Although publication of an academic paper, for which you have been slaving over for weeks, months, or even years, is a significant accomplishment, ensuring that your paper gets noticed by the broader community is much more difficult. Only when your study gets proper attention, it will be cited by others, thus increasing the impact of your research.
Thankfully, there are several smaller steps that you can take to ensure that your paper gets the right amount of notice and is easily consumed and thought-provoking for your readers. We suggest using the following tips over the course of writing and editing your paper, as well as providing yourself sufficient time to collate data and re-writing the content where possible.
Begin with a Specific Objective
To convey the importance of your study, both a clear abstract and title are important. If your abstract conveys the objective of your study, it will help the reader determine whether the study is relevant to his/her research. However, if you are trying to engage readers from another field, the chances are high that they will be confused in the first couple sentences of the abstract. So, you need to ensure that the importance of your study is conveyed in an effective manner.
Highlight the Importance and Reproducibility of Your Results
- Starting the paper with a novel concept to grab your reader’s attention is essential because it gives them the motivation to continue reading and share your study with others.
- Always talk about the impact and potential relevance of your study and never assume that the reader does not have the appropriate background to understand its relevance.
- Indicate how the study can be reproduced and impact other subject areas.
- Try to keep your paper free of excessive jargon while still hitting a high level of accuracy.
- If you feel like you have tunnel vision from working continuously on your paper, then take a break and write later. Ask a colleague to read the paper and see if they can easily summarize some of the main points.
Organization and Structuring of Your Manuscript
The following steps should be kept in mind while writing your study:
- Figures and tables: To efficiently illustrate your data, the usage of figures and tables is critical. Generally, tables are used for the actual experimental results, whereas figures are used for comparing experimental results with those of previous works or with calculated/theoretical values. Ensure that your figure and table legends are self-explanatory.
- Methods: Papers are often rejected because reviewers criticize the inclusion of incomplete or incorrect methods, and this section is critical in the process of reproducing your investigation, so ensure that this section is written while you begin your investigation itself.
- Results: Many journals offer the possibility of adding Supporting information, which should be used to convey data of secondary importance. Do not save data for writing a different paper; this might lead to your conclusion being too vague.
- Discussion: Avoid reiteration of your Results and try comparing the results of published studies with yours. In fact, it would be better to compare with studies that helped you being your investigation
After you have the content in place for the above sections you can continue with the Conclusion, Introduction, Abstract, and finally the Title. During your initial literature review, identify certain papers (about 30) that should be cited in your introduction/results.
Also, if you have selected your target journal, then check the references style they prefer for publication. If you following these steps, you will be able to easily identify gaps in the content and assess the possibility of you sending the paper to your target journal.
Using a Generic Summary
The summary should be between 400 and 600 words and should be posted such that readers that are interested can find the complete details of your work. Share the summary with your colleagues to check if it communicates your perspective and is appropriate for your targeted audience.
Using Social Media
Social media is a great way to bring your paper to the masses, but it’s about more than just scheduling one status update. You need to put some effort into potential communities online that may be interested in reading your research. Following editors and scientific journalists and engaging with them before your paper is published gives you a chance to promote your article when the time comes. Start forging those relationships now!
Also, if your university has a press office, then connect with them to ensure your recent article are shared via press release. Make sure that your press release is written several days before your publication date so that the press release team can get this version out promptly.