On-line guide to scientific publication


Initial planning

Producing the outline

Producing the manuscript

Finishing touches

Submitting the manuscript

The refereeing and publishing process

Introduction - what this guide will and won't do

The purpose of this guide is to help authors, particularly inexperienced authors, get their manuscripts published in recognized journals.  It has been put together by the Editor of the International Forestry Review and draws on work carried out by Fahamu, the Journal of Environmental Management, and the Tropical Agriculture Association.  The breadth of inputs illustrates the common ground that exists between journals and disciplines when it comes to writing and publishing scientific papers and highlights the importance of understanding the principles contained on the following pages. 

The guide is divided into the sections covering the key areas of development, writing and submission of manuscripts but it is not necessary to read every section.  For those who need more support it provides a step-by-step journey through all the important elements involved in writing and publishing, but even for those who have more experience there are likely to be some useful reminders of how papers should be presented.

You might think "I can write so why do I need a guide?".  The reason is that science writing follows certain accepted protocols which facilitate clarity and precision of reporting, and which enables the reader to understand what you are reporting.  If you choose to ignore these accepted norms then you are unlikely to get your manuscript published.

But the guide is more than just a 'How to' manual.  It encourages the reader to think about their research and how it should be presented at each stage of the writing and publication process.  By the time you reach the end you should be well on the way to getting your manuscript accepted by your chosen journal.  Good luck!

Supported by the Commonwealth Foundation