K-RITH was delighted to host Dr Ursula Weiss, senior editor at the prestigious scientific journal Nature, for a busy two-day visit in August.

Dr Weiss, whose areas of responsibility at Nature include immunology, vaccine development and immunotherapies, spent her time at K-RITH hearing about and discussing the institute’s latest research with our investigators, research fellows and students.

She also held an informative session with students, where she shed some light on the inner workings of Nature and the kinds of papers that they seek for publication.

She urged K-RITH’s young scientists to aim high and pursue publication in journals of Nature’s standing. “Look to China,” she suggested. “They go full force, and it works.” Weiss also advised students not to be discouraged by rejection letters as very few of the papers submitted to the journal ultimately make it to publication. “You should appeal if you think we’ve got it wrong,” she added.

She explained that in order to be of interest to Nature, papers need to open a new door, settle a long-standing debate, or work should be of wider scientific or translational relevance.

K-RITH MA student Bonisile Luthuli described the meetings with Dr Weiss as “very informative”, saying her take-home was that her work “ultimately has to have an impact on both the scientific community and be of service to the world.”

PhD candidate Shi-Hsia Hwa concurred, saying it was helpful to hear more detail about Nature’s evaluation process. She described Dr Weiss as being refreshingly frank about how editors make certain decisions. “She was also very encouraging in terms of telling us to not underestimate our chances of getting into Nature.”

Dr Weiss meanwhile said she is looking forward to hearing more about the work being done at the institute going forward. “The science was really interesting,” she summed up. “There was some work that I would definitely like to know more about.”