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Author Guidelines

Types of papers published

STANDARD PAPERS - These are original articles reporting cutting-edge ecological research of international relevance. Scientifically sound theoretical contributions and applied studies (e.g. conservation, agroecology, human ecology etc.) are equally welcome.

REVIEWS - Reviews provide timely syntheses of topical themes. They should also offer new insights or perspectives to guide future research efforts. We particularly welcome reviews that set a clear agenda for future research within the focal area.

SCIENTIFIC FORUM ARTICLES - Forum articles stimulate debate in the ecological community. They should be offering conceptual advance, opinion, response to previous articles, or identifying gaps in knowledge. We welcome items that develop dialogue between ecologists and environmental managers. Forum submissions that reply to a previously published journal articles will be subjected to a particularly rapid review. However, they will be held from publication while the authors of the original article are invited to respond; if they choose to do so, their contribution will also be peer-reviewed. If accepted, both Forum articles will then be published together in an issue.

POLICY DIRECTIONS – This is a paper type for policy-related pieces. Contributions are welcome on a wide range of subjects relating to policy directions, decision-making and implementation. The focus of these articles should be on informing and improving policy, rather than critiques, and any opinions should be supported by a clear evidence base. Articles should be set within a broad policy context and relate to the wider issues around constrained decision making.

DATA ARTICLES – Data articles are short self-contained publications about research materials and data. They must provide the scientific context of the described work and contain the following elements: a title, list of authors (plus affiliations), abstract, keywords, metadata table, main text and at least three references.

INVITED COMMENTARIES – Commentaries are usually invited but unsolicited submissions are welcome as well. These articles are brief commentaries on articles that appear in European Journal of Ecology or on topics of particular importance to the readers of the journal. Unlike a review article, the author gives his own opinions and perspectives.

Electronic submission

We require authors to submit their work using the journal's online submission system.  Authors can see an overview of the submission process by watching this short YouTube video:  For questions regarding submissions or the online submission system, please contact the editors at

Manuscripts submitted under multiple authorship are reviewed on the assumption that all listed authors concur in the submission and are responsible for its content; they must have agreed to its publication and have given the corresponding author the authority to act on their behalf in all matters pertaining to publication. The corresponding author is responsible for informing the coauthors of the manuscript status throughout the submission, review, and production process.

Reproduction permission for copyrighted material

It is the author’s responsibility to obtain written permission for the reproduction of material from other works, the internet, or other electronic media. The permission should also cover further editions (printed or electronic) and translations into other languages. Any necessary Copyright for these materials must be obtained by the authors and presented to the publisher.

Manuscript structure 

Title page:

  • concise and informative title
  • list of author names and affiliation(s)
  • the name, complete mailing address (including e-mail address, telephone and fax numbers) of the corresponding author
  • Summary (abstract)
  • Keywords

Summary (abstract)

In case of standard papers, the abstract should give a brief summary of the content of the paper and is usually conceptually divided into: Background, Methodology, Principal Findings/Results, and Conclusions/Significance. Mention the techniques used without going into methodological details and summarize briefly the most important items of the paper. Please do not include any citations or references to tables or figures, and avoid special abbreviations and symbols. The abstract must be complete and understandable without any reference to the text.


max 10 words or short phrases, separated by semicolons

Introduction (Second page, after title page)

The introduction should put the focus of the manuscript into a broader context, should supply sufficient background information and should conclude with a brief statement of the rationale for the study, the hypothesis that was addressed or the overall purpose of the experiments reported, and should provide a comment about whether that aim was achieved.

Materials and methods

This section should include sufficient technical information to enable the experiments to be reproduced. Protocols for new methods or significant modifications to existing methods should be included, while previously published or well-established protocols should only be referenced.


This section should provide statistical analyses of all of the experiments that are required to support the conclusions of the paper. Present the results as concisely as possible in text, table(s), or figure(s). Number figures and tables in the order in which they are cited in the text, and be sure to cite all figures and tables. Styles and fonts should match those in the main body of the article.


The Discussion should provide an interpretation of the results in relation to previously published work and to the experimental system used. This section should spell out the major conclusions of the work along with some explanation or speculation on the significance of these conclusions. The discussion should be concise and tightly argued.


This section should describe sources of funding that have supported the work. Recognition of personal assistance should be given as a separate paragraph: people who contributed to the work, but do not fit the criteriafor authors should be listed along with their contributions. You must ensure that anyone named in theacknowledgments agrees to being so named.


Citation to work by three or more authors should be abbreviated with the use of et al. (e.g. Manel et al. 1999). Citation to work by one or two authors should always give all authors' surnames (e.g. Hromada & Tryjanowski 2001). Work with the same first author and date should be coded by letters, e.g.

Thompson et al. 1991a,b. Citations should be listed in chronological order in the text and be separated by a semi-colon, e.g. Balmford & Gaston 1999; Royle et al. 2007. The references in the Reference list should be in alphabetical order with the journal name unabbreviated.

References to unpublished or submitted work, unpublished conference presentations, personal communications, patent applications and patents pending, databases, and websites should be referred to as such only in the body of the text. These should be kept to aminimum. The examples are as follows:

  • (J. Smith, unpublished data),
  • (J. Smith and P. Brown, submitted for publication),
  • (J. Smith, personal communication),
  • (J. Smith and P. Brown, presented at the 4th Symposium on Food Microbiology, Overton,
  • IL, 13-15 June 1989),
  • (J. C. Odell, April 1970, Process for batch culturing, U.S. patent 484,363,770),
  • (J. Smith, 20 June 1999, Australian Patent Office),
  • ... from the GenBank database (,

Published or accepted ('in press') manuscripts, books and book chapters, and theses should be included in the reference list. References to published meeting abstracts should be kept to a minimum.

For all references, list the first 6 authors; add "et al." if there are additional authors. Standard abbreviations of journal names according to Thomson Scientific should be used (http://ip-

Journal name should be abbreviated following the standard Please use the following style for the reference list:

Published Papers

Morelli, F. & Møller, A. (2015) Concerns about the use of ecosystem services as a tool for nature conservation: From misleading concepts to providing a “price” for nature, but not a “value”. European Journal of Ecology, 1, 68-70.

Tryjanowski, P., Hromada, M., Morelli, F., Nelson, E., Prokop, P., Reino, L., et al. (2015) Ecology in Europe: is there an ‘empty’ niche for the new journal among competitors, predators and parasites? European Journal of Ecology, 1, 1-4.

Accepted Papers

Kulig, P., Zabel, B.A., Dubin, G., Allen, S.J., Ohyama, T., Potempa, J., et al., Staphylococcus aureus- derived staphopain B, a potent cysteine protease activator of plasma chemerin. J. Immunol., (in press), DOI: 12.3412/01.

Kulig, P., Zabel, B.A., Dubin, G., Allen, S.J., Ohyama, T., Potempa, J., et al., Stafopaina B Staphylococcus aureus, aktywator chemeryny osoczowej. J. Immunol., (in press, in Polish), DOI: 12.3412/01.

Electronic Journal Articles

Dionne, M.S. & Schneider, D.S. (2002) Screening the immune system. Genome Biol., Retrieved from

Books and book chapters

Green, M.R. & Sambrook, J. (2012). Molecular cloning: a laboratory manual (Vol. 1). New York: Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press.

Lindenfors, P., Gittelman, J.L. & Jones, K.E. (2007) Sexual size dimorphism in mammals. In: D.J. Fairbairn, W.U. Blanckenhorn & T. Szekely (Eds.), Sex, size, and gender roles: evolutionary studies of sexual size dimorphism (pp. 16-26). Oxford: Oxford University Press. 


Agutter, A.J. (1995) Analysis of sigma factors in S. aureus. PhD thesis, Edinburgh University, Edinburgh, UK.

Agutter, A.J. (1995) Analiza czynnikow sigma S. aureus. PhD thesis, Jagiellonian University, Krakow, Poland, (in Polish).

Conference proceedings

Smith, J. & Brown, P. (2007) Reference style guide. In: M. Scott (Ed.), Proceedings of Biochemical Society Conference (11-13 July 2007, Warszawa, Poland), Versita Warsaw, 1335-1791.

Newspaper articles

Sherwin, A. (2007) The post-genomic era. The Times, 13 July, 1-2. Dzierzanowski, M. (2007) Horyzonty. Wprost, 8 July, 18 (in Polish). Manuscript specifications

In general, formatting should be kept to a minimum. Do not create headers or footers, page breaks etc. because these must be detected and erased manually. Do include page numbers. Do not arrange your text with the space key (e.g. for table-like passages, etc.). In such case use tab s or a paragraph (return key). Do not insert page breaks manually. Do not use all capital letters to highlight something within your text. You may highlight text passage s with italicized or bold formatting. Dashes should be distinguishable from hyphens. Please use the long dash (Ctrl+Minus). Example: 1992–1998.

Manuscripts should be double spaced with a generous margin, and pages should be numbered consecutively; including those containing acknowledgements, references, tables and figure legends. Lines should be numbered within pages. Times Roman font should be used for text, tables and figure labels.

English and Scientific names of species

English names of species should start with capital letters. Give Latin names in full, together with the naming authority at first mention in the main text. Subsequently, the genus name may be abbreviated, except at the beginning of a sentence. If there are many species, cite a Flora or check-list which may be consulted for authorities instead of listing them, in the text. Do not give authorities for species cited from published references.

In case of well-known species, use English names followed by Latin. Latin names following common names should not be separated by a comma or brackets.

Example for the first mention in the main text:

... the Red-backed Shrike Lanius collurio Linnaeus, 1758 is known ... Example for all subsequent mentions in the text:

... the Red-backed Shrike L. collurio is also known ...

In case of less known species, it is preferable to give priority to scientific names in the text (with colloquial names in parentheses if desired).

Examples for the first mention in the main text:

…Philopterus coarctatus (Scopoli, 1763) is known … or

…Philopterus coarctatus (Scopoli, 1763) (the Head Lice of Red-backed Shrike) is known … Example for all subsequent mentions in the text:

…P. coarctatus is also known …

Naming the human species does need the above formalities, example: ...humans... or ...the human species...

Manufacturer's names

Special pieces of equipment should be described such that a reader can trace specifications by writing to the manufacturer. 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). 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 section. Journal style for time units are: s, min, h, days, weeks, months, years. 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 material

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. Suffixes and operators such as d, log, ln and exp will be set in Roman type: matrices and vectors will be set in italic. 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. If there are several equations they should be identified by an equation number (i.e. 'eqn 1' after the equation, and cited in the text as 'equation 1').

Number conventions

Text: Numbers from one to nine should be spelled out except when used with units, e.g. two eyes but 10 stomata; 5 °C, 3 years and 5 kg. Tables: Do not use excessive numbers of digits when writing a decimal number to represent the mean of a set of measurements. 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. Be consistent within tables.


Each table should be on a separate page, numbered and accompanied by a legend at the top. These should be referred to in the text as Table 1, etc. Avoid duplication between figures and tables.

Tables should be constructed using 'Tabs' rather than spaces or software options. Units should appear in parentheses after the column or row title, e.g. Time (days). Each table should be on a separate page, numbered and titled, and included at the end of the paper before the figures. The table caption must appear above the table and must NOT end in a full stop. Table footnotes should be indicated using symbols *, †, ‡, ¶, § (not superscripted); these should be doubled-up if more than 5 are needed (**, ††, ‡‡, ¶¶, §§), or if more than 10 are needed use superscript letters a, b, c, etc., throughout.

References to tables in the text should not be abbreviated, e.g. Table 1.


Figures and their legends should be grouped together at the end of the paper before Supporting Information (if present). If figures have been supplied as a list at the end of the text file (as recommended), they should appear above their respective legend. Figures should be referred to in the text as Fig. 1, Figs 1 & 2, etc. Photographic material should also be referred to as Figures. Do not include high-resolution versions of figures at submission; reduce the size and resolution of graphics to a file size of less than 1 MB. If a manuscript is accepted, higher quality versions of figures can be submitted at a later stage.

Figures should be placed at the end of the document and each must have a legend, presented separately from the figure. The legend should provide enough detail for the figure to be understood without reference to the text. Information (e.g. keys) that appear 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 (71 mm) wherever possible. To make best use of space, you may need to rearrange parts of figures. If figures are prepared that will require reduction, please ensure that axes, tick marks, symbols and labels are large enough to allow reduction to a final size of about 8 point, i.e. capital letters will be about 2mm tall.

Figures should not be boxed and tick marks should be on the inside of the axes. Lettering should use a sans serif font (e.g. Helvetica, Arial) with capitals used for the initial letter of the first word only. Bold lettering should not be used. Units of axes should appear in parentheses after the axis name. All lettering and symbols must be proportioned, clear and easy to read, i.e. no labels should be too large or too small. Label multi-panel figures (a), (b), (c), etc., preferably in the upper left corner.

At the time of submission, or after acceptance of the manuscript for publication, figure files should be supplied as follows. Photographic figures should be saved in tif format at 300 d.p.i. (or failing that in jpg format with low compression) and should have good contrast. Line figures should be saved as vector graphics (i.e. composed of lines, curves, points and fonts; not pixels) in pdf, eps, ai, svg or wmf format, or embedded as such in Word, as this enhances their display when published online.

Combination figures (those composed of vector and pixel/raster elements) should also be saved in pdf, eps, ai, svg or wmf format where possible (or embedded as such in Word). If line figures and combination figures cannot be saved in vector graphics format, they should be saved in tif format at high resolution (i.e. 600 d.p.i.) (do not save them in jpg format as this will cause blurring).

Open Access policy

This journal permits and encourages authors to post items submitted to the journal on personal websites, institutional repositories, and ResearchGate both prior to and after publication, while providing bibliographic details that credit, if applicable, its publication in this journal. 

Submission Preparation Checklist

All submissions must meet the following requirements.

  • The submission has not been previously published, nor is it before another journal for consideration (or an explanation has been provided in Comments to the Editor).
  • The submission file is in OpenOffice, Microsoft Word, or RTF document file format.
  • The text adheres to the stylistic and bibliographic requirements outlined in the Author Guidelines.
  • Where available, DOIs for the references have been provided.
  • The text is double-spaced; uses a 12-point font; employs italics, rather than underlining (except with URL addresses); and all illustrations, figures, and tables are placed within the text at the appropriate points, rather than at the end.

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