Should I publish a peer-reviewed journal article?

grad school journal articles peer-review Mar 31, 2022
Should I publishd a peer-reviewed journal article?

Probably yes.

Publishing peer-reviewed journal articles is  an important part of an academic journey. While they are certainly not the only measure of success, almost all universities, research institutions, and funding agencies rely on journal articles as measurable output and evidence of research impact.

Plus, publishing is how you share all the hard work you did with the world!

Your research is valuable, and people want to know about it. In the academic world, you want your research published in a peer-reviewed context because it means others agree that you followed sound methods and that your results support your conclusions.

What is a peer-reviewed journal article?

A peer-reviewed journal article is one that has been vetted by experts in the field before it is published. This process ensures that the article meets certain standards of quality and relevance.

The peer-review process can be summarized as follows:

  • An author, or group of authors, submit(s) their manuscript to a journal.
  • The editor of the journal decides whether they will consider the manuscript for publication and send it for review. This decision is mostly based on whether they believe the article is a good fit for the scope of the journal, or not.
  • If yes, the editor sends the article to usually 2-5 peer reviewers. Peer reviewers are experts in their field who critically assess a manuscript for its novelty, scientific rigor, and clarity.
  • The reviewers assess the manuscript and indicate whether they recommend accepting the article or not. They usually provide detailed comments and suggestions for improvement that are then shared with the author.
  • Based on these reviews, the editor makes a decision about whether to reject the manuscript, accept it, or reconsider it pending revision.

The peer-review process is designed to ensure that only high quality research is published in journals. It can be an arduous process that takes a long time. Different journals have different timelines, but most often the process takes at least several months.


Why should you publish a peer-reviewed journal article?

Publishing journal articles opens doors to postgraduate programs, scholarships, degrees, grants, jobs, awards, and promotions.

Even if you don't pursue an academic career, publishing shows employers that you have grit and can get things done.

In short, if you have some original research or an original perspective, you can publish a peer-reviewed journal article. Your peers are the ones who will be reading your work and critiquing it, so it's important to get their feedback early on in your academic career.

Wondering when you should publish your first paper? Read this:

When should I publish my first paper?

Additional Resources

Here is list of other helpful resources and tools for writing a journal article:

🚀 Uplift: A Free Masterclass  - Feeling a bit of self-doubt about whether you can publish your work or not? Check out this free masterclass by Dr Jayne Wilkins on overcoming imposter syndrome. 

The You Can Publish That guide by Dr Jayne Wilkins – Learn how to leverage the work you have already done to write and publish high-quality journal articles.

How to format a journal article – Learn the most common structures for research papers and scientific articles.

How to publish an academic paper – Writing and publishing tips from an experienced academic, author, and journal editor.

Academic Phrasebank | The University of Manchester – Check out this massive inventory of example phrases commonly used in academia.

Hi! I'm Dr Jayne Wilkins.

I'm a research scientist and academic publishing coach. I've been writing, reviewing, and editing academic publications for 12+ years.

In 2021, I achieved my long-time ambition to publish in Nature (woot woot 🎉).

Want to publish your research?

I can help you finish and submit that manuscript.

Learn More About Me

How to Publish a Journal Article

The First 7 Steps Checklist

This free checklist is for graduate students, PhDs, and early career researchers who want to publish a journal article and share their awesome reseach with the world 💪

Perfect for those publishing their first paper, or those with a few published already.

The checklist:

⏩ Provides step-by-step guidance

⏩ Sets foundations to make writing and publishing faster and easier

⏩ Clarifies most important considerations

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