Reporting the findings from research is an essential part of the research process (Meadows, 2008). After a study is complete, researchers usually write a paper to present research findings. The paper might be sent to a scientific journal to be considered for publication or presented at some conference.
Indispensable prerequisite for the publication is to ensure the appropriate audience by choice of relevant publisher. As some journals (e.g., Strategic Management Society) accept only 10% - 30% (Henderson, 2010) of submissions it might be reasonable to check their Call for Papers Section (Strategic Management Society [SMS], 2011) or Domain Statement (Academy of Management Journal [AMJ], 2011) to ensure the research problem might potentially be included in scope of publications. Title of the article, being not the least of important provisions to support the acceptance for publication, should reproduce the purport of the study as briefly and brightly as possible.
Science has a system for assessing the quality of research before it is published. This process is called peer review. Although every journal application process has its own protocols, they all follow the same basic structure.
On submission of the manuscript journal’s editor, who always has a certain level of expertise, accepts the topic relevance to the journal’s scope of subjects. After the editor confirms that the structure of the paper, contribution-to-length ratio (AMJ, 2011), and its stylistic fulfill submission requirements, he/she starts peer-reviewed process by sending the paper to the referees (reviewers) – no less than two leading experts who research and publish in the same field – asking them to assess the paper.
Set of criteria used for peer-review process is well designed for manuscript preparation also (Ramos-Álvarez, Moreno-Fernández, Valdés-Conroy, Catena, 2008). Peers are to ascertain that a study presents the results of primary scientific research; its results are unique, credible, topical, linked to the previous research done in the field; contribution is significant; design and methodologies are appropriate. The research should meet all applicable standards for the ethics of experimentation and research integrity. AMJ (2011) has a special stress in its submission requirements: despite strong empirical and theoretical contribution the paper must also be relevant to practice.
The abstract should contain a clear statement on the purpose of research – what is the study trying to achieve and why is it being done. Introductory section provides theoretical background for the study, coverage of relevant literature, research questions and hypothesis.
Methodology section follows the abstract and refers to the practical details of how a research study is undertaken. Methodology section should clearly identify the research design. It is very critical as design will impact data collection methods, instruments development and use, analysis procedures...