The influence of impact factor in open access publishing


The trends in open access publishing are the talking point of most academicians in scholarly publications. One of the most commonly misunderstood topics is the correlation between impact factors and open access journals.

One of the most significant benefits of publishing open access is that the article is freely accessible to everyone to read. Thus, valuable research data can be disseminated to a broader audience, and the article’s impact factor may increase.

Is the impact factor helpful in assessing the quality of research papers? Is open access publishing suppressing the efficacy of the impact factor? Well, some open access journals have an impact factor, while many do not endorse these metrics.

An open-access journal may not have an impact factor due to the following reasons: the scope and aim of the journal may be in the Arts & Humanities sector, such that it is not enlisted in the SSCI (Social Science Citation Index) or the SCI (Science Citation Index). These are databases that present the impact factors of journals.

The OA journal may be relatively new, and the process of application of indexing in SCI and SSCI databases may not have occurred. In the case of fairly old journals, the editorial board has to make an effort to apply to indexing processes.

However, most prestigious OA journals have an impact factor, but that does not mean other OA journals have published low quality research. On the contrary, the impact factor indicates the quality of research even in subscription journals of the same discipline.

Now, let us understand the complex aspects on which the impact factor depends. In general, patterns of citations in a particular subject area and the type of articles a journal publishes are taken into account before giving an impact factor to the journal.

For example, an open-access journal may be well-read by the masses. Its content is freely available to everyone and is not restricted by a paywall, like in subscription journals. An ordinary reader may expect the articles to be highly cited. However, if the readership is mainly due to medical practitioners, the articles won’t be highly cited.

Most researchers consider the impact factor of the journal before publishing an article. However, researchers and funders are moving beyond the scope of impact factor to assess the merits of scientific research. Today, they are exposed to a wider range of metrics, which enable a better assessment of the quality of research.

Furthermore, in open-access journal, the article is available online and is free to read for everyone and anywhere in the world with internet access. Therefore, the research published in open access journals will have a broader impact as it generates lots of downloads by researchers worldwide.

How to write a good introduction to a research paper?


An introduction is the first section of a research paper after the abstract. It summarizes the rationale behind the topic of a research study. The background information is presented to induce the reader into understanding the hypothesis and methodology of the experiment. An introduction has to be written in a simple, lucid language, making a good impression on the reader. An introduction should present general information on the topic of the research study in the initial paragraph. Then, the specific context of the study should be explained. The introduction should have the statement of purpose of the study in the concluding paragraph. It should also include potential outcomes of the study.

Information related to the topic of study would include the significance of the topic, the general background of the topic, and an overview of current research studies on the topic. There would be a niche problem associated with the topic of a research study. Then, develop a research question that would confront the existing assumptions. Thereafter, identify gaps in existing research studies. Now, that the research topic is aligned with the niche of research, it is mandatory to explain the objective of the research study. The highlights of the study may be summarized along with important results. Finally, the authors should describe the structure of the study in a concise, succinct manner.

A research problem may be dealt with many methodologies. However, the reader must be informed in the introduction section why alternative methodologies have not been considered and why authors have chosen a specific approach to deal with the research problem. In other words, every introduction section should describe how a research problem is being investigated within the scope and boundaries of the study.

The introduction section of a research paper should have a narrative flow. Firstly, the subject area of interest should be identified clearly. For this purpose, the keywords presented in the Abstract section should be used in the title of the paper. The same keywords should also be used in the initial few sentences of the introduction section. Thus, although general information would develop the background, the subject area of interest would also be presented in a focused manner.

The context of the study would include a critical and rational review of all published studies related to the subject area of interest. There may be known facts about the research problem, and these must be presented in the introduction section. Thus, this information would help readers understand key elements associated with the research problem. The hypothesis that is going to be investigated must be stated clearly toward the end of the introduction section. The rationale behind this research problem must also be stated at the end of the introduction. In conclusion, the goal of the introduction is to compel the readers to peruse through the paper.


An overview of the different types of academic writing for researchers


An academic career cannot take off smoothly unless a researcher masters the art of writing in academics. A researcher is usually a student pursuing PhD or post-doctoral research. Therefore, they can put their creativity and imagination to good use in academics. Proposal writing and abstract writing are the two most important types of academic writing, which are needed to secure research grants and publications. In this article, we provide tips on how to master the art of academic writing.

Proposal Writing

In academia, researchers have to write a draft of research proposals or grant proposals. This draft should basically provide an outline of your research. A well-written research proposal is the best way to communicate research plans, which can then be implemented successfully. A grant proposal needs to be well written for receiving funds from a bank or other funding institution. The structure of the writing proposal needs to be carefully drafted for this purpose.

In general, a conventional paper would have the following components: title, abstract, introduction, research questions, literature review, methodology, conclusion, and bibliography. Most readers are well acquainted with such kinds of research plans and the results of such a proposal will be maximum. While writing a grant proposal, academics should clearly outline the following terms: source of funding, goals, timing of the research study, educational qualifications, and documentation.

Dissertation Writing

In academic writing, most researchers are compelled to master the art of dissertation writing. To complete their MSc or PhD degree, most researchers have to defend their completed dissertation. The tone of writing, sentence structure, grammar, punctuation, and citations are all very important aspects of dissertation writing. In a dissertation, all ideas have to be presented and cited from related studies. The sources that are referenced should be done in accordance with academic style guides, such as the APA, AMA, or the Chicago Manual of Style. The arguments presented in the dissertation must be obtained from trusted sources.

Abstract writing

Among all forms of academic writing, abstracts are required to be written by all researchers in their dissertation and thesis. An abstract is a short summary of the entire paper and should present the objectives, methods, results, and conclusion in not more than 250 to 300 words. Because of wordcount limit, researchers need to write the content very precisely and concisely. An abstract would also include a number of keywords, depending on the topic of the research study. Most essays and thesis contain an abstract section before the introduction section.

Academic Editing services offered by Harrisco: top editing company of academic research papers.


Academic editing of research papers is a highly specialized service offered by Harrisco Research Institute. Our company is based in Seoul, South Korea and has been in service since 1997. The documents that usually need editing are thesis, admission essays, research papers, journal manuscripts, books, etc.

Harrisco’s clients are leading universities of Korea, which includes medical colleges and hospitals affiliated to them. Editing is a highly specialized skill, which is performed by highly qualified native English editors from the US, UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand. They have advanced degrees (MSc/PhD) in their technical field of specialization.

An academic editor would check for errors in grammar, punctuation, logical flow of ideas, organization, and style. Academic editing also involves formatting of research papers according to a specific journal’s style.

In general, medical papers are formatted according to the AMA Manual of Style. Business and engineering papers are formatted according to the Chicago Manual of Style.

Other prominent style guides are the APA, MLA, Harvard, Oxford, and Turabian style of formatting. The reference list and the citation style are always formatted according to a particular style guide. The papers are edited and submitted to leading SCI journals, which follow the system of international peer-review.

Academic editing is essential for ESL (English as Second Language) authors as they have English language issues. The intended meaning of the hypothesis and experiments are conveyed correctly by academic editors.

In Korea, the papers are first translated from Korean to English and then polished by technically qualified editors. As the editors have advanced degrees in science and technology, they have requisite subject matter expertise.

Academic editors themselves have an impressive list of publications. They have participated in academic conferences and understand the nuances of academic editing. The polished manuscript will have four important components: Abstract, Introduction, Methods, Results and Discussion.

Most journals specify that the word count of Abstract needs to be between 250 to 300 words. Thus, academic editors also do word count reduction as per instructions to authors guideline of journals. The international peer-reviewed SCI journals are from leading scientific publishers, such as Elsevier, Springer, Nature, and Wiley.

Journal editors are very strict, so the acceptance of articles depends on the quality of content. Therefore, researchers cannot afford to make mistakes in their content, especially English language errors. Harrisco has an impressive track record of 100% publication output.





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.


How to impress the Journal Editor with Your Cover Letter

In research and academia, it is extremely important to publish your data and results in international English journals of high-impact factor. All researchers have to submit a cover letter along with their manuscript to the journal editor. Usually, a cover letter is addressed to the Editor-in-Chief of the journal.

A journal editor forms a first impression of your work by reading your cover letter. Based on the cover letter, a journal editor gets a glimpse of the main ideas presented in your study. A journal editor then decides whether the manuscript is relevant for publication in the journal. In other words, a cover letter is a mirror to the quality of a research study.

A journal editor may either forward the manuscript to the team of peer reviewers or may reject it outright. In some cases, a journal editor may be so impressed with the cover letter that they may publish the manuscript as it is. Now, let’s discuss how you can write a cover letter that is concise yet persuasive in its tone.

Typically, a cover letter is written in professional English and should not exceed more than 2 pages in length. A cover letter is mostly written to sell a research study to a journal editor. In this article, we present 11 tips for cover letter development.

  1. Always include important fundamentals of a cover letter: It is always preferable to use a letterhead from your affiliated institution. If letterhead can’t be availed, then make it a point to furnish the following details at the top left corner of the page: the names of all authors, including corresponding authors, the email address for correspondence, and the physical address of the institutions affiliated to the authors.

In case of a standardized letterhead, the author must include his or her contact information at the end of the letter, just below the signature. The journal editor would always need your contact information for further correspondence. To increase the credibility of the cover letter, the author should include the hand-written signature and not just the mere name in typed format.

In some journals, different editors are assigned to review manuscripts of different regions: American, European, Asian, African, and Middle-eastern regions. Many prestigious journals have global coverage, so authors should make sure that they are contacting the right editor in their region.

Address the editor with their proper title, such as Dr. or Prof. before mentioning their correct name. A journal’s website usually displays the names of its editors. If the names of editors are not available on a journal’s webpage, then you may address them as “Dear Editor” or “Dear Editor-in-Chief”. Always refrain from using the following salutation: “Dear Sir” or “Dear Madam.”

Authors should always make it a point to write the cover letter in a unique way. Remember that originality is the keyword here, so an author cannot simply copy the wordings from their manuscript. They need to paraphrase their results and findings in a succinct way. Only native English authors are capable of rewording their findings and data. Take the help of a native English speaker if you are not comfortable with rewording. Before developing ideas for your cover letter, make sure that your research completely aligns with the theme, scope, and objective of the journal.

2. How to present the main content in the cover letter of a journal: The tone of the cover letter should be positive and constructive; the English language usage should be professional. The “title of the manuscript” should be presented as it is in the cover letter. Make sure you present the correct title as there may be instances where you have changed the title in the final draft of the manuscript. Then, clearly mention the type of article presented in the manuscript.

For example, it could be a short summary, a meta-analysis, full article, a systematic review, etc. Remember, an ethical author never submits a paper to more than one journal simultaneously. There could be instances of an author submitting their manuscript to another journal after facing outright rejection from a prestigious journal. Then, such an author should write a new cover letter to the different journal editor.

This cover letter should address the theme, requirements, and objectives of the second journal. There could be instances where you are addressing the editor for the second time. In this case, the cover letter should clearly indicate how you have modified the manuscript by taking into account the constructive feedback of the peer reviewers.

All the reasons of rejection should be clarified in the second cover letter. A journal editor is always keen to publish papers that have novelty of content. Therefore, the main content of the cover letter should be just one or two paragraphs explaining the novelty of a research study. This section should cover all the important points presented in your manuscript. This section cannot be very long or short; it should be of medium length.

The author should present the best results of the experiments and mention all the novel techniques used in the study. All significant results of previous related studies may be included in a concise manner, if necessary. However, the author must be careful enough to ensure that the results presented in the cover letter match with those presented in the main manuscript and in the supplementary information.

Finally, the author should explain the significance of the rationale behind submitting to a particular journal. This is the most important aspect of a cover letter. A journal editor should be convinced that your research study addresses the scope of the journal. The author must explain how their research study addresses an important issue and how it can attract the attention of the journal’s readers. A journal editor must be convinced that the research study contains path-breaking results.

3. How to conclude your cover letter: Make a list of the other supporting documents that you are including with the cover letter: the main manuscript, the supporting information, author information forms, feedback to the comments provided by reviewers (This is included in revised cover letter.).

However, it is important to keep the cover letter concise, so some authors may do away with this information as it simply lengthens the cover letter. Remember a cover letter is like a sales pitch for a research study. The author has to convince the editor how a research study is relevant to the scope of the journal.

In the final paragraph, the authors should thank the editor for considering their manuscript, and they should be open to constructive feedback thereafter. The authors should refrain from using abbreviations in the cover letter. Before submission, they should make sure that the content does not have any errors related to grammar, punctuation, and style. There should be no spelling errors in the cover letter.

Most researchers in Korea think that cover letter development is a daunting task. Harrisco is a leading academic editing company that provides complete publication support to Korean researchers. The native English editors of Harrisco are retired professors who can draft perfect copies in immaculate English. Being scientifically strong with PhD degrees, Korean researchers are assured of high-quality work.



Why do researchers need ORCID account

We live in information age where everything is available at the click of a mouse and search engines are an integral part of our lives. Likewise, the world of scientific research has also undergone metamorphosis with onus shifting toward digital age. Check out the success of Google scholar, PubMed, ResearchGate, and Mendeley: the most powerful tools for researchers all over the world. Just a thought for magnitude: PubMed is the biomedical literature library that provides upto 1 million papers each year. PubMed makes medical literature available to the common man, a digital innovation of the US government.

With digital nature of publications, information science has also undergone metamorphosis. Today we live in a world of digital libraries, and a system was required to integrate and collaborate researchers all over the world. The latest data and science had to be available to researchers living anywhere in the world, thanks to the internet of things.

An ORCID iD account

ORCID is the acronym for Open Researcher and Contributor ID. It is an important digital platform that connects researchers with latest research publications and innovations all across the world. ORCID Inc was launched on October 16th, 2012. ORCID ID is a digital identifier, which is an alphanumeric, 16 digit code. It is a unique identification number, which stands for the digital identity of each individual working in the research industry: professor, independent scholar, post-doc researcher, science writer, academic author, doctorate student, etc.

These digital numbers are used by each researcher to get access to scientific research across the globe. At the same, ORCID creates a massive integration of the entire research publication process, right from submission of grants to the publication of manuscripts. It is a unique way of getting research work recognized, advertised and promoted.

Uses of ORCID ID

As an ORCID account holder, your efforts in terms of publications and conferences are provided to all members of ORCID; researchers across overseas and domestic frontiers can easily collaborate and gather resources for research grants and funding. ORCID number traces the following activities:


  • Research publications
  • Research papers related the researchers’ papers
  • Published patents
  • Research grants
  • Research blogs
  • Affiliations to institutions and research organizations
  • Awards and recognition
  • Evaluation scores
  • Wikipedia articles

In totality, ORCID account simplifies the manuscript submission/acceptance process for any scientist bridging the gap between academia and industry. ORCID is acceptable by all scientific publishers, so researchers can submit their papers easily to all publishers. They do not have to refurbish their information and credentials each time.

In terms of manuscript writing, ORCID account provides access to most scientific literature. Thus, scientists can easily scour the literature and cite relevant literature in their manuscript for improving the authenticity/quality of their research study.

Here is the list of prominent publishers which have mandatory ORCID requirements for authors:

  • Hindawi
  • PLOS
  • Royal Society of Chemistry
  • Science
  • Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineering
  • American Geophysical Union
  • American Chemical Society
  • Nature
  • Wiley

Today researchers from different universities and research organizations from across the world can collaborate and gather research funding, thanks to the most successful platform: ORCID. The most prestigious governmental research funding in Australia is received from NHMRC (National Health and Medical Research Council) and ARC (Australian Research Council). They have made ORCID compulsory for all researchers in Australia for receiving grants. In the USA, the research funding agency NIH (National Institute of Health) has streamlined the process of integrating their user name with ORCID.