How to write a clinical paper for publication

Jonothan J. Earnshaw*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Research is an essential part of surgical training, so a surgical trainee must publish to prosper. The most important piece of advice is to seek expert help before commencing the process of research and subsequent publication. Having a piece of research worthy of communication to peers is an essential prerequisite, but there are many different types of publication, and many different avenues for publication. Starting with a simple case report is often a good beginning; publication in high-profile, high-impact-factor journals requires high-quality research such as randomized trials or systematic reviews. The more high profile the research, the more likely there are to be formal rules about its conduct and its publication (CONSORT, PRISMA etc). Writing in scientific English requires economy of style and linguistic restraint; many readers will not have English as a first language. By convention, scientific articles are written in IMRAD style - introduction, methods, results and discussion. This author has evolved a method to make writing a scientific manuscript as painless as possible. It may be tempting to relax once the writing is complete, but managing the paper through submission can also be challenging. Most journals will not accept a paper immediately, but will require corrections suggested by independent referees after formal peer review. All dealings with journal editors should be professional and courteous.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)437-441
Number of pages5
JournalSurgery (United Kingdom)
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • electronic publication
  • impact factor
  • peer review
  • statistics
  • surgical publication
  • surgical training


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