This is a note to myself really, about all the things I should do before submitting a journal paper., based on what I have read this summer, and mistakes I have made recently. Happily (for my self esteem, not the quality of papers in the field) I know I am not alone, judging by the papers I review.
So maybe you will find them useful. This of course is an exercise in procrastination as I have stack of dissertations to read which I can't quite face.
- If you're doing experimental work have you thought up a meaningful hypothesis which says more than just "there will be a difference between the groups?" (See Diennes 2008 for why) Have you thought about what sort of effect size you expect based on previously reported effect sizes?Necessary if you're doing Bayesian analysis but useful any to avoid lame hypotheses.You should be doing this well before the writing phase, Judy, you should have done it months ago before the experiment started!
- Again for experimental work,have you done power calculations? No, Judy, thought not. And again, you should before you plan the experiment. See Cohen (1992) for some shocking estimates of required sample sizes.
- Has anyone written about this recently? Go check. Yes, I know it's obvious but I also know I nearly forgot to do it just yesterday.
- Have you read recent papers in the target journal to make sure they are interested in this stuff?
- If you're doing any sort of analysis that requires judgement, have you done inter-rater reliability checking and stats? The last section of Lombard et al (2002) has a good checklist.
- If you're doing inferential stats have you reported your descriptive statistics to avoid irritating future researchers who might want to include your study in a meta-analysis?
- If you're doing t-test or ANOVA, have you checked the assumptions (normality (see http://www.statsguides.bham.ac.uk/HTG/HTGtextonly/ot/normality.htm) and homogenity of variance? (Levene's test))
- If you're doing inferential stats, have you calculated and reported effect size? See Sun et al (2010) for a practical checklist (last section)
- Have you proof read it? Have you got someone else to proof read it?
- Have you downloaded the review forms used by the journal and assessed your own paper? (Arrggg.. no.. better do that now!)
If you can think of any to grow my collection, please add a comment!
Cohen, J. (1992). A power primer. Psychological bulletin, 112(1), 155. American Psychological Association. Retrieved from http://psycnet.apa.org/journals/bul/112/1/155/
Dienes, Z. (2008). Understanding Psychology as a Science: An Introduction to Scientific and Statistical Inference (1st ed., p. 150). Palgrave Macmillan.
Lombard, M., Snyder-Duch, J., & Bracken, C. C. (2002). Content analysis in mass communication: Assessment and reporting of intercoder reliability. Human communication research, 28(4), 587–604. Wiley Online Library. Retrieved from http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1468-2958.2002.tb00826.x/abstract
Sun, S., Pan, W., & Wang, L. L. (2010). A comprehensive review of effect size reporting and interpreting practices in academic journals in education and psychology. Journal of Educational Psychology, 102(4), 989-1004. doi:10.1037/a0019507