One of the reasons why we decide to undertake PHDs, is because we want to join the academia. For one to do so, you have to publish, publish, and publish. Last week I spent in Addis familiarizing myself with the messy realities of publishing. As I plan to publish from my previous research, here are some tips I learnt from my training:
Journals: Identify and build a considerable knowledge about the journal that you would like to publish your work. This has to be relevant for your field of research and a credible journal. Check out its credibility by reading of its history, the editors and checking the frequency of its publishing. You might also want to make a decision on what geographical location fits your research paper- local or international journals?
Abstracts: Identify your research space/territory; clearly and concisely state it in your abstract. Each word must be justified and give an insight to the rest of the paper, without pre-empting the contents of the paper.
Keywords: These help locate your research field. Identify five of them and make reference to them.
Papers: Consider the following moves when writing your paper:-
Move 1: Establishing a territory – This is the broader academic field in which your research falls.
Move 2: Establishing a niche - This is the specific area of study or the gap that you intend to fill in the broader academic field. It’s the contexts too- it should be clear and concise. In this move to review literatures relevant to your paper, you state the problem which you intend to address and the theoretical approaches you are taking.
Move 3: Occupying the niche -This is precisely how your paper fills the gap that you have identified in M1 and how your methods lead to empirical evidence that guarantees your occupation of that niche. Here is where your arguments/claims are elaborated.
Author: Your position in the paper is very important. Let your voice be heard as you refer to various literatures and as you present your data.
In the coming months, I will write more on what happens after one has submitted a paper for the first time; what will the reviewers look out for; why might a paper be rejected; and how do you respond to the reviewers’ comments.