Writing for academic journals is exceedingly tricky; even if you overcome the first obstacle and engender a valuable impression or piece of research – how would you then sum it up in a manner that will grab the attention of reviewers?
There’s no simple formula for getting your research published – reviewers’ expectations may vary as per your subject areas; nevertheless there are some challenges that will challenge all academic writers regardless of their discipline. How should you respond to reviewer feedback? Is there a correct way to structure a paper? And should you always bother revising and resubmitting? The questions have been asked by journal editors from a range of backgrounds for their tips on getting published.
Pick No1: Opt the right journal:
Check if your ‘RESEARCH TO BE PUBLISHED’ is within the scope of the journal that you are submitting to. This seems so obvious but it’s surprising how many articles are submitted to journals that are completely inappropriate. It is a wicked sign if you do not figure out the names of any members of the editorial board- so be aware; it is significant OR the credentials of the editorial board members as which university do they relate to? What is their area of expertise? Their experience in the field? Are they in other editorial or in research committees too? Etc. Also, before sending your research to be considered for publication, ideally look through a number of recent issues to ensure that it is publishing articles on the same topic and that are of similar quality and impact.
(Ian Russell, editorial director for science at Oxford University Press)
Pick No. 2: Always follow the correct submission procedures to publish your research
Often authors don’t spend the 10 minutes it takes to read the instructions to authors which wastes enormous quantities of time for both the author and the editor and stretches the process when it does not need to; it tend to thin down your chances of publishing your research; reviewers hate it.
(Tangali Sudarshan, editor, Surface Engineering)
Pick No. 3: Don’t repeat your abstract in the cover letter
We look to the cover letter for an indication from you about what you think is most interesting and significant about the paper, and why you think it is a good fit for the journal. There is no need to repeat the abstract or go through the content of the paper in detail – we will read the paper itself to find out what it says. The cover letter is a place for a bigger picture outline, plus any other information that you would like us to have.
(Deborah Sweet, editor of Cell Stem Cell and publishing director at Cell Press)
Pick No. 4: Common reason for rejections…
Make sure that it is clear where your research sits within the wider scholarly landscape, and which gaps in knowledge it’s addressing. A common reason for articles being rejected after peer review is this lack of context or lack of clarity about why the research is important. Publishing your research is an ART!!
(Jane Winters, executive editor of the Institute of Historical Research’s journal, Historical Research and associate editor of Frontiers in Digital Humanities: Digital History)
Pick No. 5: Do Not over-state your methodology
Ethnography seems to be the trendy method of the moment, so lots of articles submitted claim to be based on it. However, closer inspection reveals quite limited and standard interview data. A couple of interviews in a café do not constitute ethnography. Be clear – early on – about the nature and scope of your data collection. The same goes for the use of theory. If a theoretical insight is useful to your analysis, use it consistently throughout your argument and text.
(Fiona Macaulay, editorial board, Journal of Latin American Studies)
Source: The Guardian