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Preparing your manuscript

This section provides general style and formatting information only. Formatting guidelines for specific article types can be found below. 

General formatting guidelines

Preparing main manuscript text

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Manuscripts must be written in concise English. For help on scientific writing, or preparing your manuscript in English, please see Springer's Author Academy.

Quick points:

  • Use double line spacing
  • Include line and page numbering
  • Use SI units: Please ensure that all special characters used are embedded in the text, otherwise they will be lost during conversion to PDF
  • Do not use page breaks in your manuscript

File formats

The following word processor file formats are acceptable for the main manuscript document:

  • Microsoft word (DOC, DOCX)
  • Rich text format (RTF)

Please note: editable files are required for processing in production. If your manuscript contains any non-editable files (such as PDFs) you will be required to re-submit an editable file if your manuscript is accepted.

Note that figures must be submitted as separate image files, not as part of the submitted manuscript file.

Style and language

Manuscripts submitted to most journals do not undergo copyediting for style and language. Please check individual journal ‘About’ pages to confirm whether accepted manuscripts will undergo copyediting for style and language.

You can use a professional language editing service of your choice if you want to. Such services include:

Contact the service providers directly to make arrangements for editing, and for pricing and payment details. Use of an editing service is neither a requirement nor a guarantee of acceptance for publication.

For authors from China
• 访问理文编辑语言润色网站争取一份独家优惠折扣
• 访问Nature出版集团语言润色服务并使用优惠码:LE_BM15

For authors from Japan
エダンズグループジャパンではBioMed Centralとのパートナーシップ割引きがご利用いただけます
NPG Language Editingでは、こちらの割引きコードをご利用いただけます: LE_BM15

For authors from Korea
아래 에디팅 서비스에서 해당 주제분야의 Native English 전문에디터를 만나실 수 있습니다.
에단즈 에디팅 웹사이트를 방문하여 할인을 받으실 수 있습니다.
네이쳐 에디팅을 방문하여 할인 코드 : LE_BM15 를 이용하세요.
에디팅 서비스 이용은 출판을 위한 필수조건이 아니며 논문채택을 보장하는 것이 아님을 알려드립니다.


Data and materials

For all journals, BioMed Central strongly encourages all datasets on which the conclusions of the manuscript rely to be either deposited in publicly available repositories (where available and appropriate) or presented in the main paper or additional supporting files, in machine-readable format (such as spread sheets rather than PDFs) whenever possible. Please see the list of recommended repositories in our editorial policies.

For some journals, deposition of the data on which the conclusions of the manuscript rely is an absolute requirement. Please check the Instructions for Authors for the relevant journal and article type for journal specific policies.

For all manuscripts, information about data availability should be detailed in an ‘Availability of data and materials’ section. For more information on the content of this section, please see the Declarations section of the relevant journal’s Instruction for Authors. For more information on BioMed Central's policies on data availability, please see our editorial policies.

Formatting the 'Availability of data and materials' section of your manuscript

The following format for the 'Availability of data and materials section of your manuscript should be used:

"The dataset(s) supporting the conclusions of this article is(are) available in the [repository name] repository, [unique persistent identifier and hyperlink to dataset(s) in http:// format]."

The following format is required when data are included as additional files:

"The dataset(s) supporting the conclusions of this article is(are) included within the article (and its additional file(s))."

For databases, this section should state the web/ftp address at which the database is available and any restrictions to its use by non-academics.

For software, this section should include:

  • Project name: e.g. My bioinformatics project
  • Project home page: e.g.
  • Archived version: DOI or unique identifier of archived software or code in repository (e.g. enodo)
  • Operating system(s): e.g. Platform independent
  • Programming language: e.g. Java
  • Other requirements: e.g. Java 1.3.1 or higher, Tomcat 4.0 or higher
  • License: e.g. GNU GPL, FreeBSD etc.
  • Any restrictions to use by non-academics: e.g. licence needed

Information on available repositories for other types of scientific data, including clinical data, can be found in our editorial policies.


See our editorial policies for author guidance on good citation practice.

All references, including URLs, must be numbered consecutively, in square brackets, in the order in which they are cited in the text, followed by any in tables or legends. Each reference must have an individual reference number. Please avoid excessive referencing. The journal allows a maximum of 200 references for Reviews, 80 references for Research articles, 200 for Opinion articles, and 40 for Short reports. If automatic numbering systems are used, the reference numbers must be finalized and the bibliography must be fully formatted before submission.

Examples of the Veterinary Research reference style

Article within a journal
Mihovilovic MD, Leisch HG, Mereiter K (2004) Microwave-mediated intramolecular Diels-Alder cyclization of biodihydroxylated benzoic acid derivatives. Tetrahedron Lett 45:7087-7090

Article within a journal supplement
Fubini B (1997) Surface reactivity in the pathogenic response to particulates. Environ Health Perspect 105(Suppl 5):1013–1020

In press article
Van Damme S, Langenaeker W, Bultinck P (2012) Prediction of Blood-brain partitioning: a model based on ab initio calculated quantum chemical descriptors. Journal of Molecular graphics and modeling, in press

Published abstract
Herres-Pawlis S, Haase R, Bienemann O (2011) Dissecting the role of guanidine copper complexes in atom transfer radical polymerization by density functional theory [abstract] J Cheminf 3(Suppl1):P28

Article within conference proceedings
Schurath U, Wipprecht V (1980) Reactions of peroxiacyl radicals. In: Versino B, Ott H (eds) Proceedings of the 1st European Symposium on the Physico-Chemical Behavior of Atmospheric Pollutants, Ispra, October 1979. Commission of the European Communities, pp 157-166.

Book chapter, or article within a book
Ellis GP (1977) The chemistry of heterocyclic compounds. In: Weissberger A, Taylor ECE (eds) Chromene, Chromanes and Chromone, Volume 2. Wiley, New York

Whole issue of journal
Weckhuysen B (Ed) (2010) In-situ characterisation of heterogeneous catalysts. Chem Soc Rev 39:4541-5072

Whole conference proceedings
Brown S, Clarke I, Williams P (eds) (2001) Proceedings of the 14th International Symposium on Ceramics in Medicine, Palm Springs, California, USA.

Complete book
Görög S (1994) Ultraviolet-Visible Spectrophotometry in Pharmaceutical Analysis. CRC Press, New York

Monograph or book in a series
Fujiki M (2008) Helix Generation, Amplification, Switching, and Memory of Chromophoric Polymers. In: Soai K (ed) Amplification of Chirality. Topics in Current Chemistry, vol 284. Springer, Heidelberg, pp 119-186

Book with institutional author
IUPAC (1979) Nomenclature of Organic Chemistry. Pergamon Press, Oxford

PhD thesis
Ravi Kishore VVN (2004) Photo-luminescence and electron-luminescence of hydroxy quinoline based organic semiconductors. PhD Thesis, Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Department of Chemical Sciences

Link / URL
The Chemistry Development Kit. Accessed 25 Dec 2012

Link / URL with author(s)
Pichon A (2010) Debating cyclobutadiene. http:// Accessed 22 Feb 2011

Dataset with persistent identifier
Bradley JC, Neylon C, Guha R, Williams AJ, Hooker B, Lang ASID, Friesen B, Bohinski T, Bulger D, Federici M, Hale J, Mancinelli J, Mirza KB, Moritz MJ, Rein D, Tchakounte C, Truong HT (2010) Open Notebook Science Challenge: Solubilities of Organic Compounds in Organic Solvents. Nature Precedings.

What should be cited?

Only articles, clinical trial registration records and abstracts that have been published or are in press, or are available through public e-print/preprint servers, may be cited.

Unpublished abstracts, unpublished data and personal communications should not be included in the reference list, but may be included in the text and referred to as "unpublished observations" or "personal communications" giving the names of the involved researchers. Obtaining permission to quote personal communications and unpublished data from the cited colleagues is the responsibility of the author. Only footnotes are permitted. Journal abbreviations follow Index Medicus/MEDLINE.

Any in press articles cited within the references and necessary for the reviewers' assessment of the manuscript should be made available if requested by the editorial office.

Web links and URLs: All web links and URLs, including links to the authors' own websites, should be given a reference number and included in the reference list rather than within the text of the manuscript. They should be provided in full, including both the title of the site and the URL, as well as the date the site was accessed, in the following format: The Mouse Tumor Biology Database. Accessed 20 May 2013. If an author or group of authors can clearly be associated with a web link, such as for weblogs, then they should be included in the reference.

Authors may wish to make use of reference management software to ensure that reference lists are correctly formatted.

Preparing figures

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When preparing figures, please follow the formatting instructions below.

  • Figures should be numbered in the order they are first mentioned in the text, and uploaded in this order. Multi-panel figures (those with parts a, b, c, d etc.) should be submitted as a single composite file that contains all parts of the figure.
  • Figures should be uploaded in the correct orientation.
  • Figure titles (max 15 words) and legends (max 300 words) should be provided in the main manuscript, not in the graphic file.
  • Figure keys should be incorporated into the graphic, not into the legend of the figure.
  • Each figure should be closely cropped to minimize the amount of white space surrounding the illustration. Cropping figures improves accuracy when placing the figure in combination with other elements when the accepted manuscript is prepared for publication on our site. For more information on individual figure file formats, see our detailed instructions.
  • Individual figure files should not exceed 10 MB. If a suitable format is chosen, this file size is adequate for extremely high quality figures.
  • Please note that it is the responsibility of the author(s) to obtain permission from the copyright holder to reproduce figures (or tables) that have previously been published elsewhere. In order for all figures to be open access, authors must have permission from the rights holder if they wish to include images that have been published elsewhere in non open access journals. Permission should be indicated in the figure legend, and the original source included in the reference list.

Figure file types

We accept the following file formats for figures:

  • EPS (suitable for diagrams and/or images)
  • PDF (suitable for diagrams and/or images)
  • Microsoft Word (suitable for diagrams and/or images, figures must be a single page)
  • PowerPoint (suitable for diagrams and/or images, figures must be a single page)
  • TIFF (suitable for images)
  • JPEG (suitable for photographic images, less suitable for graphical images)
  • PNG (suitable for images)
  • BMP (suitable for images)
  • CDX (ChemDraw - suitable for molecular structures)

For information and suggestions of suitable file formats for specific figure types, please see our author academy.

Figure size and resolution

Figures are resized during publication of the final full text and PDF versions to conform to the BioMed Central standard dimensions, which are detailed below.

Figures on the web:

  • width of 600 pixels (standard), 1200 pixels (high resolution).

Figures in the final PDF version:

  • width of 85 mm for half page width figure
  • width of 170 mm for full page width figure
  • maximum height of 225 mm for figure and legend
  • image resolution of approximately 300 dpi (dots per inch) at the final size

Figures should be designed such that all information, including text, is legible at these dimensions. All lines should be wider than 0.25 pt when constrained to standard figure widths. All fonts must be embedded.

Figure file compression

  • Vector figures should if possible be submitted as PDF files, which are usually more compact than EPS files.
  • TIFF files should be saved with LZW compression, which is lossless (decreases file size without decreasing quality) in order to minimize upload time.
  • JPEG files should be saved at maximum quality.
  • Conversion of images between file types (especially lossy formats such as JPEG) should be kept to a minimum to avoid degradation of quality.

If you have any questions or are experiencing a problem with figures, please contact the customer service team at

Preparing tables

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When preparing tables, please follow the formatting instructions below.

  • Tables should be numbered and cited in the text in sequence using Arabic numerals (i.e. Table 1, Table 2 etc.).
  • Tables must be provided as complete sets, tables listed as Table 1A, Table 1B etc, will not be accepted.
  • All tables less than 2 pages (around 90 rows) should be placed at the end of the document text file, in A4 portrait or landscape format. Please include the captions with the tables at the end of the main manuscript (1 table per page; please insert a page break between each table)
  • Please cite or indicate where the table should appear at the relevant location in the text file so that the table can be added in the correct place during production.
  • Large datasets or tables greater than 2 pages in length should be included as an additional file. Please see the section below for more information.
  • Tabular data provided as additional files can be uploaded as an Excel spreadsheet (.xls ) or comma separated values (.csv). Please use the standard file extensions.
  • Table titles (max 15 words) should be included above the table, and legends (max 300 words) should be included underneath the table.
  • Tables should not be embedded as figures or spreadsheet files, but should be formatted using ‘Table object’ function in your word processing program.
  • Color and shading may not be used. Parts of the table can be highlighted using superscript, numbering, lettering, symbols or bold text, the meaning of which should be explained in a table legend.
  • Commas should not be used to indicate numerical values.

If you have any questions or are experiencing a problem with tables, please contact the customer service team at

Preparing additional files

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As the length and quantity of data is not restricted for many article types, authors can provide datasets, tables, movies, or other information as additional files.

All Additional files will be published along with the accepted article. Do not include files such as patient consent forms, certificates of language editing, or revised versions of the main manuscript document with tracked changes. Such files, if requested, should be sent by email to the journal’s editorial email address, quoting the manuscript reference number.

If additional material is provided, please list the following information in a separate section of the manuscript text, immediately following the tables (if any):

  • File name (e.g. Additional file 1)
  • Title of data
  • Description of data.

Additional files should be named "Additional file 1" and so on and should be referenced explicitly by file name within the body of the article, e.g. 'An additional movie file shows this in more detail (see Additional file 1)'.

Results that would otherwise be indicated as "data not shown" should be included as additional files. Since many web links and URLs rapidly become broken, BioMed Central requires that supporting data are included as additional files, or deposited in a recognized repository. Please do not link to data on a personal/departmental website. Do not include any individual participant details. The maximum file size for additional files is 20 MB each, and files will be virus-scanned on submission. Each additional file should be cited in sequence within the main body of text.

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