Guidelines for Authors
Manuscript will be carefully scrutinized for evidence of plagiarism, duplication and data manipulation; in particular, images will be carefully examined for any indication of intentional improper modification.
Any suspected misconduct ends up with a quick rejection and is then reported to the US Office of Research Integrity.
Ensure that your work is written in correct English before submission.
Professional copyediting can help authors improve the presentation of their work and increase its chances of being taken on by a publisher. In case you feel that your manuscript would benefit from a professional a professional English language copyediting checking language grammar and style, you can find a reliable revision service at:
The Corresponding Author must submit the manuscript online-only through our Manuscript Submission System.
Authors are kindly invited to suggest potential reviewers (names, affilitations and email addresses) for their manuscript, if they wish.
Manuscript language and ethical compliance
Manuscripts must be submitted in English language and should conform to standard rules of British English grammar and style. Manuscripts submitted must not have been published or accepted for publication in any other journal and must not be under consideration for publication anywhere else. The manuscript publication must have been approved by all co-authors, if any, as well as by the responsible authorities – tacitly or explicitly – at the institute where the work has been carried out. The publisher will not be held legally responsible should there be any claims for compensation.
Please note the following requirements for the Short Note: Short notes should be less of 3000 words long, including no more that 4 figures and/or tables. They should present concise, urgent and timely information on emergent topics. An abstract is not required.
Manuscripts must be written in English language only. Authors whose native language is not English are bly advised to have their manuscript checked by a language editing service, or by an English mother-tongue colleague prior to submission. The manuscript must be prepared with a standard word processor (preferably Microsoft Word or OpenOffice). Pages should be in A4 format and numbered. Times New Roman 12 pt is the advised font. Lines should be left numbered in continuum, to make the referees’ work easier, and double-spaced.
Page 1: title of the contribution, full given name(s) and surname(s) of the author(s), mail address(es) and e-mail address for corresponding author, up to six key words, a condensed running head, number of tables and figures.
Page 2: abstract (between 350-400 words).
The body of the text beginning on page 3 should be organized as follows:
- 3.1. Sub-heading 1
- 3.2. Sub-heading 2
- Figure legends
Particular attention should be taken to ensure that manuscripts exactly adhere to the journal style. In particular, take into account the following notes:
- Names of plants and animals and occasional expressions in Latin, Greek or languages other than English should be typed in italics.
- Authors must comply with the rules of biological nomenclature, as expressed in the International Code of Zoological Nomenclature, the International Code of Botanical Nomenclature, and the International Code of Nomenclature of Bacteria. When a species name is used for the first time in an article, it should be stated in full, and the name of its describer should also be given. Descriptions of new taxa should comprise official repository of types (holotype and paratypes), author's collections as repositories of types are unacceptable.
- Genus and species names should be in italics.
- Formulas should be centered, marked in the margin with an Arabic numeral in brackets, and separated from the text above and below by a blank line.
- References to figures and tables should be indicated, for example, as follows: (Fig. 1); (Figs. 1 and 2); (Tab. 1); (Tabs. 1 and 2).
- Symbols and combined expressions must be presented using negative exponents. Examples are given below:
Each table should be numbered with Arabic numerals. It should have a title or explanatory legend at the top. Data may not be presented in both tabular and graphical form. Tables must fit the page vertically with a printed width of either 80 or 170 mm. Tables must be formatted as text, not as embedded images, and placed at the end of the manuscript.
The number of figures should be reasonable and justified: no more than 20% of the article. They must be numbered with Arabic numerals and placed at the end of the manuscript. Figures that are grouped together must be numbered using lowercase chronological letters. Figures should be a maximum final width of either 80, 130 or 170 mm. Lettering must be provided by the author(s). Letters, numbers and symbols must appear clearly, but not oversized. A suitable final size for lettering is 2 mm after reduction of the figure. It is recommended that one uniform lettering size be used throughout the manuscript. Graphs and histograms should be two-dimensional and scale marks provided. All lines (including boxes) should be clear, but not too thick and heavy. Black and white figures, including drawings and maps, must be originals executed in black on a clean white background. Photographs should be of excellent quality, with clear details and sufficient contrast.
Coloured figures and graphs will be accepted; the printed version of the journal will have black-and-white figures, thus Authors must pay particular attention to the figures/graphs formatting and captions, in order to be understandable without solely referring to colours into the illustration itself (i.e. make graphs differentiation by colour and symbols).
After acceptance of the manuscript, figures and graphs must be submitted as .tiff or .jpg files, with the following digital resolution:
- Colour (saved as CMYK): minimum 300 dpi - maximum width 17 cm
- Black and white/grays: minimum 600 dpi - maximum width 17 cm
- MS Office files are also acceptable. Each figure should be clearly identified with figure number and author(s) name(s).
Cite literature in the text in chronological, followed by alphabetical, order and formatted like these examples: "Campbell (1983, 1987b)," "(Smith et al., 1984; Karl and Craven, 1988; Korobi, 1997, 1998)." In the References section, list citations in alphabetical, followed by chronological, order.
Scientific names: give the Latin names of each species in full and in italics.
Abbreviations should be defined at first mention (in the Abstract and in the first manuscript section) and used consistently thereafter.
Acknowledgments of people, grants, funds, etc. should be placed in a separate section before the reference list. The names of funding organizations should be written in full.
All publications cited in the text should be listed alphabetically after first authors.
- For a single author, references are to be arranged chronologically. If an author published several papers in the same year, they should appear as: White JH, 1970a. ... - White JH, 1970b. ...
- If all authors are identical for two or more citations, chronological order of publication should dictate the order of citations.
- Papers which are in press should be cited only if formally accepted for publication. In this case the year should be that of the acceptance and indicated in brackets: White H, Brown J, (1990). (in press).
- Journal citations should be abbreviated based on 'World List of Scientific Periodicals' published by Butterworths, London. If the title of the journal is a single word do not abbreviate.
- Notations such as Vol., n., nr are superfluous and should be dropped.
Some examples of correct citations are given below:
- Callieri C, Stockner JG, 2002. Freshwater autotrophic picoplankton: a review. J. Limnol. 61:1-14.
- Hutchinson GE, 1975. A treatise on limnology. 3. J. Wiley & Sons, New York: 660 pp.
- de Bernardi R, Giussani G, Lasso-Pedretti E, 1979. Food suitability and availability, demographic parameters and population growth in Daphnia obtusa Kurz under laboratory conditions. In: R. de Bernardi (ed.), Proc. Symp. Biological and Mathematical aspects in population dynamics. Mem. Ist. ital. Idrobiol. Suppl. 37:233-242.
- Muyzer G, Brinkhoff T, Wawer C, 1998. Denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) in microbial ecology, p. 1–27. In: A.D.L. Akkermans, J.D. van Elsas and F.J. Bruijn (eds.), Molecular microbial ecology manual. Kluwer Academic Publishers.
We recommend the use of a tool such as EndNote for reference management and formatting.
Reference Manager reference styles can be searched for here: http://www.refman.com/support/rmstyles.asp
Supplementary tables and/or figures will be published as a separate file.
Thumbnails and Cover pictures
Authors of accepted papers are bly encouraged to upload a picture connected with their research. Pictures, which must be property of the authors of the papers, will be considered as thumbnail images next to the articles in the Table of Contents. Based on their scientific interest and appeal, a selection of images will be considered as a cover. A concise legend explaining the image(s) should be also included. Except if required otherwise by the editors, no author photos are to be submitted.
Biodiversity Data Publication
We encourage publication of all data in online repositories; accession numbers from those repositories should be explicitly provided in the manuscript.
Compulsory publication of data is required for:
- DNA sequence data, for example in Genbank (www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/Genbank), ENA (www.ebi.ac.uk/ena), BOLD (www.barcodinglife.org), or others.
- description of new species of animals, using ZooBank (www.zoobank.org).
Authors are warmly encouraged to place all species distribution records in a publicly accessible database such as the national Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF) nodes (www.gbif.org) or data centres endorsed by GBIF, including BioFresh (www.freshwaterbiodiversity.eu).
Authors are encourage to make any other type of data available online, for example through: Morphbank (www.morphbank.net), Morphobank (https://morphobank.org), TreeBASE (www.treebase.org), BioModels (www.ebi.ac.uk/biomodels), or other repositories.
All manuscripts submitted to our journal are critically assessed by external and/or in-house experts in accordance with the principles of peer review (http://www.icmje.org/#peer), which is fundamental to the scientific publication process and the dissemination of sound science. Each paper is first assigned by the Editors to an appropriate Associate Editor who has knowledge of the field discussed in the manuscript. The first step of manuscript selection takes place entirely in-house and has two major objectives: i) to establish the article appropriateness for our journals readership; ii) to define the manuscript priority ranking relative to other manuscripts under consideration, since the number of papers that the journal receives is much greater than it can publish. If a manuscript does not receive a sufficiently high priority score to warrant publication, the editors will proceed to a quick rejection. The remaining articles are reviewed by at least two different external referees (second step or classical peer review). Manuscripts should be prepared according to the Uniform Requirements established by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) (http://www.icmje.org/#prepare).
Authorship and Contributorship
All persons designated as authors should qualify for authorship according to the ICMJE criteria. Each author should have participated sufficiently in the work to take public responsibility for the content. Authorship credit should only be based on substantial contributions to: i) conception and design, or analysis and interpretation of data, and to ii) drafting the article or revising it critically for important intellectual content; and on iii) final approval of the version to be published; and iv) agreement to be accountable for all aspects of the work. Participation solely in the acquisition of funding or the collection of data does not justify authorship. General supervision of the research group is not sufficient for authorship. Authors should provide a brief description of their individual contributions. Those who do not meet all four criteria should not be listed as authors, but they should be acknowledged. Those whose contributions do not justify authorship may be acknowledged individually or together as a group under a single heading. Authors can find detailed information on the Publisher's web site.
Obligation to Register Clinical Trials
The ICMJE believes that it is important to foster a comprehensive, publicly available database of clinical trials. The ICMJE defines a clinical trial as any research project that prospectively assigns human subjects to intervention or concurrent comparison or control groups to study the cause-and-effect relationship between a medical intervention and a health outcome. Medical interventions include drugs, surgical procedures, devices, behavioral treatments, process-of-care changes, etc. Our journals require, as a condition of consideration for publication, registration in a public trials registry. The journal considers a trial for publication only if it has been registered before the enrollment of the first patient. The journal does not advocate one particular registry, but requires authors to register their trial in a registry that meets several criteria. The registry must be accessible to the public at no charge. It must be open to all prospective registrants and managed by a non-profit organization. There must be a mechanism to ensure the validity of the registration data, and the registry should be electronically searchable. An acceptable registry must include a minimum of data elements (http://www.icmje.org/about-icmje/faqs/clinical-trials-registration/). For example, ClinicalTrials.gov (http://www.clinicaltrials.gov), sponsored by the United States National Library of Medicine, meets these requirements.
Protection of Human Subjects and Animals in Research
When reporting experiments on human subjects, authors should indicate whether the procedures followed were in accordance with the ethical standards of the responsible committee on human experimentation (institutional and national) and with the Helsinki Declaration of 1975, as revised in 2013. If doubt exists whether the research was conducted in accordance with the Helsinki Declaration, the authors must explain the rationale for their approach and demonstrate that the institutional review body explicitly approved the doubtful aspects of the study. An Informed Consent statement is always required from patients involved in any experiments. When reporting experiments on animals, authors should indicate whether the institutional and national guide for the care and use of laboratory animals was followed. Further guidance on animal research ethics is available from the World Medical Association (2016 revision). When reporting experiments on ecosystems involving non-native species, Authors are bound to ensure compliance with the institutional and national guide for the preservation of native biodiversity.