• Abstract An abstract is a short summary of a research article, thesis, review or any in-depth analysis of a particular subject or discipline, and is often used to help the reader quickly to know the idea of the research article without going through entire content. The abstract includes conclusion of research findings and it always appears at the beginning of a scholarly or technical article. Databases and indexes often contain abstracts that can help you decide whether an article is relevant for the individual purposes.

  • Acknowledgement Section of a manuscript sometimes included by authors to recognize/thank the contributions of others who did not qualify for authorship credit. If a journal does not have a separate Funding Source section, the Acknowledgment section is often used to disclose funding and grant awards. Acknowledgments should not be used for personal thank-you's (such as parents, friends, etc.).

  • Appendix Supplementary material (such as large data tables, examples of questionnaires) usually too extensive to place within a regular manuscript to the point that it would interrupt the flow of the manuscript. Appendices are sometimes placed at the end of an article or may be published exclusively online.


  • Bibliographic reference Standard entry that refers the end user to an original source of information referenced or cited by an author in the main body of the text. A bibliographic reference usually includes title of article, chapter or complete work, author, source, and where appropriate, the volume number, issue number and pagination.


  • Citation A citation is a reference to a source (not always the original source), published or unpublished.

  • Conflict of Interest A potential interest, activity, or relationship with another entity that might influence, or corrupt, the decision making capacity of an author, reviewer, or editor. For biomedical journals in particular, authors often have a working relationship with companies whose product is discussed in a manuscript. Also known as a competing interest. In fields where the presence of a conflict of interest might be of significance, most journals now require authors to supply a conflict of interest statement.

  • COPE Committee on Publication Ethics is an organization, based in the United Kingdom that provides widely supported guidance to the publishing industry on ethical issues.

  • Copyright Legal document that assigns various rights to use, and re-use, content to a publisher, a journal and authors. Nearly all publications now insist such a form must be signed before publication can occur.

  • Corresponding Author The author designated in the published article as the individual to contact in the event of an inquiry about a manuscript. The corresponding author normally is responsible for correcting page proofs and working with the production editor. Previously, the corresponding author may have fielded requests for article reprints, although this practice has almost disappeared.


  • DOI The Digital Object Identifier (DOI) System is for identifying content objects in the digital environment. DOI names are assigned to any entity for use on digital networks. They are used to provide current information, including where they (or information about them) can be found on the Internet. Information about a digital object may change over time, including where to find it, but its DOI name will not change.

  • Double-blinded A peer review process in which both the identity of the author and the reviewer remain anonymous. This method is preferred by many journals to avoid reviewer prejudice against certain authors or authors from select countries. The identity of reviewers is protected usually to allow those that evaluate a manuscript the freedom to comment freely without fear of reprisals.


  • Editorial Board A group of people that supports the Editor-in-Chief, and help shape the editorial direction of a journal. They may serve the journal directly by assigning reviewers to manuscripts or work in a more advisory capacity. The Editor-in-Chief typically calls at least one editorial board meeting annually.

  • Editor-in-Chief In journal publishing, the Editor-in-Chief normally has the final say on what content is published. They are typically, but not exclusively, drawn from amongst the leaders in their particular field. They have responsibility for accepting content for publication, assembling issues in a timely fashion and providing oversight of the peer review process by either directly assigning reviewers or assigning an Associate Editor to manage that part of the process. The Editor-in-Chief appoints an editorial board. They also have a responsibility to generate editorials.

  • Ethics Ethics refers to several issues that question the veracity of the results or ideas presented in a paper or cast doubt on the honesty of submitting authors. Ethics covers a variety of issues ranging from authorship disputes, incomplete disclosure of conflicts of interest, dual submission, through to more serious issues such as fabrication and plagiarism.


  • h-index The h-index is an index that quantifies both the actual scientific productivity and the apparent scientific impact of a scientist or scholar. The index is based on the set of the scientist's most cited papers and the number of citations that they have received in other people's publications. The index can also be applied to the productivity and impact of a group of scientists, such as a department or university or country.


  • Impact Factor (IF) The impact factor, often abbreviated IF, is a measure of the citations to science and social science journals. Impact Factor is a ratio between citations and recent citable items published. It is frequently used as a proxy for the importance of a journal to its field. The impact factor of a journal is calculated by dividing the number of current year citations to the source items published in that journal during the previous two years.

  • ISSN The International Standard Serial Number (ISSN) is a unique 8-digit number used to identify a print or electronic periodical publication. Periodical published in both print and electronic form may have two ISSNs, a print ISSN and an electronic ISSN.


  • Keyword A word used to search a library database, a Web site, or the Internet. Keyword searches locate results by matching the search word to an item in the resource being searched. Keyword searches often retrieve broad results through many database fields. However, researchers who perform a keyword search using terms that are different from those used by the database may not retrieve all of the information in the database related to their topic.


  • Manuscript A collection of text, tables and graphic files submitted to a journal; the output from a scholarly endeavor.


  • Novelty The concept that the claims must be totally new. The invention must never have been made public in any way, anywhere, before the date on which the application for a patent is filed.


  • Open access Ability for anyone to access a manuscript free of charge. Some journals offer Open Access content, with the cost burden covered by the authors. Other journals may offer some content free after a period of time. Some funding bodies insist that all material must be made freely available.


  • Peer review Part of the publication process for scholarly publications in which a group of experts examines a document to determine whether it is worthy of publication. Journals and other publications use a peer review process usually arranged so that reviewers do not know who the author of the document is to assess articles for quality and relevance. Peer review methods are employed to maintain standards of quality, improve performance, and provide credibility. In academia peer review is often used to determine an academic paper’s suitability for publication.

  • Plagiarism The unattributed use of a source of information that is not considered common knowledge. In general, plagiarism includes failing to cite quotations or borrowed ideas, failing to enclose borrowed language in quotation marks

  • Publisher An organization whose function is to commission, create, collect, validate, host, distribute and trade information online and/or in printed form.


  • Reference A source used in research and mentioned by a researcher in a paper or an article or in in libraries, a part of the library’s collection that includes encyclopedias, handbooks, directories, and other publications that provide useful overviews, common practices, and facts.

  • RSS RSS (Really Simple Syndication) is an XML-based syndication format for distributing content on the Web. New articles that have been added to a journal can be distributed using the RSS format. An RSS document includes full or summarized text, and metadata, like publishing date and author's name. RSS feeds also benefit users who want to receive timely updates from favorite websites or to aggregate data from many sites.


  • Template A form letter used for one of the processes undertaken as part of peer review. Within online peer review management systems, a sizable collection of template letters will exist, often with coding components (tags) that allow the system to automatically insert personal details into the template letter.


  • Volume Collection of a minimum of one journal issue; in printed form, volumes of more than one issue are not normally bound together by the publisher, but are frequently bound together in hardback by the purchasing library to aid preservation of the printed product.


  • XML XML (The Extensible Markup Language) is a subset of SGML that is completely described in this document. Its goal is to enable generic SGML to be served, received, and processed on the Web in the way that is now possible with HTML. XML has been designed for ease of implementation and for interoperability with both SGML and HTML.