Scientific journals are an essential way to keep up-to-date in science careers. A scientist can become so focused on his or her own work that he or she loses sight of developments in the field and other areas. But, receiving a scientific journal on a regular basis can pulls a scientist out of his or her tunnel vision and into a wider scientific world.
Journals are available in both general scientific format or in very specific areas. The American Chemical Society has general chemistry journals such as Chemical and Engineering News and The Journal of the American Chemical Society, and more than fifty subject-specific journals, such as Macromolecules and The Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. The American Psychological Association puts out journals such as American Psychologist and Behavioral Neuroscience.
Many science journals also feature the latest news, have RSS feeds, archives, and even blogs where people can leave comments. Most now have social networking sites, such as a fan page on Facebook or LinkedIn.
The publication time of journals varies. Science, published by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), comes out weekly. The AAAS also publishes two other journals with both weekly and monthly issues. The Institute for Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) site prints Spectrum, a monthly technology magazine and many other journals within electrical engineering subsections. They also provide reprints of articles and a daily news feed.
Research articles published in scientific journals are leading-edge advancements. Once a scientist has completed research and analysis, he or she can write a paper detailing the research and results. Then, it can be sent to the appropriate scientific journal. It will undergo peer review, meaning that other scientists read and evaluate your work. If it is approved by peers, it is published for all scientists or members of the association to read. Having a peer-reviewed article published in a scientific journal is a big step forward for any scientist or graduate student.
Once an article is published, the author will often receive comments and questions from other scientists. These communications can lead to closer networking with other scientists or to directions for your work that you had not expected.
Having a paper published in a scientific journal raises your prestige and visibility. Most journals have links on their websites that gives instructions for submitting papers. They may also have editorial calendars that list the topics that will be covered each month. Preparing a paper for publication in a scientific journal can be well worth your time.
Last Updated: 06/04/2014