Updated June 8th, 2022
Publishing a paper is a defining moment in any researcher’s career. You’re furthering knowledge within the scientific community and not only. However, publishing a paper can also be a very daunting task for some.
Don’t worry, though; you’ll learn five tips to help you start the process and make the right choices in this article.
1. Choose the Right Journal for Your Research Paper
Select a journal that best suits the topic and style of your research once you're done writing your paper and feeling ready to publish. To make your decision easier, reach out to a librarian from your research or academic institution. You may be surprised to find out your institution is subscribed to diverse kinds of journals.
Conversely, you may search for alternative journals or scientific publishing platforms on your own. Depending on your publishing needs, you can find Open Access platforms that either charge you for publishing with them or a subscription fee. However you choose to go about finding the right journal for your paper, add a couple of backup journals or repositories to your list in case of rejection.
2. Set Realistic Expectations
When you publish in the right journal, your work can reach the right community, in turn, increasing your reputation as a researcher and your institution’s visibility and prestige. Since you’ve invested plenty of time and effort into making your work valuable and beneficial for the scientific community, you deserve to obtain some recognition for all that hard work.
However, it’s important to set realistic expectations for your paper. Find the best way to disseminate it and reach as many people as possible. Remember, each journal has different criteria for acceptance and publishing takes a while (up to six months), especially in a prestigious journal. Don’t forget to watch out for false “quick” publishing promises from predatory journals (more on this in a bit) and ensure the journal you choose has a peer-review process in place.
3. Communicate With the Journal Committee
Before sending your paper to a journal, send the committee an email about what you will reciprocally offer each other. Doing so may save you time down the line. You might find that they have strict publishing guidelines or don’t fit within your pre-set expectations, but at least you’ll know early on. Additionally, ask them if your research paper can hit your target audience by using their publishing services. If a journal checks all your marks, you’re good to go! If not, keep searching.
4. Learn From Rejection and Remain Optimistic
The majority of high-end journals have almost 80% rejection rates, so don’t get discouraged if your paper gets rejected; it’s common even for more experienced researchers. Remain optimistic and try again. You’ll need to review and adapt your work to the new journal guidelines.
Keep in mind that on the Orvium platform, you only have to publish your paper once, after which you may choose from multiple different communities on the platform to share your work. So if your work gets rejected from your favorite journal, consider an Open Access repository (like Orvium) instead.
Pro tip: it’s better to publish through Open Access journals or repositories so your work gets more visibility
5. Be Aware of Predatory Journals
Predatory journals don’t follow scientific publishing standards and ask authors to pay a fee to publish their papers without peer-reviewing them or applying good editing services. They take advantage of authors’ publishing necessities and only care to obtain profits from their works. Try to avoid them, and if you identify one, report it.
Check out an updated list of possible predatory journals that further protects the scientific community from these fraudulent practices.
Publishing a paper is an important decision for every researcher, and you’ll have some advantages if you get it right. Remember to find the appropriate journal for your research paper, set realistic expectations, and remain optimistic. Also, rejection is not the end, and please, stay away from predatory journals.