How To Publish 50 Papers a Year
This guide to how to publish 50 papers a year offers advice on the conditions and effort necessary for a determined researcher to achieve such a large number of publications. A great deal depends on the field, specialisation, position and resources of an academic or scientist, which means that the extraordinary accomplishment of publishing 50 papers a year will not prove to be a realistic goal for many researchers. However, whether you wish to publish a single paper a year or 50 of them, the tips I share below will help you increase your research output and achieve your publication goals.
Since striving for such a large number of research publications will in most cases push a scholar’s capacities to their limits and perhaps beyond, it is extremely important to recognise and avoid the pitfalls that may undermine your intentions. I have therefore included in the list of tips what not to do as well as what to do when working to increase your research publications.
The Do’s and Do Not’s of How To Publish 50 Papers a Year
• Collaborate with colleagues, mentors, students, technicians, statisticians, translators and anybody else who can enhance your research and contribute to authorship of a publishable paper. If 25 collaborating researchers are the primary authors of 2 papers each in a year, the co-authors as a group have produced 50 papers that year.
• Choose the target journal for a research paper before drafting the paper. This will allow you to apply the guidelines or instructions for authors to the structure, length, abstract, headings, references and other elements of the paper immediately, saving the time it would take to make the necessary alterations at a later stage.
• Use every bit of research and writing you can in papers intended for publication. The results of individual tests and different methods can be published separately. Conference presentations, theses and blog posts can be transformed into publishable papers. Even teaching materials and student feedback can be incorporated into some research papers.
• Choose whenever possible target journals with efficient turnover times from manuscript submission to article publication. Effective editorial practices such as peer review do take time, however, so patience is required. It may be a year or two before your submissions begin adding up to the number of published papers you would like to produce each year.
• Become the director of a research institute or the principal investigator of a large research project if the opportunity arises. This will mean extra work supervising students and other researchers, but in most cases it will also mean excellent resources and funding as well as authorship status on all the papers emerging from the institute or project.
• Join the editorial team of a journal in your field or become a peer reviewer for such a journal. This will consume valuable time, of course, but you will learn a great deal about the kind of papers the journal prefers to publish and how the publication process works. Both will help you submit manuscripts more likely to be accepted for publication.
• Hire a proofreader or editor to check and correct your manuscripts before they are submitted to a journal for consideration. Alternatively, a member of your authorship team who is excellent with formal language and scholarly writing can fill this role. Either way, it will increase your chances of publication if your submissions are polished to perfection.
• Sacrifice quality to quantity. This often happens when how to publish 50 papers a year (or any high number over a given period) becomes the priority, so always keep one eye on the quality of your research and be sure to publish meaningful results. Falsifying data or publishing t
he same results in different journals is entirely unacceptable.
• Claim authorship on any paper when it is not due. Academic and scientific journals often outline very specific requirements for authorship, and it is essential to contribute to the research and the paper in ways the publisher considers significant enough to justify authorship credit and assume responsibility for research content.
• Plagiarise your own or anyone else’s publications. Accusations of plagiarism can be absolutely disastrous for a researcher’s career, so be especially careful when recycling material from blogs and presentations for use in a publishable paper or when preparing papers that are similar to each other or based on the same research project.
• Neglect other aspects of a productive and successful academic or scientific career while you are busy figuring out how to publish 50 papers a year. These might include activities such as teaching and administrative duties that matter a great deal to your employer, your closest colleagues and the new researchers you are expected to train and supervise.
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If you are in the process of preparing an article for an academic or scientific journal, or planning one for the near future, you may well be interested in a new book, Guide to Journal Publication, which is available on our Tips and Advice on Publishing Research in Journals website.