Literature Reviews

A guide to writing literature reviews for Peabody students.

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Calls for Papers

Why Publish?

As a grad/professional student, you will write (or already have written!) a LOT of papers. Rather than tossing that paper aside after you've received your grade, consider turning it into a manuscript submission. There are many benefits for publishing as a grad student:

  • You've already done a lot of the work! You may just need to update your research a bit, and re-format your paper for the journal you're submitting to (more on that below).
  • It's a great CV booster. Whether you're looking for a job, applying to another graduate program, or just looking for an internship, having a published or accepted publication on your resume looks great.
  • Publishing is also a great way to grow your professional network. While the peer review process means you most likely won't know the identify of your reviewers, journal editors are often available to discuss why your article might be a good fit for their journal. Not only are they providing valuable feedback on your writing, you now have a new professional contact!

Things To Think About

Things to consider:

  • Reputation - The reputation of the publisher, journal, editor and editorial board can give an indication of the quality of the journal.
  • Scope and focus of the journal - It is important that your article reaches the readers who can most benefit from it and who can most benefit you. The scope and aim of the journal will give an indication of who the journal’s readers are, e.g. national or international, limited to a select area of research or with a multidisciplinary focus.
  • Turnaround time - What is the length of the review process? Average length of time from submission to acceptance or rejection; from acceptance to publication? Frequency of publication?
  • Included in prominent indexes - Are articles from the journal indexed in journal databases relevant to your field, or in citation databases such as Scopus or Web of Science?
  • Editorial standards / Journal information - The competence of a journal’s editorial office can hugely influence the success or failure of an article. Make sure that the “Instructions to Authors” are easily accessible and that they set out clearly what is expected from authors. Does the journal come out on time or is it often two or three years behind? Is the journal carefully produced with a professional appearance, or does it have many typing errors, poor paper quality and other signs of neglect? Does the journal accept electronic submissions? This simplifies the submission process, allows swift management of manuscripts and makes it possible for authors to track the position of their manuscripts in the review process.
  • Acceptance rate - The acceptance rate gives an indication of how competitive a journal is. Journals with a low acceptance rate are considered to be amongst the most prestigious in their field, the assumption being that only the very best articles are selected.
  • Cost - Be aware that some journals charge either a submission fee, an acceptance fee, page fees or fees for use of colour images or other special media formats.
  • Rights for authors - Check the journal website or their copyright form for information on author rights. Are you allowed to re-use the article after publication or to submit the post-print to the University’s research repository?
  • Type of publication - Some journals only accept certain types of articles for publication.


More resources:

A journal's Impact Factor indicates the average number of times articles from the publication have been cited over a two-year period.  The higher the journal's impact factor, the more prominent the journal is in the canon of literature.

Author guidelines of most journals can be found on the journal website, which can be found via Google or by using Ulrich's.

Make sure to follow the guidelines closely and prepare your submission in accordance with these guidelines. Things like word count, format of the manuscript (text, illustrations, etc), and citation style are all very important.

Make sure to also check if the journal accepts submissions on a rolling basis, or if you need to inquire with the editor first.