- Instructions for Authors
- Types of Articles
- Manuscript Submission
- Title Page
- Scientific style
- Statements & Declarations
- Artwork and Illustrations Guidelines
- Supplementary Information (SI)
- Ethical Responsibilities of Authors
- Authorship principles
- Compliance with Ethical Standards
- Competing Interests
- Editing Services
- Research Data Policy and Data Availability Statements
- After acceptance
- Open Choice
- Open access publishing
- Mistakes to avoid during manuscript preparation
Instructions for Authors
Types of Articles
Trees- Structure and Function accepts original articles, short communications and reviews.
Reviews should not exceed 25 doubled-spaced pages, including tables, figures, and references. They must be subdivided into appropriate sections, including an abstract and brief introduction. The references should comprise relevant publications up to the year in which the paper is submitted.
Short Communications are handled rather flexible. The average article in this category has 4-6 printed pages (including references) and the "Results" and "Discussion" section are usually combined.
The Editors-in-Chief of Trees - Structure and Function may pick selected articles and allocate them to particular topics (like tree rings, drought stress, mycorrhiza, etc.). These tagged articles will be brought together on SpringerLink in topical collections, easily accessible online as a service for our readers. Articles of such online collections will be processed and published in regular issues just like all other articles.
Submission of a manuscript implies: that the work described has not been published before; that it is not under consideration for publication anywhere else; that its publication has been approved by all co-authors, if any, as well as by the responsible authorities – tacitly or explicitly – at the institute where the work has been carried out. The publisher will not be held legally responsible should there be any claims for compensation.
Authors wishing to include figures, tables, or text passages that have already been published elsewhere are required to obtain permission from the copyright owner(s) for both the print and online format and to include evidence that such permission has been granted when submitting their papers. Any material received without such evidence will be assumed to originate from the authors.
Please follow the hyperlink “Submit manuscript” and upload all of your manuscript files following the instructions given on the screen.
Please ensure you provide all relevant editable source files at every submission and revision. Failing to submit a complete set of editable source files will result in your article not being considered for review. For your manuscript text please always submit in common word processing formats such as .docx or LaTeX.
Author Contribution Statement
Authors must provide a short description of the contributions made by each listed author (please use initials). This will be published in a separate section in front of the Acknowledgments.
Please make sure your title page contains the following information.
The title should be concise and informative.
- The name(s) of the author(s)
- The affiliation(s) of the author(s), i.e. institution, (department), city, (state), country
- A clear indication and an active e-mail address of the corresponding author
- If available, the 16-digit ORCID of the author(s)
If address information is provided with the affiliation(s) it will also be published.
For authors that are (temporarily) unaffiliated we will only capture their city and country of residence, not their e-mail address unless specifically requested.
Large Language Models (LLMs), such as ChatGPT, do not currently satisfy our authorship criteria. Notably an attribution of authorship carries with it accountability for the work, which cannot be effectively applied to LLMs. Use of an LLM should be properly documented in the Methods section (and if a Methods section is not available, in a suitable alternative part) of the manuscript.
Please provide an abstract of 150 to 250 words. The abstract should not contain any undefined abbreviations or unspecified references.
For life science journals only (when applicable)
- Trial registration number and date of registration for prospectively registered trials
- Trial registration number and date of registration, followed by “retrospectively registered”, for retrospectively registered trials
Please provide 4 to 6 keywords which can be used for indexing purposes.
Please summarize the main achievement of your manuscript beyond the meaning of the manuscript title. This "Key Message" may not contain more than 30 words.
Manuscripts should be submitted in Word.
- Use a normal, plain font (e.g., 10-point Times Roman) for text.
- Use italics for emphasis.
- Use the automatic page numbering function to number the pages.
- Do not use field functions.
- Use tab stops or other commands for indents, not the space bar.
- Use the table function, not spreadsheets, to make tables.
- Use the equation editor or MathType for equations.
- Save your file in docx format (Word 2007 or higher) or doc format (older Word versions).
Manuscripts with mathematical content can also be submitted in LaTeX. We recommend using Springer Nature’s LaTeX template.
Please use no more than three levels of displayed headings.
Abbreviations should be defined at first mention and used consistently thereafter.
Footnotes can be used to give additional information, which may include the citation of a reference included in the reference list. They should not consist solely of a reference citation, and they should never include the bibliographic details of a reference. They should also not contain any figures or tables.
Footnotes to the text are numbered consecutively; those to tables should be indicated by superscript lower-case letters (or asterisks for significance values and other statistical data). Footnotes to the title or the authors of the article are not given reference symbols.
Always use footnotes instead of endnotes.
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.
Use continuous line numbers, starting from the first page and use double-line spacing.
Genus and species names should be in italics.
Cite references in the text by name and year in parentheses. Some examples:
- Negotiation research spans many disciplines (Thompson 1990).
- This result was later contradicted by Becker and Seligman (1996).
- This effect has been widely studied (Abbott 1991; Barakat et al. 1995a, b; Kelso and Smith 1998; Medvec et al. 1999, 2000).
The list of references should only include works that are cited in the text and that have been published or accepted for publication. Personal communications and unpublished works should only be mentioned in the text.
Reference list entries should be alphabetized by the last names of the first author of each work. Please alphabetize according to the following rules: 1) For one author, by name of author, then chronologically; 2) For two authors, by name of author, then name of coauthor, then chronologically; 3) For more than two authors, by name of first author, then chronologically.
If available, please always include DOIs as full DOI links in your reference list (e.g. “https://doi.org/abc”).
- Journal article
Gamelin FX, Baquet G, Berthoin S, Thevenet D, Nourry C, Nottin S, Bosquet L (2009) Effect of high intensity intermittent training on heart rate variability in prepubescent children. Eur J Appl Physiol 105:731-738. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00421-008-0955-8
Ideally, the names of all authors should be provided, but the usage of “et al” in long author lists will also be accepted:
Smith J, Jones M Jr, Houghton L et al (1999) Future of health insurance. N Engl J Med 965:325–329
- Article by DOI
Slifka MK, Whitton JL (2000) Clinical implications of dysregulated cytokine production. J Mol Med. https://doi.org/10.1007/s001090000086
South J, Blass B (2001) The future of modern genomics. Blackwell, London
- 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 230-257
- Online document
Cartwright J (2007) Big stars have weather too. IOP Publishing PhysicsWeb. http://physicsweb.org/articles/news/11/6/16/1. Accessed 26 June 2007
Trent JW (1975) Experimental acute renal failure. Dissertation, University of California
Always use the standard abbreviation of a journal’s name according to the ISSN List of Title Word Abbreviations, see
If you are unsure, please use the full journal title.
Statements & Declarations
The following statements must be included in your submitted manuscript under the heading 'Statements and Declarations'. This should be placed after the References section. Please note that submissions that do not include required statements will be returned as incomplete.
Please describe any sources of funding that have supported the work. The statement should include details of any grants received (please give the name of the funding agency and grant number).
“This work was supported by […] (Grant numbers […] and […]). Author A.B. has received research support from Company A.”
“The authors declare that no funds, grants, or other support were received during the preparation of this manuscript.”
Authors are required to disclose financial or non-financial 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.
“Financial interests: Author A and B declare they have no financial interests. Author C has received speaker and consultant honoraria from Company M. Dr. C has received speaker honorarium and research funding from Company M and Company N. Author D has received travel support from Company O. Non-financial interests: Author D has served on advisory boards for Company M and Company N.”
“The authors have no relevant financial or non-financial interests to disclose.”
Please refer to the “Competing Interests” section below for more information on how to complete these sections.
Authors are encouraged to include a statement that specifies the contribution of every author to the research and preparation of the manuscript.
“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.”
Please refer to the “Authorship Principles ” section below for more information on how to complete this section.
This journal encourages authors to provide an optional 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.
“The datasets generated during and/or analysed during the current study are available in the [NAME] repository, [PERSISTENT LINK TO DATASETS]”
“The datasets generated during and/or analysed during the current study are available from the corresponding author on reasonable request.”
Please refer to the “Research Data Policy and Data Availability” section below for more information on how to complete this section.
- All tables are to be numbered using Arabic numerals.
- Tables should always be cited in text in consecutive numerical order.
- For each table, please supply a table caption (title) explaining the components of the table.
- Identify any previously published material by giving the original source in the form of a reference at the end of the table caption.
- Footnotes to tables should be indicated by superscript lower-case letters (or asterisks for significance values and other statistical data) and included beneath the table body.
Artwork and Illustrations Guidelines
Electronic Figure Submission
- Supply all figures electronically.
- Indicate what graphics program was used to create the artwork.
- For vector graphics, the preferred format is EPS; for halftones, please use TIFF format. MSOffice files are also acceptable.
- Vector graphics containing fonts must have the fonts embedded in the files.
- Name your figure files with "Fig" and the figure number, e.g., Fig1.eps.
- Definition: Black and white graphic with no shading.
- Do not use faint lines and/or lettering and check that all lines and lettering within the figures are legible at final size.
- All lines should be at least 0.1 mm (0.3 pt) wide.
- Scanned line drawings and line drawings in bitmap format should have a minimum resolution of 1200 dpi.
- Vector graphics containing fonts must have the fonts embedded in the files.
- Definition: Photographs, drawings, or paintings with fine shading, etc.
- If any magnification is used in the photographs, indicate this by using scale bars within the figures themselves.
- Halftones should have a minimum resolution of 300 dpi.
- Definition: a combination of halftone and line art, e.g., halftones containing line drawing, extensive lettering, color diagrams, etc.
- Combination artwork should have a minimum resolution of 600 dpi.
- Color art is free of charge for online publication.
- If black and white will be shown in the print version, make sure that the main information will still be visible. Many colors are not distinguishable from one another when converted to black and white. A simple way to check this is to make a xerographic copy to see if the necessary distinctions between the different colors are still apparent.
- If the figures will be printed in black and white, do not refer to color in the captions.
- Color illustrations should be submitted as RGB (8 bits per channel).
- To add lettering, it is best to use Helvetica or Arial (sans serif fonts).
- Keep lettering consistently sized throughout your final-sized artwork, usually about 2–3 mm (8–12 pt).
- Variance of type size within an illustration should be minimal, e.g., do not use 8-pt type on an axis and 20-pt type for the axis label.
- Avoid effects such as shading, outline letters, etc.
- Do not include titles or captions within your illustrations.
- All figures are to be numbered using Arabic numerals.
- Figures should always be cited in text in consecutive numerical order.
- Figure parts should be denoted by lowercase letters (a, b, c, etc.).
- If an appendix appears in your article and it contains one or more figures, continue the consecutive numbering of the main text. Do not number the appendix figures,"A1, A2, A3, etc." Figures in online appendices [Supplementary Information (SI)] should, however, be numbered separately.
- Each figure should have a concise caption describing accurately what the figure depicts. Include the captions in the text file of the manuscript, not in the figure file.
- Figure captions begin with the term Fig. in bold type, followed by the figure number, also in bold type.
- No punctuation is to be included after the number, nor is any punctuation to be placed at the end of the caption.
- Identify all elements found in the figure in the figure caption; and use boxes, circles, etc., as coordinate points in graphs.
- Identify previously published material by giving the original source in the form of a reference citation at the end of the figure caption.
Figure Placement and Size
- Figures should be submitted within the body of the text. Only if the file size of the manuscript causes problems in uploading it, the large figures should be submitted separately from the text.
- When preparing your figures, size figures to fit in the column width.
- For large-sized journals the figures should be 84 mm (for double-column text areas), or 174 mm (for single-column text areas) wide and not higher than 234 mm.
- For small-sized journals, the figures should be 119 mm wide and not higher than 195 mm.
If you include figures that have already been published elsewhere, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner(s) for both the print and online format. Please be aware that some publishers do not grant electronic rights for free and that Springer will not be able to refund any costs that may have occurred to receive these permissions. In such cases, material from other sources should be used.
In order to give people of all abilities and disabilities access to the content of your figures, please make sure that
- All figures have descriptive captions (blind users could then use a text-to-speech software or a text-to-Braille hardware)
- Patterns are used instead of or in addition to colors for conveying information (colorblind users would then be able to distinguish the visual elements)
- Any figure lettering has a contrast ratio of at least 4.5:1
Supplementary Information (SI)
Springer accepts electronic multimedia files (animations, movies, audio, etc.) and other supplementary files to be published online along with an article or a book chapter. This feature can add dimension to the author's article, as certain information cannot be printed or is more convenient in electronic form.
Before submitting research datasets as Supplementary Information, authors should read the journal’s Research data policy. We encourage research data to be archived in data repositories wherever possible.
- Supply all supplementary material in standard file formats.
- Please include in each file the following information: article title, journal name, author names; affiliation and e-mail address of the corresponding author.
- To accommodate user downloads, please keep in mind that larger-sized files may require very long download times and that some users may experience other problems during downloading.
- High resolution (streamable quality) videos can be submitted up to a maximum of 25GB; low resolution videos should not be larger than 5GB.
Audio, Video, and Animations
- Aspect ratio: 16:9 or 4:3
- Maximum file size: 25 GB for high resolution files; 5 GB for low resolution files
- Minimum video duration: 1 sec
- Supported file formats: avi, wmv, mp4, mov, m2p, mp2, mpg, mpeg, flv, mxf, mts, m4v, 3gp
Text and Presentations
- Submit your material in PDF format; .doc or .ppt files are not suitable for long-term viability.
- A collection of figures may also be combined in a PDF file.
- Spreadsheets should be submitted as .csv or .xlsx files (MS Excel).
- Specialized format such as .pdb (chemical), .wrl (VRML), .nb (Mathematica notebook), and .tex can also be supplied.
Collecting Multiple Files
- It is possible to collect multiple files in a .zip or .gz file.
- If supplying any supplementary material, the text must make specific mention of the material as a citation, similar to that of figures and tables.
- Refer to the supplementary files as “Online Resource”, e.g., "... as shown in the animation (Online Resource 3)", “... additional data are given in Online Resource 4”.
- Name the files consecutively, e.g. “ESM_3.mpg”, “ESM_4.pdf”.
- For each supplementary material, please supply a concise caption describing the content of the file.
Processing of supplementary files
- Supplementary Information (SI) will be published as received from the author without any conversion, editing, or reformatting.
In order to give people of all abilities and disabilities access to the content of your supplementary files, please make sure that
- The manuscript contains a descriptive caption for each supplementary material
- Video files do not contain anything that flashes more than three times per second (so that users prone to seizures caused by such effects are not put at risk)
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:
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.
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:
A Graduate Student’s Guide to Determining Authorship Credit and Authorship Order, APA Science Student Council 2006
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.
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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:
Research Data Policy Frequently Asked Questions
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.
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Once you have completed this, your article will be processed and you will receive the proofs.
Article publishing agreement
Depending on the ownership of the journal and its policies, you will either grant the Publisher an exclusive licence to publish the article or will be asked to transfer copyright of the article to the Publisher.
Offprints can be ordered by the corresponding author.
Online publication of color illustrations is free of charge. For color in the print version, authors will be expected to make a contribution towards the extra costs.
The purpose of the proof is to check for typesetting or conversion errors and the completeness and accuracy of the text, tables and figures. Substantial changes in content, e.g., new results, corrected values, title and authorship, are not allowed without the approval of the Editor.
After online publication, further changes can only be made in the form of an Erratum, which will be hyperlinked to the article.
The article will be published online after receipt of the corrected proofs. This is the official first publication citable with the DOI. After release of the printed version, the paper can also be cited by issue and page numbers.
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