One of the strengths of the BMC series is our relationship with our Section Editors and our Associate Editors. They do a lot of hard work for our journals, overseeing peer review and making decisions on manuscripts. We love to meet our external editors in person, and even more so to support them and their research communities. Therefore, I was thrilled by two recent invitations from Associate Editors to speak to researchers and students at their institutions.
On April 16, I spoke at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health as part of the Heilbrunn Department of Population and Family Health‘s Spring 2018 Seminar Series, giving a talk entitled “How to get your research published: An overview of preparing, submitting, and revising an article for a scientific journal.” Despite the pouring rain, a group of students and researchers came to hear me give tips on planning the research, writing the manuscript, choosing a journal, getting the editor’s and reviewers’ attention, and responding to reviewers.
Later that week, I returned to the department to have a more intimate chat with some of the students in the DrPH program to answer some of their specific questions about publishing their work. It was fascinating to hear about some of the important work being done in the fields, especially since much of it related to my journals, including BMC Women’s Health.
On April 25, I co-led a workshop on scientific publishing for the Chinese Scientists and Staff Association of Massachusetts General Hospital. Despite it being yet another rainy day, we had a full room for the workshop. I began with an overview of how to choose a journal and respond to reviewers, and was followed by Dr. Xingcai Zhang, who spoke about his experiences as an Associate Editor and as a reviewer for a variety of journals. We then answered questions, alongside two other scientists with similar experience. There was lively discussion of the benefits of serving as a reviewer, what to do after a paper is rejected, and how long to wait before emailing a journal to check the status of a manuscript.
I greatly enjoyed these opportunities to get out from behind my computer to meet and talk to researchers whose work is so fundamental to our journals, both as Associate Editors and authors. I look forward to more such opportunities in a future Workshop Tour.