Skip to main content

Illinois Tech Library Guides

Publishing Responsibly

The Publication Workflow

Understanding the publication workflow prior to submitting a manuscript for publication is important so that you know what to expect at each step along your manuscript's journey from submission to published paper. The graphic below, from Editage Insights, illustrates the process for journal articles. The process is similar for academic books.

The Publication Workflow

A wealth of additional information on the publishing process can be found at the following websites.

Submission Tips

  1. FOLLOW THE PUBLISHER'S SUBMISSION GUIDELINES! Every journal should have published guidelines for submitting an article. If you can't easily find it on the publisher's or journal's website, contact the publisher or journal editor--there should be a contact page. If there are no submission guidelines and either no contacts given or the contacts don't seem to work, seriously consider publishing in a different journal!
  2. FOLLOW THE PUBLISHER'S STYLE GUIDE! It should be part of the submission guidance. Some journals provide a template that you can download and use, others just provide the style guide as a set of instructions. If a style guide is not provided, follow the style guide preferred by your profession--APA, AMA, Chicago, etc.
  3. Citation management tools can be extremely useful in organizing and formatting your citations and references. Galvin Library recommends the free open-source Zotero citation management software, but there are others. As with any automated system, check the output for accuracy before submitting your manuscript. For more information on citation management tools, see the library's guide.
  4. Don't rely on automated spell checkers or grammar checkers. These are great tools that can ease the task of writing, but they can introduce bizarre errors into your text if you're not careful. Double check before accepting any "corrections." Some grammar checkers also introduce additional hidden markup to your manuscript that can seriously interfere with the manuscript's submission. Grammarly is well known for this phenomonon.
  5. Book and journal publishers will provide editing. Follow the editor's advice. If your editor provides feedback or suggestions on how to improve your manuscript, heed his/her advice unless it actually changes the meaning of your text. If the suggestions do change the meaning, discuss that with your editor. Remember, your editor is trying to help you get your manuscript published.
  6. If you are inexperienced at writing for publication or if English is not your native tongue or if you just want some additional help, consider hiring a professional proofreader or editor to review your work prior to submission. A good freelance academic editor will be familiar with most submission guidelines and formatting rules. Remember, you get what you pay for. Pay for the best editor you can afford, not the cheapest one you can find.