Scholarly Communications

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Tips for Authors

Here are some brief writing tips which may increase your success in obtaining grants:

1) Read the application form and take it seriously.

2) Read the guidelines thoroughly and pay attention to the specific granting objectives and criteria.

3) Write clearly and concisely.

4) Be succinct.

5) Avoid ambiguity.

6) Package the application material well.

7) Have your application critically reviewed by colleagues.

From: University of Ontario Institute of Technology. (2016). Grant writing tips. Retrieved from

More tips:

1) If you are a researcher or are thinking about it, consider having your own ORCID! The ORCID is a persistent digital identifier that distinguishes you from every other researcher and, through integration in key research workflows such as manuscript and grant submission, supports automated linkages between you and your professional activities ensuring that your work is recognized.  Find out more at

2) If you are interested in determining which academic journals will have the most impact for your article, consider checking with Google Scholar Metrics.

Here are some tips to help you create an effective research question.  Before you begin writing a proposal, a first step is to formulate a research question. A research question is a statement that identifies the phenomenon to be examined

To develop a strong research question from your ideas, you should ask some of these questions:

  • Do I know the field and its literature well?
  • What are the important research questions in my field?
  • What areas need further exploration?
  • Could my study fill a gap? Lead to greater understanding?
  • Has a great deal of research already been conducted in this topic area?
  • Has this study been done before? If so, is there room for improvement?
  • Is the timing right for this question to be answered? Is it a hot topic, or is it becoming obsolete?

A strong research idea should pass the “so what” test. Think about the potential impact of your research. What is the benefit of answering the research question? Lastly, a research focus should be narrow, not broad-based.

From: The Research Assistant. (2003). The relationship between the research question, hypotheses, specific aims, and long-term goals of the project. Retrieved from

Please consider viewing the tutorial video by Dr. Melanie Maggard on how to create quantitative research questions and visit the links below to find out more about how to formulate a research question.

Here are five helpful tips for publishing your first academic article:

1) Target an Appropriate Journal

It may be appealing to submit your article to top journals in your field: after all, these are the journals that your peers are most familiar with and the ones that you will see referenced over-and-over again in the literature. But remember, the top professional journals are highly competitive.  If you’re strategic in selecting a journal to target, you will increase the chances of publishing your first article.

2) Say Something New

To get your work published, you need to say something new or at least from a different perspective. Successful academic articles do two things: they position themselves within existing scholarship and they subsequently build on existing knowledge

3) Edit Your Work Extensively

When you edit your own work, give yourself plenty of time between when you actually do your writing and when you do your editing. There are a two things you can look for in your editing process that will improve the quality of your paper: Fix confusing passages and avoid the passive voice.

4) Reference Strategically

References are your source of credibility in an academic paper. If you want your work to be seriously considered by publishers, rely almost exclusively on academic references   If you choose your references strategically, you  improve your chances of being regarded as a credible source. How can you pick the right references? 1) Go to the original source and 2) Reference articles that are often cited.

5) Make it Difficult for Reviewers to Say No

With many submissions, reviewers are looking for straightforward criteria for declining a paper before they even start reading it. You need to follow their guidelines carefully, including their requirements for citation formatting. Assuming you’ve followed all their guidelines, reviewers will be looking for oversights in your argument. On the other hand, if you formulate your argument in a nuanced way you will make more difficult for a reviewer to find obvious holes in your work.

From: Inquiries Journal Blog. (2016). Five tips for publishing your first academic article. Retrieved from

Here are some some brief tips on how to write for academic journals:

1) Have a writing strategy and make a plan. What is your purpose? Save yourself time by deciding on your target journal and work out how to write in a way that suits that journal.

2) Analyze writings in journals in your field. Take a couple of journals in your field that you will target now or soon. Scan all the abstracts over the past few issues. Analyse them: look closely at all first and last sentences. What constitutes new knowledge in this journal at this time?

3) Do an outline and just write.Both outlining and just writing are useful, and it is therefore a good idea to do both. However, make your outline very detailed: outline the main sections and calibrate these with your target journal.

4) Set specific writing goals and sub-goals. Making your writing goals specific means defining the content, verb and word length for the section. This means not having a writing goal like, 'I plan to have this article written by the end of the year' but 'My next writing goal is to summarise and critique twelve articles for the literature review section in 800 words on Tuesday between 9am and 10.30'.

5) Be persistent, thick-skinned and resilient. These are qualities that you may develop over time – or you may already have them. It may be easier to develop them in discussion with others who are writing for journals.

From: Theguardian. (2016). Writing for an academic journal: 10 tips. Retrieved from

Not all open access journals are created equal; therefore, it's important to evaluate them. Here are some questions to ask when evaluating open access journals:

1) Who is the publisher?

2) Do they have an OASPA Membership?

3) Does the publisher have a recent date of establishment or an unusually high number of journals?

4) Have they been identified as a "Predatory Publisher"?

5) Is the journal a member of the DOAJ? (Directory of Open Access Journals)

6) Is the journal indexed?

7) What is the quality of the articles in the journal?

These questions are from Ryerson University, "Evaluating Open Access Journals."

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