Abstract #14

# 14
Manuscript preparation, navigating journal submission, and the peer-review process.
L. E. Armentano*1, 1University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI.

A good paper starts with a good experiment, which in turn starts with a clearly stated hypothesis. The introduction must end with this hypothesis, and the final paragraph of your paper must say what you conclude about that hypothesis. Write a draft introduction before you start your experiment. You will update this before submission, but your hypothesis should not change. As you do your research, start writing sentences for your methods. Make sure they describe exactly what you are doing. This means you have read the original methodology, even if citing it through another paper. If you are also keeping track of the references you will cite, that makes 3 big parts of your paper that you have drafted before finishing your study. I prefer combining results and discussion text in one section and put most of my results in either a table or figure. Some reviewers want discussion of every result, but I submit papers that contain “minor” results in some table rows that I do not discuss. If a reviewer asks, add text to the discussion about these results. The less you say in a discussion, the more you focus on the core objective. I write for my reviewers, so I would rather have to add distracting discussion text at their request after they have read my focused discussion. Certainly, anything else interesting that comes up is worth mentioning but don’t elaborate or speculate on ideas beyond the scope of your experiment. Do know how your results compare with the existing literature to make sure something is not way off—you do have to discuss anything that seems unusual. A good paper comprises unambiguous, direct, short, minimally complicated sentences that each convey a single idea. Integrate related ideas using paragraphs of simple sentences. Have others read your paper, especially people outside your immediate research group. Writing is an iterative process, so expect to modify your precious writing in response to reviewers. Respect the input of all your reviewers, and if you failed to make them understand something, rewrite your paper so that anyone reading the final version is not similarly misled. Know the journal guidelines.

Key Words: journal submission, manuscript, peer review

Speaker Bio
Louis Armentano graduated from Cornell University in 1975, earning a BS with distinction in animal science. He went to North Carolina State University to study the use of by-products as feeds for dairy cattle and received an MS in animal nutrition. His PhD was from Iowa State where the relationship between rumen carbohydrate fermentation and the metabolic processes of cattle was examined at the whole-animal level. After a brief research appointment at Virginia Tech working with protein nutrition of dairy cows, Lou joined the Department of Dairy Science at Madison in 1983 as an assistant professor with teaching and research responsibilities. In addition to a program studying basic liver metabolism in cattle, Lou has maintained a program addressing use of by-product feedstuffs and their role in providing energy, fiber, and protein to dairy cows. His most recent research efforts have been to explain the effects of dietary fat on milk fat secretion, and resulted from examining the effects of the sometimes-high levels of corn oil found in distillers grains. In addition to serving as a professor for 33 years at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Lou had the pleasure of chairing the department for 8 busy and exciting years. In 2016, Lou moved his appointment from full professor to professor emeritus but is still involved in dairy research and outreach. He currently serves on the National Research Council dairy nutrition guidelines writing committee and is the current past president of ADSA.