How to write your article?
On this page you'll find guidance and tips for first-time and experienced authors on writing style and how to structure an article. We've also included article template to help you structure and format your manuscript.
Articles commonly fall into one of four main categories: Full papers, Communications, Reviews and Opinions. However, each journal will have further, specific article types, so you should always refer to a journal’s specific author guidelines while preparing your manuscript.
Full papers are original, unpublished primary research. Extensions of work that has been published previously in short form such as a Communication are usually acceptable.
Communications must contain original and highly significant work whose high novelty warrants rapid publication. Some journals have page limits for Communications.
Reviews may be an authoritative overview of a field, a comprehensive literature reviews, or tutorial-style reference materials. Reviews are usually invited by the editor, but a topic may be proposed by an author via the editorial office.
Opinion papers must be written by the recognised authors and must address a clear and coherent vision of these authors on the area tackled in the submitted work. The opinions are usually invited by the editor, but a topic may be proposed by an author via the editorial office.
All submitted manuscripts have to be accompanied by the cover letter.
Cover letter guidance
A cover letter is an opportunity for you to promote your work to the editor and reviewers. This is a chance for you to explain the importance of the work submitted and why it is most suitable for the journal. Your cover letter will be sent to reviewers.
Your letter should include a succinct statement about the importance and/or impact of your work.
Format & layout of your article
Keep your writing clear and concise, avoiding repetition or embellishment. All submissions must be in English. We permit standard English and American spelling in our journals, but please use one or the other consistently within the article itself. You are welcome to use common or standard abbreviations; if your abbreviations are non-standard, please include a definition the first time you use them.
All articles accepted for publication in our journals are edited and typeset to our house style by professional editors: the manuscript will be formatted for you.
If you would like professional guidance on improving the standard and style of your writing, before submitting your article, we offer a specialist language editing service.
Authors are strongly encouraged to use the template
Section details & bibliography
The title should be short and straightforward to appeal to a general reader, but detailed enough to properly reflect the contents of the article. Think about keywords and using recognisable, searchable terms – around 70% of our readers come directly via search engines. Avoid the use of non-standard abbreviations and symbols; examples follow.
Full names and affiliations for all the authors should be included. In case of corresponding author only professional emails are acceptable.
Everyone who made a significant contribution to the conception, design or implementation of the work should be listed as co-authors. The corresponding author has the responsibility to include all (and only) co-authors.
If there are more than 10 co-authors on the manuscript, the corresponding author should provide a statement to specify the contribution of each co-author. It is possible to have two corresponding authors. Please identify co-corresponding authors on your manuscript's first page and also mention this in your comments to the editor and/or cover letter.
The abstract should be concise (not exceeding 600 characters) and should summarise the content of the article. It will help readers to decide whether your article is of interest to them.
It should set out briefly and clearly the main objectives and results of the work; it should give the reader a clear idea of what has been achieved. Like your title, make sure you use recognisable, searchable terms and keywords.
Keywords should clearly identify the content of the work. Preferentially it should be a single word however in justifiable situation multiword keywords are acceptable. Try to avoid words already used in the title. Up to 6 keywords separated by semicolons are acceptable.
An introduction should 'set the scene' of the work. It should clearly explain both the nature of the problem under investigation and its background. It should start off general and then focus in to the specific research question you are investigating. Ensure you include all relevant references.
Method of research
The publisher believes that where possible all data associated with the research in a manuscript should be freely available in an accessible and usable format, enabling other researchers to replicate and build on that research. Standard techniques and methods used throughout the work should just be stated at the beginning of the section; descriptions of these are not needed.
Authors are encouraged to make use of electronic supplementary information (ESI) for lengthy synthetic sections. In general, there is no need to report unsuccessful experiments.
Only non-standard apparatus should be described; commercially available instruments are referred to by their stock numbers The accuracy of primary measurements should be stated.
Results & discussion
This is arguably the most important section of your article.
Your results should be organised into an orderly and logical sequence. Only the most relevant results should be described in the text; to highlight the most important points. Figures, tables, and equations should be used for purposes of clarity and brevity. Data should not be reproduced in more than one form, for example in both figures and tables, without good reason.
The purpose of the discussion is to explain the meaning of your results and why they are important. You should state the impact of your results compared with recent work and relate it back to the problem or question you posed in your introduction. Ensure claims are backed up by evidence and explain any complex arguments.
A clear information about the impact of reported work on e.g. science, economy, environment and society should be clearly demonstrated. For more information about the definition of impact please consult the scope of the journal.
This is for interpretation of the key results and to highlight the novelty and significance of the work. The conclusions should not summarise information already present in the article or abstract. Plans for relevant future work can also be included.
Conflicts of interest
In accordance with our policy on Conflicts of interest please ensure that a conflicts of interest statement is included in your manuscript here. Please note that this statement is required for all submitted manuscripts. If no conflicts exist, please state that ‘There are no conflicts to declare’.
Contributors (that are not included as co-authors) may be acknowledged; they should be as brief as possible. All sources of funding should be declared.
Footnotes relating to the title and/or authors, including affiliations, should appear at the very bottom of the first page of the article. If ESI is available this is also stated here.
Please also include any dedications in the footnotes.
Bibliographic references & notes
We will format your content according to our house style before publication; however, it’s important you use formatting as below:
Quoting articles from scientific journals
 Forsythe, A., Nadal, M., Sheehy, N., Cela-Conde, C.J., and Sawey, M. Predicting beauty: Fractal dimension and visual complexity in art. British Journal of Psychology, 102, 1 (2011), 49–70.
 Miller, E.P. Philosophy of the Arts. Teaching Philosophy, 23, 2 (2000), 222–226.
Quoting books or monographs
 W. Strunk Jr., E. B. White, The Elements of Style, fourth ed., Longman, New York, 2000.
Quoting book chapters or monographs
 Moure, A., Garrote, G., and Domínguez, H. Effect of Hydrothermal Pretreatment on Lignin and Antioxidant Activity. In H.A. Ruiz, M.H. Thomsen and H.L. Trajano, eds., Hydrothermal Processing in Biorefineries. Springer, 2017, pp. 5–43.
You can also automatically format references from your citation manager using our style files (available soon).
Notes relating to the main text should appear at the end of the article, just above the references. These might include comments relevant to but not central to the matter under discussion.
Referencing in the text
Bibliographic references should be placed within the main text in the form of sequentially numbered sources, such as . Usually these should appear at the end of the sentence (before the punctuation), but can be after the relevant word. The reference numbers should be cited in the correct sequence through the text (including those in tables and figure captions, numbered according to where the table or figure is designated to appear).
If a statement has multiple references you should reference all of the citations in the text. If you have two citations, or if you have more than two and the numbers are not consecutive, use commas (with no spaces) between numbers, examples: [4,5] or [3,5,10]. If there are more than two numbers and they are consecutive, use an en-dash to separate the first and last citation – for example, [2-6].
The author(s) can be mentioned at their first citation in the text, but initials are not necessary. For papers with one or two authors simply state the surname(s), and for papers with three or more authors you should use the first author’s surname followed by et al.
Listing your references
The references themselves are listed in numerical order at the end of the main article. The names and initials of all authors should be given in the reference. Please note, references cited in the electronic supplementary information (ESI) should be included in a separate references list within the ESI document.
Electronic supplementary information (ESI)
You can include ESI with your article to enhance and increase the impact of your work. Authors can also improve the readability of their articles by placing appropriate material in the ESI, such as repetitive experimental details or bulky data. All information published as ESI is fully archived and permanently linked to the article.
When preparing your ESI data files, you should keep in mind the following points:
Supplementary data is peer-reviewed and should therefore be included with the original submission.
ESI files are published 'as is'; editorial staff will not edit the data for style or content.
Data are useful only if readers can access it; use common, widely known file formats.
Large files may prove difficult for users to download and access.
References cited in the ESI should be included in a separate references list within the ESI document.