A common form of scientific publication is an article published in an academic journal. This is also the type of publication that has the highest status in many disciplines. Articles are often published in journals with a specific research focus, and have usually undergone peer review, a process where the manuscript is scrutinized by other experts in the field before it is accepted and published. The author/authors are typically researchers at a university and the intended audience of the article is other experts within the field.
Academic journals can either be subscription based (and made available through a university library etc) or Open Access, meaning that they are freely available online.
A dissertation, or thesis, is the product of a PhD student’s research and is presented at a disputation (defence), where the opponent (a senior researcher with expertise in the relevant research field) critiques the work. The dissertation has also been reviewed by the PhD student’s supervisor and is graded by an examining committee.
There are two kinds of dissertations. A compilation thesis consists of separately published articles with an introduction and a summary. A monograph thesis consists of a longer, unified text.
BooksScholarly books are usually published by international research-oriented publishing houses. A monograph is a book written by a single author (or a small team of authors) on a specific topic. An anthology is compiled by an editor and consists of different contributions or chapters by separate authors.
A researcher attending a conference often presents a paper, usually a shorter piece on a current research project. Sometimes these papers are peer reviewed and may be collected in a conference proceeding.
In some research fields, conference publications have high status, especially in quickly expanding research fields. In other fields, they are considered as a preliminary form of scientific article.