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Science Research: Publication Process

Scholarly Publishing

Getting your research published in a scholarly journal involves:

  1. Journal Selection
  2. Submission
  3. Review
  4. Proofreading 
  5. Publication & Beyond

The following advice and tips for publishing in academic research journals are adopted from Taylor and Francis Author Services.

See also Tips for Academic Publishing

1. Journal Selection

How to Choose a Journal?

  • What are the aims and scope of the journal?
  • What is the journal's target audience? Researcher? Practitioners or the general public?
  • What are the readership and usage? The top cited or downloaded papers may be on the journal website.
  • Is the journal peer-reviewed?
  • Who is on the editorial board?
  • Is the journal indexed in citation databases like Web of Science and Scopus? Does the journal have an Impact Factor?
  • Is it published by a major publisher, society or association?
  • Free tool: Springer Journal Selector


2. Submission

Writing for Your Chosen Journal

When you have found the most suitable journal for submission, read through the instructions for authors carefully. Each journal has its own specific publishing standards and ethics which can be found on the journal's web page.

  • Look at previous papers to get a feel for what is accepted.
  • Read and follow the submission guidelines carefully. Take note of maximum extent of the submission.
  • Check the guidelines on copyright
  • How should you submit your paper (online or in paper form)? Many publishers now have online submission service.
  • Do you need to submit a cover letter of your article?
  • Do you need to provide a keyword list?
  • Ensure all references are mentioned in the reference list are cited in the text, and all tables, figures are clearly presented.
  • Ensure you have the correct copyright clearance, especially for photographs/images.
  • Ask a colleague to read your draft prior to submission.
  • If English is not your first language, consider using "English polishing" service provided by many publishers.

Now, you are ready to submit your manuscript to the publisher.

3. Peer Review

After submitting your manuscript, the editor will assess your work and decides whether to send it for peer review.

Peer review allows an author’s research to be evaluated and commented upon by independent subject experts, and it can take different forms depending on the preference of the journal.

  • Single-blind review - where the reviewer's name is hidden from the author.
  • Double-blind review - where the reviewer's name is hidden from the author and the author's name is hidden from the reviewer.
  • Open review - where no identities are concealed.
  • Post-publication review - where comments can be made by readers and reviewers after the article has been published.

Advantages of Peer Review

  • Helps to bring errors and gaps in literature to the attention of authors
  • Helps to make the work more applicable to the Journal readership. i.e. if parts of your article are too difficult to understand, the reviewer will advise you to fix it.

Reviewers will then make a recommendation to the editor to accept, accept with revisions or reject your article.

If your paper gets accepted with revision, address all points raised by the editor and reviewers. Provide a polite rebuttal to any comments you disagree with. Remember, your reviewer is probably a highly knowledgeable subject expert. If their comment is incorrect, it is likely because they misunderstood your manuscript, indicating that you should make your point or statement clear.

4. Proofreading

Once your manuscript has been accepted, the editor will send your article to the production editor. You will also be informed that your manuscript is available for proofreading.

Because this is the final check before your article is ready for publishing, make sure you check the proofs against the original text for accuracy (e.g. spelling, punctuation, complete citation, etc) and also check all the author affiliations.

5. Publication & Beyond

Promote Your Publication

How to promote your paper to potential readers after publication?

Social media, personal blog, or web page, department website can help enhance the visibility of your article. Besides LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and Weibo,  there is increasing use of social communities such as MyNetResearch. See 10 Ways to Increase Usage and Citation of your Article Using Social Media

Open Access (OA)

Post your article to an open access institutional (HKUST Institutional Repository - HKUST IR) or subject repositories such as arXiv, PubMed Central, or PLOS ONE to reach out to more readers. Advantages of the HKUST IR:

  • Provides open and perpetual residence for research output, using a robust, standard-compliant infrastructure.
  • Enhance access to and visibility of HKUST research; research has demonstrated that open access articles have appreciably higher citation rates than traditionally published articles.
  • Enhance communication and exchange by providing simple and persistent links to individual items as well as the authors' research portfolio.
  • Serves to establish the priority of ideas and intellectual property by registering the work with a date stamp.

Visit Scholarly Communications for more information about HKUST IR and OA.

Improving Your Citation Counts

Establish a Unique Profile

Tips Recommendation
Make your name unique, e.g., include middle Initials Chan, P.C.H.
Publish under a Consistent Name

E.g., Use Chan, P.C.H in all your papers

Don't use variants of your name in different publications
Chan, Philip Ching Ho
Chan, P.C.
Chan, P.C.H.
Chan, P.
Chan, Philip C.

Register a unique ID or profile Web of Science - Research ID,
Google Scholar Citations

A unique ID can help avoid name ambiguity,  it can be used to track the impact of your research publications to improve citation accuracy and quality.

Full Address for affiliation - add HKUST and department Hong Kong University of Science & Technology, Department of Economics, Hong Kong, Peoples Republic of China
Upload your papers to open access repositories such as the  HKUST Institution Repository or Will be harvested by search engines such as Google Scholar and be included in their citation counts
Request Corrections Inform Web of Science and Scopus for errors in affiliations, name, publications and citations.
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