“Your Paper, Your Way” has made submission easier for more than 1 million authors

Are you ready to roll it out to your journal?


In 2013, we piloted a concept where authors were able to submit their manuscript with little or no formatting. It is now three years later and more than 700 journals accept articles this way.

Are you ready to introduce it to your journal?

A brief recap of Your Paper, Your Way (also known as YPYW)...

As the name suggests, authors can submit their papers without strict formatting or referencing requirements. They only need to submit what is needed for the peer review process. Further details may be required at revision stage.

Some points that authors still need to keep in mind:

  • The core manuscript can be submitted as a single MS Word or PDF file with all the figures, tables within that file.
  • Submissions must still be complete, with all key sections.
  • Source files are mandatory only at the revision stage.
  • Figures should be of high enough quality for refereeing.
  • Language must still be of a good standard.
  • Core ethical requirements, such as blinded title page for double-blind review, Conflict of Interest forms, etc. remain.
  • References can be in any style but must be complete and consistent.

What your fellow editors are saying

“Great feature and very helpful for authors.”  
Editor - Control Engineering Practice

“Highly recommend to do this and to in fact extend this to all submissions.”  Editor - Computers & Geosciences

“Much easier submission process - if you have 10 figures you can easily see them in the right order.”  Editor - Redox Biology

“I am Editor but in this trial period I also submitted a paper to the journal. I liked the fact that you could just submit without worrying about detailed formatting.”  Editor - Computers & Geosciences

Save your authors time

When the authors who used Your Paper, Your Way were surveyed and asked if it saved them time, almost 70 percent of them said “yes”. We believe this increases the chances of them re-submitting to your journal in the future.

Figure 1: Did using YPYW reduce the amount of time it typically takes to format and submit the manuscript? (n=4108)

Want to know how to put your journal live?

Simply contact your publisher and ask them to implement it.


  1. Is it more difficult for reviewers to review the paper this way?
    No. If anything the format makes it easier for reviewers as the tables and figures sit within the main text, rather than separate from the text at the end of the paper. Any images and figures should still be clear enough for reviewers to analyze them.
  2. If I implement YPYW in my journal, can authors still choose to submit their paper the usual way?
  3. Does this approach encourage sloppy science?
    There is no evidence to support this. The 730 journals that have been successfully using YPYW for years have not seen any negative impact on the scientific quality of submissions.
  4. Does it increase the workload of an editor?
    When surveyed, 80 percent of editors said that they required either the same amount of time or less when dealing with YPYW article submissions.
  5. What about the other 20 percent?
    13.3 percent weren’t sure. Only 6.7 percent said it took more time.

More questions? Feel free to comment below.



Written by

Catriona Fennell

Written by

Catriona Fennell

Following graduation from the National University of Galway, Ireland, Catriona Fennell joined Elsevier as a Journal Manager in 1999. She later had the opportunity to learn about the intricacies of peer review while supporting and training hundreds of editors during the introduction of Elsevier Editorial System (EES). Since then, she has worked in various management roles in STM Journals Publishing, and as Director of Publishing Services, she is now responsible for its publishing integrity and reproducibility programs.


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