Build up a picture of the journal and understand the stages your paper will go through before it is published.
Why you should read a journal’s ‘Aims & Scope’
The ‘Aims & Scope’ will help you understand what the journal is about, and who it is for.
Find it on the journal page on tandfonline.com
Journal citation metrics
Citation metrics (rightly or wrongly) are widely used as measures of quality by:
• Tenure and promotion committees
• Grant awarding bodies
In the simplest terms, they calculate the average number of citations over a specified time period. For example:
• Impact Factor/Science Citation Index
• SNIP/ Scopus
• Eigenfactor Score®
• Article Influence Score®
Open access: what is it?
• Making article freely available online to read • Making article reusable by third parties with little or no
Two routes to publishing OA:
Gold Open Access• Refers to publication of the final article (Version of
Record)• Article is made freely available online (often after
payment of an article publishing charge or APC).Green Open Access
• Usually refers to archiving of an (earlier version of an) article
• Deposit of an article in a repository
for a journal
What to remember
Do: Look at published papers
Quote key articles in the journal
Fit the Aims & Scope
Format your article to the journal
Know where or who to submit to
Check spelling and grammar
Consider English ‘polishing’
Read it out loud
Ask a colleague to read it
Don’t:× Overlook the title
× Rush the abstract
× Dismiss the submission guidelines
× Ignore the bibliography
× Leave acronyms unexplained
× Forget to clear any copyright
×Miss out attachments (figures, tables)
× Send the wrong version of your paper
Instructions for Authors
What makes a good title
"We would typically expect a strong title, a good title that really expressed what the article was about and made it clear to the reader exactly what the topic was, and it's amazing how often writers neglect to do that.”
Professor Mark Brundrett, Editor
What makes a good abstract
"“A good abstract will tell you what the key issue that’s addressed is, it’ll give you an idea of the methods that have been used and the conclusions that have been arrived at.
So that abstract ought to tell someone whether it’s worth them spending part of their life reading this paper. If the abstract doesn’t do that the chances are the paper will have further weaknesses.”
Professor David Gillborn, Editor
Race, Ethnicity and Education
Tips on a good abstract
Ethics for authors: the essentials
• Be wary of self-plagiarism.
• Don’t submit a paper to more than one journal at a time.
• Don’t send an incomplete paper just to get feedback.
• Always include and / or acknowledge all co-authors (and let them know you’ve submitted the paper to be published).
• Always mention any source of funding for your paper.
• If you are using data sets gathered by someone else, check that you have permission to use them in your article.
Adopt a clear writing style
• Be direct – write about the research, not the article
• Be active – avoid ‘is described’, ‘is reported’
• Avoid ambiguity and misinterpretation – many readers will not have English as their first language
• Be consistent – British or American English; units of measurement; abbreviations (this applies to figures and tables too)
• Use subheadings – to break up long sections and aid reader navigation
• Ask for feedback if you’re not sure – colleagues can provide constructive comments.
Working with Figures and Tables
• Is the figure or table necessary? – if you can explain the point and a sentence or two, probably not
• Beware information overload – is all the data necessary in the table?; would 2 figures be easier to understand for the reader?; can the reader understand the figure without commentary?
• Are there enough clues? – legends, scale bars and axes should be clearly labelled; NB histograms usually need standard deviations
• Avoid non-essential colour – patterns may be best
• Ensure you have the correct copyright clearance.
Working with References
• Use a software tool to organise references – many journals have templates for use in packages e.g. Endnote
• Numbered lists – should always start at 1
• All references cited in text should appear in the bibliography – and vice versa. Don’t forget to include key relevant papers published in the journal.
• Cite the most recent papers – not a full history of research in the area. Citing “Taylor, et al. and references therein” can help in covering what’s required
• Unpublished results – references to these should be kept to a minimum
Making the process of preparing and submitting a manuscript easier.
Your submission checklist
A title page file with the names of all authors and co-authors Main document file with abstract, keywords, main text and all
references Figure, image or table files (with permission cleared) Any extra files, such as your supplemental material Biographical notes Your cover letter The correct version of your paper
You will need to format your article to meet the requirements of the journal. Word templates are available for many Taylor & Francis journals. Check the journal’s Instructions for Authors (on every journal page on tandfonline.com).
What happens in Peer Review?
What is peer review?
Allows an author’s research to be evaluated and commented upon by independent experts.
Which can take different forms:
• 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.
Every article published in a Taylor & Francis journal goes through rigorous peer review.
Stages of peer review
Editor receives manuscript &
makes an initial assessment
Sent out to reviewers
Feedback to author
How to handle reviewers’ comments
• Try to accept feedback with good grace• Revise as requested• If you can’t, explain why• Turn the paper round on time• Thank the reviewers for their time
If you’re responding:
• Be specific• Defend your position: be assertive and persuasive, not
defensive or aggressive
Don’t be afraid to ask the Editor for guidance. A good Editor will want to help.
• Accept, in present form
• Accept, with minor revisions
• Revise, with request for major revisions
• Reject, with the option to resubmit a new version in the future
• Reject(some journals now allow the transfer of reviewer reports to accompany rejected papers to other journals)
Top ten reasons for rejection (what to avoid)
1. Sent to the wrong journal – doesn’t fit the Aims and Scope, or
fails to engage with issues addressed by the journal
2. Not a true journal article – too journalistic or clearly a thesis
chapter or consultancy report
3. Too long/too short
4. Poor regard of the journal’s conventions – haven’t consulted the
Instructions for Authors, or to confirm academic writing standards
5. Unclear language – poor style, grammar, punctuation or English.
6. Scrappily presented – and not proof read.
7. Fails to say anything of significance – no new contribution to the
subject or states the obvious at length
8. Not properly contextualised – may be parochial.
9. Poor theoretical framework – and lack of relevant references.
10. Inappropriate – libellous, unethical, rude or lacks objectivity.
What to do if your article is rejected
• Do nothing for a few days: try to calm down and try not to take it personally.
• You could use the reviewers’ comments, alter the paper and submit to another journal.
• If you do submit elsewhere, make sure you alter your paper to the new style of that journal. Editors can easily detect a paper that was submitted to another publication.
• If you are asked to make heavy amendments and resubmit, you must decide if it is worthwhile.
Congratulations, you’re published!
What is their focus?
Think like an editor
“... I think authors need to be a little bit empathetic. I think authors need to think ‘what is it like to be an Editor of a journal?’. How many papers is the Editor receiving per day, per week? What is going to actually make the journal pay attention to my paper?”
Monica Taylor, Co-Editor
Journal of Moral Education
An Editor’s role is a difficult one!
• Managing peer review – pressure to review quickly; increasing numbers of submissions; finding reviewers
• Maintaining quality – attracting consistent standard of articles; pressure to attain/sustain Impact Factor
• Relationship management – authors, reviewers, board members (and sometimes society or university)
• Looking to the future – creating a distinct vision for the journal and its future; responding to changes in the research world e.g. research openness, data mining, economic pressures
How Editorial Boards support the Editor
• Act as ambassadors for the journal – both at home and abroad
• Balance across subjects and gender• Represent different regions and countries• Add lustre – well-known names• Mix of career stages essential• Review/recommend reviewers• Help generate special issue themes• Each has their own individual (international) network
– essential that they use it• Bring experience from Boards of other journals
How Regional Editors support the Editor
• Regular contact
• Responsibility and accountability for issues, papers, reviewer selection if appropriate
• Ownership for region:
– Conference attendance
– Recruiting new board members
– Gathering knowledge on local trends, research assessments
How do reviewers support the Editor
• Bob Franklin, Editor-in-Chief of Journalism Studies and Journalism Practice
• Gary McCulloch, Editor-in-Chief of British Journal of Educational Studies
• Mike Smith, Editor-in-Chief of Journal of Maps
• Sign up to peer review papers
• Join an Editorial Board
• Contribute to a special issue on a hot topic
• Present a working paper
• Write a book review
• Publish a paper in one of the journals everyone in your discipline reads – get known within your community
• Write a literature review – these often have higher citation potential than original research papers
• Many scientific societies now offer awards or grants for the best research paper or best new author
Peer Review in 2015: A Global ViewFindings from the Taylor & Francis White Paper
Stacy Sieck, Library Communications Manager
Author Event, University of Sao Paulo
08 October 2015
• 7,438 survey respondents internationally
• Views from editors, authors and reviewers
• 6 focus groups held in the UK, China and South Africa
• Data spanning the sciences, social sciences, and humanities
What are the benefits of peer review?
• 68% of researchers believe they can have confidence in the academic rigour of published articles because of the peer review process.
• The majority strongly agree that peer review improved their most recently published article.
Biggest problems with the peer review process
• Rated the highest: regional and seniority bias
• Rated the lowest: identity and gender bias
How Long is too Long?
Most researchers wait between one and six months for an article they’ve written to undergo peer review, yet authors think up to two months is reasonable.
Which peer review models do researchers prefer?
Our study found a strong preference for double blind review, with a rating of 8 or above out of 10 - echoing previous peer review studies.
Where does peer review fall short?
• Researchers expect peer review to detect plagiarism and fraud, check factual accuracy, and judge novelty
• But ratings show peer review falls short, with STM researchers moderately more satisfied than their HSS colleagues that these outcomes are achieved
Motivation: Why do you peer review articles?
• The top rated reasons:
– Play their part in the academic process
– Reciprocate the benefit (for their own reviewed articles)
– To improve articles
• Each rated higher than 7.5 out of 10 – with a very similar pattern between STM and HSS reviewers.
Should peer review be out in the open?
• Personal preference weighs heavily in responses from researchers in our international peer review study.
• Overall, we found balanced views across open, open and published, and post-publication review, with competing views for and against these newer models across roles, locations and experience levels.
Communication and peer review: Where’s my article?
• Researchers report that being kept informed on the progress of an article as it goes through peer review is not being handled effectively.
• There is strong support (ranking 8 or more out of 10) for journals to publish review times, from submission to publication decision, online.
How structured should peer review reports be?
• Researchers say they find a basic checklist the most beneficial format for ensuring the quality of the review.
• The more highly structured and rigid the review format is, the less beneficial reviewers find them.
• However, the least beneficial of all is a totally unstructured review, with no guidance whatsoever.
What incentivizes researchers to do more peer review?
• As in previous large-scale studies, there is no consensus amongst reviewers about whether being paid would make them more or less likely to accept invitations to review.
• Some suggestions from survey respondents:
– Free access to the journal
– Waive color fees
– Waive APCs (article publishing charges) for open access publication
• Reviewers would be most put off peer reviewing articles by having their reviewer’s report published publicly and by making their identity known to the author.
Sign me up!
• Over two-thirds of authors (72% HSS / 69% STM) who have never peer reviewed a paper would like to yet many journal editors struggle to locate reviewers.
• Our forthcoming peer review white paper also looks at ways to close this gap
• Two-thirds of editors find it difficult to find a reviewer for articles and this is consistent for STM and HSS.
• This is a considerable challenge for editors who also report that submission volumes have increased in every discipline.
Stay tuned for the complete white paper!
• Find our ‘Peer review in 2015: A global view’ white paper on authorservices.taylorandfrancis.com in mid-October
• Sign up for author alerts at http://bit.ly/1Wnlkuu to stay informed!