How to write an article for publication

Report
HOW TO WRITE AN
ARTICLE FOR
PUBLICATION
Leana Uys FUNDISA
STAGES
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
Choose a journal and study its guidelines
Study the journal format and plan your own format
Write the article
Get a colleague to read and give feedback
Submit
Work with editors to get to publication
Celebrate!
1. CHOOSE A JOURNAL
 Your topic falls within its scope
 Go for the highest impact journal you think you can make:
 International only if you add to international knowledge
 Circulation, audience, impact factor
 What is the quality of your work?
 Essential: what is the word count, table count and figure
count they allow?
 International Nursing Review: only three tables and/or figures
2. PLAN A FORMAT
IMRAD
Introduction
Alternatively
Introduction
Problem statement
Introduction
Materials and methods
Background to the
problem
Problem statement
Results
Additions (figures,
tables,)
Discussion and
conclusions
TWO JOURNALS
J of Nursing Scholarship
SA Journal of Higher Education
Introduction (often not as heading)
Often starts with aim
Then background
Then conceptual of theoretical
framework
Introduction
Purpose of article
Problem and background to problem
Look at abstract format
Purpose
Designs
Methods
Findings
Conclusions
Clinical relevance
Abstract
Main arguments
Methods
Conclusions
Literature review
Setting or context
3. WRITE THE ARTICLE
 From a doctoral study:
 Identify two or three possible articles.
 Start with the smaller pieces, and end with the largest
 Do not think about literature surveys, unless they were
systematic reviews
 From a Masters study: Usually only one article, dealing with
the study, not the literature
 From another study:
 Each phase could be an article.
HOW SHOULD YOU WRITE?
 A few general rules:
 You are writing for publication, so that your peers can
understand what you did and possibly replication the
study: - do not give too much research theory.
 Give enough detail - not too much, not too little
 Balance the sections, e.g. setting and methods.
WHAT ARE THE METHODS?
 Design of the study: what did you do?
 Sample: How did you select your respondents/sites/ etc?
 Intervention: If there is one, describe carefully
 Data collection instruments: How did you measure results? Provide
reliability and validity data of each, as well as a format description.
 Data collection process: How did you collect the data, who did it?
How were they prepared? How were respondents approached?
 Data management and analysis: Little here, since you will indicate
statistics used in the results.
 Ethical issues: Where did you get ethical clearance, who gave
permission and how did you deal with ethical challenges.?
HOW DO I DESCRIBE MY RESULTS?
 Describe your sample as it actually transpired
 Answer the questions you posed systematically
 Present only data in tables that are too complex to write in a
sentence
 Display only figures that make complex data much clearer
 In writing, present only the noteworthy data from tables and
figures –
 DO NOT:
Repeat what is in the table/figure
Discuss the results, or quote the results from other studies.
THEN THE DISCUSSION
 What are the main or significant findings?
 How do they compare with that of other studies?
 How do you explain them?
 In terms of theory?
 In terms of context?
 In terms of methodology?
 What were the limitations of the study?
CONCLUSIONS
 Use this section for recommendations for practice,
education and research.
NOW THE TITLE
 Accurate, concise, specific
 Use key words specific for abstracting
 Resist abbreviations, brand names and jargon
 Examples of titles:
 A study on the effect of Pitocin on the uterus
 What effect does maternal analgesia in labour have on the newborn?
 Successful interventions in socioeconomically high-risk adolescent pregnancies using
CNM, MC and a multidisciplinary team in an HMO.
THE ADDITIONAL BITS AND PIECES
 References
 Only significant, published references
 Carefully follow the journal’s prescriptions – use Endnote if you can!
 Check your references against an edition of the journal
 Abstract
 Format of the journal
 MORE WIDELY READ THAN THE ARTICLE!!
 Acknowledgements
 Sponsors
 Statistician
 Field workers
AUTHORSHIP
 Each authors should have participated sufficiently in the
work to take public responsibility for the content.
 Authorship credits should be based only on substantial
constitutions to:
 Concept and study design, or analysis and interpretation
of data;
 Drafting and revising the articles critically for important
intellectual content;
 Final approval of the version to be published
PUBLISHING WITH OTHERS
 A supervisor should be co-author in most cases, with the student as
first author;
 These issues should be clarified in your supervision policy and should
be available in writing;
 No HOD or laboratory director’s name get on all articles published
from that Department or laboratory;
 Field workers, language editors and statisticians are not co-authors.
4. CRITIQUE BY A COLLEAGUE
 If you have to explain and defend, change the article.
 If the first colleague asks for many changes, make the
changes. And then ask another one to read and provide
feedback
5. SUBMIT THE ARTICLE
 The editor does a quick review, and may decline the article
after this, based on relevance, originality and conformity to
requirements.
 An author acknowledgement it sent.
 The article is sent to two or more peer reviewers.
6. RESPONDING TO CRITIQUE BY
REVIEWERS OR EDITOR
 Revising the paper is usually more productive than
submitting to another journal;
 Submit revision with a cover letter, responding to each
point raised – using a table format is useful;
 Keep the tone positive and courteous;
 Meet specified deadlines.
CONCLUSION
 Good quality can usually get published.
 You might have to do more than one revision.
 You might have to try more than one journal,

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