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Lehigh University Libraries - Library Guides

Writing an Impactful Journal Article: Resources and Tips

Publications about writing journal articles

There are many publications about writing scholarly journal articles. Tips on how to find them:

1. For books or ebooks about this topic, try a search for books in ASA, Lehigh's library catalog, available on the library homepage. Here is an example of a search. ( Search string: (AllFields : writing OR AllFields : publishing) AND (AllFields : scholarly OR AllFields : article)). Try tweaking the sort feature. The default is a sort by relevance, but you can also try sorting by most recently published. 

Given that the publishing landscape changes, you'll want to find more recent publications.

2. You can identify books not held by Lehigh by searching one of the two flavors of WorldCat, which don't entirely overlap. Scroll down here to see them. If Lehigh does not have a book, you can order it via interlibrary loan.

Also, check on the web for tips. For example, Twenty Steps to Writing a Research Article (University of Nebraska-Lincoln, reproduced from article at "Survival Skills and Ethics Program", U. of Pittsburgh..

Using Word

Consider using Word headers to segment the sections of a document. You can tag headers and have them appear on the left of your Word document. This facilitates moving them around by clicking and dragging with the cursor. For a video demo, and for writing tips and a downloadable template for writing papers, see Writing Tips.

Articles based on dissertation or thesis

If you are writing a dissertation or thesis and want to publish articles based on it...

See the guide "Dissertation and Thesis Writing". As you write your dissertation, consider submitting chapters for publication as preprints and/or journal articles.

Some dissertations consist of articles. Check on the requirements about this with your department.

Scholarly review article

A subset of scholarly journal articles are entirely devoted to reviewing the literature in a field.

Some suggestions for writing one:

  • consult the author guidelines at the website for a journal for guidelines about writing a review article for that journal (see example below);
  • look at examples of recently published review articles for examples or models.
  • check with the science librarian for ways to use databases to identify journals that publish reviews in your subject niche, including highly cited ones.

As you write the literature review section of your dissertation or thesis, or if you are a seasoned researcher who wants to break into a new sub-discipline (or master the literature about some new emerging trend), consider writing a review article as a way to master the recent literature. For examples, search in Web of Science and other databases that let you limit by review articles. Also, for tips about writing review articles, do a google search on the topic of writing a review article. You may want to add to the search your own subject area. 

Given the massive amount of literature in any field, writing a review article provides an enduring contribution to your field and benefits other workers in it.

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Here is an example of author guidelines about review articles for Applied Physics Reviews. It links to a form that asks the author to: "provide an outline of your article and a statement as to what differentiates your proposed article from other Reviews already published on the topic area". Also, it asks for "10 key references that will be discussed in your review".