The Tao of getting your papers published


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By Prof. Oliver Yau

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The Tao of getting your papers published

  1. 1. The Tao of Getting Your Articles Published Prof. Oliver H M Yau Visiting Professor National Cheng Kung University
  2. 2. Outline <ul><li>Journal Article Life-Cycle (ALC) </li></ul><ul><li>Time Span for ALC </li></ul><ul><li>Dealing with Submission, Revision and Rejection </li></ul><ul><li>Considerations </li></ul>
  3. 3. The Article Life-cycle (ALC) <ul><li>Conceiving idea </li></ul><ul><li>Writing and revising multiple drafts </li></ul><ul><li>Sending to “friendly” critical reviewers </li></ul><ul><li>Submitting to journal </li></ul><ul><ul><li>picking an associate editor if possible </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>providing suggested reviewers </li></ul></ul><ul><li>{Journal editor sends out for review} </li></ul><ul><li>Receiving review result: </li></ul>
  4. 4. The Article Life-cycle (ALC)(2) <ul><li>Several possibilities: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Accepted; </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Accepted with minor revisions; </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Accepted with major revisions; </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Rejected but encouraged resubmission; </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Rejected firmly. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Revising according to reviewers’ comments; or submitting to a new journal </li></ul><ul><li>Iterate: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Revising according to reviews </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Resubmitting with letter: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>How you addressed (or why you did not address) each point in each review </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Final acceptance </li></ul><ul><li>Post draft on your Web site (before publication) </li></ul>
  5. 5. Time Span for ALC <ul><li>Life-cycle: 6 months to 2 years </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Reviewing can take months if editors do not pressure the referees to do reviews quickly, or if a reviewer is late </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Physical publishing can take a few months </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Journals may have a backlog of articles and issues </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Some journals publish statistics of how long it takes to get an article published. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Otherwise ask around… </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Don’t pressure the editors </li></ul><ul><ul><li>you can send a friendly message periodically to ask about a submission’s status </li></ul></ul>
  6. 6. Dealing with Submitting to Journal (1) <ul><li>Make a list of journals pertinent to the nature of the written article. </li></ul><ul><li>Rank them in descending order according to their relevance. </li></ul><ul><li>Read the submission guidelines of that journal. </li></ul><ul><li>Fellow strictly the reference and writing formats of the journal. </li></ul>
  7. 7. Dealing with Submitting to Journal (2) <ul><li>Revise the article accordingly: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Edit the article according to jargons used by that journal. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Look at the editorial board and find out who would be the reviewers. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Refer to reviewers’ articles as possible in your paper. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Check if you include articles of that journal; if not, add some. </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. Dealing with Revisions <ul><li>Read the comments by the reviews. </li></ul><ul><li>If possible, fellow their comments and make changes to your articles. </li></ul><ul><li>You may know who are the reviewers from their comments. Check their papers and if relevant, add their viewpoints. </li></ul><ul><li>It does not matter if you can do nothing to some comments; but you need to provide reasons why they have not been changed. </li></ul><ul><li>While resubmitting, attach a covered note and explain what changed have been made per reviewers’ comments. </li></ul>
  9. 9. A Sample Letter to the Editor <ul><li>In response to your letter dated 5 December 2005, we are please to submit the revised manuscript of our article titled “Developing a Scale for Stakeholder Orientation” for review and publication consideration by European Journal of Marketing. </li></ul><ul><li>As advised, we have incorporated in our revision improvements based on the comments and suggestions raised by the reviewer(s). Also as requested, we enclose herewith an explanatory note outlining how the various comments have been addressed. </li></ul><ul><li>Also, for the information of the editors, this article is the result of our research effort which is part of an international research project on marketing in the 21st century under the leadership of Professor Graham Hooley of Aston University. Incidentally, it is the same research project that Greenley and Foxall (cited in the reviewer’s comments) are attached to. </li></ul><ul><li>We hope our revised manuscript can meet with the satisfaction of the reviewers and editors for publication in the EJM. </li></ul><ul><li>Should you have any questions or comments, please contact the undersigned. </li></ul><ul><li>Thank you very much for your attention to this matter. </li></ul><ul><li>Sincerely yours, </li></ul><ul><li>Professor Oliver H.M. Yau </li></ul><ul><li>Encl. </li></ul>
  10. 10. <ul><li>Response to reviewer’s comments : </li></ul><ul><li>1. … previous research … </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The first part has been rewritten (pp. 2-8), and incorporated a new section on Stakeholder Theory (pp. 2-4). </li></ul></ul><ul><li>2. The conceptual framework. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Conceptual framework now covered under the section on Stakeholder Theory (pp. 2-4). </li></ul></ul><ul><li>3. … selection of variables … </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Please see section on “components of stakeholder orientation” (pp. 4-7). </li></ul></ul><ul><li>4. The pilot test … </li></ul><ul><ul><li>This section has been rewritten to provide more detailed explanation on the pretesting procedures and results (pp. 9-10). </li></ul></ul><ul><li>5. The consensus and additive nature of the scale … </li></ul><ul><ul><li>This section has been rewritten to provide more detailed explanation on “item analysis and reliability assessment” (p. 11). </li></ul></ul><ul><li>7. Developing and validating scales … </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The section on scale validity covers examinations on construct validity, convergent validity, discriminant validity and nomological validity. Additional details have been provided to support reliability and validity assessment of the scale (pp. 11-16). </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Based on the comments given by the reviewer, we have gone through the entire data analysis again. The revised version of our paper already incorporated the results of our latest findings. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>8. non-respondents and return rates … key informant quality … </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Additional details have been incorporated in the section on “samples and data collection” (pp. 9-10). </li></ul></ul><ul><li>9. … sub-samples … items deleted … </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Clear explanation and justification on items deleted are provided (p. 11). </li></ul></ul>
  11. 11. Dealing with Rejection <ul><li>Everyone gets their journal articles rejected periodically. </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t get depressed; it happens to all of us! </li></ul><ul><li>View it as an opportunity to make the paper better for next time. </li></ul><ul><li>If you have strong reasons, ask for rewriting and resubmitting. </li></ul><ul><li>Two antidotes: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Chocolate </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Commiserating with colleagues </li></ul></ul>
  12. 12. Article Format <ul><li>Abstract and key words </li></ul><ul><ul><li>a summary of basic points, not motivation </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Motivation </li></ul><ul><li>Theory and Related Research </li></ul><ul><li>{main topic} </li></ul><ul><li>Evaluation of your main topic </li></ul><ul><ul><li>This will lead to your model or hypotheses </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What is the theory to explain your model? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Methodology </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Sampling </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Operationalization of constructs </li></ul></ul>
  13. 13. <ul><li>Discussion of your results </li></ul><ul><ul><li>What you learned from developing and analyzing your topic? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Topic’s boundaries/limitations </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Your research contributions </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Interesting issues </li></ul><ul><li>Future research possibilities </li></ul><ul><li>Conclusion </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Summary of basic points </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Further interesting discussion, e.g., a vision of what could result from your research </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Acknowledgements </li></ul><ul><ul><li>People and funding </li></ul></ul><ul><li>References </li></ul>
  14. 14. Know Your Discipline’s Research Paradigm <ul><li>Incorporate your discipline’s research paradigm in your research and article. </li></ul><ul><li>Example – Marketing Discipline: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>What controversies are you addressing? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What are the major possible answers to end them? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What is your solution? Prima Facie evidence: Before investigating further, why does this seem to be the best possible solution now? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Rigorous evaluation of solution effectiveness </li></ul></ul>
  15. 15. Considerations <ul><li>Promotion and Tenure </li></ul><ul><li>Which Journal? </li></ul><ul><li>Co-authoring </li></ul><ul><li>References </li></ul><ul><li>Editing hints </li></ul>
  16. 16. Promotion and Tenure <ul><li>In most fields, only books and journal articles count for tenure </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Conference proceedings: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>provide initial reviewer feedback </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>the “ticket” to attend the conference and talk with other researchers (very important!) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Book chapters (in someone else’s book): </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>basically worthless </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Can provide some initial reviewer feedback </li></ul></ul></ul>
  17. 17. What Journals? <ul><li>Number of publications (quality counts)? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Go for “A” and “B+” quality journals </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>A journal articles are only read when needed </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Number of publications (quality isn’t important)? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Poor quality journals are easy to get accepted in </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Nobody reads them; nobody will see your work </li></ul></ul><ul><li>That your work is widely read and used? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Pick journals that people read/respect </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>This may conflict with perceived journal quality by your promotion committee… </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Post copies of your articles on your Web site </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Pre-publication drafts do not have copyright problems, but note on them where they will be published </li></ul></ul></ul>
  18. 18. <ul><li>Know your university’s promotion and tenure requirements regarding journals: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Which journals count towards promotion </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>How many articles you need to publish, and in which quality journals </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Whether you need co-authored articles </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Whether you need single-authored articles </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Order of co-authors and students </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What evidence you need to keep (e.g., the reviews) </li></ul></ul>
  19. 19. References <ul><li>Ensure your literature review and references are up-to-date </li></ul><ul><li>Ensure your literature review and references are complete </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Whoever you’ve missed may be a reviewer </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Use EndNote or other bibliographic software </li></ul><ul><ul><li>saves a lot of time in organization and formatting </li></ul></ul>
  20. 20. Say “yes” or “no” <ul><li>Don’t ever feel obligated to publish in </li></ul><ul><ul><li>a new journal </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>a journal which is not “A” or “B+” level </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>your friend or colleague’s journal </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>a special issue in one of these, just because the special issue topic is relevant to your work </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>a journal you review for </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>a journal where you are on the editorial board </li></ul></ul>
  21. 21. Journal Quality <ul><li>Ask people! </li></ul><ul><li>Formal rankings </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Published survey reviews </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Informal rankings </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Discussion lists </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Ask people in the field (outside your university) for written opinions if you need this, e.g., for promotion </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Rankings: be aware of potential bias </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Primarily U.S. opinions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>subfield focus of ranking </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Out of date? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>New journals: risky since they are “unknown” </li></ul>
  22. 22. Which Journal should be submitted to? <ul><li>Check written description of target areas on journal’s Web site, and on occasion in the editor’s regular introduction </li></ul><ul><li>Look at other articles published in the journal </li></ul><ul><li>If in doubt, email the editor an abstract and ask whether it is appropriate for that journal </li></ul><ul><li>Talk with editors at conferences! </li></ul>
  23. 23. Online Journals? <ul><li>Try not to submit to online journals </li></ul><ul><li>Many on-line journals are new, and therefore risky since their quality is unknown. </li></ul><ul><li>Many promotion committees don’t trust on-line journals, believing them to be: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>less rigorous in their refereeing </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>lower quality since they are not printed </li></ul></ul><ul><li>But, many on-line journals are widely read… </li></ul><ul><li>Remember your goals! </li></ul>
  24. 24. Finding Journals Relevant to your Article <ul><li>Ask colleagues </li></ul><ul><li>Which journals are respected articles in the field published in? </li></ul><ul><li>Some professional societies maintain lists of all journals in their discipline on their Web site </li></ul>
  25. 25. Know the Journals Before you Submit <ul><li>Who is the journal’s audience? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>the reviewers will come from this audience </li></ul></ul><ul><li>What “research paradigm” will they expect? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>e.g., ensure you include evaluation if they expect it </li></ul></ul><ul><li>How rigorous is the quality? </li></ul><ul><li>What is the page limit? </li></ul><ul><li>Be aware of page layout/format requirements </li></ul><ul><ul><li>you don’t need to follow them until the final version </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>but make it easy for yourself to convert to them at that time </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>See editing hints later… </li></ul></ul>
  26. 26. A Quicker Way <ul><li>Look for special issues in your topic </li></ul><ul><li>Look for conference tracks where selected articles will be published in a special journal issue </li></ul><ul><li>Edit your own special issue and include your own article </li></ul><ul><ul><li>More work than you can imagine! </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Ensure your own article is reviewed rigorously, and document this carefully (for promotion) </li></ul></ul>
  27. 27. Working with your research Team <ul><li>Brings complementary expertise </li></ul><ul><li>More authors brings exponentially more coordination overhead for the main author! </li></ul><ul><li>More authors dilutes the perceived contribution of each. </li></ul><ul><li>Ensure each co-author uses MS Word’s reviewing tool to track changes! </li></ul><ul><li>Ensure each co-author uses MS Word styles </li></ul><ul><li>Student co-authors: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Many universities strongly encourage student co-authors </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Important for their job hunting </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Author order is important (for you and them, see next slide) </li></ul></ul>
  28. 28. Co-authoring Order <ul><li>Check with your university and discipline regarding co-author order </li></ul><ul><ul><li>First author provides main contribution </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Last author provides main contribution </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Students should always come first </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Students always come last </li></ul></ul><ul><li>You can state in a footnote that all authors made an equal contribution. </li></ul><ul><li>If the author order does not reflect contribution accurately, you may need a written statement from co-authors explaining this for your promotion committee. </li></ul>
  29. 29. Final Words <ul><li>Writing quality is the necessary condition. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Edit your article every time you have made changes by native and professional editors. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Expect you article will be edited three times before finally accepted. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Have a budget for editing </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Quality of your research work that matters. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>This is sufficient condition to have it published. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Well written in terms of language does not help. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>All quality aspects of a good paper must be observed. </li></ul></ul>
  30. 30. Thank you Question and Answer