Writing a scientific paper is a process that requires special preparatory stages. We’ve collected general guidelines that can help you making this process more efficient.

Author's responsibilities

Before you begin, consider whether your manuscript meets common journals policy requirements:

  1. The manuscript is not being considered or reviewed by any other publication
  2. The manuscript has not been published elsewhere in the same or a similar form, in full or part
  3. The work is entirely original and where the work and/or words of others have been used, these are appropriately cited or quoted
  4. Permission has been obtained to reuse work from other publications
  5. All eligible authors have been included in the list of authors
  6. All authors are aware of, and have consented to, the submission to the journal
  7. Due regard has been paid to ethical considerations
  8. The manuscript contains no libellous or unlawful statements
Choosing a journal

Have a target journal in mind before starting so you can tailor your manuscript to the journal’s audience and style. Consider the following questions when deciding where to publish:

  • Do the aims and scope of the journal match your work?
  • Who is the editor? Are they well-regarded in the subject area?
  • Who is on the editorial board?
  • Audience: does the journal have an international audience? Do your peers publish there?
  • Is the journal affiliated with a learned society or professional institution?
  • Is the journal available in Medline, Social Science Citation Index, Science Citation Index, Arts & Humanities Citation Index, Scopus, or other prestigious abstracting and indexing services?
  • What is the copyright policy?
  • What are the open access options?
  • Is submission by invitation only?
  • Do you need to submit a proposal for evaluation in the first instance (this can often be the case with review articles)?

Select a journal to find out more >


Preparing your manuscript

Authors are advised to consult the instructions for authors and a recent issue of the journal before preparing their manuscript. Requirements vary between journals and the instructions for authors contain detailed information on:

  • Article types and word lengths
  • File formats and submission requirements
  • Style and presentation guidelines, including spelling and referencing system
  • Preparation of figures, tables, and supplementary data
  • Copyright, ethics, and open access policy information

Authors who do not have English as their first language may wish to ask a native English speaker or use a language-editing service to improve the written quality of their manuscript before submission. 


Authors must provide separate, high resolution, digital files for each figure in their manuscript. Figures embedded in Word documents are not suitable for reproduction. Acceptable file formats are TIFF, JPEG and EPS. If supplying EPS files, ensure that all fonts are attached.

Permission must be obtained to reproduce any illustrations for which the authors do not hold copyright. Detailed information on figure preparation is available in individual journal’s instructions for authors.

Multimedia and supplemental content

Supplementary material gives authors the opportunity to enhance their manuscript by including material that cannot be included in an article for reasons of space, is of very specific interest, or is not compatible with the standard journal format (e.g. audio or video files, animations, software, models, or large datasets).

Supplementary material is intended to support arguments advanced in the article; it should not refer to other work nor contain discussion or conclusions that go beyond the content of the article. The inclusion of supplementary material is at the discretion of the Editor whose decision on its relevance and appropriateness is final.

Further information on the preparation, use and submission of supplementary data is available in individual journal’s instructions for authors.

Elements of an article

Authors should check the individual journal’s instructions for authors for specific requirements.

  1. Title: be concise, accurate, and informative. Titles are often used by search engines and information retrieval systems. They should contain words that readers might be searching for. Avoid abbreviations and formulae where possible.
  2. Authors' names and affiliations: provide the full name, affiliations (where the actual work was done), and contact details for all authors. Highlight the family name and clarify where authors' names are ambiguous, e.g., double names. Present the authors’ affiliations and contact details below the names.
  3. Corresponding author: indicate who will handle correspondence at all stages of the refereeing process and post-publication. Include an email address, postal address, and phone number (with country and area code). The corresponding author is responsible for keeping this information up to date.
  4. Abstract: prepare a concise statement of the aims of the research, the work carried out, and the conclusions. The abstract must be self-contained. Do not include general or background information, which should appear in the introduction; abbreviations; or references. Include keywords from the title and for the subject area to improve online searching.
  5. Keywords: include keywords for indexing and online searching. Keywords should describe the content of the article and include key phrases for the subject area. Avoid general terms such as ‘corrosion’, ‘neurological’, and ‘onomastics’.
  6. List of symbols: provide a list of symbols, where appropriate, if helpful to the reader.
  7. Introduction: integrate a summary of current knowledge including a literature survey of previous work in the field, together with a statement of the aims and motivation of the present work.
  8. Experimental methods: where appropriate, describe methods employed in sufficient detail to allow others to repeat the work. If a detailed description is given in a reference, readers must be able to grasp the principles of the method without referring elsewhere. Full details must be given of materials and equipment used.
  9. Results and discussion: present results together or as separate sections. Authors must critically discuss and interpret the results, not merely describe the findings. Figures should be used to explain the findings but try not to duplicate information given in tables and figures. Additional information may be provided as supplementary data. Include standard errors or error bars whenever relevant.
  10. Conclusions: give a concise summary of the research. The conclusions must not contain information that does not appear elsewhere in the manuscript.
  11. Acknowledgements: provide details of individuals and institutions who have contributed and information required by funding bodies, etc. The acknowledgements may also include copyright information that is too extensive to include elsewhere, and other information (such as the fact that the manuscript is based on a lecture or conference presentation).
  12. Appendices: use these to provide additional information, tables or mathematical derivations. References in appendices should be combined with those in the main text into a single list. Tables and figures are numbered A1, A2, A3, ...
  13. References: provide a complete list of the literature cited in the manuscript tailored to the journal’s readership. Format references according to the journal’s style.
  14. Figure and table captions: ensure each figure and table has a caption. Supply captions separately at the end of the manuscript. A caption should comprise a brief title (not on the figure itself) and a description. Keep text in the figure to a minimum but explain all symbols and abbreviations used.
  15. Figures: include separate high resolution files of each figure. Detailed information on figure preparation is available in the individual journal’sinstructions for authors. Do not embed figures in the manuscript text. If a figure is reproduced or adapted from other work, this must be made clear in the caption and a reference cited, together with any other acknowledgements requested by the copyright holder. Please see our permissions guidelines for further information.
  16. Tables: number tables consecutively in accordance with their appearance in the text. Avoid vertical rules. Tables may be placed in the text or collected together at the end of the manuscript.
  17. Supplementary material: provide additional material (e.g. datasets, models, animations or videos) that enhances the content and impact of articles. Supplementary material is intended to support arguments advanced in the article; it must not refer to other work nor contain discussion or conclusions that go beyond the content of the article. Detailed instructions for submission and presentation of supplementary material are available in individual journal’sinstructions for authors.

Using of this guide could let you prepare your manuscript for publication in international peer-reviewed journals as quialified as it possible.

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