Some time back, I attended a talk by a distinguished Visiting Professor from a Malayasian University at our University. The theme of the talk was How to write papers for high impact journals? The speaker provided some guidance and tips that ought to brighten the chances of your paper making it to one of the prestigious journals in your area of work.
Some of the suggestions include:
writing of short and simple sentences
giving the title an interesting name to catch attention of reviewers and readers
to be doubly sure of the absence of any errors if one is submitting to a specialized journal
to only provide references of papers that can be retrieved by the reviewers from the sources mentioned in the papers
Ensure that no more than six words should be in common when you're copy pasting from the works of other researchers and authors of insightful articles and books
The speaker outlined that in the case of many journals, a well written abstract can fetch higher citations. He said that within the paper, the Introduction should borrow from Review of Literature done and 8-10 references of papers that has relevance to the work of the authors should be incorporated in it. He also mentioned that suitable keywords can widen the reach and accessibility of papers at a global level. He presented figures of the number of persons engaged in research per million in India, China and USA. The figures are approximately 150, 375 and 3500 respectively.
The speaker, Dr. Srijit Das, also suggested that the paper should be checked for corrections using online grammar services. Ginger, White Smoke and Style Writer can be used for ensuring an error-free article. For checking Plagiarism (www.plagiarism.org) one can use Turnitin software.
Dr. Das suggested that once a paper is drafted, the co-author should read the paper to opine and provide a different perspective. He advised to avoid usage of shortened forms like don't (use 'do not') and can't and such terms as many editors are against such usage. He cautioned about pillion-riders (never include names who have not contributed)
Owing to UGC & AICTE strictures, most colleges these days are coercing faculties to write 'Research Papers.' But in actuality the faculty burdened with a rather heavy load neither has time nor the meaningful, essential infra-structure to carry out research. The surfeit of conferences being organized and acceptance of 'cut and paste' papers have resulted in many phoney journals and publications touting high impact factors to make a killing by charging from gullible researchers (who need a quick publication or two for certain Academic requirements).
In Academic, though Research is essential for the growth of the faculty, yet teaching students and working for their betterment should be paramount. Smaller institutes and colleges should gear their efforts on teaching and developing the student. Engaging students in interesting projects in emerging areas should be a precursor for research. The institute can form a departmental research committee of experts who ought to recommend the journals that will be only considered acceptable while evaluating faculty's research performance for his promotion.
A group of researchers working in an area can come together to set up Research labs. Govt. agencies can be approached for funding. Above all, support should be given for authentic research that would bring about qualitative changes in our society. Where the motto is "Publish or Perish" effective checks must be in place to ensure that the publication are meaningful and truly is an addition to the existing body of knowledge.