Gear Up For Research @ SUL

April 23, 2018
Zac Painter
Stanford Faculty Editors Panel



“The approach that is used can be compared to a tapas or dim sum meal; lots of little morsels, but not much depth in any instance.”  - (Comments from a reviewer to Noah Diffenbaugh)
Very much unlike the unsatisfying and shallow review received by Dr. Diffenbaugh, Gear Up For Research at Stanford was a big hit. A full crowd attended this spring’s Gear Up For Research event, hosted by the Stanford Libraries. Gear Up’s focus is on helping Stanford affiliates learn more about the trends in contemporary academic publishing, and gear them up to better promote their work, with lots of little morsels to chew on and the resources needed for a deeper understanding.

The first half of the event presented four crucial steps to writing a successful paper. Bioengineering Postdoc Katharine Ng lead the day off with a presentation on creating those eye-popping and catchy graphics that nearly every scientific paper needs to stand out to readers (and editors!). Equally important to graphics are the abstracts, with Stanford’s own Kelly Harrison of the Technical Communication Program providing concrete steps to demystify the abstract process.

If there’s something important  and trending about the publishing process now, it’s data and rights. We were fortunate to welcome a Senior Editor of PLOS, a leader in open access, Meghan Bryne, to discuss the latest in data sharing in publication. And once you publish that paper, you’ll need to know what rights you have to it. Stanford Deputy University Librarian Mimi Calter lucidly lectured on your rights to your press (and all those other things about contracts and freedom).

Post-lunch we were entertained out of our food coma by a panel of four Stanford faculty who serve as journal editors. The panel, narrated by Associate University Librarian Bob Schwarzwalder, provided both insight and the occasional bit of hilarity (including the review at the start of the page) regarding what editors are really looking for in a paper, and a behind the scenes look at the grit and grind of the editorial and review process.
The day rounded out with two presentations connecting to the morning topics. Another faculty editor, Jin Zhong Zhang of UC Santa Cruz, combined graphics and abstracts together into the graphical abstract, and discussed the philosophy behind this trending topic. Finally, Daniel Ibarra brought together our discussions on data sharing and copyright with a look into preprint servers.


The Food Was Gone!