1 Getting Published Ed Diener Smiley Professor of Psychology University of Illinois
2 Submission Suggestions 1. The right journal? 2. Persevere, be tough 3. Frame the intro with your study in mind 4. Get the paper to the right reviewers 5. Do reviews yourself 6. Expect long lags 7. Hooray for the chance to revise
3 How to Publish Nora S. Newcombe Temple University
4 My Editorial Experience Invited Co-Editor, Special Issue on Interactions among Scientists and Policy Makers; Challenges and Opportunities, American Psychologist, March Editor, Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, Guest Editor, Special Issues on Early Memory, Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, Associate Editor, Psychological Bulletin, Consulting Editor, Developmental Psychology, , Child Development, , Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, , Psychological Bulletin, , Journal of Cognition and Development, 2002-, Psychological Science, 2004-, Perspectives on Psychological Science, 2005-, Psychonomic Bulletin and Review, Reviewer for many other journals, e.g., Behavioral and Brain Sciences, Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, Psychological Review, Science.
5 Do You Have Something to Say? There is no substitute for a good idea You also need compelling data and a clear take-home message Bem (1995) wrote that an article: tells a straightforward tale of a circumscribed question in want of an answer. It is not a novel with subplots and flashbacks but a short story with a single, linear narrative line.
6 OK, I Have Something to Say Now What? Get a pre-review From yourself (learn to role play) From colleagues (remember that they are almost always right) Neatness counts Did you check spelling and grammar? Did you follow APA style?
7 Sending Out the Article Pick the right journal Remember that editors differ they are people not machines. American Psychologist has annual information on APA journals ISI has citation counts Write a good cover letter Blind review? Set your expectations for review appropriately
8 Varieties of the Rejection Experience When is rejection not rejection? Any time revision is invited. Do not procrastinate about revision What if you disagree with the reviewers? Say so, but politely.
9 Which is Right? (from Bem, 1995) I have left the section on the animal studies unchanged. If Reviewers A and C can t even agree on whether the animal studies are relevant, I must be doing something right. You will recall that Reviewer A thought the animal studies should be described more fully, whereas Reviewer C thought they should be omitted. A biopsychologist in my department agreed with reviewer C that the animal studies are not really valid analogs of the human studies. So I have dropped them from the text but cited Snarkle s review of them in an explanatory footnote on page 26.
10 Advice to young writers from an old editor Robert V. Kail Purdue University
11 Caveat emptor regarding my advice Except for the past four months, my editorial experience is limited to developmental journals Given the choice between stunning data and elegant theory, I d always pick the former My comments apply to empirical pieces that would be submitted to a specialty journal My advice assumes that you have something worth publishing!
12 Turning a thesis/dissertation into a manuscript suitable for publication Dissertations and manuscripts meet different needs Signs that a manuscript originated in a dissertation Too long, particularly the introduction Includes marginal experiments Write clearly Avoid jargon (J.Williams Style: Lessons in clarity and grace) Have others read the manuscript Framing a study effectively What is unknown? Why is it important to know it? How does your study help us to know it better?
13 Determining authorship APA Publication Manual: Authorship encompasses not only those who do the actual writing but also those who have made substantial scientific contributions [including] formulating the problem or hypothesis, structuring the experimental design, organizing and conducting the statistical analysis, interpreting the results, or writing a major portion of the paper. Blackwell Publishers-- Publication Ethics Some recommend that agreements be put in writing
14 Strategies for submitting Selecting a journal Where are articles on this topic published? What are relevant professional societies? Read information for contributors Impact factor Submitting Follow guidelines in information for contributors Follow APA guidelines regarding cover letter
15 The action or decision letter It will not be accepted. Read everything; the action letter is not a simple unweighted summary of reviews. Revise and resubmit: Follow the instructions carefully. Rejected: Join the crowd we all have manuscripts filed away that should be thrown away! Appeal? Only when a review is factually incorrect and that error influenced the editorial decision Submit elsewhere? Maybe.
16 Why are manuscripts rejected? Topic is not timely or interesting Flaws in method Data are flawed or, at least, are not compelling (weak effects).
17 Conclusion Being a successful scientist takes a thick skin good journals reject the majority of submissions. But hang in there the rewards of discovery are immense.
18 Telling Your Story Susan Nolen-Hoeksema Hoeksema,, Ph.D. Department of Psychology Yale University
19 You ve Finished Your Project!
20 Now It s s Time to Write Your Article
21 Which Article Do You Write? (a) (b) The article you planned to write when you designed your study, or The article that makes the most sense now that you know your results Correct answer: b Bem,, 2003; dbem.ws/writingarticle.pdf
22 For Whom Do You Write?
23 For Whom Do You Write? Colleagues who know a fair amount about your subject matter, but often not as much as you know Reader-based prose: - think about what the reader needs to know to understand your argument and your study - what will capture the reader s s interest - organize conceptually
24 Where Do You Start? In the Middle.
25 The Methods Section Lead the reader through the procedures as if he/she was a participant. Provide enough detail for replication. Avoid multiple abbreviations. Describe your participants thoroughly. Discuss technical details as necessary. Discuss problems as necessary.
26 The Results Section Make clear what type of analyses you conducted. Begin with the central findings then move on to the more peripheral findings. Remind readers of the hypotheses motivating your analyses. Interpret results in clear prose. Summarize at the end of major sections. Use figures and tables as necessary.
27 The Introduction: An Inverted Triangle The Big Picture Supporting Detail Your Study
28 The Introduction Talk about people, processes, and problems not researchers and chronology. Use examples. Avoid jargon. Discuss and cite only previous work directly relevant to your study. Don t t list studies. Avoid being unnecessarily critical of other researchers (who will likely be your reviewers).
29 The Introduction Provide a clear rationale for all your major hypotheses. State your hypotheses clearly as you move through the introduction. Use sections with headers to divide up the intro conceptually. End with a summary of your main hypotheses.
30 The Discussion: Another Triangle Your Results Connection to Literature Conclusions and Implications
31 More on Discussion Organization 1. Introductory paragraph summarizing main results 2. Main results grouped conceptually and integration with the literature 3. Limitations 4. Conclusions and implications
32 10 Common Discussion Section Mistakes 1. Starting with limitations 2. Going overboard with limitations 3. Not acknowledging limitations 4. Simply restating the results without interpretation or integration with literature 5. Presenting new results
33 10 Common Mistakes cont cont d 6. Making strong claims about weak results 7. Not differentiating strong and weak results in conclusions 8. Lapsing into causal language about correlational data 9. Repeating the introduction 10. No concluding statements; end with limitations
34 Keeping Yourself Motivated Social learning theory (Bandura)) has taught us: Break the tasks of writing into proximal goals - 5 minute tasks - 1 hour tasks - 1 afternoon tasks
35 If You Get Overwhelmed or Stuck
36 Take a Break
37 Ask for Help When You Need It
38 Resources Baumeister, R.F., & Leary, M.R. (1997). Writing narrative literature reviews. Review of General Psychology, 1, Bem, D.J. (2004). Writing the empirical journal article. In J.M. Darley, M.P. Zanna, H.L. Roediger III (Eds.), The compleat academic: A guide for the beginning social scientist (2 nd ed.). (pp ). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association. (dbem.ws/online_pubs.html#writing) Bem, D.J. (1995). Writing a review article for Psychological Bulletin. Psychological Bulletin, 118, Rosenthal, R. (1995). Writing meta-analytic reviews. Psychological Bulletin, 118, (dbem.ws/online_pubs.html#writing) Sternberg, R.J. (Ed.). (2000). Guide to publishing in psychology journals. Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press. Strunk, Jr., W., & White, E.B. (2000). The elements of style, 4 th edition. New York: Longman Publishers.
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