The steps you take before you submit your article manuscript can have a big impact on your chances of getting accepted. These are the steps that start after you have your results, and before you submit them. Most of them happen in between writing up your results and submitting the manuscript, but some parts can influence how you write up your results.
In this blog we will go through a series of steps you can follow when you are preparing to submit your manuscript. This guide aims to help you as an author in improving your chances of getting your work published to your desired outlet.
You want to carefully consider the journals to which you want to submit your article—and that list of journals should vary from article to article because you want to pick the journals that are most suitable for that particular article. Submitting your article to the wrong journal, even if it’s one you’ve published in before but where your article isn’t quite in scope, can result in rejection before review.
So you want to look at both the Aims & Scope (and compare that to the topic of your article), as well as the articles the journal has been publishing (especially the articles published recently, which will show you the editors’ current focus).
And even if you do everything right, there’s still a chance that the journal’s editors will reject your article, so you want to have a list of journals—a whole submission plan—so you already know where to send the article next.
You want to check your target journal’s Instructions for Authors so that you can prepare the manuscript, as well as supporting files (like images) according to these instructions. You also want to check for length specifications—if your manuscript is too long (or too short). Not conforming to the Instructions for Authors can also result in a rejection without review.
A good cover letter can help to “sell” your manuscript to the journal editor. As well as introducing your work to the Editor you can also take this opportunity to explain why the manuscript will be of interest to a journal’s readers, something which is always at the forefront of an editor’s mind.
The structure below will give you a good idea of how to write a good cover letter. (Also note that every cover letter should include the following sentence: We confirm that this manuscript has not been published elsewhere and is not under consideration by another journal.
These tips and suggestions should help you get started.
Best of luck with your next submission!