<Advice to young researchers for submitting a first English paper>
The Japanese Society of Radiological Technology (JSRT) and the Japan Society of Medical Physics (JSMP) have decided to publish official English academic journals, “Radiological Physics and Technology”. The first issue was released in January 2008. The purpose of the publication of this journal is to make an important contribution to the growth of both the JSRT and JSMP and improve the members’ academic levels. One of the main goals of the publication is to share Japan’s medical radiology research achievements and techniques with the world.
Although there are many English academic journals already around the world, it may not be so easy to publish a paper in these journals or to make a presentation at a well-known academic conference overseas when you are novice researchers. Therefore, we must swiftly and strongly encourage our members to write English papers in order to increase the amount of experience in publishing. Also, even more importantly, we need to publish English journals to gain international recognition for their achievements. Consequently, our Editorial Board found it necessary to create English journals designed for those who have little or no experience in writing English papers. This concept enables our members to submit their papers in English without much hesitation and gain experience at the same time. For that reason, in “Radiological Physics and Technology”, the authors, Editorial Board, and reviewers work together to improve the writing of submitted papers.
In the meantime, we have a piece of advice for researchers who have never written English papers before. It is to “Write short papers”. The contents should mainly consist of new ideas, a clear comparison with conventional ideas or methods, and data to support the validity of your new ideas. Good ideas often make a big contribution. Papers containing excellent new ideas do not need to include complete verification, much data, or comprehensive and complex analysis or discussions. However, even in short papers, it is important to clarify the aim, methods, results, examinations and conclusion of the study. In general, the length of a paper has nothing to do with the quality of it. For example, J. Watson, who won a Nobel Prize for elucidating the DNA structure, wrote a paper which was only one page long. So, we suggest writing a short paper focusing on your new ideas. Generally speaking, short papers are easy to write. Also, short papers allow reviewers and the Editorial Board more time to read intensively, and so give authors more beneficial advice. You can write long and comprehensive papers when you are more experienced.
Still, English in your papers must be understandable for English speakers. If you feel your English is not adequate, please have a native speaker correct your English at your own discretion. If your English is easily understandable for English speakers at the time of submission, your papers will then be revised by experienced professionals. In this case, the cost will be covered by the societies as a part of a necessary reviewing process. After the revision by professionals, your papers will be reviewed by members of the Editorial Board and reviewers. You can exchange opinions on the results of a review in Japanese or English. Also, you may choose up to three Editorial Board members to review your paper by submitting their names. Although we will try our best, we cannot guarantee your selected editors’ availability.
We believe this review process allows young researchers to publish their papers while learning how to write English papers. The Editorial Board is taking this as an opportunity to share the members’ study achievements with the world, and is waiting for submissions from many members. Of course, we welcome submissions from well experienced researchers with abounding achievements as well.
Kunio Doi, PhD, Editor-in-Chief
Radiological Physics and Technology