Oct 14, 2010

10 tips for submitting articles

1) Make a Significant Contribution 
    Researchers must decide when enough work has been done to make a significant contribution to a field.A publication should describe a project that is complete unto itself and represents a true advance in the field.

    2) Submit Your Findings in a Timely and Ethical Manner
    Scientists also have an obligation to publish their research results in a timely manner. Unpublished research results constitute research not done in the eyes of other scientists. Unnecessary delays can result in duplication of efforts and may hinder the advancement of science. Avoiding this is one of main objectives The All Results Journals.
    Given the “publish or perish” mentality that sometimes exists, researchers may be tempted to maximize their number of publications by publishing many short, somewhat repetitive research reports. This practice serves no useful purpose for science or the investigator.

    3) Provide Full Disclosure

    Although brevity is admirable, it is important that the results be described fully and accurately. Moreover, all of the results should be reported, not just those supporting the underlying hypotheses of the research.
    Representative data and/or calculations are an important part of any scientific presentation. Obviously, not all of the data, derivations, and calculations can be presented. It is acceptable for the “typical data and/or calculations” that are presented to be among the best, but all the data should be included in the
    analyses. The reproducibility of the results (positive or negative) is an implicit assumption for published work. No one should be more critical of the research that is reported than the authors.

    4) Identify the Goal of Your Manuscript

    Start by considering the following questions: 
    1. What is the function or purpose of this manuscript?
    2. Are you describing original and significant research results?
    3. Are you reviewing the literature?
    4. Are you providing an overview of the topic? Something else?
    5. Who is the audience?
    6. Why would they want to read your manuscript?
    7. What will you need to tell them to help them understand your work?
    8. How is your work different from that described in other reports on the same subject?

    5) Review Your Manuscript

    Keep in mind that scientific writing is not literary writing. Scientific writing serves a purpose completely different from that of literary writing, and it must therefore be precise and unambiguous. You and your colleagues probably have been discussing the project for months, so the words seem familiar, common, and clear to you. However, the readers will not have been part of these discussions. If English is not your first language, ask an English-speaking colleague—if possible, a native English speaker—for help with grammar and diction.

    6) Acknowledge Authors Appropriately

    All authors of a publication should have made significant and substantial intellectual contributions to the work being reported. Unfortunately, this principle is often breached, as evidenced by manuscripts with tens, even hundreds, of authors. Some laboratories put the names of everyone in the laboratory on the published work, and some individuals put their names on every publication coming out of a laboratory, even if their participation was only nominal. If a colleague prepared buffers or did routine computer programming, these contributions should be acknowledged, but they are not sufficient contributions for authorship.

    7) Check the Specific Requirements of the Journal

    An extremely important step is to check the specific requirements of the publication and to follow them. Journals often specify a format, the number of pages, what software packages or file formats are acceptable, how to cite references, and many other aspects of manuscript preparation. Each journal also has a specific policy on prior publication. Requirements can vary from journal to journal. Many journals also require a TOC graphic. The illustration should capture the reader’s attention and, in conjunction with the manuscript title, should give the reader a quick visual impression of the essence of the paper without providing specific results.

    8) Use Artwork Appropriately

    As you write your draft manuscript, consider where structures, schemes, figures, and tables could be used appropriately to illustrate or support the material. Well-placed and well-designed artwork communicates information effectively, but too much artwork can be distracting.that the tables and figures be submitted separately in the final manuscript. Other journals request that the tables and figures be embedded in the text. Some publishers accept figures prepared in a wide range of software packages, whereas others specify use of certain drawing.

    9) Revise Your Draft

    Once you have written your initial draft, the next step is a careful revision with an eye to organization, content, and editorial style, beginning with the following questions:

    1. Does your manuscript as it is written perform the function—new research, literature review, or topic overview—that you identified before you began your draft?
    2. Have you explained terms, concepts, and procedures in a way that is appropriate to the audience you identified at the start?
    3. Is your material presented in a logical fashion, so that a reader can easily follow your reasoning?
    4. Is the manuscript too long?
    5. Do some sections need to be expanded to further clarify the material?
    6. Are all the words spelled correctly and technical terms used appropriately?

    10) Suggest Reviewers

    When your draft manuscript is complete, check the journal guidelines again for information on how and where to submit your draft. Some editors request that authors suggest possible reviewers. By recommending reviewers who have relevant expertise, you could reduce the amount of time required for the review process.

    David Alcantara for The All Results Journals

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