The first day of my first doctoral class, my major advisor called me into her office afterwards and said, “You need to start getting articles submitted.”  I thought, ‘I am not graduating for 4 years (which turned into 6, by the way), so why would I need to start thinking about getting published so early in my program?’  Little did I know that the article writing portion is the fastest part.  The submission, acceptance, and publication portion is the slowest (by far)!

If you are up against the tenure deadline, you may have a question similar to this one:

I know that this is field and journal specific, but I would really appreciate your advice about ways to “speed-up” the acceptance/rejection process (e.g., finding out track record of journal, etc.). I know that much of it is simply out of the author’s hands/locus of control, but if there are strategies for doing anything that is within the author’s domain of control, I would really appreciate learning about it from you.

There are no magical means to reduce the process of submission, acceptance, and publication down to a few weeks (or even a few months), but there are ways to streamline it as much as possible in the world of academic publishing.

  1. Make sure you have EVERYTHING exactly as the journal editor has asked for it.  Attend to all of the specifics that are requested. Each journal editorial team is so particular in how it manages the process that you quickly learn there is not a template to follow.
  2. Sometimes, you think a journal has had your materials long enough (given what they said about the review time), it is acceptable to call or email to check on the status.  Sometimes, this helps the editor get it moving or to start contacting the reviewers to get their reviews turned in.  In my years of writing as a faculty member, I made sure not to pester them, but I did ‘inquire.’  Many times, it helped get the process restarted when it had been stalled.
  3. When something is accepted with revisions, get busy and get it resubmitted as quickly as possible  so that the editor or staff member has not forgotten about your article.  Getting your revised article returned to the journal in a timely manner (let alone a SPEEDY manner) is appreciated by the editorial team.  It is so rare that you will stand out in one or more members of the team’s mind and that can also serve you later on in your professional career.
  4. If an article is outright rejected, always have another journal that you have mentally targeted.  Take the reviewer comments, revise according, and then get that article back out the door very quickly.  An article that is ‘resting’ in your computer is not helping you at all.

You can’t hurry the process but you can prevent unnecessarily delays by following the advice (learned through experience which was sometimes easy and sometimes…not) I’ve shared in this article.

propellingFor more tools and tips to help you in your writing journey, consider Get a Plan! Guide® to Writing Better, Faster, & (Yes!) More Easily part of the Get a Plan! Guide® Series designed to give you the ideas and inspiration to do your work easier, faster, and in a more focused fashion.

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