Write Science Blog / Oili Kiikkilä

I write this blog with the aim to help researchers to write and publish scientific articles. The issues arise mostly from my experience in reading articles that I have got to edit. Secondly, they arise from researchers' efforts to publish articles.

I use real cases as examples, but I change the text so that the authors cannot be recognized.

These are my personal opinions, and anyone is free to disagree. We can discuss all aspects related to scientific writing and publishing.

I encourage researchers to share their experiences about review process in different journals. How long did it take, did you feel the review fare? Feel free to comment here.

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Wednesday, April 4, 2018, 12:34

After choosing between applied and basic science journals, your choice is between low- and high-quality journals. Try to assess the quality of your data realistically and take a look at articles published. If you have time, you can first try a higher-quality journal. The acceptance is also much in luck - although no editor would admit it.

I have limited experience about the lowest-quality journals, but I have come to a conclusion that it is best not to submit anything to them, unless they are new or open access. The journals in quartile 4 (in any science ranking), of which I have any experience, have been very slow with a very low-quality and random review.

It's best to check the dates submitted and accepted. An additional aspect to check in advance, is the speed for giving the page numbers. At some universities, it is possible that you would need the final page numbers, for some reason. Getting the final page numbers may take a year or so.

The quality of the review may be low. I have seen reviews that come after several months and only say something about a need to correct the poor English language, written with very poor English language. Of course, if that is the case, it would be simple to order an English proofreading, if you hadn’t it already. However, the next step might take several more months in the journal, which probably sends the revision to a new review-round. And, after all, it is possible that you get a rejection.

These journals also want to reject some articles, and when the review is low-quality, the rejection or acceptance is as much random as in any other journal. Therefore, my advice is: try first any other journal than the one in the lowest quartile. You should be able to get any reasonable-quality data (even relatively poor data) accepted in a quartile-3 journal, if the writing is of reasonable quality, and the structure of the article is good and follows usual instructions.

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