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Read and use instructions for authors

It’s essential to familiarise yourself with your chosen publisher or journal’s ‘instructions to authors’ before you submit your paper.

All reputable publishers and journals provide these, and you can save yourself a lot of time and stress by reading and adhering to these from the outset. Failure to observe these instructions can result in delays and even corrections or retractions.

Instructions to authors – sometimes called author guides or submission instructions – are usually found in the submission area of a journal or publisher’s website, and will include:

  • detailed guidance on what’s required in terms of the format and types of paper accepted
  • how manuscripts should be prepared including text formatting, funding acknowledgements, supplementary material
  • the submission process