How to publish an academic paper

How to publish an academic paper

Publishing an academic paper means to generate content into an article for a scientific journal. This is all well and good, but your virtues alone will not guarantee you any success. In fact, it is more likely to fail than to succeed.
Still, publishing an academic paper not impossible. Simply realize that it’s not easy and prepare yourself for rejection in various forms, and in some instances, no feedback at all. As the adage goes, “if you’re going to do it, do it right.”

When you are going to publish an academic paper, firstly be aware of the fact that publishing the results of your work on just any, old journal will do you no good. You have to choose the journal or the science portal very carefully.

How to pick the right journal

So do some research and find the one that is the most likely to be interested in your topic. If you look through the articles which have been published there before and you recognize a certain affinity to the subject you have to offer, you will know that you’re on the right track.

Then check the ranking of your journal of choice. Every scientific journal as well as portal has a ranking in the academic world which is based on its impact-factor – the number of references that the content published there reaches in other works and the media.

If you are planning to publish an article concerning a specialized topic with a small potential audience, then you may forget about the ranking as this is only relevant for subjects with a large academic readership. But if this is the audience you want to reach, then go right ahead. 

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Prepare yourself for peer-review

All discerning scientific journals choose their articles by peer-review. This means that several experts will read and assess every text and based on their judgement, the given article will either be published or rejected.

Note that these peers will not even bother to look at anything that does not fit the publisher’s standards, or which shows any formal weaknesses or mistakes. A given is of course native-level English. If English is not your mother tongue, don’t despair. You can for instance use professional language polishing and editing to help you along your way.

Every scientific journal has a website where you can find information regarding any other standards required which include for instance, the form in which the abstract is to be written, including various rules you are expected to follow.

The number of texts offered to publishers every day is enormous. There is no need for them to bother with any poorly-written content, though the topic itself may look interesting. So if you hope to be published, make sure your grammar is flawless and its content is stunning.

Advice on publishing scientific papers

You may be able to increase your chances of getting your article published if you invest more time and patience. An old piece of advice that is still valuable to this day is to first approach a publisher and ask if they are interested in reviews. Some will be, but they may not pay for them though. At the very least, this is a potential way for you to get your foot in the door and if the content you’re delivering is quality content enough, they may be interested in other texts as well.

Of course, to publish an article in a journal is the best way to make your name known since this is where the scientific discourse takes place. Books are by their very nature less as up-to-date; but they still can serve as another vehicle with which to establish one’s reputation. If you keep your eyes and ears open, stay in touch with the scientific community, you may find out about planned book projects concerning topics you are familiar with or even specialize in. Use the avenues of communication afforded by the Internet to build your personal professional network. If you are convinced that you have something interesting to offer, then try to convince others as well.

 

Written by Dr. Herbert Jost-Hof @en.acad-write.com