iForest - Biogeosciences and Forestry

Authors Guidelines

iForest can only accept manuscripts written in English.

Please note that iForest will not edit submitted manuscripts for style or language and editors may reject immediately a manuscript if it is compromised by grammatical errors or inadequate style.

Thus, non-native speakers of English or authors which do not have excellent and well-documented skills in writing scientific English are asked to make use of an independent copy-editing service, e.g.:

All services are paid for and arranged by the authors.

Text (main text including tables and figure legends) and figures must be submitted as separate files, i.e. one file for the main text and one file for each of the figures. Supplementary materials (if any) should also be provided and uploaded as separate files (see below - section "Additional Files").

There is no explicit limit on the length of articles submitted, but authors are encouraged to be concise. There is also no restriction on the number of figures, tables or additional files that can be included with each article online. Authors should include all relevant supporting data with each article.

The main text (including tables and figure legends) must be submitted as a single file. Allowed file formats: MS Word (.doc, .docx); Open Office Writer (.odt); Interchange format (.rtf); plain text (.txt); or compressed archives of such formats (.zip). Files larger than 1 Mb should be compressed into a Winzip archive. Files larger than 2.5 Mb will not be accepted by the form.

If the first author is e.g. Newton, an appropriate name for the file will be "Newton.doc" or "Newton.rtf".

All figures and tables must be referred to along the main text using Arabic numerals (Fig. 1, Fig. 2, Tab. 1, Tab. 2, etc.).

Typographic rules

Use double line spacing.

Type the text unjustified, without hyphenating words at line breaks.

Use hard returns only to end headings and paragraphs, not to rearrange lines.

Capitalise only the first word, and proper nouns, in the title.

All pages should be numbered.

All lines should be numbered.

Use italics only for scientific names of plant and animal species.

Footnotes to text should not be used.

Greek and other special characters may be included. If you are unable to reproduce a particular special character, please type out the name of the symbol in full. Please ensure that all special characters used are embedded in the text.

Abbreviations should be used as sparingly as possible. They can be defined when first used or a list of abbreviations can be provided preceding the acknowledgements and references.

SI Units should be used throughout (cm, litre and molar permitted).

The main text

Manuscripts should be structured in appropriate sections, although no rigid format is required for Reviews, Progress reports and Comments. All submitted manuscripts must contain a Title page and an Abstract.

In case manuscripts do not meet the required format, they could be rejected immediately.

It is advised to submit a standard research article formatted into the following sections:

  • Title page
  • Abstract
  • Introduction
  • Material and methods
  • Results
  • Discussion
  • Conclusions
  • List of abbreviations (if any)
  • Acknowledgements
  • References
  • Tables and captions (if any)
  • Figure legends (if any)
  • Description of additional data files (if any)

Title page

This should list:

  • title of the article, which should include an accurate, clear and concise description of the reported work, avoiding abbreviations;
  • full names of the authors;
  • full names of institutional addresses, and e-mail addresses for all authors;
  • indication of the corresponding author;
  • up to eight keywords (min 4) and a concise running title.


The abstract of the manuscript should not exceed 350 words. It should highlight: the context and purpose of the study, the main findings, the potential implications. Please minimize the use of abbreviations and do not cite references in the abstract.


It should be written from the standpoint of researchers without specialist knowledge in that area and must clearly state the background to the research and its aims. The section could end with a short statement of what is being reported in the article.

Material and methods

This should be divided into subsections if several methods are described.

Results and Discussion

The Results and Discussion may be combined into a single section or presented separately. They may also be broken into subsections with short, informative headings.


This should state the main conclusions of the research and give a clear explanation of their importance and relevance. Summary illustrations may be included.

List of abbreviations

If abbreviations are used in the text either they should be defined in the text where first used, or a list of abbreviations can be provided.


The individual contributions of authors to the manuscript can be specified in this section. We suggest the following kind of format (please use initials to refer to each author’s contribution): AB carried out the field measurements, JY carried out gas exchange measurements in the laboratory, MT performed the statistical analysis, FG conceived the study and helped to draft the manuscript, etc.

Acknowledge also in this section anyone who does not meet the criteria for authorship but contributed to the work. Authors should obtain permission to acknowledge from all those mentioned.

List here the sources of funding for the study.


All the in-text citations must be listed in the reference list and vice-versa.

Citations along the text must report the name of the author (and wherever appropriate of the second author) followed by the year of publication.

In case of more than two authors, the name of the first author is followed by "et al." (no italic). Papers by the same authors and published in the same year will be labelled with the letters a, b, c, etc.

Multiple citations along the text must be in chronological order, separated by commas. Example of in-text citations:

  • (Comps 1990)
  • (Comps & Thiébaut 1990, Comps et al. 1990)
  • (Comps et al. 1990a, Comps et al. 1990b, Thiébaut & Comps 1995)

Please note that only articles and abstracts that have been published or are in press, or are available through public e-print/preprint servers, may be cited

Unpublished abstracts, unpublished data and personal communications should not be included in the reference list, but may be included in the text. Obtaining permission to quote personal communications and unpublished data from the cited author(s) is the responsibility of the author.

Full name of journals (not abbreviations) should be reported in the reference list in which citations, listed in alphabetical order, must conform to the following style:

  • Journal Article:
    Ovington JD (1957). Dry-matter production by Pinus sylvestris L. Annals of Botany 21: 287-314.
  • Book Section:
    Pereira JS, Chaves MM (1993). Plant water deficits in Mediterranean ecosystems. In: “Water Deficits. Plant Responses from Cell to Community” (Smith JAC, Griffiths H eds). Bios Scientific, Oxford, UK, pp. 237-251.
  • Proceedings:
    Jones X (1996). Zeolites and synthetic mechanisms. In: Proceedings of the “First National Conference on Porous Sieves” (Smith YS ed). Baltimore (MD, USA), 27-30 June 1996. Butterworth-Heinemann, Waltham, MS, USA, pp. 16-27.
  • Edited Books:
    Smith WK, Hinckley TM (1995). Resource physiology of coniferous forests. Academic Press, San Diego, USA, pp. 396.
  • Thesis:
    Kohavi R (1995). Wrappers for performance enhancement and oblivious decision graphs. PhD thesis, Computer Science Department, Stanford University, Stanford, CA, USA, pp. 170.

Web links cited in the text should be included in the reference list. They should be provided in full, including both the title of the site, the URL and the retrieval date.

Citing an article from an online magazine: Zeng N (2008). Carbon sequestration via wood burial. Carbon Balance and Management 3:1 [online 3 January 2008] URL: http://www.cbmjournal.com

Citing a professional site: IPCC (1996). Revised 1996 IPCC Guidelines for National Greenhouse Gas. Web site. [online 7 February 2008] URL: http://www.ipcc-nggip.iges.or .jp/public/gl/invs1.htm

Citing a personal site: Rug G (2008). Home page. Web site. [online 25 January 2008] URL: http://www.student.cornell.edu/~greg/

Citations should not exceed 40-50 references for research articles, 20 for short communications and 30 for technical reports. As for reviews, no limits are set but authors are strongly recommended to maintain the number of citations to 80-100.


Notes/footnotes are not allowed.

Tables and captions

Tables, with their captions, should be placed at the end of the main text.

Each table (numbered in sequence using Arabic numerals - i.e., Table 1, 2, etc.) must be included on a single page preceded by a self-explaining caption.

Avoid as far as possible large tables.

Do not use special formats like borders, paragraph sign, cell unions, etc.

Wherever apply, column headers should be labelled with abbreviations referred to in the caption.

Detailed legends may follow the table, but should be concise.

Commas should not be used to indicate numerical values.

Colour and shading should not be used in tables.

Please note that it is the responsibility of the author to obtain permission from the copyright holder to reproduce tables that have previously been published elsewhere.

Figure legends

The legends should be included in the main manuscript text file, immediately following the references, rather than being a part of the figure file.

For each figure, the following information should be provided: Figure number (in sequence, using Arabic numerals - i.e., Figure 1, 2, 3 etc); short title of figure (maximum 15 words); detailed legend, up to 300 words.

Please note that it is the responsibility of the author to obtain permission from the copyright holder to reproduce figures that have previously been published elsewhere.

Each figure should be submitted as a separate file, numbered with Arabic numerals according the way the figure is referenced in the main text (e.g. for Fig. 1 an appropriate file name could be fig1.jpg).

  • Figures must be 300dpi or above, at least 18.0 cm in width (full page, portrait page format) in EPS/PDF format (especially suitable for diagrams) or JPEG/TIFF format (preferred format for photos or images). Other accepted formats (though deprecated) are: PNG, BMP, GIF.
  • Diagrams and graphs should appear on a white background, with lines approximately 0.5 mm thick.
  • Graphs should not be gridded.
  • Each figure should be closely cropped to minimize the amount of white space surrounding the illustration.
  • Avoid as far as possible too complex figures.
  • Subdivisions of figures in panels should be labeled with lower case letters in parentheses [e.g., (a), (b)] and referred to in the text in the form Fig. 1a, Fig. 1a,b).
  • Figure lettering should be in a clear, sans-serif typeface (for example, Arial, Helvetica); if possible, the same typeface in approximately the same font size should be used for all figures in a paper. Use symbol font for Greek letters.
  • Symbols should be approximately 3 mm across. The preferred symbols are open and closed circles, squares, triangles. The same symbol and color should be used for the same entity in different figures.
  • The scale marks on graphs should be inside the axes. Axes should be clearly marked with units in parentheses after the axis title. Units should follow SI nomenclature or the nomenclature common to a particular field. Unusual units or abbreviations should be defined in the legend.
  • Lettering (labelling of axes and so on) should be in lower-case type, with the first letter capitalized and no full stop.
  • Where possible, text, including keys to symbols, should be provided in the legend rather than on the figure itself.
  • Photographs should be provided with a scale bar if appropriate, as well as high-resolution component files.

Although iForest does not restrict the length and quantity of data in a paper, there may still be occasions where an author wishes to provide data sets, tables, movie files, or other information as additional information. These files can be uploaded using the ’Additional Material’ button in the Online Submission Form.

Supplementary materials will not be displayed in the final article, but a link will be provided to the files as supplied by the author.

Tabular data provided as supplementary material can be uploaded as an Excel spreadsheet (.xls/.xlsx) or Adobe Acrobat files (.pdf). As with all files, please use the standard file extensions.

The maximum file size for additional files is 10 MB each, and files will be virus-scanned on submission.

If supplementary material is provided, please list the following information in a separate section at the end of the manuscript text:

  • File name
  • File format (including name and a URL of an appropriate viewer if format is unusual)
  • Title of data
  • Description of data

Supplementary materials should be referenced explicitly by file name within the body of the article, e.g. “See Tab. S1 in Supplementary material for the original data used to perform this analysis”.

File formats and uploading

Ideally, file formats for supplementary materials should not be platform-specific, and should be viewable using free or widely available tools. The following are examples of suitable formats.

  • Additional documentation: (preferred) PDF (Adobe Acrobat), DOC/DOCX (MS Word), RTF (Rich Text Format)
  • Movies: MP4, MOV (QuickTime), MPG (MPEG) or AVI
  • XLS/XSLX (Excel spreadsheet)

As with figure files, files should be given the standard file extensions. This is especially important for Macintosh users, since the Mac OS does not enforce the use of standard extensions. Please also make sure that each additional file is a single table, figure or movie (please do not upload linked worksheets or PDF files larger than one sheet).

Download the iForest Authors Guidelines in PDF format (last updated: 2016-06-15)


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