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Publish with Elsevier

Learn about the publication process and how to submit your manuscript. This tutorial will help you find the right journal and maximize the chance to be published.

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Your step-by-step guide to publishing with Elsevier

Every year, we accept and publish more than 470,000 journal articles so you are in safe hands. Publishing in an Elsevier journal starts with finding the right journal for your paper. We have tools, resources and services to help you at each stage of the publication journey to enable you to research, write, publish, promote and track your article. Let us help you make the most out of your next publication!

1. Find a journal

Find out the journals that could be best suited for publishing your research. For a comprehensive list of Elsevier journals check our Journal Catalog . You can also match your manuscript using the JournalFinder tool, then learn more about each journal.


Search the world's leading source of academic journals for a list of recommended journals that best match your research paper. You can search by using your abstract, or by using keywords and other details .

Read the journal's aims and scope to make sure it is a match

Check whether you can submit — some journals are invitation only

Use journal metrics to understand the impact of a journal

If available, check the journal at Journal Insights opens in new tab/window for additional info about impact, speed and reach

2. Prepare your paper for submission

Download our  get published quick guide opens in new tab/window , which outlines the essential steps in preparing a paper. (This is also available in  Chinese opens in new tab/window ). It is very important that you stick to the specific "guide for authors" of the journal to which you are submitting. This can be found on the journal's home page.

You can find information about the publishing process in the understanding the publishing process opens in new tab/window guide. It covers topics such as authors' rights, ethics and plagiarism, and journal and article metrics.

If you have research data to share, make sure you read the guide for authors to find out which options the journal offers to share research data with your article.

Read about publishing in a special issue

Use an external editing service, such as Elsevier’s Author Services opens in new tab/window if you need assistance with language

Free e-learning modules on preparing your manuscript can be found on Researcher Academy opens in new tab/window

Mendeley opens in new tab/window makes your life easier by helping you organize your papers, citations and references, accessing them in the cloud on any device, wherever you are

3. Submit and revise

You can submit to most Elsevier journals using our online systems.  The system you use will depend on the journal to which you submit. You can access the relevant submission system via the "submit your paper" link on the Elsevier.com journal homepage of your chosen journal.

Alternatively, if you have been invited to submit to a journal, follow the instructions provided to you. Once submitted, your paper will be considered by the editor and if it passes initial screening, it will be sent for peer review by experts in your field. If deemed unsuitable for publication in your chosen journal, the editor may suggest you transfer your submission to a more suitable journal, via an article transfer service.

Check the open access options on the journal's homepage

Consider the options for sharing your research data

Be accurate and clear when checking your proofs

Inform yourself about copyright and licensing

4. Track your paper

Track your submitted paper.

You can track the status of your submitted paper online. The system you use to track your submission will be the same system to which you submitted. Use the reference number you received after submission to track your submission. Unsure about what the submission status means? Check out  this video opens in new tab/window .

In case of any problems, contact the Support Center opens in new tab/window .

Track your accepted paper

Once your paper is accepted for publication, you will receive a reference number and a direct link that lets you follow its publication status via Elsevier’s "Track Your Accepted Article" service.

Even without a notification you can track the status of your article by entering your article reference number and corresponding author surname in  Track your accepted article opens in new tab/window .

5. Share and promote

Now that your article is published, you can promote it to achieve a bigger impact for your research. Sharing research, accomplishments and ambitions with a wider audience makes you more visible in your field. This helps you get cited more, enabling you to cultivate a stronger reputation, promote your research and move forward in your career.

After publication, celebrate and  get noticed opens in new tab/window !

Unable to find the answer to your question? Visit our support center for more information on all Elsevier solutions.

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How to Write and Publish Your Research in a Journal

Last Updated: May 26, 2024 Fact Checked

Choosing a Journal

Writing the research paper, editing & revising your paper, submitting your paper, navigating the peer review process, research paper help.

This article was co-authored by Matthew Snipp, PhD and by wikiHow staff writer, Cheyenne Main . C. Matthew Snipp is the Burnet C. and Mildred Finley Wohlford Professor of Humanities and Sciences in the Department of Sociology at Stanford University. He is also the Director for the Institute for Research in the Social Science’s Secure Data Center. He has been a Research Fellow at the U.S. Bureau of the Census and a Fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences. He has published 3 books and over 70 articles and book chapters on demography, economic development, poverty and unemployment. He is also currently serving on the National Institute of Child Health and Development’s Population Science Subcommittee. He holds a Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Wisconsin—Madison. There are 13 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been fact-checked, ensuring the accuracy of any cited facts and confirming the authority of its sources. This article has been viewed 703,795 times.

Publishing a research paper in a peer-reviewed journal allows you to network with other scholars, get your name and work into circulation, and further refine your ideas and research. Before submitting your paper, make sure it reflects all the work you’ve done and have several people read over it and make comments. Keep reading to learn how you can choose a journal, prepare your work for publication, submit it, and revise it after you get a response back.

Things You Should Know

  • Create a list of journals you’d like to publish your work in and choose one that best aligns with your topic and your desired audience.
  • Prepare your manuscript using the journal’s requirements and ask at least 2 professors or supervisors to review your paper.
  • Write a cover letter that “sells” your manuscript, says how your research adds to your field and explains why you chose the specific journal you’re submitting to.

Step 1 Create a list of journals you’d like to publish your work in.

  • Ask your professors or supervisors for well-respected journals that they’ve had good experiences publishing with and that they read regularly.
  • Many journals also only accept specific formats, so by choosing a journal before you start, you can write your article to their specifications and increase your chances of being accepted.
  • If you’ve already written a paper you’d like to publish, consider whether your research directly relates to a hot topic or area of research in the journals you’re looking into.

Step 2 Look at each journal’s audience, exposure, policies, and procedures.

  • Review the journal’s peer review policies and submission process to see if you’re comfortable creating or adjusting your work according to their standards.
  • Open-access journals can increase your readership because anyone can access them.

Step 1 Craft an effective introduction with a thesis statement.

  • Scientific research papers: Instead of a “thesis,” you might write a “research objective” instead. This is where you state the purpose of your research.
  • “This paper explores how George Washington’s experiences as a young officer may have shaped his views during difficult circumstances as a commanding officer.”
  • “This paper contends that George Washington’s experiences as a young officer on the 1750s Pennsylvania frontier directly impacted his relationship with his Continental Army troops during the harsh winter at Valley Forge.”

Step 2 Write the literature review and the body of your paper.

  • Scientific research papers: Include a “materials and methods” section with the step-by-step process you followed and the materials you used. [5] X Research source
  • Read other research papers in your field to see how they’re written. Their format, writing style, subject matter, and vocabulary can help guide your own paper. [6] X Research source

Step 3 Write your conclusion that ties back to your thesis or research objective.

  • If you’re writing about George Washington’s experiences as a young officer, you might emphasize how this research changes our perspective of the first president of the U.S.
  • Link this section to your thesis or research objective.
  • If you’re writing a paper about ADHD, you might discuss other applications for your research.

Step 4 Write an abstract that describes what your paper is about.

  • Scientific research papers: You might include your research and/or analytical methods, your main findings or results, and the significance or implications of your research.
  • Try to get as many people as you can to read over your abstract and provide feedback before you submit your paper to a journal.

Step 1 Prepare your manuscript according to the journal’s requirements.

  • They might also provide templates to help you structure your manuscript according to their specific guidelines. [11] X Research source

Step 2 Ask 2 colleagues to review your paper and revise it with their notes.

  • Not all journal reviewers will be experts on your specific topic, so a non-expert “outsider’s perspective” can be valuable.

Step 1 Check your sources for plagiarism and identify 5 to 6 keywords.

  • If you have a paper on the purification of wastewater with fungi, you might use both the words “fungi” and “mushrooms.”
  • Use software like iThenticate, Turnitin, or PlagScan to check for similarities between the submitted article and published material available online. [15] X Research source

Step 2 Write a cover letter explaining why you chose their journal.

  • Header: Address the editor who will be reviewing your manuscript by their name, include the date of submission, and the journal you are submitting to.
  • First paragraph: Include the title of your manuscript, the type of paper it is (like review, research, or case study), and the research question you wanted to answer and why.
  • Second paragraph: Explain what was done in your research, your main findings, and why they are significant to your field.
  • Third paragraph: Explain why the journal’s readers would be interested in your work and why your results are important to your field.
  • Conclusion: State the author(s) and any journal requirements that your work complies with (like ethical standards”).
  • “We confirm that this manuscript has not been published elsewhere and is not under consideration by another journal.”
  • “All authors have approved the manuscript and agree with its submission to [insert the name of the target journal].”

Step 3 Submit your article according to the journal’s submission guidelines.

  • Submit your article to only one journal at a time.
  • When submitting online, use your university email account. This connects you with a scholarly institution, which can add credibility to your work.

Step 1 Try not to panic when you get the journal’s initial response.

  • Accept: Only minor adjustments are needed, based on the provided feedback by the reviewers. A first submission will rarely be accepted without any changes needed.
  • Revise and Resubmit: Changes are needed before publication can be considered, but the journal is still very interested in your work.
  • Reject and Resubmit: Extensive revisions are needed. Your work may not be acceptable for this journal, but they might also accept it if significant changes are made.
  • Reject: The paper isn’t and won’t be suitable for this publication, but that doesn’t mean it might not work for another journal.

Step 2 Revise your paper based on the reviewers’ feedback.

  • Try organizing the reviewer comments by how easy it is to address them. That way, you can break your revisions down into more manageable parts.
  • If you disagree with a comment made by a reviewer, try to provide an evidence-based explanation when you resubmit your paper.

Step 3 Resubmit to the same journal or choose another from your list.

  • If you’re resubmitting your paper to the same journal, include a point-by-point response paper that talks about how you addressed all of the reviewers’ comments in your revision. [22] X Research source
  • If you’re not sure which journal to submit to next, you might be able to ask the journal editor which publications they recommend.

publish a research article

Expert Q&A

You might also like.

Develop a Questionnaire for Research

  • If reviewers suspect that your submitted manuscript plagiarizes another work, they may refer to a Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) flowchart to see how to move forward. [23] X Research source Thanks Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0

publish a research article

  • ↑ https://www.wiley.com/en-us/network/publishing/research-publishing/choosing-a-journal/6-steps-to-choosing-the-right-journal-for-your-research-infographic
  • ↑ https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s13187-020-01751-z
  • ↑ https://libguides.unomaha.edu/c.php?g=100510&p=651627
  • ↑ https://www.canberra.edu.au/library/start-your-research/research_help/publishing-research
  • ↑ https://writingcenter.fas.harvard.edu/conclusions
  • ↑ https://writing.wisc.edu/handbook/assignments/writing-an-abstract-for-your-research-paper/
  • ↑ https://www.springer.com/gp/authors-editors/book-authors-editors/your-publication-journey/manuscript-preparation
  • ↑ https://apus.libanswers.com/writing/faq/2391
  • ↑ https://academicguides.waldenu.edu/library/keyword/search-strategy
  • ↑ https://ifis.libguides.com/journal-publishing-guide/submitting-your-paper
  • ↑ https://www.springer.com/kr/authors-editors/authorandreviewertutorials/submitting-to-a-journal-and-peer-review/cover-letters/10285574
  • ↑ https://www.apa.org/monitor/sep02/publish.aspx
  • ↑ Matthew Snipp, PhD. Research Fellow, U.S. Bureau of the Census. Expert Interview. 26 March 2020.

About This Article

Matthew Snipp, PhD

To publish a research paper, ask a colleague or professor to review your paper and give you feedback. Once you've revised your work, familiarize yourself with different academic journals so that you can choose the publication that best suits your paper. Make sure to look at the "Author's Guide" so you can format your paper according to the guidelines for that publication. Then, submit your paper and don't get discouraged if it is not accepted right away. You may need to revise your paper and try again. To learn about the different responses you might get from journals, see our reviewer's explanation below. Did this summary help you? Yes No

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Research Method

Home » How to Publish a Research Paper – Step by Step Guide

How to Publish a Research Paper – Step by Step Guide

Table of Contents

How to Publish a Research Paper

Publishing a research paper is an important step for researchers to disseminate their findings to a wider audience and contribute to the advancement of knowledge in their field. Whether you are a graduate student, a postdoctoral fellow, or an established researcher, publishing a paper requires careful planning, rigorous research, and clear writing. In this process, you will need to identify a research question , conduct a thorough literature review , design a methodology, analyze data, and draw conclusions. Additionally, you will need to consider the appropriate journals or conferences to submit your work to and adhere to their guidelines for formatting and submission. In this article, we will discuss some ways to publish your Research Paper.

How to Publish a Research Paper

To Publish a Research Paper follow the guide below:

  • Conduct original research : Conduct thorough research on a specific topic or problem. Collect data, analyze it, and draw conclusions based on your findings.
  • Write the paper : Write a detailed paper describing your research. It should include an abstract, introduction, literature review, methodology, results, discussion, and conclusion.
  • Choose a suitable journal or conference : Look for a journal or conference that specializes in your research area. You can check their submission guidelines to ensure your paper meets their requirements.
  • Prepare your submission: Follow the guidelines and prepare your submission, including the paper, abstract, cover letter, and any other required documents.
  • Submit the paper: Submit your paper online through the journal or conference website. Make sure you meet the submission deadline.
  • Peer-review process : Your paper will be reviewed by experts in the field who will provide feedback on the quality of your research, methodology, and conclusions.
  • Revisions : Based on the feedback you receive, revise your paper and resubmit it.
  • Acceptance : Once your paper is accepted, you will receive a notification from the journal or conference. You may need to make final revisions before the paper is published.
  • Publication : Your paper will be published online or in print. You can also promote your work through social media or other channels to increase its visibility.

How to Choose Journal for Research Paper Publication

Here are some steps to follow to help you select an appropriate journal:

  • Identify your research topic and audience : Your research topic and intended audience should guide your choice of journal. Identify the key journals in your field of research and read the scope and aim of the journal to determine if your paper is a good fit.
  • Analyze the journal’s impact and reputation : Check the impact factor and ranking of the journal, as well as its acceptance rate and citation frequency. A high-impact journal can give your paper more visibility and credibility.
  • Consider the journal’s publication policies : Look for the journal’s publication policies such as the word count limit, formatting requirements, open access options, and submission fees. Make sure that you can comply with the requirements and that the journal is in line with your publication goals.
  • Look at recent publications : Review recent issues of the journal to evaluate whether your paper would fit in with the journal’s current content and style.
  • Seek advice from colleagues and mentors: Ask for recommendations and suggestions from your colleagues and mentors in your field, especially those who have experience publishing in the same or similar journals.
  • Be prepared to make changes : Be prepared to revise your paper according to the requirements and guidelines of the chosen journal. It is also important to be open to feedback from the editor and reviewers.

List of Journals for Research Paper Publications

There are thousands of academic journals covering various fields of research. Here are some of the most popular ones, categorized by field:


  • Nature: https://www.nature.com/
  • Science: https://www.sciencemag.org/
  • PLOS ONE: https://journals.plos.org/plosone/
  • Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS): https://www.pnas.org/
  • The Lancet: https://www.thelancet.com/
  • JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association): https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama

Social Sciences/Humanities

  • Journal of Personality and Social Psychology: https://www.apa.org/pubs/journals/psp
  • Journal of Consumer Research: https://www.journals.uchicago.edu/journals/jcr
  • Journal of Educational Psychology: https://www.apa.org/pubs/journals/edu
  • Journal of Applied Psychology: https://www.apa.org/pubs/journals/apl
  • Journal of Communication: https://academic.oup.com/joc
  • American Journal of Political Science: https://ajps.org/
  • Journal of International Business Studies: https://www.jibs.net/
  • Journal of Marketing Research: https://www.ama.org/journal-of-marketing-research/

Natural Sciences

  • Journal of Biological Chemistry: https://www.jbc.org/
  • Cell: https://www.cell.com/
  • Science Advances: https://advances.sciencemag.org/
  • Chemical Reviews: https://pubs.acs.org/journal/chreay
  • Angewandte Chemie: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/journal/15213765
  • Physical Review Letters: https://journals.aps.org/prl/
  • Journal of Geophysical Research: https://agupubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/journal/2156531X
  • Journal of High Energy Physics: https://link.springer.com/journal/13130


  • IEEE Transactions on Neural Networks and Learning Systems: https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/xpl/RecentIssue.jsp?punumber=5962385
  • IEEE Transactions on Power Systems: https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/xpl/RecentIssue.jsp?punumber=59
  • IEEE Transactions on Medical Imaging: https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/xpl/RecentIssue.jsp?punumber=42
  • IEEE Transactions on Control Systems Technology: https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/xpl/RecentIssue.jsp?punumber=87
  • Journal of Engineering Mechanics: https://ascelibrary.org/journal/jenmdt
  • Journal of Materials Science: https://www.springer.com/journal/10853
  • Journal of Chemical Engineering of Japan: https://www.jstage.jst.go.jp/browse/jcej
  • Journal of Mechanical Design: https://asmedigitalcollection.asme.org/mechanicaldesign

Medical/Health Sciences

  • New England Journal of Medicine: https://www.nejm.org/
  • The BMJ (formerly British Medical Journal): https://www.bmj.com/
  • Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA): https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama
  • Annals of Internal Medicine: https://www.acpjournals.org/journal/aim
  • American Journal of Epidemiology: https://academic.oup.com/aje
  • Journal of Clinical Oncology: https://ascopubs.org/journal/jco
  • Journal of Infectious Diseases: https://academic.oup.com/jid

List of Conferences for Research Paper Publications

There are many conferences that accept research papers for publication. The specific conferences you should consider will depend on your field of research. Here are some suggestions for conferences in a few different fields:

Computer Science and Information Technology:

  • IEEE International Conference on Computer Communications (INFOCOM): https://www.ieee-infocom.org/
  • ACM SIGCOMM Conference on Data Communication: https://conferences.sigcomm.org/sigcomm/
  • IEEE Symposium on Security and Privacy (SP): https://www.ieee-security.org/TC/SP/
  • ACM Conference on Computer and Communications Security (CCS): https://www.sigsac.org/ccs/
  • ACM Conference on Human-Computer Interaction (CHI): https://chi2022.acm.org/


  • IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA): https://www.ieee-icra.org/
  • International Conference on Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering (ICMAE): http://www.icmae.org/
  • International Conference on Civil and Environmental Engineering (ICCEE): http://www.iccee.org/
  • International Conference on Materials Science and Engineering (ICMSE): http://www.icmse.org/
  • International Conference on Energy and Power Engineering (ICEPE): http://www.icepe.org/

Natural Sciences:

  • American Chemical Society National Meeting & Exposition: https://www.acs.org/content/acs/en/meetings/national-meeting.html
  • American Physical Society March Meeting: https://www.aps.org/meetings/march/
  • International Conference on Environmental Science and Technology (ICEST): http://www.icest.org/
  • International Conference on Natural Science and Environment (ICNSE): http://www.icnse.org/
  • International Conference on Life Science and Biological Engineering (LSBE): http://www.lsbe.org/

Social Sciences:

  • Annual Meeting of the American Sociological Association (ASA): https://www.asanet.org/annual-meeting-2022
  • International Conference on Social Science and Humanities (ICSSH): http://www.icssh.org/
  • International Conference on Psychology and Behavioral Sciences (ICPBS): http://www.icpbs.org/
  • International Conference on Education and Social Science (ICESS): http://www.icess.org/
  • International Conference on Management and Information Science (ICMIS): http://www.icmis.org/

How to Publish a Research Paper in Journal

Publishing a research paper in a journal is a crucial step in disseminating scientific knowledge and contributing to the field. Here are the general steps to follow:

  • Choose a research topic : Select a topic of your interest and identify a research question or problem that you want to investigate. Conduct a literature review to identify the gaps in the existing knowledge that your research will address.
  • Conduct research : Develop a research plan and methodology to collect data and conduct experiments. Collect and analyze data to draw conclusions that address the research question.
  • Write a paper: Organize your findings into a well-structured paper with clear and concise language. Your paper should include an introduction, literature review, methodology, results, discussion, and conclusion. Use academic language and provide references for your sources.
  • Choose a journal: Choose a journal that is relevant to your research topic and audience. Consider factors such as impact factor, acceptance rate, and the reputation of the journal.
  • Follow journal guidelines : Review the submission guidelines and formatting requirements of the journal. Follow the guidelines carefully to ensure that your paper meets the journal’s requirements.
  • Submit your paper : Submit your paper to the journal through the online submission system or by email. Include a cover letter that briefly explains the significance of your research and why it is suitable for the journal.
  • Wait for reviews: Your paper will be reviewed by experts in the field. Be prepared to address their comments and make revisions to your paper.
  • Revise and resubmit: Make revisions to your paper based on the reviewers’ comments and resubmit it to the journal. If your paper is accepted, congratulations! If not, consider revising and submitting it to another journal.
  • Address reviewer comments : Reviewers may provide comments and suggestions for revisions to your paper. Address these comments carefully and thoughtfully to improve the quality of your paper.
  • Submit the final version: Once your revisions are complete, submit the final version of your paper to the journal. Be sure to follow any additional formatting guidelines and requirements provided by the journal.
  • Publication : If your paper is accepted, it will be published in the journal. Some journals provide online publication while others may publish a print version. Be sure to cite your published paper in future research and communicate your findings to the scientific community.

How to Publish a Research Paper for Students

Here are some steps you can follow to publish a research paper as an Under Graduate or a High School Student:

  • Select a topic: Choose a topic that is relevant and interesting to you, and that you have a good understanding of.
  • Conduct research : Gather information and data on your chosen topic through research, experiments, surveys, or other means.
  • Write the paper : Start with an outline, then write the introduction, methods, results, discussion, and conclusion sections of the paper. Be sure to follow any guidelines provided by your instructor or the journal you plan to submit to.
  • Edit and revise: Review your paper for errors in spelling, grammar, and punctuation. Ask a peer or mentor to review your paper and provide feedback for improvement.
  • Choose a journal : Look for journals that publish papers in your field of study and that are appropriate for your level of research. Some popular journals for students include PLOS ONE, Nature, and Science.
  • Submit the paper: Follow the submission guidelines for the journal you choose, which typically include a cover letter, abstract, and formatting requirements. Be prepared to wait several weeks to months for a response.
  • Address feedback : If your paper is accepted with revisions, address the feedback from the reviewers and resubmit your paper. If your paper is rejected, review the feedback and consider revising and resubmitting to a different journal.

How to Publish a Research Paper for Free

Publishing a research paper for free can be challenging, but it is possible. Here are some steps you can take to publish your research paper for free:

  • Choose a suitable open-access journal: Look for open-access journals that are relevant to your research area. Open-access journals allow readers to access your paper without charge, so your work will be more widely available.
  • Check the journal’s reputation : Before submitting your paper, ensure that the journal is reputable by checking its impact factor, publication history, and editorial board.
  • Follow the submission guidelines : Every journal has specific guidelines for submitting papers. Make sure to follow these guidelines carefully to increase the chances of acceptance.
  • Submit your paper : Once you have completed your research paper, submit it to the journal following their submission guidelines.
  • Wait for the review process: Your paper will undergo a peer-review process, where experts in your field will evaluate your work. Be patient during this process, as it can take several weeks or even months.
  • Revise your paper : If your paper is rejected, don’t be discouraged. Revise your paper based on the feedback you receive from the reviewers and submit it to another open-access journal.
  • Promote your research: Once your paper is published, promote it on social media and other online platforms. This will increase the visibility of your work and help it reach a wider audience.

Journals and Conferences for Free Research Paper publications

Here are the websites of the open-access journals and conferences mentioned:

Open-Access Journals:

  • PLOS ONE – https://journals.plos.org/plosone/
  • BMC Research Notes – https://bmcresnotes.biomedcentral.com/
  • Frontiers in… – https://www.frontiersin.org/
  • Journal of Open Research Software – https://openresearchsoftware.metajnl.com/
  • PeerJ – https://peerj.com/


  • IEEE Global Communications Conference (GLOBECOM) – https://globecom2022.ieee-globecom.org/
  • IEEE International Conference on Computer Communications (INFOCOM) – https://infocom2022.ieee-infocom.org/
  • IEEE International Conference on Data Mining (ICDM) – https://www.ieee-icdm.org/
  • ACM SIGCOMM Conference on Data Communication (SIGCOMM) – https://conferences.sigcomm.org/sigcomm/
  • ACM Conference on Computer and Communications Security (CCS) – https://www.sigsac.org/ccs/CCS2022/

Importance of Research Paper Publication

Research paper publication is important for several reasons, both for individual researchers and for the scientific community as a whole. Here are some reasons why:

  • Advancing scientific knowledge : Research papers provide a platform for researchers to present their findings and contribute to the body of knowledge in their field. These papers often contain novel ideas, experimental data, and analyses that can help to advance scientific understanding.
  • Building a research career : Publishing research papers is an essential component of building a successful research career. Researchers are often evaluated based on the number and quality of their publications, and having a strong publication record can increase one’s chances of securing funding, tenure, or a promotion.
  • Peer review and quality control: Publication in a peer-reviewed journal means that the research has been scrutinized by other experts in the field. This peer review process helps to ensure the quality and validity of the research findings.
  • Recognition and visibility : Publishing a research paper can bring recognition and visibility to the researchers and their work. It can lead to invitations to speak at conferences, collaborations with other researchers, and media coverage.
  • Impact on society : Research papers can have a significant impact on society by informing policy decisions, guiding clinical practice, and advancing technological innovation.

Advantages of Research Paper Publication

There are several advantages to publishing a research paper, including:

  • Recognition: Publishing a research paper allows researchers to gain recognition for their work, both within their field and in the academic community as a whole. This can lead to new collaborations, invitations to conferences, and other opportunities to share their research with a wider audience.
  • Career advancement : A strong publication record can be an important factor in career advancement, particularly in academia. Publishing research papers can help researchers secure funding, grants, and promotions.
  • Dissemination of knowledge : Research papers are an important way to share new findings and ideas with the broader scientific community. By publishing their research, scientists can contribute to the collective body of knowledge in their field and help advance scientific understanding.
  • Feedback and peer review : Publishing a research paper allows other experts in the field to provide feedback on the research, which can help improve the quality of the work and identify potential flaws or limitations. Peer review also helps ensure that research is accurate and reliable.
  • Citation and impact : Published research papers can be cited by other researchers, which can help increase the impact and visibility of the research. High citation rates can also help establish a researcher’s reputation and credibility within their field.

About the author

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Muhammad Hassan

Researcher, Academic Writer, Web developer

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Step-by-step guide to article publishing

1. Prepare your article

  • Make sure you follow the submission guidelines for that journal. Search for a journal .
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2. Write a cover letter

  • Introduce your work in a 1-page letter, explaining the research you did, and why it's relevant.

3. Submit your manuscript

  • Go to the journal homepage to start the process
  • You can only submit 1 article at a time to each journal. Duplicate submissions will be rejected.

4. Technical check

  • We'll make sure that your article follows the journal guidelines for formatting, ethics, plagiarism, contributors, and permissions.

5. Editor and peer review

  • The journal editor will read your article and decide if it's ready for peer review.
  • Most articles will be reviewed by 2 or more experts in the field.
  • They may contact you with questions at this point.

6. Final decision

  • If your article is accepted, you'll need to sign a publishing agreement.
  • If your article is rejected, you can get help finding another journal from our transfer desk team .
  • If your article is open access, you'll need to pay a fee.
  • Fees for OA publishing differ across journals. See relevant journal page for more information.
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Get tips on preparing your manuscript using our submission checklist .

Each publication follows a slightly different process, so check the journal's guidelines for more details

Open access vs subscription publishing

Each of our journals has its own policies, options, and fees for publishing.

Over 600 of our journals are fully open access. Others use a hybrid model, with readers paying to access some articles.

Publishing your article open access has a number of benefits:

  • Free to access and download
  • Reaches a wider global audience
  • 1.6x more citations
  • 6x more downloads
  • 4.9 average Altmetric attention (vs 2.1 subscription)

It's free to publish your article in a subscription journal, but there are fees for publishing open access articles. You'll need to check the open access fees for the journal you choose.

Learn more about open access

Get help with funding.

Many organisations require you to publish your research open access. It's worth checking with your supervisor and colleagues to understand your organisation's approach.

Many funders and institutions will cover your open access publishing fees. To find out if your fees are covered, take a look at our funding agreements .

We also offer discounts for researchers in some geographical regions. See regions with reduced fees

Learn more about funding

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How to Write and Publish a Research Paper in 7 Steps

What comes next after you're done with your research? Publishing the results in a journal of course! We tell you how to present your work in the best way possible.

This post is part of a series, which serves to provide hands-on information and resources for authors and editors.

Things have gotten busy in scholarly publishing: These days, a new article gets published in the 50,000 most important peer-reviewed journals every few seconds, while each one takes on average 40 minutes to read. Hundreds of thousands of papers reach the desks of editors and reviewers worldwide each year and 50% of all submissions end up rejected at some stage.

In a nutshell: there is a lot of competition, and the people who decide upon the fate of your manuscript are short on time and overworked. But there are ways to make their lives a little easier and improve your own chances of getting your work published!

Well, it may seem obvious, but before submitting an academic paper, always make sure that it is an excellent reflection of the research you have done and that you present it in the most professional way possible. Incomplete or poorly presented manuscripts can create a great deal of frustration and annoyance for editors who probably won’t even bother wasting the time of the reviewers!

This post will discuss 7 steps to the successful publication of your research paper:

  • Check whether your research is publication-ready
  • Choose an article type
  • Choose a journal
  • Construct your paper
  • Decide the order of authors
  • Check and double-check
  • Submit your paper

1. Check Whether Your Research Is Publication-Ready

Should you publish your research at all?

If your work holds academic value – of course – a well-written scholarly article could open doors to your research community. However, if you are not yet sure, whether your research is ready for publication, here are some key questions to ask yourself depending on your field of expertise:

  • Have you done or found something new and interesting? Something unique?
  • Is the work directly related to a current hot topic?
  • Have you checked the latest results or research in the field?
  • Have you provided solutions to any difficult problems?
  • Have the findings been verified?
  • Have the appropriate controls been performed if required?
  • Are your findings comprehensive?

If the answers to all relevant questions are “yes”, you need to prepare a good, strong manuscript. Remember, a research paper is only useful if it is clearly understood, reproducible and if it is read and used .

2. Choose An Article Type

The first step is to determine which type of paper is most appropriate for your work and what you want to achieve. The following list contains the most important, usually peer-reviewed article types in the natural sciences:

Full original research papers disseminate completed research findings. On average this type of paper is 8-10 pages long, contains five figures, and 25-30 references. Full original research papers are an important part of the process when developing your career.

Review papers present a critical synthesis of a specific research topic. These papers are usually much longer than original papers and will contain numerous references. More often than not, they will be commissioned by journal editors. Reviews present an excellent way to solidify your research career.

Letters, Rapid or Short Communications are often published for the quick and early communication of significant and original advances. They are much shorter than full articles and usually limited in length by the journal. Journals specifically dedicated to short communications or letters are also published in some fields. In these the authors can present short preliminary findings before developing a full-length paper.

3. Choose a Journal

Are you looking for the right place to publish your paper? Find out here whether a De Gruyter journal might be the right fit.

Submit to journals that you already read, that you have a good feel for. If you do so, you will have a better appreciation of both its culture and the requirements of the editors and reviewers.

Other factors to consider are:

  • The specific subject area
  • The aims and scope of the journal
  • The type of manuscript you have written
  • The significance of your work
  • The reputation of the journal
  • The reputation of the editors within the community
  • The editorial/review and production speeds of the journal
  • The community served by the journal
  • The coverage and distribution
  • The accessibility ( open access vs. closed access)

4. Construct Your Paper

Each element of a paper has its purpose, so you should make these sections easy to index and search.

Don’t forget that requirements can differ highly per publication, so always make sure to apply a journal’s specific instructions – or guide – for authors to your manuscript, even to the first draft (text layout, paper citation, nomenclature, figures and table, etc.) It will save you time, and the editor’s.

Also, even in these days of Internet-based publishing, space is still at a premium, so be as concise as possible. As a good journalist would say: “Never use three words when one will do!”

Let’s look at the typical structure of a full research paper, but bear in mind certain subject disciplines may have their own specific requirements so check the instructions for authors on the journal’s home page.

4.1 The Title

It’s important to use the title to tell the reader what your paper is all about! You want to attract their attention, a bit like a newspaper headline does. Be specific and to the point. Keep it informative and concise, and avoid jargon and abbreviations (unless they are universally recognized like DNA, for example).

4.2 The Abstract

This could be termed as the “advertisement” for your article. Make it interesting and easily understood without the reader having to read the whole article. Be accurate and specific, and keep it as brief and concise as possible. Some journals (particularly in the medical fields) will ask you to structure the abstract in distinct, labeled sections, which makes it even more accessible.

A clear abstract will influence whether or not your work is considered and whether an editor should invest more time on it or send it for review.

4.3 Keywords

Keywords are used by abstracting and indexing services, such as PubMed and Web of Science. They are the labels of your manuscript, which make it “searchable” online by other researchers.

Include words or phrases (usually 4-8) that are closely related to your topic but not “too niche” for anyone to find them. Make sure to only use established abbreviations. Think about what scientific terms and its variations your potential readers are likely to use and search for. You can also do a test run of your selected keywords in one of the common academic search engines. Do similar articles to your own appear? Yes? Then that’s a good sign.

4.4 Introduction

This first part of the main text should introduce the problem, as well as any existing solutions you are aware of and the main limitations. Also, state what you hope to achieve with your research.

Do not confuse the introduction with the results, discussion or conclusion.

4.5 Methods

Every research article should include a detailed Methods section (also referred to as “Materials and Methods”) to provide the reader with enough information to be able to judge whether the study is valid and reproducible.

Include detailed information so that a knowledgeable reader can reproduce the experiment. However, use references and supplementary materials to indicate previously published procedures.

4.6 Results

In this section, you will present the essential or primary results of your study. To display them in a comprehensible way, you should use subheadings as well as illustrations such as figures, graphs, tables and photos, as appropriate.

4.7 Discussion

Here you should tell your readers what the results mean .

Do state how the results relate to the study’s aims and hypotheses and how the findings relate to those of other studies. Explain all possible interpretations of your findings and the study’s limitations.

Do not make “grand statements” that are not supported by the data. Also, do not introduce any new results or terms. Moreover, do not ignore work that conflicts or disagrees with your findings. Instead …

Be brave! Address conflicting study results and convince the reader you are the one who is correct.

4.8 Conclusion

Your conclusion isn’t just a summary of what you’ve already written. It should take your paper one step further and answer any unresolved questions.

Sum up what you have shown in your study and indicate possible applications and extensions. The main question your conclusion should answer is: What do my results mean for the research field and my community?

4.9 Acknowledgments and Ethical Statements

It is extremely important to acknowledge anyone who has helped you with your paper, including researchers who supplied materials or reagents (e.g. vectors or antibodies); and anyone who helped with the writing or English, or offered critical comments about the content.

Learn more about academic integrity in our blog post “Scholarly Publication Ethics: 4 Common Mistakes You Want To Avoid” .

Remember to state why people have been acknowledged and ask their permission . Ensure that you acknowledge sources of funding, including any grant or reference numbers.

Furthermore, if you have worked with animals or humans, you need to include information about the ethical approval of your study and, if applicable, whether informed consent was given. Also, state whether you have any competing interests regarding the study (e.g. because of financial or personal relationships.)

4.10 References

The end is in sight, but don’t relax just yet!

De facto, there are often more mistakes in the references than in any other part of the manuscript. It is also one of the most annoying and time-consuming problems for editors.

Remember to cite the main scientific publications on which your work is based. But do not inflate the manuscript with too many references. Avoid excessive – and especially unnecessary – self-citations. Also, avoid excessive citations of publications from the same institute or region.

5. Decide the Order of Authors

In the sciences, the most common way to order the names of the authors is by relative contribution.

Generally, the first author conducts and/or supervises the data analysis and the proper presentation and interpretation of the results. They put the paper together and usually submit the paper to the journal.

Co-authors make intellectual contributions to the data analysis and contribute to data interpretation. They review each paper draft. All of them must be able to present the paper and its results, as well as to defend the implications and discuss study limitations.

Do not leave out authors who should be included or add “gift authors”, i.e. authors who did not contribute significantly.

6. Check and Double-Check

As a final step before submission, ask colleagues to read your work and be constructively critical .

Make sure that the paper is appropriate for the journal – take a last look at their aims and scope. Check if all of the requirements in the instructions for authors are met.

Ensure that the cited literature is balanced. Are the aims, purpose and significance of the results clear?

Conduct a final check for language, either by a native English speaker or an editing service.

7. Submit Your Paper

When you and your co-authors have double-, triple-, quadruple-checked the manuscript: submit it via e-mail or online submission system. Along with your manuscript, submit a cover letter, which highlights the reasons why your paper would appeal to the journal and which ensures that you have received approval of all authors for submission.

It is up to the editors and the peer-reviewers now to provide you with their (ideally constructive and helpful) comments and feedback. Time to take a breather!

If the paper gets rejected, do not despair – it happens to literally everybody. If the journal suggests major or minor revisions, take the chance to provide a thorough response and make improvements as you see fit. If the paper gets accepted, congrats!

It’s now time to get writing and share your hard work – good luck!

If you are interested, check out this related blog post

publish a research article

[Title Image by Nick Morrison via Unsplash]

David Sleeman

David Sleeman worked as Senior Journals Manager in the field of Physical Sciences at De Gruyter.

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Publishing in a scholarly journal: Part one, the publishing process

As a psychology student or early career psychologist, you might be thinking about publishing your first paper in a scholarly journal. There are several important steps and points to consider as you embark on your publishing journey. Not sure where to start? We’ve got you covered!

Recognizing that not all young academics get all of their questions about publication answered in their respective training programs, we crowdsourced from trainees and early career psychologists using an anonymous Twitter poll and direct solicitation from various students and colleagues known to the authors, this three-part article series includes frequently asked questions about the publication process with answers from the Editor-in-Chief of Experimental and Clinical Psychopharmacology ( ECP ), William Stoops, the Associate Editor of ECP , Raina Pang, and a past ECP Editorial Fellow, Daniel Bradford. Part one focuses on crucial publishing insights for future authors; part two examines the role of the editorial board; and part three sheds light on peer review.

Choosing a journal

How does one choose a journal in which to publish and what factors (impact factor, journal content) should be considered?

In general, the most important factor to consider when choosing where to submit your article is the fit of the manuscript to the scope and profile of the journal; Aside from the quality of the science and writing, this is the largest factor that will determine whether a manuscript is accepted to a journal. To determine fit, one should examine the journal description, usually found on the journal website.

Additionally, it is helpful to browse the journal to see whether it has published articles on the same topic and with similar methods to the manuscript you are submitting.

In addition to the above, you may also consider online search engines, which can help generate a list of journals that may be appropriate for the manuscript being submitted:

  • JournalFinder
  • Springer Nature: Journal suggester
  • Enago’s Open Access Journal Finder
  • Journal/Author Name Estimator  

Can you submit a paper to multiple journals at once?

No. Submitting a paper to multiple journals at once contravenes publishing guidelines and presents serious ethical concerns.

Is there a uniform format that I should submit my manuscript in?

Make sure to carefully read the manuscript submission instructions available on every journal’s webpage. Although there are certain rules that most journals follow (e.g. formatting in APA Style), each journal provides specific guidelines about certain aspects, for example the information that must be included within the manuscript.

What’s a predatory journal?

A predatory journal is a counterfeit publication that imitates that of a legitimate, respected publisher. Predatory publishers use various techniques to trick scholars into submitting their article for publication. A predatory publisher will usually solicit articles via email, emphasizing a publishing fee and touting a quick turnaround that often omits peer review.

Although the publishing fee is a red flag when it comes to identifying a predatory journal, not all journals that charge a publishing fee are predatory (see next question for more information). For tips on how to identify a predatory journal, see the following resources:

  • Scholars beware
  • How to avoid predatory publishers

Publishing fees

Does it usually cost money to publish?

It’s important to note that many journals do not charge the author(s) or their institution to publish an article. There are exceptions, however.

Some journals may charge a fee for publishing the article in a particular format. For example, some authors prefer or require their figures to be printed in color. Because printing in color costs more to the publisher, some journals may require a fee for each figure to be printed in color. Other journals may print one color figure for free, but charge for every additional color figure.

An increasing number of journals are also adding open access options which, when chosen, require fees paid by the author or their institution. Further, some reputable journals have recently gone entirely open access and thus require a fee to publish (the fee varies by journal). Open access journals are free to read for all and do not receive revenue from journal subscriptions—therefore, in many cases, an article publishing fee is charged to offset the cost of publishing (e.g., peer review management, production costs).

For example, APA’s open access journal Technology, Mind, and Behavior charges a $1,200 article processing charge (APC), however an author may apply for an APC waiver if they are unable to pay via grant, institutional funding, or by other means outlined on the journal website.

As such, it is important to recognize that journals charging a fee are not necessarily “predatory”—it’s crucial to consider other factors to figure out the legitimacy of the publication.

What is the difference between an open access journal and the open science movement?

Open access is a publishing model in which the author pays a fee to publish; the reader is able to access the article for free. Some journals are entirely open access, while others are “hybrid”—providing both a subscription as well as an open access publishing option.

Open science , on the other hand, is a movement towards increased transparency in publishing. It goes beyond open access, offering guidelines on the type of information that authors should include in their manuscript: for example, APA Style JARS provide guidelines for the details that authors should include in their methods section. Open science initiatives include data sharing, preregistration, preprints, registered reports, and more.  The goals of open science initiatives are to increase openness and collaboration, and to improve reproducibility of science and research discovery.

Licensing and copyright

How does licensing and copyright work?

Authors usually own the copyright of their original work and are free to share, without limitation, any version of their articles prior to the final text (after the journal proofing / copy editing process). However, licensing of article versions and individual publisher stances on sharing of accepted articles vary and change frequently. Fortunately, there are many resources to help authors keep track of individual policies. For example, the Sherpa Romeo website includes a conveniently searchable tool of journals’ copyright and open access policies on a journal-by-journal basis.

The Open Science Knowledge Base provides detailed information and recommendations about licensing content .

Publishing tips

Expert insights on key topics and best practices in publishing.

Read insights

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APA Publishing Insider is a free monthly newsletter with tips on APA Style, open science initiatives, active calls for papers, research summaries, and more.

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When you choose to publish with PLOS, your research makes an impact. Make your work accessible to all, without restrictions, and accelerate scientific discovery with options like preprints and published peer review that make your work more Open.

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Understanding the Publishing Process

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What’s happening with my paper? The publication process explained

The path to publication can be unsettling when you’re unsure what’s happening with your paper. Learn about staple journal workflows to see the detailed steps required for ensuring a rigorous and ethical publication.

Your team has prepared the paper, written a cover letter and completed the submission form. From here, it can sometimes feel like a waiting game while the journal has your paper.  It can be unclear exactly who is currently handling your paper as most individuals are only involved in a few steps of the overall process. Journals are responsible for overseeing the peer review, publication and archival process: editors, reviewers, technical editors, production staff and other internal staff all have their roles in ensuring submissions meet rigorous scientific and ethical reporting standards. 

Read on for an inside look at how a conventional peer-reviewed journal helps authors transform their initial submission to a certified publication. 

Note that the description below is based on the process at PLOS journals. It is likely that at other journals, various roles (e.g. technical editor) may in fact also be played by the editor, and some journals may not have journal staff at all, with all roles played by volunteer academics. As such, please consider the processes and waypoints, rather than who performs them, as the key information.

publish a research article

Internal Checks on New Submissions

Estimated time: 10 days.

When a journal first receives your submission, there are typically two separate checks to confirm that the paper is appropriate and ready for peer review:

  • Technical check.   Performed by a technical editor to ensure that the submission has been properly completed and is ready for further assessment. Blurry figures, missing ethical statements, and incomplete author affiliations are common issues that are addressed at this initial stage. Typically, there are three technical checks: upon initial submission, alongside the first decision letter, and upon acceptance. 
  • Editorial screening . Once a paper passes the first check, an editor with subject expertise assesses the paper and determines whether it is within the journal’s scope and if it could potentially meet the required publication criteria. While there may be requests for further information and minor edits from the author as needed, the paper will either be desk rejected by the editor or allowed to proceed to peer review. 

Both editors at this point will additionally make notes for items to be followed-up on at later stages. The publication process involves finding a careful balance for when each check occurs. Early checks need to be thorough so that editors with relevant expertise can focus on the scientific content and more advanced reporting standards, but no one wants to be asked to reformat references only to have their paper desk rejected a few days later. 

Peer Review icon

Peer Review

Estimated time: 1 month.

Depending on the journal’s editorial structure, the editor who performed the initial assessment may also oversee peer review or another editor with more specific expertise may be assigned.  Regardless of the journal’s specific process, the various roles and responsibilities during peer review include:  

Initial evaluation to ensure the paper is ready for review, securing reviewers with relevant expertise and processing a decision on the paper. 
Submitting reviewer comments within a reasonable timeframe, typically around 2 weeks unless an extension is requested. 
Ensuring that the process follows journal guidelines and proceeds on an acceptable schedule; answering questions to provide assistance for editors, reviewers and authors.

When you have questions or are unsure who your manuscripts is currently with, reach out to the journal staff for help (eg. [email protected]). They will be your lifeline, connecting you to all the other contributors working to assess the manuscript. 

Whether an editor needs a reminder that all reviews are complete or a reviewer has asked for an extension, the journal acts as a central hub of communication for those involved with the publication process. As editors and reviewers are used to hearing from journal staff about their duties, any messages you send to the journal can be forwarded to them with proper context and instructions on how to proceed appropriately. Additionally, journal staff will be able to inform you of any delays, such as reviewer availability during summer and holiday periods. 

Revision icon

Revision Decision

Estimated time: 1 day.

Editors evaluate peer reviewer feedback and their own expert assessment of the manuscript to reach a decision. After your editor submits a decision on your manuscript, the journal may review it before formally processing the decision and sending it on to you. 

A technical editor may scan the manuscript and the review comments to ensure that journal standards have been followed. At this stage, the technical editor will also add requests to ensure the paper, if published, will adhere to journal requirements for data sharing, copyright, ethical reporting and the like. 

Performing the second technical check at this stage and adding the journal requirements to the decision letter ultimately saves time by allowing authors to resolve the journal’s queries while making revisions based on comments from the reviewers. 

Revised Submission Received

Revised Submission Received

Estimated time: 3 days.

Upon receiving your revised submission, a technical editor will assess the revisions to confirm that the requests from the journal have been properly addressed. Before the paper is returned to the editor for their consideration, the journal needs to be confident that the paper won’t have any issues related to the metadata and reporting standards that could prevent publication. The editor may contact you to resolve any serious issues, though minor items can wait until the paper is accepted.

Subsequent Peer Review

Subsequent Peer Review

Estimated time: 2 weeks, highly variable.

When your resubmitted paper has passed the required checks, it’ll be assigned back to the same editor who handled it during the first round of peer review. At this point, your paper has gone through two sets of journal checks and one round of peer review. If all has gone well so far, the paper should feel quite solid both in terms of scientific content and proper reporting standards. 

When the editor receives your revised paper, they are asked to check if all reviewer comments have been adequately addressed and if the paper now adheres to the journal’s publication criteria. Depending on the situation, some editors may feel confident making this decision based on their own expertise while others may re-invite the previous reviewers for their opinions. 

Individual responsibilities are the same as the initial round of peer review, but it is generally expected that later stages of peer review proceed quicker unless new concerns have been introduced as part of the revision. 

Preliminary Acceptance

Preliminary Acceptance

Estimated time: 1 week.

Your editor is satisfied with the scientific quality of your work and has chosen to accept it in principle. Before it can proceed to production and typesetting, the journal office will perform it’s third and final technical check, requesting any formatting changes or additional details that may be required. 

When fulfilling these final journal requests, double check the final files to confirm all information is correct. If you need to make changes beyond those specifically required in the decision letter, inform the journal and explain why you made the unrequested changes. Any change that could affect the scientific meaning of the work will need to be approved by the handling editor. While including your rationale for the changes will help avoid delays, if there are extensive changes made at this point the paper may need to go through another round of formal review.

Formal Acceptance and Publication

Formal Acceptance and Publication

Estimated time: 2 weeks.

After a technical editor has confirmed that all requests from the provisional acceptance letter have been addressed, you will receive your formal acceptance letter. This letter indicates that your paper is being passed from the Editorial department to the production department—that all information has been editorially approved. The scientific content has been approved through peer review, and the journal’s publication requirements have been met. 

Congratulations to you and your co-authors! Your article will be available as soon as the journal transforms the submission into a typeset, consistently structured scientific manuscript, ready to be read and cited by your peers.

The contents of the Peer Review Center are also available as a live, interactive training session, complete with slides, talking points, and activities. …

The contents of the Writing Center are also available as a live, interactive training session, complete with slides, talking points, and activities. …

There’s a lot to consider when deciding where to submit your work. Learn how to choose a journal that will help your study reach its audience, while reflecting your values as a researcher…

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How to publish an article? – Step by step

If you plan to submit an article to one of our journals, or have any questions during the publication process, this helpdesk will guide you through manuscript submission, production and the services you can expect after your article’s publication.

1. Before you start

The following topics will be important during the early stages of writing your article.

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How to Write and Publish a Research Paper for a Peer-Reviewed Journal

Clara busse.

1 Department of Maternal and Child Health, University of North Carolina Gillings School of Global Public Health, 135 Dauer Dr, 27599 Chapel Hill, NC USA

Ella August

2 Department of Epidemiology, University of Michigan School of Public Health, 1415 Washington Heights, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-2029 USA

Associated Data

Communicating research findings is an essential step in the research process. Often, peer-reviewed journals are the forum for such communication, yet many researchers are never taught how to write a publishable scientific paper. In this article, we explain the basic structure of a scientific paper and describe the information that should be included in each section. We also identify common pitfalls for each section and recommend strategies to avoid them. Further, we give advice about target journal selection and authorship. In the online resource 1 , we provide an example of a high-quality scientific paper, with annotations identifying the elements we describe in this article.

Electronic supplementary material

The online version of this article (10.1007/s13187-020-01751-z) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.


Writing a scientific paper is an important component of the research process, yet researchers often receive little formal training in scientific writing. This is especially true in low-resource settings. In this article, we explain why choosing a target journal is important, give advice about authorship, provide a basic structure for writing each section of a scientific paper, and describe common pitfalls and recommendations for each section. In the online resource 1 , we also include an annotated journal article that identifies the key elements and writing approaches that we detail here. Before you begin your research, make sure you have ethical clearance from all relevant ethical review boards.

Select a Target Journal Early in the Writing Process

We recommend that you select a “target journal” early in the writing process; a “target journal” is the journal to which you plan to submit your paper. Each journal has a set of core readers and you should tailor your writing to this readership. For example, if you plan to submit a manuscript about vaping during pregnancy to a pregnancy-focused journal, you will need to explain what vaping is because readers of this journal may not have a background in this topic. However, if you were to submit that same article to a tobacco journal, you would not need to provide as much background information about vaping.

Information about a journal’s core readership can be found on its website, usually in a section called “About this journal” or something similar. For example, the Journal of Cancer Education presents such information on the “Aims and Scope” page of its website, which can be found here: https://www.springer.com/journal/13187/aims-and-scope .

Peer reviewer guidelines from your target journal are an additional resource that can help you tailor your writing to the journal and provide additional advice about crafting an effective article [ 1 ]. These are not always available, but it is worth a quick web search to find out.

Identify Author Roles Early in the Process

Early in the writing process, identify authors, determine the order of authors, and discuss the responsibilities of each author. Standard author responsibilities have been identified by The International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) [ 2 ]. To set clear expectations about each team member’s responsibilities and prevent errors in communication, we also suggest outlining more detailed roles, such as who will draft each section of the manuscript, write the abstract, submit the paper electronically, serve as corresponding author, and write the cover letter. It is best to formalize this agreement in writing after discussing it, circulating the document to the author team for approval. We suggest creating a title page on which all authors are listed in the agreed-upon order. It may be necessary to adjust authorship roles and order during the development of the paper. If a new author order is agreed upon, be sure to update the title page in the manuscript draft.

In the case where multiple papers will result from a single study, authors should discuss who will author each paper. Additionally, authors should agree on a deadline for each paper and the lead author should take responsibility for producing an initial draft by this deadline.

Structure of the Introduction Section

The introduction section should be approximately three to five paragraphs in length. Look at examples from your target journal to decide the appropriate length. This section should include the elements shown in Fig.  1 . Begin with a general context, narrowing to the specific focus of the paper. Include five main elements: why your research is important, what is already known about the topic, the “gap” or what is not yet known about the topic, why it is important to learn the new information that your research adds, and the specific research aim(s) that your paper addresses. Your research aim should address the gap you identified. Be sure to add enough background information to enable readers to understand your study. Table ​ Table1 1 provides common introduction section pitfalls and recommendations for addressing them.

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Object name is 13187_2020_1751_Fig1_HTML.jpg

The main elements of the introduction section of an original research article. Often, the elements overlap

Common introduction section pitfalls and recommendations

Introduction is too generic, not written to specific readers of a designated journal. Visit your target journal’s website and investigate the journal’s readership. If you are writing for a journal with a more general readership, like PLOS ONE, you should include more background information. A narrower journal, like the Journal of the American Mosquito Control Association, may require less background information because most of its readers have expertise in the subject matter.
Citations are inadequate to support claims.

If a claim could be debated, it should be supported by one or more citations.

To find articles relevant to your research, consider using open-access journals, which are available for anyone to read for free. A list of open-access journals can be found here: . You can also find open-access articles using PubMed Central:

The research aim is vague. Be sure that your research aim contains essential details like the setting, population/sample, study design, timing, dependent variable, and independent variables. Using such details, the reader should be able to imagine the analysis you have conducted.

Methods Section

The purpose of the methods section is twofold: to explain how the study was done in enough detail to enable its replication and to provide enough contextual detail to enable readers to understand and interpret the results. In general, the essential elements of a methods section are the following: a description of the setting and participants, the study design and timing, the recruitment and sampling, the data collection process, the dataset, the dependent and independent variables, the covariates, the analytic approach for each research objective, and the ethical approval. The hallmark of an exemplary methods section is the justification of why each method was used. Table ​ Table2 2 provides common methods section pitfalls and recommendations for addressing them.

Common methods section pitfalls and recommendations

The author only describes methods for one study aim, or part of an aim.

Be sure to check that the methods describe all aspects of the study reported in the manuscript.

There is not enough (or any) justification for the methods used. You must justify your choice of methods because it greatly impacts the interpretation of results. State the methods you used and then defend those decisions. For example, justify why you chose to include the measurements, covariates, and statistical approaches.

Results Section

The focus of the results section should be associations, or lack thereof, rather than statistical tests. Two considerations should guide your writing here. First, the results should present answers to each part of the research aim. Second, return to the methods section to ensure that the analysis and variables for each result have been explained.

Begin the results section by describing the number of participants in the final sample and details such as the number who were approached to participate, the proportion who were eligible and who enrolled, and the number of participants who dropped out. The next part of the results should describe the participant characteristics. After that, you may organize your results by the aim or by putting the most exciting results first. Do not forget to report your non-significant associations. These are still findings.

Tables and figures capture the reader’s attention and efficiently communicate your main findings [ 3 ]. Each table and figure should have a clear message and should complement, rather than repeat, the text. Tables and figures should communicate all salient details necessary for a reader to understand the findings without consulting the text. Include information on comparisons and tests, as well as information about the sample and timing of the study in the title, legend, or in a footnote. Note that figures are often more visually interesting than tables, so if it is feasible to make a figure, make a figure. To avoid confusing the reader, either avoid abbreviations in tables and figures, or define them in a footnote. Note that there should not be citations in the results section and you should not interpret results here. Table ​ Table3 3 provides common results section pitfalls and recommendations for addressing them.

Common results section pitfalls and recommendations

The text focuses on statistical tests rather than associations. The relationships between independent and dependent variables are at the heart of scientific studies and statistical tests are a set of strategies used to elucidate such relationships. For example, instead of reporting that “the odds ratio is 3.4,” report that “women with exposure X were 3.4 times more likely to have disease Y.” There are several ways to express such associations, but all successful approaches focus on the relationships between the variables.
Causal words like “cause” and “impact” are used inappropriatelyOnly some study designs and analytic approaches enable researchers to make causal claims. Before you use the word “cause,” consider whether this is justified given your design. Words like “associated” or “related” may be more appropriate.
The direction of association unclear.

Instead of “X is associated with Y,” say “an increase in variable X is associated with a decrease in variable Y,” a sentence which more fully describes the relationship between the two variables.

Discussion Section

Opposite the introduction section, the discussion should take the form of a right-side-up triangle beginning with interpretation of your results and moving to general implications (Fig.  2 ). This section typically begins with a restatement of the main findings, which can usually be accomplished with a few carefully-crafted sentences.

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Object name is 13187_2020_1751_Fig2_HTML.jpg

Major elements of the discussion section of an original research article. Often, the elements overlap

Next, interpret the meaning or explain the significance of your results, lifting the reader’s gaze from the study’s specific findings to more general applications. Then, compare these study findings with other research. Are these findings in agreement or disagreement with those from other studies? Does this study impart additional nuance to well-accepted theories? Situate your findings within the broader context of scientific literature, then explain the pathways or mechanisms that might give rise to, or explain, the results.

Journals vary in their approach to strengths and limitations sections: some are embedded paragraphs within the discussion section, while some mandate separate section headings. Keep in mind that every study has strengths and limitations. Candidly reporting yours helps readers to correctly interpret your research findings.

The next element of the discussion is a summary of the potential impacts and applications of the research. Should these results be used to optimally design an intervention? Does the work have implications for clinical protocols or public policy? These considerations will help the reader to further grasp the possible impacts of the presented work.

Finally, the discussion should conclude with specific suggestions for future work. Here, you have an opportunity to illuminate specific gaps in the literature that compel further study. Avoid the phrase “future research is necessary” because the recommendation is too general to be helpful to readers. Instead, provide substantive and specific recommendations for future studies. Table ​ Table4 4 provides common discussion section pitfalls and recommendations for addressing them.

Common discussion section pitfalls and recommendations

The author repeats detailed results or presents new results in the discussion section. Recall from Fig.  that the discussion section should take the shape of a triangle as it moves from a specific restatement of the main findings to a broader discussion of the scientific literature and implications of the study. Specific values should not be repeated in the discussion. It is also not appropriate to include new results in the discussion section.
The author fails to describe the implication of the study’s limitations. No matter how well-conducted and thoughtful, all studies have limitations. Candidly describe how the limitations affect the application of the findings.
Statements about future research are too generic. Is the relationship between exposure and outcome not well-described in a population that is severely impacted? Or might there be another variable that modifies the relationship between exposure and outcome? This is your opportunity to suggest areas requiring further study in your field, steering scientific inquiry toward the most meaningful questions.

Follow the Journal’s Author Guidelines

After you select a target journal, identify the journal’s author guidelines to guide the formatting of your manuscript and references. Author guidelines will often (but not always) include instructions for titles, cover letters, and other components of a manuscript submission. Read the guidelines carefully. If you do not follow the guidelines, your article will be sent back to you.

Finally, do not submit your paper to more than one journal at a time. Even if this is not explicitly stated in the author guidelines of your target journal, it is considered inappropriate and unprofessional.

Your title should invite readers to continue reading beyond the first page [ 4 , 5 ]. It should be informative and interesting. Consider describing the independent and dependent variables, the population and setting, the study design, the timing, and even the main result in your title. Because the focus of the paper can change as you write and revise, we recommend you wait until you have finished writing your paper before composing the title.

Be sure that the title is useful for potential readers searching for your topic. The keywords you select should complement those in your title to maximize the likelihood that a researcher will find your paper through a database search. Avoid using abbreviations in your title unless they are very well known, such as SNP, because it is more likely that someone will use a complete word rather than an abbreviation as a search term to help readers find your paper.

After you have written a complete draft, use the checklist (Fig. ​ (Fig.3) 3 ) below to guide your revisions and editing. Additional resources are available on writing the abstract and citing references [ 5 ]. When you feel that your work is ready, ask a trusted colleague or two to read the work and provide informal feedback. The box below provides a checklist that summarizes the key points offered in this article.

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Object name is 13187_2020_1751_Fig3_HTML.jpg

Checklist for manuscript quality

(PDF 362 kb)


Ella August is grateful to the Sustainable Sciences Institute for mentoring her in training researchers on writing and publishing their research.

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The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

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Home → Get Published → How to Publish a Research Paper: A Step-by-Step Guide

How to Publish a Research Paper: A Step-by-Step Guide

Picture of Jordan Kruszynski

Jordan Kruszynski

  • January 4, 2024

publish a research article

You’re in academia.

You’re going steady.

Your research is going well and you begin to wonder: ‘ How exactly do I get a research paper published?’

If this is the question on your lips, then this step-by-step guide is the one for you. We’ll be walking you through the whole process of how to publish a research paper.

Publishing a research paper is a significant milestone for researchers and academics, as it allows you to share your findings, contribute to your field of study, and start to gain serious recognition within the wider academic community. So, want to know how to publish a research paper? By following our guide, you’ll get a firm grasp of the steps involved in this process, giving you the best chance of successfully navigating the publishing process and getting your work out there.

Understanding the Publishing Process

To begin, it’s crucial to understand that getting a research paper published is a multi-step process. From beginning to end, it could take as little as 2 months before you see your paper nestled in the pages of your chosen journal. On the other hand, it could take as long as a year .

Below, we set out the steps before going into more detail on each one. Getting a feel for these steps will help you to visualise what lies ahead, and prepare yourself for each of them in turn. It’s important to remember that you won’t actually have control over every step – in fact, some of them will be decided by people you’ll probably never meet. However, knowing which parts of the process are yours to decide will allow you to adjust your approach and attitude accordingly.

Each of the following stages will play a vital role in the eventual publication of your paper:

  • Preparing Your Research Paper
  • Finding the Right Journal
  • Crafting a Strong Manuscript
  • Navigating the Peer-Review Process
  • Submitting Your Paper
  • Dealing with Rejections and Revising Your Paper

Step 1: Preparing Your Research Paper

It all starts here. The quality and content of your research paper is of fundamental importance if you want to get it published. This step will be different for every researcher depending on the nature of your research, but if you haven’t yet settled on a topic, then consider the following advice:

  • Choose an interesting and relevant topic that aligns with current trends in your field. If your research touches on the passions and concerns of your academic peers or wider society, it may be more likely to capture attention and get published successfully.
  • Conduct a comprehensive literature review (link to lit. review article once it’s published) to identify the state of existing research and any knowledge gaps within it. Aiming to fill a clear gap in the knowledge of your field is a great way to increase the practicality of your research and improve its chances of getting published.
  • Structure your paper in a clear and organised manner, including all the necessary sections such as title, abstract, introduction (link to the ‘how to write a research paper intro’ article once it’s published) , methodology, results, discussion, and conclusion.
  • Adhere to the formatting guidelines provided by your target journal to ensure that your paper is accepted as viable for publishing. More on this in the next section…

Step 2: Finding the Right Journal

Understanding how to publish a research paper involves selecting the appropriate journal for your work. This step is critical for successful publication, and you should take several factors into account when deciding which journal to apply for:

  • Conduct thorough research to identify journals that specialise in your field of study and have published similar research. Naturally, if you submit a piece of research in molecular genetics to a journal that specialises in geology, you won’t be likely to get very far.
  • Consider factors such as the journal’s scope, impact factor, and target audience. Today there is a wide array of journals to choose from, including traditional and respected print journals, as well as numerous online, open-access endeavours. Some, like Nature , even straddle both worlds.
  • Review the submission guidelines provided by the journal and ensure your paper meets all the formatting requirements and word limits. This step is key. Nature, for example, offers a highly informative series of pages that tells you everything you need to know in order to satisfy their formatting guidelines (plus more on the whole submission process).
  • Note that these guidelines can differ dramatically from journal to journal, and details really do matter. You might submit an outstanding piece of research, but if it includes, for example, images in the wrong size or format, this could mean a lengthy delay to getting it published. If you get everything right first time, you’ll save yourself a lot of time and trouble, as well as strengthen your publishing chances in the first place.

Step 3: Crafting a Strong Manuscript

Crafting a strong manuscript is crucial to impress journal editors and reviewers. Look at your paper as a complete package, and ensure that all the sections tie together to deliver your findings with clarity and precision.

  • Begin by creating a clear and concise title that accurately reflects the content of your paper.
  • Compose an informative abstract that summarises the purpose, methodology, results, and significance of your study.
  • Craft an engaging introduction (link to the research paper introduction article) that draws your reader in.
  • Develop a well-structured methodology section, presenting your results effectively using tables and figures.
  • Write a compelling discussion and conclusion that emphasise the significance of your findings.

Step 4: Navigating the Peer-Review Process

Once you submit your research paper to a journal, it undergoes a rigorous peer-review process to ensure its quality and validity. In peer-review, experts in your field assess your research and provide feedback and suggestions for improvement, ultimately determining whether your paper is eligible for publishing or not. You are likely to encounter several models of peer-review, based on which party – author, reviewer, or both – remains anonymous throughout the process.

When your paper undergoes the peer-review process, be prepared for constructive criticism and address the comments you receive from your reviewer thoughtfully, providing clear and concise responses to their concerns or suggestions. These could make all the difference when it comes to making your next submission.

The peer-review process can seem like a closed book at times. Check out our discussion of the issue with philosopher and academic Amna Whiston in The Research Beat podcast!

Step 5: Submitting Your Paper

As we’ve already pointed out, one of the key elements in how to publish a research paper is ensuring that you meticulously follow the journal’s submission guidelines. Strive to comply with all formatting requirements, including citation styles, font, margins, and reference structure.

Before the final submission, thoroughly proofread your paper for errors, including grammar, spelling, and any inconsistencies in your data or analysis. At this stage, consider seeking feedback from colleagues or mentors to further improve the quality of your paper.

Step 6: Dealing with Rejections and Revising Your Paper

Rejection is a common part of the publishing process, but it shouldn’t discourage you. Analyse reviewer comments objectively and focus on the constructive feedback provided. Make necessary revisions and improvements to your paper to address the concerns raised by reviewers. If needed, consider submitting your paper to a different journal that is a better fit for your research.

For more tips on how to publish your paper out there, check out this thread by Dr. Asad Naveed ( @dr_asadnaveed ) – and if you need a refresher on the basics of how to publish under the Open Access model, watch this 5-minute video from Audemic Academy !

Final Thoughts

Successfully understanding how to publish a research paper requires dedication, attention to detail, and a systematic approach. By following the advice in our guide, you can increase your chances of navigating the publishing process effectively and achieving your goal of publication.

Remember, the journey may involve revisions, peer feedback, and potential rejections, but each step is an opportunity for growth and improvement. Stay persistent, maintain a positive mindset, and continue to refine your research paper until it reaches the standards of your target journal. Your contribution to your wider discipline through published research will not only advance your career, but also add to the growing body of collective knowledge in your field. Embrace the challenges and rewards that come with the publication process, and may your research paper make a significant impact in your area of study!

Looking for inspiration for your next big paper? Head to Audemic , where you can organise and listen to all the best and latest research in your field!

Keep striving, researchers! ✨

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How to get an article published for the first time 

Wondering how to get a research paper published? We have got you covered with practical advice – from writing a great paper, to choosing a journal, navigating the submission system and braving peer review. And of course, making sure your published article makes an impact.  

Our podcast, Getting published for the first time , hears from researchers and editors explaining their tips for getting an article published. Here, we summarize their advice and gather useful resources to help you navigate publishing your first article. 

Vector illustration of a large puzzle, with 5 characters standing on it, representing the journey of writing a paper.

Read the Getting published for the first time podcast transcript.

6 practical tips for publishing scholarly articles

Be properly prepared – carry out peer review of other people’s work.

Refereeing other people’s work before writing your own is one of the best ways to help you understand what makes a good academic paper (or a bad one).  

“Reviewing is something that I think everybody should do,” said David Bogle, pro-vice provost of the doctoral school at University College London, speaking on our podcast . “I give [my own students] things to referee because it makes them focus on what the point of the paper is. I think refereeing before you ever write your papers is very important.” 

Do your homework – choose the right journal

One of the biggest mistakes you can make is to start writing up your research without first choosing the journal you want it to be published in.  

Vector illustration of a tree in a blue plant pot, with a blue trunk and branches, with dark coral discs on it, representing journals.

How you write your paper, from the style and structure to the audience you should have in mind while writing, and even the article length, will depend on which journal you’re targeting. Choosing the journal before you start writing also means you can tailor your work to build on research that’s already been published there. This can help editors to see how a paper adds to the ‘conversation’ in their journal. 

To help you with this crucial step, look at our guide on selecting the right journal for your research . 

Post information

Related posts, insights topics, understand journal requirements before you start writing.

Once you’ve chosen your target journal, you need to understand what they’re looking for in papers submitted to them. And the first place to look is the instructions for authors (IFAs). These are an individual set of requirements for a journal that help guide potential authors to construct their article in the correct way and prepare it for submission. 

They will tell you exactly what the journal’s editorial board expects to see in articles submitted to the journal. And the IFAs will also include details of specific processes to follow to ensure there are no problems during production should your article be accepted. 

By following these guidelines you’ll know your article is in exactly the right format for submission and includes everything the editorial board would like to see. 

You can find the IFAs for any Taylor & Francis journal on the journal’s home page via Taylor & Francis Online .

Write an impactful article

It’s no surprise that to get an article published for the first time, you need to make it impactful and write it effectively. This tip sounds straightforward but it is, of course, a difficult ask – especially if you’ve never written an academic article before. There’s a lot to consider to make sure you write the best article possible. That’s why we created Writing your paper – a free guide that takes you through the process step by step. 

But what did our podcast interviewees advise? 

“It needs to be a staged approach,” explained David Bogle. “It’s easier to write the work first. So, you document what you’ve done and get that clear. That tends to make you reflect then on what’s missing. And consider the ‘so what?’ for the conclusion. Then you can write the introduction. And absolutely, definitely the abstract last.” 

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Be ready for rejection, revisions, and a lot of feedback

“If you’ve taken that step and you’ve come through the electronic system and submitted your paper, the next thing that will happen is an email pings up for me to indicate that there’s a new submission in the system,” explained Catherine Harper, Editor of Textile: Cloth and Culture , speaking on the podcast. “I’m just in the process of reading a new submission. And that’s the first evaluation really, which is checking that the work itself is of a reasonable standard.” 

Once you’ve hit submit at your journal of choice, there’s still a lot to be done before your article is (hopefully) published. If it passes an initial desk assessment, it’ll then go through the peer review process.  

This experience can be both daunting and sometimes disheartening, as your carefully crafted paper receives potentially critical feedback. It’s important to remember at this point that criticism and even rejections can happen to the most experienced researchers too. While it can be tricky to manage the first time round, try to have an open mind to feedback and look for support if you need it. 

Help your research make an impact

If you’ve managed to get your article published for the first time, you’ll want it to make an impact. And you’re not alone. Every researcher wants their work to have an impact, whether that’s in the world of academia, in society, or both.

Vector illustration of a pink light bulb and a small character in blue sat on top, with their arms in the air.

Creating a real impact with your work can be a challenging and time-consuming task. And it can feel difficult to fit into an already demanding academic career. But it’s well worth doing, as Diana Layton from Liverpool John Moores University discusses on our podcast: 

“Academic impact is driven by attention – the attention that outputs gain from the academic community and from the wider public and other organizations too. Researchers cannot ignore the indicators of attention that their work receives. It’s all part of building a CV and being able to communicate [about the impact your work has had].” 

Our free guide to Research Impact designed to help you understand what impact means for you and your work, why it’s important, how to achieve it, and how to measure it. We’ve also included inspiration and ideas to help you get started. 

Where to next?

If you’ve found these tips helpful make sure you look at:

Our podcast series for researchers – 15 minutes to develop your research career (which includes the episode mentioned in this post)

Our free guide series – packed with all the advice you need to publish and promote your research. 

Our Insights newsletter – the latest news, tips, and resources delivered straight to your inbox.

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Scholarly Publishing

  • Discounts and Funding for U-M Authors
  • Preparing to Publish
  • Publishing an Article
  • Publishing a Book
  • After Acceptance: Contracts & Impact
  • Copyright Considerations

Copyright Questions?

The University of Michigan Library Copyright Office provides help with copyright questions for University of Michigan faculty, staff and students. Please email us with questions or visit our website for more information.

Legal Advice

The information presented here is intended for informational purposes and should not be construed as legal advice. If you have specific legal questions pertaining to the University of Michigan, please contact the Office of the General Counsel .

If you require legal advice in your personal capacity, the lawyer referral services operated by the Washtenaw County Bar Association and the State Bar of Michigan may be helpful to you.

Types of Articles

Primary research results may be published in a variety of ways. For example:

  • A Letter or Brief Communication provides timely release of important research results in a brief format. Typically this is followed by a full research article.
  • Review Article
  • Scoping Review
  • Systematic Review
  • Conference Proceedings are used for partially finished or ongoing research. Conference proceedings are usually associated with oral presentations or posters at professional conferences.

Identifying a Journal

Things to consider.

These questions can help you to identify appropriate journals or conference proceedings in your field:

  • What is the audience for my article? Where does that audience go when they want to read something new in their field?
  • Are there professional societies or organizations for my field? Or perhaps conferences, annual meetings, or other events?
  • Where have colleagues in my field submitted their work?
  • Where was the material I cited in my article published?
  • If I wanted to read articles on a similar topic, where would I find them?
  • Journal publishers typically have a page or section defining their topical scope. See, for example, the "Mission" in the author guidelines for the Journal of Communication .
  • Is the journal accessible to users of all abilities?
  • What is the journal’s impact and reputation?
  • What are the journal’s policies related to submission, open access, and data sharing?

Be realistic about your journal selection (don’t aim too high or too low), but don't let fear of rejection guide your choice.

These resources and the strategies further below are good starting points for finding relevant journals in your discipline.

  • Cabell's Whitelist . This database provides information about journals’ areas of focus, acceptance rates, and submission policies. As of 2018, the University of Michigan subscribes to the database for education and library science journals.
  • Journal / Author Name Estimator . This tool allows you to compare your work to published articles in PubMed to approximate possible publication venues for work in the health sciences.
  • MLA Directory of Periodicals . This resource within the MLA International Bibliography describes the scope of journals in many areas of literature and language study, including circulation figures, submission guidelines, information on whether or not journals are peer reviewed, and publication statistics.
  • Subject Specialists at the University of Michigan Library . Librarians in your subject area can help you work through the questions above and find other scholarship in your field. They may also be able to help you find discipline-specific resources on where to publish.
  • U-M Library Search . Use Library Search to discover databases in your discipline and access full text using your U-M credentials. Disciplinary indexes and databases are the best way to find articles like your own, and every subject area has its own specialized resources.

Search general databases like  Web of Science  and  Scopus  to identify journals that publishing articles on your topic. See  a list of U-M databases  or  Research Guides  for your discipline for more specific databases.

  • Search  Ulrichsweb Global Serials Directory , which provides bibliographic and publisher information on more than 300,000 periodicals of all types.
  • Scan online lists of journals within specific disciplines (e.g., a comprehensive  Chemistry Journal list  from a researcher at the University of Cambridge).
  • Journal/Author Name Estimator (JANE)  - for journals included in the  MEDLINE  database
  • Elsevier Journal Finder
  • BioMed Central Journal Selector
  • Check the list of references you have been reading for your research and identify the journals where your peer researchers publish articles on the topic of interest.

Note: For a comprehensive resource on article publishing (written from a biological sciences perspective, but widely applicable), see:

Cover art of the book "How to Publish in the Biological Sciences"

Measey, J. (2022).  How to Publish in Biological Sciences  (1st Edition). CRC Press.

Evaluating a Journal

Narrowing the selection.

Consider the following to narrow down your selection of journals: 

  • Editorial board.  Look at the journal's editorial board. Are any of its members in your sub-field?
  • Article "fit".  Look at a few issues of the journal and the information provided on the journal’s webpage. Does your article fit within the journal’s typical subject areas and scope? Does the methodology of your work fit what this journal typically publishes? (e.g. quantitative, qualitative, case study, survey, meta-analysis, etc.)? Journals that publish articles on similar topics to yours are likely to be read most heavily by researchers with similar interests.
  • Journal Metrics.  Are metrics like impact factor or Eigenfactor important in your discipline? If so, sources like these can help locate the relevant metrics for journals you are considering:
  • Journal Citation Reports  - Available through a U-M subscription, Journal Citation Reports can be used to determine the impact factor (IF) of a journal and how the journal is ranked among other journals in the same discipline
  • Eigenfactor.org  - A free and searchable database, Eigenfactor covers the natural and social sciences. 
  • You may find more ways of ranking journals from the  Citation Analysis Guide page (Journal Ranking tab) .
  • Who is on the journal's editorial board or publishing in the journal? Are they recognized scholars in your field?
  • Examine  Google Scholar Metrics  or  Google Scholar Citations , if available.
  • Is the journal indexed in databases relevant to your field? (e.g. JSTOR, Web of Science, MLA, etc.)
  • Is the journal affiliated with a professional organization, scholarly society, or conference relevant to your subject area?

Other criteria

Other criteria to keep in mind when considering where to publish your research include:

  • Acceptance rate.  A journal's acceptance may be difficult to determine, though some journals do mention it on their About or FAQs pages. For example, Science's acceptance rate is  less than 7% , Nature's acceptance rate is  around 8% , and PNAS's acceptance rate is  around 17%  . If you cannot find the acceptance rate for the journal in which you are interested, you can contact the editor of the journal or ask a senior researcher in your field about their experience with the journal. Read more about acceptance rate on  this guide page  from the University of North Texas Library.
  • Turn-around time.  Turn-around time is often specified on the journal's About or FAQs page. Turn-around time may be different for different types of articles (e.g., shorter for a Letter than a full Article in the same journal). 
  • Peer review.  Peer review may be single-blind, double-blind, or triple-blind; find out by looking at the journal's About or FAQs page. Sometimes, a journal may ask reviewers to judge the soundness of the methodology and not the perceived importance of the work (e.g.  PLoS ONE ).
  • Self-archiving.  Find out if a journal allows you to deposit a version of your manuscript into an institutional repository (e.g.,  Deep Blue ) or a repository designated by your funding agency (e.g.,  PubMed Central  by NIH). This information is usually located on the journal's Author's Rights page.

Meet basic requirements

Make sure your submission meets the publisher's basic requirements. Most journals provide instructions online for authors. Read them carefully and follow specific instructions such as word limits, preferred citation styles, document formatting, file types, etc. If you're not sure about where you'd like to submit but you have a target publication in mind, work from the author requirements for you target publisher from the start to make it easier to submit your work for publication (and prevent headaches) later on.

Predatory Journals

Some open access journals exist only to extract article processing/publication fees and provide no "value-added" services in return (e.g., rigorous peer review, professional formatting, indexing in major databases, etc.). Keep these things in mind when considering where to publish:

  • Reputable journals and conferences  don’t make cold calls . Be exceedingly wary of unsolicited calls for proposals sent to you via email by people you do not know.
  • Consider the entity suspect if questions about peer review, selection criteria, fees, business models, or organizational affiliation  cannot be answered . Do not agree to submit manuscripts to, review submissions for, or join the editorial board of a journal you are not intimately familiar with. Speak to editors, other authors, and staff to determine if a journal or conference is legitimate.
  • Fact check any claims  made by the publisher or conference organizer. If they list someone as a member of their editorial board, confirm that with the person in question. If they claim an impact factor or inclusion in a disciplinary index, independently confirm those details.
  • Make sure your  own professional online presence is accurate and up to date . Having correct information about yourself on a departmental, institutional, or personal website is the best way to combat your name appearing on disreputable journal editorial boards or conference sites. Make it easier for others to perform the kind of due diligence described  above.
  • Talk to your colleagues  about how to avoid being duped by predatory publishers. These publishers typically trick unsuspecting academics—sometimes even respected, senior scholars—into recruiting colleagues for suspect editorial boards or soliciting their own networks for article submissions.
  • When in doubt about the authenticity of a journal or conference,  talk to a librarian . The best defense against being duped by a predatory publisher is a strong understanding of the publishing landscape in your own field. To learn more about where and how scholars in your discipline share their work, contact  your librarian .
  • Be wary also if the promised submission-to-publication  delay seems too short  for sufficient peer review or article processing/publication  fees are not mentioned  until after the article has been accepted.

Note: This material was adapted from Meredith Kahn, " Sharing your scholarship while avoiding the predators: Guidelines for medical physicists interested in open access publishing ," Medical Physics 41, no. 7 (July 2014). Licensed under CC BY 3.0.

Peer Review for Articles

"Peer review" is the process by which "peers" —those who possess the appropriate expertise— review a manuscript submitted for publication in order to assess the suitability of the manuscript for publication. The process starts when an author submits an article to a journal. Typically a managing editor determines if it is suitable for review. If not, the submission is immediately rejected without being sent out to peer reviewers. If it is suitable, the submission is distributed to peer reviewers.

Peer reviewers then recommend acceptance without revision, acceptance pending revision, or rejection. If revisions are required, the author will make revisions and resubmit the revised article to the managing editor. If the managing editor or peer reviewers determine if revisions are sufficient, the article is accepted for publication (though additional revisions may be required). Alternatively, the article may be rejected.

Few articles are accepted without revisions. Being asked to revise your work is a foundational practice in scholarly publishing, and often results in the work being stronger after it has undergone review.

This article provides insight into what reviewers are looking for when they evaluate article submissions:

How to Review a Paper, by Dale J. Benos, Kevin L. Kirk, and John E. Hall . Though focused on the sciences, the guidelines it contains can be useful to authors in many disciplines.

Suggesting Peer Reviewers

Many journals ask for a list of potential peer reviewers for your article. Consider these suggestions in recommending potential peer reviewers:

  • DO suggest researchers whom you frequently cite in your article. 
  • DO suggest researchers with whom you have had positive interactions with in the past, such as during a conference poster session. 
  • DON'T suggest personal friends, close colleagues (i.e., people with whom you've published in the last 5 years), former supervisors, or individuals who have previously read and provided feedback on your article. 
  • DON'T suggest only the biggest names in your field. 
  • Keep in mind that the journal editor may not follow your suggestions. They may choose not to send your article to a reviewer who is notoriously slow, brash, or does not provide solid reasoning behind his/her criticisms. 
  • Some journals may also ask for a list of individuals who should NOT review your article. These might be researchers who have strong, opposing viewpoints or individuals with whom you have had negative interactions with in the past. Be sure to keep this list relatively short. 

For further guidance, see  Guidelines for suggesting peer reviewers for manuscripts . John Dolbow, iMechanica (2008).

Responding to Peer Review

The editor of a journal can be a valuable source of guidance in responding to peer review. Here is some additional guidance:

  • Provide point-by-point replies to each of the reviewers' comments. Indicate whether or how you changed your article to address each of the comments. If you disagree with a reviewer, explain the reason for your disagreement.
  • Be brief. Shorter responses convey that the comment was easily addressed and does not present a major problem.
  • If a reviewer was confused or mistaken about something in your article, this suggests that this part of the article needs to be edited or rewritten for clarification. If the reviewer was confused, other readers may also be confused.

These resources may also be helpful for understanding and responding to peer review:

  • Min, S.-K. (2022). Critical Tips on How to Respond to Peer Reviewers . Vascular Specialist International , 38 , 8.
  • How to Receive and Respond to Peer Review Feedback . (2020, September 18). PLOS.
  • Noble, W. S. (2017). Ten simple rules for writing a response to reviewers . PLoS Computational Biology , 13 (10).
  • Annesley, T. M. (2011). Top 10 Tips for Responding to Reviewer and Editor Comments . Clinical Chemistry , 57 (4), 551–554.
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Reply to: Insights on increased epicardial adipose tissue and left atrial mechanical dysfunction in heart failure

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  • Published: 17 July 2024

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  • Michelle Lobeek 1 ,
  • Thomas M. Gorter 1 &
  • Michiel Rienstra   ORCID: orcid.org/0000-0002-2581-070X 1  

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Lobeek M, Gorter TM, Westenbrink BD, Van Veldhuisen DJ, Rienstra M (2024) Increased epicardial adipose tissue is associated with left atrial mechanical dysfunction in patients with heart failure with mildly reduced and preserved ejection fraction. Clin Res Cardiol https://doi.org/10.1007/s00392-024-02466-7 . Epub ahead of print.

van Mourik MJW, Artola Arita V, Lyon A, Lumens J, De With RR, van Melle JP et al (2022) Association between comorbidities and left and right atrial dysfunction in patients with paroxysmal atrial fibrillation: analysis of AF-RISK. Int J Cardiol 360:29–35. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijcard.2022.05.044

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Gorter TM, van Veldhuisen DJ, Mulder BA, Artola Arita VA, van Empel VPM, Manintveld OC et al (2023) Prevalence and incidence of atrial fibrillation in heart failure with mildly reduced or preserved ejection fraction: (additive) value of implantable loop recorders. J Clin Med 12(11):3682. https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm12113682

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Sanders-van Wijk S, Barandiarán Aizpurua A, Brunner-La Rocca HP, Henkens MTHM, Weerts J, Knackstedt C et al (2021) The HFA-PEFF and H2 FPEF scores largely disagree in classifying patients with suspected heart failure with preserved ejection fraction. Eur J Heart Fail 23(5):838–840. https://doi.org/10.1002/ejhf.2019

McDonagh TA, Metra M, Adamo M, Gardner RS, Baumbach A, Böhm M et al (2021) ESC guidelines for the diagnosis and treatment of acute and chronic heart failure. Eur Heart J 42(36):3599–3726. https://doi.org/10.1093/eurheartj/ehab368

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Van Veldhuisen DJ, Van Woerden G, Gorter TM, Van Empel VPM, Manintveld OC, Tieleman RG et al (2020) Ventricular tachyarrhythmia detection by implantable loop recording in patients with heart failure and preserved ejection fraction: the VIP-HF study. Eur J Heart Fail 22(10):1923–1929. https://doi.org/10.1002/ejhf.1970

Ponikowski P, Voors AA, Anker SD, Bueno H, Cleland JG, Coats AJ et al. (2016) ESC Guidelines for the diagnosis and treatment of acute and chronic heart failure: the Task Force for the diagnosis and treatment of acute and chronic heart failure of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC). Developed with the special contribution of the Heart Failure Association (HFA) of the ESC. Eur J Heart Fail. 18:891–975. https://doi.org/10.1093/eurheartj/ehw383

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Lobeek, M., Gorter, T.M. & Rienstra, M. Reply to: Insights on increased epicardial adipose tissue and left atrial mechanical dysfunction in heart failure. Clin Res Cardiol (2024). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00392-024-02489-0

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Received : 26 June 2024

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Published : 17 July 2024

DOI : https://doi.org/10.1007/s00392-024-02489-0

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  • 12 July 2024
  • Correction 18 July 2024

Bird flu could become a human pandemic. How are countries preparing?

  • Smriti Mallapaty

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Highly pathogenic avian influenza has been detected in 145 cattle herds in the United States. Credit: Matthew Ludak for The Washington Post via Getty

As cases of avian influenza continue to rise in cattle in the United States, countries are preparing for the possibility that the virus could start spreading in people. Many nations are ramping up surveillance, as well as purchasing vaccines or developing new ones.

“This virus in its current state does not look like it has the characteristics of causing a pandemic. But with influenza viruses, that equation could entirely change with a single mutation,” says Scott Hensley, an immunologist at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia.

The highly pathogenic avian influenza H5N1 has so far been detected in 145 cattle herds and 4 farm workers in a dozen states across the United States. Researchers say many more cases in cows and people have probably gone undetected . The chances of quashing the outbreak get “more slim by the day”, says Angela Rasmussen, a virologist at the University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon, Canada.

Studies suggest that the virus is spreading between cows through contaminated milking equipment 1 , 2 , rather than airborne particles. The biggest risk is that it could evolve to infect mammals more effectively, including through the respiratory system, which would make it more difficult to contain. Given the close and regular contact that cows have with people, airborne transmission could spark a pandemic.

Efforts to prepare for that possibility include risk assessments, modelling and outbreak predictions. “There is loads of planning and preparedness going on internationally,” says Michelle Wille, a virus ecologist at the University of Melbourne in Australia.

Nicole Lurie, who heads preparedness and response at the Oslo-based Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), says the coalition’s approach “for the moment is one of ‘calm urgency’” — “like putting our shoes on in case we need to start running”.

Vaccinating people

A key focus of pandemic preparedness efforts is vaccines, which would protect people from getting ill should the virus spread more widely. Vaccinating people would also reduce the risk of H5N1 mixing with seasonal influenza viruses that are already well-adapted to spread in humans.

In May, the World Health Organization in Geneva, Switzerland, initiated a review of available influenza candidate vaccines, and confirmed that they would work against the H5N1 virus circulating in cattle. “Although the current public health risk is low, WHO is operating in a constant state of readiness for a potential influenza pandemic,” says Maria Van Kerkhove, who heads epidemic and pandemic preparedness and prevention at the WHO.

Last month, the European Commission purchased roughly 700,000 doses of a flu vaccine manufactured by CSL Seqirus, in Maidenhead, UK, with the option to buy another 40 million. The vaccine protects against H5 strains of influenza A. Also in June, Finland began vaccinating people against avian influenza, focusing on high-risk workers at fur and poultry farms.

Other countries, especially the United States, should also consider vaccinating high-risk workers, says Rasmussen. In May, the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) purchased almost five million more doses of the CSL Seqirus influenza vaccine for its stockpile.

Most available vaccines rely on inactivated strains of viruses grown in chicken eggs, which are cheap, but slow, to produce. Researchers are also developing vaccines using mRNA technology ; these are more expensive but quicker to manufacture, and their formulation can be updated to target emerging strains. “It really is a game-changer,” says Hensley, who has developed an H5 mRNA vaccine candidate and tested it in ferrets 3 . “In the case of a pandemic, you can expect that these vaccines will be used widely.”

Last week, the HHS announced that it had provided the pharmaceutical company Moderna, based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, with US$176 million to develop an mRNA-based vaccine against H5 influenza.

CEPI is working to ensure that the response is equitable worldwide. Half of existing vaccine supplies are already tied up in contracts or export controls, says Lurie, and it’s important to make sure that the remaining doses reach the people who need them. “As we saw during the COVID-19 pandemic, low- and middle-income countries could once again be pushed to the back of the queue.”

Doses for cows

Countries including the United States are investigating the possibility of vaccinating cattle to reduce transmission. “This could be a phenomenal mitigation effort” and would be practical to implement as part of existing drives to vaccinate livestock, says Jenna Guthmiller, an immunologist at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus in Aurora.

Several research teams are in the early stages of developing vaccines for cattle. But there are challenges to overcome. Studies suggest that the virus spreading in cattle finds safe harbour in the mammary glands and epithelial cells 2 of the udder. This could be a challenging site in which to elicit a protective immune response, says Diego Diel, a virologist at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, who is developing candidate vaccines against highly pathogenic avian influenza that use harmless DNA viruses to deliver genetic material. Hensley is currently testing his mRNA vaccine in cattle and swine.

But one concern is that vaccines could cover up symptoms in animals that are still infectious, which would increase the risk to people, says Thomas Peacock, a virologist at Imperial College London.

Vaccines should be seen as a measure of last resort, after implementing all other layers of containment, says Martin Beer, a virologist at the Federal Research Institute for Animal Health in Greifswald, Germany. They protect against “a worst-case scenario”.


To stay ahead of the virus, countries are also tracking its spread through increased testing of people and animals. Before the US outbreak, researchers didn’t think cattle could be infected with avian influenza. They are now scrambling to develop tests specific to this host.

Isabella Monne, who studies the molecular epidemiology of animal viruses at the Experimental Zooprophylactic Institute of Venice in Legnaro, Italy, is developing and evaluating tools to help laboratories across Europe to detect viral particles and antibodies, which are evidence of past infection, in cow blood and milk. Groups across Europe, Canada and the United States have started testing cow blood or bulk milk samples.

Researchers are also monitoring sequences of the virus’s genome for changes that would improve its ability to infect cells found in the upper airways. These mutations would increase the risk to people.

One group has created 4 a library of every possible amino-acid mutation on the haemagglutinin protein, which the virus uses to enter cells. The researchers tested in human cells how well the mutated proteins bind to upper-airway receptors, and their stability in acidic environments — traits “known to correlate with viruses going from avian to mammalian hosts, and becoming pandemics”, says Peacock, a co-author of the study, which has not been peer reviewed. Scanning for those mutations could allow real-time risk prediction, he says.

doi: https://doi.org/10.1038/d41586-024-02237-4

Updates & Corrections

Correction 18 July 2024 : A previous version of this story misstated how some H5N1 vaccines are made.

Le Sage, V. et al. Preprint at bioRxiv https://doi.org/10.1101/2024.05.22.595317 (2024).

Caserta, L. C. et al. Preprint at bioRxiv https://doi.org/content/10.1101/2024.05.22.595317 (2024).

Furey, C. et al. Nature Commun. 15, 4350 (2024).

Article   Google Scholar  

Dadonaite, B. et al. Preprint at bioRxiv https://doi.org/10.1101/2024.05.23.595634 (2024).

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a Univ. Lille, CNRS, Inserm, CHU Lille, Institut Pasteur de Lille, U1019 – UMR 9017, Center for Infection and Immunity of Lille, F-59000 Lille, France E-mail: [email protected]

b Centrale Lille, F-59000 Lille, France

Methods enabling the dechalcogenation of thiols or selenols have been investigated and developed for a long time in fields of research as diverse as the study of prebiotic chemistry, the engineering of fuel processing techniques, the study of biomolecule structures and function or the chemical synthesis of biomolecules. The dechalcogenation of thiol or selenol amino acids is nowadays a particularly flourishing area of research for being a pillar of modern chemical protein synthesis, when used in combination with thiol or selenol-based chemoselective peptide ligation chemistries. This review offers a comprehensive and scholarly overview of the field, emphasizing emerging trends and providing a detailed and critical mechanistic discussion of the dechalcogenation methods developed so far. Taking advantage of recently published reports, it also clarifies some unexpected desulfurization reactions that were observed in the past and for which no explanation was provided at the time. Additionally, the review includes a discussion on principal desulfurization methods within the framework of newly introduced green chemistry metrics and toolkits, providing a well-rounded exploration of the subject.

Graphical abstract: Protein desulfurization and deselenization

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Protein desulfurization and deselenization

V. Diemer, E. Roy, V. Agouridas and O. Melnyk, Chem. Soc. Rev. , 2024, Advance Article , DOI: 10.1039/D4CS00135D

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