Submission guidelines

Instructions for Authors

Summary

Evolutionary Ecology is a concept-oriented journal of basic biology at the interface between ecology and evolution. The journal publishes Original Research articles, Review Articles, Ideas & Perspectives papers, Natural History Notes, Methods papers and Comments dealing with evolutionary ecology in a broad sense. We cover any aspect of the ecology of organisms in an evolutionary context, including papers addressing evolutionary aspects of population ecology, organismal interactions and coevolution, behaviour, life histories, communication, morphology, host-parasite interactions and disease ecology, as well as ecological aspects of genetic processes. The main objective of the journal is to promote the conceptual, theoretical and empirical development of ecology and evolutionary biology. The scope of the journal includes all organisms and systems and is thus not biased with respect to taxon or biome.

Evolutionary Ecology is published six times a year.

Please note that Evolutionary Ecology no longer publishes Appendices in the printed version. Supplementary material may be published in electronic form and will be made available for readers online.

Submission procedure

Online submission and review of manuscripts is now mandatory for all types of paper. The online manuscript submission and review system for Evolutionary Ecology offers easy and straightforward log-in and submission procedures. The system supports a wide range of submission file formats, such as Word, WordPerfect, RTF, TXT and LaTex for manuscripts, and TIFF, GIF, JPEG, EPS, PPT, and Postscript for figures.

In case you encounter any difficulties while submitting your manuscript on line, please get in touch with the responsible Editorial Assistant by clicking on “CONTACT US” from the tool bar on the web page.

All manuscripts should be submitted to:

http://evec.edmgr.com

Article types

All papers should yield significant insights into the effects of ecology on evolutionary processes and/or the effects of evolution on ecological processes. By ecology we mean the interactions between organisms and their environment. The best papers should pose a new and significant problem (with empirical evidence) and change the way people think about the topic of the manuscript. If you are uncertain of the whether your paper is appropriate for Evolutionary Ecology or a particular category of paper, please email the Editor-in-Chief to check before submission. We have seven categories of papers:

Original Research Articles (7000 word limit) present the results of empirical and theoretical investigations, addressing clear questions or hypotheses in evolutionary ecology. The key ideas, assumptions and results of theoretical papers should be presented in such a way that they are understandable for non-mathematical readers.

Review Articles (8000 words) survey recent developments and major advances in evolutionary ecology. Reviews should be of interest to a broad audience and they are expected both to summarize existing knowledge and to propose novel ideas and hypotheses for future research.

Ideas & Perspectives (4000 words) express new points of view, provide novel and unconventional perspectives on current concepts and theories, present new hypotheses or present speculations based on recent publications in the field of evolutionary ecology. Comments on these articles may be solicited by the editors or submitted directly by the authors.

New Tests of Existing Ideas (7000 words). These articles provide contemporary tests of apparently well-established ideas which lack generality or are based upon what we now know are insufficent or outmoded methods. When submitting, be explicit why your new test of old ideas is appropriate and valuable. For example, does it have a larger sample size, use newer methods of data collection, use better statistics, and/or use new and unrelated taxa from the original well established study? The key question is whether or not the replicated study makes the old conclusion more reliable and general, and of course there is the possibility that the generalisation may fail in the replicated test. Both outcomes are valuable and interesting.

Natural History Notes (4000 words). These articles should contain very well documented and well replicated observations which generate new ideas and or hypotheses, that may expand our understanding of evolutionary ecology. In addition to the observations, these articles should discuss their general implications as well as make explicit hypotheses arising from the data.

Methods papers (7000 words) should outline novel theoretical, analytical or practical techniques which have been developed to advance research in the field of evolutionary ecology. These articles should demonstrate, preferably through empirical examples, the utility of these methods. Articles that attempt to review and serve as introductions or primers to recently developed methodologies are also invited.

Comments are short papers (1500 words) referring to recently published articles in Evolutionary Ecology or elsewhere in the field, which are of special interest to our readership. Comments may be solicited by the editors or submitted directly by the authors.

Students & Early Career Researchers

We particularly encourage, and offer incentives for, submission of Reviews, Ideas & Perspectives, and Methods papers by students and early-career researchers (defined as being within one year of award of a PhD degree) – see the Students & Early Career Researchers tab. If you are submitting such articles as first author and you are a student or ECR, please indicate this in your cover letter and/or comments to the editor when you submit the article.

Review procedure & editorial policy

All submitted manuscripts are first sent to the Editor-in-Chief, and most of them are subsequently assigned to an Associate Editor. If the Editor-in-Chief or the Associate Editor think that the paper does not meets the criteria for Evolutionary Ecology, or that the subject of the paper falls beyond the scope of the journal, the submitted manuscript will be returned to the author(s) without further review. We make every effort to do this as quickly as possible to ensure that the authors can take their work forward without unnecessary delays. In unusual circumstances, no appropriate editor may be available to process a manuscript, and we shall return the paper to the author(s) without review.

The Associate Editor will contact 2-3 anonymous reviewers to obtain an assessment of the scientific quality of the submitted paper. The Associate Editor and the Editor-in-Chief then make a decision based on the referees' advice and taking into account the editorial policy of the journal to accept, subject to revision, or reject the paper. The decision to subject a paper to revisions does not imply acceptance. Revised manuscripts must be received within the date stated by the Editor in the decision letter. If resubmitted after this date, the manuscript will be treated as a new submission. All resubmitted manuscripts will be treated as new submissions and undergo the same review process at the Editors' discretion. The decisions of the Editor-in-Chief are final.

The Manuscript

Style notes for papers

Language

The language of the Journal is English. Facilities are available for editing manuscripts (in English) received from those whose first language is not English. Both American and British English are acceptable. Use a clear, concise style, and avoid the use of the passive voice wherever possible. Please be as concise as possible, consistent with an appropriate level of explanation for the science presented.

Font size, line spacing and numbering

Line numbering is strongly recommended because it makes it easier for reviewers to make specific comments. Use a standard 12-point font (Times, Arial, or Courier) on a page set up for standard size paper with wide margins. All elements of the manuscript must be double spaced.

Manuscript structure

Research articles should be in the following order: Title page, Abstract, Introduction, Materials and Methods, Results, Discussion, Acknowledgments, References, Appendixes (for online publication only), Tables, and Figures. Each table and figure should begin on a new page. For the other manuscript types the author(s) should find an appropriate way to structure the paper, ensuring maximum clarity and coherence.

Title page

The first page of the manuscript must contain (1) a concise and informative title, (2) the full name, affiliation, address and email address of the corresponding author, (3) the names and addresses of all corresponding authors, (4) a running title of no more than 75 characters, (5) a list of 4-6 keywords for indexing, (6) the total word count (excluding references, tables and figures), (7) the number of figures and tables, and (8) a list of items to be published as online appendix (if applicable).

Abstract

The second page of the manuscript should contain a summary which must be usable as a stand-alone document. The abstract should present the major results and conclusions of the paper, using simple, factual statements. The abstract must not exceed 300 words (150 words for Comments).

Introduction

The introduction should state the reason for carrying out the study presented in the paper, the questions under consideration, and it should outline the essential background. The introduction section typically ends with specific, testable hypotheses. Avoid extensive literature reviews in the introduction.

Materials and methods

The materials and methods section should provide sufficient details about the applied methods and techniques to allow replication of all parts of the study. Standard techniques and approaches do not need to be described in detail; use references to previously published work instead.

Results

The results section should state the results in a logical way, drawing attention to important details shown in tables and figures. Use factual statements and avoid discussing the results in this section.

Discussion

The discussion section should point out the significance of the results in relation to the questions and hypotheses presented in the introduction, and it should place the new findings in the context of other work.

Acknowledgements

This section should be as concise as possible, but should include information on sources of funding (including the grant number) used to support the research. Authors should also here declare any conflicts of interest, and (if applicable) any details of compliance with ethical standards and obligations in regard to research on humans or animals (including details of permits). Please see the “Compliance with Ethical Standards” and “Disclosure of Potential Conflicts of Interest” sections below for more information of what should be declared here. If there are no conflicts of interest please write “the authors declare no conflicts of interest”. If authors refer to themselves, they should do so by their initials (e.g. T.M.)

References

For citations within the text use the name and year system, e.g., Troll (1939) or (Troll 1939). Use semicolons between citations. Examples of various usage:

Indirect citation (Troll 1939)

Citation as subject or object Naveh and Lieberman (1984)

Semicolons between citations (Forman and Godron 1986; Turner and Gardner 1991)

Same author, multiple citations (Levin 1976, 1992)

Same author, same date (Opdam 1991a,b)

Three or more authors (McCain et al 1992a,b)

Citation with other text in parentheses (see Risser et al 1984 for details)

Multiple citations with text (…… Gardner et al 1987; Wiens 1989; Zonneveld 1995; Jelinski and Wu 1996; Mladenoff and Baker 1999)

The reference list should be titled References and begin on a new page. The list should be alphabetically arranged and typed double-spaced. Include only those references cited in the text.

The format of references in the References section should conform the following styles:

Different kinds of references and their presentation in basic Springer reference style.

Type Example

Journal article Wu J, Hobbs RJ (2002) Key issues and research priorities in landscape ecology: an idiosyncratic synthesis. Landscape Ecol 17:355-365

Foley JA, DeFries R, Asner GP et al (2005) Global consequences of land use. Science 309:570–574

Inclusion of issue number (optional) Saunders DS (1976) The biological clock of insects. Sci Am 234(2):114–121

Journal issue with issue editor Smith J (ed) (1998) Rodent genes. Mod Genomics J 14(6):126–233

Journal issue with no issue editor Mod Genomics J (1998) Rodent genes. Mod Genomics J 14(6):126–233

Book chapter Brown B, Aaron M (2001) The politics of nature. In: Smith J (ed) The rise of modern genomics, 3rd edn. Wiley, New York, pp 2-11

Wiens JA (1992) Ecological flows across landscape boundaries: a conceptual overview. In: di Castri F and Hansen AJ (eds) Landscape boundaries. Springer, New York, pp 216–235

Book, authored South J, Blass B (2001) The future of modern genomics. Blackwell, London

Turner MG, Gardner RH, O’Neill RV (2001) Landscape ecology in theory and practice: pattern and process. Springer, New York

Book, edited Smith J, Brown B (eds) (2001) The demise of modern genomics. Blackwell, London

Wu J, Hobbs RJ (eds) (2006) Key topics in landscape ecology. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge

Chapter in a book in a series without volume titles Schmidt H (1989) Testing results. In: Hutzinger O (ed) Handbook of environmental chemistry, vol 2E. Springer, Berlin Heidelberg New York, p 111

Chapter in a book in a series with volume titles Smith SE (1976) Neuromuscular blocking drugs in man. In: Zaimis E (ed) Neuromuscular junction. Handbook of experimental pharmacology, vol 42. Springer, Berlin Heidelberg New York, pp593–660

Proceedings as a book (in a series and subseries) Zowghi D et al (1996) A framework for reasoning about requirements in evolution. In: Foo N, Goebel R (eds) PRICAI'96: topics in artificial intelligence. 4th Pacific Rim conference on artificial intelligence, Cairns, August 1996. Lecture notes in computer science (Lecture notes in artificial intelligence), vol 1114. Springer, Berlin Heidelberg New York, p 157

Proceedings with an editor (without a publisher) Aaron M (1999) The future of genomics. In: Williams H (ed)

Proceedings of the genomic researchers, Boston, 1999

Proceedings without an editor (without a publisher) Chung S-T, Morris RL (1978) Isolation and characterization of plasmid deoxyribonucleic acid from Streptomyces fradiae. In: Abstracts of the 3rd international symposium on the genetics of industrial microorganisms, University of Wisconsin, Madison, 4–9 June 1978

Paper presented at a conference Chung S-T, Morris RL (1978) Isolation and characterization of plasmid deoxyribonucleic acid from Streptomyces fradiae. Paper presented at the 3rd international symposium on the genetics of industrial microorganisms, University of Wisconsin, Madison, 4–9 June 1978

Patent. Name and date of patent are optional Norman LO (1998) Lightning rods. US Patent 4,379,752, 9 Sept 1998

Dissertation Trent JW (1975) Experimental acute renal failure. Dissertation, University of California

Institutional author (book) International Anatomical Nomenclature Committee (1966) Nomina anatomica. Excerpta Medica, Amsterdam

Non-English publication cited in an English publication Wolf GH, Lehman P-F (1976) Atlas der Anatomie, vol 4/3, 4th edn. Fischer, Berlin. [NB: Use the language of the primary document, not that of the reference for "vol" etc.!]

Non-Latin alphabet publication. The English translation is optional. Marikhin VY, Myasnikova LP (1977) Nadmolekulyarnaya struktura polimerov (The supramolecular structure of polymers). Khimiya, Leningrad

In press Wilson M et al (2001) References. In: Wilson M (ed) Style manual. Springer, Berlin Heidelberg New York (in press)

Internet publications Canadian Biodiversity Information Network (2004) Urban biodiversity. Environment Canada, Ottawa, Ontario. Available from http://www.cbin.ec.gc.ca/primers/urban.cfm (accessed August 2005)

Figures

Refer to all diagrams, graphs and photographs as 'Figures', and number them consecutively (1, 2, etc.). Multi-part figures should be labeled with lower case letters (a, b, etc.) and referred to in the text as Fig. 1a, Fig. 2a,b, etc. Avoid including explanatory material in the figure itself; this should be presented in the legend. Please insert keys and scale bars directly in the figures. Relatively small text and great variation in text sizes within figures should be avoided as figures are often reduced in size. Present all figures at approximately twice the size that they should appear in the printed version of the paper. Please note that Figures may be re-sized to fit the lay-out of the journal. Provide a detailed legend (caption) with each figure. Figure legends should give enough detail so that the figure can be understood without reference to the text. Information that appears in the figure should not be duplicated in the legend. Place figure legends after the references in the manuscript. All figures must be referred to in the main text

Electronic versions of your figures must be supplied. For vector graphics, EPS is the preferred format. For bitmapped graphics, TIFF is the preferred format. The following resolutions are optimal: line figures - 600 - 1200 dpi; photographs - 300 dpi.

Tables

Tables should be numbered consecutively (1, 2, etc.). Each table should be on a separate page, numbered and accompanied by a legend at the top. They should be referred to in the text as Table 1, Table 2, etc. Do not present the same data in both figures and tables and do not repeat large numbers of values from Tables in the text. In tables, footnotes are preferable to long explanatory material in either the heading or body of the table. Such explanatory footnotes, identified by superscript letters, should be placed below the table. Tables should be constructed using 'tabs' (not spaces or table functions). Units should appear in square brackets after the column or row title.

Appendices (Supplementary Material)

Please note that Evolutionary Ecology no longer publishes appendices in the printed version. Essential supplementary material can be published in electronic form online. This Supplementary material is considered an integral part of the article and will be reviewed accordingly.

Scientific names

All species must be referred to by their scientific names. Give full genus and species names, and authorities when referring to a species for the first time in the main text (excl. Abstract). For subsequent uses, abbreviate genera to their initial letters, except where this could result in confusion between species. In all cases, give the genus, species and authority of species under study in the Materials and Methods section.

Units, abbreviations, equations

Use SI units whenever possible. Explain all abbreviations unless they are very commonly used. Number all equations consecutively.

Legal requirements

Submissions must not have been published in, or accepted for publication by, any other journal. Manuscripts submitted to Evolutionary Ecology are considered on the understanding that they have not been published, nor under consideration for publication elsewhere, and that all persons entitled to authorship have been named and each of them have approved the final version of the submitted manuscript.

Proofs

Proofs will be sent to the corresponding author by e−mail. Your response, with or without corrections, should be sent within 72 hours.

Page Charges

None.

Offprints

Order offprints when returning corrected proofs.

Submission of a paper to the Journal will be taken to imply that it presents original, unpublished work, not under consideration for publication elsewhere. By submitting a manuscript, the authors agree that the copyright for their article is transferred to Chapman & Hall if and when the article is accepted for publication. Copyright covers the exclusive rights to reproduce and distribute the article, including reprints, photographic reproductions, microfilm or any reproduction of a similar nature, and translations, except that the authors may use the article or any of its contents in their own works.

Permission to publish illustrations must be obtained by the author before submission, and any acknowledgements should be included in the figure legends.

English Language Editing

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. Springer authors are entitled to a 10% discount on their first submission to either of these services, simply follow the links below.

English language tutorial

Nature Research Editing Service

American Journal Experts

Please note that the use of a language editing service is not a requirement for publication in this journal 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.

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● 请一位以英语为母语的同事审核您的稿件是否表意清晰。

● 查看一些有关英语写作中常见语言错误的教程。

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教程

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如果您的稿件被接受,在发表之前,我们的文字编辑会检查您的文稿拼写是否规范以及文体是否正式。

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原稿が受理されると、出版前に弊社のコピーエディターがスペルと体裁のチェックを行います。

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영어 튜토리얼 페이지

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Springer Open Choice

In addition to the normal publication process (whereby an article is submitted to the journal and access to that article is granted to customers who have purchased a subscription), Springer now provides an alternative publishing option: Springer Open Choice. A Springer Open Choice article receives all the benefits of a regular subscription−based article, but in addition is made available publicly through Springers online platform SpringerLink. To publish via Springer Open Choice, upon acceptance please click on the link below to complete the relevant order form and provide the required payment information. Payment must be received in full before publication or articles will publish as regular subscription−model articles. We regret that Springer Open Choice cannot be ordered for published articles.

www.springer.com/openchoice

Ethical Responsibilities of Authors

This journal is committed to upholding the integrity of the scientific record. As a member of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) the journal will follow the COPE guidelines on how to deal with potential acts of misconduct.

Authors should refrain from misrepresenting research results which could damage the trust in the journal, the professionalism of scientific authorship, and ultimately the entire scientific endeavour. Maintaining integrity of the research and its presentation is helped by following the rules of good scientific practice, which include*:

  • The manuscript should not be submitted to more than one journal for simultaneous consideration.
  • The submitted work should be original and should not have been published elsewhere in any form or language (partially or in full), unless the new work concerns an expansion of previous work. (Please provide transparency on the re-use of material to avoid the concerns about text-recycling (‘self-plagiarism’).
  • A single study should not be split up into several parts to increase the quantity of submissions and submitted to various journals or to one journal over time (i.e. ‘salami-slicing/publishing’).
  • Concurrent or secondary publication is sometimes justifiable, provided certain conditions are met. Examples include: translations or a manuscript that is intended for a different group of readers.
  • Results should be presented clearly, honestly, and without fabrication, falsification or inappropriate data manipulation (including image based manipulation). Authors should adhere to discipline-specific rules for acquiring, selecting and processing data.
  • No data, text, or theories by others are presented as if they were the author’s own (‘plagiarism’). Proper acknowledgements to other works must be given (this includes material that is closely copied (near verbatim), summarized and/or paraphrased), quotation marks (to indicate words taken from another source) are used for verbatim copying of material, and permissions secured for material that is copyrighted.

Important note: the journal may use software to screen for plagiarism.

  • Authors should make sure they have permissions for the use of software, questionnaires/(web) surveys and scales in their studies (if appropriate).
  • Research articles and non-research articles (e.g. Opinion, Review, and Commentary articles) must cite appropriate and relevant literature in support of the claims made. Excessive and inappropriate self-citation or coordinated efforts among several authors to collectively self-cite is strongly discouraged.
  • Authors should avoid untrue statements about an entity (who can be an individual person or a company) or descriptions of their behavior or actions that could potentially be seen as personal attacks or allegations about that person.
  • Research that may be misapplied to pose a threat to public health or national security should be clearly identified in the manuscript (e.g. dual use of research). Examples include creation of harmful consequences of biological agents or toxins, disruption of immunity of vaccines, unusual hazards in the use of chemicals, weaponization of research/technology (amongst others).
  • Authors are strongly advised to ensure the author group, the Corresponding Author, and the order of authors are all correct at submission. Adding and/or deleting authors during the revision stages is generally not permitted, but in some cases may be warranted. Reasons for changes in authorship should be explained in detail. Please note that changes to authorship cannot be made after acceptance of a manuscript.

*All of the above are guidelines and authors need to make sure to respect third parties rights such as copyright and/or moral rights.

Upon request authors should be prepared to send relevant documentation or data in order to verify the validity of the results presented. This could be in the form of raw data, samples, records, etc. Sensitive information in the form of confidential or proprietary data is excluded.

If there is suspicion of misbehavior or alleged fraud the Journal and/or Publisher will carry out an investigation following COPE guidelines. If, after investigation, there are valid concerns, the author(s) concerned will be contacted under their given e-mail address and given an opportunity to address the issue. Depending on the situation, this may result in the Journal’s and/or Publisher’s implementation of the following measures, including, but not limited to:

  • If the manuscript is still under consideration, it may be rejected and returned to the author.
  • If the article has already been published online, depending on the nature and severity of the infraction:

    - an erratum/correction may be placed with the article

    - an expression of concern may be placed with the article

    - or in severe cases retraction of the article may occur.

The reason will be given in the published erratum/correction, expression of concern or retraction note. Please note that retraction means that the article is maintained on the platform, watermarked “retracted” and the explanation for the retraction is provided in a note linked to the watermarked article.

  • The author’s institution may be informed
  • A notice of suspected transgression of ethical standards in the peer review system may be included as part of the author’s and article’s bibliographic record.

Fundamental errors

Authors have an obligation to correct mistakes once they discover a significant error or inaccuracy in their published article. The author(s) is/are requested to contact the journal and explain in what sense the error is impacting the article. A decision on how to correct the literature will depend on the nature of the error. This may be a correction or retraction. The retraction note should provide transparency which parts of the article are impacted by the error.

Suggesting / excluding reviewers

Authors are welcome to suggest suitable reviewers and/or request the exclusion of certain individuals when they submit their manuscripts. When suggesting reviewers, authors should make sure they are totally independent and not connected to the work in any way. It is strongly recommended to suggest a mix of reviewers from different countries and different institutions. When suggesting reviewers, the Corresponding Author must provide an institutional email address for each suggested reviewer, or, if this is not possible to include other means of verifying the identity such as a link to a personal homepage, a link to the publication record or a researcher or author ID in the submission letter. Please note that the Journal may not use the suggestions, but suggestions are appreciated and may help facilitate the peer review process.

Authorship principles

These guidelines describe authorship principles and good authorship practices to which prospective authors should adhere to.

Authorship clarified

The Journal and Publisher assume all authors agreed with the content and that all gave explicit consent to submit and that they obtained consent from the responsible authorities at the institute/organization where the work has been carried out, before the work is submitted.

The Publisher does not prescribe the kinds of contributions that warrant authorship. It is recommended that authors adhere to the guidelines for authorship that are applicable in their specific research field. In absence of specific guidelines it is recommended to adhere to the following guidelines*:

All authors whose names appear on the submission

1) made substantial contributions to the conception or design of the work; or the acquisition, analysis, or interpretation of data; or the creation of new software used in the work;

2) drafted the work or revised it critically for important intellectual content;

3) approved the version to be published; and

4) agree to be accountable for all aspects of the work in ensuring that questions related to the accuracy or integrity of any part of the work are appropriately investigated and resolved.

* Based on/adapted from:

ICMJE, Defining the Role of Authors and Contributors,

Transparency in authors’ contributions and responsibilities to promote integrity in scientific publication, McNutt at all, PNAS February 27, 2018

Disclosures and declarations

All authors are requested to include information regarding sources of funding, financial or non-financial interests, study-specific approval by the appropriate ethics committee for research involving humans and/or animals, informed consent if the research involved human participants, and a statement on welfare of animals if the research involved animals (as appropriate).

The decision whether such information should be included is not only dependent on the scope of the journal, but also the scope of the article. Work submitted for publication may have implications for public health or general welfare and in those cases it is the responsibility of all authors to include the appropriate disclosures and declarations.

Data transparency

All authors are requested to make sure that all data and materials as well as software application or custom code support their published claims and comply with field standards. Please note that journals may have individual policies on (sharing) research data in concordance with disciplinary norms and expectations.

Role of the Corresponding Author

One author is assigned as Corresponding Author and acts on behalf of all co-authors and ensures that questions related to the accuracy or integrity of any part of the work are appropriately addressed.

The Corresponding Author is responsible for the following requirements:

  • ensuring that all listed authors have approved the manuscript before submission, including the names and order of authors;
  • managing all communication between the Journal and all co-authors, before and after publication;*
  • providing transparency on re-use of material and mention any unpublished material (for example manuscripts in press) included in the manuscript in a cover letter to the Editor;
  • making sure disclosures, declarations and transparency on data statements from all authors are included in the manuscript as appropriate (see above).

* The requirement of managing all communication between the journal and all co-authors during submission and proofing may be delegated to a Contact or Submitting Author. In this case please make sure the Corresponding Author is clearly indicated in the manuscript.

Author contributions

In absence of specific instructions and in research fields where it is possible to describe discrete efforts, the Publisher recommends authors to include contribution statements in the work that specifies the contribution of every author in order to promote transparency. These contributions should be listed at the separate title page.

Examples of such statement(s) are shown below:

• Free text:

All authors contributed to the study conception and design. Material preparation, data collection and analysis were performed by [full name], [full name] and [full name]. The first draft of the manuscript was written by [full name] and all authors commented on previous versions of the manuscript. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.

Example: CRediT taxonomy:

• Conceptualization: [full name], …; Methodology: [full name], …; Formal analysis and investigation: [full name], …; Writing - original draft preparation: [full name, …]; Writing - review and editing: [full name], …; Funding acquisition: [full name], …; Resources: [full name], …; Supervision: [full name],….

For review articles where discrete statements are less applicable a statement should be included who had the idea for the article, who performed the literature search and data analysis, and who drafted and/or critically revised the work.

For articles that are based primarily on the student’s dissertation or thesis, it is recommended that the student is usually listed as principal author:

A Graduate Student’s Guide to Determining Authorship Credit and Authorship Order, APA Science Student Council 2006

Affiliation

The primary affiliation for each author should be the institution where the majority of their work was done. If an author has subsequently moved, the current address may additionally be stated. Addresses will not be updated or changed after publication of the article.

Changes to authorship

Authors are strongly advised to ensure the correct author group, the Corresponding Author, and the order of authors at submission. Changes of authorship by adding or deleting authors, and/or changes in Corresponding Author, and/or changes in the sequence of authors are not accepted after acceptance of a manuscript.

  • Please note that author names will be published exactly as they appear on the accepted submission!

Please make sure that the names of all authors are present and correctly spelled, and that addresses and affiliations are current.

Adding and/or deleting authors at revision stage are generally not permitted, but in some cases it may be warranted. Reasons for these changes in authorship should be explained. Approval of the change during revision is at the discretion of the Editor-in-Chief. Please note that journals may have individual policies on adding and/or deleting authors during revision stage.

Author identification

Authors are recommended to use their ORCID ID when submitting an article for consideration or acquire an ORCID ID via the submission process.

Deceased or incapacitated authors

For cases in which a co-author dies or is incapacitated during the writing, submission, or peer-review process, and the co-authors feel it is appropriate to include the author, co-authors should obtain approval from a (legal) representative which could be a direct relative.

Authorship issues or disputes

In the case of an authorship dispute during peer review or after acceptance and publication, the Journal will not be in a position to investigate or adjudicate. Authors will be asked to resolve the dispute themselves. If they are unable the Journal reserves the right to withdraw a manuscript from the editorial process or in case of a published paper raise the issue with the authors’ institution(s) and abide by its guidelines.

Confidentiality

Authors should treat all communication with the Journal as confidential which includes correspondence with direct representatives from the Journal such as Editors-in-Chief and/or Handling Editors and reviewers’ reports unless explicit consent has been received to share information.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

To ensure objectivity and transparency in research and to ensure that accepted principles of ethical and professional conduct have been followed, authors should include information regarding sources of funding, potential conflicts of interest (financial or non-financial), informed consent if the research involved human participants, and a statement on welfare of animals if the research involved animals.

Authors should include the following statements (if applicable) in a separate section entitled “Compliance with Ethical Standards” when submitting a paper:

  • Disclosure of potential conflicts of interest
  • Research involving Human Participants and/or Animals
  • Informed consent

Please note that standards could vary slightly per journal dependent on their peer review policies (i.e. single or double blind peer review) as well as per journal subject discipline. Before submitting your article check the instructions following this section carefully.

The corresponding author should be prepared to collect documentation of compliance with ethical standards and send if requested during peer review or after publication.

The Editors reserve the right to reject manuscripts that do not comply with the above-mentioned guidelines. The author will be held responsible for false statements or failure to fulfill the above-mentioned guidelines.

Conflicts of Interest / Competing Interests

Authors are requested to disclose interests that are directly or indirectly related to the work submitted for publication. Interests within the last 3 years of beginning the work (conducting the research and preparing the work for submission) should be reported. Interests outside the 3-year time frame must be disclosed if they could reasonably be perceived as influencing the submitted work. Disclosure of interests provides a complete and transparent process and helps readers form their own judgments of potential bias. This is not meant to imply that a financial relationship with an organization that sponsored the research or compensation received for consultancy work is inappropriate.

Interests that should be considered and disclosed but are not limited to the following:

Funding: Research grants from funding agencies (please give the research funder and the grant number) and/or research support (including salaries, equipment, supplies, reimbursement for attending symposia, and other expenses) by organizations that may gain or lose financially through publication of this manuscript.

Employment: Recent (while engaged in the research project), present or anticipated employment by any organization that may gain or lose financially through publication of this manuscript. This includes multiple affiliations (if applicable).

Financial interests: Stocks or shares in companies (including holdings of spouse and/or children) that may gain or lose financially through publication of this manuscript; consultation fees or other forms of remuneration from organizations that may gain or lose financially; patents or patent applications whose value may be affected by publication of this manuscript.

It is difficult to specify a threshold at which a financial interest becomes significant, any such figure is necessarily arbitrary, so one possible practical guideline is the following: "Any undeclared financial interest that could embarrass the author were it to become publicly known after the work was published."

Non-financial interests: In addition, authors are requested to disclose interests that go beyond financial interests that could impart bias on the work submitted for publication such as professional interests, personal relationships or personal beliefs (amongst others). Examples include, but are not limited to: position on editorial board, advisory board or board of directors or other type of management relationships; writing and/or consulting for educational purposes; expert witness; mentoring relations; and so forth.

Primary research articles require a disclosure statement. Review articles present an expert synthesis of evidence and may be treated as an authoritative work on a subject. Review articles therefore require a disclosure statement.Other article types such as editorials, book reviews, comments (amongst others) may, dependent on their content, require a disclosure statement. If you are unclear whether your article type requires a disclosure statement, please contact the Editor-in-Chief.

Please note that, in addition to the above requirements, funding information (given that funding is a potential conflict of interest (as mentioned above)) needs to be disclosed upon submission of the manuscript in the peer review system. This information will automatically be added to the Record of CrossMark, however it is not added to the manuscript itself. Under ‘summary of requirements’ (see below) funding information should be included in the ‘Declarations’ section.

Summary of requirements

The above should be summarized in a statement and placed in a ‘Declarations’ section before the reference list under a heading of ‘Funding’ and/or ‘Conflicts of interests’/’Competing interests’. Other declarations include Ethics approval, Consent, Data, Material and/or Code availability and Authors’ contribution statements.

Please see the various examples of wording below and revise/customize the sample statements according to your own needs.

When all authors have the same (or no) conflicts and/or funding it is sufficient to use one blanket statement.

Examples of statements to be used when funding has been received:

  • Partial financial support was received from [...]
  • The research leading to these results received funding from […] under Grant Agreement No[…].
  • This study was funded by […]
  • This work was supported by […] (Grant numbers […] and […]

Examples of statements to be used when there is no funding:

  • The authors did not receive support from any organization for the submitted work.
  • No funding was received to assist with the preparation of this manuscript.
  • No funding was received for conducting this study.
  • No funds, grants, or other support was received.

Examples of statements to be used when there are interests to declare:

  • Financial interests: Author A has received research support from Company A. Author B has received a speaker honorarium from Company Wand owns stock in Company X. Author C is consultant to company Y.

    Non-financial interests: Author C is an unpaid member of committee Z.

  • Financial interests: The authors declare they have no financial interests.

    Non-financial interests: Author A is on the board of directors of Y and receives no compensation as member of the board of directors.

  • Financial interests: Author A received a speaking fee from Y for Z. Author B receives a salary from association X. X where s/he is the Executive Director.

    Non-financial interests: none.

  • Financial interests: Author A and B declare they have no financial interests. Author C has received speaker and consultant honoraria from Company M and Company N. Dr. C has received speaker honorarium and research funding from Company M and Company O. Author D has received travel support from Company O.

    Non-financial interests: Author D has served on advisory boards for Company M, Company N and Company O.

Examples of statements to be used when authors have nothing to declare:

  • The authors have no relevant financial or non-financial interests to disclose.
  • The authors have no conflicts of interest to declare that are relevant to the content of this article.
  • All authors certify that they have no affiliations with or involvement in any organization or entity with any financial interest or non-financial interest in the subject matter or materials discussed in this manuscript.
  • The authors have no financial or proprietary interests in any material discussed in this article.

Authors are responsible for correctness of the statements provided in the manuscript. See also Authorship Principles. The Editor-in-Chief reserves the right to reject submissions that do not meet the guidelines described in this section.

Research Data Policy

A submission to the journal implies that materials described in the manuscript, including all relevant raw data, will be freely available to any researcher wishing to use them for non-commercial purposes, without breaching participant confidentiality.

The journal strongly encourages that all datasets on which the conclusions of the paper rely should be available to readers. We encourage authors to ensure that their datasets are either deposited in publicly available repositories (where available and appropriate) or presented in the main manuscript or additional supporting files whenever possible. Please see Springer Nature’s information on recommended repositories.

List of Repositories

Research Data Policy

General repositories - for all types of research data - such as figshare and Dryad may be used where appropriate.

Datasets that are assigned digital object identifiers (DOIs) by a data repository may be cited in the reference list. Data citations should include the minimum information recommended by DataCite: authors, title, publisher (repository name), identifier.

DataCite

Where a widely established research community expectation for data archiving in public repositories exists, submission to a community-endorsed, public repository is mandatory. Persistent identifiers (such as DOIs and accession numbers) for relevant datasets must be provided in the paper

For the following types of data set, submission to a community-endorsed, public repository is mandatory:

Mandatory depositionSuitable repositories
Protein sequencesUniprot
DNA and RNA sequencesGenbank

DNA DataBank of Japan (DDBJ)

EMBL Nucleotide Sequence Database (ENA)

DNA and RNA sequencing dataNCBI Trace Archive

NCBI Sequence Read Archive (SRA)

Genetic polymorphismsdbSNP

dbVar

European Variation Archive (EVA)

Linked genotype and phenotype datadbGAP

The European Genome-phenome Archive (EGA)

Macromolecular structureWorldwide Protein Data Bank (wwPDB)

Biological Magnetic Resonance Data Bank (BMRB)

Electron Microscopy Data Bank (EMDB)

Microarray data (must be MIAME compliant)Gene Expression Omnibus (GEO)

ArrayExpress

Crystallographic data for small moleculesCambridge Structural Database

For more information:

Research Data Policy Frequently Asked Questions

Data availability

The journal encourages authors to provide a statement of Data availability in their article. Data availability statements should include information on where data supporting the results reported in the article can be found, including, where applicable, hyperlinks to publicly archived datasets analysed or generated during the study. Data availability statements can also indicate whether data are available on request from the authors and where no data are available, if appropriate.

Data Availability statements can take one of the following forms (or a combination of more than one if required for multiple datasets):

  • 1. The datasets generated during and/or analysed during the current study are available in the [NAME] repository, [PERSISTENT WEB LINK TO DATASETS]

  • 2. The datasets generated during and/or analysed during the current study are not publicly available due [REASON WHY DATA ARE NOT PUBLIC] but are available from the corresponding author on reasonable request.

  • 3. The datasets generated during and/or analysed during the current study are available from the corresponding author on reasonable request.

  • 4. Data sharing not applicable to this article as no datasets were generated or analysed during the current study.
  • 5. All data generated or analysed during this study are included in this published article [and its supplementary information files].

More examples of template data availability statements, which include examples of openly available and restricted access datasets, are available:

Data availability statements

Springer Nature provides a research data policy support service for authors and editors, which can be contacted at researchdata@springernature.com.

This service provides advice on research data policy compliance and on finding research data repositories. It is independent of journal, book and conference proceedings editorial offices and does not advise on specific manuscripts.

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