WHY DO JOURNALS REJECT MANUSCRIPTS?

A TALK WITH AN EDITOR

 

Constantine Yuka

Department of Linguistics Studies

University of Benin, Nigeria

Contact information: @lcyuka, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., https://uniben.edu/

The Tennis Player and the Coach

 

Naomi Osaka gets coaching during in practice

 

Writing is a skill

 

  • Publishing in a Journal for the first time can be challenging.
  • An author must choose wisely where to publish

 

JOURNAL RANKING INDICES

  • Science Citation Index Journals (SCI) covers over 8,500 leading Journals.
  • Eigenfactor (Score) of Journal; reflect total impact of the Journal
  • H-Index Journals. An author level metric measuring the productivity and citations of articles published.

TO WHICH JOURNAL DO I SEND MY MANUSCRIPT? 

  • Peer Review Journals - Blind, Double Blind, Triple Reviews 
  • Predatory Journals
  • E-Journals: Limited Access Journals Open Access Journals
  • Local Journals
  • National Journals
  • International Journals
  • Cost of Publication, Time;
  • Conference Proceedings are NOT Journal Publications.

 

PUBLISHING = QUALITY & CONTENT

  • CONTENT
  • STRUCTURE
  • FORM

MANUSCRIPT CONTENT

  • Familiarize yourself with journal’s publications;
  • Cite recent publications in your article;
  • Be sure your content is within the Journal’s scope;
  • Use the Top-Down Approach;
  • Present a novelty claim;
  • Write your Abstract and Introduction last;
  • Start with your Conclusion;
  • Discuss the Findings of your work.

PLAGIARISM  

The act of using another person’s words or ideas without giving credit to the person;

Types of Plagiarism;

  • Clone Plagiarism (identical copying);
  • Remix Plagiarism (collecting from many sources to form a single document);
  • Find-and-Replace Plagiarism (replacing keywords)
  • Recycle Plagiarism (self plagiarism) etc;
  • Duplichecker and Turnitin are the most well know plagiarism checking tools;
  • Read a document a plethora of times, understand it before discussing it;
  • Avoid lifting whole sentences from any document.
  • Always properly cite your sources;

FORM OF THE MANUSCRIPT

  • Familiarize yourself with the House Style of the journal;
  • Use 12 point type, double spacing or 1.5 spacing; 
  • Provide page numbers;
  • Number lines;
  • Don’t exceed word number specification (10,000 – 12, 000 words);
  • Indent first line of each paragraph;
  • Provide a Topic Sentence for each paragraph;
  • Avoid long sentences/paragraphs (one idea, one sentence);
  • If you use symbols & abbreviations, put them in the Table of Abbreviations.

FORM: SAVING FILES

  • Save Figures as TIF or JPG
  • Save each Figure independently
  • Figure citation: UNDER
  • Table Citation: ABOVE
  • Group Tables in a single file
  • Indicate each Figure/Table position in the body of the text. 

MANUSCRIPT STRUCTURE

  • Use IMRaD Hierarchical organization 
  • Introduction
  • Literature Review / Past Research
  • Methodology / New Design
  • Results
  • Discussion
  • Acknowledgments
  • References
  • Supporting materials

MANUSCRIPT STRUCTURE: TITLE

THE TITLE

  • Explains the broad contents of the paper; Reviewers ensure the title reflects the manuscript.
  • Short and specific e.g. 

“Identifying the effects of ….”

“A Comparison of the output of …”

“Negation strategies in Edo”

“The Impact of deforestation in Saduana Local Government Area of Taraba State, Nigeria” 

  • Not too general “The Syntax of Yoruba”, “Morphological Processes in Kwa Languages”  
  • Clear and descriptive; NOT explanatory “Language Acquisition in children (which is a case of Second Language Acquisition”
  • Less than 10 words
  • Emphasize novelty

MANUSCRIPT STRUCTURE: 

ORDER OF AUTHOR(S’) NAMES 

 

MANUSCRIPT STRUCTURE: ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

  • Participants
  • Funding

   MANUSCRIPT STRUCTURE: ABSTRACT

  • Advertises your article, be concise and accurate
    • What has been done, the main findings
  • One paragraph; 250 words maximum
  •  The Problem
  • Aims and Objectives
  • Methodology
  • Results (expected)
  • Audience; Impact

MANUSCRIPT STRUCTURE: KEYWORDS

  • Keywords increase search engine chances of visibility
  • 6-8 words maximum
  • Don’t include words contained in the title
  • Context of the problem, most words,
  • Define the problem

MANUSCRIPT STRUCTURE: ABBREVIATIONS

ALI  Adult Learning Inspectorate 

ANT  Actor Network Theory 

CNNA  Council for National Academic Awards 

DFCS  Department for Children and Schools 

DIUS  Department for Industry-University and Sciences 

FE  Further Education 

FEC  Further Education College 

FEFC  Further Education Funding Council 

HE  Higher Education 

HEFCE Higher Education Council for England

HEQC  Higher Education Quality Council 

IQER  Internal Quality Enhancement Review 

 

MANUSCRIPT STRUCURE: INTRODUCTION

  • What did you do, why did you do it?
  • What is the problem to be solved?
  • Are there existing solutions?
  • What are its limitations?
  • What do you hope to achieve?
  • Audience
  • Organization of the work

MANUSCRIPT STRUCURE: LITERATURE REVIEW

  • Scientific background
  • Analysis and Synthesis
  • Originality (in the context of the literature)

MANUSCRIPT STRUCURE: METHODOLOGY

  • How did you do it?
  • Present the experimental design
  • Provide enough details for interpretation 
  • Provide enough details for replication
  • Validation of methodology
  • Limitations of methodology
  • Methods and design must correspond
  • Too little/too much information
  • Chronological presentation
  • Methodology should be written in the past tense.

MANUSCRIPT STRUCURE: RESULTS

  • What did you find?
  • Objectivity – don’t impose your interpretations
  • Describe the figures
  • Evidence based Results
  • Results should be concise
  • No biography, no verbosity
  • Methods and results should correspond
  • Results presented in a logical order
  • Results should portray Research Questions
  • No references here
  • Be modest
  • Irrelevant results
  • Inappropriate illustrations

MANUSCRIPT STRUCTURE: CONCLUSION

  • Shows how the work advances the field of study given the results of the current study
  • 800 words maximum
  • Brief summary, highlights, strengths & weaknesses 
  • Don’t repeat the Abstract
  • Don’t list experimental Results 

MANUSCRIPT STRUCTURE: ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS 

  • Funding
  • Other contributors to the work

MANUSCRIPT STRUCTURE: REFERENCES

  • A source of headache to Editors
  • Follow a standard reference type (APA, MLA, Chicago etc)
  • Omitted in-text citations under References
  • Sources listed under References but not cited in-text.
  • Don’t inflate References
  • Avoid excessive self-citations
  • Don’t include manuscripts 
  • Spell-check your manuscript
  • Check the use of ‘et al”
  • Double-check punctuation

FINAL CHECKS BEFORE YOU SUBMIT YOUR MANUSCRIPT

  • Check and correct: Spelling, grammar, word order, sentence structure.
  • Delete repetitions and ensure that the language is concise.
  • Ensure a consistent Reference Style.
  • Review the presentation and clarity of Figures and Tables.
  • Double-check the completeness of you background literature.
  • Check the supporting statistics.
  • Check the logical flow of arguments.
  • Confirm that your conclusions are supported by your data.
  • Confirm your formatting

“…Reading maketh a full man;

conferences a ready man and writing an exact man…”

                                         Sir Francis Backen

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