Academic Articles - Is the Distinction Worth the Effort?

by Sheri_Oz

Do you want professional credibility? Are you an expert in a particular aspect of your field? Then it may be worth your while to write for publication in academic journals.

Publishing in a peer-reviewed journal is a kind of stamp-of-approval professionally. Not everyone will agree with your ideas, but no one can say you don't have something valuable to offer. With a few publications on your resume you impress potential employees.

Also, having a list of publications in your resume will also help you get invited to present lectures at conferences and one-day conventions.

Finally, writing papers helps you to develop your own area of expertise.

What's Involved in Getting a Manuscript Accepted for Publication?

Academic journals that are highly regarded involve a peer review process. Manuscripts submitted for publication are sent out to two or three respected professionals in your field who read and report on the merits of your paper for publication in that particular journal. They will make recommendations for outright rejection, provisional acceptance or immediate acceptance.

Generally, rejections are accompanied by invaluable suggestions for change and improvement. When I first began submitting articles, I sent the out to the most prestigious journals of the time. Rejections were inevitable but the comments I got helped me rewrite in such a way that when I submitted to a lower-level (but still respected) journal, my articles were usually accepted as is.

Now I am a reviewer and I try to be as helpful to writers as reviewers were for me. Here is my guide for getting your articles published

If It's So Much Work to Publish an Academic Article, Why Bother?

First Reason to Publish Papers in Your Field of Expertise

Client Referrals

Having a list of academic papers in a peer-reviewed clinical journal helped me get onto a client referral list with a local organization even though at that time I had less clinical experience than many of my colleagues. Perhaps in your field of expertise that would mean getting invited to submit proposals for lucrative projects.

Please note, however, I was already developing expertise in an area others were not then touching and that gave me an added edge.

Second Reason to Invest the Effort to Publish Your Manuscript

Invitations to Present Your Ideas at Professional Meetings.

Having a list of publications in your resume will help you get invited to present lectures at conferences and one-day conventions. Then you add these presentations to your resume,
and your professional reputation grows exponentially.

Moreover, attending conferences and giving lectures or conducting workshops are an excellent way to expand your professional network and your referral sources.

Third Reason to Write Academic Articles in Your Field of Expertise

Makes You a Leader in Your Field

Writing papers helps you to develop your own area of expertise. In order to write, you must keep up with contemporary research and position papers in the academic journals as well as
develop some of your own unique ideas to contribute to the field. The intellectual challenge keeps you fresh and new and continually regenerating yourself, staying a few steps ahead of others around you.

After some time, others working in the field but not publishing look to you to set the pace, to teach something new, to push the frontiers a bit..

A Useful Article on Academic Writing for Publication

Read How to Write Publishable Academic Articles to find out how to structure, research and write up the article in a way that will increase its chances of success with professional reviewers.

Updated: 01/26/2015, Sheri_Oz
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Sheri_Oz on 04/07/2013

Well, you're sure making up or it now, eh!

BrendaReeves on 04/07/2013

This is information I could have used while working in the field of special education. It never occurred to me to write in my field. Thanks for the article.

Sheri_Oz on 01/17/2013

Yes, Tolovaj, I am aware that there are some journals that request the author pay to have their article published. Many academicians have research grants that allow them to do so. However, I do not and when I have written the editor saying that I do not work in a organization that can apply for research grants, they will consider publication without me having to pay. On the other hand, there are enough high quality journals that never ask the authors to pay for publication, but only for reprints. These days, nobody needs reprints since there are ecopies.

I like your idea of dedicating the article to a respected professional that can get your article higher up in the waiting list. Never thought of that.

Tolovaj on 01/17/2013

In my late school years I also learned a trick or two about publishing in chemistry journals. For instance there is always a waiting list but this can be shortened if you dedicate an article to respected 'big boss of chemistry' who works in the same field and has some sort of jubilee... And there is one more thing. Journals are not from yesterday. They know how much is the publication worth and instead of paying to authors they want to be payed from them...
I guess everything has its pros and cons.

Sheri_Oz on 09/28/2012

Yes, that's part of the honour that comes with expertise - taking part in ensuring the quality of papers that are accepted for publication.

Sheri_Oz on 09/28/2012

It's something more people not connected with universities could aim to do to enhance their professional visibility. I know it certainly helped me.

JoHarrington on 09/28/2012

This is really useful to know. Back in the day, I did some admin. work for a Dean. She was always being sent journal articles to review. Being young and foolish then, I never thought to ask why. Now I know!

sheilamarie on 09/28/2012

Publishing in a respected journal is a badge in a way because in order to get your article published, you need to do a great deal of research and have something of value to contribute. It's no wonder that these are the people being asked to present at conferences.
Nice article, Sheri.

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