Why do you want to publish?
  • Based on the type of employment you are seeking, your competence may very well be judged by the Quality and Quantity of publications (this is becoming increasing common for ophthalmology posts)
  • You are doing research in an institute or centre, so it is essential you publish your studies. The value of your institute and department is assessed by the quality of its research output. Such assessments will impact on the research funding your department/institute receives. 
  • You may want to share a message with the research community or announce your new findings.
  • Message your own ego or that of your supervisor. 
The types of publications can be dividied into four main types:
  • Magazine articles
  • Conference papers
  • Journal papers
  • Book chapters

Magazine articles
  • Such articles give one-sided view/opinion.
  • Very little peer review to check the validity and soundness of your opinions.
  • Such articles are used to popularise your work and institution as opposed to a scientific statement
  • Outline structure of the Magazine articles (its more like an essay) is different from the formally recognised structure of the Conference or Journal Papers.
  • Audience of Magazine Articles is not expected to be expert in the field.
  • Very little scientific worth.


  • Reflect 6 to 12 months of research/development work
  • They usually reflect some key milestones in an ongoing Project/Development work
  • Remember there are Conferences and there are Conferences: for example an International conference such as ARVO versus regional meeting
  • Value of the Paper in a Conference depends on the peer perceived quality of the conference and this depends on the following factors
    • Number of attendees
    • Number of Sessions
    • Ratio of number of papers selected versus number of papers submitted (Top-notch conference: 1 to 8 or more)
    • Type of reviewing procedures
  • Papers in Conferences generally are deemed to be relatively weak for the following reasons:
    • Less thorough peer review (Often papers are accepted solely based on the ‘Extended abstract)
    • Non-comprehensive nature (Material quality, restrictions on the length of the paper)
Journal articles
  • Longer, more substantial and complete piece of work
  • More extensive peer reviewing and revision procedures
  • They constitute a significant milestone in your research
  • Before you write a Journal paper, you are expected to have achieved certain command in your field of research and therefore you are expected to know:
    • List of top Journals in your field
    • List of rival individuals and institutions who are conducting research / development in your and associated fields (this applies to full time research doctors)
    • Recent publications
Book chapters
  • In effect, these may only be as good as the editing allows the book to be and readers can never be sure that a full peer-review has taken place. 
  • Nevertheless, they are especially common in medicine and publication of a good paper in a focused compendium can be a good way of being noticed.
This section will focus exclusively on journal articles because articles in peer-reivewed preferably international journals are, for most consultants, what really makes a strong impression on a CV. 
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