Preparation of a Manuscript

General Considerations

  • Research manuscripts should comprise:
    • Front matter: Title, Author list, Affiliations, Abstract, Keywords
    • Research manuscript sections: Introduction, Materials and Methods, Results, Discussion, Conclusions (optional).
    • Back matter: Supplementary Materials, Acknowledgments, Author Contributions, Conflicts of Interest, References.
  • Review manuscripts should comprise the front matter, literature review sections and the back matter. The template file can also be used to prepare the front and back matter of your review manuscript.
  • Abbreviations should be defined in parentheses the first time they appear in the abstract, main text, and in figure or table captions.
  • SI Units (International System of Units) should be used. Imperial, US customary and other units should be converted to SI units whenever possible.
  • Equations: If you are using Word, please use either the Microsoft Equation Editor or the MathType add-on. Equations should be editable by the editorial office and not appear in a picture format.
  • Research Data and supplementary materials: Note that publication of your manuscript implies that you must make all materials, data, and protocols associated with the publication available to readers. Please disclose at the submission stage any restrictions on the availability of materials or information.

Front Matter

These sections should appear in all manuscript types

  • Title: The title of your manuscript should be concise, specific and relevant. When decision making model names are included, the abbreviated name rather than full name should be used.
  • Author List and Affiliations: Authors' full first and last names must be provided. The initials of any middle names can be added. The PubMed/MEDLINE standard format is used for affiliations: complete address information including city, zip code, state/province, country, and all email addresses. At least one author should be designated as corresponding author, and his or her email address and other details should be included at the end of the affiliation section..
  • Abstract: The abstract should be a total of about 200 words maximum. The abstract should be a single paragraph and should follow the style of structured abstracts, but without headings: 1) Background: Place the question addressed in a broad context and highlight the purpose of the study; 2) Methods: Describe briefly the main methods or treatments applied. Include any relevant preregistration numbers, and species and strains of any animals used. 3) Results: Summarize the article's main findings; and 4) Conclusion: Indicate the main conclusions or interpretations. The abstract should be an objective representation of the article: it must not contain results which are not presented and substantiated in the main text and should not exaggerate the main conclusions.
  • Keywords: Three to ten pertinent keywords need to be added after the abstract. We recommend that the keywords are specific to the article, yet reasonably common within the subject discipline.

 Research Manuscript Sections

  • Introduction: The introduction should briefly place the study in a broad context and highlight why it is important. It should define the purpose of the work and its significance, including specific hypotheses being tested. The current state of the research field should be reviewed carefully and key publications cited. Please highlight controversial and diverging hypotheses when necessary. Finally, briefly mention the main aim of the work and highlight the main conclusions.
  • Materials and Methods: They should be described with sufficient detail to allow others to replicate and build on published results. New methods and protocols should be described in detail while well-established methods can be briefly described and appropriately cited. Give the name and version of any software used and make clear whether computer code used is available. Include any pre-registration codes.
  • Results: Provide a concise and precise description of the experimental results, their interpretation as well as the experimental conclusions that can be drawn.
  • Discussion: Authors should discuss the results and how they can be interpreted in perspective of previous studies and of the working hypotheses. The findings and their implications should be discussed in the broadest context possible and limitations of the work highlighted. Future research directions should also be mentioned. This section may be combined with Results.
  • Conclusions: This section is not mandatory, but can be added to the manuscript if the discussion is unusually long or complex.

Back Matter

  • Supplementary Materials: Describe any supplementary material published online alongside the manuscript (figure, tables, etc.). Please indicate the name and title of each element as follows Figure S1: title, Table S1: title, etc.
  • Acknowledgments: All sources of funding of the study should be disclosed. Clearly indicate grants that you have received in support of your research work and if you received funds to cover publication costs.
  • Author Contributions: Each author is expected to have made substantial contributions to the paper and has approved the submitted version. Authorship must include and be limited to those who have contributed substantially to the work.
  • Conflicts of Interest: Authors must identify and declare any personal circumstances or interest that may be perceived as inappropriately influencing the representation or interpretation of reported research results. If there is no conflict of interest, please state "The authors declare no conflict of interest."
  • References: References must be numbered in order of appearance in the text (including table captions and figure legends) and listed individually at the end of the manuscript. Include the digital object identifier (DOI) for all references where available.


Citation in text

Please ensure that every reference cited in the text is also present in the reference list (and vice versa). Any references cited in the abstract must be given in full. Unpublished results and personal

communications are not recommended in the reference list, but may be mentioned in the text. If these references are included in the reference list they should follow the standard reference style of the journal and should include a substitution of the publication date with either 'Unpublished results' or 'Personal communication'. Citation of a reference as 'in press' implies that the item has been accepted for publication.

Web references

As a minimum, the full URL should be given and the date when the reference was last accessed. Any further information, if known (DOI, author names, dates, reference to a source publication, etc.), should also be given. Web references can be listed separately (e.g., after the reference list) under a different heading if desired, or can be included in the reference list.

Data references

This journal encourages you to cite underlying or relevant datasets in your manuscript by citing them in your text and including a data reference in your Reference List. Data references should include the following elements: author name(s), dataset title, data repository, version (where available), year, and global persistent identifier. Add [dataset] immediately before the reference so we can properly identify it as a data reference. The [dataset] identifier will not appear in your published article.

Text: Citations in the text should follow the referencing style used by the American Psychological Association.

List: references should be arranged first alphabetically and then further sorted chronologically if necessary. More than one reference from the same author(s) in the same year must be identified by the letters 'a', 'b', 'c', etc., placed after the year of publication.


Reference to a journal publication:

Van der Geer, J., Hanraads, J. A. J., & Lupton, R. A. (2010). The art of writing a scientific article. Journal of Scientific Communications, 163, 51–59.

Reference to a book:

Strunk, W., Jr., & White, E. B. (2000). The elements of style. (4th ed.). New York: Longman, (Chapter 4). Reference to a chapter in an edited book:

Mettam, G. R., & Adams, L. B. (2009). How to prepare an electronic version of your article. In B. S. Jones, & R. Z. Smith (Eds.), Introduction to the electronic age (pp. 281–304). New York: E-Publishing Inc.

Reference to a website:

Cancer Research UK. Cancer statistics reports for the UK. (2003). Accessed 13 March 2003.

Reference to a dataset:

[dataset] Oguro, M., Imahiro, S., Saito, S., Nakashizuka, T. (2015). Mortality data for Japanese oak wilt disease and surrounding forest compositions. Mendeley Data, v1. xwj98nb39r.1.

Journal abbreviations source

Journal names should be abbreviated according to the List of Title Word Abbreviations.

Preparing Figures, Schemes and Tables

  • File for Figures and schemes must be provided during submission in a single zip archive and at a sufficiently high resolution (minimum 1000 pixels width/height, or a resolution of 300 dpi or higher). Common formats are accepted, however, TIFF, JPEG, EPS and PDF are preferred.
  • All Figures, Schemes and Tables should be inserted into the main text close to their first citation and must be numbered following their number of appearance (Figure 1, Scheme I, Figure 2, Scheme II, Table 1, ).
  • All Figures, Schemes and Tables should have a short explanatory title and caption.
  • All table columns should have an explanatory heading. To facilitate the copy-editing of larger tables, smaller fonts may be used, but no less than 8 pt. in size. Authors should use the Table option of Microsoft Word to create tables.
  • Authors are encouraged to prepare figures and schemes in color (RGB at 8-bit per channel). There is no additional cost for publishing full color graphics.

Supplementary Materials and Software Source Code

 Data Availability

In order to maintain the integrity, transparency and reproducibility of research records, authors must make their experimental and research data openly available either by depositing into data repositories or by publishing the data and files as supplementary information in this journal.

Computer Code and Software

For work where novel computer code was developed, authors should release the code either by depositing in a recognized, public repository or uploading as supplementary information to the publication. The name and version of all software used should be clearly indicated.

Supplementary Material

Additional data and files can be uploaded as "Supplementary Files" during the manuscript submission process. The supplementary files will also be available to the referees as part of the peer-review process. Any file format is acceptable, however we recommend that common, non-proprietary formats are used where possible.

References in Supplementary Files

Citations and References in Supplementary files are permitted provided that they also appear in the reference list of the main text.