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Guidelines to Publishing in IO Journals: A US perspective Lois Tetrick, Editor Journal of Occupational Health Psychology.

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Presentation on theme: "Guidelines to Publishing in IO Journals: A US perspective Lois Tetrick, Editor Journal of Occupational Health Psychology."— Presentation transcript:

1 Guidelines to Publishing in IO Journals: A US perspective Lois Tetrick, Editor Journal of Occupational Health Psychology

2 Nothing is so useful as a good theory. The secret to publishing lies before data are collected. Understanding the theory Knowing prior empirical research Helps answer the question: –What is the contribution of this manuscript? –What is the value added?

3 Crafting the Introduction First 1 – 2 paragraphs or maybe the first 1 – pages need to clearly state the purpose(s) of the study and why this is important. Don’t leave it up to the readers (reviewers) to figure it out.

4 Introduction (cont.) Be sure to define the key constructs. Readers may not agree with your definition, but if you state your definition and provide citations for other works that have adopted that definition, it is more difficult for them to disagree.

5 Introduction (cont.) Explicitly state your hypotheses. It is helpful to readers (reviewers) if the hypotheses are numbered and set out in the text. For example, H1: Reviewers are critical of hypotheses without sufficient theoretical development and justification.

6 Introduction (cont.) Citing prior empirical findings does not in and of itself provide theoretical justification for the hypotheses. Citing prior empirical findings is important to demonstrate that you have read the literature. Citing prior empirical findings for all of the hypotheses suggests to readers that this is a replication of prior research and the contribution may be seen as minimal.

7 Introduction (cont.) Models need to be provided to readers, but beware of suggesting causal relations unless your design will support causal inferences. Competing models are useful as long as the design provides a fair test of the competing models.

8 Method Be sure to adequately describe –The participants –The measures –The procedures for data collection –The context This is becoming increasingly important to reviewers, editors, and ultimately readers.

9 Method (cont.) Length is always a consideration and most journal editors like to match length with contribution (admittedly, a subjective criterion). However, it is better to error on the long side and be told to shorten than to error on the too short side and confuse reviewers. In talking about length, one can gauge “typical” length based on the length of articles that have been published recently in a specific journal.

10 Method (cont.) Analysis section – some journals expect this in every manuscript; some journals do not. Similarly, some reviewers expect this section and others do not. When in doubt, put it in. The editor can always ask you to take it out, but having it included in the manuscript is not likely to result in the manuscript being rejected unless it reveals an error. APA style does not require an analysis section unless you have used some novel technique, transformation, etc.

11 Method (cont.) The general rule is to provide sufficient detail to allow readers to determine what was actually done giving them an idea of the quality of the data and allowing them to have more or less confidence in the findings. Use a recent article published in the target journal as a guide to the level of detail.

12 Results Don’t forget “Table 1” that includes basic descriptive statistics – means, s.d., and correlations. Report all relevant statistics – not just the statistically significant ones. In general, provide effect sizes as well as the test statistics. Plus some journals are adding requirements of confidence intervals. Again, the best template is a recently published article in the target journal using the same statistical procedures.

13 Results (cont.) Order the presentation of the Results Section consistent with the order of the Hypotheses as stated in the Introduction including reference to specific hypothesis numbers. Make sure that all tables can be understood without readers having to read the text of the manuscript. “A picture is worth a thousand words,” and tables and figures are pictures. However, they are more expensive to reproduce than text.

14 Discussion Some redundancy is necessary. Don’t expect readers to remember what your specific hypotheses were or what the actual results were (believe it or not, not all readers read every word – although reviewers do). However, do go beyond repeating the hypotheses and results.

15 Discussion What does it all mean – relative to theory, understanding of the phenomenon of interest? Tie the findings back to the theoretical arguments in the Introduction. In US journals especially, what are the applied, practice implications? What needs to be done next? Expand your thinking, but don’t go beyond your data – a fine line.

16 Discussion (cont.) Acknowledge the major limitations of the study remembering that no study is perfect. –Be honest. –Provide rationale and evidence as to the seriousness of the limitation. –Don’t shoot yourself in the foot. –Don’t end the Discussion (and the manuscript) with the limitations.

17 General Tips Know the journal to which you are preparing the manuscript for submission. –Typical length of articles –Participants (students, employees, convenient sample, representative sample, etc.) –Design (laboratory experiment, field studies, cross-sectional, longitudinal) –Style and formatting guidelines

18 Opening the “email” from the Editor Most manuscripts will not be published as is; there will be some revisions necessary. Read the email from the Editor. Wait. Read the specific comments from the Reviewers. Wait. Then, read them again!

19 General Principles Reviewers aren’t “stupid” or vicious, but it may be that the writing was not sufficiently clear. Reread your manuscript relative to the “offending” comments. Look to the Editor’s decision letter and his/her comments as suggestions for improving the manuscript. Has the Editor invited a revision? If so, this is a very good thing – not a guarantee but at least a change to clarify by modifying the manuscript, conducting some additional or alternative analyses, and by responding to the reviewers.

20 Many, if not most, Editors ask for a detailed account of responses to the reviewers and Editor’s specific comments. In providing this account, be very specific except for minor things like grammar and typos. Also, remember that responding to a specific comment does not necessarily mean that you did what the reviewer said. But, you should have a good reason for not doing so and include this in your response.

21 Questions?

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