Many journals, especially in the life sciences, offer the possibility to submit results as as a brief communication.

I'm wondering when to choose this way of publishing. If I don't have enough results for a large paper because it used to be a "hobby project" that should be put to an end, but the results are interesting and I want to publish them, should I opt for a brief communication?

How do I choose between this form of publication and an article?

This includes the question of how small a "real" article can be.


The answer is often that you submit an article, and the journal says "We might accept this if you can make it a brief communication, which means 1 table, and X words". (Where X is a relatively small number.

Write the article and see if it naturally fits into their criterion for brief communication. If it does, submit it as such, if not, submit it as an article. The length of a 'real' article depends on the journal, but I've had a lot of papers rejected and this only happened once because the article was too short.

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    I've heard of the situation happening in the reverse as well, you submit it as "note" (or whatever) and the journal asks you to write a full article. The prior editors of Criminology would not publish notes. – Andy W Dec 11 '13 at 13:35

The Journal of Neuroscience has this web page Brief Communications

It does explicitly say,

Brief Communications are short research articles intended to present exciting findings that will have a major impact in neuroscience. Brief Communications are limited to 4,500 words. . . . may include no more than 4 figures, tables, multimedia, and/or 3D models, . . .

Please ask the editors of that journal for more details.

Also, the Wiki page for that journal says,

some issues of the journal contain articles in the following sections: Brief Communications . . .

I guess it means not every issue publishes brief communications.

Disclaimer: My research area is not life science and I am not affiliated with Journal of Neuroscience.


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