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Academic Journal Publishing: Submitting Manuscripts

Guide created by Elliott Kuecker

Anonymizing Documents

Most journals that conduct a peer review process will require that you submit a Microsoft Word document without any trace of your identity. This is easily done by:

  • Removing your name from title pages and headers
  • Removing any phrases citing your own previous work, such as, "As I argued in 2007..."
  • Removing all hidden identifiable data from your document immediately before submitting. Follow these steps:


1. Open File and then Info in your document

2. Select prepare for sharing

3. Inspect for Properties and Personal Information

4. Remove All and save

Generating Keywords

Upon submitting to a journal, you will most likely have to supply keywords related to the manuscript being submitted. These words will become the main way people discover your published article when searching databases, so they should (1) be words that circulate in scholarship and (2) relate directly to your content or methods.

Keywords might relate to genre, movement, theory, population, subject of analysis, or region, for example. 

southern gothic; boyhood; masculinity; queer theory

colonial rule; Panama; conservation; labor productivity

Look at the keywords connected to published articles similar to your manuscript or in the dictionaries of related databases.

Finding CFPs

You can find Calls for Papers on the listservs of professional associations, journal and association social media, and on a few websites where they are accumulated.

H-Net Commons for social science and humanities

CFP Penn for humanities 

Journal Conventions

All journals have Instructions for Authors in some form. This area provides directions on how to:

  • customize the manuscript to the exact style of the journal, which may include a formal style (such as APA) and journal-specific style (such as formatting for web publishing or directions for footnotes)
  • links to a submission portal or an editor's email
  • a timeline for when to expect a status update
  • directions about media sources, such as images or audio

Region and Language

International journals may require that submissions meet language norms for the location  of the journal. Two common English variations to American English are Canadian English and British English, both of which have slightly different spellings of the same words. Use dictionaries or online guides to find and replace words in your document to meet language requirements.

Status Changes

After submitting your article, an editor may email you saying it is received, or you may see your submission portal has been updated to a new status. Here are some common statuses and what they mean:

  • Under Review: it has been sent to a reviewer or the editor is reading it
  • Accept with Revisions: the journal thinks the article is a good fit, but they will not publish it until you make the changes they suggest
  • Reject and Resubmit: the journal sees potential in this article, but will only consider it after major edits under a new submission
  • Reject: the journal will not accept the manuscript, but will often provide feedback; sometimes it is due to issues with the manuscript, though other times it is related to a bad fit between the manuscript and journal theme; use this feedback to improve the manuscript