Have you written the final draft of your paper? Are you ready to submit it to a journal? Wait! Please take the time to go through this short checklist first. It could mean the difference between an acceptance or a rejection.
- Has the document been proofread?
- Has the article been checked for consistency in style and spelling (e.g. US or British/Australian English)?
- Are the document’s style and spelling consistent with the house style of the journal to which you want to submit it? (You can find information about the journal’s house style and submission requirements on the journal website.)
- Are the references consistent with the style guidelines of the journal? (Again, these can be found on the journal’s website.)
- Have you cross-checked your in-text citations against your reference list to ensure that there are no superfluous references or citations without matching reference-list entries?
- Have the journal’s guidelines for formatting been applied to your document?
- Does the journal require the use of footnotes or endnotes? If so, have you included them correctly?
- Does the journal require the addition of an acknowledgements section? If so, have you included one that appropriately acknowledges all funding and institutional aid (without including personal thanks to family or supervisors)?
- Has a title page been added in accordance with the journal’s requirements? (Some journals prefer the title page—including author names—to be sent in a separate file, thereby retaining an anonymous copy of the article for peer review.)
- Are you required to submit a cover letter and/or CV with your article?
- Have you created an abstract and does it adhere to the journal’s requirements (e.g. layout, word count, required headings)?
- Have you included the correct number of keywords?
- Are your keywords appropriate for your article and will they encourage it to be visible in searches within your field?
- Have you added page numbers to your document?
- Are your figures (if you have them) arranged and presented according to the journal guidelines? (Some journals prefer figures to be submitted separately as high-resolution JPEG files; others require them to be included in the MS Word version of the article.)
- Are all tables (if included) formatted and arranged in response to the journal’s stipulations? (When considering table formatting, pay close attention to the visibility of table borders, the font used in tables, and the layout and capitalisation of table headings).
- Are all tables/figures numbered appropriately?
- Have callouts for tables/figures been placed at the appropriate places in the text, if necessary?
- Do all table/figure/section numbers follow one another correctly? (It is important to check that heading numbers are not accidentally repeated or skipped.)
However, if all this sounds daunting, remember that a good editor can do it all for you very quickly. At Elite Editing, we will check the journal requirements for you; format and style your article; create a title page as necessary; query any missing sections; check for consistency in style, spelling, capitalisation and numbering; and cross-check your references and convert them to the appropriate style, leaving your article ready for submission to your journal of choice.
Emily Finlay, PhD, AE (IPeD)