Anastasia’s Advice for Publishing
1. Believe in the important story about teaching you have to tell. The story you tell is to generate knowledge about the topic you chose. It is a story that others can learn from, regardless of the results. It is your story and yet one others can relate to and extend in their contexts.
2. Share your manuscript with critical friends and get their continuous input on your writing. Participate in a writing and publishing support group. Also ask others who are well published for their feedback on your manuscript. Ask advanced scholars about the “dirty little secrets” to getting published.
3. Decide on the audience who will most benefit from your research.
4. Choose a journal that best fits your research focus and audience. This important step is often overlooked. Get a sample journal copy. Don’t hesitate to contact and speak with the editors to sort out if your manuscript is a good fit for the journal’s mission. Talk to others who have submitted to the journal. Look at the types of articles and topics already published in the journal over the last couple of years. Who is the editor? What is her or his stance? Who is on the editorial board? Who are the reviewers? Carefully read the journal’s criteria. Write specifically to its specs.
5. Keep researching and writing. Researching and writing take time. If you are interested in publishing more than once and becoming a more prolific writer and contributor, then this advice is for you. That is, if you want to develop a habit of researching and writing, then have a short-term and a long-term plan. I tell my doctoral students, “Keep cooking!” with one project in the pot almost done (a manuscript ready to submit), one pot in the making (research in progress), and one pot ready to cook (your ideas for your next research project). Having both a short-term and a long-term plan is important since the turnaround time from submitting to hearing back from journals can take up to 6 months for some journals.
6. Accept the long process of revision. A polished manuscript takes time and multiple revisions. The best writers revise many times. Don’t send your manuscript out until it’s in good shape. Journals are not your editors but can give you great insights. That will take longer than if you solicit advice from scholars and peers.
7. Embrace critique and be persistent. You will receive a note that your manuscript has been received. If you don’t hear back about the acceptance, revision, or rejection from your journal within a reasonable time, then e-mail or call the editor. It’s very seldom that no edits are needed. Write specifically to each concern and address how you have responded and corrected any concerns. Once you receive the reviews, listen to the reviewers’ concerns. Send out your revisions after you have stepped back from your manuscript and then looked at it again. Carefully read what the reviewers’ concerns are really about. Smile often and consider how fortunate you are to receive feedback on your work. Reviewers offer invaluable information to improve your writing and research. Writing is a process and requires that you are persistent and committed to writing and rewriting. You have the opportunity to present a high-quality manuscript, and that just takes work and time. Never give up.
8. Celebrate your efforts! Your effort counts. If your manuscript is rejected, see that as an opportunity to learn from the reviewer comments and make revisions. Rewrite. Send to your second choice of journal. Be persistent, be diligent, and have faith in your own abilities and hard efforts. It will happen. Writing is a habit of mind and heart. Enjoy the discoveries along the way (Samaras, 2010).