Things to Consider as You Prepare Your Manuscript
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Things to consider as you prepare your book manuscript

Preparing your book manuscript

Chapter abstracts and keywords

Ethics and plagiarism


Congratulations if your book idea has been accepted for publication by Elsevier! You now have a manuscript to write, but you're not on your own.

The sections below outline the key things you should consider as you get started and in the run up to manuscript delivery to ensure that your material will result in a high quality, valuable publication for your community.

For many of our books, chapter contributors and editors are asked to use a web-based submission and review system called the Elsevier Manuscript Submission System (EMSS).  This system helps authors and editors track each file through the writing and editing process, streamline communications, remain organized by using the latest versions of each file and better manage deadlines.  If you are part of the team of authors for a book project using EMSS, you can access your project at (note there is no "www").  It is a good idea to save this URL as a favorite or as an icon link on your desktop so you don't have to remember it for the course of your work on the book.

Your Acquisitions Editor and Editorial Project Manager are experts in working with authors to prepare material for publication so don't hesitate to ask them if you have any questions or need further information.

Preparing your book manuscript

The short, two-page document below provides condensed information on how to prepare and present your material in a book manuscript.

Brief manuscript preparation guidelines
Elsevier’s Standard Reference Styles

These guidelines—in addition to the page count, word count or other specifications included in your contract—should give you all the practical details you need to get started.

The sections below provide more detail on other issues to consider as you write.

Chapter abstracts and keywords

We ask all authors to provide chapter abstracts and keywords alongside their chapter text to increase the discoverability of their material via search engines and on platforms such as ScienceDirect.

These abstracts and keywords are not normally printed in the physical copy of the book, but are included in electronic versions and its supporting datasets to improve how the book's content is classified and identified. Abstracts and keywords help readers find relevant content and promote both usage and sales.

Abstracts and keyword lists should be delivered with your finished manuscript so that they can be worked on by Elsevier's Production Department alongside the rest of your material.

  • Abstracts – A chapter abstract is a concise, factual summary of the content of each chapter within the book, including appendices. It should provide a brief review of the main content and theme of the chapter in 100-150 words. Topics covered elsewhere in the book but not in the chapter being abstracted should not be mentioned, and abbreviations should be defined at their first mention in the abstract.
  • Keywords – A keyword is any significant word or phrase used to describe the contents of a chapter, or a descriptive word or phrase which could be used as a reference point for finding information on the topic of the chapter. 5-10 keywords should be provided for each chapter, using American spelling. General and plural terms should be avoided, and abbreviations only listed if they are firmly established in the field. Keywords should be provided directly below the chapter abstract, under the heading 'Non-print items', at the start of each chapter.

Ethics and plagiarism

Understanding research and publishing ethics is crucial to generating valuable and long-lasting contributions to the scientific, medical and technological communities. By making ethical decisions, you are ensuring trusted research progress, setting an example for others and building a strong reputation for yourself and for your institution. Elsevier expects and requires all of our book editors and authors, at the chapter level and otherwise, to adhere to ethical guidelines in research, writing and publication.

If you are interested in more information and resources on ethics and plagiarism, please visit our ethics in research and publication website. Here you will find an ethics toolkit with specific examples of scientific misconduct and plagiarism, a quiz to measure your understanding of research and publishing ethics, a list of tools and programs utilized by Elsevier that detect cases of plagiarism and misconduct, links to helpful web resources on ethics and much more. 

For a guide to plagiarism and how to prevent it, please see the following document.


We recommend you use original, unpublished artwork, tables and other material in your manuscript whenever possible, or where not possible, material from other Elsevier imprints, where the material is copyrighted by Elsevier.

If you choose to reproduce previously published material, including copyrighted material taken from the internet, written permission must be obtained from the rightsholder for re-use in both print and electronic formats, for worldwide distribution, for all languages, and for all future editions of your work.  Normally permission to reproduce material from another publisher in an Elsevier product is best obtained via Rightslink®. Where Rightslink® is not available, please use the permission request form

Elsevier requires that the author supply a permission log to the Editorial Project Manager plus copies of all permission grant letters along with your chapter or book manuscript.  A complete permission log helps to organize all third-party and original material appearing in your contribution and allows you to track the progress of your efforts seeking permission from other rightsholders.  It is also essential to the timely publication of the book.  Please download a blank author permission log to help with your tracking. 

For further instructions on how to complete the author permission log, please refer to this example

Unless otherwise stated in your contract, it is your responsibility as the author to obtain permission to use any material for which you do not own the copyright, and to pay any associated permission fees.  For more information about permissions, Rightslink® and more, visit this page.