https://doi.org/10.3916/school-of-authors-157

Author: Amor Pérez-Rodríguez – Translation: Erika-Lucia Gonzalez-Carrion

Researchers have a moral obligation to disseminate their contributions. For this reason, writing an article acquires its value insofar as it contributes to a specific field of knowledge.

Research is meaningful when it serves to expand knowledge and provide solutions. Researchers have a moral obligation to disseminate their contributions. Therefore, the writing of an article acquires its value insofar as it contributes to a specific field of knowledge, and as an example to other people who do research and can find references in this text. Otherwise, the research carried out would remain incomplete.

Publishing is a task that can often be confusing. Publication allows dissemination, transfer, and the possibility of the work being cited. This is important for researchers, provided it is managed effectively.

What do editors look at to decide if it is a good article to publish? Editors of scientific journals look at specific aspects for the estimation or non-consideration of a scientific text in their journals. Some of them have to do with the article, and others with the journal itself.

Article

  • Contribution to knowledge needs. The article should respond to topics of interest that may be significant, to which the research carried out provides notable, original and novel results. Ultimately, in some cases, it should respond to a specific call or adjust to the journal’s focus.
  • Accurate, up-to-date and diverse references. Any study should be consistent in terms of the review of the state of the art, background and actuality of the selected topics, taking care of biases in the citations. Therefore, it is recommended to use references of universal scope and of all trends and/or schools, to use between 40-45 depending on the nature of the work (subject matter, approach…), to include DOI…
  • Structure. In accordance with the journal to which the manuscript will be sent, the indications specified in its regulations regarding composition, approach, length, keywords, abstract, body of the text, figures and tables, etc. should be followed. When articles are received that do not comply with the guidelines, this is a bad indicator for the editorial board, since it is evidence that the journal to which the manuscript is sent has not been considered or read.
  • Writing. Written expression is of vital importance. The language used in writing should be careful, concise and clear. Ideas should be presented with precise and consistent arguments, avoiding unnecessary detours, padding or duplication of information. And even more so if it is written in the mother tongue and then submitted for translation. A bad translation leads to a logical rejection.

Journal

  • Reading articles in scientific journals is the best way to learn how to write a good scientific text. Especially for what it implies in the knowledge of the regulations, parameters and general criteria for publication, in addition to the specific content of the contributions.
  • The appropriate choice of the publication, to which the contribution is to be submitted, will depend on factors such as the focus, topic and level of the results of the work. Depending on the consistency and importance of the study (research approach, topic, sample, volume of data, significant results, …), the journal should be determined, considering its greater or lesser impact. Being rigorous in this selection can alleviate stress in the face of possible rejections.
  • Submission. It is essential to check, in the case of authors, as stipulated by the regulations of the chosen journal, that identification and correspondence data, professional affiliations… ORCID and Google Scholar have been included. The Cover Letter is not a mere formality, since it states the originality and novelty of the work and the section of the journal to which it is addressed, providing, if applicable, the informed consent for experimentation. As for the manuscript, it is essential to review the anonymization of authors; that the title is pertinent, concise, direct and unequivocally presents the work; the structure and format of the abstract; the keywords; the recommended minimum/maximum length; the development of the body of the article according to the standards; the methodology, results, discussion and conclusions; the references; and the quality images and graphics with pertinent information that is not repeated in the text.
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Finally, being able to count on the option and reading of peers, prior to submission, implies discussion and review that can have an impact on a substantive improvement of the text. In addition, the opportunity to be part of the review board of a journal is an interesting way to learn and consolidate good peer and writing practices. A good article reaches its maximum value when it is disseminated and shared. Good papers have better chances of being cited. But the visibility that is achieved when the scientific community is made aware of the manuscript and can discuss or take it as a reference is another favorable indication.            

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