After long hours of research and writing, you finally finished your manuscript and are ready to submit it to a journal. That’s great.
Here are my five tips on peer-reviewed journal submission. Helpfully they can be helpful in your submission.
1. Follow the submission guideline
Read the guideline of the target journal carefully on the format of your manuscript, including title, abstract, headings and subheading for different sections, reference style, keywords, word count. Each journal has somewhat different instructions, format the paper appropriately to meet their requirement.
2. Don’t ignore the cover letter
Editors read your cover letter to learn from you about the significance of your study and why it will be interesting their readers. Don’t simply put a shortened abstract here. Tailor the message to demonstrate the relevance of your work to the journal and to highlight the important findings.
3. Prepare all the required documents ahead of time
For each journal, in addition to the main manuscript, there are other documents you need to include in your submission, such as author contribution statement form, conflict of interest form, and so on. If there are some forms that need each coauthor to fill out, be sure to collect them before you are ready to submit the paper, so your submission won’t be delayed or seen as incomplete.
4. Suggest potential reviewers if you can
Some journals give you the option to suggest potential reviewers. Journal editors and staff are very busy and they are not expert in every specific study area, so giving names of potential reviewers is helpful to them. It would also benefit yourself if you believe those potential reviewers can give your study an appropriate review.
In your suggestion, you should avoid those with conflicts of interests (those who you work with, people are your friends). One good place to look at is the authors of the articles you cited in your paper. It’s possible they have expertise in this area and are willing to review your paper.
5. Block out adequate time for the submission
The submission process has several steps for entering information, uploading documents, answering required questions, and so on. During this process, you want to make sure you do not miss anything important or make any careless mistakes, such as uploading a wrong document. For example, you don’t want to upload an earlier version of your manuscript instead of the final one by accident.
Block out adequate time for the whole submission process, without interruption or distraction, so you can focus your attention on it.
【 Related article： Peer-Review Process: 4 Major Steps 】
Use these 5 tips when you submit your paper to a scholarly journal. Good luck!
Watch my YouTube video “5 Tips on Peer-reviewed Journal Submission”.