If the golden rule of academia is always to “publish or perish,” then preparing a journal article for publication is like death with a thousand paper cuts, as countless issues should be corrected, from improperly cropped images to wastefully excised content.
This ultimate journal article submission checklist can help you organize, chronologize, and prioritize each part of article preparation for academic journal article submission. It is assumed that you’ve already formulated your hypotheses, determined your methods, gathered your materials, conducted your research, verified your results, and drawn your conclusions. Now, you are ready to place it altogether in a coherent text.
As opposed to think that you’ve already written the full draft of one’s article, we begin this checklist by breaking the habit of contemplating submission only after you are done writing. The sooner you start contemplating submission requirements, the better; conditions for submission should affect the method that you write your article.
Sometimes, the conditions are influenced by your discipline. Scientific studies, for instance, may have different writing requirements than those of an article in the humanities (e.g., authorial tone, presentation of evidence, citation of sources). Other times, the conditions are far more specific to your target journal (e.g., margin formatting, heading numbers, image captions). The sequential sections of the checklist are broad enough to encompass all disciplines, though individual details can vary from journal to another.
You are able to follow combined with the article to ensure you’ve followed all the necessary steps before journal article submission, or you can download Scribendi’s Ultimate Journal Article Submission Checklist to print out so you can follow along.
Your topic may be specific enough that you’ve always had one journal in mind. If not, and if you’re unsure about which journal to approach together with your article, consider reviewing the sources that guided your research. If several of one’s sources were published in exactly the same journal, that journal is likely an excellent fit for your article. If your sources have been published in a number of leading journals (which is usually the case), consider which journal is the absolute most prestigious in your field (e.g., its impact factor). Also consider which aspect of one’s research you desire to highlight in your journal article.
Choose the absolute most prestigious periodical that’s published the absolute most sources you use for that specific aspect of one’s journal article submission. Furthermore, in the event that you still need to select from a group of potential target journals, have an instant go through the journals’respective limitations (e.g., word count, image count, referencing limits). This will let you determine the most effective available match the proposed scope of one’s article.
Finally, while scanning the limitations of prospective journals, consider your timeframe for publication. If you must publish your research quickly to stay in front of the competition or for the sake of an efficiency review, pay attention to the overall timeframe, from submission to publication, for just about any given journal. If Journal Alpha takes 8 weeks to get, acknowledge, peer review, and publish a write-up, while Journal Beta takes half a year to execute exactly the same actions, perhaps a more time-sensitive article must certanly be published with Journal Alpha, even if it’s less prestigious than Journal Beta. Likewise, if Journal Alpha releases an accepted version of a write-up online prior to final publication and Journal Beta doesn’t provide that preliminary essay writing assistance, perhaps a more time-sensitive article must certanly be submitted to the former journal.
First, consider how the investigation with this journal article aligns with the investigation from your previously published articles as the writer or coauthor. Did you depend on ideas that you (or a coauthor) had developed in a previous paper? Could it be enough to cite that previous document, or did you reuse specific portions of that text? If the latter, you will probably want to get permission from the copyright holder of another publication. The good thing is that academic publishers in many cases are very happy to allow you to reuse parts of your personal ideas (with the right citation to the first document and perhaps an email of gratitude in the acknowledgments).