Information for this article is taken from the recent GWC and GPS workshop of the same title.

Whether you’re new to graduate school, or you’ve been in your program a few years, participating in the community of research publishing is something on your horizon. But what does it look like to approach the publishing process? And what are some key components in making sure your research is accepted by a journal? Today’s article is dedicated to engaging with these questions, offering some insights and advice for beginning the journey that is academic publishing.

Be Intentional

One of the most helpful things you can do for yourself when writing something that you might like to publish in the future, is to be intentional. As you consider a given writing or research project, think about the sources you are using or the type of study you are conducting, then use that reflection as a way to begin seeking out journals early in your writing process. As you write, you can then tailor and format your assignment to fit with a journal of your choosing. Even if you ultimately don’t decide to send your work out, this can still be good practice for getting you in the mindset of what the path to publishing looks like, building your skills as a writer and academic. Additionally, be sure to talk to your advisor or professor as you begin considering this topic. Often, they will have insightful recommendations for journals that might be a good fit for your work, or offer feedback tailored to your publication intentions, so make sure to take advantage of the valuable insights they have to offer.

Embrace the Process

When working on a project, it can be tempting to dash off a draft and send it straight to publication or get one rejection from a journal and give up on that piece forever. However, one of the biggest factors in making a piece publication-ready is time: time to polish your work, become familiar with the secondary literature, solidify your findings, and most important of all, revise. The revisions process is a critical part of your journey to publishing, so make sure you spend adequate time there. Getting feedback from faculty and peers, taking breaks as you write so that you can revisit sections with a fresh mind, and maintaining consistency in your revising schedule are all ways to use this time intentionally. Now, you don’t want to fall into the deadly cycle of endless revisions and never submitting your work, so make sure to regularly check in with others (whether colleagues or mentors) about where you are and what the next steps will be. Then, when the time arrives to submit your work, you will not only be confident in the progress your article as made but in the growth and expertise you’ve gained as a writer in this part of your journey.

Celebrate Every Step

Publishing can be a time-consuming and complex process, so be sure to celebrate every step of the journey and recognize your accomplishments. Choosing a paper or project to begin intentionally polishing for submission, meeting with advisors or mentors to discuss the process, and sending your work out are all important milestones that deserve to be celebrated. So whether you go out with friends or grab yourself a special coffee and treat, make sure to recognize and reward the progress you’ve made. Then, when you hear back, celebrate acceptances, rejections, and revisions alike, since all of these responses will ultimately work to make you a better writer and a more competent researcher.


The journey to academic publishing can be an intimidating, but it’s also a journey that can be very rewarding. Joining the written community of your fellow academics, sharing your findings with the world, and the excitement of seeing your own work finally in print are just a few of the benefits it offers. So make sure to give yourself time and grace as you seek to learn the new skill of writing publication material, and embrace the journey not only for the end goal, but for the many wonderful mentors and friends who will support you every step of the way.