About this topic
Publishing your research is an important step in your academic career. While there isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach, this guide is designed to take you through the typical steps in publishing a research paper. Discover how to get your paper published, from choosing the right journal and understanding what a peer reviewed article is, to responding to reviewers and navigating the production process.
Step 1: choosing a journal
Choosing which journal to publish your research paper in is one of the most significant decisions you have to make as a researcher. Where you decide to submit your work can make a big difference to the reach and impact your research has.
It’s important to take your time to consider your options carefully and analyze each aspect of journal submission – from shortlisting titles to your preferred method of publication, for example open access.
Don’t forget to think about publishing options beyond the traditional journals format – for example, open research platform F1000Research, which offers rapid, open publication for a wide range of outputs.
Why choose your target journal before you start writing?
The first step in publishing a research paper should always be selecting the journal you want to publish in. Choosing your target journal before you start writing means you can tailor your work to build on research that’s already been published in that journal. This can help editors to see how a paper adds to the ‘conversation’ in their journal.
In addition, many journals only accept specific manuscript formats of article. So, by choosing a journal before you start, you can write your article to their specifications and audience, and ultimately improve your chances of acceptance.
To save time and for peace of mind, you can consider using manuscript formatting experts while you focus on your research.
How to select the journal to publish your research in
Choosing which journal to publish your research in can seem like an overwhelming task. So, for all the details of how to navigate this important step in publishing your research paper, take a look at our choosing a journal guide. This will take you through the selection process, from understanding the aims and scope of the journals you’re interested in to making sure you choose a trustworthy journal.
Don’t forget to explore our journal suggester to see which Taylor & Francis journals could be right for your research.
Step 2: writing your paper
Writing an effective, compelling research paper is vital to getting your research published. But if you’re new to putting together academic papers, it can feel daunting to start from scratch.
The good news is that if you’ve chosen the journal you want to publish in, you’ll have lots of examples already published in that journal to base your own paper on. We’ve gathered advice on every aspect of writing your paper, to make sure you get off to a great start.
How to write your paper
How you write your paper will depend on your chosen journal, your subject area, and the type of paper you’re writing. Everything from the style and structure you choose to the audience you should have in mind while writing will differ, so it’s important to think about these things before you get stuck in.
Our writing your paper guide will take you through everything you need to know to put together your research article and prepare it for submission. This includes getting to know your target journal, understanding your audiences, how to choose appropriate keywords, as a guide through your research publication journey.
You should also make sure you’re aware of all editorial policies for the journal you plan to submit to. Don’t forget that you can contact our editing services to help you refine your manuscript.
Step 3: making your submission
Once you’ve chosen the right journal and written your manuscript, the next step in publishing your research paper is to make your submission.
Each journal will have specific submission requirements, so make sure you visit Taylor & Francis Online and carefully check through the instructions for authors for your chosen journal.
How to submit your manuscript
To submit your manuscript you’ll need to ensure that you’ve gone through all the steps in our making your submission guide. This includes thoroughly understanding your chosen journal’s instructions for authors, writing an effective cover letter, navigating the journal’s submission system, and ensuring your research data is prepared as required.
You can also improve your submission experience with our guide to avoid obstacles and complete a seamless submission.
To make sure you’ve covered everything before you hit ‘submit’ you can also take a look at our ‘ready to submit’ checklist. (Don’t forget, you should only submit to one journal at a time.)
Step 4: navigating the peer review process
Now you’ve submitted your manuscript, you need to get to grips with one of the most important parts of publishing your research paper – the peer review process.
What is peer review?
Peer review is the independent assessment of your research article by independent experts in your field. Reviewers, also sometimes called ‘referees’, are asked to judge the validity, significance, and originality of your work.
This process ensures that a peer-reviewed article has been through a rigorous process to make sure the methodology is sound, the work can be replicated, and it fits with the aims and scope of the journal that is considering it for publication. It acts as an important form of quality control for research papers.
Peer review is also a very useful source of feedback, helping you to improve your paper before it’s published. It is intended to be a collaborative process, where authors engage in a dialogue with their peers and receive constructive feedback and support to advance their work.
Almost all research articles go through peer review, although in some cases the journal may operate post-publication peer review, which means that reviews and reader comments are invited after the paper is published.
If you’ll like to feel more confident before getting your work peer reviewed by the journal, you may want to consider using an in-depth technical review service from experts.
Understanding peer review
Peer review can be a complex process to get your head around. That’s why we’ve put together a comprehensive guide to understanding peer review. This explains everything from the many different types of peer review to the step-by-step peer review process and how to revise your manuscript. It also has helpful advice on what to do if your manuscript is rejected.
Step 5: the production process
If your paper is accepted for publication, it will then head into production. At this stage of the process, the paper will be prepared for publishing in your chosen journal.
A lot of the work to produce the final version of your paper will be done by the journal production team, but your input will be required at various stages of the process.
What do you need to do during production?
During production, you’ll have a variety of tasks to complete and decisions to make. For example, you’ll need to check and correct proofs of your article and consider whether or not you want to produce a video abstract to accompany it. Take a look at our guide to the production process to find out what you’ll need to do in this final step to getting your research published.
Your research is published – now what?
You’ve successfully navigated publishing a research paper – congratulations! But the process doesn’t stop there. Now your research is published in a journal for the world to see, you’ll need to know how to access your article and make sure it has an impact.
Here’s a quick tip on how to boost your research impact by investing in making your accomplishments stand out.
Below you’ll find helpful tips and post-publication support. From how to communicate about your research to how to request corrections or translations.
How to access your published article
When you publish with Taylor & Francis, you’ll have access to a new section on Taylor & Francis Online called Authored Works. This will give you and all other named authors perpetual access to your article, regardless of whether or not you have a subscription to the journal you have published in.
You can also order print copies of your article.
How to ensure your research makes an impact
Taking the time to ensure your research has an impact can help drive your career progression, build your networks, and secure funding for new research. So, it’s worth investing in.
Creating a real impact with your work can be a challenging and time-consuming task, which can feel difficult to fit into an already demanding academic career.
To help you understand what impact means for you and your work, take a look at our guide to research impact. It covers why impact is important, the different types of impact you can have, how to achieve impact – including tips on communicating with a variety of audiences – and how to measure your success.
Learn more about making an impact with our free learning programs. Master the process of publishing and promoting your research.
Keeping track of your article’s progress
Through your Authored Works access, you’ll be able to get real-time insights about your article, such as views, downloads and citation numbers.
In addition, when you publish an article with us, you’ll be offered the option to sign up for email updates. These emails will be sent to you three, six and twelve months after your article is published to let you know how many views and citations the article has had.
Corrections and translations of published articles
Sometimes after an article has been published it may be necessary to make a change to the Version of Record. Take a look at our dedicated guide to corrections, expressions of concern, retractions and removals to find out more.
You may also be interested in translating your article into another language. If that’s the case, take a look at our information on article translations.