Changing Paradigms of Research Writing

Writing a research article is not an easy task. It’s not very uncommon for authors to receive recommendation from editors of journals to get the manuscript proof read by a native English speaking expert. It is about being updated of – How time has elapsed and brought changes. Keeping simple things in mind, one may attempt to skip the message from editor of taking English proof reading services. Out of my experience, I am writing down some of the things which traditionally we have heard consistently to be careful of but they are part of the research writing mainstream today.

 

  1. Title of Manuscript

Title is considered one the most important aspect of any manuscript. It’s the first thing of manuscript which encounter a reader. We know that title should be explanatory enough to be capable of speaking the objective of manuscript. We remember the titles are recommended to be simple. If we look at today’s scenario, title has larger scope than just informing the potential readers about manuscript. In today’s digital space title has to be un-simplified to give it contemporary flavor. It has to be catchy enough. A catchy title may attract the attention of the reader and that’s the first step to increase the citations of article. So, title carries with it the responsibility of playing its role in engaging potential citations. I distinctly remember, the editor of a journal published by Elsevier at the last stage of review process wrote to me – “You should consider to change the title for other much more informative that can catch eye of the reader. The attention of the readers should be drawn to the paper; otherwise, the paper won’t generate many citations.”. It was not only the editor who suggested this, but reviewers were also of the same opinion. The current title of the paper was – “Issues with the Aaker’s Brand Personality Scale”. It was changed to – “I was born, loved, accepted, criticized and criticized – Story of Aaker Brand Personality Scale Criticism”. It was gladly accepted by editor. Message is to make your title as catchy as possible. What if it has a talking sentence as part of it or you feel like asking a question in your title! Make your first impression to reader a different one. To make sense of this, read below some of the titles in journals:

 

  • “Should Anthropomorphized Brands Engage Customers? The Impact of Social Crowding on Brand Preferences”, published in top journal – Journal of Marketing published by American Marketing Association.
  • “When 1 + 1 > 2: How Investors React to New Product Releases Announced Concurrently with Other Corporate News”, published in top journal – Journal of Marketing published by American Marketing Association.
  • “I want to know the answer! Give Me Fish ‘n’ Chips!”: The Impact of Curiosity on Indulgent Choice” published in top journal – Journal of Consumer Research, Oxford Press
  • “Excuse me – What did you say?!: women’s public and private responses to sexist remarks”, published in Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, Elsevier Journal
  • “You just look at our work and see if you have any freedom on earth”: Ghanaian women’s accounts of their work and their health”, published in Social Science and Medicine, Elsevier Journal
  • “Nike just did it: International subcontracting and flexibility in athletic footwear Production, published in Regional Studies, Taylor and Francis Journal
  1. Body of Manuscript

Many of us would have memories of our professors telling us not to use words like “I”, “we”, “us” in manuscript. Let’s not be surprised that it is not a problem with many good journals today. The latest article that I published in a “A” grade journal, International Business Review (Impact Factor – 2.47), at multiple places we have used these words. And trust me, not even once, reviewers or editor has even highlighted about it. They have no problem with it at all. It’s not only with this journal, but its not difficult to find many journals who are happy with this. My learning is, it’s about your contribution which matters to editors more than the avoidance of such words. As reviewer of many established journals from publishers like Elsevier, Emerald, Taylor and Francis, I have no problems with these words from authors. It’s about coming to the point and look at the contribution, methodology, theory building and argument building in article which is more important than these words.

 

Both above stories have one thing in common – boundaries of fixed traditions are slowly getting blurred with the contemporary scholars across the globe and journals have started giving room to the creativity and openness as long as manuscripts are contributing and befitting to the standards of the journals. Good news is, the real emphasis point is the pure research factor rather than the technical parts of it. Happy publishing! Cheers!