So, You Want to Get Published - Journal of Adolescent Health

Journal Publishing in
the Global Age: An Editorial
Tor D. Berg, Journal of Adolescent Health
Donald Payne, MBBChir, MD, Archives of Disease in
Charles E. Irwin, Jr., MD, Journal of Adolescent Health
Why publish?
Disseminate findings
Inform clinical care
Inform interventions
Inform policy
Improve research methodology
Career considerations
A Publication Strategy
Choosing the type or form of the article
Observing the formal requirements of scientific publication
Writing or composing the article
Choosing a journal
Submitting your manuscript
Revising your manuscript
Accepting rejection
Arranging publication
Choosing the Type of Article to
Review articles
Full length empirical articles
Brief reports
Case studies or observational reports
Editorials, commentaries, and letters
The Formal Requirements of
Scientific Publishing
International Committee of
Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE):
Uniform Requirements for
The Abstract:
A Tool for Success
 Solving problems
 Clarify your thoughts
 Distill those thoughts and ideas
 Identify the most important
Connecting with editors
Getting reviewed
Getting found
Getting read
Getting cited
Structured vs. Unstructured
The Structure of a Scientific Article
Section I: Introduction — Progress from the general to
the specific
Present the general subject or problem
Review the literature
Statement of hypothesis:
Your argument in the context of other work
What is the aim of the study? What is the point of all this??
The Structure of a Scientific Article
Section II: Methods
Context and setting
Materials and Instruments
Validity and reliability
Protocols and IRB
The Structure of a Scientific Article
Section III: Presenting the data — From the specific to
the general
Results: Describe the findings
Discussion: Place the research in the context of other work
Limitations: Do not be afraid
Conclusion: Application of the results; implications for
future research; “Main Message” for
Works cited/References
Authorship Issues
Origin of the idea
Development of the outline
Design and writing of the approved protocol
Data acquisition
Scientific leadership in conducting the study
Analysis and interpretation
Writing the manuscript
Responsibility for the final paper
Ability to defend the content
Minimum Basis for Authorship
Requires active participation in all of the following:
 Conception/design of work, data collection, and/or
data analysis and interpretation,
 Drafting manuscript or reviewing/revising critical
sections (i.e., that portion of manuscript for which coauthor claims expert defense responsibility),
 Responsibility for final version of the manuscript
More Authorship Issues
 No person shall be listed as author merely by virtue of
his/her position in the responsible organization or
dissertation committee!
 Multiple authors: suggested that brief statements of
exact contribution of each author be prepared for
interdisciplinary studies (to clarify potential concerns)
Authorship: Early Considerations
Create a written agreement:
 Number of manuscripts expected to evolve from
 Subjects to be covered
 Identity of all person assigned to co-author reports
Conflict of Interest
 Definition should be clear
 Potential, Perceived, or Real conflict
 Disclose on the title page of the manuscript
 Explicitly state the role of the study sponsor
 If no role, then say that
 Avoid entering into agreements that interfere with
complete and independent access to data
Protection of Human Research
 All studies of human subjects must be evaluated by an
appropriate institutional review board
 Even for secondary analyses, you should apply for and
receive an exemption from your IRB
 Report IRB approval in the Methods section of your
Registration of Clinical Trials
 Increasingly, journals are requiring registration of
clinical trials
 Broad definition: drugs, surgical procedures, devices,
behavioral treatments, process-of-care changes, etc.
 JAH does not, though it is highly recommended
 Several public registries available
 U.S. National Institutes of Health’s
 Australia New Zealand’s
 Global ISRCTN Register
Writing the Article
Telling a good story
Good research question
Rigorous design, good response, clean data
Clear and reliable analysis
Abstract to Discussion
Anticipate Writing Obstacles
Such as:
1. Too busy
2. Teaching preparation takes up all time
3. “I will write as soon as I ________”
4. Making writing your #1 goal
5. Inability to reach writing site
6. Needing to read “one more book”
7. Inability to start
8. Fear of controversial topic and permanency of publication
9. Not in the mood
10. Childcare responsibilities
11. Inability to move forward
12. Dog ate my flash drive
Four Keys to Academic
Writing Success
First and foremost, get writing!
Make it social
Persist despite rejection
Pursue your passion
Reading the Scholarly Literature
 There is so much to read!
 Make a plan to read what you can
 Skim the piece and focus on what you need to know
 Topic
 Approach
 Argument
Ideas for New Habits
 Spend mornings reading/taking notes on journals that
arrived (or were posted online) the previous day
 Read/skim 5 pieces for a set amount of time each day
 Mark paragraphs that contain important organizing
ideas, then copy/paste to a new document
 Read articles from your target journal; familiarize
yourself with the tone or melody or the journal
Choosing a Journal
Message and Contribution
of the Article
Try to focus on 2–3 messages or takeaways
 Theoretical contribution
 Focus on behavior and predictors of behavior
 Methodological contributions
 Clinical focus
 Public health or policy
Audience for the Message
Healthcare providers
Which journals have you cited?
Regional, national, or international?
Journal Adolescent Health
Mission Statement
The Journal of Adolescent Health is a multidisciplinary scientific
Journal, which seeks to publish new research findings in the field of
Adolescent Medicine and Health ranging from the basic biological
and behavioral sciences to public health and policy. We seek original
manuscripts, review articles, letters to the editor, commentaries and
clinical observations from our colleagues in Anthropology, Dentistry
and Oral Health, Education, Health Services Research, International
Health, Law, Medicine, Mental Health, Nursing, Nutrition,
Psychology, Public Health and Policy, Social Work, Sociology, Youth
Development, and other disciplines that work with or are committed
to improving the lives of adolescents and young adults.
Archives of Diseases in Childhood
Aims and Scope
Archives of Disease in Childhood is an international peer review
journal that aims to keep paediatricians and others up to date
with advances in the diagnosis and treatment of childhood
diseases as well as advocacy issues such as child protection. It
focuses on all aspects of child health and disease from the
perinatal period (in the Fetal and Neonatal edition) through to
adolescence. ADC includes original research reports,
commentaries, reviews of clinical and policy issues, and
evidence reports. Areas covered include: community child
health, public health, epidemiology, acute paediatrics,
advocacy, and ethics.
Career Considerations
 Where else have you published?
 What journal is best for your career?
 How quickly do you need to publish?
Calculating Impact Factor
Total number of citations,
during 2011, to articles
published in 2009 and 2010
3.334 factor
2011 impact
Total number of “citable
items” published in 2009
and 2010
Dissemination of Results
 Until recently, journals restricted published findings
to paid subscribers and licensees
 Journal owns copyright and sells access to cover
publication costs
 Digital distribution lowers costs for journals and
enables far broader dissemination
 New models to distribute publication costs
 Open Access
Open Access
 Full open access
 BioMedCentral, PLoS
 Author fee, institutional subsidies, advertising
 Sponsored articles
 JAH, and all Elsevier titles
 Delayed access
 Manuscript posting
 National funding bodies; NIH access policy and
Submitting Your Manuscript
Submission process
 Cover letter
 Process of uploading manuscripts
 Suggesting reviewers
Cover Letter
Check instructions
Often this is the first part the editor sees
Make it clear how and why the study is important
Explain why the manuscript is important for this
 List other publications cited in journal
 Identify your similar or related publications or
submitted manuscripts
Statement of Authorship
 Increasingly journal-specific forms
 Must be signed by all authors
 Electronically submitted
Suggesting reviewers
 Why?
 Gesture of goodwill, and it moves the paper along
 Good evidence that author-suggested reviewers rate
manuscripts more favorably
 Who?
 Not your mentor, co-author, colleague, etc.
 Not someone you have formally acknowledged
 Authors you have cited in references
JAH Review Process
1,106 manuscripts reviewed internally
730 desk rejected
(66% of all manuscripts)
16 invited to resubmit as a Brief
(2.2% of desk rejected manuscripts)
376 peer reviewed
(34% of all manuscripts)
206 rejected (54.8%
of peer reviewed
170 accepted (45.2
% of peer reviewed
Revising Your Manuscript
To Revise or Not to Revise
Virtually never accept first drafts
Revision letter is an indication of interest
Revision increases odds of eventual publication
Must revise to resubmit elsewhere
May see the same reviewer at another journal
Review process is didactic; improves the paper
Approaching the Revisions
 Distancing strategy
 But be prompt
 Respond with a clear and constructive revision and
response letter
 Respond to all comments
 Be systematic; a table format is helpful
 Juxtapose divergent comments
 Revision process is a conversation amongst peers
The Revision Letter
 Checklist of documents necessary for revision
 Response letter
 Revised manuscript
 Revised tables and figures
 Re-review by editors and/or original reviewers
 Final acceptance at editors discretion
Accepting Rejection
Common reasons for rejection
Poor English usage.
Replicative, confirmatory, or localized findings
Causation ascribed to associations
Poorly contextualized results
English usage
 English is a difficult language
 Scientific vocabulary and usage can idiosyncratic and
 Attempt to enlist the help of a native English speaker
 Professional editors specializing in technical English
 Can be expensive
 Establish links to individuals and organizations that
already publish in English
 Replicative and confirmatory results, while important,
are generally not published in top journals
 Findings from a specific local population might be
most useful to a local audience
Correlational data
 JAH publishes very few studies that are based only on
correlational or cross-sectional data
 In most cases, longitudinal data is necessary to inform
interventions and clinical work
 Associations, correlations, and prevalence are nearly
always most useful to a local or regional audience
Poorly contextualized results
 Emerging research from LMICs is interesting to an
international audience if it is properly contextualized
 Describe the local context and how it relates to the
 The dilemma is well-described in PA Michaud’s JAH
editorial, “The International Journal of Adolescent
Health,” JAH 2010;42:421-422.
 Same dilemma occurs in papers from HICs
Arranging Publication
 Copyright and funding sources
 Press Embargo
 In press
 Articles Online First
 Citing In-Press articles using DOIs
Digital Object Identifier
Ganguly S, Samanta M, Roy P, Chatterjee S, Kaplan DW,
Basu B. Patient Health Questionnaire-9 as an Effective
Tool for Screening of Depression Among Indian
Adolescents. J Adolesc Health 2013;52:546-551. DOI:
Web sites
The Journal of Adolescent Health:
Archives of Diseases in Childhood
Thank you for your interest!

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