Paper submission is the culmination of your journal writing endeavour. You deserve to pat yourself on the back when you arrive at the stage. It starts with the critical evaluation that goes into picking a research subject and the technical expertise needed to identify the suitable data collection and evaluation techniques. It is only after this that you can make your contribution to academia by sharing new information and adding onto the body of works that came before yours. Paper submission is the series of events you and your paper are subjected to before realization of this final step.
You can opt to release your findings to the wider world yourself but this is an option few students, academics and professionals go for. It just does not feel right. For one, it is not a popular tradition in the world of academic writing. Secondly, the second method is what is used as the measure of success for every individual who pursues a career in academia. This second method is getting featured in a journal publication. You handing over your work to be reviewed and accepted for publication by a publisher is the very definition of paper submission.
The submission process is important for academia because it acts as a check against low quality papers, which have unfortunately increased in numbers over recent years. The reason for this is because the internet has opened up the privilege of journal or paper publication. It is now possible for many individuals to start up their own sub-standard publications and provide an outlet for low quality works. Paper submission in the traditional way establishes validity of your findings because they have been screened not just on an academic level but excellence in use of language to communicate the ground-breaking message rightly.
The review process, following paper submission, is appropriately called peer review. It is done through the few steps below:
- Editorial Screening
- Expert Review
- Publication Decision
Seemingly simple, right? Actually, it is a lengthy project that involves a lot of commitment, communication and ruthlessness of taking a decision. It should be no surprise that the majority of paper submissions do not earn the privilege to be featured in a journal. The main reason is that the number of submissions made are simply overwhelming in comparison to the number of journals out there and journal article spots available in them. In fact, many reviews confirm that up to 60% of papers submitted are subjected to the indignity of desk rejection. This is a review preceding the editorial screening proper. The publications’ editor or board of editors determine that a subject is not interesting enough or appropriate for their audience and turn it down. If your submission is turned away at this stage then your recourse is to knock on the door of another publication. As you may have thought, indeed this industry is a seller’s market so to speak. But you and other academics like you are lucky because service providers like us – BricsJournal.com – exist to increase your leverage amongst competing paper submissions.
At editorial screening, the publication team is eagle-eyed and will outrightly reject a submission for reasons like structure and grammar. They will not correct it for you. Rather, they can give you a second chance to take another look at your work and resubmit your paper for peer review. BricsJournal.com comes in at this stage to help you edit your work, proofread it or even rewrite it. Ultimately, the choice is on you about the means to make it worthy of publication.
A paper submission that survives the correspondence and revisions of the editorial screening step undergoes peer review. This phase is as straightforward as it sounds. A selection of field experts get to go through your work and verify if it is fitting. The most important details looked at are originality of subject tackled and validity of findings. The reviewers are picked by the publication editor but sometimes you, the author, get the opportunity to pick the peer reviewer. This is an opportunity you should run away with. The review process is in three forms, each with merits and demerits:
- Single Blind – where identity of the reviewer is hidden from the author
- Double Blind – where the identity of both author and reviewer are hidden
- Open Review – identity of author and reviewer is known to either party
Which review method do you prefer?
Your paper submission effort is considered a success when you get a letter of acceptance from the publication confirming that your paper will be published. Alternatively, and more often, you will get a letter of rejection. The former calls for celebration and perhaps a little self-congratulatory demeanor but the latter should not be a reason to lose heart. You can always submit to another publication – and you should only submit to one journal at a time. You can also pick lessons to increase your chances at your inevitable second attempt.
The most important lesson you should pick about paper submission is that your choice of a publication is as important as your effort producing the paper. One of the things you need to look at is the nature of articles the publisher publishes. Are they general studies? Is the methodology strict? Will access to the paper be open? You also need to consider the type of reviewers in charge of publication decisions at the particular publication. You might just stumble on one more sympathetic to your style of authorship.
How would you even keep tabs on all the journal publishers out there to refine the review above? I wish I could share a silver bullet but the task is as tedious and as simplified as maintaining lists and taking second looks at it every so often.
You need to remember that a cover letter accompanies your paper submission. It is your chance to impress the reviewer at a glance. But it is no excuse to fold your hands and sit back after you have made the submission. You have to show initiative and contact the publisher if you do not get an acknowledgement of your submission, as a follow-up measure. This should also be done for when you feel the peer review process is taking too long yet you are not getting communication from the publisher.
In all this, it is necessary to have the right mindset about paper submission. A good author sees in it the opportunity to develop and become a better academic rather than pay too much attention to the negativity of criticism. A good author will also not shy from getting the support of professional reviewers like BricsJournal.com before clicking the submit button.