In order to make manuscript submission as easy as possible for authors, we have introduced format-free initial submission for our journals. We do encourage authors to read the manuscript preparation guidelines below and to consider how easy a manuscript is to read by reviewers and editors.

Once an article has been accepted for publication the main manuscript must be submitted as an editable file, not a PDF, and the source files of any figures and tables must be provided.

However, we strongly recommend that you write concisely and stick to the following guidelines:

  • Articles should ideally be no more than 20 typeset pages
  • The main text should be no more than 6000 words (not including Abstract, References and legends of figure, maps, tables etc.)
  • The title should be no more than 25 words
  • The abstract should be no more than 250 words


Article title should be a short description not more than 25 words of the research you are reporting. The best titles are written with both human readers and search engines in mind; including keywords in your title will help readers discover your article online. The title page should also contain full names and affiliations for each author.


The abstract should be no more than 250 words and should not include any references. Make sure it serves both as a general introduction to the topic and as a brief, non-technical summary of the main results and their implications.


Please include at least 3 and up to 5 keywords. Try to avoid overly broad or specialized terms that might be meaningless to a reader.


Your manuscript text file should start with a title page that shows author affiliations and contact information, identifying the corresponding author with an asterisk. We recommend that each section includes an introduction of referenced text that expands on the background of the work. Some overlap with the Abstract is acceptable.

For the main body of the text, there are no specific requirements. You can organize it in a way that best suits your research. However, the following structure will be suitable:

  • Introduction
  • Methods and Materials 
  • Results (with subheadings)
  • Discussion (without subheadings)
  • Conclusion and recommendation
  • References 

Please note, footnotes should not be used.

You may include a limited number of mathematical equations if necessary. Display items are limited to 16 (figures, maps and/or tables).

Your submission must also include:

  • A cover letter
  • Individual figure, maps and table files and optional supplementary information & data files

For first submissions (i.e. not revised manuscripts), you may incorporate the manuscript text and other files into a single zip file up to 25 MB in size.


The Methods section should be written as concisely as possible but should contain all elements necessary to allow interpretation and replication of the results. We recommend you limit your Methods section to 500 words. Make sure it includes adequate experimental and characterization data for others to be able to reproduce your work. You should:

  • Please include full specific details of materials used, such as models or software. 
  • Include descriptions of standard protocols and experimental procedures.
  • Only identify commercial suppliers of data or instrumentation when the source is critical to the outcome of the experiments.
  • You will also be required to provide a Data Availability statement;
  • Identify sources for any kits you use in your procedures.
  • Describe the experimental protocol in detail 
  • Please additionally include the accession details in your methods sections where appropriate


Please note that references should follow harvard referencing style.The example below was authored by more than three individuals, so the term ‘et al.’ is used in lieu of listing all authors.

In-text citation structure and example:

(Author Surname, Publication Year)

(Lomolino et al., 2020)

Journal reference list entries often have extra information, such as article title, volume, issue number, page numbers, or a specific date.

With journals, the volume number follows the title. If there are any specific parts of the issue, numbered or organized according to months, these details are mentioned alongside in brackets.

Reference structure and example:

Author Surname, Initials. (Publication Year) ‘Article title’, Journal Name, Volume(Issue), Page(s). Available at: URL or DOI (Accessed: date).

Lomolino, M. et al. (2013) ‘Of mice and mammoths: generality and antiquity of the island rule’, Journal of Biogeography, 40(8), pp. 1427-1439. Available at: https://www.jstor/org/stable/23463664 (Accessed: 10 September 2020).


Please keep any acknowledgements brief, and don’t include thanks to anonymous referees and editors, or any effusive comments. You may acknowledge grant or contribution numbers.

Ethics Declarations

If your research includes human or animal subjects, you will need to include the appropriate ethics declarations in the Methods section of your manuscript.

Consent to participate/ Consent to publish

Please note that:

  1. Study participant names (and other personally identifiable information) must be removed from all text/figures/tables/images.
  2. The use of colored bars/shapes or blurring to obscure the eyes/facial region of study participants is not an acceptable means of anonymisation. For manuscripts that include information or images that could lead to identification of a study participant, your Methods section must include a statement that confirms informed consent was obtained to publish the information/image(s) in an online open access publication.

Figure, maps & tables

All figures and tables should be numbered and referred to in the text by their number. Figure and table captions should be provided within the manuscript, and should be brief and informative, and include any relevant copyright information if taken from a published source.

At initial submission, figures can be provided within the manuscript or as separate files. On revision, figures should be uploaded as separate files. During production, figures and tables will be resized to fit the page and text styles and labelling will be updated in line with our house style.

The following file formats are most suitable:

  • TIFF
  • JPEG
  • Postscript (PS or EPS)

Color figures are welcomed. All figures will be published in color online (the version of record), but will be reproduced in black and white in any print versions of the journal by default. If you feel that print color is essential for any of your figures, please list the relevant figure numbers on submission of your article.

Authors are encouraged to consider the needs of color-blind readers when choosing colors for figures. Many color-blind readers cannot interpret visuals that rely on discrimination of green and red, for example. The use of color-safe combinations, such as green and magenta, turquoise and red, yellow and blue or other accessible color palettes is recommended.

Tables must be provided in an editable format at final submission.


Include any equations and mathematical expressions in the main text of the paper. Identify equations that are referred to in the text by parenthetical numbers, such as (1), and refer to them in the manuscript as “equation (1)” etc.

For submissions in a .doc or .docx format, please make sure that all equations are provided in an editable Word format. You can produce these with the equation editor included in Microsoft Word.