Guidelines for Authors
Manuscript will be carefully scrutinized for evidence of plagiarism, duplication and data manipulation; in particular, images will be carefully examined for any indication of intentional improper modification.
Any suspected misconduct ends up with a quick rejection and is then reported to the US Office of Research Integrity.
Ensure that your work is written in correct English before submission.
Professional copyediting can help authors improve the presentation of their work and increase its chances of being taken on by a publisher. In case you feel that your manuscript would benefit from a professional a professional English language copyediting checking language grammar and style, you can find a reliable revision service at:
The Corresponding Author must submit the manuscript online-only through our Manuscript Submission System.
Authors are kindly invited to suggest potential reviewers (names, affilitations and email addresses) for their manuscript, if they wish.
Original Articles: should normally be divided into an abstract, introduction, materials and methods, results, conclusions and references (max. 25 references; max. 5/7 figures and/or tables). The abstract should contain a maximum of 400 words.
Review Articles: no particular format is required for these articles (max. 5/7 figures and/or tables). However, they should have an informative, unstructured abstract of about 250 words.
Technical Notes: are articles with a simple layout and containing limited data (no more than two figures or tables) and a small number of citations (not more than 15). They should be limited to 2,000 words of text (figure captions, table headings and reference lists are additional to this limit).
The manuscripts should be double spaced with numbered lines and wide margins and should be arranged as follows.
Title page: including the full title, the name(s) of the author(s), their affiliation and the name of the corresponding author to whom proofs and requests for off-prints should be sent.
Abstract: should not exceed 400 words.
Keywords: three to six keywords characterizing the content of the article in alphabetical order.
Introduction: a brief introduction.
Materials and methods: this section should provide sufficient information and references on the techniques adopted to permit their replication.
Results: the content of this section should permit full comprehension of the data reported in figures and tables.
Discussion: this should underline the significance of the results and place them in the context of previous research.
Acknowledgements: references should be prepared strictly according to the instructions given below.
Units: authors are recommended to use the International System of Units (SI).
Scientific names: common names of organisms should always be accompanied, when first cited, by their complete scientific name in italics (genus, species, attribution and, if appropriate, cultivar).
Formulae: mathematical formulae must be carefully typed, possibly using the equation editor of Microsoft Word; when a paper contains several equations they should be identified with a number in parentheses (e.g. Eq. 1). Please note that each accepted paper will undergo technical and scientific copyediting before publication.
Tables: tables are numbered consecutively in Arabic numbers without “no.” before the number. References should be made in the text to each table. The desired style of presentation can be found in published articles. Titles of tables should be descriptive enough to be able to stand alone. Do not present the same data in tabular and graphic form.
Figures: figures are numbered consecutively in Arabic numbers. References should be made in the text to each figure. Each figure should have a caption. The term "figure" is used also for graphs and photos. Symbols and abbreviations used in figures can be defined in the figure caption or note or within the figure itself.Please avoid the use of bold face or greater size for the characters. Symbols and abbreviations used in figures can be defined in the figure caption or note or within the figure itself.
The figures must be submitted as .tif or .jpg files, with the following digital resolution:
- Color (saved as CMYK): minimum 300 dpi.
- Black and white/grays: minimum 600 dpiLettering of figures must be clearly labelled.
Movies Movies can be submitted and uploaded as "Supplementary Files" during the manuscript submission procedure. Dimension should not exceed 5 MB.
Citations in the text: the Journal follows the "author, year" style of citation. When a citation has one or two authors, cite the reference throughout using the name(s) and the date.When a citation has more than two authors, cite the reference throughout the text with et al. following the last name of the first author.When two or more references are included in a grouping within a sentence, they are arranged and separated by a semicolon.The first criterion is the year (former citations precede recent ones); multiple citations for a given year are further arranged alphabetically and multiple citations for the same initial letter are arranged as follows: first the citation with one author, secondly the citation with two authors, then the other (with et al.). When the same author has two references with different dates, cite them in chronological order, separating the dates with a comma; when the same author has two references with the same date, arrange the dates as a and b (also in the reference list) and separated by a comma.
Journal titles mentioned in the reference list should be abbreviated according to the following websites (sequenced by relevance):
- ISI Journal Abbreviations Index (http://library.caltech.edu/reference/abbreviations)
- Biological Journals and Abbreviations (http://home.ncifcrf.gov/research/bja)
- Example: (Foury, 1967, 1972; Burns et al., 1970; Allen et al., 1990; Basnizki and Zohary, 1994; White et al., 1990a,b).
Citation should be made in the text to each reference. Citations are listed in strict alphabetical order by first author' last names.Use capital and lower case letters for authors' names. If all authors are identical for two or more citations, chronological order of publication should dictate the order of citations. When more than one paper in a given year is listed by authors whose names are in the same order in each paper, the papers are arranged in alphabetical order of the paper title. Use the following system to arrange your references:
- periodicals: Hennighausen LG, Sippel AE, 1982. Characterization and cloning of the mRNAs specific for the lactating mouse mammary gland. Eur. J. Biochem. 125:131-41.
- books: National Research Council, 2001. Nutrient Requirements of Dairy Cattle. 7th rev. ed. National Academy Press, Washington, DC, USA.
- multi-authors books: Brouwer I, 1965. Report of the sub-committee on constants and factors. In: K.L. Blaxter (ed.) Energy metabolism. EAAP Publ. N. 11, Academic Press Ltd., London, UK, pp 441-3.
- proceedings: Rossi A, Bianchi B, 1998. How writing the references. Proc. 4th World Congr. Appl. Livest. Prod., Armidale, Australia, 26:44-6. (Or 44, if one page) - Blanco P, Nigro B, 1970. Not numbered volumes. Page 127 (or pp 12-18) in Proc. 3rd Int. Conf. Cattle Dis., Philadelphia, PA, USA.
- thesis: Rossi P, 1999. Stima di parametri genetici nella razza Reggiana. Degree Diss., Università di Milano, Italy.
- material from a World Wide Web site: Food and Drug Administration, 2001. Available from: http://www.fda.gov.
- Italian Regulation, 1992. Application of the Council Directive (EEC) No. 86/609 regarding the protection of animals used for experimental and other scientific purposes. LD 116/1992. In: Official Journal No. 294, 18/2/1992, pp 5-24.
- European Commission, 1994. Commission Decision of 27 June 1994 concerning certain protection measures with regard to bovine spongiform encephalopathy and the feeding of mammalian derived protein, 94/381/EC. In: Official Journal, L 172, 07/07/1994, pp 23-24.
- International standards: ISO, 1991. Determination of total fat content - Meat and meat products. Norm ISO R- 1443:1991. International Organization for Standardization Publ., Geneva, Switzerland.
- In press: Manuscripts that have been accepted for publication but are not yet published can be listed in the literature cited with the designation [In press] following the journal title.
- Other: Citations such as personal communication, unpublished data, etc. should be incorporated in the text and NOT placed into the Reference section.
The author names and affiliations inserted in the online submission system are those that will be published in PubMed. The Editorial staff is therefore not responsible for eventual inaccuracies or mistakes inserted during the submission process.
All manuscripts submitted to our journal are critically assessed by external and/or in-house experts in accordance with the principles of peer review (http://www.icmje.org/#peer), which is fundamental to the scientific publication process and the dissemination of sound science. The first step of manuscript selection takes place entirely in-house and has two major objectives: i) to establish the article appropriateness for the readership of our journal; ii) to define the manuscript priority ranking relative to other manuscripts under consideration, since the number of papers that the journal receives is much greater than it can publish. If a manuscript does not receive a sufficiently high priority score to warrant publication, the editors will proceed to a quick rejection. The remaining articles are reviewed by at least two different external referees (second step or classical peer review). Manuscripts should be prepared according to the Uniform Requirements established by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) (http://www.icmje.org/#prepare).
Authorship and Contributorship
All persons designated as authors should qualify for authorship according to the ICMJE criteria. Each author should have participated sufficiently in the work to take public responsibility for the content. Authorship credit should only be based on substantial contributions to: i) conception and design, or analysis and interpretation of data, and to ii) drafting the article or revising it critically for important intellectual content; and on iii) final approval of the version to be published; and iv) agreement to be accountable for all aspects of the work . Participation solely in the acquisition of funding or the collection of data does not justify authorship. General supervision of the research group is not sufficient for authorship. Authors should provide a brief description of their individual contributions.
Those who do not meet all four criteria should not be listed as authors, but they should be acknowledged. Those whose contributions do not justify authorship may be acknowledged individually or together as a group under a single heading. Authors can find detailed information on the Publisher's web site.
Obligation to Register Clinical Trials (http://www.icmje.org/#clin_trials)
The ICMJE believes that it is important to foster a comprehensive, publicly available database of clinical trials. The ICMJE defines a clinical trial as any research project that prospectively assigns human subjects to intervention or concurrent comparison or control groups to study the cause-and-effect relationship between a medical intervention and a health outcome. Medical interventions include drugs, surgical procedures, devices, behavioral treatments, process-of-care changes, etc. Our journals require, as a condition of consideration for publication, registration in a public trials registry. The journal considers a trial for publication only if it has been registered before the enrollment of the first patient. The journal does not advocate one particular registry, but requires authors to register their trial in a registry that meets several criteria. The registry must be accessible to the public at no charge. It must be open to all prospective registrants and managed by a non-profit organization. There must be a mechanism to ensure the validity of the registration data, and the registry should be electronically searchable. An acceptable registry must include a minimum of data elements (http://www.icmje.org/#clin_trials). For example, ClinicalTrials.gov (http://www.clinicaltrials.gov), sponsored by the United States National Library of Medicine, meets these requirements.
Protection of Human Subjects and Animals in Research
When reporting experiments on human subjects, authors should indicate whether the procedures followed were in accordance with the ethical standards of the responsible committee on human experimentation (institutional and national) and with the Helsinki Declaration of 1975, as revised in 2013. If doubt exists whether the research was conducted in accordance with the Helsinki Declaration, the authors must explain the rationale for their approach and demonstrate that the institutional review body explicitly approved the doubtful aspects of the study. An Informed Consent statement is always required from patients involved in any experiments. When reporting experiments on animals, authors should indicate whether the institutional and national guide for the care and use of laboratory animals was followed. Further guidance on animal research ethics is available from the World Medical Association (2016 revision) and from the International Association of Veterinary Editors’ Consensus Author Guidelines on Animal Ethics and Welfare. When reporting experiments on ecosystems involving non-native species, Authors are bound to ensure compliance with the institutional and national guide for the preservation of native biodiversity.