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Study Skills

Medicine: Writing for Publication: Article content

Reference management

Most journals will have a citation and referencing style which they will expect you to use when you submit an article for publication. Using reference management software will make this a lot easier. Save any articles you wish to cite in your publication to a reference manager, and then use its Word plugin to insert citations in a consistent style, and generate a bibliography.

There are lots of reference managers out there. The Medical Library supports the use of:

Our top tips guides and tutorial videos (link opens in new window) will help you use these various pieces of software. The Medical Library also runs Q&A sessions on the following reference management software Endnote (desktop and online; link opens in new window), Mendeley (link opens in new window) and Zotero (link opens in new window).

Go The Distance course on academic writing

This self-directed course is the result of a collaboration between BBC Learning and The Open University. It is a 'guide to the English language skills you need for further education. Topics include: academic vocabulary; essay structure; writing in online discussion forums; the language of academic argument and more.'

You can access the course via the BBC Learning website (link opens in new window).

Reporting guidelines

Most study design types for medical research have a recognised set of reporting guidelines to follow when writing up.

You can find the majority of reporting guidelines at the EQUATOR Network website (link opens in new window). Of particular relevance to most medical researchers are the PRISMA guidelines (link opens in new window) for systematic reviews, and the PRISMA-P guidelines (link opens in new window) for systematic review protocols. If you are undertaking a Cochrane review, please select the correct Cochrane Handbook (link opens in new window) for your review type. The SPIRIT Statement (link opens in new window) is the guideline for writing RCT protocols.

Academic phrasebank

Manchester University has created a useful resource: its Academic Phrasebank (link opens in new window).

"The Academic Phrasebank is a general resource for academic writers. It aims to provide you with examples of some of the phraseological ‘nuts and bolts’ of writing organised according to the main sections of a research paper or dissertation [... or] the more general communicative functions of academic writing."

Use this phrasebank to find useful academic terminology to help you compose well-constructed academic writing for assignments, publications, and more.

Support from the Language Centre

The Language Centre (link opens in new window) has a range of online material about academic writing in English (link opens in new window) writing with clarity, and other useful resources. (Raven login is required.) The Language Centre also offers a variety of courses and one-to-one coaching (link opens in new window) in writing for a variety of contexts for those whose first language is not English.

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Subjects: Clinical Medicine

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