medical BLOG | DATE- 2022-12-25

How to Publish Your Medical Research in a Reputed Journal

Carrying out innovative medical research, making ground-breaking findings, and having these findings published in a globally reputed medical journal for the world to take notice of, is a goal that all medical professionals, researchers, and educators pursue. Very few, however, successfully manage to have their research articles accepted and published by the top medical journals that they pursue. Young researchers and novice authors face lot of difficulties to document their research work and get it published due to lack of guidance and proper training in the art of scientific writing. This article will guide you through this research process.

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Structure of a medical research paper

High-quality research is essential for the development of health-related fields. Reputed academic journals play an important role in making new ideas and accessible to the wider public. Writing and publishing a manuscript in a renowned medical journal is an exciting experience as it represents the outcome of your work and gives you the chance to communicate your research with others.

However, publishing scientific results is quite challenging, as your results must be presented in a clear, organized, and understandable format to get attention from potential readers. Here are a few things to keep in mind when preparing a research article for publication in a respected medical journal.

Reliable Data: the most important part of preparing a good article is to make sure that the study is planned and carried out well. Be honest when reporting your observations; present only original data (avoiding any form of fraud, plagiarism, or self-plagiarism); and be realistic when assessing the strengths and weaknesses of your research.

Clear Writing: Medical research papers have a common structure, which makes it easier for editors, referees, and readers to follow and understand your research work. The most commonly used format is the IMRAD structure, which includes an Introduction, a Methods section, a Results section and a Discussion section.

N.B: Many editors pay particular attention to the abstract, figures, and tables when deciding whether a paper should be sent out for peer review or not. PAY ATTENTION on checking these parts carefully. 

The Right Audience: The journal you choose for publishing your work will depend on the scope of the journal, and the stage of your career. Most publications have specific author instructions regarding scope, structure, format, and length. Try to follow these guidelines to increase the chances of getting your work published. Consider how relevant your results could be to the readers of the journal you are targeting. 

The Right Journal: There are several reputed medical journals, which are known for their rigorous peer-review process and high impact factors. Some journals in the general medicine category include:

The road to publishing in these top-tier journals can be long, but with motivation, hard work, and the right strategy, you can make it much shorter. 

Several peer-reviewed journals and online publications publish student’s work. These journals include: 

Here is a detailed process for a journal publishing inquiry:

1. Make a draft version of your study using conventional headings of a Structured Abstract 

2. If you are writing an article from your thesis, take a detailed review of your supervisor on that draft to correct it according to the instructions of your supervisor 

3. Once the draft is ready, search for four to five journals according to your preferences. Send them emails regarding your intention of submission with the title of your study or you can even share the abstract. N.B: Few journals allow authors to first share the abstract on email to get an opinion about processing of the manuscripts.

4. Wait for few working days to the journals to respond to your query. If they ask you to submit, it simply means it is an active journal and you can send your manuscript there. 

5. Decide now who will be the corresponding author as he/ she should be familiar with e-journal system, scope and aim of journal with all other requirements such as word count and formatting.

6. Considering you the corresponding author, read few recently published articles of the targeted journal along with instructions for authors given on the journal website and modify your manuscript accordingly.

7. Next step is the submission phase which needs corresponding author to get registered on the journal’s website. Usually, the corresponding author needs to provide the following supplementary files along with main manuscript:

  1. Make sure number of authors should be less especially when you are a novice author as it will produce good impression on the editor.
  2. Clearly define roles of all authors according to ICMJE criteria of authorship and take signatures from all (manual/ electronic).
  3. All authors should declare their contribution towards manuscript writing and final approval and make themselves accountable for integrity of their research.

8. Know and select the quality of your manuscript to avoid disappointment of rejection.

9. Make sure that you highlight the strengths of your study and also include Limitations of your study under a separate sub-heading as a part of the discussion in the last paragraph.

10. Upload your manuscript along with all the supplementary files carefully. Upload the structured abstract and key words in Meta data on the journal’s website and make sure while uploading the manuscript text, it should be in one file starting from title page till conclusions. 

11. patience is key as you should at least wait for at least two or three months after acceptance at submission stage. You can humbly ask the editor responsible about progress on your manuscript by providing title and ID Number. 

12. Always plan for at least six to eight months from submission to publication. 

13. keep in mind that honesty is appreciated by Editors. When you are asked to revise the manuscript in the light of reviewer’s comments received from the journal, respond to each and every comment carefully. Be honest in case you cannot respond to any of the point or you do not agree with the reviewer’s comments, politely convey your views to the Editor and also give reason or reference if any. 

14. Make sure all the listed authors have read and approved the revised manuscript before resubmitting with the covering note stating how you have addressed the reviewer’s comments point by point.

15. After acceptance, editor will send you the pdf file for proof reading. Convey the corrections immediately if any, so that it can be processed further and finally gets published. 

16. The manuscript after corrections may be published on journal’s website ahead of print. Some journals who do have acquired DOI number, generate and allot these numbers before ahead of print publication. N.B: Have a look to ensure that the corrections you already conveyed have been carried out and if few are missed, there is still time to get it corrected. Point it out immediately to the Editor and request for doing the needful.

17. Once all the manuscripts scheduled to appear in a particular issue are finalized, then page numbering is done, and pdf files are made once again and then published. This process may take two to three days. N.B: During this period your earlier published manuscript may disappear from the journal’s website since new pdf files are under process.

 Reasons Why your Research Paper Might be Rejected

Out of the many research paper submissions only few make it to being published.

Even though rejection is common in academic publishing, it is demotivating. After years of research and months of writing and formatting the perfect research paper, nobody wants to see their hard work go down in vain. Below, we’ve listed a few common reasons why prestigious journals refuse an article. 

Make sure you aren’t making these mistakes while submitting to a journal to maximize your chances of getting accepted.


WRITTEN BY - Bezawit Girma-Med In Ethiopia Team

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WRITTEN BY - Bezawit Girma

Med In Ethiopia Team


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