Submitting to an academic journal

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Last Update

  • Updated.jpg 6 July 2017


See also Citation management | The scientific journal | Scientific writing | Research Portal for Academic Librarians

Submitting research to an academic journal is the end result of a great deal of planning, thinking and writing, and represents one of the final steps to being published. After spending a lot of time researching and writing your paper either on your own or in collaboration with others, creating a publishable paper can be a very gratifying experience. However, once the paper is submitted to an academic journal, it can take another three (3) to six (6) months after it is accepted and final edits are made before the article appears in print.

Getting published

Here are a few suggestions for getting published:

  • Proofread your paper thoroughly before you submit it to a journal; if necessary, get a colleague to review the manuscript
  • In reviewing your paper, make sure your paper presents a clear, logical message
  • Ensure that you present the manuscript in the correct style and format prescribed by the journal to which you intend to submit
  • Choose the right journal for your submission. If you need assistance, ask your colleagues where you might send your manuscript
  • Ensure that you submit your manuscript to academic journals that publish similar research
  • Before your submit your manuscript, determine what your position is about open access and what the journal's policy is
  • Read journal submission guidelines; some journals publish these on their websites so follow them closely
  • Format your paper correctly; pay attention to style; each journal has an in-house style and submission guidelines explain them
  • Reformat your paper so that it meets the guidelines. Many papers are rejected because the author has submitted an early draft of a manuscript
  • Write a short summary of your background and credentials; when your article is accepted, the journal will need a biography. List the researchers' publications and education
  • Write a short summary or structured abstract of the research; break the ideas into short sentences; a summary or abstract should be a small paragraph
  • Write a brief letter. Editors receive hundreds of submissions and appreciate concise communication.
  • Write a cover letter that thanks the editors for reading your paper, give a brief explanation of your project and end with the author biography.

Supporting librarians on path to publishing

Fallon describes a program developed to support Irish academic librarians in their writing for publication. Writing programs for faculty are well-established but this is the first formal writing program designed specifically for librarians in the United Kingdom. The program consists of a one-day workshop, an optional peer-feedback day and an academic writing blog. The workshop focuses on the craft of writing, identifying appropriate publishing outlets, knowing your audience and developing the confidence to “put your work out there”. Fallon stresses the value of looking outside the literature for publishing opportunities and to collaborate with others. She concludes with some guidelines for establishing research/writing support programs.


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