Helpful tips to get published
Academia is a highly competitive endeavor, and publishing your work is essential for building a reputation in your field and growing your career. However, as every scholar well knows, publishing is no walk in the park. It takes time, effort and discipline to succeed in publishing your research in a high-impact journal. Here are some tips that can help you along the way:
- Make a plan and stick to it
Making a detailed research plan and sticking to it are key parts of any successful project. As you clarify your goals and design a plan, try to be as specific as possible (though leaving room for adjustment as you go). Even at an early stage, keep in mind the requirements of your target journal—including issues like layout, design, fonts, and references—so you can avoid having your manuscript being rejected on technical grounds.
- Start as early as possible
After you have developed an outline, you can start writing the first draft. First drafts are never perfect, and you do not need to have the complete set of data on the very first day you start writing. To begin with, you can start with the background section of your paper, or write the introduction. These sections are largely based on previous research and can help you develop your ideas and pinpoint the unique contribution of your research even before your study is complete.
- Research the journals you are interested in
Invest the effort in researching the academic journals in your field. Now is a good time to discuss the issue with your peers and mentors and compile a list of journals for review. You should choose a journal that both covers the scope of your research, and has a strong reputation and a high impact factor. Again, make sure to follow their specific guidelines for references, citations, cover letters, figures, and other issues.
- Write as clearly as possible
Clear, cogent writing plays an oversize role in ensuring your manuscript is accepted for publication. It is critically important for journal editors to be able to easily understand your language and argument; failing to do say might prejudice journals against your work in the long run. If you are less than confident about your writing, or not a native English speaker, by turning to academic editors and translators you can avoid this unpleasant situation. Reference article formatting programs like Mendeley or Zotero can also help ensure your citations are correct and organized.
- Seek peer review before publication
One of the greatest benefits of having colleagues who share your interests is that you can seek their help in reviewing your manuscript. Alternatively, reputable pre-publication academic review services can give you similar feedback and suggestions even before your submit your manuscript. This feedback can help you iron out potential issues that might otherwise cause the journal to reject your research.
- Contact the journal reviewers
Rather than submitting blindly to your chosen journal, try first writing to the research paper editors. You can verify that the journal is a good venue for your research and make a personal connection. When you do submit your manuscript, don’t forget to invest the time in crafting a professional cover letter. Your cover letter should highlight the relevance of your research as well as your key findings.
Follow up with the reviewers
If you still have not received a response after submission, check in with the editor about the status of your manuscript. Be clear and polite, and bear in mind that the amount of time it takes from submission to acceptance or rejection varies from one journal to the other. A professional and serious expression of your interest in the journal can increase the chances that your manuscript will be accepted.Start on your road to publication!