My Diploma on the Wall... Now What?

My Diploma on the Wall... Now What?

After years of academic study, countless hours of writing, laborious study about research methods, learning how to embrace feedback so that I can integrate it into my work, as well as the publication and defense of my dissertation, and now there are many options and opportunities in front of me. Now what should I do? Should I try my hand at publishing with a peer-reviewed journal? If so, where do I begin?  These are the questions I faced as do many alumni who are ready to continue with research and publishing. The following is intended to share my experiences and a few lessons learned.

The Research Hub

My first step to entering into the world of publication was to join the University of Phoenix Research Hub and request membership to one of the research centers. After reading a number of the blogs, I applied and was accepted to the Center for Global Business Research. This helped me to begin networking with university-affiliated faculty and researchers. It was in this setting, with the encouragement of the research center chair, that I began to formulate the topic for my first peer-reviewed journal submission in collaboration with the faculty here.

Finding the Right Journal

Through collaboration on the Hub, I began to formulate a subject for a peer-reviewed journal article related to my professional work and discussions with other researchers. Critical to publishing an article is finding the right journal to approach. I took the “easy” approach, I looked at the stake of journals on my desk, found one that I liked, and pitched the idea for a literature review article to the editor. She liked the idea and sent me the writers’ guidelines and we agreed to a schedule. I think it helped that I was familiar with the journal as a consumer and had a good idea what to expect from the articles that are generally included. But, now I had a deadline. So, I reached out to my research center chair, Dr. Fiona Sussan, to see if she would be willing to collaborate with me on the article. Thankfully she said yes.

Knowledge Without Boundaries

Although strictly not essential, I had the opportunity to attend the Knowledge Without Boundaries (KWOB) event in Phoenix. In this setting, I had the chance to meet some of the current doctoral students and also meet some of the faculty that I had corresponded with in the research center. Attending KWOB also provided me the opportunity to meet face-to-face with Dr. Sussan and further collaborate on the article. The back-and-forth discussion was invaluable to solidifying my thoughts on the article and to getting the article submission ready on time.

Submitting My First Proposal for Publication

Preparing the article for submission was almost the easiest part of this process. Over the course of my dissertation journey, I have developed an approach to locating, organizing, cataloging, and processing literature; each researcher likely develops their own personalized process. Then – following the writing rhythm that had become second nature through the preparation of papers for my academic courses and my dissertation efforts - I wrote the article. The biggest challenge I faced was writing to a style guide that wasn’t APA for the first time in years. The article was submitted on time and the referee accepted the article with only minor suggestions on the first submission. I was pleased to receive positive feedback from the editor about how rare that was for their journal. I have no illusion that I will receive such a quick approval in this or any other journal. But, it was a pleasant surprise. After receiving approval from the referee, I still had a number of exchanges with the editor to review and approve the page layout. I also was asked to provide author biographical information to be included in the journal along with the article.

Lessons Learned Along the Way

During this process, I have had wonderful discussions about techniques for finding and qualifying a peer-reviewed journals to submit my work to. When I started on my publication journey, I didn’t know anything about predatory journals or how to evaluate quality of a journal for publication. For my first article, I was lucky and found a great journal. I am still learning new tips and tricks as I discuss this topic with others. I have learned several very valuable lessons as I prepare to publish an article based on my dissertation research. As I move forward, I will continue to share what I have learned.


Lynne Devnew's picture Lynne Devnew | August 31, 2016 8:36 am MST

Congratulations, James, on having your first article accepted so quickly and smoothly.  Thank you for sharing your process - I think others (students or anyone just starting to be involved in the world of publications) should find it very helpful.  I'm about to share your link with a current student who is working on a literature review article while her proposal is in the review cycle.  Great that you wrote your article with Fiona!



PS - it was great meeting you at your Washington DC hooding!  



James Rice's picture James Rice | August 31, 2016 4:38 pm MST

Dr. Devnew,

Thank you for the kind words. I know it was far easier than I had any right to expect to get this article published. But, it helped a great deal to have the guidence of Dr. Sussan. 

BTW: It was great meeting you in Washington.


Dr. Jim Rice

Norris Krueger's picture Norris Krueger | September 9, 2016 6:45 pm MST

Jim - a pleasure to meet in person in Phoenix. Keep going -and never be afraid to ask any of us for help! 

James Rice's picture James Rice | September 16, 2016 11:29 pm MST

Dr. Krueger,

Thank you for the kind words. I was great meeting you in Phoenix.  I've never been too shy about asking questions or asking for help when I need it. I appreciate how generous everyone in this research community is and I look forward to contributing too it in some small way.

Best wishes on your research!

Dr. Jim Rice

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