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Publishing Academic Papers
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Alpharius Offline
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Publishing Academic Papers
This might be better suited for the lifestyle forum, but I figured I'd try it here. Anyone have any experience publishing a paper?

I'm curious as to how exactly one goes about getting published by a peer reviewed journal. How lengthy of a process is it? How much editing work needs to be done? Can you submit your work to more than one journal? I imagine it's not a carefree process (at least I hope not). Can anyone shed some light on this for me?

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12-30-2013 06:59 PM
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Edmund Dantes Offline
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RE: Publishing Academic Papers
Contact Giovonny. He used to be a professor.
12-30-2013 07:26 PM
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Menace Offline
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RE: Publishing Academic Papers
I'm familiar with the process for scientific papers; humanities journals will likely have different protocols. Generally this happens through a university setting, and your PI/supervisor (or rather his secretary) will take care of everything. Most journal websites will have the requirements. You write your paper in the format required by the journal. There are submission fees (you pay). Extra for color pages. Assuming it passes the first screen (it has to be interesting enough) it will go out to typically two reviewers who are familiar with the field (they may be your competitors). They will review the paper and say accept, accept with changes (could be minor or major), or reject. I think if it's one accept and one reject the editor is the tie breaking vote. There is no appeal from rejection; you can either do more work and re-submit, or submit to another journal.

You cannot ethically submit the identical work to more than one journal (i.e. journal shop). It may be considered plagiarism if you do so (yes you can plagiarize yourself). Review turnaround time really varies, depending on the journal. Generally on the order of 2-6 months (peer review is a volunteer effort not paid work). I think the better journals tend to have lengthier times. It goes without saying that you need to have a well written paper and the commensurate research. I have several peer reviewed papers published (it's not really that big a deal). I know others with many many more.
(This post was last modified: 12-30-2013 08:10 PM by Menace.)
12-30-2013 08:08 PM
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Alpharius Offline
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RE: Publishing Academic Papers
(12-30-2013 08:08 PM)Menace Wrote:  I'm familiar with the process for scientific papers; humanities journals will likely have different protocols. Generally this happens through a university setting, and your PI/supervisor (or rather his secretary) will take care of everything. Most journal websites will have the requirements. You write your paper in the format required by the journal. There are submission fees (you pay). Extra for color pages. Assuming it passes the first screen (it has to be interesting enough) it will go out to typically two reviewers who are familiar with the field (they may be your competitors). They will review the paper and say accept, accept with changes (could be minor or major), or reject. I think if it's one accept and one reject the editor is the tie breaking vote. There is no appeal from rejection; you can either do more work and re-submit, or submit to another journal.

You cannot ethically submit the identical work to more than one journal (i.e. journal shop). It may be considered plagiarism if you do so (yes you can plagiarize yourself). Review turnaround time really varies, depending on the journal. Generally on the order of 2-6 months (peer review is a volunteer effort not paid work). I think the better journals tend to have lengthier times. It goes without saying that you need to have a well written paper and the commensurate research. I have several peer reviewed papers published (it's not really that big a deal). I know others with many many more.

Thanks a ton! Thanks for clarifying that it's a matter of submit, edit, resubmit. Do you think it's been beneficial in your career to publish research if you don't plan on working within the realm of academia?

If you are going to impose your will on the world, you must have control over what you believe.

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12-30-2013 08:20 PM
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Menace Offline
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RE: Publishing Academic Papers
Marginally beneficial. However, it is more or less required that you publish during your PhD. In fact it is to your benefit because you turn each paper into a thesis chapter, which makes writing the thesis a hell of a lot easier. It is vital if you want to get an academic position (but even tons of papers are not sufficient in and of themselves).
12-30-2013 08:22 PM
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Alpharius Offline
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RE: Publishing Academic Papers
(12-30-2013 08:22 PM)Menace Wrote:  Marginally beneficial. However, it is more or less required that you publish during your PhD. In fact it is to your benefit because you turn each paper into a thesis chapter, which makes writing the thesis a hell of a lot easier. It is vital if you want to get an academic position (but even tons of papers are not sufficient in and of themselves).

That sounds like a fiendishly awesome way to fill a curriculum vitae with a certain focus. How common is it for people to do that?

Is it worth it to pay to be published in online databases?
Do masters degree students ever publish anything, or just PhD students?

If you are going to impose your will on the world, you must have control over what you believe.

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12-30-2013 10:40 PM
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RE: Publishing Academic Papers
Great place to start...

http://call-for-papers.sas.upenn.edu/
12-31-2013 12:38 AM
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Odiseus Offline
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RE: Publishing Academic Papers
Are you aiming to spend your life in academics? Publish or perish.

Otherwise I wouldn´t bother, it´s a ruthless world, it´s not worth my energy.

As an example, I know a PhD student who was going to publish a paper, and after months of work on it a bigger fish just took the paper and published it himself. He took all the credit without even mentioning the poor guy who had done the real job. The student couldn´t do anything to defend himself, he was nobody. Do you want to fight in that battlefield for your name on a pdf nobody is even going to read?

A couple of papers would look great on a CV though. I´ve heard of some people who published during their masters thesis, but you need the connections, time and luck. I could have tried to do the same during my masters, but the ROI wasn´t big enough in my humble opinion.
(This post was last modified: 01-05-2014 07:25 AM by Odiseus.)
01-05-2014 07:24 AM
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Mentavious Offline
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RE: Publishing Academic Papers
Good thread. I published or should I say co-published a paper while in graduate school. For those in PH.D programs and even Masters this is a MUST.

I say co author because there is almost always a senior professor or faculty member who will help you out it together and"validate" that this research is legit. Even if you do 90% of your work it is still important that you have a co author.

It also depends which field in science you are going into as to how many papers you will complete. I was only able to get two done for my engineering program while others in microbiology were able to get 2-3 done.
There's also papers reviewed by peers, scientific research, and conference papers.

There's plenty of books out there to help you. Just head to your graduate department.

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01-05-2014 09:00 AM
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lowbudgetballer Offline
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RE: Publishing Academic Papers
Academia is organized crime. The hardest part of publishing is finding the right niche/journal for your work.

My background is humanities, where you just sort of find something you're interested and run with it. I heard an interview with Jim Morrison once where he said anything you learn in a liberal arts degree can be picked up on your own in a library.

You science guys can fill me in, but I'm under the impression that in science the research is done on the team- or department-level. I mixed with science people in Asia far more than in the US.

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01-05-2014 03:55 PM
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internationalscientist45 Offline
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RE: Publishing Academic Papers
I have published several papers and use my research as an excuse to get paid to do continuing education presentations at conferences (read as: "how to get someone else to pay for your mini-vacation" and the chance to go bang sales reps from the various companies who are there to try to sell their products as well as professionals and students). While peer review can take several months or more at higher end journals, with middle of the road ones you can hear back in a couple of months. In my opinion, the publication part of the process is much less of a pain in the ass than say the data entry and analysis part of it.

As lowbudgetballer pointed out, you can run into the issue of niche journals but that tends to be more of an issue in the humanities where you end with far more "camps" and competing takes on things (if you need an example of this, look at psychology and the Jung vs Freud camps in the history of it). In the "hard" sciences, not so much. Every field has a few to a couple of dozen journals that are reputable and worth bothering with.

It is much more of a team effort, especially when you start getting into "bench" science (micro, chem, physics) where you need a specialist in running each technique used, a statistician, then the department heads want in on the paper, etc. I guess I can county myself lucky that work for a small company (there are seven of us at the moment counting support staff like our secretaries) so the politics of who gets in on a paper is reduced.

Of course, you do run into petty squabbles between competing scientific research groups. I once was witness to a fist fight between two respected medical researchers in a bar in Stavanger, Norway. It started over the elder British scientist taking offense at something his younger American counterpart said about his work and the next thing you know the place looked like a scene from Roadhouse. The cops showed up and everyone ended up handcuffed out on the sidewalk outside until they sorted out who started the fight and who was just caught in the middle of it. I actually managed to get with the girl who was sitting next to me by making the comment that "Normally I don't like to see a girl in handcuffs until the end of the night but I am thinking about finding a new place to drink after this. Care to come with me?"

I say if you want to try to publish a paper, go for it. If you need someone to read over it and offer suggestions, feel free to send me a PM.
01-05-2014 05:17 PM
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lowbudgetballer Offline
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RE: Publishing Academic Papers
(01-05-2014 05:17 PM)internationalscientist45 Wrote:  I once was witness to a fist fight between two respected medical researchers in a bar in Stavanger, Norway. It started over the elder British scientist taking offense at something his younger American counterpart said about his work and the next thing you know the place looked like a scene from Roadhouse. The cops showed up and everyone ended up handcuffed out on the sidewalk outside until they sorted out who started the fight and who was just caught in the middle of it. I actually managed to get with the girl who was sitting next to me by making the comment that "Normally I don't like to see a girl in handcuffs until the end of the night but I am thinking about finding a new place to drink after this. Care to come with me?"

That's gold!

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01-05-2014 05:21 PM
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internationalscientist45 Offline
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RE: Publishing Academic Papers
(01-05-2014 05:21 PM)lowbudgetballer Wrote:  That's gold!

I used to jokingly refer to that as my "handcuff trick" (granted, only had the opportunity to use it that one time) but then one of my friends pointed out that John Wayne Gacy kind of ruined the use of that term. LOL
01-05-2014 05:48 PM
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Searcher Offline
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RE: Publishing Academic Papers
Publishing a paper can take years. Top scholarly journals certify and disseminate knowledge. It is only worth the headache if you are a researcher or professor in the field. But if you really want to waste your time, some journals will publish anything.
01-07-2014 12:02 PM
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Tyroc7 Offline
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RE: Publishing Academic Papers
I have published roughly a couple of dozen articles in social science journals. I have also served on editorial boards and as a peer reviewer. For social science journals you submit an article to the journal. The editor reviews it and if the article is decent it is sent to 2-4 experts on the topic. The experts or peers review the paper and tell the editor if the paper should be published, revised and resubmitted or rejected.

If you want to be an academic, especially at a research university publishing in peer reviewed journals is the name of the game in social science displines.

Publishing in peer reviewed journals is probably the best way to establish yourself as an expert on a particular topic. For example, let's say you develop some new methodology for conducting surveys. If you publish this in a leading survey research journal you will be considered an expert on this topic. Polling firms, market researchers and others who use survey research will seek you out for your expertise on this matter. Publishing in peer reviewed journals can be viewed as a form of marketing. It is a great way to let the world know about your ideas and to establish yourself as a credible expert.
(This post was last modified: 01-09-2014 10:39 PM by Tyroc7.)
01-09-2014 10:36 PM
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lowbudgetballer Offline
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RE: Publishing Academic Papers
(01-09-2014 10:36 PM)Tyroc7 Wrote:  I have published roughly a couple of dozen articles in social science journals.

Roughly a couple of dozen: that's sharp.

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01-09-2014 10:39 PM
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JohnKreese Offline
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RE: Publishing Academic Papers
One thing to keep in mind is the acceptance rates and general prestige of different journals. A simple internet search of "acceptance rate of journals" provided this for psychology journals: http://www.apa.org/pubs/journals/statistics.aspx

Sites likes this can provide pretty valuable information, depending on your field.

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01-09-2014 10:54 PM
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internationalscientist45 Offline
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RE: Publishing Academic Papers
(01-07-2014 12:02 PM)Searcher Wrote:  Publishing a paper can take years.

Only a handful of the absolute pinnacle journals (Nature, New England Journal of Medicine, JAMA, etc) take anywhere near that long. Even with those journals, if you are trying to submit crap or fluff articles, you'll get a negative response faster than an 600 lb chick trying to get into Roosh's pants. Most journals...the turnaround time from submission to acceptance or rejection is often six months or less and that is including if they need help with the editing process because English is not their strongest language (I help with this fairly frequently and actually have an acknowledgment in a paper due out this year on which I knew next to nothing about the subject. I helped polish it in exchange for a date with one of the authors the next time I am in Germany).

I will point out most of the journals that people submit to you get to suggest peer reviewers for your papers. This because the each journal generally covers such a broad topic that they want to know who is working in the field so they will have someone actually versed in the subject giving it the thumbs up or down. Because my particular field is so small (there are maybe two dozen people counting the "big names" who rule the field and the "small fish" like myself), there is kind of a joke that you can't do too big of a collaborative project otherwise you won't have anyone to peer review it or you will have an editor from the journal as a coauthor. So unlike in some aspects of medicine and the biomedical sciences where it is not uncommon to see 20, 30 or 40 authors on a paper, in my field it is rare to see more than four or six.

My most recent paper (currently under peer review) ended up at a decent journal where the chief editor once helped me get a grant to fund the research that led to this paper and two of the other editors provided advice on how to set up the database. Most of the other major options had, as members of the editorial board, one or both researchers that we are suggesting have what we are discussing named after them so there's a huge ethical issue to avoid.

Quote:But if you really want to waste your time, some journals will publish anything.

...and charge you through the nose to do it. Pick-up artistry isn't the only aspect of life where you run into problems with P4P, only in this case it's "pay for publication" although it is pretty much the academic career equivalent of the other definition for that acronym.

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01-10-2014 01:17 AM
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Tyroc7 Offline
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RE: Publishing Academic Papers
(01-07-2014 12:02 PM)Searcher Wrote:  Publishing a paper can take years. Top scholarly journals certify and disseminate knowledge. It is only worth the headache if you are a researcher or professor in the field. But if you really want to waste your time, some journals will publish anything.

Nowadays most reputable journals publish their articles on-line well before the articles appear in print. There are no space limitations for publishing articles on-line. Thus, the time for a paper to be published on-line can be well under a year. It may still take a while for the article to appear in print but I don't think this matters much to anyone.

If you are just starting to publish you'll want to focus on reputable journals as opposed to those that "..will publish anything." A good place to identify reputable journals (for the hard and social sciences anyway) is the Web of Science: the http://thomsonreuters.com/web-of-science/ Only journals with a certain number of citations will appear in their database. This of course works against new journals. But if you are just starting your publishing career you'll probably want to establish your bona fiides in the established journals first before venturing out to up and coming journals.
01-10-2014 10:25 AM
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ElJefe Offline
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RE: Publishing Academic Papers
Tyroc7, where have you published?

Are we talking AER, QJE, JPE here or what?

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01-10-2014 01:44 PM
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Tyroc7 Offline
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RE: Publishing Academic Papers
(01-10-2014 01:44 PM)ElJefe Wrote:  Tyroc7, where have you published?

Are we talking AER, QJE, JPE here or what?

I'm not an economist although I did publish one article the American Economic Review Papers and Proceeding, which I realize is not quite same as the "regular" AER.

For obvious reasons I'm not going to list my CV but I publish in policy related journals like the American Journal of Public Health or Housing Policy Debate.
01-10-2014 02:27 PM
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JohnKreese Offline
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RE: Publishing Academic Papers
(01-10-2014 02:27 PM)Tyroc7 Wrote:  
(01-10-2014 01:44 PM)ElJefe Wrote:  Tyroc7, where have you published?

Are we talking AER, QJE, JPE here or what?

I'm not an economist although I did publish one article the American Economic Review Papers and Proceeding, which I realize is not quite same as the "regular" AER.

For obvious reasons I'm not going to list my CV but I publish in policy related journals like the American Journal of Public Health or Housing Policy Debate.
Here is an excellent breakdown of Econ journals time to review, review style, acceptance rates, and countries of origin

http://uafs.edu/sites/default/files/COB/...Order).pdf

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01-10-2014 03:31 PM
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