Step by step

1. Prepare your submission

Before you start, make sure you're ready by going through the checklist and reading the common issues section. This means that you won't waste time having to make revisions to your submission, or risk a rejection.

Prepare your manuscript following the instructions for double-anonymous peer review journals.

If you need help, we have a range of author services designed to help you present and promote your work. Our experts can help with English language issues, scientific assessment and editing, manuscript and figure formatting.

2. Write a cover letter

Your cover letter gives you the chance to sell your manuscript to the journal editor. It introduces your work and explains why it would be of interest to readers. Keep it focused and to a single page.

  • State the title of your manuscript and what prompted you to write it.
  • Explain briefly what research was undertaken and what the results show.
  • Describe why you think your work will be of interest to the journal’s readers. 

3. Go to the journal homepage 

Select 'Submit manuscript'. From there you'll be directed to Snapp if your journal is using it. You will be asked to log in or register with your email if you don’t already have an account.

Screenshot of journal showing option to submit manuscript

4. Upload your manuscript and cover letter

Depending on your area of research, your submission will either be a Word document with embedded image files, or a .zip file containing LaTeX files. If a .zip containing LaTeX files is submitted, our system automatically compiles them into a PDF for peer review. You will also be asked to upload your cover letter.

Screenshot of author submission process in Snapp, showing the manuscript file upload tab

5. Complete the form

Key data, such as the title, abstract, and author details, are automatically extracted by the system. These details are used throughout the peer review and publication process. You'll be asked to confirm these details and provide extra information including:

  • author details and affiliations
  • details of the corresponding author
  • funding details
  • authorship statement

Screenshot of author submission process in Snapp, showing the manuscript details tab  

Screenshot of author submission process in Snapp, showing the authors tab, including entry of affiliated institutions and fundi

You will also be asked to agree to our policies and open access requirements, and disclose any competing interests, dual publication, or use of third-party material.

Screenshot of author submission process in Snapp, showing the declarations tab

Finally, you can review the submission and revisit any previous stages to make changes. There is also the option to share your work as a preprint on Research Square.

Once you are ready to submit, select 'Submit Manuscript'.

6. Track your submission

On successful submission you will have access to a tracking tool where you can monitor the progress of the submission, perform additional actions, and get help if needed. This tool will also help you track all your submissions to journals on Snapp.

What happens after submission?

After you submit, your manuscript will go through these steps on its journey to publication:

Technical check

The first stage involves an initial check when the manuscript is examined to make sure it is readable, formatted properly and that the necessary declarations have been made.  

For example, we check that: 

  • all declarations are present for ethics or competing interests
  • all the authors have been identified

We need to make sure all the required data is present to support the onward processes.

We use AI technology to check for plagiarism and we may reject a manuscript on this basis - even if it's unintentional. 

If you're using a well-known method or reproducing parts of data from elsewhere, you must be transparent and state this in your manuscript.

During this process, we might ask you to clarify or amend your manuscript.

Read our Common issues section to see how you can avoid any unnecessary delays.

Editor review

Next, the manuscript will be sent to an editor who will review the content and assess whether it is suitable for publication. The editor then decides whether to pass the manuscript on to peer review.

Peer review

Peer review is a critical process in academic publishing when experts and peers review the validity and quality of the manuscript. Two or more peer reviewers are assigned to each paper and report back with their comments. They may well ask questions of you to seek further information and clarification.

Final decision

The editorial team will then consider the comments of the peer reviewers and re-assess any manuscript revisions. If they are satisfied that the manuscript is now suitable for publication, they will officially accept it and let you know.

The Springer Nature Transfer Desk Service

If you are unsuccessful at your chosen journal, our Transfer Desk team will be in touch upon rejection to make some recommendations for other Springer Nature titles you might wish to transfer your manuscript to. There is more information about this service on the Transfer Desk webpages.

Rights and open access payments 

Once your article is accepted you'll sign a publishing agreement. 

For open access articles, you may need to pay the article processing charge (APC) - but only if you're not already covered by one of Springer Nature's open access agreements, or another source of funding. 

Read more about open access funding and support


After the agreement has been signed, you'll be sent the article proofs to approve and then, it's straight to our publication system. 

We'll notify you when your article is live and send you a link. You'll be able to track how many times it's been accessed by readers by logging into your Springer Nature account.