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Article types | Structure | Permissions | Language & Text | Data & Symbols | Figures & Tables | References
Submissions should be made electronically through this website. Once submitted, the author can track the submission and communicate with the editors via the online journal management system.
Please consider the following guidelines when preparing your manuscript. Although we do not insist that all guidelines are adhered to at the point of first submission, you should ensure that your article conforms to the guidelines before it is accepted for publication in Data Science Journal.
If you are submitting an articles that includes or refers to a data set or source code there must be an associated DOI. This DOI can be obtained by submitting the relevant data to a repository such as Zenodo. Data Science Journal is an open access journal and so we expect that all resources related to articles published in the journal to also be open access.
Research articles must describe the outcomes and application of unpublished original research. These should make a substantial contribution to knowledge and understanding in the subject matter and should be supported by relevant figures and tabulated data. Research articles should be no more than 8,000 words in length. Data and software supporting the research should be formally cited and available through a trusted repository.
Practice papers should report upon or critique a specific "happening" such as a release of a major study or other notable occurrence related to the journal focus. Authors interested in submitting a practice paper should discuss the content with the editor before submitting a manuscript. Practice papers should describe the finished outputs of a project, or the procedures in operation in an established data system. Practice papers should be no longer than 3,000 words in length.
Review articles can cover topics such as current controversies, the current “state of the art” or the historical development of studies as well as issues of regional or temporal focus. Papers should critically engage with the relevant body of extant literature. Review articles should be no longer than 3,000 words in length.
Essays cover topics and controversies of interest to the community and aim to stimulate discussion and debate. Essays may be provocative and less focused on reporting original research work but should still consist of original thoughts and ideas. Essays should be no longer than 3,000 words in length.
All word limits include referencing and citation.
Please note that the following structure is for research and practice papers. Other published articles, such as data articles, reviews and essays will vary from this structure.
The title page must include all of the below information, in the same order. No further information should be included:
Author names must include a forename and a surname. Forenames cannot include only initials. i.e. J. Bloggs is not permitted. The full name, Joe Bloggs is required
The affiliation should ideally include ‘Department, Institution, City, Country’, however only the Institution and Country are mandatory.
A short biographical statement from the author(s) may be placed after the title page information. This must be no longer than 200 words and include only information relevant to the subject matter. This will be moved to before the reference list in the final publication.
A sentence or a short paragraph detailing the roles that each author held to contribute to the authorship of the submission. Individuals listed must fit within the definition of an author, as per our authorship guidelines.
Research articles must have the main text prefaced by an abstract of no more than 250 words summarising the main arguments and conclusions of the article. This must have the heading ‘Abstract’ and be easily identified from the start of the main text.
A list of up to six key words may be placed below the abstract (optional).
The Abstract and Keywords should also be added to the metadata when making the initial online submission.
The body of the submission should be structured in a logical and easy to follow manner. A clear introduction section should be given that allows non-specialists in the subject an understanding of the publication and a background of the issue(s) involved. Methods, results, discussion and conclusion sections may then follow to clearly detail the information and research being presented.
Up to three level headings may be present and must be clearly identifiable using different font sizes, bold or italics. We suggest using Headings 1, 2 and 3 in MS-Word’s ‘Style’ section.
SUPPLEMENTARY FILES (optional):
Any supplementary/additional files that should link to the main publication must be listed, with a corresponding number, title and option description. Ideally the supplementary files are also cited in the main text.
e.g. Supplementary file 1: Appendix. Scientific data related to the experiments.
Note: additional files will not be typeset so they must be provided in their final form. They will be assigned a DOI and linked to from the publication.
If data, structured methods or code used in the research project have been made openly available, a statement should be added to inform the reader how/where to access these files. This should include the repository location and the DOI linking to it. Read our reproducibility guide for more information on best practice and maximising the impact of your open data.
If data used in the research project has not been made available, a statement confirming this should be added, along with reasoning why.
The journal's data policy is available on the Editorial Policies page.
ETHICS AND CONSENT (if applicable):
Research involving human subjects, human material, or human data, must have been performed in accordance with the Declaration of Helsinki. Where applicable, studies must have been approved by an appropriate ethics committee and the authors should include a statement within the article text detailing this approval, including the name of the ethics committee and reference number of the approval. The identity of the research subject(s) should be anonymised whenever possible. For research involving human subjects, informed consent to participate in the study must be obtained from participants (or their legal guardian) and added to this statement. If a study involving human subjects/tissue/data was exempt from requiring ethical approval, a confirmation statement from the relevant body should be included within the submission.
Experiments using animals must follow national standards of care. For further information, click here.
Any acknowledgements must be headed and in a separate paragraph, placed after the main text but before the reference list.
FUNDING INFORMATION (if applicable):
Should the research have received a funding grant then the grant provider and grant number should be detailed.
If any of the authors have any competing interests then these must be declared. A short paragraph should be placed before the references. Guidelines for competing interests can be found here. If there are no competing interests to declare then the following statement should be present: The author(s) has/have no competing interests to declare.
All references cited within the submission must be listed at the end of the main text file.
Check the license and obtain the necessary permissions. Statements confirming that permission was granted should be included in the Materials and Methods section.
The author is responsible for obtaining all permissions required prior to submission of the manuscript. Permission and owner details should be mentioned for all third-party content included in the submission or used in the research.
If a method or tool is introduced in the study, including software, questionnaires, and scales, the license this is available under and any requirement for permission for use should be stated. If an existing method or tool is used in the research, it is the author's responsibility to check the license and obtain the necessary permissions. Statements confirming that permission was granted should be included in the Materials and Methods section.
Any use or consideration of Indigenous Knowledge should address The CARE Principles for Indigenous Data Governance and provide evidence of the care taken towards engagement with Indigenous communities including appropriate attribution, appropriate access, and ideally Indigenous authorship. Authors should include appropriate details of their perspective and background in the author description.
For the submission title:
Capitalise all nouns, pronouns, adjectives, verbs, adverbs and subordinate conjunctions (i.e. as, because, although). Use lowercase for all articles, coordinate conjunctions and prepositions.
Headings within the main text:
First level headings in the text should follow the same rule as the main title. For lower-level subheadings, only capitalise first letter and proper nouns.
Submissions must be made in English. Authors are welcome to use American or British spellings as long as they are used consistently throughout the whole of the submission.
When referring to proper nouns and normal institutional titles, the official, original spelling must be used.
American or English grammar rules may be used as long as they are used consistently and match the spelling format (see above). For instance, you may use a serial comma or not.
The font used should be commonly available and in an easily readable size. This may be changed during the typesetting process and will not necessarily be the published font.
Underlined text should be avoided whenever possible.
Bold or italicised text to emphasise a point are permitted, although should be restricted to minimal occurrences to maximise their efficiency.
Use bullet points to denote a list without hierarchy or order of value. If the list indicates a specific sequence then a numbered list must be used.
Lists should be used sparingly to maximise their impact.
Use single quotation marks except for quotes within another speech, in which case double quotation marks are used.
Quotations that are longer than three lines in length must be in an indented paragraph separate from the main text.
The standard, non-italicised font must be used for all quotes.
It must be clear from the text and/or citation where the quote is sourced. If quoting from material that is under copyright then permission will need to be obtained from the copyright holder.
If some of the original quote is being omitted then an ellipsis with a space on either side must be used to break the text.
Words added to the original quote text, to enhance clarity, must be placed within square brackets
With abbreviations, the crucial goal is to ensure that the reader – particularly one who may not be fully familiar with the topic or context being addressed – is able to follow along. Spell out almost all acronyms on first use, indicating the acronym in parentheses immediately thereafter. Use the acronym for all subsequent references.
A number of abbreviations are so common that they do not require the full text on the first instance. Examples of these can be found at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Manual_of_Style/Abbreviations#Miscellanea
Abbreviations should usually be in capital letters without full stops.
Common examples from Latin origin do not follow this rule and should be lower case and can include full stops.
To ensure impartiality, trade names should be avoided in favour of generic names, unless absolutely necessary. If a trade name is mentioned then its inclusion must be put in context and explained/justified.
Use endnotes rather than footnotes (we refer to these as ‘Notes’ in the online publication). These appear at the end of the main text, before ‘References’.
All notes should be used only where crucial clarifying information needs to be conveyed.
Avoid using notes for purposes of referencing, with in-text citations used instead. If in-text citations cannot be used, a source can be cited as part of a note.
Please insert the endnote marker after the end punctuation.
Symbols are permitted within the main text and datasets as long as they are commonly in use or have explanatory definition on their first usage.
Hyphenation, em and en dashes:
There is no set rule on the use of hyphenation between words, as long as they are consistently used.
Em dashes should be used sparingly. If they are present, they should denote emphasis, change of thought or interruption to the main sentence and can replace comas, parentheses, colons or semicolons.
En dashes can be used to replace ‘to’ when indicating a range. No space should be around the dash.
For numbers zero to nine please spell the whole words. Please use figures for numbers 10 or higher.
We are happy for authors to use either words or figures to represent large whole figures (i.e. one million or 1,000,000) as long as the usage is consistent throughout the text.
If the sentence includes a series of numbers then figures must be used in each instance.
If the number appears as part of a dataset, in conjunction with a symbol or as part of a table then the figure must be used.
If a number is presented with a symbol then the figure must be not separated from the unit by a space.
If a sentence starts with a number it must be spelt, or the sentence should be re-written so that it no longer starts with the number.
When a number consists of more than four digits it must be split by a comma after every three digits to the left of the decimal place.
Do not use a comma for a decimal place.
Numbers that are less that zero must have ‘0’ precede the decimal point.
Units of measurement:
Symbols following a figure to denote a unit of measurement must be taken from the latest SI brochure. See http://www.bipm.org/utils/common/pdf/si_brochure_8_en.pdf for the full brochure.
Months and Years:
When in the main text, months must be written in full. If displayed as part of a dataset then a shortened version is acceptable as long as the meaning is still clear. Months should always begin with a capital letter.
Use figures for years, decades and centuries. Do not include an apostrophe before the ‘s’.
Formulae must be proofed carefully by the author. Editors will not edit formulae. If special software has been used to create formulae, the way it is laid out is the way they will appear in the publication.
When presented in the main text, fractions must be written in non-hyphenated words, not figures.
If the currency is unclear from the symbol then it must be written in full for the first use and then abbreviated there after
There must be no space between the currency symbol and the number.
Figures, including graphs and diagrams, must be professionally and clearly presented. If a figure is not easy to understand or does not appear to be of a suitable quality, the editor may ask to re-render or omit it.
All figures must be cited within the main text, in consecutive order using Arabic numerals (e.g. Figure 1, Figure 2, etc.).
Each figure must have an accompanying descriptive main title. This should clearly and concisely summarise the content and/or use of the figure image. A short additional figure legend is optional to offer a further description.
Figure titles and legends should be placed within the text document, either after the paragraph of their first citation, or as a list after the references.
The source of the image should be included, along with any relevant copyright information and a statement of authorisation (if needed). If using images from an archive then please provide the name of the archive, the collection and the acquisition number.
If your figure file includes text then please present the font as Ariel, Helvetica, or Verdana. This will mean that it matches the typeset text.
NOTE: All figures must be uploaded separately as supplementary files during the submission process, if possible in colour and at a resolution of at least 300dpi. Each file should not be more than 20MB. Standard formats accepted are: JPG, TIFF, GIF, PNG, EPS. For line drawings, please provide the original vector file (e.g. .ai, or .eps).
Tables must be created using a word processor's table function, not tabbed text.
Tables should be included in the manuscript. The final layout will place the tables as close to their first citation as possible.
All tables must be cited within the main text, numbered with Arabic numerals in consecutive order (e.g. Table 1, Table 2, etc.). The shortened word ‘Tab’ should not be used to cite a table.
Each table must have an accompanying descriptive title. This should clearly and concisely summarise the content and/or use of the table. A short additional table legend is optional to offer a further description of the table. The table title and legend should be placed underneath the table.
Tables should not include:
NOTE: If there are more columns than can fit on a single page, then the table will be placed horizontally on the page. If it still can't fit horizontally on a page, the table will be broken into two.
Every use of information from other sources must be cited in the text so that it is clear that external material has been used.
If the author is already mentioned in the main text then the year should follow the name within parenthesis.
If the author name is not mentioned in the main text then the surname and year should be inserted, in parenthesis, after the relevant text. Multiple citations should be separated by semi-colon and follow alphabetical order.
If three or fewer authors are cited from the same citation then all should be listed. If four or more authors are part of the citation then ‘et al.’ should follow the first author name.
If citations are used from the same author and the same year, then a lowercase letter, starting from ‘a’, should be placed after the year.
If specific pages are being cited then the page number should follow the year, after a colon.
For publications authored and published by organisations, use the short form of the organisation’s name or its acronym in lieu of the full name.
Please do not include URLs in parenthetical citations, but rather cite the author or page title and include all details, including the URL, in the reference list.
All citations must be listed at the end of the text file, in alphabetical order of authors’ surnames.
All reading materials should be included in ‘References’ – works which have not been cited within the main text, but which the author wishes to share with the reader, must be cited as additional information in endnotes explaining the relevance of the work. This will ensure that all works within the reference list are cited within the text.
NOTE: If multiple works by the same author are being listed, please re-type the author’s name out for each entry, rather than using a long dash.
NOTE: DOIs should be included for all reference entries, where possible.
This journal uses the Harvard system – see below for examples of how to format:
Author, A A Year Title. Place of publication: Publisher.
NOTE: If multiple works by the same author are being listed, please re-type the author’s name out for each entry, rather than using a long dash.
Author, A Year Title. Journal name, vol(issue): page. DOI
NOTE: Please include DOIs for all journal articles where possible.
Author, A Year Title. Newspaper, date of publication, page.
Author, A Year Title of chaper. In: Title of conference proceedings, location, date, pp. page.
Organisational publications/Grey literature:
Author group Year Title. Place of publication: Publisher
Theses and dissertations:
Author, A Year Title. Unpublished thesis (PhD), institution.
Webpages / PDFs:
Author, A Year Title, date of publication. Available at URL [Last accessed date month year].
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.
If your submission relates to COVID-19, please upload it to a pre-print server (of your choosing), and include a link to it in your submission, to comply with the requirements of a rapid reviewer list that the journal is using for this topic.
Authors who publish with this journal agree to the following terms. If a submission is rejected or withdrawn prior to publication, all rights return to the author(s):
Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.
Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.
Authors are permitted and encouraged to post their work online (e.g., in institutional repositories or on their website) prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work.
Submitting to the journal implicitly confirms that all named authors and rights holders have agreed to the above terms of publication. It is the submitting author's responsibility to ensure all authors and relevant institutional bodies have given their agreement at the point of submission.
Note: some institutions require authors to seek written approval in relation to the terms of publication. Should this be required, authors can request a separate licence agreement document from the editorial team (e.g. authors who are Crown employees).
The names and email addresses entered in this journal site will be used exclusively for the stated purposes of this journal and will not be made available for any other purpose or to any other party.
If your paper is accepted for publication, you will be asked to pay an Article Publication Charge (APC) to cover publication costs, which can normally be sourced from your funder or institution. This fee covers all publication costs (editorial processes; web hosting; indexing; marketing; archiving; DOI registration etc) and ensures that all of the content is fully open access. This approach maximises the potential readership of publications and allows the journal to be run in a sustainable way. Tax will be added to all fees charged, when applicable (includes VAT/Sales tax or any other applicable taxes).
Invited articles (such as conference or special issues) may have publication fees covered by a fund associated with that event or collection. If this is the case, the author should indicate this is in their cover letter and confirm that prior agreement has been obtained from the Editor-in-Chief.
If you do not have funds available to pay the APC (e.g., because your institution/funder will not cover the fee) then we may be able to offer a discount or full waiver. Should you need to discuss waiver options or the APC in general, please ensure that you contact the editor as early as possible. Editorial decisions are made independently from the ability to pay the APC. Waiver requests must be received as part of the submission information (e.g. in the cover letter).