Manuscript preparation

Guidelines with regard to content, style and submission procedure are journal specific and can be found on the individual journal’s homepage.

Select a journal and then please follow the "Instructions For Authors" given at the journal's homepage.

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Language

For editors and reviewers to accurately assess the work presented in your manuscript you need to ensure the English language is of sufficient quality to be understood. If you need help with writing in English you should consider:

  • Asking a colleague who is a native English speaker to review your manuscript for clarity.
  • Visiting the English language tutorial which covers the common mistakes when writing in English.
  • Using a professional language editing service where editors will improve the English to ensure that your meaning is clear and identify problems that require your review. Two such services are provided by our affiliates Nature Research Editing Service and American Journal Experts

Please note that the use of a language editing service is not a requirement for publication  and does not imply or guarantee that the article will be selected for peer review or accepted.

If your manuscript is accepted it will be checked by our copyeditors for spelling and formal style before publication.

Reference styles

Springer journals use different reference styles, mostly depending on the discipline. Sample references are provided with the specific journal's "Instructions for Authors".

For authors using EndNote, Springer provides EndNote output styles that support the formatting of in-text citations and reference lists.

For authors using LaTeX, bibtex files are included with the macro package that you will also find in your journal's "Instructions for Authors".

Artwork

For the best quality final product, it is highly recommended that you submit all of your artwork – photographs, line drawings, etc. – in an electronic format. Your art will then be produced to the highest standards with the greatest accuracy to detail. The published work will directly reflect the quality of the artwork provided.

Electronic figure submission

  • Supply all figures electronically.
  • Indicate what graphics program was used to create the artwork.
  • For vector graphics, the preferred format is EPS; for halftones, please use TIFF format.
  • MS Office files are also acceptable.
  • Vector graphics containing fonts must have the fonts embedded in the files.
  • Name your figure files with "Fig" and the figure number, e.g., Fig1.eps.

Line Art

  • Definition: Black and white graphic with no shading.
  • Do not use faint lines and/or lettering and check that all lines and lettering within the figures are legible at final size.
  • All lines should be at least 0.1 mm (0.3 pt) wide.
  • Scanned line drawings and line drawings in bitmap format should have a minimum resolution of 1200 dpi.
  • Vector graphics containing fonts must have the fonts embedded in the files.

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Halftone Art

  • Definition: Photographs, drawings, or paintings with fine shading, etc.
  • If any magnification is used in the photographs, indicate this by using scale bars within the figures themselves.
  • Halftones should have a minimum resolution of 300 dpi.

Halftone art © Springer

Combination Art

  • Definition: a combination of halftone and line art, e.g., halftones containing line drawing, extensive lettering, color diagrams, etc.
  • Combination artwork should have a minimum resolution of 600 dpi.

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Color Art

  • Color art is free of charge for online publication.
  • If black and white will be shown in the print version, make sure that the main information will still be visible. Many colors are not distinguishable from one another when converted to black and white. A simple way to check this is to make a xerographic copy to see if the necessary distinctions between the different colors are still apparent.
  • If the figures will be printed in black and white, do not refer to color in the captions.
  • Color illustrations should be submitted as RGB (8 bits per channel).

Figure Lettering

  • To add lettering, it is best to use Helvetica or Arial (sans serif fonts).
  • Keep lettering consistently sized throughout your final-sized artwork, usually about 2–3 mm (8–12 pt).
  • Variance of type size within an illustration should be minimal, e.g., do not use 8-pt type on an axis and 20-pt type for the axis label.
  • Avoid effects such as shading, outline letters, etc.
  • Do not include titles or captions within your illustrations.

Figure Numbering

  • All figures are to be numbered using Arabic numerals.
  • Figures should always be cited in text in consecutive numerical order.
  • Figure parts should be denoted by lowercase letters (a, b, c, etc.).
  • If an appendix appears in your article and it contains one or more figures, continue the consecutive numbering of the main text. Do not number the appendix figures, "A1, A2, A3, etc." Figures in online appendices (Electronic Supplementary Material) should, however, be numbered separately.

Figure Captions

  • Each figure should have a concise caption describing accurately what the figure depicts. Include the captions in the text file of the manuscript, not in the figure file.
  • Figure captions begin with the term Fig. in bold type, followed by the figure number, also in bold type.
  • No punctuation is to be included after the number, nor is any punctuation to be placed at the end of the caption.
  • Identify all elements found in the figure in the figure caption; and use boxes, circles, etc., as coordinate points in graphs.
  • Identify previously published material by giving the original source in the form of a reference citation at the end of the figure caption.

Figure Placement and Size

  • When preparing your figures, size figures to fit in the column width.
  • For most journals the figures should be 39 mm, 84 mm, 129 mm, or 174 mm wide and not higher than 234 mm.
  • For books and book-sized journals, the figures should be 80 mm or 122 mm wide and not higher than 198 mm.

Permissions

If you include figures that have already been published elsewhere, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner(s) for both the print and online format. Please be aware that some publishers do not grant electronic rights for free and that Springer will not be able to refund any costs that may have occurred to receive these permissions. In such cases, material from other sources should be used.

Accessibility

In order to give people of all abilities and disabilities access to the content of your figures, please make sure that

  • All figures have descriptive captions (blind users could then use a text-to-speech software or a text-to-Braille hardware)
  • Patterns are used instead of or in addition to colors for conveying information (color-blind users would then be able to distinguish the visual elements)
  • Any figure lettering has a contrast ratio of at least 4.5:1 

For your information: plagiarism prevention with CrossCheck

Springer is a participant of CrossCheck, a multi-publisher plagiarism detection initiative to screen published and submitted content for originality. CrossCheck consists of two products: a database of scholarly publications (CrossCheck) and a web-based tool (iThenticate) to check an authored work against that database.

Various Springer journals use the service to detect instances of overlapping and similar text in submitted manuscripts. Results returned by the software may be used as a criterion for the analysis of the manuscript by the editorial board and may eventually result in a rejection due to plagiarism, duplicate and/or redundant publication.