Guide for Authors

All journal information and instructions compiled in one document (PDF) in just one mouse-click Download Guide for Authors in PDF

• Submission checklist
• Ethics in publishing
• Declaration of interest
• Submission declaration and verification
• Use of inclusive language
• Contributors
• Authorship
• Changes to authorship
• Copyright
• Role of the funding source
• Open access
• Submission
• Taxonomic issues - essential checklist
• Manuscript Submisison
• Peer review
• Article structure
• Essential title page information
• Highlights
• Keywords
• Artwork
• Tables
• References
• Video
• Data visualization
• Supplementary material
• Research data
• Online proof correction
• Offprints

Phytochemistry Letters invites rapid communications on all aspects of natural product research including: structural elucidation of natural products, biotechnology, pharmacology of natural products, ethnobotany and traditional usage, genetics of natural products, analytical evaluation of herbal medicines, clinical efficacy, safety and pharmacovigilance of herbal medicines, bioassay-guided isolation, natural product synthesis and chemical modification, natural product biosynthesis, metabolomics, natural product metabolism and chemical ecology.

Link to full Guide for Authors
Some of the notes shown here do not include all special characters. The full instructions to authors, including all special characters are available for download as a pdf file. pdf link

Types of paper
• Short Communication (Letter)
• Invited Short Review (Mini-review)

Contact details for submission
All manuscripts should be submitted electronically through EVISEĀ® which can be accessed at

Submission checklist

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

Ensure that the following items are present:

One author has been designated as the corresponding author with contact details:
• E-mail address
• Full postal address

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

Further considerations
• Manuscript has been 'spell checked' and 'grammar checked'
• All references mentioned in the Reference List are cited in the text, and vice versa
• Permission has been obtained for use of copyrighted material from other sources (including the Internet)
• A competing interests statement is provided, even if the authors have no competing interests to declare
• Journal policies detailed in this guide have been reviewed
• Referee suggestions and contact details provided, based on journal requirements

For further information, visit our Support Center.

Ethics in publishing

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

Declaration of interest

All authors must disclose any financial and personal relationships with other people or organizations that could inappropriately influence (bias) their work. Examples of potential conflicts of interest include employment, consultancies, stock ownership, honoraria, paid expert testimony, patent applications/registrations, and grants or other funding. Authors should complete the declaration of interest statement using this template and upload to the submission system at the Attach/Upload Files step. If there are no interests to declare, please choose: 'Declarations of interest: none' in the template. This statement will be published within the article if accepted. More information.

Submission declaration and verification

Submission of an article implies that the work described has not been published previously (except in the form of an abstract, a published lecture or academic thesis, see 'Multiple, redundant or concurrent publication' for more information), that it is not under consideration for publication elsewhere, that its publication is approved by all authors and tacitly or explicitly by the responsible authorities where the work was carried out, and that, if accepted, it will not be published elsewhere in the same form, in English or in any other language, including electronically without the written consent of the copyright-holder. To verify originality, your article may be checked by the originality detection service Crossref Similarity Check.

Please note that preprints can be shared anywhere at any time, in line with Elsevier's sharing policy. Sharing your preprints e.g. on a preprint server will not count as prior publication (see 'Multiple, redundant or concurrent publication' for more information).

Use of inclusive language

Inclusive language acknowledges diversity, conveys respect to all people, is sensitive to differences, and promotes equal opportunities. Articles should make no assumptions about the beliefs or commitments of any reader, should contain nothing which might imply that one individual is superior to another on the grounds of race, sex, culture or any other characteristic, and should use inclusive language throughout. Authors should ensure that writing is free from bias, for instance by using 'he or she', 'his/her' instead of 'he' or 'his', and by making use of job titles that are free of stereotyping (e.g. 'chairperson' instead of 'chairman' and 'flight attendant' instead of 'stewardess').


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.


All authors should have made substantial contributions to all of the following: (1) the conception and design of the study, or acquisition of data, or analysis and interpretation of data, (2) drafting the article or revising it critically for important intellectual content, (3) final approval of the version to be submitted.

Changes to authorship

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

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


Upon acceptance of an article, authors will be asked to complete a 'Journal Publishing Agreement' (see more information on this). An e-mail will be sent to the corresponding author confirming receipt of the manuscript together with a 'Journal Publishing Agreement' form or a link to the online version of this agreement.

Subscribers may reproduce tables of contents or prepare lists of articles including abstracts for internal circulation within their institutions. Permission of the Publisher is required for resale or distribution outside the institution and for all other derivative works, including compilations and translations. If excerpts from other copyrighted works are included, the author(s) must obtain written permission from the copyright owners and credit the source(s) in the article. Elsevier has preprinted forms for use by authors in these cases.

For 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.

Role of the funding source

You are requested to identify who provided financial support for the conduct of the research and/or preparation of the article and to briefly describe the role of the sponsor(s), if any, in study design; in the collection, analysis and interpretation of data; in the writing of the report; and in the decision to submit the article for publication. If the funding source(s) had no such involvement then this should be stated.

Open access

Please visit our Open Access page for more information.

Language (usage and editing services)
Please write your text in good English (American or British usage is accepted, but not a mixture of these). Authors who feel their English language manuscript may require editing to eliminate possible grammatical or spelling errors and to conform to correct scientific English may wish to use the English Language Editing service available from Elsevier's Author Services.


Our online submission system guides you stepwise through the process of entering your article details and uploading your files. The system converts your article files to a single PDF file used in the peer-review process. Editable files (e.g., Word, LaTeX) are required to typeset your article for final publication. All correspondence, including notification of the Editor's decision and requests for revision, is sent by e-mail.

Submit your article
Please submit your article via

Please submit the names and institutional e-mail addresses of several potential referees. For more details, visit our Support site. Note that the editor retains the sole right to decide whether or not the suggested reviewers are used.

Additional information
Manuscripts detailing the following areas are out of scope and will NOT be sent out for review:
•One new structure UNLESS the compound is chemically unusual or complex and required exceptional in-depth structure elucidation.
•One new compound with biological activity that is expected from this class of compound. For example, a flavonoid possessing anti-oxidant activity.
•'Add on' pharmacology with no rationale for its incorporation.
•The pharmacology of compounds displaying weak activity. For example, EC50 values need to be in context with the bioavailable concentrations at specific tissue types. For in vivo work, doses should be reasonable and not higher than 50 mg/kg. A comparison with appropriate positive controls MUST be included so that the potency of the compounds can be judged.
• Mini-reviews. These are by invitation only on targeted subjects invited by the editing staff.
•With the partial characterization and analysis of macromolecules such as polysaccharides and proteins, noteworthy biological activity must accompany the work.
The routine analysis of known compounds, unless a highly compelling argument can be made for this process.
•The pharmacology of extracts can only be reviewed IF detailed phytochemical characterization and details on the preparation process are included.
•The trivial pharmacology of known compounds, for example the cellular cytotoxicity of a phorbol ester.
•Inorganic analysis of plants unless there is a high degree of interest and topicality. The routine chemical conversion of simple metabolites by microbes to afford predictable simple molecules. The analysis of essential and volatile oils.
•The routine isolation method development for known compounds.
•Simple synthetic modification of well-known natural products.

Taxonomic issues - essential checklist

In the context of Phytochemistry Letters taxonomic issues need to be addressed in a variety of ways.

•It is general practice that voucher specimens should be deposited in a recognized herbarium. These voucher specimens need to be fully cited within the article (with collector, collector number and herbarium). In the case of lesser known plants, we encourage authors to include electronic scans of the specimens as part of their supplementary data.
•As an essential step, authors will have to check the taxonomic validity of the plant names using one of the international databases, and preferably
•In future, such a check will be built into the submission and review process and authors will only be able to submit manuscripts, after the validation of the species' taxonomy.
•A particular problem are complex preparations, especially those containing plant extracts. Here detailed evidence on the authentication during the production needs to be ascertained. In addition fingerprints of the preparations tested are advisable.
•Very commonly these questions have been ignored in clinical studies of herbal preparations. The following two papers make it clear that a correct taxonomic nomenclature is an essential requirement in such studies:
Heinrich and Verpoorte, J. Ethnopharmacol. 2014,
Rivera et al J. Ethnopharmacol. 2014

Manuscript Submisison

The following item should be submitted via the online submission page:

Mol files (optional): Elsevier would like to enrich online articles by visualising and providing details of chemical structures you define as the main chemical compounds described in your article. For this purpose, mol files of the key compounds can be uploaded in EVISEĀ®.Please use your preferred drawing tool to export chemical structures as mol files and ensure that they are well defined and do not contain aromatic bonds, R-Groups or other variables. More information.

Peer review

This journal operates a single 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.

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

Article structure

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

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

Specific names (genus, species, authority for the binomial) of all experimental plants must be given at first mention according to the Index Kewensis (searchable online at or similar authority. (The Plant-Book: A Portable Dictionary of the Vascular Plants, by D. J. Mabberley, 2nd ed., June 1997, Cambridge University Press; ISBN:0521414210), and preferably be in the form recommended by the International Code of Botanical Nomenclature ( Named varieties of cultivars are given e.g. Lactuca sativa cv. Grand Rapids. (The official printed version of the International Code of Botanical Nomenclature has been published as International Code of Botanical Nomenclature {Tokyo Code}. Regnum Vegetabile 131. Koeltz Scientific Books, Konigstein. ISBN: 3-87429-367-X or 1-878762-66-4 or 80-901699-l-0.)

Material and methods
Provide sufficient details to allow the work to be reproduced by an independent researcher. Methods that are already published should be summarized, and indicated by a reference. If quoting directly from a previously published method, use quotation marks and also cite the source. Any modifications to existing methods should also be described.

Provide sufficient detail to allow the work to be reproduced. Methods already published should be indicated by a reference: only relevant modifications should be described.

Subsections on the Experimental Procedures should be italicized and inserted as part of the first line of the text to which they apply. Phytochemistry Letters encourages an extensive use of abbreviations (these are below, or the reader is referred to other sources). The Experimental should begin with a subsection entitled General Experimental Procedures. This subsection will typically contain brief details of instruments used, and identification of sources of specialized chemicals, biochemicals and molecular biology kits.

This subsection describes the source(s) and documentation of biological materials used, whether in reference to whole plants or parts there from, crude drugs, or any other material from which identifiable chemical substances are obtained for the first time. Documentation must also include a reference to voucher specimen(s) and voucher number(s) of the plants or other material examined. If available, authors should quote the name and address of the authority who identified each non-cultivated plant investigated. Specimens should preferentially be deposited in a major regional herbarium where the collection is maintained by state or private institution and which permits loan of such materials.

With micro-organisms, the culture collection from which they were either accessed and/or deposited should be included, together with identification of the strain designation code.

The Experimental Procedures employed should be concise but sufficiently detailed that a qualified researcher will be able to repeat the studies undertaken, and these should emphasize either truly new procedures or essential modifications of existing procedures. Experimental details normally omitted include: (1) method of preparation of common chemical and biochemical derivatives, (2) excessive details of separation of compounds, proteins and enzymes, e.g. preparation of columns, TLC plates, column and fraction size.

Compound characterization: Physical and spectroscopic data for new compounds must be comprehensive, and follow the order shown below: compound name (and assigned number in text); physical state of compound (e.g. oil, crystal, liquid, etc.), melting and/or boiling point; optical rotation and/or circular dichroism measurements, if optically active; UV; IR; 1H NMR; 13C NMR; MS. For all new compounds, either high-resolution mass spectral or elemental analysis data are required. See later section for method of data presentation.

Nomenclature: Chemical nomenclature, abbreviations and symbols must follow IUPAC rules. Whenever possible, avoid coining new trivial names; every effort should be made to modify an existing name. For example, when a new compound is described, it should be given a full systematic name according to IUPAC nomenclature and this should be cited in the Abstract or in the Experimental section. Isotopically-labeled substances should be written with the correct chemical name of the compound. The symbol for the isotope should be placed in square brackets and should precede that part of the name to which it refers, e.g. sodium [14C]formate.

For presentation of Optical Rotation data, Infrared Spectra data, NMR Spectral data and Mass Spectral data please see the full instructions to authors, including all special characters available for download as a pdf file. pdf link

X-ray crystallography. Only essential data (e.g. a three-dimensional structural drawing with bond distances) should be included in manuscripts. A complete list of data in CIF (Crystallographic Information File) format should be prepared separately and deposited with the Cambridge Crystallographic Data Centre (see for further information) before the paper is submitted. A footnote indicating this fact is to be included in the manuscript. "CCDC contains the supplementary crystallographic data for this paper. These data can be obtained free of charge via (or from the CCDC, 12 Union Road, Cambridge CB2 1EZ, UK; fax: +44 1223 336033; e-mail:". Crystal structures of proteins should be submitted to the Protein Data Bank (see; e-mail: Please submit a copy of the CIF data when you submit your manuscript.

Elemental analysis results for compounds which have been adequately described in the literature must be given in the form: (Found: C, 62.9; H, 5.4. Calc. for C13H13O4N: C, 63.2; H, 5.3%.) New compounds must be indicated by giving analytical results in the form: (Found: C, 62.9; H, 5.4. C13H13O4N requires: C, 63.2; H, 5.3%.) Thin-layer chromatography
(a) For analytical TLC, dimensions of the plates can be deleted if layer thickness is 0.25 mm.
(b) Abbreviate common adsorbents: (but use silica gel, not SiO2 as this does not describe the material accurately), Al2O3 (alumina).
(c) Preparative forms of the technique should include details of (i) layer thickness (preparative TLC only), (ii) amount of sample applied to the layer, (iii) method of detection used to locate the bands and (iv) the solvent used to recover the compounds from the adsorbent after development.
(d) Special forms of TLC on impregnated adsorbents can be abbreviated, e.g. AgNO3-silica gel (1:9), by wt can be assumed.

Gas chromatography
(a) Detector used should be specified, e.g. dual FID, EC, etc.
(b) Carrier gas and flow rate should be given, e.g. N2 at 30 ml min-1.
(c) Operating conditions, such as injector and detector heater temperatures etc., should be included.
(d) Packed columns, e.g. 6 m x 3 mm (i.d. measurement only) packed with 1% SE-30 (support material and mesh size can be omitted unless unusual).
(e) Capillary columns should be specified, e.g. WCOT (wall coated open tubular), SCOT (support coated open tubular). The split ratio used in the injection system and the injection volume for the sample should also be included.

High performance liquid chromatography
(a) Solvent or solvent gradients used together with flow rate should be given.
(b) Column dimensions (length x i.d. only) and packing used.
(c) Method of detection employed, e.g. UV or refractive index.

Biochemical conventions

Unless a common biochemical term (e.g. ATP, NADH), biochemicals that are abbreviated should be spelled out in full (in brackets) immediately following their first usage in the text. Enzyme names are typically not abbreviated, unless there are accepted abbreviations, such as ATPase. Where possible, E.C. numbers should be used for enzymes, and the recommendations of the Nomenclature Committee of the International Union of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (IUBMB) should be used (see below). Enzyme characterization
(a) Enzyme activity is expressed in units of katals (symbol kat), the conversion of one mol of substrate per sec. It should be made clear that the measurements were made under specified optimum conditions and were not seriously affected by losses during extraction and analysis.
(b) pH optima should be given together with pH values for half maximal activity.
(c) Kinetic parameters should be expressed as Vmax, Km etc.
(d) Enzyme inhibitors-effectiveness should be expressed as Ki or concentration for half-maximal activity.
(e) Optimal temperature of enzymes should not be given. This should be expressed in terms of "Energy of Activation" and "Energy of Activation for Denaturation".
(f) Enzyme nomenclature is now given in "Enzyme Nomenclature, Recommendations", Academic Press (1992) ( ).
(g) Labelling of proteins and nucleic acids-use of labelled precursors in assessing the rate of synthesis of macromolecules must be validated by evidence of real, direct incorporation. The possibility of occlusion or adsorption of isotopic material should be noted and it should be shown that the labelled precursor is incorporated without prior catabolism.

Protein and nucleotide sequences

The Experimental must contain explicit documentation of the ends of nucleotide probes used in the study if previously unpublished, or by appropriate reference to published nucleotide numbers and/or restriction map.

In manuscripts to be published in Phytochemistry Letters, any new protein and/or nucleotide sequence must have been submitted to EMBL, GenBank or DNA Data Bank of Japan databases, with designated accession number(s) obtained prior to paper acceptance by the Regional Editor. The Author(s) must ensure access to this database information by timely release of data prior to publication, as well as providing necessary documentation to those already in the databases.

Nucleotide sequence data can be submitted either electronically (e-mail) or in computer-readable format, GenBank , EMBL and the DNA Data Bank of Japan addresses are: GenBank Submissions, National Center for Biotechnology Information, Building 38A, Room 8N-803, Bethesda, MD 20894. Tel.: +1 301 496-2475; e-mail (submissions):; e-mail (information):; EMBL Nucleotide Sequence Submissions, European Bioinformatics Institute, Hinxton Hall, Hinxton, Cambridge CB10 1SD, UK. Tel.: +44 (0) 1223-494401; fax: +44 (0) 1223-494472; e-mail:; world wide web:; or DNA Data Bank of Japan, Center for Information Biology, National Institute of Genetics, Mishima, Shizuuoka 411-8540, Japan. Tel.: (+81) 559-81-6853; fax: (+81) 559-81-6849; e-mail: (for data submissions); world wide web:

Contributors must obtain the designated accession number, which will be incorporated into the paper, prior to printing.

Only novel DNA sequences will be published. Sequences that show close similarity to known coding or other sequences such as promoters will not be published and will be cited by accession number. Translated protein sequence information should be published as alignments against other gene family members. Papers containing such information about genes already known in other species should have sufficient novelty and biological significance. Sequence only papers or papers which duplicate work in another species will not be published.

Genes known by three letter names should be written in italics. The corresponding cognate protein should be written in capital, non-italic text.
GenBank/DNA sequence linking

DNA sequences and GenBank accession numbers: Many Elsevier journals cite "gene accession numbers" in their running text footnotes. Gene accession numbers refer to genes or DNA sequences about which further information can be found in the database at the National Center for Biotechnical Information (NCBI) at the National Library of Medicine. Authors wishing to enable other scientists to use the accession numbers cited in their papers via links to these sources should type this information in the following manner.

For each and every accession number cited in an article, authors should type the accession number in bold, underlined text. Letters in the accession number should always be capitalised (see example 1 below). This combination of letters and format will enable Elsevier's typesetters to recognize the relevant texts as accession numbers and add the required link to GenBank's sequences.
Example 1: "GenBank accession nos. AI631510, AI631511, AI632198, and BF223228), a B-cell tumor from a chronic lymphatic leukemia (GenBank accession no. BE675048), and a T-cell lymphoma (GenBank accession no. AA361117)".
Authors are encouraged to check accession numbers used very carefully. An error in a letter or number can result in a dead link.

In the final version of printed article, the accession number text will not appear bold or underlined (see example 2 below).
Example 2: "GenBank accession nos. AI631510, AI631511, AI632198, and BF223228, a B-cell tumor from a chronic lymphatic leukemia (GenBank accession no. BE675048), and a T-cell lymphoma (GenBank accession no. AA361117)".
In the final version of the electronic copy, the accession number text will be linked to the appropriate source in the NCBI databases, enabling readers to go directly to that source from the article.

Results should be clear and concise.

This should explore the significance of the results of the work, not repeat them. A combined Results and Discussion section is often appropriate. Avoid extensive citations and discussion of published literature.

Essential title page information

Title. Concise and informative. Titles are often used in information-retrieval systems. Avoid abbreviations and formulae where possible.
Author names and affiliations. Please clearly indicate the given name(s) and family name(s) of each author and check that all names are accurately spelled. You can add your name between parentheses in your own script behind the English transliteration. Present the authors' affiliation addresses (where the actual work was done) below the names. Indicate all affiliations with a lower-case superscript letter immediately after the author's name and in front of the appropriate address. Provide the full postal address of each affiliation, including the country name and, if available, the e-mail address of each author.
Corresponding author. Clearly indicate who will handle correspondence at all stages of refereeing and publication, also post-publication. This responsibility includes answering any future queries about Methodology and Materials. Ensure that the e-mail address is given and that contact details are kept up to date by the corresponding author.
Present/permanent address. If an author has moved since the work described in the article was done, or was visiting at the time, a 'Present address' (or 'Permanent address') may be indicated as a footnote to that author's name. The address at which the author actually did the work must be retained as the main, affiliation address. Superscript Arabic numerals are used for such footnotes.


Highlights are mandatory for this journal as they help 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).

Graphical abstract
A graphical abstract is mandatory for this journal. It should summarize the contents of the article in a concise, pictorial form designed to capture the attention of a wide readership online. Authors must provide images that clearly represent the work described in the article. Graphical abstracts should be submitted as a separate file in the online submission system. Image size: please provide an image with a minimum of 531 × 1328 pixels (h × w) or proportionally more. The image should be readable at a size of 5 × 13 cm using a regular screen resolution of 96 dpi. Preferred file types: TIFF, EPS, PDF or MS Office files. You can view Example Graphical Abstracts on our information site.
Authors can make use of Elsevier's Illustration Services to ensure the best presentation of their images also in accordance with all technical requirements.


Immediately after the abstract, provide a maximum of 6 keywords, using American spelling and avoiding general and plural terms and multiple concepts (avoid, for example, 'and', 'of'). Be sparing with abbreviations: only abbreviations firmly established in the field may be eligible. These keywords will be used for indexing purposes.

Define abbreviations that are not standard in this field in a footnote to be placed on the first page of the article. Such abbreviations that are unavoidable in the abstract must be defined at their first mention there, as well as in the footnote. Ensure consistency of abbreviations throughout the article.

Collate acknowledgements in a separate section at the end of the article before the references and do not, therefore, include them on the title page, as a footnote to the title or otherwise. List here those individuals who provided help during the research (e.g., providing language help, writing assistance or proof reading the article, etc.).

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

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

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

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

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

Follow internationally accepted rules and conventions: use the international system of units (SI). If other units are mentioned, please give their equivalent in SI.

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

Math formulae
Please submit math equations as editable text and not as images. Present simple formulae in line with normal text where possible and use the solidus (/) instead of a horizontal line for small fractional terms, e.g., X/Y. In principle, variables are to be presented in italics. Powers of e are often more conveniently denoted by exp. Number consecutively any equations that have to be displayed separately from the text (if referred to explicitly in the text).

Footnotes should be used sparingly. Number them consecutively throughout the article. Many word processors can build footnotes into the text, and this feature may be used. Otherwise, please indicate the position of footnotes in the text and list the footnotes themselves separately at the end of the article. Do not include footnotes in the Reference list.


Electronic artwork
General points
• Make sure you use uniform lettering and sizing of your original artwork.
• Embed the used fonts if the application provides that option.
• Aim to use the following fonts in your illustrations: Arial, Courier, Times New Roman, Symbol, or use fonts that look similar.
• Number the illustrations according to their sequence in the text.
• Use a logical naming convention for your artwork files.
• Provide captions to illustrations separately.
• Size the illustrations close to the desired dimensions of the published version.
• Submit each illustration as a separate file.
• Ensure that color images are accessible to all, including those with impaired color vision.

A detailed guide on electronic artwork is available.
You are urged to visit this site; some excerpts from the detailed information are given here.
If your electronic artwork is created in a Microsoft Office application (Word, PowerPoint, Excel) then please supply 'as is' in the native document format.
Regardless of the application used other than Microsoft Office, when your electronic artwork is finalized, please 'Save as' or convert the images to one of the following formats (note the resolution requirements for line drawings, halftones, and line/halftone combinations given below):
EPS (or PDF): Vector drawings, embed all used fonts.
TIFF (or JPEG): Color or grayscale photographs (halftones), keep to a minimum of 300 dpi.
TIFF (or JPEG): Bitmapped (pure black & white pixels) line drawings, keep to a minimum of 1000 dpi.
TIFF (or JPEG): Combinations bitmapped line/half-tone (color or grayscale), keep to a minimum of 500 dpi.
Please do not:
• Supply files that are optimized for screen use (e.g., GIF, BMP, PICT, WPG); these typically have a low number of pixels and limited set of colors;
• Supply files that are too low in resolution;
• Submit graphics that are disproportionately large for the content.

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

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

Text graphics
Text graphics may be embedded in the text at the appropriate position. If you are working with LaTeX and have such features embedded in the text, these can be left. See further under Electronic artwork.


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


Citation in text
Please ensure that every reference cited in the text is also present in the reference list (and vice versa). Any references cited in the abstract must be given in full. Unpublished results and personal communications are not recommended in the reference list, but may be mentioned in the text. If these references are included in the reference list they should follow the standard reference style of the journal and should include a substitution of the publication date with either 'Unpublished results' or 'Personal communication'. Citation of a reference as 'in press' implies that the item has been accepted for publication.

Web references
As a minimum, the full URL should be given and the date when the reference was last accessed. Any further information, if known (DOI, author names, dates, reference to a source publication, etc.), should also be given. Web references can be listed separately (e.g., after the reference list) under a different heading if desired, or can be included in the reference list.

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: All citations in the text should refer to:
1. Single author: the author's name (without initials, unless there is ambiguity) and the year of publication;
2. Two authors: both authors' names and the year of publication;
3. Three or more authors: first author's name followed by 'et al.' and the year of publication.
Citations may be made directly (or parenthetically). Groups of references can be listed either first alphabetically, then chronologically, or vice versa.
Examples: 'as demonstrated (Allan, 2000a, 2000b, 1999; Allan and Jones, 1999)…. Or, as demonstrated (Jones, 1999; Allan, 2000)… Kramer et al. (2010) have recently shown …'
List: References should be arranged first alphabetically and then further sorted chronologically if necessary. More than one reference from the same author(s) in the same year must be identified by the letters 'a', 'b', 'c', etc., placed after the year of publication.
Reference to a journal publication:
Van der Geer, J., Hanraads, J.A.J., Lupton, R.A., 2010. The art of writing a scientific article. J. Sci. Commun. 163, 51–59.
Reference to a 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 Jr., W., White, E.B., 2000. The Elements of Style, fourth ed. Longman, New York.
Reference to a chapter in an edited book:
Mettam, G.R., Adams, L.B., 2009. How to prepare an electronic version of your article, in: Jones, B.S., Smith , R.Z. (Eds.), Introduction to the Electronic Age. E-Publishing Inc., New York, pp. 281–304.
Reference to a website:
Cancer Research UK, 1975. Cancer statistics reports for the UK. (accessed 13 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.

Journal abbreviations source
Journal names should be abbreviated according to the List of Title Word Abbreviations.


Elsevier accepts video material and animation sequences to support and enhance your scientific research. Authors who have video or animation files that they wish to submit with their article are strongly encouraged to include links to these within the body of the article. This can be done in the same way as a figure or table by referring to the video or animation content and noting in the body text where it should be placed. All submitted files should be properly labeled so that they directly relate to the video file's content. In order to ensure that your video or animation material is directly usable, please provide the file in one of our recommended file formats with a preferred maximum size of 150 MB per file, 1 GB in total. Video and animation files supplied will be published online in the electronic version of your article in Elsevier Web products, including ScienceDirect. Please supply 'stills' with your files: you can choose any frame from the video or animation or make a separate image. These will be used instead of standard icons and will personalize the link to your video data. For more detailed instructions please visit our video instruction pages. Note: since video and animation cannot be embedded in the print version of the journal, please provide text for both the electronic and the print version for the portions of the article that refer to this content.

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.

Supplementary material

Supplementary material such as applications, images and sound clips, can be published with your article to enhance it. Submitted supplementary items are published exactly as they are received (Excel or PowerPoint files will appear as such online). Please submit your material together with the article and supply a concise, descriptive caption for each supplementary file. If you wish to make changes to supplementary material during any stage of the process, please make sure to provide an updated file. Do not annotate any corrections on a previous version. Please switch off the 'Track Changes' option in Microsoft Office files as these will appear in the published version.

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.

You have the option of converting relevant protocols and methods into one or multiple MethodsX articles, a new kind of article that describes the details of customized research methods. Many researchers spend a significant amount of time on developing methods to fit their specific needs or setting, but often without getting credit for this part of their work. MethodsX, an open access journal, now publishes this information in order to make it searchable, peer reviewed, citable and reproducible. Authors are encouraged to submit their MethodsX article as an additional item directly alongside the revised version of their manuscript. If your research article is accepted, your methods article will automatically be transferred over to MethodsX where it will be editorially reviewed. Please note an open access fee is payable for publication in MethodsX. Full details can be found on the MethodsX website. Please use this template to prepare your MethodsX article.

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.

About, approximately: ca.
Anhydrous: dry (not anhyd.)
Aqueous: aq.
Circular dichroism: CD
Concentrated (or mineral acids): conc.
Concentrations: ppm (never ppb!), M, mM, M, %, mol
Dry weight: dry wt; fresh weight: fr. wt
Electricity: V, mA, eV
Force due to gravity (centrifugation): g; rpm (revolutions min-1)
Gas chromatography: GC
Gas chromatography mass spectrometry: GC MS trimethylsilyl derivative: TMSi (TMS cannot be used as this refers to the internal standard tetramethylsilane used in 1H NMR)
High performance liquid chromatography: HPLC
Infrared spectrophotometry: IR
Length: nm, m, mm, cm, m
Literature: lit.
Mass spectrometry: m/z [M]+ (molecular ion, parent ion)
Melting points: uncorr. (uncorrected)
Molecular mass: Da (daltons), kDa
Molecular weight: Mr
Nuclear magnetic resonance: 1H NMR, 13C NMR, Hz, ð
Numbers: e.g. 1, 10, 100, 1000, 10,000: per or -1
Optical rotatory dispersion: ORD
Paper chromatography: PC
Precipitate: ppt.
Preparative thin-layer chromatography: prep. TLC
Radioactivity: dpm (disintegrations per min), Ci (curie), sp. act (specific activity), Bq (1 becquerel=1 nuclear transformation sec-1)
Repetitive manipulations: once, twice, x3, x4, etc.
RRt (relative retention time), Rt (Kovat's retention index), ECL (equivalent chain length term frequently used in fatty acid work)
Saturated: satd.
Solution: soln.
Solvent mixtures including chromatographic solvents: abbreviate as follows n-BuOH HOAc H2O (4:1:5)
Statistics: LSD (least significant difference), s.d. (standard deviation), s.e. (standard error)
Temperature: (with centigrade), mp, mps, mmp, bp
Temperature: temp.
Thin-layer chromatography: TLC, Rf
Time: s, min, h, day, week, month, year
Ultraviolet spectrophotometry: UV, A (absorbance, not OD optical density)
Volume: l (litre), l, ml
Weight: wt, pg, ng, g, mg, g, kg

Inorganics, e.g. AlCl3 (aluminum chloride), BF3 (boron trifluoride), Cr-, CO2, H2, HCl, HClO4 (perchloric acid), HNO3, H2O, H2O2, H2SO4, H3BO3 (boric acid), He, KHCO3 (potassium bicarbonate), KMnO4 (potassium permanganate), KOH, K-Pi buffer (potassium phosphate buffer), LiAlH4 (lithium aluminium hydride), Mg2+, MgCl2, N2, NH3, (NH4)2SO4, Na+, NaBH4 (sodium borohydride), NaCl, NaIO4 (sodium periodate), NaOH, Na2SO3 (sodium sulphite), Na2SO4 (sodium sulphate), Na2S2O3 (sodium thiosulphate), O2, PPi (inorganic phosphate), SO, Tris (buffer).

Organics, e.g. Ac2O (acetic anhydride), n-BuOH (butanol), C6H6 (benzene), CCl4 (carbon tetrachloride), CH2Cl2 (methylene chloride), CHCl3 (chloroform), CH2N2 (diazo-methane), CM (carboxymethyl), DEAE (diethylaminoethyl), DMF (dimethylformamide), DMSO (dimethyl sulphoxide), EDTA (ethylene-diaminetetra-acetic acid), Et2O (diethyl ether), EtOAc (ethyl acetate), EtOH (ethanol), HCO2H (formic acid), HOAc (acetic acid), iso-PrOH (iso-propanol), Me2CO (acetone), MeCOEt (methyl ethyl ketone), MeOH (methanol), NaOAc (sodium acetate), NaOMe (sodium methoxide), petrol (not light-petroleum or petroleum ether), PhOH (phenol), PrOH (propanol), PVP (polyvinylpyrrolidone), TCA (trichloroacetic acid), TFA (trifluoroacetic acid), THF (tetrahydrofuran). 1H NMR solvents and standards: CDCl3 (deuterochloroform), D2O, DMSO-d6 [deuterodimethylsulphoxide, not (CD3)2SO], pyridine-d5 (deuteropyridine), TMS (tetramethylsilane).

For further terms used in biochemistry and molecular biology the authors should see the websites of the nomenclature committees ( ).

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.

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