Pinkertinkle

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How good is a cover article compared to a regular article?
 

j-weezy

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Depends. If you're talking about a cover article in a poorly regarded journal vs. a regular article in a highly regarded article - always go with the more highly regarded journal. If you're talking about cover article vs. regular article in the same journal - definitely go for the cover article. Although this technically doesn't answer your question, it may help.
 
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qwopty99

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basically agreeing with J-weezy - if u had the choice, choose the journal, not the page numbering.
 

Pinkertinkle

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Depends. If you're talking about a cover article in a poorly regarded journal vs. a regular article in a highly regarded article - always go with the more highly regarded journal. If you're talking about cover article vs. regular article in the same journal - definitely go for the cover article. Although this technically doesn't answer your question, it may help.

If you had to quantify it, within the same journal, how much better is it to have the cover article than a standard article, 0%, 10%, 20%, 50%, 100%+?
 

Circumflex

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If you had to quantify it, within the same journal, how much better is it to have the cover article than a standard article, 0%, 10%, 20%, 50%, 100%+?

Getting a "cover" article is a by-product. Better is a relative term. Getting a photo or the title from your article displayed on the cover is not going to help your career - it's just cool - something to brag about - possibly something to frame and hang in your office one day. It means that you have done some interesting work that they want their readers to see.

The way it goes is that you submit an article to the best, most appropriate journal. They decide what to feature on the cover. People don't submit articles based on whether they think that a portion will be featured on the cover. If you have cool images, you can submit them as possible cover work. Today, with online subscriptions, many won't know and even more won't care.
 

gbwillner

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Getting a "cover" article is a by-product. Better is a relative term. Getting a photo or the title from your article displayed on the cover is not going to help your career - it's just cool - something to brag about - possibly something to frame and hang in your office one day. It means that you have done some interesting work that they want their readers to see.

The way it goes is that you submit an article to the best, most appropriate journal. They decide what to feature on the cover. People don't submit articles based on whether they think that a portion will be featured on the cover. If you have cool images, you can submit them as possible cover work. Today, with online subscriptions, many won't know and even more won't care.

I disgree to some extent. I DO agree that the journal ITSELF is of much greater importance, but having a cover IS freaking awesome. Your PI will hang it up in his office, and there it will remain until long after you are gone. You can add it as a cover sheet to stuff, and when people ask you about it you say, "Yeah, that's the cover of Science, featuring my thesis project," or whatever.
Essentially, the cover means (to some extent) that you have the sexiest story in that journal for that month. And that's saying something.
 

Pinkertinkle

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The way it goes is that you submit an article to the best, most appropriate journal. They decide what to feature on the cover. People don't submit articles based on whether they think that a portion will be featured on the cover. If you have cool images, you can submit them as possible cover work. Today, with online subscriptions, many won't know and even more won't care.

I know how submissions work, I did not ask whether or not I should submit to a lower impact journal hoping for a cover. I only want to know what premium it gets within a journal.
 

j-weezy

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If you had to quantify it, within the same journal, how much better is it to have the cover article than a standard article, 0%, 10%, 20%, 50%, 100%+?

I'm not sure why you want to quantify how much better a cover article is but here's my (uneducated) guess: 0 - 50% -- averaging at around 25%? I agree with all of the previous posters and their respective points. The problem is that a cover article may hold a lot more weight in say a CV and next to no weight in a pubmed/medline search. Maybe you can provide a few more details and we can better help you out?
 

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After careful analysis, I 've concluded that getting the cover is worth 22.75841% more. The best cover articles are always in JAMA. You have to be a rock start to get a JAMA cover, especially their HIV issue. You'll see more of my results from this analysis in the upcoming cover article of the Journal of Stupid Questions. What really pushed it over the top was the analysis taking into account that the question, just by itself, isn't stupid, but demanding a precise percentage really is.
 

greg12345

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Cover vs. no-cover??? Wow, you guys are hard core. Man, the only thing I cared about when submitting an article was how many freakin' experiments the reviewers would want me to do. Best feeling ever in grad school was having a paper accepted without revision...but the reviewers more than made up for it with my 2 other papers...
 

strangeglove

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It seems like the articles that get on the cover are the ones with the prettiest pictures, not necessarily the best science. For this reason, I don't think it matters at all for your career whether you got on the cover. This probably does not correlate with how much your article is cited, which is the most important thing in the end.
 

strangeglove

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It seems like the articles that get on the cover are the ones with the prettiest pictures, not necessarily the best science. For this reason, I don't think it matters at all for your career whether you get on the cover of a journal. This probably does not correlate with how much your article is cited, which is the most important thing in the end.
 
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