Researchers need to write about and publish the findings of their research to disseminate new information to other researchers in their fields. However, researchers tend to spend more time focusing on their research than on their manuscript preparation, which may impact their chances of being published. Researchers can improve their manuscript preparation and their chances of being published by doing two things: strictly adhering to publication requirements and writing their papers out of order.
Before researchers begin preparing their manuscripts, they should review all publication requirements and make sure that they strictly adhere to these requirements during manuscript preparation. Many journals and other types of publications require specific elements, formatting, styles, etc., for their published content. If researchers submit manuscripts that do not strictly adhere to all requirements, then editors may quickly reject the manuscripts. Therefore, researchers can improve their manuscript preparation and their chances of being published if they strictly adhere to requirements for content, word length, font style, spacing, etc.
After researchers have reviewed all publication requirements, they can begin preparing their manuscripts for publication, but it may be helpful to not begin at the beginning (i.e., Title, Introduction, and Abstract). Rather, many editors recommend that researchers begin preparing their manuscripts by formatting their tables and figures. After formatting their tables and figures, researchers are ready to outline the rest of their manuscripts, starting with the Results section, working backwards through the Methods, Discussion, and Introduction sections, and ending with the Title and Abstract. If necessary, researchers can write the Results, Methods, and Discussion sections in a different order that makes more sense for them and their research, but researchers may benefit from writing the Introduction, Title, and Abstract last because it can be easier to write these sections once the main points of the manuscript have been written.
There is no unified, prescriptive way to prepare manuscripts, but researchers can improve their manuscript preparation and their chances of being published by understanding publication requirements and by writing the manuscript out of order.
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