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The Complexities of the Medical Publication Process

Discuss about the Medical Publication Process and Plan.

The field of medical publication is intricate and fast-moving. It comprises of complicated relationships between journal editors, academic investigators and publication experts in medicinal industries (Rouault, 2015). Publication planning is an industry in the pharmaceutical domain, which performs administrative and practical requirements of modeling the statistics of therapeutic companies and changing it into medical journals. Its primary purpose is not to market the pharmaceutical products, but to act as a basis for a suitable propagation of clinical and scientific information, awareness and education.

According to Donovan (2007), publication in academic journal articles has a significant role in developing and ensuring the progress of nursing as a profession. Alternatively, it gives opportunities to experts in occupations for instance  nursing for sharing their preeminent training instances as well as investigation findings with their associates in the same faculty. Besides, Henly, Bennett, & Dougherty (2010) acknowledged that scientific and academic publications aid in providing desired information and proof for interested students, apprentice medical practitioners and evolving researchers which contribute to their professional growth.

Therefore, for the publication to serve the purposes mentioned above successfully, proper scrutiny of the scripts submitted to academic journals is required.  The investigation is undertaken to determine the manuscripts' value, quality, convenience, methodological rigour and if it is publishable before justifying them to appear in the electronic and print media ( Henly, Bennett, & Dougherty, 2010). 

According to Brantley (2017), a manuscript has to go various stages before the actual publication. The initial phase of publication is the submission of the article to the academic journal by the author. Moreover, the first step of the publication procedure is an editorial review whose primary objective is to evaluate the merits and quality of the script.

Figure 1 on the next page has elaborated several tasks shared among the members of the editorial team. It comprises of all the steps that are likely to occur in the publication process. The editor, who in most cases is the chief journal editor, evaluates presented scripts in an attempt of determining the manuscript's applicability and whether it is suitable to go through peer reviews (Brantley, 2017). Moreover, the article undergoes further scrutiny at the editorial assistant, for instance, checking for its originality through a system which detects the similarity of the materials.   The manuscript may suffer rejection at this stage from unwarranted similarities, or instead, it may not be submitted and be given back to the writer for the suggested adjustments.  Further assessments are carried out by the managing editor on the readability and the level to which the manuscript is in keeping with the journal’s canons as well as usage of the international reporting canons (Gottfredson, Garvey, & Goodnow, 1977).     

The Significance of Publication in the Nursing Profession

EA: - Editorial Assistant; EiC: - Editor?in?Chief; ME:- Managing Editor

After the satisfaction of the managing editor, he/she recognizes and allocates about three reviewers with relevant understanding, expertise, procedural rigour and knowledge to evaluate the manuscript and comment on its worth, objectivity, quality and if it is publishable. Responses of peer reviewers assist the editor in deciding whether the manuscript is to undergo rejection, acceptance or revision before it can be acknowledged and allowed to be published.

When the manuscript has been acknowledged and accepted, the process goes to the third step known as production stage. This stage makes sure that a clear and coherent article which does not have spelling errors is published and presented in the standard form of an actual item (Gottfredson, Garvey, & Goodnow, 1977). Similarly, the writers of the articles are required to scrutinize and approve their materials earlier in the last step. The final step is a managerial procedure that ensures that the report is allocated a suitable tracking number known as Digital Object Identifier (DOI) (Gottfredson, Garvey, & Goodnow, 1977)

After researchers have done their findings and conclusions, they will look for academic community and those who may be interested, and formally present to them their results. The academic community will then follow the steps described above mainly for quality assurance. According to (Letherby, Bywaters, & Ali, 2007), quality assurance techniques in the publication process are very crucial in making sure that the research articles are trustworthy and are of high excellence.

In whatever steps followed, formal publication process always involves quality assurance through peer review.  This article evaluation consists of editors and assessors who undertake the assessments on matters of similarity, relevance and rationality of the research findings along with the suitability of the research with the extent and methodology of the seminar, journal or publication sequences.

Quality assurance for publications involves the presentation, in addition to the content before they are available for print (Lindsey, 1978).  Consequently, the editors, in most cases, devote their substantial time in editing and standardizing the findings to make sure that the results are evidently and consistently presented.

The process of publication guarantees quality assurance through critical analysis and evaluation of a single article which is aimed at making sure that only the research that meets the required standards and passes quality threshold is financed and formally printed (Kearney & Freda, 2005). Similarly, the process of ensuring high quality and assessing scholarly journals, institutions and authors is considered to make sure that decisions about research findings and conclusions are the outcome of the evidence-based findings and assessment.

The Various Stages in the Production of a Manuscript

The publication process is critical in the academic community since it ensures high quality of the research papers (Kearney & Freda, 2005). Besides, it enlightens on crucial decisions about the financing of a research project and the researcher, about procedures of conducting research, about manuscripts that are to be published and distributed, and about the articles that the authors and other interested individuals should choose to read. Finally, it forms an essential foundation for trust that makes the work of the academic researchers to be trustworthy.

Peer review is an evaluation of scripts handed in to the journals by professionals who are typically not among the members of editors. It is a significant extension of the scientific process since impartiality, objectivity, self-regulation, and critical evaluation is an inherent part of all scholarly work. According to Kearney & Freda, 2005), peer review is a fundamental mechanism in the scientific research and academic life. Peer reviewing is an acknowledged element of the publishing procedure, expert training and educational recompense arrangement (Frelich, 2013)

Peer review entails assessing the academic articles through a specially chosen team of professionals from the same field of training. The procedure is adopted by editors to find out the capacity, weakness as well as the potentiality of the suggested piece of work ready to be presented to the print media (Poster, Pearson, & Pierson, 2011). Moreover, it is a crucial component of the publication process which tries to maintain excellence and merit in articles scientifically printed, scholastic and formal papers (Henly, Bennett, & Dougherty, 2010). Bordage & Caelleigh (2001) affirmed that peer review is an excellent acceptable procedure which aids editors to evaluate manuscripts, and acts as a benchmark for assessing papers that require knowledge of an expert.  Peer review is an integral element of the publication procedure (Christenbery, 2010).

The process of peer review provides writers with an opportunity of improving the quality and clarity of their manuscripts. The responses given by the reviewers act as a guide to the editors of journals and editorial staffs to enable them to make an informed decision on whether a manuscript is of substandard or is of an acceptable standard (Braithwaite & Lipworth, 2011). According to Christenbery (2010), editors profoundly depend on the procedures of peer reviewing to enlighten them on the selections of manuscripts with sound quality among the numefrous scripts. Similarly, the system of peer review is beneficial even to those who review documents since the process enables them to improve their understanding and skill in particular areas.  Poster, Pearson, & Pierson (2011) argued that being a peer reviewer is acknowledged as contributing to the academic society in single enactment assessments. The practice can as well have an emotional impact on the community as a whole when ramification of social policies are proposed or concluded by the published article (Christenbery, 2010). Moreover, publications of scholarly papers which are well transcribed, procedurally all-encompassing and well-read research assist in developing various occupations ,for instance, nursing.

Quality Assurance and Peer Review

There are two categories of peer assessment, that is, open and closed peer review. The latter is more common while the former is becoming more popular than reviews. Closed-review operates in twofold approaches: single-blind and double-blind.  Single blind is the furthermost consistent techniques applied in the mainstream of professional papers, mainly biomedical articles (Kearney & Freda, 2005). Similarly, the double-blind review is typically implemented by several biomedical experts, and nearly 95% of the nursing use this method of evaluation (Baggs, 2011).

Alternatively, open peer assessment is an approach whereby researchers and reviewers are well familiar with one another all through the procedures of publication. Several established companies encourage the use of this approach. Nevertheless, a review which is open has received severe criticism concerning incidences relating to open access online journal (Bernstein, 2015). The rise of open access works best at high volume, but it does not demonstrate the societal applicability that specific traditional journals uphold. Open access journals mean that they are peer-reviewed, free to online access and can be shared and used by interested users.  Open access is advantageous to the authors since availability and visibility of the articles are warranted (Bernstein, 2015). Besides, it encourages low cost of publication and faster publication compared to those traditional, subscription-based and published journals.

Numerous and ready scientific articles are available online, and several research papers are open access and do not need any subscription. Therefore, up-to-date information about medicine and science has turned out to be more comfortable to access than in the past. Consequently, with the many data available, researchers have to identify approaches to filter all this data and find out high quality and most relevant articles and journals to read. Presently, readers can assess the existing scientific literature by applying three different tools: altmetrics (alternative metrics), citation metrics and usage metrics (Armbruster, 2009).

The impact factor is one of the most long-standing quality indicators of the scientific, academic works. An impact factor makes a comparison between the worth of one journal to another in a particular discipline.   The effectiveness of this parameter is subject to the correctness of the citation counts applied in its computation (Armbruster, 2009).  The impact factor has been the excellent standard for evaluating the quality of the scientific literature. It has been applied by clinicians and researchers in determining articles they should read and sites to submit their work. Besides, it has been used by academic administrators to evaluate the worth of a scientific investigation of members of the same faculty along with their financing perspective and appropriateness for upgrading. However, this indicator is a lagging indicator. The citations to print journals accumulate slowly.

Categories of Peer Assessment

Usage metrics have emerged as a relatively new method of assessing the impact of articles published in the scientific literature. The primary parameters are pages that have been viewed and full-text documents that have been downloaded (Armbruster, 2009). The main benefit of usage metrics is that data set off to accumulate instantly after publishing and can easily be retrieved. Moreover, it allows usage of articles by unprofessional as well as scientific audiences to be evaluated. However, it can be misleading in the sense that a person can have many page views but without actual readers, and the number of full- texts that have been downloaded cannot be equated with the actual number of articles that have been read.

The main objective of alternative metrics is to quantify how scientists and the general public discover, pass on, and debate papers in the literature using non-traditional lines of communication such as Facebook, and Twitter.  Altmetrics has increased popularity in usage as an additional measure of the quality of articles since the new generation has accepted social media as an approach to discover and share research.


Armbruster, C. (2009). Whose Metrics? On Building Citation, Usage and Access Metrics as Information Service for Scholars. SSRN Electronic Journal. doi:10.2139/ssrn.1464706

Baggs, J. G. (2011). The dissertation manuscript option, internet posting, and publication. Research in Nursing & Health, n/a-n/a. doi:10.1002/nur.20420

Bernstein, P. R. (2015). Faculty of 1000 evaluation for The Role of Target Binding Kinetics in Drug Discovery. F1000 - Post-publication peer review of the biomedical literature. doi:10.3410/f.725890287.793512688

Bordage, G., & Caelleigh, A. S. (2001). How To Read “Review Criteria for Research Manuscripts”. Academic Medicine, 76(9), 909-910. doi:10.1097/00001888-200109000-00014

Braithwaite, J., & Lipworth, W. (2011). Faculty of 1000 evaluation for The productivity crisis in pharmaceutical R&D. F1000 - Post-publication peer review of the biomedical literature. doi:10.3410/f.11608956.12680055

Brantley, J. (2017). Beyond Words: Illuminated Manuscripts in Boston Collections by Jeffrey F. Hamburger et al., and: Beyond Words: Illuminated Manuscripts in Boston Collections eds. by Jeffrey F. Hamburger et al. Manuscript Studies: A Journal of the Schoenberg Institute for Manuscript Studies, 2(1), 256-261. doi:10.1353/mns.2017.0007

Christenbery, T. L. (2010). Manuscript peer review: A guide for advanced practice nurses. Journal of the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners, 23(1), 15-22. doi:10.1111/j.1745-7599.2010.00572.x

Donovan, S. K. (2007). How to Write a Lot: A Practical Guide to Productive Academic Writing (review). Journal of Scholarly Publishing, 39(1), 351-355. doi:10.1353/scp.2007.0030

Frelich, L. (2013). Faculty of 1000 evaluation for Greenhouse-gas emissions from soils increased by earthworms. F1000 - Post-publication peer review of the biomedical literature. doi:10.3410/f.718002379.793475379

Gottfredson, S. D., Garvey, W. D., & Goodnow, J. I. (1977). Quality indicators in the scientific journal article publication process. Baltimore, MD: Center for Research in Scientific Communication, Dept. of Psychology Johns Hopkins University.

Henly, S. J., Bennett, J. A., & Dougherty, M. C. (2010). Scientific and statistical reviews of manuscripts submitted to Nursing Research: Comparison of completeness, quality, and usefulness. Nursing Outlook, 58(4), 188-199. doi:10.1016/j.outlook.2010.04.004

Kearney, M. H., & Freda, M. C. (2005). Nurse editors' views on the peer review process. Research in Nursing & Health, 28(6), 444-452. doi:10.1002/nur.20104

Letherby, G., Bywaters, P., & Ali, Z. (2007). Extending social research: Application, implementation and publication. Maidenhead: McGraw-Hill/Open University Press.

Lindsey, D. (1978). The scientific publication system in social science. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass Publishers.

Poster, E., Pearson, G. S., & Pierson, C. (2011). Publication Ethics: Its Importance to Readers, Authors, and the Profession. Perspectives in Psychiatric Care, 48(1), 1-1. doi:10.1111/j.1744-6163.2011.00323.x

Rouault, G. (2015). Writing for Academic Publication: Advice Drawn from Experienced International Journal Editors. Language Education in Asia, 5(2), 186-197. doi:10.5746/leia/14/v5/i2/a02/rouault

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