If the golden rule of academia is to “publish or perish,” then preparing a journal article for publication is much like death with a thousand paper cuts, as countless issues must certanly 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’s assumed that you have 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 completely in a coherent text.
As opposed to assume that you have already written a full draft of your article, we begin this checklist by breaking the habit of thinking about submission only after you are done writing. The sooner you begin thinking about submission requirements, the higher; conditions for submission should affect the manner in which you write your article.
Sometimes, the conditions are dependent on your discipline. Scientific studies, for example, may have different writing requirements than those of an essay 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 may vary from journal to another.
You are able to follow combined with the article to ensure that you have followed all the necessary steps before journal article submission, or you are able to download Scribendi’s Ultimate Journal Article Submission Checklist to print out so you can follow along.
Your topic might be specific enough that you have always had one journal in mind. If not, and if you are unsure about which journal to approach along with your article, consider reviewing the sources that guided your research. If several of your sources were published in exactly the same journal, that journal is probable a good fit for your article. If your sources have already been published in a number of leading journals (which is the case), consider which journal is the most prestigious in your field (e.g., its impact factor). Also consider which aspect of your research you desire to highlight in your journal article.
Choose the most prestigious periodical that’s published the most sources you uses for that specific aspect of your journal article submission. Furthermore, in the event that you still need to pick from a small grouping of potential target journals, have a fast look at the journals’respective limitations (e.g., word count, image count, referencing limits). This allow you to determine the most effective available fit with the proposed scope of your article.
Finally, while scanning the limitations of prospective journals, consider your timeframe for publication. If you should publish your research quickly to keep in front of the competition or for the sake of a performance review, pay attention to the typical timeframe, from submission to publication, for just about any given journal. If Journal Alpha takes two months to receive, acknowledge, peer review, and publish an article, while Journal Beta takes six months to do exactly the same actions, perhaps a more time-sensitive article should really be published with Journal Alpha, even if it’s less prestigious than Journal Beta. Likewise, if Journal Alpha releases an accepted version of an article online just before final publication and Journal Beta doesn’t provide that preliminary essay writing service, perhaps a more time-sensitive article should really 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 mcdougal or coauthor. Did you count on ideas that you (or a coauthor) had developed in a previous paper? Can it be enough to cite that previous document, or did you reuse specific portions of this text? If the latter, you will likely have to get permission from the copyright holder of one other publication. What’s promising is that academic publishers are often happy to allow you to reuse parts of your personal ideas (with the appropriate citation to the initial document and perhaps a note of gratitude in the acknowledgments).