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Discussion session with Jack Creswell: Writing for Science Journals Part 1

This is interview is an excerpt from a discussion in which the students had an interaction with Jack Creswell. Jack has authored more than 10 books in the field of management and the latest book caters to the challenges of organizational culture in multinational organizations. As a member of dissertation chair in his college, he is involved in counselling students regarding the tips and tricks of writing outstanding research papers for esteemed scientific journals.

We present for you some questions which were asked by the students in an enlightening discussion. Hopefully this excerpt would help you understand the secret behind writing a successful research paper.

Student committee: Jack, we would like to know “what is the secret of you becoming a successful book author and a successful science writer?”

Jack: When I started my career 20 years back, I was working with a start-up firm and I was one of its founding members. I was intricately involved in designing various strategies to take the business to another level. For doing the same I was involved in lot if market research regarding the strategies of brands working in similar industry as that of ours. That was the phase when I felt the urge of sharing my knowledge with the people and especially with the students who are brimming with knowledge. A friend of mine was working with a publishing house and he proposed a plan that I can also share my knowledge by writing real-life case studies. He extended full assistance in getting my first book published and thereafter I enrolled myself into Ph.D. this is when I got into academic writing and my passion for getting published in SCI indexed journals also got wings.

Let me be very honest, my prior experience of writing a book was really instrumental for me to think in a structured manner. An added habit of writing 200-300 words on daily basis also gives you an edge over others.

Student committee: How do ensure that the topic of the research chosen by us will be accepted by the journal for which we are writing the paper?

Jack: As far as I know, before deciding on a topic, you should conduct thorough review of literature. This would help you in understanding that the topic chosen by you has not been researched before. Try to narrow down those studies wherein there is a need of further research and no work is available as an extension to them. The topic which you chose should not only e theoretically sound but should also have practical contribution for the international scientific community. Let me give you an example, when I did my research on analysing the role of personality in influencing the choice of brands on the expatriates, then I looked out if this research has been done before or not. It is also important to justify the rationale for conducting this research because the supervisors would want to know the academic contribution of the research work which you have decided to do.

Student committee: I am writing the research paper for the first time. I want my paper to be published in an eminent science journal. But, my concern is that I am a student pursuing my masters. I want to know that do impact factor journals accept papers from the students or they are only open for experienced researchers? What points should I keep in mind to ensure that my paper gets accepted?

Jack: There is not thumb rule regarding the acceptance of the research paper in the SCI indexed journals. Someday or the other you will have to begin writing the research paper. People who are in the process of doing their Ph.D. usually write research papers which act as a subset of their comprehensive research. But, when you people decide to write a research paper in your genre then you can take up any topic in which there is less research. When I wrote my first paper, I was also a novice researcher and hence, I chose a topic which was a cause of anxiety for me in my organization. I did the research to help solve a lingering issue of my organization. Although, as you are inexperienced at writing paper, so I would advise you to take help from your supervisors and mentors so that you can organize your thoughts well. Structure them so that logical flow of writing is maintained in the paper. Read journals from your genre which is available in both online database and in your libraries. Then choose a journal for which you want to write and understand its style of writing. All this would help you make your work easier in appropriate direction.

Student committee: Hello Jack, it’s a pleasant experience to interact with you. My query is that I want to get my paper published in a scientific journal catering to human resource subjects. How should I find journals and what are the criteria for selecting a good journal to get our research work published?

Jack: Interesting question! For those who are not aware about picking the right journal for themselves, they should google the “THOMSON REUTERS MASTER JOURNAL LIST for the year 2015”. This list comprises of all the journals which are either having impact factor or considerable reach among the audience. Every year THOMSON REUTERS brings out this list and there you would find the list of publishes and their respective country along with the name of the journal pertaining to your genre. You can select the target audience whom you want to address trough your research.

Student committee: “I have often heard from my seniors that their efforts in research go in vain and the editorial team rejects the paper outright.” Are these rumors or is it the truth?

Jack: These rumors are not true to full extent. There are a few things which you need to keep in mind when you decide on writing a paper. The clarity of thoughts which will come from a thorough review of literature is one significant prerequisite. The way you present and articulate the facts and findings in your paper is another consideration. Further, the editorial board of the eminent journals are very specific about the formatting guidelines, Style of referencing, the editing of the text and how well the paper is being presented. From writing an abstract till the bibliographical referencing, everything in the paper has considerable weightage.

It is natural that you may not be well-versed with everything. You can seek out for professional help in this regard. Even I have in some instances took professional help because these people have rich experience in editing the texts, writing references precisely and also formatting and submitting the paper. These tasks seem very easy though they are very exhausting.


Student committee: Can we have a word with the editors of the journals to ensure that our paper gets accepted?

Jack: To be true, it is not possible to get in touch with the members of editorial board of these journals. These journals engage in conducting the double-bling peer review, which means that the both the parties are unaware of each other and then the paper gets reviewed. You need to ensure that every guideline of the paper and all the comments received from the peer are adhered to religiously in order to get published. Though these days you can get professional help from consultants on how to correct and incorporate the comments in the paper as well. Assistance from the Professionals help you save time and are pocket friendly as well. You can reach out to your supervisors or the service providers at any time and save yourself from the fear of failure.