As researchers and scholars, an important aspect of scholarly life is to engage in writing and publication not only for professional development but also for the enhancement of faculty expertise to help students in their educational journeys. Yet when it comes to writing articles for peer-reviewed journals, many scholars seem to share similar questions not only how to begin the process but also what it takes to get published. For many, the process appears to be a daunting goal. But having successfully published various articles and book chapters over the past 2 years, I can safely say that two of the key pieces of advice are:
(1) Choose an appropriate peer-reviewed journal, and
(2) Follow the Author Guidelines provided by the journal.
Being a successful, published scholar means that one cannot simply write words on paper. This takes careful, deliberate planning. Therefore, before you can begin, you must carefully think about your topic and what you will be writing about. Once you establish a topic, then you must begin a very diligent and careful search for a well-respected, peer-reviewed journal using sources such as Cabell’s or other notable resources. This process takes time and will often involve careful research examining the journal’s topics of interest, its impact factor, acceptance rate, formatting requirements, and so forth. You must do this to ensure that the journal you select is not considered “predatory” and not suitable for scholarly publishing.
After narrowing down your search and making a final selection of a suitable journal, you must now carefully review the journal’s Author Guidelines. It is these guidelines that will provide the framework by which you will write your journal article. Pay close attention to these guidelines and follow them carefully. Your willingness to spend the time reviewing these guidelines and adhering to them can make the difference whether the journal editor will take your paper seriously enough to review it and accept it for publication. If there’s a word count, then follow it and don’t surpass it. If the journal prefers a specific formatting style, then use that style. Editors are busy and their job is to determine if a manuscript is suitable in terms of the subject matter as well as the way the manuscript is put together. Last, take the time to properly proofread, edit, and correct errors before submission to the journal. If you put forth quality work and adhere to the journal’s standards, your article will have a better chance for acceptance for publication.
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