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Writing for Publication

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Writing for Publication. Jill D. McLeigh. Writing a journal article. Common reasons for rejection. What happens when I submit an article? Writing a journal article – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Writing for Publication


1
Writing for Publication
  • Jill D. McLeigh

2
  • Writing a journal article
  • Common reasons for rejection
  • What happens when I submit an article?

3
Writing a journal article
 Experimental process  Section of Paper Word Count
What did I do in a nutshell?  Abstract 150-250
 What is the problem? Introduction 500-1,000
Conceptual framework/background Literature Review 1,000-2,000
 How did I solve the problem?  Materials and Methods 500-1,000
 What did I find out?  Results 1,000-1,500
 What does it mean? What are the implications?  Discussion 1,000-1,500
 Whose work did I refer to? References  
4
Abstract
  • Function An abstract summarizes, in one
    paragraph (usually), the major aspects of the
    entire paper in the following prescribed
    sequence
  • the question(s) you investigated (or purpose),
    (from Introduction)
  • state the purpose very clearly in the first or
    second sentence.
  • the experimental design and methods used,
    (from Methods)
  • clearly express the basic design of the study.
  • Name or briefly describe the basic methodology
    used without going into excessive detail-be sure
    to indicate the key techniques used.
  • the major findings including key quantitative
    results, or trends (from Results)
  • report those results which answer the questions
    you were asking
  • identify trends, relative change or differences,
    etc.
  • a brief summary of your interpretations and conclu
    sions. (from Discussion)
  • clearly state the implications of the answers
    your results gave you.

5
Introduction/Literature Review
  • Establish the context of the work being reported.
    Discuss the relevant primary research
    literature (with citations) and summarize current
    understanding of the problem.
  • State the purpose of the work in the form of the
    hypothesis, question, or problem you
    investigated.
  • Briefly explain your rationale and approach and,
    whenever possible, the possible outcomes your
    study can reveal.
  • "What was I studying? Why was it an important
    question? What did we know about it before I did
    this study? How will this study advance our
    knowledge?"

6
Materials Methods
  • Explain clearly how you carried out your study in
    the following general structure and organization
  • Participants Describe the participants in your
    experiment, including who they were, how many
    there were, and how they were selected.
  • Materials Describe the materials, measures,
    equipment, or stimuli used in the experiment.
  • Design Describe the type of design used in the
    experiment. Specify the variables as well as the
    levels of these variables. Explain whether your
    experiment uses a within-groups or between-groups
    design.
  • Procedure Explain what you had participants do,
    how you collected data, and the order in which
    steps occurred (e.g., statistical procedures).
  • Tips
  • Always write the method section in the past
    tense.
  • Provide enough detail that another researcher
    could replicate your experiment, but focus on
    brevity. Avoid unnecessary detail that is not
    relevant to the outcome of the experiment.

7
Results
  • Objectively present your key findings,
    without interpretation, in an orderly and logical
    sequence using both text and tables/figures.
  • Do not need to write about every piece of
    information you gleaned. Put everything into
    tables and highlight the important information in
    the text.
  • Include negative results
  • The text should guide the reader through your
    results stressing the key results which provide
    the answers to the question(s) investigated.

8
Discussion
  • Interpret results within the context of what was
    already known about the subject of the
    investigation, and to explain our new
    understanding of the problem after taking your
    results into consideration. 
  • Do not simply repeat or rearrange the
    Introduction!!! Tell how your study has moved us
    forward from where you left off at the end of the
    Introduction.
  • Do your findings agree with what others have
    shown? If not, do they suggest an alternative
    explanation or perhaps a unforeseen design flaw
    in your experiment (or theirs?)
  • Given your conclusions, what is our new
    understanding of the problem you investigated and
    outlined in the Introduction?
  • If warranted, what would be the next step in your
    study, e.g., what experiments would you do next?
    Additionally (or alternatively), what are the
    implications for practitioners?
  • What were the limitations of your study?

9
Conclusion
  • Optional in many journals
  • Single paragraph
  • Remind the reader why the article was written
    (i.e., there was a gap, and I filled it)
  • Reiterate key finding(s)
  • Short and sweet

10
Most Common Reasons for Rejection
  • The article is not a good fit for the aims and
    scope of the journal.
  • The research does not make a sufficiently large
    contribution to the body of knowledge in a
    specific discipline.
  • The methodology in the study is flawed.
  • Sample is too small
  • Reliability and validity of the measures used are
    questionable
  • Qualitative research lacks scientific validity
  • The writing style is disorganized and the article
    is not structured properly

11
Selecting a journal Be strategic
  • International or domestic?
  • What sort of article are you writing (e.g.,
    qualitative or quantitative study, brief report,
    meta-analysis, review)?
  • Audience (e.g., discipline-specific,
    practitioners, researchers)?
  • Journals ranking (impact factor)?
  • Where were the articles related to my topic
    published?
  • Aim high, but stay grounded

12
Writing for a specific journal
  • Read aims and scope
  • Read guide for authors
  • Follow the journals format (e.g., APA, ASA, MLA)
  • Adhere to page limits

13
Contribution to the Literature
  • Before you write, be able to answer
  • What is the message of the paper?
  • What is the NEW result or contribution that you
    want to describe?
  • What do you want to convince people of?
  • Discuss with others
  • The study merely replicates previous research
    without adding anything new.
  • The study is purely descriptive.

14
Disorganized/Lack of Structure
  • Follow the recommended structure
  • Do not use jargon
  • Avoid wordiness
  • Clear and brief, and use an active voice
  • Ideas should follow logically, with clear
    transitions between paragraphs

15
Other Stuff
  • Recommend reviewers!
  • Cover letter
  • Read lots of journal articles (especially from
    the journal in which you want to publish)

16
What happens once you submit your article?
17
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