Want to get your manuscript published in a medical journal? But afraid of getting it submitted successfully without rejections and objections. These sorts of hiccups are found in most of novice writers and investigators. So, how will we make sure that our painstaking work of research and manuscripts can see the light of the day without getting ditched by the scientific journal editors? To be able to sail smoothly we need to consider some crucial points that will help the scientific medical manuscripts to be accepted by good reputed medical journals.
For instance, the manuscript should be in compliance with the guidelines and instructions to authors of the journal. A brief note on the sponsor along with the cover letter should be taken into consideration while submitting your manuscript. Writing skills again is a very crucial factor that gets your manuscript through.
A doctor’s duty does not get over by the time he finishes his work/operation. In fact, his duty will be considered accomplished only after he gets his work or research published. A published manuscript of his study or research will work as an evidence of his clinical trials. Moreover, a successfully published manuscript will be a win-win situation for both the investigator and the readers.
There are numerous benefits of getting your manuscripts published as it will be useful to doctors, other professional will be able to analyze your results and give their critical view points to the writer and who knows one day your findings will transform the way things are practiced and viewed in the present world.
Still investigators struggle in getting their manuscripts published as we can cite various reasons behind these failures and apprehensions ranging from lack of confidence or underestimating their work or cheap material to wrong study methods. The common mistake the investigators and novice writers commit is that they are under the wrong impression that their task is limited to gather and analyze data and leave the rest of the job to editors for constructing a brilliant and thorough reading for the readers. Before committing this sin, investigators should go through the INSTRUCTIONS TO AUTHORS, as most journals provide it as the prerequisites for the investigators.
REQUIREMENTS OF READERS
Before embarking on a journey of writing a manuscript one should keep in mind the requirements and demands of the reader so that readers can appreciate their work. It has been enumerated in the following sentences:
*who could be their targeted segment of readers?
* Readers apart from the main readers
* Background of the readers to keep the interest of the readers alive
*How to make the experience of the readers great for the subjects written
* Are they comprehending the scenarios and conditions discussed in the article?
REQUIREMENTS OF THE EDITOR
Don’t get scared by the demands of the Editor as he is asking you to be artistic enough to get your work submitted in his reputed Journal. An editor invariably desires the article to be as interesting as possible for his readers. He also want the article should be written in such a way that it increases the knowledge of readers and the article should be written in such a manner that it provides a platform for the genesis of new ideas for particular study subjects. The article should also adhere to the mission of the journal by complying with the INSTRUCTIONS TO THE AUTHORS.
GETTING A MANUSCRIPT READY FOR SUBMISSION
As the editors and reviewers burn their lot of calories in perusing the submitted manuscripts, so every effort should be made by the writers to make their manuscripts readable and comprehend by the editors.
INSTRUCTIONS TO AUTHORS should be taken as a bible by the manuscript writers in order to comply with the guidelines of the journal. INTRODUCTION, METHOD, RESULT AND DISCUSSION (IMRAD) are the four basic components that a manuscript should consist of as it helps in demonstrating a process of scientific evidence-based study conducted by an investigator.
Another important point should be kept in mind while writing a manuscript is that sufficient space margins should be left for the editors to make and amend some changes as well as to add comments and questions.
*Title should be plain, simple and not complex.
* The International Committee of Medical Journal Editor (ICMJE) pronounce that the manuscript writer or author should follow some criteria like he has made a good amount of contribution on the design or proposal, used his intellect capacity and provide final agreement for the publication.
*Name and address of the authors with their contact details
* Funds, aid and sources for research.
* Word count, Running head and No. of illustrations and tables.
Special page for the conflict of interest in order to avoid probable conflict of interest among writer, editor or reviewer.
SIGNIFICANCE OF ABSTRACT AND KEY WORDS
In a nut shell, Abstract is an integral part of any manuscript. It includes Background and Aim of the study, Procedures (Observation and Analysis) and last but not the least the Conclusion. As far as key words are concerned, they are mentioned along with the Abstract. Key word is a succinct phrase that should depict the main topic of the research or work. Keywords should subsume words specified in the list of Medical Subject Heading(Mesh) of index medicus.
HOW TO WRITE THE INTRODUCTION?
Introduction should work as a front office to any hotel or reception counter to any guest house. Introduction helps in showcasing the background of the study. Sections of the Introduction should be narrated in 1 or 2 paragraphs as it should make readers realize that the research carried is necessary and realistic.
WHAT ARE THE METHODS USED?
An investigator ought to mention each and every detail like computer programs used in the study, time and place of the study conducted, medicines and equipment used, technical information about measurement, Analytical and statistical data used, explain statistical terms, abbreviations and symbols.
HOW TO PRESENT THE RESULTS OF THE STUDY?
In order to make your results and findings meaningful and reasonable, We need to delve into various minute details like Tables, texts and illustrations can be used to present the study result with logical sequences. Always try to start from main result or the most important result first. Do not reiterate any information that has been specified in tables and illustration into text, except for emphasizing or highlighting important findings. Appendix section can be used for putting additional information and technical details so that it can be explained without modifying the narration. Avoid non-technical statistical terms, such as “random”, “normal”, “significant”, “correlations”, and “sample”.
One should be cautious about the usage of numerical accuracy, data, statistical symbols which are referred to as a guide to ICMJE.
HOW TO DISCUSS THE FINDINGS OF THE STUDY?
Showcase the fresh and important findings of the study. Avoid repetition and redundancy. Always start your discussion with crisp and transparent explanation about the main result of the study. You can compare and differ with other relevant studies and can explain about the demerits in the study. You can also discuss about its implications on the medical practice. In the end, try to establish a relation between conclusion and aim of the study.
HOW TO USE THE REFERENCES?
Investigators should keep in mind that References should be numbered in the sequence in which they are mentioned in the text. Always use the Arabic parenthesis while using references of texts, tables and illustrations.
FINISHING TOUCH: FINAL PREPARATION OF MANUSCRIPT
After finishing with everything keep your painstaking work of manuscript with you and let others read and analyses it to give their important feedbacks. This strategy will make you improve your work by making some amendments. In fact after some days you may bump in to some novel ideas and solutions that you may want to include in your manuscript without disturbing the whole content. Try to go through each and every sentence by reading it again as this will minimize typing error. Make sure that your manuscript is crisp and concise and is interesting enough to make it a enjoyable reading for the readers and editors.
Manuscripts should be enclosed by the cover letter and may contain the relevant information regarding the previous refusal, comments of the previous editors about your work etc.
After submitting wait for the response of the editor as it can be accepted (party time!!) can be considered for further revision (still on a safer side) or who knows may be rejected, but don’t lose hope is the moral of the story, as it again gives you the opportunity to further look into your work and improve it by making some required and necessary changes and then again you can submit it to some other journal next time.
I believe that after following the above mentioned strategies Novice Writers and Investigators will give a tough job to Editors in getting their work rejected. And I am very hopeful that if Writers follow these strategies and guidelines then their work is surely be accepted and appreciated by everyone.
One thought on “Writing for scientific medical manuscript: A guide for preparing manuscript for Biomedical Journals”
Cool!! the most amazing complete guide i have ever found. Just a little doubt, how can I manage to with formatting of references in Mendeley?