How AI is used in academic publishing of manuscripts?

The main goal of academics is to present their research work in prestigious journals. The process of publishing a paper is a laborious one, and not just competitive. Academic publishers like Elsevier receive about 2.6 million research papers each year. Editors and peer reviewers have to carefully select the most credible research papers for publication.

Manuscript authoring with AI

Manuscript development process is a task that not only includes biomedical statistics and results but also editing, reviewing, and checking content for plagiarism. Although a researcher finds this process lengthy and time-consuming, the effort is worth million-dollar research grants. Most researchers are ESL (English as second language) and need to polish their manuscript for English language errors.

Today, AI tools like have made polishing of research papers a very simple process. They not only rectify errors related to grammar and punctuation, they also contain sophisticated algorithms to check for terminology in reference to a context. Algorithms are also developed to check for plagiarism of content. These AI tools are software like

Manuscript Images with AI

Most biomedical research papers get their scientific integrity from the professional images that they publish. Most images are of microbiology and techniques, such as Western blot. The images are taken from a magnified slide, and this may lead to overlapping of images accidentally. The pictures of these images have to be stored, and their duplication has to be prevented. Careful attention needs to be paid to images as their duplication in papers would get the paper rejected by a journal.

A research paper can contain several sub-images, so researchers now make use of AI to compare all sub-images for authenticity. Duplication of images is avoided with the use of a software that preserves the integrity of images. An automated software named Proofig is an excellent example of AI in manuscript images. This software uses computer vision for scanning a manuscript. Then, all the images are compared within minutes. Any duplication of images is flagged off by this software.

Manuscript review process with AI

A peer reviewer has to carefully parse through the content of the manuscript, identifying the novelty of research and guiding researchers in their work. They also check the accuracy of the results presented in the paper. This is a time-consuming process for many publishers.

ChatGPT is the latest tool of AI and based on the GPT-3 algorithm. It enables a researcher to write a paper efficiently, providing content that is most relevant to the field of study. Now, AI supports the needs of researchers and editors. Scientific research is not completely automated by AI. It needs the efforts of scientists and publishers.



How does academic writing differ from general writing?

Academic writing is used in formal manuscripts of scholarly communications. These manuscripts are published in scholarly journals. In this article, let us discuss the factors differentiating academic writing from general writing.

Formal language: Academic writing involves the use of formal language that does not include any slang words or contractions. Colloquial words should also be refrained from using.

In academic writing, the use of pronouns in the first person ( I and We) are discouraged. However, many style guides prefer the use of active voice over passive voice, so they may recommend the judicious use of informal elements of writing.

Structure and format of content: Many academic papers have to be written in a format that conforms with the style guide of a discipline. For example, the American Medical Association’s Manual of Style is used for preparing manuscripts of biomedical science.

Social science papers may conform with the requirements of the American Psychological Association (APA) Manual of Style. In general, business papers have to be written in a formal style and conform to the requirements of the Chicago Manual of Style.

In these style guides, guidelines are given for formatting the references and the content of the paper. This would include title, margins, headings, etc. Many style guides also explain scientific writing style, social science writing style, business writing style, etc.

Regardless of the formatting settings, logical flow of ideas and a proper transition of information are encouraged. In a scientific paper, it does not matter whether it is biomedical sciences or physical sciences paper.

All these papers will have six important components: Abstract, Introduction, Methods, Results, Discussion, and Conclusion. In a social science paper, the format of the paper will have greater flexibility and creative freedom.

Tone: The readers of a manuscript would interpret ideas depending on the tone of communication. The tone of writing would depend on the target audience, so the writing style of a manuscript author would depend on the area of specialisation.

Both implicit and explicit forms of personal bias should be avoided in academic writing. An objective point of view must be presented. Care must be taken to avoid a rhetorical form of content. A clear and succinct form of academic writing would avoid the use of emotional phrases.

The target audience of a manuscript is always a group of researchers, professors, teachers, authors, and other academics like peer-reviewers. Therefore, the tone would further emphasise formal word choice and vocabulary.



Academic translation services by Harrisco: top academic company in Seoul, Korea

English is a second language or foreign language in many advanced countries, such as China, Japan, Korea, and Europe. The researchers of these countries have limited working knowledge of English language. They perform their research work in their native language.

This implies that most Chinese, Japanese, Korean, French, Italian, German, and Portuguese researchers need the services of a professional adept at academic translation.

The base language is their native language, while the source language is English. These ESL researchers still need to publish their work in international peer-reviewed English journals. That’s where Harrisco company’s translation services come into effect.

Harrisco is an academic editing and translation company that has been in service in Seoul, Korea since 1997. The professional translators are themselves academics with MS and PhD degrees. They also have additional professional English degrees, such as CELTA, BELS, and TOEFL.

Why choose Harrisco’s translators over other freelance talent? Well, Harrisco is a reputed company that employs only technically qualified translators with five years of experience. Be assured that your academic manuscript is in safe hands with Harrisco. The company has a global network of more than 150 translators, with advanced degrees in science and technology.

These bilingual individuals are an invaluable resource to the field of academic publishing. This is because although English is the lingua franca of scientific publishing, the onus of scientific research has now shifted to ESL countries like China and Korea.

Some ESL researchers may seek the help of their bilingual friends for translation. However, they must be warned that bilingual friends have just elementary fluency in source and target languages. Will they understand technical jargon of science, technology, and medicine in English?

By hiring Harrisco’s academic translators, all technical terminology can be translated correctly from the source to the target language. This ensures that the manuscript is translated with utmost care, ensuring accuracy of content. Thus, authors who are not fluent in English can seek help from Harrisco academic translations and smoothen the publication process of an international journal.

Harrisco’s academic translations have become a name to reckon with in Korea, Japan, and China. The company has a track record of 100% publication output in international peer-reviewed English journals. Even novice researchers may find it difficult to write their manuscript in impeccable English, especially if they live in ESL and EFL countries.

In such cases, it is always preferable to translate the manuscript from the source language to the target language, that is, English. Harrisco offers complete publication support to ESL and EFL authors, ensuring that their work does not face any English language issues. Harrisco is a top brand associated with the world of academic publishing.


Academic Editing services offered by Harrisco: top editing company of academic research papers.


Academic editing of research papers is a highly specialized service offered by Harrisco Research Institute. Our company is based in Seoul, South Korea and has been in service since 1997. The documents that usually need editing are thesis, admission essays, research papers, journal manuscripts, books, etc.

Harrisco’s clients are leading universities of Korea, which includes medical colleges and hospitals affiliated to them. Editing is a highly specialized skill, which is performed by highly qualified native English editors from the US, UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand. They have advanced degrees (MSc/PhD) in their technical field of specialization.

An academic editor would check for errors in grammar, punctuation, logical flow of ideas, organization, and style. Academic editing also involves formatting of research papers according to a specific journal’s style.

In general, medical papers are formatted according to the AMA Manual of Style. Business and engineering papers are formatted according to the Chicago Manual of Style.

Other prominent style guides are the APA, MLA, Harvard, Oxford, and Turabian style of formatting. The reference list and the citation style are always formatted according to a particular style guide. The papers are edited and submitted to leading SCI journals, which follow the system of international peer-review.

Academic editing is essential for ESL (English as Second Language) authors as they have English language issues. The intended meaning of the hypothesis and experiments are conveyed correctly by academic editors.

In Korea, the papers are first translated from Korean to English and then polished by technically qualified editors. As the editors have advanced degrees in science and technology, they have requisite subject matter expertise.

Academic editors themselves have an impressive list of publications. They have participated in academic conferences and understand the nuances of academic editing. The polished manuscript will have four important components: Abstract, Introduction, Methods, Results and Discussion.

Most journals specify that the word count of Abstract needs to be between 250 to 300 words. Thus, academic editors also do word count reduction as per instructions to authors guideline of journals. The international peer-reviewed SCI journals are from leading scientific publishers, such as Elsevier, Springer, Nature, and Wiley.

Journal editors are very strict, so the acceptance of articles depends on the quality of content. Therefore, researchers cannot afford to make mistakes in their content, especially English language errors. Harrisco has an impressive track record of 100% publication output.





How to handle manuscript rejection of an academic journal


Many ESL (English as Second Language) researchers face manuscript rejections from the editorial board of prestigious peer-reviewed journals. However, they should not be disheartened and devise a strategy to overcome this debacle. Obviously, most authors would like to challenge the decision of the editorial board by making ardent appeals.

They can modify the content of the manuscript to suit the needs of the journal and consider resubmitting the manuscript to the same journal or they may seek the help of publishing experts and submit the revised draft to an entirely different journal. In this article, we describe the steps that authors need to take after manuscript rejection.

It is extremely challenging to comprehend the complex style guides of international scientific journals. As ESL researchers have a limited command over English language, they may seek the help of scientific editors to polish, revise, and review the content of their manuscript. Most authors ask their colleagues to do an informal peer review at the pre-submission stage.

Although a manuscript is revised and reviewed several times before submission, about 40% papers get rejected after being peer-reviewed by an esteemed team of independent researchers. Moreover, the recent survey points out that 21% of scientific papers are rejected outright by the editorial board.

Even after a manuscript is rejected by a journal, an author has several options to move forward. An author need not despair by the negative review process, but they need to adapt to the constructive criticism provided by the editorial board. The reviews provided will certainly help the authors in improving the scientific content of their document.

Let’s explore what an author can to handle rejection by an academic journal

  1. Appeal to the editorial board

Most journal websites display a policy for challenging the rejection of the editorial board. All authors have the fundamental right to appeal against rejection, but the decision should be based on logic. Emotional sentiments do not carry any weightage.

Sometimes, peer reviewers may reject a manuscript due to misunderstanding of content. Such situations are delicate, and authors can still defend their thesis politely. Appeals that elaborate the scope of the journal are not really appreciated by the editorial board.

2. Journal re-submission

When the authors have clarified their stance and cleared all misconceptions of peer reviewers, the editorial board will reconsider their decision and may even invite authors to resubmit their revised manuscript for publication. By incorporating the suggestions of peer reviewers, an author can brighten their chances of publication. However, the editorial board of some journals do not have any re-submission policy, and authors need to respect their viewpoint. In such cases, authors should try to find another journal suitable for publication.

3. Modify the manuscript before submitting it to a different journal

Most authors prefer to submit their work to another journal after facing rejection from the journal of their choice. However, the authors should carefully incorporate the changes suggested the peer-reviewers of the first journal. This would improve the scientific accuracy of the content and improve the hopes of publication in another journal.

Nevertheless, an author would still need to work on the manuscript and adjust it to the style specifications of a different journals. All journals have specific instructions for authors, and reference styles of most journals differ depending upon the field of study. A carefully worded, concise cover letter will impress the reviewing editor of the journal.

4. Submit to another journal without modifying the manuscript

Although this option seems to be easy, it is not really recommended to novice authors. All the efforts put forth by the esteemed team of peer reviewers would go in vain when authors do not acknowledge their suggestions. In general, most suggestions offered by peer reviewers improve the quality of the manuscript.

There could be some suggestions that may be erroneous due to misunderstanding and those can be overlooked. Although the set of peer reviewers would be different for another journal, they too may highlight the same flaws in the manuscript. All authors should carefully handle manuscript rejection of an academic journal.

5. Discard the manuscript and do not resubmit it to another journal

Some authors may feel so dejected that they may totally do away with the manuscript. Resubmitting a manuscript to another journal is a pain-staking process, but it is not correct to discard valuable research findings. Research data has to be published somewhere for mutual academic benefits. Who knows your data may be a building block for path-breaking research in the future?

We all know that scholarly publishing was concealed under paywalls, but things have changed today with the success of open access journals. Compared to the conventional subscription journals, many open access journals are less strict with their review process. Journals like PeerJ, PLOS One are incredible for biomedical researchers. Platforms like Figshare make research data freely accessible and citable to the masses.

6. Hire the services of author education companies

Finally, authors may consider the services offered by many author education companies. A complete package of scientific review, English editing, and journal selection may improve their chances of publication. Academic editors are native English speakers with advanced degrees in science and technology. They have an impressive track record of publication in international journals. Although there are several such companies, Harrisco is a name to reckon with.

Harrisco has been operational for the last 25 years, making Korean research accessible to international journals. Many retired American professors work remotely for Harrisco, embellishing the work of scientific manuscripts translated from Korean to English. So, the next time you face manuscript rejection, remember you are not alone. Harrisco is here to help every ESL researcher overcome the challenge of publishing in international English journals.


How to impress the Journal Editor with Your Cover Letter

In research and academia, it is extremely important to publish your data and results in international English journals of high-impact factor. All researchers have to submit a cover letter along with their manuscript to the journal editor. Usually, a cover letter is addressed to the Editor-in-Chief of the journal.

A journal editor forms a first impression of your work by reading your cover letter. Based on the cover letter, a journal editor gets a glimpse of the main ideas presented in your study. A journal editor then decides whether the manuscript is relevant for publication in the journal. In other words, a cover letter is a mirror to the quality of a research study.

A journal editor may either forward the manuscript to the team of peer reviewers or may reject it outright. In some cases, a journal editor may be so impressed with the cover letter that they may publish the manuscript as it is. Now, let’s discuss how you can write a cover letter that is concise yet persuasive in its tone.

Typically, a cover letter is written in professional English and should not exceed more than 2 pages in length. A cover letter is mostly written to sell a research study to a journal editor. In this article, we present 11 tips for cover letter development.

  1. Always include important fundamentals of a cover letter: It is always preferable to use a letterhead from your affiliated institution. If letterhead can’t be availed, then make it a point to furnish the following details at the top left corner of the page: the names of all authors, including corresponding authors, the email address for correspondence, and the physical address of the institutions affiliated to the authors.

In case of a standardized letterhead, the author must include his or her contact information at the end of the letter, just below the signature. The journal editor would always need your contact information for further correspondence. To increase the credibility of the cover letter, the author should include the hand-written signature and not just the mere name in typed format.

In some journals, different editors are assigned to review manuscripts of different regions: American, European, Asian, African, and Middle-eastern regions. Many prestigious journals have global coverage, so authors should make sure that they are contacting the right editor in their region.

Address the editor with their proper title, such as Dr. or Prof. before mentioning their correct name. A journal’s website usually displays the names of its editors. If the names of editors are not available on a journal’s webpage, then you may address them as “Dear Editor” or “Dear Editor-in-Chief”. Always refrain from using the following salutation: “Dear Sir” or “Dear Madam.”

Authors should always make it a point to write the cover letter in a unique way. Remember that originality is the keyword here, so an author cannot simply copy the wordings from their manuscript. They need to paraphrase their results and findings in a succinct way. Only native English authors are capable of rewording their findings and data. Take the help of a native English speaker if you are not comfortable with rewording. Before developing ideas for your cover letter, make sure that your research completely aligns with the theme, scope, and objective of the journal.

2. How to present the main content in the cover letter of a journal: The tone of the cover letter should be positive and constructive; the English language usage should be professional. The “title of the manuscript” should be presented as it is in the cover letter. Make sure you present the correct title as there may be instances where you have changed the title in the final draft of the manuscript. Then, clearly mention the type of article presented in the manuscript.

For example, it could be a short summary, a meta-analysis, full article, a systematic review, etc. Remember, an ethical author never submits a paper to more than one journal simultaneously. There could be instances of an author submitting their manuscript to another journal after facing outright rejection from a prestigious journal. Then, such an author should write a new cover letter to the different journal editor.

This cover letter should address the theme, requirements, and objectives of the second journal. There could be instances where you are addressing the editor for the second time. In this case, the cover letter should clearly indicate how you have modified the manuscript by taking into account the constructive feedback of the peer reviewers.

All the reasons of rejection should be clarified in the second cover letter. A journal editor is always keen to publish papers that have novelty of content. Therefore, the main content of the cover letter should be just one or two paragraphs explaining the novelty of a research study. This section should cover all the important points presented in your manuscript. This section cannot be very long or short; it should be of medium length.

The author should present the best results of the experiments and mention all the novel techniques used in the study. All significant results of previous related studies may be included in a concise manner, if necessary. However, the author must be careful enough to ensure that the results presented in the cover letter match with those presented in the main manuscript and in the supplementary information.

Finally, the author should explain the significance of the rationale behind submitting to a particular journal. This is the most important aspect of a cover letter. A journal editor should be convinced that your research study addresses the scope of the journal. The author must explain how their research study addresses an important issue and how it can attract the attention of the journal’s readers. A journal editor must be convinced that the research study contains path-breaking results.

3. How to conclude your cover letter: Make a list of the other supporting documents that you are including with the cover letter: the main manuscript, the supporting information, author information forms, feedback to the comments provided by reviewers (This is included in revised cover letter.).

However, it is important to keep the cover letter concise, so some authors may do away with this information as it simply lengthens the cover letter. Remember a cover letter is like a sales pitch for a research study. The author has to convince the editor how a research study is relevant to the scope of the journal.

In the final paragraph, the authors should thank the editor for considering their manuscript, and they should be open to constructive feedback thereafter. The authors should refrain from using abbreviations in the cover letter. Before submission, they should make sure that the content does not have any errors related to grammar, punctuation, and style. There should be no spelling errors in the cover letter.

Most researchers in Korea think that cover letter development is a daunting task. Harrisco is a leading academic editing company that provides complete publication support to Korean researchers. The native English editors of Harrisco are retired professors who can draft perfect copies in immaculate English. Being scientifically strong with PhD degrees, Korean researchers are assured of high-quality work.



Why Researchers should use Credible Citations in their Manuscript

A scientist has to cite the findings of previous studies while writing a manuscript. These sources should be checked thoroughly for their authenticity. However, there are instances where the sources have been incorrectly cited and not brought to the notice of the reviewer and editor. In this article, I present all the reasons for citing credible sources in a manuscript.

In the year 1675, Isaac Newton was a famous scientist who conceded to the fact that his work was a development of previously related studies in classical physics. Thus, even reputed scientists referred to the findings of previously published studies. However, Sir Issac Newton did not mention the names of other illustrious scientists in his field of work.

A well-written manuscript will always include citations from credible sources. This ensures academic honesty and prevents authors from getting caught in plagiarism issues. The in-text references have to be presented in the form of a list at the end of the article. Although these are some of the valid reasons for citations, there are other less-known reasons for citing references in a manuscript.

A scientist has to be meticulous enough for citing the findings of previous studies in their manuscript. A well-cited manuscript is enough to gain respect in the scientific community. The other compelling reasons for citing references from credible sources are as follows:

1. Citations from credible sources are used for fact-checking purposes

Scientists have to be accurate enough while writing their research study. A cited reference is used to verify the accuracy of the content. For example, the findings of a related study must be cited with a credible reference. It can also be used to establish the authenticity of the content in a passage.

2. Citations are used to improve the quality of a research paper

A good research study contains detail-oriented work; the researcher should comprehend patterns and establish connections between different results of the study. A researcher who provides a good number of citations is able to achieve this feat.

To properly attribute the content to its related sources, a researcher has to pay attention to many terms. This includes page numbers, the names of authors, and the accuracy with which the author is presenting facts in the document.

A detail-oriented approach is really required to write a good research paper. A well-written bibliography is required for scientific analysis. By compiling a bibliography, an author can condense immense amount of information. Thus, the author gains the ability to foresee patterns and identify trends in a research field. 

3. An author can become a better writer by following good practices of citations

Journal editors really look forward to a paper in which the content and language are of high standards. To achieve this goal, authors should have the good habit of attributing the content to credible sources. Phrases such as “everyone knows” should be clearly replaced with credible sources. This ensures clarity of thought and eliminates the possibility of an intellectual goof-up. Remember, there is no room for false claims in an academic document.

A reader does not have any questions about the facts presented in a manuscript when they are properly cited from specific sources. Moreover, active voice can be easily used while citing facts from previous studies. Journal editors often give authors a red flag for using passive voice in an article. Phrases like “it has been reported” should be clearly eliminated from an academic manuscript.

4. An excellent bibliography proves the scientific expertise of an author

In a manuscript, a well-read author will present a comprehensive bibliography of citations. In this case, a bibliography is simply the reference list that is presented at the end of the article. It enlists all the citations that have been included in the manuscript. Compared to the content in the article, an impressive bibliography usually receives more compliments from peer reviewers.

In case of a double-blinded peer review, the authors are often reprimanded when they do not provide adequate citations in their manuscript.  In such cases, the peer reviewers would consider the authors to be amateurs in their field because they failed to cite a prestigious research study that was related to their piece of work.

5. Authors gain credibility as scholars when they follow good citation practices

To gain credibility in the eyes of the scientific community, authors should provide a good bibliography. An article that is well-cited attracts the attention of peers. Moreover, it also proves that the authors of that manuscript are indeed scholars in their field of study. A well-documented research work always attracts more credibility from colleagues in the academic community.

6. A research work can be easily verified from citations

In academia, a research paper is reviewed by several people before being published in the print media or on a journal’s website. The peer review process of science citation index (SCI) journals is very strict and rigorous. The editorial process is also very exhaustive.

The peer reviewers and journal editors accurately peruse through the bibliography and ensure that the citations are genuine. In other words, a paper is more likely to be considered for publication when the authors have taken the efforts to include all attributions to previous studies correctly.

There are different styles of referencing citations in a manuscript. The most prominent among them are the Harvard style and the Vancouver style of referencing. These reference styles shall be explained in detail in the next article.




Tips for being a good peer reviewer

Peer review is an integral part of scholarly communications. It is a matter of pride for a researcher to receive an invitation of peer review. This process of peer review is carried out for every manuscript intended to be published in a journal or a book.

To perform the peer review of an article, journal editors only invite researchers who have done valuable and commendable work in their field of expertise. These distinguished academics are entrusted with the job of evaluating the manuscript of another researcher in the same field.

What is peer review in scholarly publishing?

Although it is honorable to be a peer reviewer, there are a lot of responsibilities associated with this position. The main goal of peer review is to determine whether the work of another researcher is good enough to be published in a scientific journal.

According to the editor of the journal Biochemia Medica, a peer reviewer is expected to objectively analyze the manuscript of another researcher.After thoroughly examining the manuscript, the peer reviewer has to provide constructive feedback to the author in the form of comments.

Depending upon the quality of research work, peer reviewers may consider it to be commendable enough for publication or they may reject a manuscript for poor presentation of scientific facts.

Tips for being a good peer reviewer of journal articles

1. Acceptance or rejection of invitation: A peer reviewer has to consider many factors while deciding whether to accept or reject the invitation sent by a journal editor. Among these factors, subject matter expertise is of prime importance.

A peer reviewer must first go through the abstract of the article to surmise his or her expertise in the given subject. Although journal editors extend their invitation to distinguished academics, there are chances of a researcher not being an expert in that particular topic. In such instances, a peer reviewer may reject the invitation of the journal.

Another important factor is time constraints. Researchers are normally busy people working for about 50 hours in a week. They have to carry out experiments, collaborate with other laboratories, and work on their own manuscripts.

However, they may spend some hours on weekends exploring the work of other researchers. In general, journal editors provide them about three weeks to complete a peer review. If a researcher is pressed for time, they should politely decline the invitation.

2. Academic misconduct: In a manuscript, researchers have to often cite the work of other related studies. In such cases, ESL authors find it hard to paraphrase the findings of previous research studies. They are often accused of plagiarism by journal editors.

Although the academic community may trust their peers, that is, colleagues, peer reviewers should always check the manuscript for plagiarism issues. They can thus detect academic misconduct of authors. Peer reviewers have the authority to reject a paper on issues of plagiarism.

Sometimes, authors may present exemplary results in their manuscript. However, a peer reviewer should double check such results by repeating the experiment in his or her laboratory and with the same equipment. In this way, peer reviewers can catch hold of authors presenting false data.

3. Scope and objective of the journal: A peer reviewer should always look for the scope and objective of the journal. The target audience of the journal should also be considered. If a researcher has received a journal editor’s invitation for the first time, the researcher should make it a point to read few of the published papers from that journal. Moreover, the author information presented on the journal’s website should also be considered.

4.Title of the article: A peer reviewer should thoroughly judge the suitability of the article’s title. The title should be presented in a lucid language and should not contain unnecessary jargon. It should clearly reflect the content of the article. Although a peer reviewer may suggest improvements in the title, the author should not be compelled to have a style that super-imposes the style of the reviewer.

5. Review the article’s content: The main objective of the peer review process is to determine the novelty factor of the results presented in the manuscript. A reviewer has to peruse through the document to understand whether the content adds something new to their area of expertise.

The view-points of the peer reviewers may be subjective, but they can certainly make the process more transparent. For this purpose, they must check whether the manuscript is concisely summarized in the abstract. Moreover, the references presented in the bibliography must be precise, reliable, and sufficient to support the claims made in the literature.

A peer reviewer should thoroughly check whether there are any omissions of citations in the reference list. They should then point out this error in their feedback to the author. A peer reviewer should also check whether the author has justified all the claims with adequate data and results. If not, the peer reviewer must suggest ways to justify all the arguments and claims.

The author has to provide sufficient data for the reproducibility of results. A peer reviewer is not required to point out English language errors or inconsistencies in citation styles. However, a peer reviewer must mention the need for copy-editing in their comments to the author.

6.Accept or Reject Decision: A peer reviewer will rarely come across a paper that does not need any suggestions for improvement. If there are some issues that need to be corrected in a paper, the peer reviewer has to give the following decision: “Accept with minor revisions”. This is a favorable outcome for most authors, and the job of the peer reviewer is completed.

If the author has presented novel results but has not provided sufficient evidence, a peer reviewer may suggest major rewriting of the paper. The decision of the peer reviewer would thus be “Accept with major revision.” Some journals may prefer calling the decision as “Revise and resubmit.” In such cases, the paper may be again submitted for a second round of peer review.

If the paper is poorly written and offers no novelty factor, the reviewer would not recommend it for publication. In such cases, the decision of the reviewer would be outright “Reject.” There are instances where the content of the paper does not match with the scope and objectives of the journal.

In such cases, the authors must carefully consider another journal to avoid instances of mismatch. To tackle cases of journal mismatch, peer reviewers must not “reject” the paper outright but suggest the names of appropriate peer reviewed journals



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How ESL researchers can overcome the obstacles of English journal publishing

Today, most scientific research papers are authored by scientists who are not native speakers of English. For example, China, Japan, South Korea, Italy, France, and Germany are aggressively promoting scientific research in their countries. These researchers have to publish their work in international peer-reviewed English journals, because English is the lingua franca of scientific publishing. However, these researchers face a lot of difficulties while writing their manuscripts in English as they are not native speakers of English. Besides, they also face tremendous obstacles in publication process.

Obstacles that ESL researchers face in English journal publishing

Linguistic issues: Most scholars of ESL (English as second language) countries face problems related to English language. For example, the researchers who are non-native speakers of English tend to translate their manuscript from their native language into English. In this case, they always need the help of an English researcher to polish their manuscript. Thus, the process of writing a manuscript becomes more tedious, lengthy, and costly. All these efforts are done to tackle the rigorous demands of the peer-review process.

Plagiarism issue: In a manuscript, researchers have to often cite the work of previous studies. These citations involve summarizing the work of related studies. However, ESL researchers are often caught in plagiarism issues as they find it difficult to express these statements in their own words. Moreover, ESL researchers are not really familiar with the style guides of English journals.

Publication bias, scarcity of funding, and lack of international collaborations: Most ESL researchers do not have any connections with the key members of a journal. Most journal editors are biased while reviewing the work of ESL researchers. Moreover, researchers from developing countries do not have sufficient research funding; therefore, their work is often limited to research in their own countries. Sometimes, they may collaborate with neighboring countries. However, we rarely come across international collaborations in such studies.

Non-conducive environment in the sub-Saharan region of the African continent: most scholarly communications have to face tremendous challenges in the sub-Saharan region of the African continent: the environment is just not conducive to scholarly publications. Besides facing an economic crunch, they also have to overcome socio-political barriers and technological issues. Academic conferences are hardly held in this region. The problem of “brain-drain” is also acute in these countries.

Lack of internet access: Internet access is not possible in some African countries; therefore, it is difficult for researchers to access the work of related studies electronically. Moreover, this causes hassles in electronic submission of manuscripts. They also cannot access the electronic systems that provide a list of peer-reviewers. Owing to these difficulties, the articles published by African authors are very few in number.

Solutions to the obstacles faced by ESL researchers

Although ESL researchers face many obstacles in publishing their work, there is always a silver lining in dark clouds. In this section, we discuss all the efforts undertaken to overcome the linguistic barriers of ESL authors. Some of the steps used for improving their publication success are as follows:

1) Be persistent and calm: ESL researchers should not feel hopeless and dejected when their paper is rejected by a peer-reviewed English journal. The editors and reviewers certainly point out the flaws in their manuscript, and these flaws can be surely corrected. Thus, the quality of the rejected paper can be definitely improved.

2) Collaborate with senior researchers: Young researchers should always explore possibilities of a collaboration with researchers who are more experienced in their field of study. By developing contacts with senior researchers, they can certainly improve the quality of their manuscripts.

3) Familiarize with English journal styles: researchers must often read published papers of internationally acclaimed English journals. In this way, they would be able to emulate the rhetorical style of the journal. They should strive to paraphrase the work of previous studies in their own words. They would thus overcome the issue of plagiarism, an obstacle that is faced by most ESL researchers.

4) Comply with journal guidelines: before submitting their work to journals, researchers must read the guidelines of journal submission very carefully. They can thus prepare their manuscript in strict adherence to journal guidelines.

(5) English editing: The linguistic nuances of English language are seldom understood by ESL researchers. It is very important for them to get their work checked by a native English speaker before submitting it to an internationally acclaimed English journal. Although English editing services are offered by many companies all across the world, they are usually expensive and do not fit into the budget of ESL authors from poor countries. In such situations, they should seek the help of a colleague who is a native speaker of English.

(6) Identify the right journal: Some journals do not have any bias against authors who are not native speakers of English. Check out the websites of many English journals and identify the journal that is appropriate for your work. In this case, ESL researchers are advised to peruse through articles that are already published in these journals. With this strategy, ESL researchers can certainly improve their chances of getting published in English journals.

(7) Make your work more visible: Open Access journals are generally more visible as their articles can be freely read by everyone. Before submitting a paper to an open access journal, ESL researchers must try to make their research findings more visible to the masses. They can develop a website for their research team and use social media to propagate their work. They can also publish their research findings on authoritative blogs.


General instructions for manuscript writing

Although different journals have different guidelines for submission, science papers need to written in a simple and lucid manner. Some of the most important tips for writing a scientific manuscript are as follows: the paper must be written in a manner that is clear and concise. Consistency should be maintained in terms of quality of content. Authors need to do away with redundant content. Vague statements must be avoided at all costs. In case of abbreviations, they should be spelt out at the first instance. Unless stated otherwise, numerals from zero to nine must be spelt out. Numerals from 10 onwards must be written for all numbers.

If the paper has to be translated into English, then special attention needs to be paid for scientific terminology. In English, a decimal point separates numbers and not a comma. Construct relatively simple sentences such that the verb is close to the subject.  Although the use of personal pronouns is encouraged, it should not be done indiscriminately. For example, “In our study, we performed….” Avoid using personal pronouns in Methods section or Figure legends. It is preferable to write in active voice and not passive voice. A semi-colon must be used to separate items if the lists are long and complicated. The Abstract, Methods, and Results must be written in past tense. On the other hand, Introduction and Discussion sections are primarily written in present tense. Please note that British and American English is vastly different in terms of spellings, so maintain language consistency as per journal requirements.

General manuscript layout:

An experimental study is generally segregated into four sections: Introduction, Methods, Results, and Discussion. A manuscript must include consecutive page numbers, right from the title page. The title page is the first page of the manuscript and it should contain the following information: article title, authors(s), and sources of support. Article title should be concise and clear to many scientific readers. It must clearly indicate the purpose of the study, including keywords. This would help in electronically retrieving the article. Include the names and institutional affiliation of author(s) in the paper. Mailing address, telephone numbers, and email address must also be included in case of Author(s). Grants and equipment used in the study must be presented as Sources of support.


This follows the title page. A clear and precise abstract must be not more than 250 to 300 words. An abstract generally consists of the study’s objective, background, procedures, findings, and conclusion. Only new findings must be presented in this section. Abbreviations must be spelt out in this section.


This section is included in the main body of the manuscript. In most journals, this section is presented after the Abstract page. The introduction section must develop the context and background of the experimental study. For this purpose, findings of previous studies related to the objective of the current study must be presented. Statistical data and results of previous studies must not be presented in this section. The objective or aim of the current study must be presented at the end of the Introduction section. Most sentences in this section must be written in present tense.

Materials and Methods

In most journals, this section follows the Introduction section. In this section, authors must describe “why they conducted the experiment” and “how they conducted the experiment”. All reagents, equipment, and chemicals used in the experiment must be mentioned along manufacturer’s information. The information should be presented in past tense and passive. Authors should not write sentences “In our study, we perform…………”

The information presented in this section must be such that a knowledgeable expert can perform the experiment simply by reading this section. New methods must be explained in detail whereas well-known methods must be referenced. Unless stated otherwise in the journal, abbreviations should be spelt out at the first instance; however, there may be some standard abbreviations that do not need to be spelt out. These standard abbreviations are stated in the journal.


This section must be written in past tense, and it should present the most important findings.  Authors should describe prominent observations of the experiment in this section. Supplementary information can be presented in the appendix. Authors should present numerical results in terms of absolute numbers and their derivatives, i.e. percentages. In this section, statistical terms such as “normal” “significant difference” and “random” must not be used for non-technical purposes. These terms should be strictly used to present “Statistical Analyses” in the Results section.


This section must be presented after Results section. Novel findings of the current study must be presented in correlation with related studies. The sentence structure must be preferably in the present tense. Conclusions of the current study must be presented in the final paragraph of Discussion section. Data presented in previous sections should not be presented in this section. Limitations of this study must be presented in Conclusion section. Implications must be presented in Discussion section. Authors should not include statements that cannot be backed up with conclusive evidences.