Manuscript style and packaging
The practice of sharing findings that advance knowledge and understanding within the research community has been in existence for centuries for a variety of reasons ranging from the desire to present new, original results or methods; rationalize published results; present a review of the field or to summarize a particular topic; or simply to facilitate career progression or satisfy personal ego. An examination of texts of scientific articles shows that there is a generally accepted code of conduct in terms of formatting, style, packaging and quality through the peer-review process. In general, scientific texts are precise, impersonal and objective. They typically use the third person, the passive tense, and various footnoting and referencing systems. They are first prepared as manuscripts before they are printed. As the writing commences, it is worth thinking about the type of manuscript to write and where the proposed paper is to be published as these affect not only the writing style but also the ease of publication. Ideally, the target publisher should be the one in which similar work has been published. It is also worth considering an appropriate level of impact factor or quality for the intended publication. The need to adhere to the structure prescribed in the Instruction/ Guide for Authors as well as ethical standards cannot be over-emphasized. The aim of this paper is to explore best practices related to the style and packaging of manuscripts; particularly those related to academic literature. The paper has been prepared as a reflection of the author‟s views as an author, reviewer and editor in the areas of manuscript preparation, evaluation and formatting respectively.
Keywords: Academics, Guide to authors, Manuscript style, Packaging