Publishing in academic journals

How to ensure your paper has the best possible chance of publication

Publication details 

Harzing, A.W. (2022) Publishing in academic journals: Crafting your career in academia, Published by Tarma Software Research Ltd, London, United Kingdom.

  • Kindle edition, 142pp. ISBN 978-17396097-7-1.
    • $6.95,  Amazon US, £5.95  Amazon UK
    • also available on other national Amazon stores.
  • Black & white paperback, 130pp. ISBN 978-1-7396097-2-6.
    • $9.95,  Amazon US, £8.95  Amazon UK
    • also available on other national Amazon stores.
  • Black & white hardcover, 130 pp. ISBN 978-17396097-9-5.

Note: In June 2023 Amazon increased the printing cost for all books published through Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing. This was due to higher cost of materials, suppliers, and labour. I have therefore regretfully had to decide to increase the price of my paperbacks. The price of my Kindle books remains unchanged.

Reviews

This book is brilliant for PhD students and early career academics like myself. I am in my final year of my PhD and the book helped me to better understand the process of publishing and how to improve my chances to get my paper published in good academic journals. I really enjoyed reading this book.
The book was introduced to me and my fellow PhD students and colleagues during a workshop on ‘Writing for publication’. I personally think that this book is a must read for early career academics and I would recommended it to whoever wants to improve their chances to get their work published.
Elena Pavlova

Professor Harzing expertly provides an overview of the key stages of the publishing process. Chapters range from practical tips on keeping up with academic literature to targeting journals and avoiding desk-rejects. Of particular note are the latter chapters on strategic referencing and writing a letter to the editor, where examples are provided to aid the reader in replicating effective processes. I will continue to refer to this guide throughout the ECR stage of my career and undoubtedly beyond. Mohamed Genawi

Publishing (particularly journal articles) is one of academia’s life-long tasks. The publishing game is becoming even more challenging with the number of journal submissions increasing dramatically since the pandemic. This step-by-step guide provides a very clear instruction to prepare high quality journal articles. The ‘Publish or Perish’ software perhaps changes the game of doing literature reviews. It shows how to narrow down research gaps and search high cited publications. Chapters 4-6 tell the true story that most academics hate – desk rejection along with most common reason, a lack of fit with the journal. Chapters 7-13, on the other side, show you the principles you can follow to improve your chances of publication success. Publishing is therefore is not a bitter game, but a conversation with your peers. I highly recommend this book to all PhD, ECRs and researchers who are keen to learn more about publishing their work. Rui Su

I can't recommend this more highly, particularly to younger academic colleagues. I've published in high impact journals before but still learnt a lot from Annie-Wil's book. I obviously agree that it's critical to craft a good abstract, introduction and conclusion. I also found the Publish/Perish software extremely useful. E.g. it helped me to double-check if I've missed any important papers published in the journal that I target. will read again and again for sure. Anonymous Amazon review.

Book description

Want to progress in academia? I provide you with step-by-step guidance on publishing in academic journals, leaving you better prepared to climb the academic career ladder. 

You will learn how to get started with paper writing through chapters on the four Ps of publishing, keeping up to date with the literature, doing a literature review with the Publish or Perish software, finding out which journals publish on your topic, and targetting the right journal.

Find out how to get past the first hurdle in the peer review process, the desk-reject, focusing on titles, abstracts, introductions, and conclusions. Learn how to use references strategically, how to write a good letter to the editor, and get tips on all the other things you can do to improve your chances.

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Introduction

The first thing many PhD students and early career academics want to know is how to get their papers published, preferably in a good journal. I don’t pretend to be the world’s greatest expert on this, but I have published nearly 100 peer-reviewed articles since 1995, many of which in the top journals in my field. So, this short book documents the experience I have gathered over the years. This book is made up of two key parts:

  • Getting started with paper writing. This includes chapters on the four Ps of publishing (Chapter 1), How to keep up to date with the literature (Chapter 2), Doing a literature review with the Publish or Perish software (Chapter 3), Finding out which journals publish on your topic (Chapter 4), and Targeting the right journal (Chapter 5).
  • A structured approach to ensuring that your paper gets past the first hurdle in the peer review process: the desk-reject (Chapter 6). I focus on titles (Chapter 7), abstracts (Chapter 8), introductions (Chapter 9), conclusions (Chapter 10), using your references strategically (Chapter 11), writing a good letter to the editor (Chapter 12), and the other things you can do to improve your chances (Chapter 13).

I hope this book will help to demystify the topic of journal publishing and provides you with the necessary tools to be successful in your own publishing efforts. I would love to hear from you if you feel this book has helped you.

Table of contents

Below is the chapter outline of the book. If you would like to know more about what is included, you can download a very detailed table of contents and the introduction to the book here.

  • Introduction
  • Chapter 1: The four Ps of publishing
  • Chapter 2: How to keep up to date with the literature?
  • Chapter 3: Using Publish or Perish to do a literature review
  • Chapter 4: Where to submit your paper?
  • Chapter 5: Who do you talk to? Targeting journals
  • Chapter 6: How to avoid a desk-reject?
  • Chapter 7: Your title: The public face of your paper
  • Chapter 8: Writing your abstract: Not a last-minute activity
  • Chapter 9: Your introduction: First impressions count!
  • Chapter 10: Conclusions: Last impressions count too!
  • Chapter 11: What do you cite? Using references strategically
  • Chapter 12: Writing a letter to the editor
  • Chapter 13: What else can you do to improve your chances?
  • Conclusion
  • Further reading

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How to avoid a desk-reject?

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