Author Guidelines - Methods in Ecology and Evolution
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3.0 Acceptance and beyond
3.1 Author Services | 3.2 Exclusive License Form | 3.3 Accepted Articles | 3.4 Proofs | 3.5 Early View publication | 3.6 Open access | 3.7 Offprints | 3.8 Robert M. May Prize | 3.9 cover images | 3.10 Videos and Podcasts | 3.11 Highlighting your work
1.0 General guidelines - Methods in Ecology and Evolution
1.1 Editorial Policy
Methods in Ecology and Evolution (MEE) publishes original papers that develop, test and review methods for ecological and evolutionary research. The scope of the journal is wide, including statistical methods, phylogenetic analysis, laboratory techniques, field methodology and the development of methods for conservation. Methods are defined in the widest terms and may be analytical, practical or conceptual. The following list is not exhaustive and we welcome enquiries about the suitability of possible submissions.
- Standard papers should describe new methods and how they may be used. The readership of the journal is wide and we place emphasis on methods that are applicable as broadly as possible. Papers describing methods that apply to one species or system are unlikely to meet these criteria, unless authors are able to show that their methods can be generalised (6000-7000 words).
- Reviews or Mini-reviews should offer timely synthesis.
- Forum articles should stimulate dialogue.
- Applications should describe new software and its capabilities (for those developing computing tools), equipment, or other practical tools (3000 words).
We recognise that the accessibility of methods is a major stumbling block in their uptake and application; users may need computer code, example applications or demonstrations of methods, which are difficult to find.
We encourage the use of online enhancements to papers, and offer extensive facilities for doing this - we are able to publish audio clips, video, flash video as well as computer code and tutorial materials. We are happy to hear ways in which you think methods can be more readily made available to readers and users. Have a look at the Methods YouTube channel for some past examples.
From time-to-time MEE draws together groups of papers in Special Issues with a common theme. The Issue is usually introduced by an editorial that sets the context, highlights the key messages from the research included in the feature, and shows how it contributes to the field of ecology as a whole. We welcome suggestions for such issues.
MEE works together with Wiley’s Open Access Journal, Ecology and Evolution, to enable rapid publication of good quality research that we are unable to accept for publication in our journal. Authors, whose papers are rejected by MEE, may be offered the option of having the paper, along with any related peer reviews, automatically transferred for consideration by the Editors of Ecology and Evolution. Authors will not need to reformat or rewrite their manuscript at this stage, and publication decisions will be made a short time after the transfer takes place. The Editors of Ecology and Evolution will accept submissions that report well-conducted research which reaches the standard acceptable for publication. Ecology and Evolution is a Wiley Open Access journal and article publication fees apply. For more information please go to www.ecolevol.org.
1.2 Welfare and Legal Policy
Researchers must have proper regard for conservation and animal welfare. Attention is drawn to Guidelines for the Use of Animals in Research and Teaching, published by the Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour. Any possible adverse consequences of the work for ecosystems, populations or individual organisms must be weighed against the possible gains in knowledge and its practical applications. Authors are required to sign a declaration that their work conforms to the legal requirements of the country in which it was carried out. Full details of ethical review should be included in the manuscript (e.g. license numbers and who carried out the review etc.). Editors may seek advice from referees on ethical matters and the final decision will rest with the editors.
1.3 Publication Ethics
MEE is a member of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) and Editors address all instances of plagiarism, false authorship and unethical publishing behaviour by following COPE guidelines.
1.4 Data Archiving
Data are important products of the scientific enterprise, and they should be preserved and usable for decades in the future. The British Ecological Society thus expects that data (or, for theoretical papers, mathematical and computer models) supporting the results in MEE will be archived in an appropriate public archive, such as Dryad, TreeBASE, NERC data centre, GenBank, or another archive of the author's choice that provides comparable access and guarantee of preservation. Authors may elect to have the data made publicly available at time of first online publication or, if the technology of the archive allows, may opt to embargo access to the data for a period up to a year after this date.
2.0 Submission procedure - Methods in Ecology and Evolution
2.1 Article Submission
TO SUBMIT A MANUSCRIPT CLICK HERE. When your submission is complete you will receive a manuscript ID.
Authors are required to agree to the Author's Declaration confirming that:
- The work as submitted has not been published or accepted for publication, nor is being considered for publication elsewhere, either in whole or substantial part;
- The work is original and all necessary acknowledgements have been made;
- All authors and relevant institutions have read the submitted version of the manuscript and approve its submission;
- All persons entitled to authorship have been so included;
- Any potential conflicts of interest have been declared;
- All work conforms to the legal requirements of the country in which it was carried out, including those relating to conservation and welfare, and to the Journal's policy on these matters.
2.2 Article types
Standard papers should describe new methods and how they may be used. We place emphasis on methods that are applicable as broadly as possible.
• Our maximum recommended word count for standard papers is 6000-7000 words (including tables, figure captions and references).
• Title page: Provide a concise and informative title (do not include the authorities for any taxonomic names); a short running title (45 characters maximum); the word count (including references, tables and figure legends); a list of all authors' names and addresses; and the full contact details of the corresponding author.
• Abstract (maximum 350 words):
Point 1: set the context and purpose for the work;
Point 2: indicate the approach and methods used;
Point 3: outline the main results;
Point 4: identify the conclusions, the wider implications and the relevance to management or policy.
• Key-words: Provide a maximum of 10 keywords or phrases (avoid overlap with the title).
• Introduction: State the reason for the work, the context and the hypotheses being tested.
• Materials and methods: Include sufficient details for the work to be repeated.
• Results: State the results, drawing attention to important details in tables and figures.
• Discussion: Point out the importance of the results and place them in the context of previous studies and in relation to the application of the work (expanding on the Synthesis and applications section of the Summary). Where appropriate, set out recommendations for management or policy.
• Data Accessibility: To enable readers to locate archived data, authors should list the database and the respective accession numbers or DOIs for all data from the manuscript that has been made publicly available in this section. E.g:
- Species descriptions: uploaded as online supporting information
- Phylogenetic data: TreeBASE Study accession no. Sxxxx
- R scripts: uploaded as online supporting information
- Sample locations, IMa2 input files and microsatellite data: DRYAD entry doi: xx.xxxx/dryad.xxxx
• References (see Specifications below).
• Tables (see Specifications below).
• Figures (see Specifications below): Figures and their legends should be grouped together at the end of the paper. Photographic illustrations should also be referred to as Figures.
• Supporting Information and Appendices: Supporting information may be published in the online version of the article. Instructions for the preparation of Supporting Information are given here: http://authorservices.wiley.com/bauthor/suppmat.asp.
Reviews and Mini-Reviews should provide timely syntheses of topical themes in major areas of applied ecology. They should also offer new insights or perspectives to guide future research efforts.
Structure: The title page, summary, references and supporting elements should follow the above format for standard papers, but the layout of the main text can be flexible.
Forum articles are intended to stimulate debate in the ecological community. They should be short contributions offering conceptual advances, opinions, responses to previous articles, or identifying gaps in knowledge. We welcome items that develop dialogue between ecologists and environmental managers.
Structure: The title page, summary references, tables and figures should follow the above format for standard papers.
Applications are short descriptions (~3000 words) of new software, equipment or other practical tools. These are intended to describe and promote new tools as well as to act as a citeable source for developers. Application papers are made free to access for all readers, to encourage uptake of the methodologies they describe. Uploading a package to a site such as CRAN or sourceforge in advance is not considered prior publication, and will not hinder your submission to MEE. You can view all of our previously published Applications here.
2.3 Article Formatting
- All manuscripts should be typed in double-spacing with a large margin
- All pages should be numbered consecutively, including those containing acknowledgements, references, tables and figures.
- All lines should be numbered.
- All spelling and typescripts should be in English.
- All manuscripts should ideally be a single Word or LaTeX file, with figures embedded at the end of the text. Please note that we currently cannot accept OpenDocument format submissions.
- All files will be converted to PDF for review. Authors must therefore open each of the PDF files created during submission to check that conversion has not introduced any errors.
Figures should appear above their respective legends, on separate pages, at the end of the paper. Legends should provide enough details for the figures to be understood without reference to the text. Information (e.g. keys) that appears on the figure itself should not be duplicated in the legend. In the full-text online edition of the Journal, figure legends may be truncated in abbreviated links to the full screen version. Therefore, the first 100 characters of any legend should inform the reader of key aspects of the figure.
Figures should be drawn to publication quality and to fit into a single column width (7 cm) wherever possible. Please ensure that axes, tick marks, symbols and labels are large enough to allow reduction to a final size of c. 8 point.
Electronic images and figures should be submitted as TIFF files (for half-tones), EPS files (for vector graphics) or PDF files, if possible. These are standard formats when exporting from graphics packages such as CorelDraw, Excel, Freehand and Illustrator.
Photographs should have good contrast. Where photographs are used together to make one figure, they should be well matched for tonal range. Photographs submitted electronically should be saved at 300 d.p.i. in TIFF or BMP format at the final reproduction size.
For full instructions on preparing your figures, please refer to our Electronic Information for Authors.
Colour photographs or other figures are reproduced online free of charge. This includes the PDF version. Authors are encouraged to make good use of colour wherever possible.
Do not include high-resolution versions of figures at submission; reduce the size and resolution of graphics to give a total file size of less than 1 MB. If a manuscript is accepted, higher quality versions of figures can be submitted at a later stage, such as during a revision.
Authors should retain their electronic manuscript file in case of any difficulties arising during online submission.
Units should appear in parentheses after the column or row title. Each table should be on a separate page, numbered and titled, and included at the end of the paper before the figures.
References in the text should be separated by a semi-colon. Papers with more than three authors should be abbreviated: (Manel et al. 1999). Work with the same first author and date should be coded by letters: (Thompson et al. 1991a,b). References should be listed in chronological order within the text. The references in the list should be in alphabetical order with the journal name in full. The format should be as follows:
-Begon, M., Harper, J.L. & Townsend, C.R. (1996) Ecology: Individuals, Populations and Communities, 3rd edn. Blackwell Science, Oxford.
-Tuyttens, F.A.M. (1999) The consequences of social perturbation caused by badger removal for the control of bovine tuberculosis in cattle: a study of behaviour, population dynamics and epidemiology. PhD thesis, University of Oxford, Oxford.
-McArthur, W.M. (1993) History of landscape development. Reintegrating Fragmented Landscapes (eds R.J. Hobbs & D.A. Saunders), pp. 10-22. Springer Verlag, Berlin.
-Hill, M.O., Roy, D.B., Mountford, J.O. & Bunce, R.G.H. (2000) Extending Ellenberg's indicator values to a new area: an algorithmic approach. Journal of Applied Ecology, 37, 3-15.
-R Development Core Team (2009) R: A Language and Environment for Statistical Computing. R Foundation for Statistical Computing, Vienna. URL http://www.R-project.org [accessed 18 November 2009]
References should be cited as 'in press' only if the paper has been accepted for publication. Work not yet submitted for publication or under review should be cited as 'unpublished data', with the author's initials and surname given; such work should not be included in the Reference section. Any paper cited as 'in press' or under review elsewhere must be uploaded as part of the manuscript submission as a file 'not for review' so that it can be seen by the editors and, if necessary, made available to the referees.
We recommend the use of a tool such as EndNote or Reference Manager for reference management and formatting. EndNote reference styles can be searched for here and Reference Manager reference styles can be searched for here.
CITATIONS FROM THE WORLD WIDE WEB
MEE accepts that authors may sometimes wish to cite information available from the world wide web in similar ways to the citation of published literature. In using this option, authors are asked to ensure that:
• Fully authenticated addresses are included in the reference list, along with titles, years and authors of the sources being cited, and the most recent date the site was accessed;
• The sites or information sources have sufficient longevity and ease of access for others to follow up the citation;
• The information is of a scientific quality at least equal to that of peer-reviewed information available in learned scientific journals;
• Hard literature sources are used in preference where they are available.
It is likely that official web sites from organisations such as learned societies, government bodies or reputable NGOs will most often satisfy quality criteria.
Give Latin names in full, together with the naming authority at first mention in the main text. Alternatively, where there are many species, cite a Flora or check-list. Do not give authorities for species cited from published references. Latin names following common names should not be separated by a comma or brackets.
Special pieces of equipment should be described such that a reader can trace specifications by writing to the manufacturer; thus: 'Data were collected using a solid-state data logger (CR21X, Campbell Scientific, Utah, USA).' Where commercially available software has been used, details of the supplier should be given in brackets or the reference given in full in the reference list.
UNITS, SYMBOLS AND ABBREVIATIONS
Authors should use the International System of Units (S.I., Systeme International d'Unités; see Quantities, Units and Symbols, 2nd edn (1975) The Royal Society, London). Use 'L' for litre not 'l' to avoid confusion with 'one'. Use the negative index for units, e.g. number of insects g-1 dry wt (also note there is no period for wt). Probability values should be denoted as P. Mathematical expressions should contain symbols not abbreviations. If the paper contains many symbols, they should be defined as early in the text as possible, or within the Materials and Methods.
Mathematical expressions should be carefully represented. Wherever possible, mathematical equations and symbols should be typed in-line by keyboard entry (using Symbol font for Greek characters, and superscript options where applicable). Do not embed equations or symbols using Equation Editor or Math Type, or equivalents, when simple in-line, keyboard entry is possible. Equation software should be used only for displayed multi-line equations, and equations and symbols that cannot be typed. Make sure that there is no confusion between similar characters like l ('ell') and 1 ('one'). Ensure that expressions are spaced as they should appear. Equations should be identified as eqn 1, eqn 2, etc.
Text: Numbers from one to nine should be spelled out except when used with units (e.g. two eyes, and 2 kg).
Tables: Do not use excessive numbers of digits when writing a decimal number. The level of significance implied by numbers based on experimental measurements should reflect, and not exceed, their precision; only rarely can more than 3 figures be justified.
Basic guidelines for uploading a LaTeX formatted manuscript to ScholarOne:
1. Always upload the main LaTeX file first, selecting the file designation of Main Document.
2. Then, upload each file that is related to the main .TEX file and is needed for processing, selecting the file designation of TeX/LaTeX Suppl File.
3. Be sure to upload all style sheets, reference files, and at least one bibliography file, that are part of the document.
4. All image files must be saved and uploaded in .EPS format in order for the file to properly format and convert.
5. If changes are made to the main LaTeX document after all of the related files have been uploaded, all supplementary LaTeX files will have to be removed and re-uploaded.
2.4 Pre-submission English-language Editing
Authors for whom English is a second language may wish to consider having their manuscript professionally edited before submission to improve the English. We provide a list of independent suppliers of editing services. All services are paid for and arranged by the author, and use of one of these services does not guarantee acceptance or preference for publication.
2.5 Decisions and invitations to revise
All submissions will be assessed by one or more editors to determine whether they fall within the general remit of Methods in Ecology and Evolution, address a broad rather than narrow ecological subject area, have the potential to make a substantial contribution and cover a subject area that is topical and, therefore, potentially of interest to a wide readership. Papers that do not fulfil these criteria are likely to be rejected without review. This reduces the burden on both the refereeing community and the editorial system, and enables authors to submit, without delay, to another journal.
After this initial screening, all papers are subject to peer review and authors can expect a decision, or an explanation for the delay, within 3 months of receipt.
MEE works together with Wiley’s Open Access journal, Ecology and Evolution, to enable rapid publication of good quality research that we are unable to accept for publication in our journal. Authors of rejected papers may be offered the option of having the paper, along with any related peer reviews, automatically transferred for consideration by the Editor of Ecology and Evolution.
2.6 Author material archive policy
Please note that unless specifically requested otherwise, Blackwell Publishing will dispose of all hard copy and electronic material 2 months after publication. If you require the return of any material, please inform the editorial office or production editor when your paper is accepted for publication.
3.0 Acceptance and beyond - Methods in Ecology and Evolution
3.1 Author Services: tracking of accepted manuscripts
Upon acceptance, authors will receive an e-mail from Wiley's 'Author Services' with a unique link that enables them to register and track their article through the various stages of the production process. Visit http://authorservices.wiley.com/bauthor for more details.
3.2 Exclusive License form
All Authors are required to sign an Exclusive Licence Form (ELF) when a paper is accepted for publication. Signature of the ELF is a condition of publication and papers will not be published unless a signed form has been received. Authors will receive an email from the 'Author Services' system a few days after acceptance, which will ask them to log in and they will then be presented with the form for completion.
Please note that signature of the Exclusive Licence Form does not affect ownership of copyright for the material. The copyright statement for all authors will read:
© [date] The Author(s).
Journal compilation © [date] British Ecological Society.
3.3 Accepted Articles online
After an article has been accepted for publication, it will be uploaded online within ~2 working days, BEFORE copyediting, typesetting and proofing (the article will be assigned its DOI (digital object identifier) at this stage, and so can be read and cited as normal).
Any final, minor corrections can still be made to the article at the following proofing stage.
In due course, the corresponding author will receive an e-mail containing a link, from where a PDF file of the proof can be downloaded. Adobe Reader (formerly Acrobat Reader) is required to open PDF files, and is available for free download.
Please correct your proof using the electronic annotation tools as instructed in the ‘Using E-annotation Tools’ guidelines that can be found next to your PDF proof on the e-proofing site. You will only be able to annotate the file using Acrobat Reader 7.0 or above or Acrobat Professional. Please return your corrected proof to the Production Editor within 3 days of receipt, or send a notification if you have no corrections. Please also keep a copy of the corrected proof for your reference.
If you are unable to correct your proof using electronic annotation, please print out your proof and mark corrections onto the hard copy, using standard and consistent symbols, by following the marking in the proof correction symbols located on the e-proofing site. Then return the corrected proof by fax or letter carrier to the address given on the proof covering letter. Alternatively, email a list of your corrections to the Production Editor.
The editors reserve the right to correct the proofs, using the accepted version of the typescript, if the author's corrections are overdue and the journal would otherwise be delayed. Editors also reserve the right to modify accepted manuscripts that do not conform to scientific, technical, stylistic or grammatical standards.
3.5 Early View publication
After the proofing stage, the 'Accepted Article' version will be replaced online by the Early View version. Early View articles are final, complete, full-text articles, that are published online before inclusion in an issue. Articles are therefore available in their final format as soon as they are ready, rather than having to wait for the next scheduled issue.
To register to receive an e-mail alert when your Early View article is published, please register at Wiley Online Library and 'Set Email Alert' from the journal page (view instructions). Alternatively you can receive an alert when your paper is published through Author Services.
3.6 Open Access: OnlineOpen
OnlineOpen is available to the authors of primary research articles, who wish to make their article available to non-subscribers, or whose funding agency requires grantees to archive the final version of their article. With OnlineOpen, the author, the author's funding agency, or the author's institution pay a fee to ensure that the article is made available via Wiley Online Library, as well as deposited in the funding agency's preferred archive. The charge for OnlineOpen publication is $3,000 (discounted to $2,250 for papers where the first or corresponding author is a current member of the British Ecological Society). For the full list of terms and conditions, click here.
Following acceptance, any authors wishing to publish their paper OnlineOpen will be required to complete the payment form and will be given the option of signing a range of different Creative Commons licences, depending on author choice and funder mandate.
Prior to acceptance, there is no requirement to inform the Editorial Office that you intend to publish your paper OnlineOpen. All OnlineOpen articles are treated in the same way as any other article. They go through the journal's standard peer-review process and will be accepted or rejected based on their own merit.
The corresponding author will receive a PDF offprint of their article free of charge, at the time of publication within an issue. Printed offprints may be ordered using the Offprint Order Form supplied with the proofs (see form for charges), provided that the form is returned promptly (i.e. at the time of proof correction). Order forms should be returned to
C.O.S. Printers Pte Ltd.
9, Kian Teck Crescent,
Fax: +65 6265 9074
Printed Offprints are normally dispatched by surface mail within 3 weeks of publication of the issue in which the paper appears. Please contact the publishers if offprints do not arrive: however, please note that offprints are sent by surface mail, so overseas orders may take up to 6 weeks to arrive. The PDF offprint is e-mailed to the first author at his or her first e-mail address on the title page of the paper, unless advised otherwise; therefore please ensure that the name, address and e-mail of the receiving author are clearly indicated on the manuscript title page if he or she is not the first author of the paper. A copy of the Publisher's Terms and Conditions for the use of the PDF file will accompany the PDF offprint and the file can only be distributed in accordance with these requirements. Authors can also nominate up to three colleagues whom they would like to receive a complimentary PDF offprint.
3.8 Robert M. May Prize for the best young author
The British Ecological Society awards the Robert May Prize to the author of the best paper by an early career investigator in any subject area, published in each volume of MEE. Authors will be invited to indicate their eligibility at the time of acceptance. The first-named or sole author will be considered if they are at the start of their independent research career.
3.9 Cover images
We love being able to feature authors' images on our covers, and encourage the submission of suitable images after papers have been accepted for publication. When choosing images to submit, please bear in mind that the placement of our title will obscure the top third of the image. We accept images in all common image formats, and you can see examples of our previous covers in the journal's cover gallery.
3.10 Videos and Podcasts
We encourage the use of online enhancements to our articles - have a look at the Methods YouTube channel for examples of previously published videos, tutorials and presentations, and also visit the BES journals Soundcloud channel for examples of our podcasts.
3.11 Highlighting your work
Once your paper is accepted, there are lots of ways to announce that is out there. If you have a Twitter, Facebook or Google+ account, you could let your followers and friends know when your article is online, by updating your status or sending them a message. If you do, remember to mention Methods in Ecology and Evolution (on Facebook) and @MethodsEcolEvol (on Twitter) so that we can report it to our followers as well. And if you mention your article in a blog then remember to add the link to it on Wiley Online Library.
Please let us know immediately if your institution is planning a press release for your work, as our Accepted Articles are published online in as little as ~2 working days, therefore we will need to delay publication. We may also be able to help with the publicity.
A useful way to spread the word to other researchers is using mailing lists. You can email mailing lists briefly outlining what is special/novel/worthy of your work and linking to the online abstract or just adding the work title and DOI. A word of caution, mailing lists should only be used if the information is relevant to members or you risk receiving unfriendly replies. For example, you should only email R lists if your work is relevant to R users.
Examples of mailing lists:
- Ordnews is an ecological newsgroup
Ordination-multivariate methods in community ecology firstname.lastname@example.org
- Ecolog-L, Ecological Society of America listserv
and follow the link to mailing list
- Sub-mailing list for R
- Marine Mammals Research and Conservation Discussion
- Scientific forum on fish and fisheries
- Estuarine Science
Another way to highlight your work, specifically aimed at R users, is to set up or contribute to building an R Wiki. Those are Wikis (open collaborative websites) where authors can add their own content. For example, on the R-phylo wiki there are lists of phylogenetics packages, tutorials, wish lists and useful links.
Example R Wiki:
- Phylogenetic comparative methods
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