How to Publish Research Papers in Highly Indexed Journals?

Most students and researchers struggle to publish their research work in a suitable and highly indexed journal. Lack of knowledge in organizing the paper, selecting a journal, formatting as per guidelines, and revising as per reviewer’s instruction are the reasons for such struggle. Getting published in prestigious, high-impact academic journals is a highly competitive proposition. However, these challenges can be avoided by following the below instructions:

Writing a research paper

Choosing the appropriate topic is the primary step of writing a research paper. A good and relevant topic must be selected with a narrow and interesting focus area, and yet wide enough to find sufficient data. Prepare an outline, note down all the information or ideas that must have come to mind while going through the literature review. Prepare a draft, organize the information collected. A rough draft must be prepared where the ideas are written in an unfinished form. This helps organize ideas and determines the final format of the paper. The draft must be revised as many times as possible to create a final product. The final document thus created is the first draft of the research paper.

Selecting a journal

Verify the scope of the target journal; even a remarkable, novel research work is likely to face rejection if the research topic doesn’t align with the scope of the journal. The quality of any journal is assessed based on the number of abstracting and indexing services. It is recommended to adopt a balanced and realistic approach while choosing the best journal.

Formatting

A research paper must be formatted so that it complies with the guidelines of a journal or style manual. Prepare your submission according to the specifications set out in the Author Guidelines of your chosen journal. Ensure that the word count falls within this range, not above or below it. The author’s information must be provided with a brief abstract and keywords. Further, the text must be arranged in headings Introduction, Methodology, Results, Discussions, and conclusion. Cite the references in the text as per the guidelines and list them after the conclusion. All the other necessary information regarding ethics, conflict of interest, funding, the acknowledgment must be provided on the title page.

Submission

Before submitting the research paper the author must have all the mandatory information required for submission. Kindly read the checklist provided on the journal site and prepare the documents accordingly. Once the information is collected, proceed with the registration step and complete the submission carefully.

Cover letter and Abstract

The abstract should be prepared carefully and encompass the aim and scope of the study; the key problem to be addressed and theory; the method used; the data set; key findings; limitations; and implications for theory and practice. A cover letter speaks about the uniqueness of the research work that has been carried out, what makes the findings of the research study of deep significance to the future of the discipline, and why the research methodologies employed to carry out the research are extraordinary and profound.

Conclusion

All the above criteria must be considered if aiming to publish a research paper in a highly indexed journal. High-impact and highly indexed journals accept less than 10% of the research papers submitted to them, hence, proper attention, planning, and careful implementation are required to improve the likelihood of getting their work published.

Importance of quality content in SCOPUS

Publication in a reputed, high-impact indexed journal is the primary metric for a researcher. However, selecting the right journal can be a complex task. Researchers need to optimize between different criteria before reaching a decision. The journal selection process involves different factors: identifying the scope of the journal, impact factor, the reputation of the journal, specific indexing, issue release periodicity, and open access fee/publication fee.

SCOPUS indexing and content curation

SCOPUS indexing SCOPUS is one of the largest indexing databases for journals and books in the medical and life sciences field. Advantages of publication in SCOPUS indexed journals include: increase in the visibility of your publication(s), peer-review process, reaches global audiences.

SCOPUS is the most recommended database as the researchers can effortlessly find relevant and trusted research and access data that can help them to select the most appropriate journal for their research paper.

The research publication industry has seen a signification growth and almost everyday new journal is being launched. Hence, there is a necessity to identify and eliminate poor-performing and predatory journals from the list while selecting the right journal for publication.

SCOPUS is a database of journals that includes only the reputed, good performing, high-impact, and peer-reviewed journals.

The journals or publishers added to the SCOPUS list undergo a rigorous evaluation process by the subject experts of the Content Selection and Advisory Board (CSAB). The board determines the eligibility of the title and removes poor-performing and predatory journals.  The board along with the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) decides whether to include a new journal, discontinue an indexed journal, or continue with a journal.

SCOPUS and the CSAB ensure that the users get the best possible evidence for their work and only reliable journals and their content is available to the researchers.

Re-evaluation criteria

In addition to the selection criteria, there is continuous monitoring and re-evaluation process which ensures that the quality of the indexed journals should be maintained.

There are 4 criteria that are considered for re-evaluation of an indexed journal:

  1. Poor performance
  2. Doubt about peer-review process or publication standards
  3. Data curation
  4. Data metrics (periodicity, number of original articles, diversity, novelty, etc.)

Poor performance of the journals

The underperformance of a journal is determined by analyzing three metrics:

  1. Self-citation rate (Higher self-citations)
  2. Total citation rate (Fewer citations)
  3. CiteScore (Lower CiteScore compared to other peer-reviewed journals)

In conclusion, the information or data provided by the SCOPUS are highly recommended and hence, there is a necessity from this indexing end to provide reliable content, include reputed journals (exclude predatorily), and update the database regularly.

Publishing your article after Acceptance

What is an Accepted Manuscript?

The version of the manuscript that has been peer-reviewed is the accepted version. The simplest permitted versions are files that are effectively just plain text with no layout characteristic. This is how the vast majority of accepted papers appear. The Accepted Manuscript should be identical to the final published edition, but there should be no logo, citation details, copyediting, formatting, or copyright marking from the publisher. The document might be in PDF or Word format. Keep a copy of your Accepted Manuscript for any future postings after you receive the acceptance email from the Editorial Office.

What documents do you receive after acceptance?

When your paper is accepted for publication, the proofs are sent to the corresponding author. A paper is subedited (copyedited) after it is accepted to achieve optimum clarity and reach. Ensuring the accuracy of references is vital as published papers should not contain errors. Your paper is combined into an issue of the journal and published in its final form once the associated author approves them.

  • An acceptance letter from your journal’s editorial system.
  • When the object is passed to production, the Production Tracking System (PTS) sends an acknowledgment letter with the following information:
  • The reference code for the utility to track your accepted article.
  • Offprint Order form link to order Proofs and reprint of your article.
  • Copyright, sponsorship and funding, and open access are all covered in the Rights and Access form.
  • A link to a colour figure reproduction form, if applicable.

What to do after Research Paper acceptance?

There are still things that you must-do if you truly want to benefit from your publication.

  • Get an ORCID (Open Researcher and Contributor ID) as it assigns a unique identification to each research output, ensuring that your work is not mistaken with that of others.
  • Making the accepted work online provides some advantages, including:
  • Earlier access to research that can be read and cited
  • Authors can promote their work as soon as it is acknowledged by their peers, keeping the publication process moving forward.
  • Share it with people as possible to recognize and respond to your work. Breaking down technical and language barriers is another powerful and effective strategy to increase public interest in your work. The way different publishers and periodicals address the problem of sharing differs.
  • Researchers will have more prospects for grant acceptance because they would be able to list their work early.
  • After all of your time and work has gone into publishing and promoting your paper, it only makes sense to keep an eye on it and assess the feedback.

Conclusion

The length of time it takes to prove an article varies by journal. Most journals will send you proofs within two weeks of receiving your acknowledgment letter. Many papers are published online one week before they are printed, and the corresponding authors of these papers will be notified via e-mail when the online publishing date is confirmed. It takes roughly 4-6 weeks for an article to be published after it has been accepted. After that, you can unwind, relax, and reward yourself for your work until the next piece.

How to Overcome Journal Rejection?

Publishing Papers after rejection could be a long time-taking process that holds the ability to share our work with the Public. If you don’t succeed at first, revise and resubmit.

A Paper rejected doesn’t mean the research is always bad.

 Reasons for Rejection of Academic Papers from Journals

These mistakes are consistently made by different people. These mistakes are non-fatal which creates a bad impression about the paper Many non-fatal mistakes can lead to rejection of the Paper.

The submission of Paper takes almost 1 to 1.5 years, so avoid making these deadly mistakes.

  • Formatting Issues
  • Choosing the wrong Journal
  • Grammatical Errors
  • References (Many or Few)
  • Revealing the Author’s Identity
  • Missing Tables & Figures
  • Missing Abstract
  • Writing Style

In some cases, the Paper may be rejected even after major revisions. Most researchers believe that the data and assumptions will be accepted with minor revisions, but when they get a negative response, they become low.

What are the things that you should not do after Paper Rejection?

  • Complaining to the Editor
  • Posting the Reviews Online
  • Writing a letter with Anger
  • Discarding the Reviews
  • Giving up

 

Researchers Perspective after Rejection

  • Upset about the outcome – Give yourself time and go back to the feedback. Read the letter when the anger stage is off.
  • Look for Valuable Feedback – Review the Feedback in detail. The feedback can be helpful with a lot of clues as to how to improve the paper. Some feedback seems to be unhelpful but when looking it deeper, there will be a different perspective which turns out to be good.
  • Resubmit the same Journal – Some Journals reject the Paper but invite you to resubmit it later. If you do decide to submit on that Journal, you can choose this option.
  • Make Changes & Submit to a New Journal – The most common Chosen option is considering the comments, improving the manuscript, and submitting it to a New Journal. Must ensure the details of the Cover Letter, Reference Format. Deciding what to Change – Address all the comments. Minor comments are also needed to be addressed.
  • Make No Changes & Submit to Another Journal – This is an easy option but is not at all effective. Reviewers may identify the same feedback that you received earlier.
  • File the Manuscript & Never resubmit – Choosing a new paper for Advanced research so deciding not to submit the paper in any journal. Instead of posting it in a scientific community where your Research data might be useful to others. Making it as a Blog or Workshop for Practitioners. The outcomes might be surprisingly good. Have multiple projects, when something is messing up, you have another in hand which can lift you.

 

Conclusion

Rejection is a natural part of Academic life. Persistence and Willingness are the keys to Success in Paper Publication. Rejection as Redirection by looking at it as an opportunity redirected to something more suitable. Rejection makes us improve and strengthen our work before submitting it to another set of Audiences.

The Benefits Of Peer-Reviewing A Manuscript

What Is The Peer-Review Of A Manuscript?

  • Peer-Review is a process in which the Manuscript proposed for the Publication of the Journal is assessed by a group of experts in the appropriate field.
  • It can be said as a sign of recognition in one’s field.

 

Who is involved in the Process of Peer-Review?

  • Experts in the appropriate field.
  • Editorial Board Members.

 

Evaluation Stages

Initial Evaluation

  • Read the Abstract & Conclusion.
  • Skip the Figures, Data, Tables.

 

In-Depth Evaluation

  • Read the entire script
  • Note the details
  • Getting Answer to these Questions
  • Is the quality of the manuscript good for a conclusion?
  • Is the experimental design appropriate?
  • Is there any non-relevant data?

 

How does Peer-Review Work?

  • The Research Scholars writes a Paper & Submits the Manuscript to the Academic Journal that publishes similar or related types of works.
  • The Journal Editor reads the Manuscript and decides whether it meets the criteria for Publication or not. If it is rejected, the manuscript goes back to the Researcher with a polite rejection letter. If it meets the criteria, then the Manuscript is accepted and is sent to the scientific community who will read it as well.
  • The reviewers read the manuscript to evaluate in terms of its purpose, scope, thesis, outcome and ask questions such as
  • Is the topic worth investigating?
  • Are relevant sources being used?
  • Does the evidence support the thesis?
  • Is the thesis clearly and convincingly argued?
  • Is the work original?
  • Once the reviewers have finished reading the manuscript, they send their comments to the editor, who in turn, sends it to the writer another letter that will either accept the paper without revisions or will provide comments and ask for revisions based on the peer reviewers’ evaluation of the work.
  • Once the paper is revised to the satisfaction of the editor and the reviewers take several revisions, the article is published.
  • When using Peer-reviewed articles for research papers and assignments, can use the best data or information available upon which to base your work.

 

Peer Review Methodology

 What are the Questions to be focused on while Peer-Reviewing?

Title

  • Is the title match with the Manuscript?
  • Are the major findings mentioned in the Manuscript?
  • Is the conclusion overstated?

 

Abstract

  • Can the abstract stand alone?

 

Intro

  • Is the Intro brief?
  • Does the intro have the aim or objective of the Research?

 

Methods

  • Are the methods appropriate?
  • Is the statistical analysis provided?

 

Results

  • Is the paper within the scope of the Research?
  • Does the paper address the important & interesting question?
  • Is the Manuscript readable?

 

Over-view of Peer-Review

  • The manuscript should be kept confidential.
  • Feedback should be constructive and must include reasons to support the comments.

 

How is Peer-Review beneficial in Academic Writing?

  • Improves Writing & Critical Thinking Skills
  • Develops Collaborative Learning
  • Encourages the writer to perform better
  • Saves time for Researchers
  • Ensure Quality Research is Published

 

The Peer-Reviewer needs to pay attention to evaluate the Manuscript Readability such as

  • Is the manuscript readable?
  • Are the sentences easy to read?
  • Are the sentences grammatically correct?

 

Conclusion

Peer-Review is a crucial learning process. A Good Peer-Review should be

  • Focused – Main areas should be addressed
  • Constructive – Identification of the Problems clearly
  • Structured – Systematic Approach to the Manuscript
  • Polite & Professional Feedback
  • Listing major strength & weakness
  • Recommend changes to improve

Portable Peer review: the new efficiency in publishing?

Peer review is perhaps the most critical but difficult step in publishing a research article in any journal. In the academic world, a publication without peer review is generally looked down upon and all major reputed journals follow peer review. Therefore, every author wants to get their research article published in such journals.

However, the entire peer-review process is extremely tedious and time-consuming. It often takes months for reviewers to send their reviews, which is followed by a prolonged process of editing by the author for resubmission; and this cycle continues. In the process, the publication gets delayed, authors may decide to stop pursuing one journal and shift to another journal, only to start the entire process all over again. Many journal editors reject most articles at the initial stage without even sending them for peer review only to avoid the hassle.

To get over this issue, certain journals combined to initiate what was called portable peer review. Portable peer review is a system where an author can resubmit one article manuscript to another publisher while sharing the peer review received from the first journal. Under this mechanism, the second journal acknowledges the review from the first incidence and takes up the process thereon, instead of starting the entire edit and review process from scratch.

There are several businesses that tried to specialize in portable peer review by offering a centralized reviewing service for both authors and publishers. These certified reviews could then be used by authors to apply to different publishers. Publishers too were expected to subscribe to such third-party review services for efficiency.

The initiative that has been active for quite some years has often received mixed responses. Following the initial optimism, the entire process did have very limited off-take. Besides the challenges with revenue models of some of these third-party review services leading to their failure, the biggest challenge for the system was that authors were often not comfortable to share harsh or critical reviews from one journal with another. More often than not, authors shift journals as they are not happy with their reviews; and shift to another journal only for a fresh and more optimistic second chance.

However, following the COVID related challenges, portable peer review seems to be gaining ground. The recently evolved C19 Rapid Review Initiative in medical sciences has received a positive response with nearly 2k reviewers signing up as rapid reviewers from more than 80 countries. The initiative started by Hindawi, the Royal Society, PLOS is now endorsed by SSRN, AfricArxiv, and Research on Research Institute (RoRI).UCL Press, Springer Nature, MIT Press, and Cambridge University Press joined the collaboration with a number of their titles, increasing the original group of nine publishers and organizations to 20 backings the C19 Rapid Review project.

While much of the new drive was necessitated by the need for finding a fast cure for COVID, this drive may change the fortunes of portable peer review in the future.

How to write a Literature Review article for a Journal

 Literature review articles are a critical form of publication. While all research articles require a literature review section, some articles are purely dedicated stand-alone literature reviews only, published as review articles or survey articles by journals. There exists a certain journal dedicated to such articles.

Review articles are extremely popular with professionals, young students, and novice researchers benefiting immensely from such evaluations of the existing literature in their fields of expertise. Review articles also tend to be highly cited, making them appealing for both journals and authors.

Here are some key tips on how to write a good literature review article for journal publication.

Depth of knowledge: depth and breadth of knowledge is necessary to produce a truly insightful and useful literature review for publication in a journal. A review article is not just about reporting recent literature on the subject that you have come across, but really about giving a unique perspective that threads all these together. One has to read the articles, grasp their essence, and then write about it with authority and interpretive wisdom which is intellectually challenging. While most journals prefer to invite experienced experts to write literature reviews, some do accept unsolicited author submitted manuscripts for publication provided they are of high caliber.

Choice of topic: The topic must not too broad and not too narrow and choose one correctly for the type of review you would like to write. Pick a narrow topic if you intend to write a short crisp review, either about a certain procedure/methodology being explored in your field or certain types of experiments being conducted. For a wider and theoretical exploration of new ideas or burning issues in your field, choose a topic that is wide enough so that you will be able to find enough articles to discuss.

Define the scope of the article: It is very important to limit the scope of the article in order to ensure that you do not lose focus. The point of a good literature review is sharing your perspective while amalgamating various perspectives or viewpoints. It is critical not to be deviate in your discussion by shifting focus to what the others were trying to say. Remember, people will read your article for what you want to say.

Thorough background research: a literature review requires thorough background research. You have to extensively read on the subject, even if you are not covering or referencing every article that you read. While the seminal works deserve a focus, remember there are many others who might have contributed to the field as well. It is critical to develop a wider perspective and then focus and cite some key articles only in your manuscript.

Constructive criticism: A review, while being critical, should not be about nitpicking. You may differ with some authors, or highlight some lacuna that needs to be explored in the field. However, your manuscript must reflect areas of development and encouragement for your readers, and offer new grounds for academic activism on the topic. Only then will a journal consider it for publication.

HELPFUL TIPS ON FORMATTINGJOURNAL ARTICLES BY OBSERVING THE GUIDELINES

Submitting a manuscript for journal publication requires an author to strictly follow guidelines suggested by the journals. Failing to follow guidelines leads to the rejection of the manuscript, which is obviously undesirable for any author. Therefore, it is imperative that these formatting guidelines are followed very carefully before submitting an article.

Here are some key pointers to be aware of while formatting a manuscript as per journal guidelines.

The structure of the manuscript: Check carefully the different sections and structure required by the journal for submission. Journals often have specific instructions for Cover page, Excerpts, Executive summary, Abstract, Appendix, References, etc. Not all journals ask for all such sections. For instance, one journal may request for a short abstract, while others may ask for a bit longer executive summary. It is important to follow these instructions as per requirements. Usually, all journals require a cover letter along with the submission as well. Follow instructions on the format for a cover letter if specified.

Referencing: A critical component of any academic article is its references. Strictly follow referencing guidelines of a journal as prescribed in the guidelines. Some journals may request inline referencing, references in footnotes, while others may request for end text references. Moreover, the format of referencing is also critical. There are some general conventions of referencing and most authors are well versed in them. However, it is imperative that you follow the one specified by the journal for its manuscripts.

Formatting: every journal has specific instructions for formatting. Often, journals have different formatting requirements for different stages of the manuscript. For instance. Some journals may request double spacing for the manuscript they require for peer review, while the final print document may be single spacing. Font, font size, spacing, paragraph specifications are some of the key focus areas for formatting.

Diagrams and tables: diagrams and tables are an integral part of a scientific publication, and often manuscripts have a plethora of them. Check the title requirement, size requirement, formatting details for charts, etc for diagrams. A common mistake often done by authors is about the colours used in their diagrams and charts. If the journal does not support coloured printing, your charts and diagrams have to design in black and grey monochrome. You not only have to careful to change the colour tone as per requirements but also ensure the charts and diagrams are distinctive and easy to read in those colour tones.

Word Count: The importance of word count needs to be reiterated. Every section of the manuscript may have word counts and need to be adhered to. If the journal asks for an abstract of 250 words; you need to draft an abstract within 250 words. The same applies for every section, chapter, etc. as may be specified.

Most importantly, read the instructions for each journal carefully. Authors often rehash one submission for another journal; so be careful not to mix up the instructions. The same article for different journals needs to be formatted from scratch to meets each journal’s specific requirements.

HOW TO WRITE A RESEARCH PAPER A PERFECT FIT FOR A JOURNAL

Getting a research paper published in a journal is difficult given the high level of competition. There are numerous scholarly authors producing excellent research papers and good journals are flooded with manuscripts from which they can pick and choose. The editors of reputed journals are always keen to improve upon the impact factor of their journals and therefore pick and choose from applications only those articles that they feel add value to their journals. For a successful journal publication, as an author, you have to offer manuscripts that will appeal to the publisher and at the same time showcase your expertise as a researcher.

Here are some tips on how best to write a research paper fit for a journal publication

Focus on the right journal: There are numerous journals in any specific field of study and all such journals try to differentiate themselves from each other in order to gain relevance and higher impact factor. Identify the differentiating factor each journal tries to develop, the type of articles or publications they tend to give preferences to, the topics they are presently focusing on, and so forth.

It is advised to form a list of journals based on background research and sort them in terms of not only preference (in terms of impact factor) but also relevance to your work. One way to develop it is by reading articles published by these journals, checking how many of your references are from these journals, etc.

Work smart: You have to offer a journal publisher not only good content but also something that adds value to their publication. Check recent issues for topics similar to your research area.; Have they published something too similar and may perhaps reject your work as being repetitive? Or perhaps there is a series of publications as part of a vibrant academic discourse taking place in a journal in which you can add some value?

Stick to basic: Every journal has its own specifications for formatting, article style, charts, and data-work, referencing, etc. it is imperative that you do thorough background work to ensure your research paper meets all these criteria. Remember, publishers are first to reject any article that does not meet their formatting guidelines and you should not give them such an excuse to reject your article.

Introduce yourself: Many authors underplay the importance of a good cover letter. The role of your cover letter is to convince an editor that your research work is worth publishing in their journal. Always refer to the scope and aim of the journal and why you think your article is a good fit for the journal. Refer to the journal audience or letter to editors that you might have come across on the topic to cite greater relevance if you can. This also reflects your level of engagement with the journal as an academician.

Remember, it is always better to have some back-up journal as well and a similar exercise needs to be done separately for that publisher to increase chances of publication.

Revising your article post reviewer comments

Receiving peer-review comments from a journal often gives rise to mixed feelings. Presuming the editor offers to reconsider your submission post revision, it essentially means the first step of getting your academic paper published in the journal of your choice is successfully completed. However, at the same time, any long-drawn revision process means more effort and resources on the same manuscript which is often a mental challenge as well.

Here is some step by step tips on how to approach the process of revising manuscripts post-peer-review comments:

Take it easy: Once you receive peer-review comments, the first reaction is to go through it at one go in excitement. However, responding to the comments must be done in a much calmer manner. It is best to revisit the comments after a few days, once you have worn out the initial feelings.

Organize: read the comments multiple times. Often, reviewers suggest certain major and minor comments. Authors often lose sight of the minor comments while they are pre-occupied to deal with the major comments. However, as a professional, you are expected to address each and every comment.

It is suggested that you tabulate the comments in detail. Demarcate each comment in certain categories: editorial changes, formatting related changes, comments on methodology, comments on data-work, etc. Once you have tabulated the comments, estimate how much time and effort it will require you to address all those comments. This then gives you a more definitive idea of how much effort you need for revision to address all peer-review comments.

Take a call: actually, it involves multiple calls, but you should take them one by one. First and foremost, you need to decide if you will make all the revisions requested or not. Often, reviewers may make suggestions to which you need not necessarily agree to.

Some comments are tricky, especially those related to the research itself – to the methodology used, for instance, or the results obtained and the conclusions drawn from them. These may require considerable revision requiring extra time and funding to accomplish, or they may necessitate thinking about and reporting your research in different ways.  You need to decide whether you want to walk the mile or stick to what you already have produced.

All these decisions lead to the final call; if you still want to pursue publishing the academic paper in the journal. You may choose to accept some constructive comments which may help you improve your manuscript, but prefer to submit the improved draft to some other journal.

Respond to the editor: Irrespective of what calls you take, as a professional courtesy, write back to the editor who has shared the feedback with you. Share the list of comments, address each comment as to whether you disagree to it (and why) or you agree (and what you are going to do to address it). If you are keen to pursue publishing in the same journal, let the editor know by when you can re-share the manuscript based on your time estimation.