It's getting to be CogSci submission time, and this year I am thinking more about trying to set uniform standards for submission. Following my previous post on onboarding, here's a pre-submission checklist that I'm encouraging folks in my lab to follow. Note that, as described in that post, all our papers are written in RStudio using R Markdown, so the paper should be a single document that compiles all analyses and figures into a single PDF. This process helps deal with much of the error-checking of results that used to be the bulk of my presubmission checking.
- Is the first paragraph engaging and clear to an outsider who doesn't know this subfield?
- Are multiple alternative hypotheses stated clearly in the introduction and linked to supporting prior literature?
- Does the paragraph before the first model/experiment clearly lay out the plan of the paper?
- Does the abstract describe the main contribution of the paper in terms that are accessible to a broad audience?
- Does the first paragraph of the general discussion clearly describe the contributions of the paper to someone who hasn't read the results in detail?
- Is there a statement of limitations on the work (even a few lines) in the general discussion?