A successful research submission is like a well-made dish: There’s a handful of key ingredients that take it from mundane to noteworthy. While almost every researcher has scratched their head and wondered why they were rejected, very few stop to consider why an article was accepted. While every researcher’s recipe for success differs slightly, there are a few essentials that will help you hone your publishing expertise. Below, you’ll find a list of key ingredients to make sure your next research submission is seasoned to perfection. This list is compiled from articles within the Virtual Issue of Editor Tips for Authors Mastering the Art of Scientific Publication.
An Engaging Title
Pick an attractive title that fits your research and appeals to a broad audience. Use caution regarding words such as Highly Efficient, Novel, Significant Enhancement, etc., since they may overemphasize the importance of your research. Similarly, avoid words such as Study, Investigation, Demonstration, since they may undermine the uniqueness of your work.
Relevant, Well-Composed Research
Make sure your paper has a clear focus and addresses an important issue that falls within the journal’s scope. Significant findings should be identified in the abstract, the introduction should provide the motivation for the study, while the discussion is central to the paper’s theme, and results and cited references are all relevant to the journal’s field.
A Properly Formatted Manuscript
Different journals have different formatting guidelines. Always carefully review the journal’s “Instructions to Authors” before submitting your research.
Well-Drawn Figures and Schemes
All figures and schemes should be self-explanatory and use correct scientific notation.
Contributors and Funders are Properly Acknowledged
Would this paper be here without this contributor/funder’s assistance? If not, they should be acknowledged.
Suggested Reviewers are Appropriate and Have No Conflict of Interest
While E=editors do not necessarily use your suggested reviewers, these recommendations greatly assist an editor in obtaining additional qualified reviewers based on the area of expertise. Authors should inform the editor if suggested reviewers are former students or current collaborators, or if another potential conflict of interest may be present.
All Coauthors are Onboard With the Final Manuscript
Before submission, make sure all coauthors have seen the final manuscript and had a chance to comment on it.