January Forum - Group ShotCCTS kicked off 2019 with a monthly forum that featured expert answers to the age-old academic question: What does it take to publish one’s findings in a leading peer-reviewed biomedical journal?

With rejection rates as high as 90% among certain high-impact journals and major changes on the publishing horizon that will add new hurdles in the form of data sharing and reproducibility requirements, even well-established authors were drawn to the discussion.

CCTS Director of Genomic Medicine, UAB Chief Genomic Officer, and Editor-in-Chief (EIC) of the American Journal of Human Genetics, Bruce Korf, MD, PhD, laid the foundation for a lively panel discussion by providing a primer on best practices for peer-reviewed publishing. He was then joined by a multidisciplinary panel of Editors-in-Chief for leading journals in surgery, anesthesia, and mental health, who shared their insights and took questions from the audience.

We highlight the top 10 tips they shared:

  1. Your paper should tell a story. The story should be supported by your data.
  2. Know the scope of your target journal and make sure it matches the scope of your paper.
  3. Invest in an editor, or at least ask a colleague or mentor to review your writing, which should be succinct and without grammatical errors.
  4. Avoid overblown conclusions.
  5. Beware of predatory journals that offer to publish your paper for a fee.
  6. Impact factor is not everything—citations count too.
  7. Make sure your department will consider articles published in an open access journal as counting toward tenure. Many do not.
  8. Quality is more important than quantity.
  9. Address reviewer feedback when appropriate.
  10. Serve as a reviewer to better understand the process.
[Editor's Note: Here's another tip--CCTS conducts panels to help authors revise manuscripts for publication! Just request a PDQ on our Panels form.]  

Many thanks to our panel of expert EICs, including January 2019 Forum moderator Dr. Korf!

Kirby I. Bland, MD, Chair Emeritus, UAB Department of Surgery, and Editor-in Chief, American Journal of Surgery

Daphne S. Cain, PhD, Associate Dean for Administrative Services and Professor, University of Alabama School of Social Work, and Editor-in-Chief, Best Practices in Mental Health

Bruce R. Korf, MD, PhD, UAB Chief Genomic Officer, CCTS Director of Genomic Medicine, and Editor-in-Chief, American Journal of Human Genetics

Sadis Matalon, PhD, Vice Chair and Director, UAB Division of Molecular and Translational Biomedicine, and Editor-in Chief, Physiological Reviews

Jean-Francois Pittet, MD, Director, UAB Organ Injury and Trauma Research, and Editor-in-Chief, Anesthesia and Analgesia

To hear all of the EIC tips, watch the video of our January 2019 CCTS Monthly Forum on the CCTS YouTube channel. You can find the slide deck for Dr. Korf’s overview of the academic publishing process on our CCTS Monthly Forum page. Mark your calendar for our next Forum, which will take place on Monday, February 11--join us for an update on the transformations changing the way we conduct clinical trials.