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For Authors & Editors - Manuscript Guidelines Journals | Video submission guidelines

Video submission guidelines

A video article can contain a video image of animal behavior as part of the main article, not just in an appendix, where some recent scientific journals have included URLs. Online video is particularly useful, as readers can reach the content with a single mouse click. For an example, please see the article by Takahashi et al. (2003).
As usual, it is the content of the entire article that takes priority – video articles are not intended as nature documentary showcases. An article with video content that has already been described elsewhere in an ordinary article is not acceptable. Videos must explicitly show new findings.
A video article should be an original paper and cannot be a straightforward review. During the editorial and reviewing processes, the editor may recommend that authors rewrite an article as an ordinary original article if the video does not seem largely to improve readers’ understanding and may suggest putting the video elsewhere, such as in electronic supplementary material (ESM).
We use the MOMO (Make Our Movies Open; http://www.momo-p.com/index-e.html) system, which is an electronic library of videos of animal behavior, managed by the Japan Ethological Society and other collaborators from various scientific societies. The advantage of using MOMO is that it can be accessed by anyone. Videos on MOMO fall into two categories: content from refereed articles from the Journal of Ethology, and other videos (not reviewed by referees). They have unique code numbers, and videos from the journal are clearly marked. Authors should note that the videos are available publicly and to readers of the journal.
Information online often disappears or becomes inaccessible when, for example, URLs are changed. MOMO makes every effort to avoid this by assigning an individual code to each video, guaranteeing permanent access to the file. One can search for specific videos using this code (e.g. momo030605pa01a) on an internet search engine.


When submitting a manuscript for a video article, the author should attach files of the video image as electronic supplementary material (ESM). When the manuscript is accepted, an associate editor in charge of video submissions will request that the author submit video images to MOMO via the website and submit other contents to the associate editor by e-mail. Guidelines for the uploading procedure will be provided on this occasion.
Once the Online First article has been published, the video may not be changed or removed. If authors wish to update the clip for any reason, we recommend uploading a new file to MOMO and obtaining a separate identifying code.
Any questions should be directed to the chief editor. Note that we do not accept any videos of human behavior.


Video files should use the QuickTime format. MOMO can accept files up to 100 Mb in size, but we prefer our articles to be as concise as possible. A smaller video is far more likely to be downloaded and, therefore, to be read widely. Standard codecs should be used, and high compression, but less widely used, codecs should be avoided. Lengthy movies are not acceptable. Unless the possibility of fabrication is an issue (e.g. where behavioral sequences are important and editing would be unwise), authors should edit the video images to keep them to a minimum size that remains informative.
Clips over 5 min long should be divided into multiple files and referred to in the text as Fig. 1a, b, and so on. Frame counters or symbols are recommended to provide reference points for discussion in the text. Reediting may be requested by referees or the editor during the editorial process.
Any questions about video file preparation should be directed to MOMO’s managers (ethology@zoo.zool.kyoto-u.ac.jp) or to the chief editor.
Authors may regret the loss of image quality after following the above guidelines, but we recommend they also upload a higher-quality version of their videos as an appendix that can be linked to from the edited version. The edited videos appearing in the journal cannot be changed once accepted, whereas the linked image can be updated as authors see fit. For security reasons, however, updating the appendix video requires the permission of MOMO’s manager. For a good example, please see the video article by Takahashi et al. (2003), as mentioned above.


When a video article is submitted, explanatory text, including keywords, place, date, file size, and other information such as the use of an infrared camera, should be included. Do not forget that MOMO is open to nonreaders of the journal, so authors are also requested to write two types of figure captions for MOMO. One should be a short caption that can be a duplicate of the figure legend shown in the journal, and the other an explanatory text that briefly outlines the context of the described behavior to aid nonreaders’ understanding. At the end of the longer caption, the article’s title, year, the journal’s name, volume, page numbers, and DOI must be added (page numbers and DOI are assigned after the article has been accepted, so we permit editing of this part after Online First publication). Below, we show the explanatory text from Takahashi et al.’s (2003)
Fig. 1, as shown on MOMO.
Video image showing Adélie penguins diving and surfacing synchronously at a small open-water area in an Antarctic fast sea ice area. This image is probably the first to show the synchronized group behavior of Adélie penguins during active foraging. You can see some birds with a number written on their chests. Diving behavior was studied by using time-depth recorders for those birds with numbers. The image format is “QuickTime Movie”, and the file was compressed using the “H.263” codec.
Please visit: http://www.momo-p.com/showdetail-e.php?movieid=momo030724pa01b for an image of higher quality (37 Mb).
Following is the abstract from the Takahashi et al. (2003) article containing this video: Synchronizing behavior with other conspecifics has been suggested as serving a function of increased foraging efficiency. However, the potential costs associated with synchronization of behavior have rarely been studied. Adélie penguins Pygoscelis adeliae sometimes dive synchronously in small open waters surrounded by fast sea ice. We examined the diving behavior of three couples and one trio, which were observed to dive synchronously among groups of 12–47 birds for 1.7–4.5 h duration, with time-depth recorders. Timing of diving and surfacing differed slightly between individuals and one bird tended to initiate diving earlier than the other. Although the duration of the dives differed only slightly between these birds, the maximum depth of the dives differed to a large extent, with one member tending to dive consistently deeper than the other bird in two out of the four cases. Vertical distances between tagged birds in the undulatory phases of the dives (presumed feeding time) were greater than those in the descent and ascent phases, suggesting independent foraging by group members. Duration of the undulatory phase of the dives tended to be shorter in deeper-diving individuals than the others in the synchronously diving group, suggesting a potential cost of reduced feeding time to synchronize diving and surfacing with other birds. A digital video image relating to the article is available at http://www.momo-p.com/showdetail-e.php?movieid=momo030605pa01a.
Takahashi A, Sato K, Nishikawa J, Watanuki Y, Naito Y (2003) Synchronous diving behavior of Adélie penguins. J Ethol DOI 10.1007/s10164-003-0111-1


In the article, one frame from the video must be shown as a figure. This frame can be edited for better understanding, for example, to show a close-up image. Multiple frames may be referred to as Fig. 1a, b, c, and so on. It is important to describe the behavior with appropriate words in the text, as has been done in articles without video so far. This is essential, as some readers may have access only to the printed journal. Authors should refer to counter numbers or symbols in the video to describe specific behavioral components. In the sample article by Takahashi et al. (2003) the video figure is referred to as follows:
One of the typical starts of the dives is shown in Fig. 1 (http://www.momo-p.com/showdetail-e.php?movieid=momo030605pa01a, Counter No. 1-14 in the video image). Many individuals made the “Aark call” while walking towards the ice hole. After a dive, penguins jumped onto the sea ice one after another (Fig. 1: Counter No. 17-42 in the video image).
The URL and the code number of the video must be cited both in the abstract and somewhere in the text of the article or in a figure caption. As the URL and code number of the video are assigned after the article has been accepted, in the submitted manuscript they should be marked as (URL and CODE NUMBER). The editorial office will insert the URL and the code number after acceptance of the article.


As videos are part of the journal, their copyright is transferred to the Japan Ethological Society and Springer Japan, as with the rest of the article. For any kind of reproduction, translation, or distribution of the video, permission from the copyright holders is required. Copyrights of all other videos on MOMO, including any high-quality appendices, belong to the authors. The Japan Ethological Society and Springer Japan request all secondary users of video images that were originally described in video articles to indicate the relevant article’s ID [name(s) of author(s), published year, journal name, volume, the first and last page numbers or DOI].