Ecological Research Instructions for Authors

© Copyright 2015-2017 The Ecological Society of Japan

Updated: 18 January 2018

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"Ecological Research" is the official English-language journal of the Ecological Society of Japan and publishes original papers on all aspects of ecology, in both aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems. Manuscripts published in this journal must fundamentally advance and/or change our understanding of ecological principles. Purely descriptive papers and those merely confirming or extending results of previous work will not be considered. We publish original articles, current topics in ecology, special features, technical reports, notes and comments, data papers, and forum papers. The journal is introducing "Biodiversity in Asia" as a new article type.

The articles in "Current topics in ecology" review recent advances in topical areas of ecology. "Special features" are collections of research articles and reviews organized by the guest editors. "Technical reports" propose the development of new methods with the potential to advance of ecological research. "Notes and comments" report new significant ecological findings that do not warrant standard full-length manuscripts. "Data papers" are intended to develop ecological research by electronically archiving excellent research data accompanying metadata of any ecological process. The "Forum" section is reserved for discussing the future work of ecology and should be written by authors authorized by the society.

The acceptance criteria for all papers are quality and originality of research and its significance to our readership. Final acceptance or rejection rests with the Editorial Board.

Of the papers published in each volume of "Ecological Research", approximately five will be chosen by members of the Editorial Board as "Excellent Papers" every year.



Manuscript submission

Manuscripts should be written so that they are intelligible to the professional reader who is not a specialist in the particular field.

Submission of a manuscript implies: that the work described has not been published before; that it is not under consideration for publication anywhere else; that its publication has been approved by all co-authors, if any, as well as by the responsible authorities —tacitly or explicitly— at the institute where the work has been carried out. The publisher will not be held legally responsible should there be any claims for compensation.

Authors must state in a cover letter that the content has not been published or submitted for publication elsewhere in any language, that all authors have contributed significantly, and that all authors are in agreement with the content of the manuscript.

Authors are required to suggest a candidate to be the handling editor from the list of Editorial Board members. They should also submit the names and e-mail addresses of five ecologists who are suitable referees.

Copyrights and Permissions

Papers accepted for publication become copyright of the Ecological Society of Japan. The author(s) guarantee(s) that the manuscript will not be published elsewhere in any language without the consent of the copyright owner (The Ecological Society of Japan), that the rights of third parties will not be violated, and that the publisher will not be held legally responsible should there be any claims for compensation. Authors wishing to include figures, tables, or text passages that have already been published elsewhere are required to obtain permission from the copyright owner(s) for both the print and online format and to include evidence that such permission has been granted when submitting their papers. Any material received without such evidence will be assumed to originate from the authors.

Online Submission

Authors should submit their manuscripts online.

Please follow the hyperlink Submit online on the right and upload all of your manuscript files following the instructions given on the screen.

Article Types

Original articles, Current topics in ecology, Special features, Technical reports, Notes and comments, Data papers, Forum

Authors will be asked to choose one desired article type during online submission. The Editor-in-Chief reserves the right to change the article type for each manuscript.

Length and Styles

As a general rule, papers should not exceed 7,000 words excluding references, although exceptions may be made. Authors should also consider the use of electronic supplementary material (ESM) where appropriate. Technical reports and Notes and comments should not exceed 3,000 words excluding references. Data papers contain only the abstract and keywords, and the data and metadata are available on a separate web site (or JaLTER database). To prepare data and metadata, please refer to the guidelines for data papers.

Guidelines for data papers (pdf)

Manuscripts should be presented in the following order:

(i)Title page
(ii) Abstract and keywords
(vi)Figure legends
(viii)Tables (each table complete with title and footnotes)
(ix)ESM (if any)
Footnotes to the text are not allowed; any such material should be incorporated into the text as parenthetical matter.



Title Page

The title page should include:


An abstract should be 250 words or less, except for data papers (350 words). Each paper must be preceded by an abstract presenting (i) the premise of the study, (ii) methods, (iii) key results, and (iv) the main conclusion. The abstract should not contain any undefined abbreviations or unspecified references.


Five key words should be supplied after the Abstract for indexing purposes. For data papers, 10 key words should be supplied.



Text Formatting

Manuscripts should be submitted in a Word file (docx or doc format). The text should be 1.5-line spaced.

Authors should use headings to divide the sections of their manuscript, if appropriate: Introduction, Methods, Results, Discussion, Acknowledgments, References.


Please use no more than three levels of displayed headings. Numbering of the headings is not necessary


Acknowledgments of people, grants, funds, etc. should be placed in a separate section before the reference list. The names of funding organizations should be written in full.





New nucleotide data must be deposited in the DDBJ/EMBL/GenBank databases and an accession number obtained before the paper can be accepted for publication. Submission to any one of the three collaborating databanks is sufficient to ensure data entry in all. The accession number should be included in the manuscript as a footnote on the title page: (Note: Nucleotide sequence data reported are available in the DDBJ/EMBL/GenBank databases under their accession numbers). If requested, the database will withhold release of data until publication. The most convenient method for submitting sequence data is by using the following URLs:

DDBJ Nucleotide Sequence Submission System


GenBank via BankIt

or by the stand-alone submission tool





Cite references in the text by name and year in parentheses and order them chronologically. Some examples:

If there is more than one work by the same author or team of authors in the same year, a, b, c, etc. is added to the year, both in the text and in the list of references.

Reference list

The list of references should only include works that are cited in the text and that have been published or accepted for publication. Personal communications, unpublished data, and publications from informal meetings are not to be listed in the reference list but should be listed in the text (e.g. Smith A 2000, unpublished data). Responsibility for the accuracy of bibliographic data rests entirely with the author. Do not use footnotes or endnotes as a substitute for a reference list. Reference list entries should be alphabetized by the last names of the first author of each work.

Journal article
Gamelin FX, Baquet G, Berthoin S, Thevenet D, Nourry C, Nottin S, Bosquet L (2009) Effect of high intensity intermittent training on heart rate variability in prepubescent children. Eur J Appl Physiol 105:731–738. doi: 10.1007/s00421-008-0955-8

Article by DOI
Slifka MK, Whitton JL (2000) Clinical implications of dysregulated cytokine production. J Mol Med. doi:10.1007/s001090000086

South J, Blass B (2001) The future of modern genomics. Blackwell, London

Book chapter
Brown B, Aaron M (2001) The politics of nature. In: Smith J (ed) The rise of modern genomics, 3rd edn. Wiley, New York, pp 230–257

Online document
Cartwright J (2007) Big stars have weather too. IOP Publishing PhysicsWeb. Accessed 26 June 2007

Trent JW (1975) Experimental acute renal failure. Dissertation, University of California



You can get the detailed guideline for figures & tables from here



You can get the detailed guideline for figures & tables from here

Electronic Figure Submission

Line Art

Halftone Art

Combination Art

Color Art

Figure Lettering

Figure Numbering

Figure Captions

Figure Placement and Size


If you include figures that have already been published elsewhere, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner(s) for both the print and online format. Please be aware that some publishers do not grant electronic rights for free and that Springer will not be able to refund any costs that may have occurred to receive these permissions. In such cases, material from other sources should be used.


In order to give people of all abilities and disabilities access to the content of your figures, please make sure that:



Electronic supplementary material will be published in the online version only. It may consist of:

  • Information that cannot be printed: animations, video clips, sound recordings
  • Information that is more convenient in electronic form: sequences, spectral data, etc.
  • Large original data, e.g. additional tables, illustrations, etc.
  • Submission

    Audio, Video, and Animations

    Text and Presentations


    Specialized Formats

    Specialized format such as .pdb (chemical), .wrl (VRML), .nb (Mathematica notebook), and .tex can also be supplied.

    Collecting Multiple Files

    It is possible to collect multiple files in a .zip or .gz file.



    For each supplementary material, please supply a concise caption describing the content of the file.

    Processing of supplementary files

    Electronic supplementary material will be published as received from the author without any conversion, editing, or reformatting.


    In order to give people of all abilities and disabilities access to the content of your supplementary files, please make sure that:



    This journal is committed to upholding the integrity of the scientific record. As a member of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) the journal will follow the COPE guidelines on how to deal with potential acts of misconduct. Authors should refrain from misrepresenting research results which could damage the trust in the journal, the professionalism of scientific authorship, and ultimately the entire scientific endeavour. Maintaining integrity of the research and its presentation can be achieved by following the rules of good scientific practice, which include:

    In addition:

    If there is a suspicion of misconduct, the journal will carry out an investigation following the COPE guidelines. If, after investigation, the allegation seems to raise valid concerns, the accused author will be contacted and given an opportunity to address the issue. If misconduct has been established beyond reasonable doubt, this may result in the Editor-in-Chief's implementation of the following measures, including, but not limited to:



    To ensure objectivity and transparency in research and to ensure that accepted principles of ethical and professional conduct have been followed, authors should include information regarding sources of funding, potential conflicts of interest (financial or non-financial), informed consent if the research involved human participants, and a statement on welfare of animals if the research involved animals.

    Authors should include the following statements (if applicable) in a separate section entitled "Compliance with Ethical Standards" on the title page when submitting a paper:

    Please note that standards could vary slightly per journal dependent on their peer review policies (i.e. double blind peer review) as well as per journal subject discipline. Before submitting your article check the Instructions for Authors carefully.

    The corresponding author should be prepared to collect documentation of compliance with ethical standards and send if requested during peer review or after publication.

    The Editors reserve the right to reject manuscripts that do not comply with the above-mentioned guidelines. The author will be held responsible for false statements or failure to fulfill the above-mentioned guidelines.



    Authors must disclose all relationships or interests that could have direct or potential influence or impart bias on the work. Although an author may not feel there is any conflict, disclosure of relationships and interests provides a more complete and transparent process, leading to an accurate and objective assessment of the work. Awareness of a real or perceived conflicts of interest is a perspective to which the readers are entitled. This is not meant to imply that a financial relationship with an organization that sponsored the research or compensation received for consultancy work is inappropriate. Examples of potential conflicts of interests that are directly or indirectly related to the research may include but are not limited to the following:

    In addition, interests that go beyond financial interests and compensation (non-financial interests) that may be important to readers should be disclosed. These may include but are not limited to personal relationships or competing interests directly or indirectly tied to this research, or professional interests or personal beliefs that may influence your research. The corresponding author collects the conflict of interest disclosure forms from all authors. In author collaborations where formal agreements for representation allow it, it is sufficient for the corresponding author to sign the disclosure form on behalf of all authors. Examples of forms can be found here.

    The corresponding author will include a summary statement in the text of the manuscript in a separate section before the reference list, that reflects what is recorded in the potential conflict of interest disclosure form(s).

    Funding: This study was funded by X (grant number X).

    Conflict of Interest: Author A has received research grants from Company A. Author B has received a speaker honorarium from Company X and owns stock in Company Y. Author C is a member of committee Z.

    If no conflict exists, the authors should state:
    Conflict of Interest: The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.



    Upon acceptance of your article you will receive a link to the special Author Query Application at Springer's web page where you can sign the Copyright Transfer Statement online and indicate whether you wish to order OpenChoice, offprints, or printing of figures in color.

    Open Choice

    In addition to the normal publication process (whereby an article is submitted to the journal and access to that article is granted to customers who have purchased a subscription), Springer provides an alternative publishing option: Springer Open Choice. A Springer Open Choice article receives all the benefits of a regular subscription-based article, but in addition is made available publicly through Springer's online platform SpringerLink.

    Springer Open Choice

    Copyright transfer

    Authors will be asked to transfer copyright of the article to the Publisher (or grant the Publisher exclusive publication and dissemination rights). This will ensure the widest possible protection and dissemination of information under copyright laws.

    Open Choice articles do not require transfer of copyright as the copyright remains with the author. In opting for open access, the author(s) agree to publish the article under the Creative Commons Attribution License.


    Offprints can be ordered by the corresponding author.

    Color illustrations

    Online publication of color illustrations is free of charge. For color in the print version, authors will be expected to make a contribution towards the extra costs.

    Proof reading

    The purpose of the proof is to check for typesetting or conversion errors and the completeness and accuracy of the text, tables and figures. Substantial changes in content, e.g., new results, corrected values, title and authorship, are not allowed without the approval of the Editor.

    After online publication, further changes can only be made in the form of an Erratum, which will be hyperlinked to the article.

    Online First

    The article will be published online after receipt of the corrected proofs. This is the official first publication citable with the DOI. After release of the printed version, the paper can also be cited by issue and page numbers.


    15. LANGUAGE

    Manuscripts that are accepted for publication will be checked by our copyeditors for spelling and formal style. This may not be sufficient if English is not your native language and substantial editing would be required. In that case, you may want to ask a native speaker to help you or arrange for your manuscript to be checked by a professional language editor prior to submission. A clear and concise language will help editors and reviewers concentrate on the scientific content of your paper and thus smooth the peer review process.

    The following editing service provides language editing for scientific articles in medicine, biomedical and life sciences, chemistry, physics, engineering, business/economics, and humanities Edanz Editing Global Please contact the editing service directly to make arrangements for editing and payment. Use of an editing service is neither a requirement nor a guarantee of acceptance for publication.


    Ecological Research Editorial Office
    Email: ecores [at]

    © Copyright 2015 The Ecological Society of Japan