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How do particles acquire mass? In 1964, these two physicists independently proposed a theory to explain this. Central to the theory was the prediction of a particle known informally as the "Higgs boson," named after one of the winners. This particle has been covered extensively in mass media lately and become something of a popular icon for the arcane subject of particle physics. In 2012, nearly 50 years after it was postulated, the particle was verified to exist during experiments at CERN.

The Nobel committee has awarded them this year's prize “for the theoretical discovery of a mechanism that contributes to our understanding of the origin of mass of subatomic particles, and which recently was confirmed through the discovery of the predicted fundamental particle, by the ATLAS and CMS experiments at CERN’s Large Hadron Collider.”

Francois Englert and Peter Higgs are now emeritus professors. Dr. Englert is associated with the Université libre de Bruxelles in Belgium, and Dr. Higgs with the University of Edinburgh in the UK.


In Alfred Nobel's will, the prize for physics was mentioned first, perhaps because Nobel’s own work was related to physics! The first Nobel Prize in Physics was awarded in 1901 to Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen for the discovery of the remarkable rays subsequently named after him." So far, 107 prizes have been awarded to 196 physicists. Two of the youngest Nobel Laureates ever were both physicists: Lawrence Bragg won the Physics prize in 1915 when he was just 25, and Werner Heisenberg won it in 1931 when he was 31. Some of the popular scientists who have been recipients of the Physics prize are Albert Einstein, Marie Curie, and Neils Bohr.


Congratulations to the recipients of the 2013 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine!

James E. Rothman, Randy W. Schekman, and Thomas C. Südhof were awarded the 2013 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for solving the mystery of how the cell organizes its transport system. The insights gained can lead to practical implications in treating diseases such as diabetes.

Dr. Rothman of Yale University was intrigued by the nature of the cell's transport system and mapped critical components of the cell's transport machinery. Dr. Schekman of the University of California at Berkeley was fascinated by how the cell organizes its transport system and used yeast as a model system. Dr. Südhof of Stanford University investigated how nerve cells communicate with one another in the brain and how temporal precision is achieved.

And here's some trivia: Both Dr. Schekman and Dr.  Südhof have worked at Howard Hughes Medical Institute under the supervision of two different Nobel laureates.

So far, 103 Nobel Prizes in Physiology or Medicine have been awarded to 201 men and 10 women. The first Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine was awarded in 1901 to the German physiologist Emil Adolf von Behring, for his work on serum therapy and the development of a vaccine against diphtheria.  In 2011, the prize was awarded to Bruce Beutler of the United States and Jules A. Hoffmann of France "for their discoveries concerning the activation of innate immunity" and to Ralph M. Steinman of Canada "for his discovery of the dendritic cell and its role in adaptive immunity." In 2012, the prize was awarded jointly to Sir John B. Gurdon of UK and Shinya Yamanaka of Japan "for the discovery that mature cells can be reprogrammed to become pluripotent.” The Nobel Prize has been awarded in diverse fields within physiology or medicine. From 1901 to  2010, eight Prizes have been awarded for contributions in the field of signal transduction through G proteins and second messengers, 13 have been awarded for their work in neurobiology, and 13 in the field of intermediary metabolism. 38 Medicine Prizes have been awarded to one individual only, 32 have been jointly awarded to two individuals, and 33 have been shared between three (the maximum allowed). Since awarding any one prize to more than three recipients is forbidden, and since in the last half century there has been an increasing tendency toward collaborative research, there has been a lot of controversy in the recent times about deserving works being excluded from nomination. However, the fact that the Nobel Prize is still considered the most prestigious award reflects that the international scientific community agrees with most of the decisions that have been made. All in all, it cannot be denied that the Nobel Prizes awarded for Physiology or Medicine have highlighted a number of significant discoveries. 


Data Sources:





CACTUS wins Best Poster Award at the EASE-ISMTE meeting in Blankenberge, Belgium

Filed on: October 7, 2013 | Written by Sneha Kulkarni | Add new comment

Shazia Khanam, Manager, Publication Support Services, and Clarinda Cerejo, Managing Editor, Scholarly Communications, had a memorable time at the first joint conference of the European Association of Science Editors (EASE) and the International Society of Managing and Technical Editors (ISMTE), in Blankenberge, Belgium, September 23-24.

Shazia and Clarinda presented a poster entitled “Can authors’ editors help expedite peer review of the manuscripts they edit?” and won the Best Poster Award. This marks the fourth consecutive Best Poster Award for CACTUS at international conferences. The poster abstract can be viewed here.

The meeting itself was very interesting and informative, attended by about 85 editors and publication professionals. Interactions over meals, and discussions during breakout sessions provided plenty of food for thought on various current hot topics in the industry, such as peer review, publication ethics, and new impact measures.

Keynote speaker, Dr. Irene Hames, Publishing Consultant and Council Member of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) described the broken state of the peer review process and discussed the future of peer review. She mentioned that there are currently about 28,000 peer-reviewed journals, reviewing 1.7-1.8 million manuscripts a year, and spending approximately 15 million hours per year on ultimately rejected manuscripts. Her perception, based on various survey results, is that researchers would like to improve the peer review process, not replace it. In her view, good practice and quality in peer review should be independent of the publication model the journal adopts. She called for greater transparency from journals with regard to the format of peer review they employ and details such as review time and rejection rate. Using the maxim “Reviewers advise; editors decide!”, she emphasized on the need for the journal editors to be the final decision makers in the peer review process and to not pass their responsibilities off onto reviewers. She also described portable peer reviews—where authors can take their rejected manuscript along with the peer reviewer comments to a new journal—as a system that can save time, but journals should then be clear about “who owns the peer reviews.” The talk concluded with the encouraging view that the real peer review begins after publication, when a published paper is scrutinized by the entire research community and the public at large. “People who succeed with innovations in peer review will be those who win the hearts and minds of the research community.”

The meeting also saw the launch of the 2nd Edition of the Science Editors’ Handbook, comprising 56 chapters written by 40 international authors. The handbook covers a wide range of topics related to editing and publication and will prove to be a valuable resource for all editors and publishers.

We look forward to participating in other meetings organized by EASE and ISMTE!



The countdown begins...the 2013 Nobel Prize!

Filed on: October 4, 2013 | Written by Sneha Kulkarni | Add new comment

At this time of the year, most academicians await the announcement of the Noble Prize winners. This prestigious award is presented to worthy candidates in the fields of medicine, physics, chemistry, economics, literature, and peace. The winners of this year will be announced on the following dates: Medicine: October 7

Physics: October 8

Chemistry: October 9

Peace: October 11

Economics: October 14

Of course, we’re most interested in the academic awards, namely those for Medicine, Physics, Chemistry, and Economics. Before delving into guessing this year’s winners, let’s take a look at the award winners of 2012:


  • Physics: The 2012 Nobel Prize in Physics was awarded jointly to Serge Haroche and David J. Wineland "for ground-breaking experimental methods that enable measuring and manipulation of individual quantum systems."
  • Chemistry: The 2012 Nobel Prize in Chemistry was awarded jointly to Robert J. Lefkowitz and Brian K. Kobilka "for studies of G-protein-coupled receptors."
  • Medicine: The 2012 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine was awarded jointly to Sir John B. Gurdon and Shinya Yamanaka "for the discovery that mature cells can be reprogrammed to become pluripotent.
  • Economics: The 2012 Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel was awarded jointly to Alvin E. Roth and Lloyd S. Shapley "for the theory of stable allocations and the practice of market design."

 Academicians all over the world are guessing and predicting who the winners for this year will be. Like every year, Thomson Reuters has released a list of “Nobel-class” Citation Laureates for 2013. This list predicts the potential winners of the Nobel Prize based on a study of scientific research citations to identify the most influential researchers in the fields of chemistry, physics, medicine and economics. The notable Citation Laureates of 2013, and their areas of work, are as follows:


·    Autophagy

a. Daniel J. Klionsky

Alexander G. Ruthven Professor of Life Sciences, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA

b. Noboru Mizushima

Professor, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Graduate School and Faculty of Medicine, University of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan

c. Yoshinori Ohsumi

       Professor, Frontier Research Center, Tokyo Institute of Technology, Yokohama, Japan

·    DNA methylation and gene expression

a. Adrian P. Bird

       Buchanan Professor of Genetics, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, Scotland United Kingdom

b. Howard Cedar

       Edmond J. Safra Distinguished Professor Emeritus, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Jerusalem, Israel

c. Aharon Razin

      Professor Biochemistry Emeritus, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Jerusalem, Israel



·    Extrasolar planets

a. Geoffrey W. Marcy

       Professor of Astronomy, University of California, Berkeley, California, USA

b. Michel Mayor

       Emeritus Professor, University of Geneva, Geneva, Switzerland

c. Didier Queloz

Professor, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, England, United Kingdom, and Professor, University  of Geneva, Geneva, Switzerland

·    Iron-based superconductors

a.  Hideo Hosono

Professor, Materials and Structures Laboratory and Director of Materials Research Center for  Element Strategy, Tokyo Institute of Technology, Yokohama, Japan

·    The Brout-Englert-Higgs boson

a.  François Englert

       Professor Emeritus, Université Libre de Bruxelles, Brussels, Belgium, and Distinguished Visiting Professor in Residence, Chapman's Institute for Quantum Studies, Chapman University, Orange, CA USA

b.  Peter W. Higgs

       Professor Emeritus, University of Edinburgh, Scotland, United Kingdom



·    Ames test of mutagenicity

a. Bruce N. Ames

Senior Scientist, Children's Hospital Oakland Research Institute, Oakland, California, and Professor Emeritus, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of California Berkeley, Berkeley, California, USA

·    DNA nanotechnology

a. A. Paul Alivisatos

      Samsung Distinguished Professor of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology, and Professor of Chemistry and Materials Science & Engineering, and Director of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, University of California, Berkeley, Berkeley, California USA

b. Chad A. Mirkin

      George B. Rathmann Professor of Chemistry, Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois, USA

c.  Nadrian C. Seeman

       Margaret and Herman Sokol Professor of Chemistry, New York University, New York, NY USA



·    Econometric time-series

a. Sir David F. Hendry

       Professor of Economics, University of Oxford, Oxford, England, United Kingdom

b. M. Hashem Pesaran

John Elliot Distinguished Chair in Economics and Professor of Economics & Director, Centre for Applied Financial Economics, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California, USA, Emeritus Professor of Economics and Fellow of Trinity College, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, England, United Kingdom

c. Peter C.B. Phillips

Sterling Professor of Economics and Professor of Statistics, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut, USA

·    Economic theories of regulation

a. Sam Peltzman

Ralph and Dorothy Keller Distinguished Service Professor of Economics Emeritus, University of Chicago Booth School of Business, Chicago, Illinois, USA

b. Richard A. Posner

Judge, United States Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals, and Senior Lecturer, University of Chicago Law School, Chicago, Illinois, USA


Empirical microeconomics

a. Joshua D. Angrist

      Ford Professor of Economics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA

b. David E. Card

      Class of 1950 Professor of Economics, University of California Berkeley, Berkeley, California, USA

c.  Alan B. Krueger

      Bendheim Professor of Economics, Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey, USA


The prestige of the Nobel Prize is partly due to the substantial research that goes into the selection of the prizewinners. Each year, the Nobel Committees send invitations to thousands of members of academies, university professors, scientists from numerous countries, previous Nobel Laureates, and others, asking them to submit candidates for the Nobel Prizes for the coming year. After the nominations are received, the Nobel Committee assesses the work of each nominee and prepares a detailed report of their recommendations for the final winners. Each field recognized by the Nobel Committee follows its own pattern of selection and nomination.

 Some facts about the nomination and selection process are: 

  • The nomination processes start in September each year.
  • No person can nominate herself/himself for a Nobel Prize.
  • The Nobel Committees are responsible for the selection of the candidates.
  • The names of the nominees cannot be revealed until 50 years later.

You can find detailed information about the process of nomination and selection of the laureates here:http://thomsonreuters.com/press-releases/092013/nobel-laureates.

Good luck to all these high-impact researchers and others who may not be on this list too! Keep following this space to know more about the latest news and updates about the Nobel Prize.



Varieties of English in research writing

Filed on: September 24, 2013 | Written by Yateendra Joshi | Add new comment

Journal publishing, especially that related to publishing STM journals, which is jargon for ‘science, technology, medicine,’ is dominated by a few publishers from USA, Britain, and Europe, and scientific journals for most part recognize only two varieties of English, American and British, at least as far as points of style are concerned. The differences in style are many, but mostly trivial. For example, the ‘title case’ or the ‘headline style’ (Capitalizing Every Important Word) is far more common in journals published from the US, and so is the practice of indenting the first line of a paragraph that immediately follows a heading. The instructions to authors as published in many journals rarely mention the differences in vocabulary or grammar but are mostly confined to spellings. A ‘default’ dictionary is often specified, most commonly Merriam-Webster or Oxford. For points of style, American journal refer authors to one of the standard guides, the most common of these being The Chicago Manual of Style, The ACS Style Guide (published by the American Chemical Society), Scientific Style and Format (published by the Council of Science Editors, the AMA Manual of Style (published by the American Medical Association), or the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association. Standard style guides published from Britain, such as the New Oxford Style Manual or Butcher’s Copy-editing are not mentioned as frequently, neither is the Science Editors’ Handbook, published by the European Association of Science Editors.

It is not as though other varieties of English do not exist—the website on varieties of English [1], maintained by the Language Samples Project in the Anthropology Department of the University of Arizona, asks visitors to choose from the following ‘Englishes’: African-American, American Indian, British, Canadian, Chicano, Northeast, and Southern States. The Oxford Dictionary of English (3rd edition) enlisted ‘world English consultants’ for the following varieties: US, Australian, Canadian, Caribbean, Indian, Irish, New Zealand, Scottish, and South African.  

Indeed the many varieties of English is a large topic actively and extensively studied by linguists but, as far as publishing other scientific research is concerned, hardly seems to be of any consequence.

[1] http://ic-migration.webhost.uits.arizona.edu/icfiles/ic/lsp/site/


["Publish and prosper" is a series of posts about tips for researchers whose first language is not English but who submit papers to journals published in English. The series touches upon not only writing (spelling, grammar, punctuation, usage, and style) but everything else relevant to publishing research papers that journal editors wish their authors knew.]

The International Congress on Peer Review and Biomedical Publication is perhaps the biggest, most important conference that addresses issues at the heart of scientific, technical and medical publication. Hosted by the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), the Congress is held only once every four years and represents the gathering of the best minds and thought leaders.

And, of course, Editage was there! Donald Samulack, President of U.S. Operations, and Aditya Vadrevu, Senior Manager of Services and Quality, attended a range of discussions on issues relevant to you, the author. The topics included authorship, citation, peer review, ethics, and open access. Here are some key highlights from the conference that are most relevant to the researcher community.

Peer Review

While several studies presented an analysis of peer review from the viewpoint of quality and efficiency in the journal workflow, perhaps the most interesting from an author’s perspective was a model of statistical review being used by journals like the Annals of Internal Medicine. Here, authors get to address and respond to specific statistical review comments from a specialized statistician who is asked to review manuscripts pre-selected by the journal editor and peer reviewer. Most authors are reported to have found significant improvements in their paper after this type of statistical review.  Moreover, authors find that incorporating and responding to the statistical review comments involves considerable effort but is justified by the degree of improvement in the paper.


With rapid changes in technology and journal workflow supporting online publication, are authors becoming more accepting of journals that publish online-only issues?  A study among two prominent journals in the US and Norway showed that some authors are indeed open to online-only publication, but a significant percentage would like the decision of whether the article is published in print or online to be made by an editor with the right of refusal or jointly by the editor and author.


Coercive citation—a practice where the journal editor pressurizes the author to include citations from the editor’s journal—was a topic of active discussion during the conference. Researchers from the Netherlands investigated the impact of coercive citation on the impact factor of a group of business journals. The study showed that the proportion of self-citations to these journals was indeed boosted by the practice of coercive citation. Might this kind of a study then be extended to other areas or journals? Or to a point where we begin to define ways of checking and correcting coercive citation?


As expected, the sessions on ethics invited the most enthusiastic participation and comments. Two themes stood out in these sessions: duplicate publication and plagiarism. Research on duplicate publication shows that while the Medical Subject Headings of the National Library of Medicine indicate “duplicate publication” as a separate type of publication, journals are not prompt in correcting the papers identified.  A call was made for the publishing community to be more vigilant about duplicate publication. A separate set of studies examined the growing role of software tools in the journal process for detecting plagiarism. While these tools are being adopted actively as part of the journal’s workflow, leading publishers like PLoS still find the need for human judgment in the decision.

We hope you found this article useful. Do send us any feedback or suggestions by writing to request@editage.com and check our updates for more from the key conferences in the publication industry.


CACTUS attends 2013 Society for Editors and Proofreaders’ 24th Annual Congress

Filed on: September 19, 2013 | Written by Abhishek Goel | Add new comment

CACTUS participated in the 24th Annual Congress of the Society for Editors and Proofreaders’ (SfEP) held at the University of Exeter from August 31st to September 2nd, 2013. In attendance were about 120 professionals, and in keeping with this year’s theme, Editing at the Crossroads, many of the workshops and seminars addressed the evolving nature of the publishing landscape and how copyeditors can stay up-to-date.

In his workshop on Rewriting and Substantive Editing, writing and editorial consultant Andrew Steeds advocated that copyeditors should refrain from over-editing, an approach that can save the editor time; and the author, frustration. Martin Delahunty, Associate Director from Nature Publishing Group’s, presented a fascinating, tightly-paced seminar titled Open Science and Future Trends in Digital Journals wherein he took the audience through the latest trends in STM publishing, concluding with what copyeditors can anticipate from the evolving publishing landscape.

There were many sessions aimed at those new to the industry as well as those which taught new skills (How to succeed as a freelancer, Finance for freelancers, Setting up an office for £250 from scratch, and Medical Writing: A practical Introduction). Another memorable workshop was Social Media for Copyeditors by Julia Sandford-Cooke, who shared tips on how freelance copyeditors and writers can use social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, as a business development tool.

One highlight of the conference was the eagerly anticipated Whitcombe Lecture by Carol Fisher Saller, author of The Subversive Copyeditor and editor of the Chicago Manual of Style Online’s Q&A. Ms. Saller had a motivating message to copyeditors on how to deal with changing publishing technologies: learn, adapt, and grow.

An engaging and memorable meeting!

Science editors and professionals with an interest in science communication will come together for the first joint meeting of the European Association of Science Editors (EASE) and International Society of Managing and Technical Editors (ISMTE) that will be held in Blankenberge, Belgium, on September 23–24, 2013. The two-day meeting will begin with a keynote lecture by Irene Hames, who will discuss some of the issues with the current peer review process and how it is expected to change in future. The plenary sessions on both days will cover recent advancements in science communication, with emphasis on the role of the digital transition and the internet. In addition, the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) will conduct an interactive workshop where cases covering a wide range of issues in research integrity and publication ethics will be discussed.

CACTUS will be represented by Shazia Khanam (Manager, Publication Support Services) and Clarinda Cerejo (Managing Editor, Scholarly Communications). In line with the theme of the keynote lecture, we will be presenting a poster entitled ‘Can authors’ editors help expedite peer review of the manuscripts they edit?’ Our study discusses the role of authors’ editors and how they can eliminate errors related to study reporting prior to manuscript submission, thus allowing peer reviewers to focus on the technical aspects of the study. Read our abstract here.

We will be happy to meet you if you are attending the EASE/ISMTE joint meeting. For live updates from the conference, tune in to @Editage on Twitter.


As part of our continuous efforts to stay abreast of the latest trends in the field of radiotherapy, CACTUS/Editage will be attending a Continuing Medical Education program on Modern Day Radiation Oncology & Cancer Care on September 21, 2013, organized by Fortis Memorial Research Institute, India, a multi-super specialty, quaternary care hospital (http://www.fmri.in/index.php). Tanya Mendes (Senior Managing Editor, Medicine) and Christine Miranda (Managing Editor, Center of Excellence for Cancer Research) will represent us at the meeting, which will cover topics on several radiation therapy modalities. We will pass on the knowledge we gain to our editors, so as to continue to provide you with quality edits by subject area experts.

Tune in to @Editage on Twitter for live updates from the conference on September 21.


Using past and present tenses in research writing

Filed on: September 16, 2013 | Written by Yateendra Joshi | Add new comment

Although English uses an elaborate system of tenses, simple past and simple present are the most common tenses in research papers, supplemented by present perfect and past perfect. The word ‘perfect’ in this case means ‘made complete’ or ‘completely done,’ and ‘perfect’ tenses are used in describing two events and specifying how the two are related with respect to time.

A typical research paper follows the IMRaD format [1], and how frequently a given tense is used varies with the section of the paper: the introduction, for example, uses a mix of the present tense and the past tense whereas the past tense dominates the results section. Here is a brief guide to using the four variants, namely simple past, simple present, present perfect, and past perfect.  

Simple past  Use simple past to describe specific actions or events that occurred in the past and that are not being linked to the present in the same sentence. Here are some sentences in simple past. ‘We selected 5 plants at random.’ ‘Tanaka reported that 1000 grains of wheat weighed 40 grams.’ ‘Watson and Crick published their landmark paper on the structure of DNA in 1953.’

Simple present  Use simple present for stating what is generally true and unlikely to change, as in ‘The sun rises in the east,’ ‘Human babies generally start speaking when they are two years old’, and ‘In July and August, it rains in most parts of India.’ Use simple present also to indicate research results that you believe to be true and relevant to your present research, as in ‘Robinson maintains that soaking seeds in strong acids help in breaking seed dormancy.’ Lastly, simple present is used when talking about the research paper that you are writing, as in ‘Section 2.3 discusses the advantages of soaking seeds before sowing them.’

Present perfect  Use present perfect to talk about a past event that is linked to the present, to talk about trends, or about events that have ended or occurred recently or still continuing, as in ‘The use of cell phones or mobile phones to access the Internet has increased recently’ and ‘Multi-megawatt turbines have been used in Europe for offshore sites.’

Past perfect  Use past perfect to describe two related past events that occurred at different times in the past, as in ‘By the time they were sown, the seeds had already germinated’ and ‘Those candidates that had been exposed to radiation earlier were excluded.’

If you wish to test whether you can use these tenses correctly, complete the exercises offered as part of the Essential Grammar section (Unit 5 The past: reporting) on the web pages of the University of Edinburgh [2].

[1] http://blog.editage.com/writing-a-paper-in-the-IMRaD-structure-part-1#.UjaxMGH4I2M

[2] www.ed.ac.uk/schools-departments/institute-academic-development/postgrad...


["Publish and prosper" is a series of posts about tips for researchers whose first language is not English but who submit papers to journals published in English. The series touches upon not only writing (spelling, grammar, punctuation, usage, and style) but everything else relevant to publishing research papers that journal editors wish their authors knew.]