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Writing for publication

Writing a publication for the first time can be daunting, but there are some excellent resources to guide you through the process.

Key considerations include:

  • What type of article are you writing?
  • How to select the best journal for your paper
  • How to write the paper: planning, style and editing
  • Understanding the submission process
  • Understanding the peer review process

In addition to using the available resources below, look at the information on Networking and support.


Lyon P. Chapter 1.12: Writing for publication. In: Moore A; Lyon P (ed). Getting involved in research: a pocket guide. Chartered Society of Physiotherapy, National Physiotherapy Research Network, 2009.

Harms M. Chapter 1.13: Writing for scientific publications: tips from an editor. In: Moore A; Lyon P (ed). Getting involved in research: a pocket guide. Chartered Society of Physiotherapy, National Physiotherapy Research Network, 2009.

Dixon N. Writing for publication – a guide for new authors. International Journal for Quality in Healthcare 2001;Volume 13 Number 5:pp417-21.

Enhancing the Quality and Transparency Of Health Research. (EQUATOR) network. Guidance on scientific writing. 2013.

Elsevier. Author pack: A guide to publishing in scholarly journals. 2008

Primary Health Care Research & Information Service (PHCRIS) Getting started guides and the How-to series:

Canadian Foundation for Healthcare Improvement. Reader-friendly writing. 2010

Publication ethics

World Medical Association (WMA): Declaration of Helsinki

WMA has developed the Declaration of Helsinki as a statement of ethical principles for medical research involving human subjects. It contains a statement in relation to publication ethics:

'Authors, editors and publishers all have ethical obligations with regard to the publication of the results of research. Authors have a duty to make publicly available the results of their research on human subjects and are accountable for the completeness and accuracy of their reports.

'They should adhere to accepted guidelines for ethical reporting. Negative and inconclusive as well as positive results should be published or otherwise made publicly available. Sources of funding, institutional affiliations and conflicts of interest should be declared in the publication. Reports of research not in accordance with the principles of this Declaration should not be accepted for publication.'

For further information on research governance and ethics, see Ethics and governance.


Enhancing the QUAlity and Transparency Of health Research (EQUATOR)

The EQUATOR Network is a resource centre for reporting health research studies.

The EQUATOR website has a comprehensive list of resources in relation to publication ethics including guidelines and guides, publishers’ policies and training.

Ethics in Research and Publication (Elsevier)

Online resources and tools on how to publish ethically.

Elsevier Publishing Ethics Resource Kit (PERK)

For journal editors providing access to information and guidelines on publishing ethics.


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