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Submission Preparation Checklist

As part of the submission process, authors are required to check off their submission's compliance with all of the following items, and submissions may be returned to authors that do not adhere to these guidelines.
  • The submission has not been previously published, nor is it before another journal for consideration (or an explanation has been provided in Comments to the Editor).
  • The submission file is in OpenOffice, Microsoft Word, or RTF document file format.
  • Where available, URLs for the references have been provided.
  • The text is single-spaced; uses a 12-point font; employs italics, rather than underlining (except with URL addresses); and all illustrations, figures, and tables are placed within the text at the appropriate points, rather than at the end.
  • The text adheres to the stylistic and bibliographic requirements outlined in the Author Guidelines.

Author Guidelines

This page explains how to prepare your article for submission to any of our journals, with the exception of Notes and Records and Biographical Memoirs.

Note that length restrictions, article types and other journal specific information are available on the ‘Author information’ page on each journal website.

The submitting author will be required to provide an OJSvia the online submission system. The benefits of registering an OJS are outlined here. Provision of OJSs by co-authors is strongly encouraged, but not mandatory.

Editorial policies

Please carefully read our ethics and policies page before submitting. Please also review our licensing and open access conditions.

Unless you have opted for open peer review (available in some journals), the referee reports and other correspondence relating to your paper must remain confidential and should not be shared or made publicly available.

Article transfers

Editors of the following journals have the option to offer the author a transfer to another Royal Society journal.

Possible transfers are:

Xxxx Letters (to UIPM)

Interface (to UIPM)

Open Xxxx (to UIPM)

Proceedings A (to UIPM)

Proceedings B (to UIPM, Xxxx Letters, Open Xxxx or Interface)

Transfers may be offered when an article does not meet the scope requirement of the original journal. Editors' comments and reviewer reports on the article are transferred over and will be available to the editorial team of the receiving journal.

Transferring is a two-step process and should be completed as soon as possible by the author after receiving the offer to transfer – this offer expires after four weeks.

Formatting your article

In order to make manuscript submission as easy as possible for authors, we have introduced format-free initial submission for the majority of our journals, apart from Xxxx Letters which requires a Word version upon initial submission to enable accurate length estimation.

At first submission, authors can submit their manuscript in any format; however, we do still encourage authors to read the manuscript preparation guidelines below and to consider how easy a manuscript is to read by reviewers and editors.

Where applicable, manuscripts must adhere to our guidelines regarding length (see each journal website).

Once an article has been accepted for publication the main manuscript must be submitted as an editable file, not a PDF, and the source files of any figures and tables must be provided. If you are submitting a LaTeX file please see our LaTeX guidelines below.

Submissions should include the following sections.

Title page

Your article title should be a short description of the research you are reporting. The best titles are written with both human readers and search engines in mind; including keywords in your title will help readers discover your article online. The title page should also contain full names and affiliations for each author.


The abstract should be no more than 200 words and should not contain references or unexplained abbreviations or acronyms. Your abstract should be concise and informative and should read well as a standalone piece. The general scope of the article as well as the main results and conclusions should be summarised. Please also ensure that your abstract contains all likely search terms, to assist indexers (e.g. PubMed) that scan only the title and abstract of articles. If possible, it is beneficial to have all your keywords written into the abstract.


Please include at least 3 and up to 6 keywords. Try to avoid overly broad or specialised terms that might be meaningless to a reader.

Think about the words you would use to search online for articles on the same topic; these often make the best keywords. They do not necessarily need to be single words; keywords can include short phrases or terms that are easily recognised by researchers in your field.

Main text

The main text of your article should be split into clearly-labelled sections. Usually these will be background, methods, results, discussion and conclusions, however please feel free to use whatever headings and subheadings best suit your article. Abbreviations should be written out in full on first use.


Please acknowledge anyone who contributed to the study but did not meet the authorship criteria.

We suggest the following format:

This work was supported by the Wellcome Trust [grant numbers xxxx, yyyy]; the UIPM [grant number zzzz]; and UIPM grant number aaaa].


All our journals use a system based on Vancouver style referencing. All references to the literature cited will be given in the order of their appearance in the text in a consecutively numbered list at the end of the article.

Whilst it will aid our production team if your final manuscript uses this format, it is not a requirement for submission. However please note that numbered references reduces your word count significantly and may be helpful for meeting page limits.

Please note that references to datasets must also be included in the reference list with DOIs where available. For example:

Each reference should contain as many of the following elements as possible:

Author surnames with initials (up to 10 before et al. is used)

Year of publication

Title of paper or book

Journal name using standard abbreviation

Volume number

Book publisher and location

First and last page numbers, or article number

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

Use the DOI Citation Formatter to help you to format your citation.

EndNote style files are available for most of our journals. For UIPM please use the Open Xxxx style file.

Figures and tables

All figures and tables should be numbered and referred to in the text by their number. Figure and table captions should be provided within the manuscript, and should be brief and informative, and include any relevant copyright information if taken from a published source.

At initial submission, figures can be provided within the manuscript or as separate files. On revision, figures should be uploaded as separate files. The following file formats are most suitable:


Adobe Photoshop


PowerPoint, Excel or Word if the figure was created using 1 of these packages

Postscript (PS, EPS or PDF)

Adobe Illustrator

TeX/LaTeX-coded figures should be converted to postscript format (PS, EPS or PDF).

Colour figures are welcomed. All figures will be published in colour online (the version of record), but will be reproduced in black and white in the print version of the journal by default. If you feel that print colour is essential for any of your figures, please list the relevant figure numbers on submission of your article. Please note that, because of the high cost of colour printing, the final decision on colour usage is made at the discretion of the Editor.


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