Once upon a time, people used to wonder that why scientists are so silent. Possibly they do not meet scientists around or they hear nothing from scientists, unless from some TV shows such as Discovery. Well, not everyone get to watch them, and may get laughed if watched too much when they are kids. I like Discovery when I was a boy, and always tried to replicate some of the simple experiments.
It would help me to become a researcher now. However, as a junior researcher, I meant a PhD student, I often faced obstacles of talking about my work to someone outside my research area. It is not about the linguistic competence, rather where I can talk.
In need of communicating one researcher’s work to another, he/she must talk appropriately, correctly, professionally, and more importantly on the right spot! Oh YES! It is about the right place where we can talk about our work to another. TED talks well, but not all in science there and will not give a chance to people like me, a nobody.
So we follow the rules that every scientist played for hundred years, we talk at scientific journals, conferences, seminars etc. Among all of them, scientific journal is the most important one, because it is THE ONE that values your work! All the scientists tried to publish their work as a tiny piece of article at scientific journals. Several years of work could normally ended in a format of article less than 3000 words.
People may wonder how difficult that could be. Well, all the article prior to be published, it is called manuscript. Once submitting a manuscript to the journal, it will be peer-reviewed (normally 2 professionals within the field). Then the editor of the journal will determine the acceptability of publication. There are so many journals in the world, scientists are not noobs. We looked at journals within relevant topic and judged the journal by its impact factor, which is a measure of citation rate per article, and is calculated by dividing 1 year’s worth of citations to a journal’s articles published in the previous 2 years by the number of major articles published by that journal in those 2 years.
We aim at higher impact factor journals. However, despite articles in the journal is well-cited by other researchers’ articles, how many other scientists may read your article and what about the general population?
It is a big wonder!
Should we talk about our work as easily as we tweet about our lunch?