• Flavia Pinheiro Zanotto

Primeira etapa do artigo científico: passando pelo editor


Essa semana teremos excelentes dicas do Dr. Osvaldo N.Oliveira Jr. do Instituto de Física de São Carlos, da Universidade de São Paulo, sobre como o editor de uma revista científica internacional avalia se um artigo deve ou não ser enviado para revisão.

Ele é "Executive Editor" da ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces.

Most prestigious and highly-ranked journals today employ pre-screening owing to the large number of submissions they receive. An editor usually performs the pre-screening and the percentage of manuscripts rejected during this process varies among journals. There is also the perception that this percentage has been rising for these prestigious journals. Hence, when submitting a manuscript, the first concern of the authors should be to convince the editor that the manuscript is worth sending for external review. In order to help young investigators in dealing with this challenge, I provide some tips on what editors look for in a manuscript.


1. The first thing to consider is that the pre-screening decision is probably taken in a short period, meaning that the editor will not read the full manuscript during this initial stage. That is to say, the editor will only look at some parts of the manuscript, in addition to the cover letter. These parts are likely to be the Title, the Abstract and the figures.

The title should be as concise as possible but should convey the main contribution of the manuscript assertively.

The abstract should contain the expected components - as indicated in the scientific writing literature: "setting", "gap in the literature", "purpose", "methodology", "results" and "conclusions". It should be centered on the main contribution of the manuscript, as expressed in the Title. In other words, the Abstract should be written around the main sentence that defines the contribution of the work.

The figures should be carefully prepared to reflect the contributions of the manuscript. The number of figures is also relevant since most journals today allow the authors to provide Supplementary Material. Therefore, only the most relevant figures, related to the main contributions, should be included in the manuscript. The figures need to be visually attractive. An editor is unlikely to reject a manuscript without external review if the figures are outstanding.


2. In the cover letter, the authors should provide arguments to convince the editor that their manuscript brings sufficient novelty and is within the scope of the journal. They should avoid copying sentences from the manuscript when writing it since this denotes carelessness when preparing the cover letter.


3. Last but not least, the English in the text should be error-free. It is almost certain that the editor will reject the manuscript if the text is difficult to process and/or contains many spelling and grammatical errors.


Escrito por Dr. Osvaldo N. Oliveira


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