Publishing your
ideas
Why Write?
• List three reasons why you want to write an
article.
Why Read
• List three reasons why you read published
articles
Understanding feelings about
writing
• A recent survey of 400,000 U.S. faculty revealed 26%
spent zero hours per week writ...
A paper can be no better than
the research that it reports

.
Reasons for major revision or rejection of Taiwanese
journal papers
Faulty methodology
Inadequate references

7%

7%
4%

P...
Imitate skillful writers
Read how successful writers introduce their topic and
cite literature
• Imitate their words and p...
Examples of offensive
citation:
• “The deficiency of Smith’s approach is...”
• “The problems with Smith’s paper are…"
• “A...
A better citation would be:
• “Smith’s model was effective in X problem,
however in Y…”
• “The X benefit of Smith’s approa...
When should researchers
start trying to ensure that their
research is publishable?

When they start planning their
researc...
Some Other Factors Affecting
Publishability
•
•
•
•

Appropriateness for the journal chosen
Consistency with the journal’s...
Identifying a Target Journal
• Decide early (before drafting the paper). Do not write
the paper and then look for a journa...
Some Factors to Consider
•
•
•
•
•
•
•

Audience
Prestige
Access
Impact
Publication time
Technical quality
Likelihood of a...
Some Questions the
Instructions Might Answer
• What categories of article does the journal publish?
• What is the maximum ...
Beyond the Instructions
• Look at some recent issues of the journal.
• In the journal, look at some papers that present re...
Structuring a Journal Article
A Common Format for Journal
Articles: IMRAD
•
•
•
•
•

Introduction:
Methods:
Results:
And
Discussion:

What was the quest...
Title
• The fewest possible words that adequately
indicate the contents of the paper
• Important in literature searching
•...
Authors
• Those with important intellectual contributions to
the work
• Often listed from greatest contributions to least
...
The Abstract
• An important part of the paper
o Relatively widely read
o Used to decide whether to read the rest of the pa...
Orders of Reading and Writing
Sections of a Paper
• People read the sections of journal papers in
various orders. (What do...
Purposes of the Introduction
• To provide background
o In order to help readers understand the paper
o In order to help re...
Gearing the Introduction
to the Audience
• Papers in relatively general journals:
Introduction must provide basic backgrou...
Structure of the Introduction
• Introduction typically should be funnel-shaped,
moving from general to specific
• A common...
Purposes of the Methods Section
• To allow others to replicate what you did
o In order to test it
o In order to do further...
Methods: Amount of Detail to
Use
• For well-known methods: name of method,
citation of reference
• For methods previously ...
Methods: The Words and More
• Should be written in past tense
• In some journals, may include subheads (which
can help rea...
The Results Section
• The core of the paper
• Often includes tables, figures, or both
• Should summarize findings rather t...
Results Sections of Papers
with Tables or Figures
• How much should the information in the text
overlap that in the tables...
Mentioning Tables and Figures:
Some Writing Advice
• In citing tables and figures, emphasize the
finding, not the table or...
Tables: A Few Suggestions
• Use tables only if text will not suffice.
• Design tables to be understandable without the
tex...
Figures: A Few Suggestions
• Use figures (graphs, diagrams, maps,
photographs, etc) only if they will help convey
your inf...
Discussion
• One of the more difficult parts to write, because
have more choice of what to say
• Often should begin with a...
The Discussion:
Some Possible Content
• Strengths of the study
o For example, superior methods, extensive data
• Limitatio...
The Discussion:
Possible Content (cont)
• Relationship to findings of other research—for
example:
o Similarities to previo...
The Discussion: Structure
• Typically should move from specific to general
(opposite of introduction)
• Beware of excessiv...
Functions of References
• To give credit to others for their work
• To add credibility to your work by showing that
you us...
References:
Importance of Accuracy
• Studies show that many references are
inaccurate.
• For references to fulfill their f...
Another Reason Your
References Should Be Accurate
Often, authors whose work you cite will be chosen
as your peer reviewers...
Before Submitting Your Paper
• Make sure the abstract is consistent with the rest
of your paper.
• Revise, revise, revise ...
Understanding the Review and
Publication Processes
And Interacting with Editors
Submitting the Paper
• Submission of text (and, if applicable, tables,
figures, and supplementary materials)—
commonly thr...
Initial Screening by the Journal
•
•
•
•

For appropriateness of subject matter
For compliance with instructions
For overa...
Peer Review
• Evaluation by experts in the field
• Purposes:
o To help the editor decide whether to publish the paper
o To...
The Editor ’s Decision
Editor’
• Based on the peer reviewers’ advice, the editor’s
own evaluation, the amount of space in ...
Revising a Paper
• Revise and resubmit promptly.
• Indicate what revisions were made. Typically:
o Include a letter saying...
Answering Queries
• Queries: questions from the manuscript editor
• Some topics of queries:
o
o
o
o

Inconsistencies
Missi...
Writing Effectively in
English
The Essentials
• The essentials are content, organization, and
clarity.
• If a paper has excellent content, is well
organi...
Writing Readably
• In general, avoid
o Very long paragraphs
o Very long sentences

• Perhaps use
o
o
o
o

Headings
Bullete...
Understanding feelings about
writing
• A recent survey of 400,000 U.S. faculty revealed 26%
spent zero hours per week writ...
Collect a pool of potential
journals for each article
• For each paper, note the pool of potential journals.
• Do not subm...
Betting your research where you
have the highest probability for
publication.
• Sometimes journals have biases and
prefere...
Approach different types of
journals
• Sending all papers to top journals is risky
• Sending all papers to low-quality jou...
Don't put two good ideas in
one paper
•
•
•

•

Separate them into two papers.
As the paper's length increases, the chance...
Incorporate English editing into
your supply chain
Use professional editorial assistance
• Particularly if you are not a n...
Reasons for major revision or rejection of Taiwanese
journal papers
Faulty methodology
Inadequate references

7%

7%
4%

P...
Imitate skillful writers
Read how successful writers introduce their topic and
cite literature
• Imitate their words and p...
Examples of offensive
citation:
• “The deficiency of Smith’s approach is...”
• “The problems with Smith’s paper are…"
• “A...
A better citation would be:
• “Smith’s model was effective in X problem,
however in Y…”
• “The X benefit of Smith’s approa...
Cite researchers who like you
you
• Include references to authors who like your
papers. They might become referees.
• Incl...
Meet 100 active researchers
• There are about a hundred people in your research
field who are likely to be referees of you...
Pay attention to reviewers’
comments
• “I don’t think you treated Smith fairly in your
literature review, his insights des...
Scan journal for related articles
• Try to find some related articles in the journal to
which you wish to submit your pape...
Rejection
• When rejected, try again
• Even Nobel Laureates get rejection letters.
• You may need to play “ping pong” with...
Delete or hide the references to
undesirable potential referees
•

•

•

You can guess the identity of the reviewers from ...
Do not waste time on dead or
dying topics
• If your most recent references are ten years old,
it is a dead issue.
• If the...
How to identify “Hot Topics”
Look for clues to anticipate the next ‘big thing’
• Read top journals to identify ‘new proble...
Everyone gets rejected
• Your options:
o
o
o
o

Abandon the article.
Send the article with no changes to another journal.
...
Avoid the journals which
consistently reject your papers
o Temporarily avoid journals which always reject you
o The editor...
Waiting for the Journal’s
decision
• Causes of quick rejection:
o Back-log
o Previous paper on subject
o Editor doesn’t li...
Do not attack referees
Generally, it is not a good idea to attack the
reviewers.
o Do not say: "The referee's idea is bad,...
Writers write (and don’t
always enjoy it.)
• Common misunderstanding that good writers
enjoy writing
• Many hate writing. ...
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Publishing a research article malang v2

  1. 1. Publishing your ideas
  2. 2. Why Write? • List three reasons why you want to write an article.
  3. 3. Why Read • List three reasons why you read published articles
  4. 4. Understanding feelings about writing • A recent survey of 400,000 U.S. faculty revealed 26% spent zero hours per week writing. • 27% never published a peer reviewed journal paper. • 43% had published nothing in the last 2 years. • 62% never published a book. • Only 28% had produced two publications in the past two years. • Only 25% of faculty spent more than eight hours a week writing. This was self reported the real number could be much lower. (Lindholm 2005) • Some scholars believe this number is 15% of faculty being productive writers (Moxley and Taylor)
  5. 5. A paper can be no better than the research that it reports .
  6. 6. Reasons for major revision or rejection of Taiwanese journal papers Faulty methodology Inadequate references 7% 7% 4% Poor quality supporting figures 9% 16% Outside the scope of journal Not enough contribution to field 7% 2% Authors did not follow manuscript instructions Poor writing style and use of English Title not representative of study Subject of little novel interest or not generally applicable Poorly written discussion 8% English Errors 27% 13%
  7. 7. Imitate skillful writers Read how successful writers introduce their topic and cite literature • Imitate their words and phrases, and modify them to suit your topic • Create a file of template sentences
  8. 8. Examples of offensive citation: • “The deficiency of Smith’s approach is...” • “The problems with Smith’s paper are…" • “A serious weakness with Smith’s argument, however, is that ......” • “The key problem with Smith’s explanation is that ......” • “It seems that Smith’s understanding of the X framework is questionable.”
  9. 9. A better citation would be: • “Smith’s model was effective in X problem, however in Y…” • “The X benefit of Smith’s approach are not applicable to Y…”
  10. 10. When should researchers start trying to ensure that their research is publishable? When they start planning their research!
  11. 11. Some Other Factors Affecting Publishability • • • • Appropriateness for the journal chosen Consistency with the journal’s instructions Macro aspects of the writing (organization, etc) Micro aspects of the writing (word choice, grammar, spelling, punctuation, etc)
  12. 12. Identifying a Target Journal • Decide early (before drafting the paper). Do not write the paper and then look for a journal. (Why?) • Look for journals that have published work similar to yours. • Consider journals that have published work you cite.
  13. 13. Some Factors to Consider • • • • • • • Audience Prestige Access Impact Publication time Technical quality Likelihood of acceptance
  14. 14. Some Questions the Instructions Might Answer • What categories of article does the journal publish? • What is the maximum length of articles? • Does the journal include abstracts? If so, what is the maximum length? • What sections should the article include? What are the guidelines for each? • What guidelines for writing style should be followed? • How many figures and tables are allowed? What are the requirements for them? • In what format should references appear? Is there a maximum number of references? • In what electronic format should the paper be prepared? • How should the paper be submitted?
  15. 15. Beyond the Instructions • Look at some recent issues of the journal. • In the journal, look at some papers that present research analogous to yours. • Doing so can help you gear your paper to the journal.
  16. 16. Structuring a Journal Article
  17. 17. A Common Format for Journal Articles: IMRAD • • • • • Introduction: Methods: Results: And Discussion: What was the question? How did you try to answer it? What did you find? What does it mean?
  18. 18. Title • The fewest possible words that adequately indicate the contents of the paper • Important in literature searching • Should not include extra words, such as “A Study of”or “Observations on” • Should be specific enough • Generally should not include abbreviations • (Running title: short version of title—appears at tops of pages)
  19. 19. Authors • Those with important intellectual contributions to the work • Often listed from greatest contributions to least • In some fields, head of research group often is listed last • In some fields, listed alphabetically • Important to list one’s name the same way on every paper
  20. 20. The Abstract • An important part of the paper o Relatively widely read o Used to decide whether to read the rest of the paper o Gives editors, reviewers, others a first impression • Briefly summarizes the paper • Should be organized like the paper (for example, in sort of a mini-IMRAD format) • In some fields, there are structured abstracts (with standardized headings).
  21. 21. Orders of Reading and Writing Sections of a Paper • People read the sections of journal papers in various orders. (What does that imply for how to write such papers?) • You can write the sections of a paper in any order. • A convenient order in which to write the sections: Methods, Results, Discussion, Introduction
  22. 22. Purposes of the Introduction • To provide background o In order to help readers understand the paper o In order to help readers appreciate the importance of the research • To identify the question(s) the research addressed
  23. 23. Gearing the Introduction to the Audience • Papers in relatively general journals: Introduction must provide basic background information. • Papers in specialized journals in your field: Introduction can assume that readers have more knowledge about the field.
  24. 24. Structure of the Introduction • Introduction typically should be funnel-shaped, moving from general to specific • A common structure: o Information on importance of topic o Highlights of relevant previous research o Identification of unanswered question(s)
  25. 25. Purposes of the Methods Section • To allow others to replicate what you did o In order to test it o In order to do further research • To allow others to evaluate what you did o To determine whether the conclusions seem valid o To determine whether the findings seem applicable to other situations
  26. 26. Methods: Amount of Detail to Use • For well-known methods: name of method, citation of reference • For methods previously described but not well known: brief description of method, citation of reference • For methods that you yourself devise: relatively detailed description
  27. 27. Methods: The Words and More • Should be written in past tense • In some journals, may include subheads (which can help readers) • May include tables and figures—for example: o Flowcharts o Diagrams of apparatus o Tables of experimental conditions
  28. 28. The Results Section • The core of the paper • Often includes tables, figures, or both • Should summarize findings rather than providing data in great detail • Should present results but not comment on them • (Note: Some journals combine the Results and the Discussion.)
  29. 29. Results Sections of Papers with Tables or Figures • How much should the information in the text overlap that in the tables and figures? o Not extensive overlap o In general, text should present only the main points from the tables and figures o Perhaps also include a few of the most important data • Remember to mention each table or figure. Do so as soon as readers might want to see it.
  30. 30. Mentioning Tables and Figures: Some Writing Advice • In citing tables and figures, emphasize the finding, not the table or figure. o Not so good: Table 3 shows that researchers who attended the workshop published twice as many papers per year. o Better: Researchers who attended the workshop published twice as many papers per year (Table 3).
  31. 31. Tables: A Few Suggestions • Use tables only if text will not suffice. • Design tables to be understandable without the text. • If a paper includes a series of tables, use the same format for each. • Be sure to follow the instructions to authors.
  32. 32. Figures: A Few Suggestions • Use figures (graphs, diagrams, maps, photographs, etc) only if they will help convey your information. • Avoid including too much information in one figure. • Make sure any lettering will be large enough once published. • Follow the journal’s instructions.
  33. 33. Discussion • One of the more difficult parts to write, because have more choice of what to say • Often should begin with a brief summary of the main findings • Should answer the question(s) stated in the introduction • Sometimes is followed by a conclusions section
  34. 34. The Discussion: Some Possible Content • Strengths of the study o For example, superior methods, extensive data • Limitations of the study o For example: small sample size, short follow-up, incomplete data, possible sources of bias, problems with experimental procedures o Better to mention limitations than for peer reviewers and readers to think that you’re unaware of them o If the limitations seem unlikely to affect the conclusions, can explain why
  35. 35. The Discussion: Possible Content (cont) • Relationship to findings of other research—for example: o Similarities to previous findings (your own, others’, or both) o Differences from previous findings o Possible reasons for similarities and differences • Applications and implications—for example: o Possible uses of the findings (in schools, gov’t policy, etc) o Relationship of the findings to theories or models: • Do the findings support them? • Do they refute them? • Do they suggest modifications? • Other research needed—for example: o To address questions still unanswered o To address new questions raised by the findings
  36. 36. The Discussion: Structure • Typically should move from specific to general (opposite of introduction) • Beware of excessive length
  37. 37. Functions of References • To give credit to others for their work • To add credibility to your work by showing that you used valid information sources • To help show how your work relates to previous work • To help readers find further information
  38. 38. References: Importance of Accuracy • Studies show that many references are inaccurate. • For references to fulfill their functions, they must be accurate. Therefore o Make sure that you accurately state what the cited material says. o Make sure that all information in the citation (for example, author list, article title, journal title, volume, year, pages) is accurate.
  39. 39. Another Reason Your References Should Be Accurate Often, authors whose work you cite will be chosen as your peer reviewers. Inaccurate references to their work will not impress them favorably. •Cite only items that you have read. •Check each reference against the original source. •Carefully follow the journal’s instructions to authors. •Use other articles in the same journal as models.
  40. 40. Before Submitting Your Paper • Make sure the abstract is consistent with the rest of your paper. • Revise, revise, revise the paper. • Show the paper to other people, and revise it some more. • Re-check the journal’s instructions to authors.
  41. 41. Understanding the Review and Publication Processes And Interacting with Editors
  42. 42. Submitting the Paper • Submission of text (and, if applicable, tables, figures, and supplementary materials)— commonly through a website • Inclusion of a cover letter or the equivalent • Completion of required forms
  43. 43. Initial Screening by the Journal • • • • For appropriateness of subject matter For compliance with instructions For overall quality (sometimes) For importance (sometimes)
  44. 44. Peer Review • Evaluation by experts in the field • Purposes: o To help the editor decide whether to publish the paper o To help the authors improve the paper, whether or not the journal accepts it
  45. 45. The Editor ’s Decision Editor’ • Based on the peer reviewers’ advice, the editor’s own evaluation, the amount of space in the journal, other factors • Options: o o o o Accept as is (rare) Accept if suitably revised Reconsider if revised Reject
  46. 46. Revising a Paper • Revise and resubmit promptly. • Indicate what revisions were made. Typically: o Include a letter saying what revisions were made. If you received a list of requested revisions, address each in the letter. o If requested, show revisions in Track Changes. • If you disagree with a requested revision, explain why in your letter. Try to find a different way to solve the problem that the editor or reviewer identified.
  47. 47. Answering Queries • Queries: questions from the manuscript editor • Some topics of queries: o o o o Inconsistencies Missing information Ambiguities Other • Advice: Respond promptly, politely, and completely yet concisely.
  48. 48. Writing Effectively in English
  49. 49. The Essentials • The essentials are content, organization, and clarity. • If a paper has excellent content, is well organized, and is clear, it is likely to be accepted even if the English is so-so. • If a paper has poor content, is badly organized, or is unclear, it is likely to be rejected even if the English is excellent.
  50. 50. Writing Readably • In general, avoid o Very long paragraphs o Very long sentences • Perhaps use o o o o Headings Bulleted or numbered lists Italics and boldface (but don’t overuse these) Easy-to-understand graphics
  51. 51. Understanding feelings about writing • A recent survey of 400,000 U.S. faculty revealed 26% spent zero hours per week writing. • 27% never published a peer reviewed journal paper. • 43% had published nothing in the last 2 years. • 62% never published a book. • Only 28% had produced two publications in the past two years. • Only 25% of faculty spent more than eight hours a week writing. This was self reported the real number could be much lower. (Lindholm 2005) • Some scholars believe this number is 15% of faculty being productive writers (Moxley and Taylor)
  52. 52. Collect a pool of potential journals for each article • For each paper, note the pool of potential journals. • Do not submit two papers to the same journal in two months, especially if the two articles are related. • Editors prefer to publish two articles by different authors. • Do homework on journals. • Submit paper to a journal with a rising impact factor and higher acceptance rates. avoid declining journals with low acceptance and diminishing impact factor. • Could cause the journal to be removed from the SSCI and SCI ranking.
  53. 53. Betting your research where you have the highest probability for publication. • Sometimes journals have biases and preferences • Subject matter: Empirical, Theoretical papers? • Check past issues of the journal. How many Chinese names can you find? • Preferences are known; biases are difficult to detect.
  54. 54. Approach different types of journals • Sending all papers to top journals is risky • Sending all papers to low-quality journals is unsatisfactory • Quantity and quality important. • Having three papers in different journals is better than three in one journal, if the relative quality of the journals is the same.
  55. 55. Don't put two good ideas in one paper • • • • Separate them into two papers. As the paper's length increases, the chance of acceptance drops. When a topic is split into two papers, the probability of getting at least one of them accepted more than doubles. You also will get a paper accepted sooner. o Editors like short papers. o The chance that a referee will detect a mathematical error declines. o Referees will return the report faster. The chance that a referee will misunderstand the paper also decreases.
  56. 56. Incorporate English editing into your supply chain Use professional editorial assistance • Particularly if you are not a native English speaker • Editors will not publish papers with grammatical errors. • Referees are often biased; they have an excuse to recommend rejection with grammatical errors
  57. 57. Reasons for major revision or rejection of Taiwanese journal papers Faulty methodology Inadequate references 7% 7% 4% Poor quality supporting figures 9% 16% Outside the scope of journal Not enough contribution to field 7% 2% Authors did not follow manuscript instructions Poor writing style and use of English Title not representative of study Subject of little novel interest or not generally applicable Poorly written discussion 8% English Errors 27% 13%
  58. 58. Imitate skillful writers Read how successful writers introduce their topic and cite literature • Imitate their words and phrases, and modify them to suit your topic • Create a file of template sentences
  59. 59. Examples of offensive citation: • “The deficiency of Smith’s approach is...” • “The problems with Smith’s paper are…" • “A serious weakness with Smith’s argument, however, is that ......” • “The key problem with Smith’s explanation is that ......” • “It seems that Smith’s understanding of the X framework is questionable.”
  60. 60. A better citation would be: • “Smith’s model was effective in X problem, however in Y…” • “The X benefit of Smith’s approach are not applicable to Y…”
  61. 61. Cite researchers who like you you • Include references to authors who like your papers. They might become referees. • Include references to people with who you met at conferences. • This is to get a fair chance. Referees have to make an effort to be fair to unknown authors.
  62. 62. Meet 100 active researchers • There are about a hundred people in your research field who are likely to be referees of your papers. • Prepare a list of one hundred active people in your main research area. Try to meet them within a fiveyear period. • Present papers at, or at least attend, two professional meetings a year. When presenting papers or attending regional, national, or international meetings, try to get to know these people. • This is your best opportunity for networking. When you go to conferences smile and“work the room.”
  63. 63. Pay attention to reviewers’ comments • “I don’t think you treated Smith fairly in your literature review, his insights deserve more respect.” • “You forgot to include Smith as a reference in your paper. His work is fundamental to understanding your research.”
  64. 64. Scan journal for related articles • Try to find some related articles in the journal to which you wish to submit your paper. • Authors who published a paper on a related subject are likely to be referees. The editor still remembers them and has a connection to them. Obviously, you need to cite their papers. • Even if they are slightly related, try to use their references. Explain how your work is related.
  65. 65. Rejection • When rejected, try again • Even Nobel Laureates get rejection letters. • You may need to play “ping pong” with the paper. Submit the paper to another journal within one month. • You do not have to revise a paper every time it is rejected. But if a paper is rejected 4 times, there is a serious flaw in the paper. Find and fix the problem. • Why? The same referee might get it again.
  66. 66. Delete or hide the references to undesirable potential referees • • • You can guess the identity of the reviewers from the reviewers’ comments because of references and writing style. Editors select reviewers from your references. If some reviewers always recommend rejection of your papers, drop their papers from your references (the first time you submit). You can add them later (after the paper is accepted). You can also put them into the body of the paper where they are harder to find This may require rewriting the introduction with a different perspective
  67. 67. Do not waste time on dead or dying topics • If your most recent references are ten years old, it is a dead issue. • If the most recent references closely related to your paper are 5 years old, it is a dying issue. • It is also difficult for the editor to find suitable referees for outdated topics. • Your inability to find enough references indicates o You have not read the literature. o Others are not interested in the topic, so, it is unlikely to get published.
  68. 68. How to identify “Hot Topics” Look for clues to anticipate the next ‘big thing’ • Read top journals to identify ‘new problems’ • Read letters to the editor • Look for controversies and unexplained findings • Look for crossover areas with other domains • Do database keyword searches • Attend conferences
  69. 69. Everyone gets rejected • Your options: o o o o Abandon the article. Send the article with no changes to another journal. Revise the article and send it to another journal. Protest the decision and try to resubmit the article to the rejecting journal
  70. 70. Avoid the journals which consistently reject your papers o Temporarily avoid journals which always reject you o The editor still remembers bad comments about your papers. o Wait until a new editor is appointed. o If you think there is prejudice on the basis of sex, race, or nationality, you may consider using initials instead of spelling out the first and middle names. o First and middle names, as well as last name, often reveal the sex, race, or nationality of the authors. o You may write your full name after the paper is accepted.
  71. 71. Waiting for the Journal’s decision • Causes of quick rejection: o Back-log o Previous paper on subject o Editor doesn’t like topic or style
  72. 72. Do not attack referees Generally, it is not a good idea to attack the reviewers. o Do not say: "The referee's idea is bad, but mine is good." o Better to say, the referee has an interesting idea, but the proposed idea is also good, particularly because of this or that fact. o If the referee makes a good point, explain why you are not pursuing that strategy in the paper.
  73. 73. Writers write (and don’t always enjoy it.) • Common misunderstanding that good writers enjoy writing • Many hate writing. But enjoyed the results. • Forced themselves into a daily writing routine.
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