Page Layout

1. Front Page Content

  • Article Titles

The title should convey the main theme of the study. It must be concise, descriptive, and grammatically correct. Full stops should be avoided; instead, authors can use commas, colons, or hyphens. Italics should only be used when required by a specific nomenclature (such as species names or journal titles)

We encourage authors to consider their audience and try to attract the widest possible audience. Therefore, please avoid using acronyms that people outside of your field do not understand. Innovative and original article titles should be used.

  • Author Details

In order to identify who wrote the paper and contributed to the work, author names and affiliations are displayed at the beginning of a paper. More details about qualification for authorship and author roles are given in the section on author contributions.

The author details are mandatory which are Full name of the author(s), Designation, Department, College/University, Affiliations, and postal address etc. We were surprised to find that after these parts of the document were published, we received requests to update these parts so frequently. Incorrect information may mean lack of proper attribution, incorrect citations, and may even lead to promotion or funding issues.

The publisher attempts to verify the authors’ identities and where necessary will make contact with the authors to confirm details. Misrepresenting affiliations is extremely serious and may constitute fraud.

Author names should be written in full. Generally, Authors should be named separately, and the name of an institution or organization should be mentioned for each author.

Affiliations should be the one the authors had at the time the work was carried out. Authors may also add a current affiliation as a special note in the front matter. If the author is not affiliated to an institution, they may add the previous academic profession in which they work. 

We strongly recommend authors to have an ORCID (see, which is a unique identifier for scholarly researchers. Your ORCID ID can be added in the submission system.

  • Abstracts

An abstract is a brief summary of a main manuscript. It should be written in ~300 words. The abstract should be written concisely and clearly It must not contain any abbreviations, images, references, tables or citation. The abstract should be well written and is grammatically correct.

Authors should give a background and brief summary to the paper, a brief description of the methods, the principle results, then conclusions or interpretations. Abstracts without headings should consist of a single paragraph.

Abstracts must be self-contained: they are often displayed and read independently of the rest of the paper. This means that any abbreviations used must be defined in the abstract, and no reference can be made to the bibliography or any figures. Citations to previously published papers are not required in abstracts.

The abstract and title are the first part of your article and someone will read it. It should give them a good overview of all the main aspects of the work done. It should not be seen as a promotion that encourages readers to download and read the entire article, although it is a good idea to include some motivation. Instead, you should focus on making it rich and complete. A well-written summary means that people who read the full text have a good understanding of the content and can focus on the parts that matter most to them.

The abstract, along with the title, is the first part of your paper that someone will read. It should give them a good overview of all the major aspects of the work carried out. It should not be thought of as a sales pitch to encourage readers to download and read the full article, although including some motivation is a good idea. Instead, you should focus on making it informative and comprehensive. A well-written abstract will mean that someone who reads the full article will already have a good idea of the contents and will be able to focus on the parts they are most interested in.

  • Keywords

There should be five to ten keywords or phrases each separated by a comma.

  • Introduction

Manuscript should be submitted in .doc, .docx, .rtf files. Manuscript should be around 2000 to 7000 word count [1]. Please do not use MS Word older than the 2010 version. Use only Microsoft Office 2010 or later versions. The main text of the manuscript should appear here with headings as appropriate. Author should mention the type of manuscript on the top of manuscript (research article, review article, case study, popular article, or any other type of article).

Authorship should be carefully listed in a correct order of authors before submitting the manuscript. Author can made addition, deletion, or rearrangement of author names in the authorship list only before the manuscript has been accepted.

Introduce the article properly in paragraphs separated by headings, subheadings, images, and formulae. To avoid errors in the article, author is advised to use the ‘spellchecker’ function of MS Word. Authors are responsible for obtaining permission from copyright holders for reproducing any illustrations, tables, figures, or lengthy quotations previously published elsewhere.

Article should be written in following order: Title of the Article, Authors, Affiliations, Abstract, Keywords, Main text (including figures and tables), Conflicts of Interest, Ethics Approval, Acknowledgements, Abbreviations and Nomenclature, References, Appendix. Author should not use footnote or endnote for the citation in the article.

English is a flexible language and most of its rules can be broken under the right circumstances. Our aim is to communicate the latest scholarly findings in a way that is accessible and readable. Most of the guidelines here are to aid clarity and precision. 

The manuscripts will not be rejected due to the a minute corrections such as the punctuations marks or for not changing the paragraph, or use of wrong tense in methodology etc. Authors may benefit from reading and applying the conventions given here, though, as improving clarity and removing ambiguity can increase the chance of passing peer review.

This layout style guide is according to the STM Journals format and the sections of a research article are arranged accordingly. It begins with the front page content, which includes the Article type, article title, Author details, and Abstract, Keywords etc. 

Structure and Formatting

The next few chapters cover the main text of an article, which is written almost entirely by the authors. For research articles, this is where details of the experiments and results are presented. The main text may be supplemented by additional documents or sections, such as appendixes, supplementary material, URLs, or DOIs can be used to refer to data or code hosted on other websites.

Overall Structure

Research articles have a standard structure, which is set out in the instructions for authors of the journal and the journal template. The STM journals use a structure, where the sections are such as: Introduction, Materials and Methods, Results, and Discussions, Conclusion section at the end.

Review articles, usually have a different structure, which is often more flexible. We recommend that the structure of an article is still considered, so the paper firstly presents a motivation for the work, followed by relevant data and previous work, and gives conclusions at the end. For reviews, the structure is more closely related that of a research article, without the methods, methodology and results etc.

Figures, tables, and schemes should appear in the text as to cite them. The Figures and tables should have a caption, and a citation. They should not be cited at the end of the paper , instead should be arranged in the running text. However, authors do not need to strictly follow these rules and the production team will determine the most appropriate placement of figures. Note that there may be some adjustments in figure placement between author proofreading and final publication. Further details about adding these elements are given below.

3.2. Paragraph Content and Structure

There are no specific requirements from STM Journals for paragraph structure but they should follow conventions for English writing. These paragraphs should contain and develop a single theme. They must be independent, which means, for example, you should not use pronouns (he, she, them) that refer to the previous paragraph. The recommended paragraph structure is to first put forward the main idea, then give more relevant details, and finally give an explanation or conclusion. This structure makes the reader clearer: if the idea contained in a paragraph is not clear from the beginning, the possibility of misunderstanding is greater. In some disciplines, especially in the humanities, alternative structures may have a special impact on the readers the author is trying to create, but we recommend that care must be taken to ensure that the information is as clear as possible.

3.3. Headings and Sections

For research articles the heading titles are defined. For other types of paper the authors have more flexibility to choose the headings. You may use up to three levels of headings/subheadings. Headings without numbers should be used to introduce a series of different cases. 


Author can use headings, subheadings to present the work in the following ways.


Bryman [2] asserts that there are different views about the scope, range, ordering, and labelling of philosophical approaches.

Level 2 or H2 Heading: Philosophical Approaches

Bryman [3] asserts that there are different views about the scope, range, ordering, and labelling of philosophical approaches.

Level 3 or H3 Heading: Philosophical Approaches

Bryman [4] asserts that there are different views about the scope, range, ordering, and labelling of philosophical approaches.

Level 4 or H4 Heading: Philosophical Approaches

Bryman [5] asserts that there are different views about the scope, range, ordering, and labelling of philosophical approaches.

Level 5 or H5 Heading: Philosophical approaches (H5): Bryman [6] asserts that there are different views about the scope, range, ordering, and labelling of philosophical approaches.

Level 6 or H6 Heading: Philosophical approaches: Bryman [7] asserts that there are different views about the scope, range, ordering, and labelling of philosophical approaches.

The headings should have a title, and the first letter of all the words should be in block letters or uppercasexcept all the short words, including articles (A, LA), and all prepositions (before, later,  below, etc.). As the preamble used in the pronoun (for example, configuration), pronoun (it, she, she) must be capitalized. If the word is scheduled, use both uppercase parts. The name of the body in italics should not be capitalized (for example, in S. aureus). The first word of the colon and the first word must be capitalized regardless of the previous rules.


Methods should typically be presented in the simple past tense:

“The multi-antenna measurement system consisted of 22 autonomously working measurement units, for 11 different frequency bands, connected to a common serial bus system.”

An exception is where are described in the manner of instructions or an algorithm. These are most often used in theoretical papers:

“The following describes the calibration procedure. First, place the subject (Sb-1) on a rotational platform in the far field of a transmitting horn antenna (TX) in an anechoic chamber.”

The present perfect should be avoided:

“The subject has been placed on a rotational platform . . . ”

Results and Discussion

This is the section where tenses are most often mixed and there is more flexibility/ambiguity about the correct tense to use. As a rule, established facts should use the present tense, however difficulty arises when a single result is presented as establishing a fact. Authors may write the same phrase in different ways:

“The results show that commercial PEMs underestimate the actual incident power densities by a factor of 1.6 to 20.6.”

“In our study, commercial PEMs underestimated the actual incident power densities by a factor of 1.6 to 20.6.”

“Commercial PEMs underestimate the actual incident power densities by a factor of 1.6 to 20.6.”

The first example uses the present tense, because the results are fixed and will not change in the future. The second uses the past tense, much like the methods section, to describe what happened during the experiments. The third is a bolder statement that generalizes the results of the paper to all commercial PEMs.

The second is the best option as it is a clear statement of what happened during the current study. Anything that speculates or extrapolates the results should be clearly differentiated. For example:

“In our study, commercial PEMs underestimated the actual incident power densities by a factor of 1.6 to 20.6. This could imply significant measurement errors where PEMs are used in an industrial environment.”

It separates the third statement above into two distinct phrases that differentiate the results from the conclusions.

  • Tables and Figures

Authors should submit tables as editable text and not as images. Tables should be numbered (with Arabic numerals as Table 1, Table 2, etc.) and referred to by number in the text. Tables can be placed either next to the relevant text in the article, or on separate page(s) at the end. The captions for the Tables should be provided separated from the text. All Figures and Tables should be numbered and cited. Source of all Figures should be provided.

For all Tables, use the following symbols in order as footnotes: * (asterisk), † (dagger), ‡ (double dagger), ¶ (paragraph mark), § (section mark), ‖ (parallels), **, ††, ‡‡, etc.

Authors should submit Figures as per “Artwork Guidelines”. Figures are to be numbered in one consecutive series of Arabic numerals in the order in which they are cited in the text. The captions for illustrations and figures should be separated from the text and collated in a separate section called “Legend to Figures.” Tables and Figures should be self-explanatory.

Figure 1. Figures should their Captions.

  • Artwork Guidelines

Illustrations, pictures, and graphs should be with the highest quality, and text in the illustrations, pictures and graphs should be readable. Following guidelines enable us to prepare your artwork for the printed issue as well as the online version.

Placement: Figures/charts and tables created in MS Word should be included in the main text. Figures and other files created outside Word (i.e., Excel, PowerPoint, JPG, TIFF, EPS, and PDF) should be submitted separately. Please add a callout in the running text (i.e., insert Figure 1).

Resolution: Rasterized based files (i.e., with .tiff or .jpeg extension) require a resolution of at least 300 dpi (dots per inch). Line art should be supplied with a minimum resolution of 800 dpi.

  • Units of Measurements

Authors should follow internationally accepted rules and conventions. Units should be expressed in the international system of units (SI). If other units are mentioned, please give their equivalent in SI.

  • Abbreviations And Nomenclature

Except for units of measurement, abbreviations, and nomenclature when it appears for the first time should be spelled out for the first time.

  • Maths Formulae

Math equations should be presented as editable text and not as images. Simple formulae should be in line with normal text where possible. Use the solidus (/) instead of a horizontal line for small fractional terms, e.g., X/Y. Equations should be numbered consecutively in Arabic numerals if referred explicitly in the text.

  • Fonts and Symbols

When writing symbols, use common standard fonts as much as possible. If you use a template in Microsoft Word, be sure to set the font correctly for all text, especially when copying and pasting text from different documents. The formatting brush tool can help.

Most abbreviated phrases should be written in their entirety the first time they are used, with abbreviations in parentheses, such as "Small Angle X-ray Scattering (SAXS)." Some very common abbreviations do not need to be defined, some of them are generic, while others depend on your target audience.

  • Pagination

In addition to the DOI, MDPI also issues pagination for articles. This includes several numbers or series of letters that identify where and when the paper was published:

ISSN A code that uniquely identifies serial works, such as academic journals. Each journal has a unique ISSN.

Volume, Issue These numbers originated from when journals were physically printed. Typically, journals publish one volume per year with issues on a biannual, quarterly, or monthly basis. Electronic journals still often use these and they are useful for identifying when a paper was published.

Page range or article number These identify the specific article in an issue. The page

number typically starts with 1 at the beginning of a Volume. Many electronic journals have switched to article numbers, which assigns a single number to the entire paper.

Except for the ISSN, these numbers occur in citations, e.g., Sensors 201313(6), 6910–6935. Note, however, that the MDPI reference style omits the issue number (see the section on references).

Grammar and Tenses

  • Tenses

In scientific writing, precision is needed around known and unknown language. This is related to the passage of time and the use of time. The following describes how time is used in each part of the research paper.

  • Punctuation

Authors should have a good knowledge of standard punctuation.

The STM Journals articles should have British English, and the author must be consistent throughout the article. 

  • Plurals

Almost all students of English learn that plurals need to agree with other parts of the sentence, however it is an area where errors often occur, particularly in complex phrases. 

  • Periods/Full Stops

Periods that end sentences should be followed by a single space. Most abbreviations use periods to indicate where letters have been omitted. Note that “vs.” should be followed by a period, except in papers covering law, where the convention is to omit a period.

  • Commas

Good use of commas ca

n help clarity in your writing. Sometimes it comes down to personal preference, however there are some guiding principles that should be applied. See 3.10 for the use of commas in lists.

Commas separate non-restrictive sentence modifiers—a phrase added to a sentence that is not essential to its meaning. Do not add commas for restrictive modifiers.

  • Hyphens and Dashes

There are four types of dashes used in writing:

- Hyphen: joins two separate words into a single concept.

– En dash: shows a link or relationship between two concepts, or a range.

— Em dash: used to introduce a sub-clause that clarifies the previous phrase.

− Minus sign: used in equations. In practice, an en-dash or hyphen can also be used by authors and it will be updated during production.

When using prefixes and suffixes, hyphens are not required unless omitting them creates ambiguity in the meaning or double letters. Some words are conventionally written with or without hyphens, and for others multiple forms are in common use. You will not be expected to know all of these and the editorial team will check before publication. A few examples are

Prehistoric, lifelike, anti-inflammatory, un-ionize.

For compound words, hyphens should typically be used. Two words together used to denote a single noun are termed ‘unit modifiers’. Note that hyphens should also be used in double-barrelled names. For example:

Three-dimensional, time-dependent, Parker-Bowles, grey-green. Chemical names, however, should not be hyphenated (e.g., sulfuric acid).

En dashes can be used to denote a chemical bond, a range between two numbers, or a relationship between two separate entities. They are also used between the last names of two different people when their names are used for a scientific concept. Some examples:

Carbon–oxygen bond A time–frequency plot 17–30 m in length Fabry–Perot Bose–Einstein

For MDPI papers, em dashes are preferred to colons when introducing phrases that provide clarification or definitions. Spaces should not be included either side of em dashes. For example:

“We measured alignment using linear dichroism—differential absorbance in perpendicular directions.”

We recommend using em dashes sparingly to avoid disrupting the flow of sentences.

  • Colons and Semicolons

As mentioned above, em dashes are preferred to colons for introducing definitions. Colons may be used to introduce lists or before equations, but not where they separate a verb and its object or a preposition and its object.

Semicolons may be used in lists, as mentioned above. For other uses of semicolons, refer to a grammar book. In general, we recommend using semicolons sparingly and considering whether a period or comma would be more appropriate.

  • Apostrophes

Apply the common usage of apostrophes to indicate ownership or contraction of words, although note that most contractions should be written in full (“cannot” instead of “can’t”, “it is” instead of “it’s”, etc.). Do not use apostrophes to pluralize abbreviations or numbers, e.g.,

“The results of five PCRs are shown.”

“This was common practice in the 1960s.”

  • Dates and Times

Times should be written using the 24-hour clock with a colon between the hours and minutes, e.g., 12:42. Dates should be written with the format day (as a digit) month (as a word) year (four digits), e.g., 1 January 2001. BC (before Christ) or AD (anno domini) can be added if necessary; CE (Christian era) and BCE (before the Christian era) are also acceptable. Where other calendars are used (e.g., lunar calendars), we recommended including the date using the Gregorian calendar as well.

  • Schemes

Schemes are common in chemistry to define the synthesis of a chemical. They can be included in a similar manner to figures. Carefully verify that the structures given are correct. It is not usually necessary to include hydrogen molecules in schemes. Captions are mandatory for schemes and are placed below the scheme.

  • Algorithms

Algorithms are typically used in computing to explain a series of steps performed in a calculation or program. They may simply be included in the main text, but can also be numbered for easier citation. Use of monospace font is common for algorithms, but not mandatory. A caption must be included above the algorithm.

  • Captions

As mentioned above, captions are obligatory and must be placed above or below objects. They should provide a description of the object such that the reader does not need to refer to the main text to fully understand. For example

“The four methods used.”

is not helpful to readers, whereas

“The four minimization methods used to find the optimum parameters of the Navier–Stokes equation for three microfluidic devices.”

is better. Recall that figures and captions sometimes appear online separate to the rest of the article and so must make sense when not accompanied by the main text.

  • Supplementary Material

Some types of data or information are not suitable to be included in the main text. In this case, it may be included as supplementary material or in an Appendix (see below). Examples of information suitable as supplementary material include additional graphs, original datasets, and computer programs. In most cases, authors are free to choose what is included as supplementary material. There is also no restriction on file type, although we recommend using common, open file types that will remain readable in the future. There may be restrictions on file size for files hosted by MDPI, however the editorial office will be able to offer alternative options if this is a problem.

There are two ways that supplementary material can be added. Either it can be submitted to MDPI along with the manuscript, or it can be hosted on a third-party platform and details included in the paper. In the latter case, authors should use a repository that uses datacite or an equivalent mechanism to give the files a digital object identifier. The website must also have a policy for data preservation, which reduces that chance that at some point in the future the link to the files will no longer work. A personal website, for example, would not be suitable. There is a list of suitable repositories at

  • Author Contributions

Anyone included in the author list should have their role listed in the author contribution section. MDPI uses the CREDiT taxonomy for authorship and a standard wording as given in the journal article template. Further details are available at and a brief explanation of each role is available at Everyone and only those satisfying one or more of these roles should be included as authors. In addition, all authors must be fully aware of and approve submission of the manuscript.

  • Acknowledgments

Many people have contributed to the development of MDPI’s style. Here, we acknowledge the invaluable input of several key people at MDPI. Dr Shu-Kun Lin founded MDPI and, in the early years, performed production for many papers himself. He instigated the pragmatic approach that MDPI applies, with an emphasis on what would most benefit the author and keep the authenticity of their writing. Ms Sara Faes has been a long-time English editor and coordinator, and continued along the path set by Dr Lin, providing training and support for countless English editors that have worked with MDPI over the years. Ms Hebe Li, Ms Ying Wang, and Mr Justin Li have established and grown the production team, and we are indebted to Dr Janine Daum for creating and maintaining MDPI’s LATEX class and template files. Finally, we have received feedback from countless authors, editors, and readers. Their input has helped to improve our approach and we are extremely grateful to them.

Article Types

All articles are assigned a type, dependent on the content of the article. It is useful to readers, to inform them of what style of content to expect (original research, review, commentary, etc.) and for indexing services when applying filters to search results. This section details the most common article types. Editors have the final say on which type should be assigned to a published article.

  • Article

The most popular type of published paper, articles report original research results. They report a complete piece of research, typically including introduction (background and motivation), methods, experimental results, and discussion, often referred to as an IMRAD structure. Some journals vary in their structure and authors should refer to the instructions for authors of the journal as early as possible in the writing process.

  • Review

Review papers consist of concise and precise updates on the latest progress made in a given area of research. They should be comprehensive and objective and not, for example, only report research results from a single research group or country. Systematic reviews are written by following a specific algorithm for finding papers to include. Criteria for which articles are reviewed are defined before carrying out a literature research. They should follow the PRISMA guidelines ( and the structure of the paper should be similar to that of a research article.

  • Short Communication

This type is similar to an article but with less content. The aim is to report preliminary but significant results. It should contain a complete research project and follow the IMRAD structure.

  • Case Report

Common in medical journals, case reports present detailed information on the symptoms, signs, diagnosis, treatment (including all types of interventions), and outcomes of an individual patient. They usually describe new or uncommon conditions that serve to enhance medical care or highlight diagnostic approaches. Special care should be taken when submitting Case Reports to ensure that appropriate permission for publication has been obtained from patients featured in the paper. A sample blank consent form can be found on the instructions for authors pages of relevant journals.

  • Proceedings, Extended Abstracts, Meeting Reports

These types contain peer reviewed research output from conferences. Proceedings report new evidence or conclusions, and are expanded versions of work presented in a conference presentation. Extended Abstracts are submitted to a conference in advance and give details in support of a presentation made at the conference. Meeting Reports comprise a summary of material presented at a conference; they are often written by an organizer of the conference to inform those who could not attend, and may include a list of abstracts and presenters.

  • Editorial

Sometimes the editorial board or the publisher has an important viewpoint or information to communicate to readers. This can be done through an editorial. For example, the first publication of most journals is an editorial from the Editor-in-Chief setting out his or her vision for the journal. Major changes to the editorial process are also announced through editorials.

  • Updates and Amendments: Corrections, Addendums

There are several methods to update published papers. A Correction reports a change that could affect the scientific interpretation of the content. An Erratum reports an update that makes a technical change, such as replacing a low-quality figure or adding missing information to a reference. An Addendum adds extra information to a paper, such as clarification of a method or an additional source of funding. In all cases, the original paper is updated and the publication showing the update is linked to the original.

  • Retraction

The process of retraction is used to remove a published paper from the literature. Reasons for retraction include the results being found to be unreliable or not sufficiently novel (including plagiarism), or where authors have acted unethically, such as by fabricating data or making false claims about authorship. Retracted papers are not completely removed, but are watermarked as retracted. Retractions are usually the result of an investigation into the paper. MDPI journals are members of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) and follow its guidelines for dealing with such cases. For full details about the circumstances for retraction, please refer to the COPE guidelines for retraction and the MDPI retraction policy. Note that a Retraction does not imply anything about the behavior of the authors—the key purpose of a Retraction is to remove the article from the publication record. It could be for technical reasons, or through circumstances beyond the control of authors or the journal.

Digital Object Identifiers

A digital object identifier (DOI) is a unique number registered through a central organization, usually CrossRef for journal articles. Its role is to act as a persistent identifier, meaning that if the URL of an article changes the DOI can still be used to find its most recent location. The DOI is defined by the publisher.

We recommend using the DOI when citing articles as it will help readers to quickly locate the cited work. Any article can be located from the doi by prefixing it with, e.g.,

Conflict of Interest Statement

MDPI uses the recommendations of the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors with regards to conflicts of interest (CoIs) ( icmje-recommendations.pdf):

“A conflict of interest exists when professional judgment concerning a primary interest (such as patients’ welfare or the validity of research) may be influenced by a secondary interest (such as financial gain). Perceptions of conflict of interest are as important as actual conflicts of interest.”

CoIs come in different forms and can affect authors, editors, and publishing staff. Having a CoI does not mean that your paper will not be published, however omitting them could lead to retraction or, at least, re-evaluation of your paper. No conflicted third parties should be able to directly influence the results of your research or have a say in the final version. Conflicts of interest where there is a negative effect on the author as a result of the paper’s publication should also be declared.

Types of CoIs include:

Direct/indirect: This concerns whether the CoI refers specifically to an author (direct) or one of their associates, such as a close colleague or family member (indirect). Financial/non-financial : Both of these are important. Financial CoIs concern receiving money from people or organizations with a vested interest in the outcome of the research, holding patents or salaried positions that depend

on the research outcomes, or holding shares or other items whose value is dependent on the research. Non-financial CoIs include benefits to groups the author is associated with and reputational benefits.

There are some grey areas about what to disclose as a conflict of interest. If you are unsure, we recommend making a declaration and checking with the editorial office prior to publication. Colleagues may also be able to provide advice. Examples of CoI statements can be found in the instructions for authors and the journal submission template.

Appendixes and Supplementary Information

Authors can use Appendixes to add further information to support the results reported in the manuscript. They should be used when including the information in the main text would disrupt the flow for readers or where only a minority of the audience is expected to be interested. Appendixes may include full details of lengthy mathematical proofs, additional figures, further experimental details, or additional data. If the information is very lengthy, or in a format that does not work well on a printed page, it may also be included as supplementary material (see above).

Note that sections in the Appendix are labelled with capital letters (as opposed to numbers, which are in the main text) and that all Appendixes must be cited in the main text. Figures or Equations in an Appendix are prefixed with ‘A’ (regardless of the section) and in supplementary material with ‘S’, and numbering begins from 1 at the beginning of the Appendix or Supplementary files (i.e. Figure A1, Figure A2, . . .).


The purpose of the reference list is to enable others to find works on which the published paper is based.

A citation should be included when what you are writing refers to or is based on previous work. Examples can also be cited. This includes journal and newspaper articles, patents, and details of specific equipment. 

The reference section is highly structured and different types of references are formatted in a specific way. 

References (reference have been arranged as per Author-Number System) (at least 10 references and not more than 50 references; also, recent references should be included.).

All References mentioned in the reference list are cited in the text and vice versa. In reference list, each reference should have at least name of author, title of the article, place of publication (name of book or journal), and year of publication. All References mentioned in the reference list are cited in the text and vice versa. In reference list, each reference should have at least name of author, title of the article, place of publication (name of book or journal), and year of publication. All References mentioned in the reference list are cited in the text and vice versa. In reference list, each reference should have at least name of author, title of the article, place of publication (name of book or journal), and year of publication.

Author(s). Title of article. Title of journal. Publication year; Volume(Issue): Pages. (JOURNAL)

  • Skalsky K, Yahav D, Bishara. J Treatment of human brucellosis: Systematic review and meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials. BMJ. 2008; 336(7646): 701–4p. (Journal)
  • O’Leary C. Vitamin C does little to prevent winter cold. The West Australian. Forthcoming 2005 Can include date, volume and issue number if provided (JOURNAL ARTICLE IN PRESS)
  • Fletcher D, Wagstaff CRD. Organisational psychology in elite sport: its emergence, application and future. Psychol Sport Exerc. 2009;10(4):427–34p. doi:10.1016/j.psychsport.2009.03.009. (ELECTRONIC ARTICLE WITH DOI NUMBER)

Author(s). Multiple authors separated by a comma. Title of Book. Edition of book if later than 1st edition. Place of Publication: Publisher Name; Year of Publication. (BOOKS)

  • Hofmeyr GJ, Neilson JP, Alfirevic Z, et al. A Cochrane Pocketbook: Pregnancy and Childbirth. Chichester, West Sussex, England: John Wiley & Sons Ltd; 2008. (REFERENCE TO A BOOK)
  • Rowlands TE, Haine LS. Acute limb ischaemia. In: Donnelly R, London NJM, (editors). ABC of Arterial and Venous Disease. 2nd edition. West Sussex: Blackwell Publishing; 2009. (REFERENCE TO A CHAPTER IN AN EDITED BOOK)
  • Bartlett A, Breastwork: Rethinking breastfeeding [monograph online]. Sydney, NSW: University of New South Wales Press; 2005. Available from: Net Library (ELECTRONIC BOOK)

Author(s). Title of paper. In: Editor(s). editor(s). Title of Conference; Date of conference; Place of conference. Place of publication: Publisher’s name; Year of publication. Page numbers. (CONFERENCE PAPERS)

  • Kimura J, Shibasaki H (editors). Recent advances in clinical neurophysiology. Proceedings of the 10th International Congress of EMG and Clinical Neurophysiology; 1995 Oct 15-19; Kyoto, Japan. Amsterdam: Elsevier; 1996. (CONFERENCE PROCEEDINGS)
  • Bengtsson S, Solheim BG. Enforcement of data protection, privacy and security in medical informatics. In: Lun KC. Degoulet P. Piemme TE, Reinhoff O, (editors) MEDINFO 92. Proceedings of the 7th World Congress on Medical Informatics; 1992 Sep 6-10; Geneva, Switzerland. Amsterdam: North Holland; 1992. 1561–5. (PUBLISHED CONFERENCE PAPER)
  • Bowden FJ, Fairley CK. Endemic STDs in the Northern Territory: Estimations of effective rates of partner exchange. Paper presented at: The Scientific Meeting of the Royal Australian College of Physicians. Darwin, Australia. 1996 June 24-25. (UNPUBLISHED CONFERENCE PAPER)

Author(s). Article title. Newspaper title (edition of paper e.g., Weekend edition). Date of publication – year month day: Sect. Location e.g. A:12 or Business 5 (5 is the page number) column number is applicable e.g., col. 1) (NEWSPAPER AND MAGAZINE ARTICLES)

  • Robertson J. Not married to the art. The Courier Mail (Weekend Edition). 2010 Mar 6-7:Sect. ETC:15 (NEWSPAPER ARTICLE)
  • Marano HE. Making of a perfectionist. Psychol Today. 2008 Mar-Apr;41:80-86 (MAGAZINE ARTICLE)
  • Bajak F. Why Chile dodged Haiti-style ruin. Toronto Star (Canada) [serial online]. 2010 Feb 28 [cited 2010 Mar 14]; Sect. News: A14 Available from: Australia/New Zealand Reference Centre (ELECTRONIC NEWSPAPER OR MAGAZINE ARTICLE)
  • Drivers told: Don’t use Clem7 tunnel. The Courier Mail [Internet]. 2010 Mar 16 [cited 2010 Mar 16]; Available from: (ELECTRONIC NEWSPAPER ARTICLE ON THE INTERNET)

Author(s). Title of report. Place of publication: Publisher; Date of publication – year month if applicable. Total number of pages if applicable, e.g., 24 p. Report No.: (if applicable) (REPORTS AND OTHER GOVERNMENT PUBLICATIONS)

  • Australia. Parliament. Senate. Select Committee on Climate Policy. Climate Policy Report. Canberra: The Senate; 2009. (REPORTS AND OTHER GOVERNMENT PUBLICATIONS)
  • Page E, Harney JM. Health Hazard Evaluation Report. Cincinnati (OH): National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (US); 2001 Feb. 24 p. Report No.: HETA2000-0139-2824. (REPORTS AND OTHER GOVERNMENT PUBLICATIONS)

8.9. Copyright Statement

The final part of a manuscript is the copyright and licensing statement. This does not need to be edited by the authors and has a standard wording.

Copyright of the manuscript is not transferred from the authors to MDPI, meaning that those who produce the work retain ownership. Sometimes authors are not legally entitled to own the work. In these cases, it should first be verified whether this applies in Switzerland, where MDPI is registered. If so, the authors should inform the editorial office about the correct copyright owner.

The license determines how the work can be used after publication. MDPI articles are published using a creative commons CC BY license, meaning that the work may be reused—either in full or in part—without restriction provided that the original source is acknowledged. In practice, this means that anyone using the article must cite it and thus give recognition to the authors. The terms of this license are what makes the articles open access. A different open access license may only be used in exceptional circumstances and must be approved at the submission step by the editorial office.

9.  Publication Ethics

Research and publication ethics is a large topic and a full discussion is beyond the scope of this guide. For further information, we recommend that consulting local sources such as university ethics committees or libraries, or the Committee on Publication Ethics (

Here are the main points to be aware of when writing and submitting papers:

Authorship: Include all and only authors that qualify for authorship. Avoid “gift authorship” for those that did not contribute, and omitting someone who played a significant role in the work.

Add ethical approval: If your work required ethical approval, add the name of the

committee that approved the work and the approval code in the methods section. Also make sure that you have obtained permission to publish from any relevant third parties, such as funders, collaborators, or research subjects.

Plagiarism/copied text: It is considered unethical to present someone else’s words

or ideas as your own—this is plagiarism. In addition, large amounts of copied text can constitute a copyright infringement. Do not directly copy text from other sources unless it is clearly indicated as such using quotation marks and is correctly cited.

Cite sources appropriately: Related to plagiarism, make sure that citations are made

appropriately. Ensure that you have cited all of the relevant work. At the same time, avoid citing work that is outside the scope of the paper. Where reviewers or editors suggest that you add extra citations, you may disagree provided that you can argue why they are not relevant. It is also not necessary to add extra citations to the journal you intend to submit to—this will not make your paper any more or less likely to be accepted for publication.

Ensure that all of your co-authors are aware of the ethical standards expected for academic publishing. Any infringement is considered by publishers as the responsibility of all authors.

10.  Revision and Resubmission

This part briefly covers general advice about how to revise and resubmit your manuscript. You will receive notification by email of specific opportunities to revise and resubmit your paper. If you urgently need to submit a new version at some other time, write to the editorial office by email, but not that it may not always be possible if the paper is with editors or reviewers.

Please use the “track changes” feature in Microsoft Word. This makes it easier for editors and reviewers to see the changes that have been made. The “compare” function in Word can add tracked changes to the final version by comparing it with an earlier version.

Particularly during proofreading, you will find parts of the text that are highlighted and/or have comments on them that the editorial office would like you to check. This could be to verify information that has been added or modified, to ask check the original meaning where it is ambiguous, or to request additional information. Please pay close attention to these parts to ensure that the final published version is as you intended. Common requests are to ask for abbreviations to be defined, to add the city and country of companies from which materials were sourced, to check the author names and affiliations, and for modifications made to the reference list.

For papers written in LATEX, it is not necessary to highlight changes, but there are several document comparision softwares that can be used to see the differences between different versions of tex files. Check carefully for comments in the tex file, prefixed by %, where you may need to give feedback.

Reviewer comments are made to improve your work and help to make it acceptable for journal publication. Authors should be able to modify their manuscript to accommodate most comments. Sometimes, however, authors feel that remarks made are not fair or misunderstand their work. In this case, you can write a response to the reviewers and editors explaining your point of view. In addition, if a reviewer suggests additional experiments that would taken an unreasonably long time, you can also explain the situation. While the reviewers’ comments are taken very seriously by editors, they are suggestions and the Editor-in-Chief, Guest Editor, or other Editorial Board Member makes the final acceptance decision.

If you have difficulty understanding a request for revision or re-uploading your document, get in touch with the assistant editor handling your paper via email. Make sure you quote the manuscript ID assigned to your paper in all correspondence.

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