Check all your references
Seek help in writing and proofreading the manuscript, particularly if English is not your first language. Poor grammar detracts from your message, and again, reflects on your research as a whole.
Use a spell checker, and then check the spell checker. Even computers spell things wrong, and will often substitute an inappropriate word for a misspelled word.
Have others review your manuscript
Ask peers and your mentor to review the manuscript. If their contribution is significant, they should be mentioned in the acknowledgements.
Let it marinate
After “finishing” the manuscript, go away from it for a period of time. You will be surprised how much you will find to change after leaving it alone for a while.
Ensure that all authors review and approve
The lead author should ensure that all authors are given an opportunity to review the manuscript and provide their approval for submission and consent of authorship. It is best to obtain all permissions in writing.
Take pride in your work!
The publication is often the only part of your research that others see. Take pride in it. The quality of all you do will be judged by the quality of your manuscript or presentation. Reviewers look poorly upon sloppy manuscripts and poor publication practices.
Adhere to generally accepted standards when submitting your manuscript for publication
Standards can vary substantially by discipline and/or journal. Researchers should consult the appropriate resources within their field to determine conventions and expectations. See below for a list of inappropriate publication practices.
Authors must include enough information to allow other researchers to reproduce their research.
Improper Use of Statistics
An inappropriate statistical analysis may lead the reader to conclude there is a meaningful difference, or no difference, when in fact the opposite may be true. Knowingly, recklessly or intentionally misusing or skewing statistics is research misconduct.
Ignoring evidence that is contrary to your findings is unethical. Authors should never omit or inaccurately represent relevant literature, methodology, data, and/or results from their manuscripts.
Unnecessarily splitting data into multiple publications wastes resources, falsely creates the impression of greater productivity, and minimizes the scientific contribution of the work. It can also cause fellow researchers to neglect your publications, as all the papers seem trivial.
Delay of Publication
Deliberately waiting to publish data with the purpose of preventing other researchers from obtaining a key method, reagent, or concept is unethical as it hinders advancement in the field.
Researchers may not submit a manuscript to more than one journal at a time.
Representing old data as new work when it has been published before is misleading to the reader and wastes the limited resources of publication.
Although a technician, student, or post-doc may qualify for authorship, only the PI has the right to determine whether and how data is published. Others may not publish data without the PI's consent.