Residents, Center for Family Medicine - Bismarck

Scholarly Publishing Checklist

Selecting a journal for publication

JANE (Journal Author Name Estimator) will help identify potential journals to match your article with their aim and scope.

You add either keywords or if you have already written your abstract, enter that in the search box to view a list of journals.

text box for entry of keywords or abstract

Your search returns results in this list format.

list of potential journals to publish in



Instructions to Authors

Following Instructions to Authors is critical to your success in having your manuscript accepted. It is the main reason you can readily be eliminated from the process.

Three ways to find:

1. Instructions to Authors database

2. Go to your selected journal's website and look for instructions to authors

3. Web search with terms, [journal name] instructions to authors

Publishing Process

What is peer review?

A rigorous peer review process includes multiple steps. For example:

"First, journal staff performs a preliminary review of each article to ensure that the submission is complete and compliant with general article guidelines... Next, articles are assigned to an editor who conducts a preliminary review of the submission. At this stage, the editors are scanning for relevancy to [the journal's] readership and a suitable level of quality of research and writing. Articles that pass this review are then sent to peer reviewers. ... Peer reviewers are experts in their respective fields and volunteer time to carefully review submitted manuscripts for suitability to publish." (Happe, p.957)


Why do some publishers charge authors?

Publishing scientific literature is not without cost. Expenses such as staff, equipment or software, publishing supplies for printed journals, etc. all require that money is taken in at some point in the publishing process. Some publishers charge a fee to the reader and some charge a fee to the author.

Happe LE. Distinguishing Predatory from Reputable Publishing Practices. J Manag Care Spec Pharm. 2020 Aug;26(8):956-960. doi: 10.18553/jmcp.2020.26.8.956. PMID: 32715959

Preprint manuscripts

A preprint is the author’s original manuscript. It is the version of your article before you have submitted it to a journal for peer review.What are the benefits of preprints?Speed – your manuscript can become available for others to read before the final version of it is published. As publication times can sometimes be lengthy, this gives other researchers a chance to see your work a lot quicker.Authorship – the preprint is a public record that you published that research at that time. Your work will likely be assigned a digital object identifier (DOI).Review – posting your preprint allows other researchers to offer feedback that may help to improve your article before the more formal journal peer review process.Research impact – the research presented in your preprint will be publicly available for other researchers or practitioners to cite and build upon more quickly.

To determine if this is a good route for you, review this article: What is a preprint? Is it the right publishing choice for you?

Open Access

Open access publications are not held behind paywalls, meaning that any reader anywhere can access and read them.

There are different ways a publication can be made open access:

  • Hybrid Journals

    • Some journals which usually place their articles behind paywalls will allow an author to pay "author publication charges" to make their article open access to readers, liberating it from the usual paywall.
      • "author publication charges" are also sometimes called "article processing charges", and vary among journals, costing anywhere from $200 to $5,000. Information on these charges can be found on journal websites' info for authors sections.
  • Open access journals

    • Publish in an open-access journal that does not charge author publication charges.
      • 60% of the journals in The Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) do not charge an author publication charge.
    • Publish in an open-access journal that funds its publication using author publication charges
  • Institutional repositories

    • Deposit your work in UND's institutional repository, the Scholarly Commons, which is openly available to anyone globally.
      • Even if you're publishing your article in a paywalled journal, you may also be able to deposit your pre-print in an institutional repository. Check Sherpa Romeo to see if your journal has a policy about pre-print publication.

Three types of Open Access publishing options:

  • Gold Open Access: may involve an "Article Processing Fee" (also known as an Author Processing Fee"). The article is then available from a publisher's platform.
  • Green Open Access: The full text of the manuscript is deposited in a publicly accessible database, most often managed by a research organization. This version is associated with being able to put on a personal blog or social media profile.
  • Diamond Open Access: funded through channels such as libraries or professional societies.

Creative Commons

An alternative to copyright: Creative Commons licenses

Unlike traditional copyright, Creative Commons licenses allow the creator of a work to assign a license which allows for specific kinds of reuses of that work.

To license your work with a creative commons license, simply place a statement somewhere on your work specifying what type of creative commons license it has, and link back to the Creative website so that readers can view a copy of the license.



CC BY: “This license lets others distribute, remix, adapt, and build upon your work, even commercially, as long as they credit you for the original creation. This is the most accommodating of licenses offered. Recommended for maximum dissemination and use of licensed materials.”


All you need to do to assign a Creative Commons license to your work is to place a statement to that effect somewhere on the work. See the tab at left "Licensing your work as Creative Commons", or the Creative Commons Organization's website for more information.