Research
Writing for Publication

Writing for Publication

Writing for publication might sound a bit daunting, but it can be very rewarding to share your knowledge with your professional peers, and can contribute to strengthening the physiotherapy profession. The information presented here is intended as an introduction to writing for publication; for more detailed information please see the “useful resources” below.


    What can I publish?

  • Depending on your skills and experience, there are different types of article that you might consider writing, such as:
  • Research paper
  • Case study
  • Review article (narrative or systematic)
  • Publishing from a higher degree thesis
  • Debate
  • Opinion piece
  • Short report/technical report

  • Where can I publish?

  • There are many journals related to physiotherapy and even more related to healthcare in general. It is important to choose your journal carefully. Look at the aims & scope of the journal, available in the printed version and on the journal’s website. If you are unsure ask for advice from a librarian or a colleague who has research experience. The North of Scotland hub facilitators will also be happy to speak to you.


  • How do I get started?

  • Once you have chosen your topic, the type of article and the journal you want to submit it to, then you can begin the task properly. Before you write anything check the instructions to authors for your chosen journal; this will give you important information such as the style, word limit, headings and referencing, which are specific to each journal. Make sure your article has a clear aim, make a plan and write! Getting feedback from an experienced researcher can be really helpful.


  • What happens next?

  • Most journals use an electronic submission system, but you need to check the submission guidelines for your chosen journal before sending off your article. Receipt of your article will be acknowledged, and this is usually followed by your article being sent out for review. The reviewers then make a report to the journal editor on whether to accept (with or without amendments) or reject the article. Rejection is common, especially when you start out, but the comments you receive from the reviewers can help with future writing, or it may be that you can submit your article to another journal, so don’t be put off if you are rejected first time around.


  • Useful resources

  • www.writingforpublication.com
  • This Elsevier website has a really useful booklet on writing for academic publication
  • Happell, B (2008) Writing for publication: a practical guide. Nursing Standard, 22 (28), pp35-40.