Selecting the journal to submit your paper

Once you’ve done all the hard work, where do you submit your paper? Actually, let’s rewind that. It helps if you plan where you want to submit before putting pen to paper. That’ll help you focus on who your audience is, and means you can work to the guidance from the journal’s instructions to authors. Your research needs an audience if it’s going to be read, and hopefully make in difference in your area of interest.

You can “sound out” editors with a brief synopsis of your work, or you can check thoroughly through the instructions to authors and be satisfied that you’re meeting the criteria of your chosen journal. Remember, the journal’s editorial board want to publish high quality research that’s going to be of interest to their readers, so they are trying to help you get your work into print, rather than being the ferocious gatekeepers determined to keep you out.

Have a browse through the recently published articles in the journal, see if you think your work could sit alongside the kinds of papers they already have published.

Check that the journal is a well respected publication in its field of interest, take a look at the people on the editorial board and the names of authors publishing. Use the Think, Check, Submit website’s checklist to be sure the journal is one you want your work to appear within.

Finally, make sure your work addresses all of the criteria that the journal is looking for, if they say they don’t publish work under or over a certain word count, then make sure you’re within their limits. Following their guidance, you can get your paper into print!




UHL Writing for Publication workshops May – Jul 2017

The dates for the forthcoming “Writing for Publication” workshops are now available to book via eUHL. This is a two hour workshop in which you’ll be given the chance to sit and write, talk about what makes a good paper, and experience peer reviewing a paper.

The dates are:

Thursday 18th May 2017; 2.00pm – 4.00pm, Glenfield Library

Monday 12th June 2017; 10.00am – 12.00pm, Odames Library, LRI

Tuesday 11th July 2017; 2.00pm – 4.00pm, Leicester General Library

For more information, please contact your local UHL Library.

Top tips #8: Become a peer reviewer

No matter how you might feel about the state of peer review, becoming a peer reviewer could well be a useful way of becoming familiar with the process that papers go through before eventually getting into print. The peer review process can really help to improve an article before publication and therefore make it more relevant and useful to readers.

Elsevier have tips for anyone interested in becoming a reviewer:

As you begin to publish in your field, you will become known and as a consequence, invited to complete more peer review work.

Top tips #7: Follow the instructions to authors

Each journal will have a section on its home page for “Instructions to authors”. These are there to help you as a potential author understand what the editor is looking for, and to get your work published.

There should be an indication of the types of research that the journal is aiming to publish, and also expectations of word length. There should also be details on the house style of the journal, for example, whether the active (We did…) or passive (the research done was…) voice is preferred.

Following the instructions to authors with care will lead to a greater chance of getting your work into print, and avoid your work being rejected at the first stage in the process.

Top tips #6 Keep your peepers fresh

When writing, it’s easy to become too close to your manuscript. You can miss errors and typos because you know your argument inside out. A piece of advice given by one of the consultants at UHL (and an editor of a journal himself) is to put your final draft away, out of sight, for one to two weeks and go back to it after this time with fresh eyes. Proof reading by others will also be helpful, but give yourself a chance to spot your mistakes after a break from the manuscript. If you’re working to a deadline, try and build this time into your project.