Publication is the currency in the professional life of a researcher and the number of publications is a metric by which one is often measured. While a well-researched paper of good quality does require time and effort, a researcher is always under the pressure for producing more papers for publication in good journals to keep bolstering one’s CV. So, how is it done?
THINGS TO DO
- One has to work hard to produce multiple publications A researcher has to constantly read, review, discuss, and think of ideas for a paper. This is followed up with constantly writing drafts to journals for publication. If a researcher wants one publication, they often have to apply to multiple journals and often with different papers. All the hard work yield results over time, and thus a researcher must be patient and diligent in this effort.
- A researcher has to consider writing a paper and trying for its publication in a reputed journal as part of other mandatory activities like taking classes, supervising, lab work, etc. and schedule specific times for activities solely aimed for paper publication.
- A researcher must develop a writing plan with a deep knowledge of the publishing world so that they are able to calculate how many weeks it’ll take to complete each step of the publication process. Short- and mid-term goals will make the process feasible and much more manageable.
- Identifying the right journal with the right type of paper is the key to successful publication. Besides carefully reading up in details about the journal and the type of papers they specialize in, it is important to ensure the paper submitted for publication is well written with a proper editorial overview to ensure it is not rejected for technical reasons.
- Collaboration with colleagues, mentors, students, technicians, statisticians for publication is the best means of ensuring multiple publications. It is always good to share ideas and a load of writing a paper; and often inter-disciplinary publications can be more interesting when a researcher teams up with another with a different perspective.
HOWEVER, TRY & AVOID
- Plagiarism; is the most unforgiven crime in the world of publication. Unintended mistakes in the rush to get more publications is a pitfall a researcher must avoid.
- Rehashing old ideas or results that compromise the quality of the publication is another mistake to avoid. Poor quality paper invariably risks rejection which completely negates the hard work that goes behind it. It also risks discrediting a researcher amongst their peers which goes against the purpose of the paper publication.
- Neglecting other responsibilities (classes, primary research, administrative responsibilities) in the pursuit of more publications does not really work, as an academic career is built on all these aspects taken together.
A researcher must work hard AND work smart to get multiple publications. It takes time and effort to reach that level of expertise. Just focus on the Do’s and be wary of the Do Not’s.