For some researchers, publishing scientific articles in high-quality journals have been quite challenging. Publication of a scientific article becomes a stage that must be passed by researchers considering that this is a form of validation of the research done. By publishing an article, researchers are making their knowledge contribution available to a community of scholars and society. There are various reasons why an article is accepted or rejected, and sometimes this makes researchers feel a little bit frustrated with the research they are working on. In fact, the rejection and any kind of challenge when publishing scientific articles in high-impact journals are part of the process. All of the process will become beneficial to improve a research experience.

Facing the challenges of publication, all we need is to keep learning to improve in each process. Writing a research can be considered as an art, it involves skill to express complex ideas in a concise way, communicate with readers, benefit civil society, and contribute to a better life. Thus, we organized a Webinar that might be helpful for researchers to learn and understand a proper research publication from the point of view of journal editors by the theme: “Publication Opportunities in Scopus and WOS Indexed Journals: Advice and Recommendations from the Editors”. The webinar was organized by Research Synergy Foundation (RSF), Research Synergy Institute (RSI) in collaboration with Sarawak Research Society (SRS), Emerald Publishing (East Asia), Ikatan Dosen Republik Indonesia (IDRI), and Pampanga Research Educators Organization (PREO) Phillippines. Presented as trainers are the journal editors from Scopus and WOS Indexed Journal: Assoc. Prof. Dr. Mumtaz Ali Memon from NUST Business School Pakistan, Assoc.Prof. Dr. Evan Lau from Universiti Malaysia Sarawak, Malaysia, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Iris Lui from Ming Chuan University, Taiwan, and Mdm. Rozita Gee from Emerald Publishing.

There are more than 1.135 scholars from more than 30 countries across the globe registered to the Webinar. The event is not just a simple Webinar, it is also an opportunity for participants to submit their articles in the high-reputable journals edited by the trainers.

The first session of the webinar was opened with an explanation of Emerald Publishing by Mdm. Rozita Gee. Emerald Publishing was founded in 1967 with only 1 journal published. In this year, Emerald has more than 300 journals with any reputable indexed and 3000 books. Emerald opened its branch in Asia on 1983, located in Singapore, and then in Kuala Lumpur on 1995. Emerald now has 8 regional offices worldwide. All journals in Emerald have been indexed by well-known indexation institution such as DORA, Scopus, Web of Science, ProQuest, EBSCO, and etc. Some Emerald journals currently open its special issued for certain themes.

In the subsequent sessions continued with an explanation of the special issue in each journals and its submission deadline. One of the journals that have a special issue is Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Technology that later be presented by Assoc. Prof. Dr. Iris Lui. The journal is opening a special issue with a theme: Challenges and Prospect of AIoT Application in Hospitality and Tourism Marketing. The journal wishes to expand the knowledge regarding an application of IoT in the hospitality and tourism fields, like the using of Disney Magic Band and West-Western Alexa Deployment.

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Mumtaz Ali Memon explained the special issue of Electronic Journal of Applied Statistical Analysis by the theme “digitalization and its impact on contemporary marketing strategies and practices”. The topics include digital marketing, cross cultures comparative studies, multi group analysis, marketing analytics, and etc. The journal will prioritize the advanced methodological papers or the research using PLS Path Modelling as a statistical analysis software.

The next journal is International Journal of Business and Society. This session was explained by Assoc.Prof. Dr. Evan Lau as a Journal Editor. International Journal of Business and Society is published by University Malaysia Sarawak and it has been indexed by Scopus from 2009. The journal publish 3 times a year with the main topics are high-quality papers using multidisciplinary approaches with a strong emphasis on business, economics and finance. The theme of special issue of the journal is: the coronavirus pandemic: economic impact, challenges, opportunities, and recovery paths for emerging countries.

The 2nd session of the webinar was 2nd Topic Advice for submission to the special issues and expectation from the guest editors that presented by Assoc. Prof. Dr. Mumtaz Ali Memon and Assoc. Prof. Dr. Iris Lui. The session began with the emphasis from Dr. Iris that as an editor she did not expect a paper like a compile of information from textbook. To start writing a proper scientific article, researchers should consider:  study from recent literature on subject matter, solicit ideas from the practitioners and observation of the real world, read recent papers of each journals and author guideline to know how the manuscript should be prepared.

From the perspective of Dr. Mumtaz, as an editor he expects the submitted articles that are:

  1. Relevance: it means the paper suits the theme and topics of the journal
  2. Quality and Contribution: it is okay not always using PLS, but make sure it contributes a new knowledge.
  3. Complete: complete all parts of the research sections, like implication and discussion of findings which are often incomplete in a research.
  4. Balance: put the same efforts between analysis and other sections, such as theoretical, findings, or background.
  5. Efforts: make your manuscript worthwhile and do not use outdated references.

The 3rd webinar session is Reasons for Manuscript Acceptance, Revision (Major & Minor) and Rejection that was presented by Assoc.Prof. Dr. Evan Lau. In this sessions, the participants learned about crafting an excellent research paper. Researchers should consider what a journal looking for and what should be inside the research. Here are some consideration in crafting a research paper:

  • Solid, interesting and attractive intro (the research should attract the editors in the first reading)
  • Unique dataset
  • Good presentation and discussion of results
  • Solid set of empirical robustness tests
  • Importance of abstract and conclusion
  • Contribution and what is new
  • Localized issue with international appeal

Dr. Evan also showed common issues why the papers are being rejected.

  • Lack of motivation (too outdated reference, not sufficient contribution)
  • Out of scope (easy to reject)
  • Fundamental flaws
  • Topic is dated
  • Key sections are missing
  • Unreadable
  • Unethical practices

He also showed what common major and minor corrections. For major correction, generally caused by several factors: lack of justification of contribution, poor storyline (needs to improve the storyline), lack of theoretical support, underdeveloped hypotheses, key information is missing, key references are missing. For minor corrections caused by linguistic issues, not following submission guidelines, and less recent literature. To improve minor correction, researchers needs a proofreading and improve citations.

The topic of the next session was Editorial Decision to Accept and Reject a Manuscript that presented by Dr. Iris. She showed a chart of decision process and important dates so that Authors can understand the journal publication process and see how the editors work together to accept or reject manuscripts (you can see the chart in the webinar recording).

Mdm. Rozita also shared tips for writing more effectively. All Emerald journals does a double blind review, so make sure to craft a high-quality research and find a suitable journal.

She highlight five important things:

  1. Structure your journal submission
  2. Writing a literature
  3. Writing simply
  4. Proofreading
  5. Writing collaboratively with your peers

Dr. Evan also advised 3 golden rule:

  1. Read and explore the literature
  2. Do not write a murder mystery – adopt KISS method
  3. Do not rush your article for publication – select the right journal

The last advice was given by Dr. Mumtaz

  1. Attend all comments
  2. Prepare response sheet and highlight revisions/changes
  3. Be polite, honest, and appreciative

When a reviewer give a comment, Authors must understand that the reviewers also given a lot of time and efforts to suggest your manuscript. So, we need to appreciate each other, even author can ask their peers to make sure that the social writing in response to a reviewer comments is a good-enough.

The last topic was presented by Dr. Iris regarding 3 criteria to determine a manuscript publishability. It includes more attention to originality of the research, findings, and rigors.

The webinar was closed by concluding remarks from the moderator. After the webinar, make sure as researchers we do not rush to publish our manuscripts, make it worthwhile, also put a learning-mindset when we revise a manuscript. So we hope there should be no particular difficulty if Authors can match the high quality manuscript and high-reputable journal.

For more complete lecture access, please check out the link below: