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Submitting the Journal Abstract


This resource will help undergraduate, graduate, and professional scholars write proposals for academic conferences, articles, and books.

Once you complete your abstract and manuscript, you might decide to reconsider your choice of target journal due to a slight change in focus. In that case, you might want to ask for suggestions from peers and mentors or address the journal editor directly. Virtually all editors will look at your abstract to make an initial judgment about whether it will fit the scope of their journal and might even be willing to skim your manuscript.

You will want to make sure that your manuscript and abstract are as error-free as possible, particularly in formatting issues such as page numbers, font size, alignment, and typographical errors. Each journal has its own specific guidelines for formatting and style. Find this information on their website. Pay particular attention to requests for blind submission and mask all references that would reveal your identity - this includes school references, geographic locations, and recognizable or unique organization names.

For example, to make an abstract anonymous, a researcher conducing a study at the Subaru plant here in Lafayette, Indiana, would have to use the following terminology: “Researchers used a case study approach to collect data on the impact of “lean production” techniques on workers at a small automotive production plant in the Midwest.”

The editor's decision might be one of the following:

  1. Accepting the manuscript in its current form
  2. Accepting it pending the completion of particular revisions
  3. Revising and resubmitting
  4. Rejection

Immediate acceptance is very rare, while numbers two and three are the most common responses to submissions. Changes requested by an "accept with minor revisions" are fewer and less substantial than changes for a "revise and resubmit," in which case the manuscript is often sent back to the same reviewers. Unless you have a particular reason for not implementing one of those suggested changes and are willing to explain these in the letter to the editor, you should make each and every one of the suggested revisions.