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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 some article templates to help you structure and format your manuscript.
Format & layout of your article
Articles should be written clearly and concisely, avoiding repetition or embellishment. All submissions must be in English. Standard English or American spelling may be used in our journals, but consistency should be maintained within a manuscript. The use of common or standard abbreviations is encouraged; however, if using non-standard abbreviations, please define these when you first use them.
The submission file is in OpenOffice, Microsoft Word, RTF, or WordPerfect document file format. Where available, URLs for the references have been provided. The text is single-spaced; uses a 12-point font; employs italics, rather than underlining (except with URL addresses); and all illustrations, figures, and tables are placed within the text at the appropriate points, rather than at the end.
Section details & bibliography
Title: 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.
Authorship: Full names and affiliations for all the authors should be included. 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.
Abstract: The abstract should be a single paragraph (50-300 words) that summarizes 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 objects and results of the work; it should give the reader a clear idea of what has been achieved.
Introduction: 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.
Experimental procedures: You should provide descriptions of the experiments in enough detail so that a skilled researcher is able to repeat them. Standard techniques and methods used throughout the work should just be stated at the beginning of the section; Any unusual hazards about the chemicals, procedures or equipment should be clearly identified.
Only non-standard apparatus should be described; commercially available instruments are referred to by their stock numbers (for example, Perkin-Elmer 457 or Varian HA-100 spectrometers). The accuracy of primary measurements should be stated.
Results: This is arguably the most important section of your article. Your results should be organized 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.
Discussion: 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.
Conclusions: 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.
Acknowledgements: 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.
References: Use Vancouver style .
Referencing in the text: Use numbers in patenthesis to show the reference source of statements in the text - for example, reactive small molecule species (3) Usually these should appear at the end of the sentence, but can be after the relevant word or compound. 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: (12,13) or (12,14,15). If there are more than two numbers and they are consecutive, use an en-dash to separate the first and last citation - for example: (14–20).
The author(s) can be mentioned at their first citation in the text. 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.
Journal articles: If you cannot find a recognised abbreviation for a journal and it is not obvious how the title should be abbreviated, please cite the full journal title. Journal articles should be cited in the form: A. Name, B. Name and C. Name, Journal Title, year, volume, page. When page numbers are not yet known, articles should be cited by DOI (Digital Object Identifier)
Books: A. Name, B. Name and C. Name, Book Title, Publisher, Publisher Location, year. For example, S T Beckett, Science of Chocolate, Royal Society of Chemistry, Cambridge, 2000. If you are referencing published conference proceedings, these should be cited like a book.
Book chapters: A. Name, in Book Title, ed. Editor Name(s), Publisher, Publisher Location, edition, year, chapter, pages. The ‘ed.’ in the example above stands for ‘edited by’, that is, the editor(s) of the book; if the book has no editors this can be left out.
Theses: A. Name, PhD thesis, University Name, year.
Lectures, meetings & conferences: A. Name, presented in part at Conference Title, Place, Month, year.
Reference to unpublished material: If you reference unpublished material in your article you must provide the editor with copies of the manuscripts with your submission. You should not reference unpublished work without the permission of those who completed the work. For material accepted for publication, but not yet published: A. Name, Journal Title, in press. For material submitted for publication, but not yet accepted: A. Name, Journal Title, submitted. For material that has yet to be submitted for publication: A. Name, unpublished work.
Online resources (including databases, websites & wikis): Name of resource, URL, (accessed date). Please note the most important information to include is the URL and the date accessed. For example, The Merck Index Online, http://www.rsc.org/Merck-Index/monograph/mono1500000841, (accessed October 2013).
Patents: The name of the patentee must be given. For example, Br. Pat., 357 450, 1986. US Pat., 1 171 230, 1990.
Software: T. Bellander, M. Lewne and B. Brunekreef, GAUSSIAN 3 (Revision B.05), Gaussian Inc., Pittsburgh, PA, 2003
Figures and tables
Figures: figures, and tables are placed within the text at the appropriate points
Cite figures in ascending numeric order upon first appearance in the manuscript file.
Maximum size: 7.5 in (19.05 cm) W x 8.75 in (22.23 cm) H
Minimum size: 2.63 in (6.68 cm) W
File size : Under 10 MB
Resolution: 300-600 ppi
Layers: Flattened, no layers
Figure captions: Figure captions must be inserted in the text of the manuscript, immediately following the figure. At a minimum, include the following in your figure captions: A figure label with Arabic numerals, and “Figure” abbreviated to “Fig” (e.g. Fig 1, Fig 2, Fig 3, etc). Match the label of your figure with the name of the file uploaded at submission (e.g. a figure citation of “Fig 1” must refer to a figure file named “Fig1.tif”). A concise, descriptive title. The caption may also include a legend as needed.
Tables : Cite tables in ascending roman numeric order (I; II; III…) upon first appearance in the manuscript file. Place each table in your manuscript file directly after the paragraph in which it is first cited (read order). Tables require a label (e.g., “Table 1”) and brief descriptive title to be placed above the table. Place legends and other text below the table.
Submission Preparation Checklist
As part of the submission process, authors are required to check off their submission's compliance with all of the following items, and submissions may be returned to authors that do not adhere to these guidelines.
- The submission has not been previously published, nor is it before another journal for consideration (or an explanation has been provided in Comments to the Editor).
- The submission file is in OpenOffice, Microsoft Word, RTF, or WordPerfect document file format.
- Where available, URLs for the references have been provided.
- The text adheres to the stylistic and bibliographic requirements outlined in the Author Guidelines, which is found in About the Journal.
The names and email addresses entered in this journal site will be used exclusively for the stated purposes of this journal and will not be made available for any other purpose or to any other party.