CEE

Instructions for Authors

Below are general instructions as found on the journal’s website hosted by BioMed Central (www.environmentalevidencejournal.org). Access to more detailed instructions is highlighted by an extra message “further instructions”. Detailed instructions for authors for each type of manuscript are also available from the menu in the right column.

Aim & scope
Presubmission enquiries
Article types further instructions
Preparing main manuscript text further instructions
Submission process
List of abbreviations
Authors’ contributions
Endnotes
References
Preparing illustrations and figures
Preparing a personal cover page
Preparing tables
Preparing additional files
Style and language

 

Aims and scope of the journal

Environmental Evidence facilitates rapid publication of systematic reviews and evidence syntheses on the effectiveness of environmental management interventions and on the impact of human activities on the environment. Objective use of science to inform policy is a major aim and to that end we also publish policy briefs based on systematic reviews and systematic mapping of evidence. We also wish to encourage improvements in evidence synthesis methodology and encourage submissions that promise advances in this field.

Each article type published by Environmental Evidence follows a specific format, please choose an article type from the list below (or up above in the right column).

The instructions for authors include information about preparing a manuscript for submission toEnvironmental Evidence, criteria for publication and the online submission process. Other relevant information about the journal’s policies, the refereeing process and standards can be found in ‘About Environmental Evidence.

Presubmission enquiries

We strongly encourage you to contact the editors with a presubmission enquiry about the suitability of your manuscript. Please email the editors who will respond to your enquiry as soon as possible.

Article types

  • Systematic Review
  • Systematic Map
  • Protocols
  • Methodology article
  • Policy Brief
  • Commentary
  • Letter to the Editor

Authors and referees are asked to declare any competing interests.
Copyright rests with the authors. For more information on copyright of articles, see our publisher’s copyright and license policy.

If you are considering submitting a manuscript to Environmental Evidence please first consult the detailed instructions for authors on this website, which provide comprehensive information on the format and structure of systematic reviews and maps, review protocols and policy-briefs. This information is not currently available from the journal’s website.

Preparing main manuscript text

General guidelines of the journal’s style and language are given below. For details about the contents and sections of each type of article please click above (top of the page) in the right column.

Length of article

Type of article
Length (number of words including references but excluding appendices)
Commentary
2000
Letter to the Editor
2000
Methodology article
8000
Protocol
8000
Systematic map
20000
Systematic review
20000
Policy-briefs
1000

Manuscript Sections

The different types of manuscripts have different sections.

You can peruse the content of all sections as well as all details about their lengths or special format by clicking on each type of manuscript (bottom page, right colum) – Take me there.

Submission process

Manuscripts must be submitted by one of the authors of the manuscript, and should not be submitted by anyone on their behalf. The submitting author takes responsibility for the article during submission and peer review.

Please note that Environmental Evidence levies an article-processing charge on all accepted Commentaries, Letters to the editor, Methodology articles, Protocols, Policy-briefs, Systematic maps and Systematic reviews articles; if the submitting author’s institution is a BioMed Central member the cost of the article-processing charge is covered by the membership (see the Aboutpage for detail). A Membership Institution is only recognized if the submitting author is from a BioMed Central institution.

To facilitate rapid publication and to minimize administrative costs, Environmental Evidence accepts only online submission.

Files can be submitted as a batch, or one by one. The submission process can be interrupted at any time; when users return to the site, they can carry on where they left off.

See below for examples of word processor and graphics file formats that can be accepted for the main manuscript document by the online submission system. Additional files of any type, such asmovies, animations, or original data files, can also be submitted as part of the manuscript.

During submission you will be asked to provide a cover letter. Use this to explain why your manuscript should be published in the journal, to elaborate on any issues relating to our editorial policies in the ‘About Environmental Evidence page, and to declare any potential competing interests. You will be also asked to provide the contact details (including email addresses) of potential peer reviewers for your manuscript. These should be experts in their field, who will be able to provide an objective assessment of the manuscript. Any suggested peer reviewers should not have published with any of the authors of the manuscript within the past five years, should not be current collaborators, and should not be members of the same research institution. Suggested reviewers will be considered alongside potential reviewers recommended by the Editor-in-Chief and/or Editorial Board members.

Assistance with the process of manuscript preparation and submission is available from BioMed Central customer support team.

We also provide a collection of links to useful tools and resources for scientific authors on ourUseful Tools page.

File formats

The following word processor file formats are acceptable for the main manuscript document:

  • Microsoft Word (version 2 and above)
  • Rich text format (RTF)
  • Portable document format (PDF)
  • TeX/LaTeX (use BioMed Central’s TeX template)
  • DeVice Independent format (DVI)

Users of other word processing packages should save or convert their files to RTF before uploading. Many free tools are available which ease this process.

TeX/LaTeX users: We recommend using BioMed Central’s TeX template and BibTeX stylefile. If you use this standard format, you can submit your manuscript in TeX format. If you have used another template for your manuscript, or if you do not wish to use BibTeX, then please submit your manuscript as a DVI file. We do not recommend converting to RTF.

Note that figures must be submitted as separate image files, not as part of the submitted manuscript file.

List of abbreviations

If abbreviations are used in the text they should be defined in the text at first use, and a list of abbreviations can be provided, which should precede the competing interests and authors’ contributions.

Authors’ contributions

In order to give appropriate credit to each author of a paper, the individual contributions of authors to the manuscript should be specified in this section.

An ‘author’ is generally considered to be someone who has made substantive intellectual contributions to a published study. To qualify as an author one should 1) have made substantial contributions to conception and design, or acquisition of data, or analysis and interpretation of data; 2) have been involved in drafting the manuscript or revising it critically for important intellectual content; and 3) have given final approval of the version to be published. Each author should have participated sufficiently in the work to take public responsibility for appropriate portions of the content. Acquisition of funding, collection of data, or general supervision of the research group, alone, does not justify authorship.

We suggest the following kind of format (please use initials to refer to each author’s contribution): AB carried out the molecular genetic studies, participated in the sequence alignment and drafted the manuscript. JY carried out the immunoassays. MT participated in the sequence alignment. ES participated in the design of the study and performed the statistical analysis. FG conceived of the study, and participated in its design and coordination and helped to draft the manuscript. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.

All contributors who do not meet the criteria for authorship should be listed in an acknowledgements section. Examples of those who might be acknowledged include a person who provided purely technical help, writing assistance, or a department chair who provided only general support.

Authors’ information

You may choose to use this section to include any relevant information about the author(s) that may aid the reader’s interpretation of the article, and understand the standpoint of the author(s). This may include details about the authors’ qualifications, current positions they hold at institutions or societies, or any other relevant background information. Please refer to authors using their initials. Note this section should not be used to describe any competing interests.

Endnotes

Endnotes should be designated within the text using a superscript lowercase letter and all notes (along with their corresponding letter) should be included in the Endnotes section. Please format this section in a paragraph rather than a list.

References

All references, including URLs, must be numbered consecutively, in square brackets, in the order in which they are cited in the text, followed by any in tables or legends. Each reference must have an individual reference number. Please avoid excessive referencing. If automatic numbering systems are used, the reference numbers must be finalized and the bibliography must be fully formatted before submission.

Only articles and abstracts that have been published or are in press, or are available through public e-print/preprint servers, may be cited; unpublished abstracts, unpublished data and personal communications should not be included in the reference list, but may be included in the text and referred to as “unpublished observations” or “personal communications” giving the names of the involved researchers. Obtaining permission to quote personal communications and unpublished data from the cited colleagues is the responsibility of the author. Footnotes are not allowed, but endnotes are permitted. Journal abbreviations follow Index Medicus/MEDLINE. Citations in the reference list should include all named authors, up to the first 30 before adding ‘et al.‘.

Any in press articles cited within the references and necessary for the reviewers’ assessment of the manuscript should be made available if requested by the editorial office.

Style files are available for use with popular bibliographic management software:

Examples of the Environmental Evidence reference style are shown below. Please ensure that the reference style is followed precisely; if the references are not in the correct style they may have to be retyped and carefully proofread.

All web links and URLs, including links to the authors’ own websites, should be given a reference number and included in the reference list rather than within the text of the manuscript. They should be provided in full, including both the title of the site and the URL, in the following format: The Mouse Tumor Biology Database [http://tumor.informatics.jax.org/mtbwi/index.do]. If an author or group of authors can clearly be associated with a web link, such as for weblogs, then they should be included in the reference.

Examples of the Environmental Evidence reference style

Article within a journal
Koonin EV, Altschul SF, Bork P: BRCA1 protein products: functional motifs. Nat Genet1996, 13:266-267.

Article within a journal supplement
Orengo CA, Bray JE, Hubbard T, LoConte L, Sillitoe I: Analysis and assessment of ab initio three-dimensional prediction, secondary structure, and contacts prediction. Proteins 1999,43(Suppl 3):149-170.

In press article
Kharitonov SA, Barnes PJ: Clinical aspects of exhaled nitric oxide. Eur Respir J, in press.

Published abstract
Zvaifler NJ, Burger JA, Marinova-Mutafchieva L, Taylor P, Maini RN: Mesenchymal cells, stromal derived factor-1 and rheumatoid arthritis [abstract]. Arthritis Rheum 1999, 42:s250.

Article within conference proceedings
Jones X: Zeolites and synthetic mechanisms. In Proceedings of the First National Conference on Porous Sieves: 27-30 June 1996; Baltimore. Edited by Smith Y. Stoneham: Butterworth-Heinemann; 1996:16-27.

Book chapter, or article within a book
Schnepf E: From prey via endosymbiont to plastids: comparative studies in dinoflagellates.In Origins of Plastids. Volume 2. 2nd edition. Edited by Lewin RA. New York: Chapman and Hall; 1993:53-76.

Whole issue of journal
Ponder B, Johnston S, Chodosh L (Eds): Innovative oncology. In Breast Cancer Res 1998,10:1-72.

Whole conference proceedings
Smith Y (Ed): Proceedings of the First National Conference on Porous Sieves: 27-30 June 1996; Baltimore. Stoneham: Butterworth-Heinemann; 1996.

Complete book
Margulis L: Origin of Eukaryotic Cells. New Haven: Yale University Press; 1970.

Monograph or book in a series
Hunninghake GW, Gadek JE: The alveolar macrophage. In Cultured Human Cells and Tissues. Edited by Harris TJR. New York: Academic Press; 1995:54-56. [Stoner G (Series Editor): Methods and Perspectives in Cell Biology, vol 1.]

Book with institutional author
Advisory Committee on Genetic Modification: Annual Report. London; 1999.

PhD thesis
Kohavi R: Wrappers for performance enhancement and oblivious decision graphs. PhD thesis. Stanford University, Computer Science Department; 1995.

Link / URL
The Mouse Tumor Biology Database [http://tumor.informatics.jax.org/mtbwi/index.do]

Link / URL with author(s)
Neylon C: Open Research Computation: an ordinary journal with extraordinary aims. [http://blogs.openaccesscentral.com/blogs/bmcblog/entry/open_research_computation_an_ordinary]

Preparing illustrations and figures

Illustrations should be provided as separate files, not embedded in the text file. Each figure should include a single illustration and should fit on a single page in portrait format. If a figure consists of separate parts, it is important that a single composite illustration file be submitted which contains all parts of the figure. There is no charge for the use of color figures.

Please read our figure preparation guidelines for detailed instructions on maximising the quality of your figures.

Formats

The following file formats can be accepted:

  • EPS (preferred format for diagrams)
  • PDF (also especially suitable for diagrams)
  • TIFF
  • PNG (preferred format for photos or images)
  • Microsoft Word (version 5 and above; figures must be a single page)
  • PowerPoint (figures must be a single page)
  • JPEG
  • BMP

Figure legends

The legends should be included in the main manuscript text file at the end of the document, rather than being a part of the figure file. For each figure, the following information should be provided: Figure number (in sequence, using Arabic numerals – i.e. Figure 1, 2, 3 etc); short title of figure (maximum 15 words); detailed legend, up to 300 words.

Please note that it is the responsibility of the author(s) to obtain permission from the copyright holder to reproduce figures or tables that have previously been published elsewhere.

Preparing a personal cover page

If you wish to do so, you may submit an image which, in the event of publication, will be used to create a cover page for the PDF version of your article. The cover page will also display the journal logo, article title and citation details. The image may either be a figure from your manuscript or another relevant image. You must have permission from the copyright to reproduce the image. Images that do not meet our requirements will not be used.

Images must be 300dpi and 155mm square (1831 x 1831 pixels for a raster image).

Allowable formats – EPS, PDF (for line drawings), PNG, TIFF (for photographs and screen dumps), JPEG, BMP, DOC, PPT, CDX, TGF (ISIS/Draw).

Preparing tables

Each table should be numbered and cited in sequence using Arabic numerals (i.e. Table 1, 2, 3 etc.). Tables should also have a title (above the table) that summarizes the whole table; it should be no longer than 15 words. Detailed legends may then follow, but they should be concise. Tables should always be cited in text in consecutive numerical order.

Smaller tables considered to be integral to the manuscript can be pasted into the end of the document text file, in A4 portrait or landscape format. These will be typeset and displayed in the final published form of the article. Such tables should be formatted using the ‘Table object’ in a word processing program to ensure that columns of data are kept aligned when the file is sent electronically for review; this will not always be the case if columns are generated by simply using tabs to separate text. Columns and rows of data should be made visibly distinct by ensuring that the borders of each cell display as black lines. Commas should not be used to indicate numerical values. Color and shading may be used; parts of the table can be highlighted using symbols or bold text, the meaning of which should be explained in a table legend. Tables should not be embedded as figures or spreadsheet files.

Larger datasets or tables too wide for a landscape page can be uploaded separately as additional files. Additional files will not be displayed in the final, laid-out PDF of the article, but a link will be provided to the files as supplied by the author.

Tabular data provided as additional files can be uploaded as an Excel spreadsheet (.xls) or comma separated values (.csv). As with all files, please use the standard file extensions.

Preparing additional files

Although Environmental Evidence does not restrict the length and quantity of data included in an article, there may still be occasions where an author wishes to provide data sets, tables, movie files, or other information as additional files. Results that would otherwise be indicated as “data not shown” can and should be included as additional files. Since many weblinks and URLs rapidly become broken, Environmental Evidence requires that all supplementary data are included as additional files rather than as a link to your own website. These files can be uploaded using the ‘Additional Material files’ button in the manuscript submission tool.

The maximum file size for additional files is 10 MB each, and files will be virus-scanned on submission.

Additional files will be linked to the final published article in the form supplied by the author, but will not be displayed within the article. They will be made available in exactly the same form as originally provided by the authors.

If additional material is provided, please list the following information in a separate section of the manuscript text, immediately following the tables (if any):

  • File name (e.g. Additional file 1)
  • File format including the three-letter file extension (including name and a URL of an appropriate viewer if format is unusual)
  • Title of data
  • Description of data

Additional files should be named “Additional file 1” and so on and should be referenced explicitly by file name within the body of the article, e.g. ‘An additional movie file shows this in more detail [see Additional file 1]’.

Additional file formats

Ideally, file formats for additional files should not be platform-specific, and should be viewable using free or widely available tools. The following are examples of suitable formats.

  • Additional documentation
    • PDF (Adode Acrobat)
  • Animations
    • SWF (Shockwave Flash)
  • Movies
    • MOV (QuickTime)
    • MPG (MPEG)
  • Tabular data
    • XLS (Excel Spreadsheet)
    • CSV (Comma separated values)

As with figure files, files should be given the standard file extensions. This is especially important for Macintosh users, since the Mac OS does not enforce the use of standard extensions. Please also make sure that each additional file is a single table, figure or movie (please do not upload linked worksheets or PDF files larger than one sheet).

Mini-websites

Small self-contained websites can be submitted as additional files, in such a way that they will be browsable from within the full text HTML version of the article. In order to do this, please follow these instructions:

  1. Create a folder containing a starting file called index.html (or index.htm) in the root.
  2. Put all files necessary for viewing the mini-website within the folder, or sub-folders.
  3. Ensure that all links are relative (ie “images/picture.jpg” rather than “/images/picture.jpg” or “http://yourdomain.net/images/picture.jpg” or “C:Documents and SettingsusernameMy Documentsmini-websiteimagespicture.jpg”) and no link is longer than 255 characters.
  4. Access the index.html file and browse around the mini-website, to ensure that the most commonly used browsers (Internet Explorer and Firefox) are able to view all parts of the mini-website without problems, it is ideal to check this on a different machine.
  5. Compress the folder into a ZIP, check the file size is under 20 MB, ensure that index.html is in the root of the ZIP, and that the file has .zip extension, then submit as an additional file with your article.

Style and language

General

Currently, Environmental Evidence can only accept manuscripts written in English. Spelling should be US English or British English, but not a mixture.

There is no restriction on the number of figures, tables or additional files that can be included with each article online. Figures and tables should be numbered in the order in which they are referred to in the text. Authors should include all relevant supporting data with each article.

Environmental Evidence will not edit submitted manuscripts for style or language; reviewers may advise rejection of a manuscript if it is compromised by grammatical errors. Authors are advised to write clearly and simply, and to have their article checked by colleagues before submission. In-house copyediting will be minimal. Non-native speakers of English may choose to make use of a copyediting service.

Help and advice on scientific writing

The abstract is one of the most important parts of a manuscript. For guidance, please visit our page on Writing titles and abstracts for scientific articles.

Tim Albert has produced for BioMed Central a list of tips for writing a scientific manuscript.American Scientist also provides a list of resources for science writing.

Abbreviations

Abbreviations should be used as sparingly as possible. They should be defined when first used and a list of abbreviations can be provided following the main manuscript text.

Typography

  • Please use double line spacing.
  • Type the text unjustified, without hyphenating words at line breaks.
  • Use hard returns only to end headings and paragraphs, not to rearrange lines.
  • Capitalize only the first word, and proper nouns, in the title.
  • All pages should be numbered.
  • Use the Environmental Evidence reference format.
  • Footnotes are not allowed, but endnotes are permitted.
  • Please do not format the text in multiple columns.
  • Greek and other special characters may be included. If you are unable to reproduce a particular special character, please type out the name of the symbol in full. Please ensure that all special characters used are embedded in the text, otherwise they will be lost during conversion to PDF.

Units

SI units should be used throughout (liter and molar are permitted, however).

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