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Gerstein Science Information Centre

Getting Published in Health Sciences

Publishing for Impact

After spending a great deal of time and effort on your research project, you would like (or feel the pressure) to publish a peer-reviewed journal article.  What steps need to be taken to maximize the success of getting your your manuscript accepted for publication?  This guide has best practices and practical tips to publish with IMPACT.


Identifier : having an author identifier, such as ORCID iD, will associate all your outputs (journal articles, code, conference proceedings, protocols, etc) to you.  This will improve the discoverability of your work, reduce author ambiguity (since different authors can have similar names), and help you tell your impact story.


Manuscript preparation: Ensure ideas are clear and understandable; get feedback before submission; Pay special attention to title and abstract since they are main avenues of discoverability of your paper; Avoid spin, i.e. do not overstate your findings;  Methods and Results are especially evaluated by reviewers to understand the science that was performed; Discussion should address the limitations of your study and what the next steps should be; Avoid excessive self-citations and make sure there are current references.


Pick the right journal : as an author, you have the agency to decide to which journal to submit; Look at the aim & scope of journals; What journals have you cited? Do you have a requirement to make your article Open Access?  Or does Open Access align with your values? Avoid predatory journals


Author responsibilities:  Report all conflicts of interest; consider contributions of other authors and author order; follow ethical mandates; ensure data is correct and figures are representative;  understanding responsibilities of corresponding author; submit to only one journal at a time


Communication:  publishing an article is a collaboration between authors, editor, and reviewers;  a pre-submission inquiry to the editors about your paper can gage interest as well as fit before formally submitting; cover letter is an opportunity to communicate with editor at a more personal level to give context to your manuscript; offer names of peer reviewers for the editor to consider as well as exclude; if your manuscript is not accepted, ask the editor to clarify reasons why and see if a rebuttal is appropriate


Transparency: increase the rigour and reproducibility of your research; register your study if applicable; follow appropriate reporting guidelines ; transparent and complete reporting of methods; Address bias; Deposit and share data and code.



More info:

Scholarly Publishing and Current Awareness guide