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Publishing journal articles: Seasoned pros give tips

Jay Black, co-editor of the Journal of Mass Media Ethics, and Charles Holland, professor emeritus of chemical engineering at Texas A&M University, share the following tips for getting published:

Black: “Get familiar with the journal – don’t submit blindly. Skim through several issues and find the journal’s pattern, topics, style, etc. If your article is too long or not in the required style, it shows that its not really focused. Don’t give up. Eighty percent of resubmitted articles are accepted.”


  • Have a general outline and write like you’re telling a story to someone. Go back and polish it.
  • Eliminate the ‘fog factor’. It may sound good, but do people really understand what you’re trying to say?
  • Keep sentences short and make sure they say exactly what you want them to say.
  • Look into the literature and reference everyone that’s done work in the subject area of your article. They may be your reviewers; you don’t want them to think their work has been ignored.
  • Don’t give up on your article. You will get recommendations back from the reviewer. Make the changes and resubmit.