"Crafting a Research Paper for Publication:
Avoid Nuances of Rejections"


By

Dr. M M Bagali
PhD
Professor of Human Resource Management
Head, Research in Management
JAIN University
CMS Annex, # 319, JP Nagar, 6th Phase, 17th Cross, 25th Main,
Bangalore, India, 560078
 


Introduction:Publishing papers are part of researcher contribution, while understanding the nuances of the process smooth are the publishing ride. I am of the strong belief that, any scholar with 5-6 paper publication before defending the thesis work is the best contribution of the work. While crafting a research paper with clear thinking is a challenge, there are ways, how a research paper can be the better experience and first choice for publication editor. Here goes the 10 way to strike it right:

..1…… Review Process: Understand the journal scope and process followed.  Rejections happen because of manuscript- journal mission mismatch. This may include the style of presentation, length and word count, critical review points, result presentation, citation, referencing, et al., while journal with high impact and ranked specify the specification.

..2…… Have a Focus and Direction: Clarify in your mind, what's the purpose of the paper. Is it Research paper; Technical paper; Conceptual paper; Case study; Literature review; Commentaries; Diagnoses; Colloquium or General paper?

..3…… Title matters: Crafting title of the paper will catch attention, interest and larger audience reading it. The editor will decide on title what the paper is all about and should it be taken to next level. Infact, it talks about the entire paper nature. Avoid jargons in title.

..4…… Abstract: Write the statement of the paper purpose- the big idea, since abstract is a succinct summary of the entire document. What's that central message of the article?  Report the essential facts, and be understandable with reference to the longer piece of the work. In next 20-30 lines of abstract, describe the design, methodology and approach adopted, the findings with numbers and facts.  Avoid general statements and quotations. The abstract also carry the implications of the results- be it academic; research or societal. End the abstract with the value- what's newness in the paper and whom is it benefitting, along with 5-7 key words, specific to the theme of the work. When goggle online searches, your key words should appear, thus, your paper. Arrange them alphabetically.

..5…… Introduction: Open with a strong point- surprise to readers, your idea, your views and your understanding about the entire concept in the next few sentences. Bring numbers, study references, well know author/ researchers study findings, and try match - correlate your ideas and theirs, and quickly tell, what's new in your papers / study. Have headings and sub - headings. Review the previous 5 years of study/ work, gaps identified and addressed, and bring studies reported in the best 12-15 journals across globe, in your subject. Communicate how your study can be translated into action and can be tested in the real world of business and community. Give a sense not just of the ground you will cover but of how the logic will flow. Illustrate your view points with real-world examples or provide one extended, detailed example.

..6…… Methodology: The uniqueness of the approach followed in the study catches Chief Editor's attention. Define, describe, and discuss how unique is your methodology, while the objectives of the study are addressed. Describe the sampling format followed, and why, the tools used, and the statistically relevance format, including the scope and the limitations of the study. The complexity of exhibits should be as low as possible.

..7…… Implications: How will the research work results impact on Business, Enterprise, or Scientific World? What structural and Organisational changes should be made as a result of your work?  What will be economic or commercial impact because of your outcome of the results and the recommendations coming out? Focus on Academic- Research- Societal impact, and at what level, per se, with the future work that can be extended.

..8…… Manuscript Requirements: Do check the guideline for any relevant requirements in terms of format, fonts, table and figure including graphs presentation, length and words specifications, title requirements, acknowledgements, key words, headings (some specify the requirements), notes, end notes, footnotes, illustrations, referencing style (the latest to be mentioned), use of Roman or Arabic numerical, the copyright, where possible, and the like.

..9…… Get Internal Pre Review: Excited to send the first paper, good, but have an internal review edit from your collogues or someone with good research background and English, and attention for details. It refines your paper and any grammar and spelling errors can be prevented and corrected, unnecessary words and sentence can be omitted. Have Plagiarism check before you send it finally. Don't miss to have strong covering letter, communication your intention and contribution of paper sent to the Editor. Take care of- Introductory framing – Actual content and – Style of writing?

..10…… Last Word: Your paper should address- What don't we know that we should?  Introduce a novel perspective to an existing problem, And at the same time, detailed ideas for further research that may be undertaken. Few other tit-bits includes:  Provide your questionnaire / tools used with the paper; clear description of missing links or anomaly identified; various levels of interventions adopted; communicate new concepts, fresh conclusions in the paper and practical applicability. Avoid complex language, dense sentences, repetitions, and technical terms.

Further, in terms of citations and references, there are ways to present it- be it from books; books chapter; Published – Unpublished Conference proceedings; Working papers; Newspaper; or Electronic sources.

I am sure, any paper should balance the literature and the matter in the paper, and could be: 15 % of Introduction; 30 % of Methodology; 40 % of Discussion and Conclusion, including Suggestions and Model / Theory development proposition; and 15% focusing on Further Work, Reference, including the Questionnaire and Tools to be appended.

There is no Cookie-Cutter template. What matters is the paper should change our understanding and a fresh relook.  Lots of Publications come with lots of Rejections…. "Don't Panic, remember - Sholay movie dint run for the first 90 days of the release, and rest is History".
 


Dr. M M Bagali
PhD
Professor of Human Resource Management
Head, Research in Management
JAIN University
CMS Annex, # 319, JP Nagar, 6th Phase, 17th Cross, 25th Main,
Bangalore, India, 560078
 

Source: E-mail July 22, 2015

          

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