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These short, narrowly focused articles of contemporary interest are usually commissioned by the journal. A Commentary should is a discussion of an article that was recently published or that is soon to be published, and that is interesting enough to warrant further comment or explanation. The Commentary discusses specific issues within a subject area rather than the whole field, explains the implications of the article and puts it in context. Opinions are welcome as long as they are factually based.

Preparing your manuscript

Title page

The title page should:

  • present a title that includes, if appropriate, the research design or for non-research studies: a description of what the article reports
  • list the full names, institutional addresses and email addresses for all authors
    • if a collaboration group should be listed as an author, please list the Group name as an author and include the names of the individual members of the Group in the “Acknowledgements” section in accordance with the instructions below
  • indicate the corresponding author


The abstract should briefly summarize the aim, findings or purpose of the article. Please minimize the use of abbreviations and do not cite references in the abstract.


Three to ten keywords representing the main content of the article.


The Introduction section should explain the background to the article, its aims, a summary of a search of the existing literature and the issue under discussion.

Main text

This should contain the body of the article, and may also be broken into subsections with short, informative headings.


This should state clearly the main conclusions and include an explanation of their relevance or importance to the field.

List of abbreviations

If abbreviations are used in the text they should be defined in the text at first use, and a list of abbreviations should be provided.


All manuscripts must contain the following sections under the heading 'Declarations':

  • Availability of data and material
  • Competing interests
  • Funding
  • Authors' contributions
  • Acknowledgements
  • Authors' information (optional)

Please see below for details on the information to be included in these sections.

If any of the sections are not relevant to your manuscript, please include the heading and write 'Not applicable' for that section.

Availability of data and materials

All manuscripts must include an ‘Availability of data and materials’ statement. Data availability statements should include information on where data supporting the results reported in the article can be found including, where applicable, hyperlinks to publicly archived datasets analysed or generated during the study. By data we mean the minimal dataset that would be necessary to interpret, replicate and build upon the findings reported in the article. We recognise it is not always possible to share research data publicly, for instance when individual privacy could be compromised, and in such instances data availability should still be stated in the manuscript along with any conditions for access.

Data availability statements can take one of the following forms (or a combination of more than one if required for multiple datasets):

  • The datasets generated and/or analysed during the current study are available in the [NAME] repository, [PERSISTENT WEB LINK TO DATASETS]
  • The datasets used and/or analysed during the current study are available from the corresponding author on reasonable request.
  • All data generated or analysed during this study are included in this published article [and its supplementary information files].
  • The datasets generated and/or analysed during the current study are not publicly available due [REASON WHY DATA ARE NOT PUBLIC] but are available from the corresponding author on reasonable request.
  • Data sharing is not applicable to this article as no datasets were generated or analysed during the current study.
  • The data that support the findings of this study are available from [third party name] but restrictions apply to the availability of these data, which were used under license for the current study, and so are not publicly available. Data are however available from the authors upon reasonable request and with permission of [third party name].
  • Not applicable. If your manuscript does not contain any data, please state 'Not applicable' in this section.

More examples of template data availability statements, which include examples of openly available and restricted access datasets, are available here.

SpringerOpen  also requires that authors cite any publicly available data on which the conclusions of the paper rely in the manuscript. Data citations should include a persistent identifier (such as a DOI) and should ideally be included in the reference list. Citations of datasets, when they appear in the reference list, should include the minimum information recommended by DataCite and follow journal style. Dataset identifiers including DOIs should be expressed as full URLs. For example:

Hao Z, AghaKouchak A, Nakhjiri N, Farahmand A. Global integrated drought monitoring and prediction system (GIDMaPS) data sets. figshare. 2014.

With the corresponding text in the Availability of data and materials statement:

The datasets generated during and/or analysed during the current study are available in the [NAME] repository, [PERSISTENT WEB LINK TO DATASETS].[Reference number]

Competing interests

All financial and non-financial competing interests must be declared in this section.

See our editorial policies for a full explanation of competing interests. If you are unsure whether you or any of your co-authors have a competing interest please contact the editorial office.

Please use the authors’ initials to refer to each authors' competing interests in this section.

If you do not have any competing interests, please state "The authors declare that they have no competing interests" in this section.


All sources of funding for the research reported should be declared. The role of the funding body in the design of the study and collection, analysis, and interpretation of data and in writing the manuscript should be declared.

Authors' contributions

The individual contributions of authors to the manuscript should be specified in this section. Guidance and criteria for authorship can be found in our editorial policies.

Please use initials to refer to each author's contribution in this section, for example: "FC analyzed and interpreted the patient data regarding the hematological disease and the transplant. RH performed the histological examination of the kidney, and was a major contributor in writing the manuscript. All authors read and approved the final manuscript."


Please acknowledge anyone who contributed towards the article who does not meet the criteria for authorship including anyone who provided professional writing services or materials.

Authors should obtain permission to acknowledge from all those mentioned in the Acknowledgements section.

See our editorial policies for a full explanation of acknowledgements and authorship criteria.

If you do not have anyone to acknowledge, please write "Not applicable" in this section.

Group authorship (for manuscripts involving a collaboration group): if you would like the names of the individual members of a collaboration Group to be searchable through their individual PubMed records, please ensure that the title of the collaboration Group is included on the title page and in the submission system and also include collaborating author names as the last paragraph of the “Acknowledgements” section. Please add authors in the format First Name, Middle initial(s) (optional), Last Name. You can add institution or country information for each author if you wish, but this should be consistent across all authors.

Authors' information

This section is optional.

You may choose to use this section to include any relevant information about the author(s) that may aid the reader's interpretation of the article, and understand the standpoint of the author(s). This may include details about the authors' qualifications, current positions they hold at institutions or societies, or any other relevant background information. Please refer to authors using their initials. Note this section should not be used to describe any competing interests.


Endnotes should be designated within the text using a superscript lowercase letter and all notes (along with their corresponding letter) should be included in the Endnotes section. Please format this section in a paragraph rather than a list. 

How to format your references

Examples of the Math and Physical Sciences reference style are shown below. Please ensure that the reference style is followed precisely; if the references are not in the correct style, they may need to be retyped and carefully proofread.

Web links and URLs: All web links and URLs, including links to the authors' own websites, should be given a reference number and included in the reference list rather than within the text of the manuscript. They should be provided in full, including both the title of the site and the URL, as well as the date the site was accessed, in the following format: The Mouse Tumor Biology Database. Accessed 20 May 2013. If an author or group of authors can clearly be associated with a web link, such as for weblogs, then they should be included in the reference.

Authors may wish to make use of reference management software to ensure that reference lists are correctly formatted. An example of such software is Papers, which is part of Springer Science+Business Media.

Example reference style:

Article within a journal

Hamburger, C: Quasimonotonicity, regularity and duality for nonlinear systems of partial differential equations. Ann. Mat. Pura. Appl. 169, 321-354 (1995).

Article by DOI (with page numbers)

Slifka, MK, Whitton, JL: Clinical implications of dysregulated cytokine production. J. Mol. Med. 78, 74-80 (2000). doi:10.1007/s001090000086.

Article by DOI (before issue publication and with page numbers)

Slifka, MK, Whitton, JL: Clinical implications of dysregulated cytokine production. J. Mol. Med. (2000). doi:10.1007/s001090000086.

Article in electronic journal by DOI (no paginated version)

Slifka, MK, Whitton, JL: Clinical implications of dysregulated cytokine production. Dig. J. Mol. Med. (2000). doi:10.1007/s801090000086.

Journal issue with issue editor

Smith, J (ed.): Rodent genes. Mod. Genomics J. 14(6), 126-233 (1998).

Journal issue with no issue editor

Rodent genes: Mod. Genomics J. 14(6):126-233 (1998).

Book chapter, or an article within a book

Broy, M: Software engineering - from auxiliary to key technologies. In: Broy, M, Denert, E (eds.) Software Pioneers, pp. 10-13. Springer, New York (2002).

Complete book, authored

Geddes, KO, Czapor, SR, Labahn, G: Algorithms for Computer Algebra. Kluwer, Boston (1992).

Complete book, edited

Seymour, RS (ed.): Conductive Polymers. Plenum, New York (1981).

Chapter in a book in a series without volume titles

MacKay, DM: Visual stability and voluntary eye movements. In: Jung, R, MacKay, DM (eds.) Handbook of Sensory Physiology, vol. 3, pp. 307-331. Springer, Heidelberg (1973).

Chapter in a book in a series with volume titles

Smith, SE: Neuromuscular blocking drugs in man. In: Zaimis, E (ed.) Neuromuscular Junction. Handbook of Experimental Pharmacology, vol. 42, pp. 593-660. Springer, Heidelberg (1976).

OnlineFirst chapter in a series (without a volume designation but with a DOI)

Saito, Y, Hyuga, H. Rate equation approaches to amplification of enantiomeric excess and chiral symmetry breaking. Top. Curr. Chem. (2007). doi:10.1007/128_2006_108.

Proceedings as a book (in a series and subseries)

Zowghi, D: A framework for reasoning about requirements in evolution. In: Foo N., Goebel R. (eds.) Topics in Artificial Intelligence, 4th Pacific Rim Conference on Artificial Intelligence, Cairns, August 1996. Lecture Notes in Computer Science. Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence, vol. 1114, pp. 157-168. Springer, Heidelberg (1996).

Article within conference proceedings with an editor (without a publisher)

Aaron, M: The future of genomics. In: Williams, H (ed.) Proceedings of the Genomic Researchers, Boston (1999).

Article within conference proceedings without an editor (without a publisher)

Chung, S-T, Morris, RL: Isolation and characterization of plasmid deoxyribonucleic acid from Streptomyces fradiae. In: Abstracts of the 3rd International Symposium on the Genetics of Industrial Microorganisms, University of Wisconsin, Madison, 4-9 June 1978.

Article presented at a conference

Chung, S-T, Morris, RL: Isolation and characterization of plasmid deoxyribonucleic acid from Streptomyces fradiae. Paper presented at the 3rd international symposium on the genetics of industrial microorganisms, University of Wisconsin, Madison, 4-9 June 1978.


Norman, LO: Lightning rods. US Patent 4,379,752, 9 Sept 1998.

Dissertation, PhD thesis

Trent, JW: Experimental acute renal failure. Dissertation, University of California (1975).

Book with institutional author

International Anatomical Nomenclature Committee: Nomina anatomica. Excerpta Medica, Amsterdam (1966).

In press article

Holmes, R: References. In: Jones, TC (ed.) Science style manual. Sprint, London (2007, in press).

Online document

Cartwright, J: Big stars have weather too. IOP Publishing PhysicsWeb. (2007). Accessed 26 June 2007.

Online database

Healthwise Knowledgebase. US Pharmacopeia, Rockville. (1998). Accessed 21 Sept 1998.

Supplementary material/private homepage

Doe, J: Title of supplementary material. (2000). Accessed 22 Feb 2000.

University site

Doe, J: Title of preprint. (1999). Accessed 25 Dec 1999.

FTP site

Doe, J: Trivial HTTP, RFC2169. (1999). Accessed 12 Nov 1999.

Organization site

ISSN International Centre: The ISSN register. (2006). Accessed 20 Feb 2007.

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