Academic publishing is a very competitive game with many rules and a long turnover period. This is why no detail is too small or insignificant when it comes to conducting and subsequently writing about your academic explorations. Here is what you should keep in mind before, during, and after submitting your article for publication.
Conduct high-quality research
“Publish or perish” is a very real motto in the scientific community. Your research is worth close to nothing if it does not pass rigorous peer review and appear in relevant, high-impact journals. To make sure you make the cut (which can be as low as 1 per cent of all submissions for the really high-profile journals), stay on top of your discipline’s cutting edge and conform to your field’s best research practices. Always keep impeccable documentation of every step of data collection and analysis!
Pick the right journal
We all want to publish in Nature or Science (or their equivalents in other disciplines), but it is more worthwhile to get into the periodical that matches your analytical focus and methodological stance most closely. Once you home in on such a journal, study its specific style guide and stick to it religiously. Otherwise your entry will be rejected on formal grounds.
Revise and resubmit
Getting accepted from the first go is very rare, so be prepared for revision requests, both reasonable and daft ones. Respond to reviewer feedback quickly and implement the relevant changes in due course. Editors are piled high and deep in submissions, and they favour a dedicated author who communicates with them regularly and takes the review process to heart.