Research Publication for Dummies

Research paper journal articleOld and new style note books. Photo: 85Fifteen / Unsplash

Research Publication in a Renowned Journal

Many of us wish to create something for posterity, whether it is a painting, a movie, a book or get a research paper published in a renowned journal. There are many ways to get to Rome, but very few easy ones. Ali Ashrafi is a lecturer, and one of his tasks is to teach aspiring researchers how to get their work published. He has kindly agreed to share some of his tricks of the trade with the readers of Norway Today.

You have done your research, reviewed and compiled the findings, but is stumped on how to get it broadcast to the world. The following provides a short guide to the process.

Finding the appropriate journal

After completing the article writing, the next step is to find the appropriate journal according to the scope of your article. Articles are structurally divided into six categories:

  • Research Articles, based on scientific research and findings.
  • Analytical Articles, based on the library’s experiences of other authors and from research sources that may either complete the previous theories or seek to prove them or challenge them.
  • Review Articles, based on analyzing the articles that have already been published.
  • Special Topic Articles, based on the discovery of a new or pristine topic that is being published for the first time.
  • Summarize Articles, used to summarize and reflect different points of view in the literature related to a specific subject, where new research isn’t provided and doesn’t measure the paper.
  • Short Articles, for the prompt publication of scientific articles – ie the publication of scientific findings to increase the number of articles published in the journal.

You must find the right journal based on the type of article. Next, you should look for a journal that relates to the scope and structure of the article. All journals have International Standard Serial Number that briefly called ISSN. Every journal has Online ISSN and Printed ISSN. Some websites can help you to find a journal, depending on the scope of the article, Title, ISSN, country and etc. These websites include Springer, Elsevier, Wiley, Edanz, SJR, Thomson Reuters and so on.

Scientific credibility

After searching for the journal, you should check it for scientific credibility. The scientific level of the journal is usually characterized by journal indexes. Valid indexes include JCR, Master Journal List (ISI), ISC, Scopus (SJR), DOAJ, Medline and PMC (for medical journals).

One of the important indicators of the scientific evaluation of journal is Impact Factor. The higher number shows the higher validity of that journal. Note that only journals associated with a particular field should be compared with this number, and comparing all journals (for example, engineering journals with medical journals) is not correct. You can calculate the impact factor of the journal as in the following example:

The impact factor of Journal X is equal to 5 in 2017. This means that the total citations to Journal X in 2016 and 2015 will be equal to the number of articles published by it in 2016 and 2015.

The best impact factor for journals is very much related to the fields you are looking for, and you cannot get a rule for them. But in general, with a simple estimate, journals with an impact factor above 2 can be good candidates (but not necessarily so).

Another important factor to choose the right journal is Citation. A Citation is the scientific value and quality of the article. Citation specifies how much an article is used by other researchers. Q1 to Q4 score for Journal ranking brings up the concept ahead:

  • Q1 = indicates that the journal is ranked 25% in a subject matter.
  • Q2 = indicates that the journal is ranked in the middle class, 25 to 50 per cent of the subject matter.
  • Q3 = Indicates that the journal is ranked in the middle class, down from 50% to 75% of the subject matter.
  • Q4 = Indicates that the journal is ranked below the bottom 25% of the end of a subject matter.

The list of journals in the Scopus database (SJR), Science direct (JCR) and WOS (ISI) are based on this ranking.


Some authors don’t know about the difference between ISI and ISI WOS (or have not even heard of them).

In general, all the journals indexed at Thomson Reuters are called ISI (According to the old name of the Institute for Scientific Information). Obviously, given the qualitative diversity of Thomson Reuter’s indexes, you cannot have the same scale for all of these indexes. Therefore, in order to maintain the credibility and scientific value of the ISI title, the indexes are divided into two groups: ISI (impact factor coefficient) and ISI-Listed (without impact factor coefficient).

Journals in Arts & Humanities Citation Index and Science Citation Index Expanded and Social Sciences Citation Index with the abbreviations SCI, SCIE and SSCI are ISI WOS journals. The scientific credibility of these journals is very good and do not worry about their credibility when publishing articles. ISI-Listed journals are referred to journals indexed in other Thomson Reuters subsidiaries such as BIOSIS or Zoological Record, or ESCI, and so on.

Note that the mere indexing of a journal in these indexes isn’t considered to be prominent, and has actually been included in the list of credible journals by the Thomson Reuters Institute for a specified period of time. Therefore, its scientific credentials should especially be reviewed.

Adhering to a template

After you chose and evaluate the journal, you need to edit your article according to their template. All journals have their own specific templates. Before submitting an article to the publisher, you should read the author’s guide and edit the article according to the template.

After you edit the article according to the template, you must submit the article to the journal. This is done either via email or through the online system. Some journals ask you to submit latex of your article, in addition to the Word document file.

Once you have submitted your article in the journal, the arbitration process starts and your article will under review. This process depends on the type of journal, the number of issues per year, the quality of your article, and so on.

The journal issues can be Weekly, Biweekly, Monthly, Bimonthly, Semi-annual and Annual. After reviewing the article (every journal may have 2 to 3 reviews, and in each review may require a minor or major revision of it), the outcome of the review will determine its fate. The best possible result for your article is accepted with no revision.

Sometimes your paper is accepted but you need to revise that in minor or major forms. After your article is accepted by the journal, you can publish your article either online or in printed form.

Types of journals

You have two basic types of journals:

  • Open Access Journal
  • Close Access Journal.

In Close Access Journals, readers or libraries subscribe to journals to use the articles. Also, in these instances, the copyright agreement is signed between the author and the journal, and it will share and reproduce the rights of article content.

In Open Access journals, the content of the article is available online and on the website of the publisher, and readers will not pay for downloading and using the articles. Generally, the authors pay for publishing articles, so that readers can freely access the content of them.

If the article’s scientific level is low – or doesn’t fulfil the necessary parameters – it will be rejected.

Sometimes your paper is rejected without peer review. This rejection is called Desk Rejection.

When you submit your article to a journal, it is first reviewed by the editor. The editor will check two important factors:

  • Is the article relevant to the scope of the journal?
  • Does the article meet the minimum quality required to be reviewed?

If the answer to either of these questions is negative, your article is rejected by the editor and isn’t included in the arbitration process.

Rejected, what then?

If your article is rejected, you can request a reconsideration of it. A reconsideration request is the right of an author. However, such a request should be based on logic rather than emotion.

If a misunderstanding, or mistake, made by the reviewers results in a continued rejection of the article, you can inform the editor of the journal – without undermining the reviewers or causing controversy. You can also revise the article and resubmit it to another publisher.

If you chose to do so, you must:

  • Carefully consider previous comments
  • Revise the article
  • Submit it to another relevant journal.

Once again, make sure that you have met the journal’s requirements – especially details like the Cover letter, References, Templates and such.


This article is written by our contributor, Ali Ashrafi, to be shared with the esteemed readers of Norway Today.

© Ali Ashrafi / #Norway Today
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