Author Guidelines

Article Preparation Using Word

  • If you are using Microsoft Word to prepare your Article, you do not need to use any special tool for preparation.


  • If excerpts from copyrighted works (including websites), such as photos, illustrations, tables, animations, videos, or text quotations are included in the manuscript, it is the author’s responsibility to obtain permission from the copyright holder (and where required also from recognizable persons in photos) for both the print and online format, unless they can be used without permission under a copyright exception.
  • Please comply with the instructions stipulated in the permission(s) concerning acknowledgements or credit lines within your manuscript (e.g., reference to the copyright holder in captions) and keep the written confirmation of the permission in your possession with the copy of your manuscript.
  • Please be aware that some publishers do not always grant right of reproduction for free. COPAL will not be able to refund any costs that may have been incurred in receiving these permissions. As an alternative, material from other sources should be used.
  • Start the permissions process as soon as you can. It is COPAL’s policy to accept articles for production only where permissions have been granted. If you have questions about what may or may not require permission, please speak to your Editor. In order to give sufficient time for all clearances to be obtained, the permissions application process should be started at least 1 month in advance of the final article delivery date.
  • Under current law, there is a risk that the author and the publisher will be held liable if a web page to which there is a link in the author’s work contains content that infringes copyright (e.g. images or texts for which the rights were not clarified in a proper manner). In order to reduce this risk, the following measures should be taken if you include links in your work:
  • Please only link to trustworthy websites (e.g. websites of renowned publishers, scientific societies, well-known companies and associations).
  • Please do not link to user-generated content and other “unprofessional” websites, for which it is unlikely that the content has undergone adequate rights checks.
  • If possible, please link to specific subpages or items (images, charts, etc.) in order to reduce possible liability.
  • Duly filled and signed Copyright Declaration Form needs to be submitted along with the final Article.

 Word Count

  • The main text should be no more than 2,500 words (not including Abstract, References and Table and Figure legends)


  • Your Article text file should start with a title page that shows author affiliations and contact information, identifying the corresponding author with an asterisk. The title should be no more than 15 words


  • Abstract is strongly encouraged. Begin with an abstract that summarizes the content of the Article in no more than 200 words.
  • Please do not include any references in your Abstract. Make sure it serves both as a general introduction to the topic and as a brief, non-technical summary of the main results and their implications.


  • Minimum five keywords are required. Each keyword should not contain more than two compound words, and each keyword phrase should start with an uppercase letter.
  • When selecting the keywords, think of them as terms that will help someone locate your Article at the top of the search engine list using, for example, Google. Very broad terms, (e.g., “Case study” by itself) should be avoided as these will result in thousands of search results but will not result in finding your Article.

Headings and Heading Numbering

  • Heading levels should be clearly identified and each level should be uniquely and consistently formatted and/or numbered.
  • Use the decimal system of numbering

Terminology, Units, and Abbreviations

  • Technical terms and abbreviations should be defined the first time they appear in the text.
  • Please always use internationally accepted signs and symbols for units—so-called SI units.
  • Numerals should follow the British/American method of decimal points to indicate decimals; commas should be used to separate thousands.

Formal Style and Text Formatting

  • Article will be checked by a copy editor for formal style. COPAL follows certain layouts and standards with regard to the presentation of the content, and the copy editors make sure that the manuscript conforms to these styles. When you receive the page proofs during the production process, please do not make changes that involve only matters of style.
  • Italics should be used for emphasized words or phrases in running text, but do not format entire paragraphs in italics.

Spelling and Punctuation

  • Use American or British spelling and punctuation consistently within the Article (for example, behavior/behavior) except for quoted material.
  • In works dealing with foreign languages, especially those with alphabets different from English, it is wise to decide on the spelling or transliteration style of names and words at the outset and to include your preferences in your list of stylistic decisions.
  • Italicize foreign words and phrases—for example, barranca (steep bank)—unless they are proper nouns or words that are familiar in the American lexicon—for example, Moscow (Moskva). It is up to you to verify that the spelling of foreign words is correct; this is beyond the copyeditor’s purview.
  • Centuries should be written out in full (e.g., eighteenth century). Decades may be written out or written as numerals (e.g., the seventies or the 1970s), but be consistent with the style that you choose.


  • Total number of tables is limited to 4.
  • Give each table a caption. Add a reference citation to the table source at the end of the caption, if necessary.
  • Number tables consecutively and ensure that all tables are cited in the text in sequential order. Do not write “the following table”.
  • Use the table function to create and format tables. Do not use the space bar or multiple tabs to separate columns and do not use Excel to create tables as this can cause problems when converting your tables into the typesetting program and other formats.


  • Total number of figures is limited to 6.
  • Number the figures and ensure that all figures are cited in the text in sequential order. Do not write “the following figure”.
  • Give each figure a concise caption, describing accurately what the figure depicts. Include the captions at the end of the text file, not in the figure file.
  • If a figure is reproduced from a previous publication, include the source as the last item in the caption.
  • Do not submit tabular material as figures.
  • Photos or drawings with fine shading should be saved as TIFF with a minimum resolution of 300 dpi.
  • Ensure that all the figure lettering is clearly readable – optimum size 8-12 points.
  • A combination of halftone and line art (e.g., photos containing line drawings or extensive lettering, color diagrams, etc.) should be saved as TIFF with a minimum resolution of 600 dpi.


  • References (limited to 50 references, though not strictly enforced). As a rule, all the references given in the list of references should be cited in the body of a text (i.e., in the text proper, any appendix, any footnotes to either of these, figure legends, or tables). Please cite the references in the following form:
  • By name of cited author and year of publication:
  • One author: (Miller 1991) or Miller (1991)
  • Two authors: (Miller and Smith 1994) or Miller and Smith (1994)
  • Three authors or more: (Miller et al. 1995) or Miller et al. (1995)
  • Any pages, figures etc. referred to specifically should be given in the text with the citations, as in these examples:
  • (see Fig. 4 in Smith and Jones 1997) or (Smith and Jones 1997, Fig. 4) or Smith and Jones (1997, Fig. 4)

Reference lists

  • Include all works that are cited in the Article and that have been published (including on the Internet) or accepted for publication. Please add the access date in references to web pages. Personal communications and unpublished works should be mentioned in the text only.
  • Entries in the list must be in alphabetical order except in the numbered system of sequential citation. The rules for alphabetization are:
  • First, all works by the author alone, ordered chronologically by year of publication.
  • Next, all works by the author with a co-author, ordered alphabetically by co-author.
  • Finally, all works by the author with several co-authors, ordered chronologically by year of publication.

Download the following:

Author Guidelines                          Citation and Reference Style Guide