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Careers, Grad Studies, and Opportunities in History

Keep up with history scholarship, grants, news, jobs, presentation and publishing opportunities, conferences, and more.

Introduction

This page is intended to inform undergraduate History students who may wish to submit a paper for publication.

Journals to Consider

Select a journal that focuses on undergraduate research; you will have a more “fair” experience when your work is compared against other researchers at your level, rather than against professional History scholars.

Sticking with a journal that employs peer review and is attached to a university or scholarly association, as this will ensure the quality of the publishing process (avoiding predatory journals) and will lend a greater credibility and reputation to a resulting citation on your resume.  

Top journal suggestions, including both history-focused and interdisciplinary journals (all peer-reviewed):

Reading

Skim over a few pieces that have been published in past issues of a journal.

This will give you a feel for the scope and quality of the work they accept, and the quality of the editing and publishing services they have provided, and it may give you a better sense of which journal feels like a “good fit” for you and your paper.

Latest and older issues of each journal are available through their websites (linked above).  

Style

Each journal has its own requirements for style, in terms of citations as well as formatting of the paper overall.

Some also require cover sheets with specific information.

When you identify a journal that sounds good, review the submission and formatting guidelines on their website carefully, as some aspects of your formatting from class may need to be revised.  

Review

The journal will send your paper through a peer-review process, which will involve other students and/or faculty reading the paper and providing feedback and suggestions for improvement. This step can sometimes take a little time, so be patient!  

Your professor likely already provided some feedback on areas to improve the paper, and if not, don’t hesitate to ask them! Additionally, although my feedback may not be as substantive on the content side as your professor's, the Scholarly Communications Librarian Erin Owens would be more than happy to provide a review for you regarding writing clarity, organization, that type of thing.

Revisions

It is very uncommon to have a paper accepted as-is on the first shot, and is very common to have at least some minor revisions requested prior to publication. When many journals only accept about 10% of the items submitted, rejection is also not uncommon.

Rejections hurt, and even revision requests can sometimes hurt when we are proud of our work and don’t agree with all of the suggestions made about it. That’s ok; it’s normal to feel that hurt, but it’s also important to take a deep breath and remind yourself that rejections and reviewer comments are not personal. They are not a comment on you as a researcher or a writer (and certainly not as a person); they are only one reviewer’s comment on the specific version of a specific work that the reviewer read.

The best reviewers learn to give feedback that is constructive (don’t just tell me what’s wrong, suggest how to make it better), and the best authors learn to read reviewer comments “dispassionately,” using them to make the work better whenever possible and politely setting them aside when they are not helpful (this page lists some helpful resources about how to read and respond to reviewer comments).

The best authors also learn that a rejection does not mean the work is not worthwhile, and if you care about the work, it is worth trying again.

Need Help with Publishing?

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Erin Owens
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Contact:
936-294-4567
eowens@shsu.edu
NGL 223D
ORCID: 0000-0001-9520-9314

 

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