Undergraduate Publishing Resources
Why Should I Publish as an Undergraduate?
Scholarly publications are typically written for experts in a specific field. Peer reviewed (refereed) articles go through a rigorous process that involves review and approval by the author's peers and other experts in the field, prior to publication. This is done to maintain and improve the quality of scholarly articles published in the journal.
Though the process of writing, submitting, and editing a peer reviewed journal article can be time-consuming and challenging, students who undertake the endeavor realize many benefits from doing so. Writing for publication affords undergraduates a chance to hone their research and writing skills and opportunities to connect with scholars and professionals. Many students find that the process of researching and writing shapes their future career goals. Additionally, having a published article/paper is impressive to graduate schools and employers and shows a dedication to research or creative works.
How to Get Published
- Find publication opportunities within your work
- Narrow the list down to journals that are likely candidates to publish your paper
- Submit a query letter
- Simple one page letter that details the contents of the manuscript and market available for it
- Detail your credentials, such as any education related to the material that you may have or any previous publications
- Check with the writers guidelines on format of submission
- If this is successful, the editor will ask for the full manuscript in a specific format and the full publication process will begin
- Some journals require that the manuscript be agented, or read over by a literary agent. These agents are forbidden by their trade organization to charge upfront fees, so be wary of those who attempt to do so.
The Publishing Process
The publishing process has many steps. The typical process is outlined here:
- Submission of manuscript to journal editor
- Preliminary review: editor determines whether manuscript has sufficient merit to be reviewed by the editorial board or external reviewers (rejection comes with a letter)
- Secondary review: manuscript sent on to reviewers (either rejection letter or a request for revision)
- Author revises manuscript and resubmits to editor
- Editor either accepts or rejects manuscript
- Author provides editing or proofing of final copy before publication
- Paper is published in journal
- Genre of writing used in academic fields
- Assumes readers understand fundamental concepts and ideas within their field
- Very specialized writing using discipline-specific vocabulary
- Communicates original thought, even if preliminary
- Based on research, analysis, and critical reading (other articles) rather than personal experience
- Includes citation of sources from which the author produced the basis for their argument
Undergraduate Publishing Opportunities
There are many avenues for undergraduate students to publish scholarly works:
Understanding Copyright/Author Rights
Texas Tech University Library has a Scholarly Communication Librarian and online guides to assist you with managing your rights as a journal author.