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CERF Webinar: What I Wish I Knew About Publishing When I Was a Graduate Student
Wednesday, January 23, 2019, 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM EST
Category: CERF Events & Webinars

What I Wish I Knew About Publishing When I Was a Graduate Student

Presented by:  Dr. Paul Montagna and Si Simenstad

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About Dr. Montagna's portion of the webinar:

One of the most difficult things students (and young professors) face is getting it all down on paper and eventually into print. However, this gets much easier over time if you gain experience. Here are a few things that I have learned over the years:

  1. There are a few common mistakes that most students make while writing, but there is a method to the madness.
  2. Navigating the science journal landscape and submission process has become more difficult, so the key is organizing all your files in advance of submission.
  3. Preparing figures and tables in a publishable format is difficult, but there are methodical ways to simplify the process.
  4. It takes some work to turn a thesis or dissertation into a publishable article. 

About Si Simenstad's portion of the webinar:

Peer review has emerged as one of the major foundations of modern science. Although there is some variation in the way that journals use peer review to evaluate submissions, the external peer reviewer is generally the crux of scientific validation. Assuming that the journals’ editorial managers, editors in chief, and associate editors have filtered and diverted manuscripts that do not meet the journal’s stated aims, scope, guidelines, language adequacy, ethical responsibilities and potential conflicts of interest, the reviewers’ role should be focused on the manuscript’s scientific value. The peer reviewer is basically responsible for assessing both the scientific quality and the suitability for the specific journal. The basic objective is to assess the quality of the research underlying a manuscript’s theory, design/conception, and discussion of results. To varying specificity, this assessment optimally evaluates the:

  • Underlying theory and background
  • Writing/presentation
  • Study design/conception
  • Method/statistics
  • Discussion of results
  • Relevance of contribution
  • Reference to the literature

In association with providing guidance to the supervising editors, the reviewer’s responsibility is to be objective, fair and provide clear statements that are of value to the writer in helping them to improve their science. Optimally, peer review is dependent on reciprocal altruism, wherein responsible referees are prompt, thorough, fair and constructive. In this webinar, Estuaries and Coasts co-editor-in-chief Si Simenstad will provide some guidance and advice on how to be an effective peer reviewer.

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About the Presenters

About Dr. Montagna:

Dr. Paul Montagna received a Ph.D. from the University of South Carolina (1983), and completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (1986).  He was a professor at the University of Texas at Austin, Marine Science Institute from 1986 – 2006, where he was the creator and founding manager of the Mission-Aransas National Estuarine Research Reserve in 2006. In September 2006, he became the Endowed Chair for Ecosystem Studies and Modeling at the Harte Research Institute for Gulf of Mexico Studies.  He is also a Professor, Department of Physical & Environmental Sciences; and Regents Professor, Texas A&M University System.  His research focuses on two major themes: freshwater inflow necessary to maintain the ecological health of estuaries; and biological and ecological effects of offshore exploration and production on continental shelves and the deep-sea, including oil seeps and spills. Paul has a long history with CERF having chaired the 1995 Biennial Meeting in Corpus Christi, Texas, served on the CERF Board 1997-2001 and 2005-2007, and been Co-Editor in Chief for Estuaries and Coasts since January 2017.

About Charles "Si" Simenstad

Charles “Si” Simenstad is an estuarine/coastal marine ecologist who studies fish habitat associations, community interactions and food webs, with a particular focus on Pacific salmon in the Pacific Northwest region. The two questions that form the base of his research are: What controls an ecosystem’s ability to support fish such as juvenile Pacific salmon? and, What might alter the integrity of the relationship between salmon and the landscape? His work thus covers a variety of topics, from what juvenile salmon prey on while they are growing in estuaries, to the influence of landscape structure on fish behavior in coastal wetlands. Additionally, he is deeply involved in estuarine/coastal habitat restoration from San Francisco Bay north to Alaska. In recognition of his efforts, he was awarded NOAA’s Nancy Foster Habitat Conservation Award. 

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