Interactive Phylogenetic Trees

About Interactive Phylogenetic Trees

Interactive Phylogenetic Trees enables authors to show phylogenetic trees below the article abstract on ScienceDirect.

Benefits for authors and readers:

  • With Interactive Phylogenetic Trees, authors can enrich their articles with interactive data, expanding the possibilities of communicating the article’s content and improving its reading experience.
  • It gives the reader quick and direct access to interactive phylogenetic data related to the article, helping them see the article in its broader context and improving their reading experience.

Example Articles

Content Innovation

With features such as Interactive Phylogenetic Trees, Elsevier’s Content Innovation program gives authors the opportunity to present their work in powerful new ways. By supporting new digital formats that are commonly used in modern-day research, and adding valuable context to the article, these enrichments improve the way articles are presented online, giving readers better insights and helping authors make an impact.

Related Content Innovations:

We develop all our Content Innovation features by working with researchers. If you have any suggestions for us, or would be willing to take part in user testing, we’d like to hear from you. Just e-mail us at

Author Instructions


Interactive Phylogenetic Trees support Newick and NeXML data formats.


  • A commonly used data format for representing phylogenetic trees
  • It is used by many phylogenetics software packages, including PAUP*, GARLI, MrBayes, PHYLIP and TREE-PUZZLE
  • You can use software packages like PAUP* and FigTree to convert other tree file formats to Newick
  • Newick files must have the extension .new or .nwk (please note that a semicolon is needed to end the tree)
  • Please do not enclose comments in Newick files and also delete any artificial line breaks within the tree data because these will stop the tree from showing


  • A new exchange standard for representing phyloinformatic data
  • NeXML read and write abilities are implemented in a number of software applications, including Mesquite, phylobase package for R and DAMBE
  • You can also convert other tree file formats to NeXML using NeXML conversion utilities
  • The file extension should be .xml (tree data submitted with other file extensions will not be processed)
  • Please do not enclose comments in the file

Please note: tree data submitted in other formats will not be processed.

How to prepare taxon labels (as also recommended by TreeBase) :

  • Make sure that taxon names in the tree file match the corresponding figure in the article
  • Avoid using quotation marks, brackets, parentheses, commas, colons and semicolons
  • Do not abbreviate taxon names (e.g. write "Homo sapiens" not "H. sapiens")
  • Avoid using codes for non-redundant names (e.g. write "Drosophila melanogaster" not "DMelan45GRX”)

We also encourage you to upload your tree data to relevant data repositories, such as TreeBase and Dryad.


We strongly recommended you validate your Newick and NeXML files before submitting them, using our online validation tool.

  • For optimal performance, please use Internet Explorer 9 or Mozilla Firefox 4 and higher
  • Copy the entire content of your Newick/NeXML file and paste the data in the space provided
  • Click on "Display tree" to see what the tree will look like


Please only upload your tree data to the online submission system if you are satisfied with the phylogenetic tree rendering provided by the validation tool.

You can upload your files separately via the online submission system, using the "phylogenetic tree data" submission category. Alternatively, you can submit as a supplementary file, depending on the journal (for details please refer to the journal’s Guide for Authors).

In your manuscript, you can indicate where you want the material to appear in the article, for example by writing ‘NeXML file 1 here’.

Interactive Phylogenetic Trees will feature in the online version of your article. Readers will be able to download the original tree files using the viewer. The PDF/print version of your article will feature static figures only (if the figures are included in your manuscript).

Reviewer Instructions

Reviewers will find NeXML files associated with Interactive Phylogenetic Trees in the supplementary material submitted with the manuscript.

  • EES: the files can be downloaded via links on the final pages of the reviewer PDF
  • EVISE: the files can be downloaded directly from the system [details TBC]

For more information, read the general reviewer instructions for Content Innovation.