View Full Version : Slightly OT/ Submitting to academic journals

04-01-2008, 01:47 AM
This goes out to those who are in or deal with academia and academic journals on a regular basis.

I am thinking of submitting an article to an appropriate academic journal. This article would represent the academic side/angle of a much larger project.The article though is more an account- or review- type or short summary/overview article than an academic paper proper.To date, I have undertaken research of the appropriate academic journals (print and e-journals).

However, while for regular NF magazine queries one can utilise a multiple/simultaneous submission process, I am unsure of the submissions policies of academic journals.

I am wondering if such types of articles are considered "quicker", and whether one can undertake a multiple/simultaneous submission with academic journals?


04-01-2008, 03:03 AM
I would think it would be a very bad idea to submit to more than ine journal. Submissions tend to go under peer review immediately, the delay is the time that review takes. So if you yanked the piece you would be wasting the time of 3 or more highly qualified volunteer peer reviewers.

04-01-2008, 03:38 AM
Plan on submitting it to one journal at a time. Expect the process to take forever. Once tentatively accepted, expect them to ask you for multiple rewrites and edits. Expect many of those edits to infuriate you. Expect the whole process to leave you with a slightly oily, unpleasant taste in your mouth. But you'll get a "pub credit" out of it when it's over. ;)

04-01-2008, 08:59 PM
Yes, academic journals move very slowly. Only submit to one journal at a time and expect to wait anywhere from 3 months to 9 months before you hear anything. The peer reviewers will either send back "accept", "accept with revisions" or "do not accept." If you get the "accept with revisions", which is very common, expect to revise your paper in ways that have no relevance - the egos in academia are very big and if you don't cite the appropriate papers (i.e., the reviewer's paper), you will most likely have to. Tier 1 journals are the hardest, Tier 2 are not as bad, and many Tier 3 are fairly easy because they are looking for articles to fill their page count.

04-01-2008, 10:19 PM
And you do know you don't get paid, right?

04-02-2008, 04:43 AM
Thanks. Now I am much wiser to the general submission process and requirements.

However, I am thinking more in terms of the academic journal equivalent of the ‘front of book’-type article—a case study, more or less, which is *more likely to contain no references*.

Have any here heard or know directly if the same time frame for acceptance applies for these?

flashgordon: This hierarchical tier system I didn’t know about. I am skeptical, but is there a reference or site/s which might outline these and the how the journals are placed within this? Failing this, how do you find out?

Med: Yes, I know there’s no payment involved.

04-02-2008, 05:23 AM
The tier thing is mainly reputation but in the wider science area and some humanities it relates to impact factor: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Impact_factor

01-28-2009, 06:27 AM
It's been nearly 10 months, but I have made progress, albeit slow.

I have researched and contacted a number of relevant people, both academics and other professionals in the area, for comments and suggestions on my proposed case study.

To date, I have received short comments & suggestions from one academic, and presently have a more or less running conversation by telephone & email with another, an enormous help.

(The actions and/or comments from two others after follow up were polite forms of telling me to “rack off”, with one in particular apparently liking to "jerk my string").

Then again, I suppose an overall 50% 'hit rate' isn't too bad for someone who is both unknown to these people and most decidedly not an academic.

The questions now are:

i) how does one actually get a list of (relevant) academic journals which is subdivided into tiers?

ii) Does such exist? If so, where does one find this?


01-28-2009, 06:29 AM
You look up the impact fact of the journals you are considering and rank them ;) There aren't any tiers.

01-28-2009, 08:01 AM
In law school, I was on a journal and we frequently received submissions that had been submitted elsewhere. The author would usually let us know that and if we didn't move on a piece, the author would tell us if some other journal (usually in another law school) was considering publication. Sometimes they let us know their preference was to be published by us but would have another offer outstanding. We sometimes moved on it and sometimes we just let it go.

01-28-2009, 09:16 AM
You look up the impact fact of the journals you are considering and rank them ;) There aren't any tiers.

Err...do you actually mean 'any' or 'many' tiers?

So...for the uninformed general public like myself, the inference is that with all the mention of Tier 1 and so on, a tier is purely and only a personal construct? That such a list categorised by tiers doesn't actually or formally exist? Have I got this right?

01-28-2009, 07:34 PM
I would consider tier one a subjective call, and I don't use it. The impact factor is a number on a continuous scale with as many decimal places as you like. I, personally, could not tell you the impact factor of any of the dozen journals I have published with, the half-dozen I review for or the one I am on the editorial board of. As a rating of actual importance I consider it flawed to the point of uselessness. For example, journals read by those who actually apply the information (rather than publish yet more papers about it) tend to have low factors--but can have very high "real world" impact.

Edited to Add: I just looked up the impact factor of the two journals I consider most important and influential in my discipline (and with which I have no direct ties and have not even published in withint he last 20 years). They both rate less than 1, which is very low. http://www.genebee.msu.su/journals/if01a.html

01-29-2009, 07:56 AM
Your "insider's insight" is illuminating, especially concerning ranking and tiers.

These major questions then arise:

For an unknown contributor like myself, with no academic/professional collaborator (at present, anyway), how is one meant to choose which journal/s to select and then approach the editor?

You seem to be suggesting to ignore the rankings--if so, how does one go about choosing--rely on journal title and summary? some other far more casual method?

(Also, I presume that our discussion is not referenced by the use of
e-journals & other field-related publications?)

01-29-2009, 08:15 AM
In my last life I published quite a bit in the medical scientific literature. I don't know what your work is about, but I'd take the straightforward approach of choosing journals that publish work similar to yours. My particular field was molecular biology of vascular endothelial cells, so I submitted to journals where I found that kind of research. You'll need to compare what you've done with previous research on your subject anyway. You might also look at the previously published work of the experts who have been advising you and check out those journals. All journals have submission guidelines.

01-29-2009, 09:05 AM
The journals should be chosen based on the audience you are trying to reach or people you want to impress. I see them like other presses in that regards. Some have more prestige, some have a larger readership, are more 'trade', are read by certain people etc. I generally published in the journals I read and respected. How often a paper is cited within a one year time period (the impact factor) doesn't align much with any of these.

02-05-2009, 05:57 AM
Thanks again, all

02-06-2009, 07:52 AM
One journal at a time is the best option you can get. Think about it if you need revisions, it's so easy to edit one.