Communication Vagueness in the Literature Review Section of Journal Article Submissions

Anthony J. Onwuegbuzie


Evidence has been provided about the importance of avoiding American Psychological Association (APA) errors in the abstract, body, reference list, and table sections of empirical research articles. Specifically, authors are significantly more likely to have their manuscripts rejected for publication if they fail to avoid APA violations—and, thus, do not write with discipline—in these sections. In addition to adhering to APA, writing with discipline also includes avoiding communication vagueness. Thus, I analyzed communication vagueness in the literature review section of 71 manuscripts submitted to the journal Research in the Schools over a 3-year period. Findings revealed that the frequency of communication vagueness differed in relation to the following: (a) number of APA errors, (b) gender of lead author, (c) genre of manuscript, and (d) adjudication decisions. In particular, certain communication vagueness categories were statistically significant and practically significant predictors of whether or not a manuscript is rejected for publication by the editor. Implications of these findings are discussed.

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Copyright (c) 2018 Anthony J. Onwuegbuzie

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Journal of Educational Issues  ISSN 2377-2263


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