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Survey results: Writing strategies – part two

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In the second part of the survey on writing strategies we will examine the following strategies: (7) Demonstrating the applicability of research, (8) Positioning yourself explicitly in relation to previously published research, (9) Adapting the level of technicality to the journal’s audience, and (10) Providing strong and explicit argumentation on the paper’s importance and relevance to the journal.

Demonstrating the applicability of research

Applicability

The applicability of research appears to be strongly associated with interdisciplinary journals. More than 80% of respondents find demonstrating the applicability of research important for getting the paper published by an interdisciplinary journal. In comparison, around 50% of respondents think it is important for publishing in monodisciplinary journals. This implies that interdisciplinary research is focussed on applications in the real world.

Positioning yourself explicitly in relation to previously published research

Positioning

For both mono- and inter-disciplinary journals it is relatively important to position yourself in relation to previously published research. This reflects the results of Referring to a shared body of literature (1), presented in the previous post. As there are no significant differences between inter- and mono-disciplinary journals, we can assume that most academic journals will require authors to elaborate how their research is relevant to the particular journal, regardless of the type of research conducted.

Adapting the level of technicality to the journal’s audience

Technicality

Predictably, adapting the level of technicality to the journal’s audience is a writing strategy authors are more aware of when publishing for interdisciplinary journals. However, the results also indicate that, regardless of the type of research, the language of a paper has to be suitable to the journal’s audience. This is reflected by almost 50% of respondents who find this strategy important for publishing in mono-disciplinary journals.

Providing strong and explicit argumentation on the paper’s importance and relevance to the journal

Argumentation

Citing from a shared body of literature, positioning oneself in relation to previous research, conforming to a particular style or organisation of the paper are all strategies used to implicitly demonstrate the relevance of the paper to the journal. Explicitly arguing the importance of the paper to the selected journal is a strategy that can be employed in combination with these strategies to convince the readers, reviewers and editors that the paper is relevant to them. Although our assumption was that this is going to be more prevalent in interdisciplinary journals, there is no significant difference between inter- and mono-disciplinary journals.

Summary

Regarding the writing strategies authors employ to have their papers accepted by the journals, there are not many differences between publishing for mono- or inter-disciplinary journals. Although demonstrating wider applicability of one’s research, adapting the level of technicality, and drawing on a broad range of literature are strategies deemed more important for interdisciplinary journals, whereas conforming to the style and the organisation of the paper correlate with monodisciplinary journals, most strategies are similarly employed for both types of journals. Nevertheless, further question can be drawn from these results, i.e. whether demonstrating wider applicability and a broader range of literature makes interdisciplinary papers longer on average. This will be one of the questions covered in the following post. In the meantime, if you have any questions or comments please contact us via twitter or reply directly below.

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