6 strategies to help you secure ‘impactful publications’

Strategy success solutionIn part 2 of his two-part TAA webinar, “A 30-Step Guide to Publishing in Scholarly Journals“, Dr. Anthony J. Onwuegbuzie, a professor in the Department of Educational Leadership at Sam Houston State University, and distinguished visiting professor at the University of Johannesburg, shared several strategies for helping authors secure “impactful publications”—those that advance the field.

The following are six of those strategies: 

Strategy 1: Select a needed, new or emerging, and sustainable topic

Extensive communication with stakeholders of the initial topic is suggested by Professor Onwuegbuzie to select a topic that is needed, new or emerging, and sustainable.

Strategy 2: Immerse yourself with the topic

Once the topic has been selected, Professor Onwuegbuzie advises that “you should familiarize yourself as much as you can with your selected topic, including the origin, the antecedent(s), the history, the development, and the (potential) future direction(s) of the topic.” By doing so, you will be able to identify gaps in the current research, define a niche for your research efforts, and develop a scholarly vision.

Strategy 3: Aim high

Good enough is not good enough. When considering journals for publication, Professor Onwuegbuzie suggests looking for those with broad readership, high impact factors, and low acceptance rates. By doing so, you will maximize your impact in the field. As an added suggestion for those new to this level of submission effort, he advises that you invite one or more co-authors who have done so.

Strategy 4: Don’t give up on your topic

If you have chosen a topic that you are passionate about, as discussed in part 1 of his webinar, you need to have confidence in the future impact your idea will have on the field. To this, Professor Onwuegbuzie adds that you must also develop a thick skin to maintain that scholarly vision when faced with rejection, reminding us that the book Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone was rejected 12 times and J. K. Rowling was told “not to quit her day job”. We know how that story ends.

Strategy 5: Stay focused on the topic

While maintaining a focus on the topic, Professor Onwuegbuzie also suggests diversification of outlets to maximize your potential audience. He states that “in addition to authoring/co-authoring journal articles, you should consider producing works of other genres such as books, book chapters, monographs, and, especially, Web 2.0 outlets.”

Strategy 6: Contact leaders in the field

Professor Onwuegbuzie also reminds us that successful publication is not the end of the scholarly process, but rather the beginning. Publication opens opportunities to share your work with leading authors in your field. Once they are cognizant of your work, there is greater chance that they will cite your efforts in their future work. Doing so will increase the impact of your work and might even lead to opportunities for future collaboration.

TAA members can access the complete recording of A 30-Step Guide to Publishing in Scholarly Journals as part of TAA’s library of Presentations on Demand.


Eric SchmiederEric Schmieder is the Membership Marketing Manager for TAA. He has taught computer technology concepts to curriculum, continuing education, and corporate training students since 2001. A lifelong learner, teacher, and textbook author, Eric seeks to use technology in ways that improve results in his daily processes and in the lives of those he serves. His latest textbook, Web, Database, and Programming: A foundational approach to data-driven application development using HTML, CSS, JavaScript, jQuery, MySQL, and PHP, First Edition, is available now through Sentia Publishing.

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