Publish-research-paper

Guidelines for publishing research papers in international journals


This blog post offers a critical and practical mind map to research writing to help researchers enhance their chances of having their manuscripts not just accepted but also successfully published on the very first go. This article provides insight into what is expected of researchers at each stage of writing their research. This blog is meant to serve as a guide for everyone – young students, early-career researchers, as well as veterans when compiling manuscripts on their research studies with the aim of submitting them to a journal and having them published. 

  • Making Sense Of What Research Is All About & Why It’s Important
    • Research is a systematic way to answer questions about the world. It aims to increase knowledge about the process of –
      • gaining an understanding of the natural laws that govern our world; 
      • innovations or new ideas; 
      • commitment and technological advantages, 
      • which will improve the well-being of humanity.
    • Everyone participates in some type of research. 
    • As individuals interact and examine with the world, they –
      • characterize explicit problems, 
      • gather data (information), 
      • examine information, and 
      • make choices on the basis of the information they have gathered/have access to. 
    • This procedure can happen by chance, from time to time, or unconsciously.
    • This is normally not logical and will generally be prone to error, hence the idea of ​​learning by experimentation. 
    • Scientifically, organized research has clearly defined characteristics that must be pursued deliberately and impartially. 
    • Additionally, unscientific scrutiny is prone to an assortment of bias factors.
  • Science-oriented research relies on –
    • rules of logic, 
    • established methodological techniques, and statistical theory. 
  • Therefore, it includes a process by which new knowledge is discovered.
  • Some of the distinctive characteristics of scientific research are –
    • It is often theory-based because some of the theory is either tested or developed.
    • It involves minimal ego involvement because the seeker is often humble and willing to admit when they are wrong.
    • The objective is maximized.
    • Standardized rules for data collection are stringently adhered to.
    • Standard data analysis rules are applied.
    • Conclusions are based on data and not on preconceived ideas, beliefs, values​​, or prejudices.
    • It emphasizes the discovery of patterns and conventions of social and behavioral phenomena.
    • It emphasizes the study of aggregates rather than individual cases.
    • It welcomes the idea of ​​replication, i.e., a study being replicated by other researchers to confirm their findings.
  • Thus, the general objective of research is to discover new facts and contribute to the body of knowledge in the field under study. 
  • Research should address the challenges and provide a process for solving these issues. 
  • It is important to emphasize that research should not only provide results that advance knowledge and understanding. 
  • It should address issues and provide a process for resolving issues.
  • A distinct line of research –
    • How researchers draw on knowledge developed by other disciplines
    • The fact that people are busy. 
    • Thus, they are unlikely to allow access to research unless they see personal or business benefits.
    • The research requirement must have practical consequences. 
    • This means that it must either contain the possibility of taking some form of action or take into account the practical consequences of the results.
    • There are two distinct forms of research, namely basic research and applied research. 
      • Basic research is conducted for the sole purpose of understanding a phenomenon and contributing to the development of research theories.
      • Applied research, on the other hand, includes a process of finding solutions to current real-life scientific problems.
  • Research is a multi-faceted process with a particular sequence to follow to guarantee the successful completion of the project undertaken. 
  • Despite this, there is also room for flexibility and inventiveness in the research procedure.
  • Formulating A Worthwhile Research Problem
    • This involves –
      • Choosing a research subject and identification of the problem
      • Formulating the research problem
      • Gaining knowledge of current theory and research 
      • Carrying out a comprehensive literature review
      • Identifying and labeling variables
      • Defining concepts and establishing research definitions
      • Formulating the hypothesis
  • Choosing The Most Apt Research Design
    • This involves –
      • Researching possible formats and research designs
      • Describing samples
      • Carrying out possible sampling procedures
  • Undertaking Data Collection
    • This involves –
      • Constructing the research instrument
      • Carrying out real data collection
  • Carrying Out Comprehensive Data Analysis
    • This involves –
      • Data processing
      • Statistical analyzes
  • Interpreting Outcomes Contextually & Comprehensively
  • Defining Clear-Cut Conclusions & Recommendations
  • Writing The Research Report
  • Identifying What The Most Appropriate Research Method To Opt For Is
  • Step #1

Understanding What Your Research Problem Exactly Is

  • The first stage of the scientific method is generally characterized by the realization that a problem exists. 
  • It manifests as a question that troubles the mind.
  • Step #2

Gaining Clarity & Understanding The Context Of The Problem In Question

  • By participating in the discussion and by studying or reviewing the current literature on what is being explored, the question is illuminated, and the nature and specifics of interest of the problem are identified. 
  • As the question is clarified, the underlying inquiry prompts further inquiry, and the dynamic illumination of variables that may influence the examination of the underlying problem begins to enhance our understanding and show a growing complexity.
  • Step #3

Devising A Well Though-Out Research Agenda

  • It involves all the activities that the researcher engages in when planning an arrangement for exploration. 
  • A set of research questions or a theory should be detailed as an educated speculation about conceivable answers to the question.
  • From now on, in the structure of the examination, the researcher has two differentiating approaches which offer him alternative paths in the advancement of the project. 
  • The researcher can select the interpretative-inductive methodology where he begins to observe before arriving at conceivable clarifications, or he can select the hypothetical deductive methodology where the starting point is a hypothesis or a theory.
  • Step #4

Scrutinizing & Analysing Every Bit Of Information Collected In Search Of Underlying Patterns

  • When the research design is complete and the information is gathered, the researcher should inspect the information for fundamental patterns that recommend research answers to probe questions or test the adequacy of the hypothesis using appropriate statistical devices. 
  • Simultaneously, the researcher must perceive how the findings of the examining hypothesis and the mind on the ground affect the theory or hypothesis.
  • Step #5 

Rightly Interpreting Research Outcomes

  • Progression includes understanding the findings and generalizing the conclusion to the larger collection of knowledge about the phenomenon. 
  • One of the purposes of this phase of the review is to contribute to change or explain existing exploration and assumptions in the field.
  • This procedure can recommend strategies for uncovering the context of the problem. 
  • Understanding All The Revolving Research Paradigms 
    • The word paradigm is generally used in the academic world to refer to three distinct sets of ideas –
      • The researcher’s fundamental beliefs about the world and the nature of reality
      • The broad conceptual framework that the researcher uses to carry out the scientific inquiry The specific methods and techniques to adopt when driving to research.
    • There are mainly two widely recognized research paradigms, namely the positivist and the phenomenological.
    • The positivist paradigm is sometimes called the quantitative paradigm model, and the phenomenological model is a qualitative or interpretative model. 
    • These two paradigms are effectively two ends of a spectrum with a combination of the two patterns occurring at varying degrees of emphasis along the field.
  • Not Overlooking But Devoting Sufficient Time To Undertaking A Thorough Literature Review 
    • The types of research areas can be –
      • empirical, 
      • theoretical, 
      • critical/analytical, or
      • methodological in nature. 
    • A literature review aims to –
      • describe, 
      • summarize, 
      • evaluate, 
      • clarify or 
      • integrate the content of the primary reports.
    • A literature review must provide a theoretical basis for the research and help the author determine the nature of the components of the research. 
    • The work of the researcher contributes in a modest but significant way to pushing back the limits of knowledge in the field. 
    • The literature review should acknowledge the work of previous authors and, in doing so, assure the reader that the research work was well designed.
    • Additionally, a literature review can purge the researcher of potential theories that have already been disproved.
  • Researchers must therefore be perfectly familiar with both the main theoretical concepts of the field and with all the available research literature.
  • A logical, systematic, and critical examination of the body of knowledge provides the backdrop for the research undertaken. 
  • In order to demonstrate this through familiarity with previous work in the field, all researchers are required to include a literature review in their study.
  • In the context of the study, a thorough review of the literature can be described in terms of the process and product. 
  • The following steps help guide a thorough literature review process – 
    • The literature review process requires the researcher to scour the literature to establish the status quo, formulate a research problem or inquiry, defend the value of pursuing the line of inquiry, and compare findings and insights with their own.
    • The product involves the synthesis of the work of others in a form that demonstrates the achievements of the exploratory process. 
    • The literature review is basically a brief survey of relevant work done by other theorists, researchers, scholars, etc., in the same field.
    • The literature review process is a crucial part of research design. 
    • It provides a basis for researcher/student research and triggers creative thinking. 
    • It also helps to identify appropriate research methods and techniques and helps to formulate a discussion of research implications.
  • The literature review process also – 
    • gives context to the study;
    • creates a conceptual repository;
    • reports the status of the current search;
    • identifies appropriate methodology, instruments, and procedures for data analysis;
    • demonstrates theoretical and conceptual gaps in the field.
  • Some Of The Best Literature Review Approaches To Consider Adopting
    • Structure the literature review as soon as possible in terms of titles and subtitles; these can always be reviewed and changed over time.
    • Draw concept maps.
    • Write as much as you possibly can about diverse aspects of your research work; you can always edit for crispness later on.
    • Formulate the questions that the literature review answers.
    • Read theses or assignments written by previous scholars and review their literature review chapter.
    • Search in indexing and abstract databases
  • Steps To Carrying Out As Comprehensive & Thorough A Literature Review As Possible
  • Step #1

Pick The Most Appropriate Format Based On Your Research Topic & Goals

  • Generally, the literature review forms a chapter of an academic research paper.
  • Whatever the format, relevant literature should not be presented as summaries of books and articles but as a mixed and concise assessment of current information on the subject.
  • Step #2

Come Up With & Stick To A Singular Theme

  • The literature review must offer a crisp and clear-cut account of the current literature existing on your research topic.
  • Therefore, there must be a unity of theme and a logical cohesion of ideas throughout the review. 
  • Important lines of thought should emerge from the introduction, which presents a broad entry into the field with a narrow focus that includes the central questions of current research. 
  • The objective is to arouse the reader’s interest and involvement in current research by providing a critical overview of previous work in the field and contextualizing the present study. 
  • Actively participating in 2022 international conferences is guaranteed to equip you with enough insight on this and all the other steps highlighted in this blog. 
  • Step #3
    • Sort Out Every Information & Data Source Methodically
      • The layout of the material should reveal a clear underlying design. 
      • As stated above, the literature review should not read like various abstracts of journal articles and books. 
      • A common strategy used by any researcher is to organize their material chronologically under neatly organized subsections of the subject. 
      • In addition, as part of the design, good researchers – 
        • start at a more general level before limiting themselves to the object of the study.
        • review some of the key concepts and research areas.
        • offer a flow of data that synthesizes, contrasts, and compares the work of key authors in the discipline.
        • highlight most studies relevant to the topic.
  • Step #4

Prioritize Clarity & Coherence

  • The flow of research papers for publications is very important. 
  • Therefore, the researcher must ensure that there is a smooth flow from one section to the next by highlighting the logical connection between the different components of the examination. 
  • The biggest challenge in research writing is discovering possible intersections between seemingly unconnected fields of information. 
  • Step #5

Devise A Strategy & Make Sure To Abide By It Throughout The Process

  • A final important step before executing the actual writing process is to develop a detailed outline and organize the material according to the researcher’s design. 
  • This will facilitate the seamless development of a schematic outline that allows the flow of the main lines of thought in the research topic, leads the reader to the specific, and sparks interest in the researcher’s own efforts to advance knowledge in the field.
  • Contemplating Relevant Research Design Ideas, Identifying The Most Suitable One For Your Project & Sticking To It 
    • The research process is a systematic process that involves the objective gathering of information to be analyzed to help the researcher reach a credible conclusion. 
    • The research process has distinctly defined aspects that mirror an application of the research methodology. 
    • These elements of the mind map are expanded below for clear understanding –
      • Begin By Addressing Your Research Challenge(s)
        • The researcher begins the study by focusing on a problem or idea that he or she feels needs to be explored.
  • Contemplate Your Research Challenge(s)
    • The researcher should reflect on the importance of the problem and its relevance to the study.
  • Address Your Research Challenge(s) In Very Specific Terms
    • A first literature review should allow the researcher – 
      • to begin to develop a frame of reference for the research, 
      • to formulate conceptual and operational definitions of key concepts, 
      • to identify the importance of the research problem, and 
      • to crystallize the subject in specific terms.
  • Carry Out An Exhaustive & Uncompromising Literature Review
    • The goal is to achieve a deep understanding of the problem to be solved and its context. 
    • In addition, it is necessary to create a concise, critical, and evaluative summary of the previous research literature on the research topic. 
    • The researcher must now undertake an intensive literature review. 
    • This will help gather ideas for literature design, data collection, instruments, and data analysis techniques. 
    • Register for an IFERP online international conference to learn more about how to undertake an ideal literature review.
  • Pick The Most Appropriate Research Methodology For Your Project
    • The researcher should begin to formulate one or more hypotheses, research questions, and research objectives, decide on the type of data needed, and select strategies for data collection and analysis. 
    • Therefore, it is vital to pick the most appropriate research methodology in order to make the best possible insights about the research paradigm.
  • Carefully Devise A Clever Research Proposal
    • The researcher should prepare a strong research proposal containing structured details on the research topic.
  • Devise A Strategy For Data Collection
    • The researcher must develop research instruments that will fully meet the needs of the subject. 
    • In order to achieve a perfect equilibrium between the adequacy of the data collection design and the availability of materials as well as human resources, the researcher should take note of the costs in terms of time and money before the research and collection process of data begins.
  • Picking The Most Suitable Data Analysis Approach
    • The researcher should be familiar with the statistical tools needed to analyze the data and decide which tables and charts may be appropriate for examining trends and patterns in the data.
  • Conducting A Pilot Study
    • It is crucial to conduct a pilot study to identify areas that may need revision and correction in order to refine both the instrument and data analysis procedures to achieve the research goals and to review the selection of statistical tools.
  • Revising & Refining Research Techniques 
    • Findings from the pilot study could be useful in making necessary changes to research instruments and data collection and analysis strategies.
  • Executing A Conclusive Strategy For Data Collection 
    • The researcher must implement the design of the data collection and, at the same time, must not lose sight of the ethical issues of the study participants. 
    • The researcher must ensure that the study complies with major ethical guidelines.
  • Carrying Out Comprehensive Analysis Of The Data
    • When analyzing data, the researcher should be guided by the research objectives. 
    • It is crucial for research author to ensure that his/her own preferences and preconceived notions aren’t forced upon the data.
  • Writing Theses & Dissertations
    • Before writing the dissertation, the points regarding the procedure for writing the literature review should be considered.
  • Prioritizing, Devising A Plan For, & Undertaking Data Collection
    • All of the research planning, design, and literature review processes converge at the data collection stage. 
    • All critical thinking is preparation for the actual process of collecting primary data on the research topic. 
    • Additionally, the researcher should also have established the data analysis plan before planning the data collection and the data analysis requires clarification on –
  • Choosing The Right Data Collection Strategy
    • The analyst should ensure that all classifications of information needed to review the objectives are incorporated. 
    • In addition, there should be clarity on all aspects that the research instrument(s) should analyze and how qualitative and quantitative elements will be handled and analyzed during the data analysis phase.
  • Recognizing & Implementing The Best-Suited Statistical Analysis Approach
    • The researcher should have a full understanding of the particular statistical strategies that will be used to examine each segment of the exploration instruments. 
    • If inferential statistics are required, the researcher should ensure that they understand the procedures and translation of meaningful measurements.
  • Realizing The Layout & Presentation Of Data
    • The researcher must select the type of tables and graphs that will be used to present the data.
  • Pilot Study
    • The researcher should test the instruments with a small pilot group, inspecting ease of use, accuracy, and sufficiency of information for use in the actual research study. 
    • Anything that needs improvement can then be addressed before starting the study.
  • Executing The Devised Strategy For Data Collection
    • The data collection plan may not be feasible as a single or perfect structure, and therefore the researcher must be able to deal with unexpected possibilities. 
    • For instance, if access is denied to one of the groups for some unknown reason. 
    • It is, therefore, necessary to have alternative action plans for every imaginable challenge.
  • Engaging With Participants Of The Study
    • The information-gathering plan should aim to encourage positive and informed interaction with research participants.
    • Prior to data collection, all respondents have the right to have all information about the survey explained to them, including what is expected of them. 
    • The researcher must explain what the results of the results are used for so that the participant can decide whether he wishes to participate in the research. 
    • Additionally, the researcher must ensure participation is tension free for participants and that confidentiality will be maintained.
  • Adopting The Best-Suited Data Collection Approaches
    • The specific research instrument that best suits the topic should be indicated during the research design phase.
    • The two most frequently utilized primary data collection methodologies are –
      • the questionnaire, and 
      • the interview. 
    • All research is generally aimed at obtaining answers to questions.
  • Picking The Best-Suited Data Collection Instruments
    • The data collection methods that are the most commonly used are – 
      • Interviews, and 
      • Quizzes.
    • The questionnaire and the interview are data collection instruments that allow the researcher to ask questions of the participants seeking information on the research topic. 
    • Each of these instruments has distinct characteristics that allow the researcher to decide which one is correct and appropriate for the specific data collection purpose.
    • Questionnaires are mainly used in descriptive or exploratory surveys. 
    • However, they can also be used effectively in studies with experimental and case study research strategies. 
    • However, the relevance of questionnaires as research tools must be carefully considered in the context of each study.
    • Students sometimes do not understand that observation, semi-structured interviews, and other data collection procedures may be more appropriate for their research purposes than questionnaires. 
    • Some researchers consider it to be a generally good practice not to rely solely on questionnaire data but to use the questionnaire in conjunction with at least one other data collection instrument. 
    • For example, a questionnaire intended to know the attitudes of the customers can be completed through in-depth interviews to explore and understand the basis of these attitudes.
  • What’s Data Analysis All About, How To Perform Out-And-Out Data Analysis & Obtain Best Results
    • Research incorporates the formal and informal process of –
      • collecting, 
      • using, and 
      • effectively applying information in the area of ​​interest. 
    • The objective is to establish a link between what is known and what is discovered on a research problem through an audit of the relevant literature and by gathering essential information from people and the different components of the quantitative and qualitative research strategies. 
    • The process of collecting information and analyzing data goes hand in hand.
    • If the exploration has a positivist inclination, then the data collection and data analysis strategies will, in all likelihood, be quantitative. 
    • If the survey takes place within a phenomenological worldview, the techniques for collecting and analyzing data will generally be qualitative.
  • Quantitative Data Analysis
    • Quantitative data refers to all information that can be inferred in numerical qualities, ranging from the numerical recurrence of the event to the complex introduction of information in terms of diagrams and graphs. 
    • To convey meaning, information or data must be analyzed and interpreted. 
    • To put it plainly, collecting and analyzing information with quantitative systems incorporates understanding the relationship between factors using clear and inferential statistics.
  • This process will necessitate the researcher to –
    • Seek advice on statistics and statistical analysis if they do not have knowledge in the field.
    • Use, if possible, computerized analysis software and seek, if necessary, the assistance of experts in the field.
    • Thoroughly scrutinize the statistical concepts pertinent to the necessities of the study.
  • Therefore, descriptive statistics allow for a concise representation of information about measurements, such as rate, frequencies, means, and standard deviations. 
  • Inferential statistics/measurements go further. 
  • While descriptive statistics describe attributes of a sample based on information gathered from respondents, inferential measures are used to obtain information about the population from which the sample was drawn based on the data described in descriptive measures. 
  • It is crucial to understand the inherent nature of the data to be collected, as this will determine the type of analysis that is appropriate and legitimate in the context of the study and data collection.
  • Guidelines For The Successful Application of Statistics In Data Analysis 
    • Statistics should be appropriate for inclusion in the study and not be used as a means to create the impression of scientific analysis and objectivity.
    • The researcher should develop a good working knowledge of the principles underlying the study’s statistical procedures for analyzing data to enable appropriate use and meaningful interpretation of results.
    • The researcher who has access to statistical software packages such as SPSS for Windows should first study examples of coding and analysis of finding instruments before proceeding with the analysis of research data.
    • Before the researcher embarks on any type of statistical analysis, he should determine the characteristics of the data in terms of type (i.e., nominal, ordinal, interval or ratio) and its distribution (normal or asymmetric) since these inherent properties will determine what type of statistical test is possible to use.
  • Presenting Findings From Analysed Data Coherently & Clearly
    • When presenting qualitative data, a range of formats can be made use of, including – 
      • Linear analytical presentations
      • Comparative structures
      • Chronological structures
      • Theory building structures.
  • The Finale – Research Report Writing (Also Referred To As A Research Manuscript)
    • The research report is a brief description or condensed form of the research work carried out by the researcher. 
    • Several steps are required to present the report in the required and ethical format. 
    • Normally, the purpose of a research report is to publish in journals and publications or to present at conferences.
  • Research Report Features
    • Precision
    • Clarity
    • Concise
    • Honesty
    • Completeness
  • Every Type Of Academic Research Paper
    • Depending on the setup and organization, the research report varies greatly in size, length, and depending on the problem the research wishes to solve. 
    • Generally, there are three types of research reports, namely –
      • technical report, 
      • popular report, and 
      • oral report. 
    • The method of presentation to be used depends on the particular scenario and the nature of the results.
  • Here are three types of reports adopted from the research methodology of strategies –
  • Technical Report
    • Technical reports are used to give a full written report of the scientific study performed for record keeping. 
    • They place particular emphasis on the method used and the detailed presentation of the results, which include the supporting data and the limitations of the study.
  • Popular Report 
    • Popular reports emphasize the attractiveness and simplicity of the information and conclusions presented.
    • They are clear, with few technical terms, details, and abundant use of charts and diagrams. 
    • Emphasis is placed on the practical elements and policy implications of the report.
  • Oral Reports 
    • Oral reports are effective when policy recommendations are confirmed by project results. 
    • The oral report provides an open platform for giving and making decisions that lead to the overall understanding of the results and their implication for the organization.
  • Report Writing Steps
  • Logical Analysis 
    • Logical analysis involves the development of the subject through the mental connection and organization between two things by means of analysis. 
    • Thus, it involves the development of a simple structure to a complex structure.
  • Preparation Of The Final Draft 
    • A framework from which data is accumulated from the lengthy list of points. It helps to organize work in a logical way. 
  • Preparation Of A Draft
    • The researcher should write down the procedure followed to collect the study material, the limitations encountered, the technique adopted, and how it was applied to collect the data, followed by the analysis of these results.
  • Report Polishing & Rewriting 
    • The careful review of the work by searching or checking the report for weaknesses in the logical development. 
    • The researcher should check the use of language, grammar, and spelling.
  • Final Project 
    • The researcher must prepare the final report. 
    • It should be written concisely and clearly, avoiding abstract terminologies and jargon. 
    • The report must communicate to people and be original.
  • Bibliography 
    • The researcher must check and append all the resources consulted during the writing of the report. 
    • The bibliography should be organized alphabetically according to the chosen referencing methodology.

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