Journals LibraryNHS NIHR - National Institute for Health Research
Support for Health and Social Care Researchers and Professionals
NIHR’s mission is to improve the health and wealth of the Nation through research. To help us deliver this, NIHR strives to attract, train and support researchers to tackle complex health and social care challenges. This support is multifaceted and includes the work of the Journals Library.
The Journals Library supports researchers primarily through the editorial and peer review process by:
- Helping authors craft rigorous and informative manuscripts
- Conducting and promoting good research and publishing practices that influence and inform policy and key stakeholders
- Providing visibility and equitable recognition of individual contributions in research and its publication
- Providing mentorship and a series of training, guidance, and toolkits
- Communicating and promoting the latest news from the Journals Library and helpful blogs to promote good practices, learning and information sharing within publishing.
All of these help NIHR to work towards a more diverse and inclusive research culture.
For Journals Library Authors
The Journals Library guarantees publication in its journals for NIHR award holders with no Article Processing Charges (APCs), of those articles agreed in the publication plan, provided the authors make any necessary changes requested by the editors. Additionally, the editorial review process provides a collaborative and enhanced developmental editorial approach for authors. This can be beneficial for all authors, but particularly those who have limited experience of publishing in peer-reviewed journals. When publishing in the Journals Library, authors can expect:
- The Journals Library Publications team to work with authors to get their research into the public domain in a timely manner.
- The Publications team to be available to answer questions.
- The publication expectations to be clear from the start of the award contract, including links to the appropriate Journals Library guidance.
- The Publications team to review publication plans with authors (see below) and determine how and where the funded work could be best reported to reduce duplication of authors’ effort and meet evidence-users’ and stakeholders’ needs.
- The Journals Library to ensure that authors of multi-authored research are each appropriately credited for their contributions to individual manuscripts.
Developmental editorial input
- The Journals Library to work with NIHR award teams to co-create a publication plan for their research.
- Our expert Journal Editors to review and advise on all publication plans. This might include identifying a range of possible outputs, helping to identify beneficial positioning of articles, or where content may be amalgamated across articles, and the negotiation of timelines. This can make the publication process more effective and make research outputs more useful.
- Journals Library to support award teams to publish on their methods and findings in full, irrespective of the nature of the findings and whether or not the study completed as planned.
- The Journals Library Editors and Peer Reviewers to support authors to enhance the narrative of their Journals Library publications and to effectively draw out implications and learning from their research.
- Range of award outputs to give opportunities for more junior members of the author team to develop their writing skills through, for example contributing to or leading the writing of selected articles.
- Editors and Publication team to support all authors throughout the publication process. This support is iterative, individually tailored and aims to develop not only knowledge of the publication process but also writing skills, and the skills required to respond to constructive review during this process.
- The Journals Library to send their accepted manuscripts to a dedicated production services team, where they are copy-edited and proof-read by professional writers and proof-readers who liaise directly with the corresponding author.
The Journals Library adheres to the ICMJE guidelines on Defining the Role of Authors and Contributors. These guidelines define authorship, and all those who qualify must be listed on our publications. All qualifying authors are listed on the title page. Any groups listed as full authors in the author list will have their members listed as non-author collaborators on PubMed.
The NIHR uses the CRediT (Contributor Roles Taxonomy) system for recognising the contributions to our research and publications. The CRediT system ensures visibility and consistent, equitable recognition of individual contributions, which include those not credited with authorship.
All our publications have a DOI and are easily citable making them more discoverable.
We always ask authors to provide an ORCiD (Open Researcher and Contributors ID). This means that authors’ names are permanently connected to their work and they can tap into the wider ORCiD community to extend participation in research, scholarship, and innovation across disciplines, borders, and time.
The Journals Library supports capacity building within the health and social care community and accepts joint lead authors to enable equitable recognition.
The Publications team works closely with NIHR Evidence colleagues to highlight research published in the Journals Library, which they may wish to include in their Alerts or Collections, supporting wider dissemination and the impact of authors’ work.
The Journals Library holds engagement sessions with our authors covering key themes including preparing for submission, developing a Publication Plan, responding to editor and reviewer comments, and Q&As with our Journal Editors.
Please look out for these sessions in the future or propose some webinar topics directly to the Journals Library at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Training and guidance materials
To support our authors, the Journals Library has a comprehensive Information for authors guide. The guidance provides manuscript preparation and submission guidance as well as information about using third-party content, the production process, publishing in external journals and relevant publishing policies. You can find the most recent changes on the latest updates page.
Other useful links can be found here:
Plain Language summaries
Writing for policy makers
Writing for target audiences?
NIHR Global Health Research authors
AuthorAID is a free pioneering global network that provides support, mentoring, resources and training for researchers in low and middle income countries to publish and communicate their work. The network offers:
How to promote your latest article/research?
Responding to Peer Review comments
All our publications are peer reviewed.
NIHR is a signatory of the Concordat to Support Research Integrity. The Journals Library strives to ensure all our funded and published work is underpinned by the highest standards of rigour and integrity, so authors and readers can have confidence in it. Our independent peer reviewers are critical to achieving this.
We typically use 2–4 reviewers, with relevant expertise, per manuscript. We ask reviewers to answer a standard set of questions about different aspects of the manuscript and feed their responses back to our editors for guidance and confidentially back to the researchers for their comments and actions.
To aid the personal development of our peer reviewers, we share an anonymised table of all the comments for the designated manuscript to those who reviewed it.
Our pool of peer reviewers is diverse – both by subject specialism and experience and includes patients and service users, experts-by-experience, academics, practitioners, managers and commissioners, public health and related professionals, social-care sector workers and others whose work has a potential impact on health and social care.
If you are an early career researcher and want to be a peer reviewer with us, we will buddy you with a more experienced reviewer to help you build your expertise and confidence in this aspect of research and development.
We are always extending and replenishing our reviewer pool to better meet the needs of the diverse communities NIHR’s local, national and global research represents and impacts. Find out more about the Journals Library’s peer review process and how to become a reviewer.
Peer Review recognition
Peer reviewers help authors and the Journals Library to produce the best possible research manuscripts. This process contributes to the trustworthiness of the research we publish and is recognised in various ways.
Completing a review for the Journals Library may be creditable for CPD, depending on your CPD awarding organisation. If you require any supporting information to include NIHR reviewing work in your CPD portfolio, please contact us at email@example.com.
For Consultant-grade medical practitioners, reviewing for the NIHR is a recognised contribution to research and innovation and can be referred to in Domain 4 of any submission for a Clinical Excellence Award.
Each year, the Journals Library thanks everyone who has taken the time to peer review our manuscripts, and lists them on our website. Here is a list of everyone provided a review in 2022.
Journals Library Peer Review supporting materials and training
To support peer reviewers in completing their task we have a step-by-step guide to completing a reviewer task on the MIS.
Other useful training material is available at:
- EASE Infographic - Being a good peer reviewer: Dos and Don’ts
- EASE Infographic – Completing your review in 10 steps
- The Web of Science Academy (previously Publons Academy) provides a practical module based, interactive, research and publishing skills course for early career researchers, with several elements addressing peer review. It has been developed together with expert academics and editors to teach the core competencies and skills needed of a peer reviewer.
Additionally, the NIHR Reviewer Development Scheme is for early career researchers who are new to reviewing or want to develop their skills further. The scheme offers members the opportunity to gain experience of peer review for NIHR funding programmes and in turn influence research commissioning.
Journals Library Peer Review engagement
The Journals Library offers engagement sessions with our peer reviewers, covering key themes including peer review experience, how we can provide better recognition and credit to their contribution in scholarly publishing and support and development materials in completing peer review.
Please look out for sessions, as well as register your interest or put forward webinar topics directly with the Journals Library at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Journals Library Editors / Editorial Board
The Journals Library Editors consist of clinicians and clinical academics (or the equivalent in public health) and health policy experts. They are supported by Journal Editors and the Editor-in-chief of the Journals Library.
Our editors work across all the NIHR journals. They review manuscripts alongside peer reviewer comments and ensure that authors meet the required standards for publication in the Journals Library.
The Editors meet as an Editorial Board throughout the year to discuss publishing issues, the development of the journals and to revise and review publishing policies and guidance.
To support our Journals Library Editors, we are committed to providing a supportive, diverse and inclusive environment, where we encourage editors to develop new editorial skills and build on their expertise or areas of interest.
Find out more about on our Editors and Editorial Board or if you are interested in becoming an editor please view the latest editorial opportunities in the NIHR Journals Library on the NIHR jobs page: https://www.nihr.ac.uk/committees/professional.htm.
Our new Threaded Publication Model means that more opportunities are available to work as part of our editorial process. Informal enquiries are welcomed if you are interested in future and current editorial opportunities in the NIHR Journals Library. Please contact email@example.com in the first instance to find out more.
For more information or suggestions on how the Journals Library can support and develop the Health and Social Care Research and Professional community please contact Journals.Library@nihr.ac.uk
Other NIHR initiatives and useful links
Be Part of Research
Be Part of Research is an online service that provides an opportunity to help members of the public understand what research is and what it might mean to take part in research, as well as showing the variety of research currently happening across the UK.
The NIHR website - Researchers
There is a dedicated NIHR page for researchers, where you will find content around applying for, designing and delivering research, as well as supporting your career as a researcher.
NIHR Commissioning calls
The NIHR is keen to support capacity building within the health and social care community and is open to the joint lead applicant status being used as an opportunity to gain research leadership expertise. Please contact the funding programme for more information.
NIHR School for Primary Care Research (SPCR)
SPCR has a dynamic research capacity and development programme to train future research leaders in primary care research.
The NIHR provides an annual doctoral training event which provides guidance and practical experience to learn how to put together a successful application for funding.
NIHR Academy mentoring
NIHR Academy provides postdoctoral Academy Members with career development support through its mentoring programme. The programme supports NIHR Academy Members across the health and social care community to mentor others and to seek a mentor from the NIHR senior leadership community.
NIHR Academy webinars
NIHR regularly host webinars designed to support leadership and management development. All of the modular resources have webinars associated with them, such as ‘Compassionate and inclusive leadership’ along with additional webinars covering a wide variety of topics such as ‘Coaching for success’ and ‘Optimising your energy for peak performance’.
The NIHR Evidence and dissemination team recently published a blog about how to make research easy to find and understand. Based on recent research, the blog highlights the need to understand how to communicate with key audiences, make content culturally relevant, and make use of creative formats (e.g., infographics, videos, or theatre!).
This blog is based on their Health Service Research UK session ‘Making health research accessible, transparent, and valuable for patients, service users and the public’, and you can view the whole session recording here.