Research to Publication: Materials to Guide the Manuscript-Writing Process

I am teaching a new course this semester (Fall 2018) called Research to Publication. Hopefully, the students in the course will all write a manuscript by the end of the semester and submit it to either their co-authors or a journal! Stay tuned…I have promised a party if the course works…

I would like to share the materials I create for this course since writing academic manuscripts is honestly not something we are taught very well. I didn’t learn until well into my postdoc, and mostly by accident.

I am a big fan of open collaboration. If you have any suggestions for additions/changes, let me know! I have pasted the course outline below and will add materials as I teach them.

*Assignments are completed before the course meets that week.
The role of publishing; academic “currency” – who decides? READ (in general): Klingner et al., 2005
ASSIGNMENT: Try answering the following questions now, and revisit this discussion multiple times over the course of the semester.

  1. Why are you interested in learning how to write an academic manuscript?
  2. What do you feel like you still need to learn?
  3. Where else can you turn for assistance with your writing?
Identifying an appropriate journal READ: Where to Publish; Beall’s list
ASSIGNMENT 1: Take time to review the Where To Publish and Beall’s List websites. Consider what you have learned in the context of your own research.

  1. What, if anything, surprised you about Where to Publish and/or Beall’s List?
  2. Describe your area of research for your classmates.
  3. What will be important for you to consider as you choose a journal for your work?
  4. What questions do you have about publishing that your course colleagues might be able to help you answer?

ASSIGNMENT 2: Preparing to write…

  1. What is your manuscript topic? Be as specific as you can.
  2. Identify THREE journals that would be appropriate venues for your work. Explain why you have chosen these journals.
  3. Using Beall’s list, identify ONE journal that seems like it would be a good fit. DO NOT PUBLISH in these journals. I need this information for the WEEK 2 in-class activity!
Basic structure of an article DUE: Deconstruction of THREE articles in your target journal

READ/DISCUSS: Turbek et al., 2016; Perneger and Hudelson, 2004

Visualizing your manuscript! DUE: 12 VISUAL slides of your manuscript

READ: Rougier et al., 2014; Durbin, 2004

Writing research questions and methods DUE: Your research question(s) and methods

READ/DISCUSS: Kallet, 2004

Ethics and bias in the publication process DUE: Write up of THREE cases from

READ/DISCUSS: Gastel and Ray, 2016

Writing and visualizing results DUE: Your results in BOTH text and tables/figures aligned with questions, methods

READ/DISCUSS: Monash University guide

Authorship DUE: Authorship agreement and discussion with your advisor/collaborators

READ/DISCUSS: Shewan and Coats, 2010

Writing discussions and background DUE: Your discussion and background in parallel


Data Management and Publication DUE: Your Data Management Plan

READ/DISCUSS: NSF guide to data management plans; Gil et al., 2016; Costello, 2009

Editor Q&A (Janice Beecher) DUE: THREE questions for the Editor Q&A; Draft manuscript!

READ/DISCUSS: Kostic, 2016

Reviewing manuscripts DUE: Review of TWO manuscripts from classmates

READ/DISCUSS: Wiley guide; Scrimgeour and Prus, 2016

Preparing manuscripts for publication DUE: Revised and formatted manuscript


Reflecting on the process DUE: Submit that paper (to journal or your co-authors)!