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EPL (Europhysics Letters)
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How to prepare a manuscript

(modified on March 5th 2021)

EPL publishes original, high-quality Letters in all areas of physics, ranging from condensed matter topics and interdisciplinary research to astrophysics, geophysics, plasma and fusion sciences, including those with application potential. Articles must contain sufficient argument and supporting information to satisfy workers in the field, and must also be of interest and relevance to wider sections of the physics community. In order to comply with general interest, special care should be directed to the introduction and conclusions sections of the articles. Both should be clearly written in a style comprehensible to the general physics community.

In preparing their article authors should follow these guidelines as closely as possible. This will ensure an immediate start of the refereeing procedure and will speed up the production procedure, in case of acceptance.

In order to maintain our standard, also for articles published from LaTeX, we reserve the right to make small alterations and put the article in EPL house style.

The maximum length for manuscripts is 7 printed journal pages (in A4 2 column format), including the title, the main text, formulae and figures, captions and tables, and references as they appear in EPL.

1. Title page

The first page must include:

Title: only the initial word should be capitalized. The title should not be complex, involve too much technical jargon or be difficult to read. In order to attract maximum interest, it should be short and catchy, sufficiently clear for a non-specialist to understand what the article is about.

Examples: Universal properties of mythological networks, CTP symmetry and antimatter gravity in general relativity, The game of go as a complex network...

Short title: if the title exceeds 80 printed characters (spaces included), authors should provide a shortened title for running heads.

Author name(s): initial(s) of the author(s) first name(s) followed by surname(s).

Affiliation(s): if there are more than one, please clearly identify each of them by superscript numbers to each author name accordingly.

The affiliation should be recognised by the United Nations.

Abstract: the abstract should be a single paragraph (with no figure, table, equation or reference quotations) summarising concisely the aim of your work, not exceeding 800 characters in length. The abstract should attract attention and be clear enough for non-specialists. Note: there are no abstracts in Comments and Replies.

LaTeX hint

title, author, etc. should exclusively be formatted by means of the corresponding high-level macros \title, \author, etc. Avoid \bf, \centerline etc.

2. Main text

The main text should contain a clearly written introduction underlining the novelty of the paper, a conclusion, and may include formulae, figures, tables and captions.

Language: British spelling is preferred (i.e. colour, standardise, metre, etc.) but whatever spelling you use (either British English or American English), please remain consistent throughout.

The words: figure(s), equation(s) and reference(s) shall be abbreviated as fig. (figs.), eq. (eqs.), ref. (refs.) unless they are the first word of a sentence. The word 'table' is written in full.

Fonts and style: Items that should be typeset in roman: units; chemical formulae; the differential d and the mathematical functions, cos, sin, exp, det, ker, ln; tr, Tr (for traces); Im and Re (for imaginary and real); imaginary unit i; Euler constant e.

Items that should appear in italics: mathematical symbols; the contractions (i.e., e.g., et al.); foreign words or expressions.

Items that should appear in boldface: vectors and tensors (when it is essential to distinguish between them, sans serif bold may be used for tensors)

Formulae: Note that very long or complex formulae might not fit the one column width. If you are not using the macros, always indicate where to cut them. Exponential expressions are clearer in the notation exp(...), especially the long ones or those containing subscripts or superscripts; for simple expressions we accept also ex.

It is important to distinguish between ln=loge and log=log10.

For single fractions in the text, use the solidus (/) instead of fraction. Use parentheses whenever necessary to avoid ambiguity, for example to distinguish between 1/(n-1) (= )

and 1/n-1 (= -1).

For common units, use the standard SI abbreviations; unusual units may be written in full at least when mentioned for the first time.

Formulae are to be identified by whole numbers in round brackets.

Authors should be aware that Word and electronic formats other than TeX/LaTeX will be converted to LaTeX; this means that all formatting commands, all special characters and all equations will need to be retyped.

LaTeX hint:

it is vital not to redefine formatting commands such as \section or bypass them with low-level macros such as \bf or \Large, etc.

3. Figures and tables

Figures should be submitted as encapsulated PostScript (.eps) files, but other common formats (TIFF, JPG, PNG, BMP) are also accepted.

To produce the PostScript files, "print to file" should be avoided whenever possible; use "Save as" export facilities instead. PostScript files should be created with the following characteristics: no preview; ASCII encoding and no CTRL-Ds; all fonts used, standard and non-standard embedded in the file.

Particular care should be taken when producing PostScript files to ensure that scaling the figure to the proper width (see below) does not produce too thin lines. It is also particularly important that PS files do not contain unnecessary text such as figure numbers, captions, file names.

For detailed instructions on how to prepare the files, refer to Preparing the graphics for EPL.

Captions: Each caption should be written as a single paragraph. If the same figure has different parts, these should be identified by a), b), c), etc. in roman.

Size: As a general rule, EPL aims for a printed figure width of maximum 80 mm (one column width), or maximum 165 mm (two column width). Larger figures will be conveniently reduced. The reduction used for a particular figure will of course depend not only on the width of the original, but also on the complexity of the figure.

Line drawings: The line thickness (i.e. pen size) used for a line drawing should never be below 0.3 pt after the reduction that it is likely to be used, as described above. Lines, numbers and symbols should be black, sharp and of uniform strength. Different parts of diagrams, graphs, etc. should be indicated by using different types of hatching rather than different grey scales, which may disappear in the printing process.

Characters: Included text characters should appear as they would be set in the main body of the article, i.e. roman letters for text, italic letters for mathematical variables; numbers on axis scales should be oriented appropriately. There should be no large gaps between the label of axes and axes themselves. The notations used in the figures should be consistent with those used in the text; the correct use of capital and lower case in units is very important. Graphs are standard and must have a title, axes titles and axes labels in sensible units. We recommend the use of period "." for decimal point, not comma ",". Do not use thousands separator.

Original lettering, after the appropriate reduction, should appear proportioned to the main text of the paper. After reduction all details of the figure should still be visible and all labelling legible. Avoid too thin continuous or dotted lines or too heavy lettering and thick lines.

Remember that the final quality of illustrations depends on the quality of the original artwork. The IOPScience tool allow zoom in on figures, so the quality of figures needs to be high.

4. Supplementary Material

EPL encourages authors to present supplementary material on submission to enhance the online version of their published research article.

What is supplementary material?

Supplementary material typically includes multimedia files such as video clips, sound files, animations (see details in paragraph 5) and additional data such as raw data (either in table or graphic form), sets of spectra, computer code, large tables, additional figures or appendices, and derivations of equations.

All supplementary material should enhance a reader's understanding of the associated article but not be essential to that understanding.

Supplementary material is hosted for free along with your article on the EPL website and is accessible to the whole readership. It is not included in the PDF of the article or in any print version.

How to prepare and submit supplementary material

Submission: All files must be submitted electronically to the Editorial Office at the same time as the submission of the associated article.

File names: A simple naming convention should be used for files (e.g. suppl1.pdf, suppl2.xls).
—- Word format files cannot be accepted as supplementary material and should be substituted with a .pdf file —-

Reference: The supplementary material should be referred to within the associated article where relevant.

Cross-citing: Avoid cross-citations between the associated article and the supplementary material. Any references, figures, equations, or tables in the associated article should be repeated within the supplementary material as this must be a standalone document.

Copyright: Supplementary material must not be subject to any prior copyright. All material provided will be covered under the same copyright as the associated published article.

Note that all supplementary files will be posted online exactly as provided by the author. EPL will not make changes to the content, or include any copy-editing, proofing or file conversion. The supplementary files remain under the scientific responsibility of the authors. Additionally, any files submitted later or at the copy-editing stage after acceptance will not be accepted.

Support for referees and co-editors: How is supplementary material reviewed?

All supplementary material for publication must be approved by the co-editor but the material will not be peer reviewed. If needed the co-editor may seek guidance from referees.

If the supplementary material does not meet the criteria detailed above, the co-editor can reject the supplementary material, and the reference items must be removed by the author during revision.

Please also refer to Data Policy, below.

5. Multimedia

Authors may submit multimedia attachments to enhance the online versions of published research articles. Multimedia enhancements typically consist exclusively of video clips and animations. They can add to the reader's understanding but are not essential to that understanding.

For detailed instructions on how to prepare the files, refer to Preparing multimedia files for EPL.

6. References

References are to be listed at the end of the text and should be indicated by square brackets [ - ] in the manuscript and all quoted in sequential order.

Literature citations of periodicals [1], books [2], conference proceedings [3] and preprints [4] should be organised according to the following examples after the International Standard ISO Document no. 690. Journal names should be abbreviated according to the list of the Serial Title Word Abbreviations of the ISDS (International Serial Data System) if available, otherwise full journal names are preferable. In order to be useful to the reader, references should be complete and correct in all their parts. If a paper is not yet published, indicate if the paper is in preparation (in this case, the title may be specified) [5] or the journal where it has been submitted or accepted [6]. It is also helpful to supply the preprint number, the preprint archive number or the digital-object-identifier (DOI number). If your article refers to data uploaded in a repository, please add a reference to this dataset in the references of your article [7].

The author should take particular care to ensure that the information is correct so that IOP's HyperCiteTM facility can hyperlink to the article successfully.


[1] BONIFACIO R. et al., Europhys. Lett., 69 (2005) 55.

[2] LAWRIE I. D. and SARBACH S., in Phase Transition and Critical Phenomena, edited by DOMB C. and LEBOWITZ J. L., Vol. 9 (Academic Press, London) 1984, pp. 65-68.

[3] MARQUES M. A. L. and GROSS E. K. U., in The Electron Liquid Paradigm in Condensed Matter Physics, Proceedings of the International School of Physics “Enrico Fermi”, Course CLVII, edited by GIULIANI G. F. and VIGNALE G. (IOS Press, Amsterdam) 2004, pp. 127-167.

[4] POLYAKOV A., PUPT-1341, hep-th/9209046 preprint, 1992.

[5] KORABEL N. et al., Fractal anomalous diffusion in intermittent dynamical systems, in preparation.

[6] POZZI D., AMICONI G., ARCOVITO A., GIRASOLE M. and CONGIU CASTELLANO A., Haem conformation of amphibian nytrosylhaemoglobins detected by XANES spectroscopy, to be published in Eur. Phys. J. E (2005), DOI: 10.1140/epje/i2004-10092-2.

[7] WARDELL B., HINDER I., and BENTIVEGNA E., Simulation of GW150914 binary black hole merger using the Einstein Toolkit (2016), Zenodo, DOI:10.5281/zenodo.155394.

LaTeX hint:

use \label, \ref, \bibitem and \cite for all cross-references, do not insert them "by hand" like eq. (2) or ref. [12].

or use

the eplbib.bst file available in our EPL package.

7. Footnotes and appendices

Footnotes should be kept to a minimum. For notes added after submission, you can use the notation Additional Remark. Use appendices only if vital to the understanding of complex formulae and in this case, treat them as normal sections. If there are equations, they should be numbered separately from those in the main text as (A.1), (A.2), etc.

8. Data Policy

EPL supports the FAIR data principles: data relevant to research published in an EPL article should be findable, accessible, interoperable, and reusable (see https://www.force11.org/group/fairgroup/fairprinciples). In particular datasets should be identified by a globally unique and eternally persistent identifier.

Data repositories

EPL will not accept links to datasets available on a personal or institutional website, as these links may not be persistent. Instead, EPL encourages authors to upload such datasets to an appropriate public data repository. Data repositories generate a unique and persistent data identifier such as a digital object identifier (DOI), making the dataset citable independently of the article. This ensures that authors get credit for their data. Data repositories allow most file formats, and large datasets. A list of available data repositories is available at https://fairsharing.org/ . When uploading your dataset to a repository, please ensure that you set it to “public” so that the data can be consulted during the peer review process and is available to all after publication. If your article refers to data uploaded in a repository, please add a reference to this dataset in the reference list of your article (see References). Data uploaded in an external repository are under the scientific responsibility of the authors.

Data Availability Statement

EPL encourages you to include a section titled Data Availability Statement in your article, to inform readers in a structured way about the availability of data relevant to the research published in your article. Note that many science agencies strongly recommend the existence of a Data Availability Statement in any publication funded by their support.

If included, this Data Availability Statement should be positioned at the end of your article, before the References.

Examples of Data Availability Statements:

The research data associated with this article are available in [Name of public data repository], under the reference [DOI or other data identifier].

Data are available on request to the authors.

The research data associated with this article are included within the article.

The research data associated with this article are included in the supplementary material of this article.

No new data were created or analysed in this study.