Publishing with Elsevier: step-by-step

When you publish with Elsevier, you’ll get support and guidance throughout the process – from finding the right journal to measuring the impact of your article. Here you can walk through the process, step by step, and get the most out of your next publication.

1. Find a journal

Find a journal by paper title and abstract

Elsevier® Journal Finder

Match your manuscript

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2. Prepare Your Paper For Submission

Before you begin
Download our 'Get Published' quick guide', which outlines the essential steps in preparing a paper. (This is also available in Chinese.) You can find information about the publishing process in the 'Understanding the publishing process' guide. It covers topics such as how to use the submission system EES, Authors' Rights, Ethics and Plagiarism, and journal and article metrics.

Preparing your paper

For training and guidance on preparing your manuscript use our training resources at Elsevier Publishing Campus.

Publishing Campus

Read the Guide for Authors, which you can find on the journal’s homepage. It contains specific requirements related to ethics, open access options, copyright and funding body agreements. It also provides guidelines for preparing your paper, covering:

  • article structure
  • abstract
  • highlights and keywords
  • accepted formats for artwork, data sources and video

Don’t let your language get you rejected

Poor English is one of the most common reasons for rejection. You can avoid this by having your manuscript proofread or edited – check out our guide for how to check your manuscript. Elsevier also offers editing services via the WebShop:

Enriching your article

Publishing in an Elsevier journal gives you the opportunity to enrich your article with a different content, such as graphical abstracts, highlights, interactive Google Maps and AudioSlides. You’ll need to prepare this content before you submit, so check the Guide for Authors to find out what’s available for your journal. For more information, visit the Content Innovation page.

3. Submit and revise

How to submit
You can submit to most Elsevier journals using the online Elsevier Editorial System (EES), or Elsevier’s new system EVISE®.

  • Follow the ‘Submit Your Paper’ link on your journal's homepage. You’ll be taken to EES or EVISE® and prompted to log in
  • If you’re using the system for the first time, follow the instructions to register. If you’re returning, log in
  • Once you’re in the system, you will be guided through the submission process
  • When you have completed your submission, you’ll receive an email with a reference number you can use to check the status of your submission

Peer review
The journal editor will make a first decision about your submission. If it’s suitable for the journal, the editor will send your manuscript to one or more reviewers – experts in your field. The peer review process acts as a filter to ensure only good research is published, and improves the quality of research submitted for publication by giving reviewers the opportunity to suggest improvements. To find out more about peer review, visit Reviewers’ Hub.

Open access: your choice
We support open access in our journals; find out more out your options on the open access pages.

Article Transfer Service

If your manuscript is deemed unsuitable for publication in your chosen journal, the editor may suggest you transfer your submission to a more suitable journal, via Elsevier’s complimentary Article Transfer Service. If you agree to this, your manuscript will be transferred with no need to reformat.


By transferring your submission via ATS, you can:

  • Relax – there’s no need to reformat or resubmit, and we’ll transfer your manuscript for you in minutes
  • Enjoy shorter editorial times – editors will use the work done by previous editors and reviewers
  • Maximize your publication options
  • Revise your paper – you’ll have the chance to take reviews into account before finalizing submission to the new journal
  • Keep the first submission date of your manuscript
  • Stay in control – you’re in charge, with minimal effort; agreeing to the transfer takes just one click

How does it work?
Transferring your submission with ATS is simple.

  1. You will receive the transfer offer by email – start the transfer process by clicking on the link.
  2. Select the appropriate receiving journal, and your paper, including any comments from the reviewers and editor, will be transferred automatically.
  3. At this point you have the chance to revise your submission – just submit a ‘response to reviewers’ document detailing the changes you’ve made.
  4.  Now all you need to do is complete your submission (additional files may be required depending on the journal), approve the PDF and submit.

Choosing a different journal
If you would prefer to submit to a different journal instead, or would prefer the reviews to be discarded, simply decline the transfer offer and submit to a new journal. Please note: previous reviews and comments will only be available to a new journal when your submission is transferred via ATS.

4. Track your submission

You can track the status of your submitted paper in the Elsevier Editorial System EES (or EVISE®) using the reference number you received after submission.

If your paper is accepted for publication, you will receive a reference number and direct link that lets you follow its publication status using the track your article tool.

5. Proofing and licensing

Congratulations, you’re almost there! Once your article has been accepted, Elsevier will make sure your article is published as quickly and accurately as possible.

Articles in press
As soon as it’s accepted, your article will be given a DOI and published on ScienceDirect as an Article in Press. You can track your article and citations throughout the publishing process, until your article has been assigned to an issue.

Accurate proofreading and clear marking of corrections are essential for publishing a high quality article. As soon as your article has been typeset you’ll receive an email, either with a link to our online proofing system or with a PDF attachment. If you’re proofing a PDF it’s important to ensure that you return all of your corrections in one communication. You can refer to How to Annotate PDFs for guidance.

More information about making corrections online available here

You will receive a copyright agreement to sign during the time between your article's acceptance and its final version. For subscription articles, you will transfer copyright to Elsevier as part of a journal publishing agreement; for open access articles, you will sign an exclusive license agreement, where you have copyright but license exclusive rights in your article to the Elsevier. For more information, visit the copyright page.

Open access and licensing
If you chose to publish gold open access, you will need to select a Creative Commons license. For more information, visit the journal’s Guide for Authors, or the copyright page.

You’ll receive the PDF e-offprints within 24 hours of your article appearing on ScienceDirect. If you ordered printed offprints, these will be dispatched 6-8 weeks after the issue is published. See the offprints page for more information.

6. Sharing and promoting your article

Now that your article is published, you can promote it to make a bigger impact with your research. Sharing research, accomplishments and ambitions with a wider audience makes you more visible in your field. This helps you get cited more, enabling you to cultivate a stronger reputation, promote your research and move forward in your career.
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