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How to Write and Publish a Research Paper in 7 Steps
What comes next after you're done with your research? Publishing the results in a journal of course! We tell you how to present your work in the best way possible.
This post is part of a series, which serves to provide hands-on information and resources for authors and editors.
Things have gotten busy in scholarly publishing: These days, a new article gets published in the 50,000 most important peer-reviewed journals every few seconds, while each one takes on average 40 minutes to read. Hundreds of thousands of papers reach the desks of editors and reviewers worldwide each year and 50% of all submissions end up rejected at some stage.
In a nutshell: there is a lot of competition, and the people who decide upon the fate of your manuscript are short on time and overworked. But there are ways to make their lives a little easier and improve your own chances of getting your work published!
Well, it may seem obvious, but before submitting an academic paper, always make sure that it is an excellent reflection of the research you have done and that you present it in the most professional way possible. Incomplete or poorly presented manuscripts can create a great deal of frustration and annoyance for editors who probably won’t even bother wasting the time of the reviewers!
This post will discuss 7 steps to the successful publication of your research paper:
- Check whether your research is publication-ready
- Choose an article type
- Choose a journal
- Construct your paper
- Decide the order of authors
- Check and double-check
- Submit your paper
1. Check Whether Your Research Is Publication-Ready
Should you publish your research at all?
If your work holds academic value – of course – a well-written scholarly article could open doors to your research community. However, if you are not yet sure, whether your research is ready for publication, here are some key questions to ask yourself depending on your field of expertise:
- Have you done or found something new and interesting? Something unique?
- Is the work directly related to a current hot topic?
- Have you checked the latest results or research in the field?
- Have you provided solutions to any difficult problems?
- Have the findings been verified?
- Have the appropriate controls been performed if required?
- Are your findings comprehensive?
If the answers to all relevant questions are “yes”, you need to prepare a good, strong manuscript. Remember, a research paper is only useful if it is clearly understood, reproducible and if it is read and used .
2. Choose An Article Type
The first step is to determine which type of paper is most appropriate for your work and what you want to achieve. The following list contains the most important, usually peer-reviewed article types in the natural sciences:
Full original research papers disseminate completed research findings. On average this type of paper is 8-10 pages long, contains five figures, and 25-30 references. Full original research papers are an important part of the process when developing your career.
Review papers present a critical synthesis of a specific research topic. These papers are usually much longer than original papers and will contain numerous references. More often than not, they will be commissioned by journal editors. Reviews present an excellent way to solidify your research career.
Letters, Rapid or Short Communications are often published for the quick and early communication of significant and original advances. They are much shorter than full articles and usually limited in length by the journal. Journals specifically dedicated to short communications or letters are also published in some fields. In these the authors can present short preliminary findings before developing a full-length paper.
3. Choose a Journal
Are you looking for the right place to publish your paper? Find out here whether a De Gruyter journal might be the right fit.
Submit to journals that you already read, that you have a good feel for. If you do so, you will have a better appreciation of both its culture and the requirements of the editors and reviewers.
Other factors to consider are:
- The specific subject area
- The aims and scope of the journal
- The type of manuscript you have written
- The significance of your work
- The reputation of the journal
- The reputation of the editors within the community
- The editorial/review and production speeds of the journal
- The community served by the journal
- The coverage and distribution
- The accessibility ( open access vs. closed access)
4. Construct Your Paper
Each element of a paper has its purpose, so you should make these sections easy to index and search.
Don’t forget that requirements can differ highly per publication, so always make sure to apply a journal’s specific instructions – or guide – for authors to your manuscript, even to the first draft (text layout, paper citation, nomenclature, figures and table, etc.) It will save you time, and the editor’s.
Also, even in these days of Internet-based publishing, space is still at a premium, so be as concise as possible. As a good journalist would say: “Never use three words when one will do!”
Let’s look at the typical structure of a full research paper, but bear in mind certain subject disciplines may have their own specific requirements so check the instructions for authors on the journal’s home page.
4.1 The Title
It’s important to use the title to tell the reader what your paper is all about! You want to attract their attention, a bit like a newspaper headline does. Be specific and to the point. Keep it informative and concise, and avoid jargon and abbreviations (unless they are universally recognized like DNA, for example).
4.2 The Abstract
This could be termed as the “advertisement” for your article. Make it interesting and easily understood without the reader having to read the whole article. Be accurate and specific, and keep it as brief and concise as possible. Some journals (particularly in the medical fields) will ask you to structure the abstract in distinct, labeled sections, which makes it even more accessible.
A clear abstract will influence whether or not your work is considered and whether an editor should invest more time on it or send it for review.
Keywords are used by abstracting and indexing services, such as PubMed and Web of Science. They are the labels of your manuscript, which make it “searchable” online by other researchers.
Include words or phrases (usually 4-8) that are closely related to your topic but not “too niche” for anyone to find them. Make sure to only use established abbreviations. Think about what scientific terms and its variations your potential readers are likely to use and search for. You can also do a test run of your selected keywords in one of the common academic search engines. Do similar articles to your own appear? Yes? Then that’s a good sign.
This first part of the main text should introduce the problem, as well as any existing solutions you are aware of and the main limitations. Also, state what you hope to achieve with your research.
Do not confuse the introduction with the results, discussion or conclusion.
Every research article should include a detailed Methods section (also referred to as “Materials and Methods”) to provide the reader with enough information to be able to judge whether the study is valid and reproducible.
Include detailed information so that a knowledgeable reader can reproduce the experiment. However, use references and supplementary materials to indicate previously published procedures.
In this section, you will present the essential or primary results of your study. To display them in a comprehensible way, you should use subheadings as well as illustrations such as figures, graphs, tables and photos, as appropriate.
Here you should tell your readers what the results mean .
Do state how the results relate to the study’s aims and hypotheses and how the findings relate to those of other studies. Explain all possible interpretations of your findings and the study’s limitations.
Do not make “grand statements” that are not supported by the data. Also, do not introduce any new results or terms. Moreover, do not ignore work that conflicts or disagrees with your findings. Instead …
Be brave! Address conflicting study results and convince the reader you are the one who is correct.
Your conclusion isn’t just a summary of what you’ve already written. It should take your paper one step further and answer any unresolved questions.
Sum up what you have shown in your study and indicate possible applications and extensions. The main question your conclusion should answer is: What do my results mean for the research field and my community?
4.9 Acknowledgments and Ethical Statements
It is extremely important to acknowledge anyone who has helped you with your paper, including researchers who supplied materials or reagents (e.g. vectors or antibodies); and anyone who helped with the writing or English, or offered critical comments about the content.
Learn more about academic integrity in our blog post “Scholarly Publication Ethics: 4 Common Mistakes You Want To Avoid” .
Remember to state why people have been acknowledged and ask their permission . Ensure that you acknowledge sources of funding, including any grant or reference numbers.
Furthermore, if you have worked with animals or humans, you need to include information about the ethical approval of your study and, if applicable, whether informed consent was given. Also, state whether you have any competing interests regarding the study (e.g. because of financial or personal relationships.)
The end is in sight, but don’t relax just yet!
De facto, there are often more mistakes in the references than in any other part of the manuscript. It is also one of the most annoying and time-consuming problems for editors.
Remember to cite the main scientific publications on which your work is based. But do not inflate the manuscript with too many references. Avoid excessive – and especially unnecessary – self-citations. Also, avoid excessive citations of publications from the same institute or region.
5. Decide the Order of Authors
In the sciences, the most common way to order the names of the authors is by relative contribution.
Generally, the first author conducts and/or supervises the data analysis and the proper presentation and interpretation of the results. They put the paper together and usually submit the paper to the journal.
Co-authors make intellectual contributions to the data analysis and contribute to data interpretation. They review each paper draft. All of them must be able to present the paper and its results, as well as to defend the implications and discuss study limitations.
Do not leave out authors who should be included or add “gift authors”, i.e. authors who did not contribute significantly.
6. Check and Double-Check
As a final step before submission, ask colleagues to read your work and be constructively critical .
Make sure that the paper is appropriate for the journal – take a last look at their aims and scope. Check if all of the requirements in the instructions for authors are met.
Ensure that the cited literature is balanced. Are the aims, purpose and significance of the results clear?
Conduct a final check for language, either by a native English speaker or an editing service.
7. Submit Your Paper
When you and your co-authors have double-, triple-, quadruple-checked the manuscript: submit it via e-mail or online submission system. Along with your manuscript, submit a cover letter, which highlights the reasons why your paper would appeal to the journal and which ensures that you have received approval of all authors for submission.
It is up to the editors and the peer-reviewers now to provide you with their (ideally constructive and helpful) comments and feedback. Time to take a breather!
If the paper gets rejected, do not despair – it happens to literally everybody. If the journal suggests major or minor revisions, take the chance to provide a thorough response and make improvements as you see fit. If the paper gets accepted, congrats!
It’s now time to get writing and share your hard work – good luck!
If you are interested, check out this related blog post
[Title Image by Nick Morrison via Unsplash]
David Sleeman worked as Senior Journals Manager in the field of Physical Sciences at De Gruyter.
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How to Publish a Research Paper
Last Updated: August 17, 2023 Fact Checked
This article was co-authored by Matthew Snipp, PhD and by wikiHow staff writer, Christopher M. Osborne, PhD . C. Matthew Snipp is the Burnet C. and Mildred Finley Wohlford Professor of Humanities and Sciences in the Department of Sociology at Stanford University. He is also the Director for the Institute for Research in the Social Science’s Secure Data Center. He has been a Research Fellow at the U.S. Bureau of the Census and a Fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences. He has published 3 books and over 70 articles and book chapters on demography, economic development, poverty and unemployment. He is also currently serving on the National Institute of Child Health and Development’s Population Science Subcommittee. He holds a Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Wisconsin—Madison. There are 7 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been fact-checked, ensuring the accuracy of any cited facts and confirming the authority of its sources. This article has been viewed 686,792 times.
Publishing a research paper in a peer-reviewed journal is an important activity within the academic community. It allows you to network with other scholars, get your name and work into circulation, and further refine your ideas and research. Getting published isn’t easy, but you can improve your odds by submitting a technically sound and creative yet straightforward piece of research. It’s also vital to find a suitable academic journal for your topic and writing style, so you can tailor your research paper to it and increase your chances of publication and wider recognition.
Submitting (and Resubmitting) Your Paper
- Have two or three people review your paper. At least one should be a non-expert in the major topic — their “outsider’s perspective” can be particularly valuable, as not all reviewers will be experts on your specific topic.
- Journal articles in the sciences often follow a specific organizational format, such as: Abstract; Introduction; Methods; Results; Discussion; Conclusion; Acknowledgements/References. Those in the arts and humanities are usually less regimented.
- Submit your article to only one journal at a time. Work your way down your list, one at a time, as needed.
- When submitting online, use your university email account. This connects you with a scholarly institution, which adds credibility to your work.
- Accept with Revision — only minor adjustments are needed, based on the provided feedback by the reviewers.
- Revise and Resubmit — more substantial changes (as described) are needed before publication can be considered, but the journal is still very interested in your work.
- Reject and Resubmit — the article is not currently viable for consideration, but substantial alterations and refocusing may be able to change this outcome.
- 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.
- Do not get over-attached to your original submission. Instead, remain flexible and rework the paper in light of the feedback you receive. Use your skills as a researcher and a writer to create a superior paper.
- However, you don’t have to “roll over” and meekly follow reviewer comments that you feel are off the mark. Open a dialogue with the editor and explain your position, respectfully but confidently. Remember, you’re an expert on this specific topic!  X Research source
- Remember, a rejected paper doesn’t necessarily equal a bad paper. Numerous factors, many of them completely out of your control, go into determining which articles are accepted.
- Move on to your second-choice journal for submission. You might even ask for guidance on finding a better fit from the editor of the first journal.
Choosing the Right Journal for Submission
- Read academic journals related to your field of study.
- Search online for published research papers, conference papers, and journal articles.
- Ask a colleague or professor for a suggested reading list.
- “Fit” is critical here — the most renowned journal in your field might not be the one best suited to your specific work. At the same time, though, don’t sell yourself short by assuming your paper could never be good enough for that top-shelf publication.
- However, always prioritize peer-reviewed journals — in which field scholars anonymously review submitted works. This is the basic standard for scholarly publishing.
- You can increase your readership dramatically by publishing in an open access journal. As such, it will be freely available as part of an online repository of peer-reviewed scholarly papers.  X Research source
Strengthening Your Submission
- “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.”
- This is especially true for younger scholars who are breaking into the field. Leave the grand (yet still only 20-30 page) explorations to more established scholars.
- Your abstract should make people eager to start reading the article, but never disappointed when they finish the article.
- Get as many people as you can to read over your abstract and provide feedback before you submit your paper to a journal.
Research Paper Help
- Do not immediately revise your paper if you are upset or frustrated with the journal's requests for change. Set your paper aside for several days, then come back to it with "fresh eyes." The feedback you received will have percolated and settled, and will now find a comfortable place within your article. Remember this is a big project and final refinements will take time. Thanks Helpful 1 Not Helpful 0
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- ↑ https://owl.excelsior.edu/research/revising-and-editing-a-research-paper/
- ↑ http://www.canberra.edu.au/library/start-your-research/research_help/publishing-research
- ↑ http://www.apa.org/monitor/sep02/publish.aspx
- ↑ Matthew Snipp, PhD. Research Fellow, U.S. Bureau of the Census. Expert Interview. 26 March 2020.
- ↑ https://www.timeshighereducation.com/news/how-to-get-your-first-research-paper-published/2015485.article#survey-answer
- ↑ https://www.webarchive.org.uk/wayback/archive/20140615095526/http://www.jisc.ac.uk/media/documents/publications/briefingpaper/2010/bppublishingresearchpapersv1final.pdf
- ↑ https://libguides.usc.edu/writingguide/abstract
About This Article
To publish a research paper, ask a colleague or professor to review your paper and give you feedback. Once you've revised your work, familiarize yourself with different academic journals so that you can choose the publication that best suits your paper. Make sure to look at the "Author's Guide" so you can format your paper according to the guidelines for that publication. Then, submit your paper and don't get discouraged if it is not accepted right away. You may need to revise your paper and try again. To learn about the different responses you might get from journals, see our reviewer's explanation below. Did this summary help you? Yes No
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How to get published in an academic journal: top tips from editors
Journal editors share their advice on how to structure a paper, write a cover letter - and deal with awkward feedback from reviewers
- Overcoming writer’s block: three tips
- How to write for an academic journal
Writing for academic journals is highly competitive. Even if you overcome the first hurdle and generate a valuable idea or piece of research - how do you then sum it up in a way that will capture the interest of reviewers?
There’s no simple formula for getting published - editors’ expectations can vary both between and within subject areas. But there are some challenges that will confront all academic writers regardless of their discipline. How should you respond to reviewer feedback? Is there a correct way to structure a paper? And should you always bother revising and resubmitting? We asked journal editors from a range of backgrounds for their tips on getting published.
The writing stage
1) Focus on a story that progresses logically, rather than chronologically
Take some time before even writing your paper to think about the logic of the presentation. When writing, focus on a story that progresses logically, rather than the chronological order of the experiments that you did. Deborah Sweet, editor of Cell Stem Cell and publishing director at Cell Press
2) Don’t try to write and edit at the same time
Open a file on the PC and put in all your headings and sub-headings and then fill in under any of the headings where you have the ideas to do so. If you reach your daily target (mine is 500 words) put any other ideas down as bullet points and stop writing; then use those bullet points to make a start the next day.
If you are writing and can’t think of the right word (eg for elephant) don’t worry - write (big animal long nose) and move on - come back later and get the correct term. Write don’t edit; otherwise you lose flow. Roger Watson, editor-in-chief, Journal of Advanced Nursing
3) Don’t bury your argument like a needle in a haystack
If someone asked you on the bus to quickly explain your paper, could you do so in clear, everyday language? This clear argument should appear in your abstract and in the very first paragraph (even the first line) of your paper. Don’t make us hunt for your argument as for a needle in a haystack. If it is hidden on page seven that will just make us annoyed. Oh, and make sure your argument runs all the way through the different sections of the paper and ties together the theory and empirical material. Fiona Macaulay, editorial board, Journal of Latin American Studies
4) Ask a colleague to check your work
One of the problems that journal editors face is badly written papers. It might be that the writer’s first language isn’t English and they haven’t gone the extra mile to get it proofread. It can be very hard to work out what is going on in an article if the language and syntax are poor. Brian Lucey, editor, International Review of Financial Analysis
5) Get published by writing a review or a response
Writing reviews is a good way to get published - especially for people who are in the early stages of their career. It’s a chance to practice at writing a piece for publication, and get a free copy of a book that you want. We publish more reviews than papers so we’re constantly looking for reviewers.
Some journals, including ours, publish replies to papers that have been published in the same journal. Editors quite like to publish replies to previous papers because it stimulates discussion. Yujin Nagasawa, c o-editor and review editor of the European Journal for Philosophy of Religion , philosophy of religion editor of Philosophy Compass
6) Don’t forget about international readers
We get people who write from America who assume everyone knows the American system - and the same happens with UK writers. Because we’re an international journal, we need writers to include that international context. Hugh McLaughlin, editor in chief, Social Work Education - the International Journal
7) Don’t try to cram your PhD into a 6,000 word paper
Sometimes people want to throw everything in at once and hit too many objectives. We get people who try to tell us their whole PhD in 6,000 words and it just doesn’t work. More experienced writers will write two or three papers from one project, using a specific aspect of their research as a hook. Hugh McLaughlin, editor in chief, Social Work Education - the International Journal
Submitting your work
8) Pick the right journal: it’s a bad sign if you don’t recognise any of the editorial board
Check that your article is within the scope of the journal that you are submitting to. This seems so obvious but it’s surprising how many articles are submitted to journals that are completely inappropriate. It is a bad sign if you do not recognise the names of any members of the editorial board. Ideally look through a number of recent issues to ensure that it is publishing articles on the same topic and that are of similar quality and impact. Ian Russell, editorial director for science at Oxford University Press
9) Always follow the correct submissions procedures
Often authors don’t spend the 10 minutes it takes to read the instructions to authors which wastes enormous quantities of time for both the author and the editor and stretches the process when it does not need to Tangali Sudarshan, editor, Surface Engineering
10) Don’t repeat your abstract in the cover letter We look to the cover letter for an indication from you about what you think is most interesting and significant about the paper, and why you think it is a good fit for the journal. There is no need to repeat the abstract or go through the content of the paper in detail – we will read the paper itself to find out what it says. The cover letter is a place for a bigger picture outline, plus any other information that you would like us to have. Deborah Sweet, editor of Cell Stem Cell and publishing director at Cell Press
11) A common reason for rejections is lack of context
Make sure that it is clear where your research sits within the wider scholarly landscape, and which gaps in knowledge it’s addressing. A common reason for articles being rejected after peer review is this lack of context or lack of clarity about why the research is important. Jane Winters, executive editor of the Institute of Historical Research’s journal, Historical Research and associate editor of Frontiers in Digital Humanities: Digital History
12) Don’t over-state your methodology
Ethnography seems to be the trendy method of the moment, so lots of articles submitted claim to be based on it. However, closer inspection reveals quite limited and standard interview data. A couple of interviews in a café do not constitute ethnography. Be clear - early on - about the nature and scope of your data collection. The same goes for the use of theory. If a theoretical insight is useful to your analysis, use it consistently throughout your argument and text. Fiona Macaulay, editorial board, Journal of Latin American Studies
Dealing with feedback
13) Respond directly (and calmly) to reviewer comments
When resubmitting a paper following revisions, include a detailed document summarising all the changes suggested by the reviewers, and how you have changed your manuscript in light of them. Stick to the facts, and don’t rant. Don’t respond to reviewer feedback as soon as you get it. Read it, think about it for several days, discuss it with others, and then draft a response. Helen Ball, editorial board, Journal of Human Lactation
14) Revise and resubmit: don’t give up after getting through all the major hurdles
You’d be surprised how many authors who receive the standard “revise and resubmit” letter never actually do so. But it is worth doing - some authors who get asked to do major revisions persevere and end up getting their work published, yet others, who had far less to do, never resubmit. It seems silly to get through the major hurdles of writing the article, getting it past the editors and back from peer review only to then give up. Fiona Macaulay, editorial board, Journal of Latin American Studies
15) It is acceptable to challenge reviewers, with good justification
It is acceptable to decline a reviewer’s suggestion to change a component of your article if you have a good justification, or can (politely) argue why the reviewer is wrong. A rational explanation will be accepted by editors, especially if it is clear you have considered all the feedback received and accepted some of it. Helen Ball, editorial board of Journal of Human Lactation
16) Think about how quickly you want to see your paper published
Some journals rank more highly than others and so your risk of rejection is going to be greater. People need to think about whether or not they need to see their work published quickly - because certain journals will take longer. Some journals, like ours, also do advance access so once the article is accepted it appears on the journal website. This is important if you’re preparing for a job interview and need to show that you are publishable. Hugh McLaughlin, editor in chief, Social Work Education - the International Journal
17) Remember: when you read published papers you only see the finished article
Publishing in top journals is a challenge for everyone, but it may seem easier for other people. When you read published papers you see the finished article, not the first draft, nor the first revise and resubmit, nor any of the intermediate versions – and you never see the failures. Philip Powell, managing editor of the Information Systems Journal
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How to Publish a Research Paper: A Step-by-Step Guide
How to Publish a Research Paper
Publishing a research paper or getting it published in an academic journal can be one of the most fulfilling accomplishments in your academic career. You’ve spent countless hours learning, researching, thinking and writing, and now you get to share your knowledge with others who share your interests and passion for research. This guide on how to publish a research paper will help you choose the best journal for publishing your work, what information to include in your manuscript and how to format it correctly and more!
Choose your topic
For many scientists, the goal of their research is publication. Every published paper not only contributes to the body of knowledge in a particular field, but also gives credit and recognition for individual accomplishment. Publishing can be an arduous process, however; take this step-by-step guide to help you get started.
Conduct your Literature Review
Find articles from reputable journals and use them to conduct your literature review. To start, you can conduct an academic search in Google Scholar , read the abstracts, and include these articles in your list of sources. Make sure that all the papers are on an appropriate scholarly level (peer reviewed, etc.) and published within 5 years of when you write your paper. Once you have compiled this list of academic sources, it is time to move on the steps.
Write your Introduction
In the introduction, you’ll summarize the paper’s content and specify its goals. After, you’ll establish a clear research question or problem that your research will try to answer. With this all done, you’ll introduce who your target audience is and outline how your findings will affect them. In short, the introduction must tell people what they’re getting themselves into.
Write your Methodology section
I will use the grading scale as an example of how to write a formal methodology section. I have been using this system in all my research writing classes, and it has been accepted by both instructors and readers. As such, I feel confident in saying that it is both efficient and effective. The steps are as follows: To begin, place the question or problem statement in brackets at the top of the page. For instance:
Write your Results section
1.Sit down and think about your research project from beginning to end; ask yourself, What are the major findings? What are my key messages? Once you have answered these questions, it is important to think about how the audience of your paper will react. Will they understand what you’re trying to say or explain? If not, can you simplify it?
2. It is a good idea to start by outlining your ideas in points and then reordering them into an outline that flows in sequential order.
3. This next step is one of the most crucial: having someone who understands English grammar and has excellent writing skills read over your paper for errors before submitting it for publishing.
Write your Discussion section
After thinking about the purpose of your research and reading related papers, formulate an original research question. Make sure your question is clear and has a single answer with some way to measure it, otherwise your results will be ambiguous. Once you have developed the best research question, start writing out how you are going to answer it by outlining what you need. Next, follow these steps when starting on your experimental procedures:
1. set up necessary materials and equipment;
2. construct study setup;
3. collect data; and finally
4. analyze data.
Be sure not to rush this process because you want everything in place before getting into the analysis step so that you can quickly find any errors or mistakes if they exist.
Write your Conclusion and Recommendations
In conclusion, I recommend that you write your introduction at the end of the paper. Then, work on the methods and results sections and finally the discussion section. Once you finish with those three sections, then write your introduction. I also recommend using reference materials like an index card and your computer during the process of writing. Remember that publishing a research paper can be fun and rewarding!
Get References from Sources
A lot of people ask me how to publish a research paper. Fortunately, this is pretty easy these days if you know where to start. Here’s how it works. You need your references from sources, of course. These should be from respected and reliable sources (e.g., journals with peer review) that are relevant for your topic area. Your reviewers may require them for approval purposes and/or help evaluating the quality of your research. You’ll want at least five good references – more is better, but not all papers need more than five good references, especially those on popular topics in academic circles or within a specific discipline.
The first step is coming up with a research question.
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How to publish an article in a scientific journal?
Choose a journal:.
Choose a suitable journal.
If you have already selected a journal, proceed to the next step.
To submit your manuscript, register on the Editorial Publishing System as an author and log in. In the Journal Dashboard select Browse Journals for Submission and select your journal.
Some journals have not yet registered in the Editorial Publishing System and may not be available for manuscript submission. In that case, please contact the editorial office of the chosen journal and ask how to submit a manuscript.
Before submitting your manuscript, please make sure that the manuscript and all accompanying documents comply with the guidelines for authors: return to Submission guidelines or visit the journal page on this site.
If guidelines for authors are missing or incomplete, please refer to manuscript samples and publisher’s guidelines on manuscript preparation.
Fill in the copyright transfer agreement form:
Download a copyright transfer agreement form and fill it in. Collect the signatures of all coauthors.
If the manuscript is rejected, agreements will not come into force.
Submit the manuscript and track its status on the Journal Dashboard .
If the journal is not accessible through the Editorial Publishing System, please ask the journal editor to specify how and when the journal editors inform about the status of a manuscript.
Please note that the publisher has no information on the status of a manuscript or contact information on the journal editors other than those shown on this web site.
If the manuscript is accepted for publication, it will be assigned to one of the journal issues and forwarded to the publisher.
The editor of the journal must provide you with information on the issue number and time of publication.
The publisher will send you a galley proof and the final version of the article in PDF format.
If you have any questions:
You will find the most frequently asked questions from the authors in this section. If you fail to find your question, please ask our experts.
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How To Publish A Research Paper In An International Academic Journal
- Pin it
Successfully publishing a research paper in international journals is a key part of a researcher’s work and can shape the trajectory of their careers. This not only helps advance the knowledge in a researcher’s field of work but also helps them build networks and even secure funding for new research in the long run. However, irrespective of the discipline, a beginner with even a brilliant research record often struggles to understand how to publish a paper in an international journal, and especially how to prepare their manuscript such that it passes peer review. While there is no simple formula or “one size fits all” approach, especially to publishing in international journals, this article provides you with a basic overview of the key steps that will help you achieve your publishing goals
- Make a publication plan
It’s important to have a research publication plan as soon as you think about publishing in an international journal. This involves shortlisting potential target journals, chalking out timelines for different tasks (such as finalizing the manuscript, submission to the journal, revisions based on reviewer comments, resubmission, etc.) It will also involve a plan for next steps in case the manuscript is rejected and you want to submit your manuscript elsewhere. Good planning is especially important with multiple co-authors, since this means a lot of coordination and communication for each publication-related task.
- Choose an academic journal
The key to publishing in a reputable international journal is selecting a suitable one for your paper. Ideally, choose a target journal for your research even before starting to write because it will help you tailor the manuscript to the journal’s requirements as you write rather than spending considerable time later to revise it. Those wondering how to publish a research paper in an international journal, should pay special heed to this step.
Here are some tips to help you select the right journal for your manuscript:
- Review the aims/scope of the journals you’ve shortlisted and choose the one that is the best fit for your manuscript.
- Journal impact factors, though a topic of much debate, can be useful in evaluating the overall quality of journals. Use them as a guide rather than as rigid criteria for where you should publish your manuscript.
- Be cautious of predatory journals.
- When looking at publishing in international journals, take note of the average time taken by the journal for acceptance/rejection and publication of a research paper as this will help you plan your publication strategy.
- Familiarize yourself with the costs associated with the publication process in any journal before submitting your work.
- Write your research paper
Early career researchers, in particular, can find it daunting to put together a well-written research paper, even if their research is highly impactful. Here are some tips on how to ensure good standards of academic writing and increase your chances of publishing in international journals:
- Write clearly and concisely. Avoid long sentences and grammatical errors.
- Be thorough and patient while editing and re-editing your research work. Be your own critic and address any gaps in your research that could be commented on by reviewers, who determine your manuscript’s chances of publishing in international journals.
- Get feedback from friends and colleagues, even those from other fields of research.
- Refer to the articles published in the chosen journal to get an idea of the style and structure of the research papers and write accordingly.
- Your paper should be compelling and advance a line of research, with the body of the paper supporting the central theme with a comprehensive study of the research topic.
Refer to online resources, such as this one, on how to write a good research paper .
- Submit your manuscript
Once your manuscript is ready, it’s time to get one step closer to publishing in an international journal — submit it to your target journal. Consider the following steps while submitting your manuscript:
- Each journal has specific requirements for tables, images, length of the abstract/main body, etc. Prepare your manuscript accordingly.
- Ensure that your submission package is complete.
- Understand the submission process/system used for publishing in an international journal and find out whom to contact and how in case you have queries.
- Write a compelling cover letter. This document is probably the first submission item that a journal editor will read and can influence the fate of your manuscript.
- Do not submit your manuscript to more than one journal at a time because this is unethical.
- Address peer review comments and resubmit a revised manuscript
Peer review is one of the most important parts of the publication process. Receiving and responding to review comments is often stressful for researchers. It not only acts as a quality control measure for publishing in international journals but also provides the necessary feedback for researchers to improve the research paper before submission. When you receive the peer review comments, go through them and understand any concerns that the reviewers may have highlighted and revisions they may have suggested. Spend time to consider each point carefully and conclude whether you agree or disagree with the comment. Accommodate the reviewers’ suggestions you agree with. If you do not agree with any, explain why by providing a clear rationale in your response letter/resubmission cover letter. Be honest but polite while doing so.
A well-written and well-edited research paper is a must to improve your chances of publishing in a reputed international journal. This can be a real struggle for graduate students and early career researchers, especially non–English-speaking researchers who may not be able to afford professional high-quality editing services or have the skill/time to write their papers in standard academic English suitable for publishing in international journals. So, Editage is here with a cost-effective professional English editing service: Advanced Editing Service . In this service, two expert editors improve your paper for language, overall readability, and accurate use of technical terms so that you can submit your paper to journals confidently. This service, therefore, offers high-quality editing at an affordable cost, helping researchers get closer to their goal of publishing in international journals with minimal stress.
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