8 Tips to Publish High Impact

Christine Fernandez (01 December 2012)

I went for this workshop on planning your publications organised by the Faculty of Life Sciences, The University of Manchester on the 28.11.12. As it turned out, with the catchy workshop title, we had a full house in the 200 seating lecture theatre.

So as a researcher, publishing your results and getting cited are the tenets of staying scientifically active and relevant. We know it is important to publish in high impact journals but what are the key points of getting the high impact publication? or is it OK to settle for mediocre publications? Some agree, some do not.

The main points I took away from this 4-speaker-seminar/workshop are as below:

To get into high impact journals, you SHOULD:

  1. Make your results more widely applicable = wide impact
  2. Use or introduce catchy terms = bite phrases
  3. Use the pre-submission period to submit your abstract into multiple journals at the same time
  4. Address your paper from an interesting perspective = interesting introduction
  5. Write one paper per message
  6. Never underestimate the power of networking during conference/ coffee breaks/ invited seminars = introduce yourself to speakers
  7. Never give up under major corrections/ critical reviews
  8. Outline your experiments according to a cohesive story
Write one paper per message
Of course not in that order!
Hope this helps.



Sandrine Berges
Thanks Christine, that's really interesting. I would like to  know more about point 3 - what is the pre-submission period, and why send out abstracts to journals? Do journals publish abstracts of do they express an interest in sending papers out to review from an abstract? This is not something I have ever heard of with respect to the humanities.   There was a talk here from a representant from a big publishing house about how to publish in scientific journals - I didn't go as it clashed with something else and also because I suspected that publishing in science is a very different business from publishing in philosophy.

One advice that's common to both, though is number 7 - always do the revisions! I have sometimes wondered about this, and at least once didn't do the proposed revisions as I thought I couldn't possibly engage with all of them and retain something I would call my paper. It was probably a mistake. I wonder what the speakers said in support of that point.

Christine Fernandez

Hi Sandrine, it was interesting and it does take effort too! On point 3, the speakers mentioned the pre-submission option (should have used the word option rather than period) when the author write a synopsis of his/her work ~200 words and send it off to popular journals i.e. Nature, Science, JBC, Cell, etc. at the same time. Most of the time your synopsis comes back to you over 3 days letting you know whether they are interested to read your full paper or just submit your work elsewhere. As I have had no experience with this option yet, I cannot elaborate further. This option has recently been introduced to cope with the race to publish soonest.

On point 7, the speakers agreed that if you find your work good enough without proposed revisions then submit it elsewhere without corrections but if you must publish it in THAT journal then the corrections must be done. It does give me a feeling of hope that if i cannot cope with major corrections then I can submit it to a different journal.

Hope this helps.... thanks for your comment! All the best and Happy holidays.