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Author Guidelines


Contributions to Science publishes mainly two kinds of articles, specialized reviews and general articles on scientific and technological research (see front cover).

Submission of manuscripts

Manuscripts submissions are preferably made online, at the journal’s website. Authors are asked to upload the items and provide associated metadata or indexing information to facilitate online searching and for the journal’s own use.

Articles can be tracked at any time through the editorial process, and authors can participate in the copy-editing and proofreading of articles accepted for publication by logging in with the username and password provided.

Contributions to Science does not charge publication fees. However, processing fees may be requested if the manuscript needs substantial language-editing and copyediting. The amount requested will not depend on the length of the manuscripts but on the time devoted to their editing. In special cases, processing fees can be waived. In no case will the acceptance of manuscripts depend on the authors possibility to pay processing fees.

Format of manuscripts

All contributions should be typed double-spaced (including references and figure legends) on pages not exceeding 30 cm in height (standard A4 is appropriate), with wide margins, and font (preferable Times New Roman) size not smaller than 12 points. If Greek letters (α, β, χ, et cetera) are required, use the “insert symbol” function to write them. It is the policy of the Journal to publish in English only (authors are recommended to have the manuscript thoroughly checked and corrected before submission). The Editors will warmly appreciate co-operation of authors in preparing papers in a manner that will facilitate the work of editing and publication. For research papers a selfexplanatory abstract without reference to the text—in Catalan language, too—not exceeding 200 words should be provided.

It is essential that the author responsible for post publication correspondence (the Corresponding author) should be identified on the manuscript.

Manuscript organization

The manuscript should begin with the following:

1. Title of the paper containing keywords pertaining to the subject matter. No abbreviations should be used in the title.

2. Author full names (including forenames and initials, if used) and their affiliations. If the publication originates from several institutes the affiliations of all authors should be clearly stated by using superscript numbers after the name and before the institute.

3. Postal address of the author to whom all correspondence (including preprints) is to be sent. Telephone and fax numbers as well as e-mail address should be included to speed up communication.

4. A summary (in English and Catalan languages) not exceeding 200 words.

5. A maximum of 5 keywords, which will be used for compiling the subject index.


References should be cited in the text in square brackets and listed at the end of the paper in alphabetical order. Papers not yet published but accepted by a journal may be cited with the journal’s name followed by “in press”. However, this practice is acceptable only if that author has at least received preprints of the paper. In all other cases, reference must be made to “unpublished data” or “personal communication”.

References should be in the following style:

Published papers

Venugopalan VP, Kuehn A, Hausner M, Springael D, Wilderer PA, Wuertz S (2005) Architecture of a nascent Sphingomonas sp. biofilm under varied hydrodynamic conditions. Appl Environ Microbiol 71:2677-2686

Accepted unpublished papers

Same as above, but “in press” must appear instead of the volume and page numbers


Miller JH (1972) Experiments in molecular genetics. 2nd ed. Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press, Cold Spring Harbor, New York

Book chapters

Lo N, Eggleton P (2011) Termite phylogenetics and co-cladogenesis with symbionts.

In: Bignell DE, Yves R, Nathan L (eds) Biology of termites: a modern synthesis, 2nd ed. Springer, Heidelberg, Germany, pp 27-50

Electronic journal articles

Citation of articles published in electronic-only journals must provide a DOI (preferable) or URL if they do not have traditional page numbers or electronic article identifiers.

For all references, list the first eight authors and then add “et al.” if there are additional authors. Since references that are downloaded from online databases do not always show accents, italics, or special characters, the authors should refer to the PDF files or printed versions of the articles and correct accordingly the submitted manuscript. The journal titles should be abbreviated.


Tables should be compiled on separate sheets (one per page table) with a concise, descriptive title and numbered independently of the figures using Arabic numerals in the sequence in which they occur. Every table must be referred to in the text. In the text, the position for a table is to be marked by “Table...” in the middle of an extra line. The caption must explain in detail the contents of the table. As for the table itself, it must be written so that it can be read and understood without reference to the text.

References to a table are to be handled in the same way as references to the text

(see References).


Figures, including photographs should also be submitted on separate pages at the end of the article (new page for each figure). In addition, they must be submitted also in JPG separate files with a resolution of 300 dpi. Figures should be numbered consecutively with Arabic numbers in the order of their appearance. A separate file of fine quality suitable for reproduction is required. Figures should not be larger than the manuscript page. Numbers and symbols inscribed must be large enough to be legible after reduction. If a figure comprises several separate parts, a single composite illustration containing all parts of the figure must be submitted. It is the responsibility of the author(s) to obtain the required permissions to reproduce figures and other material that has been published previously, and the source should be always indicated in a reference. The permission must be obtained from the publishers or where they credited to third parties, from those third parties.

Nomenclature, abbreviations and units

Internationally standardized nomenclature should be used. Abbreviations and acronyms should be kept to a minimum and spelled out in full at first mention in both the summary and main text. Non-standard abbreviations should be avoided if they appear not more than three times in the text. Only SI units are to be used (SI = Système International d’Unités). If data with non-SI units are to be reported, they should be put in parenthesis behind the corresponding data in SI units.


Acknowledgements to individuals that have contributed to the study and are not named as authors as well as information regarding funding sources should be included in this sections after the main text (before References).




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.


Copyright Notice

This work is subject, unless the contrary is indicated in the text, the photographs or in other illustrations, to an Attribution —Non-
Commercial— No Derivative Works 3.0 Creative Commons License, the full text of which can be consulted at http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/. You are free to share, copy, distribute and transmit the work provided that the author is credited and reuse of the material is restricted to non-commercial purposes only and that no derivative works are created from the original material.


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Creative Commons License

This work, unless the contrary is indicated in the text, the photographs or in other illustrations, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. You are free to share, copy, distribute and transmit the work provided that the author is credited and reuse of the material is restricted to non-commercial purposes only and that no derivative works are created from the original material.

ISSN: 2013-410X (electronic edition); 1575-6343 (print edition)