How to Avoid Publication in Predatory Medical Journal
Categories Scientific Communication

How to Avoid Publication in Predatory Medical Journal

What are Predatory Medical Journals?

Predatory medical journals are the journals that publish the research article without any peer-review of the article. These journals do not provide editing services and charge a fee for publishing the article. Jeffrey Beall first used the term ‘predatory journal’. These journals normally have quick turnaround time to publish the article as compared to other high-quality journals. Although Article Processing Charges (APCs) are also required for open access journals they have the process of critical peer review and editing services. Due to poor or absent peer review process, the quality of research articles published in predatory journals is poor as compared to high-quality journals. Despite much of the talking about the illegitimate work done by the predatory journals and increasing awareness about these journals, the number of publications in such journals is increasing and the number of such journals almost increases 4-5-fold between 2010 to 2015.

How you should Avoid Publication in Predatory Medical Journals?

Publishing the articles in a high-quality medical journal gives a feeling of pride and escalation on the career ladder. On the other hand, falling in the trap of predatory journals may bring a feeling of disgrace, dissatisfaction, and embarrassment. Thus, it is important to identify whether the target journal is predatory or not. Although there is no set of rules that allows the researcher to instantly conclude. Certain characteristics are normally present in most of the predatory journals. These characteristics are:

Unscrupulous marketing tactics: If you receive an e-mail with strongly persuasive language for getting your article published, critically analyze the available information about the journal. Publishing in such a journal may be a wastage of time and money.

Poor quality peer-review and editing: The predatory journals exist only for a motive to make money. To fulfil their motive, they are ready to publish almost every research article with a fee from the author. These journals have poor or no peer-review process. The author should avoid such journals as their authenticity is questionable.

Article-processing charges: Most of these journals hide the article processing charges. After submitting and acceptance of the article, they suddenly send an unexpected invoice. Make all the cost clear before approaching these journals.

Open journal or listed in the DOAJ: Most of the authentic journals are open journals. These journals are listed in Directory of Open Access Journals. If the target journal is not listed in DOAJ, the quality of the journal is questionable.

Medline indexed: Make a search related to the target journal on the NLM catalogue. If the journal is not indexed in Medline, the quality is questionable. However, there may be other reasons for not indexing in Medline.

No credible website or clear contact information: If the website of the journal is not appropriate with lots of grammatical mistakes and images procured from other sources, the journal may be predatory. Lack of clear contact information also creates doubt on the credibility of the journal.

Deceptive title of journal: If the title of the journal is similar to the title or older traditional journal or includes the terms “world” or “global”, make all your doubts clear before submitting an article.

Writing and Publishing Scientific Research Article
Categories Scientific Communication

Step-by-Step Approach for Writing and Publishing Scientific Research Article


Completion of research article writing gives immense satisfaction. However, to achieve this satisfaction, considerable time, energy, and mental presence is required. However, a step-by-step approach towards the conclusion reduces the burden and gives satisfactory results.

Inclusions of the Research Articles

To assist the reader for easy comprehension, the format of the research article is almost similar for all the journals. Headings of the article are designed in a way to ensure a smooth flow of the text. The 4 headings i.e. Introduction, methods, results and discussion, and conclusion comprise the body of the article while title and abstract are additional components. The information required under each heading is discussed below:

Title: Title is one of the important parts of the research article. It allows the reader to have an idea about the scope of the article and helps in attracting the target audience. The title allows database search engines to search for articles based on relevance. It has been found that articles with shorter titles are more preferred in citations.

Abstract: The abstract should be clear, concise and provide the reader with an idea about the research article. The abstract is important because based on the abstract, the reader will decide whether to proceed for further reading the article.

Introduction: In this section of the article, the writer should introduce the article and state its importance in improving current knowledge. Usefulness and novelty should be mentioned to increase the reader’s attention and interest.

Methods: This section may be subdivided into various subheadings for better dissemination of information. Various subheadings are subjects, procedures, definitions and criteria, data collection and statistical tools applied to interpret the data. The process is more important than the person who did it thus it is advisable to use the passive language in this section.

Results: Results should be organized in correspondence to the subheadings of the methods section. The author should progress from the simple outcomes to the more complex outcomes. If there is an unexpected result obtained during the study, the author should initiate the result section with that particular result.

Discussion and conclusion: In the discussion section, the author should discuss in detail the outcomes of the study and its relevance in context to the prior literature. The author may also discuss how this study will help in identifying and filling the scientific gap. The study limitations should be clearly defined and further course of actions are advised. In the conclusion section, the author presents the principal findings.

Preliminary Work

Writing a scientific research paper is not an easy task. The process of writing does not only include writing the research rather there are certain other preliminary tasks to be conducted. Here are some of the preliminary tasks along with or before writing:

The decision to writing the paper: There is a saying “Right beginning is half work done”. The same applies to write the research article. Writing a research article is a tedious task and strong commitment and persistence will help to achieve the outcome.

Create a reference list: Be clear about the message you want to convey to the reader. Based on the basics of your research, start searching for the relevant literature to be incorporated into your article. Arrange the literature based on relevance.

Outlining the article: Before start writing the article, prepare an outline ad various sections to be written. This will help you in focusing on one section and time. The outline will also reduce the repeatability of the text.  Write the headings of the section. Outlining the article will help in managing the word count in context with the journal’s guidelines.

Discuss with mentor or professional reviewer: The article will reach the reviewer after you submit it to the journal. Thus, it would be wise to discuss the content of the article with a reviewer known to you. You may also seek advice from your mentor as he may have a lot of experience in publishing research articles.

Writing the draft: In most cases, you may not be able to achieve the desired outcome. Revising the draft is key to the high-quality article. You should start by writing the first draft and revise the text at least twice. In the third draft, when your text gets accurate, you may incorporate the tables and figures. Once all this gets completed, incorporate the abstract.

Revising the Article

Revision of article, both initially and according to the reviewer’s comments are important in getting it published. After writing the final draft, left the article for at least 10 days. After 10 days, start reading, comprehending, and revising the article.  The number of revisions will surprise you which are required to make it perfect. After receiving the comments of reviewer/s, try to revise the article strictly as per the comments.

Submitting the Article

The submission of the article in an appropriate journal is the key to success. You should maintain a balance between undervaluing and overvaluing your paper. The article should be written strictly as per the guidelines of the target journal to reduce the chances of rejection. You should select the target journal based on the scope and area of your research.

Things to Take Care

Here are the things you should take care while writing the research article:

  • Clearly understand the scope of your research.
  • Do not hesitate to take advice from a mentor and reviewer.
  • Provide considerable time for writing.
  • Revise the article according to the reviewer’s comments.
  • Do not forget to include relevant references.
  • Utilize your resources optimally.
Medical Editing Tips
Categories Scientific Communication

Medical Editing: A Step-by-Step Guide to Edit your Document

Whether you have written a manuscript, thesis, or a dissertation, it needs to be edited and proofread. You can’t publish your research without this revision process.

In fact, good papers always stem from good editing.

You have to edit and proofread your own writing and make sure it is clear, correct, and consistent throughout. This is crucial to establish an authority with your audience and communicate your message clearly.

But, the biggest dilemma! How easy it is to pick up your own mistakes?

Not really! Isn’t it?

Thus, medical editing should always comprise of three passes of your document.

  1. First pass to catch major errors
  2. Second pass to catch minor errors and
  3. A final proofread

Let’s see each step of medical editing in detail!

1) Conduct a First Pass

        a) Ensure effective organization

An organized document ensures that the message is presented in the most logical and clear way. Depending upon the type of document you are writing, check whether it’s properly structured.

Check each paragraph, headings, and lists. Make sure their format follows your required style guide. The line spacing, page margins, capitalization, font size, color, and spacing between sections should be consistent.

        b) Check the flow and tone

Flow and tone are the hardest elements of the English language. Read out your sentences aloud and you will be able to pick up any awkward sentence constructions.

Avoid writing long sentences. Check the transitions between paragraphs and sentences whether they flow into the next and make sense in succession.

        c) Check for grammar and spellings

You can use an automatic spell-checker to catch these types of problems, but they are not perfect. You must review your writing word by word to ensure that the spellings and grammar are perfect. Plus, make sure you are consistent in the spellings according to the type of English you have chosen. For example, organization (US English) or organisation (UK English).

Also, make sure that the tense and voices are consistent throughout.

        d) Ensure concision

Avoid any redundancy in the content. If you’ve already covered a topic, do not write about it again. Also, make sure that no word is overused or too repetitive in your document.

        e) Check your punctuation’s

The specific punctuation issues to check are the exclamation marks, comma, semicolon, and a full stop. Consider the conventions of the English language to check these.

         f) Review your citations and references

Make sure the formatting of your citations and references complies with the required style guide.

In addition, cross-check the in-text citations against the reference list. If you miss out a reference in the list, but have cited in the text, add it to the list. Check all the author names, years, and add the necessary reference information to avoid accidental plagiarism.

         g) Check the figures and tables

If your document includes figures and tables, review them and their description in the text. Make sure you have mentioned them in the text prior to their placement. Avoid using acronyms in figures and tables or their titles.

         h) Check the lists and equations

If your document has any lists/ equations, format and number them consistently through the document.

         i) Refer to any specific instructions

Do you have any specific journal guidelines to follow in writing your medical document?  If yes, ensure you follow them completely, whether it’s regards to the word count or the document format.

          j) Take notes about the document

While you are conducting the first pass of your document, write notes about the areas that need rectification. For example:

  • Elaboration of a particular idea
  • Clarification of a particular context
  • Specifying the subjects in a sentence
  • Rearranging/ deleting any sections

These notes will help you turn your first draft into a second draft on which you can conduct a second pass.

2) Conduct a Second Pass

In the second pass, review the entire document once again, paying attention to the details outlined above, especially the clarity and the flow. Correct any errors you might have missed.

 3) Conduct a Final Proofread

After the second pass, it’s time to review the whole document for the final time, checking for any missed or introduced errors. And Voila! You have finished your medical editing process and have a document that is ready to submit to the journal.


Medical editing is more of an art and can’t be learnt overnight. It’s easy to make mistakes or skip your own errors in writing, especially if English is not your first language. If medical editing is not your cup of tea or you have deadlines to meet, get it done from a professional medical editing services. But, never take the process of medical editing lightly. The final quality of your document depends upon it.

Scientific Editing
Categories Scientific Communication

Scientific Editing: 10 Common Errors you Should Look for in your Manuscript

Writing, whether scientific or otherwise, can’t be devoid of errors. However expert you may be, you tend to make mistakes while writing your document. And that’s why scientific editing becomes necessary.

Like every process, scientific editing too has a strategy: A strategy on what errors to look for while editing the scientific manuscript.

So, here are the 10 common errors you should look for while editing your document.

1) Check for spelling mistakes

You may be a language pro, yet it is surprising to find many spelling mistakes in your manuscript. To make your work easier:

  • Use the spell check feature of the Word file and make sure it is applied to all of the text in the file.
  • Choose the correct language for your manuscript (US/UK English) before you begin writing.

2) Length of your sentences

Long sentences that continue to ramble and keep talking frustrate the readers. They get bored, confused, and just quit. In such a case, your written message won’t be communicated effectively or understood by the person reading the page.

Therefore, write short sentences as they are much easier to understand. Always break up a long sentence into two.

3) Check the text on the graphs

Many manuscripts contain graphs with a tiny text. When you are not able to read it clearly, how will the readers? And they will receive a printed copy of your manuscript. Nobody wants to use a lens to read the text. So, make sure the headings and other text on the graphs are big enough to read with a normal eye.

4) The names of the group

When you name your groups and treatments, keep them as close to the original treatments as possible without using abbreviations. This makes it easier for the readers who don’t have to “translate” your results and figures.

5) The size, text, and alignment of the table

This gets easier if you use the Table feature of your Words file rather than laying out the text using space bar. So, even if you change the text, it won’t misalign the rows and columns of the table.

6) Number of values after the decimal point

If you measure all the values to the same level of accuracy, report them as 42.35 m, 46.90 m and 22.00 m instead of 42.35 m, 46.9 m, and 22 m respectively. The zero after the decimal point is as valid as the other numbers.

7) References to other sections of the paper

Provide the specific location, section number, or page/line number while referring to the other sections of your paper. Don’t make the readers read through the whole paper to find a little piece of information.

8) All abbreviations are well defined

In general, you should define all the abbreviations at first use in the abstract and the main paper even if they are standard abbreviations. Check if you have done so while editing your paper.

9) Format of the units

Units are always written in the singular form, for example, mL, cm, mM (not mLs, cms, mMs).

Plus, there should be a single space between the number and the unit, for example, 2 µM, 3 cm and 5 mL. Check their formats during scientific paper editing.

10) Consistency

Be it the language, spellings, or values, it’s important to be consistent in their use. Scientific editing of your document ensures you have maintained this consistency.

These all seem like minor errors which won’t affect the meaning of the text. In fact, many readers won’t even notice them. However, if you check for these errors in your scientific paper editing, it will make your writing more professional, and the readers will enjoy your manuscript.

Scientific Writing
Categories Scientific Communication

Make your Scientific Writing Productive with 6 Awesome Strategies

As a scientist, you must excel at different skills, all at the same time. The lab work, data analysis, sitting in committees, faculty meetings, attending conferences and what not! Plus, publish papers and apply for grants. So, you are always under tremendous pressure.

It’s natural to get overwhelmed because scientific writing requires time, focus, and creativity. Writing at the last minute won’t give you a quality paper.

Well, there are six strategies you can implement right now to stay productive in your scientific writing. By implementing these strategies, you can get your paper done in less time and feel good about it.

So, here are those 6 strategies:

1) Get plenty of sleep

Haha! Only if you could get it!

Though it’s hard to find more time to sleep, being rested increases your productivity. If you write with a tired mind, it will take longer and affect the quality of your document. On the other hand, adequate sleep keeps you focused on your writing.

2) Set your goals

Why do you want to write a scientific paper? To get your doctorate degree or a promotion in your lab?

Be clear about your immediate and ultimate goals; see whether your writing project gets you closer to these goals. Once you commit to a writing task, it means you say no to the other tasks. So, be mindful on how you spend your time.

3) Plan your writing

Scientific manuscript writing differs from normal writing. In Science, you can’t foresee your findings; your article may take a different direction than you had planned. But still, you can have a plan and change it with time. A plan is always useful as it keeps you on track.

To create a writing plan:

  • Include all the members of the writing project in the plan and agree on the deadlines.
  • Make sure the people whom you need feedback form will be available at the desired time.
  • Know how long it will take to complete the various tasks in scientific writing.

4) Give yourself deadlines

Deadlines keep you focused on work. That’s why they should be a part of your writing plan. Besides the final deadline for submission, include several deadlines for the specific goals in your writing plan.

We usually take the final deadline seriously but tend to put other things off.  Therefore, involve other members while setting a deadline so they can keep you focused.

5) Find your ideal writing time

Getting up at 4 am every day and writing for two hours may seem ideal for some people, but not for many including you. So, don’t pressurize yourself.

Try writing at different times of the day for two weeks and assess at what time you were most focused and efficient. That’s your ideal writing time.

 6) Make a daily to-do list

Don’t just write “Write Paper” in your to-do list. Instead, put the daily tasks of scientific writing that you will be able to finish that day. For example, “writing the discussion section”, “cross-checking all references” or “proof-reading the results section” etc.

Finally, know that productivity in scientific writing is all about planning your tasks. Plan your writing tasks in bits and keep a check on how you spend your time.