generally don’t start writing or planning a paper until you have actually done not just preliminary data analysis? I mean, you have you have, oh, okay, analyze your data, and found that they, you know, support or do not support some hypothesis and decided that that result is already something interesting enough that you want to publish it.

Charles Van Rees 

Authorship on papers is one of those things, that it’s not very well formalized. There are lots of different cultural norms around it. To start with, the first people that are going to be involved with any paper coming out of your research are, aren’t the people that you’ve been already collaborating with on that work? Right. If they made if they made some efforts that without which the work would not have been done to date it would not have been collected that we haven’t analyzed forever, but those are going to be some of your kind of automatic shoo in co authors, right. I’ll think of other rules about this, but I think a lot of the more ethical and respectable rules I’ve seen around this issue have to do with that the work has been done with it without that person or not. Guess not, you know, and if co-authorship provides them some professional benefit, which doesn’t hurt them, then they should be on there.

Charles Van Rees 

I, I do a lot of work more recently, especially working kind of more on like the conservation policy and conservation kind of vision side of things lately, either writing a lot of papers that don’t involve data, right, these are, these are reviews or syntheses of scientific knowledge, or they are perspectives and opinions, illustrating how we can move forward and advance the field. Those have a lot less to do with who is providing a dataset or who taught me some method or who blah, blah, blah, and know what to do with the writing process. So that’s kind of the second level in which you might be taken out to office. And I think this is more what you’re asking about. And I’m sorry for taking so long to get to that. But there’s obviously a lot here and I want to make sure I’m providing enough background because this is a big field that people just don’t talk about enough. So, so many different podcasts, by the way.

Charles Van Rees 

To finally get to your question, basically, I always think of co author teams, when it comes to the actual writing process as kind of being like The Avengers, right? Or some superhero team, you want people with different skills that are complementary to get to get the paper done and done. Right. So you may have already gotten some people involved who are analysts, you provided the data, you have the questions, and you were like, gosh, you know, I don’t have the statistical expertise to ask these questions. Or I thought I did. And I looked at the literature, and people are analyzing these types of data with totally different analyses that I don’t have to do. So maybe it’s not some colleague who did, and they either showed you how to do it, or they did it for you. Okay, now, suddenly, you have somebody else, you know, doing the results portion of the paper, right. So that’s one kind of Avenger right there, they had one set of skills.

Charles Van Rees 

My, my skills, for example, I tend to be really, really comfortable with science writing, I have lots of colleagues that are incredible data, and our analysts are they, you know, they, they’re super experts in fields XYZ, then it comes time to write a paper and it sits on a desk for two years, because there’s like, I can’t look at a blank page, I can’t do that. For me, you know, I’ll have a bowl of cereal and a cup of coffee. And I can, you know, if I know the stuff to write, I can crank out half a scientific paper in the morning. It’s just, I just like it. It’s fun. I love scientific writing. And so I’m that kind of adventure. And I’ve actually, you know, I, I’ve been brought on to papers before, because people are like, listen, like the work is done here. We have no idea to write about this. You can turn this into a paper. Oh, absolutely. Right. And then yeah, it was easy for me. They do, it’s easy for them. And as a team, it works out. So that’s, that’s perfect.

Charles Van Rees 

What I would say is when you’re looking to build your Avengers and get a paper written, think about your skill sets. Think about what experience what you want to get experience for, especially for talking about people like us who are earlier in their careers. And think, Okay, do I need someone to mentor me on this? Do I need someone to just do some of this work? Do I feel comfortable writing all these sections? Would someone else’s expertise fee be helpful here? And would they actually contribute to the process? Rather issue entirely, but like deadbeat co authors are a thing and that’s really hard to navigate. Ethically, right? If you have someone that you invited, it’s really difficult to be like, Well, you shouldn’t be on this paper, but sometimes people overweight and that is hard to be careful with that, too. Okay. I’m gonna say that that’s my answer.

Kayla Fratt 

No, thank you for that. And I guess one and this, I don’t even know if this is really an answerable question. But say, hypothetically, or someone who runs a conservation detection dog organization. And you’re not embedded in academia, you can’t just like walk down to the stats department and make some friends. You don’t necessarily have friends in genomics labs like is, do you just get on Twitter? Like, how do where do you find these people if you’re not embedded in academia?

Charles Van Rees 

Okay, so that’s a really good point. So if we’re talking from the perspective of probably a lot of our audience, right, we have people who might be might have dogs detecting data, as it were, who have datasets that they’re interested in analyzing slash publishing on, et cetera, et cetera? Yeah, you need to be you know that that’s your Avengers skill, right? You’re producing the darn data, which is huge. You want people who can ask questions about that those data? Or who can turn questions into math to use those data? Sure, Andrew, Andrew, Ben, do you know a bunch of writing etc, you obviously are an amazing writer go. So that might not be exactly something that you’re looking for.

Charles Van Rees 

But on the other side, it starts to be a lot more similar to other kinds of writing, then it becomes more about making a pitch but you’re making a pitch to a collaborator. And this goes more broadly than scientific papers, right? This is just collaboration in science in general. Yeah, lots especially academic institutions that are lots of really cool people are absolute stats whizzes who are really interested in this stuff, who are just excited to have a dataset to play with. And that’s all. And if you can provide that for them, that is so cool and so fun for them, and they will crank that stuff out. And then of course, you get a very productive collaboration. I think the late EO Wilson talked about that. And one of his one of his books, that was kind of an advice book for early career scientists, like you don’t have to be the best at everything. You could find people who complement your skills and do a lot.

Charles Van Rees 

So the way to approach those types of people is, if you are, let’s say someone in Kayla Fratt, or something like that, so what I would do, yeah, Twitter is a great a great one, there are lots of academics on Twitter, otherwise, looking at statistics, departments of statistics, or people who identify as bio informaticians, or eco informaticians, or something like that people are making it very known that they are, you know, statistically inclined ecologist, looking at their department websites and things like that, and contacting people directly by email, but then you have to make a pitch, like you would have an article that I’ve got these data, were interested in asking these questions. Would you want to, you know, have a phone call, sometimes we can talk about maybe the potential collaboration, I’m just looking to get some of this, some of this work problems? Because I think there might be some interesting things, we can do it, right. And what you have to sell is how robust are these data? How much information that you bring to the table? Why is it interesting? What kind of questions might be asked? And that all depends on kind of how far your knowledge and thinking goes on it. Right? Because you could just as well have the same conversation of well, what questions should we ask what questions could be asked for?

Kayla Fratt 

Sure. Yeah. Okay. That makes sense. Okay, so then next up thinking about? Okay, so maybe now we’ve kind of got the data we’re starting to analyze, we’re starting to get some of our answers. And now we’re really thinking about writing? Do you generally have a journal in mind that you’re writing for? And you’ve got like this target audience? Or do you kind of write the paper and then figure out where it’s going to fit best within kind of the journal world? Because, yeah, and other questions stem from that?

Charles Van Rees 

Okay, that sounds exciting. I always start with the journal in mind, I always start with an audience in mind. And and of course, if you’re just like any other kinds of writing, or journalism, you already need to know your story, right? To pick the audience, or use your argument to know you kind of your point a little bit. So you need to know by this point, what came out of your data? What are those findings, perhaps once you have an idea of what you can be putting forward, then you then you figure out what might be the best pitch for that story. And then, you know, what kind of audience you’re trying to get.

Charles Van Rees 

So when it comes to academic publication, you’re not looking at the general public really write it very few academic journals have that kind of reach you’re looking for usually, what disciplines do you want to be communicating with? And sometimes, okay, you know, do different countries have different readership and things like that, but mostly, it’s like, Alright, do I want to talk to ecologists? Who are people who are studying how nature works from a very theoretical perspective? Or do I want to be talking to you, conservationists? Who are people who are trying to get stuff done, and have very particular goals for management? Practice, right? Those are gonna be different journals.

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Charles Van Rees 

Academics typically will, you know, only tune into a few different journals that they think really reflect what they’re doing. And so guys are a lot of careful choice there. So the resource for that is to, I would say, when you’re looking through the literature, look for people who are doing similar stuff to what you did, maybe search some search keywords, things like that, and see what journals they published. And that’s a good place to start. Because then you can say, Okay, well, not only like Okay, did this person does it was a good idea to publish here, but that journal tends to like that kind of stuff. That’s a good way to start.

Kayla Fratt 

Sure. Do you? Do these journals tend to have any publishing guidelines or anything like, is there a word count like are there formatting requirements? And are those things easily available? Or do you just have to magically know this from you know, your undergrad advisor who may or may not have actually been that helpful?

Kayla Fratt 

I feel like this is like this is a little bit of an aside but as we were planning this episode, I kept thinking like, I feel like I should have learned a lot of this in undergrad like this should have been covered at some point in one of my gajillion 304 100 level you ecology and conservation biology classes like I don’t understand why I have so many basic questions about this still.

Charles Van Rees 

In my experience, it’s very much a grad school thing, because typically expect you to publish as an undergraduate. And it’s like, cool if you do, but I don’t think anyone like wants to push anyone that hard most of the time.

Kayla Fratt 

Who’s doing that to the grad school entrance committees? Because it seems like they all think we should be publishing.

Charles Van Rees 

You are absolutely correct. It’s so yeah, so my experience has been getting, getting this type of knowledge. I think, first of all, it should be out there more. And so I’m actually really excited for this podcast to be out there as a resource for people because you don’t have to do anything with conservation or dogs. If you’re just in science, in your early career, this kind of conversation is something that might really benefit from I would have hugely benefited from this. So I’m glad we’re talking about it. And this also goes for broader early career science advice, like that’s why as an undergraduate, you need to seek out research opportunities and find a lab that you can do some work for, because I did not do this in undergraduate. And it really hurt me, I think, yeah.

Charles Van Rees 

But in that process, if you’re, you know, really gung ho, and really putting a lot of energy into it, a lot of time you can get to take part in a paper or do the research that gets, you know, put into a paper and then you get that direct mentor of someone nearby. This is how we’re gonna do this around your desk. And that answers a lot of your questions. But yes, there’s no coursework for that. And I think I think school should think about that. I mean, obviously, not everyone going for their undergraduate in wildlife or ecology wants to go be an academic, right? And they shouldn’t learn how to do the stuff that they don’t want to. But let’s say do, why don’t have a seminar or something for the seniors or whatever that want to go into grad school next year. That would be cool.

Kayla Fratt 

Yeah. Like my undergrad had a really cool class called biostatistics and experimental design, which I took, which I feel like is why I have more questions about the post experiment process, because I do feel like I did have that one 400 level class that was really awesome. As far as like, how to actually plan science, and then do some of the data crunching, I still have a lot of work to do there. Especially because honestly, even in like the six years since I graduated, I feel like it’s changed so much. But anyway, I’ve already forgotten the question I had asked you.

Charles Van Rees 

I’m talking about being that you asked a real good follow up question, which was something that I was really hoping to get to anyway, which was like, okay, yeah, we want to pick up we want to pick a journal or a venue to be publishing. And we’ve looked online, we’ve found some journals that might be good candidates, because they have published other stuff on these topics, perhaps.

Charles Van Rees 

So what you do next is you go to their website, and your question was like, do we just have to like, figure it out for ourselves? Is this information available? And the answer is, luckily, for any good respectable journal at all, they will have what they call guidelines for authors. And these are very clear, right, and they, they should be very clear, it’s they’re not maybe don’t publish there. But like, they should be laying out exactly what they want. Now, not only are there different journals that have different cultures around how they go through the process of considering a paper, every journal usually has several different formats of paper that they publish, okay, this also has to do with what you did, and what kind of story you want to tell. So I can give you just a couple of like, kind of basic ones, but they always have shmancy names for them. And like, it’s really, it’s just, you just got to read them. But they’ve all the idea that they will always give you a word count they want sometimes there are limits in the number of citations they allow the is how much space it can take up if you have too many. I have a bit of a soapbox thing about that.

Charles Van Rees 

But we don’t need to get into that right now. But so the real typical thing is usually what they just call a research paper. And this is just for original research. This is like I did some research. I’ve been like we kind of get trained to do as an undergrad, you know, doing lab reports and things. This is why it’s important. This is what I did. Here are my results. This is what I think about. Right? Intro methods results discussion. They’re probably, I don’t know, I think they’re probably around like three three to 5000 words is typical for them.

Charles Van Rees 

Then there are things like reviews, where intentionally they just want you to be bringing together tons of crap from all over the literature, bringing together some some, you know, new insights about all of that or coming to some meta analytical conclusion or not. And those are typically longer. Those can be 6000-8000 depending on the journal, or things like commentaries, which is like I’m just going to share an opinion I have it’s kind of like an academic hot take except it has to be very well researched, and very interesting, right? But that could be 1000 words. Some of these they’re really small.

Charles Van Rees 

I’m working on a paper right now with a bunch of my colleagues for, you know, one of these high profile journals that everybody reads, but they, they keep their articles really short on purpose. So we have to, like turn this huge, super academically informed opinion. And we have into essentially like, you know, overwhelm descended heartache in like 15 or 2000 words and like, it’s really hard.

Kayla Fratt 

Yeah, I guess that like, at first, some people might be like, Oh, my God, like 3000 words, that’s like, pretty doable. It’s like, actually, your problem is potentially more likely to be trying to cut it down to that size versus like, don’t be daunted. You definitely don’t have to write 200 pages here, however, like getting some of this stuff down to 3000 words, or 1500 words is actually pretty tough in a different way.

Charles Van Rees 

Yeah. And I think that’s the problem you want to have is cutting it down, the writing will be better if you’re starting big and cutting down, I think. But yes. You know, graduate dissertations and things that can be hundreds of pages, this is not that this needs to be, again, because you’re working now with a company that is for profit or not, they’re publishing this stuff and trying to maintain a certain profit margin, right, financially or whatever, they will limit your space typically. And so you have to be very concise, and you want people to be able to read what you’re saying. So yeah, don’t be afraid of the writing process. It’s not going to be hundreds of pages. You know, 15 pages is a pretty long scientific paper, including, you know, citations and stuff like that.

Kayla Fratt 

Yeah. Which again, is, yeah, it’s doable in some ways. And then in other words, it’s a lot, a lot of work. So then the next thing is to say, you’ve kind of got it written, you’ve got it drafted, you’ve gone through all the editing, we’re not going to go over editing and those sorts of things. But then when you submit, is there a strategy to submitting? Are there due dates where they’re like, Okay, submit. Now in order to be in third quarters, journal? Does it vary a lot? Is it better to try to figure out like a strategic time to submit? Like, I don’t notice nobody published in q4?

Charles Van Rees 

Right. All right. Well, let’s see. Me not knowing what Q4 is will probably tell you a bit on that.

Kayla Fratt 

That’s the last three months of the year. Just like strategically speaking, is it potentially less competitive to try to publish in January editions? Because nobody’s got anything done right after the holidays? Or something? Like, I don’t know, this is also taking my like, freelance writing side of things, and kind of doing some of this, you know, strategic tomfoolery there.

Charles Van Rees 

Yeah. No, I think you’re right. I think there are times that are better and worse. And I don’t think I know it’s necessary.

Kayla Fratt 

Maybe, from journal to journal to, you know,

Charles Van Rees 

Yeah. I know that, like a lot of journal work gets is sort of on page like by both editors and writers. And so a lot of people like tend to get stuff done on Sundays. So I would imagine that if you were picking a day to submit, I would not do Sunday, reviews back some people on a Sunday, which means that like the people who were supposed to read the paper, just put it off for three weeks, and then that last Sunday, and he did it all, because they like how to add a bit of time. That’s just part of how academia works. So there probably is some strategy there, I don’t know it or pay too much attention to it.

Charles Van Rees 

Here’s a relevant story. I mean, I had, you know, a bunch of papers that were in review, during the pandemic, they all took eight to nine to 10 months to a year longer than they should have to get published, because of how much people didn’t have time, or people kept getting sick and dropping off. So they couldn’t review they had to bring in new reviewers, you know, so that was probably a really bad time to do it, because everybody was publishing. Generally, no, you will not have you will not have clear deadlines. Yes, publishing at different times a year will depend will influence whether or not your paper gets published that year or the year after. But that also has to do with how often that journal releases issues. And how long it takes for them to do their process. Some journals take a lot of pride and be very quick. Other ones don’t really care. Other ones are just exceedingly sluggish.

Charles Van Rees 

So yeah, I guess those are things to think about, in my opinion, it’s more important that the work gets published and gets done right. And I’m not going to pay as much attention to when everything happens. It’s okay to backtrack a tiny bit to your point about like the tone of the paper and where you’re pitching it to and thanks. So yes, every journal will give you the guidelines for authors, which is, what kind of paper what kind of papers they publish, in terms of different like formats that you have to cater to when you’re writing. The other thing that they’ll have sometimes in the author guidelines. Sometimes they like the about page of the journal is just an account of like that what they call the job.

Charles Van Rees 

Also, this is another very good author guidelines, journal scope. These are the two big vocab things you want to look for on the website. Journal scope is what do we publish? What do we like as a journal, and you want to, obviously find a journal whose scope fits the story that you want to tell. And then, you know, if you’re being very strategic about it, then in your introduction, which is the part of your paper where you are pitching it, right, you will be trying to use a lot of those key words and link to a lot of those key concepts and disciplines or or citing research Torontos disciplines so that they know you are coming at it from the lens that they identify with. Okay. Last thing, only exception to like deadline or not, because I’m saying there’s never a deadline for these things.

Charles Van Rees 

Sometimes you get there to other kinds of cases that could happen. Sometimes you might get invited to publish somewhere, which is really cool. Oh, yeah. So if you are an expert on something, or you met someone at a conference, and they’re doing, they want to publish a series of papers, in general, they will actually solicit you to write the paper, then you typically have a deadline, they will be like, listen, we’re conditioning you to write this. So they call it a commission that I can pay you but it’s a commission, then you will typically have a deadline, by Well, deadlines is extraordinarily negotiable. Yes, nine acts at a time, if it was like, Oh, I’m sorry, I couldn’t do it, then it’s fine, whatever, two weeks, you know, whatever, that’s fine. Sure, okay. It’s not it’s not like an assault, and I was gonna give you an ask because they can’t write exactly.

Charles Van Rees 

Of course, you know, if it’s really a journal that’s really exciting, you can, you can also get them to commission you by sending in what’s called a pre submission proposal, which some journals do, some journals don’t, it’s all a matter of their culture. Some of the really high profile journals do this, because they don’t want people to waste their time writing for that journal, if they’re going to just get rejected, you know, 90% of the time. So I’ve done this with some other big journals in the past, where you actually write like a two page pitch, like just just a journalist sketch of like, this is why this table would be totally sweet. This is what we’re gonna do. This is why it’s important, and this is why your audience is gonna love it. And then you spend a lot less time than writing the whole paper, they read it, and then some editor can be like, oh, yeah, totally, totally are looking back now. Sorry, I think you should go somewhere else. Sometimes they’ll be really nice. And they’ll actually tell you where they think you should send it. Some of these for profit publishers, obviously, they’re going to always tell you where to send it. And it’s going to be wherever it makes them a buck. So fabulous, careful.

Charles Van Rees 

But yeah, that is one other way to get commissioned is if you send in a proposal, they like it, they’ll be like, alright, send us a draft by debt by date X, Y, you know, and then then you have a bit of a time limit. And the last way that happens is with with what is called special issues. So sometimes the journal will say we’re gonna have an issue, this just dedicated this one topic. I’m pretty sure there was one on conservation dogs in some conservation journal in the last five years, right. I mean, that happens

Kayla Fratt 

Wildlife bio, maybe I can’t remember a bio one. I can’t remember.

Charles Van Rees 

One of those. So if that happens, which is like, you know, that’s bound to happen, again, with conservation dogs, and could be an opportunity for some of our listeners, if you if you went apply or get invited to be part of a special issue. They usually are like, we need this done at this time. So that’s one of those one of those exceptions where you ask, that should do it.

Kayla Fratt 

No, that makes sense. And that’s really, really helpful. And I think so the only article, the only journal I’ve been published in so far has been the IBC journal, which is peer reviewed, but it’s a very small journal, and I have a really good personal relationship with the editor. And I think I’ve been kind of taking that route of, you know, I’ll kind of send an idea ask when their due date is for, because they have kind of these due dates for quarterly submission, where they’re like, if you want to make sure that you get into, you know, the fall edition, you need to be in by this date, so we can actually complete peer review. So that was kind of the only experience that I’ve had on that side of things.

Kayla Fratt 

And I guess that does bring up another question like, how do you know any editors where you’re just kind of like, oh, yeah, I know, the guy, you know, Journal of, you know, Charles’s research.org. And they generally, you know, I know how to kind of reach out to them and check in on what they’re interested in and, like, Is that common? Or would that be kind of frowned upon?

Charles Van Rees 

Great question. And this comes into our two misconceptions, right, like, on one side, academic publishing is so different, because it’s does all this anonymous peer review, and there’s so much attention to conflict of interest and there’s so much drive towards some somewhat more objective way of getting knowledge and stuff like that. But it’s still a human endeavor. People are just still people. And so just like in other forms of journalism, yeah. Like, connections do matter. Yeah, the way that they matter and, and the extent to which they influence the academic publication process is extremely variable. And at times, totally not. It, there is a lot of cronyism, there is a lot of weird, like, there are lots of people, I think, who I’m not trying to be too cynical here. Okay.

Charles Van Rees 

But, you know, I’ve talked to a senior scientists refers to like, there are people who are extremely prestigious, who gets their names on the paper, it’s gonna get published, where they send it, they’re just gonna get in, you know what I mean? So they’re, in fact, I have friends who are editors for journals. And usually what happens is, for example, a really good friend of mine, Kevin Bergeaud, is an absolutely fantastic, brilliant morphologist key, and I’m not sure if he is anymore, but for a long time, he was a subject editor in like conservation at a really good bird journal run out of the ontological Society of Canada, probably butchering that name. And I submitted a paper there. And it was a conservation paper because of my conservation guy. And so of course, it would have gone to him, but he recused himself because he knows me, you know that.

Charles Van Rees 

That’s the the kind of ethical behavior that is expected. I don’t think it always happens. But he was like, No,I know this guy. I can’t review this paper. I can’t even look at who goes to I can’t be a part of this, this line. So that’s where we expect to happen. It doesn’t always happen.

Kayla Fratt 

Sure. Yeah. That makes sense.

Charles Van Rees 

There’s nothing wrong with asking ahead of time about a paper, right? You can’t be like, Oh, will this be accepted? Like they can’t say, even if you even if you don’t know the editor, but especially if you do, there’s nothing wrong with just sending them maybe an abstract and saying, I just want to check with you. I’ve done this a lot with with editors that I don’t know, I’ll send them an abstract organic, pre submission, but I don’t want to bother you too much. But I guess you’d have a second. Could you just maybe tell me whether you think this would be of interest to the journal? I want to know

Kayla Fratt 

I’m considering I might even.

Charles Van Rees 

Exactly. And they might just be like, No, and that’s fine. Most people are really nice. And if they’re gonna say no, they’re usually like, no, but like, see this other place? So yeah.

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Kayla Fratt 

Okay, so then after submission, do you get accepted and then peer reviewed or peer reviewed and then accepted? Does it matter? Like, or does it vary?

Charles Van Rees 

Okay, so we can get into, we’ll get into the vocab. So accepted. Accepted means we are going to publish your paper. So that’s very late in the game. What you’re dealing with first set, is whether you go out for review, which is what we will typically call it rather you get what’s called desk rejected a desk. The objection is the editor reads your paper that you submitted. And they’re like, Nah, and you know, that’s either they don’t think that the science is good quality, they don’t think the writing is good quality, you maybe didn’t fit all the formatting requirements that they put in their guidelines for authors. They just read it. And they’re like, you know, if this doesn’t work for me, I don’t find it compelling. Or this isn’t the right something I’ve been just rejected from journals that that got back to me, they were like, Dude, this is a roll of paper. This is just not what we’re talking about. So yeah, like, go somewhere else. Good luck. Like, this is great. I’m not trying to say it’s bad. But we were not going to publish this. And usually, you can avoid that by touching base ahead of time, but it can happen. That’s the first stage.

Charles Van Rees 

If you pass that stage, then usually someone’s going to be the what’s called the handling and depending on the size of the journal, there’s going to be maybe someone called a handling editor whose job it is that from this point on to be your papers.

Kayla Fratt 

Through the process.

Charles Van Rees 

Yeah. And so they have to find people to review your paper. And increasingly, the labor involved with all of that is increased is more and more put on the authors. So nowadays, you are encouraged sometimes required to provide a list of two to three to five suggested reviewers for your paper. And of course, you don’t want to leave though, because that’s again, the cronyism thing. You don’t want to be doing that and that’s just kind of on you to be ethical, I think, unless they can figure it out. You want to suggest people who are who have published on your topic recently who are experts on it, but who are not attached to you in some way you don’t know them. Or you’re, you know, you’re not close in any way.

Kayla Fratt 

I feel like in the conservation dog world it would be tricky. I’d like I could definitely be like, well, I literally worked with Megan Parker for two years. So I’m not going to suggest her. But like, Tracy from Skylos Ecology, like, you know, I’ve had her on the podcast twice where like, vague internet friends versus, you know, totally different. And then there are other people that I know even less well, but we’re probably still like LinkedIn connections or something at least.

Charles Van Rees 

Yeah, I think that’s acceptable. It’s just like, are you guys like really close personal friends, whatever. And honestly, for example, like one of the realms that I publish in a lot is like the conservation of endangered Hawaiian water birds. Like there are a lot of people in that field. Almost almost any paper that anyone writes on that topic usually ends up on my desk to review and so like, there are people that I know that I have to just I’m like, alright, well, like I like this person, but I’m just going to read this objectively. You know, I’m not going to pay attention how I feel about this person.

Kayla Fratt 

Okay, okay.

Charles Van Rees 

It’s called it’s called double blind review. The reviewers don’t know who the authors are. The authors don’t know who reviewers are. That is a really obvious step to take again, I don’t want to be on a soapbox like journalists should do this. There are a lot of statistics showing that like people with like, less Anglo sounding names, and people with female names like are less likely to get published and more likely to get reviewed harshly. When when there’s no double wide process, because people are jerks. And we have this cultural biases and so much crap. That is a real thing. And I totally agree, I think double blind is absolutely the way to go. I don’t see it that often. I review for a lot of journals, and I don’t I usually know who the authors are.

Charles Van Rees 

One thing that people will do as reviewers sometimes not to get too off topic. But sometimes there’s actually a movement for like more ethical review and accountable review, where people will put their names at the bottom of their review. Oh, collect like they are anonymous, but they d anonymize themselves, because they’re like, No, I want to be accountable for my actions, my judgments, because some people will be like, a very small minority of people. But some people will be very mean and nasty. And they reviews because they’re anonymous.

Kayla Fratt 

Imagine that, and I know this is a little bit separate. But like, when the GRFP decisions came out earlier this year, I remember seeing a ton of drama on Twitter from people being like, some of some reviewers just straight up didn’t give feedback or gave like a three word review or something were like, Yeah, I know, you’re not paid. And I know that you’re overworked. But like that is completely unacceptable for the amount of work that someone put into this. And I think that sort of behavior would probably diminish if maybe, maybe we start out double blind. And then there’s like a big curtain reveal at the end where everyone figures out who you are, like, I don’t know.

Charles Van Rees 

Yeah, of course, the reason that reviewers are anonymous is just to protect them from potential, like professional retaliation or anything like that. Like sometimes, yeah, you’re sometimes you’re not being a jerk. And something’s wrong with assignments. And you have to say that, but that person might hate you for the rest of your life. And maybe they review something of yours, and they decide to take revenge on you. Right. So like, Yeah, I think there is a good reason that it’s there. But I think that sometimes, you know, it. Deadlines what we need, really, I think we just need to not know who the authors are. And not know the reviews are and then people are jerks. They’re jerks. And some of that’s on the editor to the editors have to be able to vet stuff. But listen, you know, they don’t this doesn’t ever happen because reviewers are volunteers but like maybe editors have to like, Hey, I think you were really rude there. I’m gonna edit this or whatever. But anyway, that’s my way.

Kayla Fratt 

Okay, so you’re you’re not bench rejected. Hooray. Now we’re off to the peer review. Yes. Wait, right. And then and then at some point, you get your reviews back and know your editing again?

Charles Van Rees 

Well, it depends. So one tiny, tiny step back. I’m sorry to always do this. It’s just how I work, I guess. But the other thing with suggesting reviewers, you can also suggest people who you do not want to review your paper. And so like what, why would you do that? If you have reason to believe that someone wouldn’t be fair, if maybe they don’t like you? I don’t, I don’t think I’ve really had this problem. But like, there are people you know, especially when you’re like later career, I think you’ve had lots of time to like interact with people and maybe make enemies you know. Yeah, that’s sort of if someone’s not going to be fair. Or if you think that they like if you had reviews from them the past that you didn’t find helpful and you thought they didn’t even do a good job. Good job. Yeah, I’d be reasonable. Now, or again, if you know this person knows you really well. And you know, they’re gonna refuse because they know you and they’re being ethical. Then you can say up front, like, I know this guy. You know, you probably would have picked this guy. Girl to review this, but please don’t write because like, we have coffee every Sunday, and like we always talk about our shows together and like, we can’t do this because we’re friends.

Kayla Fratt 

Yeah. Okay. Like, yeah, for me again, bringing up like Meghan Parker might want to kind of be like, hey, like, she’s one of my dearest mentors.

Charles Van Rees 

Yeah, and then time to read that email, it takes her time to write back like, I can’t do this. So you save them time. Because never what happens is like, you know, this process takes between, I think the fastest I’ve ever gotten first round reviews back was maybe like three weeks, the slowest was, I don’t even know what eight months like, that’s not that’s unacceptable, but it happens.

Charles Van Rees 

So, and what’s going on in that process is they only materials based on what you’ve suggested or not they go on to search for reviewers, they try to get usually somewhere between one and three stores a lot. But, you know, usually two or three reviewers is typical. First of all, they have to get back to get those people to agree, which can take a long time. So that can be several weeks. And then they usually give those people about three weeks to do to review. So there must be a review. And maybe it takes three weeks, maybe those people are super busy. And they have to get extensions, extensions, and whatever.

Charles Van Rees 

So this can really stretch out depending on what happens with review, but eventually get your first rounds of review back. Now the editor has also reviewed your paper to a lesser extent, they read the feedback that the the reviewers have given. And so I’ve been on both sides of this. So when I’m a reviewer, I give feedback both directly to the editor and to the reader to the writer, the authors. I typically just write everything to the authors and let the editors read it. Because I’m like, I don’t have any secret crap to say like, I just want everyone to know what I think.

Charles Van Rees 

But anyway, those are those are two forms of revenue that they get back, the editor, the handling editor, then your your shepherd. I like to analogy. Your Shepherd is then reading all those. All right. Do we keep going? Are we done? In two ways, right? You can be done like, well, like, oh, like everyone loved it. And there are no problems. Let’s just accept this paper. That’s about 0.008% of the time. Never, actually, maybe once but anyway, it’s recurringly a cop?

Kayla Fratt 

We just had it happen with the IABC journal. But amazing. Yeah, it was amazing. They also are a very small journal. And we’ve worked with them a lot.

Charles Van Rees 

I mean, either way, congratulations, because that’s fantastic

Kayla Fratt 

So you’re saying I shouldn’t get really confident now. I get that.

Charles Van Rees 

Let’s get into the confidence thing later, because I think you should be confident no matter what, Kayla, but we I do I want to touch on that further. Okay, but okay, so everyone will be here. So so now the Associate Editor handling, Shepherd editor has to decide what happens based on that feedback, they’re either going to accept, which is extremely rare for the first round, or they are going to reject, which is reasonably common for the first round, depending on the journal that could be like 70% of the time. Or they’re gonna suggest revisions.

Charles Van Rees 

And so and then typically, most journals split that into major versus minor revisions. So minor revisions is typically like, oh, you know what, like, the reviewers had some really cool ideas for how you might be able to pitch this better. Or they thought you know what we really like it if you cited these five papers that you didn’t cite, because we think we’re leaving out a major part of the literature here. Or, you know, I really liked it. If you change the order of these two paragraphs, or, Hey, you forgot an eye. And that word looks funny because you spelled it wrong, things like that. Those are minor revisions. Typically. This is this is a slippery slope or whatever. Like there’s no clear distinction between the two. But minor is going to be like we expect you to be able to get this done really quick. Majors, like we, you might need to redo some analysis, you might need to collect new data, you might need to totally rewrite several sections. So that’s what major as major means you need to go back and do a lot more.

Charles Van Rees 

Okay, this is gonna be a little weird. So a new a new flavor of journal response that has become incredibly popular recently with the advent of very for profit driven journals is reject and resubmit. So, so let’s say that you got lucky, and you either got smart major or minor revisions, and I think those are both lucky outcomes. That means that they liked your paper they’re probably willing to say In the future, you just have to do what the reviewers said to change. And the editor will be an intermediate, the editor will say, You know what, I think you should, at the very least do these XYZ things that that reviewers want to reset to do. The stuff that reviewer three said on the side, I don’t really care about that so much, but maybe do these things that they said. Or they might say, I want you to do everything that will be reset. Okay? If you’re in that lucky, ducky situation, now you do have a time limits.

Charles Van Rees 

Now, you are expected to get these things done in a certain amount of time, and they will tell you the date, but you need to get this crap done. At this time. To do those revisions, you usually have to do it like Track Changes to show where all your changes are. And you have to write a letter of response where you respond to each point that all the reviewers made. And you say like, they said, I should do this. I agree because blank, I did it on lines 27 to 43, liquidweb, check it out, I did see, let’s see, I did the thing that they said, you have to say for each one, or what you can do as a scientist, you can like you know what, I actually disagree with their point here. Here’s why. Here’s a citation to back it up. I think that’s done. But you have to, you have to account for every single one. And lesson editors specifically tells you don’t worry about that, which doesn’t happen.

Charles Van Rees 

Okay, so that’s that process. All that has to be done usually in I don’t know, I think two to four months is usually pretty typical. Okay, you can absolutely ask for extensions. It’s not college, right? Like, they’re not going to give you an F. But now you’re, you know, teetering on the edge of like, oh, well, if they run a patience with me, I’m going to have to start from square one and go submit to a journal. Yeah. So usually you want to get on it. You know, I usually get the stuff done quick, unless it’s just massive. And I have to go out and do another push.

Charles Van Rees 

So as you can see, this process takes time. And sometimes you go through all that and do all the revisions, and then the reviewers come back and they want more revisions. So now suddenly, maybe it’s another month, maybe it’s another two months, maybe it’s way more. Right. And that depends like what did the same people read it? Or did the editor get desperate? Because nobody answers emails, and he had to he or she had to bring in someone new to review and then that person to all new ideas, right, that can happen. This is why when Yeah, papers took like a year and a half to get published from submission like it’s crazy.

Kayla Fratt 

Do, do the reviewers see each other suggestions? And what happens if two different reviewers have two different opinions about what needs to happen? Like, what if one says, I’m gonna pick something ridiculously mundane, but like, I hate the formatting of your graphs, change it this way. And the other one says, I love the formatting of your crops, that was the best part of the paper like, what do you do? The best.

Charles Van Rees 

So the reviewers, reviewers, at least on the first try or so are doing it at the same time usually. So in final reviewer, usually I cannot see what the other person other people have said unless they have unless there’s already been around and I got brought on late, which I’ve been like kind of the rescue reviewer a few times to or if like I’m just you know, if they did it two days after getting the invitation and I did the last Sunday of three weeks, then I might be able to view what they wrote.

Charles Van Rees 

But usually I don’t think I can unless we’re in further along around the review. So that’s the editors job. Your Shepherd is supposed to be working with you and the reviewers to make sure that works. And if they see stuff that contradicts they should catch that. And they should tell you like hey, I want you to go with reviewer A and A reviewer one and not remember to Ole Miss. If they don’t catch that. You have to bring it up in your response letter. But like listen, you guys told me two different things. I agree with reviewer one. So I did what they said or I think they’re both full of baloney. Here’s why. Because you’re writing to the editor at that point.

Kayla Fratt 

It takes a village to keep canine conservationists running. One of our valued team members is Sonny Murphy, who runs black flower content writing Sonny started out as a volunteer creating infographics based on our podcast episodes, but quickly earned her place as a paid member of the team. If you need a creative, enthusiastic voice to help your company or nonprofit with blog writing social media planning and or email newsletter campaigns, check out black flower writing services. I cannot recommend sunny highly enough. Thanks. And let’s get back to the episode.

Charles Van Rees 

Yeah, so that So okay, so So now if we zoom back out one level, we get to how long this process takes, right? If you’re doing revisions, it can really stretch out especially for reviewers aren’t really dragging their butts or if some of them just quit and you have to get new ones. They are just you know, you have to get them up to speed that can take a lot to start bringing in what I call rescue reviewers. It can also be really problematic and they can they can anti help anti rescue a bit too. So because of that journals don’t. If you’re running a journal for profit, you don’t want this to take a long time. For two reasons why you’re not going to get the profit material out there and to eat, a lot of these journals actually have statistics that they use to compete for the attention of scientific authors, one of the impact factor, which is like some metric relating to like, how often the average paper that journal gets cited, or how many times in a certain amount of time, okay?

Charles Van Rees 

And so really high impact factor means like, yeah, if I publish there, my stuff’s more likely to get read and cited. That’s awesome. I want to help us there. Right. So generally, that’s usually what people compete about. And there’s a whole stupid culture around it. But that’s another thing is the the time to publication. A journal can tell you like, dude, if we like your paper will get you votes in four months or something. Like, everyone’s gonna wobble is there. That’s, that’s, you know, because they, they got. So those are two of the main statistics they are using. So now we have to get into the brains of the for profit journals to understand why this stupid rejected resubmit exists. You can now see how the revision process makes stuff rule.

Kayla Fratt 

No, yeah, exactly. Yeah. So now they get to say our average time to publication from is, you know, three months, but it’s actually because they rejected you. You spent a year and a half fixing it recently. And now it’s three months.

Charles Van Rees 

Yeah, a lot of people are not happy about it. But that’s what’s been happening, like, nowadays is like most papers, even if the revisions aren’t that huge, they’ll be like, we’re going to reject and resubmit this, we’d really encourage you to send it back to us just change these things. And that’s code for with him, this is probably fine. We need you to change a bunch of stuff. And we don’t want to wait around for you to do it and have our statistics run up. So can we just lie and pretend this is the first time you submitted it, like later on when you fix it? That’s really what they’re doing. So yeah. So that’s the fourth new flavor of a fourth or fifth new flavor of what you can get back from journalists are rejected resubmit. And I will say right now, that is absolutely the most common thing that most people get, besides rejection outright is now rejected resubmit.

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Kayla Fratt 

Okay. I think now I the last question I have written down is then after your paper is published, what is kind of normal for promotion and sharing like I know I’ve heard, so this beta, some huge waves in the dog world, you probably missed it because you’re luckily not in the same Facebook vortexes as me is recently there was a big article that came out that basically was a huge meta analysis of a bunch, not meta analysis was a huge analysis of a bunch of genetic markers, and behavioral traits from surveys from pet dogs. And the big headline that broke everyone’s brain was genetics don’t predict predict behavior. breed does not predict behavior in dogs. Everyone freaked out about it. The big thing that everyone probably and again, all of our listeners who are already familiar with this are already probably are familiar with this.

Kayla Fratt 

A lot of the things they were looking at in it, that then the headlines ran away with were things that you wouldn’t expect to breed to predict anyway. So they weren’t looking at like herding ability. They were looking at like, Does your dog spin around three times before he lies down? That so then I heard a bunch of really good podcasts which we can link to in the show notes of the author’s then going on these podcasts or publishing these articles, kind of remedying what, you know, like the Wall Street Journal or whoever wrote the Wall Street Journal, I don’t know, there were these big publications that picked up the paper and screwed it up. So they were kind of correcting the record on it and re injecting nuance into the discussion.

Kayla Fratt 

But I was really wondering, you know, if you don’t have something like that, where you have this, like media blowout that really requires the author’s to get out and work, you know, work the papers to try to remedy things, how much public promotion and like, you know, sharing of information is allowed. When does it become frowned upon where it’s too much self promotion. You know, if you want to be able to share your findings somewhere and you know, the journal has a wild for 45 bucks a read, you know, what is allowed? Or do you just have to like kiss that stuff goodbye if you don’t get to share it anymore.

Charles Van Rees 

These are really, this is a fantastic line of, of discussion here. So legally speaking for most journals, when you do finally get accepted, and you go through all that process of looking at the proofs and make sure that it looks nice and you work with like the copy editors. And then finally like yeah, we are accepting this we’re going to publish it now. You typically have to sign the rights to your work over to the journal They technically have a copyright on it. You have the option. Increasingly nowadays, because it’s such an incredibly good business model, slash somewhat unethical, but still business model to usually you have the option of paying several thousand dollars to have your paper be open access.

Charles Van Rees 

So if you want to publish that, like some of the top journals like Nature and Science and some other ones I won’t name and you want to be open access, you have to basically pay like a used car. Maybe only 15,000, sometimes more. This is this is what I know, I should not get on my soapbox right now. I’m gonna leave it at that. But like, a lot of these major major journals, or journal companies that run a bunch of journals for profit, that do this open access business plan, they make bigger profit margins per dollar than Apple. Okay, I’ll leave it at that.

Kayla Fratt 

I’m so angry right now.

Charles Van Rees 

But maybe more feel good. So there are increasing and legal ways of sharing papers that you have published. Yeah, even if they are behind a paywall. Because you’re right. I mean, if I, if I was not part of the University of Georgia system, and I want to read certain journals, I would have to pay like 60 bucks for a day pass to like, read somebody’s ridiculous.

Kayla Fratt 

Like, this is what we’re running into with like half of our science highlights, like the amount of work I had to do to track down the full paper because I’m not affiliated with an academic institution. And I’ve considered, you know, buying a pass to like journal a, but there is no conservation dog specific journal that really makes sense to like, Okay, I’m gonna, I’m gonna make the investment in one journal, because it gets published everywhere.

Charles Van Rees 

Yeah, so the legality around this part is probably fuzzy. And I don’t want to get us in trouble. But like, in my opinion, because it happens on such a small scale, you can always like email a friend of yours at an academic institution. But can you send me a PDF of this paper? Whether or not that’s legal people, but all the time? And I don’t think anyone has the time to, like, go after you for it? Yeah, the next one, which, which is legal? Is that like, the authors of a paper are still allowed to send a PDF to whoever they want? Yeah. If someone asks me for any of my papers that I’ve published in any journal, it is I’m within my rights to send a PDF of that paper, that’s fine. And so I always say like, email the corresponding author, if you really want to read the paper, and you can’t find it, email, the corresponding author ResearchGate is fantastic for this.

Charles Van Rees 

And people are always excited to get email from you being like, Oh, my God, I want to see your paper. Also ResearchGate somehow figured that thing, the legality of this out too, you can put your shareable PDF of your paper onto ResearchGate. And other people can read it and download it, and it’s okay. So, I love that.

Kayla Fratt 

Yeah, I love that. I love it.

Charles Van Rees 

Okay, so about promotion and stuff, right? That was the that was the bigger question.

Kayla Fratt 

I’d really, maybe maybe it’ll help if I give like another kind of specific example. So say, we publish this paper that we’re hoping to publish. Now, say, we’re invited to a conference and we want to post, like, talk about our findings that are related to this paper, you know, we’re not going to be handing out the paper to everyone, we’re not necessarily going to be lifting anything verbatim from the paper, but we are working with the same data set. And the same research that we’ve already kind of done, or maybe, you know, again, hopping on a podcast to talk about it, or something like that, like, what about those self promotion, things that aren’t like literally sharing the paper, but working within that same research that you already did?

Charles Van Rees 

Totally fine. Cool.

Kayla Fratt 

That’s great to hear.

Charles Van Rees 

Yeah, just I mean, especially for purposes like that, that are more like broader education and sharing. Nobody minds that at all the issues come like if you made a pretty figure, for one of your papers, you publish it in journal ABCD. And then you try to write a paper in journal XYZ, and you want to use the exact same figure you cannot do that without explicit permission from that journal.

Kayla Fratt 

Gotcha. It’s that kind of makes sense. Yeah. I mean, that sounds actually relatively similar to the other like, broader kind of publishing world like I’m not double submit the same article to different freelance places, but I definitely written an article on how to kennel train a dog to four or five different publications.

Charles Van Rees 

Yeah, I mean, that gets in academia that gets cuz, you know, you can’t, you can’t publish the same results and same analysis on the same data in multiple places. Someone will catch that. And that’s really big trouble that’s like scientific economically for the rest of your life. That’s just completely illegal. I mean, you just can’t it’s unethical, right? Because you’re, but but you can analyze maybe the same dataset in a different way, telling a story, learning something new. And all you have to do is like, make sure that you’re not publishing anything that has already been published in other journal when you do it.

Kayla Fratt 

Yeah. I mean, I think the the analogy falls apart a little bit. But like, for example, when I’ve done the crate, the kennel training articles or whatever, like, they all have a different headline. And a lot of times I do try to and even if you like, go on journey dog training under kennel training, I have an article on like, my puppy won’t stop peeing in his crate, my puppy won’t stop barking in his crate. My puppy hates his crates, you know, they’re all Oh, I see. Yeah. Broadly, you know, it’s all about crate training, but they’re actually kind of taking it a different angles. And like, fundamentally, the solution is often similar. And like, a lot of the meat of the article is a similar approach. But it’s kind of packaged in a different way. And it’s written for a different audience.

Kayla Fratt 

I think like, I think one of the things that I, as someone who so often runs into paywalls, it would be really important to me, it is really important to me, going forward to try to make sure that some of this stuff can get communicated. So here’s another one that maybe So okay, so say, Dr. Jessica Heckman, she’s, she’s gonna be on the show. Shortly before you she was one of the authors on this big, dark genomics paper. We weren’t talking about the paper, but we love her. Say she wanted to take to her personal blog and write a very, you know, sigh calm oriented explainer of the paper? Is that allowed? Are you allowed to do that as well? So yeah, okay. So I’m just like, I just want to be able to like, also make sure that like normies, who, you know, a can understand it, because navigating this stuff, and reading scientific papers is absolutely a skill that many of us, you know, are not fluent in. And then to, you know, the frickin paywall? Yeah, you know, so it would be really important to me to be able to have the opportunity to share maybe kind of two different versions were one is the one that I own. It’s very science communication focused. And that is kind of what’s shared with the broader public, and then all the scientists can read, you know, the stuff that went through R.

Charles Van Rees 

Yeah, I don’t know, I don’t know where the wind falls in terms of like whether you can use the exact figures you use for the paper? Yeah, I’m unsure of that. But certainly like, right, like the public, if you’re lucky, the popular press gets a hold of your paper, if it’s exciting enough, and they’re going to talk about his conclusions, all that placement, that’s not illegal. If anything that really helps the journal out because more people are aware of your paper, and more people might cite it in the future.

Charles Van Rees 

So as far as most of the for profit journals are concerned, that’s a form of free advertising, so long as you’re not like giving away everything that would be in the actual published papers. But no, all of those kinds of publicity, in my opinion, are things that need to happen more, there needs to be more translation to the general public than there currently is.

Kayla Fratt 

The reason it’s happening. And the reason it isn’t happening isn’t because it’s not allowed or it’s frowned upon, or it’s like crass or something.

Charles Van Rees 

Correct. I think that there are probably quite a few further along more advanced career scientists who maybe think that it’s kind of like to millennial or Zoomer for them to be doing. Or it’s like, you know, they just, they just don’t think it’s like important for science, or they’re there. I know, lots of old professionals are just terrified of doing it. They don’t want to be on social media, because people are mean, and we’re all nerds. And we’re introverts, and we don’t want to deal with that. So there’s lots of reasons why people don’t do it, but it doesn’t, but none of them are is illegal, as far as I understand it.

Charles Van Rees 

And sometimes, this is another Avengers thing. Sometimes you just need to like hook up with some people who are really great science communicators and have them spread the word about what you do, right. I see an increasing number of scientists going on podcast to talk about their research, you know, sometimes specifically with one or two papers, to to get the word out. That’s great.

Kayla Fratt 

Yeah. Yeah, I love that. Okay. Last question. Is there anything that I missed as far as this kind of frantic discussion and of how to get published, that we need to come back to anything we need to expand on anything that I just didn’t ask about. So I don’t even know what I don’t know.

Charles Van Rees 

Gosh, I think we’ve done pretty well. Yeah, I mean, this is I was I was involved in a seminar for graduate students at UGA last last spring that was like, part of it was supposed to be like, you know, teaching people about this process. And I think we have managed to cover like, a semester worth of stuff. Already, which is fantastic. No, I don’t I don’t think so. I think that those are really the basics. I’d be certainly very interested in hearing, you know, listener questions. If people have follow ups to this, you know, we could always talk more, I think this is a pretty infinite topic. And it’s very, very interesting, but I think we’ve covered the basics, and that’s hard to do. So bravo.

Kayla Fratt 

Yeah. Oh, yeah. No, I appreciate it. I literally could not have done it without you. Which isn’t always the case with this podcast, I definitely have done some interviews where I bring on an expert, because they’ll do it better than me. But I could have done it without them. And this is absolutely something I could not have done without you.

Kayla Fratt 

Okay, well, I guess maybe then the last thing, are there any you know, you just mentioned the seminar. Do you know if there are any online seminars or workshops or mentoring groups are anything that people should consider looking at? Because again, I think one of the things that is relatively true for a lot of our listeners is, many of them are not academics embedded in academia, we are adjacent, we are helpful, we want to be involved. But we’re not. Again, we’re not in like a building on a college campus where this is something we can just walk over to find out more about.

Charles Van Rees 

I have to say that, in my personal experience, everything I’ve learned about this process has been either firsthand, or, or what we call that kind of like, informal professional mentoring with mentors. In the last 10 years, that could easily have come up somewhere, I have never Google Search to know all this stuff now. So I don’t think about it.

Kayla Fratt 

But that’s true, but maybe a little bit of time, I’ll see if I can find anything to throw into the show notes for people to check out.

Charles Van Rees 

Yeah, I really, there are enough people nowadays there are enough like clever, interesting community minded grad students and stuff like that, who have been taking the time to make resources like that for other people with things like statistical analysis, like for anybody who’s interested in learning some basic bar and stuff and whatever.

Charles Van Rees 

There’s, there’s a really cool nonprofit, I think it’s a nonprofit, called DataCarpentry.Org. And they do awesome stuff for like, tutorials learning AR, and some of them are ecology focused. And some of our other stuff focus, like, check them out, you know, I’m sure there’s something like that for the academic publishing process, but maybe not. It’s a weird set of skills. It’s a very weird set of skills. But now, from this day forward from henceforth, this podcast will be a resource for anyone who wants to talk about this stuff, because

Kayla Fratt 

I’ve been making sure to get transcripts up from the episodes almost always the same day the episode is published. So for a lot of this stuff, where maybe you want to be able to go back and be like, What was the thing he said about the the research factors or whatever, like, you can go back and just, you know, Command F that on your, on your computer, find that. And then or if you’re kind of if you can’t remember the term or whatever.

Kayla Fratt 

I think the transcripts for this sort of episode are going to be really helpful as an easier way for people to refer back and the transcripts have timestamps, too. So then you can toggle back and forth between the transcript and the episode, if that’s helpful for you. That’s fantastic. I know, this is the sort of thing that like, I’ll be listening to an episode like this, while I’m driving or running or biking. I never listen to podcasts when I’m sitting around and can easily take notes on stuff. You know, and then I’m in the situation or I’m trying to remember like, gosh, they mentioned the like, four important factors for you know, are the five different outcomes that can happen with a paper post submission, but I’m driving 60 miles an hour down the highway right now.

Charles Van Rees 

So just share this!

Kayla Fratt 

Yeah, yeah. Well, Charles, thank you so much for spending your Saturday morning, helping us figure out how to navigate the wild world of academic publication. Where would you like to be found online if anyone wants to come ask Any more questions or just follow you?

Charles Van Rees 

Oh, for sure. Well, so my professional sort of me oriented website is vanReesconservation.com. And there you can read about my research and sort of where I’ve been. So my previous experiences, you can find stuff on my science communication, you can find the papers, I’ve published references to medically relevant relevant. I also run the blog Gulo In Nature, which is a natural history and nature education and outdoor advice blog. It’s kind of been my little baby and my passion project recently. So if you like, well, it’s it’s a baby. It’s a growing, it’s a toddler now perhaps. Yeah. Thank you, of course for saying it. But yes, definitely, I could. I am always super grateful for any support or sharing or people who just want to see what that blog is about and give me feedback on things they’d like to learn about in nature. It’s absolutely, it brings a lot of joy to my heart. And so I’m always excited to share it with people.

Charles Van Rees 

For social media and things you can find me on Twitter at gulothoughts, which is where I’m pretty active and somewhat less active, but still communicate communicative on Instagram at guloshots. And the guloinnature blog, I think is also probably have an easier way to get in touch with me on Instagram. And that’s just guloinnature.

Kayla Fratt 

Excellent. Yeah. And you have a TikTok, but I think I am you’re only follower.

Charles Van Rees 

There’s absolutely nothing on there.

Kayla Fratt 

Yeah. TikTok is a hobby, not an outrage venue for me at this point.

Kayla Fratt 

Well, Charles, as always, thank you so much for coming on. For everyone at home. I hope you’re inspired to maybe instead of getting outside of being a canine conservationists, maybe it’s time to sit down and crunch some data to get a paper published a little bit less fun of a sign off, but more relevant. As always, if you’ve got a chance, please go ahead and rate and review the podcast that helps other people find us helps kind of share the Word and particularly with this episode, share it with some other young scientists in your life. We’ll be back in your earbuds next week and looking forward to talk to you all more.