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Academician of the American Academy of Sciences Professor David J. Kupfer: How to write and publish a High-Impact-Factor SCI Paper

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Academician of the American Academy of Sciences Professor David J. Kupfer: How to write and publish a High-Impact-Factor SCI Paper

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The 17th National Academic Conference on Psychiatry of Chinese Society of Psychiatry (CSP), Chinese Medical Association was held on August 29th. At the invitation of the COP Editorial Board, Professor David J. Kupfer, an academician at the American Academy of Sciences, attended the conference and gave a wonderful speech titled “How to write and publish a High-Impact-Factor SCI Paper”.
The strategy for writing an outstanding paper
•First, clarify the purpose of paper writing.
•What does the “final outcome” look like? Why should I do so? What is information? Who is the audience? What format is best? What kind of publications and channels should I choose?
•Build a clinical hypothesis and choose a specific question to answer in the paper.
•Be sure to choose a method suitable for answering the research question.
•Describe the method in detail.
What on earth does data mean?
•Conduct a careful and appropriate analysis. Some research papers raise novel questions and adopt appropriate methods, but the data analysis is defective; ideally, a statistician/methodologist should be involved in research design and analytical plan-making. If no statistician/methodologist gets involved, please consult a statistician to make sure that you are making an appropriate analysis.
•Describe your analysis results
•Provide data to support (or refute) your initial hypothesis.
What is the relationship between your findings and what we already know?
1. Discussion:
•State the most important result in the first paragraph;
•Provide a brief review of relevant academic literature and state your findings;
•Admit limitations;
•Provide a potential explanation to the research and its clinical significance;
•The use of correct grammar can make the paper more convincing (please seek help from a native English-speaker or a person that is proficient in English).
2. Design figures well:
•Use illustrations to draw readers’ attention to important findings;
•Use illustrations to show the results clearly;
•Use arrows, asterisks or other icons to make figures easier to understand;
•The information contained a well-designed figure can usually be summarized in one sentence.
Key Factors for Effective Writing
The IMRaD (Introduction, Methods, Results and Discussion) format requires the following order: “introduction - methodology - results - discussion”.
1. The Introduction needs to explain clearly why the research problem is so important; have you ever published a paper about this problem; what’s the significance of this research (why do you do the research?). Skills for writing an introduction: come to the point, provide background information for readers, keep it brief (300 words) and simplify the story.
2. Methodology: provide enough details so that readers will know very well your research method and research design, etc.
Tips: Describe design and control (e.g., retrospective and observational studies, case control, volunteers, etc.); describe choice criteria (e.g., for patients); describe the source of the standard method rather than give a detailed description; don’t forget statistical method selection, clinical trial registration or ethical approval.
3. Results: describe your research results or what you’ve found in the research, and state your findings and the data about the research problem. Tips: first describe the most important findings (the same as “methodology”); keep it brief and relevant; use charts to illustrate key points; use a table to illustrate numeric comparisons; don’t forget basic data and p-value /%'s/confidence interval; avoid discussing pros and cons, while nothing but data needs to be displayed here.
4. Discussion: Put the results in the context. What’s the answer to your research problem? What results have you achieved? What are the potential new research areas? Other useful tips: discuss the merits and demerits of your method (including the methodology); make a discussion by comparing with other research results; keep balance; keep objectivity.
5. Abstract: make a brief summary of your research. The principles to follow include: AB -absolutely, STR -straightforward, ACT-actual data presentation and interpretation. Word number: 250-400 words (mostly ≤20 sentences). An abstract usually contains at most 200 words or must be structured. See the specific requirements of the journals for more details. A structured abstract should contain the research background, objective, methodology, results and conclusions. Tips: specific and brief; concise; in IMRaD format; the content shouldn’t contain references (unless required); use abbreviations wisely.
6. References: Tips: the number of the documents cited matters—cite the latest theses; don’t quote every sentence, but just refer to the main points and viewpoints; quote original studies as much as possible; understand anything before quoting it; avoid journal self-citation; Be sure to use the citation style required by the journal!
7. Acknowledgements and disclosures: the main points must be clear; disclosure/conflict of interest: if the facts that the participants get to know in the publishing process should be made clear because if they are disclosed later, rational readers will fell misled or deceived. The conflict may be: a personal/political/academic/financial conflict; everyone involved in the publishing process must disclose all relationships that contain potential conflicts of interest (or declare that there are no such relationships at all). Good publishing practice: Thanks to the contributors; be sure to thank others with consent from them.
8. Authorship: Who is the author? It is defined in ICMJE “Uniform Requirements”: All the authors must meet three standards: they have made a great contribution to concept and design, data collection, and data analysis and interpretation; they have taken part in paper drafting and critically modified important knowledge content; they have eventually approved the edition to be published. “Those who have just participated in paper writing shall not be considered authors, no matter how well they have done the work.” The names of the contributors that shall not be considered authors should be listed in the part of Acknowledgements.
Submission and Peer Review
Which journal do you plan to contribute to? Before submission, you should consider the following question: Is your paper about basic science or clinical practice? Does it have general or concrete content? Check the target journal’s set goal and scope; read others’ papers published in the journal; please read the specific instructions on contributions carefully before writing. Consult your peers and supervisor for advice; does the journal have the correct reader, index, and impact factor? Please choose a right journal:
•JAMA (rejection rated: 92%)
•The Lancet (rejection rated: 90%)
•NEJM (rejection rated: 92%)
•BMJ (rejection rated: 93%)
The editors request that the paper content should be novel relevant and high-quality
•Peer review refers to that the authors’ research or thoughts is reviewed by related experts. Journal editors weed out and pick out papers according to peer review, which helps to ensure balance, because it is very important to build a reliable knowledge system for others.  
•Your choice of a journal—practical.
•Consider what the editors may look for in the journal content: editors hope that excellent papers will be read and cited.
•Rules to follow:  true, professional; do not conceal information at all; do not violate rules.
•Please pay attention to the comments made by the editors and peer reviewers.
•Be aware that you may not succeed— but don’t give up!
•This process takes time: averagely, peer review takes 2-3 months; A paper will be published 3-12 months after accepted (decided by the journal), but the paper will be published online as a non-final edition before printing.
Expert introduction:
•Editor of CurrentOpinion in Psychiatry
•Chair of the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Pittsburgh School ofMedicine
•Chair of the American Psychiatric Association Task Force for DSM-5.
•Elected to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences in 1990.
•Member shipof American Psychiatric Association, Distinguished Life Fellow, 2003.
•Founder of International Society of Biporlor Disorder
•The associate editor of Bipolar Disorders.
•Editorial Boards of The Lancet Psychiatry, TheInternational Journal of Sleep Disorders, Addictive Behaviors, PsychiatryResearch, et al.
•A prolific writer, Dr. Kupfer has authored or co-authored a combination of morethan 1,000 articles, books, and book chapters

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