Withdrawal of a research paper after submission but before publication and during peer-review or even after acceptance is an uncommon event and not considered as a good scientific practice. Before withdrawing a paper, it should be considered that reviewers and editors have already invested significant time in finalizing of the manuscript.

Once the manuscript submission process is completed, the next step, i.e. initial review of the paper by the Editor followed by peer-review by the invited experts begins. During these steps, the researcher should wait for the final decision. However, in some cases, one may want to withdraw the manuscript. For instance, you may want to revise or add important points or may want to correct some errors which are discovered after manuscript submission. In these case, the manuscript needs to be withdrawn much before the peer-review process starts.

Another common reason to withdraw your manuscript is that authors discover or suspect a glaring error, possibly while checking the proofs. This error may require performing some experiments again or removing existing data set. It may call for doing some supplementary analysis. This may lead to additional work, but it can help the researchers to avoid any future retractions. If the authors do not want to make all research data available for commercial reasons or copyright or when they realize that they have made manuscript submission to a potentially predatory journal, here also authors can withdraw their paper. There are unethical reasons for withdrawal of a paper like being unaware of the publication fees or just wanting to submit one’s manuscript to a higher impact journal.

Another reason for withdrawal of research paper is impatience with peer review process. This process is not a black or white issue. However, there are journals who take a long waiting time for completion of the peer review process. Some complete it within 1-3 months, whereas some take 4-6 months. Even if this is the case, the time period of peer review is mentioned in most of the journal websites. Thus, retraction based on the time period can be unreasonable at times.

In particular, after acceptance of manuscript when the journal and referees have behaved blamelessly, as an author it is hard to justify unilaterally withdrawing the paper. When the paper is submitted, the writer implicitly agrees to publish it there if accepted. A submitted manuscript is a request for publication and not a request for the option to publish. It is not ethical to withdraw a research paper which has been accepted. In the publication process journals, reviewers and editors have spent time. To withdraw a manuscript after it has entered this process is a waste of their time. However, the legal ramifications of this behaviour are probably limited.



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In English language, comma is one of the most useful forms of punctuation as it effectively separates various elements within a sentence according to the writer’s need. Commas are used to break between the ideas in a sentence and make writing easier to read and helps in accurately conveying the meaning of a sentence.

Several rules are followed while using comma like commas are used for separating two or more words, clauses or phrases presented serially or as a list. For e.g.- I ate fruits, toast and eggs. Also, they are used in mid-sentence to present additional information which are not essential to the meaning of a sentence, unduly without disrupting the flow of the sentence. Some of these rules are relatively clear and easier to apply while others could be difficult to understand. For instance, commas are expected to be used by writers, wherever necessary to prevent possible misreading or confusion. Such type of instructions could lead to its inevitable misuse and could be confusing, like adding incorrect placement or unnecessary syntax within a sentence. While using commas in the research paper, unfortunately researchers are too susceptible to committing errors. The key to submitting a manuscript with zero punctuation errors and to avoid such errors is to be aware of them.

There is a great infographics presented which list the top six common errors made by writers while preparing their manuscript.

  1. Comma Splice- A comma splice occurs when two complete sentences are joined with only one comma.
  2. The interrupter rule or parenthetical comma- Any clause, word or phrase that appears in the mid-sentence and which is not essential to the meaning of the sentence must be set off between a pair of commas. One should always remember to use one comma before the word or clause to mark the beginning of the pause and one at the end for indicating the end of the pause.
  3. Serial Comma- It is also known as the Oxford comma. This serial comma is used optionally before the word ‘and’ at the end of a list or a series of phrase or words. When the items in the list are not single words, it helps to clearly convey the meaning of a sentence.
  4. Interchangeable adjectives- Two or more coordinate or interchangeable adjectives that describe the same noun must be separated using commas in a research paper. This type of adjectives equally describe the noun and the sentence would make sense even if the order of the adjectives was reversed or by the word ‘and’ if the adjectives were separated. In the below example, the adjectives ‘quantitative’ and ‘reliable’ equally describe the noun ‘method’.

Example: A quantitative and reliable method for estimating disease incidence is required.


Cumulative adjectives – Unlike coordinate adjectives, two or more non-coordinate or cumulative adjectives do not describe the noun equally. Therefore, they must never be separated by a comma.

  1. Introductory phrases or words: These introductory words or phrases are incomplete clauses that contextualize the main action within a sentence. Such types of words or phrases are appearing before the main clause of a sentence and that must be followed by a comma.
  2. Dependent clause at the beginning of a sentence – In this case, with a dependent clause, if a sentence begins then this clause must be followed by a comma. A dependent clause is one that does not make any sense and cannot stand by itself unless it is supported by an independent main clause.

The top six commas related mistakes that are likely to be committed by most of the researchers while preparing the manuscript.

In a research paper, comma helps the reader to figure out which words are used together in a sentence and which parts of the sentences are most important. Incorrect use of commas may confuse the reader, signal ignorance of writing rules or indicate carelessness.




For most of the research papers it is easy to find information but for adding information into the research paper it is not always easy without falling in to plagiarism trap. To avoid plagiarizing the source’s sentence structure and language, the researcher need to summarize or paraphrase the whole sentence in his/her own words. There are some easy ways to avoid plagiarism in a research paper by following some basic tips.


First one needs to find out appropriate information for drafting the research paper.That information has to be read thoroughly and put in own words in the paper. One should not copy verbatim for more than two words from the text in a single row. If more than two words are used together then quotation marks should be used.


To avoid plagiarism, citing the source is one of the most effective ways. The manuscript formatting guidelines like APA, MLA, CHICAGO, etc., needs to be followed which is used by the research or the educational institutions to cite research works in the particular paper checked for plagiarism. This usually requires addition of author’s name and date of publication of similar information or publications. Citing is a simple process but when not done properly, it may lead to plagiarism.


While quoting a source, the quote should be exactly used as it appears. Nobody wants to be misquoted. Most materials should be effectively paraphrased by the research scholar. This process may take time but effort pays off. To avoid plagiarism allegations quoting must be done correctly.

Citing quotes

It is different from the paraphrase citing material. This is usually includes the addition of a paragraph number or a page number in case of web content.


 If some materials used in the research paper was used by the researcher anywhere then it must be cited by him. If someone else wrote the text then it must be treated as self-cited material at the time of final manuscript formatting, especially the in-text referencing part.


To avoid plagiarism one of the most important ways is including a page of works cited at the end of the research work or a reference page. This referencing page should meet the manuscript formatting guidelines used by the educational institution. This is a very specific information which includes the author’s name, title of the paper, date of publication, volume number, issue number, and the source.

 Checking the research paper

Before submitting the research paper to the target journal it should be checked carefully for plagiarism.

Using plagiarism checker services like Writecheck, Grammarly, Turnitin, iThenticate, etc., is considered a great way to assess the other anti-plagiarism skills. For checking the research papers, most of the educational institutions and educators use different kinds of plagiarism checker software. The researcher should always make sure to check for plagiarism of the manuscript at the end of the research work. If the research paper contains plagiarism than it could mean the loss of the academic career or degree of the researcher. Even though we borrow certain great research ideas, we need to put down these ideas in our own words that would avoid plagiarism and keep the research ethics intact.



A perfect graphical abstract is a complete visual summary of a manuscript’s main findings. The readers who are trying to search for a particular finding through databases or to get a sense of the scientific research work at that time a perfect abstract can be of great help for them. These are widely accepted by scientific publishers like ACS, Nature, Springer, Wiley, IEEE, RSC, etc.

Gathering details of research work

Consider the scope of the study

The aim is to describe the main point of the work in easily digestible image. Thus, it is important to present a visual abstract that talks about the concept of the research work. If the paper is based on a particular molecular change then the mechanism should be included as one part of the image. Here, one can use an open source image or create an image by taking help of any graphic designer. After finding the apt image, one needs to add relevant titles or legends in text boxes. The image may be a chart or graph which is created in excel or similar programs suiting the journal requirement.

Focus on key concepts of the work

In this section, some text will be needed within the image. Always make sure that the text should contain key phrases which will be easy for readers to find the focus of the scientific research. The abstract should contain the image relating to the field of research.

Use concepts from study rather referenced literature

The referencing literature is a main part of all manuscripts but it should be used moderately in a visual abstract. Here, anything outside the research work should be avoided.

Creating and Designing the Graphical Abstract

Choosing of appropriate software

The researcher should use the software or program that he/she is comfortable or familiar with. Generally, Microsoft Office is a good choice here. To create a professional pictorial abstract Microsoft office provides enough flexibility in its programs and also people are very much familiar with using Microsoft Office. To create a visual abstract sometimes power point is used, in which one can also overlay other objects and text boxes as needed.

Summarize the findings in visual

The important point here is to focus on what you found rather what you have done in the research. It also provides the readers exactly what they want for in form of a visually pleasing image.

Design new image

It can tempt to snag a figure from somewhere in the research paper to serve as the visual abstract. It is the easiest route but not the best way. Designing a new image that is centred on the study can also help in getting potential readers to have a comprehensive look at the study.

Target interdisciplinary researchers

Technical jargon is necessary in research but it is difficult for other discipline researchers to understand it readily. To relay technical information which appeals to a wide range of audience without losing on too many technical jargon a clear and concise abstract is needed.

Choosing of a professional font style

The text used in a visual abstract should be presented in a professional font style like Times New Roman or Courier. When the image is focused on a pictorial representation in the research, like wise some text is also needed in the image.

Designing a simple graphical abstract

The abstract should be one image only. The abstract which is made up of a series of images should not be submitted like a slideshow. If the author feels that a number of images are needed then he/she can collate the pictures into one. This is often referred to as split panel formatting.

Formatting and Submission of the abstract

In different disciplines, the guidelines are different for submission of abstract. Within a same discipline they are also vary from one publisher to other. It is needed to work closely with the publisher for meeting the appropriate requirements of the journal.

A perfect graphical or visual abstract is like a movie trailer, which provides key points, a preview and also helps the readers to decide whether to read the whole work or not. Many journal editorial boards screen the manuscripts on the basis of graphical abstract only. Therefore, abstract are the pivot of a research paper. The reader will consider reading the rest manuscript if and only they find the research abstract interesting.


The quality of a research paper can be improved by using various tools developed by many scientific institutes.While establishing the research work on world ranking or allocating research grants and determining whether the researcher is promoted within his/her institution, some indicators are taken into consideration like the number of published paper of a researcher and the number of times these research papers have been cited.Now a days to publish a paper, a researcher has to put a lot of effort.Therefore, to overcome the hurdles, a research paper visibility should be good enough before and post-publication.There are some strategies which can help to enhance the visibility of a paper.


Consideration of scientific collaboration: In general, intersectoral, interinstitutional and international collaborations help to improve the paper’s global impact.


Publishing in indexed journals: These journals are included in Scopus and web of science or linked with other indexing organizations.These journals have a rigorous data processing and selection criteria for that these are taken as the reliable sources of bibliometrics. The best sources of these indicators are the databases.


Suggestion for a journal to be added to Scopus and Web of Science: Most of the journal databases are open to suggestions to include new titles in their purview provided that they meet the required eligibility criteria.


Publishing in open access journals: Free open access system of publication with no publication fee is a significant advantage to the authors.It is also beneficial to readers as the manuscript acceptance is free of cost and it is easy to find the research work by searching through search engines.


Keeping the pre-print and post-print versions of accepted paper: The pre-print version is that part of the manuscript that precedes the peer review.The green road to open access allow the researcher to submit the post -print version or the final version.


Popularizing the scientific papers and research work: If the researcher wants to increase the visibility of the research paper and to catch the attention of large audience and to be known widely, the language used should be more accessible and easy to read.This may help in manuscript acceptance.


Listing all publications in an online platform: To increase the visibility of the paper and to share the research findings, individual publication profiles should be created online.This process can helps in peer review part.


Connecting with scientific social media and influential researchers: This is the best path to keep with developments on provided research area.Then follow the well-known and research groups and researchers and participate in discussions which is one of the best networking strategy.


Share the research work on social media: To post the research work social media like Facebook and Twitter are used by the researchers.This can help the readers to share the information with other people.