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Adelaide9216

Journal Submission Process - my first time

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Hello,

so I am thinking of publishing one article based on my master's thesis. 

My first question is 1) When is the right time to start working on a manuscript? and 2) As a master's student, should I aim to the top in terms of journal quality and impact factor ? (I have a few options in mind) 3) English isn't my first language so I am a bit concerned about that as well.

 

Thanks!

 

 

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14 hours ago, Adelaide9216 said:

1) When is the right time to start working on a manuscript? and 2) As a master's student, should I aim to the top in terms of journal quality and impact factor ? (I have a few options in mind) 3) English isn't my first language so I am a bit concerned about that as well.

(1) It is actually a good idea to start drafting your manuscript when you think you have enough data to publish. This helps you to see the whole story and identify any loose ends that need to be addressed. 

(2) Whether you should aim for a top journal depends on the quality of your work. It has nothing to do with what stage of career you are in. It is good that you have a few options in mind. I suggest that you discuss with your advisor.

(3) You can hire a copy editor if you are concerned about your English. Otherwise, grab someone who is good at academic English to proofread your manuscript. You don't have to be 100% error free, as many journals have their own editors to edit your accepted manuscript before publishing it. Having said that, your manuscript needs to be written well enough to be understood by your reviewers. 

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I can't recommend Belcher's Writing Your Journal Article in 12 Weeks. It's a fantastic resource and is fashioned more like a workbook that works you through each step of the article writing process. When I was writing and revising my first article, I found Belcher's timeline of what you should be doing each week to write/prepare the article so useful. It made the whole process seem so much more manageable. 

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On 7/2/2018 at 10:34 AM, Adelaide9216 said:

1) When is the right time to start working on a manuscript?

Like Hope.for.the.best said, whenever you think you're ready to start. Actually, IMO you should start before you feel confident that you're ready, because the writing process can help to shape the direction of your research, and keep you appropriately focused. Also, too many people fall into the trap of postponing writing until they've read all the things or done all the tests, and that's a recipe for never actually writing anything at all. Note, however, that this does not mean that you'll be ready to submit soon after you start writing. It could take years to bring your paper up to snuff. But the sooner you start trying, the better.

 

On 7/2/2018 at 10:34 AM, Adelaide9216 said:

 2) As a master's student, should I aim to the top in terms of journal quality and impact factor ? (I have a few options in mind) 3) English isn't my first language so I am a bit concerned about that as well.

There are different ways to do this, and the best strategies of course depend on where you are in your career. When you're aiming for 2+ a year because you're on the tenure-track at an R1, you'll want to adopt a shotgun-style approach--that is, you'll want to have 5-10 papers under review at all times, at a mix of journals (some top subfield, some second-tier subfield, some top generalist, some second-tier generalist, etc.). And exactly which journals you select will depend on fit and--especially--their average time to reach a verdict, and how soon you need that pub. 

Right now, I think that you should identify the three best journals for which your paper is an excellent fit, and start by sending to the first (I'm assuming, of course, that time-to-verdict doesn't matter so much for an MA student. I might be wrong about that!), and work your way down from there. I'm guessing those'll be subfield journals, but maybe one is a generalist journal. Shrug.

(I'm not in a field where impact factor counts for anything, so I'm not sure how to advise you on that point. My intuition is that the best journals in your subfield will have decent impact factors.)

On 7/2/2018 at 10:34 AM, Adelaide9216 said:

3) English isn't my first language so I am a bit concerned about that as well.

The best remedy is to write, and have people (friends, colleagues) read your work and help you. You can always return the favour for them--in French, yes, but also in English (even if you don't catch their mistakes or can't help them with the actual writing, you can help them at the levels of content and clarity of exposition). You could, for example, start a weekly workshop group, with five or so participants, where each week you read and discuss and comment on one person's paper or chapter. Regularly reading in English (especially at the level you want to emulate: so, academic writing) will also help a lot.

You can certainly hire a copy editor, but I wouldn't bother. It's going to be extremely expensive. (I should know, I've been one!) Some journals do offer a free help service for people whose native language isn't English, however. Check the journal's author guidelines.

 

Edited by maxhgns

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