The abstract should be an accurate summary of the paper presented in one paragraph (not exceeding 300 words). The abstract should:
- indicate the specific purpose of the article
- describe the methodology used to achieve the purpose
- present the findings including key statistics (this section may be omitted for articles that are not data-based)
- present the conclusions based on the data provided
- highlight the novelty of the work.
The abstract should preferably not include references.
Keywords: Immediately after the abstract, a list of up to 6 keywords is to be included. Selected words and phrases should relate directly to the content of the work.
N.B. The title, abstract and keywords should be chosen carefully by the author(s) as they determine the ease with which readers access the article through online search engines.
Main text: For research papers and short communications, the article text should consist of the sections outlined below, in the same order. The Results or Findings and Discussion sections could also be combined. Repetition across sections should be avoided. Abbreviations and acronyms may be used where appropriate but must always be defined at their first mention.
- Introduction: This section should briefly describe the purpose of the work, explain its importance and provide a relevant theoretical background.
- Methods: The research design, the materials and/or participants and the methods used for data collection should be described. Sufficient detail should be provided to allow reproduction of the study design.
- Results or Findings: Results should be presented in a clear and logical sequence. If tables are used, they should not duplicate the data in the text but describe trends and main points.
- Discussion: This should provide an interpretation of the results without repeating them.
- Conclusions: The main conclusions of the paper are to be presented in this section.
- Acknowledgements (if relevant): Acknowledgements should be collated in a separate section at the end of the article before the References. Please refer to the section on Ethical Guidelines for more information.
References: Authors are responsible for the accuracy of references. All references must appear both in the text and the reference list.
References should follow the Harvard referencing system. In the text, the information required is:
- the surname of the authors
- the year of publication
- the page number (direct quotes only).
Commas are used to separate information within parentheses e.g., (author's name, year of publication). Full stops are always used after the abbreviation 'p.' for 'page number' e.g., p. or 34 (or 'pp.' for multiple pages). If the citation is at the end of the sentence, it is considered to be part of the sentence, so the full stop is placed after the closing parenthesis.
Book (one author)
Neville, C. (2010) The Complete Guide to Referencing and Avoiding Plagiarism (2nd ed.). Maidenhead: Open University Press.
Neville (2010) argues that...
Book (two to three authors)
Bradbury, I., Boyle, J. & Morse, A. (2002) Scientific Principles for Physical Geographers. Harlow: Prentice Hall.
Bradbury, Boyle and Morse (2002)...
Book (four or more authors)
Reece, J. B., Urry, L. A., Cain, M. L., Wasserman, S. A., Minorsky, P. V. & Jackson, R. B. (2012) Campbell Biology (9th ed.). London: Benjamin Cummings.
(Reece et al., 2012)...
Journal article (printed)
Trefts, K. & Blacksee, S. (2000) Did you hear the one about Boolean Operators? Incorporating comedy into the library induction. Reference Services Review, 28(4), pp. 369-378.
Trefts and Blacksee (2000) argue that...
Journal article (electronic/online)
Wilson, J. (1995) Enter the Cyberpunk librarian: future directions in cyberspace. [Online] Emerald Database 44(8), pp. 63-72. Available from: http://www.emeraldinsight.com. [Accessed: 30th January 2012].
Wilson (1995) argues that...
BBC News (2008) Factory gloom worst since 1980. [Online] Available from: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/7681569.stm. [Accessed: 19th June 2012].
References should be arranged first be alphabetically and then further sorted chronologically if necessary. More than one reference from the same author(s) in the same year must be identified by the letters 'a', 'b', 'c' etc., placed after the year of publication.
Tables should be referred to specifically in the text of the article and provided in the same document. They should be in editable Microsoft Word format. Tables should be numbered consecutively with Arabic numerals (1, 2, 3, etc.), in the order in which they appear in the text. Each table should have a short descriptive title, be self-explanatory and not duplicate data given in the text or figures. All columns and rows should be properly aligned. Horizontal rules are to be included at the top and bottom of a table and also below the column headings. If a column heading encompasses two or more subheadings, then the main headings and subheadings should be separated by a single short rule. No other rules, horizontal or vertical, should be included. Appropriate space should be used to separate columns. Rows should be double-spaced. A table may have footnotes if necessary. Each footnote should begin on a new line. Abbreviations in tables should be defined in footnotes even if defined in the text or in a previous table.
Figures should be referred to specifically in the text of the paper. They should be numbered consecutively using Arabic numerals and avoid repeating material in the text. Abbreviations used in figures should be defined in the caption. Image files should be supplied in EPS, TIFF, PDF, PPT or JPEG format, with each numbered figure submitted separately and numbered. Unless essential to the content of the article, all illustrations should be supplied in black and white with no colour contained within them. Files should be saved at the appropriate dpi (dots per inch) for the type of graphic; definitely not less than the typical screen value of 72 dpi for both the vertical and horizontal directions. Lower resolutions will not be usable.
Line drawings should be saved at 800 dpi or 1200 dpi (fine line work) and 300 dpi (halftone and colour work). The image should be cropped to show just the relevant area, while the amount of white space around the illustration should be kept to a minimum. Illustrations should be supplied at the size they are to be printed, usually 76 mm wide (single column of text) or, for large figures, 161 mm wide (two columns of text). All annotations should be included within the images supplied.
Participant identity must be obscured in all figures. Additional points to note:
- graphs, diagrams or other artwork should not be placed within a box
- background gridlines should be avoided unless essential (e.g., confidence limits)
- lettering should be appropriately sized and should correspond to 8 or 9 pt when printed
- all units of measurement should be included on axes
- all lines (e.g., graph axes) should have a minimum width of ¼ pt (0.1 mm); 1 pt weight is preferable
- use of tints should be avoided; solid black and white or variations of crosshatching are preferred. Any tints used must be at a minimum 5% level to print. Use of too high a tint should be avoided as it may print too dark)
- three-dimensional histograms are not to be used unless the addition of a third dimension gives further information.
Appendices are discouraged if the material can be included in the main text. If an appendix is necessary e.g., mathematical calculations that would disrupt the text, it should be supplied as a separate file. If more than one appendix are included, these should be identified using different letters. An appendix may contain references. Appendices must be referred to in the main text.
should be used sparingly. If used, they should be numbered consecutively throughout the paper using superscript Arabic numbers. The reference list should not include footnotes.