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

  • Black & white paperback, 130pp. ISBN 978-1-7396097-2-6.
  • Kindle edition, 142pp. ISBN 978-17396097-7-1.


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

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.


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.

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