Jaap van Harten, Elsevier BV, Radarweg 29, 1043 NX Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Good research deserves to be published, to be widely read, and to be recognized by your fellow researchers and community. The current research (and funding) climate makes it even absolutely necessary that you are successful in being able to be published: “Publish or Perish”. This then raises the question, how can you achieve that goal?

“Success” essentially depends on three components: 1) the ability to determine the best possible publication strategy for your research findings, 2) the best possible way to write your article, and 3) the most effective interaction with editors. Key to success in this context is your ability to put yourself in the position of readers, reviewers and editors.

Key considerations in journal selection are a realistic assessment of the quality of the research and the audience you intend to reach. As an example of the latter: publication in a clinically oriented journal may require more background information on the chemical/pharmaceutical aspects of the research, but more detailed clinical results, whereas the opposite is the case when you publish the same research in a pharmaceutical journal.

The art of manuscript writing is not just applying one “golden tip”. It is essentially “telling your story” to your readers in an engaging way, and avoiding common mistakes and deficiencies including poor language. Avoidable mistakes can lead to unnecessary rejection of your manuscript. Finally, it is your open, non-defensive attitude towards the editors and the reviewer comments, that will not only increase the likelihood of getting your manuscript accepted for publication, it is also likely that your published paper has improved thanks to their comments.

By consistently applying these principles you are likely to become a more successful author.