On Publishing Research Articles

These are the notes that I have scribbled down in my notepad, in the same order as it was mentioned (so some points might be misplaced), from the panel discussion that took place at University of Texas at Dallas as part of their Graduate Professional Week – 2016

Ingredients for Publishable Article:

Subject to say about
— Study something novel or new methodology or both
— Tell a nice story — Where this fits?
— For introduction, why this study is important
— Abstract should have a great appeal to general audience

— Good Knowledge of the field
— Find the primary audience of the journal before start writing the article, and address it accordingly

Advice for the 1st  Research Article:

— Be ready to be rejected (expect high rejection) – Don’t take it personal. Rejection is the norm
Write everyday. Get into the habit of writing
— Don’t publish the 1st one, publish the 2nd one. You can publish the 1st one later (pun)
— Writing a good paper is difficult. You can/will/should improve with time
— Break the process down and take one at a time (creating figures, making charts, creating story-line)
Get organized with references (make use of RefWork)
Keep plagiarism in check
Feedback is important. Try to get adequate feedback before sending them to journals
— Have multiple levels of feedback (peers/colleagues, mentors)
— Take comments from editors seriously
— Revise your paper. Revision is key
— Have a fabulous abstract/introduction/1st paragraph
— Don’t submit sloppy work. Affects your’s as well as your institute’s reputation
— Use RefWork [UTD students have life long free access]
Accept criticism 
— Start writing only after understanding the work completely

Problems students face while trying to write the article:

— Perfectionism
— Procrastination

Advice for finding the right journals:

— Read & Read more
—  1 day of reading = 1 week at the lab
— Read what people are writing about in your field, understand where the field is going
— The more you read, the better writer you become
— Keep up with “methods”
— Look at citation to find it’s place in your field
— Find who else is working in your field
— The most cited journal in your bibliography is the best journal to publish your article
— Writing has to be specific as well as generic. Should make sense for both experts as well as newbies

For Read & Review sessions:

— Always thank your reviewer
— Never get into an argument tone
— Spend time to understand the reviewer’s comment

Contents from the handout

Books on Academic Writing:

  1. Academic Writing: A Handbook for International Students by Stephen Bailey
  2. Destination Dissertation: A Traveler’s Guide to Done Dissertation by Sarah K Foss
  3. From Inquiry to Academic Writing: A Practical Guide by Stuart Greene
  4. Academic Writing and Publishing: A Practical Guide by James Hartley
  5. Handbook for Academic Authors by Beth Luey
  6. Academic Writing: A Guide for Management Students & Researchers by Mathukutty M Monippally 
  7. Handbook of Academic Writing: A Fresh Approach by Rowena Murray
  8. How to Write A Lot: A Practical Guide to Productive Academic Writing by Paul J Silvia
  9. Academic Writing for Graduate Students: Essential Tasks and Skills by John M Swales
  10. Stylish Academic Writing by Helen Sword 

 

Panelists

  • Dr. Marion Underwood, Dean of Graduate Studies
  • Dr. Ellen Safley, Dean of Libraries 
  • Dr. Yves Chabal, Professor of Material Science & Engineering
  • Dr. Julia Chan, Professor of Chemistry
  • Dr. Frank Dufour, Professor of Arts and Technology
  • Dr. John Goosh, Associate Dean of Graduate Studies
  • Dr. Shayla Holub,  Associate Professor of Developmental Psychology 
  • Dr. Alex Piquero, Associate Dean of Graduate Programs
  • Dr. Karen Prager, Professor of Psychology
  • Dr. Sumit Sarkar, Professor of Information Systems