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Scholarly Journal Publishing Guide

Resources for McGill journal editors

Style guides

A consistent look and feel for the journal is quality-marker. This applies not only to esthetic decisions such as a journal logo and article layout but also what style the manuscripts will be in. 

The style guide should include instructions for authors on points such as:

  • font
  • heading style
  • spelling
  • citations/references
  • formatting graphs, charts, tables, figures etc. 

This is helpful not only for the authors but clear guidelines will assist journal staff involved in layout and copyediting. 

The journal may even decide to provide a word template for authors to download and fill in in order to submit. 

Which style guide to use?

Each discipline with have its own set of style guides. You may wish to consult the style guides of other journals in your discipline. 

Sample style guides

Copying editing

Copyediting is the process of review the manuscript after it has been accepted. The copyeditor (or whoever is responsible for this role), will check things like:

  • spelling
  • punctuation
  • grammar
  • sentence-structure
  • references
  • etc. 

Note that the copyeditor does not make any substantive changes to the article's content as that is the editor's role. The copyeditor is going over the manuscript to ensure consistency, improve clarity in writing and that the manuscript follows the journal's style guide (see section Style guide)

Some journals will leave authors to do their own copyediting, some will have copyeditors on staff. The journal should decide who will be responsible for this part of an article's production. 


McGill Library provides access to specialized software that may assist with layout and production:

Resources for free templates and software:


Proofreading is as the name suggest, a reading of the proof of an article.For electronic articles, this will likely be reviewing a PDF proof of the article. 

 Proofreading is the last stage in an article' production. It's here that the article receives a final going-over for grammar, spelling etc., checks for pagination, appropriate layout etc. A journal may employ a proofreader or this may be a part of the editor's job. 


Use best practices to create accessible documents

Image resources

Websites containing copyright-free or Creative Commons-licensed materials*.

How to properly attribute Creative Commons licensed material:

Where to place and how to attribute information for Creative Commons licensed images

“How to Attribute Creative Commons Photos” By Foter, used under CC BY-SA  / cropped from original.

*Check terms of use for each image.

Project management resources

There are several free project management tools to assist in managing tasks and teams:

Third-party resources

Below are resources to help locate for-hire copyeditors, typesetters etc. 

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