Sport research/Getting published

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Universities and other research institutes genearlly rely on research as a part of their income stream. In Australia, the government's Excellence in Research Australia initiative assesses research quality within Australia's higher education institutions using a combination of indicators and expert review by committees comprising experienced, internationally-recognised experts[1]. Part of this initiative encourages Universitity academics to publish in academic journals and funding for publications is determind by the ERA-determined quality of the journal. Publications do not just serve financial means though, they also assist the advancement of knowledge and improve society.

Open access[edit | edit source]

Sharing information helps to maximise its potential impact on society. Open access peer-reviewed publications and open access teaching materials offer greater potential for collective knowledge-development than restricted publication via proprietary publishing houses which only allows access to material to the economically privileged[2]. In particular, many believe that scientific knowledge created by publically funded organisations (such as many Universities) have an extra obligation to ensure all public have open and free access to research created in these places. Open access thus forms another consideration when deciding on which academic journal to choose for submission for publication.

Peer review[edit | edit source]

From Wikipedia's Scholarly peer review[3] section

Scholarly peer review (also known as refereeing) is the process of subjecting an author's scholarly work, research, or ideas to the scrutiny of others who are experts in the same field, before a paper describing this work is published in a journal. The work may be accepted, considered acceptable with revisions, or rejected. Peer review requires a community of experts in a given (and often narrowly defined) field, who are qualified and able to perform impartial review. Impartial review, especially of work in less narrowly defined or inter-disciplinary fields, may be difficult to accomplish; and the significance (good or bad) of an idea may never be widely appreciated among its contemporaries. Although generally considered essential to academic quality, and used in most important scientific publications, peer review has been criticized as ineffective, slow, and misunderstood[by whom?] (see anonymous peer review and open peer review). Recently there have been some experiments with wiki-style, signed, peer reviews, for example in an issue of the Shakespeare Quarterly.[15]

An interesting debate on the justification, criticism, process and different types of peer review follow in the wikipedia entry.

The process[edit | edit source]

Most academic journals have a website with 'instructions to authors'. Every journal tends to have subtle differences in how they want work presented, especially the referencing style (check out to see if the journal already has a style in the referncing tool that you use, or you may be able to find one online). The instruction to authors describe the scope of the journal as well as the details of the layout they require for publication. After you have written up your research, and your co-authors have all agreed its ready for submission, most journals will have an online tool through which you upload your manuscript. Often figures need to be sent as seperate files, and details of their format should also appeart in the instructions to authors.

Here is the instructions for authors for the Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise journal as an example.

Once submitted, your manuscript will go through a peer review process and decisions will be made about the appropriateness and worthiness of publication in their journal. Your manuscript will probably be rejected, or at least delayed, if you havent followed the instructions to authors. Hoppin has a published (open access) paper providing insights on how he reviews original scientific research articles[4] and it would be a good idea to consider how your manuscript might hold-up to this scrutiny. Reviewers will generally suggest some changes, and ideally, the reviewer will provide lots of constructive criticism that will allow you to improve, and resubmit your manuscript.

The review process is an interesting undertaken in itself and a number of publishers and journals have provided articles offering advice to reviewers. Provenzale and Stanley [5] write an article titled A Systematic Guide to Reviewing a Manuscript (open access) which is particularly useful for checking your own writing against prior to Journal submission, or even in the planning stages of a manuscript.

Handling rejection[edit | edit source]

According to a 2007 study, 62% of scientific papers have been rejected for publication at least once[6]. Rejection is somewhat common, but it should be seen as an opportunity to improve the manuscript. Handling manuscript rejection is an excellent (open access) paper on your options and insights on interpreting rejection comments. Well worth a read.

Activity[edit | edit source]

Activities are mini-tasks that will give you some practice with the concepts of each section. Activities should appear here soon, if not, feel free to add some open access ones yourself.

Task[edit | edit source]

  1. Decide on a journal that you would like to get published in and your manuscript is appropriate for (always best to aim slightly higher than you think where it will get published)
  2. Read over their instructions to authors, make any formatting changes you need to.
  3. Submit for publication using their online submission process.
  4. Wait for the feedback. If you are published, congratulations! If not, have a good read over the comments, take a deep breath, and get on with the changes to improve your paper asap. Resubmit to either the same, or a different journal.

Resources[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. The Excellence in Research for Australia Inititative Last modified 01/11/2010. Accessed 11/01/2011.
  2. James Neill. Open Access. Accessed 11/01/2011
  3. Wikipedia's Scholary Peer Review, Accessed 11/01/2011.
  4. Hoppin JR (2002) How I review an original scientific research article. American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, 166(8): 1019. doi:10.1164/rccm.200204-324OE
  5. Provenzale JM and Stanley RJ (2005) A systematic guide to reviewing a manuscript. American Journal of Roentgenology, 85(4): 848-54.
  6. Hall SA and Wilcox AJ (2007) The fate of epidemiologic manuscripts: a study of papers submitted to Epidemiology. Epidemiology 18:262–265.