First of all, to write a paper, you need to have some things with you
- An idea, a new concept.
- Microsoft word/ Linux (This article will cover mostly the part in which you can type in word, the Linux part will be discussed in later blog)
- A book, pen!!!
- Math -type software (for typing formulas)
- Lots of patience with will and vigor
The 1st step will be to formulate the idea clearly. Understand the idea deep enough and its implications. For a theoretical paper, this process takes time depending on how deep the result/idea could strike. Most of the time, people don’t understand their ideas deep enough and it creates problems in the later sections where they have to show some applications/implications of their idea. Hence, formulate it in simplest possible terms, both in Mathematics (if applicable) and English. Distill it till you can tell it in smallest number of words (That is one of the best ways to check if an idea is complete).
As Einstein says, ”If you cannot explain it to a child, u r probably wrong!!”
The 2nd step is to write a basic outline of the idea, in a book will be better, as it gives a physical feel.
3rd step will be to select a journal in which to submit your article. It is very important to select the correct journal, as selecting the wrong journal involves 2 risks.
- Time: For a moderate level journal and above, the time taken in reviewing an article varies from 2 to 3 months and goes on. So if you are submitting in the wrong journal, u r wasting a lot of time.
- Circulation: If your idea can strike deep enough, then the resubmissions involve a risk of imitation. Although, this can be avoided by preprints. (google for more)
Generally, the selection is based on two criteria; Topic and Impact factor
Impact factor is the number of people who look in to search about new advances. The higher the impact factor, the more famous, and tougher to get your article published in it. Although there are many journals who play with numbers to show higher impact factor, but generally better than average publishers are Elsevier, Springer, IEEE (for electronic and electrical people), nature to name a few.
Also check here the journal is cited .i.e. where will the article appear once it is published. Check for Sciverse, Sci, Sci expanded, Google scholar etc although it is not necessary that it should be at all places.
Remember that the third parameter can be compromised upto a certain level. I mean it is meaningless to publish if it doesn’t appear anywhere, so go accordingly.
Once selection is complete, type your content according to the journal’s format, which they give in Author Guidelines section. If you have typed in above section, just adjust it according to the journal’s format.
Take care to note all your references, from where you have looked for contents, papers, books etc.
The title and abstract should be written only after writing the whole paper, as it is the tagline of paper. The title and abstract must convey the basic idea of what is in the paper, as people read these when they look for article.
Submit your article, ad wait for their response. Generally, rejections are faster, so hat you get time to target your next journal.
Typing in Linux is a totally different story which I shall discuss in later blog!
Best of Luck.
3rd Year Electronics