I am preparing to submit my first paper to an applied math journal and I am wondering how important it is to find all the typos in a paper before submission? Of course I would always strive for there not to be typos; however, I am wondering if the journal will help with editing once accepted?

I am a bit of a perfectionist when it comes to these sorts of things so it would be helpful for me to know if the paper should be 100% typo free before submission or if that is not necessary.

I found a post here talking about this topic a little bit and I was wondering if most people agree it is not worth over editing for an initial submission since there may be reviewer comments, etc. that must be addressed.

Thank you for your help and ideas.

  • 3
    It should represent you - so if you submit sloppy work then fine. I suggest it should be as good as possible so you get the minimum reviewer comments.
    – Solar Mike
    Commented Jul 18, 2020 at 17:49
  • Sounds good. Thank you very much. I will take the time to review it carefully. I appreciate the input :)
    – user93656
    Commented Jul 18, 2020 at 18:05
  • 1
    @SolarMike is absolutely right. There should be no errors you can see after several rereadings several days apart. You may well have to address reviewer comments about substance. You don't want to antagonize readers by making them stumble over typos. Commented Jul 18, 2020 at 19:42

2 Answers 2


Strive for perfection, but if you fail to achieve it, then it won't be the end of the world. But you write a paper for people to read it, so you should make every effort to make it as good as you can, including grammar and such. Try to stamp out typos. Use an editor that knows about spelling, for example. Or at least, paste your content into such an editor so that you can see where there are errors.

The more readable your paper, in the initial submission, the less the reviewers will need to "fight" with it, getting more and more frustrated if they think you are sloppy. If you aren't a native speaker/writer of the language of the paper, try to get a native speaker to review it.

In fact, it is a good idea to have someone you trust review your paper before you submit it, perhaps a paper copy, simply marking errors for you to correct. It is very difficult to proof read your own work, since your mind will see what you wanted to write and not what you actually wrote.

Reviewers aren't likely to reject your work for such things, but you will get a more useful review, and quicker, if they can focus on what you say and not be distracted with things that you should have fixed.


In my experience, journals usually provide no useful editing help whatsoever. Copy editors are just as likely to introduce flaws as they are to fix them.

Referees might point out mistakes, but spotting typos is not really their task - and don't forget, referees are volunteers. I think the vast majority of referees won't think badly of you if they spot a handful of typos in a 25 page paper, but I can say frm personal experience that getting a lengthy list of typos back is extremely embarrassing.

What is probably a more contentious point is how polished the typesetting should be. It obviously needs to be clearly readable, but whether having a formula protuding into the margins is a problem or not is less obvious.

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