Q: What should I do if I forgot to indicate the reference number in an intext citation and my manuscript has been accepted?

Detailed Question -

My manuscript has been accepted in a Springer-based journal. However, after acceptance, I found that I have forgotten to provide the reference number for one article in the text. It was provided in the bibliography though. What should I do now?

1 Answer to this question

Firstly, great that your manuscript has been accepted, that too, for a Springer-based journal. Congrats!

About the error, it’s a minor thing, and you will get a chance to correct this during the proofing stage, which is next. In the proofing stage, the journal will send the typeset version of the accepted manuscript to you for checking before they publish it. The purpose obviously is to release a clean, error-free document. For more about proofing, you may refer to the following queries by other researchers, one of which is about correcting citation errors at this stage.

To pull back a bit, as you may well know, it’s always best to submit as clean a manuscript as possible, whether submitting initially or submitting a revision. For this, a manuscript assessment tool such as R Pubsure could prove very handy. R Pubsure (from a sister brand) puts your manuscript through several checks, such as for language, concepts, summary, authorship, and even references. It gives you a completion score, helping you determine how complete your manuscript is and therefore how submission-ready it is. Among other benefits, at least initially, it helps you minimize or possibly even avoid desk rejection. You may discover more about R Pubsure here and view a sample report here.

Presently though, you probably just want to celebrate, especially now that you have learned that the citation error isn’t a big one. :-) So, congrats again!