When a writer first considers submitting their work for publication, the process can seem daunting. For an editor-in-chief to accept your project submission among the myriad of other manuscripts circulating the submission inbox, there are a variety of materials that are important to have prepared before you start the submission process. While it’s not uncommon to have a specific set of guidelines for each individual publisher, there are several things that will be universally requested by editor-in-chiefs in order for them to consider an article a candidate for publication.
Most publications will ask for a synopsis/abstract (sometimes both) and list of keywords associated with your manuscript in order to better categorize how/where your work fits in with their own. Journal editors want to see that you are knowledgeable about the subject matter, so it is imperative to be as concise and detailed as possible when writing a synopsis or explaining the importance of your work. You should be able to explain your work effectively in just one or two paragraphs, or even in a single sentence. It is also beneficial to have an updated copy of a Curriculum Vitae (CV) so the publisher can verify your credentials before deciding to accept your submission.
Key, yet underemphasized aspects of journal submissions are the style and format of the document. Potential publishers will expect your document to have the preferred style and formatting that their publication utilizes, and that often proves to be a deal-breaker when up against other submissions. While some publishers may use a standard format such as APA or Chicago, others will want manuscripts to adhere to a specific style often listed on their submission page.
To provide some examples of the different formatting required by publishers, eContent Pro has compiled a list of guideline references from three prominent publishers: IGI Global, Taylor & Francis, and Springer. This list provides an overview of some basic formatting that each publisher wants manuscripts to comply with in terms of general text formatting, headings, titles, keywords, and abstracts.
- Body of text: Times New Roman, 11-point font.
- Headings: Subhead 1: Arial, Size 12, UPPERCASE, Bold
- Title: Titles may be no longer than 100 characters. Subtitles, if included, may be no longer than 50 characters. Standard title case.
- Keywords: 8-15 keywords
- Abstract: 100-150 word abstract. Do not use first or second person.
Taylor & Francis:
- Body of text: Times New Roman, 12-point, double-line spaced. Use margins of at least 2.5 cm (or 1 inch)
- - First-level headings (e.g. Introduction, Conclusion) should be in bold.
- - Second-level headings should be in bold italics.
- - Third-level headings should be in italics.
- Title: Bold
- Keywords: Unless specifically stated otherwise for a particular journal, use 4-6 keywords.
- Abstract: Indicate the abstract paragraph with a heading or by reducing the font size. Check whether the journal requires a structured abstract or graphical abstract by reading the Instructions for Authors. The Instructions for Authors may also give word limits for your abstract.
* “An increasing number of Taylor & Francis journals allow format-free submission, which means that, as long as your article is consistent and includes everything necessary for review, you can submit work without needing to worry about formatting your manuscript to meet that journal’s requirements. The ‘Instructions for authors’ for your chosen journal will tell you whether it operates format-free submission. (Taylor and Francis)”
- Body of text: Use a normal, plain font (e.g., 10-point Times Roman) for text.
- Headings: Please use the decimal system of headings with no more than three levels.
- Title: Springer requires a title page containing the following information:
- - Title of the article;
- - Name(s) and initial(s) of author(s), preferably with first names spelled out;
- - Affiliation(s) of author(s);
- - Footnotes to the contribution title;
- - Name, address, telephone and fax numbers, and e-mail address of the corresponding author.
- Keywords: 6-10 keywords unless specifically stated otherwise by the journal.
- Abstract: Up to 250 words.
Furthermore, most publications require that your manuscript is professionally copy edited prior to submission. Luckily, eContent Pro has copy editors waiting to assist you in making sure your document is resolved of all spelling, grammar, punctuation, formatting, etc. errors and ready for publication. To learn more about our English language copy editing service, click here.
Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, it’s imperative to make sure your manuscript is geared toward the subject of the journal or direction of the publisher. Take the time to research different journals and find the one that best fits your subject matter. There are literally thousands of different publications to choose from; if you’re worried about finding the right journal for your work, eContent Pro offers a Journal Recommendation service. To find out more information about this service, click here.