Inline Supplementary Material

About inline supplementary material

Inline Supplementary Material (ISM) enriches an article by providing ancillary information in the appropriate context within the main article body. This feature applies to the same kind of material that would otherwise be included as (regular) Supplementary Material, but gives authors the opportunity to make this material much better visible and place it in the right context.

ISM can comprise of the following types of media:

  • Figures
  • Tables
  • Computer code

A pilot was launched in May 2012 for figures in the following journals: Journal of Archaeological Science, Precambrian Research, and for tables in NeuroImage, NeuroImage Clinical and Evaluation and Program Planning. A pilot for Inline Supplementary Computer code on 5 journals is due to start in November 2013.

ISM screenshot
Mock-up example of Inline Supplementary Computer Code. Note that this material is presented inside an expandable text box.

Some example articles with Inline Supplementary Material:

Benefits for authors and readers

  • Authors have the option to display supplementary material at the point of reference within their article to showcase their research better.
  • Inline Supplementary Material is displayed within the article's webpage without the need to install plug-ins on your computer browser
  • Inline Supplementary Material is available in an expandable text box, which is initially closed so that it does not interfere with the main reading flow.
  • Inline Supplementary Material can be downloaded separately to facilitate validation of results, and re-use of data.

Innovating & enriching content

For almost 350 years, academic articles have been published in a similar layout – a format which starts with an abstract and ends with a conclusion and a list of references. Articles were presented in this way with the reader of the printed version in mind. However most researchers now access articles online, which means that readership styles and how information is gathered have changed.

We are adapting to these changes because we want to help authors improve how their research is presented online and readers to gain deeper insights faster. Offering Inline Supplementary Material functionality in our journals is just one of the ways we are doing this.

The Inline Supplementary Material functionality enables authors to enrich their paper by displaying additional content in the context in which it is most appropriate.

How to submit inline supplementary material:

Submission of inline supplementary material (ISM) is very similar to submitting regular supplementary material (see here for instructions). The main differences are twofold:

  • You will now need to indicate where the Inline Supplementary Material should appear within your article, by including an instruction such as: "Insert Supplementary Table 1 here" or by referencing the Inline Supplementary Material in the body of the text e.g. "see Inline Supplementary Table 1". 
  • When submitting, you need to also indicate that the attachment is Inline Supplementary material by choosing the corresponding file type from the drop down menu in EES.

For Inline Computer Code, please ensure you submit this in *.txt format and include a title and caption that references the characteristics of the code, to support discoverability and reusability.

We would like to encourage you to submit your supplementary material as inline wherever relevant.