How to get research published in journals, Abby Day,
I liked this book. I liked it a lot, in fact.
Here's how it starts: "Publishing may seem like a difficult
and mysterious business, but it's not". And then, in a
nicely economical style, in not much more than a one-sitting
reading, Abby Day proceeds to demonstrate exactly how it's
not that mysterious and difficult. It doesn't ignore the
difficulties of the strange process of converting research
data and ideas into a communicative document; it confronts
them, one by one, takes them apart, and provides a range of
As an editor, I almost wanted to be resistant to the
mystique of the process being debunked. But what editor
could resist this: "why is it that so many authors send
editors junk mail?.....editors reject half the articles they
receive simply because they are not suited to that
particular journal's brief". Or this: "scratch the surface
a little and most editors will admit they experience a
thrill from helping...authors along". Hey, yes, that's me!
I like being an editor! Don't send me junk! Put in some
effort to give me papers which make my life easy and are a
pleasure to read and review, and are a pleasure for my
review board, and are a pleasure for my subscribers.
Then we'll all give some of that effort back to you.
And as an author, I was really impressed. Every chapter has
a little series of action points. Every part of the creative
process, from thinking of an idea in the first place to
composing a covering letter to a journal editor, to the
psychology of fear of being rejected, is outlined in
And here's a thing. You can read this book. Compared to most
business texts, this positively zings along, with lots of
memorable little phrases and techniques. "Twenty words or
less" and "So what?" will be stuck in my head forever. And
the really neat and unusual part was the exposure of
referees' comments to illustrate points made, all the way
We live in a knowledge society now, and readers of this
will be, by and large, working in the knowledge business.
To make a knowledge society work means that knowledge needs
to be disseminated. That's not just academic researchers
writing for other academic researchers; it's managers
writing about quality improvement; it's CEOs writing about
strategy; it's politicians writing about social policy.
Effective dissemination of knowledge means we all get
This is a clear, no-nonsense, pull-yourself-together-and-
get-on-with-it exposition of exactly how to do all that.
I was impressed by it and I'd recommend anyone in the
knowledge business to read it, whether you are a neophyte
thinking about writing your first scholarly paper or an old
hand with a publication list as long as your arm. Much as
I'm not terribly good at being humble, I think I'm a better
writer and maybe a better editor too as a result of having
Editor, Management Decision Journal