- Instructions for Authors
- Article types
- Students & Early Career Researchers
- Review procedure & editorial policy
- The Manuscript
- Page Charges
- Editing Services
- Springer Open Choice
- Ethical Responsibilities of Authors
- Authorship principles
- Compliance with Ethical Standards
- Competing Interests
- Research Data Policy and Data Availability Statements
- Utilization of plants, algae, fungi
- Open access publishing
Instructions for Authors
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.
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 six categories of papers:
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.
Perspectives Articles (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.
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.
Methodology 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 (1500 words) are short papers 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 all article types by students and early career researchers (ECR) (defined as being within one year of award of a PhD degree). If you are a student or early career researcher and submitting one of these article types as the first author, please mention the “SERC incentive” in your cover letter to qualify for an eBook voucher if your manuscript is accepted.
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.
Style notes for papers
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.
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.
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).
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).
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.
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.
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.
Acknowledgments of people, grants, funds, etc. should be placed in a separate section on the title page. The names of funding organizations should be written in full.
All manuscripts must contain the following sections under the heading 'Declarations', to be placed before ‘References’.
If any of the sections are not relevant to your manuscript, please include the heading and write 'Not applicable' for that section.
Funding (information that explains whether and by whom the research was supported)
Conflicts of interest/Competing interests (include appropriate disclosures)
Ethics approval (include appropriate approvals or waivers)
Consent to participate (include appropriate statements)
Consent for publication (include appropriate statements)
Availability of data and material (data transparency)
Code availability (software application or custom code)
Please see the relevant sections in the submission guidelines for further information as well as various examples of wording.
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.
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 & Tables
For first submission we suggest that you include all figures and tables as part of the main document.
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 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.
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.
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 will be sent to the corresponding author by e−mail. Your response, with or without corrections, should be sent within 72 hours.
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.
How can you help improve your manuscript for publication?
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You can also use our free Grammar Check tool for an evaluation of your work.
Please note that using these tools, or any other service, is not a requirement for publication, nor does it imply or guarantee that editors will accept the article, or even select it for peer review.
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Springer Open Choice
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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.
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.
These guidelines describe authorship principles and good authorship practices to which prospective authors should adhere to.
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:
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.
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.
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.
• 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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
Editorial Board Members and Editors are required to declare any competing interests and may be excluded from the peer review process if a competing interest exists. In addition, they should exclude themselves from handling manuscripts in cases where there is a competing interest. This may include – but is not limited to – having previously published with one or more of the authors, and sharing the same institution as one or more of the authors. Where an Editor or Editorial Board Member is on the author list they must declare this in the competing interests section on the submitted manuscript. If they are an author or have any other competing interest regarding a specific manuscript, another Editor or member of the Editorial Board will be assigned to assume responsibility for overseeing peer review. These submissions are subject to the exact same review process as any other manuscript. Editorial Board Members are welcome to submit papers to the journal. These submissions are not given any priority over other manuscripts, and Editorial Board Member status has no bearing on editorial consideration.
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 competing 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 ‘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 competing interests 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 and Data Availability Statements
This journal operates a type 2 research data policy (life sciences). 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.
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.
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.
If the journal that you’re submitting to uses double-blind peer review and you are providing reviewers with access to your data (for example via a repository link, supplementary information or data on request), it is strongly suggested that the authorship in the data is also blinded. There are data repositories that can assist with this and/or will create a link to mask the authorship of your data.
For the following types of data set, submission to a community-endorsed, public repository is mandatory:
|Mandatory deposition||Suitable repositories|
|DNA and RNA sequences||Genbank|
DNA DataBank of Japan (DDBJ)
EMBL Nucleotide Sequence Database (ENA)
|DNA and RNA sequencing data||NCBI Trace Archive|
NCBI Sequence Read Archive (SRA)
European Variation Archive (EVA)
|Linked genotype and phenotype data||dbGAP|
The European Genome-phenome Archive (EGA)
|Macromolecular structure||Worldwide 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)|
|Crystallographic data for small molecules||Cambridge Structural Database|
For more information:
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:
Authors who need help understanding our data sharing policies, help finding a suitable data repository, or help organising and sharing research data can access our Author Support portal for additional guidance.
Utilization of plants, algae, fungi
This journal values stewardship, transparency, and adhering to governance with regards to collecting and utilizing specimens and conducting experiments and/or field studies. Therefore the journal sets out the following guidelines:
Field studies involving genetically engineered plants must be conducted in accordance with national or local legislation and, if applicable, the manuscript needs to include a statement specifying the appropriate permissions and/or licences.
Authors utilizing genetic plant resources received via local suppliers/collectors, such as species collected from protected areas or endangered species with medical importance, must conduct their experiments following the Nagoya Protocol (as part of the Convention on Biological Diversity).
Authors whose research is focusing on quarantine organisms (i.e. harmful or pest organisms, including plant pathogens) should adhere to national legislation and notify the relevant National Plant Protection Organization of new findings before publication. More information can be found via the International Plant Protection Convention.
In principle, it is recommended that authors comply with:
- The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Policy Statement on Research Involving Species at Risk of Extinction and consult the IUCN red list index of threatened species
- Convention on the Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora
Voucher specimens ensure that the identity of organisms studied in the field or in laboratory experiments can be verified, and ensure that new species concepts can be applied to past research. Voucher specimens documenting all investigated accessions (for population samples at least one specimen per population) are to be deposited in a public herbarium, for example: Index Herbariorum, or other public collection providing access to deposited material. Information on the voucher specimen and who identified it must be included in the manuscript such as Genus name, species name, author, and year of publication.
Names of plants, algae and fungi
Manuscripts containing new taxon names or other nomenclatural acts must follow the guidelines set by the International Code of Nomenclature for algae, fungi, and plants.
Authors describing new fungal taxa should register the names with a recognized repository, such as Mycobank, and request a unique digital identifier which should be included in the published article.