Transcript - So You Want to Publish in a Scholarly Journal: Here's How - Sep 2019

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So You Want to Publish in a Scholarly Journal: Here's How (A CFE Webinar)

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>>         CFE:  Hello and welcome today's session, So You Want to Publish in a Scholarly Journal: Here Is How.  Today's session was originally presented at the Walden faculty meeting in Maryland. Dr. Seidman is here with us again today.  He is a professor emeritus in the Richard W Riley College of education and leadership.  He is also an editor of the Journal of College Student Retention: Research, Theory and Practice.  I will now turn things over to Dr. Seidman.


>>         DR. ALAN SEIDMAN:  Thank you very much, I am glad to be here.  A little bit about myself.  I have been with Walden since 2004.  I have been a contributing faculty member, I have been a core faculty member and I have been faculty emeritus.  I am the creator and editor of the scholarly refereed journal of College student retention: research theory and practice.  My passion lies in college student retention.  This is in the 20th year and it is quarterly.  We publish 6-8 articles per issue.  It is here and anonymous reviewed.  It has a selectivity rate of 19%.  That is the article sent into those published.  And it is a SAGE publication.


What I hope you will get out of this webinar today is we will look at different types of journals., Discuss the preparation of a manuscript.  Review the journal selection process.  And also discuss if you have your journal manuscript accepted or rejected.  Do not worry if you get a journal article rejected, I have probably had 15 rejected for each one accepted.


This question simply says, "I hope you're ready for some unsolicited and shortsighted advice."  I hope you do not find this information shortsighted and I hope it will inspire you to publish in a scholarly journal.


Many people have not published any articles in a journal.  There are many people that have done 1-2.  N3-five.  Those of you who are looking at this webinar now, if you have published six or more scholarly journals, you do not have to watch the rest of this but if you want to come of course you can and you could help inspire those who have not published.  And help those who have published up to five articles.


One of the best reasons publish in a scholarly journal is to promote Walden University Walden University's reputation is known by the professors and the students.  Most colleges and universities are judged by their faculty and the number of publications they do publish.  A lot of universities count for tenure and promotion, the number of journal articles that are published.  Once again, it can contribute to the educational community.  It can help if you are seeking another position at a college or university.  And it really advances knowledge and practice in the field.  One of the things I like to talk about is co-authoring with our dissertation students.  We have so many students that publish really good dissertations that produce some really good dissertations.  I encourage all my students to publish an article off their dissertations.  I tell them if they need help I am happy to co-author with them as the second author.  It is their dissertation and their study and they would be the first author but I am helping them form it into an article.


That is something I always encourage my students to do.  Unfortunately, I have only had one out of the number of students I have worked through with their dissertation, and that is fine.  Hopefully, we give them the tools to be able to do it in the future if they desire.


Some ways to identify journals.  One is through the Walden library.  You can see the URL where you can find the Walden library.  What they can do is they have a listing of all the journals that are scholarly, that are refereed, and it is important you look at those types.  You can also check with your colleagues.  Probably the number one area you can find journals that are best for you is your professional associations.  Almost all of us belong to professional associations and almost all of those associations have journals.  Most of those journals are highly selective and are scholarly.  Of course, you can take a look at your professional association journals and refer back to the Walden library to see if it is considered a publication that is highly selective and scholarly.


Selectivity is an interesting topic.  It usually is judged by the number of published versus number of received.  The journal is referenced in other journals.  In other words if the articles are referenced in other journals, that is a good thing for the journal.  There's also something called the impact factor, what kind of an impact does it have on, let's say, the educational community for the Journal of College retention, research theory and practice.  We are currently in the second quartile and we will hopefully move it up to the first quartile.  Being published in a selective journal demonstrates the quality of your research.


Refereed articles are done either anonymously or not anonymously.  Anonymous review is without the names of the authors.  In other words, most journal review systems are online.  The information about who the author is and where they are from is usually separated from the actual article.  A reviewer is reviewing them without the name of the authors.  Not refereed is usually up to the editor or editorial staff.  Some journals have large editorial staffs who actually do the reviews.  Some of them have 35-36.  In my journal, I have an editorial board that does not review any articles.  They are there to answer questions that I might have about a specific article or special issue we are going to do or something of that nature.  And I have about 190 reviewers.  Reviewers review up to three articles a year for me.


Not refereed is also a hot topic or special issue where they are invited reviews.  That is, there might be a topic on -- we had a special on community college retention.  And someone hosted that, was the guest editor, and invited about 6-7 people in the field to do articles.  So that is what we call a hot topic or special issue.


Do not be intimidated by the process.  A lot of people get intimidated because they see it as a process that seems long, difficult -- and a lot of people are afraid to take that first step to write.  A lot of people get writers block.  But the thing to do is to work through that, and you can always work with a co-author to help you with that.


A lot of people think they are not smart enough or they have a fear of rejection.  As I said, I have probably had 15 articles rejected for the one that was accepted.  And a lot of times, you can revise your article and either submit it to the same journal or to a different journal.


Getting ready to submit.  I highly encourage everybody to get a copy of the journal.  You will submit your article -- to. Read an article.  See what the page links are, see what the writing style is like and please, please, please read instructions to authors.  I require APA sixth ed., but just like Walden I have some variations from it.  The APA -- seventh is coming out in the fall of 2019.  We are still using the sixth edition and it will probably have a six month transition period until requirement of the seventh.


I require figures and tables to be inserted in text where they belong.  A lot of places will put -- place table 1 here, place figure 1 here.  That is something I do not do.  I want the table and figure where it should be.  If people do not read the instruction to authors, which allot to not, they have to go back and do it and it takes time for them to do it and it delays them getting it reviewed for publication.


This cartoon says, "We loved all the words in your manuscript, but we were wondering if you could maybe put them in a completely different order."  We hope that does not happen to you.


Make sure that the topic when you are writing fits with the journal.  That is very important.  Obviously, if mine is college student retention and I get something on economics of the worldview of XYZ, it is not fit for the journal.  The title should be descriptive of the contents.  Make sure your abstract is excellent.  And that you worked very hard on it.  Because that is what we read first.  And if the abstract hooks the editors and the reviewers, that is a positive.  You know that Walden is anal compulsive with abstracts for dissertation students and you should be the same when working on yours.  Think about co-authors, there's nothing wrong -- you do get credit for authoring an article, especially if you are the first author.


Have your manuscript reviewed by an editor, and APA editor would be very helpful.  Write and rewrite and make it perfect.  There are so many times I look at a manuscript, and you can tell it is either a first or second draft.  Use the current APA manual.  I don't know how many times I send back manuscripts to be redone because they did not left justify.  The headings were not proper, etc.


Parts of the manuscript.  The cover page usually has the manuscript title.  The author.  And their contact information.  If it is submitted over the web, for anonymous review, it is usually removed or submitted separately.  In my case, with the journal I edit, this is what happens with our submissions.  The manuscript cover page is separated from the rest of the journal.


And then you have on the first pages, is the abstract.  It is very important to keep to the word account.  We have a word count for the Journal of College student retention and research theory and practice, of 150 words.  I cannot tell you how many times I get 175, 187 -- etc.  And it goes back to them to trim it down.


In the body of the manuscript, this looks similar to one of your students dissertations, you have the introduction: how it will add to the discourse.  The literature review, which will be very much truncated because a dissertation might be 150-250 pages, and your article is usually not going to be more than 36 pages because once it gets to be 40-45, it is more like a chapter than an article.  With the literature review, you are going to get the major articles, the seminal and recent ones.  Of course, you'll put a theoretical foundation, but you are not going to be talking paragraphs, pages about it -- you might put a paragraph about it.  That is the same with the data collection results; do not worry if your results are negative.  Most research and most dissertations, the results are negative whether or not significant.  That is fine and it adds to the discourse and to the literature.


Of course, you have a discussion, the conclusions and the limitations.  The reference list should be as recent as possible.  I've had manuscripts where the latest date of a reference was eight years old.  That get sent back saying that you have to have much more recent literature.


Make it as easy as possible for the editor when you are going to submit.  Read the instructions to authors.  I said that three times earlier and I am doing it again.  Submit the manuscript in the format requested.  I require my manuscripts to be in Word , and do not submit it in PDF because it will just get sent back.  Many times I will request additional information or I have an inquiry of a person -- make sure you respond promptly.  Really do that.  It is very important because you do not want to hold up your manuscript.  We really want to put it through to see if it qualifies for our journals.


After the submission, the number one question, is it appropriate for the Journal?  Probably the most important things to determine that is reading the abstract.  Then you read the introduction.  You read the introduction to see if it is in compliance with the abstract, the abstract says X and hopefully so does the introduction.  Then you usually look at the last paragraph, which is usually the conclusion, and you look -- or the limitations -- and you see if it ties everything together.  I take a cursory look at the adherence to APA, and I look at the reference list to see how updated they are and many times I count to see how many are in the past five years.  Almost importantly, will it advanced knowledge or practice in the field?  This is even before the reviewers look at it.


The editor at that point will either accept, have you make changes, or reject it.


Do not argue with the editor on what the editor asks you to do or says about your manuscript before the reviewers even look at it -- it will get you nowhere.  If anything, you do not want to get the editor mad or upset, because when you do resubmit, that could be a negative against you.  So I want to really tell you, do not argue with the editor.


After submission, your manuscript has been accepted for review.  Respond to any editor requests, be patient.  I have a lot of reviewers, I have 190 reviewers.  And some are spot on and will have it done in the five week time, and some will take longer.  The reviewer lateness is beyond my control.  What I do is when they are one or two days late I send them an email asking them to please get the review done because I cannot make a decision without it.  If I have someone who is continually late on reviews after they have accepted it and said they would do it, I will remove them from my reviewer list.  I want people in most Journal editors want people that will adhere to the timeline, especially if they volunteered and accepted the review.  Always be respectful of the editor.


After review, you got a rejection.  He did the remarks of the reviewers.  Never ever ever take it personally.  The reviewers do not know you, especially if it is an-- added anonymous review.  They do not know you, do not complained to the editor, you can ask if you can revise and submit.  I've had people say to me that they got torn apart by the reviewers and I do appreciate what they said.  I have looked at it and, yes, I would like to revise it and use their comments and resubmit, can I do that?  I say, absolutely.  Revise it, send it back in, it will go through the same review process, but with different reviewers plate so I have had people do that.


If it is accepted, celebrate.  He'd remarks of the reviewers make revisions as indicated.  I have been an editor of a journal for 21 years and there may have been only 4-5 manuscripts that needed no revisions whatsoever.  Normally, you will have to make some kind of revision.  And you will have to meet all the deadlines.  I give four weeks to revise a manuscript.  If it gets too late it gets archived, if it gets too late or too long before you put it in it will get updated and not published.


Do not be surprised if the print publication is not for a year or more.  Journal editors have to have at least a year of articles ready to go just in case we do not get a lot of articles for some reason.  A lot of articles published online first.  For my journal, we do publish online first fairly soon after the proofs are sent back by the author.


Of course, you'll be asked to submit a copyright form, a signed copyright form.  This form does not take away your right to use your work.  A lot of authors get that confused that it is taking away their right to use their own work.  It does not do that but it does give the right of your publication to the publisher, and that allows control for other people who want to use your work.


While waiting for publication, update your contact information if it changes.  Everything that I have is online.  So if your contact information changes, and proofs are sent to you at the wrong address, you are not going to be able to check the proofs, make the updates, and send it in on the timeline being met.  So make sure you are current with your address and contact information.


This cartoon says, "I didn't say I think you're onto something, Nagel, I said I think you are on something."  I love that cartoon and I thought it makes it really interesting when you're looking at the papers in front of them.


When published, you should receive a copy of the Journal when they do the print.  Some publishers will ask if you want reprints of just the article, and they may charge you.  On your vita takeoff in press, celebrate, tell everybody.  Become a manuscript reviewer, you've just gone through an interesting process of writing, review, revising, getting published -- why not be a manuscript reviewer?  It is a good thing for you to do.  It usually counts for promotion and tenure as something you are giving back to the educational community.  To be a reviewer for my journal, you have to have an earned doctorate because then I know you've gone to the dissertation process and you have had to have published at least one scholarly article.


Of course, then think about your next submission.


There are a lot of writing resources you can use at the writing center.  This is a new function I am told they currently do -- you can check with the library in your particular school or college.  Each college and school does have a librarian and a writing person assigned to them.


Hopefully this will happen to you once they publish your article.  It says, "The article you posted last night struck a cord around the world, united all factions, and basically alter the course of humanity."


I would like to thank everybody for coming to listen to me today.  And I hope that you have gained a lot out of this webinar, and always remember what Seidman says, do not make it harder than it really is.



End Transcript

Webinar and Transcript Provided by Center for Faculty Excellence at Walden University