Here are some quick tips that I’ve learned from last month WoS Journal Writing Workshop:
1) Timing is everything!
According to the professor, if we want to publish your article this year, we should have submitted the article at least a year or so before. She was being very frank to say that all our articles in that workshop are not going to be published this year. If we get published next year, just count our blessings. So her ultimate advice is to strategize and plan way ahead.
2) Title it properly
She highly recommended the title of the article to be short, precise and clear. The rule of thumb is to play around with 13 words (max).
3) Introduce the problem well
Obviously, we need have a clear focus on the problem we are trying to solve in our article. The problem statement and the rationale for the research should be stated clearly and explained well before everything else. A weak problem normally shows weak research. So pay more attention in the problem statement before moving on to the rest of the sections.
4) Reference must be recent
The references used in the article shouldn’t be anything too old unless they are really necessary. Use up-to-date references to show that we have read well enough for the current topic or issue in discussion. Cite more references that are recent and up to 2 years back, if possible.
5) Methodology is key
She emphasized a lot on the methodology used and how well we explained the methodology. It’s important to let the editor and readers know the type of data collected, how data are collected, and how they are being analyzed.
What does the editor look for?
- Subject is within scope
- Subject is current
- High citability potential
- It’s a collaborative work (joint authored from different countries)
- Use of good method
- Have good reference list, current, and good spread of journals
Overall, we are advised to keep on trying on writing and sending the articles to target journals. Planning is essential. Rejection is expected but let’s not feel demotivated. What’s most important in sending off articles to journals is getting valuable comments or feedback so we can improve on. Proofreading is very important too. It’s beneficial to get someone to read the article before submission. Lastly, always follow up with modification after review until the article is accepted and published.