Writing a journal article


The content-to-length ratio accurately summarises what more and more high-end journals are all about: cramming as much exciting, new information into as little space as possible. Not all journals make this a high priority, but it is increasingly common. Journals that pride themselves of rapid turnaround, have short papers, have ‘Letters’ in the journal name, regularly use supplementary online material, and have high impact factors are very likely to like a high content-to-length ratio – whether they explicitly state this or not. If you get the sense that a high content-to-length ratio is expected of you, it is particularly important that you prioritise your content and fit your content to the prescribed length. Your writing style also becomes more important, because there is no room for extra words (see suggestions for structuring a paper, a section and a sentence).

See also:

  1. Planning your paper
  2. Prioritising content
  3. Fitting the content to the length
  4. Content-to-length-ratio
  5. Structure: the paper
  6. Structure: section and paragraph
  7. Structure: the sentence
  8. Supplementary online material

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