Publishing articles in journals is an integral part of one’s profession. However, many young professionals struggle with medical writing and publishing because of sheer inexperience. Here are some quick tips on how to crack it.
Choose your topic well: To publish research, you need to work on the most trending topics and select an important and novel research question. Schedule the timeline for the project and the resources required, budget, etc. before you embark on it. Your publication is an extension of your research project so the background research project has to be faultless.
Present at Conferences: Before publishing research articles, present your papers at conferences. This will add valuable inputs to your research project, and you will be updated on the recent discussions on this field. Initial paper submission in conferences also helps fine-tune the medical manuscript.
Journal selection: Choosing the right journal is a crucial factor. Everyone wants to publish in the most reputed journals, but young professionals need to build up to that level. Identify journals that are best suited for your study or your course of action. Identify journals based on your paper category, such as reviews, research reports, commentaries, etc.
Practice writing: Manuscript writing is an altogether different skill set. Research articles have certain syntax and formats for publishing, and medical writing has its own set of requirements. Offering readers an engaging and well-structured story will increase the chances of its acceptance. Follow a clear and logical narrative, highlight the novelty and significance of your study, and clarify the unmet clinical need or gap in the present discourse that your research project contributes.
Read journal articles to understand how successful authors approach medical writing. Practice drafting manuscripts and present them at conferences for feedback on how to improve them. Every journal has specific instructions on writing style for publishing. Read them well and follow those instructions.
Be prepared for rejections: Journal rejection is a hard reality for everyone. Studies suggest 62% of all published papers have been rejected at least once. You may need to submit your paper to multiple journals and take your paper through many revisions before it’s finally published. It is advisable to have back-up plans when you select the journals for publication. However, never share the same manuscript simultaneously to different journals. Every time you share it with a new journal, edit it as per the new journal’s requirements.
Conclusion: Getting a paper published in a journal is a tiring and challenging process. However, the effort is worth, when you finally have a publication and get good reviews from your peers. It is a skill you will develop over time, and will help you in your professional life.