Have any of you had a journal article published?


If so, any advice?

I’m currently rewriting my master’s research into what I hope is a publishable article. Feeling quite nervous over it as I know it can take weeks or months for them to respond, and you can only submit to one journal.


you can always ‘salami slice’ it


Yes, no


my wife has, loads. just asked her for advice she told me to do a pHd.


My wife’s in this process at the moment, and has received little guidance so has had to piece things together. Not sure if this applies to your industry, but she did these things:

  • Asked advice from pretty much anyone and everyone in her field as to which journal to submit to.
  • Went for the one with a trade-off between impact factor and relevance, but mostly relevance.
  • Tailored the paper to the style of that publication by reading others they’ve published.
  • Put things into the cover letter which would likely be the first questions they’d ask about further experiments, decisions on particular trials (especially if those decisions were influenced heavily by things out of her control).
  • Keep the cover letter as succinct as possible.
  • Got it reviewed by as many people as possible beforehand who had knowledge in the area, whether they were authors or not.

Then submitted and hoped for the best. This is my interpretation from our conversations about it. I’m definitely not an expert here, and a lot of this might seem obvious for all I know, but I’ve written this now, so there you go.


Yep. Over 20


Advice. Find someone you respect/trust to walk you through it. It’s not hard necessarily, but can be frustrating and you need to know the process


Yep. It might look like a complete unknown from the outside, but there’s no secret handshake or anything. Hard to give tips without knowing what your field is, hence knowing whether it’s one I could speak to.

You should be talking about this with your supervisor, tho. Unless they’re a complete arsehole, they’ll be happy to talk you through it.


What’s your field, josh?


Economics, specifically health economics



(sorry for calling you josh!)


thanks for the replies. I’m pretty much doing everything that’s been suggested, but it still feels quite daunting! My supervisor has been great and is happy to read it through. I’m also really fortunate to know three people who have PhDs and are quite well published and I’ve asked them to read it through before I submit, also.

My field is careers / coaching psychology / positive psychology. My research is more Higher Education focused though, so I’m aiming for Studies in Higher Education.


Sounds good, a few tips:

  • look at your references and if there is a popular journal for your sources then that might be a good journal to submit to

  • if you’re not sure about a journal, or feel it’s quite a ‘high impact’ journal and you may have a low chance, then it’s completely appropriate to contact the editor and ask them if they may be interested based on a short description of the paper and why you think their readership might be interested

  • if your paper is a psychology experiment (intro/rationale, methods, results, discussion, conclusion) then work out the number of paragraphs for each section that you have (within the available word limit), and then each paragraph has a specific role. The first and last paragraphs are ‘linking’ paragraphs which should be used to introduce or summarise where possible. avoid any unnecessary repetition

  • not sure about your career plans but there are really good journal writing courses at probably all universities aimed at PhD students and early career researchers. Well worth doing a course, in particular alongside actually writing a paper.

  • don’t be disheartened - reviewer comments can be unbelievably rude and curt and look like you’re a million miles away from acceptance, but then suddenly they all go through. also rejections can appear harsh but if you’ve done some good work then you’ll find a home for it.

  • when replying to reviewer comments, break them down into a table and do your best to appease them where possible, even if minor/picky. provide detail if you reject something and you still may need to clarify in the text.

just a few random comments. good luck! make sure you come back and brag about it when it’s published, my mum still has a physical copy of my first publication which was in the BMJ!


this is great, thank you! I especially love the idea of contacting the journal editor and also the journal writing courses, so thanks :slight_smile: I’m a member of the Society for Research into Higher Education and they run some good workshops too.