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 email@example.com.
Resources and Guidance
- Guide: Getting Published
- Guide: Scientific Writing
- Guide: About Open Access
- Guide: Open Access Options at Duke
- Guide: Copyright
- Be iNFORMEd Checklist
- COPE Fund (Program concluded 6/30/22)
- JCR for Impact Factors
- Check our class offerings for related training
- List of Journal Changes for 2022
- 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:
- 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
- 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. Previously, researchers at Duke who published in fully open access journals of fully open access publishers could apply for funding through the COPE Fund. However, Duke University Libraries will no longer be supporting the COPE fund, effective June 30, 2022. Please see the COPE Fund Website for further information.
- Does Duke have any agreements with journals that cover open access article processing charges?
Duke maintains agreements with PLOS, Cambridge University Press (CUP), and two BMJ journals (BMJ Case Reports and BMJ Open Quality) in order to cover the costs of article processing charges.
For further information and details, please see Getting Published: Open Access Options at Duke.
- 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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 email@example.com 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 versions 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.
- Why should I consider sharing my manuscript on a preprint server?
Preprints let you:
- Establish intellectual precedence for your work (i.e., preprints are “time-stamped”).
- Receive early feedback from peers to improve your manuscript
- Use your work as early evidence of productivity in grant writing or for promotion/hiring committees. Preprints receive a permanent digital object identifier (DOI) so your article is citable.
- Increase the visibility of and potential attention to your work. Some studies have shown that articles shared on preprint servers have a higher Altmetrics score and more citations than papers not posted as preprints (Serghiou and Ioannidis, 2018).
- Support open science by rapidly disseminating research findings to the public in order to accelerate scientific discovery.
- Does publishing my manuscript as a preprint affect my ability to publish in a journal?
- In most cases, no! A majority of journals accept manuscripts posted to preprint servers. Some journals even encourage it! You should always check the policy of the journal you intend to submit to before depositing your manuscript to a preprint server. You can learn more about journal preprint policies from these resources: SHERPA/RoMEO, Transpose, or Wikipedia’s List of academic journals by preprint policy.
- Preprint sharing and journal publication often work in parallel, with many preprint servers connected with one or more journals so that you can submit both to a preprint server and to a journal at the same time. For example, authors who deposit their manuscript in bioRxiv or medRxiv may submit directly to PLOS journals through the preprint server’s Direct Transfer to Journal service. Likewise, authors submitting articles to PLOS journals can opt to post their work on bioRxiv or medRxiv during the manuscript submission process.
- How will my preprint be discoverable?
- Most preprint servers are indexed by Google and other major search engines, Google Scholar and Crossref. As of January 1, 2023, preprints that acknowledge NIH support or have an NIH-affiliated author and were posted to bioRxiv, medRxiv, arXiv, or Research Square, are now indexed in PubMed Central. For more information, read about the NIH Preprint Pilot.
- How can I use ChatGPT or other generative AI in writing manuscripts?
ChatGPT and other generative text AI can be helpful in brainstorming and prewriting activities. However, ChatGPT has limitations, including creating factual errors and fabricating citations. Be sure to follow author instructions related to the use of generative text AI before writing and submitting a manuscript.
Journals are beginning to adopt policies on the use of generative AI in manuscript writing, though many may not have explicit policies in their instructions for authors. Most biomedical journals follow the recommendations of the ICMJE (International Committee of Medical Journal Editors). The ICMJE recommends that:
- Journal[s] should require authors to disclose wither they used artificial intelligence (AI)-assisted technologies (such as Large Language Models [LLMs], chatbots, or image creators) in the production of submitted work;
- Authors who use such technology should describe, in both the cover letter and the submitted work, how they used it;
- Chatbots (such as ChatGPT) should not be listed as authors because they cannot be responsible for the accuracy, integrity, and originality of the work;
- Humans are responsible for any submitted material that included the use of AI-assisted technologies;
- Authors should carefully review and edit the result because AI can generate authoritative-sounding output that can be incorrect, incomplete, or biased.
- Authors should be able to assert that there is no plagiarism in their paper, including in text and images produced by the AI.
- Humans must ensure there is appropriate attribution of all quoted material, including full citations.
For the full ICMJE recommendations, please see https://www.icmje.org/.