Checklist for submitting your papers to your mentors and to journals
Overall (the bullet points are a substitute for the check mark)
__ I checked the manuscript guidelines in the journal in which I plan to send my study
__ I read a 2-3 papers published in the journal in which plan to submit my manuscript. This process gave me a sense of formatting and structure
- __ I removed all unnecessary words and phrases in my manuscript/thesis
__Once I finished writing my paper, I put it away for 1-2 days before rereading it for errors. I also read it for clarity and before sending it to my collaborators/mentor.
- __ I carefully re-read the manuscript 2-3 times, looking for typos and errors
- __ I played “Devil’s Advocate” looking for any errors, possible confounds and gaps in my manuscript. I tried to explain any issues and back my decisions up.
- __ I looked for transitions in the manuscript
- __ I checked that all sentences were no longer than two lines (especially for non-native speakers)
- __ I kept terms in my paper as consistent as possible (I avoided writing that babies saw an object, babies saw the puppet, babies saw the stimulus, babies saw it)
- __I avoided acronyms when possible. This helped the paper flow.
__ I read the paper aloud 2-3 times. This helped me to hear how the paper flowed (especially for non-native speakers)!
- __ I had a couple of non-experts read the paper and they understood it
- ___ I had at least two native speakers of the language I’m writing in read the paper
- __ I removed all unnecessary clauses and words in my manuscript.
- __ I checked my manuscript for unnecessary phrases such as “in other words”
- __ I used an active tense and parallel sentence structure
- __ I did not use the word “prove” or “believe” “feel that” in my manuscript
__ I had 2-3 colleagues/peers in the lab review my paper. I integrated many of their comments
- __ I made sure that the title of my paper reflected the question and findings of the study
- __ I made the title as interesting sounding as possible
__ I checked with all co-authors about their correct affiliations
__I acknowledged funding for the study according to grant guidelines (if a grant supported the study)
- __ I checked that all sentences in my manuscript are direct and concise
- __ I addressed, “What’s the question, why is the study important what’s new, and what’s important?
- __Someone could find/circle “what’s the question” section of my paper
- __Someone could find/circle “why is it important” section of my paper
- __Someone could find/circle “what is new” section of my paper
- __ I highlighted limitations in the discussion of the paper
- __ I checked that references in the manuscript listed are in the reference section
- __ I checked that all references in the reference section are listed in the manuscript
__ I checked that numbers of references corresponded to the correct reference number (if journal you are submitting to uses that structure)
__ I included clear figure captions
__ I included on my figures and graphs
__ I properly labeled the X and Y axis on my graph
___The labels for the X and Y axis correspond to the figure captions
__ I included standard error bars (if required)
__ I checked that my graphs and figures corresponded with the data that I presented in the result section of the manuscript
__ I made graphs that were clear and easy to read and the formatting of my graphs is consistent through the paper
__ I used figures and images to help the reader through the manuscript