How to Publish a research paper
This guide aims to assist you in writing and publishing your research paper. For PhD candidates, publishing research papers in international journals is a requirement. Additionally, students pursuing technical courses may find that relevant published research papers aid in the admission process. As such, we have compiled a set of guidelines for you to follow.
your area of interest and conduct thorough research on the fundamentals of the topic. It is also important to stay current with the latest developments in your chosen field. This can be achieved by:
- Reading and researching numerous technical papers available online and in journals.
- Attending one or more conferences, actively listening to the top speakers, and discovering current thoughts and trends.
After completing these steps, you will be prepared to write your paper.
- Read existing Papers
Reading a wide range of material related to your topic gives you different perspectives and insights. However, it is important to be selective and stay focused on your area of interest. Familiarizing yourself with simulation software can be helpful in simulating your work. Try to find time during the day and make use of holidays and free days to make progress on your research.
- A jump start
As you begin delving into a new area of research, reach out to your peers and inquire about the most valuable journals and conference proceedings in your field. Also, request a list of crucial papers that you should read. This will help you get a head start.
- Crack the jargons and terms
One of the challenges is to comprehend papers written by other researchers. Reading the paper multiple times is the simplest way to tackle this. The more you read it, the more you will understand. It’s also helpful to have access to the internet, so you can look up any unfamiliar jargon or terms.
- Write down your studies
It’s a good practice to note down all the interesting ideas, possible solutions, speculations, and references that come to your mind. You can also keep a record of the papers you’ve read, their outlines, and noteworthy quotes. This journal can be revisited periodically and can prove to be very useful in your research activities.
- Bits and pieces together
As you continue your research, you will become better equipped to recognize crucial open problems in your field of study. This will also help you to have a clear understanding of your work and what still needs to be done. Over time, you may start to see the pieces of your ideas come together, forming a coherent pattern that could lead to a strong paper.
- Simulation softwares easies
It is important to choose a research topic that is realistically achievable, rather than overly ambitious. You can gather Matlab files related to your topic from the internet and use them to simulate your results. However, don’t expect to find a ready-made solution to a problem published in a paper. Instead, modify and add to the available files to create your own solution. Matlab is a user-friendly tool and once you have obtained simulated outputs, you can proceed to write a research paper.
- Essence of your work
To enhance the quality of your work, it is important to evaluate the following aspects:
- Significance: What is the importance of your research? Does it address a current issue or a previously overlooked problem?
- Originality/Novelty: Is your approach innovative or conventional? Did you develop any new techniques or methods?
- Completeness: Have you thoroughly tested and explored various scenarios, or is your work limited to a basic demonstration?
- Accuracy: Is your solution technically sound, or are there any errors or inconsistencies?
It is recommended to consider improving these aspects for a more mature and impactful research paper.
- Anatomy of Paper
Here are the sections that typically make up a research paper, along with the recommended maximum length of four pages:
- Existing techniques
- Your contribution
As you prepare your paper for publication, begin by documenting the existing techniques related to your topic. This information can be extracted from the journal you kept during your studies, and should include a discussion of the pros and cons of each technique.
Your introduction should be brief, explaining the topic and your approach to solving the problem. Next, detail your contribution to the field and present your simulated results. Finally, include a conclusion summarizing your findings.
When writing your paper, it is important to follow a clear structure. Start with an introduction where you describe the problem and state your contributions. Next, you can work on the different sections of your paper, such as the existing techniques, your solution, and the results. The abstract is one section you can work on last, as it should briefly summarize the entire paper in a few lines. Make sure to clearly state the problem, explain why it’s interesting, describe what your solution achieves, and discuss the implications of your solution. Following a clear structure will help make your paper more organized and easier to read.
Breaking down a task into smaller, achievable goals can be an effective strategy for accomplishing it. This applies to writing a paper as well – instead of attempting to write the entire paper at once, focus on writing one section or creating an outline. By completing smaller tasks, you can make steady progress towards finishing your paper.
- Get a pre-review
After completing your paper, it’s a good idea to have it reviewed by peers or professors. Once you’re satisfied with the quality of your work, the next step is to find the right venue for publication. You might consider starting with national-level conferences, which are often held at universities. As you gain confidence and experience, you can move on to submitting your work to international conferences and journals.
- Read the reviews carefully
Getting a paper published is a difficult task, and it is rare for a paper to be accepted on the first submission. Typically, papers are accepted subject to revisions. Even a review that is anything other than a straight rejection can be considered positive. For example:
- Acceptance is very rare.
- Acceptance with minor revisions means that only minor changes are needed.
- Revise and resubmit means that the reviewers are interested in your work and want to see it improved.
- Reject and resubmit means that the reviewers are still interested in your work, but it needs major revisions.
It’s important to view every criticism as a positive suggestion for how to improve your work and make it more clear.
- Don’t panic
After receiving the review, take some time away from it before coming back to it later. Analyze the paper closely to determine the validity of the criticisms and how you can address them. Sometimes reviewers may misunderstand certain aspects of your paper, resulting in off-target criticisms. In such cases, rewrite that part of your paper more clearly to avoid the same misunderstanding. Although it may be frustrating to have a paper rejected due to a misunderstanding, it is a fixable issue. However, criticisms of the paper’s content may require more substantial revisions, such as rethinking your ideas, conducting additional tests, or redoing an analysis.
- Rejected? Be Positive
Don’t be discouraged if your paper is rejected. Instead, use the feedback from reviewers to improve your work and resubmit it elsewhere. It’s important to take their comments seriously and revise your paper accordingly. Keep in mind that rejection is a common experience in academic publishing and that persistence is key. As Edward to editor of Journal, Personality Processes and Individual Differences, notes, “To get a lot of publications, you also will need to get lots of rejections.”
- Common mistakes
Some common mistakes that need to be avoided in research paper writing are:
- Incorrect sequencing of figure and table numbering
- Misalignment of columns in tables
- Usage of figures or images from other papers without proper credit and permission.
- Where to publish
There are several options available for publishing your paper, with the main three being:
- National Conferences: These are a good starting point for novice scholars as they have lower levels of scrutiny. National conferences typically accept papers that compare existing technologies or propose solutions that are mathematically proven but not yet practically tested.
- International Conferences: These are a good option for intermediate scholars as they have similar requirements to national conferences but with a higher level of scrutiny.
- Conferences offer a fast time-to-publish and also provide an opportunity to receive feedback on your work when you present it. However, page lengths and acceptance standards can vary widely depending on the conference.
- Journals: Journal papers are generally considered to be more prestigious than conferences and are the preferred publishing option for many scholars. Journal papers typically require more rigorous peer review and are longer than conference papers.