Not making tea

Go to the profile of Stu Cantrill
Mar 27, 2019
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[This is a guest post from Hannah Moody, a third year undergraduate student at The University of Oxford, who has spent the week seeing what we do in the Nature Chemistry office. Hannah is the second undergraduate student to spend a week with us this year; back in April we had Heather from York. On Heather’s last day we asked her to write a blog post about her time with us and we wanted Hannah to do the same. So that it didn’t end up being a very similar post, Hannah had a great idea — she decided to write in verse. As we know, rhymes do have their place in chemistry (see the comments)! And yes, the one thing Hannah didn’t have to do, was make tea! – Stuart]

Trying to stay away
From that age-old cliché,
Of work experience students like me,
Spending their days making tea.
This was not to be,
At Nature Chemistry.

On my first day
I began work straight away.
Finding a paper on which I could write,
An interesting research highlight.
I was given lots of advice –
This was very nice.
330 words and 3 paragraphs,
And a title designed to give a few laughs.
The most difficult part,
Finding where to start?
What paper would be best?
And what would be easily expressed?
I found a paper and started writing,
At the start it was quite frightening.
But I was able to do it alright,
And it was edited so that it might,
Be good enough to be
Published in Nature Chemistry.

My next task on Tuesday,
Was for me to have my say
And edit an ‘In Your element’
Article that I had been sent.
Again I was given advice,
And again this was very nice.
I saw how to edit News and Views,
This gave me skills that I could use.
So I started reading and suggested improvements
Involving word changes and sentence movements.
To the editor I sent what I had,
Hoping it wasn’t too bad.
It was hard to do it alone,
So the next day I spoke on the phone
To the editor in Japan,
And we made it better than when we began.
This made it suitable to be,
Given a place in Nature Chemistry.

Next I learnt about paper reviewing,
And was given a paper to start viewing.
I read it right though
To try to get a clue
Of what it was about,
And tried to figure out,
Who should be the referee?
I needed someone more able than me!
To tell us whether the content
To the journal could be sent.
I had learnt about the criteria,
That makes a paper far superior.
I saw how many papers are sent in,
And how hard it is to see where to begin
And tell whether a paper should be
Sent out to a referee.
For only the best quality,
Get into Nature Chemistry.

The next day was a Thursday,
From chemistry I moved away.
Off to the Nature News team,
Current affairs are their theme.
Here I leant about,
How they choose what goes out.
Which stories are most interesting?
So every reader will enjoy something.
They look at a huge variety,
Of potential stories that may be
News in Brief or put online,
From spikes of a porcupine
To a crocodile escapee,
And changes in science policy.
This is science journalism at its best,
And puts journalists to the test.
With the news team I was able to see,
Something different to Nature Chemistry.

Later on in the day,
I went for a brief stay,
With the Open Access crew,
To see what it is that they do.
They only publish papers online,
And get them out in far less time
Than many other publications,
And require less strict justifications
To publish scientific reports
And so get research of all sorts.
I helped to go through a quality check,
This enables the editors to get
Each paper in the right form
For external reviewers to perform,
The necessary extra review
Before the paper can be viewed.
This was an opportunity for me,
To see something other than Nature Chemistry.

NPG Press Office was my next stop,
And this I enjoyed a lot.
The members of this group,
Keep the public in the loop.
Through meetings with journal teams,
They highlight current themes.
Then they prepare a press release
Of topics that make a good news piece.
I also spent time with Art and Design,
This team make the journal look fine.
And make sure that every page
Is beautiful at every stage.
I also had a talk on how to get in
To a career in publishing.
Next I was given some time,
To enable me to write this rhyme.
Overall my week was a great opportunity,
To see what goes on at Nature Chemistry.

Today it is my last day,
And I take this chance to say:
A very big thank you!
To all the people who,
Succeeded in making me
Feel so welcome at Nature Chemistry!


Go to the profile of Stu Cantrill

Stu Cantrill

Chief Editor, Nature Chemistry, Springer Nature

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