How to Write and Publish Your Research in a Journal

Thứ bảy - 27/04/2024 01:09
Prepare your paper and master the submission process like a proPublishing a research paper in a peer-reviewed journal allows you to network with other scholars, get your name and work into circulation, and further refine your ideas and...
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Publishing a research paper in a peer-reviewed journal allows you to network with other scholars, get your name and work into circulation, and further refine your ideas and research. Before submitting your paper, make sure it reflects all the work you’ve done and have several people read over it and make comments. Keep reading to learn how you can choose a journal, prepare your work for publication, submit it, and revise it after you get a response back.

Things You Should Know

  • Create a list of journals you’d like to publish your work in and choose one that best aligns with your topic and your desired audience.
  • Prepare your manuscript using the journal’s requirements and ask at least 2 professors or supervisors to review your paper.
  • Write a cover letter that “sells” your manuscript, says how your research adds to your field and explains why you chose the specific journal you’re submitting to.
Part 1
Part 1 of 5:

Choosing a Journal

  1. Step 1 Create a list of journals you’d like to publish your work in.
    Ideally, you’ll choose your target journal before you start writing so you can tailor your paper to build on work that has already been published in that journal. Search online or ask a professor or librarian for journals that are related to your field of study.[1]
    • Ask your professors or supervisors for well-respected journals that they’ve had good experiences publishing with and that they read regularly.
    • Many journals also only accept specific formats, so by choosing a journal before you start, you can write your article to their specifications and increase your chances of being accepted.
    • If you’ve already written a paper you’d like to publish, consider whether your research directly relates to a hot topic or area of research in the journals you’re looking into.
  2. Step 2 Look at each journal’s audience, exposure, policies, and procedures.
    The best publications are peer-reviewed, meaning scholars can anonymously review submitted works. Some of these journals are open-access, meaning readers can immediately read your work, while others require a subscription. Try to narrow your list down to 1 journal.[2]
    • Review the journal’s peer review policies and submission process to see if you’re comfortable creating or adjusting your work according to their standards.
    • Open-access journals can increase your readership because anyone can access them.
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Part 2
Part 2 of 5:

Writing the Research Paper

  1. Step 1 Craft an effective introduction with a thesis statement.
    An introduction section is typically 3 to 5 paragraphs. Include why your research is important, what is already known about the topic, the “gap” or what’s not known about the topic, and the aim of your research. In a 1 to 2-sentence thesis, describe what your paper explores, investigates, or accomplishes.[3]
    • Scientific research papers: Instead of a “thesis,” you might write a “research objective” instead. This is where you state the purpose of your research.
    • Make a strong, clear statement of this vision in your thesis statement. Compare the following weak vs. strong statements:
      • “This paper explores how George Washington’s experiences as a young officer may have shaped his views during difficult circumstances as a commanding officer.”
      • “This paper contends that George Washington’s experiences as a young officer on the 1750s Pennsylvania frontier directly impacted his relationship with his Continental Army troops during the harsh winter at Valley Forge.”
  2. Step 2 Write the literature review and the body of your paper.
    Generally, papers across disciplines include a literature review, where you discuss what research has already been done and how you hope to advance the discussion with your current research.[4] Spend the rest of the paper using the evidence you collected to prove your stated thesis.
    • Scientific research papers: Include a “materials and methods” section with the step-by-step process you followed and the materials you used.[5]
    • Read other research papers in your field to see how they’re written. Their format, writing style, subject matter, and vocabulary can help guide your own paper.[6]
  3. Step 3 Write your conclusion that ties back to your thesis or research objective.
    A strong conclusion adds context to your thesis and leaves your reader thinking about the larger implications of your research. Start your conclusion by paraphrasing your thesis, then explain to your readers why they should care about your argument, and wrap it up with the larger context of your work.[7]
    • If you’re writing about George Washington’s experiences as a young officer, you might emphasize how this research changes our perspective of the first president of the U.S.
    • Scientific research papers: The conclusion typically includes a “results” and a “discussion” section where you share the data, your results, and your comments about them.
      • Link this section to your thesis or research objective.
      • If you’re writing a paper about ADHD, you might discuss other applications for your research.
  4. Step 4 Write an abstract that describes what your paper is about.
    An abstract is a short summary of your paper, usually about a paragraph long, that helps readers decide whether or not to read the full article. Generally, your research paper includes the context for your research, the general topic, and the specific topic of your research.[8]
    • Scientific research papers: You might include your research and/or analytical methods, your main findings or results, and the significance or implications of your research.
    • Try to get as many people as you can to read over your abstract and provide feedback before you submit your paper to a journal.
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Part 3
Part 3 of 5:

Editing & Revising Your Paper

  1. Step 1 Prepare your manuscript according to the journal’s requirements.
    Most journals provide an "author's guide" or “instructions to authors” with specific guidelines about layout, type font, and length.[9] This guide can also tell you how to physically submit your paper and provides information about the review process.[10]
    • They might also provide templates to help you structure your manuscript according to their specific guidelines.[11]
  2. Step 2 Ask 2 colleagues to review your paper and revise it with their notes.
    Ask 2 trusted professors or supervisors to verify your content and edit your paper for grammar, spelling errors, typos, clarity, and conciseness. Listen to their advice and revise your paper according to their suggestions.[12]
    • In addition, ask a non-expert in your topic, like a writing tutor or a professor in another field, to review your work.
      • Not all journal reviewers will be experts on your specific topic, so a non-expert “outsider’s perspective” can be valuable.
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Part 4
Part 4 of 5:

Submitting Your Paper

  1. Step 1 Check your sources for plagiarism and identify 5 to 6 keywords.
    Make sure all your claims are sourced appropriately and review each source in your paper to make sure you’re paraphrasing, quoting, and reflecting their research accurately.[13] Choose specific keywords, or search terms, that represent the main concepts of your research.[14]
    • In addition, look for synonyms for the keywords you choose that readers might use to describe your topic.
      • If you have a paper on the purification of wastewater with fungi, you might use both the words “fungi” and “mushrooms.”
    • Use software like iThenticate, Turnitin, or PlagScan to check for similarities between the submitted article and published material available online.[15]
  2. Step 2 Write a cover letter explaining why you chose their journal.
    A persuasive cover letter can help “sell” your paper to the journal editor. Check to see whether the journal you’re submitting to has any cover letter requirements, then write a letter that explains why your manuscript would be interesting to your journal’s readers.[16]
    • Here’s a sample structure for your cover letter:
      • Header: Address the editor who will be reviewing your manuscript by their name, include the date of submission, and the journal you are submitting to.
      • First paragraph: Include the title of your manuscript, the type of paper it is (like review, research, or case study), and the research question you wanted to answer and why.
      • Second paragraph: Explain what was done in your research, your main findings, and why they are significant to your field.
      • Third paragraph: Explain why the journal’s readers would be interested in your work and why your results are important to your field.
      • Conclusion: State the author(s) and any journal requirements that your work complies with (like ethical standards”).
    • Include these sentences in the conclusion of your cover letter:
      • “We confirm that this manuscript has not been published elsewhere and is not under consideration by another journal.”
      • “All authors have approved the manuscript and agree with its submission to [insert the name of the target journal].”
  3. Step 3 Submit your article according to the journal’s submission guidelines.
    Go to the “author's guide” (or similar) on the journal’s website to review its submission requirements. Once you are satisfied that your paper meets all of the guidelines, submit the paper through the appropriate channels. Some journals allow online submission, while others prefer a hard copy.[17]
    • Submit your article to only one journal at a time.
    • When submitting online, use your university email account. This connects you with a scholarly institution, which can add credibility to your work.
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Part 5
Part 5 of 5:

Navigating the Peer Review Process

  1. Step 1 Try not to panic when you get the journal’s initial response.
    Very few article submissions get an immediate “Accept” from a peer-reviewed journal. Anything aside from just “Reject” is a positive review. If your article is good but isn’t a good fit for their publication, some reviewers might suggest submitting your work to a different journal.[18]
    • Accept: Only minor adjustments are needed, based on the provided feedback by the reviewers. A first submission will rarely be accepted without any changes needed.
    • Revise and Resubmit: Changes are needed before publication can be considered, but the journal is still very interested in your work.
    • Reject and Resubmit: Extensive revisions are needed. Your work may not be acceptable for this journal, but they might also accept it if significant changes are made.
    • Reject: The paper isn’t and won’t be suitable for this publication, but that doesn’t mean it might not work for another journal.
  2. Step 2 Revise your paper based on the reviewers’ feedback.
    Often, you’ll be asked to revise your paper and resubmit it based on comments provided by several anonymous reviewers and the editor. Study their critiques carefully and make the necessary changes.[19]
    • Try organizing the reviewer comments by how easy it is to address them. That way, you can break your revisions down into more manageable parts.
    • If you disagree with a comment made by a reviewer, try to provide an evidence-based explanation when you resubmit your paper.
  3. Step 3 Resubmit to the same journal or choose another from your list.
    Having a submission rejected will happen—every researcher has had their work rejected at some point. Just because it was rejected from this journal doesn’t mean there’s no future for it. Give yourself time to relax before resubmitting to the same journal or revising your paper to submit to a new one.[20]
    • Dr. Matthew Snipp, research fellow and sociology professor at Stanford University, says that when submitting your research, you “have to get used to rejection, because you're going to get a lot of it.”[21]
    • If you’re resubmitting your paper to the same journal, include a point-by-point response paper that talks about how you addressed all of the reviewers’ comments in your revision.[22]
    • If you’re not sure which journal to submit to next, you might be able to ask the journal editor which publications they recommend.
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