Course curriculum

  • 1


    • Welcome

  • 2

    How to write better papers

    • Show what you know (1)

    • What makes a great paper?

    • Is your paper great?

    • How can you write better papers?

    • Mistakes to avoid when writing a paper

    • A general strategy for writing a paper

    • Show what you know (2)

    • How can you prepare effective figures?

    • What makes a good Results section?

    • What makes a good Methods section?

    • What makes a good Discussion section?

    • What makes a good Introduction?

    • What makes a good Abstract?

    • What makes a good Title?

  • 3

    Intermission. Submitting your paper

    • Choosing a journal and getting ready to submit

    • What makes a great cover letter?

    • Review

  • 4

    How high-profile journals work

    • Show what you know (3)

    • What happens to your paper after you submit it?

    • How do editors decide when to reject a paper?

    • How do editors choose reviewers?

    • How should you review a paper?

    • How do editors make decisions after external review? (Part 1)

    • How do editors make decisions after external review? (Part 2)

    • How should you address referee reports?

    • How should you appeal an editorial decision?

    • How do journals handle post-publication criticisms?

  • 5


    • Frequently asked questions about high-profile journals

    • Final review

    • Conclusions

    • Postscript

Bonus material

Get personalized editorial advice on your abstract

  • Bonus material

    Are you writing an abstract for publication or for a presentation at a conference? Join the course today and receive personalized editorial advice on how to improve your abstract.


Course creator

Juan Carlos Lopez

Juan Carlos López is Founder of Haystack Science, a consulting firm specialized in providing editorial services and in helping academic scientists working in novel research areas fulfill the commercial potential of their work. A native of Oaxaca, Mexico, Juan Carlos obtained his Ph.D. degree from Columbia University (New York), working in the laboratory of Nobel Laureate Eric Kandel, and carried out postdoctoral research at the Instituto Cajal (Madrid). In 2000, Juan Carlos move to London to help launch the journal Nature Reviews Neuroscience, subsequently becoming its Chief Editor. Four years later, he returned to New York as Chief Editor of the prestigious journal Nature Medicine. In 2014, Juan Carlos joined Hoffmann-La Roche as Global Head of Academic Relations and Collaborations, leading a team in charge of fostering scientific interactions between the company and academic institutions worldwide. Juan Carlos has served on the Boards of multiple biotechnology and non-profit organizations, most recently on the Board of Directors of Keystone Symposia. He is also Entrepreneur-in-Residence at Pandect Bioventures and Executive-in-Residence at Columbia Technology Ventures.