Seven Lessons from a Novice on getting published

Shailesh Rana_Web800
Shailesh Rana, Doctoral Candidate DBA USA 2012

It seemed to me like a wishful thinking …or at least a really daunting task having your work recognized in a reputed journal and publish your FIRST article….yes, with your own name as an “author”! In this post Shailesh Rana (Doctoral Candidate DBA USA 2013) explains how he just happened to pass that hurdle last month, and shares some of his experiences, which may be useful to you as an ardent academician hovering over your thesis every day, dreaming it to be complete SOON!

As I reflect over the past year going through the process of publishing, I have discovered a few mantras that I am sharing below, in no particular order:

  1. Input = Output. If you have really put in all your efforts, then I am pleased to report that a publication is within your reach; could be an arm, or a two away, depending on how much time you have to put towards it. This is so crucial. Reflect, Expand, Revise…Reflect, Expand, Revise…Let this cycle continue for a long length of time……..and learn to enjoy it!

2. Your Supervisor or your co-author is that binding glue between your work and the desired recognition of your work in the journal. These variables are invariably related — you, your supervisor, and any co-authors — with a positive and statistically very significant and strong relationship!

Applied Economics

3. When you realize that you need to rewrite some parts of your article (maybe you found new literature, or new methodology that you have to incorporate, or any other reason…), be open to rewrite a new draft, or take a new turn, even if it could mean a lot of work, and cleaning the slate and rewriting something new altogether. You may be totally drained out of energy and running out of that creative juice in you, but…as soon as you make a little progress on the new path, your creative juice will double, and you will cherish the revised version. In other words, be ready to make small detours en route!

 4. After you submit your article to a journal, you will most likely get a referee report, with a status (hopefully) “Revise and Resubmit”. Do not panic, this is normal. I hear that most of the articles submitted in good journals come back with referees’ suggestions for a resubmit . This doesn’t mean you lost the battle. It only means that the professionals are giving you more tools to sharpen your product for perfection. Embrace this opportunity!

5. How you resubmit your article could be more important than how you submitted it the first time. Now you have a real chance to talk to the reviewers directly and convince them that you know your stuff, and you are thankful for their review, and that you have answered and explored all their questions and concerns. Answer in detail.

6. Read the requirements of the journal very very carefully, and make sure you meet all of them. Otherwise, you will be wasting time and you just do not have that extra time on hand. Also make sure that you read a few sample articles of the journal you are submitting your article to. This will get you acquainted with the format and the writing style of the journal, and you will feel more comfortable.

7. Relevance and Rigor are the two flags that will navigate your ship toward getting your manuscript published! This is the mantra above all others. As you will remember, the first articles that we read on a doctoral program, began with these two mega-words, and all of our works as academicians should reflect these two elements in the highest order. Your work is only considered if it has a novel contribution to the area of study…and this contribution should be supported with a strong base of research components, specifically your literature review, research question(s), methodology, robustness of results, among other things.

Hope this was useful to you.  I have listed the link to my published article below for your reference…any feedback is welcome!

Wider Benefits

Shailesh’s article.

I felt that having a publication while still in doctoral school definitely strengthened my skillset and made me more confident in my academic journey; my research being accepted meant that there was novelty found in my contribution, with a potential to impact current work being done in the area. Further, I believe it can help one in applying for a new academic position, a new research position, or simply solidifying one’s current employment.

While the publication itself strengthened my skills portfolio, the rigorous process of publication also refined my skills as a writer. I had to frequently adjust my vision to see my writing from various angles…sometimes taking a closer look to see the details, and sometimes from a distance to see the big picture. I feel this act of re-balancing the focal point is an important skill to possess, and should help me further with my dissertation. Last but not least, it did teach me patience…to wait….with an air of optimism.

To sum up: with my experience, I am convinced that if your manuscript encompasses all the essential elements of research, coupled with a novel taste of contribution to current literature (both of which are solidified by collaborative synergies working with supervisor/co-authors), then your manuscript has a STRONG potential to be published in a reputed journal. Good luck in your endeavor!





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