“Research is almost like going into a dark territory with a torch in your hand.
You don’t know what’s out there, you can’t be ready for it.
You just walk right into the darkness.” – Professor Cafer T. Yavuz
Let’s face it. Being an early career researcher is tough. From the hypothesis forming stage to getting your research published – everything always seems to be shrouded in uncertainty and roadblocks.
At the inaugural Wiley UniDay held earlier this month at The Auckland University, we brought together a panel of journal editors and publishing experts: Dr Sandar Tin Tin, Dr Susan Carter, Professor Elaine Stratford and Professor James Curran, who tapped into their personal experiences and candidly shared manuscript publishing tips they wish they’d known as Early Career Researchers.
Top Tips to Getting Published as an Early Career Researcher (Tips are not in order of priority)
1. Write with a specific journal in mind.
Dr Susan Carter, Senior Lecturer at The University of Auckland, shares, “I wish I’d known to choose my journal before writing the article - so as to write an article that fits well into my target journal. I always just began with a brilliant idea
and then had to find a journal that might be interested. It’s not the most effective route to publication. “
A one-size-fits-all theory will not increase the publishing chances of your research paper. Instead, targeting the right journal to publish in from the outset could help your research paper have a stronger focus, direction and fit with the chosen journal, increasing its chances of publication.
2. Do not take personal offense at reviewers’ feedback. Take the time to understand their perspectives.
Always welcome feedback. It is acceptable to disagree with reviewers’ comments, but take note to justify why you disagree. It is always best practice to address all comments from reviewers.
As Professor James Curran, Head of Statistics, Department of Science at The University of Auckland puts it, “Getting a PhD isn’t a statement that you know everything – it’s simply a license to practice”.
Cultivating an attitude that welcomes feedback and the adaptability to work on that feedback, can make a positive difference in your manuscript publishing journey.
If you are looking for mentorship in improving your research writing skills, Wiley Researcher Academy is an e-learning tool that can help you figure out the nuts and bolts of writing a quality research paper. The online modular self-paced, learning program is perfect for early career researchers who wish to develop their expertise and understanding of the scientific publishing process and improve their chances of getting their manuscripts accepted by quality, peer-reviewed journals.
3. Once you’ve submitted your manuscript, move on with your work rather than sitting around waiting to hear back.
You can contact the journal you have submitted your paper to and ask them about the progress of your paper, but the more important task at hand is to write every day! Move on to work on another research paper, as the publishing process takes time.
As panelist Dr Sandar Tin Tin, Editor of the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health advises, “Getting published is not that difficult if you do good work, take the right steps (to publication) and stay persistent.”
Are you an early career researcher looking for more insight from prominent journal editors, publishing experts and research publishing professionals? Find out how you can be a part of a community of early career researchers with access to these mentors.
“Find mentors; learn from them, treat them well, and pass it on. Compete with no one, and be inspired by others. Forget the metrics – write because it is the right thing to do, and then share it because that is the right thing to do. Have fun.”
- Professor Elaine Stratford, Institute for the Study of Change, College of Arts, Law and Education. University of Tasmania
This was just some of the wisdom imparted at the event, which was open to all universities in Auckland, and saw a staggering turnout of over 175 early career researchers and university faculty, hungry to learn how to maneuver the daunting manuscript publishing process more adeptly.
Julia Ballard, Wiley Senior Manager, Society Marketing shares, “The size of the audience (almost 200!) and quality of the discussion confirmed the need in the research community for more information and a better understanding about the publishing process.”
We hear you. Recognizing the need for support for early career researchers in their research publication process, we will be organizing a series of Wiley UniDays, inviting different experts across Australia to share their experiences and advice with you in the coming months.
Join us at these upcoming Wiley UniDays for more research publishing tips:
- The University of Melbourne-August 30th
- The University of Brisbane-September 12th
Want more information on these events? Leave us a comment below.
Image Credit: Finn Murphy