In the last couple of months I have come across articles (describing studies) on scientific publishing, more specifically publishing scientific papers. It’s got me scratching my head a bit!
One study reported in Physics Review Letters (vol. 74, 208) discusses how papers that combine (and get the balance right) unusual work/findings/knowledge and more conventional understanding tend to have a higher impact.
When most of us write papers based on our results or proposed ideas, the concerns foremost in our minds often are on how best to present the material, engage the audience and highlight the novelty, the breakthrough, convince readers of the claims and so on. There is also the usual set of decisions on which journal to choose, the kind of paper (letter/full length article), include media files to supplement or not and so on.
I doubt that anyone would want a low impact/poor citations. Yet, the writing and paper planning process for me has never till now included a strategy of the sort intuited by the study I mention above. Would it be possible to adopt such a reasoning in my approach to planning and writing papers? Should I even try and can it be successful? Can it be applied to research grants as well?
So that’s genuinely surprised me and what you think and your experiences about this would be really interesting to know.