Greetings from the JRLYA Advisory Board! Have you ever thought about submitting an article to #JRLYA, but maybe you need a refresher in how to prepare an article for a peer-reviewed journal? Well then, this blog post is for you! Following is a list of tips to help you get your work ready to submit:
- First, do a bit of research. If you’re not a regular reader of the journal in question, look at a few articles in some of the previous issues to make sure your work will fit.
- Next, carefully read the call for submissions, if there is one, and make sure your article clearly connects to the theme.
- If there is no specific theme, make sure that your article is a good fit for the journal. Is your subject matter appropriate? (In the case of #JRLYA, does your article report research related to teens (ages 12 – 18) and libraries?)
- Carefully read the writer’s guidelines. Is your paper formatted correctly? Do you know how and when to submit it, and to whom? (For #JRLYA, you can find the writer’s guidelines here: http://www.yalsa.ala.org/jrlya/author-guidelines/)
- If you are submitting to a journal that primarily publishes research articles (like #JRLYA), rather than a trade journal, is your article written in scholarly language? Generally, this means more formal, as opposed to conversational, English.
- Usually, articles prepared for peer-reviewed journals follow a basic format: Introduction > Literature Review > Purpose/Research Question(s) > Methods > Results > Conclusion(s)
- Introduction: the introduction should give a brief overview of the subject matter and a focus for the rest of the paper (the intro is usually around 1-2 paragraphs).
- Literature Review: the literature review should summarize the existing body of related work.
- Purpose/Research Question(s): here you should state the purpose of the research and/or the research questions that drove the project’s design and implementation (this is generally not more than a paragraph or two).
- Methods: what did you do? What were your methods? Summarize your approach step by step.
- Results: this is where you give your facts and figures – what did the data show?
- Conclusions: this is where you tell the audience why they should care about the research you conducted – what did the data analysis bring to light that makes this important? Also, what still needs to be done?
- Finally, PROOFREAD! Articles are often rejected due to poor grammar and multiple typos.
Hopefully, this blog post has demystified the article prep process a bit. We hope that you will consider writing up your project and submitting it to #JRLYA! You can contact the journal editor at firstname.lastname@example.org, and be sure to check out the latest issue at http://www.yalsa.ala.org/jrlya/!