The intimidating challenge of getting the first academic article published is unavoidable for young researchers in the “publish or perish” environment. Writing your first academic article can be a little overwhelming; so here are seven top tips you need to follow:
1. Target an Appropriate Journal
When considering the journals for submitting manuscripts, you might tend to select one of the top journals in your field as you often see them in the reference lists of the research articles you consume. However, you should note that the top journals are highly competitive; where only the best articles with high validity and significance are published. Such studies are most of the time financially supported by related institutions, which ensures the proper organization of the research. Several years of research experience of the author also contributes to the superiority of their research articles, which are being published by top journals. Therefore, for young researchers, there are lower chances for their research article to be published in high profile journals. Instead, newbies need to start their ways to success with long-tail journals.
2. Write now, Edit later
Composing and editing at the same time is not the preferred way of writing, especially when collecting ideas or deriving conclusions. Thus, you need to get used to being focused first on writing and then for editing. If you are not the type of person who can keep the messy draft, then consider editing your work periodically, after each paragraph or idea you finish. You can also follow these quick and handy tips for improving your writing skills.
3. Reference Strategically
References reflect the credibility of your academic article. All publishers, no matter if they are top or not, pay great attention to your reference list while reviewing manuscripts. If you want your article to be considered seriously, you should use only reliable academic sources rather than websites as Wikipedia or opinion-based blog articles. In turn, using credible academic sources will not only help you get your paper published, but further will make your article more reliable in the eyes of the readers. The most reliable sources of databases and article journals you can find here.
4. Ask Friends to Check Your Work
One of the most common situations the editors face is the unclear language of papers. Chances are, English is a non-native language for the author, chances are also that the author did not go an extra mile to proof-check his manuscript. Thus, one should note that when the language errors in the article distract and confuse the editor, it is hard to get the full meaning of the manuscript. For proofreading and checking the vocabulary and grammar, please, see the best online language checking tools.
5. Do not Cram the whole PhD into a 6,000-Word Paper
More often, some authors set too many objectives for their research trying to cover a broader topic. Some tricky advice from the experienced researchers is to write two or more articles based on one project, focusing on a specific aspect of the research. You can learn more on how to narrow down your chosen topic and write clear introduction and thesis statement here.
6. Explain why Your Work is Important
While writing, do not forget to set your argument throughout the sections clearly and explain the significance of your research to your area of study. If your research is just a first minor step to a new area of research, mention it so the editor would consider this. Dr. Boué-Grabot said: “A clear description of the context is important to evaluate the novelty and importance of your work.”
7. Look through the Author’s Guidelines for the targeted Academic Journal
The Author’s Guidelines for each journal is different; thus you need to look through the guidelines of the targeted journal on its website. These guidelines will let you know the journal’s requirements regarding the length, style, and format of your academic article and the topics that the journal focuses on. Following the guidelines is essential since as editors, we come across many manuscripts that are submitted to the wrong journal and do not reflect the topic of the journal. Thus, they are immediately rejected.
Remember: when You Read Published Academic Articles, You only See the Final Version
Publishing research articles in top journals is, in fact, a daunting challenge for everyone even though you might think that it is easier for some people. The case is that some authors have already beaten this challenge. Other than this, when you read a published article, you see the improved version but not the draft, nor the first revise and resubmit, and you never see how much effort and resubmissions the author did in order to get his article published in a top journal.
Take a look at our toolkit of resources which will help during the whole process of your research to conduct it easily and painlessly!