Instructions for Authors

Artwork and Illustration Guidelines

All the figures, including data plots, photographs, diagrammatic sketches, flow charts, etc., should be embedded, approximately in their final sizes, in the main text near the paragraph in which they are first referenced, not on separate page(s) at the end.

Electronic figure submission

  • If a figure comprises several parts, it is better to integrate all the parts into a single picture.
  • When submit the figures in separate files, name figure files with "Fig" and the figure number, e.g., Fig1.jpg.
  • Please do not supply: (i) files that are optimized for screen use because these typically have a low number of pixels and limited set of colors; (ii) files that are too low in resolution; (iii) graphics that are disproportionately large for the content.

Line arts

  • Definition: black and white graphic with no shading.
  • Do not use faint lines and/or lettering and check that all lines and lettering within the figures are legible at final size.
  • All lines should be at least 0.1 mm (0.3 pt) wide.
  • Scanned line drawings and line drawings in bitmap format should have a minimum resolution of 1200 dpi.

Data plots

  • Definition: graphical representation of data to reveal relationships between variables.
  • Plots should follow guidelines for line art with font sizes and file resolution. All plots should use a white background.
  • Simple geometric symbols (e.g., open and filled triangles, squares, circles, etc.,) should be used for data points, with capped error bars to denote the precision of measurements.
  • Axes should labeled with the appropriate units included in parentheses.
  • The use of Microsoft Excel to generate plots is strongly discouraged.

Halftone arts

  • Halftone arts include micrographs, photographs, drawings, or paintings with fine shading, etc.
  • If any magnification is used in the micrographs or photographs, indicate this by using scale bars within the figures themselves. Microscope-generated scale bars, particularly "tick-mark" style one, typically reproduce poorly and should be replaced by larger, more legible scale bars. Magnifications should not be given (e.g., 1000X).
  • Screenshots of data from energy dispersive spectroscopy (EDS), mass spectrometry, nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy, atomic force microscopy (ATM), etc., are not acceptable. Data must be plotted in a graphing program.
  • Halftones should have minimum resolution of 300 dpi.
  • The aspect ratio of any images should not be altered.

Figure lettering

  • Keep lettering consistently sized throughout your final-sized artwork, usually about 8–12 pt.
  • Variance of type size within an illustration should be minimal.
  • Avoid effects such as shading, outline letters, etc.
  • Do not include titles or captions within your illustrations.

Figure numbering and captions

  • All figures should be numbered using Arab numerals (figure parts should be denoted by lowercase letters).
  • Figures should always be cited in text, such as Fig. 1, Fig. 2, in consecutive numerical order.
  • Each figure should have a concise caption describing accurately what the figure depicts. Include the captions in the text file of the manuscript, not in the figure file.
  • Please make sure that all elements found in the figure are identified in the caption.

Figure placement and size

  • When preparing figures, please size figures to fit in the column width.
  • The figure should be not wider than 80 mm for single-column figures or 170 mm for double-column figures, and not taller than 230 mm.

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