A Tale of Perseverance and Patience

The title may sound a little dramatic but this is indeed a true tale of perseverance and patience 😉 This project hatched in the office of AKSW where I was pursuing my PhD at the University of Leipzig, Germany. And it was 2014!

I was working on a project on combining different datasets to answer questions such as what is the impact of R&D on the healthcare (in terms of clinical trials) and innovation (in terms of patents) performance of a particular country. While clinical trial data was already available in a standardized format, the patents data wasn’t. That’s when I had started to work on converting the USPTO data to a standardized format.

However, I was nearing the completion of my PhD thesis and had to leave this project aside. However, Jens, my PhD supervisor kept nudging me over the years to revisit the project. He even brought one of our colleagues, Mofeed, on board to help me. We toiled through the years – with all three of us shifting cities, jobs and even countries – along with all the other responsibilities. But, we were persistent, we were patient (roll credits ;)). We kept at it all along – never giving up.

The first submission was to a journal that shall not be named 😉 The journal had a 2-strike rule and we got Major revisions in the first round (and tough-to-tackle reviewer comments) so we knew that it would not be accepted in this journal. So we withdraw our paper. Then,  I came across a paper published in the Scientific Data journal which described a dataset similar to ours  !

Scientific Data is a peer-reviewed, open-access journal for descriptions of scientifically valuable datasets, and research that advances the sharing and reuse of scientific data. It is one of Nature’s Research journals. Nature (as many would know) is the leading weekly, international scientific journal. There are several offsprings of Nature, one group called the Nature’s Research journals. and one of their journals is Scientific Data. Besides being part of the Nature journals, the impact factor* of Scientific Data is 4.83, which is higher than most computer science journals –– another reason we thought of submitting there.

We then updated our paper considerably –– not only to match the journal requirements of making sure that the data is FAIR (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Reusable) but also added the data from the current year to ensure up-to-date data. We then submitted in March 2018.  We received the first round of reviews in April, which were quite positive. From then on, it was quite smooth. We went through another round of reviews. Then , just a few months later, in October, the most awaited email came rushing to our inboxes!

Dear Dr Zaveri,

Congratulations on the acceptance of your article "A linked open data representation of patents registered in the US from 2005-2017" in Scientific Data.

And voila come December 4 and our paper was published and also on the front page of the website, yay 🙂 Check it out here: https://www.nature.com/articles/sdata2018279.

Screen Shot 2018-12-05 at 10.30.05 PM

Yes, admittedly almost 4 years since its incept, but totally worth it !

Screen Shot 2018-12-05 at 9.48.41 PM.png

Tale. Fin.

*Impact factor of an academic journal is a measure reflecting the yearly average number of citations to recent articles published in that journal. Nature has an impact factor of 41!


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