The following provides advice for authors on specific language points, to ensure that their manuscript matches the journal style. All manuscripts should be submitted with good English and clear phrasing for the benefit of editors and reviewers.

Papers accepted after peer review undergo English language editing for minor issues, however, if you think your paper would benefit from editing at an earlier stage, you may request it via our English editing service. If you use an alternative service that provides an editing confirmation certificate, please send a copy to the Editorial Office.

Guidelines for Authors

The following are English language guidelines for submissions to the journal:

  • American English or UK English are fine so long as there is consistency.
  • Please capitalize all words in headings including hyphenated words (e.g. Anti-Antagonist), except conjunctions (and, or, but, nor, yet, so, for), articles (a, an, the), and all prepositions (including those of five letters or more) (in, to, of, at, by, up, for, off, on, against, between, among, under). First and last words in the title are always capitalized.
  • Define abbreviations the first time they are mentioned in the abstract, text; also the first time they are mentioned in a table or figure.
  • Keywords are not capitalized.
  • All websites need to be referenced as does unpublished data or personal communications.
  • Use the em dash (symbol 2014) instead of commas in a sentence when explaining something, for example: …from known processes—QED, the weak interaction, and hadronic vacuum polarization—are believed to be understood at the sub-ppm level.
  • Use the en dash (2013) between numbers and words replacing “to”, for example 4–6 mL; superconductor–normal metal interface; east–west transects; also in composite names, e.g. Wigner–Seitz cells.
  • Capitalize words such as Group, Section, Method, etc. if followed by a number, e.g. “In Group 4, five patients…”
  • The ‘th’ in 19th or 20th should NOT be written in superscript.
  • Dates are written out in the full, April 22, 2004 (or 22 April, 2004) rather than 22.4.04
  • Write 1990s rather than with an apostrophe (1990’s) or just 90s.
  • There is no space after > or < unless it is between two figures, i.e. 7 < 10.
  • IC50: 50 always in subscript, also EC50, LC50, LD50, TC50
  • The measurement mL: the L is always a capital.
  • For consistency, in table/figure headings put brackets round (A) (B) and make A and B bold.
  • Write don’t, can’t… in full, i.e. do not, cannot
  • Numbers 1 to 9 are written in full, except if part of a measurement (6–8 mL) or in the experimental/materials/methods section.
  • Numbers at the beginning of a sentence should be written in full, i.e. 152 mL must be written as: One hundred and fifty two milliliters.
  • A sentence should not start with But or And (use however or find alternatives).
  • If a reference is written at the beginning of a sentence, e.g. “[12] studied…”, insert the author’s name before the reference number, e.g. “Smith [12] studied” or write “The authors of [13] studied

There is a space after a number and before °C and units such as μL, h, min, days, but NOT before % or ° (angle).

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