Interview with Dr. Maulin Shah

An Interview with Dr. Maulin Shah

Exclusively for overcoming the challenges of paper publication”

Dear Readers,

I am Sana and I welcome you today for yet another insightful interview with an eminent educationist. As you all know, we at BiokiMicroki aim to bring forth the views & opinions of renowned professionals across the domain of Life Sciences. And it is with this aim and your beloved readership that we strive to bring in as many eminent personalities as we can. This interview is all about the most frequent questions that come into an aspiring researcher’s mind while publishing their paper.

So, without further ado, I would like to bring forth the interview with one such eminent professional. Today we have with us Dr. Maulin Shah, a subject expert from Microbiology field who is a Chief Scientist & Head-Industrial Waste Water Research Lab, Division of Applied & Environmental Microbiology Lab, Enviro Technology Limited, Ankleshwar, India and an accomplished Professional. From my team I would like to thanks Dr. Maulin Shah for accepting our request and sharing his knowledge and experience with us.

Sir, you have been in this domain for a long time and it would be great to receive your pearls of wisdom.

Sana: It would be great if you could briefly share your academic background and research interests.

Dr. Maulin Shah: Basically, I am an Environmental Microbiologist, having a Ph.D in Environmental Microbiology in 2005. I did my undergraduate study in Microbiology in 1999 from SPT Arts & Science, College, Godhra, affiliated to Gujarat University, then after, I joined my master’s Program in Microbiology in the PG Department of Biosciences at Sardar Patel University, Vallabh Vidyanagar, Gujarat, India in 1999, after completion of my M.Sc., I immediately joined the Doctoral Program in the same Department where I worked on Microbial Degradation of Lignocellulosic Waste through Fungal Biotechnology System.

Sana: May we know, how many papers and books have you published so far?

Dr. Maulin Shah: My Favorite question you have asked, thank you so much. To date, I have published 300 papers and 120 books, 40 special issues within four years (Started in 2021 to date) which are online now (Also on Amazon website), and 130 books are under pipeline, which will be published on or before 2025 end. So, overall, I hope 250 books will be published by the end of 2025.

Sana: Please share your insights on“How one should select the journal for publication”?

Dr. Maulin Shah: Of course, I always love to share my thoughts for the science.

There are two main factors to consider when choosing a journal: that your paper fits within the journal’s scope, and the reputation of the journal itself. The reputation is not necessarily based on metrics such as the impact factor, but on aspects such as the professionalism of the editorial team, the journal’s audience and reach, or turnaround times, to name a few. Whichever publisher or journal you choose, make sure they have high standards of peer review and publication ethics.

Most Important, what I only believe (I hope I am not wrong!), I never see the IF of the journal, when I submit my research paper, I only see the quality of my research work, whether the journal is 0.1 IF or 100 IF. If my work is applicable, it will be used as a reference material for the next level of research by other researchers, and that is the real research  done by me, I personally believe.

Sana: In general, what is the process of submitting the paper?

Dr. Maulin Shah: Make sure you have prepared your paper according to the instructions for authors. Double-check the journal’s requirements with your article to be certain.

If you need to include a cover letter with your submission, you should address the editor by formal name (e.g. Dear Professor Name—) and include the name of the journal but make sure you use the correct one (especially if this is your second-choice journal)!

In the letter, explain why your article is suitable for that journal and how your paper will contribute to furthering its aims & scope. Pitch the value of your article, describing the main theme, the contribution your paper makes to existing knowledge, and its relationship to any relevant articles published in the journal. You should not repeat the abstract in the letter. Include information not typically mentioned in a manuscript.

You may also be requested by the journal to suggest some reviewers for your paper. Good sources for these include authors cited in your references and editorial board members from the journal, or from other journals in the field. You should not suggest anyone that you would have a conflict of interest with, such as co-workers.

You should also make some formal declarations regarding the originality of your work, that you have no conflicts of interest, and that all co-authors (if you have any) agree to the submission.

Sana: Could you please share some strategy that you used to achieve publication in high quality journals?


Let me tell you that If I publish my research work in WORLDS TOP RATED JOURNALS like LANCET, NATURE, CELL, SCIENCE, but the work is not applicable to the society, then I believe strongly that the published paper is useless absolutely means has no meaning to read.

Sana: How do you ensure quality of your paper before submitting into journals?

Dr. Maulin Shah: Preparing your manuscript for journal submission is possibly one of the most nerve-wracking steps in a researcher’s publishing journey. This is also the stage where most researchers make errors that can define the fate of their manuscript. To paraphrase renowned German physicist Werner Heisenberg, an expert is someone who knows some of the worst mistakes that can be made and how to avoid them. I feel that the following points should be taken into account while submission.

The first item on the manuscript checklist is formatting. Most journals have strict guidelines on the article format, so be sure to double check the layout, font type or size, spacing, margins, numbering, and file type (Word/PDF/LaTeX) are aligned to your journal requirements. Also check if you meet the recommended word count for key elements like the Abstract or the Title. You should also run through the citations and references to ensure all in-text citations are included in references, which should be consistently styled and formatted appropriately.

Ensure your manuscript is complete from title to structure, acknowledgements to footnotes. Each section has a specific objective, so ensure that there is no major repetition of information and data flows cohesively. Apart from following the recommended IMRAD structure for research articles, keep an eye on and refine your article structure by checking the appendix, footnotes, and other sections of your paper when using this manuscript checklist. 

A well-written manuscript has a higher chance of impressing journal editors and reviewers, and in turn your chance of acceptance. Improve your writing by avoiding jargon and grandiose language, keep the sentences simple and uncomplicated, focus on logic and flow to improve readability, check, and correct spelling and grammar errors that could be misleading. Using this manuscript checklist to tick off all these points will help you deliver a polished piece that showcases your research effectively. 

Present your scientific data effectively in clear, well-structured, detailed tables and figures. Ensure the tables and figures are clear and legible and don’t repeat information in text. Don’t make these visuals too long, instead include additional information in the appendix. Check and clean up your table titles, figures and graph legends, and image captions as this is something editors will check for. Finally, share these in the correct file type or format as requested by your target journal. 

The most common error is inconsistencies in the facts and details provided in your manuscript. So do a thorough check to ensure that the data and calculations or equations in your work are accurate. You should also check for consistency in how the numbers, symbols, units of measurement, citations and references are presented in your manuscript.  

Determining and being clear about the authors and the roles they play in writing a research paper is key, for example corresponding author, lead author, co-author, etc. At the time of journal submission, researchers are required to share all the relevant details about the authors, including their full names, designations, contribution made, and the full contact details of the corresponding author.  

Your manuscript should acknowledge all sources of support received on the research project. If the study involves patients/subjects, you would need to submit proof of consent forms. While you need to ensure you properly quote or cite text taken from previously published papers, you will need to have written approvals if reproducing graphics or copyright material. Failure to correctly attribute or acknowledge these sources of information is considered an ethical violation.  

All types of submission to a journal will require a conflict-of-interest declaration, either mentioning conflicts of interest or confirming that there are none. Conflicts of interest in research are when competing financial, professional connections, or personal values and views can potentially impact a researcher’s objectivity. It’s mandatory for authors to follow journal guidelines and declare all potential conflicts to ensure their smooth processing of a manuscript. 

Adhering to ethical guidelines is critical to ensure that your work is authentic, unbiased, free of errors, and something that can be trusted. Ethical compliance keeps researchers accountable and ensures there is no misconduct in conducting research or in the use of funds. Some of the important ethical declarations at the time of submission include statements of ethical approval from relevant boards or committees, disclosure of simultaneous submissions, and conflict of interest statements. 

Sana: Can you please share some common challenges that a researcher faces while publishing it in high quality journal?

Dr. Maulin Shah: There are many challenges that researchers face in different fields, and the specific challenges may vary depending on the nature of the research, the resources available, and the broader societal and political context. However, some common challenges that researchers face across different fields include:

Funding: Funding is often a significant challenge for researchers, especially in fields that are not well-funded or where research is expensive. Researchers may struggle to secure funding for their research projects, which can limit the scope and impact of their work.

Data access and management: Researchers may face challenges in accessing and managing data, especially when the data is sensitive, proprietary, or subject to privacy regulations. Data management can be time-consuming and requires specialized skills, which may be a challenge for some researchers.

Publishing: Researchers may face challenges in publishing their work, especially if they are not affiliated with prestigious institutions or if their research challenges established views or paradigms. Publishing in high-impact journals can be competitive, and rejection can be demotivating.

Collaboration: Collaboration is often essential for conducting research, but it can also be challenging to find suitable collaborators, communicate effectively, and coordinate work across different teams and institutions.

Ethics and compliance: Research is subject to ethical and regulatory frameworks, which can be complex and time-consuming to navigate. Researchers must ensure that their work is conducted in an ethical and compliant manner, which can be challenging.

Sana: With your experience, can you please share some strategies that could be used to overcome the paper rejection?

Dr. Maulin Shah: Life is full of its ups and downs. One day, you may feel like you have it all figured out. Then, in a moment’s notice, you’ve been thrown a curve ball. You’re not alone in these feelings. Everyone has to face their own set of challenges. Learning how to overcome challenges will help you stay centered and remain calm under pressure.

It is a common experience – especially in today’s highly competitive publication environment. My advice is to have a good strategy in place i.e. have a list of five to six appropriate journals to target – starting with the highest quality. The expectation is that the first one or two articles stand a higher chance of rejection. However, you will hopefully receive good reviewer advice to help re-shape and re-craft your manuscript so that, hopefully, one of your target journals will accept it. If you keep getting rejected – even after amending your article – for similar reasons – then it may be safe to assume that it will not get published and move onto publishing your next project.

Sana: What would you advice to a fresh researcher who wish to publish his/her paper in high impact factor?

Dr. Maulin Shah: Let me clarify you again, that I only believe in quality of work, I never believe in IF, I have published my papers in very low impact factor journals, and the most interesting is, the published paper in those journals are not much known in the scientific community, but the quality of my research paper was just an outstanding. Looking into my applicable work, several journals have invited me to join their board. So, I always advise a fresh researcher to focus on the quality of your research, do not target, or focus on Impact Factor (This is the reason, I am different from others !)

Sana: Which tools, resources or methodologies you would suggest for improving quality of the research or review paper?


Sana: Sir, would you like to share any other valuable information with our readers?

Dr. Maulin Shah: Do such type of research work, which has application, if not, meaning less, if you get a Nobel Prize as well.  

Sana: I am really grateful to have you on biokimicroki platform. Thank you so much Dr. Maulin Shah for sharing your pearl of wisdom with our readers.

Related Posts

One thought on “An Interview with Dr. Maulin Shah

  1. Dr. Maulin Shah’s insights are invaluable for aspiring researchers. His emphasis on the quality and applicability of research work, rather than just the impact factor of the journal, resonates deeply. It’s a reminder to focus on the substance and contribution of one’s work to the scientific community.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.