BioMed Central are publishing a series of articles on “How to publish”. The first commentary in the series “Planning ahead – what to think about prior to submission” covers an editor’s perspective on the key areas surrounding submission that should be considered at the beginning of the process.
Sabina Alam, editor of BMC Medicine, explains why a clear rationale and the value of the research are crucial points to get across in the manuscript. These are questions should be asked early on in the scientific plan. Additionally, research is often governed by best practice guidelines, which need be followed in order to achieve a successful manuscript submission in many journals. For example, if you are conducting a clinical trial, then before any work starts, local ethical approval, informed subject consent, and trial registration must be gained, otherwise the work will be not be published in a reputable journal.
Additionally, in this era of transparency, authorship is another consideration that needs attention at the beginning of the work. Guidelines to authorship criteria have been issued by the ICMJE (International Committee of Medical Journal Editors) and further advice for company-sponsored research is available in the recent GPP3 (Good Publication Practice) publication.
Getting your research published can be an arduous task but Sabina’s advice for a successful submission is to plan ahead.