Faculty journal editors share insights on the publication process at top journals

Author: NDnano Staff


Leaders of the NDnano Graduate Student and Postdoc Group organized an “Insights on the Publication Process” event in September for their peers across campus. The two-hour panel discussion featured five faculty from the College of Science and College of Engineering, all of whom hold editorial roles in scientific journals.

Zach Lawson
Zach Lawson, chair of the NDnano Graduate Student and Postdoc Group

The panelists shared their insights on the key factors that lead to publication and how student researchers can set themselves up for success when navigating the publication process.

The panel included:

  • Professor Ruilan Guo (Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering), Editor of Polymer

  • Professor Gregory Hartland (Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry), Deputy Editor of Journal of Physical Chemistry C

  • Professor Prashant Kamat (Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry), Editor-in-Chief of ACS Energy Letters

  • Professor Masaru Kuno (Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry), Editor of SPIE

  • Professor Sylwia Ptasinska (Department of Physics and Astronomy), Editor-in-Chief of European Physical Journal D

Hesburgh Engineering Librarian William Baer served as moderator.

Zach Lawson, graduate student in the Department of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering and current chairperson of the NDnano Graduate Student and Postdoc Group, related the vision for the panel discussion. “Notre Dame has accomplished faculty who hold prominent editorial roles in renowned scientific journals,” he said. “Our goal was to disseminate their knowledge.”

Faraj Al-Badani, graduate student in the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering and co-organizer, added that the panelists' first-hand experience gained by overseeing the publication of countless papers is invaluable as graduate students and postdoctoral researchers seek to disclose their own research and present it in such a manner that strengthens the likelihood of publishing successfully.


Karla Gonzalez-Serrano, postdoctoral scholar in the Department of Electrical Engineering and event co-organizer, noted several points that the panelists articulated as to what editors consider when deciding whether to review a particular manuscript:

  • The panelists explained how they search for suitable reviewers and have to consider the reviewers’ sometimes-conflicting recommendations on the acceptance or rejection of a paper.

  • In a fast-paced world where the bar for “good” papers is always getting higher, the panelists pointed out key considerations to significantly improve the likelihood of getting a manuscript published. They highlighted the importance of the title, abstract, and figure quality for getting an article considered for review.

  • The panelists emphasized the importance of telling a good story and practicing every day to improve writing skills.

  • The panel also explained how to select an appropriate journal for a particular manuscript as well as how to reach the right scientific community, join the conversation, and truly make an impact in the field.

“This was a great opportunity for grad students and postdocs to get a better sense of what goes on behind the scenes as a journal considers their manuscripts,” Gonzalez-Serrano said. “The audience left with many suggestions on how to prepare more impactful papers as well as a greater understanding of editors’ perspectives, and that will help them as they navigate the publication process themselves.”


Originally published by NDnano Staff at nano.nd.edu on November 07, 2023.