Tips for Getting Published

by Roger Smith, MD

Like it or not, for a physician in an academic setting, becoming published is a necessity for promotion. Everyone knows that, but how do you accomplish it?

One of the easiest ways is to submit a great abstract to the CREOG & APGO Annual Meeting (abstracts are accepted every spring for the following year’s meeting). The best abstracts (and some selected manuscripts) are now being published in a special online supplement toObstetrics and Gynecology – the premier journal in our specialty. This is your chance to participate in the national meeting of ob-gyn educators (worth points towards promotion by itself) and to become published.

Getting published directly in the medical literature without the advantages of APGO participation is a more daunting proposition. The best strategy is to spend some time ‘trolling’ the literature. Spend some time looking through recent editions of your target journal(s) to get a feel for the type of articles they publish and the writing style they use. Check that your paper is aligned with the journal’s focus – educational scholarship will not be as good a fit in a clinical journal as it will in one devoted to education. Be sure to look over the journal’s instructions to authors (they all have one on their web site), and follow it TO THE LETTER.

Before you submit your prized work, be sure to look it over again to be sure that the abstract matches the paper, the tables actually say what you said they did in the text and that the figures are clear and tell a story. With just these simple steps, you can get published. Now, all you have to do is to find a project…

Doctor Smith is a professor in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Indiana University. He is APGO’s President-Elect and serves as a member of the APGO Electronic Resources Committee (ERC).