It’s become increasingly important to publish in a scientific journal, and publish often. Most upper-level positions require a distinguished record of sustained scholarship and research. So, how do we as research administrators develop a “distinguished record of sustained scholarship”? Here are a few practical steps you can take this year to begin your journey to being published.

Make a list of likely journals.

First, you need to identify 3-5 journals that publish in your area of expertise. Try to choose a few journals that will be easy to submit and are most likely to publish a first-time author, such as professional associations.

Research your target journals, know their style.

Research each of the 5 journals that you’ve chosen. Look at the types of articles they are publishing. The format and length of each article. Look at any suggested topics that the journal may provide. Notice any publication deadlines or timing issues when it comes to submissions. What are the author fees to publish? What is the impact factor of the journal?

Brainstorm 5-10 article topics, assign to target journal.

Everyone has ideas and can write a journal article. Take your time and review your work portfolio. Write down all the ideas you have for a potential journal article. Review the suggested topics from any of your target journals. Pair each of your article topic ideas with one of your target journals.

Identify potential co-authors and begin networking.

For each article, you should identify 1-3 co-authors that you can ask to assist you with the preparation of the manuscript. Be cognizant of everyone’s time, specialty, and rank. Add your immediate co-workers to the easier journals, and reach out to department chairs and VPs for the more complex topics in higher impact journals.

Sketch out your plan for the next two years.

Use your research to draft a plan for the next two years. You should have the following information posted at your desk in plain view to keep you accountable for your goals:

  1. Journal One:
    • Author Fee:
    • Impact Factor:
    • Title 1:
      • Co-Authors:
    • Submission Date:
    • Publish Date:
  2. Journal One:
    • Author Fee:
    • Impact Factor:
    • Title 1:
      • Co-Authors:
    • Submission Date:
    • Publish Date:
  3. Journal One:
    • Author Fee:
    • Impact Factor:
    • Title 1:
      • Co-Authors:
    • Submission Date:
    • Publish Date:
  4. Journal One:
    • Author Fee:
    • Impact Factor:
    • Title 1:
      • Co-Authors:
    • Submission Date:
    • Publish Date:
  5. Journal One:
    • Author Fee:
    • Impact Factor:
    • Title 1:
      • Co-Authors:
    • Submission Date:
    • Publish Date: