The journey to getting your article published in a journal is a long and arduous one. Fear not, for PaperTrue is back with some tips to help you out!

As scholars, we all strive to research and publish content we believe would benefit the right demographic. We pour in hours, days, weeks and months of our time into just one article, collating data and opinions from various sources to ensure we have a holistic piece.

The process of converting your article into a published one is quite long – and with high-impact journals could even take up to a year to make it to the stands! There are going to be rejections, but there’s always something to be learned from those as well. So what are all the obstacles to be tackled before hitting ‘Send’?

If you’re someone who is attempting to get your article published in that journal of your dreams or even a veteran struggler, this article will help you understand the entire process of submission, as well as pitfalls you would do better avoiding.

Remember, writing to get published in a journal is a highly competitive sphere. Hardly any writer gets through this without a dozen revisions. So be patient, and all the best!

 

1) Pre-Submission

 

  • Don’t Rush

As thrilling as the prospect of a byline is, haste always makes waste. The first draft of your article is never going to be as good as the final one, but that shouldn’t lead you to count on the kindness of editors to point out flaws in your document.

The first rule to revisions, in general, is to step away from your document for a while. Seek a second opinion from experts or just public feedback from non-specialists. Is there scope for fact-checking and revising? Maybe better structuring for your content to improve readability and flow?

Don’t wait until after submission to address this issues, and it’s always better proactive than sorry!

 

  • Swipe Right for the Right Publication

Don’t apply to all the journals you’ve ever laid eyes on or heard off. There’s no point getting published in a business journal for your research in geology.

Comb through the journals that target audiences relevant to you, who would be interested in reading what you have to say. Picking the right publication can significantly improve your chances of getting accepted, as well as making the right kind of impact. Outlets that you referred to during the writing process of your paper can be a starting point.

Most importantly, however, avoid submitting your manuscript to more than one publication at a time. Apart from the embarrassment, it could potentially cause, it will also lead to copyright issues for all the parties involved.  

 

  • Citing or Writing?

While writing an academic document, or any content for that matter – it’s imperative that the right sources be credited for their contribution. Be it advice and guidance that you’re taking from a professor verbally, or referencing direct passages from someone’s work, it needs to be acknowledged either in your references or the acknowledgments section.

You might think, ‘It’s just a few sentences,’ but what it actually could be looked at as is plagiarism. Additionally, it also lessens your credibility and could cost your manuscript its integrity no matter how hard you’ve worked on it. Publications will immediately reject your article if they detect any plagiarism, although sometimes it’s possible for you to have missed out on referencing it accidentally.

However, this doesn’t mean that your document ends up being more citing and less writing. Find a balance, and only reference what is directly relevant to the point you’re trying to make.

 

  • Terms and Conditions Apply

Every journal has its own set of guidelines, and you would do well to follow them down to the last T.

Your research questions and objectives must be written keeping the aims and scope of the said journal in mind. Additionally, a lot of journals require a specific formatting style when it comes to images, tables, graphs, and references. There are plenty of authors and scholars out there itching to get published, and your manuscript could be desk rejected among these easily if you don’t comply with the rules.

Make sure you read and re-read all the guidelines and aims of the journal you wish to get published in. Tailoring your content and organizing in it a manner that would directly appeal to the target readership will subsequently increase your chances of getting accepted.

So this time around, don’t click submit without reading the T&C beforehand!

 

Submission

 

  • Title it Right

The first thing your manuscript is going to be assessed (judged) on is the title and abstract. If you can nail this, you’ve captured the attention of the editor and already boosted your chances of getting accepted.

 

Your title should reflect only what your article’s central theme is and it’s probable contribution to the existing theories on the same. Most people seem to think that having titles almost as long as the paper itself makes them look wiser, but it’s the opposite is more accurate.

 

Similarly, your abstract should be a well thought out and carefully written short paragraph that summarizes;

The problem you’re majorly addressing, i.e., your aims and objectives

  • Research questions you’ll be tackling
  • Method used
  • Literature Reviewed
  • What you expect to find and the limitations you’ll face
  • A conclusion

 

Title it, right guys, it makes a world of a difference.

 

  • Proofread

I want to emphasize not just the importance of proofreading your journal before sending it to the publication, but also the fact that you need it just as much as any other form of editing.

Before approaching an editor or editing firm, however, understand and clarify the difference between all types of editing. Your document would need to be edited and proofread intensively, ranging from copy-editing and language polishing to fact-checking as well as formatting for all the images, tables, and graphs. Of course, there will be a lot more edits and reviews to come courtesy of the publication, but that doesn’t warrant sending in an unedited document the first time around. Typos and grammatical errors can damage the credibility of your article and leave a lasting impression on the editors.

Proofreading makes perfect, and nobody proofreads better than PaperTrue. So make a stop at our website where our editors will polish your manuscript before you submit it!

 

2) Reviewing and Publishing

 

  • Cover Letter

Most scholars either overlook or are entirely unaware of the concept of sending a cover letter with your article.

If they do manage to send it in, it’s usually merely a Dear X, followed by generic pleasantries and the abstract lifted straight off their paper. This is going to be a lot more detrimental to your cause than sending no letter. For future reference, your cover letter need not be longer than half a page to a full page at most.

What’s important is that it must neatly outline your area of research, contribution to the industry, as well as the novelty of the topic. This will help you make a much more compelling case to the editor than just sending in your manuscript by itself. Of course, writing the perfect email is going to be the cherry on top, so be sure to write it right!

 

  • Reviewer is King

Assuming your article has been accepted – congratulations! You’re one step closer to fulfilling your dreams of getting published.

But you’re also many edits and revisions away from the same. As promised above, your editor is going to suggest multiple edits most of the times, and peer reviews will ensure that your article is further structured and modified to make the most sense. It’s all about improving clarity and readability of your manuscript, while still conveying the intended information to the reader.

Now that the whole process makes a little more sense to you, we wish you all the best in your endeavors! Don’t be disheartened if you get rejected, and don’t get impatient when and if the process takes time. Right from sending it in all the way to the actual publishing, it could take anywhere between 6 months to even a whole year.

Your editor will decide which issue it goes in depending on existing articles pending for publication, the timeliness of your topic and the theme of the issue that month, etc. Be open to constructive criticism, don’t lose faith in yourself or your research, and remember – there’s always PaperTrue for you!