In severe cases of COVID-19, autoantibodies cause havoc and even death

 

It is a well-known fact that the pandemic of COVID-19 can be controlled only by boosting the production of antibodies in the immune system of patients. However, a recent article in Nature magazine reports otherwise. According to scientists at Yale University, the immune system of patients with severe COVID-19 is impaired significantly and boosting the production of antibodies cannot really control the illness.

Diseases like lupus and rheumatoid arthritis are autoimmune disorders, which are treated by boosting the production of autoantibodies. These antibodies interact and target damaged tissues associated with autoimmune diseases. In patients afflicted with COVID-19, autoantibodies target multiple organ systems that are otherwise healthy. This means that healthy tissues in the brain, liver, and gastrointestinal tract are attacked by autoantibodies. Moreover, they also target blood vessels and platelets in the bloodstream. This implies that the severity of COVID-19 is directly proportional to the number of detected autoantibodies.

Scientists at Yale University also found out that these autoantibodies attack many proteins in the immune system, that is, proteins that otherwise effectively fight infections are damaged by autoantibodies. Therefore, the situation is like a double-edged sword in patients with severe COVID-19 infection. In general, antibodies are effective in combating infection, but when COVID-19 infection is severe, patients develop autoantibodies. These autoantibodies attack multiple types of cells and tissues.

In most cases of COVID-19, the infection became severe and led to the production of autoantibodies, which are antibodies that caused extensive damage. However, it must be noted that in most severe cases of COVID-19, patients already had a pre-existing disease that caused the production of autoantibodies. The observation was done after testing mice with pre-existing autoimmune disorders and who had developed COVID-19 infection. Such mice had a large concentration of autoantibodies. Such kind of sickly mice were more likely to succumb to COVID-19 infection as there is no effective cure till date.

Autoantibodies are also called rogue antibodies and are believed to be existing for a long period of time in patients with pre-existing autoimmune disorders. When such patients contracted COVID-19 infection, they developed severe form of the disease that could not be tackled with existing medications and injections. The medical symptoms of COVID-19 became severe and long lasting in these patients. In other words, the virus became a legacy in the bodies of these patients. Therefore, all patients with autoimmune disorder should immediately be vaccinated to prevent more cases of severe COVID-19.

In patients with autoimmune disorder, autoantibodies are produced even at a mild stage of COVID-19 infection. The study was conducted by an esteemed team of scientists and physicians working at Yale University. In their clinical practice, they made concerted efforts to tackle COVID-19 infection: they screened blood samples of 194 patients with COVID-19 infection; the extent of severity was different in different patients. Nevertheless, autoantibodies were detected in all the blood samples of these patients.

Yale scientists developed a novel technology to detect the extent of damage caused by autoantibodies to proteins of the immune system. The technology was named Rapid Extracellular Antigen Profiling (REAP), and it explored the interaction of autoantibodies with approximately 3,000 proteins of the human body.

The scientists at Yale believe that the study’s findings may be used to develop novel strategies to combat or even prevent the damage caused by autoantibodies in patients with severe infection of COVID-19. Moreover, REAP technology is not just restricted to measuring the response of autoantibodies to COVID-19 infection.

The technology can be used to determine the damage caused by autoantibodies in patients with many types of autoimmune disorders and chronic diseases. These scientists are now exploring whether the technology can be used to determine the damage caused by autoantibodies in cancer patients and in patients with neurological disorders.

 

 

 

How to standardize metrics and indicators of the quality of research papers

 

 

Thanks to advances in computer algorithms and data science, several metrics and indicators are today available for evaluating the quality of research papers. The impact of a research paper can be evaluated with these metrics that are specially designed to suit the needs of an individual researcher, a team of researchers, a department of an institution, etc.

Peer review is a qualitative process, but metrics is a quantitative parameter and the choice of metrics depends on the goal and subject of a research study. Despite receiving funding for metrics research, scientists still do not have high quality metrics to evaluate the findings of a research study that presents global data. Despite having shortcomings, journal level indicators are still being used as parameters for research quality evaluation.

A 2014 conference on Science and Technology Indicators (STI) was held at Leiden in Netherlands. The panel consisted of eminent professors and professionals from a leading STM publisher, Elsevier in Netherlands. They felt that there is an urgent need to standardize the quality of metrics and indicators that are used to evaluate the content and data presented in research studies.

For this purpose, they coined the term “Snowball Metrics” initiative: all international universities decided to collaborate and develop a set of standards for evaluating the quality of research in terms of both output and research methodology. This is a collaborative effort between the Director of Research Metrics at Elsevier and eminent professors of leading universities in the world. The moot points of Elsevier’s vision are as follows:

  • An entire workflow of a research study is evaluated on various aspects with the help of several metrics.
  • Peers related to the subject of a research study must be allowed to select their set of metrics.
  • It should be possible to generate and use metrics in an automated fashion and at a scalable level.
  • In general, the focus of a research study is to answer a question related to science, technology, or medicine. A metrics evaluates the data of the study in quantitative fashion, but this data should also be validated qualitatively with evidences to ensure that the findings of the research study are complete.
  • The quantitative inputs of multiple metrics are found to be most reliable in nature.
  • Metrics are affected by some characteristics, such as discipline and so they must be considered even if they do not reflect the performance of a research study.
  • The use of metrics can be done in a transparent way only when researchers do not use manipulative ways of “gaming.” Nevertheless, researchers still use metrics in an irresponsible and incorrect way.
  • Researchers who use metrics on a daily basis should be given the responsibility of defining the set of metrics that they need everyday for use. Thus, this community of researchers can alone come forth with the definitions of various metrics.
  • There should never be any black boxes in research methodologies.
  • An aggregation of metrics should never be considered. Moreover, composite metrics never reflect the true value of data presented in a research study.
  • The methodologies used to evaluate the quality of metrics should never be related to the sources of data and the tools used to generate the data. Moreover, the business models and access codes used to gather underlying data should never be affected by metrics.

 

Pfizer signs a cooperation deal with Gilead for remdesivir, a COVID 19 medication

 

Pfizer signed a cooperation deal with Gilead Sciences to produce and supply remdesivir, a promising drug used to treat COVID-19. According to this agreement, Pfizer shall provide production services at its McPherson, Kansas factory in the US. The company would be manufacturing and supplying the drug remdesivir for Gilead.

After signing the cooperation agreement, Pfizer became a promising company in the fight against COVID-19. The deal is aligned with the “innovation ecosystem” that commits to fight a battle against COVID-19 pandemic. The agreement has brought about a fruitful collaboration between small biotech companies and large pharmaceutical companies. Many government agencies associated with academia would be benefitted from this cooperation.

The COVID-19 pandemic has become a real menace, and a single company cannot really bring about an innovation and put an end to the COVID-19 menace. The deal between Pfizer and Gilead would be good enough to bring about an innovative ecosystem, which will deliver effective medical solutions. Both companies would be working together to manufacture vaccines, sterile injections, and biologics.

 

300 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine to be supplied to European Union by Sanofi and GSK

The European Union would be receiving upto 300 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine by GSK and Sanofi. Sanofi and GSK collaborated with each other to produce the vaccine candidate, which is based on recombinant protein-based technology and adjuvant technology. European countries like France, Belgium, Germany, and Italy would be manufacturing doses of this vaccine. This is a major breakthrough in fighting against COVID-19.

This is the first major vaccine against COVID-19 and it will be benefit one million Europeans, provided it is safe and effective at the clinical trial stage. The vaccine would be beneficial in tackling the global pandemic of coronavirus.

In a press release statement, the President of GSK vaccines thanked Sanofi for collaborating with them, and reiterated that the vaccine would be available soon in Europe. Both companies have worked hard to scale up operations and introduce a vaccine that will be able to tackle the growing pandemic of COVID-19.

The clinical trial would be conducted by Sanofi, and the phase 3 stage of the trial would be completed by 2020. If the vaccine produces positive results, the team of scientists at Sanofi would be filing for a regulatory approval, which is expected to be completed by the first quarter of 2021. Moreover, Sanofi and GSK have collaborated together to produce an antigen and adjuvant that would produce about one billion doses per year.

Globally, the vaccine would be available through a collaborative effort by Sanofi and GSK

In the United States and the UK, Sanofi and GSK have signed cooperation agreement with the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority. The companies have decided to scale up the production of the vaccine at a global level by the end of 2021/22. The collaboration would include governments and global health organizations.

 

How South Korea effectively handled COVID-19 response

 

South Korea has been one of the few countries that could control COVID-19 pandemic effectively. The government of Korea effectively handled the situation without putting extreme pressure on its existing healthcare system. In this article, we explain how South Korea effectively handled the public health system.

Testing Timeline

In South Korea, a diagnostic method based on real-time polymerase chain reaction (rRT-PCR) was developed for coronavirus. The following healthcare systems were involved in this process: the Korea Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Korean Society for Laboratory Medicine, and the Korean Association of External Quality Assessment Service.

The specially designed diagnostic kit was introduced commercially on March 9, 2020. The team of scientists introduced 15971 kits in the market, and they were used for testing 522,700 patients. By April 15, about 534,552 people had been tested positive for coronavirus. This constitutes 10.4 people per 1000 population.

About 600 screening centers were assembled in South Korea. In more than 90 medical institutions, specimens were tested with rRT-PCR. The public health system of South Korea is quite effective in tackling infectious diseases. Stringent rules were applicable for contact tracing procedures. South Korea’s public healthcare system is adaptive and compatible with private healthcare system.

The South Korean government provided specialized treatments to coronavirus patients, depending on how severe were their symptoms. The healthcare policies implemented by South Korean government were effective because South Korean society has a homogeneous culture. Compared to most developed countries of the world, South Korea was quite effective in controlling deaths caused by coronavirus.

Let’s further delve into factors responsible for South Korea’s success. Field investigations conducted by the South Korean government were very extensive in terms of their epidemiology. Multiple sources (medical records, credit card, and GPS data) were used to collect patient data. In a recently held survey, more than 84% of South Korean citizens felt that public health security was more important than loss of privacy in terms of data.

South Korea has a political system of uniform democracy. The country has a centralized system of public health governance. Therefore, South Korean agencies are able to implement policies at the local level easily.

 

 

How to handle manuscript rejection of an academic journal

 

Many ESL (English as Second Language) researchers face manuscript rejections from the editorial board of prestigious peer-reviewed journals. However, they should not be disheartened and devise a strategy to overcome this debacle. Obviously, most authors would like to challenge the decision of the editorial board by making ardent appeals.

They can modify the content of the manuscript to suit the needs of the journal and consider resubmitting the manuscript to the same journal or they may seek the help of publishing experts and submit the revised draft to an entirely different journal. In this article, we describe the steps that authors need to take after manuscript rejection.

It is extremely challenging to comprehend the complex style guides of international scientific journals. As ESL researchers have a limited command over English language, they may seek the help of scientific editors to polish, revise, and review the content of their manuscript. Most authors ask their colleagues to do an informal peer review at the pre-submission stage.

Although a manuscript is revised and reviewed several times before submission, about 40% papers get rejected after being peer-reviewed by an esteemed team of independent researchers. Moreover, the recent survey points out that 21% of scientific papers are rejected outright by the editorial board.

Even after a manuscript is rejected by a journal, an author has several options to move forward. An author need not despair by the negative review process, but they need to adapt to the constructive criticism provided by the editorial board. The reviews provided will certainly help the authors in improving the scientific content of their document.

Let’s explore what an author can to handle rejection by an academic journal

  1. Appeal to the editorial board

Most journal websites display a policy for challenging the rejection of the editorial board. All authors have the fundamental right to appeal against rejection, but the decision should be based on logic. Emotional sentiments do not carry any weightage.

Sometimes, peer reviewers may reject a manuscript due to misunderstanding of content. Such situations are delicate, and authors can still defend their thesis politely. Appeals that elaborate the scope of the journal are not really appreciated by the editorial board.

2. Journal re-submission

When the authors have clarified their stance and cleared all misconceptions of peer reviewers, the editorial board will reconsider their decision and may even invite authors to resubmit their revised manuscript for publication. By incorporating the suggestions of peer reviewers, an author can brighten their chances of publication. However, the editorial board of some journals do not have any re-submission policy, and authors need to respect their viewpoint. In such cases, authors should try to find another journal suitable for publication.

3. Modify the manuscript before submitting it to a different journal

Most authors prefer to submit their work to another journal after facing rejection from the journal of their choice. However, the authors should carefully incorporate the changes suggested the peer-reviewers of the first journal. This would improve the scientific accuracy of the content and improve the hopes of publication in another journal.

Nevertheless, an author would still need to work on the manuscript and adjust it to the style specifications of a different journals. All journals have specific instructions for authors, and reference styles of most journals differ depending upon the field of study. A carefully worded, concise cover letter will impress the reviewing editor of the journal.

4. Submit to another journal without modifying the manuscript

Although this option seems to be easy, it is not really recommended to novice authors. All the efforts put forth by the esteemed team of peer reviewers would go in vain when authors do not acknowledge their suggestions. In general, most suggestions offered by peer reviewers improve the quality of the manuscript.

There could be some suggestions that may be erroneous due to misunderstanding and those can be overlooked. Although the set of peer reviewers would be different for another journal, they too may highlight the same flaws in the manuscript. All authors should carefully handle manuscript rejection of an academic journal.

5. Discard the manuscript and do not resubmit it to another journal

Some authors may feel so dejected that they may totally do away with the manuscript. Resubmitting a manuscript to another journal is a pain-staking process, but it is not correct to discard valuable research findings. Research data has to be published somewhere for mutual academic benefits. Who knows your data may be a building block for path-breaking research in the future?

We all know that scholarly publishing was concealed under paywalls, but things have changed today with the success of open access journals. Compared to the conventional subscription journals, many open access journals are less strict with their review process. Journals like PeerJ, PLOS One are incredible for biomedical researchers. Platforms like Figshare make research data freely accessible and citable to the masses.

6. Hire the services of author education companies

Finally, authors may consider the services offered by many author education companies. A complete package of scientific review, English editing, and journal selection may improve their chances of publication. Academic editors are native English speakers with advanced degrees in science and technology. They have an impressive track record of publication in international journals. Although there are several such companies, Harrisco is a name to reckon with.

Harrisco has been operational for the last 25 years, making Korean research accessible to international journals. Many retired American professors work remotely for Harrisco, embellishing the work of scientific manuscripts translated from Korean to English. So, the next time you face manuscript rejection, remember you are not alone. Harrisco is here to help every ESL researcher overcome the challenge of publishing in international English journals.

 

Which is a better choice: Open Access or Subscription Journal?

 

Researchers have to consider many factors before deciding whether to publish in a traditional subscription journal or an open access (OA) journal. The most important factors are the visibility of a journal, the cost of publication, the impact factor of the journal, and the speed of publication. Internet of things has created a radical shift in the academic publishing model. Today, internet is being primarily used to connect, share, and communicate things all across the world.

Previously, collaborations with prestigious journals were required to know the latest emerging trends in a field of study. Researchers flocked libraries to get hold of the latest copy of their academic journal. Today, all information is available online and researchers can easily read scholarly articles online. Moreover, they can save important files on their personal computers. Everything is available at the click of a mouse.

The online publishing platform has two options: the traditional subscription model and the recently popular open access model. The traditional subscription model charges hefty fees from readers to access their journal online. On the other hand, the open access model enables all readers to access scholarly articles free of cost. The publication cost is borne by the authors who submit their manuscript for publication. Moreover, researchers today share their work through Twitter, social media sites, and blogs.

The OA publishing model has removed all barriers of scholarly communication. Today, so much research work is available online to the general public without causing deep holes in their pockets. But researchers still have to publish in prestigious peer-reviewed journals that follow subscription model. This is because most subscription journals have high impact factor and prestige in the academic community. In this article, we guide researchers on how to make the right choice between OA model and subscription model of publishing.

The visibility of the journal: Most researchers want to publish their articles in journals that have high visibility and readership. As the online format of OA journals is freely accessible to the public, they enjoy higher visibility and readership. Compared to subscription journals, OA journals have 89% higher rate of full-text downloads, and 42% higher rate of PDF downloads. Moreover, the unique visitors of OA journals were 23% higher than those of subscription journals. These are the findings of a latest survey published by OpenScience platform of De Grutyer Publications.

The cost of publication: The article processing charges (APC) differ depending on whether the journal is subscription based or open access. At the time of submission, authors are charged a small fee to offset the costs related to editorial and peer-review services. However, authors have to pay a hefty fee once their paper has been accepted for publication.

Most subscription journals charge authors 100-250 $ for publishing a single page, and 150-1000 $ for publishing a single figure in colored format. On the other hand, OA journals have a flat APC value, which can range from as little as 8$ to a sky-rocketing figure of 5000$. Some journals do offer partial waivers to authors with limited financial resources.

Today, libraries of prestigious institutions like Harvard are encouraging authors to follow OA model of publication. This is because most subscription journals charge a hefty fee for full online access of their articles. The annual subscription fee of some traditional journals is about 40,000 $. Today prestige is being replaced by the more reasonable OA model.

Journal Impact factor: Most OA journals are relatively new and they do not have impact factor, which is a measure of the journal’s prestige in the academic community. For example, Springer published 500 OA journals in 2013, but only 179 of these journals had an impact factor. Most authors of science and humanities only want to publish in journals with high impact factor, that is, journals that follow the traditional subscription model.

Nevertheless, some disciplines do have OA journals with high impact factor, and can be considered to be prestigious. For example, PLOS Biology and PLOS ONE follow complete OA model of publication, and yet manage to be ranked 1st and 10th most prestigious journals, based on their impact factor.

Many Chinese and European universities provide an extended tenure of professorship to researchers who have published in high-impact, peer-reviewed, prestigious journals. Most well-established journals still follow the traditional subscription model. Moreover, it is easier to get research grants if you have an impressive list of publications in high-impact subscription journals.

The speed of publication: In the survey conducted by the OpenScience platform, about 65-70% of science authors always considered the time taken to publish a paper after submission, that is, the speed of publication of a journal. Most peer-reviewed medical journals have a publication time of 21 months, causing a time lag between clinical trials and data publication. For patients awaiting new therapies, this time lag for data dissemination is discouraging.

Clinicians should consider publishing in OA journals, because they are speed up the review process and shorten publication time. The most prestigious OA journals such as PeerJ, PLOS ONE, etc. are devoted to accelerate the peer-review process. In 2013, a survey examined 135 journals indexed by SCOPUS. They found that OA journals had a significantly shorter publication time compared to traditional subscription journals. Thus, OA journal is recommended to researchers who wish to disseminate their findings rapidly.

In conclusion, the visibility of a journal, cost of publication, journal impact factor, and speed of publication are the most important factors to consider while making a choice between OA and subscription journals. The well-established researchers can opt for OA journals, while budding researchers may opt for subscription journals as they still have to make a name for themselves in the academic community.

Nevertheless, the OA model is here to stay and it been popularized by the growing readership on the internet. Information platform has now shifted to online model modes from the traditional print model, which is dying with due course. Most prestigious universities are canceling their contracts with costly subscription journals. Harrisco offer journal selection service to all researchers who find it difficult to make this important decision. Harrisco is the no.1 academic editing company in Seou, South Korea.

 

Harrisco: world’s no.1 company in academic editing services

Harrisco has been providing academic editing services to more than 90 South Korean universities since 1997. Being the no.1 brand for academic editing services in South Korea, Harrisco has now planned to offer its services to other countries and establish a global presence. So, what really makes Harrisco a brand to reckon with?

Well, it is the consistent hardwork and dedication of more than 500 native English editors that polish manuscripts of Korean scientists and researchers. These editors have advanced degrees (MS and PhD) in science, technology, medicine, and humanities. They work in prestigious universities and research centers of the US, UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and India. Most editors work remotely for Harrisco through a sophisticated website platform.

To understand the significance of academic editing services, let us first take a peek on the latest survey carried out by Nature journal. The survey included more than 108 journal editors. Interestingly, more than 25 percent of these editors had received papers with serious English language errors. It is important to note that a paper that presents novel research results may be rejected due to poor English language usage.

Now, let’s understand what really is included in the scope of academic editing services. Harrisco offers two services of academic editing: Standard editing and Super Intensive Editing. Standard editing involves polishing the manuscript for grammar, punctuation, word choice, terminology, and spelling. The editors work hard on improving the overall clarity of the content presented in the manuscript. By availing our Standard Editing Services, researchers can ensure that the manuscript has good readability.

Harrisco has recently introduced “Super Intensive Editing Services” to researchers in South Korea. This is basically developmental editing of the manuscript. This improved version of academic editing involves a thorough assessment of the content presented in the manuscript. The editor may choose to rewrite a sentence and update information in order to ensure the content is relevant to the article’s title. The editors also work on simplifying complex concepts presented in the manuscript.

Harrisco offers 20% discount on academic editing services to its university clients. Moreover, Harrisco offers 10% discount on academic services to its individual clients. Harrisco is dedicated to maintaining high-quality standards, so it regularly conducts a “customer satisfaction survey” with its clients. The clients can then select an editor of their choice at no extra cost. Harrisco effectively handles all urgent assignments with its vast network of professionally qualified, native English editors. The charges for academic editing services differ depending on the turnaround time.

 

 

 

MIT ends publisher contract with Elsevier due to disputes over Open Access Model

 

The University of California (UC) took a bold decision last year by terminating its contract with Elsevier as it could no longer afford the high publishing costs of the very popular open access model of publishing. In June 2020, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) followed the footsteps of UC and terminated its contract with Elsevier, stating that the publisher did not provide a business proposal that aligns with the Publisher Contracts Framework of MIT.

This is a major jolt to the world of academic publishing, given that UC has more than 280,000 students and as much as 227, 000 faculty members. On the other hand, MIT has approximately 24,000 students studying at its campus currently. The MIT Framework of Publishing Ethics was introduced in the year 2019, and more than 100 academic institutions have openly supported this framework within just one year of publication.

The Framework emphasizes on disseminating latest research studies free of cost and immediately. Moreover, it acknowledges the publication output of authors and institutions in academia. The main goal of this framework is to support “open sciences” without barriers. According to Chris Bourg, the director of MIT Libraries: All the faculty member of MIT are disappointed to know that Elsevier could not reach a consensus with the MIT Publishing Framework; however, all the staff members and students across the country stand by the principle of “open science and knowledge without barriers.”

The negotiations between publishing giant Elsevier and MIT officials failed because the institute wanted all scholarly articles to deposited in MIT repositories immediately after their publication. Elsevier has never really implemented the concept of automated deposit for scholarly articles. Presently, Elsevier has the “read and publish” model of open access publishing, which does not align with the MIT Framework of Publication Ethics.

In the year 2019, UC had challenged the open access policies of Elsevier and was disgruntled with the publisher’s enormous monetary expenses. The officials at UC did not like the exorbitant article processing fees charged by Elsevier for providing “open access publishing option” to UC authors. Moreover, UC wanted Elsevier to draft a contract that allows 100% open access to all articles written by UC authors.

On the other hand, Elsevier offered “the open access model” on a much smaller number of journals, yet the cost of publication was increased significantly for UC authors. The officials at the UC issued a press release stating that they could not bear the publication cost of $30 million over a three-year period, yet they wanted to achieve 100% open access model of publishing.

In the proposal provided by Elsevier, UC authors had to forgo access to a number of subscription-based journals of Elsevier. Moreover, Elsevier did not provide any financial assistance to authors who lacked research grants. However, UCLA’s student newspaper Daily Bruin published a recent report stating that the effect of Elsevier’s ban was not really pronounced on librarians and researchers working at the campus. Very few students and researchers have complained about how the ban has negatively impacted their work.

To make amends, UCLA came up with an innovative “Inter-Library Loan program” that provides subsidized access to articles from libraries located outside the UC campus; these libraries may be located in the US or abroad. However, librarians at the UCLA campus have seen only a slight increase in the number of students availing this program. The increase has been only 15 to 20 percent of the projected value. This means that both students and researchers are now subscribing to articles of other publishers.

According to Virginia Steel, a librarian working at the UCLA campus, the effect of the ban on Elsevier has not really been dramatic. However, the officials at UC and MIT were open to a fresh round of negotiations with Elsevier; however, they both stand firm on the principle of “open access publishing.” The officials of Elsevier are now focusing their efforts on renewing negotiations with officials of both universities.

If Elsevier manages to come up with a contract that aligns with MIT’s Framework of Publication Ethics, then it would be strong step in propagating latest scientific studies to the general public. Although Elsevier shares the ethos of the MIT Framework, it is still not sure how to make a dramatic shift in its subscription-based model of academic publishing. Nevertheless, Elsevier is determined to find out a middle path that satisfies both the parties, thereby promoting the interests of the global community of researchers.

The year 2020 seems to be challenging the monopoly of Elsevier, a leading scientific publisher with a global presence. Interestingly, Elsevier’s negotiations also failed to impress officials at the State University of New York (SUNY) and University of North Carolina (UNC). Both these universities have also not renewed their contract with Elsevier. The officials at the UNC said that Elsevier is not really providing affordable publishing solutions, so they would not go ahead and renew subscription to 2000 e-journals. The UNC officials said that they would be subscribing only to a few selected journals of Elsevier from May 1, 2020.

Following on the footsteps of UNC, the officials at SUNY also decided not to renew their contract with Elsevier for “ScienceDirect” but they declared to subscribe to a short list of titles from Elsevier’s stock of journals. The negotiations between SUNY officials and Elsevier had taken place over a period of one year, but all those efforts seemed futile in changing the minds of the university officials.

The charges proposed by Elsevier were found to be too exorbitant by officials of SUNY. The “open access model of publishing” has changed the dynamics of academic publishing, and Elsevier no longer has an overwhelming control over the content. The officials of SUNY were of the opinion that the publishing charges proposed by Elsevier were inflated to make a whopping profit.

Why do researchers attend academic conferences?

Some budding researchers who have never attended an academic conference may think that the only objective behind attending an academic conference is to present your research study. However, an academic conference is an excellent platform to present your work to eminent professors in your field and to engage the peer review committee in a quick question-answer session.

All these sessions are ultimately aimed at strengthening the quality of your work. Paper presentations are just one aspect of academic conferences. In this article, we explore the many reasons for which researchers attend academic conferences. In general, most research papers are revised multiple times before being published in a peer-reviewed academic journal.

Most researchers have to wait for a couple of months to see their final draft getting published in the journal. However, academic conferences readily accept research work that presents recent findings in their field of study. In other words, academic conferences showcase emerging trends in a field of study.

An academic conference is information-driven, with many presentations from noted keynote speakers. A researcher can get enough information to decide whether a particular speaker has expertise in their field of study. Another reasons for attending an academic conference is the possibility of connecting with researchers living in different regions and countries.

Presentations act as advertising billboards, presenting innovative ideas. Normally, most billboards are used to attract the attention of consumers. Similarly, academic conferences are wonderful events to catch up in a conversation with esteemed researchers out of your lab.

Most conference attendees can continue their exchange of information even after the conference, all thanks to the internet and email. There are many high-quality papers presented at conferences, and you do not want to miss a golden chance of knowing them.

Most conference delegates can arrange a meeting with keynote speakers with the help of the conference app. Networking is the keyword here and academic conference create an environment conducive to international collaborations. Besides technical presentations, academic conferences also serve as social networks for budding researchers who can gain a fresh perspective on their career and research work.

At academic conferences, participants are mostly served great meals and drinks. While enjoying this session of eating and drinking, many young researchers can get themselves acquainted with speakers who had the greatest impact on them. Many academic conferences also have introduction sessions for young doctoral students who have freshly graduated from university.

Most academic conference organizers publish a set of proceedings, which is nothing but a book of abstracts submitted at the conference. This booklet is an official souvenir of the conference, and all participants receive this document at the end of the conference. The conference proceedings may be provided as a hard copy or in the digital format.

All the abstracts reflect the latest research work in your field of study. You can read through these abstracts after reaching home, because they are nothing less than a treasure trove. You may then introduce yourself to other researchers who attended the conference and make a long-lasting network of collaborations.

Although academic conference presentations can add a sparkle to your resume, everything comes with strings attached. Registration fees, traveling expenses, accommodation, visa fees are some of the factors to be considered before attending a conference. In general, most conferences are subsidized for graduate students and researchers from developing countries.

Many universities also sponsor academic conferences, which significantly brings down the cost of attending such conferences. Some researchers who are just embarking on their research journey may also receive travel grants for international events.

To avail of subsidies and grants, researchers should never hesitate in contacting the conference organizers directly. Moreover, they can avail of university grants by contacting their program coordinator, research supervisor, or HR department of their institution.

Attending an academic conference is a golden opportunity and paucity of funds should never be the reasons for not attending it. Some students are often hired by conference organizers to work as volunteers at the conference. So, these volunteers can attend such conference without paying registration fees.

Most conference organizers do not readily promote grants on their website, so asking them directly is the best chance of knowing about grants. Graduate students and young researchers should socialize through conference app and get to know about researchers living near the venue of the conference.

They can then enquire if these researchers are willing to accommodate them at their houses or about researchers willing to share accommodation rooms at hotels. Thus, the cost of accommodation can be covered with these initiatives.

Besides preparing presentations and posters, young researchers intending to attend an academic conference for the first time must spend some time in doing pre-conference prep. This will certainly boost your morale and remove your fear of conversing with unknown researchers.

Harrisco is a top academic editing company in Seoul, South Korea. It has been organizing academic conferences on various topics since 2017. Currently, it is busy organizing the 3rd IKNC conference for Korean researchers in August.

A strict review committee will monitor the quality of papers presented at the conference. All conference abstracts will be published as a conference proceeding by Harrisco. A few selected papers of high-quality would be published completely in SCI journals.

The names of these SCI journals are displayed on the conference website www.iknc.org. The last date for Abstract submission is 15th July 2020. The high-quality papers selected for publication will be first polished by native English editors of Harrisco, a top brand in the field of academic publishing.