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Women in Science

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Video clip: Some of Helen’s papers are in high impact journals while others are in lower impact journals because those journals are more specialised.

What about publishing? I see that you had an article in the Lancet. Can you talk a little bit about the challenges of getting your work published?

Yes, so I think as a scientist, the two objective ways what is measured is, is in the grants that you manage to be awarded and the papers that you publish. So it’s really important to publish and it’s really important to publish in as high impact journals as possible. Often there is a trade-off between wanting to get something out in a high impact journal and wanting to get something out quickly. Because you can waste quite a lot of time trying to get in high impact journals and papers get rejected and you gradually work down the list. So I think it’s often a balance and I think if you have a sort of portfolio approach, which is the approach I take, where some of the papers we publish are in very high impact journals. Some of them are in lesser impact journals because they are more specialised, and I think you always have to have an eye to that. I think one doesn’t want one’s science to be driven by papers and, and writing papers. I think you ought to be driven by the science. But I think there comes points in one’s science where you have to package things up and publish because you’re putting in a big grant application or something…


… and you also have to support the younger members of your group. It’s really important that for their career progression that they get out their papers in a timely fashion as well. So it’s important to help them focus on; science can go on forever and it’s about working out how much, when you have got enough to write that paper and when can you package that up and publish that and then carry on with the rest of it.