Research publishing is an opportunity to communicate with a global audience, and it is probably essential for career progression and research grant acquisition. However, most researchers struggle to publish their research, because they lack resources and critical knowledge of the publishing process. This toolkit is meant to provide a list of resources to help you during the writing, illustration, and submission process.
- Google Docs – allows editing the same document by multiple authors;
- Manuscripts.io – a free and open-access tool for collaborative writing. It has more functions than Google Docs, including an in-built reference manager, styling, and navigation that is easy to manipulate;
- Manuscriptsapp.com – a stand-alone software application for planning, editing, and sharing your research work. It directly supports several reference managers, including Papers;
- OpenOffice – a free word processor with support for Zotero reference manager;
- Grammarly – checks readability of your manuscript and revises grammar and punctuation;
- Trinka.ai – 10,000 words free grammar and plagiarism check each month;
- Writefull.com – MS Word add-on for checking grammar and punctuation.
Research workspace and literature search
- Iris.ai – the Researcher Workspace includes modules on searching, filtering, analyzing, extracting, summarizing, and reporting literature;
- Elicit.org – an AI research assistant that has similar functions as Iris.ai and includes tasks for developing a research question, suggesting search terms, rephrasing sentences (be careful when using this, always cite appropriately), generating an abstract from a manuscript, and clarifying a concept;
- Rayyan.ai – helps in organizing and managing a collaborative systematic literature review. The service is free for early career researchers;
- Researchrabbit.ai – an AI powered literature search that can be used to explore the key articles of relevance to your research topic;
- Hinari Access – researchers from 125 countries can access articles that are located behind paywalls using this program and the following sister programs:
- Mendeley Reference Manager – a free online service, might not be useful for researchers with poor access to the internet;
- Zotero – a free, stand-alone reference manager, has in-built notification of research articles that have been retracted. Compatible with OpenOffice;
- EndNote – a paid-for, stand-alone reference manager.
- The pronoun project (https://thenounproject.com/) – a collection of free vector diagrams for use in figures. Citation is required when using the unpaid version;
- Inkscape (https://inkscape.org/) – a free software application for making illustrations;
- Autodraw (https://www.autodraw.com/) – a free online drawing program by Google that uses machine learning to suggest objects;
- Google Drawing (https://docs.google.com/drawings) – similar to PowerPoint but with fewer functions for complex drawings;
- SciDraw.io – a collection of illustrations used in the biological sciences that you can use for free;
- ChemSketch Freeware – a free software application for drawing chemicals and chemical reactions;
- PowerPoint – great resource for using together with vector diagrams. Save as PDF and then convert your .pdf to at least a 300 dpi .tiff, .png, or .jpeg file using SmartPDF converter.
- Jamovi.org – free stand-alone open-access statistical analysis package;
- Jasp-stats.org – free stand-alone open-access statistical analysis package;
- Chiplot.online – free in-browser online data visualization.
- Elsevier® JournalFinder (https://journalfinder.elsevier.com/) – add your manuscript title, abstract and keywords, select your field of research, and then select your minimum journal impact factor and maximum time to first decision;
- Wiley Journal Finder (https://journalfinder.wiley.com) – similar to JournalFinder;
- Springer Journal Suggester (https://journalsuggester.springer.com) – similar to JournalFinder;
- Taylor & Francis Journal Suggester (https://authorservices.taylorandfrancis.com/publishing-your-research/choosing-a-journal/journal-suggester/) – similar to JournalFinder;
- Journal Recommender (https://journal-recommender.sagepub.com/) – similar to JournalFinder;
- IEEE Publication Recommender™ (https://publication-recommender.ieee.org/home) – similar to JournalFinder;
- Journal/Author Name Estimator (JANE) (https://jane.biosemantics.org/) – includes a more comprehensive list of journals.
Peer reviewer training
- ACS Reviewer Lab (https://institute.acs.org/courses/acs-reviewer-lab.html) – 1–2 hours training on the peer review process and practices (Free);
- An Introduction to Peer Review (https://webofscienceacademy.clarivate.com/learn/course/external/view/elearning/119/an-introduction-to-peer-review) – other courses include Reviewing in Sciences, Reviewing in Humanities, and Mentoring in Peer Review (Free);
- Nature MasterClass Focus on Peer Review (https://masterclasses.nature.com/online-course-on-peer-review/16507836) – 3–4 hours of learning (Free);
- Introduction to the Certified Peer Reviewer Course (https://researcheracademy.elsevier.com/navigating-peer-review/certified-peer-reviewer-course/introduction-certified-peer-reviewer-course) – one hour of training (Free).
- ChatGPT – helps editing and structuring work
- Claude.ai – helps editing and structuring work
- Google Bard – helps editing and structuring work
Use Generative AI with caution and responsibly.
This list is not exhaustive and will be continuously updated; if you know of additional useful tools not listed, please add them in the comments with a simple explanation of how you use them.
Edmond Sanganyado is associate editor of Forensic Science International: Animals and Environments and an editorial board member of Integrated Environmental Assessment and Management. He is a member of the Zimbabwe Young Academy of Sciences and of the Global Young Academy. Edmond was elected as a Fellow of the Institution of Environmental Science in recognition of his outstanding contributions to environmental science and sustainability.