A Pre-Submission Checklist for Academic & Scientific Journal Articles
Before submitting an academic or scientific article to a scholarly journal for publication, a thorough proofreading is always required. Ideally, this proofreading will involve checking all aspects of the paper, but there are certain parts of an article that require extra attention, either because the journal has very specific instructions for them or because they are extremely detailed and require special formatting or exceptional precision. The following checklist outlines ten common aspects of academic and scientific papers that should appear to perfection if an article’s content is to be met with a positive attitude by proofreaders and reviewers.
1. Personal and professional information about the authors and contact information for the corresponding author should be included precisely as and where the journal requests, observing any requirements related to blind reviewing.
2. Acknowledgements, permissions, sources of funding and potential conflicts of interest should be complete, accurate and presented in the forms and positions the author guidelines indicate.
3. The title and keywords (both their format and the number of words used), running header (if required) and page numbering should be prepared to meet the guidelines exactly.
4. Both the structure and content of the abstract should conform to the journal instructions while accurately reflecting the content of the article, and the abstract should never exceed the word limits set for it by the journal.
5. The article as a whole should not exceed the word count requested by the journal, and the parts of the paper should be arranged in the order indicated by the journal guidelines, using effective headings, spacing and margins that meet those guidelines.
6. Any numbers, units of measure, equations and special characters should be used clearly, consistently and in accordance with the author instructions provided by the journal.
7. The language used in the article should be formal, precise and appropriate to the anticipated audience, and it should also be free of bias. Any nonstandard abbreviations, specialised terminology and discipline-specific jargon should be used and explained as journal guidelines indicate.
8. Tables and figures should be designed, structured and positioned (within the main paper or in separate files) to communicate their content effectively and meet journal guidelines, while the content and format of their headings and captions should conform precisely to the author instructions.
9. Footnotes and endnotes should be used only if and for the purposes allowed by the journal, and care should be taken to ensure that both the notes themselves and their indicator numbers in the main text appear how and where they should in the manuscript.
10. References should appear in the style requested by the journal, observing with precision and consistency all required details of their format and content in both the main text and the list of references. The total number of sources cited should not exceed the maximum number of references set by the journal.
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Our scientific proofreading services for the authors of a wide variety of scientific journal papers are especially popular, but we also offer manuscript proofreading services and have the experience and expertise to proofread and edit manuscripts in all scholarly disciplines, as well as beyond them. We have team members who specialise in medical proofreading services, and some of our experts dedicate their time exclusively to PhD proofreading and master’s proofreading, offering research students the opportunity to improve their use of formatting and language through the most exacting PhD thesis editing and dissertation proofreading practices. Whether you are preparing a conference paper for presentation, polishing a progress report to share with colleagues, or facing the daunting task of editing and perfecting any kind of scholarly document for publication, a qualified member of our professional team can provide invaluable assistance and give you greater confidence in your written work.
If you are in the process of preparing an article for an academic or scientific journal, or planning one for the near future, you may well be interested in a new book, Guide to Journal Publication, which is available on our Tips and Advice on Publishing Research in Journals website.