Thinking About Publishing your Work? Helpful Tips, How-tos, and Things to Consider
Scenario: You work in your state’s Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention Program, and you are expanding the scope of the program to begin an intervention addressing the high rates of stroke in your state. Rather than start from scratch, you begin to search to see what other states have done and what has been successful. You start with a search of the peer-reviewed literature, and find very little to help. You can ask your CDC project officer, who is likely to be most familiar with his or her other states’ activities. You can network with the other states the next time you are at a face-to-face meeting, but it’s at least 10 months away. You can email the listserv, but you’ll likely not hear back from everyone who has had success.
You ultimately find some things that help, including talking with your project officer and finding a couple of articles published about other chronic disease programs. Mostly, though, you develop a lot from scratch and implement your intervention—with some success! You conducted a thorough evaluation and have data to show sustained improvement. A few people encourage you to publish your work, but it takes so much time and effort to publish anything. You would consider it if you had more time or more assistance.
The purpose of this resource compendium is to provide you with options for letting people know about your work. We tend to think about publishing in peer-reviewed journals and, while this is laudable, it is not the only (or even the best, sometimes) option. This compendium strives to show you a more comprehensive set of options for communicating about your work, from publishing in peer-reviewed journals, to publishing an op-ed article. It also includes other pertinent things for you to keep in mind, like timelines, grammar, and the types of work to consider publishing. Rather than provide you with a thick report to encourage you to publish your work, this is a compendium of resources—there is so much that is available already to assist you. Where possible, we’ve linked to tools that the CVH Council Communications Committee has determined may be helpful for you on the road to publishing your work.
One area that is not addressed on the following pages is the ‘who’ should publish. It is not always necessary or appropriate for the program manager to take the lead on an article. Many times, the program epidemiologist, evaluator, or even outside partners or contractors may be better positioned to write up the findings. Particularly when program staff are interested in writing up their findings, it is most helpful to have the full support of the program manager, as well as any senior management who may be required to review final drafts prior to submitting for publication. It also may be helpful to develop a communication plan in advance of completing the project – this communication plan can be used to inform management of the project plan so they can be early supporters of all the work involved in carrying out and disseminating the findings of the project successfully.
We encourage you to use these resources and let us know what you think. Do you have a resource that has helped you to spread the word? If so, then share it so we can add it to the compendium. Send any comments or resources to firstname.lastname@example.org