A manuscript will be considered for publication on the understanding that all authors have agreed to its submission, and that if accepted will not be published in the same or similar form elsewhere in any language without the consent of AJA.
The editors reserve the right to reject manuscripts without review because either the content is not appropriate for the Journal or the work does not represent a sufficient advance in knowledge to gain high enough priority for publication in the Journal. Such rejections must be approved by the Editor-in-chief, and are intended to avoid unnecessary work for reviewers, as well as to provide authors the opportunity of seeking more appropriate publishing options as soon as possible.
Articles that are selected for peer review will be reviewed by two or more referees.
To avoid unnecessary delays in the review process, ensure that your manuscript is concise and conforms to the conventions and standards of AJA before submission, or it will be returned for revision.
Material submitted to AJA must be original and not have been published or submitted for publication elsewhere in any language in print or electronic media. Breaches or attempted breaches of this prohibition on duplicate publication may be considered and reported as research misconduct.
Authors submitting a manuscript to AJA should notify the Editor if part of their contribution has appeared or will appear elsewhere, or if any related material is under consideration or in press elsewhere. If an AJA submission re-uses a Figure that is published elsewhere or that is copyrighted, the author must provide AJA with documentation that the previous publisher or copyright holder has given permission for it to be re-published.
The AJA Editors consider all material in good faith, and assume that the journal has permission to publish every part of the submitted material, including illustrations.
Conflicts of interest
In the interests of transparency, and to help reviewers assess any potential bias, AJA requires authors of original research papers to declare any competing commercial interests in relation to the submitted work. (Referees are also asked to indicate any potential conflict they might have reviewing a particular paper.)
Additional information for the editors and the reviewers
Any cited manuscripts under review or accepted for publication, but not yet published elsewhere, should accompany the submission if they are relevant to its scientific assessment. Authors should also provide upon submission any kind of supplementary material that will aid the review process.
Preparation of manuscripts
In order for your work to contribute to the field of Andrology, the information obtained must be provided in a way that permits the reader to understand what was done and be able to reproduce it. To this end papers should be written in concise, plain English and contain sufficient detail to illustrate how the results were obtained.
Types of Articles
These are hypothesis-driven studies of high scientific quality of interest to the diverse readership of the journal. Manuscripts should include an abstract, and appropriate experimental details and convincing results to support the conclusions.
Original Articles should be of no more than 5000 words and include no more than six display items (Tables and Figures). The upper limit number for references is 50. Manuscripts should include the following sections, each starting a new page: Title, Abstract and keywords, text (Introduction, Materials and methods, Results, and Discussion), References, Tables (with captions) and Figures (with legends).
Review Articles survey recent developments in a topical area of andrological research. They are mostly solicited by the Editorial Board, but AJA welcomes timely, unsolicited Review Articles. Authors with proposals for Reviews should present information of the proposed content to the editors for acceptance before submission. Reviews have a limit of 5000 words, including the Abstract but excluding References, Tables and Figures. The upper limit number for refernces is 150.
Systematic reviews (and meta-analyses whenever appropriate) are of interest. These select, assess and synthesize evidence relevant to well-defined questions about diagnosis, therapy and prognosis. Manuscripts reporting systematic reviews and meta-analyses should comply with PRISMA statements (Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses1).
Opinion pieces are usually invited by the Editorial Board. Unsolicited Opinion pieces may be accepted but should be approved by the Editor before submission. Opinions are stand-alone pieces and present an important and contemporary element of Andrology. They should highlight current problems with andrological care and identify potential solutions. They do not contain primary research data, although they may present ‘sociological’ data (funding trends, demographics, bibliographic data, scientific and social development, etc.). The main report is unstructured and should lead the reader from the concept to a conclusion.
They are limited to 1000 words (excluding References and Legends), two display items (Figures and Tables), 10 References but have no Abstract. In all other respects, the directions for full papers should be followed.
Experience and History
This new section is devoted to all aspects of the experience and history of medicine, health care and related sciences throughout the field of andrology, with the goal of broadening and deepening the understanding of andrology. Important people in today’s field, who have been there and experienced, witnessed or even contributed to the evolution of the remarkable creativity and revolutions that have benefitted this field, will be invited to recall their experiences and the related history at their time. Besides invitations, we also welcome submissions and proposals. The text is limited to 3000 words.
Commentaries, on current topics or papers published elsewhere in the issue, are solicited by the Editors; commentaries suggested by authors should not be submitted without prior approval. The editorial should include a link to the related manuscript with a phrase such as "Within this issue of Asian Journal of Andrology, Williams et al..." The Commentary should briefly review the findings, highlight good and bad points of the work, and set the place of this work within the scientific community. The most interesting Commentaries are opinionated but balanced.
The word limit is 1000 and 10 references are allowed. There should usually be a single author but up to three authors may be acceptable. The authors of the article commented upon are given the right of a brief (no more than 500 words) reply to most Commentaries.
Research Highlights are published by AJA in order to provide a ‘digest’ of the best and most interesting primary research papers that are being published in the field of Andrology on all topics that relate to men’s health. These pieces are by invitation only and present short updates on any new progress in Andrology.
They should be no more than 1000 words and have a maximum of 10 references.
This section will represent innovative clinical experiences and discussions of the application of new technology or techniques, in all disciplines of andrology, to a specific question relevant to the diagnosis or treatment of related clinical conditions, which do not fulfil the criteria for full research papers (e.g. short experimental reports limited by sample size or duration, novel hypotheses or commentaries). This feature covers the categories of 1) cutting-edge technology, 2) novel/modified and improved techniques or procedures and 3) outcome data derived from the use of 1 or 2.
Experimental details are not required, but a general outline of experimental methods, results and comments should be included. The text is limited to 1500 words, a maximum of three Tables and Figures (total), and up to 20 references. There should be no more than five authors. The article must begin with a brief summary of no more than 100 words.
Manuscripts should include the following sections:
* Title page
* Technology/technique outline
* Figures (if applicable)
* Tables (if applicable)
Letters to the Editor
Letters to the Editor are considered for publication (subject to editing and abridgment), provided they do not contain material that has been submitted or published elsewhere. They do not contain an abstract or keywords, and the text need not be divided into sections. In all other respects, the directions for original articles should be followed.
The text, excluding References, Tables, Figures or Legends must not exceed 1000 words. No more than 10 references and either one Table or one Figure are allowed.
AJA considers three types of Letters to the Editor.
Case study letters, in which case studies from the clinic can be submitted.
Original research letters, in which reports of interesting preliminary or pilot study findings that do not fulfill the criteria for full research papers (e.g. short experimental reports limited by sample size or duration, novel hypotheses or commentaries) may be submitted. Experimental details are not required, but a general outline of experimental methods and results should be included.
Letters with Commentaries and Opinions, in which unsolicited opinions and commentaries on papers published in other journals, perspectives and opinions on Andrological care of unusual urgency, significance and interest, whose topics may be useful and informative to the scientific community, can be submitted.
Manuscript File Formats
For submission, acceptable manuscript file formats include Word, WordPerfect, EPS, Text, Postscript and RTF formats.
Use 12-point font size, double- or 1.5-line spacing, and leave the right-hand margins unjustified with margins of at least 2.5 cm.
Each page should be numbered in the upper right corner and each line should be numbered continuously.
Make spelling consistent with current editions of either Webster's Dictionary (Am. Eng.) or Oxford English Dictionary (Br. Eng.).
In general, manuscripts should be divided in to the following sections.
The title page should give a concise but informative title, the first and last names and other initials of all authors, as well as their affiliations (but not degrees).
The orders in which the contributors are listed should be agreed amongst the investigators, and should indicate that the first listed made the greatest contribution to the paper.
Full contact details should be provided for the corresponding author.
There should no more than nine co-authors without approval by the Editor.
Provide a running title of no more than 50 characters, including spaces.
Abstract and keywords
The abstract should be an unstructured narrative paragraph of no more than 250 words. It should be comprehensible to readers without their having read the paper, and abbreviations and reference citations within the abstract should be avoided. It should outline the purpose of the study, the basic procedures and the most important conclusions.
Three to ten keywords, which may appear in the title, should be given in alphabetical order below the abstract, each separated by a comma. Whenever possible, the terms should be from the Medical Subject Headings list of Index Medicus2.
Take Home Message
This text will appear only in the online-contents page, and should stimulate the reader to read the full text of the article. Two or three sentences (of no more than 40 words) summarizing the main message expressed in the article must be uploaded as a separate file.
This should give a short, clear account of the background and reasons for undertaking the study by reference only to the pertinent literature. It should not be a review of all literature in the field but be limited to analysis of those aspects of previous work that raise questions that can be answered by the hypothesis addressed in the work being reported.
Do not repeat the Discussion here.
Materials and methods
This section should contain sufficient detail so that all experimental procedures can be repeated by others in conjunction with cited references. It may be divided into subheadings.
The sex, age, and body weights of tested animals or humans should be expressed as mean and standard deviation, or median and quartiles (if skewed), with the range of values.
Manuscripts should contain a statement to the effect that all human studies have been reviewed by a named institutional Ethics committee with relevant jurisdiction and that all participants had given, usually written, informed consent before their inclusion in the study.
Clinical trials should be registered and the registration number should be stated. Details that might disclose the identity of the subjects under study should be omitted. Authors should also confirm that their work complies with the Code of Ethics of the World Medical Association (Declaration of Helsinki 1964, revised 20033 and Declaration of Tokyo 1975, revised 20064).
Scientific species nomenclature should be used at all times, providing the genus, species (in italics) and strain, together with the authority, for all micro-organisms, plants and non-human animals. Authors should indicate that experiments on animals were conducted within their national animal welfare guidelines and state what institutional animal ethics approval was granted or covered the experimental work described.
Procedures and Methodology
Novel experimental procedures should be described in detail, but where possible published procedures should be cited with any published modifications.
Values in rpm are acceptable for slow rotation used for mixing, but should be converted to relative centrifugal force (RCF: unit, gravity g) for rapid rotation used for centrifugation. RCF depends on the speed of rotation (N, rpm) and the distance from the centre of the rotor to the point at which the force is to be measured (radius, R, cm). RCF = 1.118 × 10-5 × R × N2 . (1 inch = 2.54 cm).
Chemicals and equipment
Names of products and manufacturers should be included giving both the model, version or catalogue number, company name, city and country, sufficient for future identification of specific items used.
Generic names of drugs should be used. The brand, trade or commercial name of a drug may be included in parentheses upon first mention.
Chemical abbreviations should be defined on their first appearance in the text.
The source of material not available commercially (e.g. gifts) should be mentioned here or in the Acknowledgements.
Concentration and dilution
Concentration of solutes is expressed moles per L of solution (molarity), moles per kg solvent (molality) or percentages of solids, liquids and gases (state % as w/v or v/v). Concentrations of macromolecules may be given as g/L or % (w/v).
Dilutions of solids or liquids in liquids are expressed as 1:1, 1-to-1, 1+1 or 1-in-2.
Note that increasing a solute concentration, decreases its dilution, and that increasing a solute dilution, decreases its concentration.
Note that a 1:4 (1-to-4) dilution is not the same as a 1/4 (1-in-4) dilution. A 1:1 dilution or (1-to-1) involves adding one part to one part (1+1), giving a total of 2 parts and a proportion of 1/2 or (1-in-2).
Concentration, dose and dosage
Concentration is an amount of substance per unit volume, dose is an amount of substance given at one time, and dosage is an amount of substance given over a stated period.
For a drug at 500 mg/ml, and a fixed dose per animal, e.g. 50 mg, a 300 g rat (A) would receive 50 mg per injection; for a dose related to body weight, e.g. 50 mg per 100 g, a 300 g (B) rat would receive 150 mg per injection. For two doses a day, rat A would receive a dosage of 100 mg per day, rat B 300 mg per day. For a treatment of twice a day for two weeks, rat A would receive a total dosage of 1.4 g, rat B would receive 4.2 g.
Identify a drug administration schedule by dose, agent (base or salt) and route of administration, which may be abbreviated as intra-arterial (ia), intra-cerebro-ventricular (icv), intra-gastric gavage (ig), intra-muscular (im), intra-peritoneal (ip), intra-venous (iv), per os (po), subcutaneous (sc). Drug dosage is expressed per kg body weight in all species.
For isotopically-labelled compounds, use square brackets placed immediately in front of the name or formula to enclose superscript figures immediately in front of the atomic symbol. Examples: [14C]urea, [α-32P]ATP (not AT32P), sodium [14C]formate, [1-14C,2-13C]acetaldehyde, [carboxy-14C]leucine, [1-3H]ethanol. Both [131I]iodo-albumin and 131I-albumin are correct.
The SI unit for radioactivity is Becquerel (Bq): 1 Ci = 37x109 disintegrations per second (37 GBq).
Disintegrations per minute (dpm), not counts per minute (cpm), should be converted to Bq for presentation.
Note that an experiment repeated twice is not done two times. An experiment repeated once is done the first time and then again, so is done twice; likewise, an experiment repeated twice is done three times.
Note that three times as much as is not the same as three times more than. Once more than (e.g. 3 [+3] = 6) means twice as much (6 = 2 x 3); likewise three times more than (e.g. 3 [+3 +3 +3] = 12) means four times as much (12 = 4 x 3).
Give the power (W), time of bursts, number of bursts, interval between bursts and temperature.
Absorbance (A) values are used instead of optical density (OD) or extinction (E) values.
Use of standard abbreviations and SI units of measurement (Le Système international d’unités) is encouraged. Measurements that are not usually converted to SI units in biomedical applications are blood and oxygen pressures, enzyme activity, H+ concentration, temperature and volume. SI does not stipulate whether l or L be used to indicate litre. L is often used to avoid confusion with I (capital i) or 1 (the number).
Symbols for units are not plural (kg not kgs) and are not followed by a full stop (min not min.).
Prefixes should be used rather than superscripts (5 µmol not 5×10-6 mol).
Add spaces between values and units (except g [RCF], %, ˚C) and either side of ±.
Repeat units after all the values for areas (18 mm × 18 mm) and volumes (1 cm x 1 cm x 1 cm), and repeat multipliers in ranges (20x106-̶ 60x106).
Do not repeat units in ranges (8,000 ̶ 10,000g, 25-̶ 30%, 36-̶ 38˚C, 3-̶ 8 g) or for mean and dispersions (19 ± 3%, 35 ± 6˚C, 13 ± 4, 8 ± 3 g, 17 ± 3 nmol.L-1.g-1).
Do not repeat multipliers in ranges (61.2 ± 1.2 x106/ml).
AJA adopts WHO (2010) terminology5: for characterisation of spermatozoa in semen, use normozoopermia (not normospermia), azoospermia (not aspermia [which means no semen]), oligozoospermia (not oligospermia), teratozoospermia (not teratospermia), asthenozoosermia (not asthenospermia). Degrees of oligozoospermia (mild or severe) are not WHO-sanctioned, and should be defined if used.
Do not confuse sperm concentration (sperm numbers per unit volume of semen or suspension) with sperm output (total sperm numbers per ejaculate) or sperm count (total sperm numbers per suspension or inseminate).
Do not use sperm density to mean sperm concentration, or use sperm count to mean sperm output.
All steps in the statistical analysis should be described. Choose suitable techniques for the statistical treatments.
Statistical tests that can be used for Gaussian (normal) distributions (so-called parametric tests) include those for comparing independent (unmatched) groups, for example: Student's t test (for two groups only), One Way Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) (for three or more groups), Two Way ANOVA (for two combination of factors) and Three Way ANOVA (for three combinations of factors). Comparing samples with repeated measures (matched groups) involves, for example, the Paired t test (for two groups only), One Way Repeated Measures (RM) ANOVA (for three or more groups) and Two Way RM ANOVA (for two combinations of factors). Correlations of Gaussian groups involve Linear Regression.
There are fewer tests for non-Gaussian distributions (non-parametric tests), for example: for independent (unmatched groups) the Mann-Whitney Rank Sum Test (Wilcoxon Rank Sum test [Mann-Whitney U-test, Mann-Whitney-Wilcoxon test, Wilcoxon-Mann-Whitney test]: for two groups only) and Kruskal-Wallis ANOVA on Ranks (for three or more groups), and for repeated measures (matched groups) the Wilcoxon Signed Rank Test (for two groups only) and the Friedman RM ANOVA on Ranks (for three or more groups). Correlations in non-Gaussian groups involve the Spearman Rank Correlation.
For two or three combinations of factors (matched or unmatched non-Gaussian populations) a transformation to Gaussian distributions is needed, followed by the Parametric tests mentioned above.
These include addition, subtraction, division, squaring, converting to absolute values, taking logarithms (logn, log10), reciprocals, exponentials, square roots, cube roots and arcsin square roots (preferable for percentages).
Sperm variables such as sperm concentrations, total sperm number and percentages of motile, viable or morphologically normal spermatozoa are usually highly skewed and not suitable for parametric statistical analysis. Such data should be either analysed by non-parametric tests (which sacrifice power and flexibility) or by conventional parametric tests after power transformations, usually cube-root7 or log8. Where azoospermia is present, log transformation is unsuitable and power transformation should be used.
Post hoc tests
If the statistical tests indicate P < 0.05, there are significant differences within the dataset; post-hoc tests are used to find out which groups differ from which. A less conservative test is more likely to indicate a significant difference when there is really none (a Type I error) and a more conservative test may not indicate a significant difference when there is one (a Type II error). It is better to err on the side of a Type II error, so that any significant differences reported are probably true. Which post-hoc test is used depends on whether comparison are made with a control group (C) or all pair-wise comparisons (AP).
For robust results, these post hoc tests in order of preference for Gaussian distributions are, for example: for two groups (t test, paired t test) the t-statistic, and for more than two groups (1W, 1WRM, 2W, 2WRM, 3W ANOVA) the Holm-Sidak test (AP+C, more conservative than Tukey, Bonferroni), Dunnett’s test (C, less conservative than Bonferroni), Tukey test (AP+C, more conservative than SNK), Student-Newman-Keuls’s (SNK) test (AP), Bonferroni’s t test (AP+C), Fisher’s Least Squares Difference (LSD) test (AP+C, least conservative, not recommended), Duncan’s Multiple Range test (AP, not recommended).
For non-Gaussian distributions there are some restrictions on the groups that can be compared. The post-hoc tests are, for example: for two groups (Mann-Whitney Rank Sum test) the t-statistic and for more than two groups (Kruskal-Wallis, Friedman RM, ANOVA on Ranks) Dunn’s test (AP+C, allowing missing values and unequal group size), the Tukey test (AP+C, no missing values allowed), the SNK test (AP, equal group size needed) and Dunnett’s test (C, equal group size needed).
Other experimental designs will require other tests such as Chi-squared test, Ridit, probit, logit analysis, regression (curvilinear, stepwise), correlation, analysis of covariance. P values should be given exactly where greater than 0.001. Values such as ED50, LD50, IC50 should have their 95% confidence limits calculated and compared by weighted probit analysis6.
The word ‘significantly’ should be replaced by synonyms (e.g. appreciably, considerably, markedly) if it is used qualitatively to indicate extent, or accompanied by its P value if it is used quantitatively to indicates statistical significance.
This section may be divided into subheadings to assist the reader. Large datasets or other cumbersome data pertinent to the manuscript may be submitted as Supplementary Information. The description of results should not reiterate data that appear in Tables and Figures and, likewise, the same data should not be displayed in both Tables and Figures.
The Results section should be concise and follow a logical sequence. If the paper describes a complex series of experiments, it is permissible to explain briefly the protocol or experimental design of each part before presenting the results.
Do not comment upon or discuss the results, or draw any conclusions in this section.
Presentation of numerical data
Thought should be given to whether to describe the data by use of standard deviation (an estimate of the dispersion of the whole data) or by standard error (an estimate of the precision of the mean).
Give the number of observations and subjects used to derive the measure of the central tendency (mean, median) of the data. Losses in observations, such as drop-outs from the study should be reported. For clinical trials a CONSORT flow diagram is strongly encouraged9.
Do not include more significant digits than are justified by the accuracy of the measurements. For example, a man may weigh 72 kg, a rat 302 g and a mouse 7.2 g, if assessed on scales or balances with accuracies of 1 kg, 1 g and 0.1 g, respectively.
For displaying means, the number of significant digits presented is determined by the variation within the sample. Give the averaged data to one significant digit more than that of the accuracy of measurement. This may involve choosing units or multipliers to place the decimal point as close as possible to the uncertainty of the measurement. Report the value of the mean to the same order of magnitude as that of the rounded SD.
For example, convert weights of 3863.42 ± 2162.3 mg to 3.86342 ± 2.1623 g and round this value to 3.863 ± 2.162 g (if measured on a balance of sensitivity 0.01 g) or 3.86 ± 2.16 g (for a balance of sensitivity 0.1 g).
When rounding whole numbers to the nearest whole number with fewer places, the 'tie-breaking' convention is to round values from 1 to 4 down, and values from 5 to 9 up; e.g. 325 up to 330, 324 down to 320.
When rounding decimal numbers to the nearest whole number (without decimals), the 'tie-breaking' convention is to round values from 0.1 to 0.4 down, and values from 0.5 to 0.9 up; e.g. 32.5 up to 33, 32.4 down to 32.
Ejaculated sperm concentrations are expressed as million spermatozoa per ml and accompanied by total sperm output (million spermatozoa per ejaculate). Sperm concentrations in the text should be given as (106/ml) or x106/ml (which indicates that the number written (e.g. 60) is to be multiplied by the factor 106 [giving 60,000,000/ml], not x10-6 (which indicates that the number written (e.g. 60) is to be multiplied by 10-6 [giving 0.000060/ml]).
By contrast, for sperm concentration in Tables and Graphs, the multiplier in column headings and axis labels should be either (106/ml) or x10-6/ml (which indicates that the number tabulated or plotted (e.g. 60) is already a million times smaller than the value it represents and so is to be multiplied by the factor 106 [giving 60,000,000/ml]).
Do not repeat the Introduction here.
Do not recapitulate the results, or refer to Figures and Tables, in this section, but (i) mention whether the results agree with or contradict previous findings, (ii) discuss the significance of the results against the background of existing knowledge, (iii) identify clearly those aspects that are novel, and (iv) state if the original hypothesis was confirmed.
The final paragraph should highlight the main conclusion(s), and provide some indication of the direction future research should take. This section may be divided into subheadings to assist the reader.
Authors are required to state their contributions to the manuscript. The statement can be of several sentences, describing the tasks of individual authors referred to by their initials. Use the following format: JDE carried out the genetic studies, participated in the proteomic analysis and drafted the manuscript; JSR carried out the immunoassays and performed the statistical analysis; JMP conceived of the study, and participated in its design and coordination and helped to draft the manuscript.
Add a statement that all authors have read and approved the final version of the manuscript, and agree with the order of presentation of the authors.
State if there is any competing interest of any sort. If there is no financial interest, use the following format: None of the authors declare competing financial interests.
These should be brief, and should include sources of financial support, material (e.g. novel compounds, strains, etc.) not available commercially, personal assistance, advice from colleagues and gifts.
Acknowledgements should be made only to those who have made a significant contribution to the study. Authors should submit to AJA written permission given by individuals named in this section.
Authors are responsible for the accuracy of the references. These may include published articles as well as those in press (but for these, state the name of the journal and enclose a copy of the manuscript).
In the text of the manuscript, references to the literature should be numbered consecutively and indicated by a superscript. Each reference should be numbered individually and listed at the end of the manuscript; examples of citation format are given below.
All authors should be listed for papers with up to five authors; for papers with more than five, the first five authors only should be quoted, followed by et al.
Note: An EndNote style file is available to download here.
Examples of journal citation format
1 Dai B, Ye DW, Kong YY, Shen YJ, Wang BH. Individualized prostate biopsy strategy for Chinese patients with different prostate-specific antigen levels. Asian J Androl 2008; 10: 325-31.
2 Mao X, Shaw G, James SY, Purkis P, Kudahetti SC et al. Detection of TMPRSS2:ERG fusion gene in circulating prostate cancer cells. Asian J Androl 2008; 10: 467-73.
Example of a book citation:
3 Armitage P. Statistical Methods in Medical Research. Oxford: Blackwell Scientific Publishers; 1971. p239.
Example of an article in a book:
4 Morley JE, Kaiser FE, Jonson LE. Male sexual function. In: Cassel CK, Riesenberg DE, Sorensen LB, Walsh JR, editors. Geriatric Medicine. New York: Springer-Verlag; 1990. p25670.
The names of journals cited should be abbreviated according to the ‘International List of Periodical Title Word Abbreviations'10.
Citations of ‘unpublished data’ and e.g. ‘S. A. Waksman, personal communication’ should be written in the text parenthetically.
Abstracts may be cited only if they are the sole sources, and must be identified in the reference list as ‘(Abstract)’.
Manuscripts that have been accepted for publication but are not yet published must be identified in the reference list as ‘in press’.
Written proof of a ‘personal communication’ and a preprint of articles ‘in press’ may be requested by the reviewers.
Tables are useful for presentation of entire data-sets, and for results where little change between treatments occurs. (Figures here may show parallel lines that are difficult to distinguish from the overlapping symbols and error bars.)
Tables must supplement, not duplicate, the data in the text or Figures.
Tables should consist of at least two columns; columns should always have headings.
Present data as a central tendency and the extent of dispersion (mean ± SD [if a Gaussian distribution] or median and quartiles or 5th and 95th centiles with outliers [if non-Gaussian]).
They should have a title and be numbered sequentially as Table 1, Table 2, etc. and cited sequentially in the text.
Tables should have a brief footnote that identifies all abbreviations used.
Reference to Table footnotes should be made by means of Arabic numeral as superscripts.
The data in the Tables should be consistent with those cited in the relevant places in the text. Check that totals add up correctly, that percentages have been calculated correctly and that the correct number of significant digits and decimal places are used.
P values should be given exactly where greater than 0.001.
Figures are useful to highlight clear differences between treatment groups, where lines may diverge and symbols and errors bars do not overlap. (Tables here require concentrated attention to locate the superscript indices of statistical differences between columns or rows.)
Present data as a central tendency and the extent of dispersion (mean ± SD [if a Gaussian distribution] or box-and whisker plots with median and quartiles or 5th and 95th centiles, and outliers [if non-Gaussian]).
Figures must supplement, not duplicate, the data in the text or in Tables.
Illustrations must clearly convey their message and be of high quality and sufficient size and clarity (especially lettering, arrows and data points) to be interpretable when reduced for publication.
Figures should be given a title and numbered sequentially as Figure 1, Figure 2, etc. and cited (as Fig. 1, Fig. 2 etc.) sequentially in the text.
The position of Figures in the text should be referred to specifically in the paper but not embedded within the text.
Scale bars (not magnifications) should be provided on all photomicrographs.
The resolution of all Figures should be at least 300 dpi; grey-scale pictures (imprinting maps, black and white drawings), should be at least 600 dpi; line graphs, bar charts and illustrations, should be at least 1000 dpi. For colour printing, the RGB mode needs to be transformed into the CMYK mode.
Provide Figures that are compatible with the actual printed sample: 80 mm width (single column) and 160 mm width (double column).
Each Figure number should be in about 8 pt, bold or regular Arial font; all Figure panel labels should be in lower case letters, about 8 pt bold Arial font; words in Figures should be in about 5—7 pt regular Arial font, but amino acids and gene sequence lettering should be in Courier font.
Generate TIFF or EPS rather than JPG files. Keep all individual layers and place words, arrows and other symbols in one layer.
Presentation of reproduced material
If a Table or Figure has been published before, the authors must obtain written permission to reproduce the material in both print and electronic formats from the copyright owner and submit it with the manuscript.
Prior written permission is also required for quotations, illustrations and other material taken from previously-published works not in the public domain. The original source should be cited in the Figure caption or Table footnote.
Electronic manipulation of images
Digital image enhancement is an acceptable practice, although it can result in the presentation of unrepresentative data as well as in the loss of meaningful signals.
During manipulation of images a positive relationship between the original data and the resulting electronic image must be maintained. If a Figure has been subjected to significant electronic manipulation, the specific nature of the enhancements must be noted in the Figure legend or the 'Materials and methods' section.
The editors may request original versions of Figures from a paper under consideration. Manipulation of images that significantly misrepresents or distorts the original data or presents it in a misleading fashion may constitute research misconduct. Where authors are uncertain, they should consult experienced senior colleagues outside their team for clarification and advice before submission.
Colour figures can be reproduced if necessary, but the authors are expected to contribute towards the cost of publication. A quotation will be supplied upon acceptance of the paper (see Costs).
Supplementary Information is peer-reviewed material directly relevant to the conclusion of an article that cannot be included in the printed version owing to space or format constraints.
The printed article must be complete and self-explanatory without the Supplementary Information, which enhances a reader’s understanding of the paper but is not essential to that understanding.
It is posted on the journal's website and linked to the article when the article is published and may consist of data files, graphics, movies or extensive tables.
It must be supplied to the editorial office for peer review, and on acceptance, the final version of the peer-reviewed Supplementary Information should be submitted with the accepted paper.
To ensure that the contents of the Supplementary Information files can be viewed by the editors, referees and readers, submit a ‘read-me’ file containing brief instructions on how to use the file.
Accepted file formats
Quick Time files (.mov).
• Graphical image files (.gif).
• HTML files (.html).
• MPEG movie files (.mpg).
• JPEG image files (.jpg).
• Sound files (.wav).
• Plain ASCII text (.txt).
• Acrobat files (.pdf).
• MS Word documents (.doc).
• Postscript files (.ps).
• MS Excel spreadsheet documents (.xls).
• PowerPoint (.ppt).
AJA only accepts MS Office software version 97-2003, and does not accept TeX or LaTeX file formats.
File sizes must be as small as possible, so that they can be downloaded quickly. Images should not exceed 640 x 480 pixels (9 x 6.8 inches at 72 pixels per inch) but 480 x 360 pixels as the maximum frame size for movies are recommended, as is a frame rate of 15 frames per second.
If applicable to the presentation of the Supplementary Information, use a 256-colour palette. Consider the use of lower specification for all of the above if the Supplementary Information can still be represented clearly. A maximum data rate of 150 KB/s is recommended.
No more than eight files may be submitted, and the total file size should not exceed 8 MB. Individual files should not exceed 1 MB. Seek advice from the editorial office before sending files larger than the maximum size, to avoid delays in publication.
Further questions about the submission or preparation of Supplementary Information should be directed to the Editorial Office.
Non-Native Speakers of English
Editorial decisions are made solely on the quality of the scientific content of the manuscript. However, poor and unclear language can obscure the scientific content of articles.
If editors or referees cannot follow the narrative description of rationale, experimental design, finding or interpretation of a study owing to language problems, it can lead to rejection of scientifically valid research.
To reduce these problems, AJA strongly encourages such authors to take at least one of the following steps:
• Check the English Corner of the AJA website.
• Have your manuscript reviewed for clarity by a colleague whose native language is English.
• Use an English language editing service, such as that offered by
Nature Publishing Group Language Editing
The use of editing services can address these problems but does not guarantee acceptance.
N.B.: If your manuscript has been professionally polished by a language editing service, provide proof from the editing service.