Part 2: Publishing a Research Paper

Scientific Writing and Publishing

8 Modules Duration: 5h30

Part 2 of the Scientific Writing and Publishing course focuses on how to submit your research paper and gives a comprehensive overview of the editorial and publishing process.

What you'll learn

  • How to select a journal for publication and submit your paper
  • How to navigate the editorial process, including how to write cover letters, the peer review process, as well as the different editorial decisions and how to appeal them
  • Ethical considerations, such as duplicate submission


  • Part 2 of a 3-part course
  • Certificate of completion
  • Taught by 5 Nature Research journal editors
  • English language captions and transcripts

Access options

For researchers

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The course

Authorship and authors' responsibilities | 0h40 | 11 lessons

In this module you will learn:

  • how the line between authorship and acknowledgement can be defined in various situations
  • to recognize authorship practices that fail to meet acceptable standards of scientific integrity
  • how to discuss authorship and author order in your team.
Selecting a journal for publication | 0h35 | 8 lessons

In this module you will learn:

  • what criteria to use when choosing a journal
  • how the order of priority of these factors may change depending on the situation
  • how to identify and avoid questionable journals
  • how to create your own checklist for journal selection.
Submitting your paper | 0h30 | 9 lessons

In this module you will learn:

  • what information is useful for editors when they receive your paper
  • how to organize this information into a strong cover letter and how to summarize your research without repeating the abstract
  • which additional information and documents can be requested by journals at each stage of the process.
Understanding peer review | 1h05 | 12 lessons

In this module you will learn:

  • the different models of peer review 
  • how editors select referees
  • when and how to peer review
  • the benefits of being a peer reviewer.
Journal decisions | 1h00 | 9 lessons

In this module you will learn:

  • to distinguish the different types of editorial decisions
  • to read and interpret editorial decision letters
  • how to prepare a rebuttal and an appeal letter
  • what happens after acceptance and publication.
The editorial process | 0h15 | 6 lessons

In this module you will learn:

  • editorial processes at different journals
  • the different stages of manuscript handling by editors
  • how editorial teams work together to make initial decisions on manuscripts
  • what happens to your article after it’s accepted.
Measuring impact | 0h40 | 7 lessons

In this module you will learn:

  • what research metrics are
  • the different levels of metrics (article, author, institution)
  • how to calculate metrics and how to use them
  • limitations of research metrics and how the research community is working to change the metrics landscape.
Plagiarism and other ethical issues | 0h45 | 10 lessons

In this module you will learn:

  • about the different types of misconduct
  • about our editors’ perspective on specific cases of misconduct
  • in which circumstances a correction or retraction might be appropriate
  • where to look for further information and advice.