presenting your research

Step 7: Present or publish

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You worked really hard to get these results – now you should share them…to present or to publish?

Presenting your work   

If your research is specific to occupational therapy, a great venue to present is usually your local, state, or regional OT group – try there first.  The American Occupational Therapy Association is another opportunity. It has a huge turnout and there are a lot of different ways you can share your work – a variety of presentation formats or present a poster. 

If your research is also relevant to another professional group – teachers, doctors, administrators – see if you can get a captive audience to share what you found.  Maybe there is a local teachers conference where you can present or ask to present at a local community meeting.   

Getting some feedback from presentations is a great way to share your research, but it will also help you if you want to publish the results in a peer-reviewed journal.   Soliciting feedback will help you clarify what the results mean, and to whom. 

Submitting your work for publication in a journal

Each journal has a different focus and aim – you have to find a journal that would be interested in hearing about your results.  Check out the journal’s home page to see what the aim and scope of the journal fits your research.  You can always email the editor of the journal to see if your research topic is something the journal would be interested. 

Once you have targeted a specific journal, you need to work on the paper and put it into a format that the journal will accept – check out the “author guidelines” for the journal to find out the nitty-gritty details of the publication process for that journal.  Most journals, at the least, require a literature review, methods, results, discussion, and conclusion.  You will need to present your results in table or graphs and make a compelling argument for how your research fits into the bigger picture (the “so what?” of your research).

Whatever you choose will expand your professional skills and make you a better clinician while sharing something valuable with your colleagues!

Did you know that if you do research, you can earn PDUs through NBCOT and more than likely your state licensure board (just depends on the state!)?  Contact me for details!   

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