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Writing and Publishing whilst an employee of ESNEFT

Information on copyright at ESNEFT can be found here


If you are thinking of doing research or project work and writing for publishing, contact ESNEFT libraries: Ipswich: 01473 702544​ or email   Colchester: 01206 742146​ or email We can help you.  For general advice, see below.


How do I decide what type of study I am undertaking or what sort of support I may be able to source?  Can my publication be considered as research?

This may be difficult to establish but the Healthcare Quality Improvement Partnership has a useful publication available here - to help you decide if you are working on or have produced a research study, or a clinical audit, or another type of publication. 


If your proposal is research, then contact the Research Department (R&D) email r& please note that this does not include case reports – please see below for more information.  More information about research at ESNEFT can be found on the ESNEFT website here.

Clinical Audit

Perhaps what you are proposing does not come under the category of research – could it be a clinical audit?  Recent guidance on what makes up a clinical audit is available here.  There are also useful guides and forms on the ESNEFT intranet – see the Clinical Audit Department intranet pages..  If your proposal is indeed a clinical audit contact the department at

Or perhaps your proposal could be a QI (Quality Improvement) project?


To decide if your project is Quality Improvement or Clinical Audit see ESNEFT’s decision flowchart here  - part of the QI intranet pages.  If the proposal does sit within QI – please contact the ESNEFT QI faculty email: – see the QI pages on the intranet for more information.  More detail on writing and publishing QI projects can be found here.

Case reports

If your proposal is a case report related to a patient then you will need to discuss publication with the primary consultant in charge of the patient and ensure that there is documented written patient consent for publication.   Informed consent for publication is vital – further general information on this is available here.  R&D and Clinical Audit do not need to be informed.  More information on case reports can be found here.

If images of the patient are needed then contact the ESNEFT Photography department as there are strict rules around patient consent and copyright.  Depending on which journal your case report is eventually published in, then it is likely that there will need to be a patient consent form completed for that journal/journal publisher – see the author guidelines on each journal’s website for more details.

ESNEFT Libraries and Evidence Services have purchased an institutional subscription to BMJ Case Reports, allowing all ESNEFT staff to publish their case reports at no cost to themselves. It means you can submit an unlimited number of cases to be peer-reviewed and published. BMJ Case Reports is indexed in MEDLINE (PubMed) and is an award winning journal that holds the largest repository of case reports. For more information, click here.


For systematic and other types of reviews contact ESNEFT Libraries as we can help with searching the evidence-base and critically appraising studies retrieved.  PRISMA (Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses) offer authoritative guidance on their website

A well-conducted systematic review is a large and labour-intensive task, and an experienced librarian can offer invaluable support in devising comprehensive search strategies and advising on the range of resources that should be included. Please contact us as early as possible in the project to discuss.

Support, funding and journal selection

ESNEFT Libraries can offer advice and suggestions related to getting support and funding for publication, but we can’t help pay any publication costs that might be incurred.  Click here for a summary of points to consider when writing for publication and thinking of possible costs.  R&D should be able to advise re. sourcing funding, but to support research only – not case reports or other types of publication. 

With the selection of any journal, there needs to be consideration of far more than whether the journal charges publication fees or APCs (article processing charges).  The tool Think Check Submit  helps would-be authors select a journal suitable for their publication.  ESNEFT Libraries can help with offering pointers for key issues to consider in selecting possible journals for your publication.

A key decision when selecting a journal might be whether the journal title is open access - giving free and unrestricted access to an electronic resource.  If this is desirable, then the DOAJ (Directory of Open Access Journals) offers a subject-based selection tool.  It is possble to narrow the results to those journals that do not charge publication fees to the author (otherwise known as article processing charges - APCs).  

Individual journals will offer detailed instructions for authors, which should be read in detail and followed to prevent articles being rejected – examples are the BMJ  and the Lancet.

A journal’s impact factor is often mentioned when making a choice of a suitable journal – this is the number of times that the average article in a journal has been cited by other authors in a particular year.  It is used to measure the rank or importance of a journal by calculating the number of times the articles that are published in it have been cited.  More information is available here.

ESNEFT Libraries and Evidence Services have purchased an institutional subscription to BMJ Case Reports, allowing all ESNEFT staff to publish their case reports at no cost to themselves. It means you can submit an unlimited number of cases to be peer-reviewed and published. BMJ Case Reports is indexed in MEDLINE (PubMed) and is an award winning journal that holds the largest repository of case reports. For more information click here.

Be unique and let others find you

As a new researcher, sign up for an ORCID ID at  – a unique persistent digital identifier that distinguishes you from other researchers but allows you to connect with them.

Statistics Software

Free statistics software and information about what is included is available here from PSPP

Literature/Evidence searching

As a starting point in your writing journey, you will need to find out what the existing literature says.  ESNEFT Libraries can help you with your search through the evidence – we can do the search on your behalf – email (for Colchester) or (for Ipswich) for more information.  Training on searching is offered – see our website  for contact details and a list of available dates.

Getting the articles

If you have a list of articles or other documents you need to source already to hand, then email for Ipswich, or for Colchester and we can supply them – usually for no charge.

Critical appraisal

Let ESNEFT libraries help you to evaluate the quality of the sources of information you retrieve in your search – either by booking one of our structured courses – dates available on our website  or contact the libraries for more details.

Carrying out the work and writing up

Search the ELMS catalogue of books available in libraries across the NHS East of England region for titles on research, reviews and writing for publication  and for books held locally - a really good source is the Oxford Handbook of Clinical and Healthcare Research  – available with an NHS Athens account.


ESNEFT libraries currently does not subscribe to reference management software but can offer advice and support with regard to referencing.  The following tools are freely available on the internet:



Staff publications database/Repository

If you have written a published article/conference abstract/chapter for a book/or a whole book, let ESNEFT libraries know the details or forward a copy to us at or – we can add details to our staff publications database – currently in development. We are happy to consider purchase of any books for library stock. 


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