Writing scientific papers is not easy, nor does it hold much entertainment value for most people. Even those with no science background can write a paper!

Writing scientific papers is different than writing an essay or article because they are more formal and structured. There are certain rules that must be followed when publishing a paper in a peer-reviewed journal or at a conference.

This includes things such as using appropriate vocabulary, formatting properly, and proving your points logically.

While these may sound like overly complicated steps, there are lots of resources available to help you out. You will probably find someone else’s paper proofreading and editing free as well!

Overall, scientists spend a lot of time editing their work before submitting it so that others can check it for accuracy and clarity.

Journal prestige

how do scientific papers get published

A journal’s reputation is one of the most important factors in determining how well an article will be accepted. Most academic journals have committees that review articles they publish to ensure that the content is solid, the writing is clear, and the citations are legitimate.

By making sure each citation is clearly defined and documented, the reader can verify that what they are looking at is valid. Some sources may contain unnecessary or even misleading information, which could hurt your scholarship.

Academic publishers also use various tools to determine whether an article is worth publishing. These include the number of times an article has been downloaded, comments written about it, and the proportion of readers who agree with the conclusion.

It is very difficult to get published in high-quality academic journals without doing some research on potential editors and submitting an appropriate manuscript.

Journal reputation

how do scientific papers get published

A journal’s prestige is one of their most important characteristics. The higher its impact factor, the more prestigious it is. Impact factors are not only used to determine what journals get published, but they also play an integral part in how well an article is received by its readers.

A paper with top-tier research will be read and discussed much more than one that is less impressive. This helps promote the publication about which you have written or given your opinion as a member of the public!

Impact factors come from another number: the average time people spend reading a journal. While not every reader reads for hours, those who do will contribute significantly towards creating a sense of importance for the magazine.

By using these numbers as a basis, we can see why having a high impact factor is so crucial to publishing a scientific paper. It makes our work seem more significant than it actually is.

Scientific papers that are not properly vetted are sometimes accepted into conferences and/or magazines without enough criticism. This may hurt the author’s career because others perceive them as untalented or incapable.

Journal impact factor

how do scientific papers get published

A journal’s “impact factor,” or IF, is calculated by taking the number of times an article was accessed in the past year and dividing it by the average time since publication. The higher the numerator, the more frequently your article is read, and thus the higher the perceived importance of the article. The denominator is the average time since the paper was published, so articles that are new or recent get proportionally less weight.

The vast majority of scientific papers are never publicly viewed, which means most studies will have an unknown IF. However, there are ways to find out!

By tracking citations, others can determine how important your work is by comparing it to its contemporaries. If people are citing you, then they think highly of your findings and research!

Furthermore, some strategies for increasing academic success — such as publishing in high-ranking journals and engaging in rich university extracurriculars — depend on having a large network of researchers who know about and trust your work. So if you want to advance your career, you must publish in top quality venues with high prestige.

The publisher

how do scientific papers get published

After an article is written, it needs to be published somewhere for other people to read it. This where it gets tricky. Most academic journals have specific publishers that handle this publishing job. These are usually large companies with vast resources dedicated to helping get your paper accepted.

Most scientific papers start out as an author’s manuscript. An author is typically someone who has done some part of the work related to what is in the journal topic. For example, if the journal covers medical research, then the authors would be a doctor, or possibly a scientist with research experience.

After the authors write their paper, a reviewer comes in to check it. These can range from external reviewers (people outside of your field) to internal reviewers (other researchers in your field). Both do important jobs by looking at the writing and seeing how well understood the concepts and ideas are.

Once the paper is reviewed, the editorial board members of the journal decide whether it is ready to be published or not. If they feel like there are too many reasons why it should not be published, then it never makes its way into distribution.

If however, most people agree that it is a good piece of information, then it will be considered for publication. Only after it is published does it really exist as more than just words on a page.

The editor

As mentioned before, an editor will take a piece of writing and edit it to make it better. This person’s job is to fix spelling, grammar, and tone. They may also suggest changing or adding parts to give the paper more flow or introducing new ideas.

Editor position positions vary depending on what type of journal they work for. Some have internal editors that only those with higher up credentials can appoint, while others have editorial board members who are just regular readers that can invite writers.

Either way, the writer-editor relationship does not usually last longer than one year at most journals. Most do not want to invest too much time in someone else’s manuscript unless there is potential success.

The reviewers

how do scientific papers get published

After an article has been written, someone needs to read it and give their feedback. These are called referees or peer review. This is done by other scientists in your field that you have already published papers with or who have similar levels of expertise as yours. They will compare your paper to others like it and see if they can find any errors or need for revision.

If there are no major mistakes, then the reviewer will probably suggest some changes to make the paper more clear or concise. Sometimes, however, they may tell the author to reword parts of the paper or even reject the manuscript completely.

The author

how do scientific papers get published

As mentioned earlier, writing a paper is not an easy task. It takes time to plan, prepare and write down your argument or topic before you begin to put it together into a cohesive piece.

Most academic journals have their own set of internal editors that play a crucial role in determining whether or not a manuscript gets accepted. These individuals are typically qualified PhDs with specialized knowledge in the field.

They may be experts in the same area as your paper’s focus, or maybe they work for the company that publishes the journal. Either way, they know what makes a strong article beyond just having enough content!

The timing can also make a difference when seeking publication. Most journals publish at certain times of the year and some require submissions to be done within a specific period as well. Check out our article about publishing scientific research to learn more.

Your team

how do scientific papers get published

As with any career, being published is not easy for anyone. It takes time and effort to get there. But if you are determined to publish your work, here some things you need to know about how journals assess manuscripts.

Most academic fields have at least one major international journal that publishes high quality research. These journals use an editorial board made up of people who want to see the content in the magazine and agree that the manuscript contributes to this goal.

The editors then decide whether or not they will accept the paper as an article (the most rigorous type) or present it as a note or discussion (less formal). They also choose which reviewers the authors should send their paper to be reviewed.

Reviewers can be independent scientists or members of the editorial board of the journal. Their comments may or may not influence the acceptance of the paper. Sometimes, referees do not respond to reviews due to time constraints. If this happens, the editor picks another reviewer or accepts what the first set of reviewers said!

After all these steps, the editors compile the results into a review and make a decision about publication.