Author Guidelines

Ethical Guidelines for Authors

We expect that all authors who contribute to PSE Press publications adhere to the following ethical guidelines.

  • All work is original by the author, and is not published in any other form, including in a different language.
  • Authors own the copyright to the entire work before submission, consider the proper re-use of images and artwork from other sources, properly cited and noted, as discussed below. No copyright laws shall be violated.
  • Scientific research is conducted and reported upon honestly and in good faith, following ethical principles appropriate to the field and type of study.
  • Authors provide appropriate credit to all contributors to the work. The order of author names should be agreed upon by all authors and follow the norms of the field. Author ordering should not be abused by power-imbalance that may exist among the authors.
  • Authors provide appropriate citation and acknowledgement for background literature or contributing ideas outside of the authors’ original contributions, even if those ideas are unpublished.
  • Authors disclose funding sources for all research reported and any associated conflicts of interest.
  • Authors do not “self-plagiarise”, which is to re-use text from previous works without direct quotation (usually with quotation marks) and citation, even if they own the copyright.
  • Authors do not report results or offer commentary in any dishonest or deceptive fashion.

Ethical Guidelines for Editors and Reviewers

We expect that all editors and reviewers who contribute to PSE Press publications adhere to the following ethical guidelines.

  • When judging quality of a submitted work, such as in making accept/reject decisions or in the determination of awards, editors and reviewers shall be at “arm’s length” from the authors. This means that there shall be no direct power relationship between them (such as employer/employee, student/supervisor, client/service provider), they shall not be employed or enrolled at the same institution, they shall not be active collaborators in any current or recent research (within the previous 5 years), they shall not have close personal or professional relationships (e.g. family relations, close friendships, business ties), have closely integrated financial interests (e.g. shared ownership of corporations), or have any other personal, financial, or professional connections that may bias the decisions. In rare cases where such conflicts cannot be avoided, they must be actively disclosed.
  • Editorial decisions and reviewer comments (such as making accept/reject decisions or recommendations) shall not be affected by personal identity or identity group of the author(s), either for or against.
  • All editors and reviewers are expected to act in a professional and ethical manner.

Format Style Guidelines

Authors should always follow the style instructions provided to them, usually found on the template provided to them by the organizer of the publication. Publication may use different style templates that may change from publication to publication. Please do not deviate from the instructions in the template. 

Language Guidelines

Each publication may have individual language requirements that can vary from volume to volume. Most English publications can use either British, US, Canadian, or other commonly accepted dialect standards. If you are in doubt, we recommend US English.

Some volumes accept works in multiple languages. For example, works associated with Canadian conferences usually accept publications in either English or French interchangeably in the same volume. Contact the volume editor if you are unsure of what language form to use.

Artistic Style Guidelines

Please consider the following artwork best practices.

  • Most screens have lower resolution (72 dpi for classic displays, 92-140 dpi for HD monitors, and 160-185 dpi for UHD) compared to the resolution of a printed document (300 – 1000 dpi). This means screen captures or images that look good on a monitor may look pixelated or fuzzy in a printed document or a .pdf. This is important even when the final product is not printed (.pdf only).
  • Use a minimum of 300 dpi for artwork, except for line-art, which should have a minimum of 600 dpi.
  • Size the artwork so that, when using the appropriate resolution (dpi) it has a width and height appropriate for the space it is intended. For most templates, this is 17 cm wide for a full-page-width image (or in a two column format, spanning across two columns), or 8.5 cm wide for a single column width in a two column template. However, always follow template instructions which may differ from these best practices.
  • Do not use an image with transparency. Use a plain white (#FFFFFF) background instead.
  • Consider the following suggested file formats and best practices when saving your artwork:
    • Photos and complex images. .jpeg/.jpg is best for this type of image. Please adjust image quality using your photo editing software to keep file size under 4 MB.
    • Line drawing, flow diagrams, charts, graphs, cartoons, and artwork with simple shapes or large regions with exactly the same color. the .png format is best for this type of image, because it can encode large regions of same color (e.g. large areas of white space, blocks like bars on a bar chart)  in a very efficient format. If you are unsure of what file type to use, if a .png should have a smaller filesize than the same image when saved to a .jpg, if it is the right choice. Unlike a .jpeg, .png files are lossless, meaning that it does not alter the image to compress it, so information is not lost and sharp lines remain sharp.
    • Working with .TIFF images. .TIFF is a printer-friendly format that also does not have losses associated with the image (like a .png). .TIFF can also work very well in place of a .png, but the file size can be very large. To avoid this, we recommend enabling the “Use LZW Compression” option when saving .tiff files in your software. Often, the size and quality of the .tiff with LZW compression is very close to a .png. 
    • Working with Screen Captures. If you must use a screen capture, we recommend that when making the screen capture, you “zoom in” on the relevant part of what you want to capture to fill your entire screen with it, and then make the screen capture. The image can be shrunk to a more appropriate level in the Word template, but this technique will maximise the number of pixels contained within the image, and thus maximise the fidelity of the image in the final document.
    • .EPS and vector-based graphics files. These can work very well in a Word template, and should render at high resolution when converting your final Word document to .pdf. However, care must be taken to ensure they are properly rendered. Using a properly formatted .png file with the right size and resolution (dpi) already fixed will ensure the final product will appear as intended. Therefore, properly formatted .png files are preferred.

Italics for Latin and Foreign Language Terms

Use Italics (or emphasis format) for words in a language other than the language of the main work. This includes Latin phrases and abbreviations. Most common examples are in citations and example lists:

  • We used the methology of Smith et al.
  • This raises the question: Quo Vadis?
  • The sample contained mostly light hydrocarbons (e.g. methane, ethane, and propane).
  • The sample contained mostly light hydrocarbons (methane, ethane, propane, etc.)
  • Only the two lightest hydrocarbons were found in the sample (i.e. methane and ethane).

Citation Guidelines

Follow the instructions in whatever template you are provided. If unsure, PSE Press recommends the following format.

For citations in the text, use square brackets and ranges, like “[1]”, “[3-5]” for ranges, or “[3,6,40]”, for scattered groups.

When using the names of the authors, we recommend using “Lastname” for a single author, “Lastname and Otherlastname” for two authors, and “Firstauthor et al.” for three or more authors. The paper number in square brackets [1] must still be cited.

Citations should not always be placed in the end of the sentence, because it is more appropriate to place the citation in the middle of a sentence immediately where the cited information ends in the context of the sentence. 

Examples include:

  • “Smith et al. argued that x was greatly impacted by variable y [1], but Gundersen argued that y had almost no impact at all [2].”. Here, is an obvious case where the citation should be broken up within the same sentence because the two points are opposite.
  • “Several groups having noted that f(x) is monotonic [3-6].” Is acceptable. However, when citing whole large clusters to support one point, it is usually better to break up the citations and explain why each one is better.

Citation Lists

The bibliography and references section should follow the style guides in the template. However, PSE Press uses the following format in most circumstances.

Reference lists should be numbered starting with 1, in the order in which the appear in the publication. DOIs are optional, and for space-constrained publications (those with small page limits, especially abstracts) can be omitted. 

Abbreviating Names

It is not recommended to include the hyphen when abbreviating names that are not the surname. “Maria-Hanna” becomes “MW”. Authors with surnames (a.k.a. family names) are multiple words, either hyphenated or not, should be fully written out.

Suffixes do not include punctuation (Sr. becomes Sr)

Journal titles should be abbreviated according to common practice and understanding. Do not use punctuation. We recommend the LTWA as a guide for abbreviations.

Journal Article Example

  1. Author FN, Suffix AB Jr, Roman BC III, Multiple Surname GV. Title of the paper in sentence case. Abbrev J Title 4:32-42 (2020). DOI: 10.12345/stuff.678910

Patent Example

  1. Inventor FN. Title of the patent in sentence case. US Patent 3,765,134. (2019)

Book Example

  1. Author FN, Other SD. Capitalized Title of the Book. Publisher (2021).
  2. Author FN, Other SD. Capitalized Title of the Book. 2nd Edition. Publisher (2021) ISBN 1234567890123

We do not require publisher location (country or city) unless this is needed to disambiguate the book from another. ISBN numbers are not required but are recommended when space allows.

Book Chapter or Section Example

  1. Author FN, Other CA. Title of the section of the book. In: Capitalized Title of the Edited Book. Ed: Editor QC, Other JC. Publisher (2022)

Website Example

  1. Webpage author.


Short direct quotations from other sources should be obviously labelled as such, and include the citation. Commonly, quotation marks “quoted text” are best and unambiguous. However large quotes can use special formatting to indicate a quote, with associated text and a citation that clearly identifies the text as quote. A common example is to use a fully indented block of text for the quoted portion, without quotation marks, but with text before or after that provides the necessary citation and context.

Writing Style, Voice, and Ethos

The way we write academic literature is always evolving. Authors are encouraged to find a style and voice that works for them. For example, both passive voice (“It was found that…..”) and active voice (“We found that….”) are acceptable ways to write scientific articles. The most important thing is that you effectively communicate your ideas to the reader clearly and unambiguously.

We recommend that everyone read the recent article by Prof. João B. P. Soares [1] with very helpful advice on modern scientific research article writing practices. It may surprise you!

  1. Soares JBP. Publication tips: How to write scientific articles that master the publication process and communicate your ideas efficiently. Canadian J Chem Eng 100:2718-2731 (2022). DOI: 10.1002/cjce.24428