The Submission Process
Each journal has a "Guide to Authors" that outlines the order of sections within a paper, word limits, costs (if any), instructions for preparing tables and figures, and how the editors would like the literature formatted. Luckily, the editors make these guides readily available via their websites.
Most journals now use an online submission system. Those that are part of large publishing houses (such as Elselvier) may use a centralized, standardized system. But, there are other systems out there. The advantages of online submission is significant savings in photocopying, printing, and postage; rapid notification of receipt; and the ability to do the submission in stages. The disadvantages are that the system may be tedious to use, upload times can be quite lengthy depending on your connection speed, and that you might need to do the submission in stages. Some of the websites have very easy to follow directions; some of them are not so forthright. These slideshows show the steps that are involved for some of my recent submissions:
Forest Ecology and Management
Plant and Soil
Canadian Journal of Forest Research
Soil Science Society of America Journal
See also, the Americal Chemical Society's Publishing Your Research 101 Episode 1: Submitting Your Manuscript Using the ACS Paragon Plus Environment html
Cover letters are often required, which are sometimes quite cursory. Better cover letters include (especially if requested!) what's new and exciting about this work and why its suited for this journal, and recommended reviewers or why someone might be a particularly poor one.
Sample Cover letter for a submission to Soil Research
See also ACS's Ep. 2: Writing Your Cover Letter and Ep. 3: Selecting Peers to Suggest as Reviewers
Any revisions will be uploaded to the same system, as well as your responses to reviewers (see The Review Process )
Journal of Forestry
Once accepted, you may need to visit the system to review page proofs, assign copyright, answer additional questions, etc.
Environmental and Experimental
Forest Ecology and Managment
Don't have Powerpoint? Download the Microsoft Office PowerPoint Viewer 2007
SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry.
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Last updated 06/19/13 § firstname.lastname@example.org