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1 Big paper vs 2 smaller papers


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#1 vegeta

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Posted 07 April 2011 - 09:34 PM

I was planning to send my paper (partially complete) to this journal in the future. But suddenly it occurred to me (and my supervisor) that I can just publish what I have now and I can make a 'follow-up' paper for the data I generate in the next few months. Im just wondering if I would be at a disadvantage if I split my paper into two smaller papers. I am tempted to split it up so that I can just send the draft and take a vacation (which I havn't been able to because of a stupid promise I made)!!

Another thing.....Im new to science but Ive seen some really bad papers published with 'well known' authors in the author-list in some really good journals. I mean is it easier for a paper to get in because Einstein is one of the co-authors? Shouldn't the author-list be hidden from the reviewers? ....I think if reviewers don't like someone on the author-list..they just get biased

PS: Never published....just seen things...from a safe distance :P

#2 pito

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Posted 08 April 2011 - 01:13 AM

I was planning to send my paper (partially complete) to this journal in the future. But suddenly it occurred to me (and my supervisor) that I can just publish what I have now and I can make a 'follow-up' paper for the data I generate in the next few months. Im just wondering if I would be at a disadvantage if I split my paper into two smaller papers. I am tempted to split it up so that I can just send the draft and take a vacation (which I havn't been able to because of a stupid promise I made)!!

Another thing.....Im new to science but Ive seen some really bad papers published with 'well known' authors in the author-list in some really good journals. I mean is it easier for a paper to get in because Einstein is one of the co-authors? Shouldn't the author-list be hidden from the reviewers? ....I think if reviewers don't like someone on the author-list..they just get biased

PS: Never published....just seen things...from a safe distance :P


Cant give you any input on the first part of your question.
(altough, to me it seems a bit weird to make a follow up paper? it might look like you didnt do your job the way you should with the first? I dont know... #papers is also important often so maybe 2 is better then 1 ? But you need to be sure that the second one will be accepted then als a full paper.. on the other hand: if you indeed manage to write 2 full papers.. yeah, maybe 2 is better then 1?)

+ are you sending the papers to the same journals? Maybe 1 big paper gets published in a "better" journal then the 2 small ones?

But about the second part concering the "big names": yes it does help.... I know that often big names are added to the paper in order to give it more "respect" or whatever you call it..
It does seem to help if you got a big name on it..
I know for some papers that have big names on it that the big name didnt even do a thing for the paper (besides maybe reading it very fast or whatever).

and another comment, made by some other members here: the big impact factor of nature (or the fame of nature) is perhaps made by 10% of the papers and all the rest isnt that "good" really....

If you don't know it, then ask it! Better to ask and look foolish to some than not ask and stay stupid.


#3 newborn

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Posted 14 April 2011 - 11:19 PM

My opinion is that 1 paper with IF > 5 is better than 2 papers with IF <3.
Anyway, you should discuss with your boss. If he wants to publish now, just obey him.

#4 knuf

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Posted 15 April 2011 - 07:11 AM

I agree that is going to vary depending on circumstances, however one more point to consider: sometimes it is very helpful to you as a new grad student (im assuming that you are a grad student) to have a publication under your belt. This is going to help with getting awards in the future, if you want to apply for a fellowship or travel award or something like that to build up your cv. Also this takes away some of the stress of whether nor not you may get scooped or if the second half of the paper doesnt work out as planned...so for me the assurance of having a paper already published is worth the offset of not having that big paper, but obviously you (and primarily your boss) have to decide whether its worth the risk.

#5 laurequillo

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Posted 15 April 2011 - 10:46 AM

I agree; if you are a PhD student two small publications is ok. But if you are a Post-Doc, definitely one big publication is better than 2 small ones!
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