"We are here to help you through the publication process."
Shivanee Shah comes from a family of medical doctors. As such, the natural career course was to choose the science/biology field. However, Shivanee broke the tradition and chose to pursue a career in research. Consequently, she graduated with a double major in Microbiology and Biochemistry, followed by a Master’s degree in Biochemistry. Her academic pursuits did not end here and the quest to pursue science resulted in a PhD in Immunology from Loyola University, Chicago. During her PhD, Shivanee studied how our immune cells worked to prevent autoimmunity. She was also awarded two postdoctoral fellowships in Chicago and Boston while continuing her research on stem cells and autoimmunity.
You chose to step outside your family tradition by pursuing research. How did you decide to enter the field of academic publishing?
I’d spent a decade abroad and it was now time to come back home to India. India presented a lot of opportunities in science in addition to bench research and I started exploring these options. A couple of my friends were in editing firms and they seemed to like it. That said, I applied at Editage, Cactus Communications and 2 weeks later I had a full-time job, a job I would love much more than lab work!
As a full-time member of the Publication Support team at Editage, you work with authors to help them through the publication process. How has this experience influenced your approach toward writing, editing, and publishing a manuscript?
Having been exposed to an academic research environment, I was accustomed to writing, editing, and publishing manuscripts. I was also not new to the rounds of being rejected by a journal and having to re-write and re-submit my manuscript to a different journal. Thus, at Editage, it was easy for me to relate to my clients. Earlier, the publication process revolved around my own research; but now, I need to critically analyze my client’s research as well. My scientific knowledge continues to expand!
Based on your experience as a researcher, published author, and now as a publication support expert, how would you define a good/well-structured manuscript?
A good/well-structured manuscript is one which is scientifically sound and that is written well to highlight its significance/novelty. It is also important for the manuscript to be clear and concise and to have a logical flow through all its sub-sections. All these components are essential for publication in a high impact-factor journal. We, at Editage, strive to get our client’s manuscripts to this level.
As an author, how did you go about selecting journals for the papers you published? Could you provide any journal selection tips for our authors?
In a research career, you tend to read a lot of papers to keep abreast of the continually growing scientific field and avenues of research. It is easy to judge the quality of your work in relation to other published
papers and thus to select a journal that has published similar studies or one that would be likely to accept your manuscript based on its aims and scope.
The ideal way to select a journal is to be very objective of your work, scientifically and editorially, and to pick a suitable journal that publishes the same quality of research in its respective field.
Would you like to share any memorable experience you’ve had with a client?
I’ve encountered all sorts of clients – from those who need their manuscripts processed as quickly as possible to those that allow us time but demand very high quality; from those who are very appreciative of my work to those who are hard to please.
This particular experience is with a client that I worked with for several months before finally submitting his work. He was always appreciative of my timely responses and meeting deadlines as per schedule. However, what made him memorable was his concern that I was working over Christmas break and actually requested “not” to hear back from me soon, so that I could take a break.
You clearly have a busy life. How do you spend your time when you’re not helping authors get published?
Being a mother of a 4 year old and a newborn, I do not have enough hours in a day! My life is all about caring, caring for my children and caring for my clients!
A few words for our clients…
Publishing a manuscript is not an easy process. We, at Editage, are here to help you through this process. The Publication Support Services team helps you from selecting journals to actually submitting the manuscript. My piece of advice is to be communicative. Tell us your requirements, previous rejections, and concerns, right at the beginning. It helps us understand you better and come up with better solutions more quickly.
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