Guide for Authors

  • All journal information and instructions compiled in one document (PDF) in just one mouse-click Author information pack

    • Article requirements
    • Ethics in publishing
    • Conflict of interest
    • Submission declaration
    • Changes to authorship
    • Copyright
    • Role of the funding source
    • Funding body agreements and policies
    • Open access
    • Language (usage and editing services)
    • Referees
    • Types of manuscript
    • Essential title page information
    • Abstract
    • Graphical abstract
    • Keywords
    • Abbreviations
    • Pagination and line numbers
    • Introduction
    • Material and methods
    • Results
    • Discussion
    • Conclusions
    • Acknowledgements
    • Units
    • Math formulae
    • Footnotes
    • References
    • Appendices
    • Video data
    • AudioSlides
    • Supplementary material
    • Data deposit and linking
    • Submission checklist
    • Use of the Digital Object Identifier
    • Proofs
    • Offprints


    International Journal of Phytotherapy and Phytopharmacology

    Phytomedicine is primarily a therapy-oriented Journal [Impact Factor for 2012: 3.20]

    Phytomedicine publishes innovative studies on efficacy, safety, quality and mechanisms of action of specified plant extracts, phytopharmaceuticals and their isolated constituents. This includes clinical, pharmacological, pharmacokinetic, and toxicological studies of specified herbal medicinal products, herbal preparations and purified compounds which have a defined and consistent quality assuring reproducible pharmacological activity.

    Phytomedicine was founded in 1994 to focus and stimulate research in this particular field and to set internationally accepted scientific standards for pharmacological studies, proof of clinical efficacy and safety of phytomedicines.

    The main aims of Phytomedicine are associated with the integration of phytopreparations into conventional/official medicine.

    The journal covers the following sections:

    • Clinical pharmacology and toxicology (randomized, placebo controlled, double blind, and observational open label studies),
    • Behavioural, mental, affective, and stress-associated disorders,
    • Age-associated disorders,
    • Neuropharmacology,
    • Endocrine pharmacology,
    • Metabolic syndrome and obesity,
    • Cancer,
    • Immunopharmacology, inflammation,
    • Infectious diseases,
    • Pulmonary diseases,
    • Gastrointestinal diseases,
    • Cardiovascular diseases,
    • Urogenital diseases
    • Systems biology,
    • Pre-clinical toxicology of herbal preparations,
    • Interaction with drugs,
    • Pharmacokinetic of natural compounds,
    • Standardization and quality of herbal preparations,
    • Legislation of botanicals,
    • Invited reviews.

    Article requirements

    Please note the following requirements for consideration of an article, upon submitting your manuscript:

    1. Is your article within the scope of Phytomedicine?
    Your article must meet the scope of Phytomedicine (please see above). Articles that are not in the scope, will be rejected immediately!

    • Articles on the isolation and structure elucidation of novel bioactive compounds or the development of new analytical methods do not fall into the scope of Phytomedicine and should be reported elsewhere (e.g. Phytochemistry, Journal of Chromatography or Phytochemical Analysis). However, pharmacological and clinical studies of novel natural products, where new methods of analysis of active of pharmaceutical ingredients in herbal preparations and biological fluids and tissues are reported (e.g. in pharmacokinetic studies), are welcome.
    • Dietary Supplements, "Botanicals" or "Functional Food" are not within the scope of Phytomedicine unless they are specified and pharmacologically investigated analogues to herbal drugs and if the evidence presented is comparable to therapeutic outcomes with a positive control.
    • Studies on pure compounds are not accepted if not clearly related to a plant and its pharmacological activity.
    • Pharmacological studies of isolated compounds in various forms (salts, ethers, etc.), which do not exist in nature are out of scope of Phytomedicine.
    • Screening results of a large number of plant extracts or plant constituents for antimicrobial or other pharmacological activities will not be considered unless they are focused on those plants or constituents which show extraordinary activities in comparison with internationally accepted positive (reference) compounds.

    2. Is your article following the standard requirements of Phytomedicine?
    Your article must be based on the following criteria of Phytomedicine. Articles that miss this information will be rejected immediately!

    • Plant name and part(s) used. Botanically accepted Latin binominals with authorities together with the botanical species, subspecies or synonyms must be provided for all plants. In the text it should be stated that the plant name has been checked with The parts used in the study should be specified. The authentication of fresh plants or dried herbal drugs, including those of formulas, must be carried out by means of macroscopic and/or microscopic, moleclularbiological, chemical, chromatographic and/or other suitable pharmacognostic methods. Voucher specimens of plant materials used for all studies must be deposited and identified with a voucher number, the date and location of collection. The plant material may derive from natural origin, from cultivated plants, or from an herbal drug market.
    • Herbal medicinal products (HMP) or herbal preparations (HP) must be declared in accordance to EMA guidelines ( In particular, herbal extracts must be clearly and comprehensively described with respect to the plant part used, the drug extract ratio, type and concentration of extraction solvent, extraction conditions etc. They must be sufficiently characterized (e.g. by appropriate TLC and/HPLC fingerprints, for further information see for example and specified for the content of marker compounds to ensure a consistent quality and reproducible pharmacological activity. The choice of marker must be justified. The analytical methods have to be validated and briefly described, providing the most important information necessary to obtain reproducible results. Herbal substances used in investigations stated as derived from cultivated plants or from their natural origin must be deposited.
    • For multiherbal drug combinations (Herbal Drug Formula): Each single herbal drug from any drug combination (formula) must undergo the same authentication and standardization process as described above. Additionally, a total HPLC-profile of the multiherbal drug combination using 3-D-HPLC-technique and including identification of main ("marker") compounds must also be supplied for a model of 3D-HPLC-analysis of a multidrug combination, see: Amagaya S. et al. 2001, Phytomedicine 8: 338-347.; For TCM-multi-herbal drug combinations (formula) see: Zeng K.-W. et al. 2012, Phytomedicine 19, 122-129., some other relevant and justified physiological, biological, or biochemical methods can be used to ensure reproducible pharmacological activity of multi-herbal drug combinations.

    3. Is your article relevant to clinical medicine?
    Your article must be based on a thorough study, using proper controls and convincing evidences of therapeutic significance of observations. Not acceptable are:

    • Studies on antimicrobial activity with single dose, very high concentration, measuring only inhibition zones and no MIC values, without information on type of activity (or growth inhibition) or microorganisms investigation.
    • Single dose studies with very few animals, no dose-response studied.
    • In-vitro assays with single dose or very high concentration.
    • Repetition of a simple bioassay for yet another extract or plant

    4. Does your article include studies of in-vitro antioxidant activity?
    Antioxidant activity is present in all plants. Screening with in-vitro assays thus has little meaning if no clear evidence is given for in-vivo activity. Not acceptable are:

    • In vitro studies without results on organs, tissues, fluids or cells.
    • In vitro studies without positive control.
    • In vitro studies with concentrations of active compounds, which could not be, implemented in-vivo.

    5. Is your article approaching new findings?
    Your article should represent novel scientific findings. Articles that include the following information will be rejected immediately:

    • Repetition of well-known data.
    • Identification of only well-known ubiquitous compounds with little or no relation to activity

    6. Does your article meet the requirements to clinical and pharmacological studies?
    Your article must comply with the basic criteria for conducting and reporting clinical and pharmacological studies.

    Requirements for Clinical Studies:

    Requirements for pharmacological studies (in vitro, ex vivo or in vivo):
    • Investigations with animals must state in the method section that the research was conducted in accordance with internationally accepted principles for laboratory animal use and care (e.g. European community guidelines/ EEC Directive of 1986 or the US guidelines/ NIH publication).
    • The route of drug administration, different of oral, must be justified.
    • Results need to be based on adequate statistics. Positive controls (reference/ responses for conventional pharmacological experiments) have to be included.
    • Many natural compounds are known for their polyvalent (pleiotropic) activities and are only of interest if one or two pharmacological activities are dominant and extraordinary in comparison with internationally accepted reference compounds, and justify their therapeutic application for specified indications.
    • Pharmacological studies with herbal drug combinations (e.g. 2-5 plants) will be accepted only if the single herbal extracts are TLC/HPLC fingerprinted and relevant marker constituents are quantified before the single extracts are mixed (combined) (see also as an example for the 3D-HPLC-analysis of multidrug combinations Amagaya S. et al., 2001, Phytomedicine 8, 338–342).
    • Interactions of ingredients of combinations of plant extracts with synthetic drugs or antibiotics should be investigated by appropriate methods and design, e.g. the “isobole method” according to Berenbaum M. 1989, Pharmacol.Rev. 41: 93-141 (see also Wagner H. and Ulrich-Merzenich G. Synergy Research: Approaching a new generation of phyto-pharmaceuticals Phytomedicine 16: 97-110 (2009)).
    • Antimicrobial evaluation of plants are of scientific value only if these plant extracts show extraordinary biological activities in comparison with a synthetic or natural antimicrobial agent standard. It is not useful if the in vitro activity (MIC) of an extract exceeds 100µg/ml. For the correct determination of MIC values, standardized methodologies such as those of CLSI or EUCAST are preferred.
    • Articles which describe classes of pharmacological activities such as flavonoids with anti-oxidative activity or isoflavones with estrogenic activity will only be considered for review if the activities presented exceed those of standard substances.
    • All articles that are reporting gene expression profiling data (microarray experiments) should comply with the Minimum Information about Microarray Experiments (MIAME,
    • At least two microarrays should be provided for each experimental condition. Results of selected genes should be validated by a second method (e.g. RT-PCR) or protein data should be provided. In addition functional test (animal experiments/clinical data) undertaken simultaneously are desirable to allow an appraisement of the biological/clinical relevance of the data. Alternatively, results of in vivo experiments with comparable dosages can be discussed. The presentation of a sole data collection is not acceptable. Biologically relevant information should be presented.

    Ethics in publishing

    For information on Ethics in publishing and Ethical guidelines for journal publication see and

    Conflict of interest

    All authors are requested to disclose any actual or potential conflict of interest including any financial, personal or other relationships with other people or organizations within three years of beginning the submitted work that could inappropriately influence, or be perceived to influence, their work. See also Further information and an example of a Conflict of Interest form can be found at:

    Submission declaration

    Submission of an article implies that the work described has not been published previously (except in the form of an abstract or as part of a published lecture or academic thesis or as an electronic preprint, see, that it is not under consideration for publication elsewhere, that its publication is approved by all authors and tacitly or explicitly by the responsible authorities where the work was carried out, and that, if accepted, it will not be published elsewhere including electronically in the same form, in English or in any other language, without the written consent of the copyright-holder.

    Changes to authorship

    This policy concerns the addition, deletion, or rearrangement of author names in the authorship of accepted manuscripts:
    Before the accepted manuscript is published in an online issue: Requests to add or remove an author, or to rearrange the author names, must be sent to the Journal Manager from the corresponding author of the accepted manuscript and must include: (a) the reason the name should be added or removed, or the author names rearranged and (b) written confirmation (e-mail, fax, letter) from all authors that they agree with the addition, removal or rearrangement. In the case of addition or removal of authors, this includes confirmation from the author being added or removed. Requests that are not sent by the corresponding author will be forwarded by the Journal Manager to the corresponding author, who must follow the procedure as described above. Note that: (1) Journal Managers will inform the Journal Editors of any such requests and (2) publication of the accepted manuscript in an online issue is suspended until authorship has been agreed.
    After the accepted manuscript is published in an online issue: Any requests to add, delete, or rearrange author names in an article published in an online issue will follow the same policies as noted above and result in a corrigendum.


    Upon acceptance of an article, authors will be asked to complete a 'Journal Publishing Agreement' (for more information on this and copyright, see An e-mail will be sent to the corresponding author confirming receipt of the manuscript together with a 'Journal Publishing Agreement' form or a link to the online version of this agreement.

    Subscribers may reproduce tables of contents or prepare lists of articles including abstracts for internal circulation within their institutions. Permission of the Publisher is required for resale or distribution outside the institution and for all other derivative works, including compilations and translations (please consult If excerpts from other copyrighted works are included, the author(s) must obtain written permission from the copyright owners and credit the source(s) in the article. Elsevier has preprinted forms for use by authors in these cases: please consult

    For open access articles: Upon acceptance of an article, authors will be asked to complete an 'Exclusive License Agreement' (for more information see Permitted third party reuse of open access articles is determined by the author's choice of user license (see

    Author rights
    As an author you (or your employer or institution) have certain rights to reuse your work. For more information see

    Role of the funding source

    You are requested to identify who provided financial support for the conduct of the research and/or preparation of the article and to briefly describe the role of the sponsor(s), if any, in study design; in the collection, analysis and interpretation of data; in the writing of the report; and in the decision to submit the article for publication. If the funding source(s) had no such involvement then this should be stated.

    Funding body agreements and policies

    Elsevier has established a number of agreements with funding bodies which allow authors to comply with their funder's open access policies. Some authors may also be reimbursed for associated publication fees. To learn more about existing agreements please visit

    Open access

    This journal offers authors a choice in publishing their research:

    Open access
    • Articles are freely available to both subscribers and the wider public with permitted reuse
    • An open access publication fee is payable by authors or on their behalf e.g. by their research funder or institution
    • Articles are made available to subscribers as well as developing countries and patient groups through our universal access programs (
    • No open access publication fee payable by authors.

    Regardless of how you choose to publish your article, the journal will apply the same peer review criteria and acceptance standards.

    For open access articles, permitted third party (re)use is defined by the following Creative Commons user licenses:

    Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY)
    Lets others distribute and copy the article, create extracts, abstracts, and other revised versions, adaptations or derivative works of or from an article (such as a translation), include in a collective work (such as an anthology), text or data mine the article, even for commercial purposes, as long as they credit the author(s), do not represent the author as endorsing their adaptation of the article, and do not modify the article in such a way as to damage the author's honor or reputation.

    Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs (CC BY-NC-ND)
    For non-commercial purposes, lets others distribute and copy the article, and to include in a collective work (such as an anthology), as long as they credit the author(s) and provided they do not alter or modify the article.

    The open access publication fee for this journal is USD 2500, excluding taxes. Learn more about Elsevier's pricing policy:

    Language (usage and editing services)

    Please write your text in good English (American or British usage is accepted, but not a mixture of these). Authors who feel their English language manuscript may require editing to eliminate possible grammatical or spelling errors and to conform to correct scientific English may wish to use the English Language Editing service available from Elsevier's WebShop ( or visit our customer support site ( for more information.

    Our online submission system guides you stepwise through the process of entering your article details and uploading your files. The system converts your article files to a single PDF file used in the peer-review process. Editable files (e.g., Word, LaTeX) are required to typeset your article for final publication. All correspondence, including notification of the Editor's decision and requests for revision, is sent by e-mail. In case of production related queries please contact


    Please submit the names and institutional e-mail addresses of several potential referees. For more details, visit our Support site. Note that the editor retains the sole right to decide whether or not the suggested reviewers are used.

    Types of manuscript

    Original papers
    Articles should not exceed 12–15 typewritten pages or up to 5,000 words, including references, tables and figures. Previously reported methods should be referenced only. The number of references should not exceed 30 (except for review articles or reports on microarray data).

    Short communications
    Short communications should be condensed to 4–8 typewritten pages or not more than 2,500 words including references and a maximum of two illustrations.

    Review articles
    Review articles will only be by invitation. Review articles can provide concise and critical updates on a subject of current interest. Herbal drug-monographs are only acceptable if they contain the newest pharmacological and toxicological issues and an outlook on future directions.

    Prof. Hildebert Wagner Award
    The "Prof. Hildebert Wagner Award" was created to honor the outstanding efforts of Prof. Wagner for the journal Phytomedicine. This award will be granted to a graduate student or young post-doctoral researcher who is the first author of a paper reviewed by the Editors of Phytomedicine to be the best one in the Journal during the previous calendar year. The prize will be sponsored by Elsevier with EUR 500 for the awardee and a certificate for every Co-Author. Additionally an official notice will be published on the journal homepage of Phytomedicine (, on which the article will be available free of charge for one year. The reviewing editors for the first contribution to be awarded in Phytomedicine will be Prof. Hildebert Wagner himself, Prof. Alexander Panossian, and Prof. Susana Zacchino. To qualify, nominees must be younger than 35 years and an outstanding contribution to the field must be provided. Nominations can be made by first authors (resp. corresponding authors).

    Nominations for the first "Prof. Hildebert Wagner Award" in 2015 can be done until June 30, 2015. The announcement of the winner will be by end of October 2015. Please choose Award-Article from the drop-down menu below, if you want your article to be considered for the Award.

    Essential title page information

    Title. Concise and informative. Titles are often used in information-retrieval systems. Avoid abbreviations and formulae where possible.
    Author names and affiliations. Please clearly indicate the given name(s) and family name(s) of each author and check that all names are accurately spelled. Present the authors' affiliation addresses (where the actual work was done) below the names. Indicate all affiliations with a lower-case superscript letter immediately after the author's name and in front of the appropriate address. Provide the full postal address of each affiliation, including the country name and, if available, the e-mail address of each author.
    Corresponding author. Clearly indicate who will handle correspondence at all stages of refereeing and publication, also post-publication. Ensure that the e-mail address is given and that contact details are kept up to date by the corresponding author.
    Present/permanent address. If an author has moved since the work described in the article was done, or was visiting at the time, a 'Present address' (or 'Permanent address') may be indicated as a footnote to that author's name. The address at which the author actually did the work must be retained as the main, affiliation address. Superscript Arabic numerals are used for such footnotes.


    Anti-stress effects of 20(S)-protopanaxadiol and 20(S)-protopanaxatriol in immobilized mice

    Hyun A Oha, Dae-Eung Kimb, Hyuck Jai Choic, Nam Jae Kimc, and Dong-Hyun Kimac,*

    a Department of Life and Nanopharmaceutical Sciences, College of Pharmacy, Kyung Hee University, 26, Kyungheedae-ro, Dongdaemun-ku, Seoul 130-701, Republic of Korea
    b Sempio Foods Company, 183, Osongsaengmyung-4ro, Cheongwongun, Chungcheongbukdo 363-954, Republic of Korea
    c East-West Medical Research Institute, Kyung Hee University Medical Center, 23, Kyungheedae-ro, Dongdaemun-ku, Seoul 130-872, Republic of Korea

    * Corresponding author
    Dong-Hyun Kim, Department of Life and Nanopharmaceutical Sciences, College of Pharmacy, Kyung Hee University, 26, Kyungheedae-ro, Dongdaemun-ku, Seoul 130-701, Republic of Korea
    Tel.: +82 2 961 0374; fax: +82 2 957 5030.
    E-mail address: (D.H. Kim).

    **The phone, fax and email address of the corresponding author should be placed on the title page.


    A concise and factual abstract is required. Abstracts should summarize the contents of the article in 350 words or less. The abstract should be structured in the following format:
    Background: In one or two sentences, summarize the scientific body of knowledge surrounding your study and how this led to your investigation.
    Hypothesis/Purpose: State the theory(ies) that you are attempting to prove or disprove by your study or the purpose if no hypothesis exists.
    Study Design: Identify the overall design of your study.
    Methods: Succinctly summarize the overall methods you used in your investigation. For clinical studies include the study population, type of intervention, method of data collection, and length of the study.
    Results: Report the most important results of your study. Only include positive results that are statistically significant, or important negative results that are supported by adequate power. For clinical studies report actual data, not just P values.
    Conclusion: State the answer to your original question or hypothesis. Summarize the most important conclusions that can be directly drawn from your study.

    Graphical abstract

    A Graphical abstract is mandatory for this journal. It should summarize the contents of the article in a concise, pictorial form designed to capture the attention of a wide readership online. Authors must provide images that clearly represent the work described in the article. Graphical abstracts should be submitted as a separate file in the online submission system. Image size: please provide an image with a minimum of 531 × 1328 pixels (h × w) or proportionally more. The image should be readable at a size of 5 × 13 cm using a regular screen resolution of 96 dpi. Preferred file types: TIFF, EPS, PDF or MS Office files. See for examples.
    Authors can make use of Elsevier's Illustration and Enhancement service to ensure the best presentation of their images also in accordance with all technical requirements: Illustration Service.


    Immediately after the abstract, provide a maximum of 6 keywords, using American spelling and avoiding general and plural terms and multiple concepts (avoid, for example, 'and', 'of'). Be sparing with abbreviations: only abbreviations firmly established in the field may be eligible. These keywords will be used for indexing purposes.


    A section of abbreviations should precede the manuscript. Define abbreviations that are not standard in this field in a footnote to be placed on the first page of the article. Abbreviations that are unavoidable in the abstract must be defined at their first mention there, as well as in the footnote. Ensure consistency of abbreviations throughout the article.
    See "Uniform requirements for manuscripts submitted to biomedical journals" (1991) New England Journal of Medicine 324:424–428.

    Pagination and line numbers

    Only manuscripts with page and line numbers will be reviewed.


    Provide an adequate background, avoiding a detailed literature survey or a summary of the results. State the objectives of the work. No results of the study should be described in this section.

    Material and methods

    Provide sufficient detail to allow the work to be reproduced. Methods already published should be indicated by a reference: only relevant modifications should be described.

    Plant names and parts used
    In the Materials and Methods section there must be a separate heading for describing the herbal substance used. That includes official Latin binomial name and the author, local name, English name and plant part(s) used. In case of collection in the wild or cultivation, a voucher specimen must be deposited for possible future comparison. In the text it should be stated that the plant name has been checked with mentioning the data of accessing that website. In case of commercially procured material the source, batch number, and quality control data should be mentioned. All Scientific plant names must be written in italicsthrough the whole manuscript!

    Study medication, herbal extracts
    A separate heading for describing herbal medicinal products or herbal preparations in accordance to EMA guidelines is required and must be declared ( In particular, preparation of herbal extracts must be clearly and comprehensively described with respect to the drug extract ratio, type and concentration of extraction solvent, etc. They must be sufficiently characterized (TLC and/HPLC fingerprint should be provided, e.g. and specified for the content of marker compounds to ensure consistent quality and reproducible pharmacological activity.
    The choice of marker must be justified. The analytical methods have to be validated and briefly described, providing the most important information necessary to obtain reproducible results. Herbal substances used in investigations stated as derived from cultivated plants or from their natural origin must be deposited.

    For description of study medications used in clinical studies see CONSORT extension for herbal medicinal products. Extension for Herbal Interventions.pdf

    Chemical compounds
    You can enrich your article by providing a list of chemical compounds studied in the article. The list of compounds will be used to extract relevant information from the NCBI PubChem Compound database and display it next to the online version of the article on ScienceDirect. You can include up to 10 names of chemical compounds in the article. For each compound, please provide the PubChem CID of the most relevant record as in the following example: Glutamic acid (PubChem CID:611). The PubChem CIDs can be found via Please position the list of compounds immediately below the 'Keywords' section. It is strongly recommended to follow the

    Gene nomenclature
    Authors should use approved nomenclature for gene symbols. Please consult the appropriate nomenclature data bases for correct gene names and symbols. "Entrez Gene" is a useful resource.
    Approved human gene symbols are provided by HUGO Gene Nomenclature committee (HGNC):
    Approved Mouse symbols are provided by The Jackson Laboratory: http://www.informatics.jaxorg/mgihome/nomen
    Approved C. elegans symbols are provided by Caenorhabditis Genetics Center: menguid.htm
    For approved S. cerevisiae and S. pombe symbols see and, respectively.

    Statistical analysis
    Statistical hypothesis and methods should be described in detail. Actual P values should be used unless less than 0.001. Reporting of 95%confidence intervals is encouraged. The choice of appropriate parametric or nonparametric tools has to be justified. Refer to B.S. Evererett. Statistical Methods for Medica Investigations, Oxford University Press, New York, 1989.


    Results should be clear and concise.


    This should explore the significance of the results of the work, not repeat them. A combined Results and Discussion section is often appropriate. Avoid extensive citations and discussion of published literature.


    The main conclusions of the study may be presented in a short Conclusions section, which may stand alone or form a subsection of a Discussion or Results and Discussion section.


    Collate acknowledgements in a separate section at the end of the article before the references and do not, therefore, include them on the title page, as a footnote to the title or otherwise. List here those individuals who provided help during the research (e.g., providing language help, writing assistance or proof reading the article, etc.).


    Follow internationally accepted rules and conventions: use the international system of units (SI). If other units are mentioned, please give their equivalent in SI.

    Math formulae

    Please submit math equations as editable text and not as images. Present simple formulae in line with normal text where possible and use the solidus (/) instead of a horizontal line for small fractional terms, e.g., X/Y. In principle, variables are to be presented in italics. Powers of e are often more conveniently denoted by exp. Number consecutively any equations that have to be displayed separately from the text (if referred to explicitly in the text).


    Footnotes should be used sparingly. Number them consecutively throughout the article. Many word processors can build footnotes into the text, and this feature may be used. Otherwise, please indicate the position of footnotes in the text and list the footnotes themselves separately at the end of the article. Do not include footnotes in the Reference list.


    Citation in text
    Please ensure that every reference cited in the text is also present in the reference list (and vice versa). Any references cited in the abstract must be given in full. Unpublished results and personal communications are not recommended in the reference list, but may be mentioned in the text. If these references are included in the reference list they should follow the standard reference style of the journal and should include a substitution of the publication date with either 'Unpublished results' or 'Personal communication'. Citation of a reference as 'in press' implies that the item has been accepted for publication.

    Reference links
    Increased discoverability of research and high quality peer review are ensured by online links to the sources cited. In order to allow us to create links to abstracting and indexing services, such as Scopus, CrossRef and PubMed, please ensure that data provided in the references are correct. Please note that incorrect surnames, journal/book titles, publication year and pagination may prevent link creation. When copying references, please be careful as they may already contain errors. Use of the DOI is encouraged.

    Web references
    As a minimum, the full URL should be given and the date when the reference was last accessed. Any further information, if known (DOI, author names, dates, reference to a source publication, etc.), should also be given. Web references can be listed separately (e.g., after the reference list) under a different heading if desired, or can be included in the reference list.

    References in a special issue
    Please ensure that the words 'this issue' are added to any references in the list (and any citations in the text) to other articles in the same Special Issue.

    Reference management software
    Most Elsevier journals have a standard template available in key reference management packages. This covers packages using the Citation Style Language, such as Mendeley ( and also others like EndNote ( and Reference Manager ( Using plug-ins to word processing packages which are available from the above sites, authors only need to select the appropriate journal template when preparing their article and the list of references and citations to these will be formatted according to the journal style as described in this Guide. The process of including templates in these packages is constantly ongoing. If the journal you are looking for does not have a template available yet, please see the list of sample references and citations provided in this Guide to help you format these according to the journal style.

    If you manage your research with Mendeley Desktop, you can easily install the reference style for this journal by clicking the link below:
    When preparing your manuscript, you will then be able to select this style using the Mendeley plug-ins for Microsoft Word or LibreOffice. For more information about the Citation Style Language, visit

    Reference style
    Text: All citations in the text should refer to:
    1. Single author: the author's name (without initials, unless there is ambiguity) and the year of publication;
    2. Two authors: both authors' names and the year of publication;
    3. Three or more authors: first author's name followed by 'et al.' and the year of publication.
    Citations may be made directly (or parenthetically). Groups of references should be listed first alphabetically, then chronologically.
    Examples: 'as demonstrated (Allan, 2000a, 2000b, 1999; Allan and Jones, 1999). Kramer et al. (2010) have recently shown ....'

    List: References should be arranged first alphabetically and then further sorted chronologically if necessary. More than one reference from the same author(s) in the same year must be identified by the letters 'a', 'b', 'c', etc., placed after the year of publication.

    Reference to a journal publication:
    Wagner., H., Ulrich-Merzenich, G., 2009. Synergy research: Approaching a new generation of phytopharmaceuticals. Phytomedicine 16, 97–110.

    Reference to conference proceedings:
    Argyropoulos D, Kudadam J, Müller J, 2009. Color degradation of lemon balm (Melissa officinalis L.) as affected by the drying process. In: 5th International Technical Symposium on Food Processing, Monitoring Technology in Bioprocesses and Food Quality Management, Potsdam, Germany, August 31– September 2, pp. 730–736.

    Willcox, M.L., Graz, B., Falquet, J., Diakite, C., Giani, S., Diallo, D., 2011. A "reverse pharmacology" approach for developing an anti-malarial phytomedicine. Malaria J. 10 (Suppl. 1), S8.

    Reference to a book:
    Cramer, J.A., Spilker, B., 1998. Quality of Life and Pharmacoeconomics. An Introduction. Lippincott-Raven, Philadelphia.

    Reference to a chapter in an edited book:
    Cragg, G.M., Boyd, M., 1996. Drug discovery and development at the National Cancer Institute: the role of natural products of plant origin. In: Balick, M.J., Elisabetsky, E., Laird, S.A. (Eds.), Medicinal Plan Resources of the Tropical Forest. Columbia University Press, New York, pp. 101–136.

    Journal abbreviations source
    Journal names should be abbreviated according to the List of Title Word Abbreviations:


    If there is more than one appendix, they should be identified as A, B, etc. Formulae and equations in appendices should be given separate numbering: Eq. (A.1), Eq. (A.2), etc.; in a subsequent appendix, Eq. (B.1) and so on. Similarly for tables and figures: Table A.1; Fig. A.1, etc.

    Video data

    Elsevier accepts video material and animation sequences to support and enhance your scientific research. Authors who have video or animation files that they wish to submit with their article are strongly encouraged to include links to these within the body of the article. This can be done in the same way as a figure or table by referring to the video or animation content and noting in the body text where it should be placed. All submitted files should be properly labeled so that they directly relate to the video file's content. In order to ensure that your video or animation material is directly usable, please provide the files in one of our recommended file formats with a preferred maximum size of 150 MB. Video and animation files supplied will be published online in the electronic version of your article in Elsevier Web products, including ScienceDirect: Please supply 'stills' with your files: you can choose any frame from the video or animation or make a separate image. These will be used instead of standard icons and will personalize the link to your video data. For more detailed instructions please visit our video instruction pages at Note: since video and animation cannot be embedded in the print version of the journal, please provide text for both the electronic and the print version for the portions of the article that refer to this content.


    The journal encourages authors to create an AudioSlides presentation with their published article. AudioSlides are brief, webinar-style presentations that are shown next to the online article on ScienceDirect. This gives authors the opportunity to summarize their research in their own words and to help readers understand what the paper is about. More information and examples are available at Authors of this journal will automatically receive an invitation e-mail to create an AudioSlides presentation after acceptance of their paper.

    Supplementary material

    Elsevier accepts electronic supplementary material to support and enhance your scientific research. Supplementary files offer the author additional possibilities to publish supporting applications, high-resolution images, background datasets, sound clips and more. Supplementary files supplied will be published online alongside the electronic version of your article in Elsevier Web products, including ScienceDirect: In order to ensure that your submitted material is directly usable, please provide the data in one of our recommended file formats. Authors should submit the material in electronic format together with the article and supply a concise and descriptive caption for each file. For more detailed instructions please visit our artwork instruction pages at

    Data deposit and linking

    Elsevier encourages and supports authors to share raw data sets underpinning their research publication where appropriate and enables interlinking of articles and data. Please visit for more information on depositing, sharing and using research data.

    Submission checklist

    The following list will be useful during the final checking of an article prior to sending it to the journal for review. Please consult this Guide for Authors for further details of any item.
    Ensure that the following items are present:
    One author has been designated as the corresponding author with contact details:
    • E-mail address
    • Full postal address
    All necessary files have been uploaded, and contain:
    • Keywords
    • All figure captions
    • All tables (including title, description, footnotes)
    Further considerations
    • Manuscript has been 'spell-checked' and 'grammar-checked'
    • References are in the correct format for this journal
    • All references mentioned in the Reference list are cited in the text, and vice versa
    • Permission has been obtained for use of copyrighted material from other sources (including the Internet)
    Printed version of figures (if applicable) in color or black-and-white
    • Indicate clearly whether or not color or black-and-white in print is required.
    • For reproduction in black-and-white, please supply black-and-white versions of the figures for printing purposes.
    For any further information please visit our customer support site at

    Use of the Digital Object Identifier

    The Digital Object Identifier (DOI) may be used to cite and link to electronic documents. The DOI consists of a unique alpha-numeric character string which is assigned to a document by the publisher upon the initial electronic publication. The assigned DOI never changes. Therefore, it is an ideal medium for citing a document, particularly 'Articles in press' because they have not yet received their full bibliographic information. Example of a correctly given DOI (in URL format; here an article in the journal Physics Letters B):
    When you use a DOI to create links to documents on the web, the DOIs are guaranteed never to change.


    One set of page proofs (as PDF files) will be sent by e-mail to the corresponding author (if we do not have an e-mail address then paper proofs will be sent by post) or, a link will be provided in the e-mail so that authors can download the files themselves. Elsevier now provides authors with PDF proofs which can be annotated; for this you will need to download Adobe Reader version 9 (or higher) available free from Instructions on how to annotate PDF files will accompany the proofs (also given online). The exact system requirements are given at the Adobe site:
    If you do not wish to use the PDF annotations function, you may list the corrections (including replies to the Query Form) and return them to Elsevier in an e-mail. Please list your corrections quoting line number. If, for any reason, this is not possible, then mark the corrections and any other comments (including replies to the Query Form) on a printout of your proof and return by fax, or scan the pages and e-mail, or by post. Please use this proof only for checking the typesetting, editing, completeness and correctness of the text, tables and figures. Significant changes to the article as accepted for publication will only be considered at this stage with permission from the Editor. We will do everything possible to get your article published quickly and accurately. It is important to ensure that all corrections are sent back to us in one communication: please check carefully before replying, as inclusion of any subsequent corrections cannot be guaranteed. Proofreading is solely your responsibility.


    The corresponding author, at no cost, will be provided with a personalized link providing 50 days free access to the final published version of the article on ScienceDirect. This link can also be used for sharing via email and social networks. For an extra charge, paper offprints can be ordered via the offprint order form which is sent once the article is accepted for publication. Both corresponding and co-authors may order offprints at any time via Elsevier's WebShop ( Authors requiring printed copies of multiple articles may use Elsevier WebShop's 'Create Your Own Book' service to collate multiple articles within a single cover (

    You can track your submitted article at You can track your accepted article at You are also welcome to contact Customer Support via


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