10 simple strategies to increase the impact factor of your publication

impact factorImpact factors are heavily criticized as measures of scientific quality. However, they still dominate every discussion about scientific excellence. They are still used to select candidates for positions as PhD student, postdoc and academic staff, to promote professors and to select grant proposals for funding. As a consequence, researchers tend to adapt their publication strategy to avoid negative impact on their careers. Until alternative methods to measure excellence are established, young researchers have to learn the “rules of the game”.

However, young scientists often need advice how to reach higher impact factors with their publications.


What is the best publication strategy in science?

female student publishingYoung scientists often get conflicting advice on how they should publish. Every generation of young scientists has to address similar questions: Should I publish several smaller papers or should I focus on one big paper with a high impact factor? What is the effect of my publication strategy on my career and the possibility to raise grant money? How important is my publication list for a non-academic career?


Why professors do not train you for the non-academic job market – and how to handle it!

Mad professorAbout 97% of all young researchers find a job *outside* academia. However, most professors focus on academic success and scientific excellence. Some professors are afraid to transform young scientists into “slaves of the market”. Others simply do not feel qualified. Most universities invest a lot of money and efforts to train PhD students and postdocs well for the non-academic job market, but most young researchers do not feel well-prepared.

Why is it so difficult for universities to fulfil these needs of young scientists?


Should I become a long-term postdoc?

long-term postdocWhen discussing career paths in life sciences with postdocs, we hear on a regular basis the wish to escape from the “rat race of the professors” by accepting a kind of long-term senior postdoc position in academia. The idea is to obtain a permanent position (and thus a safe job in economic turbulent times) which encompasses at the same time an intellectual stimulating and creative profession with some (but not too much) responsibilities. Is this what you want?


What to do when you are falsely accused of scientific fraud?

AccusedOne of the most distressing experiences for a scientist are false allegations of scientific fraud. As a result of technological progress it is easy to screen publications and PhD theses for plagiarism, photo manipulation and statistical abnormalities. A disadvantage is that false accusations are distributed quickly all over the world and ‘haters’, ‘trolls’ and ‘stalkers’ can stay anonymous while damaging the career of a scientist. What to do if you are falsely accused?