How to publish your research in a good journal
With a lot number of papers submitted every year for publication in high impact journals, the rate of acceptance is declining. In high-impact journals like Nature and Cell, around 97% of the submissions are rejected. According to Science, less than mere 7% papers submitted are accepted for publication. According to Dr. Peter Thrower, Editor-in-Chief of Carbon- “At Elsevier, between 30 to 50% of articles don't even make it to the peer review process”.Even the open access journals where the review process is a little relaxed, the chance of acceptance is rarely more than 40%. Although there are a number of low-quality journals who take huge sum to publish any article, such publications are not going to boost your career in any way. In fact, these might even add a negative impression to your profile. We will thusprovide you with some tips that will help you publish your research in a good journal.
But before going through the tips, let’s first know the major reasons why a manuscript gets rejected. This will help you avoid such mistakes resulting in increased chances of paper acceptance.
Why your manuscript is rejected?
1. Poor title and abstract: Title and abstract are written after the rest of the paper writing work is completed. They in fact, make the first impression and sometimes the only thing which is read in an entire paper. A poor title or the abstract can lead to rejection straight away without even going through the rest of the work.
2. Fails to fall within the aim and scope of journal: Every journal has a very clear aim and scopementioned on their website. It is very essential that you carefully go through it and select the journal that fits best with your research. Remember, the decision on whether to submit your paper in Biofuelsor Journal of hydrogen energy can be tricky at times (saving you or costing you months of your precious time).
3. Poor research, methodology or conclusions: These are the technical reasons for any manuscript’s rejection and may require you to repeat your experiments with improved methodology, better analytics and well-drawn conclusions. A professional reviewer can guide you through this, making sure your paper is not rejected.
4. Poor language and writing style: Academic writing style is formal,involves a third person’s perspective, is always neutral and unbiased. When it comes to language, an unambiguous choice of words, clear and comprehensible sentences and well-structured paragraphs play a very important role for a manuscript’s acceptance. Even, the use of punctuations is very deliberate when it comes to academic writing and frequent errors can lead to rejection.
5. Plagiarism: When you don’t enjoy writing much, you tend to gather information from web which can be easily caught by various advanced plagiarism software (even when you rearrange the sentences). This becomes one of the many common reasons of a paper’s rejection.
Tips to get published in a good Journal
Now that we know what are some very common mistakes that lead to a manuscript’s rejection, we’ll learn how to avoid these mistakes and learn some tips to publish in a good journal.
1. Interesting title: Finalize the title only after the research work is complete, although you must have a working title while you work to keep you from distracting from the purpose of research. A good title has following characteristics:
- Draws the attention towards the research problem.
- Should predict the content of the paper
- Should include important keywords
- Grabs reader’s attention through positive words.
- Not more than 10-15 words
As a practice you can try writing different titles and compare them with the above-mentioned characteristics. The title that follows maximum pointers can be selected.
2. Perfect abstract: An abstract should summarize your work within 150-200 words and should follow a proper structure. Have a look at the examples of the best and worst abstracts for any research paper
3. Select the right Journal: Do an online research to find a list of journals specific to your research area. You must also have an understanding on the quality and uniqueness of your research and decide on a range of impact factor apt for your work. Once the journals falling under these criteria are shortlisted, go through the aims and scope of each and decide which is the best fit for your research.Read our article on How to select the right journal to learn more.
4. Proper structure and style: Decide under which writing styleyour paper falls- Analytical, persuasive, experimental, survey or a report. Only after this can you decide the proper structuring of your paper. For formatting guidelines follow the style guides such as APA, MLA, CMS, etc. You must follow a specific style guide depending on your area of research. You can also refer to your journal’s submission guidelines to format your paper.
5. Proper citations and referencing: Never use too many of very old citations. This might give an impression that you are not well updated. When formatting the references follow your specific style guides. Cross-check all the citations and references. If it’s too much work for you, you can always hire professionals who will check the relevance of references in your paper along with other editorial services.
6. Hire a scientific reviewer: Some of the technical problems with your research paper such as poor evidence, incomplete research, poor methodology and conclusions can go amiss while compiling your work into a paper. This requires a careful analysis by an expert. It is thus advised to hire a professional reviewer to help you with the weak links of your paper before you submit it to a journal.
7. Language Editing and proofreading: Poor language being a very common reason of manuscript rejection requires an expert to do the work for you. Although you can look for grammatical and spelling errors by yourself, a subject matter expert well experienced with handling academic documents will know how to structure, improve the tone, use proper words and phrases and format the document to make it publication ready.
8. Compelling cover letter: A cover letter that fails to grab an editor’s interest will most likely result in the rejection of manuscript. It is an essential part of the publication process and must convey very clearly the purpose and significance of your study. An expert editing service provider can provide you with cover letter writing assistance.
9. Be ready for reviewers’ queries: Be patient and be ready for the reviewer’s queries after you have submitted your paper. They may ask you to simply language edit and proofread your document or might even ask you to repeat or conduct certain experiments. If you hire a scientific reviewer you might prepare yourself well before the final submission and save yourself a lot of time or even the despair of rejection.