Manuscript Preparation


The following documents provide guidance on manuscript preparation, and are intended for authors preparing articles for submission to any journal published by the Insights Publisher. These are general instructions; for instructions specific to each journal, please consult the information on the journal’s home page under For Authors.

Manuscript Preparation - Tables

  • Creating
  • Formatting
  • Numbering
  • Table Titles
  • Column Headings
  • Lines
  • Stub Column (The Left-most Column In The Table)
  • Cut-in Heads
  • Total Rule
  • Body of the Table
  • Footnotes to Tables


Use your programs table-creation tool for all tables. Do not use tabs and spaces. Do not break contents of a cell across multiple cells.

Cell entries should clearly belong to a specific row and column.


Tables should be prepared using a roman font; italic and bold should not be used for emphasis.

Except for basic horizontal lines (see "Lines" below), tables should be free of lines, boxes, arrows, or other devices unless they indicate the structure of the data.


Tables are numbered using arabic numerals, and they are cited in numerical order in the text.

Appendix tables are generally numbered as follows: if there is only one appendix in the article, tables in the appendix are numbered A1, A2, A3, etc. If there are more appendixes, tables are numbered to correspond to the appendix in which they occur; that is, Appendix B would contain tables B1, B2, etc.; Appendix C would contain tables C1, C2, and so on.

Table titles

Titles should identify the table as briefly as possible.

In an article that contains more than one table, each title should be unique.

Titles should not contain explanatory material; this should be placed in a "note" at the bottom of the table.

Column headings

Headings should identify the column as briefly as possible.

Headings should contain any necessary symbols (%, $, etc.) or measurement abbreviations (cm, kg, etc.) that apply to the data in the column below. Any measurement abbreviations should conform to the style of the journal.

Headings may have several levels, with horizontal rules separating the levels

If column numbers are mentioned in text, table columns should be numbered accordingly. Numbering should begin with the first column to the right of the stub column.


Only horizontal lines are allowed; no vertical lines, boxes, or other lines may be used unless they indicate the structure of the data.

All tables should have the following three horizontal lines:

  • One under the title, above the column headings
  • One between the column headings and the body of the table
  • One at the bottom of the table.

In addition, tables MAY have the following horizontal lines, as needed:

  • To separate levels when there is more than one level of column heading
  • To separate a column of numbers that is being added from its total (see example B below)
  • To delineate "cut-in" heads in the body of a table.

Stub column (the left-most column in the table)

Entries should be as brief as possible.

Stub column entries are often layered. Note the use of colons and indentations to differentiate the various layers.

Stub column entries and subentries should be confined to one column.

Data in columns to the right of the stub column should be in the same row as the stub column entry.

Stub column entries should not run across into the body of the table. If necessary, the entries are broken and runover lines are indented.

Cut-In heads

Cut-in heads are used when the contents of columns change-that is, when new labels are needed for the data in the columns. This is the only circumstance in which headings should appear in the body of the table.

Rules are used above and below cut-in heads. Note that these rules cover only the columns that change. They do NOT extend into the stub column.

As with headings at the top of a table, cut-in heads may have more than one level.

Total rule

A total rule is to be used only when there is a total that is actually the SUM of the numbers in a column. It is not to be used for averages, means, or other numbers that may summarize the data in a column, but that are not totals.

The total rule extends only across columns with totals. It should not extend into other columns that do not have totals. Missing data: Three centered ellipses may be used in blank cells; it is also acceptable to leave these cells empty.

Body of the table

Wherever possible, the body of the table should be free of symbols (%, $, etc.) or measurement abbreviations (cm, kg, etc.). Symbols should appear in the column head when they apply to all values in the column, or in the stub column when they apply to all values in the row. Sometimes they can even be placed at the end of the table title, if they apply to all of the data within the table.

Footnotes to tables

All notes end with a period, even if they are not complete sentences.

Table note callouts should be arranged in the body of the table from left to right, top to bottom, as if reading a text. Every callout in the table should have a corresponding footnote.

The type of footnote symbols used (numbers, letters, symbols) depends on the style of the journal. See individual journals' "Information for Contributors" for specific instructions.

Many tables will have a general explanatory "note" containing useful information about the table (definitions of abbreviations used, etc.). This note is not numbered. It is simply labeled "note" and appears at the bottom of the table before any other specific, numbered notes. The word "note" is singular, even when there are multiple pieces of information in the same note.

Some tables also have an unnumbered note labeled "sources" (or "source" if only one source is cited). This is used to list the sources that were used in constructing the table. If such a note is used, it should precede all other footnotes, including the "general" note. See example D above.

Footnotes indicating standard levels of significance in statistical tables usually use asterisks. These footnotes should follow all other footnotes at the bottom of the table.

Manuscript Preparation - Artwork

  • General Guidelines
  • Unacceptable Artwork Types
  • Cropping and Sizing
  • Labeling
  • Copyright
  • Guidelines for Specific Types of Artwork
  • Guidelines for Preparing Digital Art Files

General guidelines

Please read this information carefully to avoid publication delays. All figures will be reproduced exactly as transmitted, so authors must take special care to prepare high-quality files. Check with your technology support personnel if you need help with producing the proper files.

Authors are strongly encouraged to transmit all figure files electronically. The figure files should include any labels or markers that are part of the figure itself, but not the figure number, title, legend, or notes (they will be typeset separately). The figure number, title, legend, and notes should be provided with the text of the manuscript.

It is possible that a figure file that displays on the author's monitor and prints from the author's printer without any apparent problem may still have coding that prevents it from being embedded in electronically typeset pages. The production office will work with authors to diagnose and resolve problems and produce usable files at an early stage in the publication process.

Over time, the Press has identified a number of common problems that may cause delays or difficulties in processing art, and to avoid these we have compiled the following list of guidelines for preparing electronic figures. Following them will speed up the production of your paper and minimize the risk of problems occurring in the publication process.

Unacceptable artwork types

Artwork Created with PowerPoint, Excel, Word, or WordPerfect: The graphics created using PowerPoint, Excel, Word, or WordPerfect are low-resolution images that are not suitable for professional reproduction. Graphics created in these programs are acceptable only if they are line images, with no gray, color, or shading.

Graphics downloaded from the Internet: Graphics downloaded from Internet pages are not acceptable for print reproduction. These graphics are low-resolution images (usually 72 dpi), which are suitable for screen display but are far below acceptable standards for print reproduction.

Cropping and sizing

Your artwork will be cropped and sized for publication. If you want to be certain that a particular area of your image is excluded or included, please indicate where the image should be cropped.


Please be consistent with type (both font and size) within a figure. Since most figures are reduced, figures employing more than one font size may, after reduction, contain both text that is too small to read and text that is so large as to be awkward. After reduction, all text should be legible but not excessively large. Of course, some variation in the size of letters may be necessary to emphasize elements in a figure or to fit lettering in a limited space; however, please try to use no more than a 2-point variation in your type sizes.

Please use the same font type for all figures in your manuscript; use standard fonts such as Times, Arial, Helvetica, or Symbol. Sans serif fonts such as Arial and Helvetica are ideal and should be used whenever possible. All fonts must be embedded in your figures or all font type must be converted to outlines (applications such as Adobe Illustrator can do this). If you transmit a figure that uses custom or nonstandard fonts, the characters may appear in a different font or not appear at all. Remember to check proofs carefully to be sure that all fonts in figures are correct.

If the figures in your manuscript contain units of measurement, please label these units consistently. Make sure abbreviations are consistent with those used in the text and the legend.

Avoid placing labels over shaded areas of a figure. Best results are obtained from black lettering on a white background. If the area requiring a label contains shading, it is best to create a white box and place the black label within.

Figures consisting of more than one panel should include uppercase panel designations ("A," "B," "C," etc.). The Press prefers to receive multipart figures assembled into single image files whenever possible (i.e., one file containing all panels, with parts labeled, and arranged so that they will fit on a journal page or portion of a page). Whenever possible, include all panels of a figure on the same page.

Each chart or graph should incorporate a key to any symbols or colors used. Please set the key inside the figure when possible.

All graphs and plots should include axis lines at the top, bottom, right, and left sides of the data, forming a completely enclosed box. This will allow for easier interpretation by the reader. Figures should not include text along the top axis outside of the box, except for axis labels. Any information about the figure should be contained within the figure legend or in the labels that appear inside the box.

Omit any extraneous information, such as page numbers, figure numbers, author names, or manuscript number, from the figure. Figures themselves should not contain a title or text that is duplicated in the figure legend. Figure legends should be included separately with the manuscript.


If the artwork you are transmitting has been published elsewhere or is otherwise copyrighted, the Press must have a letter of permission from the copyright holder in order to use the image. The permission letter should grant worldwide print and electronic reproduction rights, in perpetuity. Permission grants that restrict reproduction to the print edition or that require later renewal are not acceptable. In addition, if the artwork is not your own, the Press will need information about its source. Copyright and source information should be included in the figure legend.

Guidelines for specific types of artwork

Bar Graphs

Avoid the use of gray or color in bar graphs. Instead, please use solid black, solid white, and patterned (e.g., horizontally or diagonally striped) bars. Please refrain from preparing "three-dimensional" bar graphs unless there is a compelling reason for the information to be rendered in three dimensions. The information in most bar graphs can be adequately rendered in two dimensions, and making a bar graph three dimensional only obfuscates the data. Files should be sized for publication, as described in Cropping and Sizing above. Optimum resolution for bar graph files is 800 dpi when sized appropriately for print publication.

Line Art

Line art is best reproduced when it is a crisp black-and-white image and contains no unnecessary gray shading. Avoid using gray in line art. Gray areas scan unevenly, which often results in unwanted "moiré" patterns (see fig. 6). If gray must be used in the figure, the figure must adhere to all requirements for halftone images.

Avoid thin lines, particularly in figures requiring considerable reduction. Do not use lines that are thinner than 1 point, and do not use the "hairline" width option that many computer programs offer.

If your image requires the use of many lines (as line graphs often do), please choose patterns that are easily distinguished from each other. Patterns with similar characteristics are hard to differentiate after reduction. Dotted or dashed lines should be thick enough and varied enough to withstand considerable reduction. If possible, avoid using triple-dot-dashed line styles or any variation that uses 4 or more identifying components.

Files should be sized for publication, as described in Cropping and Sizing, above. Optimum resolution for black-and-white line art files is 800 dpi when sized appropriately for print publication. Optimum resolution for combination line art and grayscale images is 800 dpi when sized appropriately for print publication.


When preparing black-and-white photographs, please follow the guidelines for Halftones, below. Preparation of color photographs should follow the Color Art guidelines below.

For journals that do not publish color art in the print edition: At the discretion of the journal office, color photographs may appear in the online version of the journal. Black-and-white versions will be used by the publisher for the print version.


Halftones are any images that contain gray. When using gray, make sure to use gray levels between 20% and 80%, with at least 20% difference between the levels of gray, or it may become difficult to distinguish between different elements in your figure (see fig. 8). Use a screen of 80 lpi or lower (coarser) and make the figures as close to final publication size as possible, as reduction can cause levels of gray to drop out. Whenever possible, use different patterns of hatching instead of grays to differentiate areas of a figure. Optimum resolution for halftones is 300 dpi when sized appropriately for print publication.

Photomicrographs should show only the most pertinent area of the material being studied. A micrometer bar or appropriate scale marker must appear on the figure.

Color Art

Figures that are intended to be printed in color should be prepared as CMYK (i.e., four-color) files, not RGB files. RGB files cannot be used for printing and must be converted to CMYK, which can result in undesirable color shifts. If authors cannot provide four-color files, the Press will convert the files from RGB to CMYK. In addition, authors should transmit a hard copy of each color figure as a sample of how the colors should look in the printed journal. This is needed because the appearance of a color figure is highly device dependent, and the Press and the printer need to know what colors the author has seen and approved. Optimum resolution for CMYK files is 300 dpi when sized appropriately for print publication. CMYK Encapsulated PostScript (EPS) files created with Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop seem to produce the best results.

For journals that do publish color art in the print edition: Please note that reproduction of color images carries an extra charge. Contact the journal office for current rates. Unless explicit arrangements have been made with the journals editorial office, you will be charged for color reproduction if your figure contains any color at all.
For journals that do not publish color art in the print edition: Art may appear in color only in the online version of the journal. Black-and-white versions will be used by the publisher for the print version. For this reason, if you are transmitting artwork in color please make sure that the colors you use will work well when converted to grayscale. Use contrasting colors with different tones (i.e., a dark blue and a dark red will not work because their tones are too similar; when converted to grayscale the resulting grays will be almost identical).

Guidelines for preparing digital art files

Figure files should be in TIFF or EPS format. EPS files saved by a commercial-quality graphic program (such as Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, or Kaleidagraph) are generally the most reliable. Authors should avoid using applications that cannot save directly in TIFF or EPS format.

Each figure must be a separate file. If you have a multipart figure, the Press prefers to receive these as a single file, with panels labeled within the image, rather than as multiple files. However, if necessary you may transmit each part of the figure separately, along with a README file describing how they should be laid out. If a figure is assembled from multiple images, the images must be embedded in the file, not linked.

Make sure that figures intended for black-and-white reproduction do not contain any color objects. Although color figures usually print acceptably on black-and-white laser printers, unexpected color images will disrupt the printing process, resulting in publication delays. If figures contain any color lines or color objects, the author may be charged for color, even if color was not requested.

All videos must be in MPEG, QuickTime, MP4, or AVI format. For each video file that is submitted with a paper, the author must provide a still from the video published as a figure. This allows readers to have a printed representation of the animation.

The JPEG file format uses a "lossy" compression that, depending on the setting, will render a file unsuitable for print standards. If at all possible please avoid transmitting electronic files in JPEG format. If this is unavoidable please be sure to save the JPEG at the highest quality available and at the correct resolution for the type of artwork it is.

Manuscript Preparation - Math

  • Display Equations
  • In-line Math
  • Special Characters

Authors of math-intensive articles are strongly urged to format their articles in LaTeX. This is particularly important if the articles contain numerous or complex equations.

Display equations

To produce display equations--equations that sit by themselves on a line--use the Equation Editor included with Microsoft Word or WordPerfect.

In-line math

To produce in-line math-small equations or single characters that appear within a line of regular text-you can insert the necessary characters like other normal text. If the desired math is too complex or not available as individual characters, then use Equation Editor.For example, it is not necessary to use Equation Editor to put "x=q + 1" in a line of text. However, a more complex expression, such as        , would require the Equation Editor.

Do not use Word's "fields" to insert equations or special symbols.

Special characters

In any version of Word or WordPerfect, for Macintosh or Windows, the keyboard shortcuts for characters such as em-dashes, curly quotes, accented letters, and so on, are always acceptable.

For individual math symbols, Greek letters, and other special characters for which there is no keyboard shortcut, each version of Word or WordPerfect has an "Insert > Symbol" or "Insert > Character" command, which produces a chart of symbols from which you can choose.

In WordPerfect, if you choose "Insert > Symbol" or "Insert > Character", avoid symbols from the non-Western character sets (Cyrillic, Hebrew, Japanese, etc.).

In Word, if you choose "Insert > Symbol", choose characters only from the "normal text" font or the Symbol font. In Word for Windows, choose characters only from the Basic Latin and Latin-1 subsets in "normal text" or the Symbol font.

In any word processor, characters produced with non-Latin fonts other than Symbol (e.g., Mathematical Pi, Dingbats, etc.) may not convert properly.

If you must insert characters in a non-Latin font other than Symbol, please circle them on your printed manuscript.

Note that some characters, especially when seen on a computer screen, are easily confused: e.g., a German "double-ess" (ß) and a lowercase beta (b); or an apostrophe (’) and a prime symbol (?). Be sure to insert the character you want (and check your proofs carefully).