Is it necessary to publish papers to obtain your PhD?

Publishing paper would be cherry on pie to build an academic career. Publication is a prerequisite for obtaining your PhD. A well-known phrase “Publish or perish” justifies this statement. Although it sounds dulcet, you need to take utmost care at every single step. If you are wondering, how to achieve your goal, here are a couple of points to ease your muddle.


The first step to achieve your goal should focus on deep research about various papers, journals, publishers. This will help you to pick up the appropriate decision. The lack of research may end up selecting an inappropriate journal which may throw you in the backward direction of your goal. Hence, it is advisable to do thorough research before jumping into a conclusion.

Quality over Quantity

It is said, “Quality takes time but reduces the quantity”. You should spend time developing significant research agendas rather than spending more time scrambling to publish whatever you can get. For example, 1 research paper with novel findings and own interpretation can scoot over 10 review papers. So, don’t rush up on writing more papers as there is no guarantee that writing 10 papers would award you with your degree.

Face your fear

As a beginner, it is obvious to be anxious about the result. However, keep in mind that, “Failure always leads to greater achievements”. Keep yourself calm and composed and don’t force yourself to implant negative thinks.  These negative thinking will divert you to take the decision of writing it with a co-author. I am not against this statement but this decision might affect you in a later state.

 Be ready

No one in this world is perfect so don’t let your ego come in between achieving your goal. You should be confident enough about your research paper. It is better if you could make it proofread by someone to pick up the flaws prior to submission. Several companies are there which provide such services thereby helping you completing the research error-free.

Manage your emotions  

It is quite necessary to manage the time from the beginning with great patience as you had to research all the details minutely within the stipulated time. You can also seek the help of your guide to review it and suggest you with certain actions.


Obtaining PhD through publication is not only an option available for doctoral candidates. In order to achieve your goal, you must work hard and present strong research with novel findings. The candidate who easily accepts the flaws and decodes it further in their work will go a long way.

Causes for Manuscript Rejection Before Peer Review Analysis

After a paper is submitted to a journal, it generally goes in for peer review analysis. But there are instances when the paper is rejected even before it reaches the peer review stage. This happens because the paper does not conform to the scope or the technical specifications of the concerned journal, and is therefore unilaterally rejected by the editor. In most high impact factor journals, about 5% of the submitted papers are accepted. It is very important to understand and analyse the possible reasons for rejection, so as to avoid any such issues in the future.

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Manuscript Rejection Before Peer Review Analysis: Issues and Solutions

After a paper is submitted to a journal, it generally goes in for peer review analysis. But there are instances when the paper is rejected even before it reaches the peer review stage. This happens because the paper does not conform to the scope or the technical specifications of the concerned journal, and is therefore unilaterally rejected by the editor. In most high impact factor journals, about 5% of the submitted papers are accepted. It is very important to understand and analyse the possible reasons for rejection, so as to avoid any such issues in the future.

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Publication Board plans to set up franchises

The Assam Publication Board is going to set up a selling point in each district of the state from March onwards. Secretary Promod Kalita stated that in every district a bookstall will be announced as a franchise of the board under this initiative.They would have pre-set selection method. The stall owner would be liable to pay security money to become a franchise.


Correlation between impact factor and rejection rate: Myth or fact?


Impact factor (IF) is a measure of the reputation and health of a journal, but not the sole determinant. Therefore, authors must not consider it as a be-all, end-all yardstick or stricture while finding the right journal for their paper. The scope of a journal, its audience, and types of articles it publishes are equally, if not more, significant than the IF.

Grading the authors based on the merit of their publication portfolios is an arduous and tricky task. Several institutional committees often rank the authors based on their previous achievements for promotions, funding, and honors. In many academic circles, the IF of a journal is adopted as a parameter for assessing the quality of a published article, thereby sidestepping a comprehensive review of the article.

In scholarly publishing, a general perception among authors is that journals ranked with a high IF are highly selective and follow strict criteria for paper selection. It is also conjectured that these journals accept only those manuscripts that have extremely significant and novel outcomes, and hence more likely to attract many citations.

However, several past studies have established that there is no correlation between rejection rate and IF. These studies have cited instances of journals that have low IF and high rejection rates, which prove that IF is a poor predictor of the rejection rate and merit of a journal.

Frontiers, a leading open access publisher, plotted the IFs of 570 journals against their rejection rates and found absolutely no prime correlation between the two elements. Several studies have an alternative explanation for journals that have a high IF and a high 90-95% rejection rate. According to these studies, the high rejection rate is because the journals give precedence to prominent authors and select works that are likely to attract broad acceptance from the target audience. Consequently, many papers are rejected by them when submitted at the first go.

The way the IF is mishandled or misapplied by authors/selection committees constitutes a blemished metric in several ways. Therefore, it is important to avoid the long misconstrued notion that authors with many publications in journals that have high IFs and high rejection rates are more meritorious and bigger achievers than others who have publications in journals with medium or low IF.

Open Access Journals: The new era of publishing

benefits of open access journal
As the name suggests, the main benefit of an open access journal is that it is free for viewing by all. It can be viewed without making any payments and even downloaded for free. This is highly advantageous for libraries and researchers, who would otherwise have to access each journal through a paid subscription. With subscription rates usually very high, it became very difficult for budding researchers to subscribe to all relevant journals. Besides, researchers often have limited finance to access many journals. Conversely, with open access journals, researchers can access several journals, while libraries can add a large number of journals to their collections and thus benefit the research community as a whole.

Open access journals have high citation because they are freely accessible and referred by many people. For writers, too, open access journals give their papers much greater exposure than subscription based journals. It is also observed that there is a sustained number of downloads over a longer period, while non-open access articles have a shorter attention span. There is no need to pay subscription charge or pay-per-view charges to reach the full material. Open access journals are more likely to be indexed in databases and enlisted in search engines.

Some journals ask the author to pay for making their paper free to viewed, but this amount is nominal. After the manuscript has been accepted, the author also needs to pay a onetime charge for processing and handling. This sum is far smaller than the amount paid for publication in non-open access journals, both printed and online.

The best part of an open access journal is that it gives wider scope of access to researchers in developing countries. Since publication of papers is free in many journals, researchers from developing countries have a better chance to publish their papers and present the results of their study to a global readership.

In contrast to traditional journals, open access journals have a short production cycle, which enables quick publication of accepted papers. Some open access journals also offer fee waivers or discounts for authors from developing countries.

Sometimes, due to negligence or oversight, editors of traditional journals omit few good papers, but the chance of a similar occurrence in an open access journal is much less because the journal’s teams of editors carry out a rapid peer review so that the paper is published without delay.

There are advantages and disadvantages of open access journals, but the advantages surely outweigh the disadvantages. With the arrival of open access journals, accessibility to research papers has increased manifold. Besides, a wider audience prompts higher number of citations. Open access publications have thus come as a boon for researchers and libraries in developing countries.

Take a step closer to publication by formatting your manuscript

puzzled with how to for your manuscript?

A properly formatted manuscript is likely to be preferred by a journal editor compared to an unorganized alternate version. Hence, instead of submitting a manuscript with your data and text in a disorderly stack, it is crucial to format your manuscript according to the guidelines of the targeted journal before submission.

You should ensure that your manuscript is properly formatted to reduce the publication time. On the other hand, an unorganized manuscript is often returned by the journal house weeks after submission with instructions to adhere to the formatting guidelines. That entails lost time in the publication process.

The following are some basic rules of formatting:

  • Page size: Use 8½ x 11-inch size of normal sheet.
  • Page margin: Keep all margins within 1 to 1½ inch. Avoid using end-of-the-line hyphenation or justified margins.
  • Spacing: Use single or double spacing uniformly for the entire manuscript.
  • Font: Use 12-point font size of Times New Roman or Arial. Try to avoid fancy fonts.
  • Page numbering: Number each page of the manuscript according to the guidelines given by the target journal.
  • Manuscript sections: Divide your manuscript into clear sections such as title page, main text, references, appendices, footnotes, acknowledgements, tables, figures, and figure legends.

format your manuscript by your own

In addition, take care of the following extra minutes:

  • On the title page, provide your name, address, phone number, and e-mail address of the corresponding author. It is a good practice to mention the word count of the abstract and main text, and the number of figures and tables.
  • Check whether the journal guidelines call for a blinded manuscript for the peer review process. If yes, ensure that your manuscript is prepared in a way that does not give away the authors’ identity.
  • Maintain a sequential pattern of headings and sub-headings. Mixed-up sections can confuse editors and peer reviewers.
  • Follow the house style of the journal for both in-text and end-text references.
  • Journals often ask for signed copyright transfer agreements, conflict-of-interest forms, patient consent forms, funding information, and ethical approval related data. Cross-check the forms before submission. Non-complying manuscripts can be returned for corrections months after the submission, which results in unnecessary delay in publication.

Manuscript formatting is quick and easy. If you conform to the aforementioned details, you can prepare an attractively formatted manuscript that is likely to be welcomed by the journal editors. If you face any obstacles in the formatting process, seek the services of professional manuscript editors who can tailor the format of your manuscript to fit perfectly with the target journal’s guidelines.

Journal Impact Factor: All That Matters

The impact factor, often abbreviated as IF, is a measure reflecting the average number of citations that a paper published in a journal receives over a defined period of time. Conceptually developed in the 1960s by Eugene Garfield, founder of the Institute for Scientific Information (ISI), IF is now frequently used as a proxy for the relative importance of a journal within its field. Journal impact factors are published annually in Science Citation Index (SCI) Reports.

Researchers are often conditioned to believe that IF matters the most. Publication in journals with a high IF is regarded as an indication of the quality of the research published, and by implication, the quality of its authors. Therefore, it is not surprising that publishing in high IF journals is an aspiration for most scientists as it often plays an important role in their career prospects and progression.

High IF journals are widely read. But there has been a discrepancy regarding the importance of journal IF among researchers. Journal ranking systems have evolved in the present-day world and allow for better comparisons. Sadly, they are often ignored even when such rankings may benefit a given journal. But even these systems are not foolproof and can be quite flawed, especially those assuming that the scientific value or quality is less if the scope of a discussion is small. A more appropriate approach could be to say that the best journals are those that can rank high in one or more categories or ranking systems, rather than reducing the overall journal quality and usefulness to a single number.

IF, originally designed for purposes other than the individual evaluation of the quality of research, is undoubtedly a useful tool provided its interpretation is not stretched far beyond its limits of validity. Having said that, the research quality cannot be measured solely using IF. It should be used with caution, and should not be the dominant or only factor accounting for the credibility of a research.