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Manuscripts should be in their final form when they are submitted so that proofs will require only correction of typographical errors.

Sections of the Manuscript
General Format of Submitted Manuscripts
Formatting References
Legends for Tables and Figures
Online Submission
Submitting your Manuscript
Submitting a Revised Manuscript
Getting Help

Sections of the Manuscript
Typically papers should be divided into the following sequence of headed sections:

  • Title (title page should also include author contact information and up to five keywords)
  • Abstract (max. 200 words)
  • Introduction
  • Method
  • Results
  • Discussion
  • Conclusions
  • Acknowledgements
  • Funding
  • Data Archiving
  • References
  • Table and Figure legends
  • Tables
  • Figures

General Format of Submitted Manuscripts

  • Manuscripts should occupy not more than the page limit for the manuscript category including text, all tables and figures. The Editor-in-Chief should be consulted prior to submission if this limit cannot be achieved
  • Number each page to enable reviewers to refer to items in the manuscript easily.
  • Use 1.5 line spacing with a 2 cm margin on all sides of the text.
  • The text should be Times New Roman font size 12 (except if required within tables where size 10 may be used).
  • Avoid footnotes.
  • Use 'L' for litre (eg mL), not 'l'
  • Nutrient concentrations should be reported as molar (not mass; i.e. µM nitrate (not µg nitrate-N L -1 )
  • Avoid use of 'reduce' (opposite of oxidise) except when for chemical usage.
  • Use 'autumn' not fall.
  • Identify sampling locations by latitude, longitude and by country as appropriate.
  • Check the PDF for the clear reproduction of figures, special symbols and Greek letters.
  • Differentiate between the letter O and zero, and the letters I and l and the number 1.

Title, abstract, and key words

Please pay particular attention to providing an accurate and informative title, abstract and key words. For online bibliographic searching these have a key role in drawing the attention of potential readers to your paper. The Abstract should be self-contained including, background to the study, significance and principle findings, and conclusions and wider significance.

All JPR papers should include a Conclusions section at the end of each article, which should also be summarized in the Abstract. The Conclusions should be clear, concise and readily understood by the readership.


Authors are responsible for the accuracy of the References. Published articles and those in press (state the journal which has accepted them) may be included.
If you use EndNote and/or Reference Manager to facilitate referencing citations (not required for submission), this journal's style is available for use. Alternatively use the CAS Source Index (CASSI) Search Tool for journal name abbreviations.

In the text a reference should be cited by author and date as:

...experiments by Author (Author, 1989) have demonstrated...,


...as reported earlier (Author and Author, 1985; Author et al., 1998)...

Do NOT place text other than the author and date within the parentheses. No more than two authors may be cited per reference; if there are more than two authors use et al. If in doubt, please consult the most recent issue of the Journal.

Reference Citation:

At the end of the manuscript the citations should be typed in alphabetical order by first author's surname followed by initials. References should include, in the following order:

  • Authors' names (please list up to and including eight names, followed by et al.)
  • Year
  • Paper title
  • Journal title
  • Volume number and inclusive page numbers

Please note: in the Reference List the first 8 authors of each paper should appear in full. For more than 8 authors include the first 8 followed by et al.

The name of the journal should be abbreviated according to the CAS Source Index (CASSI).

The CAS Source Index (CASSI) Search Tool is an online resource intended to support researchers and librarians who need accurate bibliographic information. Use this free tool to quickly identify or confirm journal titles and abbreviations for publications indexed by CAS since 1907, including serial and non-serial scientific and technical publications. Book references should also include the editors and the name and address of the publisher.

Some examples:

Langeland, A. and Rognerud, S. (1974) Statistical analyses used in the comparison of three methods of freshwater zooplankton sampling. Arch. Hydrobiol. , 3 , 403--410.

Russell, F. A. and Yonge, M. (eds) (1976) Advances in Marine Biology . Vol. 13. Academic Press, London.

Schimizu, I. (1978) Dinoflagellate toxins. In Scheuer, D. J. (ed.), Marine Natural Products, Chemical and Biological Perspectives . Vol. 1. Academic Press, London, pp. 1--42.

Personal communications should cite the name and location of the author (J. Smith, Sydney, personal communication) and unpublished data should be cited as '(unpublished data)'. Both should be used as sparingly as possible.

Reference citation checklist

  • Year of publication should appear in brackets
  • Journal name must be appropriately abbreviated (see World List of Scientific Periodicals)
  • Journal name must be in italics
  • Journal volume number must be in bold
  • Do not include journal issue numbers
  • Use comma, not colon to separate volume number from page range
  • Use a semi-colon rather than comma to separate reference citations within the text - (Harris, 2009; Harris, 2010) rather than (Harris, 2009, Harris, 2010)

Legends for Tables and Figures

These should be listed on a separate, numbered page of the manuscript (or several pages if needed) after the References. Define all symbols and abbreviations used in the figure unless these are defined within the figure itself. Common abbreviations and those defined in the preceding text need not be redefined in the legend.

Third-Party Content in Open Access papers
If you will be publishing your paper under an Open Access licence but it contains material for which you do not have Open Access re-use permissions, please state this clearly by supplying the following credit line alongside the material:

Title of content
Author, Original publication, year of original publication, by permission of [rights holder]

This image/content is not covered by the terms of the Creative Commons licence of this publication. For permission to reuse, please contact the rights holder.


Tables should be typed on separate pages and numbered consecutively with Roman numerals. They should be self-explanatory and include a brief descriptive title. They should be of such a size that, when typeset, they will easily fit onto a Journal page, the type area of which is 220 (height) x 164 mm (width).

Footnotes to tables indicated by lower case letters are acceptable, but they should not include extensive experimental detail.


All illustrations (line drawings and photographs) should be referred as 'Fig. 1' throughout text and legends.

Electronic illustrations submitted to the Journal must:

• use Adobe Postscript fonts, not TrueType or system 'bitmap' fonts
• be converted to grayscale or bitmap mode if originally in colour but are to be reproduced in black and white
• have any unnecessary white space cropped from around the outside of the image if the file is a .tif file.
• each be saved in a separate file. If a figure has multiple parts (e.g., Fig. 1A, Fig. 1B) all parts should be saved into one file arranged as the author wishes them to appear in the final publication
• have a resolution of 600 dpi for line figures, and 300 dpi for half tones) for publication, saved as .tif, .jpg, .gif, .bmp, .eps, Word (or .rtf) or PowerPoint files
• if they are to be reproduced in colour, be in CMYK, not RGB mode, and saved at 300 dpi
• always use the latest version of the software program available. Files from older versions often lose integrity when opened in newer versions.

Line Figures
Line figures should be the size intended for publication (maximum dimensions 220 x 164 mm including legends), with uniform lettering style which is in proportion with the overall dimensions of the drawing. All lines, letters and symbols should be black: grey does not reproduce on printing. No additional artwork, re-drawing or typesetting will be done. Scale bars, where appropriate, should be included within the figure, not in the legend.

Photographs must be submitted for printing in the desired final size so that reduction can be avoided. Photographs, including their legends, must not exceed 220 x 164 mm. Photographs should be of sufficiently high quality with respect to detail, contrast and fineness of grain to withstand the inevitable loss of contrast and detail inherent in the printing process. Please indicate the magnification by a rule on the photograph. Do not state the magnification in the legend: it may be necessary to change photographs slightly to improve the layout of the paper.

Colour Figures

All figures submitted to the journal in colour will be published in colour online at no cost (unless the author specifically requests that their figures be in black and white online).
Authors may choose to also publish their figures in colour in the print journal: you will be asked to approve this cost after your article is accepted for publication.
Black and white figures will be printed without additional cost, but figures that may be converted from colour to black and white should be well prepared with high contrast, and must have a resolution of at least 300 dots per inch at their final size. Figure captions must be suitably worded to apply to both the print and online versions of the article. If applicable, you will be issued an invoice at the time of publication.

Note: Orders from the UK will be subject to the current UK VAT charge. For orders from elsewhere in the EU you or your institution should account for VAT by way of a reverse charge. Please provide us with your or your institution’s VAT number.

Process . Authors should indicate clearly that they would like to take up this option in their original submission. Colour figures for online-only reproduction must be submitted at the same time as the main manuscript. They cannot be altered or replaced after the paper has been accepted for publication. The figures must be identical to those reproduced in the print journal, but for the addition of colour.


In general, the Journal follows the conventions of the CBE Style Manual (Council of Biology Editors, Bethesda, MD, 1983, 5th edn). Follow Chemical Abstracts and its indexes for chemical names. For guidance in the use of biochemical terminology follow the recommendations issued by the IUPAC-IUB Commission on Biochemical Nomenclature, as given in Biochemical Nomenclature and Related Documents, published by the Biochemical Society, UK. For enzymes use the recommended name assigned by the IUPAC-IUB Commission on the Biochemical Nomenclature, 1978, as given in Enzyme Nomenclature, published by Academic Press, New York, 1980. Where possible, use the recommended SI (Systéme International) units. Genotypes should be italicized (underline in typed copy): phenotypes should not be italicized. For bacterial genetics nomenclature follow Demerec et al. (1966) Genetics , 54 , 61-76.

Try to restrict the use of abbreviations to SI symbols and those recommended by the IUPAC-IUB. Abbreviations should be defined in brackets after their first mention in the text. Standard units of measurements and chemical symbols of elements may be used without definition in the body of the paper.

Chemical formulae and mathematical equations
Wherever possible, write mathematical equations and chemical formulae on a single line. Submit complicated chemical structures as artwork.

Online Submission

PREPARING YOUR MANUSCRIPT - please ensure that the required formats for text and figure submission are followed strictly

  1. Follow the instructions to authors regarding the format of your manuscript and references.
  2. Prepare your manuscript, including tables, using a word processing program and save it as a .doc or .rtf file. All files in these formats will be converted to .pdf format upon submission.
  3. Prepare your figures at publication quality resolution, using applications capable of generating high-resolution .tif files (600 d.p.i. for line drawings and 300 d.p.i. for colour and half-tone artwork). The printing process requires your figures to be in this format if your paper is accepted and printed. For useful information on preparing your figures for publication, go to http://cpc.cadmus.com/da/index.jsp . For online submission, please also prepare a second version of your figures at low-resolution (72 d.p.i.) for use in the review process; these versions of the figures can be saved in .jpg, .gif, .tif or .eps format.
  4. For online submission, please upload the low-resolution versions of the figures as separate files.
  5. When preparing figures, please make sure that any characters or numbers included in the figures are large enough to read on-screen.
  6. Prepare any other files that are to be submitted for review, including any supplementary material. The permitted formats for these files are the same as for manuscripts and figures. Other file types, such as Microsoft Excel spreadsheets and Powerpoint presentations may be uploaded and will be converted to .pdf format.
  7. When naming your files, please use simple filenames and avoid special characters and spaces. If you are a Macintosh user, you must also type the three-letter extension at the end of the file name you choose (e.g. .doc, .rtf, .jpg, .gif, .tif, .ppt, .xls, .pdf, .eps, .mov).

Submitting your Manuscript

Now that your files are ready, visit the online submission website .

  1. Note: Before you begin, you should be sure you are using an up-to-date version of Netscape or Internet Explorer. If you have an earlier version, you can download a free upgrade using the icons found at the bottom of the 'Instructions and Forms' section of the online submission web site.
      • First, you will need to log into the online submission site.
      • If you know your login details (i.e., you have submitted or reviewed a manuscript in this journal before), use your User ID and Password to log on. (Your user ID will usually be your email address.)
      • If you do not know your login details, check to see if you are already registered by clicking on the 'Forgot your password' button and following the on-screen instructions. If you are not already registered, you can register by clicking on the 'Create account' button on the login screen and following the on-screen instructions.
      • If you have trouble finding your manuscripts or have other problems with your account, do not create another account. Instead, please contact the journal's editorial office.
  2. To submit a new manuscript, go to the 'Author Centre', and click on “Click here to submit a new manuscript', and then follow the on-screen instructions. There are up to 7 steps for you to follow to submit your manuscript. You move from one step to the next by clicking on the 'Next' button on each screen or back to the previous screen by clicking on the 'Previous' button. Please note that if you click on the 'Back' or 'Forward' buttons on your browser, the information you have entered will not be saved. At any stage you can stop the submission process by clicking on the 'Main Menu' button. Everything you have typed into the system will be saved, and the partially completed submission will appear under 'unsubmitted manuscripts' in your 'Author Centre'. To return to the submission process you will need to click on the button 'Continue Submission' against the relevant manuscript title.
  3. When submitting your manuscript, please enter your manuscript data into the relevant fields, following the detailed instructions at the top of each page. You may like to have the original word-processing file available so you can copy and paste the title and abstract into the required fields. You will also be required to provide email addresses for your co-authors, so please have these to hand when you log onto the site.
    • When you come to upload your manuscript files via the 'File Upload' screen:
    • Enter individual files using the 'Browse' buttons and select the appropriate 'File type’ from the pull-down menu. The choices may vary from journal to journal but will always include a 'Main Document' (your manuscript text).
    • Upload your files by clicking on the 'Upload files' button. This may take several minutes. Click on the SAVE button to confirm the upload. Repeat these steps until you have uploaded all your files.
    • If you have uploaded any figures or tables you will be prompted to provide figure/table captions and 'file tags' that will link figures to text in the HTML proof of your main document.
    • Once you have uploaded all your files, indicate the order in which they should appear in your paper. This will determine the order in which they appear in the consolidated PDF used for peer review.
    • After the successful upload of your text and images, you will need to view and proofread your manuscript. Please do this by clicking on the blue HTML button or a PDF button.
    • If the files have not been uploaded to your satisfaction, go back to the file upload screen where you can remove the files you do not want and repeat the process.
  4. When you are satisfied with the uploaded manuscript proof click on 'Next' which will take you to the 'Review & Submit' screen. The system will check that you have completed all the mandatory fields and that you have viewed your manuscript proof. It will also present you with a summary of all the information you have provided and give you a final chance to edit it. If there is a red cross next to any section this will indicate that not all the fields have been filled in correctly. You may either go back to the
  5. When you have finished reviewing this information press 'Submit'.
  6. After the manuscript has been submitted you will see a confirmation screen and receive an email confirmation stating that your manuscript has been successfully submitted. This will also give the assigned manuscript number, which is used in all correspondence during peer review. If you do not receive this, your manuscript will not have been successfully submitted to the journal and the paper cannot progress to peer review. If this is the case your manuscript will still be sitting in the 'Unsubmitted Manuscripts' section of your 'Author Centre' awaiting your attention.
  7. If you return to your 'Author Centre' you will notice that your newly submitted manuscript can be found in the 'Submitted Manuscripts' area. The ‘Status' section provides information on the status of your manuscript as it moves through the review process.

Submitting a Revised Manuscript

  1. Logon to the online submission web site as before and, in the 'Author Centre', click on 'Manuscripts to be Revised'. You will then see the title of any manuscripts you submitted that are under revision.
  2. If you click on 'View comments/respond' you will see the editor's letter to you together with the referees' comments. You may cut and paste your responses into the text areas at the bottom of the screen.
  3. If you click on the manuscript title you will reach the 'File Manager' screen. Here you can upload the files that constitute your revised manuscript. To facilitate the production process, it is essential that you upload your revised manuscript as a .doc or .rtf file, and not in .pdf format.

IMPORTANT. Your images are required as high-resolution .tif files (600 d.p.i. for line drawings and 300 d.p.i. for colour and half-tone artwork). For useful information on preparing your figures for publication, go to http://cpc.cadmus.com/da/index.jsp . Please note that publication of your manuscript will not proceed until figures suitable for reproduction are received.

Getting Help

If you experience any problems during the online submission process please use the 'Author Help' function, which takes you to specific submission instructions, or 'Get Help Now', which takes you to the Frequently Asked Questions page. Alternatively, contact the Manuscript Central support line by email ( support@scholarone.com ) or telephone (+1 434 817 2040 x167).

You can also contact the Journal of Plankton Research editorial office by email .

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