Manuscript writing


Manuscript writing

For the actual writing part, follow the principles of scientific writing. Narrate your story logically (instead of chronologically) to captivate the editor and the reviewer’s attention. Once you complete the writing, proofread everything and ensure perfect copyediting. If you are a non-native English speaker, makes sure that you work with a translator to perfect your manuscript. Elsevier states that “30 percent to 50 percent of articles submitted to Elsevier journals are rejected before peer review, and one of the top reasons is poor language.” Get a second opinion from other colleagues and collaborators on your draft. If you need help with translation, editing or formatting, it might make sense to hire a scientific writer so that you can save time and energy, while also making sure your paper is free of errors and well-presented. In fact, this XKCD comic suggests that a well-formatted manuscript is so crucial for getting published, that it’s possible for dubious studies to fool even well-established scientists at first glance! 2. Submission and review Letter to the Editor: An extremely crucial, but, highly overlooked part of the submission process, is writing the letter to the editor. It is a common error to repeat the paper’s abstract. This cover letter is meant to provide the bigger picture outline, and any other additional information that you would like to share with the editor. If the editor is convinced by the value of your study from your cover letter, your manuscripts will be sent out for review to independent peer reviewers. Depending on the journal, it may involve anywhere between two to four reviewers. Following the review process, the journal editor contacts the corresponding author. There are three possible outcomes of the review: accepted, rejected or accepted with revisions, the last being a very common occurrence. DO NOT BE DISCOURAGED by the request for revisions. You have already crossed all the major hurdles of getting your paper considered for review and receiving conditional acceptance. Try to address the reviewer’s concerns and resubmit within the stipulated time frame. Rebuttal letter to the Editor: Overall, during the resubmission process, you will turn in 2 documents: a revised manuscript with the new alterations highlighted, a rebuttal letter to address the comments from the reviewer. The rebuttal letter is as important as your first cover letter to the editor, if not more. This is the space for explaining to the editor how you have altered your manuscript to resolve the concerns raised by the reviewers. It is best to address the comments individually, point-by-point. It is okay to decline any of the reviewer suggestions, provided, you present a good justification. You may even argue politely why the reviewer is wrong. Remember that the editors will accept rational explanations if you explain clearly that you have positively considered most of the feedback received, and accepted some of it.

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