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Research 101

From Idea to Publication

This guide will take you through the steps of the process from getting an idea to publication.

The tabs at the left are designed to guide you through the stages of the process from defining the topic to submission to a reputable journal. Remember that the process is iterative, you may repeat the steps of the process as necessary in order to discover the best information to support your research.

If you have questions about the research process or if you need assistance, please contact a librarian.

Here are 5 steps in the process of determining a topic to scientific publication in a reputable journal.

Choosing an interesting research topic is a challenge. Choose a topic that you are interested in and discuss research ideas with a friend or lecturer. Topics also came from reading literature and professional organization social media groups (through this group, you will get updates related to issues). If your publication target in an international (reputable) journal, determine the topic whose impact contributes to society. Each paper needs to present its scientific contribution.

How to measure the topic we choose will encounter a few obstacles in the research process? Several questions must be answered:

  • WHY did you choose the topic? What interests you about it?
  • WHO are the information providers on this topic? Who might publish information about it? Who is affected by the topic? Do you know of organizations or institutions affiliated with the topic?
  • WHAT are the major questions for this topic? Is there a debate about the topic? Are there a range of issues and viewpoints to consider?
  • WHERE is your topic important: at the local, national or international level? Are there specific places affected by the topic
  • WHEN is/was your topic important? Is it a historical issue, a current event, future, or discussing current and future plans? Do you want to compare your topic by time period?

Make sure that in choosing a topic, sufficient information is available. The following are the steps to find ideas through the Scopus database.

As an alternative, you may use such emerging method as Bibliometrics to find a new novel topic or finding research gap. This video will explore more about this method.

UNS Postgraduate School presents GradTalk: An Easy Way to Find Research Novelty and Find Research Gaps – Using VOSviewer by Tri Hardian S. (UNS Library IT staff)

In transforming your chosen topic or idea into an academic paper, it is essential to acknowledge that your current knowledge may not suffice in addressing the issues you wish to explore. Therefore, you’ll need additional sources to help prove your concepts in the form of well-written and credible literature. Conducting literature searches is crucial, as not all information available on the internet is reliable, and there is a risk of encountering hoaxes or dubious journals.

To search for quality academic literature, you can turn to search engines like Google, Microsoft Bing, or Yahoo. However, this process demands the skill of evaluating search results critically to identify reputable sources. Utilizing proper search strategies as provided, can help access information via Google.

It is easy for anyone to publish anything on the internet. Anything is a ‘legitimate resource’ as long as you approach it critically. After you get the results from searching through Boolean logic, make sure that the results you will use can be trusted. Here are two notes while using sources from Google, especially for scientific writing:

  1. DO investigate the credibility of the author or article’s postings.
    Articles written by published authors have more authority than those authored by unpublished authors. You might find enough information by quickly searching a quick search on Google Scholar to assess their validity.
    We’re not suggesting don’t utilize Wikipedia. It can be a useful tool for acquiring an overview of what you’ve uncovered. However, this should only help you understand the information in the other source, which you should mention. Of course, you can verify the source links at the bottom of a page and quote those instead.

Additionally, UNS Library offers access to high-quality literature through its website at For electronic resources, the library provides access via by logging in using SSO (Single Sign-On).

Avoiding plagiarism

UNS Postgraduate School presents GradTalk: Avoiding Plagiarism by Sri Utari (UNS Librarian)

Once your research manuscript is complete, you must decide which target journal will accept your submission. But you’re not sure which publication would be appropriate for your research. These videos will explain how to decide which journals you should submit to.

UNS Postgraduate School presents GradTalk: Strategy for Determining Reputable Indexed Journals for Scientific Article Publication by Riah Wiratningsih (UNS Librarian)

There are various academic research tools available to assist you in choosing a suitable journal. This video demonstrates how to use Web of Science, Scopus, Wiley, Elsevier, Springer, and IEEE to locate reputable journals relevant to your research.

Searching for Reputable Journals on Scopus and Web of Science:

Scopus Source List 
Web of Science Master Journal List

Search for International Journals using the Journal Finder Tools:

Wiley Journal Finder Beta
Elsevier Journal Finder
Springer Journal Suggester
IEEE Publication Recommender

Download a written PDF tutorial, click here


  1. The American Psychological Association (APA) 7th edition
  2. Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)
  3. Chicago Style
  4. Modern Language Association (MLA)

The American Psychological Association (APA)


Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)

Complete source:


Chicago Citation Style

Complete source:

Contents (

Modern Language Association (MLA)

Complete source:

MLA Formatting and Style Guide – Purdue OWL® – Purdue University