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Guide to Section Content

GUIDE TO PREPARING CONTENT OF ARTICLE SECTIONS

TITLE

Your title should comprise a direct statement of what was actually done or discovered. Woolly phrases such as ‘Some aspects of ….; ‘Considerations on the ……’ ‘Comparison of the effects of …’ are discouraged. The title should include the name of the organism(s) or group of organisms under study and give sufficient other information for effective online searches. Widely-used common names for the species studied are acceptable in the title (e.g. arabidopsis; antirrhinum; chrysanthemum) otherwise scientific binomials (e.g. Senecio eboracensis) are required. The authority of the binomial (e.g. L., Mill., Benth.) is not needed unless it is controversial. Abbreviations and references should be avoided. Names of genes or proteins should normally be written out in full (e.g. alcohol dehydrogenase). Total length of the title should not normally exceed 300 characters, including spaces.

AUTHORSHIP

All authors must have made a substantial or essential contribution to (1) the conception or design of the work or to data acquisition or analysis; (2) drafting the manuscript itself and (3) final approval of the scientific content. As a rule of thumb, authors should have participated sufficiently in all these aspects to take public responsibility for most or all of the content. No one should be left out if they satisfy these requirements. Guidance on authorship is given by Hunt R (1991) Nature 352, 187 and at http://www.research.uky.edu/authorship.html

ABSTRACT

Your Abstract should be less than 300 words and contain subsections. For RESEARCH ARTICLES, subsections will normally take the form ‘Background and aims’, ‘Methodology’, ‘Principal findings’, ‘Conclusions’. But, you can use other sub-sections (e.g. ‘Scope’, ‘Background’; ‘Significance’) when appropriate.

INTRODUCTION

An effective INTRODUCTION will (i) set the scene for the remainder of the paper with the non-specialist reader in-mind, (ii) acknowledge existing relevant literature noting pioneering papers, more recent advances and any controversies or contradictions, and (iii) finish by stating the main aims of the paper and revealing the extent to which these were fulfilled.

MATERIALS AND METHODS

n this key section you should include enough practical information to allow others to repeat the experimental work. For well-known methods and their minor variants it is sufficient to summarise them briefly and provide suitable references. It is also important to describe the experimental design and how the results were analysed statistically. If you wish to describe especially complex experiments or for other reasons want to include lengthy details, these are better placed in the separate ADDITIONAL INFORMATION section which will be linked to the article on-line. In this case, they only need a brief summary in MATERIALS AND METHODS coupled to the following linking text enclosed in square brackets - [see ADDITIONAL INFORMATION].

RESULTS

Your findings should be described succinctly and without discussion of their significance. However, linking sentences that help to create a logical progression through the experimental work are encouraged as is the use of up to three levels of titled subsections. The findings should not be repeated in both graphical and tabular form. If you mention material you are inserting into the ADDITIONAL INFORMATION section please end the relevant written passage with - [see ADDITIONAL INFORMATION] in square brackets. Refrain from using ‘data not shown’ except for minor points of information. Small amounts of numerical data may be incorporated into the text when their scale is too small to justify a separate table.

DISCUSSION

Although AoB PLANTS recognises that authors are responsible for their own views, you should guard against exaggerated or inappropriate claims for the significance of their results. The Discussion section can be subdivided with up to three levels of subheadings. You should not simply describe the results again. Instead, they should be interpreted, using previously published and referenced articles as context.

AoB PLANTS recognises that authors are responsible for their own views, you should guard against exaggerated or inappropriate claims for the significance of their results. The Discussion section can be subdivided with up to three levels of subheadings. You should not simply describe the results again. Instead, they should be interpreted, using previously published and referenced articles as context.

CONCLUSIONS and FORWARD LOOK

Please use this short section to present a brief set of logically-argued conclusions and a short forward look. The forward look should identify promising next steps needed to advance the topic of the paper.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

If you have ADDITIONAL INFORMATION linked to the main article please insert here a short paragraph listing and briefly describing the contents of the ADDITIONAL INFORMATION using the following example for format:

The following [ADDITIONAL INFORMATION] is available in the on-line version of this article -

Table 1: lists the crop yields from 17 accessions of rice identified as having one or more copies of the Sub-1 mutation.

Movie: reveals the relative shoot elongation responses of several contrasting rice accessions.

ACCESSION NUMBERS

You are asked to deposit novel sequences for nucleic acids with one of the principal databases e.g. those comprising the International Nucleotide Sequence Database Collaboration: EMBL Nucleotide Sequence Database, GenBank or the DNA Data Bank of Japan. Details of any novel amino acids, proteins or protein structures should have been submitted previously to a data bank such as the Research Collaboratory for Structural Bioinformatics (RCSB) Protein Databankor the Swiss-Prot Protein Database. The accession numbers obtained and the name of the data bank used and plus any related identifiers should be stated here for each novel sequence.

SOURCES OF FUNDING

Please use this section to include the names of organisations that funded the research and, when relevant, any associated grant numbers. Write out the names of funding agencies in full and state the country of origin if appropriate. To ensure author anonymity during peer review, we suggest you omit any author names until the manuscript is revised following possible provisional acceptance.

CONTRIBUTIONS BY THE AUTHORS

This section should be used to outline each of the author’s contribution. It may sometimes be sufficient to state that ‘All the authors contributed to a similar extent overall’. Each author should have seen and agreed to the submitted manuscript. All authors and co-authors will receive an acknowledgement from AoB PLANTS when the paper is first submitted. To ensure author anonymity during peer review, we suggest you omit actual author names until the manuscript is revised following possible provisional acceptance.

CONFLICTS OF INTEREST

If there are no conflicts of interest known to you or your co-authors please type ‘No conflicts of interest’ in this section.

If there are conflicts of interest to declare please enter details stating which authors they apply to. However, to maintain author anonymity during peer review, we suggest you omit actual author names until the manuscript is revised following possible provisional acceptance. This should repeat the information given in the ‘Conflicts of Interest’ section of the electronic submission site. A typical entry might take the form of:

[Name of individual] has received fees within the past three years for serving as a consultant to the US distributor (Calgone Corporation, Michigan, USA) of the confocal microscope used in our work.
[Name of individual] has approximately £25000 of shares in the Beta Chemical Company that supplied the hormone action inhibitor ‘Kryptogen’ without charge.
[Name of individual] is a member of the Biosciences Research Board of the Japanese Plant Science Advisory Council that funded a substantial part of our research.

Notes: a conflict of interest exists if there are any arrangements that would embarrass you or any of your co-authors if they were to emerge after publication and you had not declared them. You should reveal any financial interests or other connections, direct or indirect, or other situations that might raise the question of bias in the paper. Pertinent commercial or other sources of funding for the individual author(s) or for the associated department(s) or organization(s) not declared in the 'SOURCES OF FUNDING' section of the manuscript should be mentioned. If you are in doubt please click on http://www.oxfordjournals.org/faq/for_authors/production_faq.html, select the ‘Production’ tab and scroll down to ‘Conflicts of interest’, or contact the Editorial Office.

As corresponding author it is your responsibility to confirm with your co-authors whether or not they have conflicts to declare. If you are NOT able to make a declaration on behalf of your co-authors, each author on the paper (including yourself) is required to complete and fax a Conflict of Interest form to the Editorial Office at +44 (0)1865 355 975. The contents of these faxes will be used by the Editorial Office to complete the Conflicts of Interest section for you.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

This section should be used to thank contributors, administrators etc. whose contributions were insufficient to merit their inclusion as authors. Please be brief. For example 'We thank . . .' , rather than 'The present authors would like to express their sincere thanks to . . .'.

REFERENCES

All cited publications are assumed to have been read by the authors and not simply extracted from databases such as the ISI Web of Science. Authors are encouraged to cite original research papers and not to rely overly on review articles. We ask that the fine detail of the reference list is double checked before submitting to the Journal since mistakes can interfere with correct electronic cross referencing. To help check citation details and also insert correct online links to references, authors are encouraged to cut-and-paste their reference list into the CrossRef website before submission. This helps authors by turning up correct reference details and also assists AoB PLANTS staff. It will also insert DOIs (unique online links) into each reference located.

FIGURE LEGENDS

Legends to any figures should be listed here and numbered Figure 1, Figure 2 etc. according to the order in which they are first mentioned in the text. Each legend should have a one-sentence title in bold letters that summarizes the figure followed by reasonably concise further details. A good legend is understandable in its own right without need for detailed inspection of the main text.