Author guidelines

After you decide on a topic and the type of journal you wish to submit your manuscript to, locate the author guidelines on the journal’s website. The author guidelines give you the steps you need to follow to submit your work to the journal, the review process, and additional information you need to be successful. Most journals have guidelines in relation to the recommended length for each different type of article. It is important that you are clear about these guidelines when writing your manuscript. Sometimes manuscripts which are longer than the length limit are still considered for publication provided that the additional words are justified or it may be that you are asked to reduce it in size.

List of Prerequisites

  • A title page with the title of the article, name(s) of author(s) and address(es) of establishment(s) where the work was carried out
  • An abstract
  • An introduction
  • A methods section
  • A results section
  • A discussion section
  • A conclusion section
  • An acknowledgements section
  • A list of references

Article Structure

As a general rule, your manuscript should adopt the following structure if it is a discussion paper, a case study or an analysis paper.

Title of the Article

The title should be concise, informative and useful for the readers of the journal. It is advisable to avoid the use of long systemic names and non-standard abbreviations, acronyms, abbreviations or symbols.

Authors and Addresses

Author lists should be finalised prior to submission. For articles with more than one author, you will need to list the names of all the authors first, followed by their full postal addresses, contact details etc but each journal will list the information they require. You should also include e-mail addresses on the title page.


The abstract normally has a maximum word count but it should give the readers clear information about the content of your article. It should be informative, accessible and not only indicate the general scope of the article but also state the main results obtained and conclusions drawn. The abstract should be complete in itself so there is no need for tables, figures, numbers, references or quotations. It should not normally be more than 300 words.

Main text

It is always useful for editors and for the readers if your article is concise, but clarity is important. Short sentences and paragraphs make reading easier. You should aim for consistency within your article in things like as the use of phrases and spelling. All acronyms and abbreviations should be fully explained when they first appear in the text, and they should then be used consistently throughout the whole article. For a research paper the general structure will include an introduction, methods, results and discussion section although in more detail it will contain.