A journal in the scholarly and academic context refers to a periodical publication forum that acts as a platform for publishing research articles and scientific manuscripts or work related to the academic discipline. Scholarly journals serve as a forum to bring the research and scientific community together on a rostrum to share scientific research, exchange knowledge, and scrutinize scientific studies for the advancement of science and research.
Scholarly journals are highly valued and respected for the information and scientific research they provide. Scholarly journals comprise articles written by experts, specializing in a dedicated field of research or discipline, with the purpose of contributing in the advancement of science and research in their concerned disciplines.
The primary purpose of scholarly journals is the dissemination of knowledge or information related to research findings and developments in the field of interest. Scholarly journals work towards establishing a place for research studies to be reported widely following a review of publication by a group of experts known as “peer reviewers” to determine if the draft passes the quality test and standards of a notable research. This process in journals is a critical part of assuring the quality of a research required before dissemination of any scientific and scholarly studies that help science progress and develop. A notable research refers to studies that work on subjects that require advancements, and tests to see if it can be replicated in other research studies on the same subject and proof of the research value in the sphere of science. Published information is used to build curiosity and birth more questions that eventually leads to greater outcomes and breakthroughs in the field of research and science.
Another role for scholarly journals is to provide a rostrum (or common stage), usually comprising of experts, scholars and researchers, to publish their perspective in the form of a hypothesis to signify and reflect the importance of something that may contain scientific value.
1. Providing quality control on research findings and information that is distributed more widely, ensuring through peer-review process that the draft or research study is technically accurate and conforms to scientific norms; and avoiding plagiarized, fabricated materials, and to make sure ethical and appropriate guidelines are strictly followed.
2. Disseminating information and findings to scholars or scholarly communities around the globe, because scholarly journals have a wide readership within the academic and scientific community, even just from institutional subscriptions, personal subscriptions, open access, and licensing.
3. Committing to guaranteeing perpetual availability of the knowledge, in the context of technological innovation. Previously all knowledge was contained in books and paper, as well as did not have open access or widely available. However, as of today, more scholarly content is being preserved in digital format, which journals have a responsibility to store with care through investment in perpetual care fund to upgrade storage to newer formats to ensure the information is always readable and not subjected to a particular platform or medium of exchange.
Journal selection is the process undertaken by an author or researcher to select a suitable platform or journal for publishing scientific and research work related to a particular discipline, mainly scholarly discipline. Journal selection is a decisive process for research publishing that determines whether or not the draft submitted is a good fit for publishing.
Your research may be of significance and have scientific value, but the journal you approach may not be covering your area of expertise due to a specific target of audience. Hence, selecting the right journal is crucial, as the subject, topic, and theme of your research need to align with the scope of the journal.
A. Target audience
Understand your target audience. Every scholarly community segregates into groups depending upon their field of interest and study. Identify to which group your subject, topic, and theme come under as well as the reader base the journal supports. Based on that, create a list of journals that target the same group of audience and submit your draft accordingly. Most drafts get rejected because of conflict of interest between the author and the journal.
B. Subject area
Every journal covers a subject area or range of subject areas it specializes on. Do a thorough research about the background of the journal, and learn about the journal’s field of specialty, the topics it covers, and its scientific community. Check the index of the journal to get the information. If your topic or subject falls under the journal’s scope, you are good to go.
C. Acceptance rate
Top journals have a very narrow acceptance rate, as they only publish well-researched and high-quality drafts to keep up their reputation and credibility. Some journals reject more than 90% of the manuscripts they receive due to factors like conflict of interest, relevance, format, quality, scientific value, validity, inaccurate sources, and factual inconsistencies.
A researcher should aim for a reputed journal due to credibility. However, knowing the value of your research is a good start, and judging if your draft contains high scientific value will help to determine whether or not your draft will be selected for publishing.
Every journal follows unique selection criteria, based on which the journal editor approves or rejects articles. Various factors affect the journal selection process, such as the scope of the research article, subject area, and theme. Authors should develop a precise understanding of the format and structural guidelines of the journal before they start writing the draft. Preparing the draft by adhering to guidelines and rules laid out by the journal is crucial.
Peer review is a process or an exercise of evaluating and assessing written scientific, academic, or professional work (manuscript or a draft) by other experts from the same field. Every draft submitted to a journal goes through a peer-review process to qualify for publishing in a journal.
2. Target scholarly community
The draft produced should be written with the context of applying to the scholarly community, having an academic tone, relevance, scientific value and written to contribute to the scientific community with the purpose of advancing science and research.
3. Adherence to scientific and academic norms
Scholarly journals maintain strict criteria, whether or not the drafts are written in adherence to academic and scientific norms. These norms mainly include academic structural level consistency, quotation standards, formal aspects of writing, presentation, methodology, theoretical or technical style, analytical format, accuracy, proof, evidence, scope, value, significance, reliability, educational and written with the purpose of contributing to the scholarly community.
4. Manuscript quality
The primary criterion, for journal selection is the quality of the manuscript. The manuscript should be aligned with the rules and guidelines of the journal, applying discipline. The presentational quality should be scientific in nature, as well as factual and contributory. Basic aspects such as justification, proper layout, correct numbering mechanics, no duplication of tables and statistics, prescribed citation style, right format for bibliography, use of consistent punctuations, etc. are what define the quality of a manuscript.
Journal selection service refers to a third-party organization or company that helps match the authors work with a suitable journal based on the subject, topic, and field of study or discipline the author covers in his/her work. Journal selection service providers evaluate the draft sent by the author, and based on the evaluation of the manuscript and the criteria sent by the author, they make an extensive research on scholarly journals that match the research and scope of the draft.
A list of journals matching the authors work is then sent for verification to the author. The journal selection service providers offer evaluation processes that are replicated from journal selection criteria. A peer review team is set up to assess the manuscript for a quality test, after which a constructive feedback is sent to the author about the required improvements to be made in the draft. Based on which, the draft is then submitted by the third party to the listed journals with recommendations for publication.
The journal selection service providers give recommendations for journals based on the scope of study, targeted audience, urgency to publish, reputation of the journal, accessibility such as “open access,” field of specialty, etc. The advantage of journal selection service is that, improvements are implemented before submission. Quality testing through peer review to make sure the draft meets the quality and accuracy levels, which narrows down the chances for rejection to a great degree. Usually, journal selection service providers never submit drafts before they are sure that the draft will be selected for publication, as well as the added advantage of publication with reputed journals.
Journal selection is a crucial step in publishing research work of scientific value and significance. The aforementioned explanation and steps will guide scholars and researchers on how to choose the right journal to publish your research work. It also includes the criteria and processes on which journals select manuscripts for publication and the advantage you gain from journal selection service.
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