Resources > "HOW TO" Conduct Research > 9. Report and disseminate findings

9. Report and disseminate findings

(i) Turning your findings into a paper for publication in a suitable journal

Before you start writing about your findings into the form of a paper, decide on which journal you’d like to submit to. You will have an idea as to which journal your paper will be suited to from your initial review of the literature. Follow the “Instructions to Authors” pages on the website of the journal you’d like to submit to and report your findings in the format detailed there. Acceptance of your article is not guaranteed. A journal may reject your article because the editors don’t feel it is of interest to their readership, or because they don’t feel that it adds to the current knowledge base in the area. They may reject it but invite you to re-submit it if you can address their comments or answer questions they may have (eg provide further data). They may choose to publish your article with a few minor changes. If your article is not accepted by one journal, you can submit it to another journal.

• The EQUATOR Network’s resource centre provides Guidelines to authors about good reporting of health research studies.

• The Consort Statement is a checklist of items to consider when reporting on an RCT

• The Strobe Statement is a checklist of items to consider when reporting on observational studies

Often the hardest part is writing a discussion. Here is reference that provides invaluable guidance about writing a discussion:
Smith, R. 1999, The case for structuring the discussion of scientific papers, BMJ;318:1224-5

(ii) Presenting your findings at a relevant conference
Calls for abstracts are broadcast well in advance of conferences. Check conference websites for dates for submission and follow the guidelines for authors for word length etc. You may also get the opportunity to nominate if you’d prefer to present your findings as a poster or in an oral presentation. Presenting your findings at conferences is an excellent opportunity for you to make others aware of what you’ve found. This has the benefit of potentially helping others in their clinical practice and getting feedback on your work and ideas for future directions for your research.

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