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-Daniel, Montreal, Canada
Formatting a paper is a tedious and time-consuming process--and often critical
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β Format ($0.02/word; e.g., $20 per 1,000 words)
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you must adhere to (especially students with institution-specific guidelines).

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What We Check
Journal guidelines are very specific and comprehensive. Examples of some of the
seemingly minor yet important details that journals address include: word limits,
ar (American or British?), heading rules/style, and much more.

Two of the most problematic for authors are citations and especially References
the following. Perhaps surprisingly, these differences matter.

In-text citations ("&" or "and"? comma before year? semicolon between citations?
arranged chronologically or alphabetically?):

  • (Joy, Yi and Mayr 1997; Ing, Smith and Kavorski 1999) - chronological
  • (Ing, Smith, & Kavorski, 1999; Joy, Yi, & Mayr, 1997) - alphabetical
  • (Ing et al. 1999; Joy et al. 1997) - alphabetical

References (The variations are endless & include comma/period use, placement
of initials, overall organization (alpha/chron), even – vs. - for page ranges):

  • Joy YL, Yi MB, and Mayr LP (1999). Formatting matters. Nature 27(4):1–16.
  • Joy, Y.L., M.B. Yi, L.P. Mayr 1999. Formatting matters. Nature, vol.27(4), pp.1-16.
  • Joy, Y.L., Yi, M.B., Mayr, L.P. (1999). Formatting matters. Nature, 27(4), pp.1–16.

See the following authors' guidelines as an example (reduced to save space),
taken with permission from the
American Journal of Physical Anthropology:

General instructions. The manuscript should have a uniform style and be
submitted exactly as it is to appear in print. It should consist of the following
subdivisions in order, each prepared as a unit on separate pages or in separate
files, as indicated in the “Online Submission” section:

  • Title page
  • Abstract
  • Text
  • Literature cited
  • Footnotes
  • Tables
  • Figure Legends
  • Figures

The manuscript, including literature cited, should be double-spaced using a 1"
(2.5 cm) margin on all sides. Number the manuscript pages consecutively,
beginning with the title page. Page limit: maximum of 25 pages for text, including
Literature Cited, excluding tables and figures.

  • 12 point font only.
  • Indent the first line of every paragraph.
  • Do not right-justify any text.
  • Do not begin sentences with abbreviations.
  • The word "Figure" is not abbreviated, except when in parentheses: (Fig. 2);
    (Figs. 4-6).
  • The spelling of non-technical terms should be that recommended in the
    current Webster's International Dictionary. Use American spellings (e.g.,
    “behavior” not “behaviour”).
  • Always spell out numbers that are the first word in a sentence or are less
    than 10. All numbers with units should be numerals (2 mm; 1 sec; 3 ml).

Title page. The title page must contain the following elements:

  • Title
  • Author's name (or names)
  • Institution(s) with full address(es)
  • Number of text pages, plus bibliography, number of figures, tables, graphs
  • Abbreviated title (running head) not to exceed 48 characters and spaces
  • Key words: Minimum of three, no more than five; do not exceed 85
    characters and spaces
  • Grant sponsorship

Abstract. Of 250 words or less, following the title page. Should be written in
complete sentences and state the objectives, design, materials and methods,
and the principal observations and conclusions.

Literature cited. In the text, references to literature should be cited by author's
surname followed by year of publication. If there are multiple citations, present
them chronologically:

  • ...analysis by Ward (2001)...
  • by Corner and Richtsmeier (2004)...
  • by Little et al. (1993)...
  • earlier report (Hutchinson, 1999)...
  • ...earlier reports (Arriaza et al., 2000; Paoli et al., 2002; Ross, 2003)...

The literature list must be arranged alphabetically, not chronologically, by author
surname(s) in the following style: name(s), year of publication, complete title,
volume, and inclusive pages as follows:

Journal article
Trinkaus E, Churchill SE, and Ruff CB. 1994. Postcranial robusticity in Homo:
Humeral bilateral asymmetry and bone plasticity. Am J Phys Anthropol 93:1–34.

Bogin B. 2001. The growth of humanity. New York: Wiley-Liss.

Book chapter
Gruner O. 1993. Identification of skulls: A historical review and practical
applications. In: Iscan MY, Helmer RP, editors. Forensic analysis of the skull. New
York: Wiley-Liss. p 29–45.

Footnotes. Footnotes to the text should be limited as much as possible and must
be numbered consecutively. The corresponding reference numbers must be
clearly indicated in the text.

Footnotes to a table should be typed directly beneath the table and numbered with
superscripts (e.g., 1, 2, 3). They should not be numbered in sequence with the
footnotes in the text.

Tables. All tables must be cited in the text. Do not imbed tables in the text. They
should be numbered consecutively with Arabic numerals. Type double-spaced.
Indicate in the margin where the tables are to appear in the text. Table titles
should be complete but brief.

Figures and figure legends. All figures must be cited in the text. Do not imbed
figures in the text. Provide a separate list of figure legends. Figure legends are to
be numbered consecutively as follows: Fig. 1, Fig. 2, and should follow the
sequence of reference in the text. Type double-spaced.

Symbols. The metric system should be used for all measurements.
Temperatures should be expressed in degrees Celsius (centigrade). Metric
abbreviations should be expressed in standard notation lower-case (e.g., mm)
without periods. When preceded by a digit, the following symbols are to be used:
% for percent; ° for degree.

Text headings. Do not begin the body of the paper with the heading "Introduction."
The first heading should follow the introduction. The journal uses a system of
primary, secondary, and tertiary headings. All letters for primary headings are in
caps (e.g., RESULTS ). Only the first letter of secondary and tertiary headings and
proper nouns are in caps (e.g., Complete set of morphological features). All are
boldfaced. Primary and secondary headings are centered. Tertiary headings are
italicized, end in a period, and are the beginning of the first line of the paragraph.

Numbering. Figures (incl. charts and graphs) must be numbered consecutively.

[note: this excerpt was condensed, and omits many other points. International Edit
thanks the
American Journal of Physical Anthropology for its adapted use.]
© 2016 International Edit. All rights reserved.
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