How to navigate the peer review publishing process

When an author submits a manuscript to a scholarly journal, the manuscript will face one of three basic responses: accept, reject, or revise and resubmit. Samantha Elliott, editor-in-chief of the Journal of Microbiology & Biology Education (JMBE), and Jeffrey Arnett, editor of the Journal of Adolescent Research, offer the following information to guide you through the different responses you may receive from editors.

Accept/Accept with Minor Modifications
Manuscripts that fall into this category are exceptionally strong papers that received glowing peer reviews, and the only modifications needed might include clarification on certain points, or formatting issues specific to the journal. While this is every academic writer’s dream response, it is a very rare occurrence. If this happens to you, Elliott recommends that you celebrate, and then take a good look at the feedback you received to find out what impressed your reviewers. You can use this feedback to help shape future manuscripts.

5 Approaches to writing group success

Writing groups offer their members a wealth of benefits. In fact, studies indicate that membership in a writing group can actually help boost your publication rate. In an examination of the publication rate of 48 female medical school faculty before and after participating in a writing group, Sonnad et al. found that the professors’ average publication rate increased from 1.5 papers per year to 4.5 papers per year after joining the writing group. Cumbie et al. also describe increases in productivity among writing group members, reporting “significant and positive writing outcomes in the form of manuscripts submitted for publication, abstracts submitted for conference presentations, [and] grant proposals developed.”

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