Not surprisingly, far too often researchers, especially those from countries where English is not the first language, face outright desk rejections when submitting to journals. Non-adherence to the technical standards of reporting and language is one of the most common reasons for journal rejections.
While research in scientific, technical, engineering, and medical (STEM) disciplines was already growing, COVID has further accelerated research globally. This has led to journals being swamped with increasing volumes of research from around the world. Journal editorial offices are finding it difficult to process manuscripts in time and this is leading to a situation where desk rejections happen more, and even novel or valid research do not go through to peer review. This is unfortunate and avoidable. Check out the below 5 tips to ensure you submit better manuscripts by improving the journal submission experience.
How can you submit better manuscripts to your target journal?
Here are 5 tips to make sure you submit better manuscripts to the journal the next time:
Don’t leave writing to the last minute
Academic writing is a skill to be honed. It is something that researchers should pay attention to as their professional reputation depends on the quality and quantity of their research publications. Finishing your research is not the end of your journey. Set aside time to write. It will reflect in the clarity and accuracy of your writing.
Be aware of journal’s instructions for authors
Make sure you are aware of the journals’ formatting and journal submission requirements early on. Having to reformat a manuscript just before submission can be exhausting, so avoid that scenario. Understand what is required by the journal to complete a submission and plan accordingly.
Become familiar with academic writing style
Academic text is not the same as business or any other documentation. It follows specific norms and guidelines. It is important that you get used to it before you write. One way to do so is to read a lot of research papers, in your discipline and outside. That will help you better understand the nuances of research paper writing.
Ask for feedback from peers
It is always useful to save yourself time and effort by learning from the mistakes of others, especially your peers in your lab or department. Seek out those with more experience than you and ask them to take a look at your writing. They will be able to point out errors and improvements that would be hard for you to spot. For authors from non-native English-speaking countries, it may help to check with someone who’s a native speaker in English or who’s proficient in the language.
Use AI-powered tools for proofreading
Today, any researcher, from early career to senior, can make use of automated services that can instantly check a piece of writing for grammar and language. There are a few such services in the market that make use of AI to proofread and correct manuscripts. Such services are fast, affordable, and convenient. Paperpal is one such AI-powered service that is tailored for academic writing across all disciplines. It checks your manuscript for technical requirements and language and makes suggestions that improve your writing instantly. It does this at a fraction of the cost of human editing services and can be used as a simple web application.