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4 Things Authors Should Do before Submitting to a Journal

Submitting to journals can be a daunting task especially if it’s your first time. It can even be more intimidating when we’re talking about high-impact journals. But in every submission, there are a few steps that you should always do to increase your chances of getting published in a journal.

Select an appropriate journal

This is the most important decision you would have to make in the entire submission process. Ensure that the subject of your manuscript matches the journal’s aims and scope. Consider as well its audience and its inclusion in bibliographic and subject-specific databases such as SCI, SCIE, Scopus, etc., as well as its status in the academe, specifically in the relevant field. There are many more factors to consider such as publication frequency, usual turnaround time of reviews, publication charges, impact factor, and so on, but we’ll explain all of these in another article.

Follow the journal’s standards and instructions

Now that you have chosen a journal, take each instruction to heart. Journals usually have rules up to the smallest detail from references (e.g., should follow APA style, etc.) to table and figure numbers (e.g., whether to write “Figure 1” as “Fig 1” (shortened) or “Figure 1” (complete and in bold)), so make sure you read, understand, and follow everything. Each journal is different. In fact, even journals managed by one publication can have varying rules, so make sure you read and follow EVERYTHING.

Have your paper edited by professionals

A common advice to write effectively is to stop editing while you write. But, honestly, this can apply even when you’re already done writing your paper. Having read multiple articles and gone over your paper again and again, your eyes are not in the best state to spot technical errors like grammar, spelling, punctuation, etc., and identify which parts can be improved or revised. For this, Lexcode provides Journal Lab, a higher-level English editing service from style guide editing that aims to provide detailed, constructive feedback on the overall strength of the paper in terms of writing and actual content.

Submit your paper with a good cover letter

Your cover letter will serve as your first impression for the editor of the journal you are submitting to, so it’s best to provide the right information while still keeping it reader-friendly. Think of the “inverted pyramid” used by journalists, and remember to not simply repeat your abstract. If there are no specific details mentioned by the journal to include, then it’s a wise decision to give the following info:

  • Manuscript title

  • Journal name

  • Brief yet precise description of what the manuscript is about, its significance and novelty, and how it relates to the journal’s aims and scope

  • Reviewer and contact info
    • (Or you can use this sample provided by Lexcode Journal Lab)

That’s all you need to do before actually clicking the Submit Manuscript button. Make sure everything is error-free and that you provide all the information required in the submission process.

What happens next?

So you’ve managed to submit your paper and finally (and thankfully) got a response from the editor. Here are some tips to help you get through just that.

Address reviewer comments accordingly and judiciously

Respond calmly and clearly. Whether the editor is questioning the strength of your research or just pointing out minimal formatting errors, it is best to read the editor’s message a few times before writing your response to make sure you’ve understood what he/she wants you to do completely.

It is always best to stick to facts. Be honest if you committed the errors as pointed out by the editor, and try to explain in the most unbiased way possible.

Challenge with good justification

If you think that the editor made an incorrect comment, don’t attack him/her for it. Explain everything in a calm and collected manner with information that is supported by facts and credible data.

Lexcode Journal Lab

You can do all the things listed above by yourself, or you can let Journal Lab do everything for you. From choosing the journal and providing constructive comments for your paper’s improvement, to the actual submission process and responding to the editor’s comments, Journal Lab has you covered. Visit lexcode.com.ph/research-editing/ now for more information, and be one step closer to your article’s publication.