Before you publish in a journal, you will already have a background and expertise in a subject such as planning. Since journals are mostly academically oriented, you will have to have clear ideas that you want to express in words and images in a long-form format. Usually, you will work with a team of researches or supervisors in city planning or if you will have produced original content yourself. If you are submitting independently, then it will be a slightly different procedure than publishing with a team, although the editors mostly do not discriminate.
Here are a few tips to submit your paper in a Journal:
1) Think of original research: To do this first you will have some prior knowledge about city planning and choose a specific niche in the subject, such as housing. You will then look at what has been published by scholars before and try to see if there is a gap in the research, will you aim to fill. This can be one of the most difficult things to do before writing a journal paper as it is not easy to convince editors of the journal that your research is original. Once you’ve done this hard part, you can follow the next steps to submit to a peer review.
2) Follow the peer-review process: Once you have produced a journal paper and written around 5 to 6 thousand words in an article format and submitted to the journal, they will then submit your paper to the peer review. This can be tough as not everyone will think that the material you have produced is worthy of publishing. They will suggest edits, reviews and more work that needs to be done to publish the paper. It is better if you do not argue with the peer reviewers and follow their guidelines as most of them are experts in the field and will know the material inside out. If you have any concerns you can talk to the editors about it, but if you want your journal article published, it would be best to follow the process.
3) Don’t be hesitant to make edits: Part of writing is that no matter which platform you write in unless you have the sole ownership, you will have to make edits and be flexible with your content and style of writing. It is the same for a peer-reviewed journal article. Almost 99% of the time almost everyone submitting a paper will have to make edits to their paper based on other’s people’s opinions and thoughts about it. That is part of being a mature contributor to research. I had to make many edits when my journal articles were being published and because of my flexible nature, it was easier to follow guidelines.
4) Build a good rapport with the editors and the journal team: Making a good impression to the journal can go a long way as they will keep you and your expertise in mind for future academic writing and articles. If you follow their standards and obey their instructions, chances are that things will go smoothly in the future. Even if you have to make major changes to your research, it is better to do it rather than argue if you want to be published. If it is something that goes against your morals or ethics then it is better to publish with another journal or a more specialized journal catering to your topic of interest. Keep in mind that being a published author in a reputed journal can go a long way in defining your career and aspirations as a researcher!
5) Maintain your interest and be consistent: Being consistent in your topic and keeping up with your interests goes a long way if you want to make a mark in your field. One way is to keep up with all the new academics in your field and to connect with them so that you can make contacts and build a network. You never know, it might lead to future book chapters or journal collaborations. When academics see that you have similar interests to them, they will be more empathetic towards you. Read the news, read recent journal articles and keep up with your topic.
The above tips can help you publish your first journal article or if you are new to publishing in an academic journal. Don’t be too scared to publish in a journal, especially if you are a postgraduate student. Many postgrads are now publishing with their universities and collaborating with their lecturers. So go for it and don’t fear!
Note: This article is based on the author’s experience of publishing in international journals.