Interested in conducting an independent research project? Wishing to get published? This article will take you to the core of research and journals.
Research can be both complex and challenging at times. However if done in the right way, producing a project can greatly enhance your knowledge of a subject and showcase your efforts and talents. Many aspiring high school scholars want to submit their research projects to academic journals for publication for various reasons (to share their knowledge with others.)There are literally thousands of scientific journals that publish research articles. These publications are diverse and specialize in one or more areas like science, technology, engineering, math, history, social sciences, humanities, environmental issues, etc. Some journals are designed as a showcase specifically for high school students.
Reputable journals have strict guidelines that contributors must follow if they want their submissions to be published… For example, you must demonstrate that your research is truly original. This means that you ask a research question, predict the answer, and then perform experiments to see if the result supports your hypothesis…
So while it may be tempting to get published, it is more important to derive satisfaction from the process of conducting research. It is also critical to research which journal is credible and respected. Because, if you publish in the wrong journal, it could actually cause more harm than good.
Pioneer Academics will help you learn everything you need to know about academic journals in this article.
Let’s dive in.
Having Articles Published in High School: Does It Matter?
The vast majority of students have been led to believe that publishing research papers before college is the best way to showcase their curiosity, commitment, determination, skill, and above all else, success, to college admissions officers. This is why many students think that publishing their research in any academic journal will significantly boost their profile and enhance their chances of college acceptance and scholarship assistance.
Unfortunately, in recent years, high school research has become increasingly monetized, resulting in a massive influx of predatory publications, most of which feature substandard research projects. As a result, selective universities and college admissions officers are aware of which publications simply target young people who are only looking to get published and which publications are considered reputable.
The truth is: It can be extremely difficult for high school researchers to get published in reputable journals because these are the avenues where only original findings are proven to be significant enough for the professional academic community to share. Pioneer can help you to your channel your interest, curiosity, and passion for a particular subject into a research paper that you will be proud to include in your college admission applications. So to answer the question: Does it matter for high school students to get published? The answer is no.
What Should I Look for in a High School Research Program
If you want to get involved with scientific research, there are numerous programs available online and in-person for high school students.
There are usually three types of programs: online mentorship programs, university/college programs, and lab internships. Each one has pros and cons and can be a fantastic, structured experience that puts you in touch with research labs, experienced teachers, and other students.
It is critically important to find and select a reputable program that meets your needs. Here are the things to look for.
Will this program allow me to focus on my genuine interests or will my participation just look good on my resume?
This is a question you need to ask yourself before investing and participating in any research program. Are you going to learn and conduct hands-on research that allows you to explore your interest, or does it just feel like you’re paying for something that goes on a resume?
One of the most important steps in conducting research that is often overlooked is the process of determining your research topic. At Pioneer Academics, students are not given research topics. They work with a faculty mentor to hone in on what they want to explore.
If another program automatically assigns you a topic or doesn’t provide any guidance during this process, then you could be missing out on one of the most important learning experiences while conducting research.
Can I develop authentic and original research?
While some programs are genuine and reputable, others view online research opportunities for high school students as a business opportunity since so many young people have been led to believe getting published will set them apart.
So while there are many research programs to choose from, if you’re interested in learning how to develop original and authentic research, you need to identify which program provides this opportunity.
Will this program endorse my level of research?
You have written your own research paper, congratulations! A reputable research program will know how to verify the legitimacy of your work. They will make certain that you followed the correct methods based on your research question and can verify you were, in fact, the one who did the work. So it’s important to look for a program with certifying ability.
Pioneer Academics is the only online research program qualified and trusted to certify its students’ research papers.
Check out 45 reputable academic programs here.
How To Evaluate Academic Journals
After taking the time and effort to conduct research and write a manuscript, the last thing you want to do is have your paper end up in the wrong publication.
While there are many predatory journals eager to take advantage of high school students’ naïveté and desperation, there are other respectable publications that would accept your submissions and showcase your research project. Publication in a reputable publication, such as the Pioneer Journal, and the Concord Review, can signal a college admissions officer about your work.
As a young or high school researcher, it is essential to know how to evaluate the quality and credibility of a publication to avoid falling prey to a predatory journal.
Here are some things to look out for:
1. Peer review process
Credible academic journals use a double-blind review process, concealing the author’s identity from the reviewer and vice versa. During the peer review process, faculty, teachers, and editors evaluate the submissions and provide feedback to the author. The author then uses the feedback to improve their work and better understand the publishing process.
2. How the journal accepts and publishes submissions
Due to the high competition among scholars, reputable journals have a rigorous acceptance and publication process. These journals have a peer review process and a limited number of spots for publication. These publications accept submissions from the most qualified researchers whose academic work stands out from the multitude.
3. Governing bodies and editorial boards
Reputable journals have editorial boards or other governing bodies whose members are recognized experts in the research topic of the article.
4. Journal ranking
Researchers across various disciplines extensively use journal rankings to evaluate the quality and credibility of academic journals. Reputable journals are generally ranked higher.
5. Publication fees
Some journals charge authors for the submission and publication of their papers. Different publishers have certain business models that fund operations, including payments made by subscribers and authors, so when seeking to submit and publish your paper, make sure that the publisher has a quality standard for the content and that it’s not just a pay-to-play model.
6. Copyright policy
Whatever you submit is usually subject to the journal’s copyright regulations. Most journal regulations permit authors to share publications with their friends and colleagues. Each author is free to self-archive their work (author’s copy). You may have a look at the copyright policies of journal publishers first. Open-access journals allow authors of published articles to retain the copyright to their work.
7. Circulation and open access
Some academic journals provide open access to published articles, while others are strict with their publications, so only subscribed members can access the papers.
Because reputable journals are known for only publishing quality and original works, authors often cite them to show that their articles are well-researched. How often people cite publications from the journey can be a good indicator of their legitimacy.
9. Clear publishing schedule
Most academic journals have a straightforward publishing schedule which can be monthly, bi-monthly, quarterly, semi-annually, or annually.
10. Reputation of the journal
Some academic journals are well-known for publishing high-quality, original research. In contrast, others, such as predatory journals, will publish anything for money without vetting the research papers’ quality and authenticity.
Prioritize Personal Development Over Publishing
While being published in a journal can be seen as a rewarding achievement, it should not be the primary reason for writing a research paper. We always encourage high school students to be more concerned with broadening their understanding, developing new skills, and discovering more about their interests.
If you have the ambition to carry out independent research at the highest level for high school students, we suggest applying to Pioneer Academics. Our program is respected for its commitment to certifying student work. The student scholars we accept in our spring and summer terms are required to develop fresh knowledge that meets the rigor and high expectations created in collaboration with Oberlin College.
Learn more about our program by signing up for an info session.