Before bringing a paper for editing, you must have done the following:
1. Check the experimental section. Does it contain technical details of each technique employed? Is it free of proprietary or confidential information?
2. Check all numbers and units. Are they metric? Are they reasonable? How do they compare to data published by other authors?
3. Check the figures. Are the axes correctly labeled? Are colors really necessary? Will the details stay visible when the figures are shrunk by the editor? Are they ordered in such a way as to convey the story effectively?
4. Check the introduction. Does it acknowledge the main experts in the particular research topic? Does it contextualize the research described in the manuscript? Does it end with a preamble to the discussion that follows?
5. Check the references. Are they complete according to the editors’ guidelines? Are they accurate in terms of spelling and numbers? Are all the main experts in the particular research topic cited in your manuscript?
6. Check the acknowledgement. Does it thank the people who helped? Are all the sources of financial support mentioned? Are the grant numbers up to date?
7. Check the results and discussion section. Are the results and analyses interwoven? Does it follow a logical order? Is it free of internal contradictions? Is a mechanism proposed/suggested?
8. Check the conclusion. Is it concise? Does it state the prime novelty of the paper? Does it point at future applications or studies?
9. Check the claims of the manuscript. Are they commensurate with the data? Are they consistent with prior knowledge? Are they clearly stated in the abstract and conclusion?
10. Check the overall flow of ideas from the introduction to the conclusion. Can the reader follow the manuscript without needing your help? Is the manuscript telling a story? Is it free of unreasonably long sentences? Is it highly readable?
11. Check the abstract. Is it concise? Does it state the prime novelty of the paper?
12. Check the title. Is it appealing? Does it contain the critical keywords of the manuscript? Does it point at the prime novelty of the paper?