Guide for Authors

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

• Submission checklist
• Ethics in publishing
• Declaration of interest
• Submission declaration and verification
• Changes to authorship
• Copyright
• Role of the funding source
• Open access
• Submission
• Use of wordprocessing software
• Article Structure
• Artwork
• Electronic Artwork
• AudioSlides
• Interactive plots
• Online proof correction
• Offprints

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.

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 'Multiple, redundant or concurrent publication' section of our ethics policy for more information), 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.

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.


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 1900, 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.


General Submissions.
ECRA uses electronic submissions only as a means for reviewing new and revised papers. All manuscripts and any supplementary material should be submitted via the journal's online submission and peer-review system, called the Elsevier Editorial System (EES) at the following external link Thereafter, please follow the instructions given on this website to submit your paper.

Special Issues and Special Section Submissions.
If you are submitting a paper to a Special Section or Special Issue of ECRA, then follow these instructions:
1. Author registers in EES, and follows the submission instructions given on the site.
2. Select 'Submit Manuscript' from the 'Main Menu.'
3. When choosing 'Article Type' please select the title of the Special Section or Special Issue to which you wish to submit.

Then follow the steps as laid out in EES. Your manuscript will be submitted to the Editorial Office, which then assigns it to the Guest Editor in charge of that specific Special Section or Special Issue.

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 wordprocessing software

It is important that the file be saved in the native format of the wordprocessor 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 wordprocessor's options to justify text or to hyphenate words. However, do use bold face, italics, subscripts, superscripts etc. If possible, do not embed "graphically designed" equations or tables, but prepare these using the wordprocessor's facility. 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: See also the section on Electronic illustrations. To avoid unnecessary errors you are strongly advised to use the "spell-check" and "grammar-check" functions of your wordprocessor.

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

Manuscripts submitted to ECRA should be prepared for electronic submission to the EES website using single-column, double-spaced 11 or 12 point fonts, with 1 inch or 2.5 centimeter margins. Authors should avoid double justification. Please do not use a constant right-hand margin, since it diminishes readability for the reviewers. Also, ensure that each new paragraph is clearly indicated by indenting the first line. Also to enhance readability, authors should embed tables and figures in the manuscript in places that are near to the text that refers to them. Number all pages consecutively. Consult a recent issue of the journal to become familiar with layout and other formatting conventions. If you require a sample issue, please click on the 'Free Sample Issue' link under the 'For Readers' menu on the right hand side of this page. Here are some additional requirements related to formatting:

Title Page. Authors should include a Title Page as the first page of their submission, containing the article title, author(s) names and affiliations, an abstract not exceeding 150 words, and a list of 5 to 10 keywords that best describe the overall contents of the article for indexing and retrieval purposes. The title page should also contain related footnotes and acknowledgments that pertain to the paper and the authors.

Corresponding Author. Clearly indicate who will handle correspondence at all stages of refereeing and publication, including post-publication correspondence. Ensure that telephone and fax numbers with country and area code are provided, in addition to the e-mail address and the complete postal address.

Graphical abstract
Although a graphical abstract is optional, its use is encouraged as it draws more attention to the online article. The graphical abstract should summarize the contents of the article in a concise, pictorial form designed to capture the attention of a wide readership. 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. You can view Example Graphical Abstracts on our information site.
Authors can make use of Elsevier's Illustration and Enhancement service to ensure the best presentation of their images and in accordance with all technical requirements: Illustration Service.

Highlights are mandatory for this journal. They consist of a short collection of bullet points that convey the core findings of the article and should be submitted in a separate editable file in the online submission system. Please use 'Highlights' in the file name and include 3 to 5 bullet points (maximum 85 characters, including spaces, per bullet point). You can view example Highlights on our information site.

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.


Electronic Artwork

General points

•Make sure you use uniform lettering and sizing of your original artwork.
•Save text in illustrations as "graphics" or enclose the font.
•Only use the following fonts in your illustrations: Arial, Courier, Helvetica, Times, •Number the illustrations according to their sequence in the text.
•Use a logical naming convention for your artwork files, if you include separate ones.
•Provide captions to illustrations.
•Produce images near to the desired size of the printed version.

A detailed guide on electronic artwork is available on our website:
You are urged to visit this site; some excerpts from the detailed information are given here.

Regardless of the application used, when your electronic artwork is finalised after your paper has been accepted, 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: Vector drawings. Embed the font or save the text as 'graphics'.
TIFF: color or grayscale photographs (halftones): always use a minimum of 300 dpi.
TIFF: Bitmapped line drawings: use a minimum of 1000 dpi.
TIFF: Combinations bitmapped line/half-tone (color or grayscale): a minimum of 500 dpi is required.
DOC, DOCX, XLS or PPT: If your electronic artwork is created in any of these Microsoft Office applications please supply 'as is'.

Please do not:
•Supply files that are optimised for screen use (like GIF, BMP, PICT, WPG); the resolution is too low;
•Supply files that are too low in resolution;
•Submit graphics that are disproportionately large for the content.

Figures, Tables and Illustrations
Provide all figures, tables and illustrations in high-quality format suitable for reproduction, which may include reduction. These should be numbered consecutively in the order in which they are referred to in the main body of the text. Mark all of these with a table or figure number and an explanatory caption or title. For detailed guidelines on electronic figures, please refer to the 'Artwork Instructions' at

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.

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.

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).

Published Materials on the Internet and Foreign Language Sources.
Provide as complete information as possible, although pages may not be available. Indicate the URL where the materials can be found, and indicate the last data the materials were accessed.
Please click here for examples.


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.

Uncorrected Proofs are not to be regarded as 'drafts,' and authors should not view them as providing an opportunity to make major content changes. Only minor copy-editing corrections are permitted. . No changes in, or additions to the accepted and subsequently edited manuscript will be allowed at the end of this stage. So it is important to ensure that all changes to the Uncorrected Proof are indicated in one communication with the Elsevier Production staff. Subsequent corrections will not be possible. Prior to the Uncorrected Proof stage, an ECRA Co-Editor may request that a paper should be edited for English. Elsevier's Language Editing Service will handle this.

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.