Getting published in an academic journal


======= Date Modified 02 Jul 2011 00:13:33 =======
Hello, I am but a highschool student and I'm trying to get published in a peer-reviewed academic journal. I've decided to take this up as a project which I'll be working on. I need some guidance from people involved in higher academics anyway.
So far, I've been toying with the idea of either a literary or historical journal to offer a paper to. I have not started or even chosen a topic, for the time being, I'm researching everything out and then I'll be choosing a topic. I honestly feel like I can do this with a little help on the formalities. No one else is there to help me academically, its just me by myself so I ask this here.

I have some questions:

1.) What styles do academic journals want? Do differing ones have different preferences? Which one should I learn?

2.) What kinds of papers do they want? I know they do want "original research" - but say I wanted to, in a novel, analyze, expound and elucidate on a theme neglected by others for the most part and submitted it to a literary journal. Would they want that?

3.) Are there any other tips anyone in the know-how can offer me?

Thanks for any responses.


Hi Nomad,

I think it is an interesting, yet also challenging idea that you bring forward.

Indeed I think nearly all journals have their own style. Usually if you go to the website of the journal there is a part with "author instructions", which indicates how the paper should be written. it is very useful to read this before you start writing and this could save you a lot of time.

The question regarding the kind of papers journals want, is hard to answer. I think most importantly is that it should be something new, that it brings something forward that is not known already. That is why most authors first try to read a lot about the topic. Often their questions has been answered in the literature already, and then it would be a waste of time to write first, to find out later that the questions have already been answered in books or published papers. So advisable to do a literature review first. Be aware that this often takes a long time.

Finally as an individual researcher, I think, it would be unrealistic to write about a very large subject, so try and focus on a small answerable question. Perhaps it is a good idea to discuss the issue with a co-researcher / someone who has research experience.:-)


I found Rowena Murray's Writing for Academic Journals a great help.