A global study of 7000 researchers suggests that unclear publishing policies place an extra burden on scientists who don’t speak English as their first language. A significant proportion of respondents revealed that preparing manuscripts for English-language journals is the most challenging step in the publication process. A considerable percentage even did not have a solid understanding of some aspects of publication ethics or were not familiar with standard ethics-related guidelines and bodies. The publishing industry should work on how to minimize the additional burden on authors.
Each day, hundreds of researches are conducted around the world. These findings and discoveries need to be presented in a way that can be understood by all stakeholders in the relevant field of study. Therefore, the paper needs to be written in a language that clearly communicates the author’s intentions and simultaneously avoids ambiguities that hamper comprehension. This is essential because a well-written paper appeals to a larger audience and hence garners higher citations.
This is where a professional editing service can step in to iron out several crucial roadblocks on the publication route.
Overcome the language barrier
Often, the author belongs to a country where people are generally not proficient in English. This makes the job of the author harder because greater effort is needed to present the research in a lucid manner. If this is lacking, a brilliant discovery could very well be overshadowed by poor language. Consequently, the researcher’s painstaking work will largely go in vain.
Guarantee error-free language
Apart from the problem of communicating with their readers, authors are also susceptible to errors of omission and commission because they get very involved in the research content of the paper and have probably gone through the paper a hundred times from that point of view. Consequently, they tend to overlook spelling, grammatical and syntax errors. Only a fresh look by a professional reviewer can detect those errors. Conversely, if the paper is reviewed by a friend or a colleague, there are chances that they may not give an honest review.
Therefore, it is always advisable to employ the services of a good editing service. The trained eye of a professional editor can detect the errors in a manuscript and rectify them. Often, the editor also gives useful inputs to enhance the quality of the paper and thus minimise the chances of rejection by the target journal.From this vantage point, is it not better to employ the services of a professional editing service from the outset instead of seeking numerous reviews from other quarters?
Ensure compliance with journal guidelines
The primary objective of a research paper is to be published in a journal. Each journal specifies its own style guide, which needs to be strictly followed by the writer. This might be a difficult task for writers because their primary attention is on the research content. On the other hand, a professional editor keeps doing similar jobs day in and day out and is therefore well conversant with the specifications of various journals and better equipped to modify research papers according to journal guidelines. This saves the researchers considerable time and effort, which they can instead devote to enhance the research content. It will also help writers avoid the trap of aligning their current research with their past work, which increases the chances of rejection on the grounds of non-compliance with the stipulated journal guidelines.
Therefore, it is very important for a research paper to be presented in a manner that best justifies the research ideas of the writer, communicates clearly to the reader, and satisfies the guidelines of the target journal.
Use of flawless English brings the main idea of the paper to the fore, making it a paper worth reading for a large number of people interested in that field of study. To ensure such an outcome and enhance the chances of publication, it is critical for writers to hire a good English editor having sound knowledge in journal editing services.
A properly formatted manuscript is likely to be preferred by a journal editor compared to an unorganized alternate version. Hence, instead of submitting a manuscript with your data and text in a disorderly stack, it is crucial to format your manuscript according to the guidelines of the targeted journal before submission.
You should ensure that your manuscript is properly formatted to reduce the publication time. On the other hand, an unorganized manuscript is often returned by the journal house weeks after submission with instructions to adhere to the formatting guidelines. That entails lost time in the publication process.
The following are some basic rules of formatting:
- Page size: Use 8½ x 11-inch size of normal sheet.
- Page margin: Keep all margins within 1 to 1½ inch. Avoid using end-of-the-line hyphenation or justified margins.
- Spacing: Use single or double spacing uniformly for the entire manuscript.
- Font: Use 12-point font size of Times New Roman or Arial. Try to avoid fancy fonts.
- Page numbering: Number each page of the manuscript according to the guidelines given by the target journal.
- Manuscript sections: Divide your manuscript into clear sections such as title page, main text, references, appendices, footnotes, acknowledgements, tables, figures, and figure legends.
In addition, take care of the following extra minutes:
- On the title page, provide your name, address, phone number, and e-mail address of the corresponding author. It is a good practice to mention the word count of the abstract and main text, and the number of figures and tables.
- Check whether the journal guidelines call for a blinded manuscript for the peer review process. If yes, ensure that your manuscript is prepared in a way that does not give away the authors’ identity.
- Maintain a sequential pattern of headings and sub-headings. Mixed-up sections can confuse editors and peer reviewers.
- Follow the house style of the journal for both in-text and end-text references.
- Journals often ask for signed copyright transfer agreements, conflict-of-interest forms, patient consent forms, funding information, and ethical approval related data. Cross-check the forms before submission. Non-complying manuscripts can be returned for corrections months after the submission, which results in unnecessary delay in publication.
Manuscript formatting is quick and easy. If you conform to the aforementioned details, you can prepare an attractively formatted manuscript that is likely to be welcomed by the journal editors. If you face any obstacles in the formatting process, seek the services of professional manuscript editors who can tailor the format of your manuscript to fit perfectly with the target journal’s guidelines.