All reputed peer-reviewed scientific journals have very well-established systematic structures in place which any author submitting a scientific research paper for publication is expected to abide by. These instructions are shared by the journals in the form of authorship guidelines.
A journal’s instructions for preparing the scientific research paper for submission may seem straightforward in the beginning, yet these instructions can be tricky to follow with precision and consistency. While each journal has its own set of rules and regulations, there are some common features that are mirrored across each.
Authorship: One of the most critical components of manuscript submission is establishing the authorship of the scientific research paper. A solo endeavor by a researcher is a simple case with sole authorship. However, in most practical cases today, scientific research projects and papers often require contributions from many individuals and this makes the assignment of authorship difficult. For instance, you may be working as a researcher in a lab, but working under the supervision or instructions of a lead researcher/project in charge. In such a case, there are risks of conflict of ownership of authorship over any scientific research paper emerging of this project.
Every journal requires one principal point of contact as the author of the manuscript. The journal communicates with this central author for all communications and the onus of the veracity of the content lies with this author. Every journal has author guidelines on how to set the principle authorship and you must follow it stringently.
Copyright: related to the issue of authorship is the issue of copyright over the article. A scientific journal will only accept to publish a manuscript if it is guaranteed copyright over the article it publishes. This, in turn, means you must guarantee that (a) the article is not submitted for publication to any other journal, or the similar findings by the same set of researchers in not replicated in any other publication; (b) the co-authors have agreed not only to have you as a principal author but also entitled you to permit copyrights to the journal; (c) your institution/academy has no issues with copyright over publications of research activities conducted there.
It is advisable to follow the author guidelines very carefully in the process of making the submission to avoid copyright problems later on.
The rigor of study: For reputed journals to accept your publication, you have to establish the rigor of your study. Empirical research designs need to state the extent to which the studies are representative of a particular population, with supplementary materials including data quality control, alternative models, explicit formulas used in statistical analyses, and modeling.
Today there exist several professional services who specialize in scientific journal publication as they are well versed with the particular requirements of each such journal. They can help a young author navigate the complicated route to a successful publication and it is advisable to resort to such services for a hassle-free experience.