Guide for Authors

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

• Types of paper
• Contact details for submission
• Submission checklist
• Ethics in publishing
• Human and animal rights
• Declaration of interest
• Submission declaration and verification
• Contributors
• Changes to authorship
• Copyright
• Role of the funding source
• Open access
• Submission
• Article structure
• Essential title page information
• Abstract
• Keywords
• Highlights of the manuscript
• Artwork
• Tables
• References
• Journal Abbreviations Source
• Video
• Supplementary material
• Database linking
• AudioSlides
• Interactive plots
• Online proof correction
• Offprints

Types of paper

Research Papers should report the results of original research. The material should not have been previously published elsewhere. Articles are expected to contribute new information (e.g. novel methods of analysis with added new insights and impacts) to the knowledge base in the field, not just to confirm previously published work.
Review Articles can cover either narrow disciplinary subjects or broad issues requiring interdisciplinary discussion. They should provide objective critical evaluation of a defined subject. Reviews should not consist solely of a summary of published data. Evaluation of the quality of existing data, the status of knowledge, and the research required to advance knowledge of the subject are essential.
Short Communications are used to communicate results which represent a major breakthrough or startling new discovery and which should therefore be published quickly. They should not be used for preliminary results. Papers must contain sufficient data to establish that the research has achieved reliable and significant results.
Technical Papers should present new methods and procedures for either research methodology or culture-related techniques.
The Letters to the Editor section is intended to provide a forum for discussion of aquacultural science emanating from material published in the journal.

Contact details for submission

Papers for consideration should be submitted via the electronic submission system mentioned below to the appropriate Section Editor:

D.M. Gatlin

The Nutrition Section welcomes high quality research papers presenting novel data as well as original reviews on various aspects of aquatic animal nutrition relevant to aquaculture. Manuscripts addressing the following areas of investigation are encouraged:

1) determination of dietary and metabolic requirements for various nutrients by representative aquatic species. Studies may include environmental/stress effects on animal's physiological responses and requirements at different developmental stages;
2) evaluation of novel or established feedstuffs as well as feed processing and manufacturing procedures with digestibility and growth trials. Such studies should provide comprehensive specifications of the process or evaluated ingredients including nutrients, potential anti-nutrients, and contaminants;
3) comparison of nutrient bioavailability from various ingredients or product forms as well as metabolic kinetics of nutrients, food borne anti-nutrients or toxins;
4) identification of key components in natural diets that influence attractability, palatability, metabolism, growth reproduction and/or immunity of cultured organisms;
5) optimization of diet formulations and feeding practices;
6) characterization of the actions of hormones, cytokines and/or components in intracellular signaling pathway(s) that influence nutrient and/or energy utilization.
7) evaluation of diet supplementation strategies to influence animal performance, metabolism, health and/or flesh quality.

Manuscripts concerning other areas of nutrition using novel or advanced methods are also welcome. Please note that in regard to various diet additives such as probiotics, prebiotics, herbal extracts, etc., a very large number of papers have already been published. Therefore, Aquaculture will not continue to accept manuscripts that present initial and preliminary investigations of such additives. Manuscripts addressing these and other feed additives will be accepted for review only if they are of the highest scientific quality and they represent a significant advance in our knowledge of the mechanisms involved in their metabolism. Manuscripts may also be considered if they present clinical efficacy data generated in large-scale trials and economic cost-benefit analysis of these applications.

Aquaculture Production Science:

AQUACULTURE PRODUCTION SCIENCE (PS) is one of 5 sections of the international journal AQUACULTURE dedicated to research on improvements and innovations in aquatic food production.

This section supports worldwide dissemination of the results of innovative, globally important, scientific research on production methods for aquatic foods from fish, crustaceans, mollusks, amphibians, and all types of aquatic plants. Contributions are encouraged in the following areas: 1) Improvement of production systems that results in greater efficiencies of resource usage and sustainability of aquaculture; 2) Effective applications of technologies and methods of aquaculture production for improved stocking regimes; 3) The use of new species and species assemblages; and, 4) Investigations to minimize aquaculture wastes and improve water quality, including technologies for nutrient recycling in aquaculture ecosystems, and potential synergy of aquaculture and other food production systems using methods such as polyculture and integrated aquaculture. Aspects of seafood processing and technology will not be considered in this section although aquaculture techniques that may influence the nutritional value of aquatic food products may be considered in the Nutrition Section.

Fish: A. P. (Tony) Farrell
Invertebrates: J. Benzie

The Physiology Section welcomes high quality papers that present either novel research data or original reviews. The content must be relevant to solving aquaculture problems on all aspects of the physiology of cultured aquatic animals and plants.

Submitted manuscripts must have a valid hypothesis or objective, clearly state the relevance to aquaculture, have proper experimental design with appropriate controls and utilize appropriate statistical analysis. Mention of trade names is limited to the main text.

Relevant physiological topics include, but are not limited to:

  • Reproductive and endocrine physiology, including control of development and sex differentiation, induced ovulation and spermiation, gamete quality, storage and cryopreservation, physiology of gynogenetic, and triploid and transgenic organisms
  • Cardiorespiratory, muscle and exercise physiology
  • Osmoregulatory physiology
  • Digestive physiology, including endocrine and environmental regulation of growth
  • Larval physiology and ontogeny, including metamorphosis, smolting and molting
  • Performance under variable culture conditions, including temperature, water quality, rearing density, and stress and disease physiology
  • Physiology of harvest and handling techniques

G. Hulata

The Genetics Section welcomes high-quality research papers presenting novel data, as well as critical reviews, on various aspects of selective breeding, genetics and genomics. Submitted manuscripts must have a valid hypothesis or objective, clearly state the relevance to aquaculture, have proper experimental design with appropriate sample size and controls and utilize appropriate statistical analysis.

Relevant genetics topics include, but are not limited to:

  • Breeding programs using classic selection procedures, markers or combining marker assisted selection with classic selection
  • Applications of crossbreeding and interspecific hybridization
  • Evaluation of commercially important phenotypes among cultured strains, populations or stocks
  • Applications of biotechnology and genetic manipulation methods
  • Development of linkage maps, identification of QTL or association of commercially important traits with specific gene(s). Where appropriate, linkage maps should include co-dominant markers, such as microsatellite DNA and SNP markers, to enable application to other populations and facilitate comparative mapping.
Aquaculture will NOT accept manuscripts dealing with the application of well-described techniques to yet another species, unless the application solves a specific biological problem important to aquaculture production; or manuscripts dealing with gene cloning, characterizing of microsatellites, species identification using molecular markers, EST papers with small collections, or mapping papers with a small number of markers, unless the papers also deal with solving a biological problem that is relevant to aquaculture production.
Aquaculture will not accept manuscripts focusing mainly on population genetics studies that are based on RAPD and AFLP markers, since the dominance and multilocus nature of the fingerprints are not suitable for making inferences about population genetic diversity and structure.

Sustainability and Society:
D.C. Little

The Sustainability and Society section of the journal Aquaculture invites articles at the interface of natural and social sciences that address the broader roles of aquaculture in global food security and trade.

Aims and scope of the Sustainability and Society section are the: global dissemination of interdisciplinary knowledge regarding the management of aquatic resources and resulting impacts on people. Interconnections with other sectors of food production; resource management and implications for societal impact. Going beyond a narrow techno-centric focus, towards more holistic analyses of aquaculture within well-defined contexts. Enquiry based on understanding trajectories of change amid the global challenges of climate change and food security. Mixed methods and approaches that incorporate and integrate both social and natural sciences. Relevance for the diverse range of policy makers, practitioners and other stakeholders involved. Articles that take a value chain approach, rather than being wholly production orientated, are encouraged.

B. Austin

The Disease sections welcomes critical reviews and high quality articles containing novel data on all aspects concerning diseases of farmed aquatic species. The aims of the section are: description of new and emerging diseases including characterization of the causal agent(s), development in the understanding of fish pathogens for example including new methods of growth where this has been a problem for fastidious organisms, pathogenicity and epizootiology, developments in the diagnosis of disease going beyond the use of standard well used methods, and methods of disease control, notably new developments in vaccines, immunostimulants, dietary supplements, medicinal plant products, probiotics, prebiotics and genetically-disease resistant stock. Relevance to aquaculture must be demonstrated. Articles, which adapt well known methods without further refinement of those methods, are unlikely to be accepted.

Submission checklist

You can use this list to carry out a final check of your submission before you send it to the journal for review. Please check the relevant section in this Guide for Authors for more details.

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:
• Include keywords
• All figures (include relevant captions)
• All tables (including titles, description, footnotes)
• Ensure all figure and table citations in the text match the files provided
• Indicate clearly if color should be used for any figures in print
Graphical Abstracts / Highlights files (where applicable)
Supplemental files (where applicable)

Further considerations
• Manuscript has been 'spell checked' and 'grammar checked'
• 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)
• Relevant declarations of interest have been made
• Journal policies detailed in this guide have been reviewed
• Referee suggestions and contact details provided, based on journal requirements

For further information, visit our Support Center.

Ethics in publishing

Please see our information pages on Ethics in publishing and Ethical guidelines for journal publication.

Human and animal rights

If the work involves the use of human subjects, the author should ensure that the work described has been carried out in accordance with The Code of Ethics of the World Medical Association (Declaration of Helsinki) for experiments involving humans; Uniform Requirements for manuscripts submitted to Biomedical journals. Authors should include a statement in the manuscript that informed consent was obtained for experimentation with human subjects. The privacy rights of human subjects must always be observed.

All animal experiments should comply with the ARRIVE guidelines and should be carried out in accordance with the U.K. Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act, 1986 and associated guidelines, EU Directive 2010/63/EU for animal experiments, or the National Institutes of Health guide for the care and use of Laboratory animals (NIH Publications No. 8023, revised 1978) and the authors should clearly indicate in the manuscript that such guidelines have been followed.

Declaration 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. More information.

Submission declaration and verification

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 in the same form, in English or in any other language, including electronically without the written consent of the copyright-holder. To verify originality, your article may be checked by the originality detection service CrossCheck

If the manuscript to be submitted was previously rejected by Aquaculture or another journal, it is necessary to specify what substantive new work and/or revisions have been included to elevate the manuscript’s quality for consideration by Aquaculture.


Each author is required to declare his or her individual contribution to the article: all authors must have materially participated in the research and/or article preparation, so roles for all authors should be described. The statement that all authors have approved the final article should be true and included in the disclosure.

Changes to authorship

Authors are expected to consider carefully the list and order of authors before submitting their manuscript and provide the definitive list of authors at the time of the original submission. Any addition, deletion or rearrangement of author names in the authorship list should be made only before the manuscript has been accepted and only if approved by the journal Editor. To request such a change, the Editor must receive the following from the corresponding author: (a) the reason for the change in author list and (b) written confirmation (e-mail, 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.
Only in exceptional circumstances will the Editor consider the addition, deletion or rearrangement of authors after the manuscript has been accepted. While the Editor considers the request, publication of the manuscript will be suspended. If the manuscript has already been published in an online issue, any requests approved by the Editor will result in a corrigendum.

Article transfer service
This journal is part of our Article Transfer Service. This means that if the Editor feels your article is more suitable in one of our other participating journals, then you may be asked to consider transferring the article to one of those. If you agree, your article will be transferred automatically on your behalf with no need to reformat. Please note that your article will be reviewed again by the new journal. More information.


Upon acceptance of an article, authors will be asked to complete a 'Journal Publishing Agreement' (see more information on this). 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. 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.

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

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

Elsevier supports responsible sharing
Find out how you can share your research published in Elsevier journals.

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 funding bodies will reimburse the author for the Open Access Publication Fee. Details of existing agreements are available online.

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 3600, excluding taxes. Learn more about Elsevier's pricing policy:

Green open access
Authors can share their research in a variety of different ways and Elsevier has a number of green open access options available. We recommend authors see our green open access page for further information. Authors can also self-archive their manuscripts immediately and enable public access from their institution's repository after an embargo period. This is the version that has been accepted for publication and which typically includes author-incorporated changes suggested during submission, peer review and in editor-author communications. Embargo period: For subscription articles, an appropriate amount of time is needed for journals to deliver value to subscribing customers before an article becomes freely available to the public. This is the embargo period and it begins from the date the article is formally published online in its final and fully citable form. Find out more.

This journal has an embargo period of 24 months.

Elsevier Publishing Campus
The Elsevier Publishing Campus ( is an online platform offering free lectures, interactive training and professional advice to support you in publishing your research. The College of Skills training offers modules on how to prepare, write and structure your article and explains how editors will look at your paper when it is submitted for publication. Use these resources, and more, to ensure that your submission will be the best that you can make it.

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.


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.

Authors should avoid responding by messages received from the system using the 'Reply' button on their e-mail message; this will send the message to the system support and not to the editorial office, and will create unnecessary load of sorting out and forwarding

Please submit your article via

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.

Use of word processing software
It is important that the file be saved in the native format of the word processor used. The text should be in single-column format. Keep the layout of the text as simple as possible. Most formatting codes will be removed and replaced on processing the article. In particular, do not use the word processor's options to justify text or to hyphenate words. However, do use bold face, italics, subscripts, superscripts etc. When preparing tables, if you are using a table grid, use only one grid for each individual table and not a grid for each row. If no grid is used, use tabs, not spaces, to align columns. The electronic text should be prepared in a way very similar to that of conventional manuscripts (see also the Guide to Publishing with Elsevier). Note that source files of figures, tables and text graphics will be required whether or not you embed your figures in the text. See also the section on Electronic artwork.
To avoid unnecessary errors you are strongly advised to use the 'spell-check' and 'grammar-check' functions of your word processor.

You are recommended to use the Elsevier article class elsarticle.cls to prepare your manuscript and BibTeX to generate your bibliography.
Our LaTeX site has detailed submission instructions, templates and other information.

Article structure

Subdivision - numbered sections
Divide your article into clearly defined and numbered sections. Subsections should be numbered 1.1 (then 1.1.1, 1.1.2, ...), 1.2, etc. (the abstract is not included in section numbering). Use this numbering also for internal cross-referencing: do not just refer to 'the text'. Any subsection may be given a brief heading. Each heading should appear on its own separate line.

State the objectives of the work and provide an adequate background, avoiding a detailed literature survey or a summary of the results.

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.

A Theory section should extend, not repeat, the background to the article already dealt with in the Introduction and lay the foundation for further work. In contrast, a Calculation section represents a practical development from a theoretical basis.

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.

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.

Essential title page information

Title. Concise and informative. Titles are often used in information-retrieval systems. Avoid abbreviations and formulae where possible.
Numbering.Manuscripts that are sequentially numbered (e.g., I, II, etc.) are no longer accepted.
Author names and affiliations. Where the family name may be ambiguous (e.g., a double name), please indicate this clearly. 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 phone numbers (with country and area code) are provided in addition to the e-mail address and the complete postal address. Contact details must be 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.


A concise and factual abstract is required. The abstract should state briefly the purpose of the research, the principal results and major conclusions. An abstract is often presented separately from the article, so it must be able to stand alone. For this reason, References should be avoided, but if essential, then cite the author(s) and year(s). Also, non-standard or uncommon abbreviations should be avoided, but if essential they must be defined at their first mention in the abstract itself.

The abstract should be not longer than 400 words.


Immediately after the abstract, provide a maximum of 4-6 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.

Highlights of the manuscript

As part of the submission process, authors are required to provide 3 or 4 highlights, each one sentence long. Beyond stating key discoveries, these highlights must explicitly establish why the work is novel and why it has an application to aquaculture. It is not sufficient to state that the species is one that is farmed.

Define abbreviations that are not standard in this field in a footnote to be placed on the first page of the article. Such 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.

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.).

Formatting of funding sources
List funding sources in this standard way to facilitate compliance to funder's requirements:

Funding: This work was supported by the National Institutes of Health [grant numbers xxxx, yyyy]; the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Seattle, WA [grant number zzzz]; and the United States Institutes of Peace [grant number aaaa].

It is not necessary to include detailed descriptions on the program or type of grants and awards. When funding is from a block grant or other resources available to a university, college, or other research institution, submit the name of the institute or organization that provided the funding.

If no funding has been provided for the research, please include the following sentence:

This research did not receive any specific grant from funding agencies in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors.

Nomenclature and units
Follow internationally accepted rules and conventions: use the international system of units (SI). If other quantities are mentioned, give their equivalent in SI. You are urged to consult IUPAC: Nomenclature of Organic Chemistry for further information.

1. Authors and editors are, by general agreement, obliged to accept the rules governing biological nomenclature, as laid down in the International Code of Botanical Nomenclature, the International Code of Nomenclature of Bacteria, and the International Code of Zoological Nomenclature.
2. All biota (crops, plants, insects, birds, mammals, etc.) should be identified by their scientific names when the English term is first used, with the exception of common domestic animals.
3. All biocides and other organic compounds must be identified by their Geneva names when first used in the text. Active ingredients of all formulations should be likewise identified.
4. For chemical nomenclature, the conventions of the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry and the official recommendations of the IUPAC IUB Combined Commission on Biochemical Nomenclature should be followed.

DNA sequences and GenBank Accession numbers. Many Elsevier journals cite "gene accession numbers" in their running text and footnotes. Gene accession numbers refer to genes or DNA sequences about which further information can be found in the databases at the National Center for Biotechnical Information (NCBI) at the National Library of Medicine. Authors are encouraged to check accession numbers used very carefully. An error in a letter or number can result in a dead link. Note that in the final version of the electronic copy, the accession number text will be linked to the appropriate source in the NCBI databases enabling readers to go directly to that source from the article.

Example 1: "GenBank accession nos. AI631510, AI631511, AI632198, and BF223228, a B-cell tumor from a chronic lymphatic leukemia (GenBank accession no. BE675048), and a T-cell lymphoma (GenBank accession no. AA361117)".

Authors are encouraged to check accession numbers used very carefully. An error in a letter or number can result in a dead link.

In the final version of the printed article, the accession number text will not appear bold or underlined (see Example 2 below).

Example 2: "GenBank accession nos. AI631510, AI631511, AI632198, and BF223228), a B-cell tumor from a chronic lymphatic leukemia (GenBank accession no. BE675048), and a T-cell lymphoma (GenBank accession no. AA361117)".

In the final version of the electronic copy, the accession number text will be linked to the appropriate source in the NCBI databases enabling readers to go directly to that source from the article (see Example 3 below).

Example 3: "GenBank accession nos. AI631510, AI631511, AI632198, and BF223228), a B-cell tumor from a chronic lymphatic leukemia (GenBank accession no. BE675048), and a T-cell lymphoma (GenBank accession no. AA361117)".

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).

Give the meaning of all symbols immediately after the equation in which they are first used. In chemical formulae, valence of ions should be given as, e.g. Ca2+ and not Ca++. Isotope numbers should precede the symbols, e.g., 18O. The repeated writing of chemical formulae in the text is to be avoided where reasonably possible; instead, the name of the compound should be given in full. Exceptions may be made in the case of a very long name occurring very frequently or in the case of a compound being described as the end product of a gravimetric determination (e.g., phosphate as P2O5).

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.


Electronic artwork
General points
• Make sure you use uniform lettering and sizing of your original artwork.
• Embed the used fonts if the application provides that option.
• Aim to use the following fonts in your illustrations: Arial, Courier, Times New Roman, Symbol, or use fonts that look similar.
• Number the illustrations according to their sequence in the text.
• Use a logical naming convention for your artwork files.
• Provide captions to illustrations separately.
• Size the illustrations close to the desired dimensions of the published version.
• Submit each illustration as a separate file.
A detailed guide on electronic artwork is available.
You are urged to visit this site; some excerpts from the detailed information are given here.
If your electronic artwork is created in a Microsoft Office application (Word, PowerPoint, Excel) then please supply 'as is' in the native document format.
Regardless of the application used other than Microsoft Office, when your electronic artwork is finalized, please 'Save as' or convert the images to one of the following formats (note the resolution requirements for line drawings, halftones, and line/halftone combinations given below):
EPS (or PDF): Vector drawings, embed all used fonts.
TIFF (or JPEG): Color or grayscale photographs (halftones), keep to a minimum of 300 dpi.
TIFF (or JPEG): Bitmapped (pure black & white pixels) line drawings, keep to a minimum of 1000 dpi.
TIFF (or JPEG): Combinations bitmapped line/half-tone (color or grayscale), keep to a minimum of 500 dpi.
Please do not:
• Supply files that are optimized for screen use (e.g., GIF, BMP, PICT, WPG); these typically have a low number of pixels and limited set of colors;
• Supply files that are too low in resolution;
• Submit graphics that are disproportionately large for the content.

Color artwork
Please make sure that artwork files are in an acceptable format (TIFF (or JPEG), EPS (or PDF), or MS Office files) and with the correct resolution. If, together with your accepted article, you submit usable color figures then Elsevier will ensure, at no additional charge, that these figures will appear in color online (e.g., ScienceDirect and other sites) regardless of whether or not these illustrations are reproduced in color in the printed version. For color reproduction in print, you will receive information regarding the costs from Elsevier after receipt of your accepted article. Please indicate your preference for color: in print or online only. Further information on the preparation of electronic artwork.

Figure captions
Ensure that each illustration has a caption. Supply captions separately, not attached to the figure. A caption should comprise a brief title (not on the figure itself) and a description of the illustration. Keep text in the illustrations themselves to a minimum but explain all symbols and abbreviations used.

Text graphics
Text graphics may be embedded in the text at the appropriate position. See further under Electronic artwork.


Please submit tables as editable text and not as images. Tables can be placed either next to the relevant text in the article, or on separate page(s) at the end. Number tables consecutively in accordance with their appearance in the text and place any table notes below the table body. Be sparing in the use of tables and ensure that the data presented in them do not duplicate results described elsewhere in the article. Please avoid using vertical rules.


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.

A DOI can be used to cite and link to electronic articles where an article is in-press and full citation details are not yet known, but the article is available online. A DOI is guaranteed never to change, so you can use it as a permanent link to any electronic article. An example of a citation using DOI for an article not yet in an issue is: VanDecar J.C., Russo R.M., James D.E., Ambeh W.B., Franke M. (2003). Aseismic continuation of the Lesser Antilles slab beneath northeastern Venezuela. Journal of Geophysical Research, Please note the format of such citations should be in the same style as all other references in the paper.

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 their reference template available in many of the most popular reference management software products. These include all products that support Citation Style Language styles, such as Mendeley and Zotero, as well as EndNote. Using the word processor plug-ins from these products, authors only need to select the appropriate journal template when preparing their article, after which citations and bibliographies will be automatically formatted in the journal's style. If no template is yet available for this journal, please follow the format of the sample references and citations as shown in this Guide.

Users of Mendeley Desktop can easily install the reference style for this journal by clicking the following link:
When preparing your manuscript, you will then be able to select this style using the Mendeley plug-ins for Microsoft Word or LibreOffice.

Reference formatting
There are no strict requirements on reference formatting at submission. References can be in any style or format as long as the style is consistent. Where applicable, author(s) name(s), journal title/book title, chapter title/article title, year of publication, volume number/book chapter and the pagination must be present. Use of DOI is highly encouraged. The reference style used by the journal will be applied to the accepted article by Elsevier at the proof stage. Note that missing data will be highlighted at proof stage for the author to correct. If you do wish to format the references yourself they should be arranged according to the following examples:

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:
Van der Geer, J., Hanraads, J.A.J., Lupton, R.A., 2010. The art of writing a scientific article. J. Sci. Commun. 163, 51–59.
Reference to a book:
Strunk Jr., W., White, E.B., 2000. The Elements of Style, fourth ed. Longman, New York.
Reference to a chapter in an edited book:
Mettam, G.R., Adams, L.B., 2009. How to prepare an electronic version of your article, in: Jones, B.S., Smith , R.Z. (Eds.), Introduction to the Electronic Age. E-Publishing Inc., New York, pp. 281–304.
Reference to a website:
Cancer Research UK, 1975. Cancer statistics reports for the UK. (accessed 13.03.03).

Journal Abbreviations Source

Define abbreviations that are not standard in this field at their first occurrence in the article: in the abstract but also in the main text after it. Ensure consistency of abbreviations throughout the article.


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. 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.

Supplementary material

Supplementary material can 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. Please note that such items are published online exactly as they are submitted; there is no typesetting involved (supplementary data supplied as an Excel file or as a PowerPoint slide will appear as such online). Please submit the material together with the article and supply a concise and descriptive caption for each file. If you wish to make any changes to supplementary data during any stage of the process, then please make sure to provide an updated file, and do not annotate any corrections on a previous version. Please also make sure to switch off the 'Track Changes' option in any Microsoft Office files as these will appear in the published supplementary file(s). For more detailed instructions please visit our artwork instruction pages.

Database linking

Elsevier encourages authors to connect articles with external databases, giving readers access to relevant databases that help to build a better understanding of the described research. Please refer to relevant database identifiers using the following format in your article: Database: xxxx (e.g., TAIR: AT1G01020; CCDC: 734053; PDB: 1XFN). More information and a full list of supported databases.


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. Authors of this journal will automatically receive an invitation e-mail to create an AudioSlides presentation after acceptance of their paper.

Interactive plots

This journal enables you to show an Interactive Plot with your article by simply submitting a data file. Full instructions.

Online proof correction

Corresponding authors will receive an e-mail with a link to our online proofing system, allowing annotation and correction of proofs online. The environment is similar to MS Word: in addition to editing text, you can also comment on figures/tables and answer questions from the Copy Editor. Web-based proofing provides a faster and less error-prone process by allowing you to directly type your corrections, eliminating the potential introduction of errors.
If preferred, you can still choose to annotate and upload your edits on the PDF version. All instructions for proofing will be given in the e-mail we send to authors, including alternative methods to the online version and PDF.
We will do everything possible to get your article published quickly and accurately. 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. 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 will, at no cost, receive a customized Share Link providing 50 days free access to the final published version of the article on ScienceDirect. The Share Link can be used for sharing the article via any communication channel, including email and social media. 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. Corresponding authors who have published their article open access do not receive a Share Link as their final published version of the article is available open access on ScienceDirect and can be shared through the article DOI link.

Visit the Elsevier Support Center to find the answers you need. Here you will find everything from Frequently Asked Questions to ways to get in touch.
You can also check the status of your submitted article or find out when your accepted article will be published.