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Welcome to Darnall Medical Library: Scientific Writing

Providing quality information and services to support the readiness and care of the Uniformed Services and their families.

Scientific Writing

To request a consultation on a scientific writing, please submit  a request:

If you have questions and need guidance with scientific writing, please contact informationist, Dr. Tmanova.

Citation Management Tools

Selected Research

  • Benson, Philippa J, and Susan C. Silver. What Editors Want: An Author's Guide to Scientific Journal Publishing. 2013. 
  • Cargill, Margaret, and Patrick O'Connor. Writing Scientific Research Articles: Strategy and Steps. 2013.
  • Day, Robert A, and Barbara Gastel. How to Write and Publish a Scientific Paper. Westport, Conn: Greenwood Press, 2006.
  • Gustavii, Björn. How to Write & Illustrate a Scientific Paper. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2008.
  • Hames, Irene. Peer Review and Manuscript Management in Scientific Journals: Guidelines for Good Practice. Malden, MA: Blackwell Pub, 2007
  • Katz, Michael J. From Research to Manuscript: A Guide to Scientific Writing. Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Springer, 2006.
  • MacDonald, N. E., Ford-Jones, L., Friedman, J. N., & Hall, J. (2006). Preparing a manuscript for publication: A user-friendly guide. Paediatrics & Child Health, 11(6), 339–342.
  • Matthews, Janice R, John M. Bowen, and Robert W. Matthews. Successful Scientific Writing: A Step-by-Step Guide for the Biological and Medical Sciences. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2000.
  • Rabinowitz, Harold, and Suzanne Vogel. The Manual of Scientific Style: A Guide for Authors, Editors, and Researchers. Amsterdam: Elsevier/Academic Press, 2009.
  • Vallejo, M. Y., Acosta, A., & Palacio Correa, G. (2012). Authorship of scientific articles within an ethical-legal framework: quantitative model. Universitas Scientiarum, 17(3), 315-329.
  • Ahmed, S. M., Maurana, C. A., Engle, J. A., Uddin, D. E., & Glaus, K. D. (1997). A method for assigning authorship in multiauthored publications. Family Medicine -Kansas City, 29, 42-44.
  • The Online Writing Lab (OWL), Purdue University

Scientific Writing

A scientific writing consultation is offered for post-graduate trainees on an academic writing, copyright and intellectual property rights, journal submission selection, research integrity, Open Access Publication, detection of predatory journals, and ethics of publication. 

To request a consultation on scientific writing, please submit a Scientific Writing request. If you have questions about the scientific writing and need guidance with writing the scientific articles, please contact informationist, Dr. Tmanova.

Literature Review Consultation

Literature Review consultations are offered to WRNMMC post-graduate trainees for research study development and writing literature reviews. 

Literature review is an analysis of published literature on relevant topics for a comprehensive summary of studied research through research description, analysis of main ideas, identification and discussion of gaps in the field, evaluation of research contribution to a studied topic, and to develop future research. Writing literature reviews require a comprehensive analysis of literature on studied topics for the development of the research, synthesis of published research, analysis of relevant theoretical and conceptual research, writing a literature annotated bibliography, a review outline, a draft, and reviewing and editing a literature review draft.

Guidance on planning literature review, research development, literature analysis and synthesis, and writing literature review draft are provided during consultations.

Planning Literature Review Research Development 
  • writing a literature review.
  • literature review writing process.
  • development of the topic for literature review.
  • selection of journals for publication.
  • identify information on journal submission guidelines.
  • identification of literature resources and electronic literature search databases.
  • development of the topic for literature review.
  • development of literature search strategy.
  • conduction of literature review in electronic databases and literature management.
Literature Analysis & Synthesis  Writing Literature Review Draft
  • literature analysis and synthesis (published research, theories, and concepts).
  • development of a literature review draft and coherent essay.
  • citation management and citation styles.
  • writing the review outline.
  • writing a draft of a literature review.
  • editing the literature reviews and submission for publication.

If you have questions about the hypothesis-driven literature search and need guidance with writing literature reviews, please contact informationist, Dr. Tmanova. To request a consultation on hypothesis-driven analysis of literature for study development and writing literature reviews, please submit the Literature Review and Literature Informatics requests. 

Literature Review

There are various types of literature reviews that differ in their purpose, approach, and analysis of published studies. The most rigorous reviews are Systematic Review and Mata-Analysis Review. Other literature reviews based on methodology (search, appraisal, synthesis, and analysis) are:

  • Critical Review - extensive analysis of  published literature and critically appraised to evaluate the quality of the published research and hypothesis development. 
  • Rapid Review - review of published literature about policy or practice issues using the systematic reviews methodology for literature search and critical appraisal
  • Scoping Review - preliminary analysis of literature to identify the research gaps in published literature and potential exploration for research development. 
  • State-of-the-Art Review - analysis of published literature to study new perspective on studied issues and guide the development of new potential research. 
  • Literature Review - analysis of current published research articles in the researched discipline. Literature review comprises the review of published research and often is included in a thesis chapter of literature review.

Grant, M. J., & Booth, A. (2009). A typology of reviews: an analysis of 14 review types and associated methodologies. Health Information & Libraries Journal, 26(2), 91-108. 

Research Integrity

Scientific research and scholarly communication are governed by principles of scientific integrity and shared values in scientific research. The Office of Research Integrity (ORI) oversees and directs Public Health Service (PHS) research integrity activities on behalf of the Secretary of Health and Human Services, with the exception of the regulatory research integrity activities of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Below are educational resources from ORI on human subject research, research misconduct, conflict of interests and commitment, and teaching responsible conduct of research in humans.


The International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) recommends determination of the authorship using criteria:

  • Substantial contributions to the conception and design, acquisition, analysis, and interpretation of data.
  • Drafting and revising it critically for significant intellectual content.
  • Approving the final version to be published.
  • Accepting accountability addressing and resolving any issues about integrity of the research study.

DoD Submission Requirements

Memorandum for Public Access to the Results of Department of Defense-Funded Research states on an increased access to unclassified and peer-reviewed scholarly publications of federally-funded research to enhance science and economy. "DoD Public Access Policy applies to any published, peer-reviewed scholarly publication and digital scientific data us publicly releasable and arises from any direct funding from DoD funding that is consistent with applicable law, policy, agency mission, and resource constrains." Peer-reviewed journal manuscripts are submitted to Defense Technical Information Center (DTIC) upon acceptance for publication. 

Public Access to the Results of Department of Defense-Funded Research. 
White House Office of Science and Technology Policy memorandum, "Increasing Access to the Results of Federally Funded Scientific Research," February 22, 2013. 


Open-Access Publication

To encourage the free dissemination of research which is often stifled by high journal subscription costs, the scientific and library communities often encourage researchers to publish in Open Access (OA) journals. OA resources are peer-reviewed scholarly resources that are free to access and are freely reproducible with proper acknowledge and citation. 

Open Access Publishing

Should I publish in an Open Access journal?

Open access publication is encouraged by funding agencies and government. The federal government has implemented wide initiatives to foster access to federally-funded for the general advancement of science. DoD Instruction 3200.12 requires all results, regardless of outcome, of DoD R&E and studies efforts sponsored in whole or in part by the DoD, are documented and sent to the Defense Technical Information Center (DTIC). This includes any combination of journal articles, technical reports, technical papers, or other types of scientific and technical data.

Publication in Open Access journals increases the visibility and research impact of published research, freely provides an access to published research for readers, increases the sharing of the research, and research impact tracking. However, there are disadvantages of publishing in OA journals, which are the varying degree of peer-review process causing low quality research publication, data sharing jeopardize the research of junior researchers, and publication fee.

Open Access publication is an open and free access to peer-reviewed literature on Internet, “permitting any users to read, download, copy, distribute, print, search, or link to the full texts of these articles, crawl them for indexing, pass them as data to software, or use them for any other lawful purpose, without financial, legal, or technical barriers other than those inseparable from gaining access to the internet itself. The only constraint on reproduction and distribution, and the only role for copyright in this domain, should be to give authors control over the integrity of their work and the right to be properly acknowledged and cited.” The Budapest Open Access Initiative.

Predatory journals are increasing as well as the deception of publication in OA. Research published in predatory journals compromises the research when publishers exploit OA publication for a profit. McCannan and Polacsek (2017) summarize key points and guide for researchers to avoid the predatory OA publishers and journals.    

McCann, T., & Polacsek, M. (2018). False gold: safely navigating open access publishing to avoid predatory publishers and journals. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 74(4), 809-817.

What is the process to publish in an Open Access journal?

  • Write research article.
  • Conduct a search for a potential OA journal for publication using Directory of Open Access Journals and Open Access Scholarly Publisher Association.
  • Verify authority of the journal using Web of Science Journal Citation Report.
  • Determine if journals are indexed by academic databases.
  • Determine the self-archiving privileges, rights, and permissions.
  • Explore journal publication information (e.g., IF, JCR, SJR), editorial information, and publication fee.
  • Explore an information for authors that is required for submission in OA journal. 

Darnall Medical Library offers a scientific writing consultations to WRNMMC researchers in scientific writing and publishing. Scientific writing consultation is offered for post-graduate trainees on scientific writing, copyright and intellectual property rights, journal selection, research integrity, Open Access publication, and ethics of publication. 

To request help with scientific writing including OA publication and detecting of OA predatory journals, schedule scientific writing consultation

Darnall Medical Library | Walter Reed NMMC | Building 1, Room 3458 | 8955 Wood Road | Bethesda, MD 20889 | 301-295-1184/85 | Open Monday-Friday, 0700-1730

After-hours access to the library is available to WRNMMC Staff via the CDO at 301-295-4611.