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Year : 2015  |  Volume : 3  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 69-70

Guidance for publication in peer reviewed journal

Department of Ophthalmology, Premchand Deepchand Hinduja National Hospital and Medical Research Centre, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India

Date of Web Publication7-May-2015

Correspondence Address:
Barun K Nayak
Department of Ophthalmology, Premchand Deepchand Hinduja National Hospital and Medical Research Centre, Mumbai, Maharashtra
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/2320-3897.156579

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How to cite this article:
Nayak BK. Guidance for publication in peer reviewed journal. J Clin Ophthalmol Res 2015;3:69-70

How to cite this URL:
Nayak BK. Guidance for publication in peer reviewed journal. J Clin Ophthalmol Res [serial online] 2015 [cited 2022 Jun 28];3:69-70. Available from: https://www.jcor.in/text.asp?2015/3/2/69/156579

We are in the era of evidence-based medicine that revolves around scientific research. The primary aim of research is furthering of science. The spinoff advantages include getting promotion in a teaching job to becoming a valued Reviewer and gaining recognition in the medical fraternity. One must acknowledge the fact that value is added to an article only if it is published in a peer reviewed journal. This is seen as one of the essentials for a "quality" publication as a requirement for promotion. Though the above holds true, we have to fulfill certain mandatory requirements, if the article is written with the aim for publication in a peer reviewed journal. We must remember Scott Fitzgerald's maxim "Write because you have something to say (new), not because you want to say something." This editorial is written to provide a broad overview to help authors conduct their research in a planned manner culminating in publication.

First, the article should be based on a research that has something new to present. It should be a topic that interests you as an investigator and should have some issues that are unanswered. In other words, it is recommended to choose certain aspects of a topic that is considered as lacuna in literature. Repetition and presentation of facts in a different manner of research on topics that have been already published do not qualify the article for publication. A thorough literature search on the topic itself before finalizing the research question is essential and is the center point of a research.

Having decided the topic and worked on the same, a lot of attention should be given while preparing a plan. The facts should be presented properly after assessing the feasibility of the research in a given setup. This includes adequate number of cases, staff back up, availability of necessary equipment and adequate funds. Now is the time to formulate an appropriate study design based on your research question. The aim of choosing a study design is to bring out the results in the best possible manner to the readers. It is important to base your research on the resources available in your setup.

The entire research plan has to be presented in the form of a "protocol," which will then have to be submitted to the Ethics Committee or Institutional Review Board (IRB) for approval. The protocol should also cover the source of grants for the entire research. With this as background, work will have to start on the actual research. Collection of results and their appropriate analysis will automatically lead to clear conclusions.

The next stage is writing the research in the form of an article for publication. The standard format of scientific writing should follow IMRAD, wherein I stands for Introduction, M stands for Materials and Methods, R stands for Results and D stands for Discussion. Introduction should provide a background based on the available literature including the lacuna/controversy in the literature. This should end with the research question. Materials and methods section should include the details of the research in a manner that any one can repeat the study, if they want to, after reading the article. Results should provide the findings of the study without any diversion or distortion in a precise manner along with analysis of the data. Discussion should provide the conclusion. Comparison with the results of the previous studies on the related topics should also be discussed. This part must mention the strengths and weaknesses of the study. The conclusion should be based on the results of this study alone and should not be generalized. The study may open up avenues for new thoughts that should be put down clearly. The article should also include an appropriate title, abstract, keywords and a list of references. Keep in mind that while following the guidelines, the language should be kept simple. There should be clarity of thoughts and words. Do not use any words or phrases that will bring doubts in the readers' mind. There is no room for grammatical errors, in this form of writing. Since space in journals is limited and at a premium, a short publication format is recommended by most journals. Avoid repetition of facts in different sections of the article for the same reason. The readers may lose interest in reading the article. Good flow of words and thoughts presented in a crisp manner, and explained in a simple language is what you should aim at.

Understanding every aspect of research and publication is not a one-time study. It is a sad fact that there is no formal training provided to medical students to enhance their research and writing skills. This aspect of their education in evidence-based medicine is hindered because of lack of training. There are quite a few educationists who are conducting Research Methodology Workshops in our country. I would recommend that each medical student/doctor should attend one such workshop, which is over a period of 2 to 3 days. Though attending 1-day workshops is better than not attending a Research Methodology Workshop at all, I personally feel a workshop over 2 to 3 days helps the student to understand the subject well and gives them time to come up with queries that get clarified.

The thought behind this editorial is for it to be an eye opener, so that one can understand how to go about this process and generate interest in the subject. Learning this skill will enhance your academic persona. It is important to acknowledge that it is a skill that has to be worked upon - so the earlier one starts on it in a scientific manner, the better it is. Scientific writing is an art, and once you work on it you will enjoy the process.


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