Part II: Writing and Submitting Your Manuscript
Next Steps: Colleague Review
So now you’ve completed your research, conducted a thorough search of the literature, taken careful notes, and written a paper that fits the editorial scope and content of a journal, conforms to the style guidelines of your discipline, and follows the author instructions for your journal of choice. What now?
Before you submit your paper to the journal editor, have a colleague (or two) review it.
It is generally expected that when a paper is submitted to a scholarly journal, the research has already been presented to colleagues and peers—perhaps at a conference or in a classroom—and has been shaped by scholarly debate. Even if you have already had some feedback about your paper, it is useful to have a colleague who is familiar with the publishing process read the manuscript and comment on clarity, style, flow, and any questions that seem inadequately addressed.
Colleagues can help you identify methodological problems or format issues that may arise in the review process. Asking for their help will give you a chance to address these issues and revise the manuscript before you send it in.
Make sure to have several people review and edit the manuscript before submitting it. That way, you have the benefit of an outside reader before you go into the official review process. This step helps you avoid the 'forest for the trees' problem.
-- Ed Vawter, peer reviewer