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Preparing To Publish: Navigating the Publishing Process

Instructions for Authors

An “Instructions for Authors” page will often address many of the questions about your target journals. You can usually find them on a journal’s homepage. Each journal will have different requirements, therefore it is important to follow each journal’s specifications carefully. These will often include information on:

  • Article/abstract formatting - including length, required headings, etc.

  • Types of articles accepted

  • Information on illustrations and figures

  • Publishing agreements

  • Self-archiving policy

  • Required citation style for bibliography

Bibliographic Management Software

Bibliographic management tools (EndNote, Mendeley, Zotero)  allow you to output a bibliography in any citation style. They can be used for any bibliography, but are especially helpful with collaborative projects and systematic reviews with large numbers of references.

  • WCMC Library offers:

    • Access to EndNote

    • Support for Mendeley (Free) and Zotero (Free)

    • Training courses

    • One-on-one consultations

Choosing Author Keywords

You may have to identify a few keywords to describe your article. Some publishers specify the vocabulary to be used, such as MeSH.


Medical Subject Headings(MeSH) is the National Library of Medicine's controlled vocabulary of biomedical terms which is updated each year. MeSH terms are arranged by subject with more specific terms arranged beneath broader terms. The PubMed MeSH Browser allows you to view this hierarchy and provides cross-references.

  • If you are having difficulty choosing MeSH terms, search MEDLINE for articles on a similar topic, and look at the MeSH terms which were assigned to that article. Additionally, you can use a tool called 'MeSH On Demand' to get recommended MeSH terms based on your abstract.

  • Use the MeSH browser from PubMed to identify some specific MeSH terms to apply to your own area of interest.