現在博士課程に在学中のKriss Langeさんの共著論文が、Studies in Second Language Learning and Teaching (SSLLT)に掲載されました。Krissさんは、International Review of Applied Linguistics in Language Teaching (IRAL)でも近日中に論文が掲載予定です。Krissさんは、日本人英語学習者がリスニングが苦手である要因として、機能語（代名詞や前置詞など文法的な働きをする語）の聞き取り能力に着目し、その関係性について研究をしています。このたび、SSLLTに掲載されるまでのプロセスについて記事を書いてもらいました。国際誌への投稿を考えている人にはとても有益な情報だと思います。ぜひ参考にしてください。
Two Long Years to Get Published
By Kriss Lange
I’m a graduate student in the doctoral program at Hiroshima University and in this blog post I’ll try to describe the experience of publishing my research article, “Exploring the relationships between L2 vocabulary knowledge, lexical segmentation, and L2 listening comprehension” in the online journal, Studies in Second Language Learning and Teaching (SSLLT). The researcher who co-authored this paper with me, Joshua Matthews, is much more experienced than I am at writing and publishing research so his advice and support was very helpful. I hope to share some of this information with you. We opted for a free online journal because we hoped the article would be more accessible there. Checking the following website for the SJR number (or impact factor) of the journal is helpful when decided where to submit to (https://www.scimagojr.com/journalrank.php?category=3310). The journal SSLLT currently has a SJR rank of 1.37. The time from first submitting the article to publication in the journal took about 2 years.
We first submitted the paper on the 8th of November 2018 to the SSLLT journal’s website. The submission guidelines were checked to make sure the paper was under 8,000 words and the abstract was 150-200 words etc.. After creating an account on the journal’s website, I uploaded the manuscript, three appendices and a cover letter to the submission portal. We received the first round of feedback from two reviewers in early June 2019. I probably wrote to ask for status updates every 3 months or so. I didn’t write more often because I didn’t want to bother the editor too much. The journal was updating its website at that time and I was also concerned that our manuscript had been lost somehow. I’m still not sure why the first round of responses from the reviewers took long.
The two anonymous reviewers for our study each sent a list of about 20 comments in a word document. The reviewers indicated the location that these comments referred to in the manuscript by page and line number. In a new “Response to reviewers” document, I first wrote a short message thanking the reviewers for their helpful comments. Then, I gave each reviewer’s comment a number and tried to politely and thoroughly respond to each one. If the manuscript was changed based on the reviewer’s comment, I indicated the change with colored text in the new revised manuscript and also in the “Response to reviewers” document with the location indicated by page number and line number. In addition to various other revisions to the manuscript, one of the reviewers requested that the number of participants in the study be increased to at least 110 in order to satisfy requirements for multiple regression analysis. I was able to collect data from the same first-year course that participated in the previous year’s study so I had two years of data from two classes of about 60 first-year students. However, the data collection and analysis took some time and I wasn’t able to resubmit the manuscript and associated documents (cover letter etc.) until September 23, 2019; about four months after getting the reviewers’ comments.
I received the second round of reviewer comments on February 16th, 2020 after about five months had passed. A number of changes to the manuscript were again requested but I could resubmit the revised manuscript in about two months (May 13, 2020). In early July I sent an email to the editor to ask about the status of the paper. We didn’t receive the third round of reviewer comments until about September. However, by this point the manuscript had few revisions that needed to be made. Based on the reviewer’s comments, I suspect that one or both the people reviewing our article had changed at some point during the review process but I was not informed by the editor of any changes to the review team. There was a final proofreading stage in which we could check for mistakes and make small changes to the final format of the article. The article was finally published toward the end of December 2020. Getting the article in press certainly took much longer than I thought it would.
For us researchers trying to get published in major journals, I would recommend first that keeping detailed records is important. Getting a research article published is a long process, taking at least a year I’d guess, and it is easy to forget various details along the way. Organizing our folders and files with clear names and dates is helpful. Now, I assume that I’ll forget almost everything (I will eventually!) and I try to remember to add detailed notes to the top of my research-related documents to help me remember their contents. I’d also suggest trying to model your manuscript based on articles that are already published in a particular journal. Making sure your research fits with the interests of the journal also seems to be important.
I’ve heard that although replication studies are generally acknowledged to be important to do, not many researchers attempt them. Reproducing an important study in the Japanese context could be a shortcut to getting published as the fundamental aspects of the study, such as the design and correct statistical analyses, are already established. A quick Google scholar search brought up two that might be informative (listed at the end). Finally, I think not getting discouraged by critical feedback and staying persistent is important. If one journal rejects our article, we can always try another and another until someone takes it. I hope to take my own advice here by keeping good records and being organized, modelling my research on high-quality published articles, attempting replication studies and being persistent. I hope this brief record of my experience publishing a research article in an international journal was helpful and please feel free to contact me by email (k-langeあっとu-shimane.ac.jp). Good luck to us!
Webb, S. (2016). Learning vocabulary through meaning-focused input: Replication of Elley (1989) and Liu & Nation (1985). Language Teaching, 49(1), 129-140.
Schmitt, N., Cobb, T., Horst, M., & Schmitt, D. (2017). How much vocabulary is needed to use English? Replication of van Zeeland & Schmitt (2012), Nation (2006) and Cobb (2007). Language Teaching, 50(2), 212-226.