Journals Library

NIHR Journals Library Threaded Publication Model

Following a successful pilot, threaded publication is now the primary publishing route for research published in the Journals Library.

Researchers are able to tell the story of their research through a collection of articles, published by the NIHR Journals Library or in an external journal, and a synopsis, which draws the threads together once the research is completed.

The animation below provides a short explanation of threaded publication in the Journals Library:

Reporting in individual articles means that results from components of the research can be disseminated as soon as they are ready. It also helps to reduce duplication of effort for those authors who wish to publish external papers alongside their Journals Library publications. Articles have their own author list, are citable and can be more easily found in indexing databases.

Threaded publication also ensures a full and reflective account of the research is reported through:

  • a synopsis, which provides a complete, high-level summary of the research
  • an editorial process which considers the whole package of papers from an award
  • the compilation of all papers in an individual issue of the journal
  • the inclusion of any external articles in the thread on the Journals Library website and in the issue through external article publication pages, which provide links to the original article in another journal.

We are also ensuring flexibility and proportionality is embedded in the new model, tailoring our publication approach to the varying reporting needs of different types of research. For instance, publishing a single research article or extended research article where this is deemed more appropriate for the award type than a full thread.

Authors continue to benefit from guaranteed publication in a high-quality journal, following rigorous peer review and editorial review, as well as a thorough production process. The new model may also enable more members of research teams to develop their authorship skills.

What’s next?

We are continually developing and improving our approach to threaded publication in close collaboration with authors, research teams, peer reviewers, editors, and other stakeholders.

We will also soon be launching a new journal, Global Health Research. This journal will follow the threaded publication approach from the outset. Look out for the first article coming soon!

We continue to make iterative improvements to the website and are planning for more significant developments in future to improve user experience and maximise the potential of threaded publication.

Professor Lucy Chappell, CEO of the NIHR states:

“The NIHR Journals Library threaded publication model offers an innovative and smart solution to publishing that will benefit authors, the wider research community and patients and public, ensuring best use of public money to improve the health and wealth of the nation.

The new model supports NIHR’s commitment to ensuring value in research by providing complete publication, supporting earlier reporting of findings through a more streamlined offer to authors. It also continues to reflect NIHR’s commitment to the principles of open research by publishing transparent, full accounts of research in its open access, peer-reviewed journals.

Threaded publication allows the different elements of NIHR-funded research projects to be published individually and at the point that they are ready. All of these components will be available in one place, including links to any publications in other academic journals, alongside an overview of the whole project. This will ensure a complete account, without unnecessary duplication, which provides an overall response to the research question prioritised by the programmes to meet health and social care research needs.”

Examples of published threaded publication articles

Example of a published synopsis

Examples of external articles on the Journals Library website