For researchers, getting their work published is essential to success in the competitive world of academia. There are several factors that journals consider when they publish an article, including the originality and efficacy of the thesis/ideas, the quality of the research, the author’s writing style, and compliance with formatting guidelines. Academic writers tend to focus on these areas but often overlook three mistakes that can get an otherwise good paper sent to the rejection file and possibly hurt the researcher’s career.
The three most common mistakes academic researchers can make in their writing are:
- using improper or no source citation,
- deficient academic transparency,
- lack of standardization in format.
Since each of these problems can lead to rejection or even worse repercussions for a researcher’s career, we’ll examine them all in detail. The good news is that each of these three problems can be solved by leveraging SciSpace — an integrated platform for writing, collaborating, and publishing research papers — that has recently integrated with long-time text similarity detection solution iThenticate, helping scholars overcome these often overlooked mistakes.
1. Improper and/or No Citation
The improper and/or lack of citation of sources in research papers is probably the most egregious mistake a scholar can make, but it’s also the easiest to rectify. Citing improper sources is commonly referred to as plagiarism, which is defined as “the process or practice of using another person’s ideas or work and pretending that it is your own.” Although this definition is fairly straightforward, improper source citation and plagiarism are nuanced problems.
Not citing sources at all in one’s work fits the classic definition of plagiarism, and generally speaking, it should be relatively easy to avoid that pitfall. But, improper source citation is a bit of a trickier problem. Although improper source citation isn’t considered plagiarism in many contexts, it can be considered so in some cases, especially with academic research.
Therefore, making sure you have properly cited sources in your paper is crucial for acceptance into academic journals. It’s important to point out that though many open-access journals publish research at a rapid pace, they still subject all potential entries to rigorous standards of proper citation and plagiarism.
2. Deficient Academic Transparency
Deficient or lack of academic transparency is closely related to the first mistake, although it’s generally the result of a lack of knowledge of the process more than any conscious attempt at unethical behavior. This lack of awareness can lead to utilizing other's work inappropriately, without giving credit to the author of the original idea. Another instance of misconduct related to insufficient understanding of academic transparency is self-plagiarism, which is recycling or reusing one’s previous work without citation or acknowledgment. Self-plagiarism is actually fairly common, so much so that many don’t even consider it a problem, but it is an issue that can derail an academic career nonetheless.
Even many scholars who know that self-plagiarism is a mistake still find themselves doing it because they are not proofreading their work properly, which can especially be the case in STEM disciplines where multiple authors contribute to a single article.
3. Lack of Standardization in Formatting
Improper formatting of research papers might be overlooked by many scholars due to its somewhat more tedious nature. Let’s face it, when you’re presenting your research in print the last thing you probably want to think about is how your paper is formatted, but that could be a major mistake.
So what can happen to scholars' research work if they don't standardize or format their articles according to a journal's guidelines or recommended structure? — REJECTED ❌
Furthermore, manually formatting articles is exhausting and can lead to errors that ultimately result in rejection, even if the articles present solid research and are otherwise well-written. Rejection rates are up to 70% for journals, and scholars who fail to bring standardization in their articles face downright rejection.
However, reformatting articles in line with journal guidelines and policies becomes laborious. If only a tool exists that can provide a template for every journal where you just upload your file and... boom, you get the output! You can save two weeks to two months spent structuring your articles in standard journal templates.
SciSpace is all-in-one research writing platform especially designed to help you structure your articles in standard formats and get them published in the desired journal publications. It enables you with:
- Automated formatting, including a collection of over 100,000 journal templates to choose from,
- Create/Add feature for inserting scientific expressions, footnotes, images, tables, and
- One-click citation formatting and references ordering
So, scholars and students can cut down those tedious hours and save more than 60% of their time invested in formatting-reformatting their manuscripts.
SciSpace and iThenticate As the Solution
Since research writing is difficult and full of stress, anyone can fall prey to these three mistakes, but you can mitigate the risks by utilizing SciSpace with iThenticate. The iThenticate text similarity detection software has proven to be effective for a wide range of scholars across many different disciplines and fields of study, so using it will greatly enhance your ability to prevent improper and missing source citation. By employing iThenticate’s Similarity Report, you’ll be able to see what sections of your paper match previously published works, allowing you to take the appropriate steps to cite those passages.
iThenticate can also be effective in helping you overcome a lack of transparency in your writing. The iThenticate similarity software searches more than 91 billion active and archived web pages as well as more than 170 million journal articles. iThenticate compares each submission against this extensive database of scholarly content, so if you recycled some of your published work and are not even aware of it, the iThenticate Similarity Report will catch it.
As vital as the publication process is in academia, it’s also difficult and fraught with many potential career-ending obstacles. We reviewed three potentially costly yet common mistakes many scholars make in their writing. Preventing these mistakes using SciSpace and iThenticate in a bundle will help you protect your reputation and publish with confidence.
Learn more about how you can use iThenticate with SciSpace here.
Hey there! We encourage you to visit our SciSpace discover page to explore how our suite of products can make research workflows easier and allow you to spend more time advancing science.
When performing a literature review you should take notes about your citation so that you can keep track. Citing is a breeze with SciSpace Discover. You can generate citation text on the article page by clicking the 'cite' button, which will be preloaded in multiple formats, so you can copy-paste it as needed.
You can refer to the below blogs to learn more about research writing