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How to publish, what, where and when?

Publishing is essential for your career, but it is far from a drama if a paper is being rejected (see also here). Evaluate the comments of the referees and make up your mind. If you believe in your article, improve the text, find a journal that is a close fit and submit the paper again. Have a blog, post articles on academia.net and researchgate or ask accomplished experts in your field if you can publish a guest article on their blog. All of this increases your visibility as a researcher. Even unpublished work and work in progress is valuable on the condition that it has potential.  

If your paper has not been rejected, make the changes that the referees demand. Highlight your changes so that they are clear to the editor and the referees. Make sure that your English is absolutely flawless. Let the work rest for a couple of days when you are done. A couple of days won’t make a difference, but it gives you some space to think things over. Then read it over one more time. Most people print the text. A paper copy is easier to work with. Make the final changes, submit and hope for the best.

All of this may sound evident, but it isn’t all that simple. The big issue is to make yourself understandable. Answer the question of why someone would want to read your article to begin with. Highlight your contribution. Do you propose a theoretical advance? Do you contradict a major paper? Do you present new empirical material? What was the purpose of your research, which results did you come up with and why are they important? Don’t make people wait. All of this has to come in the abstract. When choosing a journal, it is important to go for a close fit. Target a journal that has published papers relevant to your research, papers that you reference in your article. This increases the chance to get published. It also increases your readership.

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