Monday, March 28, 2011

I've been published* in Nature Materials!

So I wrote a letter to the fine editors of Nature Materials (one of the most respected and reputed journals in my field) on their recent editorial, "Transparency in peer review", and they up and published it in their April issue!

They're testing out new ways to make peer review more transparent, namely publishing the anonymous reviewers' reports as supporting documents alongside publications. As any history professor will tell you, these primary documents that describe the actual motivations and narrative of the authors, editors and reviewers are incredibly valuable in understanding the context within which this research was conducted.

My letter to the editors can be pretty much summed up as "Yes, yes, more of this sort of thing. Hurrah!"

But, let my experience be a lesson for all of you: if you are willing to put the 10 minutes of effort into responding to an interesting editorial or letter you come across, send it to them and you may just find yourself published!

*Having a colleague who just published an actual research letter in Nature Materials, I should warn you that trying to get your name in such a prestigious journal the normal way is much, much more difficult (and correspondingly more rewarding for her career).