7. Picking the right journal and getting published

Navigating journal and peer review processes

Learning outcomes:
➔ Key points to consider when choosing a journal
➔ Tips on choosing between local, and national, and international journals
➔ What the term “indexed journal” means
➔ Measures of impact, particularly journal impact factor
➔ Publishing with open access
➔ Typical peer review process
➔ How journals try to minimise bias in peer review
➔ Research evidence for different kinds of peer review
➔ How to avoid predatory journals.

Compliance with journal and ICMJE requirements

Learning outcomes:
➔ Why journals vary widely and have different editorial policies
➔ Core requirements for all medical journals
➔ The Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing and Publication of Scholarly Work in Medical Journals from the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE)
➔ Importance of key ICMJE policies (on authorship, conflicts of interest, clinical trial transparency)
➔ Overview of the authorship rules and the role of the corresponding author
➔ The rules on clinical trial registration
➔ Examples of specific journal policies eg The BMJ’s patient review of research.

Patients’ consent for publication

Learning outcomes:
➔ Why consent to publication about potentially identifiable living patients matters
➔ Circumstances in which journals need such consent to publication
➔ How journals handle consent, and what they do when consent is unavailable or privacy is breached
➔ Policies, regulations, and laws that protect study participants’ privacy.

Surviving peer review

Learning outcomes:
➔ How to submit an article
➔ Typical author journey through the peer review process
➔ Roles and responsibilities of authors, editors, and reviewers during peer review
➔ Why ORCID (open researcher and contributor ID) is useful
➔ What peer reviewers do
➔ How to respond to comments and revise the manuscript
➔ What happens after manuscript acceptance
➔ How to approve proofs
➔ Working with the media
➔ Using social media to disseminate research
➔ When to respond to post publication peer review.

What to do with rejections and appeals

Learning outcomes:
➔ Why journals reject research
➔ Evidence on what might lead to rejection
➔ How to interpret rejection letters
➔ What to do after rejection
➔ Waste in research and how to avoid it
➔ When and how to appeal against rejection.

Pre-submission inquiries and cover letters

Learning outcomes:
➔ Why a presubmission inquiry can increase the efficiency and success of peer review for both authors and editors
➔ When to make a presubmission inquiry
➔ Key elements of a presubmission inquiry
➔ How to write the cover letter when submitting research
➔ When and how to disclose overlapping and prior publication
➔ When and how to request fast track peer review.