Top 10 Tips For Preparing Your Manuscript

You’ve done your research and now it’s time to prepare your manuscript, choose a journal, get published, and attract a large readership. Easy, right?

Preparing your manuscript for publication is no picnic! Not only do you need to prepare a manuscript that is clear, concise, and captivating, you also need to find the best home for it. We’ve put together 10 tips to help you write a successful manuscript and choose the most appropriate journal.

Tips For Preparing Your Manuscript

1. Create a useful outline
Start your outline early in a project. As you gather data, make sure to ask yourself “why, what, and how” major advances emerged from your study. “What do the results mean?” “Why did I do these reactions?”

2. Choose the journal carefully
Understand which field your findings will have the greatest impact. Identify who you want to reach. Match your desired audience with the readership of the journal. Consider the scope of the journal not the impact factor!

3. Read & follow the guidelines
Understand what is expected of your manuscript submission. Each journal has a different set of guidelines, so review carefully!

4. Tell a story
The purpose of a scientific paper is to communicate scientific advances, so it’s important to write grammatically correct sentences. The more easily your readers can understand your paper, the more likely they will appreciate it. Clear and concise writing can enhance an elegant study.

5. Draw graphics with care
Graphics deliver the data in an orderly way and help the reader digest the greatest number of ideas in the shortest amount of time. Be clear and precise, simple but informative, and don’t forget to use color!

6. Attract readers with a strong title
Craft a compelling title — describe your findings in as few words as possible in an evocative way. Publishers are actively seeking to promote the work of authors — make it easy by having an exciting title that leaves readers wanting more!

7. TOC graphics count
Make sure your ‘Table of Contents’ graphic reflects the science described in the manuscript. Try to capture the reader’s attention by giving a quick visual impression of the essence of your work.

8. Revise, edit and rework
You need several pairs of eyes on your paper. Learn from others and don’t be afraid of constructive criticism.

9. Prepare the ‘SI’ with care
A manuscript can’t contain every piece of data collected throughout a project. Use the ‘Supporting Information’ to add additional relevant resources for the reader. But don’t forget to give the SI a thorough review before submission, both to avoid errors and to potentially decrease the revision time if your work is accepted.

10. Write a strong cover letter
A well written cover letter highlights the relevance and importance of your work, explains why the work is appropriate for the journal’s readership, and will leave editors wanting to find out more. Include specifics like the editor’s name and the journal’s name, and keep your letter to under one page.