As academics, our careers revolve around the number of papers that we publish. Although the length of someone’s publication list does not necessarily reflect that person’s intelligence or contribution to the scientific community, research institutes, companies, and even nonprofit organizations use publication lists to compare the candidates’ merits. However, research projects can take a long time to complete, and studies can last for decades! How, then, can we increase our publication count if we can’t speed up the investigative process?
The answer to this question is quite simple: look for other ways to become published. Original research articles are not the only type of manuscripts that people use to measure your accomplishments. The following is a quick overview that we’ve prepared of various publishable manuscripts that you can create to successfully launch your budding academic career! The infographic provides a brief description of each type of writing, its unique content features (if any), whether the works are generally solicited by editors, and statistics about the number of authors, cited references in the paper, and word count. We also list a few examples for you to peruse.
As always, when you draft a manuscript with a journal in mind, please make sure to review the most recent articles from that publication for stylistic preferences. In addition, read through the journal’s guide for authors to confirm the editors’ requirements.
|Original Research Papers, including Clinical Cases Studies
|An article that discusses the details of recent original projects, including their data, results, and findings. This type of work includes references and figures.
||Common genetic variation drives molecular heterogeneity in human iPSCsStatin and rottlerin small-molecule inhibitors restrict colon cancer progression and metastasis via MACC1Water scarcity hotspots travel downstream due to human interventions in the 20th and 21st century|
|Brief Reports/ Case Reports||A short manuscript that shares recent, validated findings by focusing on a single, novel concept such as a new approach to therapy or first-time reports of clinical cases. For example, a case report can discuss one to three patients or a single family.
||Buprenorphine for the Treatment of the Neonatal Abstinence SyndromeCase 13-2017 — A 41-Year-Old Man with Hearing Loss, Seizures, Weakness, and Cognitive Decline
|Review Articles||A paper that summarizes recently published developments on a topic without adding new data. Typically, the explored studies must be no older than six to twelve months, and the authors use an objective approach to providing new insight on the topic.
||Chemical recycling of waste plastics for new materials productionDiabetic Foot Ulcers and Their Recurrence
|Systematic Reviews/ Meta-Analyses||As a comprehensive review of a highly relevant topic, this type of manuscript frequently covers the history of the subject and a survey of approaches and strategies. This exhaustive literature review uses explicit methods and analyzes data from other studies. Statistical methods (meta-analysis) may be used to assign varying weights to the studies analyzed. In essence, a systematic review can be a cost-effective way to answer your research question without launching a new investigation.
||A Systematic Review of the Prevalence of SchizophreniaImpact of searching clinical trial registries in systematic reviews of pharmaceutical treatments: methodological systematic review and reanalysis of meta-analysesVitamin C and the common cold
For additional examples, see “Systematic reviews. Some examples.“
|Research Letters to the Editor||Concise presentation of original, validated findings.
||Slush-like polar structures in single-crystal relaxorsTrial of Transplantation of HCV-Infected Kidneys into Uninfected RecipientsConservation: Pay countries to stop whaling|
|Letters to the Editor regarding Recently Published Articles||A short, reactionary letter regarding an article recently published by the journal. References are generally used to rebut, clarify or concur with claims presented in the published article, and the authors of the study being challenged can respond to the letter. The commenters sometimes use the letters to suggest other implications of a paper’s findings.
||Correspondence: Analytical flaws in a continental-scale forest soil microbial diversity studyCase 8-2017: A Zimbabwean Man with a Severe HeadacheJunior scientists: Senior scientists as allies for equity|
|Editorials: Opinions and Other Commentaries||Various journals have different types of editorials. Clinical journals may focus on policies, ethical issues, and other current global issues that can affect clinical studies. These articles can also suggest new methods (e.g., new technologies and software) and policies that affect the practical aspects of being a researcher. Since these manuscripts aim to enrich the scientific knowledge by providing insights into matters that can affect the readership community, these articles are often solicited by editors.
||Reassess dam building in the AmazonEmpty rhetoric over data sharing slows scienceA Tale of Two Doctors — Structural Inequalities and the Culture of Medicine|
|Perspectives/ Theoretical Papers||Survey articles that assess theories, models, concepts and their controversies from a more subjective approach.
||Replication Catastrophe: When a Checkpoint Fails because of ExhaustionDamming the rivers of the Amazon basinThe Waiting Game — Why Providers May Fail to Reduce Wait Times|
|Specialized Articles regarding Protocols, Data Sharing and other Methodology-Related Content||Research Elements is the trademarked name for Elsevier’s line of specialized short papers on sharing data, software code, developed materials and methods, and video articles. Other publishers carry similar articles, such as Nature‘s “Protocols.” This type of manuscript is short and usually peer-reviewed; however, some journals such as Protocols have more robust requirements, which are similar to those for full original research articles. The purpose of these documents is to promote the transparency, reproducibility, and collaboration and may or may not have open access.
||Biological and chemical strategies for exploring inter- and intra-kingdom communication mediated via bacterial volatile signalsmRNA quantification using single-molecule FISH in Drosophila embryosGeneration of iPSC line HEL47.2 from healthy human adult fibroblasts|
|Book Reviews||As the category title suggests, this article type focuses on examining relevant books of interest to the journal’s readership. A manuscript may cover a single book or several based on a theme.
||Natural history: Thoreau’s debt to DarwinAstronomy: An all-American eclipse|
|Conference Papers/ Conference Proceedings||Although conference papers are based on research, they can focus solely on preliminary findings. Additionally, some fields such as computer science highly value conference paper publications. In addition, many universities and institutions may value journal publications more, but the academic community still finds merit in conference papers. In any case, publishing conference papers with organizations can help generate momentum for you as you continue your research. For example, some publications under the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Incorporated (IEEE) allow the conversion of conference papers into more substantial journal paper IEEE is also respected for its published conference proceedings.
||A distributed cloud resource management framework for High-Performance Computing (HPC) applicationsDoes Gamification Work? — A Literature Review of Empirical Studies on GamificationEstimation of coal consumption rate based on operating parameters
For a list of IEEE conferences that accept publications, click here.
The following list offers sites (other than those linked in the article above) that provide additional definitions and examples of manuscripts published in academic journals:
- Elsevier article types
- Elsevier Research Elements Program to promote data sharing
- Other material published in Nature
- Main article types published by Nature
- The New England Journal of Medicine article types
- IEEE Xplore Digital Library, a database of IEEE published conference papers