4 Common Mistakes That Can Ruin Your Manuscript’s Chances of Acceptance: And How to Avoid Them.

By Justine Eby on Jun 1, 2022
eContent Pro

In the academic publishing community, authors of any background must first understand the importance of certain details or actions that can make or break their manuscript’s chances of acceptance. Unfortunately, even today, there are common mistakes authors make that can quickly deteriorate their paper’s credibility, novelty, and stunt the progression of their manuscript before it can reach its full potential. However detrimental these mistakes may be, they can be avoided before it is too late. This blog piece will focus on four of these common mistakes and how authors can best prepare their manuscript to avoid them.

I: Inadequate Literature Review

The process of thoroughly researching past work is incredibly important. One of the trickiest mistakes to get out of as an author is beginning the writing process prior to conducting a thorough investigation of all past research.

What some researchers fail to realize is that there are different strategies and avenues by which you can conduct this research. First, authors must understand why finding all pieces of relevant research is so crucial to their manuscript’s success. For starters, one of the main criteria for acceptance of a manuscript is its novelty and contribution to the subject area or topic of interest. It is impossible for one to justify the contribution of their work without first identifying how it expands the current knowledge provided by past research. Further, being thoroughly versed on all relevant past work on your subject area will undoubtedly assist you with the overall framework of your manuscript, specifically by identifying where there are gaps or limitations your research can address or inspiring ideas to further your research’s impact. Having knowledge of multiple relevant sources will also assist you in providing a well-rounded unbiased point of view.

In order to find relevant and reputable research conducted, authors should use certain tactics in their searching process. Some of the most common search strategies include the use of keywords. But there are also many ways in which an author can search for relevant materials. Other viable angles for research include citation and abstracting searches. Citation searches are done by reviewing the references of relevant work to see what sources they derived from. Investigating and going through this funnel of sources will allow you to more easily find relevant information as well as determine the validity of the information found. Authors may also search by specific abstracting services, which will provide a pool of information to narrow in on specific to the given subject area.

Conducting a thorough literature review and selecting the right sources will ultimately allow you to justify why your findings are important enough to share with the academic community.

In today’s digital world, filled with endless resources and information, it is crucial to choose sources that will enhance your research, rather than taint its credibility. Choosing credible sources will demonstrate your thorough understanding of the material and thus your own credibility as an author. In order to ensure you are choosing the right sources, it is recommended that you verify certain ‘telling’ aspects of the work, such as the educational credentials of the author or whether the author has published in a scholarly journal or university press. Credibility of a source can also be determined by the date on which it was published. It is possible that the source could have at one point been considered relevant and credible but may no longer be due to disproven or outdated information.

In the best interest of academic authors, it is also recommended to avoid search engines such as Wikipedia and simple Google searches and instead rely on scholarly databases such as EBSCO, PubMed, Web of Science, Scopus, etc. Overall, it’s important to understand that the credibility of your sources will directly equate to your own credibility as an author, and considering this, authors should take all the right precautions in preparing their source groundwork prior to beginning the writing process (Fleming, 2019).

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II: Not Properly Implementing Peer Review Feedback

Many academic authors can relate to the burden of deciding of how to effectively address and implement feedback and commentary from peer reviewers. The inability to understand, compartmentalize, and prioritize this feedback can result in several issues that can affect the overall quality of your research. These issues arise when authors fail to address all points of the feedback or in doing so maintain a defensive or closed mindset. In best practice, authors should address every single comment left by their peer reviewers. As best one can, authors should release any emotion they may have that will stand in the way of their ability to objectively address their feedback and give as much attention to comments they find insightful as those with which they may not initially agree. No matter what strategy is chosen to respond to the feedback, it is most important that authors have respect and appreciation for the input provided to them by experts in their field of research.

All that being said, authors should put as much thought into their handling of the feedback as they do choosing who they are receiving the feedback from. eContent Pro’s subject-specific experts are carefully selected and are considered authorities within their fields, with many serving as Editors-in-Chief of top-ranking journals, thus showcasing esteem and command of the requirements of academic publishing. Our highly skilled editors will provide you with a preliminary peer-review o your manuscript prior to formal submission, including constructive suggestions and feedback specific to your research, such as organizational structure, context, weaknesses, and overall delivery and flow.

Given that our editors have substantial experience providing feedback to academic authors, they understand the immense amount of work that has already been invested. Therefore, they ensure the feedback is comprehensive, critical, thoughtful, and organized in a manner that will ultimately make the author’s life easier and their potential for acceptance greater.

Learn more about how our Scientific & Scholarly Editing services can increase your manuscript’s chances of acceptance and alleviate delays in the peer-review process.

III: Overreliance on Self-Editing

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As much as one might think they have perfectly edited their academic work, the truth is that if your manuscript is not professionally copy edited and proofread prior to submission, it is more likely to stand out for all the wrong reasons. Editing, however, should start with the author, by whichever method suits them best. Whether it is reading the manuscript out loud or printing each page and reviewing line by line, this part of the editing process is crucial. The mistake lies in assuming that your manuscript does not need professional copy editing and proofreading services before final submission. As the academic publishing world becomes more competitive, even the smallest of inaccuracies will stick out to an editorial board and significantly slim your chances of acceptance (Crouchley, 2019).

Professional copy editors are highly skilled individuals specifically trained to spot errors authors do not. This is why their services are so important to support all types of authors.

eContent Pro’s professional native English-speaking copy editors hold years of academic editing experience and are trained to improve your manuscript’s grammar, spelling, punctuation, terminology, overall clarity of language, and much more. Investing in professional copy editing & proofreading services to perfect your documents will take your manuscript to the level of refined academic work it deserves to reach.

Regardless of if you are a seasoned writer or an aspiring author working to become published, our services are created to assist you in avoiding these detrimental mistakes that may inherently taint your work’s credibility, quality, and ability to reach its fullest potential. At eContent Pro, all of our expert editors are well-versed and thoroughly educated on how to best support you based on the specifics of your work and your objectives. Our editorial services include professional Copy Editing & Proofreading; Scientific & Scholarly Editing; Figures, Table, Chart, Equation Conversions; and more, providing full support to our customers from manuscript development to publication. Reach out to our knowledgeable customer service representatives today to learn more about our services and how we can support your publishing journey.

IV: Not Understanding the Power of Figures and Tables

Two Professionals working on Figures and Tables A common mistake, even some of the most experienced researchers make, is not understanding and investing in the power of your manuscript’s figures and tables. There is a reason why these visual elements are among the first things an editor will look at when considering your work for acceptance. Based on the initial perceived quality and execution of these figures and tables, editors will decide whether your manuscript is credible, professional, and valuable enough to proceed further in the editorial review process. Regarding your audience, it is important for all authors to understand that not everyone reading their work is an expert in their subject area. In fact, most will not be. Therefore, figures and tables are a key outlet for authors to effectively explain more complex findings and/or large amounts of data.

For your manuscript to have any chance of acceptance on the editor’s desk, your visual components must be of high quality, follow all necessary guidelines and criteria, and communicate your data clearly. Unfortunately, figures, tables, and charts are often not properly addressed by even the most prestigious of authors, leaving these crucial visual elements on the backburner of their manuscript’s overall development.

Unless you are an experienced graphic designer, this stage of the manuscript development process can often be challenging, confusing, and tedious. Fortunately, eContent Pro’s figure, table, chart, and equation conversion service is offered at a fraction of the cost of conventional design firms. Our professional designers specialize in the production of research-oriented design specifically for scientific publishing. Our highly skilled design team will address key areas such as figure design, enhancement, and corrections; image editing and resizing; raw data transformations and equation conversions; and virtually any other design service requested. Visit our Figures, Table, Chart, Equation Conversion Services; webpage or contact a customer service representative today to receive an exact quote and learn how our editorial design services can save you time, money, and significantly increase your manuscript’s chance of acceptance.

Make sure your manuscript is ready to be indexed by utilizing any of eContent Pros quality-assuring services to aid in polishing your work and ensuring you’re on track to acceptance. Get started today by uploading your document or contacting customerservice@econtentpro.com directly.

About eContent Pro: eContent Pro is a U.S.-based professional editorial and publishing services provider for authors, publishing houses, libraries, organizations, university presses, and societies. Offering professional copy editing, translation, scientific and scholarly editing, journal recommendation, typesetting, figure, chart, table, and equation conversions, as well as other production services, we have provided the highest quality editorial services and content advisement to scholarly outlets and individuals around the world. To learn more about eContent Pro, visit the website here or email customerservice@econtentpro.com.


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