The A to Z of Publishing Your Work


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This presentation was delivered in session E6 of Quality Forum 2014 by:

Steven Lewis
President, Access Consulting Ltd.

Elizabeth Bryce
Regional Medical Director, Infection Control
Vancouver Coastal Health

Published in: Health & Medicine
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  • Probably best to review this slide before you write the paper. And ideally before you start your initiative whatever it is!
  • The A to Z of Publishing Your Work

    1. 1. The Art of Publishing Aka “just the facts ma’am”
    2. 2. Is it worth writing? •New/novel/rare •Adds to existing knowledge •Challenges existing knowledge •Doesn’t always have to be a positive finding…..
    3. 3. Do you have quality, credible data? • • • • Is your methodology sound? Is your data valid? Will the above stand up to peer review? If this is a qualitative or descriptive piece, do you have all the details? Can a lesson or knowledge be gleaned from the information?
    4. 4. OK – you still want to publish • Who is your audience? • What type of journal (peer - or not- reviewed? Newsletter? • What type of format? Article, letter, brief note… • What is the impact factor value of the journal? Look at samples from that journal
    5. 5. And then have a reality check!
    6. 6. Decide authorship in advance!!!
    7. 7. Title Page • Try for a catchy and Brief! Title • Include all the study authors – only the true participants • List the paper’s authors institutions • Acknowledge all sources of funding • Select only one to three key words for referencing • Make sure the corresponding author will be around • Agree ahead of time as to author order.
    8. 8. Introduction • Brief, brief, brief • Why is your paper important? • What are your objectives or your question/hypothesis
    9. 9. Methodology • Description of study site and/or study population • Describe your intervention – if in phases be clear to list the phases • Describe what type of data you collected • Describe how the data was collected (Anticipate your audience’s questions re this) • Describe how you analyzed your data • If ethics was sought and acquired, mention this
    10. 10. Results • Describe only the main analysis results – no tangents please • Describe any secondary analysis results • Be very careful as to the tables and figures you include. If you include tables/figures, do not repeat the information in the Results text • Be careful you don’t add your conclusions in the results section
    11. 11. Discussion • Be crisp! • Write down the most important point and provide commentary (both limitations and “good things”) • Then onto your next point and so on • Only one or two lines in conclusion • If you have suggestions for future directions – include DON’T: repeat your introduction, try to cite all the literature in the world, repeat your results, have a conclusion divorced from the results, have a conclusion not justified by the data
    12. 12. Other things • Pick a tense AND STICK WITH IT • Pick a person AND STICK WITH IT (look at the journal style) • Be mindful of your grammar (that vs which, run on sentences, incomplete sentences, split infinitives, starting with a prepositional phrase) • Be mindful of your abbreviations • Be consistent with your style • Edit, Edit, Edit • Get an objective colleague to read
    13. 13. Abstract • Could start with this – common if you have done a poster presentation first • Recommend the above as it focuses your thoughts • Sometimes helps to show to the other authors what you would like to do re the article. References • In the journal style • Double- check your author names, pages, etc. • Don’t over-reference!
    14. 14. On-line submissions • The body of the article is in one file, the abstract in another (usually as well as full title page), each figure/table in separate word documents. • Usually you submit a letter to the editor – four lines, why this is of interest to their readership • Submit as a tentative article  journal automatically constructs PDF  show authors to ensure agreement on final version  finalize electronic submission. WAIT
    15. 15. You get rejected • Don’t despair • Read the comments objectively – sometimes they aren’t valid! • If you decide to resubmit to another journal, revise in light of these comments. Make sure you have the right journal. • Elicit all the author opinions re this • May have to alter the article style to suit the new journal
    16. 16. Common Reasons why Papers get Rejected How to read a paper : getting your bearings (deciding what the paper is about ) BMJ 1997; 315 doi: (Published 26 July 1997) Cite this as: BMJ 1997;315:243
    17. 17. You get accepted! • Triple check the proofs • Make sure all the team is aware and have a second person proof-read • Follow the journal instructions to the letter re how to correct proofs • DO NOT use this as an opportunity to change whole sentences or content, unless a substantive error was made • Be timely in resubmitting your corrections
    18. 18. Conclusions • An excellent experience for all • Do your project as if you are going to publish it focuses your thoughts • If you are able to publish it’s then a bonus