Having a research paper published is a crucial step in the career of every research scientist and academic. While there is no one-size-fits-all approach, this article is designed to walk first-time research authors through the typical steps of publishing a research paper. First-timers will be able to find out how to get their article published, from choosing the right journal publications and understanding how to format their manuscripts in the right manner to preparing and sticking to a pre-defined schedule that will help in fulfilling paper writing objectives. Writing a research paper is hard to even for most veteran research authors. From conceptualizing the document, breaking it down into its constituent parts, and finally, referencing many other documents and books to putting forward a distinct article the entire process can be intimidating, to say the least. What it is not, is impossible. This article is meant to offer first-time research authors guidance on how they can make their research paper a good read and improve the chances of their paper being accepted on their very first try.
1. Meticulously Planning The Structure Of The Article
The hardest thing about research article writing is producing continuous text, as it requires attention to grammar and syntax – which is why it helps create a framework, just like an architect prepares a plan before getting started with the construction of a building. Describing and structuring the document also requires authors to organize their document into logical sections.
If one’s target journal adhered to a certain format their job becomes easier although they should include captions as needed under the four main headings, namely:
- Materials and Methods
- Results and Discussion
If the SCI journals that one is targeting do not have a set format, one will also need to think of suitable main headlines and organize them in the correct order. This job does not require continuous periods – one can prepare and revise the plan for short periods.
This helps to show the proposed scheme to one’s colleagues and revise it if necessary, as what is obvious to them may not be obvious to their colleagues (one’s close involvement in the work they report can blind them to abrupt changes in the flow of one’s story, for example).
2. Paying Attention To The Details
What all research authors see in front of them at the start is a blank screen, while what they see in their minds is a finished product – a perfectly written, well-formatted paper with no spelling, punctuation, or grammatical mistakes. Too much envisioning and not doing can result in glaring enough to freeze one in inaction. The solution? Not to think about the end product as a whole but divide it into bite-sized pieces. Writing paragraph by paragraph and section by section helps avoid complacency.
3. Identifying A Journal & Writing A Manuscript Specifically For That Journal
Choosing a journal is a separate topic in itself, but research authors should choose their target SCIE journals (the journal to which they plan to submit their articles) as early on in the process as possible. This will provide them with sufficient time to study its instructions to authors and also to review recent issues of this journal. Once they’ve made sure their article is in the journal, they can start writing. Authors should avoid waiting until their research is finished and instead should write as they continue with their lab or fieldwork. They can start writing the section on materials and methods, for example, while the details are still fresh in their mind. They can even create dummy tables with column headers and row headers. They just need to enter the values in the appropriate cells as their results arrive.
4. Engaging In Dialogue About Research & Findings With Other Professionals
Talking about one’s research and findings before one proceeds to write an article on it will prepare them for the task. They will find that words come easily to them if they have explained their work to others. As an author’s thoughts become organized into words, they will find that they can organize and write their article with much more ease. Such discussions with one’s collaborators or trusted colleagues also alert them to any gaps in their work that need to be rectified or looked into. Veteran research authors spend a lot of time in this stage to help solidify the arguments that they make in their research articles. Fool-proof arguments that either have very few negligible or no cracks at all in them are what make for world-class research papers that deserve to be published in highly reputable Scopus journals and read by the masses worldwide.
5. Setting Writing Goals To Preserve The Essence Of The Research Findings & Potential Avoid Delays
Every time one starts a writing session, they should set a goal telling themself that they won’t leave the session until they’ve written a certain number of words. It works better than setting aside, say, the next three hours to write. What also helps is to allocate a regular time slot for writing, Tuesday afternoon and Friday morning, for example, to help develop the habit of writing. By sitting down to write at a specific time of day, authors train their brains to adapt. Sticking to the schedule until it becomes a habit helps tremendously in the long run, as research authors often tend to get stuck in thought about the nitty-gritty of their research.
6. Post Publication Follow-Ups Are Crucial
Creating a real impact on one’s work can be a difficult and time-consuming task, which can seem difficult to fit into an already demanding academic career. That is why it is crucial for first-time authors who have successfully navigated the publication of a research paper to note that the process does not end there. Now that their research has been successfully published in a journal of their choice that’s accessible to the world, they need to know how to access their article and make sure it has the impact they intend for it to have. Taking the time to make sure their research is having an impact can help them
- Advance their careers
- Build their networks
- Secure funding for new research
So, following up after successfully getting a research paper published is always worth the investment. If you’re a first-time author, following the above-detailed tips is bound to help ease the pressure of going into the unknown and give you a fair idea of what to do and when in your maiden research article publishing voyage.
Selecting the right journal to publish research papers/articles published in can seem like an intimidating task. There are thousands of active research journals. Choosing the right one may involve researching the scope of the journals that interest you. The process is thought to be made easier by the use of modern tools such as:
- The world-renowned Scopus journal indexing database
- DOAJ (which is the Directory of Open Access Journals) assists researchers in finding the best journals for their research papers
- ThinkCheckSubmit, which helps researchers avoid falling prey to predatory publishers
- FindMyJournal, which helps in automating the selection process (reducing the time that it takes to scour through multiple journal publications)
Despite the existence of these tools, however, the selection process remains daunting for most researchers looking to get their work published.
Crucial Journal Scouting Tips
Having a manuscript sent to an unsuitable journal is quite a common mistake committed by both young and experienced research authors and can cause journal editors to reject the manuscript even before the peer-review process. Choosing a relevant journal increases the chances of acceptance of a manuscript.
Some factors about a journal to consider before settling on it include:
1. Topics Typically Published By The Journal
Those researchers whose research work is applied should target a journal that publishes applied science. Those whose research work is entirely clinical should aim for clinical review publishers. Researchers may find it easier by browsing a list of journals while considering the subject matter that these journals typically deal with as well.
2. A Journal’s Typical Audience
Are researchers from related fields likely to be interested in a certain published work? If so, a journal that covers a wide range of topics may be preferable. If only researchers in a certain domain are likely to want to read the article, then a field-specific journal would be preferable.
3. Sort Of Research That A Journal Typically Deals With
Those researchers who are looking to publish a journal, case study, or thesis should make sure their target journal accepts these types of manuscripts.
4. Reputation That A Journal Has Managed To Garner Throughout Its Existence
The impact factor of a journal is an indication of its reputation. Nevertheless, this metric isn’t always that revealing of a journal’s reputation or even the most important of factors for consideration. Researchers should consider the reputation of the authors who publish in the journal and whether their research is of a similar standard.
5. Personal Objectives
Does the journal usually publish articles quickly? Is the journal’s time to publication suitable? When looking for suitable journals to publish one’s results researchers should start with what they’ve read. They should already be familiar with published studies that are similar to theirs. In which review were these studies published? The same journals may be appropriate for their manuscript, so making a list of them can prove to be immensely helpful.
If one needs more journals to consider, they can search the literature for other articles published in their field that have similar scope and impact in the field and see where they have been published. When they have a list of potential target journals, they should visit and check out the websites of those journals. Each journal should have a page that provides submission guidelines, including information on several of the factors listed above.
Journals on one’s list that do not match their manuscript based on the factors listed above should be eliminated (partake in an upcoming ARDA conference to learn more about how to speed up this process of elimination). Of the remaining journals, one or more will likely stand out as a very good candidate. Researchers should seriously consider if additional experiences will give them a better chance of getting a post in their top pick.
Researchers who are in a rush to publish should determine which of the remaining journals offers quick publication. If none do, they should determine which one has the highest post frequency. If their primary goal is to reach as many readers as possible, they should strongly consider candidate newspapers that offer an open-access option. Why? Simply because open access journals allow anyone to read an article for free online which can make a researcher’s article more likely to be read and cited.
Upon choosing a journal that they think is best suited for their study and goals, it’s usually a good idea for researchers to identify their second and third-choice journals as well. This way, if their article is rejected from their first-choice journal, they can quickly submit it to their second-choice journal.
A Valuable, Time-Saving Tactic
Researchers who have different choices of journals belonging to the same publisher (such as the world-renowned ARDA Journal publications) should submit to their first-choice journal for review. If the editor of one journal decides that their manuscript is not suitable, they can ask the publisher to transfer their manuscript to another journal belonging to the same publisher.
This transfer process means one doesn’t have to upload their files and manuscript details more than once when there is a second-best journal they like from the same publisher. The manuscript and often reviews can be transferred on one’s behalf. This helps authors, reviewers, and editors save a ton of time. However, researchers should still keep in mind that they should never submit a manuscript to more than a single journal at a time.
The editors of the best journals look for exceptional qualities, in particular, in two components of a research article – its content and its style. When it comes to content, editors are always looking for novelty and conceptual advancement. The result should not have been published before, but not all new concepts are worth publishing in a High Impact Journal, where the readership is large. The work should provide a significant step forward for the field and provide new direction.
The second element, style can easily be achieved with a strong title and summary. These are the first things a reader sees and sometimes the only parts that are read. Thus, it is essential to communicate key and autonomous points through the summary, which can be thought of as a “mini-version” of the entire paper. This nugget is where research authors will entice editors and readers into viewing the rest of the document. It is also a great approach to make sure that the abstract is database friendly, and contains relevant tags and keywords so that readers can find an article through search or online indexing services.
By relying on a spell checker, research authors might miss typing mistakes or make embarrassing mistakes, such as changing the genome to a gnome. Despite the above insights being fairly unknown amongst research authors, there are six crucial tips (detailed below) that are far more important to a research author who is looking to get his/her article published in a high impact journal.
Tips for publishing in a High Impact Journal
1. The Objectives Of The Research Carried Out Must Align With That Of The Journal (In Terms Of Solving A Real-World Problem)
The outcomes, the most novel research methods and perfect English won’t help a research author if the most popular journals don’t publish their work. Before a researcher can even consider submitting their article, they should ask themselves if they can describe their journal concisely. Specifically, influential high impact journals look for relevant works of literature, which must solve an important real-world challenge and have real implications.
Researchers can do a quick review by telling a family member, friend or neighbor without prior knowledge of their research. Do they immediately understand the problem the journal is trying to solve? Even if they answer the big problem, their research may not be powerful enough by nature, science or cells to count. These journals typically seek studies on a range of methods, parameters, model systems or whatever is appropriate for research.
2. Identifying & Addressing What Readers Of The Journal Are Most Likely To Look For
Research authors can’t force everyone to read what they write and if they don’t present their article appropriately they can reduce its potential impact. The readership of a scientific article is specialized, but they should never assume too much knowledge on the part of the readers. This is especially important in high impact journals, as one of the acceptance criteria is research with broad relevance. So while their readers are likely to be scientists not all of them will be experts in their field.
Researchers should read each sentence they wrote from the reader’s perspective and they should suppose their reader is a layman and write as easily as it allows their reader to understand their ideas very clearly. Researchers should also always ask what? why? and how? for every sentence they write. They should make sure that their article does not give the reader any ambiguity in any dimension whatsoever.
3. Approaching The Article Writing Process From The Point Of View Of The Reader
High impact articles need solid proof and noteworthy outcomes. So, researchers should always start by asking a big research question and forming a logical argument. They should seek to fill in as many gaps as possible in their story. Great research builds a complete picture of a system. A good research article is a clear, compelling story that should be written with a chosen scientific publication in mind.
Researchers should take care to avoid overly technical or specialized jargon and keep the reading fluid right through every sentence, paragraph and chapter of the article. Unnecessary punctuation can interfere with the flow. Explaining the steps involved in scientific solutions/methodologies will improve the reading flow. Repeating ideas or information can hinder circulation.
4. Coming Up With A Title For The Article That Is Truly Awe-Inspiring
The title of the article should be informative and tell the reader what the conclusion was. Titles that are clear and concise are the best because readers get to identify exactly what the document is about. Researchers shouldn’t underestimate the importance of a good headline and a good summary, these short blocks of text are often the final consideration when building an article and will receive many more views than the article itself.
These tricks should be used as a hook to attract readers (and publishers). Researchers should take care not to use specialized jargon, especially in the title and abstract, to publish journals in high impact journals.
5. Coming Up With A Clear Cut Summarization Of The Entire Research Article
The summary is one of the most important sections of a research article. Typically, it should concisely present the topic, declare the problem the researcher is trying to solve, summarize the principal outcomes and then offer an outlook of the possible benefits and applications of those findings. The first lines of the summary should provide a basic introduction to the field followed by context on the issues or problems in the field.
Researchers should aim to answer a specific research question. The summary should end with a conclusion or answer to the question posed, followed by an explanation of the more obvious implication or consequence of the outcome. In the results section of the summary, some details on the methods should be provided, but the authors should seek to strike a balance between too much and too little information.
6. Elucidating The Crux Of The Article With The Help Of Figures, Tables & Data
The numbers should visually represent the findings and they should be in a logical order and match the story of the article. Figures and tables (display elements) are often the fastest way to communicate large amounts of complex information that would be difficult to explain in text. High-quality display items make a research author’s work look professional.
As a result of this, readers will infer that a manuscript that is professional-looking is bound to contain good quality scientific data. In turn, readers may be more likely to trust the results and the interpretation of those results that the research author has put forth. If you need more tips to publish in high impact journals ARDA conference will help you to publish your research article.
The most elemental component of a good research paper is top-quality research work. Working with the best scientists as well as in the best lab, with world-class infrastructure helps in this regard. Then make sure that the issues you are studying are important and of interest to others in the field. The most successful research papers are those that feature innovative research. But the best research papers also present their story clearly and logically. Because the idea behind the paper is clear, the writing is clear. Writing research papers with all of these qualities may require a bit of strategic thinking, practice and skill.
Stay On Your Toes
As soon as you get to work in your new lab and start producing data at full tilt, you need to judge when you have enough data to write an article. Write too early and you may be wasting your time. Wait too long and you risk getting caught. Stop and write when there is enough data to tell a full and logical story. The key is to keep the paper in mind at all times as you perform the experiments.
Think about what numbers may already be in the paper and what information they will contain. The reader should come to the same conclusions that you have based solely on your results. So ask yourself if, after entering the results presented in your numbers, the reader will be led to the correct overall conclusion. Think about:
- If your research paper offers a comprehensive overview of the topic at hand
- If you’re offering any alternative viewpoints to your research
- If there are do you have the numbers to back up the validity of these viewpoints
Before undertaking your research work, remember to always ask yourself how it will contribute to the logic of the post. It can be pretty tough to remain objective and find the holes in your research when you’re completely engrossed in your research work. Test your reasoning on your coworkers by asking them if you told a logical and compelling story after showing them a draft of your research paper.
Picking A Top-Notch Journal With A High-Impact Factor Is Half The Job Done
Directing your article to the most appropriate Scopus journal can save you a lot of energy and time as well as help you reveal your findings to the world sooner. So-called best journals value novelty and unexpected discoveries, but other journals may be more interested in in-depth and in-depth analyzes of critical processes. Go through the different journals and see where your work would be best suited.
Acquire feedback from colleagues and others in the field who have experience as journal authors, reviewers and editors. It can be tempting to send your article to a leading high-impact journal, even if your results are not of the greatest novelty or of trends in the zeitgeist. However, you can save a lot of time and reduce the chances of being disappointed if you send it to the right high-impact journal in the first round instead of waiting for it to be rejected by a high-level journal.
Ensure That You’re Submitting The Best Version Of Your Paper
In the eyes of your readers (editors and reviewers included) the quality of the paper you send directly reflects the quality of the science behind it. A reckless approach to writing can undermine the most meticulous experience. It is therefore essential that the paper is free from reckless errors, especially in the data. Check and double-check that all information is consistent and that pictures and graphics represent what you say they represent.
Again, numbers are your best ally in conveying your story, so make them easy to understand. Each figure should only present one or a few related points and together they should present all the important points of the document in an easy-to-understand way. Instill as much information about the data and conditions of the experiment as possible. Adding suitable legends for any figures in your research paper is also important, but the less the reader has to refer to the back and forth, the better.
Comply With All The Formatting Guidelines Of Your Chosen Journal
It is essential that the paper is written clearly and contains no spelling or grammatical errors and that the logic is crisp. Show your article to your most critical friends and colleagues and take their advice seriously. Also, make sure all authors have seen and approved the submission.
Prepare To Nail The Reviewing Process
The best Scopus indexed journals are often either run by professional writers or by academics who take on the role of an editor for a set period of time. Both types of writers send articles to peer reviewers. These reviewers are scientists themselves who rate your article for accuracy, logic and scientific relevance. Some journals have an initial screening stage where articles unlikely to go through the review process are rejected. Scientific editors make these initial screening decisions with advice from a board of reviewing editors.
Reviewers are selected by the publisher based on their expertise in the field, often using large databases assembled by the journal and the publisher’s knowledge in that area. Some scientists are better reviewers than others, they are more critical and in-depth, a fact that is quickly becoming recognized by editors. Traditionally, the review process can take anywhere from a few days to several weeks. After review, the publisher decides on the publication, taking into account all comments received. The journal’s editorial goals (sometimes journals decide certain areas of particular future interest or lesser interest) are factored into the decision, as is knowledge of the reviewers themselves and the context of their views.
A Convincing Cover Letter Goes A Long Way
One can expedite the review process by preparing a cover letter that includes, in very clear language, a concise version of all the logic of the document that specifies the significance and context of your research paper submission and work. Include any special considerations that the editor and reviewers should take into account in the cover letter. These may include information about your availability, related work being reviewed in other journals or the names of other scientists working on the same issue who would therefore have a conflict of interest in revising your article. Keep the list short, otherwise, the publisher will be forced to ignore your listing or get an uninformed review. If it is necessary to request that a few people be excluded from the examination, explain why. Any related data not included in the main body of the document should be accessible to reviewers, either as an appendix or through a publicly accessible database.
Dealing With Rejection In The Right Spirit
Despite your best efforts, you may get rejected by the journal of your choice. This doesn’t necessarily mean your paper isn’t good. A lot of high-impact factor journals reject more than 90% of the papers submitted to them. Rejection can be overwhelming and it’s often a good idea to let at least a day pass by before you think about your course of action. It is never a good idea to send an angry email to the editor explaining why the review process was unfair and biased. If, after careful consideration, you believe there has been a misunderstanding or error, some Web of Science Journal will receive a request for reconsideration, usually in the form of a letter or clear message explaining your point of view. Some publishers may be willing to have a phone conversation.
In most cases, the most effective and quickest course is to quickly reassess your journal choice, correct any deficiencies that may have been pointed out in the review process, reformat the paper for your second choice journal and to send it. You should keep in mind that the vast majority of rejected research papers are ultimately published elsewhere. Every submission that ends up being rejected allows you to hone your writing and editing skills.