Guide for Authors

Submission checklist

It is hoped that this list will be useful during the final checking of an article prior to sending it to the journal's Editor for review. Please consult this Guide for Authors for further details of any item.
Ensure that the following items are present:

•One author designated as corresponding author:

  • E-mail address
  • Full postal address
  • Telephone and fax numbers

• All necessary files have been uploaded

• 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 Web)

• Colour figures are clearly marked as being intended for colour reproduction on the Web (free of charge) and in print or to be reproduced in colour on the Web (free of charge) and in black-and-white in print

• If only colour on the Web is required, black and white versions of the figures are also supplied for printing purposes

For any further information please visit our Support Center.

1 Submission of articles


1.1 General

It is essential to give a fax number and e-mail address when submitting a manuscript. Articles must be written in good English.

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), 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and tacitly or explicitly by the responsible authorities where the work was carried out, and that, if accepted, it will not be published elsewhere in the same form, in English or in any other language, without the written consent of the copyright holder.

Upon acceptance of an article, authors will be asked to sign a 'Journal Publishing Agreement' (for more information on this and copyright see http://www.elsevier.com/copyright). Acceptance of the agreement will ensure the widest possible dissemination of information. An e-mail (or letter) 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 http://www.elsevier.com/permissions).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 http://www.elsevier.com/permissionsElsevier supports responsible sharing
Find out how you can share your research via https://www.elsevier.com/sharing-articles published in Elsevier journals

Funding body agreements and policies
Elsevier has established agreements and developed policies to allow authors who publish in Elsevier journals to comply with potential manuscript archiving requirements as specified as conditions of their grant awards. To learn more about existing agreements and policies please visit http://www.elsevier.com/fundingbodies

Authors' rights
As an author you (or your employer or institution) retain certain rights; for details you are referred to: http://www.elsevier.com/authorsrights.

Ethical approval
For information on Ethics in Publishing and Ethical guidelines for journal publication see http://www.elsevier.com/authorethics and http://www.elsevier.com/ethicalguidelines.
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 paper for publication. If the funding source(s) had no such involvement then this should be stated.

Contributors
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.
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 http://www.elsevier.com/conflictsofinterest
Acknowledgements
List here those individuals who provided help during the research (e.g., providing language help, writing assistance or proofreading the article, etc.).

Should authors be requested by the Editor to revise the text, the revised version should be submitted within three months. After this period, the article will be regarded as a new submission.

1.2 Online submission to the journal prior to acceptance

Submission to this journal proceeds totally online. Use the following guidelines to prepare your article. Via the homepage of this journal (http://www.elsevier.com/journals) you will be guided stepwise through the creation and uploading of the various files. The system automatically converts source files to a single Adobe Acrobat PDF version of the article, which is used in the peer-review process. Please note that even though manuscript source files are converted to PDF at submission for the review process, these source files are needed for further processing after acceptance. All correspondence, including notification of the Editor's decision and requests for revision, takes place by e-mail and via the author's homepage, removing the need for a hard-copy paper trail.

The above represents a very brief outline of this form of submission. It can be advantageous to print this "Guide for Authors" section from the site for reference in the subsequent stages of article preparation.

1.3 Electronic format requirements for accepted articles

We accept most wordprocessing formats, but Word, WordPerfect or LaTeX is preferred. Always keep a backup copy of the electronic file for reference and safety. Save your files using the default extension of the program used.

Open Access

This journal offers authors two choices to publish 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 their research funder

Subscription
• Articles are made available to subscribers as well as developing countries and patient groups through our access programs (http://www.elsevier.com/access)
• No Open Access publication fee

All articles published Open Access will be immediately and permanently free for everyone to read and download. Permitted reuse is defined by your choice of one of the following Creative Commons user licenses:

Creative Commons Attribution (CC–BY): lets others distribute and copy the article, to create extracts, abstracts, and other revised versions, adaptations or derivative works of or from an article (such as a translation), to include in a collective work (such as an anthology), to 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.

To provide Open Access, this journal has a publication fee which needs to be met by the authors or their research funders for each article published Open Access.

The Open Access publication fee for this journal is $USD 2400, excluding taxes.

Learn more about Elsevier's pricing policy http://www.elsevier.com/openaccesspricing

Wordprocessor documents
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. 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: http://www.elsevier.com/guidepublication). Do not import the figures into the text file but, instead, indicate their approximate locations directly in the electronic text and on the manuscript. See also the section on Preparation of electronic illustrations.
To avoid unnecessary errors you are strongly advised to use the "spell-check" and "grammar-check" functions of your wordprocessor.

LaTeX documents
If the LaTeX file is suitable, proofs will be produced without rekeying the text. The article should preferably be written using Elsevier's document class "elsart", or alternatively the standard document class "article".
The Elsevier LaTeX package (including detailed instructions for LaTeX preparation) can be obtained from the Quickguide: http://www.elsevier.com/latex or from the Comprehensive TeX Archive Network (CTAN): see below, in the directory /tex-archive/macros/latex/contrib/supported/elsevier. It consists of the files: elsart.cls, guidelines for users of elsart, a template file for quick start, and the instruction booklet "Preparing articles with LaTeX".

CTAN is an archive with up-to-date copies of all the public-domain versions of TeX, LaTeX, Metafont and ancillary programs, which is made available via a mirrored network of FTP servers. You can enter the CTAN archive via a Web interface in the UK (http://www.tex.ac.uk), in the USA (http://www.ctan.org), or in Germany (http://www.dante.de/software/ctan in German). You can search for a package on CTAN via http://www.ucc.ie/cgi-bin/ctan/. You can also enter the archive via FTP at ftp.tex.ac.uk, at ftp.dante.de, at ctan.tug.org, or at one of the many mirror servers; see for a list the UK or USA CTAN Web pages. When a CTAN server does not respond, please try another one.

Note that CTAN is not related to Elsevier, and that Elsevier's author support cannot accept complaints or answer questions about the availability of any CTAN server.

Figures may be inserted in the usual way using an \includegraphics command, at the position in the article where they are cited.

Your LaTeX file will be most useful as input for the printed article if you obey the following rules of thumb:
1. Be consistent. If you use a macro for a phrase, use it throughout.
2. Use standard LaTeX mark-up. Do not hardcode your own layout for e.g. section headings, but use the usual LaTeX macro for this purpose.
Keep it simple. Do not define macros that accomplish complicated layout. They will also make the input process complicated.

2 Preparation of text


2.1 Presentation of manuscript

2.1.1 General

Please write your text in good English (American or British usage is accepted, but not a mixture of these). Italics are not to be used for expressions of Latin origin, for example, in vivo, et al., per se. Use decimal points (not commas); use a space for thousands (10 000 and above).

2.1.2 Language Services

Authors who require information about language editing and copyediting services pre- and post-submission please visit http://www.elsevier.com/locate/languagepolishing or visit our Support Center for more information. Please note Elsevier neither endorses nor takes responsibility for any products, goods or services offered by outside vendors through our services or in any advertising. For more information please refer to our Terms & Conditions http://www.elsevier.com/termsandconditions

2.1.3 Title page

Provide the following data on the title page (in the order given).

Title. Concise and informative. Titles are often used in information-retrieval systems. Avoid abbreviations and formulae where possible.

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 is willing to handle correspondence at all stages of refereeing and publication, also post-publication. 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.

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.

Abstract. 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 separate from the article, so it must be able to stand alone. References should therefore be avoided, but if essential, they must be cited in full, without reference to the reference list. Non-standard or uncommon abbreviations should be avoided, but if essential they must be defined at their first mention in the abstract itself.

Keywords. Immediately after the abstract, provide a maximum of five 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.

Abbreviations. 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.

N.B. Acknowledgements. Collate acknowledgements in a separate section at the end of the article and do not, therefore, include them on the title page, as a footnote to the title or otherwise.

2.2 Arrangement of the article

Subdivision of the article. 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.

Acknowledgements. Place acknowledgements before the references, in a separate section, and not as a footnote on the title page.

References. See separate section, below.Figure captions, tables, figures, schemes. Present these, in this order, at the end of the article. They are described in more detail below. If you are working with LaTeX and have such features embedded in the text, these can be left, but such embedding should not be done specifically for publishing purposes. Further, high-resolution graphics files must be provided separately (see Preparation of illustrations).

Preparation of supplementary data. Elsevier accepts supplementary material to support and enhance your scientific research. Supplementary files offer the author additional possibilities to publish supporting applications, movies, animation sequences, 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:
http://www.sciencedirect.com. In order to ensure that your submitted material is directly usable, please ensure that data is provided 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 http://www.elsevier.com/artworkinstructions.

RESEARCH DATAThis journal encourages and enables you to share data that supports your research publication where appropriate, and enables you to interlink the data with your published articles. Research data refers to the results of observations or experimentation that validate research findings. To facilitate reproducibility and data reuse, this journal also encourages you to share your software, code, models, algorithms, protocols, methods and other useful materials related to the project. Below are a number of ways in which you can associate data with your article or make a statement about the availability of your data when submitting your manuscript. If you are sharing data in one of these ways, you are encouraged to cite the data in your manuscript and reference list. Please refer to the “References” section for more information about data citation. For more information on depositing, sharing and using research data and other relevant research materials, visit the research data page.Data linkingIf you have made your research data available in a data repository, you can link your article directly to the dataset. Elsevier collaborates with a number of repositories to link articles on ScienceDirect with relevant repositories, giving readers access to underlying data that give them a better understanding of the research described. There are different ways to link your datasets to your article. When available, you can directly link your dataset to your article by providing the relevant information in the submission system. For more information, visit the database linking page .For supported data repositories a repository banner will automatically appear next to your published article on ScienceDirect.In addition, you can link to relevant data or entities through identifiers within the text of your manuscript, using the following format: Database: xxxx (e.g., TAIR: AT1G01020; CCDC: 734053; PDB: 1XFN). Mendeley DataThis journal supports Mendeley Data, enabling you to deposit any research data (including raw and processed data, video, code, software, algorithms, protocols, and methods) associated with your manuscript in a free-to-use, open access repository. During the submission process, after uploading your manuscript, you will have the opportunity to upload your relevant datasets directly to Mendeley Data. The datasets will be listed and directly accessible to readers next to your published article online. For more information, visit the Mendeley Data for journals page.Data statementTo foster transparency, we encourage you to state the availability of your data in your submission. This may be a requirement of your funding body or institution. If your data is unavailable to access or unsuitable to post, you will have the opportunity to indicate why during the submission process, for example by stating that the research data is confidential. The statement will appear with your published article on ScienceDirect. For more information, visit the Data statement page.

3 References


Responsibility for the accuracy of bibliographic citations lies entirely with the authors.

Citations in the 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.

Citing and listing of Web references. As a minimum, the full URL should be given. 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.

Text: Indicate references by number(s) in square brackets in line with the text. The actual authors can be referred to, but the reference number(s) must always be given.

Example: "..... as demonstrated [3,6]. Barnaby and Jones [8] obtained a different result ...."

List: Number the references (numbers in square brackets) in the list in the order in which they appear in the text.

Examples:

Reference to a journal publication:

[1] J. van der Geer, J.A.J. Hanraads, R.A. Lupton, The art of writing a scientific article, J. Sci. Commun. 163 (2000) 51-59.

Reference to a book:

[2] W. Strunk Jr., E.B. White, The Elements of Style, third ed., Macmillan, New York, 1979.

Reference to a chapter in an edited book:

[3] G.R. Mettam, L.B. Adams, How to prepare an electronic version of your article, in: B.S. Jones, R.Z. Smith (Eds.), Introduction to the Electronic Age, E-Publishing Inc., New York, 1999, pp. 281-304.

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.
The correct format for citing a DOI is shown as follows (example taken from a document in the journal Physics Letters B):

doi:10.1016/j.physletb.2003.10.071

When you use the DOI to create URL hyperlinks to documents on the web, they are guaranteed never to change.Data References

This journal encourages you to cite underlying or relevant datasets in your manuscript by citing them in your text and including a data reference in your Reference List. Data references should include the following elements: author name(s), dataset title, data repository, version (where available), year, and global persistent identifier. Add [dataset] immediately before the reference so we can properly identify it as a data reference. The [dataset] identifier will not appear in your published article.

4 Preparation of illustrations

4.1 Preparation of electronic illustrations

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, Symbol.
• Number the illustrations according to their sequence in the text.
• Use a logical naming convention for your artwork files.
• Provide all illustrations as separate files and as hardcopy printouts on separate sheets.
• Provide captions to illustrations separately.
• Produce images near to the desired size of the printed version.

A detailed guide on electronic artwork is available on our website: http://www.elsevier.com/artworkinstructions

You are urged to visit this site; some excerpts from the detailed information are given here.

Formats
Regardless of the application used, when your electronic artwork is finalised, 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: Colour or greyscale 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 (colour or greyscale): a minimum of 500 dpi is required.
DOC, XLS or PPT: If your electronic artwork is created in any of these Microsoft Office applications please supply "as is".

Please do not:
• Supply embedded graphics in your wordprocessor (spreadsheet, presentation) document;
• 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.

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.

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

Please note: Because of technical complications which can arise by converting colour figures to "grey scale" (for the printed version should you not opt for colour in print) please submit in addition usable black and white versions of all the colour illustrations.

5 Proofs


One set of page proofs in PDF format 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). Elsevier now sends PDF proofs which can be annotated; for this you will need to download Adobe Reader version 7 (or higher) available free from http://www.adobe.com/products/acrobat/readstep2.html. Instructions on how to annotate PDF files will accompany the proofs. The exact system requirements are given at the Adobe site: http://www.adobe.com/products/acrobat/acrrsystemreqs.html#70win.
If you do not wish to use the PDF annotations function, you may list the corrections (including replies to the Query Form) and return 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. Therefore, it is important to ensure that all of your 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. Note that Elsevier may proceed with the publication of your article if no response is received.

6 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 upload all of your corrections within 48 hours. 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. Note that Elsevier may proceed with the publication of your article if no response is received.

7 Electronic offprints


The corresponding author, at no cost, will be provided with a PDF file of the article via e-mail. The PDF file is a watermarked version of the published article and includes a cover sheet with the journal cover image and a disclaimer outlining the terms and conditions of use.