Friday, September 27, 2013
What Are the Top 10 Errors Found in New Manuscript Submissions?
Raquel Christie, Editorial Assistant
At Obstetrics & Gynecology, we appreciate the hard work our authors put into their manuscripts. And we imagine that the idea of finally clicking “Submit” can be quite a thrilling one!
But before you give in to the temptation, you might want to check out our list of the 10 most common errors we encounter when screening new submissions.
- Incorrectly formatted abstract: Each type of submission to the journal – original research, case report, review, current commentary, or personal perspectives -- has its own requirements for abstract formatting. Make sure your abstract has the necessary headings and is the right length for its type by checking out section II, “Article Formats,” in our Instructions for Authors.
- No trial registration information in abstract: If you’re submitting a randomized controlled trial, you must include the trial registration information (name of the registry, web address, and registration number) at the end of your abstract. See section IC of our Instructions for Authors for information on approved registries.
- No line numbers: Make sure to add consecutive line numbers to your manuscript. This makes it easier for editors and reviewers to refer to specific text within your paper.
- Incorrect spacing: All manuscripts should be double spaced, all the way through – from the title page to the references to the figure legends! Papers spaced this way are much easier to read and edit.
- Manuscript submitted as PDF: Manuscripts must be submitted as Microsoft Word files. Again, much easier to read and edit!
- Figure files embedded in the text: Please do not insert your artwork into your Word document. Instead, when building your manuscript in Editorial Manager, submit each figure separately as an image file. This way, our Production Editor can work with your source file.
- Incorrectly formatted references/citations: Obstetrics & Gynecology follows a unique reference formatting formula that doesn’t completely align with any other style. And within the text, citations should appear as numbers in parentheses at the end of the sentence, not as footnotes. See our “Reference Formatting Instructions” for more details.
- No title page: All submissions must include a title page that lists the title of the manuscript, a short title, all author names and affiliations, sources of the work or study, financial support and funding disclosures, and acknowledgments. (For more detailed information, see section III, “Manuscript Structure,” in our Instructions for Authors.)
- No cover letter: Your submission must include a cover letter that tells us that your manuscript has not been previously or simultaneously submitted to another journal. As needed, the letter should also include an explanation of the role of each author, whether the study was approved or exempted by an institutional review board, notice of informed consent from the patient, names of suggested reviewers, and notice of potential cover art. See the first page of our Instructions for Authors to check if any of these disclosures apply to your manuscript.
- No point-by-point cover letter with resubmission: If you are resubmitting a manuscript that has previously been rejected by the Journal, you must include a cover letter that addresses each of the editors’ and reviewers’ concerns from the original submission. We absolutely cannot consider a resubmission without this.
Checking for these things will make it much less likely that your paper will be sent back to you before review, and could result in a swifter editor decision on your manuscript. Make sure to avoid these pitfalls, and best of luck with your submission!