Micropublishing

What is Micropublishing?

A micropublication can be thought of as a mini research article - they are a small, simple article describing a single result or claim without a broader narrative. They are also referred to as a brief or short report.

The idea behind micropublishing is to get more research published and out in the open so it can be used by other researchers. For example during a research lifecycle, you may get small results from pilot experiments that won’t fit the narrative of your final traditional research article, therefore micropublishing allows you to get this kind of thing published.

Micropublications gained more popularity during the COVID-19 pandemic (see blog here- https://elifesciences.org/labs/77a64938/outbreak-a-micropublishing-journal-for-collaborative-covid-19-research) where there was an emphasis on getting data and results out, no matter how small.

Many journals publish short reports such as eLife, PLOS Biology, Implementation Science and F1000Research.

There has also been some recent initiatives that only publish micropublications and encourage step-by-step publishing as your research progresses - ultimately working in the open and improving the efficiency of the scientific process.

You can find out more at each of the platforms:

Why Micropublish?

Micropublishing allows you to get your work out sooner, rather than waiting till the end of your research lifecycle to just publish a traditional research article. This also means you can publish results that might not fit the narrative of your overall research and results that may face publication bias such as negative results. Additionally it allows for situations like students leaving the lab to get a publication out quickly.

Micropublications are easy to put together - the journals that publish them are very flexible with format and the barrier for publishing them is low.

By publishing your smaller outputs you also get credit by having it as a citable research object. This sharing of smaller outputs gets your work out into the community with potential for new collaborations.

How do you write a Micropublication?

Micropublications are designed to be concise so you should approach writing these in a short and easy to read format. You may want to include the same sections you would include in a research article such as introduction, methods, results and discussion as well as a single figure.

How do you review Micropublications?

You can find general guidance on how to peer review a paper in our peer review chapter here.

For micropublications you can review them in a similar manner to how you would review a research article.