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Manuscript Submission Checklist Everything you need to consider before journal submission

Manuscript submission checklist

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Page 1: Manuscript submission checklist

Manuscript Submission Checklist

Everything you need to consider before journal submission

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What are the top reasons for journal rejection?

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How can you avoid these mistakes?

What should a submission package include?Everything a journal editor and reviewer need to assess

your manuscript!

By preparing a great submission package!


Other elements

e.g., cover letter, additional files, images, statements of disclosure, etc.

+Your manuscript

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Here’s a detailed checklist

to help you avoid

the common reasons for

journal rejection

Note: Following this checklist will help authors reduce the likelihood of rejection. Journal factors such as space constraints may also affect acceptance rates.

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1. Manuscript formatting

A well-formatted manuscript follows all journal instructions.

Have you adhered to the stipulated word count?

Are your references in order?

Have you followed the journal’s basic instructions?

Get these things right: File type (Word/LaTeX/PDF), font type or size, layout, spacing, page margins, numbering, heading style, etc.

Check the journal’s recommendations for specific sections such as the Title and Abstract

Make sure that:• All the in-text citations are included in the reference list• Your reference list has been formatted as per the journal’s style• In-text citations and references are complete and consistently


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2. Manuscript structure

Pay attention to each section of your paper!

Title: Is attractive and indicative

Keywords: Are relevant

Abstract: Describes your entire study at a glance

Introduction: Provides sufficient background about your work

Methods: Includes details of all experiments conducted

Results and discussion: Answers the question you raised in the introduction

Conclusion: Includes your findings

Reference section: Lists every source

Appendix: Includes additional data

Acknowledgements: Includes all sources of support

Footnotes: Include necessary additional information

Tables, figures, graphs: Are complete, clear, and attractive

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3. Language and flow

A well-written manuscript has greater chances of acceptance.

Pay attention to

More tips• Run a spelling and grammar check.• Request a friend/colleague to review your paper.• Approach an editing service for help with polishing your manuscript.

Logic and comprehensionSentence structure Flow

GrammarWord choice

Avoid long, complicated sentences - keep it simple

Your sentences should be understandable

Use correct terminology, avoid flowery language

Your Ideas should flow smoothly

Make sure there are no grammatical mistakes

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4. Tables, figures, graphs

Tables and figures will be among the first few sections checked by the journal editor and reviewer. Get them right!

Ensure that tables and figures do not repeat the information in the text.

Tables should not be too long. Include additional information in the Appendix.

Are the figures/images clear and readable?

Check table titles, figure and graph legends, and image captions.

Is the file size too small?

Are they in the correct format (file type) as requested by the journal?

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5. Facts and details

Check all details, even the smaller ones

Tip: If you have a lot of data, consider using tools to help store or share your it.

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6. Author information

Understand the differences between lead author and co-author

Tip: To learn more, read this article on authorship: http://www.editage.com/insights/who-qualifies-to-


Lead authorHas done most of the research and


Co-authorHas collaborated with the lead author

and contributed some parts

Authorship is an important aspect. Include all relevant author details.

Full names of all authors Designations of all authors

Full contact details of the corresponding author (email, postal address, telephone and fax numbers)

Additional statement with author contribution details, if required

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7. Attribution and acknowledgment

Acknowledge all help received and each source of information

Use quotation marks for material copied or reproduced

Get written permission for reproducing graphics or copyrightedmaterial and submit it along with your manuscript

Acknowledge all sources of support

Submit any forms of informed consent from patients/subjects, ifapplicable

Failure to acknowledge relevant source of information and show proof of consent may be viewed as an ethical violation.

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8. Cover letter

Your cover letter should be complete and make a strong pitch

What should a cover letter include?

A brief explanation of your manuscript’s relevance and impact

Full details of all authors

Details of any supplementary material you may be submitting

Disclosure of whether you have published the study previously elsewhere or if it is in consideration by another journal

Disclosure of any commercial or financial relationship that may be viewed as a conflict of interest

If needed, a brief statement explaining why the journal should publish your study

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9. Conflict of interest

Include a statement disclosing any potential conflict of interest

All financial support you have received has been acknowledged

Your cover letter includes any commercial/financial relationship that may be viewed as a conflict of interest

You have not signed any document that will bias the results of your research in any way

You have referred to the journal’s submission guidelines for specific forms or followed ICMJE guidelines

Make sure that

Sometimes, authors issue a declaration stating that there is no potential conflict of interest.

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10. Compliance

Make sure your study complies with relevant ethical guidelines

Follow all relevant patient and animal care guidelines, clinical trial registration

guidelines, environmental protection guidelines, etc.

Get an approval from your institutional review board

Tip: Your journal submission package should include details of your compliance with relevant protocols.

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What next?

Ensure you got everything you need in your submission package to the journal

1. Manuscript formatting

2. Manuscript structure 7. Attribution and acknowledgement

3. Language and flow

10. Compliance

6. Author information

9. Conflict of interest

8. Cover letter

5. Facts and details

4. Tables, figures, graphs

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Once you have everything ready,

you’re good to go!

Good luck

with your submission!

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For more tips and resources on scientific writing or publication, visit: