How to “peer-review” yourself before submitting to a journal

On 7th March, we were delighted to welcome Dr Carolyn Tarrant from the University of Leicester to talk us through what journal editors look for.

During the session, she shared her top-tip to “peer-review” yourself prior to submitting your article to a journal. This way, you can recognise and address any areas for improvement yourself before the article goes through the real thing!

The Equator Network site in particular was recommended to self-review (Enhancing the QUAlity and Transparency Of health Research). The site, which aims to improve the quality of health research reporting, has links to many reporting guidelines, which you can use as checklists in your self-critique.

To find relevant guidelines, you simply select your study type from the home page. The key guidelines will be shown in green at the top of the list, which makes it much easier to choose! You can then also limit results by your specific clinical area if you wish.

The library is always here to help if you find a guideline they haven’t already linked to – you can request the full-text through us for free.

Thank you, Carolyn, for highlighting this excellent resource.


10 top tips for writing a cover letter

Writing a cover letter is an essential part of submitting an article to a journal. On the 15th November, we were pleased to welcome Dr Jatinder Minhas to speak at the Writing Club.

Here is some of the advice he shared about writing a successful cover letter:

1. Make sure the letter is appropriately headed

2. Address it to the Editor-in-Chief of the journal

3. If you’re responding to a call for papers, state this clearly at the start

4. Make sure you include the name of the paper!

In your introduction…

5. Provide the context for your paper

6. Describe the work’s novelty

7. Define the expected increment knowledge for readers


8. Reinforce the expected impact

9. Be clear and succinct

10. Be positive – make sure you sell the good points!

Article on preparing & delivering 10 minute presentations

Preparing and delivering a 10-minute presentation at a scientific meeting

Paediatric Respiratory Reviews 12 (2011) 148–149

This is the full text of a really handy , and very short, article, brought to our attention via the LIS-Medical mailing list. It gives an overview of what to include, how to get the best from PowerPoint, and crucially what not to do (like use Comic Sans or Clip-art).