In the modern world, every scientist who wants to publish findings in an international, peer-reviewed journal must write in English. This can be very challenging for people who are not native speakers of English. Indeed, it can be challenging for people who are native speakers. However, whether you are writing papers in your first or any other language, the process can be greatly facilitated by approaching it in a logical, systematic manner. This brief guide is intended to help people tackle these problems, using four increasingly complex hypothetical case studies.
There are several ways to maximize the chances of publication :
- The most effective way of all is to buy the company that owns the target journal. Then you can publish all of your papers, and those of your friends and colleagues, in it. The problems with this strategy are that it is very expensive and there is a risk that the quality, and hence the impact rating, of the journal will decline.
- The second strategy is to discover an embarrassing secret about the journal’s editor and apply blackmail. The problems with this approach are that it is difficult and immoral.
- The third option is to describe the problems/phenomena you have addressed, your results and their implications clearly and concisely. This is the approach that can be most easily adopted by the majority of readers and the one that will be considered here.
However brilliant or innovative your study may be, there is no guarantee that it will be accepted by the target journal. However, presenting your study clearly and coherently greatly improves the chances of acceptance.
Furthermore, writing papers is simple. Essentially, all that you need to do is this:
- Describe what you have done and why you have done it.
- Outline the results and limitations (or focus) of the study.
- Discuss the implications of the findings and highlight their importance.
The problem is that this has to be done:
- Clearly and concisely.
- While covering all the key points and showing that your study is very important.
- And in a foreign language, if you are writing in English and you are not a native English speaker.
As stated before, currently, if one wants to publish papers in international, peer reviewed journals, they must be written in English. This is clearly unfair and may change in the future. Indeed, as China’s economic power grows, it is quite possible that in a few decades everyone will have to write in Chinese. However, at the moment all scientists who want a successful career have to write in English.
Blackwell, J., & Martin, J. (2011). A scientific approach to scientific writing (p.1). Springer Science & Business Media.