Steps before submitting to a journal?

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In our newest “how can we help you?” thread, a grad student asks:

Do people have a checklist of things to do before submitting a paper to a journal? If so, what do your checklists look like? I’m wanting to ensure I don’t miss anything before submitting and that my paper is in the best shape it can possibly be. Thanks!

This is a good question, particularly for graduate students, and I’m curious to hear from readers.

I have to confess that I’ve never had anything like a checklist. Sometimes I submit papers to conferences before submitting to a journals (both to see if the paper is accepted, and to get feedback at the conferences). Sometimes I also make sure that I get an outside reader or two before submitting. But sometimes I’m just confident in a paper and submit it to journals straightaway (though I always make sure to write multiple drafts so that what I do submit is well-polished). The further along I’ve gotten in my career, the better this has worked–as my experience is that one can develop a pretty good sense of when a paper is probably publishable. However, my experience is that developing this kind of sense takes time, and earlier in my career, particularly in grad school, I don’t my approach was a good one. I didn’t have any luck publishing in grad school, and I think that I might have had more success if I’d had a better process before submitting.

So, like the OP, I’m curious: what do you all do before submitting to journals? Do you have a formal or informal checklist? If so, what is it? If not, why not? It would be great to hear from people at all career stages, including graduate students who have published!

Originally appeared on The Philosophers’ Cocoon Read More

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