You will find your target journal’s format requirements in its Instructions for Authors. When preparing your submission, you should follow these requirements and instructions so that the Editors can move directly to evaluating your manuscript, rather than sending it back to you to be reformatted. Following the Instructions for Authors can also increase your chances of success because you will not omit materials that the journal might require. 

  • Review all guidelines and ensure that your manuscript meets them. Have you:
  • Obeyed all word and character limits (title, running title, abstract, manuscript text)?
  • Included all required sections?
  • Met language requirements (U.S. or UK English)?
  • Supplied all requested contact information?
  • Inserted figures in the correct location (in text, end of manuscript, separate files)?
  • Correctly formatted references?
  • Used the correct file format for your images (.jpg, .png, .pdf, .ppt)?
  • Stated ANY conflicts of interest?
  • Included details of any required ethics and regulatory permissions?
  • Obtained consent from all authors?

TIP: Before writing a complete draft of your manuscript, it is a good idea to select an initial target journal. Read the formatting requirements for the journal on its website, then write your draft. This could save you a lot of time, as you won’t have to reformat an already-written manuscript after selecting the journal!

TIP: Some journals provide templates to assist authors. Also look for template style files for use with your reference manager.

For further support

We hope that with this tutorial you have a clearer idea of how the publication process works and feel confident in responding to editor and reviewers. Good luck with publishing your work!

If you feel that you would like some further support with writing your paper and understanding the peer review process, Springer Nature offer some services which may be of help.

  • Nature Research Editing Service offers high quality  English language and scientific editing. During language editing, Editors will improve the English in your manuscript to ensure the meaning is clear and identify problems that require your review. With Scientific Editing experienced development editors will improve the scientific presentation of your research in your manuscript and cover letter, if supplied. They will also provide you with a report containing feedback on the most important issues identified during the edit, as well as journal recommendations.
  • Our affiliates American Journal Experts also provide English language editing* as well as other author services that may support you in preparing your manuscript.
  • We provide both online and face-to-face training for researchers on all aspects of the manuscript writing process.

* Please note, using an editing service is neither a requirement nor a guarantee of acceptance for publication. 

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