Submitting your article for publication

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The previous sections have discussed the process of planning and choosing an appropriate journal for your article based on considerations of the relevancy, quality and discoverability of the journal. They have also pointed to alternative publication options such as open access publishing.

Once you have determined the most appropriate journal and you have written a draft of your text, you need to ensure that your article will be acceptable for submission to the journal.

Before submission

Before submitting your article, make sure that it meets the journal requirements.

  • Carefully re-read the aim and scope of the journal to ensure that it is the right fit for your paper.
  • Follow the journal’s instructions on formatting and style including referencing. These usually appear on the journal webpage under such titles as “Instructions for Authors”.

Also ensure that your publication meets your research responsibilities.

  • Your work needs to be a substantial and original contribution to the field and should adhere to principles of research integrity.

Finally, make sure you proofread your article thoroughly. You can proofread your article yourself, use a proofreading service, or ask a friend or colleague to read your article to avoid ‘writer’s blindness’ that can occur due to over familiarity with the text.

If you are doing your own proofreading, use a strategy that works for you. Popular proofreading strategies include:

  • Reading the paper slowly and out loud. This strategy allows you to hear as opposed to simply skim through what you have written.
  • Reading the text backwards. This strategy enables you to pick out errors which you may automatically fix in your mind when reading the text as usual.
  • Making a list of errors that you commonly make and proofread for only one type of error at a time. This strategy helps you focus on your known errors and address them one at a time.

During submission

Once the article is ready for submission, follow the journal’s instructions on how and where to submit. Most journals have a submission portal on their website where you are usually asked to set up an account.

Within the portal, peer-reviewed journals commonly ask you to submit the full manuscript in addition to a blind-review version which removes any reference to author identity. They may also require additional documentation such as:

  • an abstract
  • a conflict of interest statement
  • a brief auto-biography
  • a cover letter to the editor.

Make sure you check these requirements and allow ample time for the submission process.

Post submission

Once authors have submitted their article and other required documentation, they usually receive automatic electronic confirmation of their submission.

Following this, a journal editor may also be in touch to inform you about the receipt of your article and whether they have considered it for subsequent peer review.

Further resources

If you would like to find out more about the mechanics of writing a publishable journal article, please consult the following resources:

  • Glasman-Deal, H. (2010). Science research writing. Imperial College Press. 
  • Kamler, B. & Thomson, P. (2014). Helping doctoral students write : Pedagogies for supervision. Taylor & Francis.
  • Soule, D. P. J., Whiteley, L. & McIntosh, S. (2007). Writing for scholarly journals. eSharp.


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Research and Writing Skills for Academic and Graduate Researchers Copyright © 2022 by RMIT University is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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