New Manuscript Formatting Requirements

Starting on Sep. 1, 2021, the structure and formatting of submitted manuscripts changed to require:  

  • integrated figures and tables throughout the text 
  • line spacing of the manuscript body text of 1.5
  • inclusion of a Data Availability Statement 

For best results, authors are strongly encouraged to use the Word and LaTeX manuscript templates available and follow all requirements listed on the Formatting and Manuscript Components web page. 

Why these formatting changes?

The primary goal of these changes is to improve the look of the Early Online Releases (EORs). These "publish ahead of print" versions of papers are increasingly used by authors and institutions eager to disseminate their work (to colleagues, to media) soon after acceptance.

  • We’ve already taken initial steps in this direction by 
    • removing the cover page that previously was included with the EOR,
    • removing the large “Preliminary” watermark, and
    • developing a Microsoft Word template along with the LaTeX template that allows the removal of manuscript line numbers after acceptance
  • We considered the option of further polishing manuscript files after acceptance but the available vendor and workflow solutions would involve costs that are prohibitive, and also would increase production times.
  • Feedback from key stakeholders (authors, reviewers, editors, readers) over the past two years clearly indicates that the changes will please some individuals and not please others. Given the overall balance of needs we need to meet, the upcoming changes are the way forward. 
  • In parallel to the new formatting changes, making the Data Availability Statement mandatory for manuscript submissions (instead of the present “strongly encouraged” approach) will be implemented at the same time.