Publishing a Research Paper

For researchers in the natural sciences who are new to publishing or wish to refresh their skills

Taught by 20 Nature Portfolio journal experts

5.5 hours of learning

15-minute lessons

8-module course with certificate

About this course

'Publishing a Research Paper' focuses on how to submit your research paper, and gives a comprehensive overview of how to navigate the editorial and publishing process, including revisions.

What you'll learn

  • How to select the most appropriate 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
  • How to include ethical considerations and avoid potential pitfalls 

The course

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Authorship and authors' responsibilities

12 lessons 40m

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Selecting a journal for publication

8 lessons 35m

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Submitting your paper

9 lessons 30m

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Understanding peer review

12 lessons 1h 05m

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Journal decisions

9 lessons 1h

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The editorial process

6 lessons 15m

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Measuring impact

7 lessons 40m

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Plagiarism and other ethical issues

11 lessons 45m

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Publishing a Research Paper: Free Sample

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6 lessons 15m

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Select the dropdown to explore an overview of the content for each module

Authorship and authors’ responsibilities

  • Principles of authorship
  • Author contributions
  • Authorship in collaborative teams and consortia
  • Knowledge check: Describe authorship
  • Knowledge check: Who should be an author?
  • Authorship disputes
  • Author identity and researcher identifiers
  • How to start a conversation on authorship
  • An editor’s experience: Honorary authors
  • Frequently asked questions

Selecting a journal for publication

  • Poll: Your criteria for selecting a journal
  • Key considerations for selecting a journal
  • Why and where to publish?
  • Publishing in open access journals
  • Avoiding predatory journals
  • Case study: Bohannon’s sting
  • Frequently asked question

Submitting your paper

  • Submitting your manuscript
  • Presubmission enquiries at scientific journals
  • Scientific cover letters
  • An editor's experience: The submission process
  • What constitutes a conflict of interest?
  • Knowledge check: Conflicts of interest
  • Knowledge check: Competing interests
  • Frequently asked question

Understanding peer review

  • A brief history of peer review
  • Types of peer review
  • The benefits and limitations of peer review
  • How editors select referees
  • When to accept or decline an offer to peer review
  • An editor’s experience: Being a first-time peer reviewer
  • What makes a great peer review report?
  • How to think like a peer reviewer when you read a paper
  • How editors assess referee reports
  • Rewards for referees
  • Frequently asked questions

Delivered by Nature Portfolio journal Editors

This course is delivered by 20 Nature Portfolio journal Editors, giving researchers an unparalleled insight into the publishing and manuscript selection process. Our panel of experts include:

Euan Adie

Founder, Altmetric

Gemma Alderton

Former Senior Editor, Nature Reviews Cancer

Natascha Bushati

Team Manager and Senior Editor, Nature Communications

Elsa Couderc

Senior Editor, Nature Energy

Kevin Da Silva

Chief Editor, Nature Neuroscience

Elisa De Ranieri

Editor in Chief, Nature Communications

Ritu Dhand

Nature Editorial Director, Springer Nature

Luke Fleet

Senior Editor, Nature

Ed Gerstner

VP Publishing, Nature Research Open Access, Springer Nature

Peter Gorsuch

Chief Editor, Nature Research Editing Service

Irene Jarchum

Associate Editor, Nature Biotechnology

Federico Levi

Senior Editor, Nature Physics

Leonie Mueck

Former Senior Editor Physical Sciences, Nature

Tal Nawy

Associate Editor, Nature Methods

John Plummer

Senior Portfolio Editor, Open Research Group, Springer Nature

Catherine Potenski

Senior Editor, Nature Genetics

Anke Sparmann

Senior Editor, Nature Structural and Molecular Biology

Bart Verberck

Regional Executive Editor, Springer Nature

Alexia-Ileana Zaromytidou

Chief Editor, Nature Cell Biology

Karl Ziemelis

Chief Physical Sciences Editor, Nature

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