Guide for Authors

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Introductory Note: This Guide for Authors for Landscape and Urban Planning includes revisions to the Aims and Scope, Article Types, and Special Issue policies discussed in editorials published in Vols. 105-106 (2012) of the journal. These can be individually accessed free of charge through the Editor's Choice link on the journal's web page: or as a compiled package available from the Editorial Office by contacting Authors seeking further information about the journal's broad policy directions should consult these editorials, but for up-to-date details on specific aspects of manuscript submissions should rely on the online version of this Guide for Authors. -The Editors

1. Aims and Scope

Landscape and Urban Planning is an international journal aimed at advancing conceptual, scientific, and applied understandings of landscape in order to promote sustainable solutions for landscape change. Landscapes are visible and integrative social-ecological systems with variable spatial and temporal dimensions. They have expressive aesthetic, natural, and cultural qualities that are perceived and valued by people in multiple ways and invite actions resulting in landscape change. Landscapes are increasingly urban in nature and ecologically and culturally sensitive to changes at local through global scales. Multiple disciplines and perspectives are required to understand landscapes and align social and ecological values to ensure the sustainability of landscapes. The journal is based on the premise that landscape science linked to planning and design can provide mutually supportive outcomes for people and nature.

Landscape science brings landscape ecology and urban ecology together with other disciplines and cross-disciplinary fields to identify patterns and understand social-ecological processes influencing landscape change. Landscape planning brings landscape architecture, urban and regional planning, landscape and ecological engineering, and other practice-oriented fields to bear in processes for identifying problems and analyzing, synthesizing, and evaluating desirable alternatives for landscape change. Landscape design brings plans, designs, management prescriptions, policies and other activities and form-giving products to bear in effecting landscape change. The implementation of landscape planning and design also generates new patterns of evidence and hypotheses for further research, providing an integral link with landscape science and encouraging transdisciplinary collaborations to build robust knowledge and problem solving capacity.

2. Article Types

Landscape and Urban Planning publishes original, empirical research on important international and regional issues in landscape science, with an emphasis on applied work that provides solutions for landscape design. Most manuscript submissions take the form of full-length Research Papers. Shorter Research Notes are also encouraged as described below. To facilitate the discourse of landscape science and design, a limited number of articles of other types will also be considered for peer review upon approval by one of the Co-Editors-in-Chief prior to submission.

2.1. Research Papers
Given the problem-driven nature of landscape science and the journal's commitment to linking research and practice, most Research Paper submissions will fall within the area of applied research. Purely conceptual or theoretical work will be considered on a limited basis under the Perspective Essay article type (see below). Otherwise, Research Papers focused on modeling and other "basic" research efforts should include at least a small sample of data to demonstrate proof-of-concept. Whether basic or applied, all Research Papers should describe the relevance of the work and its implications for landscape and urban planning, design, management and/or policy. Research Papers are typically between 4000 and 8000 words, including manuscript text and references (use 25-60 references as a guideline). Some exceptions to the upper length limit may be allowed for reports of large-scale interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary projects or for qualitative research where in-text quotations provide evidence in lieu of tables and figures. An abstract (250 words or less), keywords (3-6), and research highlights (3-5) are also required. Tables and figures should be used with economy to convey essential aspects about study concepts and findings. One or two contextual photos may be optionally included as figures to convey to readers the essential nature of the landscape and issues examined in the article. Other informative materials may also be optionally submitted, including Appendices, Acknowledgments, short Author Biographies, Graphical Abstracts, Google Maps (KML files), Embedded Audio and Video files, and Supplementary Material for online-only publication (see Section 3.8 below).

2.2. Research Notes
A Research Note is a concise but complete description of a limited investigation that will not be included in a later paper. It provides one of the following functions: (1) presenting initial proof-of-concept results on new ideas, timely issues, or innovative approaches; (2) reporting replications or extensions of previously published research that does not merit another full-length treatment yet provides results that contribute to a greater understanding of the phenomena under study. Research Notes should typically be limited to 2000 words and a total of 3 tables and figures, yet be sufficiently documented, both by reference to the essential literature and description of methods employed, for readers to be able to assess the scholarly rigor of the research. A Research Note should include a brief (150 words or less) abstract, keywords (3-6), and research highlights (3-5). The title of the submission should be prefaced with the words "Research Note."

2.3. Review Articles
Review Articles examine a coherent and comprehensive set of published research studies or other works (e.g., policies, reports, case studies) covering a subject area of current or emerging interest. They can take one of two forms: (1) Narrative Reviews identify, synthesize, and/or offer critical assessments of the state-of-the-art in knowledge about a subject, highlighting important concepts, variables, and theories under study, problems and knowledge gaps yet to be addressed, and guidance for future research. (2) Analytical Reviews involve systematic assessments of the literature, often using bibliographic database search and retrieval systems such as Scopus or Web of Science, alone or in combination with full-text searching, mining, and analysis software. These include Systematic Reviews and meta-analyses that follow a standardized format aimed at building a base of knowledge for evidence-based design (e.g., They also include quantitative, bibliometric techniques such as citation analysis and qualitative analyses of content themes aimed at identifying the structure of and trends in knowledge about an area of inquiry. Review Articles are typically between 6000 and 10,000 words in length, including references and tables. Please include an abstract (250 words or less), keywords (3-6), and research highlights (3-5), and follow APA 6th Edition guidelines (Section 6.26) for referencing documents included in your analysis. Review Articles may be invited or offered but must be approved by one of the Co-Editors-in-Chief prior to submission. Those considering submitting a Review Article to the journal are encouraged to send a prospectus or attach a cover letter with their submission outlining the topic and scope of coverage; originality and need for the review; number, type (i.e., peer-reviewed journals vs. other document types), and international range of citations included; and a brief assessment of previously published reviews related to the topic.

2.4. Perspective Essays
Perspective Essays present new ideas or frameworks; challenge current thinking, policies, or approaches; or otherwise offer thoughtful reflections aimed at improving our understanding of the interactions between people and natural and built environments and their implications for landscape planning, design, management, and policy. Perspective Essays should be grounded in the existing literature and adequately referenced but with an emphasis on original thought rather than an exhaustive accounting of the ideas of others. Perspective Essays may range from 2000 to 8000 words in length with a limited number of tables and figures. Except for short essays, submissions should be structured with section headings that convey to readers key themes and a logical flow of ideas. An abstract (250 words or less), keywords (3-6), and highlights (3-5) are required. Perspective Essays may be invited or proposed but must be approved by one of the Co-Editors-in-Chief prior to submission.

2.5. Comments and rejoinders
A Comment is a critical or explanatory note on an article published in Landscape and Urban Planning. It may be invited or proposed but must be approved by one of the Co-Editors-in-Chief prior to submission. Comments should typically be of 2000 words or less with a limited number of references. Please include a short abstract (150 words or less), 3-5 highlights, and 3-6 keywords. The title of the submission should be prefaced with the words: "Comment on", followed by the title of the previously published article and the authors' names. Should one or more Comments be accepted for publication, the handling editor may invite the author(s) of the previously published article to write a Rejoinder, which may be published along with the Comments.

2.6. Editorials
The Co-Editors-in-Chief, Associate Editors, Editorial Board members, and invited guests may occasionally provide brief commentaries on significant issues of relevance to the journal's aims and scope, introductory essays to special issues, as well as news and information relevant to the journal and its readers.

2.7. Book Reviews
The editorial team is not accepting books for review at this time. Please consult the online Guide for Authors for future updates.

2.8. Special Issues
A Special Issue (SI) in Landscape and Urban Planning is a coherent collection of 10-15 papers on a specific theme of research and scholarship that falls within the aims and scope of the journal and has a broad international appeal. Research Papers form the core of a Special Issue, but SIs are also given breadth and depth by an introductory Editorial and other article types which may include a Perspective Essay, Review Article, Research Notes, and Comments. SIs are proposed and orchestrated by a guest editor under the guidance of a member of the journal's editorial team, and are selected for development through a competitive process of proposal submission and evaluation. The journal's editors welcome innovative proposals of high quality and relevance from prospective individuals or teams, and may publish up to four SIs per year. Proposals are due July 1st of each year with selections announced in October. Information and proposal guidelines are available on the journal's web page:

Use of inclusive language

Inclusive language acknowledges diversity, conveys respect to all people, is sensitive to differences, and promotes equal opportunities. Content should make no assumptions about the beliefs or commitments of any reader; contain nothing which might imply that one individual is superior to another on the grounds of age, gender, race, ethnicity, culture, sexual orientation, disability or health condition; and use inclusive language throughout. Authors should ensure that writing is free from bias, stereotypes, slang, reference to dominant culture and/or cultural assumptions. We advise to seek gender neutrality by using plural nouns ("clinicians, patients/clients") as default/wherever possible to avoid using "he, she," or "he/she." We recommend avoiding the use of descriptors that refer to personal attributes such as age, gender, race, ethnicity, culture, sexual orientation, disability or health condition unless they are relevant and valid. These guidelines are meant as a point of reference to help identify appropriate language but are by no means exhaustive or definitive.

Author contributions

For transparency, we encourage authors to submit an author statement file outlining their individual contributions to the paper using the relevant CRediT roles: Conceptualization; Data curation; Formal analysis; Funding acquisition; Investigation; Methodology; Project administration; Resources; Software; Supervision; Validation; Visualization; Roles/Writing - original draft; Writing - review & editing. Authorship statements should be formatted with the names of authors first and CRediT role(s) following. More details and an example


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 gold 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 gold 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.

Open access

Please visit our Open Access page for more information.

Elsevier Researcher Academy
Researcher Academy is a free e-learning platform designed to support early and mid-career researchers throughout their research journey. The "Learn" environment at Researcher Academy offers several interactive modules, webinars, downloadable guides and resources to guide you through the process of writing for research and going through peer review. Feel free to use these free resources to improve your submission and navigate the publication process with ease.

3. Manuscript Submission Process

The editorial staff of Landscape and Urban Planning will facilitate a double-blind peer review process for original manuscripts that meet the following requirements:

  1. Fit within the aims and scope of the journal and conform to one of its article types.
  2. Are written in English and comply with ethical standards and formatting guidelines.
  3. Exhibit good scholarly qualities and research significance as assessed by an editor's initial "desk" review.

Except for ad hoc situations, all activity relating to submission takes place via the online submission page of this journal at This URL connects you with the journal's portal into the Elsevier Editorial System or EVISE, a comprehensive system for handling author submissions, reviewer evaluations, and editorial decisions. To ensure a smooth, correct, and efficient submission in EVISE, prepare each submission component BEFORE logging into the system. Once you begin the submission process you may also stop at any point, saving the information you have added and returning at a later time to finish or modify your Incomplete Submission.

3.1. Register and/or Log in to Submit New Manuscript
The Corresponding Author is the person designated by an author or group of authors of a manuscript to serve as the single contact for manuscript submission, revision, publication, and related correspondence. Corresponding authors who have never registered as an author or reviewer for Landscape and Urban Planning must first do so prior to submitting a manuscript. If you have previously registered or even received an invitation to review a paper for the journal, do not re-register. If in doubt, attempt to log-in and if necessary update the information on your personal account page using the Change Details link. Please contact the Editorial Office at if you have any questions or difficulties.

Once successfully logged into EVISE, the Corresponding Author can begin the submission process through the Submit New Manuscript link on his or her Author Main Menu page. From this point, the author will be guided step-by-step through the creation and uploading of the various files. The system automatically converts and compiles source files into a single PDF file of the article, which is used in the peer-review process. All correspondence and file handling, including notification of the editor's decision and requests for revision, take place by e-mail and through the author's EVISE page. A printed copy of the manuscript is not required at any stage of the process.

The sections below correspond to the submission sections that can be found along the left-hand column throughout the online submission process.

3.2. Select Article Type (required)
You will be asked to select the type of contribution you are submitting from a drop-down menu. Use the categories presented in Section 2. (Article Types) in this document as a guide.

3.3. Enter Title (required)
The title should be concise, informative, and straightforward. Capitalize the first word of the title and the first word after a colon. Avoid abbreviations and formulae.

3.4. Add / Edit / Remove Authors (required)
The Corresponding Author is already listed as First Author at the bottom of this page (changes and additions must be made through the "Change Details" link at the top of the page; these will automatically update any personal details needed for your manuscript the next time you log in). For additional authors, provide the following information for each author: Name, affiliation, and e-mail address. You can use the arrows provided to change author order. You may also change the Corresponding Author here but note that once this is done, the original corresponding author will no longer have access to the submission through their account.

3.5. Submit Abstract (required)
Provide a concise abstract (see length limit under Article Types) that clearly states the purposes of the research, methods, principal findings and conclusions, and key implications. An abstract is often viewed separately from the article, so it must be able to stand alone. References should be avoided and abbreviations (if necessary) must be defined at their first mention in the abstract itself.

3.6. Enter Keywords (required)
Provide a maximum of 6 keywords specific to your submission. Choose terms carefully as the keywords will be used for indexing and database searching purposes. Limit keywords to one concept per keyword. Avoid entire phrases and repetition of the title. Only use abbreviations firmly established in the field. Separate keywords with semi-colons.

3.7. Additional Information (required)

3.7.1. Paper's Suitability - The authors should prepare a statement of 90 words or less regarding 1) the purpose and significance of the paper and 2) how the paper fits within the aims and scope of the journal.

3.7.2. Publishing Ethical Standards - We ask that authors carefully read each statement and state that their submission follows each ethical standard in the text boxes provided. Note that in the initial screening process, our editorial staff uses plagiarism software to check the originality of the entire manuscript as well as any publication history of parts of the manuscript. If evidence of any plagiarism is found, your manuscript will be immediately rejected.

  1. Reporting Standards - This manuscript presents an accurate account of the work performed as well as an objective discussion of its significance. Data and their interpretations are represented truthfully in the paper. The paper contains sufficient detail and references to permit others to replicate the work. The paper does not include fraudulent or knowingly inaccurate statements.
  2. Originality and Plagiarism - This submission is an original work by the authors. Any work by others has been appropriately cited or quoted. Paraphrasing or direct quotation is used when presenting the ideas and findings of others. This research does not duplicate others' work or make claims without proper acknowledgment.
  3. Multiple, Redundant, or Concurrent Publication - This manuscript or significant part of it have not been published in any form in other journals or primary publications, including non-English language publications, nor has the manuscript been concurrently submitted to any other journal or publication.
  4. Acknowledgment of Sources - This paper properly acknowledges any work of others that has been influential in determining the nature of the reported work. Any information obtained privately through correspondence or through confidential means is not used without explicit written permission from the source.
  5. Authorship of the Paper - Authorship of this submission is limited to those who have made significant contributions to the conception, design, execution, or interpretation of the reported study. Those who have participated in other aspects of the research project are listed in the optional acknowledgment section. The corresponding author has ensured that all co-authors have reviewed and approved the final version of the paper and have agreed to its submission for publication.
  6. Hazards and Human or Animal Subjects - Any hazards associated with the conduct of the research are identified within the manuscript. If this work involves human or animal participants, a statement regarding compliance of relevant laws and institutional committees is included in the manuscript.
  7. Disclosure and Conflicts of Interest - All authors have disclosed in the manuscript any financial or other substantive conflicts of interest that might be construed to influence the results or interpretation of the manuscript. All sources of financial support for the project are disclosed within the acknowledgment section. [Note: Examples of potential conflicts of interest that should be disclosed include employment, consultancies, stock ownership, honoraria, paid expert testimony, patent applications/registrations, and grants or other funding.]

3.8. Suggest Reviewers (required)
We ask that authors suggest at least five reviewers based upon the key topics or approaches dealt with in the manuscript. The editorial staff selects appropriate reviewers from a number of different sources, including those suggested by the authors. Please ensure your suggested reviewers are geographically diverse, technically qualified to review your paper, and do not have any conflicts of interest regarding the authors or subject matter of the work. Conflicts of interest include (but are not limited to) current employment at same institution, close colleagues, industry sponsors, professional partnerships, past or present association as thesis /dissertation advisor or student, and direct collaborators on a project or major co-authors on a publication within the last 5 years. Prepare the following information for each suggested reviewer. Please ensure that the information you provide is accurate and up-to-date.

3.8.1. First and last name

3.8.2. Academic degree(s)

3.8.3. Institution

3.8.4. Current e-mail address

3.8.5. Country

3.8.6. Reason - Use up to 40 words to describe the reason this reviewer was selected. Use keywords or short statements indicating key qualifications, research experience, and/or areas of expertise. Avoid generic statements, such as "expert in the field," and do not include the same reason for all suggested reviewers.

3.9. Attach Files (required)
In the final part of the submission process, you will upload your documents into EVISE to complete your submission file. You may add or remove documents throughout the submission process. Please pay close attention to the technical requirements of these documents. This will ensure efficient processing and handling of your manuscript.

General formatting guidelines for all source files- All submission text files should be in doc or docx file formats (see below for figure and other multimedia file formats). Each of the documents below should be prepared and submitted as separate documents. Ensure that all text documents are letter sized (8.5" x 11") with 1-inch margins on all sides. Some exceptions will be made for tables that are better presented in landscape page orientation. All text must be in 12-point Times New Roman font with left-margin alignment. The Detailed Response to Reviewers (submitted for revised manuscripts) and Manuscript files should include plain page numbers (no running heads) in the upper right-hand corner of each page. If not otherwise specified, follow formatting and other style guidelines presented in the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association-6th edition (hereafter, "APA 6th ed.")

3.9.1. Cover Letter (optional for new submissions, required for revised submissions) - Please use the cover letter to convey to the Editor any pertinent information about your submission not otherwise included in the required fields in the submission process (see Section 3.6). For example, some institutions require an internal or external "pre-review" of the manuscript for scholarly, statistical, or policy aspects prior to journal submission, and it would be helpful for the Editor to know this and, if appropriate, the names of the reviewers. Also, some authors send their papers through an in-house or professional editing service prior to submission, and mention of this would also be appropriate. Finally, if the submission is part of a larger research project or builds upon research that has already been published, please mention this work (including citations) and explain how your submission to this journal differs from it. Note that all new submissions are screened for plagiarism with iThenticate software, and an explanation could help the Editor understand the unique contribution of the submission when compared alongside similarly worded texts.

For revised submissions, authors must provide a cover letter addressed to the assigned editor explaining in general terms how they have addressed the reviewer comments. This letter is a different file than the Detailed Response to Reviewers (see below); it is not given to the reviewers and can be used by the author to explain any disagreements they may have with reviewer recommendations, how they resolved conflicting recommendations between reviews, and so on.

3.9.2. Complete Title Page (required for all submissions) - Following the format guidelines above, create a title page with the following components:

  1. Full title
  2. All author names in order of authorship, with surnames (family names) in all CAPITAL letters. Affiliation and e-mail information for each author.
  3. Full contact information for corresponding author, including full postal address, phone number (with country code), and e-mail address.
3.9.3. Detailed Response to Reviewers (required for revised submissions) - Following the general formatting guidelines above, create a detailed response to reviewers using the editor and reviewer comments you received in your decision letter and (if any) those downloaded, from your account in EVISE. This file should not include any self-referencing, logos, headers or other identifying information.

There are no mandatory procedures for how authors should prepare their Detailed Response to Reviewers, and the editors see many creative uses of tables, text highlighted in color, and other ways that address reviewer concerns. But it is usually beneficial to the author to err on the side of being too detailed and comprehensive rather than vague, and it is always a good idea to maintain politeness and respect for the authority of the reviewer, even if you disagree with them on a point.

In structuring your response, it is usually the most helpful if authors summarize or copy/paste each major reviewer comment then respond to it. You should do so separately for each of the reviewers, and if more than one reviewer has the same comment it is fine to simply repeat the same response (some reviewers are only concerned about the issues they raise and will not look at the other review comments and your responses). If it is a substantive comment, authors will sometimes copy/paste the sentence/paragraph from their revised paper into their response, or summarize their change then refer to the specific line numbers in the revised paper where the reviewers can find it. For minor changes such as terminology, typos, new citations, etc., it is sufficient to reply "Done" or "Change made."

3.9.4. Highlights (required for all research paper submissions) - Follow the general formatting guidelines above to create your research highlights document. Highlights are important in communicating the main findings and implications of your research and will appear in article summaries in ScienceDirect and on the front page of published articles alongside the abstract, keywords, and optional graphical abstract. Make sure that the highlights are written as a series of 3-5 bullet points (maximum 85 characters, including spaces, per bullet point). Each bullet point should contain brief sentences or phrases that describe the key findings and/or implications from the research, not the goals or methods. Highlights should complement the abstract, not duplicate it. See for examples.

3.9.5. Manuscript (required for all submissions) - We now offer the option of uploading your manuscript as a single text file in the style of your choice. References may be in any style as long as they are complete and consistent. Tables and Figures may be embedded at appropriate locations within the body of the manuscript or placed in order after the references. If preferred, authors may still upload new submissions using our standard format, which requires that you attach a separate file for the manuscript text and for each figure. Manuscript file requirements: Editable text file; single or double spaced (preferred) in easy-to-read font and size; left-justified single column; continuous line numbering; anonymity for blind peer review.

Manuscript formatting - In addition to the general formatting guidelines listed above, there are several specific requirements for the manuscript file. Please use double-spacing and ensure that each new paragraph is clearly indicated by a tab or blank line. Use continuous line numbering in the body of your manuscript only. Turn off line numbering for References, Table captions, Tables, and Figure captions; these sections may be single-spaced and each should begin on a new page. Your manuscript should be ordered as indicated in the list below:

  1. Body of manuscript (without title, authors, abstract, or keywords)
  2. Numbered list of references (see below for guidelines)
  3. List of tables (list captions of all tables)
  4. Individual tables (with captions; new page for each table)
  5. List of figures
  6. List of appendices (list the titles of all appendices)
  7. Individually lettered (A, B, C) appendices (with titles; new page for each table).

Length - Please refer to the word count guidelines in Section 2 (Article Types) above.

Manuscript structure and content - Except for short Perspective Essays and Comments, authors should include distinct sections in the manuscript using this numerical structure with up to three levels of subheadings: 1., 1.1., 1.1.1., 2, etc. Most manuscripts should follow a standard structure and content for research reporting:

  1. Introduction - Describe the nature and context of the research problem, its significance and novelty, and how addressing it will contribute to the advancement of science and practice in your topic of investigation. Provide an informative, concise review of the principal literatures related to your topic, addressing the current state of knowledge and gaps in knowledge. Demonstrate your command of literature with reference to key classic and recent sources, emphasizing peer reviewed, international research journals and books. Whether your work is descriptive or aimed at testing hypotheses, your introduction should adequately frame the problem and specify the questions or objectives addressed by the research.
  2. Methods - If your research has a geographical focus, describe the nature of the landscape setting with regard to location, scale, and other essential information, including a map and/or contextual photo as appropriate. Provide sufficient detail of your approach so that readers can evaluate the credibility and rigor of your work with respect to research design, sampling and data collection, statistical power and precision, statistical analyses, and other procedures. Except for common statistical tests and procedures, steps in your approach that have precedence in the research literature should be sufficiently referenced.
  3. Results - Describe your findings in a clear and concise manner, making effective and economical use of tables and figures. Non-essential data should be moved to Appendices or provided as online Supplementary Material. Provide enough interpretation of statistical tests and other analyses so that the main points can be understood by a broad, multidisciplinary audience of interested researchers and practitioners.
  4. Discussion - Reflect upon the meaning of your findings, by themselves and in relation to other international research. Surmise how your findings might apply to other places and situations without overgeneralizing. Discuss the strengths and weaknesses of the work and how it might be improved or extended in future research. Discuss the implications that your work has for landscape design, planning, management, and/or policy as appropriate.
  5. Conclusions - Summarize the main points of your paper, highlighting key findings and implications that you want people to remember about your work.

Writing style- Although a clear and familiar manuscript structure will help organize your research, your writing style must also be clear and concise in order to effectively communicate. Avoid long, complicated sentences and paragraphs, and minimize redundancy in wording and broader statements. To reach a broad, multidisciplinary audience of international scholars and practitioners, simplify your explanation of methods and results to the extent possible, minimize technical jargon and use of abbreviations, and avoid colloquial expressions. Write directly in first or third person, maintain consistency in tense within sections, and use parallel construction at all scales of your manuscript (sentence, paragraph, section) to help build a logical, easy-to-follow structure. Carefully proofread to correct any typos or grammatical errors, and edit and re-edit to achieve smoothness, precision, and economy of expression. Having a clear structure and writing style does not mean your manuscript need be dry or boring. As both a goal to aspire to and a guide to get there, think of your writing as story-telling. By telling the story about your work in an engaging and meaningful way, you will be better able to capture the attention of the reader and share the important knowledge you have gained through your disciplined study of the landscape.

Language editing - If writing well in English as either a first or second language is a challenge to you, we strongly encourage you to use a language editing service or seek help from a colleague with excellent writing skills. Do this before submitting your manuscript rather than waiting until the time for revision, as poorly written submissions could be rejected by the editor outright or upon recommendation by the reviewers. Even if your paper is accepted for publication, do not expect the publisher to do any extensive copyediting of your paper. Good writing is your responsibility up front, and if parts of your paper remain long-winded, awkwardly phrased, or confusing upon acceptance they will remain that way for posterity! If you do wish to use a professional language editing service, check first with your institution as they may already provide one for employees free of charge or at reduced prices. Otherwise, many commercial services are available, including Elsevier: Please contact our staff if you have concerns regarding language or editing services.

Anonymity and self-referencing - Landscape and Urban Planning uses a double-blind review process, and to ensure anonymity the manuscript file must not include any self-referencing, logos, headers or any other type of information or formatting that might reveal the identify or affiliation of any of the authors. Acknowledgements should not be included in the manuscript file and must be uploaded as a separate file. See Section 3.9.7 below. Self-references that must be included must not be obvious in revealing any authors' identify and should refer to the authors' work only indirectly (e.g., "This work builds upon procedures developed by Smith (2010)"; NOT "I build upon my previous work (Smith, 2010)..."). To further ensure anonymity, authors may choose to temporarily remove self-citations from the reference list and mask in-text references (e.g., "(XXX, 2009 masked for blind review)"), then restore the proper citation when the manuscript is accepted. Although such an approach better respects the integrity of the blind review process, authors must weigh the removal of a citation against the need for reviewers to evaluate the credibility of your work.

Footnotes - Footnotes should not be used. Incorporate your footnoted material into the main text or delete it if not essential.

Nomenclature and units - Follow internationally accepted rules and conventions - use the international system of units (SI). If other units give clearer meaning to your work (e.g., land ownership parcelization trends moving from 40 to 20 to 10 acres) give their equivalent in SIs in parentheses.

Statistical and mathematical copy and equations- Follow APA 6th ed. guidelines.

Peer review

This journal operates a double blind review process. All contributions will be initially assessed by the editor for suitability for the journal. Papers deemed suitable are then typically sent to a minimum of two independent expert reviewers to assess the scientific quality of the paper. The Editor is responsible for the final decision regarding acceptance or rejection of articles. The Editor's decision is final. More information on types of peer review.

Double-blind review

This journal uses double-blind review, which means the identities of the authors are concealed from the reviewers, and vice versa. More information is available on our website. To facilitate this, please include the following separately:
Title page (with author details): This should include the title, authors' names, affiliations, acknowledgements and any Declaration of Interest statement, and a complete address for the corresponding author including an e-mail address.
Blinded manuscript (no author details): The main body of the paper (including the references, figures, tables and any acknowledgements) should not include any identifying information, such as the authors' names or affiliations.


Highlights are optional yet highly encouraged for this journal, as they increase the discoverability of your article via search engines. They consist of a short collection of bullet points that capture the novel results of your research as well as new methods that were used during the study (if any). Please have a look at the examples here: example Highlights.

Highlights 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).

References - Assertions made in the paper that are not supported solely by your research and rely in part or whole on work by others must appropriately referenced. Emphasize scholarly, peer-reviewed publications that are internationally accessible. Follow the APA 6th ed. format for all source types in the reference list and in-text citations (see basic examples below). Ensure that all references cited in the text are also in the reference list (and vice versa). References and multiple in-text citations should be arranged first alphabetically and, if necessary, further sorted chronologically. More than one reference from the same author(s) in the same year should be identified by the letters "a", "b", "c", etc., placed after the year of publication. Special cases include:

  1. Digital object identifier (DOI) - The digital object identifier (DOI) provides a persistent link to electronically available journal articles and some other sources. It should be included at the end of a reference when available (see example below).
  2. Uniform resource locators (URL) - References to published and unpublished documents, websites, and other sources that are primarily accessed through the Internet should include the URL after providing regular citation information in as complete a form as possible (see examples below). Include the retrieval date only if the source material linked to the URL changes over time.
  3. Accepted and in press publications - References to sources that have been recently accepted for publication or are already in press should be cited using as complete of information as possible, including volume/issue numbers and DOI/URLs. Authors should make every attempt to update such references as papers move through revision to acceptance and page proofs.
  4. Work in preparation, submitted, under review, etc. - Work destined for publication that has not yet been officially accepted should not be listed in the reference list. Limited citation of such work may be included in the body of the text only, and should be referred to as “unpublished data,” for example: (Gobster and Xiang, unpublished data).
  5. Non-refereed works - References to unpublished and/or non-refereed sources such as unpublished data, newspaper and popular magazine articles, websites, and other "gray literature" should be used sparingly and not to support claims made in the paper. Exceptions to this include unpublished theses and dissertations.
  6. Personal communications - Interviews, private e-mails and letters, and other personal communications are not considered recoverable data and thus should not be included in your reference list. If included in your work, they should be referenced within the text by name and date of the communication, e.g. - A. Smith (personal communication, January 10, 2012), (A. Smith, personal communication, January 10, 2012).
  7. Non-English references - Non-English references should be used sparingly and in cases where the source provides essential support to your work and more widely accessible English language sources cannot substitute. Provide an English translation after the original title (see example 6 below)

Basic reference list examples -

  1. Journal article - Hersperger, A. M., Langhamer, D., & Dalang, T. (2012). Inventorying human-made objects - A step towards better understanding land use for multifunctional planning in a periurban Swiss landscape. Landscape and Urban Planning, 105(3), 307-314. doi - 10.1016/j.landurbplan.2012.01.008
  2. Book - Niemela, J. (Ed.). (2012). Urban ecology - Patterns, processes and applications. New York - Oxford.
  3. Chapter in an edited book - McDonnell, M. J., & Hahs, A. K. (2009). Comparative ecology of cities and towns - Past, present and future. In M. J. McDonnell, A. K. Hahs, & J. H. Breuste (Eds.), Ecology of cities and towns - A comparative approach (pp. 71-89). New York - Cambridge.
  4. Technical or research report, published in print and online - Gobster, P. H., and & Haight, R. G. (2004). From landscapes to lots - Understanding and managing Midwestern landscape change (General Technical Report NC-245). St. Paul, MN - U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, North Central Research Station. Retrieved from - http -//
  5. Web pages and other online-only sources with changing content - Editor. (n.d.). Guide for authors. Landscape and Urban Planning, Retrieved January 1, 2012 from
  6. Journal article, non-English source - Vogel, B., Molich, T., & Klar, N. (2009). Der Wildkatzenwegeplan - Ein strategisches Instrument des Naturschutz (The Wildcat Infrastructure Plan - A strategic instrument of nature conservation). Naturschutz und Landschaftsplanung, 41, 333-340.

Basic in-text reference examples -

  1. Authors cited outside and within parentheses - "We used the Cuzick and Edwards (1990) test... ... summed across all cases (Cuzick & Edwards, 1990)".
  2. Multiple works in same parentheses - "...urban areas tended to have less diverse assemblages of bird species than adjacent natural areas (Beissinger & Osborne, 1982; Cam, Nichols, Sauer, Hines, & Flather, 2000; Gavareski, 1976)..."
  3. Multiple authors, 2nd occurrence - "...responses to habitat features were scale dependent (Bolger, Scott, & Rotenberry, 1997; Cam et al., 2000)."

Tables and non-figure appendices - Use single spacing; landscape orientation and text size smaller than 12-point type is allowable to fit larger tables on a page. Otherwise, follow APA 6th ed. style guidelines.

3.9.6. Figure Files (optional) - Each figure file should be uploaded separately in the order listed in the manuscript file and numbered accordingly. Ensure each figure is clearly understandable, properly labeled with a key of symbols or other critical information, and is neatly and attractively presented. Keep in mind that most readers will access a copy of your work electronically and color figures, electronically published free of charge, may improve the communicability and visual appeal of your work. But also note that if you have your color figures print-published in grayscale to avoid color print charges, the levels of shading that appear on maps or other images must be discernible and meaningful to readers in grayscale. At the time of acceptance of your paper, the publisher will contact you about these considerations as well as submitting high resolution files for optimal reproduction. For more details on artwork, see:

3.9.7. Acknowledgments (optional) - Please follow the general formatting guidelines for this file. Note that this is a separate file and no acknowledgments should be mentioned in the manuscript file. Reviewers will not have access to this file. Acknowledgments should be limited to information on grants and other institutional support received, and assistance from people who contributed to the study or helped in development and revision of the paper but are not authors (if warranted, mention of anonymous peer reviewers may be added at the time of paper acceptance). Appropriate ethics and other approvals obtained for the research can be included in this document.

3.9.8. Short Author Biographies (optional) - Please follow the general formatting guidelines for this document. Biographies are typically 2-6 sentences in length and include your full name, title and affiliation, and current research interests. Major recent achievements (awards, recent book publication) and secondary positions and assignments (e.g., board memberships) are also appropriate, as are notable career achievements (number of papers published). If this section is included, a biography should be provided for each author. Try to make each author biography roughly equivalent in the length, type, and order of information presented, though it is recognized that established researchers will have more to include than students and new researchers. In cases where there are several authors on a paper, a joint biography summarizing work by minor authors from the same institution or members of a particular research lab may be provided in lieu of separate biographies.

3.9.9. Graphical Abstract (optional) - A Graphical Abstract is a specially created figure that captures some key conceptual, methodological, results- or implications-oriented aspect of your research in pictorial form. It should be attractively designed to communicate to a wide readership and will appear alongside your research Highlights both online in Science Direct and on the front page of your published article above the written abstract. For files types, sizes, and examples, see

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.

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. Using citation 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. If you use reference management software, please ensure that you remove all field codes before submitting the electronic manuscript. More information on how to remove field codes from different reference management software.

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 style
Text: Citations in the text should follow the referencing style used by the American Psychological Association. You are referred to the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, Sixth Edition, ISBN 978-1-4338-0561-5, copies of which may be ordered online or APA Order Dept., P.O.B. 2710, Hyattsville, MD 20784, USA or APA, 3 Henrietta Street, London, WC3E 8LU, UK.
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. Journal of Scientific Communications, 163, 51–59.
Reference to a journal publication with an article number:
Van der Geer, J., Hanraads, J. A. J., & Lupton, R. A. (2018). The art of writing a scientific article. Heliyon, 19, e00205.
Reference to a book:
Strunk, W., Jr., & White, E. B. (2000). The elements of style. (4th ed.). New York: Longman, (Chapter 4).
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 B. S. Jones, & R. Z. Smith (Eds.), Introduction to the electronic age (pp. 281–304). New York: E-Publishing Inc.
Reference to a website:
Cancer Research UK. Cancer statistics reports for the UK. (2003). Accessed 13 March 2003.
Reference to a dataset:
[dataset] Oguro, M., Imahiro, S., Saito, S., Nakashizuka, T. (2015). Mortality data for Japanese oak wilt disease and surrounding forest compositions. Mendeley Data, v1.
Reference to a conference paper or poster presentation:
Engle, E.K., Cash, T.F., & Jarry, J.L. (2009, November). The Body Image Behaviours Inventory-3: Development and validation of the Body Image Compulsive Actions and Body Image Avoidance Scales. Poster session presentation at the meeting of the Association for Behavioural and Cognitive Therapies, New York, NY.

Data visualization

Include interactive data visualizations in your publication and let your readers interact and engage more closely with your research. Follow the instructions here to find out about available data visualization options and how to include them with your article.

Research data

This 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 linking
If 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 gives 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 Data
This 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 in Brief
You have the option of converting any or all parts of your supplementary or additional raw data into one or multiple data articles, a new kind of article that houses and describes your data. Data articles ensure that your data is actively reviewed, curated, formatted, indexed, given a DOI and publicly available to all upon publication. You are encouraged to submit your article for Data in Brief as an additional item directly alongside the revised version of your manuscript. If your research article is accepted, your data article will automatically be transferred over to Data in Brief where it will be editorially reviewed and published in the open access data journal, Data in Brief. Please note an open access fee of 600 USD is payable for publication in Data in Brief. Full details can be found on the Data in Brief website. Please use this template to write your Data in Brief.

Data statement
To 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.

4.Manuscript Review Process

You will receive a confirmation by e-mail when the editorial office has received your submission. An editorial assistant will conduct an initial screening of your submission, including a plagiarism check and reference check, and will classify the submission by content for further "desk" review. A co-editor and/or associate editor will determine if your paper falls within the scope of the journal, meets the ethical requirements, and meets minimum technical and scholarly standards to be sent on for independent peer-review. Any manuscript not meeting these standards will be desk rejected by the editor and a decision letter will be sent to the corresponding author.

Submissions that pass the desk review then undergo a technical check, where authors may be asked to provide additional information or amend the submission. After passing the technical review, the submission is officially assigned to a single handling editor (co-editor or associate editor), at which point you will receive an e-mail confirmation. Your paper will then be sent out to appropriate peer-reviewers (usually three). Once reviewers are invited and agree to review, they have six weeks to complete and submit their review. Keep in mind that this may be a lengthy process since it involves finding reviewers, inviting reviewers and awaiting responses, inviting more reviewers if initial reviewers are not available, and waiting for the reviews to be submitted. Our editorial staff attempts to make this process as efficient as possible.

After all of the reviews are submitted, your handling editor will make a decision regarding the acceptance, rejection, or revision of the submission. It is highly unlikely that your paper will be accepted at this point. Revisions may be minor or major. You will receive a detailed decision letter from your editor, which will include comments from each reviewer and specific instructions regarding the submission of your revision (if appropriate). See Section 3.9.2. for preparing a Detailed Response to Reviewers.

Authors are advised to visit their accounts regularly to check on the status of their manuscript. If at any point you would like to communicate with the editorial staff, you may send an e-mail through the action items on the left column of your submission menu.

5.Manuscript Publication Process

The happy outcome of a successful review process is the acceptance of your paper for publication in Landscape and Urban Planning. These papers are transmitted by the handling editor to the publisher, who will proof-read it for errors, correct any improperly formatted tables and references, and do design layout and typesetting. The publisher may contact you with questions regarding changes and updates, ask you about color figure reproduction, request that you submit higher resolution graphics files, and guide you through any last steps toward publication.

5.1. Proofs
Upon completion of typesetting, the corresponding author will receive a PDF file by email containing the page proofs of your manuscript. A form with queries from the copyeditor may also accompany your proofs. Please answer all queries and make any corrections or additions as requested. Page proofs should be checked closely for errors in typesetting/editing. Except for the correction of errors, no further editing changes in the page proofs will be allowed at this stage. If you share the proofs with fellow authors to help check for errors, the corresponding author should compile all corrections and respond to the publisher in one communication. Only one set of corrections will be accepted. Please return corrections within 2 days of receipt of the proofs. Should there be no corrections, please confirm this. The publisher reserves the right to proceed with publication if corrections are not communicated.

5.2. Copyright Transfer and Permissions
Along with proofs, the corresponding author will also receive a copyright transfer form and be asked to sign a "Journal Publishing Agreement" (see Acceptance of the agreement will ensure the widest possible dissemination of information. If figures or excerpts from other copyrighted works are included, the corresponding author 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 - Requests may also be completed online via the Elsevier homepage(

5.2. Tracking your Article Authors can track the progress of their accepted article and set up e-mail alerts informing them of changes to their manuscript's status by using the "Track a Paper" at

Online proof correction

To ensure a fast publication process of the article, we kindly ask authors to provide us with their proof corrections within two days. 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 Author Services. Corresponding authors who have published their article gold 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.