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Research Cycle Guide: Write & Publish

A detailed mapping of library services and resources to the research cycle.

Research Cycle - Write & Publish

Steps 1 – 2

Medical & Scientific Writing

The Publication Process Checklist summarizes key tasks and related steps.  

Journal Selection & Evaluation

Resources to select and compare possible open access and non-open access journals:  Clarivate Manuscript Matcher, Directory of Open Access Journals, Elsevier Journal Finder, Jane, JOT, JournalGuide, Open Access Journal Find (OAJF), Open Access Scholarly Publication Association (OASPA). 

Questions to ask when evaluating possible journals:  

  1. Is the journal peer-reviewed? For academia, only publications in peer-reviewed journals count for tenure and promotion. Check the journal’s website or abstracting & indexing databases, such as MEDLINE, CINAHL, Scopus, Journal Citation Report, Web of Science, etc. 
  2. Is the journal highly cited? Publishing your article in a highly cited journal gives your research greater visibility. Use Journal Citation Report (Clarivate), CiteScore (Scopus), SJR (SCImago Journal Rank), or SNIP (Source Normalized Impact per Paper) to view the journal metrics. 
  3. Is open access (OA) offered? OA makes scholarly literature available online at no charge. OA journals charge authors a fee to cover the cost of publication. Learn more at the Library’s Open Access Guide The OA model has led to the proliferation of “predatory” publishers, which exist only to make money. Search Cabell’s Predatory Reports and the Library’s Predatory Journal Checklist to verify whether an OA title’s integrity and value.

How can I tell if a journal is currently indexed in MEDLINE?

If you cannot find your journal in the NLM Catalog or if your journal is not currently indexed for MEDLINE, then it probably needs to apply for journal selection. For more information about MEDLINE journal selection and the application process, see:

Steps 3 – 5

Open Access Publishing

Author Rights

As an author, it is important to understand your copyrights, which vary based whether the journal is open access versus traditional subscription access.  The following resources provide information to assist you make informed decisions on which journal to submit your manuscript.


Related Guides


Many thanks to the McMaster University Health Sciences Library, which gave us permission to use their research cycle as a template to develop ours.