Anatomy of a theory

Ever wonder what a theory — such as Darwin’s descent with modification — needs to go through in order to gain widespread acceptance in the scientific community? One step is to have your research published in a scientific journal, and lucky for you, Jim Hare outlined the process.

Part 1, your work:

— Review literature published on your subject

— Identify how your research constitutes an expansion of the current knowledge

— Conduct the research and design the experiments.

— Write the manuscript

— Submit manuscript to scientific journals

Part 2, the journal’s work:

— Journal editor assigns manuscript to an associate editor with a background in a field related to the manuscript

— Associate editor recruits people in a similar field to review the manuscript

— Reviewers are given a period of time to produce a critique of the manuscript, pointing out pros
and cons, including design of experiments, literature cited, methodology etc.

— Associate editor collates the reviews, finding common points and concerns and forms an opinion for the journal’s editor

— Journal editor then decides whether to accept the manuscript for publication, accept it with revisions or reject it