An Interview With Award-Winning Editor Margaret Niess: Manuscript Writing Tips and the Importance of Peer Review

By Jared Peterman on Mar 19, 2019
eContent Pro International
An Interview With Margaret Niess: Manuscript Writing Tips and the Importance of Peer Review

Getting a manuscript published can be an exhausting experience for academic writers. Numerous rounds of revisions and edits can cause the publishing process to take over a year before the author is finally rewarded by being published. So, what can the author do to proactively avoid these delays in publishing? eContent Pro International® recently discussed helpful manuscript writing tips for authors with Margaret (Maggie) Niess, editor, researcher, and professor at Oregon State University (USA).

Margaret (Maggie) Niess is Professor Emeritus of Mathematics Education at Oregon State University (USA). She has served as an author on multiple teacher preparation books, as an editor of numerous major reference works, and has several peer-reviewed journal articles and chapters to her credit. Her research primarily focuses on integrating technology in teaching science and mathematics and the knowledge teachers require for integrating technologies in their teaching – TPACK. She directed the design, implementation, and evaluation of an online Master of Science program for K-12 mathematics and science teachers with an interdisciplinary science, mathematics, and technology emphasis. She has chaired multiple committees for the Association of Mathematics Teacher Educators (AMTE) and currently serves as chair for the American Educational Research Association’s SIG-TACTL (Technology as a Change Agent in Teaching and Learning).

Read below to gain insight on Professor Niess’s expert advice on publishing a scholarly manuscript.

Q: As an editor, what do you think are the most important things and/or the most important concepts to remember when authoring a scholarly manuscript?

A: The most important idea to remember is that the manuscript must match with the scholar call for manuscripts. If the call indicates that the manuscript must be research-based, then the manuscript needs to be research-based rather than the author’s opinions. If the call provides specific guidelines for the manuscript, then the author needs to assure that the manuscript is written in that format.

Q: In your expert opinion, what are the most common mistakes you think most authors make when compiling their work and seeking publication?

A: The most common mistakes are failures to follow the guidelines and write the manuscript such that it clearly delineates the research methodology.

Q: In your expert opinion, do you think that some (or most) of the manuscripts submitted to your journal could have benefitted from preliminary rounds of peer review or editing prior to submission?

A: I see peer review or editing as the next step after being accepted for further consideration in the journal or publication. Certainly, if the author is hoping to get the manuscript considered, then yes, peer review would be a recommended idea.

Q: In your expert opinion, how would you advise other authors in handling edit recommendations and constructive criticism of their work from reviewers or editors?

A: I would advise them to carefully consider the recommended edits. If they feel the edit is in error, then they should reach back to the editor for further clarification. I would also recommend submitting a review of how they responded to the edits as an addendum to their submission for consideration.

Q: In your expert opinion, how could an author of a manuscript submitted to your journal benefit from the Scientific and Scholarly Editing service currently being offered by eContent Pro International®?

A: They must follow timelines to assure timely edits so that they can carefully reconsider the manuscript recommended edits and do a careful revision.

Q: Do you have any other comments or suggestions for our audience?

A: Be a careful author who attends to the journal guidelines. Make sure to have appropriate time for attending to the guidelines, ask a peer to review the guidelines and see if the manuscript meets those guidelines, and above all, make sure the proposed manuscript matches with the journal call.

Many thanks to Professor Margaret (Maggie) Niess for her cooperation and insights. eContent Pro International® hopes authors around the world found this discussion helpful as they continue their journey in the publishing process.

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