The Realities of Journal Publishing: a View from Author Angle

For any author seeing his writing in print is a rejuvenating experience that incites them to write more. It is for this purpose journals publishing, even in this modern digital world, is still a success.   For the scientific fraternity and academia, journals are the stepping stones for future success; so much so that many universities draw up contracts with their professors that they need to keep publishing their works in high-impact journals frequently for them to keep their jobs.  Hence, any author or researcher will need a journal to publish their hard work for achieving the fulfilment of it.

The realities of journal publishing

Although, the access to scholarly journals has increased since the internet, so has the number of predatory journals. Tackling predatory journals is a story for another day. But, what is worse is that a recent (2017) report in Nature found that as much as half the research published in high-impact journals were failed to be replicated by other researchers. The fact that a study can be replicated forms the core of modern science. Failing of which, in an increasingly post-truth world, is alarming, and science community needs to sort it out ASAP.  There are a number of reasons for this, from incessant pressure of the academia on researchers to keep publishing to the heavy competition that plagues the world of research. The knowledge that research facilitates, that which benefits the humanity, that which couldn’t be possible without the collective, is a monetarily valuable entity and thus, each one is trying to get published first by any means possible. This sometimes undermines the quality of the works. Other than these, there are a few other things that impact journal publishing.

The realities of journal publishing

Firstly, it is perennial one finds the chance to get published in a proper journal. The scholarly articles of many students and even faculties find it hard to get them published in many journals.  It is the situation most journals face apart from the cancellation of the annual subscriptions.  It is time to improve the knowledge base and infrastructure of journal publishing by the authorities concerned. Funding is the most prominent problem journal publishing face today, and it is for the institutions to take care of the situation to revive the centuries-old conventions in journal publishing.

Journals are the source of knowledge for millions even today.  They can have access to scholarly works through journals at 0.05 dollars per article. It is a fabulous value for money to gain knowledge.  But without the support and sustained revenue, these journals are on the verge of vanishing.   But to the contrary, a recent CBC report says that journals make money by publishing articles without due payment to the authors. But most of the journals are not for profit.

The ground realities of journal publishing difficulties:

  • Lack of funds for libraries to purchase and support journals
  • The rapid cancellation of the annual subscriptions
  • Journals have no enough money to pay professional editors to fine-tune the scholarly articles of researchers
  • Lack of funds and support for journals to adopt digital technologies
  • Not possible to implement effective marketing strategies
  • No informational and researcher-career value in journals of repute
  • The work of the journals start where the researcher leaves the article with the following work, among others on it:
  • Copyediting
  • Fact and citation checking
  • Layout
  • Illustration creation
  • Proofreading
  • Marketing
  • Building authoritative brands for other researchers to rely on its authority

The difficulties that the authors’ face of publishing in journals:

Apart from the problems the journals face today, it is far complicated for authors to get their manuscripts published in journals. They have to wait indefinitely for months to even know whether their research is under review by the journals. Many authors are frustrated and out in the blue with many reputed journals for publishing their studies.  Most of the editors of the journals are too busy with their thesis to find no time to look into the manuscripts.  Also, many of them are rejected by just reading the abstracts.  It is so unfortunate for the authors to be rejected due to such simple reasons for their hard work for months if not years.

A lot needs to be done by funders and institutions for the revival of the 350 years old publishing of journals to create more knowledge through research.

Related Topics

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