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I recently had an opportunity to publish a "correspondence piece" in Nature journal. The piece is still under development. I just wanted to ask, if publishing a piece in Nature journal is prestigious; especially in my hunt for a new postdoctorate position? Thanks for your help in advance.

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    Is a "correspondence piece" peer reviewed? My sense from googling is that it is more like an informal letter to the editor. I would say a peer reviewed publication in Nature (of any length) is certainly prestigious and something to be proud of, but of course not a guarantee of postdoc offers. I would say a non-peer reviewed comment would probably be looked at in a similar way to if you had been interviewed for a news article or TV segment -- it shows you are engaged with the community, but is unlikely to be a deciding factor in hiring you.
    – Andrew
    Commented Jan 10, 2023 at 16:56
  • What is the source of this "opportunity"? Were you invited? By the journal editors?
    – Buffy
    Commented Jan 10, 2023 at 18:25
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    Yes, it is prestigious, indicating your standing in your field of research. Would not hurt to empathize this in your postdoc application (once it is accepted). Commented Jan 10, 2023 at 19:29
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    @Elizabotto Could you clarify whether it is a 'correspondence' or a 'matters arising'? Since you say it is a technical comment on an article it sounds more like the latter.
    – Anyon
    Commented Jan 11, 2023 at 12:28
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    @Elizabotto I don't think that's possible - the description of Nature's Correspondence section linked above specifically says "The Correspondence section does not publish technical comments on peer-reviewed research papers. Please submit these instead to Matters Arising." This may seem like a pedantic point, but they are very different types of documents (200 word mostly opinion/policy pieces vs longer peer-reviewed scientific works), and how they'd be viewed in evaluating a CV would be very different. Commented Jan 11, 2023 at 23:09

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edited for clarity It depends a bit on WHY you are asking, since you mention the hunt for a postdoc. Do you want to describe it/mention it somewhere as a piece in the prestigious journal Nature? Or as a prestigious contribution? I would stay away from using the adjective 'prestigious' myself.

In the same way that all individual papers should be evaluated based on content and merit, I would also look at this piece in the same light. What is it about? Is it related to the work you did for your PhD? Did you take the initiative or come up with the idea for this technical comment? Did you write most of it and is a figure with your data included (as I think is often the case in a technical comment type letter to the editor)? In that case, you may want to mention it in the motivation letter as suggested by Moishe because it does mention contextual thinking and critical contributions to your field of research. But then mention WHY it deserves mention and stay away from calling your own stuff or the journal prestigious. Let the reader make up their mind about that.

If it is not directly related to the bulk of your PhD or the field your searching your postdoc in or you did not conceptually contribute much then I would just list it on my CV as any publication. Apart from the fact that it isn't peer reviewed, so I have a special section for that (non peer reviewed articles, but you can also call the section 'correspondence and opinion pieces' or something as it expands over the years.

I disagree with Andrew that it is the same as a news article of TV segment. That would go under publicity or media attention, this is scientific writing for a scientific audience.

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    I don't think this is very fair: the question is clearly if others would regard this publication as prestigious. Which I think they would (depending on field), although less prestigious than an actual publication in Nature.
    – pgunnink
    Commented Jan 10, 2023 at 19:57
  • @pgunnink: I can see why you think I didn't directly address the question. I've edited my response to address WHY rather than WHAT they are asking. My first point was that the interpretation of 'prestigious' should be left up to the reader and I just wouldn't use the adjective myself when mentioning the work. Even if it would be considered prestigious by others. My second point was whether the piece itself would deserve mentioning or highlighting in a letter of motivation and/or CV - and that, as I tried to explain, IMHO depends on the actual topic/content and the contribution of the OP.
    – BioBrains
    Commented Jan 12, 2023 at 6:52
  • That is fair enough, thanks!
    – pgunnink
    Commented Jan 12, 2023 at 10:14

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