Publish or Perish?

Researchers are often faced with the immense pressure to publish or risk being booted out of academia. Learn why is it important to publish scholarly articles and how does one actually go about it.

Here are 4 reasons why it is important to publish!

1) To graduate 

In most universities, one of the main requisites for a postgraduate student to graduate is to publish a certain number of research articles in academic journals on top of submitting their thesis. And not just any publication – these articles will have to appear in internationally recognised and high-impact journals or it will not count towards the fulfillment of your graduation requirements. Check with your graduate school on what is the minimum number of articles that you have to publish and then set your publishing goals.

2) To build your academic credentials

Journal publications are important in helping establish your academic credentials and build up a research career in the academia. But bear in mind that you have to careful on where you publish your research and submit your articles. After all, one article in a high indexed and long established journal is worth 10 articles in regular journals with limited reach and readers. The number of scholarly articles that you produce will add to your academic resume and boost your career at the end of the day. 

3) To generate more funding

If you wish to remain in the academia, you have to constantly source for new funding to support your on-going research and publications. But how does one find more funding? The best way to go about it is to consistently publish good and impactful scholarly articles. Once you have gained a reputation of being a prolific and productive researcher, it ill be easier for you to acquire funding from interested parties, and lentheng your academic tenure with the university.

4) To motivate yourself

Last but not least, as a researcher, you must always drive yourself to contribute to the vast body of knowledge in your field. Use your journal publications as a way to measure and motivate yourself to develop more research and scholarly articles. Your lack of publications will function as the metaphorical whip to get you where you need to be. 


Before successfuly publishing the article, it will be reviewed by the journal editor. The journal editor will return the the article to the researcher with feedback from the peer reviewers. Researchers will then amend and rewrite accordingly, if the article does not meet the standards required, it will be rejected. The process for peer review:

  1. Writing process 
    The researcher writes the journal article and submits it for review.
  2. Editor evaluation
    Journal editor receives an article and sends it out for peer review.
  3. Peer review
    Peer reviewers go through the articles and submit their feedbacks to the editor. 
  4. Publication
    If the article has been accepted, it will then be published in the journal. 

Good and bad journals

Good journals

  • Clear and accurate contact information is provided
  • Industry standard metrics were clearly stated.
  • Clean and professional designs: visually refined, easily accessible, industry-related banners.
  • Ethic statements and journal policies are clearly stated.
  • Clear submission information, error-free text and realistic publication timeline. 
  • Consistent updates on articles and list of publications.
  • All working links.

Bad journals

  • Insufficient contact information is given.
  • Questionable, irrelevant or false metrics were used to measure their standards.
  • Amateurish website or blog designs: messy colours, lack of coordination, irrelevant banners.
  • Lack of ethic statements and corporate affiliations.
  • Insufficient submission information, full of text errors with unrealistic publication timeline.
  • Inaccurate and missing information on the articles.
  • Broken and suspicious links.