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Once you have prepared your cover letter and are ready to submit your manuscript, use the following checklist to ensure that you have not forgotten anything. 

Check that you have: 

  • a persuasive cover letter tailored to the target journal, not reused from an earlier submission, which includes all “must-have” statements
  • completed online registration, if applicable 
  • saved all files in the correct format and size, including figures, tables, and associated captions 
  • provided full contact details for the corresponding author, including e-mail address, postal address, and telephone and fax numbers 
  • prepared the manuscript in a clear font, checked for spelling and grammar, and formatted according to journal requirements 
  • checked that all references cited are in the correct format 
  • provided any requested forms such as patient consent, acknowledgment, conflict of interest, and permission to reproduce copyrighted material from other sources

Journals provide detailed instructions on how to submit your manuscript on their website, and most submissions are conducted online. After submission, your manuscript will be reviewed by the journal editor. Initial rejections are usually returned quickly, sometimes within 2–3 days. If your manuscript overcomes this first publication hurdle, it will undergo peer review. We will look at peer review in the next lesson of this course.