Can I Publish My Scientific Paper in a High-Impact Journal?

Can I Publish My Scientific Paper in a High-Impact Journal?


Hi. I’m Karen McKee, retired scientist and author. In this video, I’m going to focus on what
an author needs to do writing-wise to convince editors and reviewers to recommend publishing
their paper. When I first started writing articles, I did
not think much about what would determine whether my paper was accepted or rejected. I just wrote my paper and hoped for the best. I was mostly successful, with the majority
of my manuscripts accepted for publication the first go-around. That was more than three decades ago. Fast forward to today and the fact that more
than 2.5 million papers are published annually. That’s a lot of competition. In fact, you can figure out what your chances
are by looking at a journal’s acceptance rate. Top-tier journals often accept less than 25%
of submissions. For example, a journal I recently published
in sends out for review only 58% of papers submitted and accepts only 22% of submitted
manuscripts for publication. What this means essentially is that to convince
this journal to publish your paper, it must be better than 78 percent of all papers submitted. Let that thought sink in a moment. If your goal is to publish in a high-impact
journal, you must ask yourself if you can write a paper that’s better than three quarters
of all papers submitted. Now, there are many reasons why some papers
are rejected and others sail through the review process. Quality and novelty of the science. Clarity of the writing. Timing and various other aspects outside the
control of the author such as choice of reviewers. The one factor that you do have control over
is the quality of the writing. And more specifically, your writing must convince
the editor and reviewers that your paper is publication-worthy. For example, your introduction must state
a clear question, objective, or hypothesis and explain why it is important. Your methods section must be detailed and
complete, leaving no doubt in the reader’s mind but that you conducted a thorough and
rigorous study. And the discussion should show a sophisticated
and deep understanding of the topic and provide the reader with a convincing interpretation
of the data. Through your writing, you want to convey the
impression that your work is creative, important, and exciting. In addition, you should take a look at your
target journal’s instructions to reviewers to see what specific criteria will be used
to judge your paper and ensure you address those points when writing your paper. In conclusion, your writing skills can greatly
influence whether your paper is accepted or rejected by a journal. You may be a brilliant researcher with important
findings, but if you cannot communicate your work effectively, your paper will have a lot
of difficulty passing peer review. And if you are aiming for a high-impact journal,
the quality of your writing will be a key means of convincing the journal that your
paper meets their high standards.

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