There are a number of ways to identify appropriate journals to publish your work. Here are just a few:
1) Check your manuscript’s reference list – what journals do you cite?
2) Conduct a search in PubMed on your topic – what journals have published similar studies already?
3) JANE (Journal/Author Name Estimator) - A cool tool developed at Erasmus University Medical Center with funding from the Netherlands Bioinformatics Centre. Simply copy & paste your manuscript’s abstract and JANE pulls a set of journals for you to possibly publish in.
4) Review journal metrics and rankings using various tools:
Once you identify a set of potential journals, check each journal's website for the following:
The Open Access (OA) publishing model has paved the way for global scholarly communication in allowing free, unlimited access to research without the barriers of publisher paywalls. However, when selecting journals to publish in, be mindful of sham OA journals that only "exist for the sole purpose of profit, not the dissemination of high-quality research findings and furtherance of knowledge" (Berger & Cirasella, 2015). These are known as predatory publishers and could impact your scholarly reputation, promotion and tenure, and institution.
To protect yourself and your work, just remember to thoroughly check your journal before submitting an article for publication. You can use Cabell's as a starting place to check and see if your journal is on the whitelist (legitimate) or blacklist (predatory).
Here are a few criteria that indicate it is a good OA journal:
Indexed in bibliometric databases, such as PubMed, Web of Science, the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) and others. You can cross check where a journal is indexed using Ulrich's Periodical Directory.
Journal website is comprehensive and includes the following information:
For a complete list of criteria to use in assessing the quality of journals, check out the Medical Library's Checklist for Assessing Journal Authenticity and Think. Check. Submit, an online resource developed to raise awareness of predatory publishers and provide a means of assessing journal quality.
If you are a biomedical sciences faculty member, also check eligibility requirements for applying for an OA Grant from the Medical Library to cover OA journal publishing fees.
In addition to predatory journals, predatory conferences have also emerged. "These are not conferences organized by scholarly societies. Instead, they are conferences organized by revenue-seeking companies that want to exploit researchers' need to build their vitas with conference presentations and papers in the published proceedings or affiliated journals" (Pai & Franco, 2016).
Warning signs of a predatory conference mirror many of the same signs of predatory publishers and include:
If you ever have any questions regarding a journal or conference, please contact us and we can review and provide a recommendation to you!
International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) Preparing a Manuscript - The ICMJE is a small working group of general medical journal editors who have developed standards in medical publishing including guidelines on how to structure and write a medical paper as well as authorship guidelines.
Medical Writing: A Guide for Clinicians, Educators, and Researchers (2018) [eBook]. Individual chapters focus on writing various types of articles including:
Elsevier Researcher Academy - A series of online learning modules on various aspects of the publishing process including research preparation, peer-review, writing for research, and more.
University of Maryland Writing Center - Writing Tips Video Series - series of short, helpful videos on writing tips including how craft an argument, structure a paper, proofreading, and editing. Also features time management videos such as how to carve out time for writing and limiting distractions.
Preparing Manuscripts for Submission to Medical Journals: The Paper Trail (2004). Spine [Journal Article]
Anatomy of Writing for Publication for Nurses [eBook] - Targeting nurses, but very structured and practical advice. Check out Chapters 5 - 7 on Organizing the Article, Writing Effectively, and Graphics & Tables
How to Write, Publish & Present in the Health Sciences [eBook] - published by the American College of Physicians, this book features practical advice on how to successfully publish and avoid pitfalls leading to rejection.
Writing a Research Article: Advice for Beginners (2004). Int J Qual Health Care [Journal Article]
Determining authorship and author order is a significant step of the publishing process. According to the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE), every author should meet ALL of the following four criteria:
1) Substantial contributions to the conception, design, data collection, or data analysis
2) Drafting or revising the manuscript
3) Approving the final version to submit to a journal
4) Being accountable for the work should any questions or concerns arise
If all criteria are not met, then it is appropriate to acknowledge those individuals in the Acknowledgements section of your manuscript.
Also check the OUWB Authorship Guidelines when planning to publish!
Medical student journals are online, peer-reviewed journals run by medical students for medical student publishing. They are a great option for pilot projects or if you are having difficulty in finding a suitable journal elsewhere.
American Medical Student Research Journal -
Online, peer-reviewed, open access journal launched by medical students at Louisiana State University Health–Shreveport, International in scope and accepts articles in the categories of basic science, clinical research, case reports, humanities, and artwork.
International Journal of Medical Students -
Online, peer-reviewed, open access journal accepting original articles, short communications, case reports, reviews, and a special section for letters, experiences, and interviews.
Medical Student Press (MSPress) Journal -
Online, peer-reviewed, open access journal accepts honors theses excerpts, scientific research papers, research essays, interviews, medical ethics essays, creative writing pieces, sound pieces, and visual art pieces.
Medical Student Research Journal -
Hosted at Michigan State University and accepts original articles, case studies, brief reports, reflections, or reviews.
Student BMJ: The International Medical Journal for Students -
Does not accept original research. Accepted article types fall into three categories: News & Views, Clinical, and Careers. See the journal website for more information.
Writing a case report is very different from a traditional manuscript and does not follow the IMRAD format. There are several resources that can help you get started in structuring and writing a case report for publication.
There are two primary journal types when it comes to publishing case reports:
1) Those journals that solely publish case reports, and
2) Journals that publish case reports as one of many article types. You can follow the same principles when identifying journals to publish a case report as described in the 'Publishing Basics' tab of this guide, but here are a few we recommend:
BMJ Case Reports - This is a great journal to start with when submitting a case report for publication. Both the OUWB Medical Library and Beaumont Medical Library have an institutional membership ("fellowship") so publication fees are waived.
JAMA Clinical Challenge - Submit a patient case with a specific disease or condition with an accompanying clinical image.
Clinical Case Reports
International Medical Case Reports Journal
Journal of Medical Case Reports
Akers' article "New Journals for Publishing Medical Case Reports," published in 2016, provides a concise and informative summary table of case report journals. In addition to being a wonderful resource for identifying case report journals in various specialties, it also notes whether the journal is open access, indexed in PubMed, and has questionable publishing practices.