| Tenses | Numbers | Symbols | Statistics | Italicisation | Abbreviations & acronyms | Units | Dates | Time| Species names | Geographic names | Text | Title | Author | Address | Abstract | Conclusions | Headings | Appendices | Footnotes | Lists | Equations | Tables | Figures | References |
Instructions to Authors(see also the most recent issues for examples of typesetting and formatting)
The entire manuscript (incl. figures and tables) should be converted into a PDF format and sent by e-mail as one PDF file along with a properly-completed Submission form directly to the editor whose area of expertise covers the subject of the paper. For details please select 'SUBMISSIONS' from the left-hand-side menu.
Revised or final versions of manuscripts
When sending a revised or a final version manuscript, use short, meaningful filenames always ending in appropriate extensions added by the programme with which files have been created. Save word-processor files in an .rtf or MSWord .doc format. Acceptable graphic file formats are listed below in the 'Figures' section and in the short instructions (PDF format) that can be download from HERE. As a reference, a PDF file of an entire article should also be sent. Please note that there is a charge for printing illustrations in colour (please contact the editorial office at sekj[at]helsinki.fi for details and current rates).
Please note that the copyrights to the article (including the illustrations) remain with the authors until they are transferred to the publising board by signing the Transfer of Copyrights provided along with the proofs.
Use either British or American English consistently throughout the text (language settings of your word processing programme should reflect the langauge of the article). Write in a clear style and avoid the use of the passive voice. The pronouns I (we), me (us), and my (our) should preferably be used. If English is not your mother tongue, make sure that the manuscript is checked by a native English speaker, preferably familiar with the nomenclature used. All manuscripts will be thoroughly checked by someone proficient in English, and returned for further corrections if found to be linguistically inadequate.
Certain elements of the manuscript layout (e.g. heading numbers) that are requested here but not present in the printed articles are, however, needed to facilitate the editing process.
Tenses [back to the top]
In scientific writing, only two tenses are normally used: present and past (simple). So-called `perfect tenses' (e.g. present perfect) should be avoided. Thus, there are the following `tense' rules that should be observed:
- Established knowledge (previous results) should be given in the present tense;
- Description of methods and results in the current paper should be in the past (simple) tense;
- Presentation (e.g. 'Fig. 1 shows the studied plant') is given in the present tense;
- Attributions (e.g. Jones (1995) reported that ...) are given in the past tense.
Usage of a dash (hyphen, en-dash and em-dash)
- A hyphen (the shortest "-") used for example in hyphenation and compound words,
- An en-dash (""; indicated in a manuscript with two hyphens "- -") used chiefly as a minus in subtraction (5 2 same as five minus two; NOTE: spaces before and after the dash) or in ranges of values or dates (25 same as from two to five; NOTE: no spaces before and after the dash),
- An em-dash (the longest ""; indicated in a manuscript with three hyphens "- - -") chiefly used for the separation of an explanatory and digressive element of a sentence or in references.
Numbers [back to the top]
- Always use decimal points, not commas.
- Always use leading zeros in decimal fractions.
- In long numerals (five and more digits), the digits are marked off in groups of three by spaces (not commas!), starting from the left, e.g., 15 369.
- Numbers from 1 to 10 (also ordinals) in a text must be written out (not 5 but five).
- Numbers are never italicised.
Symbols [back to the top]
- One-letter symbols (normal, in subscript or superscript) representing numerical values (mathematical or statistical variables) must always be italicised.
- Multi-letter symbols (normal, in subscript or superscript) representing numerical values (mathematical or statistical variables) are never italicised.
- Vectors are set in boldface italic.
- Matrices are set in boldface but not italics.
- Usage of multiplication symbols is not recommended.
- Other symbols (abbreviations) are not italicised.
- Check that the same symbol does not have multiple meanings (e.g., P = phosphorus and P = significance level or N = nitrogen and N = amount of samples or repetitions).
- Improper typesetting of symbols may result in ambiguities misinterpretations.
Statistics [back to the top]
- The rationale behind the testing should always be presented and comparisons clearly identified.
- It should be proven that the data can be tested with the tests used (e.g. normality should be tested).
- If some data were excluded from the analyses it should be explained why.
- Sample sizes (n) should always be given.
- Numbers after a ‘±’ sign should be identified (e.g. SE, SD or CI).
- When reporting results of statistical testing please give names of tests used, their symbols and numerical outcomes, degrees of freedom (commonly in superscript to a test symbol) and probability levels at which tested differences can be considered significant. These levels should preferably be given as exact p values rather than p < 0.001, p < 0.01, p < 0.05. Merely labelling differences as significant or non-significant (including such labels as ns, < 0.05, *, etc.) without indicating test results and sample sizes is not acceptable. For example: one-way ANOVA: F2,44 = 1.82, p = 0.170 or two-way ANOVA main effect of species: F1,15 = 108.6, p < 0.0001.
- For further details, please refer to the document which can be downloaded from this link.
Italicisation [back to the top]
- Latin names of genera and lower taxa (e.g., Salmo trutta).
- Words which are originally not English (e.g., in vitro).
- One-letter symbols expressing numerical or statistical values in the text and equations (e.g., p, n, U-test, t-test, r).
Abbreviations and acronyms [back to the top]
- Each abbreviated word must end in a full stop (e.g., Professor = Prof., Volume = Vol. species nova = sp. nov.).
- There is no punctuation used in acronyms unless the English grammar rules dictate otherwise.
Units [back to the top]
- Only units conforming with the SI system are to be used (with some exceptions e.g., 1 um not 10--6 m).
- In composite units, negative superscripts should be used instead of a division (e.g., 30 m s--1 not 30 m/s).
- If units follow axes titles in figures or tables, they should be given in parentheses '()' NOT brackets '' or after commas.
Dates [back to the top]
- Dates should be written according to the following format: day.month.year.
- Months should be written in full (e.g., January), abbreviated (e.g., Jan.) or expressed with roman numerals (January "I", February "II" and so on).
- Years should never be abbreviated (eg. 2003 not 03).
Time [back to the top]
- The 24-hour system should be used exclusively. The day begins at midnight, denoted as 00:00, and ends at 23:59.
Species names [back to the top]
- Since papers published in Boreal Environment Research do not concern animal or plant taxonomy, Latin names of species should be given without authors' names.
Geographic nomenclature [back to the top]
- Always use internationally recognised and existing names. In questionable cases, refer to the Times Atlas of the World or Merriam-Webster's Geographic Dictionary to make sure that a name you intend to use is listed in their indexes, and its spelling is correct. Usage of coordinates (latitude and longitude) is strongly recommended.
Text [back to the top]
- Use only NORMAL style settings throughout the entire manuscript (default font size 12 points, no indentation, no boldface, no capitalisation, left justified, without multiple spaces or tabulators, or other unusual formatting).
- Remove section and page breaks from the text.
- Do not forget to number headings as described below.
- Use blank lines to separate sections, paragraphs and headings from each other.
- Do not use boldface (only symbols of vectors, matrices and tensors can be set in boldface).
- Use a degree sign (`°'; ASCII 176) instead of the uppercase letter 'o'.
- Use a `+/-' sign (ASCII 177) instead of an underlined `+'.
- Use the Symbol font (not equation editor) for Greek letters.
- Graphics (except for equations) must not be placed within the text file.
- Refer to the tables and figures parenthetically, e.g. '(Fig. 1)' or (Table 1). 'Table 1 shows ...' or 'Fig. 1 shows ...' statements should always be avoided when referring to tables or figures presenting results.
- Title [back to the top]: Never in capital letters or boldface, not centred; short version of the title (max. 50 letters should also be provided.
- Author [back to the top]: First names in full (other initials, if any) and surnames (James T. Brown, not J. T. Brown) should be given.
- Address [back to the top]: As complete as possible. The sequence: surname, name and address, must be fully repeated for each author.
- Abstract [back to the top]: Should consist of only one paragraph of up to 150 words. The abstract is written for the potentially interested reader. While writing it, keep in mind that most readers read the abstract before they read the paper. The abstract should tell what the paper will be about. Do not use jargon or any abbreviations here. It should be understandable for non-specialists and even for people from fields somehow far away. References to literature are not allowed in abstracts.
- Conclusions should conclude the paper. Keep in mind that the most readers have read the paper, when they read the conclusions, hence avoid statements like "we have shown this and that by using this and that method" because this is what the read has just read. Proper conclusions should tell the reader what can be done with the newly acquired knowledge. Answer the question "So what?".
- Headings [back to the top]
- Chapter headings (Introduction, Material and methods, Results, Discussion and other headings) should be numbered decimally starting with "1.". Abstract, References and Acknowledgements, are not numbered.
- Sub-chapter headings should be numbered e.g.: "1.1.", "1.1.1.", and so on, depending on how many levels of sub-chapters you have in your article.
- THE NUMBERING OF CHAPTERS AND SUB-CAPTERS SERVES ONLY EDITORIAL PURPOSES AND WILL NOT APPEAR IN PRINT, HENCE DO NOT REFER TO PARTS OF YOUR OWN ARTICLE USING THESE NUMBERS.
- Important: Only the first letter of the first word of any heading is capitalised unless the English grammar rules dictate otherwise (not "Material and Methods" but "Material and methods").
- Appendices [back to the top]: If there is only one appendix it can be referred to in the text as 'Appendix' without the number. Otherwise, appendices should be numbered.
- Footnotes [back to the top]: They are allowed only in tables and exceptionally in the text.
- Lists [back to the top]: Begin each item with three hyphens "- - -" at the beginning of the line followed by one tabulator. Each item always occupies a separate line or a paragraph e.g.:
- - - - first item
- - - - second item.
- Equations [back to the top]: Each equation occupies a separate line. Place an equation's number on the right-hand side e.g.: N = 0.3Wln(a + b) (1). Equations must be referred to as "Eq.", followed by an appropriate number.
- Tables [back to the top]
- Tables prepared with programmes other than word processing applications (e.g. Excel, Corel) cannot be accepted.
- All tables should be prepared with tabulators. However, if you prefer using the table tool of your word-processing programme, do not insert line breaks (¶) and/or preceding/trailing spaces inside cells (i.e. there can be only one line of text within a cell). New table rows should be created by adding new rows of table cells (even if some cells are left empty), not by hitting enter and creating a new lines within existing cells. CR symbols (¶) cannot be preset in any table cell. The number of cells in a table should equal the number of rows multiplied by the number of columns.
- Tables should be comprehensible without reference to the main text.
- All tables should be prepared as separate files or placed at the end of the text file. Do not place tables within the text.
- A TABLE SHOULD NOT BE DIVIDED INTO SECTIONS IDENTIFIED WITH LETTERS. EACH SECTION OF SUCH A TABLE SHOULD BE PRESENTED A SEPARATE TABLE.
- Vertical lines are not allowed.
- Remember: Tables must fit on A4-sized page.
- Remember: Tables must be referred to for the first time in the text in numerical order (e.g., the first reference to Table 2 cannot precede the first reference to Table 1).
- Refer to tables parenthetically; e.g. '... (Table 1)'. 'Table 1 shows ...' type statements should always be avoided.
- Check that all tables are referred to.
- Figures [back to the top]
Submissions: Include figures at the end of the PDF file after the text and tables (for details select 'SUBMISSIONS' from the left-hand-side menu).
Revised manuscripts: Detailed instruction as to how figures should be prepared and saved are available HERE (PDF file, Acrobat Reader 7 or higher needed for viewing and printing). Other requirements to be considered are listed below.
- Figures should be comprehensible without reference to the main text.
- Figures should be prepared exclusively with black-and-white or grey-scale settings unless they are meant to be printed in colour. Different colours may produce the same shade of grey when printed in black-and-white.
- For preferred figure sizes please see pages of our journal.
- Figures must withstand size reduction.
- Figures, drawings and photographs must always be referred to as "Fig.", followed by a number.
- IF YOU REFER TO FIGURES PUBLISHED ELSEWHERE, THE REFERENCE SHOULD BE FOLLOWED BY 'fig.' (note that the lowercase 'f' should be used) e.g.: Turchin et al. 2003: fig. 3.
- All captions should be submitted in the form of a separate file or placed at the end of the text file.
- Avoid fancy design (e.g., 3-D).
- Use the same font in all figures and within a figure. Arial is recommended. Freehand lettering is unacceptable.
- Use (greysacale)solid (not pattern) fillings of e.g. bars or areas in computer-generated figures.
- The axes in graphs should always be named and units, if needed, should be given in parentheses.
- Axis title should be placed parallel to the respecive axis.
- Explain all graphic symbols (e.g. squares, triangles and so on) within the figure, not in caption. A legend should be placed under the figure not next to it.
- Relate the size of letters, the thickness of lines (preferably uniform for all figure items), and the size of other parts of a figure, to the size of the figure itself.
- Identify parts of a composite figure with letters, not numbers or their position (e.g. top, bottom or left, right).
- All figures should be referred to in the text in the proper numerical order (e.g., the first reference to Fig. 2 cannot precede the first reference to Fig. 1).
- Avoid presenting data in pie-charts; present these data in tables or bar-charts.
- References [back to the top]
- Referring to literature in the text
- The references should be verified by the author(s) against the original documents. If an article has not been read by the author(s) but its conclusions found in another publication (secondary source), it may be cited in the text only as follows: e.g. 'Miller's (1972) results as cited in Ashworth (1996) ...'. In the reference list, however, only the secondary source (i.e. Ashworth 1996) can be given.
- Mihok et al. (1985) or (Mihok et al. 1985).
- Kurtén and Anderson (1980) or (Kurtén and Anderson 1980).
- (Kurtén and Anderson 1980, Mihok et al. 1985).
- When referring to more than one publication, arrange them using the following keys:
- Year of publication (ascending).
- Alphabetical order for the same year of publication.
- The reference list [to download the EndNote template click HERE]
[NOTE: There are no commas after authors’ surnames, nor are there spaces between initials]
- Arrange the references as follows (numbered in order of precedence):
- Alphabetical order,
- Alphabetical order and number of authors (ascending) for publications in which the first author is the same.
- Year of publication for publications by the same author or authors.
- Remove unpublished papers from the reference list. You can refer to them only in the text as unpublished (do not forget all authors' names and initials).
- If an article is in press or accepted, the volume number of the journal must be given.
- In the references, journals' names can be either abbreviated or given in full. If you decide to give abbreviated names, use only official abbreviations as indicated by the journals itself; please note that an abbreviated word should always end in a full stop. For consistency reasons, a name of a particular journal if it appears more than once should always be given in the same way (i.e. either abbreviated or not).
- Article in a journal appearing in print (the journal's title italicised)
- Mihok S., Schwartz B. & Iverson S.L. 1985. Ecology of red-backed voles (Clethrionomys gapperi) in a gradient of gamma radiation. Ann. Zool. Fennici 22: 257- -271.
- Cannell M.G.R., Murray M.B. & Sheppard L.J. 1985. Frost avoidance by selection for late budburst in Picea sitchensis. J. Appl. Ecol. 22: 931- -941.
- Cosby B.J., Homberger G.M., Wright R.F. & Galloway J.N. 1986. Modeling the effects of acid deposition: control of long term sulfate dynamics by soil sulfate adsorption. Water Resour. Res. 22: 1238- -1291.
- Hytönen J. & Wall A. 1997. Metsitetyjen turvepeltojen ja viereisten suometsien ravinnemäärät [Nutrient amounts of afforested peat fields and neighbouring peatland forests]. Suo 48: 33-42. [In Finnish with English summary].
- Article in an online-only journal (the journal's title italicised, full DOI (Digital Object Identifier) should be given)
- Forsström S., Ström J., Pedersen C.A., Isaksson E. & Gerland, S. 2009. Elemental carbon distribution in Svalbard snow. J. Geophys. Res. 114, D19112, doi:10.1029/2008JD011480.
- Publication available exclusively on the web (printed version does not exist) can be referred to by its URL (Universal Resource Locator). Its accessibility in foreseeable future in an unchanged form must be verified and guaranteed. If web-only publications cannot be found when an article is send to print, the references may be replaced with 'unpublished data' without notice.
- Forström J., Keränen J., Hytönen E., Soria A. & Szabó L. 2006. Development of a model of the world pulp and paper industry. Technical Report Series, EUR 22544 EN, available at http://ftp.jrc.es/EURdoc/22544-ExeSumm.pdf.
- Chapter in a publication (the publication's title italicised)
- Tamminen P. & Starr M. 1990. A survey of forest soil properties related to soil acidification in Southern Finland. In: Kauppi P., Anttila P. & Kenttämies K. (eds.), Acidification in Finland, Springer, Berlin, pp. 237- -251.
- Häninen H. 1990. Modelling dormancy release in trees from cool and temperate regions. In: Dixon R.K., Melhdahl R.S., Ruak G.A. & Warren W.G. (eds.), Process modelling of forest growth responses to environmental stress, Timber Press Portland, pp. 159- -165.
- Book (the book's title italicised)
- Manly B.F.J. 1986. Multivariate statistical methods. Chapman & Hall, London.
- Tikkanen T. 1986. Kasviplanktonopas. Gaudeamus, Helsinki.
- Article or book printed entirely in Cyrillic: Give the authors' names both transliterated and [in brackets] in Cyrillic. Only English translation of the title should be given in brackets. If the title translation is not given in the publication please provide your own. Do not transliterate the title. Give the transliterated book publisher's name and place, or journal's title e.g.:
- Abramov, A. L. & Abramov, I. I. [Абрамов А.Л. & Абрамов И.И.] 1956. [Mnium immarginatum (Lindb.) Broth. from Mongolia]. Bot. Zh. 41: 89- -91. [In Russian].
- Article or book printed entirely in non-Roman scripts other than Cyrillic (e.g. Arabic, Chinese, Japanese): Give the transliterated authors' names. Only English translation of the title should be given in brackets. If the title translation is not given in the publication please provide your own. Do not transliterate the title. Give the transliterated book publisher's name and place, or journal's title e.g.:
- Ho, T. N. 1985. [A study on the genus Gentiana of China, IV]. Bulletin of Botanical Research 5(4): 122. [In Chinese].
- Article or book printed in non-Roman scripts but with English summary or abstract: Give the transliterated authors' names. Only English translation of the title should be given. If the title translation is not given in the publication please provide your own. Do not transliterate the title. Give the transliterated book publisher's name and place, or journal's title e.g.:
- Korbut, V. V. 1989. Nest building of hooded crows. 1. Utilisation of different substrata. Zool. Zh. 68: 88- -95. [In Russian with English summary].
- An article in press may be included in the references list: the name and volume of the journal and the publication year must, however, be given. "[In press.]" should be inserted at the end of such reference.
- Material in preparation or unpublished cannot be included in the reference list, and can only be referred to in the text using only the first author's initial(s) and name followed by "unpubl. data" or "pers. comm.".
The first or appointed author will receive proofs of the article. Errors caused by editorial or linguistic alterations will be corrected free of charge. Other substantial corrections, especially if they alter the final layout, may be corrected for a fee. We do not assume responsibility for misinterpretation of illegibly marked corrections. The proofs with both attached forms (filled in) should be returned to the Editorial Office exclusively by mail within 48 hours of their arrival. Errors found after the proofs had been returned may not be corrected.