This paper suggests a methodology of academic paper classification for the scientist intending to contribute to peer-reviewed scientific literature. This will enable the progress of the typescript through the publication system to be accurately determined at any stage. The publication process is split into eight subdivisions of differing worth and import: in navel contemplation; in preparation; submitted; in review; revision, revised, and resubmitted; accepted; in press; and publication. Papers in navel contemplation are referred to as in preparation by many, which can be an embarrassment when asked exactly what has been prepared. Rather than listing papers as in preparation in academic submissions, it is better to list them as unpublished data until published. Efficient authors keep a close watch on their papers between submission and the proof stage. They must be sufficiently organized to manage their publications and to be aware when things slow down. The methodology is flexible and, if it does not work for some authors, then they have a simple framework to adapt to their own preferences. In short, scientists need to show care and not be overly optimistic about the progress of any paper.
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