By: Rebecca Scritchfield, RD, ACSM Health Fitness Specialist
ASN Blogger at EB 2010

If you’re a nutrition scientist, you know you need to get published. Well, I’ve got your crib sheet on how to boost your chances of seeing your name in print (or online).

Presenting… the top 5 tips for getting accepted into ASN Journals by none other than the editors themselves.

Here’s what you need to do:

1. Make sure your work is right for AJCN or JN. About 25% of papers are returned simply because they aren’t a good fit for the publications. For example, a food science paper is not really going to get in a publication that is more clinical.

2. You have to be timely. You cannot afford to let your work get old. Do the work. Have something to say and get to writing. Old data is not newsworthy, and your chances of getting published are greatly diminished. Don’t let yourself procrastinate the writing. Get your rough ideas down in a rough flow. You may find that it is easier to get your tables and data down first because you can visualize the rest more easily.

3. Ask the right question. You have to have a strong research question. Be relevant and significant. The research question is the foundation of the study. You can’t possibly have a study worthy of publishing with a poor research question.

4. Be realistic in your inferences. No matter how much you love your work and believe in its potential, don’t make a “passionate” inference or even conclude something you really can’t justify. Avoid exuberance at all costs.

5. Admit when you aren’t perfect. You need to make sure you acknowledge flaws in the methodology. This is so important for readers to understand the strengths and weaknesses of your work. This information is crucial for development of future studies as well.

Good luck… and have fun!

Rebecca Scritchfield is a Washington, D.C. based registered dietitian in private practice specializing in healthy weight management. She is a member of ASN and is covering several events at EB 2010 through social media.