Scholarly Communications

Publish Your Work

Whether you are sharing your research or ideas in a poster, video abstract, or article, we have resources to help.

One of the first steps in writing an article is to select the target journal for publication. This can be increasingly complicated when you are working in a new or interdisciplinary area. We can help you select journals and navigate the scholarly publishing landscape, including avoiding predatory publishers, paying for open access charges, and complying with copyright law. 

See the resources and FAQs below or reach out to us for help at medical-librarian@duke.edu.

Resources and Guidance

FAQs

  • My journal is charging me a fee to publish – is this normal?

    In most cases, yes! Most journals that charge a fee are Open Access (OA), a practice in which published material, generally articles, are shared freely on the Internet without restrictions. In the case of academic articles, open access stands in contrast from the traditional model of publishing, which requires readers and institutions to have subscriptions in order to gain access to articles.

    When publishing open access, the author usually pays an article processing charge (APC) to cover the cost of publishing. There are many variations of open access publishing models, including:

    Gold

    • Articles in fully open journals, like Plos One
    • All articles are published through article processing charge
    • Entire journal is open to everyone in the world

    Hybrid

    • Authors can choose to pay an APC to make an article gold open access which would be available to everyone around the world
    • Most of the other content in the journal would be subscription only, even if the institution itself pays for a subscription to that journal

    A small number of open access publishers may be predatory, meaning that they charge a fee to publish but do not maintain quality editorial practices and may be fraudulent scams to collect publication fees. See our Be iNFORMEd Checklist for more on evaluating potentially predatory publishers.

  • My journal is charging me a fee to publish – how do I pay?

    Most authors pay with discretionary or departmental funds. If you do not have access to either, you can apply for funding through the COPE Fund. Please note: the COPE Fund is only available for articles that are published in fully open journals of fully open publishers. If your article is accepted for an open access journal of a traditional publisher, such as Biomed Central, you will not qualify for the COPE Fund.

  • What are the codes for publishing in BMJ Case Reports and BMJ Open Quality?

    The Medical Center Library & Archives maintains membership subscriptions to BMJ Case Reports and BMJ Open Quality to facilitate publication. For all Duke faculty, staff and students submitting to these two BMJ journals, please use the following codes:

    • BMJ Case Reports: Fellowship Code 878215
      Enter this code under step 5 shown in the submission user guide.
    • BMJ Open Quality: 4490735452

    You must be currently affiliated with Duke to use these codes.

  • I received an email solicitation from a journal/conference – is it credible?

    Some email solicitations are credible and some are from potentially predatory publishers or conference organizers. We encourage you to use the Be iNFORMEd Checklist to assess the publishers. If you have questions, please do not hesitate to contact us at medical-librarian@duke.edu. It's better to take a moment to assess these before sending manuscripts in for submission, as predatory publishers sometimes refuse to return manuscripts.

  • What can I do if I sent my article to a predatory publisher?

    Your response will largely be determined by how far along the article is in the publishing process. Because each case will be different, reach out to the Library at medical-librarian@duke.edu as soon as possible to discuss your options.

    It will be important for you to gather as much documentation about your submission as possible. Collect any publishing contracts, submission forms, or emails from the journal. In some cases, you may not have given the journal any legal rights to publish the article, and you, as the copyright holder, may be able to demand that the journal refrain from publishing it. If it has already been posted on the journal Website, you may have several options to demand it be removed. You may also have options to demand that the journal's Web hosting companies remove the article from their servers directly.

  • What's a preprint?

    Preprints are early publications of articles that are shared prior to peer review and publication. Because peer review and publication can take a long time, preprints enable authors to share their work quickly. However, since preprints are not peer reviewed, they should be used cautiously. Most are published on preprint servers, such as medRxiv for health sciences and bioRxiv for biology.