Skip to main content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Scholarly Writing: Scholarly Writing Library Guide

Scholarly Writing Library Guide


This Library Guide is aimed at staff at SVHM who have done their research, searched the medical literature and are embarking on writing their clinical or non-clinical work. This could be an article for publication, an internal report, or a grant application. It is recommended that this guide is consulted with the information at Evidence Based Practice and the guidelines of the Research Directorate, St. Vincent's Hospital Melbourne.

Contact: Danila Durante,

Writing Guidelines


Cheat sheets

what to include in your abstract and why, with examples,

examples of abstracts in nursing


Free online tutorials by Springer Nature aimed at journal authors


Articles from Editage Insights (free account registration required)

Getting published


How to avoid a desk reject in seven steps (


Where to publish?
Finding a journal that is a good fit for your paper gives you the best chance of success when submitting for publishing. Consider journal quality, publisher reputation and the journal's acceptance rates.



How long will the journal take to process my submitted manuscript? What percentage of submissions are accepted?

  • SciRev reviews of the scientific review process for a given journal
  • Conpher find advice from colleagues by journal title, subject area, or keyword



Image from: Simera, I., & Altman, D. G. (2013). Reporting medical researchInternational journal of clinical practice67(8), 710–716.


Avoiding Plagiarism, Self-plagiarism, and Other Questionable Writing Practices: A Guide to Ethical Writing, US Office of Research Integrity (2015)

Ethics guidelines relating to case studies, clinical trials, animal trials and so forth should be discussed with Dr Tam Ngyuen, Research Governance Unit


Writing Tools


Covidence is online software specifically created for facilitating the writing of systematic reviews. St Vincent's now has a site licence, if you would like to gain access please contact the Library on

EndNote is bibliographic management software that allows you to store records of references, their full text PDF, organise them, and cite them in a Word document to create formatted bibliographies.To learn more about EndNote see the EndNote Library Guide.  Trequest the software for your computer while working from home email While other personal bibliographic management tools are available, Librarians at SVHM only provide support (consultations and tutorials) for EndNote.

PRISMA is an evidence-based minimum set of items for reporting in systematic reviews and meta-analyses. PRISMA focuses on the reporting of reviews evaluating randomized trials, but can also be used as a basis for reporting systematic reviews of other types of research, particularly evaluations of interventions. It comprises a checklist and a flow diagram.

What type of article are you writing?


Evidence mapping
A review of literature that systematically searches evidence, uses explicit questions, and provides tabular summaries of the nature and findings of the studies. Source

Literature review
A literature review identifies, evaluates and synthesises the relevant literature within a particular field of research. It illuminates how knowledge has evolved within the field, highlighting what has already been done, what is generally accepted, what is emerging and what is the current state of thinking on the topic. In addition, within research-based texts such as a Doctoral thesis, a literature review identifies a research gap (i.e. unexplored or under-researched areas) and articulates how a particular research project addresses this gap.

Meta analysis
Meta-analysis is a quantitative, formal, epidemiological study design used to systematically assess the results of previous research to derive conclusions about that body of research. It includes a comprehensive literature search and a PRISMA statement. Source

Narrative review
A review of literature that is unsystematically searched and minimally extracted to answer a broad question that may be vaguely stated. Source

Peer review
Evaluation of a paper by experts in that field, usually done "blind" (i.e. the reviewer does not know who has written the paper) to avoid bias. Source : Understanding Research Methods for Evidence-based Practice in Health. Greenhalgh TM, Bidewell J, Crisp E et al. Milton, Qld.: John Wiley & Sons, 2017.

Scoping review
A narrative integration of relevant, systematically searched evidence. Examines the extent, range and nature of research activity in a broad topic. May be used to determine whether a systematic review is feasible. Source

Systematic review
A review of literature that is systematically searched. It answers a well-defined narrow question through a structured and rigorous synthesis of original studies chosen with strict and transparent inclusion and exclusion criteria. It evaluates the quality of the evidence and makes recommendations based on a qualitative synthesis of either all the evidence or only the high-quality evidence. More detailed information is available at our guide on Systematic Reviews.

Systematised review

A systematized review attempts to include elements of the systematic review process while stopping short of the systematic review. For example, they may include a PRISMA chart. Systematized reviews are typically conducted as a postgraduate student assignment, in recognition that they are not able to draw upon the resources required for a full systematic review (such as two reviewers).