Scholars strive to do high-quality research that will advance science. The common belief amongst them is to build upon a unique hypothesis, base the work on robust data and use an appropriate research methodology. The aim to provide theoretical insight, and share theoretical and practical implications is their objective. Submission of the manuscript for publication in a peer-reviewed journal comes at the final stages. But this is the hardest part. Finding the right journals relevant to the area of study and the submission process are two main areas in which researchers find a bit challenging. We shall learn more on how to publish in a scientific journal in this post.
We talk about common pitfalls and offer helpful solutions to prepare more impactful papers. While there are several types of research articles, such as short communications, review papers and so forth, these guidelines focus on preparing a full article (including a literature review), whether based on qualitative or quantitative methodology, from the perspective of the management, education, information sciences and social sciences disciplines. These tips and solutions are Aijaz A. Shaikh gatherings, he is a Marketing Doctorate candidate.
Writing for academic journals is a highly competitive activity, rejections of papers happen due to a variety of reasons. In addition to all of this, the journal peer-review process is an essential element of publication because no writer could identify and address all potential issues with a manuscript. So here are some practical tips:
Do not rush submitting your article for publication. Scholars should start writing during the early stages of the research or doctoral study career. Submitting your manuscript immediately after crafting the conclusion is not advised. A proactive approach and attitude will reduce the chance of rejection and disappointment. You need to come up with a logical flow. Carefully re-read your manuscript at different times and perhaps at different places. Re-reading is essential in the research field and helps identify the most common problems and shortcomings in the manuscript. Get feedback on your manuscripts from colleagues and other researchers. Do not assume you will fix the shortcomings after submission and peer review.
Select an appropriate publication outlet. Less experienced scholars sometimes choose to submit their research work to two or more journals at the same time. Research ethics and policies of all scholarly journals require authors to submit to only one journal at a time. If this guideline is not followed, copyright problems and rejection of a paper is the result.
Read the scope, aim, and guidelines of the target journal. Once you have read and re-read your manuscript carefully several times, received feedback from your colleagues, and identified a target journal, the next important step is to read the aims and scope of the journals in your target research area. Your manuscript needs to fit within the scope of the journal and should meet the guidelines. This improves your chance of getting submitted. Publishers often report that one in five research paper does not follow the style and format requirements of the target journal, which might specify requirements for figures, tables, and references. It is very pity to fall short here since by pre-reading and simply following these rules one can easily avoid this mistake. Rejection can come at different times and in different formats. For instance, if your research objective is not in line with the aims and scope of the target journal, or if your manuscript is not structured and formatted according to the target journal layout, or if your manuscript does not have a reasonable chance of being able to satisfy the target journal’s publishing expectations, the manuscript can receive a desk rejection from the editor without being sent out for peer review.
Make a good first impression with your title and abstract. The title and abstract are considered important elements in any manuscript. This is because these sections are what the journal editor first sees. The title should summarize the main theme of the article and reflect on your contribution to the theory. The abstract should be crafted carefully and cover the aim and scope of the study; the key problem to be addressed and theory; the method used; the data set; key findings; limitations; and implications for theory and practice.
Have a professional editing firm copy-edit (not just proofread) your manuscript, including the main text, list of references, tables, and figures. Before submitting a manuscript for publication, it is highly advisable to have a professional editing firm copy-edit your manuscript. This is indeed different than proofreading. An article submitted to a peer-reviewed journal will be analyzed critically by the editorial board before it is selected for peer review. Poor language is known to be one of the reasons why papers get rejected by the publishers. A properly written, edited and presented text will be error-free and understandable and gives you a professional image that will help ensure your work is taken seriously in the world of publishing. Proofreading for accuracy and wordiness is one way to improve the language for instance: avoid unnecessary or normative descriptions like “it should be noted here” and “the authors believe and send it for editing only when it is complete in all respects and ready for publishing. Professional editing is expensive so it is not wise to resend your work number of times. Applications like the spelling and grammar checker in Microsoft Word or Grammarly can be applied to your article, but the benefits of proper editing are vast.
Submit a cover letter with the manuscript. Cover letters give you the chance to tell a story, illustrate your true passion and creativity. It is where you can state the underlying reason behind your research and talk about what it really is that you truly want to address. A cover letter gives authors an important opportunity to convince them that their research work is worth reviewing as well. A good cover letter first outlines the main theme of the paper; second, argues the novelty of the paper; and third, justifies the relevance of the manuscript to the target journal. Peers and colleagues who read the article and provided feedback before the manuscript’s submission should be acknowledged in the cover letter.
Address reviewer comments very carefully. Editors and editors-in-chief usually ask for “revise and resubmit” based on the recommendations provided by the reviewer or reviewers. These revisions may necessitate either major or minor changes in the manuscript. It is very important to address the revisions attentively; address all the comments received from the reviewers and avoid oversights; please note that the resubmission of the revised manuscript must happen by the deadline provided by the journal; the revision process might comprise multiple rounds as well. The revision process requires two major documents. The first is the revised manuscript highlighting all the modifications made following the recommendations received from the reviewers. The second is a letter listing the authors’ responses illustrating they have addressed all the concerns of the reviewers and editors. These two documents should be drafted carefully. The authors of the manuscript can agree or disagree with the comments of the reviewers (typically agreement is encouraged) and are not always obliged to implement their recommendations, but they should in all cases provide a well-argued justification for their course of action.
It is only logical that high-impact journals accept less than 10 percent of the articles submitted to them, although the acceptance ratio for special issues or special topics sections is normally over 40 percent. It should be normal for scholars to have their papers rejected, however, these tips could assist academics to work towards a more solid and perfect manuscript, there is no doubt that by following some simple but effective steps the process will be eased to a great extent.
By Aijaz A. Shaikh