Why did my paper get rejected despite all the hard work I put into the research? Most researchers ask this question at some point, especially in the early career stage. In this post, I highlight six practical tips to make your research paper stand out and scale through the publication process. From my experience as a reviewer and editorial board member for a number of journals, I have learnt that the quality of results presented in a research article is only half the battle of getting it published; presentation and packaging make up the other half. This is nicely summarised in a quote that I picked up during my PhD days (I cannot remember now who first said it): have something to say, say it and stop once it is said. Each element of this three-part maxim holds two important tips.