Many people feel that they have a contribution to make. They feel they have something original or novel to show to the world. It could be that you believe that conventional wisdom is mistaken about a particular subject, or that something is missing and gaps need to be filled. Or it may be the case that you have a unique, innovative work that you need to tell the world about.
Whatever the case, ask yourself the following questions before you consider publishing. Who is going to be interested in your work? How significant is it? What does it tell us that we don’t already know now? How certain are you of your theories? Unless you can answer those questions, your work may come across as being uncertain.
The other reason why many people want to get published is because they feel it’s essential for their career. If you are an academic, then getting your name in print can help you to build a glowing reputation as an authority in your subject. If this is the case for you, you will need to find something to contribute to the world, and make sure you can fulfil the above criteria.
Choosing the right journal
The choice of which journal to submit your work to is a critical one. Not only will it affect your chances of being published, but it can also make a big difference to the overall reception your work receives. There are hundreds of journals to choose from, and they have wide-ranging criteria for publication, and vastly different audiences. The whole point of being published, don’t forget, is to reach an audience that will take note of what you have to say.
The first thing to consider when looking for a journal is the aims and scope of the publication. Does your work fit into the journal’s niche? There is no point submitting your new theory of acupuncture to a medical journal that focuses on pharmaceutical drugs. It simply won’t be interested. You need to find journals that specialise in the topic you are covering in order to get noticed by the editors.
The journal’s reputation is another important consideration for any budding academic author. As mentioned above, you want to reach out to the right audience in order for people to notice your work. If the journal has a poor reputation, then it’s probably best to avoid it.
You should also look very carefully at the submission guidelines for any journal you are considering, as there may be something in the small print that excludes your work or makes it necessary for you to edit your paper. For example, some journals do not accept thought pieces, or they require a certain formatting style. Make sure to check the guidelines very carefully so you are certain your paper fits the standards required. Finally, look at the acceptance/rejection rate of the journal. If the publication has a super-high rejection rate, then you may be better off avoiding it for the time being.
featured image by wohnai