Academic Journal Manuscript Submissions: Checklist

Getting published in an academic journal is not an easy task. The competition is high and to succeed you must be thorough, well prepared and meticulous in the details. Nothing will get your manuscript rejected quicker than failing to meet the standard conventions of the journal, no matter how good your research is.

If you have a manuscript written and you think it is worthy of publication in a journal, ask yourself the following questions to be sure that you have the maximum chance of a successful submission:

  • Are you within the recommended minimum and maximum word limits?
  • Have you used the correct style and referencing guidelines, e.g. APA, Oxford, Harvard etc?
  • Have you written in the required style of English (US/UK)?
  • Will the manuscript receive a single/double blind review? If the answer is yes, ensure that there are no ‘footprints’ that directly relate the work to you.
  • Do you require permission to use any secondary materials included from other sources?
  • Have you included a covering letter? Make sure it is precise and highlights the key features of your manuscript in a compelling manner.
  • Has the manuscript been thoroughly and accurately proofread and edited?
  • Have you conformed to academic writing conventions:

1. Title, abstract, keywords
2. Purposeful introduction that clearly outlines aims
3. Hypothesis: clear, unambiguous, answerable
4. Methodology including any constraints/limitations
5. Analysis and discussion – flowing coherently, well supported
6. Tables, illustrations and figures where appropriate
7. Results and key findings
8. Conclusion

This last one sounds blindingly obvious but it is, in fact, a common mistake amongst authors:

  • Submit the manuscript to the correct person for review. Is there an online submission process or should you send it directly to the journal’s editor?

Make sure you get all of these basics right. Good luck!