There are many published items on guidance in scientific writing, and potential authors should not try to read too many of these to prevent information overload. This article aims to advise aspiring authors on producing scientific manuscripts for publication. It is particularly aimed at early career researchers in palynology and related topics who wish to publish their work in the peer-reviewed literature. It is vitally important that your manuscript makes a good initial impression with the journal editors. This means strictly adhering to the house-style (textual format) of the respective journal, and that your work is well-illustrated, well-structured and well-written. Despite the apparent complexity of the scientific publishing process, the system is primarily designed to allow several expert third parties to critically scrutinise your work in order to ensure scientific excellence. During the production of the first draft, authors are advised to anticipate issues that may be noted by peer reviewers. Consider carefully where to submit your work to. Specifically key metrics such as the impact factor, readership and scope of journals should be assessed. You will need to navigate an online submission process hence it is critical to organise your files effectively before submitting. It is possible, even likely, that you may be asked for more than one round of peer review. Moreover, you may have to recast your work and submit it elsewhere if it is declined by your first choice journal. Ethics in publishing are very important. For example you should invite colleagues to be co-authors only if they have materially contributed to the particular manuscript, and make strenuous efforts not to use the work of others unacknowledged. Remember that many more people will read your title, abstract and keywords than the main body of the paper so pay special attention to crafting these items optimally.
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Vol. 46 • No. 1