An abstract is the window of your article. This is where your audience decide to read your work or look elsewhere. Because this section of your journal article is accessible to everyone, it’s important to use it properly to summarize your paper and communicate the main points.
You’ll probably write your abstract and title just before submission. It is important not to rush this process. This is crucial for making your article easy to discover and telling readers what they expect to learn.
How to use supporting materials during submission
New ideas and discoveries can sometimes benefit from additional materials to help readers understand its significance, and how it fits with existing knowledge. To make sure your research is quickly and easily understood, consider using different formats to summarize your key points, such as:
The submission of a PLS is optional, but encouraged. It is usually written in 250 words or less in plain English. The PLS should be placed after your abstract and before your introduction with its own heading (“Plain Language Summary”).
Apart from highlighting the importance of your research during submission, your supplementary materials can be used for research promotion to generate wider interest in your research.
Adding a plain language summary or graphical abstract can:
Help the editor to capture the information quickly
Connect the importance of the research easily to its target audience
Improve understanding by non-specialist readers
Display scientific data in a format that is easy to understand
Translate complex science into practical knowledge and initiatives
Read your target journal’s IFAs for submission guidelines.
Dealing with resubmission
If you are submitting a revised paper, your response letter will be different from the cover letter used at initial submission.
It is common for editors and reviewers to have suggestions on how you can improve your paper. Straightforward recommendations require minor changes. Some may require extensive changes before your journal article can be accepted for publication.
Responding to reviewers’ comments can be a demanding experience. Take time to understand what is required. Make sure all reviewer and editor comments are discussed in your revisions. Comments you do not agree with will require explanations. Explain why you have chosen to not make the change within your resubmission.