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Getting your Rural Health Research Published


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Slides from the Getting your Rural Clinical, Education and Research Article Published Workshop, Rural WONCA, Cairns, May 2017

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Getting your Rural Health Research Published

  1. 1. Getting your rural clinical, education and research work published – lessons learned from Rural and Remote Health Ian Couper, Amanda Barnard, Christos Lionis, Leonardo Vieira Targa, Masatoshi Matsumoto, Paul Worley Editors: Rural and Remote Health journal
  2. 2. Outline • Introduction • An overview of writing for publication – Ian Couper • Current statistics from RRH – Paul Worley • Tips from RRH regional editors: • Masatoshi Matsumoto • Leonardo Targa • Amanda Barnard • Christos Lionis
  3. 3. Writing an article for publication in a scientific journal Ian Couper RRH Regional Editor: Africa
  4. 4. Reasons to publish Advance science/ improve health outcomes Disseminate results of your (hard) work Enhance your status/track record/reputation Improve chances for promotion/research grants Promote your hospital/service/project Unethical not to publish research?
  5. 5. Structure - IMRD Introduction – provide context and tell readers why your study is important Methods – describe what you did, so that others may be able to reproduce your work Results – present them to be easily understood. Balance of tables/fig & text Discussion – the implications of your work, conclusions and recommendations.
  6. 6. Manuscript must be “readable” Structure IMRD Flow of the (scientific) story Minimise repetition (space) Balance information vs brevity Good English!
  7. 7. Choose your journal carefully Focus & Scope of journal Status of journal: Impact factor (ISI/Scopus) Funding/subsidy credits Indexing (Medline, EMBASE etc) Availability on internet Open Access vs. Toll Access Cost – author side publication fees
  8. 8. Use the author guidelines Uniform requirements (ICMJE) – Correct submission (paper, online) Style and system of referencing Length, word count, tables, figures Formatting Metadata (author, info, abstract)
  9. 9. Mention ethical issues Measures taken to obtain consent, protect confidentiality Ethical approval obtained Possible conflicts of interest: e.g. funding or other sources of support
  10. 10. Get language assistance • Spelling, grammar, syntax and clarity – Co-authors – Other colleagues – English teachers, lecturers – Language experts
  11. 11. Respond appropriately to the peer review report • Response time (3-6 m) • Be polite and appreciative • Respond to each suggestion in a table attached to your new draft • Say what you changed and what not and give reasons • Make all changes in tracking or different text colour
  12. 12. • Learn by reviewing – Good reviewers needed! (Learning process) • Partner with experienced authors • Make sure you meet authorship ICMJE rules: – Substantial contribution to conception and design, OR analysis of data; and to – Drafting the article OR revising it critically for important intellectual content, – Final approval for version to be published Note
  13. 13. Don’ts Send your research report as is for publication – wrong format! Send your small survey to the N Engl J Med. (Be humble and realistic) Send your article to more than one journal at the same time and withdraw suddenly when one accepts
  14. 14. Don’ts Wait 5 years to publish, and not update your references Attack the peer-reviewers in your response, be obstructive, protective Give up if at first rejected: try another journal
  15. 15. Editors need authors more than authors need editors Richard Smith Editor, BMJ Remember ... With acknowledgments to Prof Pierre de Villiers Former Editor: SA Family Practice Journal
  16. 16. Reasons for rejection 1. Not rural 2. Not written well, including language fluency 3. Not novel 4. Method flaws 5. Not meeting editorial guidelines 6. Too local 7. Conclusions wider than data
  17. 17. Reasons for rejection (cont.) 8. Purpose not clear 9. Better for discipline journal 10. Not important 11. Refused shorter article 12. No local authors 13. Couldn’t get reviewers
  18. 18. Point of rejection • Vast majority of manuscripts rejected without review beyond the editor • Usually within a month of submission • Some take a lot longer • Main cause of longer time appears to be either methodological flaws or difficulty finding reviewers
  19. 19. Checklist for getting published Introduction Is the research purpose clear and directly related to rural and remote health? Is the research hypothesis relevant to rural and remote health? Are the purpose and hypothesis based on past literature in rural health? Is the main topic recognized as important in the rural and remote health discourse? Methods Is the rural definition explained and appropriate? Is the study appropriate in numbers and sampling? Does the study have an appropriate control (often urban individuals or areas)? Is statistical analysis appropriate? Are rural and remote community ethical considerations addressed? Results Is the relationship between results and rurality clearly shown? Discussion Is the discussion specific to rural health? Is there policy relevancy to rural and remote communities? Does the interpretation of results address the local context? Do the results hold global implications? Are the limitations, especially contextual limitations, of the study discussed? Matsumoto, et al. A guide to reporting a research paper in rural and remote health. Rural Remote Health 12: 2312, 2012
  20. 20. The ‘so what’ factor Your research or project is important to you and your community – show us why! Relevance IMPACT Impact – outcomes, evaluations, - discussion - clearly in the literature
  21. 21. What next? Is this the most appropriate format? •Editorial: less than 2000 words •Commentary: less than 2000 words •Original research: less than 5000 words •Review article: less than 5000 words Clinical case report: less than 3000 words •Clinical review: less than 3000 words •Short communication: less than 1500 words •Policy report: less than 2500 words •Project report: less than 2500 words •Conference report: less than 2500 words •Personal view: less than 3000 words •Rural health history: less than 2000 words •Biography, Tribute or Obituary: less than 1500 words •Book review: less than 500 words •Letter (research letter, standard letter to the editor or a post via the online forum): less than 500 words
  22. 22. Now you want it to be read Ensure the title accurately reflects the paper Abstract – many readers stop here. So this has to engage them NOW Clear aims Concise results/outcomes Conclusion – impact Clear and succinct writing, avoid jargon
  23. 23. Get your research published: Consider prior submission : Prior starting writing the article think if: (1) a written clinical protocol exists (2) a bio-ethical approval has been received (3) a permission from the developers for implementing of any questionnaire or tool has been given (4) the community or population is aware about the study aim and objectives, and Start the discussion about: (5) a suitable journal (6) its publication policy Citation: Lionis C (2013) Common Pitfalls When Reporting General Practice/ Family Medicine Research: Simple Recommendations to Prevent Them. J Gen Pract 1:117. doi: 10.4172/2329-9126.1000117
  24. 24. 1a. Look at the Journal’s Editorial Policy 1. Overview the RRH policy 2. Check the authorship (review the ICMJE guidelines) 3. Visit the rules for Ethics (Committee for Publication Ethics/COPE) 4. Check your study registration either trial (for example WHO International Clinical Trials registry Platform) or systematic review 5. Check to what extent the standards of reporting have been followed (visit the EQUATOR network website) Get your research published: writing a good manuscript-I
  25. 25. 1.A polite cover letter to the Editor 2.A good “story” in order to convince and attract the Editor 3.A clear definition of the study setting and some well-argued statements 4. Presenting the validation of tools 5.Documentation of normality data check, linear association of variables and their function as a response to the research question General recommendations for a successful publication C. Lionis, Puls Uczelni 2015
  26. 26. 6. Avoid comments in the results sections 7. Seek the advice of a mentor and other experienced author either in research and clinical practice prior to comment in the discussion section 8. Take into consideration the possible non correspondence of the results to the truth and examine whether the literature agrees with the findings. 9. Be modest in the strength and limitations Section and check all potential discrepancies’ impact on the results 10.Seriously check the results provided to assure confidence in the conclusion section. Recommendations for a successful publication (Cont.) C. Lionis, Puls Uczelni 2015
  27. 27. Getting your rural clinical, education and research work published – lessons learned from Rural and Remote Health Ian Couper, Amanda Barnard, Christos Lionis, Leonardo Vieira Targa, Masatoshi Matsumoto, Paul Worley Editors: Rural and Remote Health journal