I am writing a research proposal for Ph.D. admission. I am confused as to whether the research proposal for the Ph.D. application should be written like a formal paper. In a formal paper that I submit to a conference, I know that the paper will be reviewed by peers in our field, so I always try to write formal mathematical language when the plain text could not fully explain my ideas.

However, I am aware that some professors in the selection committee may not be in my field so they may not understand the equations in my field and I should therefore write down my ideas in a simpler way.

Am I overly concerned? Or I could just write the research proposal like it is a normal paper?

I am preparing my CV to apply for academic position.

I currently have several papers that are able to submit to journals. I wonder if I put these papers on my CV, how should I label them? Should I call them “prepare to submit” or “in preparation for submission” or “working paper”? Specifically, what is the difference between a “working paper” and the paper that is ready to submit?

I have another paper, that requires language checking and proofread before submission, should I call this paper “working paper”?

Thanks for any suggestions

Here is the situation:

I am currently writing a thesis which uses a behavioral experiment to answer the main research question. Its main aim is to test how a certain welfare scheme would affect taxpayer behaviour, and thus relates to a very broad strain of literature on taxpayer behaviour. I have found a paper which uses (in my opinion) a very clever experimental procedure to test how behaviour is affected by the way taxes are used. Therefore I decided to use this experimental procedure and adapt it to the specific welfare scheme I am interested in so I can use it to answer my research question.

Currently I am in the progress of writing my thesis and was wondering where the line ends from building on previous work and plagiarism. Because the experimental procedure is similar in it’s structure, the model used for the formulation of my hypothesis is also an adapted version of the model in the original paper. Consequently, the data I have also takes a similar form, which will result in taking similar steps for a correct analysis of this data.

So, would it be considered plagiarism if I have adapted an already existing experimental procedure, adapted the (mathematical) model previously used to formulate hypothesis, and use a similar structure of hypothesis testing (that is: first using statistical test A, then B, then C, etc on my own data)?

I have obviously referenced a great deal to this original paper, and even explained why I think the experimental procedure is so good and fitting for answering my question. Obviously, I am using my own wording and data, but was wondering if something like this can be seen as ‘structure plagiarism’ or is something desirable as it can be used for direct comparison of the papers.

I’m writing an Msc dissertation on planning space projects and I would like to add interesting bits of information on the opening page of each chapter. Though the image and the accompanying information are not directly linked to the central thesis, they add some interest around the main arguments.

Will this be looked upon unfavorably? As an academic reading this work, will this bother you or make you feel distracted / think this is unnecessary?

For example, I have this on the introduction page:


I recently submitted a paper to an Elsevier Journal (Biomedical Signal Processing and Control). I wrote the paper using the Elsevier article class (elsarticle.cls) with the option “review” which is one column format (text width = 12.5 cm) the final print copy as can be seen in published papers is two-column format (text width = 18.5 cm), when I was waiting a response from the editor I reread the paper carefully trying to correct possible errors and prepared it in a two-column format so that it matches as possible the final published layout.

Now I received an email for minor revisions but I found some comments about this topic, most of them say “to send the revised manuscript in single-column format and let the journal worry about which of the formats they use in the end”, now if I worked by the last advice and since the preprint layout uses a larger line width, I did not face problem with displayed the long equations but in two-column format the long equation will overlap.

Is the Latex expert (person specifically employed to do the layout of the journals) Takes upon himself the formation of the paper in two-column format (for example : break the equations in the appropriate points)?

Another chose, if I put a figure of 10 cm of width it looks fine in one column format but in two-column format if I put it as one column (begin{figure}) it will overlap, and if I put it as two-column (begin{figure*}) maybe it looks much smaller and if the Latex expert they use Latex instructions to reduce or enlarge the figure maybe it loose its nice shape.

Finally,as I said before I have two-column format it Much like the final published layout, should I sent the two-column format or one column format?

Biomed Central is an open access publisher with a list of journals belonging to the BMC series, where they state that:

The BMC-series subject-specific journals do not make editorial decisions on the basis of the interest of a study or its likely impact. Studies must be scientifically valid; for research articles this includes a scientifically sound research question, the use of suitable methods and analysis, and following community-agreed standards relevant to the research field.

All these journals start with BMC in their name (e.g. BMC Bioinformatics). While I understand this statement that they will publish anything that is not utter bullshit, they also have highly selective BMC journals (e.g. BMC Medicine).

On the other hand, they also have highly selective journals without the BMC tag, e.g. Genome Biology.

My question is, how reputable are BMC journals? How selective are they? Is this really journal dependent?
Many of their journals have quite high impact factors and are ranked high on scimagojr

One reviewer of my paper commented the following:

The authors should clearly state that the literature they have
included in the introduction is indicative (both in the case of
experimental measurements and molecular simulation of ILs) and
redirect to some recent review articles.

I don’t know what does he mean. If he expected that I add some introductory sentences before reviewing literature like:

ZZZ et al. [8] obtained the viscosities of the ILs XXX and YYY in a wide temperature range. Moreover, ZZZ and KKK [9] recently published atmospheric pressure self-diffusion coefficients of MMM tetrafluoroborates and NNN in the temperature range of 40-90 ℃.


Several experiments have recently been performed in order to understand the underlying dynamics of ILS, including XXX. ZZZ et al. [8] obtained the viscosities of the ILs XXX and YYY in a wide temperature range. Moreover, ZZZ and KKK [9] recently published atmospheric pressure self-diffusion coefficients of MMM tetrafluoroborates and NNN in the temperature range of 40-90 ℃.

However, in a previous paragraph I mentioned an introductory about ILs in General and not XXX in particular:

In the literature, experimental and theoretical methods have been employed to obtain the properties of ILs. Experimental analyses such as IR, H and F NMR spectra, polarizing optical microscopy, differential scanning calorimetry, and UV-vis spectra have been used to determine the properties of ILs [5-7].