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Handpicked favorites: Our team's favorite Q&As

In this series on handpicked favorites, we have already shared with you a collection of our team’s favorite infographicsvideos, and discussion-based articles. I’m sure you have loved them! 

In this post, let’s take a look at one content format that wouldn’t have been possible without you! Yes, I’m talking about Q&As. The Q&A forum is where we are able to interact with you directly. On this platform, you share your concerns and ask questions, and we answer them to the best of our ability. With more and more authors participating, the Q&A forum has gradually developed into a community where authors are interacting with each other. It is heartening that some of you share your personal experiences and/or opinion through comments and community answers.

Coming back to the favorite picks, our team members had a tough time picking their favorites from the 600-odd questions that we have. But as it turned out, each team member did have a personal favorite that was quite unlike what the others had chosen, and a unique reason as to why a particular Q&A stood out for them. Before I share these handpicked Q&As, take another look at our team members, just in case you don’t remember all of them!

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And now, let's dive into the team favorites!

1. What is the meaning of "decision in process" status? Clarinda’s favorite question is one that came in during the early days of Editage Insights’ launch, and has all along been very popular among our readers, with 267,774 views and over 250 comments till date. The answer gives a simple explanation of what happens at the journal end when the status on the online submission system shows “decision in process.”

It was a really simple question and answer, but it unearthed all sorts of questions and confusion researchers have about manuscript tracking statuses. The discussion in the comments section never dies. - Clarinda

2. Should I withdraw my paper if the journal is taking unusually long to process? This Q&A guides authors on how to deal with journals that are slow to process the paper and are not very responsive to emails. The answer recommends following up with the journal and explains the process of withdrawal, which is the last resort in case of extreme delays. This question is Sneha’s favorite.

The publication process can be long-drawn and in some cases authors may face a dilemma when it comes to continuing with the same journal or withdrawing the paper. I think this Q&A provides a solution or rather a direction on what authors should do and how they should proceed in such a situation. - Sneha

3. Is publishing the same paper in different languages duplication? In some countries, publishing in international journals is a prerequisite for career progression, and researchers from these countries often wish to know whether publishing an English version of a local publication is acceptable. The answer provides guidance on this topic and makes it clear that transparency should be maintained and both journal editors need to be informed prior to submitting the translated version of an article. This is Jayashree’s favorite Q&A.

I picked this Q&A because it presents a doubt many young researchers would have. Getting published is important but it is even more important to get published the right way, and many researchers might forget that. - Jayashree

4. How to write a pre-submission inquiry - Sheng-fen’s favorite Q&A is a basic yet useful one. Authors are often unsure about the amount of information to be included in a pre-submission inquiry, and the answer provides guidance about this.

Pre-submission inquiry is not very well known among Chinese authors. Though some people have started gaining awareness about it, they are still not sure what information can be included in the email. This Q&A explains how they should go about doing it correctly and ethically. - Sheng-Fen

5. How can I identify whether an international conference is legitimate? This is the Q&A that Aparna likes the most. Predatory conferences are on the rise, and the answer to this question provides guidance to early career researchers on how they can identify a legitimate conference to avoid getting duped into attending a dubious one. 

I feel this is a question a lot of researchers probably ask themselves. Being able to differentiate between bogus conferences and legitimate ones is important for early career researchers. Since there’s not much material online that helps distinguish the two, it’s necessary for researchers to equip themselves with a basic understanding in this regard. - Aparna

6. How to create keywords for a research paper - This Q&A focuses on a much-neglected aspect of manuscript preparation – keyword selection. Authors often pay little attention to keywords and come up with them at the last minute, just before submission. However, keywords play an important role in making research papers searchable, and hence should be chosen after careful consideration. Andrea expressed the same sentiment when asked why this is her favorite Q&A.

I like this particular Q&A because it clearly explains how to choose relevant keywords and also stresses the importance of keywords in making your paper searchable. I feel that, because manuscript preparation is such a long and tedious process, the importance of picking keywords could often be overlooked. - Andrea

7. How much do journal editors rely on plagiarism detection software? Since I am the one providing answers to the questions on the Q&A forum, I found it particularly difficult to pick one as a personal favorite as I felt too close to some of the questions. Finally I zeroed in on this question as it provides a detailed explanation of how editors check submitted manuscripts for plagiarized content. The answer explains to what extent editors depend on the report of plagiarism detection tools, what percentage of content similarity they consider acceptable, and which sections of the manuscript they are generally more lenient with. This information is insightful for authors and helps them understand how to avoid rejection due to a high percentage of content similarity.

Which of the above Q&As do you like the most? Do you have a personal favorite that’s not among the ones chosen by our team members? We’d love to hear from you! Share your views in the comments section below. 

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