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What to expect as a first time author

Authors | Researchers
What to expect as a first time author

You’ve decided which journal you want to submit your research to – now what? Catherine Farrell, Editorial Production Editor at Hindawi, takes us through the process from submission to publication.


Submitting to a publisher for the first time can be daunting if you’re not familiar with how they work. At Hindawi, all our journals follow a standardized, straightforward process from submission to publication, with help given to authors every step of the way.

Submission stage

All our journals follow a format-free submission process, making it quick and easy to submit your paper. You’ll select the journal you want to submit to, and review a pre-submission checklist; this will give you important information such as the Article Processing Charge for the journal, and a link to our Author Submission Guidelines.  You are also free to submit your article to any public repository. Since all of our journals are open access, authors retain the copyright of their work, and they can redistribute their article in any way they like.

We’ll ask for the type and title of your manuscript, the abstract, and the details of the authors.

A Conflict of Interests statement is required for all article types upon submission, and for most types we’ll also require a Data Availability Statement and Funding Statement. Then, you upload your manuscript – and that’s it! The option to add additional files is there if needed, but it is not necessary to do so. 

Initial screening and peer review

Your paper will undergo an initial screening by our Editorial Screening team. Here, the manuscript files will be checked for things like article type suitability, figure and table citations, relevant references, and plagiarism. If there are any problems, our Editorial Screening team will be in touch with you directly and will be able to answer any questions you have.

If approved, the paper will move onto the peer review process. Depending on the Editorial Model of the journal, it will either go to a Chief Editor, Section Editor or Associate Editor to be triaged to a suitable Academic Editor, or it’ll go straight into the hands of one of our Academic Editors. They’ll assess your manuscript and decide whether it’s suitable for peer review. If so, they’ll invite reviewers using our Suggested Reviewers tool, which is linked to Publons, to suggest the most appropriate reviewers in the field. Once reviews are received, the Editor will make their decision. Based on the reports, Editors can either reject or request either major or minor revisions, and papers will usually go through a couple of rounds of review before acceptance.

Right up until acceptance, the Editorial Assistant assigned to the journal is responsible for communication with you, as well as the reviewers and editors. They’ll be on hand to answer any questions or provide assistance if any problems arise, and will oversee the process to ensure it all runs smoothly.

Quality checks and acceptance

Before a paper is officially accepted, it goes through a quality checking process. These aren’t too different from the initial screening checks, but we’ll also check over the peer review reports, request ORCIDs to be linked, and we might request some minor updates to files. Our quality check specialists will guide you through this process and be available for any questions. If the paper passes the quality checking stage, you’ll receive an official acceptance email and an invoice will be sent to you to pay the Article Processing Charge.

Post-acceptance and publication

All of our journals follow the same production process, outlined in more detail here; we provide extensive production services including full-text copyediting, reference validation, and XML markup. Equation, table and graphics support is also given to authors in order to ensure the highest possible quality for all published articles. 

After copyediting, the galley proofs will be prepared and sent to you for review. You’ll use our simple online proofing system to make any corrections and will also have an option to provide feedback on the site. Once you’re happy with your proofs, your final files will be uploaded to our dedicated quality check system and sent to the journal’s assigned Production Editor who will complete some final checks on it to ensure that everything is ready for publication. We don’t have a fixed publication schedule for our journals, so you won’t have to wait for your paper to be published; the final version will be put on the website as soon as it’s ready.

Once published, you can easily download the PDF or order printed copies via the article page on the website. For any queries you might have following publication of your article, our Customer Services department is always on hand at help@hindawi.com.


This blog post is distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC-BY). The illustration is by Hindawi and is also CC-BY.

We are committed to sharing findings related to COVID-19 as quickly as possible. We will be providing unlimited waivers of publication charges for accepted research articles as well as case reports and case series related to COVID-19. Review articles are excluded from this waiver policy. Sign up here as a reviewer to help fast-track new submissions.