Thursday, February 8, 2018

Manuscript submission checklist

Just like the REI triathlon checklist, but for manuscripts!

First, think you're done? Put it down for a few days, then try to get to < 5,000 words, max 6 tables/figures, max 50 refs (see JESEE

There is also something called the EHP Section 509 guidelines for figures? JESEE also has guidance for figures that specify specific max dimensions


  • Use a 3rd party tool to check: 
  • get rid of idioms (e.g., "tailoring")
  • if you upload figs as docs, probably helpful to include captions in docs
  • make sure supplemental information has header (title authors etc)
  • check for typos in figures and tables
  • make sure all your figures have the same text font (serif etc)
  • Look at the journal guidelines for new submissions
  • First, proof it well, then set it down for 3 days, then print it out and read it again. 
    • Get rid of as many "e.g.," and "for example" and "As well" as you can
    • use "draft print" mode, print 2 sheets per page, double sided, grayscale
  • Have you spelled cover letter names correctly?
  • Does the paper header have correct contact information?
  • Have you added line numbers? (Are they referenced correctly in response to reviewers?)
  • Tables and figures (think in columns) – check that all are referenced correctly
  • Also think about colors, if you have a color background to an image, what will that look like if its is printed in black and white?
  • Are all references formatted correctly / are correct? change your reference formatting to the journal's so you can see what it will look like? No weird characters or formatting errors or abbreviated journal names? get rid of,
  • Do a spellcheck / grammar check?
  • numbers less than ten are written as words
  • Are Methods/Results in past tense?
  • All abbreviations/acronyms defined?
  • Are all subscripts correct (e.g., PM2.5 not PM2.5)
  • All the same significant figures? and does the simple math of columns in tables line up (e.g., 0.1 * 0.2 = 0.2 and not something else because of rounding)
  • All figure #s and section #s correctly referenced
  • Double check email from journal (e.g., should all changes be highlighted etc)
  • Get rid of all double spaces after periods
  • Read the manuscript backwards - you spend a lot time reading the beginning!
  • Double check all your numbers, that they are replicated in the tables etc

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