The Dichotomy of Doing vs Publishing Research

Dr. Prakrut Paidisetty,

Goa Medical College

Conducting research is easy, okay not so easy, however publishing it is a challenge altogether. At the medical student level, just being a part of actual scientific research is an unbelievable feeling. From finding a gap in literature, to actually conceptualising a methodology, to perform said methodology and, finding significant data, every step gives you a more elated feeling of self-importance. You are put in your place when you get that first rejection from the best in the field PubMed indexed journal, that you were so sure of publishing in! No one, especially your guides will not tell you the dark side of the research field. However, I will!

One of the major obstacles encountered in the first-time research journey is the unawareness of good publication practices. At the medical student level, it is already a challenge to properly articulate your data in a way that is acceptable to the medicine community. That challenge compounded with the fact that every journal will have its own author guidelines, stringent quality checks and time of response is enough to discourage any aspiring researcher. Our guides on the other hand usually seem to remain unfazed. However, this is an important step that differentiates any aspiring researcher worth his salt from the others. There are many reasons as to why a journal might reject or advise revisions to your paper. Some of them are:-

1.There is weakness in the project in terms of defining the research questions, poor literature review, lack of robust methodology, incorrect analysis of data,etc. In these conditions, a journal is more likely to reject your paper altogether.

2. There can be weakness in articulating data, or the research paper which called the manuscript does not adhere to author guidelines. You can usually expect recommendation of revisions from the reviewers or editors, instead of outright rejection.

3. There could be insufficient or incorrect citing of literature that could result in plagiarism.

A few reasons why a medical student mind find it difficult to publish are, the hight cost of publishing in good journals which may range in lakhs. First response time after submission can range in months for good journals and the correspondence time is also very high resulting in a project that was completed in two months that may take up to 2 years to publish. Also, most journals do not allow simultaneous submissions to other journals, further slowing down the process.

The impact of these factors provides a fertile field for growth of predatory journals. Medial students after spending months, find no other choice than to submit their handwork into shady journals, that sound scientific but are poorly indexed, have fast response times and have unbelievably low costs. This leads to research of poor standards and mostly incorrect information to circulate in the medical literature. The guides and seniors need to help students navigate and publish in proper peer reviewed journals. I know this may feel daunting, but I bet there is no better feeling in a student’s life than when you receive that email, “Your paper has been accepted for publication!”


1. Index section [Internet]. National Institutes of Health; [cited 2024 Feb 2]. Available from:

2. Stratford-Blog. Research paper publication in the information era [Internet]. 2023 [cited 2024 Feb 2]. Available from:

You may also like...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *