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Publishing your research is an important step in your academic career. While there is not a one-size-fits-all approach, this guide takes you through the typical steps in publishing a research paper. Discover how to get your paper published, from choosing the right journal and understanding what a peer-reviewed article is, to responding to reviewers and navigating the production process.


article publishing

Step 2: Writing your article

Writing an effective, compelling research paper is important to publishing your research. But if you’re new to putting together academic papers, it can feel daunting to start from scratch.

The journal you choose, the topic you are writing about, and the kind of paper you are writing will all affect your article writing. Before you start writing, consider these factors since they will affect everything from the style and structure you use to the audience you should consider.

Step 3: Submit your manuscript

Once you’ve chosen the right journal and written your manuscript, the next step is to make your submission.

To submit your manuscript, you will need to ensure that you’ve gone through all the steps in the submission guide. This includes thoroughly understanding your chosen journal’s instructions for authors, writing an effective cover letter, navigating the journal’s submission system, and ensuring your research data is prepared as required.

To make sure you’ve covered everything before you hit ‘submit’ you can also take a look at our ‘submission checklist’. (Don’t forget, you should only submit to one journal at a time.)

Step 4: Peer review process

After submitting your work, you must now prepare yourself for the peer review procedure. Peer review is the independent assessment of your research article by independent experts in your field. Reviewers, sometimes called ‘referees’, are asked to evaluate your work’s validity, significance, and originality.

This process ensures that a peer-reviewed article has been through a rigorous process to make sure the methodology is correct, the work can be replicated, and it fits with the aims and scope of the journal that is considering it for publication. It acts as a crucial form of quality control for research articles. Peer review is also a very useful source of feedback, helping you to improve your paper before it’s published. It is intended to be a collaborative process, where authors engage in a dialogue with their peers and receive constructive feedback and support to advance their work.

Almost all research articles go through peer review, although in some cases, the journal may operate post-publication peer review, which means that reviews and reader comments are invited after the paper is published.

Peer review can be a complex process to get your head around. That is why we have put together a comprehensive guide to understanding peer review. This explains everything from the many different types of peer review to the step-by-step peer review process and how to revise your manuscript.

Step 5: Production process

If your paper is accepted for publication, it will head into production. The paper will be prepared for publishing in your chosen journal at this stage. The journal production team will do a lot of the work to produce the final version of your paper, but your input will be required at various stages of the process.

During production, you will have a variety of tasks to complete and decisions to make. For example, you will need to check and correct the proofs of your article and consider whether or not you want to produce a video abstract to accompany it.

Post-publication support

You have successfully navigated publishing a research paper-congratulations! But the process does not stop there. Now your research is published in a journal for the world to see, you will need to know how to access your article and make sure it has an impact.

Ensuring your study has an impact can help drive your career progression, build your networks, and secure funding for new research. Thus, it is worth investing. Creating a real impact on your work can be a challenging and time-consuming task, which can feel hard to fit into an already demanding academic career.

Sometimes after an article has been published, it may be necessary to change the Version of Record. Look at our dedicated guide to corrections, expressions of concern, retractions, and removals to find out more.

You may also be interested in translating your article into another language. If that is the case, take a look at our information on article translations.


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