A Communications and journalism scholar, Professor Daniela Dimitrova, has advised faculty members of the Ghana Institute of Journalism (GIJ) to familiarise themselves with the journals in which they intend to publish their articles before setting out to write the articles.
She said they could start writing quality, lower-tier journals that would not immediately be desk-rejected.
Prof. Dimitrova, who is a full professor at the Iowa State University in the United States, gave the advice when she engaged the faculty of the GIJ on guidelines on writing academic publications at a research forum in Accra yesterday.
The forum, which was held virtually, was organised by the Office of Research at the GIJ on the topic: “All you ever wanted to know about research publications”.
Members were taken through the nitty gritty of scholarly publications, as the institution seeks to become a hub for cutting-edge research in the area of media and communication studies.
Prof. Dimitrova said one of the ways to make manuscripts compelling was to expand research enquiries by making broader connections. while adding context.
That, she said, would make publications more appealing.
"I will advise people to focus on contribution in terms of theory… in terms of methods. One of the common mistakes non-US scholars make is emphasising the country of study, rather than the contribution to theory or methods,” she said.
Prof. Dimitrova added that aspiring scholars should familiarise themselves with the nature of articles in specific journals to improve their chances of getting their articles published.
“Get used to reading different types of research articles, including the style. Don’t hesitate to contact the editor if you need clarification," she added.
Participants asked questions on how to craft efficient research topics, engage in research collaborations, identify the right journal for publication, among others.
Some faculty members described the event as timely and highly beneficial.
A member of the Journalism Faculty, Dr Benedine Azanu, said: “The presentation by the Professor was insightful and provides a wonderful learning experience. There was enough revealing information that will be beneficial to early career academics.”
The GIJ plans to hold similar events with global mass communication and journalism scholars in 2021.
Prof. Dimitrova also introduced faculty members to the Journalism and Mass Communication Quarterly (JMCQ) and took the participants through the publication guidelines.
She is the current Editor of the JMCQ, considered as one of the most highly rated and arguably the most prestigious journal in journalism and mass communication.
The JMCQ is also the oldest mass communication journal in the world.