It is important to match the type of article to the type of journal. Journals usually indicate the type of articles they accept in their "Author Guidelines" or “Instructions to Authors”. Some journals publish only reviews. These journals usually have titles starting with “Advances in…”, or “Progress in.. “ or have the word “reviews” or similar distinguishing words in the title. Some journals publish a combination of different types of articles.
Types of Journals
- Traditional academic research journal – Main venue for primary research, rigorously peer-reviewed.
- Letters journal – Rapid communication of interim work, peer-reviewed, a good way to get very new and on-going research initially published.
- Review journal – Covers current trends, usually peer-reviewed, contains some commissioned material.
- Professional journal / magazine – Mainly review and how-to articles, lots of commissioned material, heavily edited but not necessarily peer-reviewed.
Types of Journal Manuscripts
Original article / Research article
This is the most common type of journal manuscript. It may be called an Original Article, Research Article, Empirical Article or just Article, depending on the journal. The Research Article reports on the results of original research, but will also include a bibliography of other literature reviewed. These articles will have the following elements: an introduction, description of the research design, discussion of the data, methods and results, and bibliography.
These papers communicate findings that editors believe will be interesting to many researchers, and that will likely stimulate further research in the field. Rapid Communications usually receive prioritized handling by the editors and are published soon after submission to the journal. This format is therefore useful for scientists with results that are time sensitive (for example, those in highly competitive or quickly-changing disciplines). This format often has strict length limits, so some experimental details may not be published until the authors write a full Original Research manuscript.
Many journals also refer to this type of manuscript as a Letter.
Example: Journal of Economic Entomology
Review Articles provide a comprehensive summary of research on a certain topic, and a critical perspective on the state of the field and where it is heading. They are often written by leaders in a particular discipline after invitation from the editors of a journal. Reviews are often widely read (for example, by researchers looking for a full introduction to a field) and highly cited. Reviews commonly cite approximately 100 primary research articles.
These articles report specific instances of interesting phenomena. A goal of case studies is to make other researchers aware of the possibility that a specific phenomenon might occur. This type of study is often used in medicine to report the occurrence of previously unknown or emerging pathologies.
These articles do not contain original empirical research, but use existing research to present a new theory or to analyse or criticize existing theories.