Writing Strategies for Successful Journal Publication
No matter how hard a scholarly author works to conduct research that is compelling and sound and write about it in accurate and sophisticated ways, there are times when the results in terms of publication success are less than desirable. Maybe you managed to publish your article, for instance, but not in a top-tier journal, or maybe you have not been able to get a positive response from any publisher. If you find that you are disappointed by the results you achieve when submitting your academic or scientific writing for publishing, perhaps a change is in order. After all, if, as Einstein claimed, insanity is ‘doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results,’ then doing something different can constitute sanity and potentially reap a better harvest.

The changes can begin with your research topic and methodology, an approach that may prove especially valuable if your work has been encountering rejection without editors providing any specific reasons why. Perhaps you could broaden your perspective somewhat to introduce new data or theories into your research or, on the other hand, narrow your focus to render your research more precise and give yourself more room for analysis and discussion. If your primary methodology is traditional, it may be wise to spruce it up a little by taking a slightly different approach or blending your current methodology with methods of a different kind – mixing qualitative with quantitative research can produce extremely interesting results and interdisciplinary approaches are extremely popular in many fields of study. Alternatively, if your methodology is extremely innovative, it may be productive to integrate more traditional elements, or it may be helpful to add more detailed explanations of your methods and why they are best for your research. If you think that the writing you submit for publication simply is not grabbing the attention of acquisitions editors, one or more of these strategies might turn the tables for you.

If you have already conducted the research for a publication and drafted your document, there will be fewer possibilities for constructive changes, but there are still a variety of alterations that may help. Adding a covering letter to your submission or rewriting the one you used in the past is always a good idea, and so, too, is reviewing the publisher’s guidelines, paying careful attention to even the smallest details. You can then review and revise your paper to ensure that you have incorporated every requirement for formatting and structure with precision and consistency.

Revamping your writing style is another excellent strategy. Some time will no doubt have passed since you submitted your work, so make use of that distance by rereading your document and identifying aspects that could use correction or clarification. Having a colleague or mentor read and comment on your work is also a good idea, and a professional academic or scientific proofreader will be able to help you with all aspects of your language and formatting.

You may want to resubmit your paper to the same publisher after your revisions are complete, particularly if you received specific comments indicating the need for the adjustments you have made, but sending your work to a different publisher can also constitute an excellent change and is certainly a necessary one if your second attempt with a publisher is not successful. Moving slightly beyond comfort zones can be challenging, but the new view over the edge of the ruts that authors, like all human beings, tend to dig for themselves can be well worth the effort.