How to find the right journal?

You completed your research, and now, it is time to find the most suitable peer-reviewed journals for your article. This step is frequently skipped by many researchers, and they immediately start writing their study with great enthusiasm. There are several downsides to this approach, and we will be covering some of them in this post.

Who is your target audience?

Knowing your target audience is one of the first things that you need to do. Do you want to reach only field experts? Is your paper includes very specific information or results on a topic? If your answer is “yes,” then you should look for more specific journals. If your answer is “no,” then you should search for more general journals. Is your manuscript about education-related more than emergency medicine? If your answer is “yes,” go for education journals first. If your answer is “no,” emergency medicine journals may be interested. So, decide which group of readers is more suitable for your manuscript. Do not forget; the journal is just a connection/bridge between your results/message and readers. And, you want to pass the correct bridge to reach them. Submitting the manuscript to an unsuitable journal is a common mistake and knowing your target audience is the first step to avoid this error. 

Emergency Medicine Journal List

You can find various sources listing current Emergency Medicine journals. For example, WikEM listed only 7 Emergency Medicine journals. Some of the popular ones such as the European Journal of Emergency Medicine is not listed here.

However, Scimago Journal & Country Rank website gives the full list of the Emergency Medicine related journals with a wide range. Currently, 78 journals are listed in Emergency Medicine category.

Which journal is right for your manuscript?

To decide, you should ask yourself some questions.

  • First, your readings: which articles did you read before you design your study? Which journals were those articles published? It is possible that the same journals may be interested more in your manuscript.
  • Second, look for the first and corresponding authors in similar articles. Did they publish similar topic frequently, and where?
  • Third, databases! There are many databases you can use to find your target journals. Google scholar probably has the most coverage of journals, publications. However, it provides a non-specific search. PubMed is one of the well-known databases mainly focuses on the medical field. So, it is a good starting point to find similar articles and their journals. The SCOPUS, however, has sections that help us to find possible journals. In addition to these search engines, a couple of other websites can help us. JANE: Journal Author Name Estimator (http://jane.biosemantics.org/) and JOURNAL GUIDE (https://www.journalguide.com/) are two of them.

SCOPUS provides multiple and easy to use filters to find journals. In the below example, I entered undergraduate, emergency medicine, medical school, medical student, curriculum, curricula keywords to SCOPUS and here are the results. On the left side, you see the filters.

One of the filters give you the journal list according to your keywords. These journals published most of the articles related to your search.

As you can see above, we found Academic Emergency Medicine, Western Journal of Emergency Medicine, Annals of Emergency Medicine,  Journal of Emergency Medicine and BMC Medical Education journals, and number of published articles related to our search terms.

You can also click the analyze search results button, and you can see visual diagrams summarizing the search.

This page gives you information about authors, institutions, countries, sponsors which may help you to define a suitable journal. It also helps for your future research and collaborations.

In JANE platform, you can add your title, keywords or your full abstract and search for relevant journals, articles or authors. 

As a example, I enter the same keywords to see the results.

As you see, JANE listed journals with the highest confidence and influence. Academic Emergency Medicine, Medical Teacher, and BMC Medical Education are the top three journals publishing manuscripts including our keywords. Let’s see the articles published in the first journal.

In 8 years, Academic Emergency Medicine published three articles. However, one of them may not be what we are looking for according to its’ title. And, one important point, Academic Emergency Medicine has a new journal called AEM Education and Training. So, they recently started to publish these type of articles in their second journal. Knowing this type of details can be impossible for all journals, but it is important when you try to find the correct journal.

Journal Guide also has similar interface.

I entered the same keywords to Journal Guide.

If you click the first journal (Annals of Emergency Medicine), you will see more details about the journal. There is a lot information on the page below such as publication speed which we will be discussing in the following section.

If you click matches link, then you will see those articles as a list.

In addition to SCOPUS, JANE, and Journal Guide, “find my journal” and “SJFinder” can be other options. 

So, you have multiple online options to search for the best suitable journal for your research area. I recommend you to look for all and evaluate each of them carefully to reach the desired result.

Evaluate The Journals

You have found potential journals, and now you should evaluate them. This step will help you to define suitable journals to submit.

Scope

In the evaluation process, the first thing you look for is “scope” of the journals in your list. Are the journals publishing articles similar to your topic or type? You have to know and particularly look for this because being out of the scope of the journal is the number one reason to be rejected. Luckily, many of the journals share the scope on their websites (see below). Scimago Journal & Country Rank also provides the information about scope.

If the journal’s scope is overlapping with yours, then you should look to the recent years about related articles. Searching for the last five years will be fine. However, do not forget that the recent is the better because journal scopes and type of the published articles (review, research, editorial, special issues, etc.) may change in time or when their editors change.

Indexing

Another important information is where these journals are indexed. Web of Science, SCOPUS, Medline, Pubmed are some of the prestigious indexes that you can trust. Publishing articles in journals indexed in these platforms increase the visibility, download, and citation of your article. You can find this information on the journal websites. I searched Web of Science, and found a 14 Emergency Medicine journals in this prestigious index. First ten journals are listed below.

Publication Model - Open Access or Not

After all these steps, you should also know the publication model of the journals. There is an increasing trend of open access journals. The advantage of these journals are authors keep the copyright of their paper, figure and table numbers are less limited, no registration required to reach or download the article which increases accessibility. One of the major downsides of these journals is the article-processing charge (APC). This price may range between 1000 – 2000 USD per article. Please do not forget that there are many journals called PREDATOR JOURNALS asking APC. Although some websites are listing these journals and updating their list regularly, being in prestigious indexes is considered as a safety belt because indexes are looking two to five years publication periods of these journals for many details. So, being in prestigious indexes is not easy. The journal has to provide transparent information for their quality on editorial, evaluation and publishing processes.

Please check the Scimago Journal & Country Rank website and look for this sign. 

Publication speed

Publication speed is another essential information about journals you should consider. This is basically from submission to first decision or publication time. The shorter is the better. Although time period is directly related to the quality of the submitted manuscript, average decision or publication times give handy information about the editorial and evaluation process of the journal. However, it is not easy to find this information. Some journals may show this information on their website but still locate them in hidden areas.

Impact Factor

If you realize that I have not mention about impact factor of the journal yet. Of course, when you complete the writing, you want to start from a high impact journal first. Acceptance in a high impact journal depends on how novel your finding is and its potential help to improve the field. If your manuscript is a repetition and has a relatively incremental effect on the field, high impact journals will probably reject your paper. It is changing field to field, but high impact journals have less than 10% acceptance rate.

Above table gives the impact factors of Emergency Medicine journals in 2014. 

Submission Strategy

After all these steps, now it is time to decide a submission strategy, defining first, second, and third journals. Choosing multiple journals with similar manuscript format and writing your manuscript according to their guidelines will shorten your reformatting time if your manuscript is rejected. When you write, it is better to keep manuscript under the word, figure, table, reference limits. 

Selected Journal Submission List

JournalsWord LimitAbstract Word LimitFigure/Table LimitReference Limit
Journal 14000350730
Journal 23500300425
Journal 35000250540
Journal 43500200630
Journal 54500300730

Above table includes 5 different journals. For your convenience in the reformatting process, it is better that you choose the minimum numbers to fit all. For example, if your target journals are those in the above table, your manuscript should have 3500 words, abstract: 200 words, figure and tables: 4, and references: 25. 

You should also keep some backup journals in case of rejection from all selected journals. New journals can be an option because they have a higher acceptance rate than old ones. However, they probably are not in prestigious indexes yet. In this point, it is better to learn whether this journal applied for those indexes. If the answer is yes, then it is worth submitting. There are also “mega journals” which publish a wide range of researches, and they have a wide range of readers. As a result, their impact factors are high. Some examples of these journals are PlusOne, Scientific Reports, Cureus, etc.

What is next?

If your manuscript is still rejected after all measures you consider above, do not think that this is a waste of time. Your research can always be valuable and available to others. This topic is discussed in “You have done everything, but your paper can still be rejected!” chapter.

References and Further Reading

  • Sarah Conte. Choosing the right journal for your research. Retrieved from: https://www.aje.com/arc/choosing-right-journal-your-research/ Date: May 4th, 2019.
  • Enado Academy. How to find the right journals to publish papers. Retrieved from: https://www.enago.com/academy/how-to-find-the-right-journal-to-publish-paper/ Date: May 4, 2019.

Tips To Writing Your Research: Introduction

Planning, implementing, and writing your research is a skill that you need to start learning at the beginning of the first year of medical school. Although many medical schools are good at medical research and publishing them, there are few examples out there aiming to teach proper research and writing skills to medical students. Therefore, students mainly gain such skills through interest and hard work.

Why is it important? Why should you know how to do research or write it? There are many good reasons, but I will mention one of them. When you graduate from medical school, you want to have a good CV representing your competencies. One of the components that many residency program directors looking for is research background and published articles if there is any. Having a research portfolio in CV is not only showing you are familiar to the basic concept of how to do research or writing it, but also indicates that you are a team member, collaborator, contributor. They evaluate you as “plus one” person to help the research activities in that department which is something they are always looking for. By the way, doing a scholar activity including research is “a must” for many structured EM residency programs around the globe. So, knowing how to write will give you a lot of comfort through your residency period too. 

Emergency Medicine is the most interesting 15 minutes of every other specialty.

Dan Sandberg

Emergency Medicine (EM) provides fantastic opportunities to medical students including medical research. If you know the basics, if you have a good and active team around you or if you are rotating in an academic center, you are in the gold mine to make an incredible contribution to EM literature.

Any fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius — and a lot of courage — to move in the opposite direction.

Albert Einstein

There are many aspects of research such as design, analysis, writing, presenting. Each of them has many details to discuss, but the end point is communication with the readers and making potential improvement in our field.

If we consider our research process from start to end is appropriately done, we will have excellent material to be written.

This series aims to give some useful tips to medical students regarding preparing your manuscript, writing and publishing it. Although we may use some examples related to EM in this series, the tips apply to any area of research

Have something to say, and say it as clearly as you can. That is the only secret of style.

Matthew Arnold

To start with, here is the topic list we are going to share. We will focus on each title separately. However, if you wish to add titles to this list, please write in comment section below. 

Topic List

  • How to find the right journal?

    You have to decide which journals you want to submit your research. This step is extremely important before you start writing your article.

  • Who is your reader and what they care about?

    Knowing your readers is important because it will help you to focus on what is important in your study.

  • Which section should you start writing?

    Most journals define research paper section similarly. These are: Title, Abstract, Introduction, Methods, Results, Discussion, and Conclusion. There are very useful recommendations that can facilitate your writing pace and save your time.

  • What is the logical flow in a manuscript?

    Because you want to share your findings with high clarity, the manuscript and its sections should be written coherently. This improves the understanding of your manuscript by reviewers, editors, and readers.

  • The Title

    The title is one of the important parts of your manuscript because it helps you to communicate with your readers directly. Having a good title not only helps to attract the editors, reviewers and your readers, it also helps to improve searchability, reachability of your research.

  • Introduction

    This section includes the core information about your research topic and clear explanation about your aim.

  • Methods

    The methods section should reflect your research details with full transparency. Quality of your research directly related to your method and how it has been written.

  • Results

    One of the most challenging parts of the manuscripts is result sections. Most of the readers are facing difficulty to understand this section because of the lack of knowledge of statistical analysis and their interpretation. Therefore, writing results section is critical to communicate with your readers.

  • Discussion

    This section summarizes your findings, and you compare/contrast them with up to date literature. This is the section that you highlights your core findings.

  • After your first draft, now what?

    Writing your first draft is a huge step. However, the manuscripts always need fine-tuning, especially for language and style.

  • Submission Phase

    You wrote your manuscript, and it is time to submit to the previously selected journal. In this phase, you need to think about what journal editors and reviewers want to see in your paper.

  • Importance of Cover Letter

    A cover letter is a tool that helps you to communicate and attract the editor. So, it should be written with care.

  • How to respond to reviewers?

    Responding to reviewers' comments is a critical task that you should take it seriously.

  • You have done everything, but your paper can still be rejected!

    Do not think that it is wasted time; this manuscript can be still valuable for your field.

I suggest to read this twitter feed too.

If you have topic recommendations, please write down.

Wellness Week

Dear students! This week is exceptional for all emergency medicine professionals. EMERGENCY MEDICINE WELLNESS WEEK (EMWW).

EMWW is created by ACEP to remind emergency physicians and their colleagues “we are human, we should take care of ourselves, self-renew, enjoy life.”

It is also crucial for medical students. Your health is most important! Taking care of yourselves is your priority. Therefore, eat well, sleep well and be physically active while you are in medical school. Learn healthy lifestyle now and apply it.

If you do not know and apply healthy lifestyles, how you can stay healthy, and more importantly, how you can convince your patients to change their lifestyle.

ACEP has many recommendations

Diet
Increase healthy food intake – such as fruits, nuts, vegetables, grains, water

Eat breakfast

Drink less alcohol and/or coffee

Lose 1 pound or 0.5 kilogram – Hint: don’t forget to track your progress and report at the end of EM Wellness Week

Try a new and fun healthy food

Exercise
Keep track of steps (or miles) with set pre-determined daily goal

Try new type of exercise you might enjoy – yoga, Zumba, circuit training, spin, a new sport – Hint: Some local gyms, yoga studios or sports classes will let you try their service for a 1-week trial in conjunction with EM Wellness Week

Self-monitor your personal wellness

Sleep
Sleep in blocks of at least 3 to 4 hours, with 1 or 2 blocks per 24-hour period to get 7 to 8 hours of sleep

Work with your scheduler to initiate rotating shifts in a clockwise manner for scheduling caregivers that work a variety of shift times

Set the alarm to GO TO bed

Create a better sleep environment (such as a quiet and cool room, white noise, room-darkening shades, sign on the door that says “day sleeper”)

Sleep with your partner

Stop smoking

Others
Write a letter to someone you want to thank, or offer an apology, then personally deliver the letter

Write a simple thank you note to someone

Have dinner with your family or friend(s) and turn off all electronic devices during the meal

Surprise call or visit someone you care about and could like to reconnect with, “if only you had time.”

Spirituality
Reconnect with places or people that inspire you spiritually

Spiritual involvement with your faith

Learn to meditate: use online resources or take a class

Take mindfulness training – https://www.fammed.wisc.edu/mindfulness

Community
Volunteer to do something for which you have a passion

Find something outside patient care where you can recharge and recuperate

Write down something you are grateful for each morning

Improve the work environment
Structure an action at work to improve the work environment in the trenches

Participate in conflict resolution training

Develop negotiation skills

Decrease litigation stress

Decrease burnout
Make a connection to your purpose in caring for patients.

Tap into the power and endurance associated with this connection.

Plan and set a date for international volunteer trip with an opportunity to “give back.”

Each day write out one reason you chose Emergency Medicine as your career

Initiate a healthy boundary between work and non-work life area

Reach out to a family member or friend with an “ask” for support

Create focus on work activities that provide the most meaning

Develop Leadership Skills
Read a book on leadership

Learn a new leadership tactic

Take a step to move your career forward

Reach out to someone that will help you advance your career – make an appointment with a mentor, coach or career counselor

Agree to mentor someone who can benefit from your coaching or mentorship

Support another caregiver

Other ways to enhance your career
Do self-monitoring on personal wellness (MBI, Jefferson Empathy Scale, Quality of Life Survey)

Retirement planning

Read this amazing source of wellness for emergency physicians. 

Click to reach more resources by ACEP.

We also recommend below post

Happy Wellness Week!

You can download and share below infographic cards on wellness

Kunafa Knife and Play Dough for Ultrasound Training

Around two years ago, Prof. Abu-Zidan came with a plastic triangular shape spatula to one of our morning meetings. He said that

Alper, I found this as cheap as 30 cents each, and I bought 20 of them. There are metals too, but they are used as a Kunafa knife (Kunafa is sweet in middle east region). They are a little bit heavier. Because I want to use this in ultrasound training of 5th-year medical students, I need something light, easy to carry. What do you think?

It was not a surprise for me seeing such a sample proposed from a person who always thinks simple educational options. The process which started that day improved with the addition of play dough into the core discussions. After two years of discussions their values in ultrasound skills education, we wrote a methodology paper which accepted by World Journal of Emergency Surgery with unexpectedly valued comments by reviewers [1].

You can download this article from here.

As a bottom line, this article says there is no need for expensive simulators for ultrasound training. The tools which can be created less than 10 USD and used repeatedly can help to teach ultrasound enjoyably and effectively, especially in the limited resourced settings.

Triangular shaped Kunafa knife is the almost identical reflection of the view of the ultrasound on the screen. The thickness of the knife represents the 1 mm slice of the actual image that we see on the screen. 

Students understand the actual views and windows easily while they fan or tilt the knife. In addition to this practice, when the play dough added, the joy starts. Students create normal and pathologic anatomical samples and apply different angles with their triangular shape knife. This practice helps them to understand more about the image that they acquire on the screen. Then, real ultrasound practice follows on real patients or human models. You can imagine how it is enjoyable and effective for their learning. One of the advantages of this simple, cheap simulator is that its reusability. Less than 10 USD, but you can use it for 70-100 students during all academic year.

We found only three educational papers/posts about play dough usage for medical education. The first, Dr. Eftekhar and his group published a paper showing effective use of play dough for visualization of complicated cerebral aneurysm anatomy [2]. The second, Dr. Herur and her team published an article regarding play dough modeling of neurologic anatomy by students as an active learning tool [3]. The third, Dr. Adam Bystrzycki used this method to teach heart anatomy in the Echo in Life Support courses [4].

Yes, we enjoyed a lot while we were writing this paper. However, applying and testing it during the sessions was amazing. And, I shared the article in social media which I have no significant number of followers. However, even with this small attempt, we started to hear some feedback, recommendations, and samples shared by other groups and individuals who are using these tools.

Even one of the biggest ultrasound congresses, WINFOCUS, announced that they are going to use these simple teaching tool in their student course the first time.

These are promising news.

The chambers of the heart (Courtesy of Gregor Prosen)

As we all know, radiology and emergency medicine are the two leading specialties that implement ultrasound training into the student curriculum [5, 6]. As the iEM Education project, it is our aim to promote emergency medicine and provide free educational resources. Therefore, we just wanted to share in case you may think to use it in your ultrasound sessions.

This tool is so cheap. It can be created by anyone, anywhere, anytime. We are looking to hear more feedback from world ultrasound experts regarding the effectiveness and joy of this tool.

References

  1. Abu-Zidan FM, Cevik AA. Kunafa knife and play dough is an efficient and cheap simulator to teach diagnostic Point-of-Care Ultrasound (POCUS). World J Emerg Surg. 2019 Jan 8;14:1. doi: 10.1186/s13017-018-0220-3. eCollection 2019. PubMed  PMID: 30636969; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC6325793.
  2. Eftekhar B, Ghodsi M, Ketabchi E, Ghazvini AR. Play dough as an educational tool for visualization of complicated cerebral aneurysm anatomy. BMC Med Educ. 2005 May 10;5(1):15. PubMed PMID: 15885141; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC1274244.
  3. Herur A, Kolagi S, Chinagudi S, Manjula R, Patil S. Active learning by play dough modeling in the medical profession. Adv Physiol Educ. 2011 Jun;35(2):241-3. doi: 10.1152/advan.00087.2010. PubMed PMID: 21652511.
  4. Zedu Ultrasound Training Methods. Heart anatomy taught using state of the art methods. Accessed from https://www.ultrasoundtraining.com.au/news/heart-anatomy-taught-using-state-of-the-art-methods, January 9, 2019
  5. Cook T, Hunt P, Hoppman R. (2007) Emergency medicine leads the way for training medical students in clinician-based ultrasound: a radical paradigm shift in patient imaging. Acad Emerg Med. 14(6):558-61. PubMed PMID: 17535978.
  6. Phelps A, Wan J, Straus C, Naeger DM, Webb EM. Incorporation of Ultrasound Education Into Medical School Curricula: Survey of Directors of Medical Student Education in Radiology. Acad Radiol. 2016 Jul;23(7):830-5. doi: 10.1016/j.acra.2016.02.012. Epub 2016 Apr 8. PubMed PMID: 27311803.