Emergency Medicine Publishing Resource
Where do I start?
Welcome to the New York ACEP Research Committee Emergency Medicine Publishing Resource. The goal of this source is to provide members with a starting point to publish research. In some of our recent surveys, we found that many investigators did not submit their projects for publication because they did not know which journal to submit their work to. We encourage you to use the list below and target your research publication to an emergency medicine specific journal.
Should I “go it alone?”
The obvious answer is absolutely not. Identify a mentor within your department who can help guide you through the process. The truth is that even if you have great data and a great concept to publish, the process of publishing scientific literature is an art in and of itself that requires practice. Senior faculty and sometimes ambitious young faculty can make the process a great deal easier. Start by looking around your department for academicians interested in the topic your project falls under. Undoubtedly there is a faculty member with interests somewhere in the realm of your project. Chairmen and Program Directors may be able to direct you. Be sure that when the faculty member agrees, they are willing to put forth mentorship efforts. This entails attending regular meetings, providing timely revisions of drafts, and contributing significantly to the final manuscript. The best way to assess this is to avoid a curbside “will you look this over for me?” Better results might be found with a more direct “I am looking for some guidance and mentorship on a project,” and potentially avoid misunderstandings about both party’s involvement and expectations. Mentorship requires time investment and availability. The best mentor may not be the member of your department with the most publications, but rather someone who has been through the process more than once and is willing to impart some experience upon an eager young author.
What journal should I submit to?
List of emergency medicine journals
• Academic Emergency Medicine
Instructions for Authors: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/journal/10.1111/%28ISSN%291553-2712/homepage/ForAuthors.html
• Canadian Journal of Emergency Medicine
Instructions for Authors: http://www.cjem-online.ca/instructions-for-authors
• Emergency Medicine Clinics North America
Instructions for Authors: http://cdn.elsevier.com/promis_misc/ClinicsGuidelines-Base-Emergency.pdf
• European Journal of Emergency Medicine
Instructions for Authors: http://journals.lww.com/euro-emergencymed/_layouts/1033/oaks.journals/informationforauthors.aspx
• Journal of Emergency Medical Services
Instructions for Authors: http://www.elsevier.com/journals/journal-of-emergency-medical-services-jems/0197-2510/guide-for-authors
• Prehospital Emergency Care
Instructions for Authors: http://informahealthcare.com/page/pec/Description#Instructions
• Prehospital and Disaster Medicine
Instructions for Authors: http://assets.cambridge.org/PDM/PDM_ifc.pdf
• Pediatric Emergency Care
Instructions for Authors: http://edmgr.ovid.com/pcare/accounts/ifauth.htm
• Western Journal of Emergency Medicine
Instructions for Authors: http://escholarship.org/brand/uciem_westjem/SubmissionGuidelines.pdf
• World Journal of Emergency Medicine
Instructions for Authors: http://www.wjem.org/default/category/index/id/12?page=1
Still don’t know where to submit?
An additional resource is the JANE website: http://www.biosemantics.org/jane/ (JANE is the Journal/Author Name Estimator) This site will help you identify potential journals by simply entering a title, abstract or key words. It compares your content with that of other journals to propose a potential match.
What is the best journal?
Tough to say! Impact Factors are a measure reflecting the average number of citations to papers recently published in a journal. These Journal Impact Factors are often used as a proxy to represent the relative importance of journals. Impact Factors are copyrighted and calculated by the Thomson Reuters company for journals indexed in their publication Journal Citation Reports. Journals not indexed in this publication do not have Impact Factors.
Note that there is no qualitative assessment of those citations (they can assign credit, or they can criticize mistakes in the original article). The idea was that if you published a paper, and lots of other people cited it in their own works, then you and your co-authors were having an influence, or "impact," in the field of interest. Note that it is the "Journal Impact Factor." It does not assign impact to individual articles, but only to the journal as a whole.
How are the numbers calculated? In a given year, the impact factor of a journal is the average number of citations received per paper in that journal during the two preceding years. For 2012, a journal's impact factor is calculated with the following formula:
2012 Journal Impact Factor = Number of 2012 citations to 2010 + 2011 articles in the journal
Number of articles published in the journal in 2010 + 2011
If a journal has an impact factor of 6 in 2012, then its papers published in 2010 and 2011 received on average 6 citations each in 2012 to those papers. This also implies that some articles may have received zero citations.
There is much controversy about the use of Impact Factors, because they can be manipulated by journal editors insisting on authors citing that journal. The manner by which Journal Citation Reports counts the number of articles is not transparent - this obviously affects the denominator in the calculation. Another issue: different fields have different citation patterns, so journals in different subjects should not be compared. Regardless of these caveats, it is clear that highly influential journals such as Science, Nature, JAMA, and NEJM have large impact factors, and less influential journals have much smaller impact factors.
Journal Impact Factors are owned and produced by the Thomson Reuters company, and are available through an expensive subscription. If you would like a quick overview, one of the free sites that updates medical journal Impact Factors annually is http://impactfactor.weebly.com
While expensive resources such as Science Citation Index and Scopus can tell you who is citing your work, Google Scholar will also tell you for free.
What to expect when you’re expecting…a publication
After you have decided an initial target publication the first thing to do is to go to the publication website and read the section on "Instructions for Authors". Every publication has these instructions (see figure 1). They explain what types of articles are accepted, how to format a publication for difference purposes (case study, brief report, research report, etc.), limitations on length, numbers of figures and/or tables, and there will be information on color use (some publications will not use color without a charge to the author). Some are very specific as to margins, page numbers, means of blinding, inclusion of running heads. There will also be information on copyright assignment, need for clearances from each listed author, specification of individual author contributions and other useful information. These are essential instructions and for some journals if the instructions are not followed, the submission never makes it past initial editor review - - it may never get to the peer reviewers. Also, if the instructions to authors are not followed it raises a question as to whether the authors are paying attention to the details.
The devil is in the details
What about the numbers?
One of the more common reasons for peer review rejection is the misapplication or misinterpretation of the statistics used to explain what was found. It is important to have your analysis plan, the data section and analysis interpretation reviewed by a statistician/epidemiologist or other individual as appropriate to your study. Preferably this person is involved in the study from the very beginning at its conceptual stages.
If you are still in the designing phase, there are many great resources on the web to help you design your study. One can be found at: http://www.medpagetoday.com/lib/content/Medpage-Guide-to-Biostatistics.pdf
When preparing your tables and figures remember that they might look great on 8.5"x11" paper but they may be reduced to 3"x3" to fit into a journal column. Use the reduction feature on your copy machine to see how they might look if reduced and help you determine the need edit them accordingly. Also, remember that many journals only publish in black and white so your color graph may look great but copy it in black and white to see if it is still as clear to the reader.
Everything you ever needed to know you learned in kindergarten
Rules and guidelines may sound juvenile but they make a world of difference. These head off the dreaded: "I never knew that" or "You never told me". Clear roles, clear expectations, clear timelines put everyone on notice and will immensely help move the paper along.
- Some one person must be identified as having clear responsibility for taking all suggestions, comments, corrections and making final decisions about the paper contents. This is the same person who assures that the paper is working through the development process - hounding others as required. This is also the person who may 'excuse' someone from a paper if there are no contributions appropriate for authorship regardless of where the author list started. This person should be the corresponding author.
- Authors should be talking to each other during the process but consider setting up at least three meetings for the paper. One at the beginning to set and document roles, responsibilities, rules and timelines. The second, about half-way through the process for progress checking. The final meeting to get any last minute issues addressed before submission. The meeting may be in person, via phone, via Facetime or Skype.
- Establish and write down for everyone a clear determination of who will be the final paper authors and in what order they will appear. This should be set before the first word goes on paper. If you have issues, consult the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors website http://www.icmje.org/ Not everyone who worked on a project will necessarily be an author. They might show up under acknowledgment. For example, to acknowledge a very helpful librarian who found that elusive article that brought your literature review together.
- If appropriate consider using a "round Robin" for editing. Send it to the first person and then that person sends it to the next, etc. This allows each author to see what others are doing as the versions circle around.
- Use MS-Word with Track Changes turned on under Revisions and in the Track Changes options select Mark-up "By Author" everyplace you can so that changes by individuals can be seen. Date your versions so everyone can keep track.
- Remember all authors must directly contribute and must agree with the paper and its conclusions.
Use an IMRD general format (introduction, methods, results, discussion) for your first draft, as it is general enough for almost all journals to use as a basis so editing for a specific journal format should be fairly easy. As a part of this process most journals are evolving so that for studies involving patients or chart reviews Table 1 contains demographics and Figure 1. is the CONSORT 2010 flow diagram http://www.consort-statement.org/. So the first table and first figure are defined for you. Remember that drafting a manuscript is a dynamic process, and the abstract used for presentation may need to be changed as the paper develops.
As you are closing in on your final draft and prior to your first submission, find someone who was not involved in the project who can serve as an internal 'peer reviewer' to give you a first review for clarity, for analysis, for interpretation and for your discussion/conclusions. Often times authors read a paper so many times they may miss things that are obvious to others. This increases the chance of submitting a 'clean' paper.