Skip to main content
 

Research Impact: Writing for publication

Making an impact and measuring the impact of your research

Journal Articles

Writing journal articles

  • Choose your target journal carefully.
  • Decide on your audience. Is your article suitable for a peer reviewed scholarly journal, a professional journal or a “popular” journal?
  • Decide whether you want to publish in a traditional journal or an Open Access journal.
  • Look at recent issues of the journal, read some of the articles and any guidance material produced (usually on the website).
  • Ensure you have an up to date copy of the specific author guidelines which detail forms for references, figures and illustrations etc.
  • Use a bibliographic software programme such as EndNote to make sure all your citations are correctly formatted. This software provides referencing styles for thousands of the most popular journals.
  • Check that you will retain some copyright of your article after publication
  • Plan ahead. Find out the publication schedule of the journal and how long the peer review and/or editorial process usually takes, so that you know when it is most appropriate to submit your article.
  • It is advisable to contact the editor in advance to check the appropriateness of your proposed contribution.
  • For scholarly journals, check the impact factor of your chosen journal.
  • Never submit the same article to more than one journal at a time.
  • Write a draft of your article and if possible ask colleagues to proof read it for you
  • Create an abstract and a set of keywords to help describe your contribution.

Conference papers

Writing conference papers

  • Try to attend some conferences to get a flavour of the standard of the contributions.
  • Read collections of conference proceedings.
  • Generally conference websites give details of themes and strands so that you can identify which is most appropriate for your intended paper.
  • Remember that as well as writing the paper you will also have to give a verbal presentation, which will summarise your paper.
  • Deadlines for the written version of the paper are often several months ahead of the conference itself, so ensure you are able to meet the deadlines.

Book reviews

Writing a book review

  • Set the book in context and show its significance in its field
  • Summarise the main theme, the stance taken by the author and their conclusions
  • Balance strengths and weaknesses of the book, drawing on examples to illustrate these
  • Highlight any outstanding attributes of the book
  • Write clearly and factually and to capture the readers’ interest
  • Avoid a chapter-by-chapter account of the themes and try a more integrated approach to the review
  • Indicate the likely readership

Writing for publication

  This page contains some hints and tips to think about when writing for publication.You'll find more in the booklet Writing for Publication, which you can download from the link above.

Writing Development Centre

You'll find lots of useful information on writing styles on the Writing Development Centre webpages

Useful links on writing for publication

Author lecture January 2016

Recording (slides and voice): Listen to the recording of the lecture here.

Survey: If you attended the lecture, receive an attendance certificate from Elsevier by completing their survey.

More information: on the following topics is available from the Elsevier Publishing Campus:  

  • How to write a manuscript
  • How to review a manuscript
  • Research and publishing ethics
  • Successful grant writing
  • Get published
  • Get noticed
  • Peer review
  • Duplicate submission
  • Authorship
  • Plagiarism
  • Salami Slicing
  • Research Fraud
  • Conflict of interest
  • Elements of style for writing scientific journal articles

WebinarsElsevier Publishing Colleges is a series of webinars