By Jennifer Stephenson, Peer Review Specialist, SAGE
After putting an exhausting amount of time and effort into researching and writing your research, spending more time preparing your article for submission and peer review can fall by the wayside. Taking the time to polish your work and to ensure appropriate journal selection and compliance with journal guidelines and requirements can have a major impact on a timely and successful peer review.
- Fine-tune your Article: Before submitting, complete a thorough proof-read of your manuscript. Upon first review, simple grammar and language mistakes can take away from the impact of the article and distract readers. Consider having a colleague read the paper to proof-read and evaluate style and flow. Having another pair of eyes read the article can bring up missed mistakes and fresh observations. If applicable, utilize English language editing services. For more tips on fine-tuning your work, click here.
- Consider the Message: In order to get your article published, the research needs to be innovative and should have something new to say. When preparing for submission, take an objective look at the research and what you are saying about it. Is your message novel? Relevant? Are you bringing something new to the research area? Asking yourself these questions can reframe the article and provide a new perspective from which to consider your submission when completing the article and selecting a journal.
- Determining a Journal for Submission: Deciding which journal to submit your article to is an important decision and time should be taken to consider whether your article is a good fit for the journal in question. Review the journal aims and scope and consider whether your research would be of interest to the readers. Review recent issues of the journal to get a better sense of the research being published and the style of the content. Journal turn-around time and acceptance rates are other factors to consider. For more tips on selecting a journal for publication, click here.
- Follow the Submission Guidelines: One of the best things you can do to ensure that your article is processed quickly is to review the submission guidelines and follow them exactly. Days can be wasted at the initial check-in stage if additional information is needed or formatting changes are required. When reviewing the manuscript submission guidelines, look for formatting requirements, submission procedures, guidelines for references, and details about style. Note information about components to be included on the title page or cover page to ensure that the editorial office has everything they need. When your submission has been completed according to the guidelines and requirements, the journal administrator or editor can quickly proceed with the peer review process.
- Utilize Feedback to Improve your Paper: Whether your article is given a reject decision or a revision decision, take the feedback provided by the reviewers and the editor and consider each point that is raised. By objectively evaluating the comments you’ve received and using them to make improvements to the article, you’re taking advantage of the benefits that peer review offers. If submitting a revision, respond to reviewer and editor feedback by including a detailed summary with your response to the comments. For more tips on dealing with feedback, click here.
What are your top tips for making it through the peer review process alive? Leave a comment to let us know!