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Before You Start Your Research: Other Publication Types

Learn about how to publish in a scholarly journal
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Other Types of Publications

There are many other types of publications to be written and submitted for publication. Following is a list of various publication types with citations pointing to helpful articles.

Glossary Terms Citation

Definitions appearing in this guide are drawn from A Dictionary of Epidemiology, 5th ed. Oxford University Press.

A dictionary of epidemiology. 6th ed. edited for the International Epidemiological Association by Miquel Porta ; associate editors, Sander Greenland, John M. Last. New York: Oxford University Press; 2016.

Abstracts - Articles or Conferences

An abstract or summary of a scientific article or report that is organized or structured in well-defined sections. A typical sequence of sections includes some or all of the following: “Objectives” or “Aims,” “Design,” “Setting,” “Subjects,” “Main outcome measures,” “Results,” and “Conclusions.” The structured abstract is intended to be comprehensive and to provide a logical order for the presentation of a scientific communication. Structured abstracts are required by many journals.


Alspach JG. Writing for Publication 101: Why the Abstract Is So Important. Crit Care Nurse. 2017;37(4):12-5.  

Cook DA, Bordage G. Twelve tips on writing abstracts and titles: How to get people to use and cite your work. Medical teacher. 2016;38(11):1100-4.   

von Elm E. Writing the abstract: completeness and accuracy matter. European journal of anaesthesiology. 2011;28(7):483-4.    

Ferreira JC, Patino CM. Twelve tips to write an abstract for a conference: advice for young and experienced investigators. Jornal brasileiro de pneumologia : publicacao oficial da Sociedade Brasileira de Pneumologia e Tisilogia. 2018;44(4):260.   

Fowler J. Writing for professional publication. Part 11: writing conference abstracts. British journal of nursing (Mark Allen Publishing). 2011;20(7):451.    

Frazer A. How to write an effective conference abstract. Emergency nurse : the journal of the RCN Accident and Emergency Nursing Association. 2012;20(1):30-1.  

Case Reports

Detailed descriptions of a few patients or clinical cases (frequently, just one sick person) with an unsual disease or complication, uncommon combinations of diseases, an unusual or misleading Semiology, cause, or outcome (maybe a surprising recovery). They often are preliminary observations that are later refuted. They cannot estimate disease frequency or risk (e.g., for lack of a valid Denominator).


Rison RA. A guide to writing case reports for the Journal of Medical Case Reports and BioMed Central Research Notes. Journal of medical case reports. 2013;7:239.   

Sun Z. Tips for writing a case report for the novice author. Journal of medical radiation sciences. 2013;60(3):108-13.  

Case Studies

A detailed analysis of the occurrence, development, and outcome of a particular problem or innovation, often over a period of time. A detailed description of a concrete situation requiring ethical analysis, judgment, and—sometimes—action


Fowler J. Writing for professional publication. Part 9: using client case studies. British journal of nursing (Mark Allen Publishing). 2011;20(5):330.    

Aitken LM, Marshall AP. Writing a case study: ensuring a meaningful contribution to the literature. Australian critical care : official journal of the Confederation of Australian Critical Care Nurses. 2007;20(4):132-6.   

Letters to Editors

Simmons MP. Ten Simple Rules for Writing a Reply Paper. PLoS computational biology. 2015;11(10):e1004536.   

Peer Reviews - Providing a Peer Review

A process of evaluation of scientific or professional work by experts in the same field (reviewers) to assess whether the work meets the necessary methodological and ethical standards before it is accepted or published. The critical assessment of manuscripts submitted to journals by experts who are not part of the editorial staff.  The term may also refer to review of clinical performance in a medical audit.


Drubin DG. Any jackass can trash a manuscript, but it takes good scholarship to create one (how MBoC promotes civil and constructive peer review). Molecular biology of the cell. 2011;22(5):525-7.  

Dutta MJ. The ten commandments of reviewing: the promise of a kinder, gentler discipline! Health communication. 2006;20(2):197-200.  

Spigt M, Arts IC. How to review a manuscript. Journal of clinical epidemiology. 2010;63(12):1385-90.  

Stiller-Reeve M. How to write a thorough peer review. Nature Careers Community [Internet]. 2018 [cited 2019 April 26].

Peer Reviews - Responding to Peer Reviewers

Coping with peer rejection. Nature. 2003;425(6959):645.   

Noble WS. Ten simple rules for writing a response to reviewers. PLoS computational biology. 2017;13(10):e1005730.   

Woolley KL, Barron JP. Handling manuscript rejection: insights from evidence and experience. Chest. 2009;135(2):573-7.    

de Vries F. Effective writing and dealing with reviewers. Journal of clinical epidemiology. 2014;67(7):830.    

Kotsis SV, Chung KC. Manuscript rejection: how to submit a revision and tips on being a good peer reviewer. Plastic and reconstructive surgery. 2014;133(4):958-64.     

Research Proposals or Protocols or Inquiries


The plan, or set of steps, to be followed in a study or investigation or in an intervention program.

Research Proposal

A document prepared by a research agency for a prospective customer outlining in detail the programmes of research, its objectives, its methodology, and project timescales and costs that the agency proposes to carry out on behalf of the customer.


Guyatt G. Preparing a research protocol to improve chances for success. Journal of clinical epidemiology. 2006;59(9):893-9.   

Karlik SJ. How to develop and critique a research protocol. AJR American journal of roentgenology. 2001;176(6):1375-80.   

Lengauer T, Nussinov R. How to write a presubmission inquiry. PLoS computational biology. 2015;11(2):e1004098.