How to get published in an academic journal?

Getting published in an academic journal is highly appreciable. Especially, those who are aiming at pursuing a Ph.D. must need a publication with a relevant topic. But, it’s a challenging journey to get published in an academic journal. Even if you overcome the primary jump and create a valuable thought or piece of research- how do you then organize it according to the reviewer’s comment?

There’s no straightforward equation for getting published – editors’ desires can change both between and inside subject ranges. A few challenges that will stand up to all scholarly writers notwithstanding of their discipline. Some of my articles were published during my undergrad study. Once it was tough, gradually I realized the editor’s choice. I would like to share how to publish an article in an academic journal based on my experiences.


Choose a simple idea:

Most undergrad students become stressed with thinking about a serious and hard topic. It does not work in this way! You should take a topic as simple as possible. Just think out of the box, and find a unique topic that you have the ability to do research on. You will be amazed knowing that lots of Ph.D. applicants convinced professors by a “simple” publication. It is not necessary to follow a costly, complex, and burdensome process. Rather, you can follow an affordable technique.


Start with blogging:

Before going to the formal academic journal, you can start with academic blogging. There are hundreds of academic blogging sites that publish scholarly pieces of articles. These blogs are generally operated by senior university students such as Ph.D. students. Usually, it takes less time to publish an article than in a formal academic journal. Though it can’t be said academically as acceptable as a journal, some of these are highly worthy and qualified in the academic community. Here is the list of such blogs that publish articles written by undergraduate or graduate students:

  1. Harvard International Review
  2. OxPol
  3. Voice of International Affairs
  4. Atlas Institute for International Affairs
  5. IFAIR
  6. Open Global Right
  7. Modern Diplomacy
  8. South Asian Voice
  9. Strife blog
  10. Restless Development

And there are chances to work as an editorial assistant, copy editor, and writer if you can engage with the team. The chart below provides the increased rate of student-run journals.

The exponential growth of student-run journals from 1995 to 2015 Source: Science Editor

According to the study, such student-run journals have a high potential to improve the quality of future publications.


Follow a logical articulation:

Most undergraduate students fail to publish their articles because they don’t follow logical articulation, and allocate relevant theoretical concepts and research methodology. It’s great that you have picked a unique and actual topic. But you have to consider previous research and theories in this field to substantiate your findings. Because an undergraduate level student is generally considered a novice researcher. So, your articulation should be theoretically sound and methodologically well-organized. You should go through basic books on research methodology such as Earl Babbie’s The Practice of Social Research, Bryman’s Social Research Method, etc. Here is a basic structure to follow:

How to get published in an academic journal

The basic structure of a research article

For example, if you are wondering to find a solution to social misconceptions about transgender communities, you should decide which methodology (e.g. qualitative or quantitative) will be suitable for this topic, who will be the respondents, and what will be the sample size. Finally, include the basic discussions such as literature review, findings, conclusions, references, etc.


Focus on your ability

It’s a common mistake that an undergraduate student does. In fact, I was also raunchy thinking of publishing my article at the very beginning. I was nervous about doing research based on secondary data. I was afraid of thinking that secondary data-based research might be less credible or less acceptable. I shared my idea with one of my teachers, he confided me saying that there is a lot of research based on secondary data. It’s also a sphere of research. My first publication was also on the basis of secondary data. As such, you can find your ability. If you cannot afford to collect primary data, you can choose a topic that can be done on secondary data. If you don’t have a fund to manage the laboratory, you can alternate it with secondary data.


Share and collaborate

You can find a co-researcher or co-author who is also interested in research. You can also work as a research assistant, co-researcher, or co-author. The best starting is working with a senior, teacher, or mentor. Some of you might have a painful experience that they impose loads of work. But, it improves your knowledge. Once you worked as a co-researcher, you got several experiences of research, which will help you in the next work. Sometimes, a shared study has chances to reach different views which helps to find the anti-thesis of a logic. It’s highly appreciated in research.


Research means searching again!

There are thousands of topics to research. The wise way to publish your research in an academic journal is by editing it again and again before submission. As more you edit and review your article yourself, it will definitely develop. By reviewing, you can understand ins and outs of your article. You can decide what to accommodate and what to erase. The irrelevant discussion has more possibility to be rejected.


Find the appropriate journal

And the final and crucial step is to choose the right journal for the topic. You have to be confirmed that you are submitting your article in such a journal that covers the topic. Sending an article to an irrelevant journal is a complete waste of time. You can find the journal by searching on Google. Here are some of the journals that publish articles by undergraduate students:

  1. Midwest Journal of Undergraduate Research
  2. Journal of Undergraduate Research
  3. Crossing Borders: A Multidisciplinary Journal of Undergraduate Scholarship
  4. American Journal of Undergraduate Research
  5. Undergraduate Research Journal

And it is very important to read submission guidelines in detail. Check reference style, word count, structure, font, etc. according to the guideline. And now, submit and wait for the editorial response, it takes a few months or weeks generally. Best wishes!

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