Professional presentation of your research work as an article is essential for researchers and students and it is indeed the best way to disseminate your work´s output with your peers. However, the main obstacle in your way to publish your work are the journal’s editors and reviewers! It is generally hard to convince them that your work worth publishing. Here, I am going to give you some hints to get your work published (provided that it is scientifically sound!). I think by following the steps which are listed below, you can make sure that your paper will be evaluated based on scientific merit and not a lack of proper presentation.
1# Select a target journal: The first step (even before drafting the first few sentences) is to select the journal that you want to publish your work. Many people write their manuscript first and then try to format it according to the journal to which they want to submit the manuscript! But if you consider your target journal while writing, you can arrange the contents of your manuscript according to the interests of the editor and the language of the journal! This way, you certainly make a good impression to the editor and it is more likely that the editor send your manuscript to reviewers for evaluation.
2# Be specific in title: The title of your article is the “packaging” of the article, more ambitious and attractive the title is, the higher the rate of success. Never use simplistic title. Assume that your manuscript is about climate changes and according to your studies, you have found that the temperature of the earth’s climate has risen few degrees of Celsius since 2005. In this scenario, the worst action would be to use the following (boring) titles: “study of the earth´s climate change” or “Investigation of earth´s climate change”. Instead highlight the main conclusion of your work in the title. For instance, “Dramatic rise of global temperature since 2005”.
3# Smart abstract: Do not only summarize the results of your work in the abstract but also include a very short survey of literature (maximum two lines) at the start of abstract. This provides a good impression to the readers (in particular the editor and reviewers) that your work pushes the frontier of your field forward. In other words, the abstract of the paper should not solely represent the outcome of your paper. Rather it should be short version of your paper.
4# Simple and comprehensive introduction: Literature survey or introduction is an essential part of each paper. There, you should provide a short story on the latest progress (state-of-the-art) on the topic of your research. You should especially try to show that the scope of your work addresses the biggest challenge in the field. In other words, you should convince the editor and reviewers that you are pushing forward the frontline of the field by this work. Note that the last sentence should make a linkage between the state-of-the-art in the subject of your work and your contribution to the field. As an example similar to step 2, you can write: “global warming is the most serious problem of our century which might lead to a catastrophic end if proper measures are not taken to stop it. Hence, knowing the rate of temperature change in the past could provide better insight in order to stop or reduce the risk of disaster. In this work, we have systematically measured the temperature changes and …” and then continue with the details of your objective.
5# Attractive illustration: Graphs are part of a majority of scientific articles. If you make them nicer, the comments that you will get from the journals are nice, too! A simple illustration in which the summary of your objective is depicted can be very helpful. As an example, I have made two graphs in which the same results are shown. Proper font size, color and features can make a boring results attractive! Below you see two graphs wherein the temperature gradient of 10 years is drawn. I guess, the difference is too obvious and do not need further comment (both the graphs are drawn by Excel 2013 (relevant software’s are listed in our earlier posts)).
6# Importance of conclusion: You should of course sum up the outcome of your work, but also add an ambitious perspective to your results. For instance, you could summarize your climate change study from point 2 with something like:”…these results provide a clear warning that politicians should take immediate action to reduce pollution and thereby save the earth from certain disaster.” As you see, although the aim of your study was a temperature change analysis, you can further show the importance of the results as a global issue.
Following these steps will identify your work as timely, important, and professional looking, and will greatly ease the publishing of your work.