Author Guidelines

INSTRUCTIONS FOR AUTHORS

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Editorial policy| Prior publication policy | Types of papers | Page limits | Animal welfare and legal policy | Publication ethics Conflicts of Interest | Data ArchivingSubmission  | Manuscript tracking | Supporting information | English editing | Style and formatting  | Manuscipt specifications | Revisions and accepted papers | Lay summaries | Licence to Publish | Proofs | Accepted Online | Promoting your article | Early View | Open access | Offprints

Please read and follow the instructions for authors given below. When your manuscript has been prepared in accordance with these instructions and you are ready to submit online, go to http://mc.manuscriptcentral.com/fe-besjournals. All subsequent correspondence regarding papers and all other enquiries should be sent to the Assistant Editor, Jennifer Meyer, at admin@functionalecology.org

Editorial Policy Functional Ecology is published six times a year. The journal publishes original research papers that enable a mechanistic understanding of ecological pattern and process from the organismic to the ecosystem scale. Because of the multifaceted nature of this challenge, papers can be based on a wide range of approaches.  Thus, manuscripts may vary from physiological, genetics, life-history, and behavioural perspectives for organismal studies to community and biogeochemical studies when the goal is to understand ecosystem and larger scale ecological phenomena.

We require that all papers place the research into a broad conceptual and/or comparative context. The results should have broad conceptual significance, and not just be of significance for the focal species or small group of species.

Papers may describe experimental, comparative or theoretical studies on any types of organism. Work that is purely descriptive, or that focuses on population dynamics (without investigation of the underlying factors influencing population dynamics) will not be accepted unless it sheds light on those areas mentioned above.

The Senior Editors reject a substantial portion of papers pre-review, within a few days. Peer review typically takes 6-8 weeks.

Functional Ecology works together with Wiley’s Open Access Journal, Ecology and Evolution, to enable rapid publication of good quality research that is unable to be accepted for publication by our journal. Authors may be offered the option of having the paper, along with any related peer reviews, automatically transferred for consideration by the Editors of Ecology and Evolution. Authors will not need to reformat or rewrite their manuscript at this stage, and publication decisions will be made a short time after the transfer takes place. The Editors of Ecology and Evolution will accept submissions that report well-conducted research which reaches the standard acceptable for publication. Ecology and Evolution is a Wiley Open Access journal and article publication fees apply. For more information please go to www.ecolevol.org.

Prior publication policy
BES journals do not consider for publication articles that have already been published in substantial part or in full within a scientific journal, book or similar entity. However, posting an article on the author’s personal website or in an institutional repository is not viewed as prior publication and such articles can therefore be submitted. Ttheses and dissertations do not count as prior publication. The journals will also consider for publication manuscripts that have been posted in a recognized preprint archive (such as arXiv and PeerJ PrePrints), providing that upon acceptance of their article for publication the author is still able to grant the BES an exclusive licence to publish the article, or agree to the terms of an OnlineOpen agreement and pay the associated fee. Following submission and peer review organized by the journal, posting of revised versions of the article on a preprint server with a CC-BY licence might affect an author’s ability to sign an Exclusive Licence to publish in a BES journal.

It is the responsibility of authors to inform the journal at the time of submission if and where their article has been previously posted and, if the manuscript is accepted for publication in a BES journal authors are required to provide a link to the final manuscript alongside the original preprint version.

Types of Papers Published Functional Ecology publishes four types of papers.

 

  • Standard Papers - a typical experimental, comparative or theoretical paper.
  • Reviews - syntheses of topics of broad ecological interest.
  • Perspectives - short articles presenting new ideas (without data) intended to stimulate scientific debate.
  • Commentaries - short communications on a paper within an issue or on a topical subject.

Functional Ecology does not publish manuscripts whose primary purpose is to critique papers published in other journals. We do, however, consider perspective pieces that review and critique the broader literature on a topic. Authors interested in submitting Reviews are encouraged to contact the Executive Editor, Professor Charles Fox.

Page Limits The journal does not impose specific length constraints on papers. However, preference is given to shorter, more concise papers. Papers may be returned for shortening before review if the editor deems the paper to be longer than the topic or data warrant. Papers that will be longer than 10-12 typeset pages are usually returned for shortening before review.

Animal Welfare and Legal Policy Researchers must have proper regard for conservation and animal welfare considerations. Attention is drawn to the Guidelines for the Treatment of Animals in Behavioural Research and Teaching. Any possible adverse consequences of the work for ecosystems, populations or individual organisms must be weighed against the possible gains in knowledge and its practical applications. Authors must state in their manuscript that their work conforms to the legal requirements of the country in which it was carried out, and should provide permit numbers (when available) in the methods or acknowledgements. Editors may seek advice from reviewers on ethical matters and the final decision will rest with the editors.

Publication Ethics On submission of a paper authors will be asked whether any of the data or content of the submitted paper is already in the public domain (e.g. in a publicly accessible pre-print repository or report) and to confirm that references have been included to any relevant source/s in the manuscript. Dual publication of an article is not permitted. All queries should be directed to admin@functionalecology.org.

This journal is a member of and subscribes to the principles of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE).

Conflicts of Interest
The journal requires that all authors disclose any potential sources of conflict of interest. Any interest or relationship, financial or otherwise, that might be perceived as influencing an author’s objectivity is considered a potential source of conflict of interest. These must be disclosed when directly relevant or indirectly related to the work that the authors describe in their manuscript. Potential sources of conflict of interest include but are not limited to patent or stock ownership, membership of a company board of directors, membership of an advisory board or committee for a company, and consultancy for or receipt of speaker’s fees from a company. The existence of a conflict of interest does not preclude publication in this journal.

If the authors have no conflict of interest to declare, they must also state this at submission.  It is the responsibility of the corresponding author to review this policy with all authors and to collectively list in the online submission system and in the manuscript Acknowledgments section ALL pertinent commercial and other relationships.

Data Archiving
Data are important products of the scientific enterprise, and they should be preserved and usable for decades in the future. The British Ecological Society thus requires that data (or, for theoretical papers, mathematical and computer models) supporting the results in papers published in its journals will be archived in an appropriate public archive, such as Dryad, TreeBASE, NERC data centre, GenBank, figshare or another archive of the author's choice that provides comparable access and guarantee of preservation. Authors may elect to have the data made publicly available at time of publication or, if the technology of the archive allows, may opt to embargo access to the data for a period of up to a year after publication.

Exceptions, including longer embargoes or an exemption from the requirement, may be granted at the discretion of the editor, especially for sensitive information such as confidential social data or the location of endangered species.

For further details about archiving data associated with papers published in the BES journals please click here. A list of repositories suitable for ecological data is available here.

A statement must be included in your manuscript indicating where the data are deposited (in an external archive, in supporting information, etc.), or an explanation must be provided explaining why there are no additional data (e.g., all data are included in the manuscript, the data are confidential, the data are under a long embargo, etc.)

Manuscript Submission Functional Ecology has a fully web-based system for the submission and review of manuscripts. Authors should submit their manuscripts online. Full instructions (and a helpline) are accessible from the 'Get Help Now' icon on the submission site at http://mc.manuscriptcentral.com/fe-besjournals
Following submission, or if you experience any difficulties with submission, please direct your enquiries to the Assistant Editor, Jenny Meyer, at admin@functionalecology.org

Manuscripts should be prepared in accordance with the following guidelines.

All submitted papers must be double-spaced, with sequential line numbers throughout the entire document. It is the authors' responsibility to ensure that the submission is complete and correctly formatted, to avoid delay or rejection.  Please refer to the Functional Ecology Manuscript Template for an example of manuscript formatting.

  • During submission, all authors must confirm that:
  • the work as submitted has not been published or accepted for publication, nor is being considered for publication elsewhere, either in whole or substantial part;
  • the work is original and all necessary acknowledgements have been made;
  • all authors and relevant institutions have read the submitted version of the manuscript and approve its submission;
  • all persons entitled to authorship have been so included;
  • the work conforms to the legal requirements of the country in which it was carried out, and to accepted international ethical standards, including those relating to conservation and animal welfare, and to the journal's policy on these matters (see 'Animal Welfare and Legal Policy' above).

Manuscript Tracking Manuscripts under consideration can be tracked on Manuscript Central. Authors can track their manuscripts through the production process to publication online and in print using Author Services. Authors will receive an e-mail with a unique link that enables them to register and have their article automatically added to the system, so please ensure that a working and monitored e-mail address is provided. Visit the Wiley-Blackwell Author Services page for more details on online production tracking, tips on article preparation and submission, and more.

Supporting Information Functional Ecology encourages authors to make extensive use of supporting information, moving useful but unimportant information from the manuscript to supporting information. This will not appear in print, but will be included as online appendices. Supporting information can be in any appropritae file format (including doc, laTex, excel, rtf, etc.) but all SI files should include a header with the full title of the paper, author names and that the information is in support of an article published in Functional Ecology.

Journal guidelines are available by clicking the Instructions & Forms tab on the ScholarOne Manuscript submission page. Further technical details are available from the publisher at http://authorservices.wiley.com/bauthor/suppmat.asp.  All supporting information should be submitted online with the initial submission of the manuscript. Supporting information is subject to peer review along with the manuscript.

Pre-submission English-language Editing Authors for whom English is a second language may wish to consider having their manuscript professionally edited before submission to improve the English. A list of independent suppliers of editing services can be found at http://authorservices.wiley.com/bauthor/english_language.asp All services are paid for and arranged by the author, and use of one of these services does not guarantee acceptance or preference for publication.

Manuscript Style and Formatting
Standard Papers. A standard paper is a typical experimental, comparative or theoretical paper. Although we do not impose length restrictions on papers, we do require that papers make appropriate use of the space available. Please refer to the Functional Ecology Manuscript Template for an example of manuscript formatting. The target length of Standard Papers is approximately 7,000 words, including references.

The typescript should be arranged as follows:

Title page. This should contain the following.

  • A concise and informative title. Do not include the authorities for taxonomic names in the title.
  • A list of authors' names, with names and addresses of their Institutions.
  • The name, address and e-mail address of the correspondence author to whom proofs will be sent.
  • A running headline of not more than 45 characters.


Summary. This should list the main results and conclusions, using simple, factual, numbered statements.

  • Summaries are typically less than 350 words and should be understandable in isolation and by the non-specialist.
  • Summaries should start with a bullet point 1 describing the broad conceptual question addressed by the study, and only delve into the study system and specific question in bullet point 2.
  • Summaries should also end with a final bullet point highlighting the conceptual advance(s) that comes from the current study; i.e. it should highlight the broader conceptual implication of the results and conclusions of the current study.
  • Advice for optimizing your Summary (and Title) so that your paper is more likely to be found in online searches is provided at http://authorservices.wiley.com/bauthor/seo.asp


Key-words. A list in alphabetical order not exceeding ten words or short phrases, excluding words used in the title.

Introduction. The Introduction should state the reason for doing the work, the nature of the hypothesis or hypotheses under consideration, and the essential background. Though the exact structure of Introductions will vary among papers, they should always start by developing the broad conceptual context for the work before delving into the details of the study system and the specific question as framed for this paper.

Materials and methods. This section should provide sufficient details of the techniques to enable the work to be repeated. Do not describe or refer to commonplace statistical tests in Methods but allude to them briefly in Results. Details that are valuable but not critical can be presented in an Appendix to be published as online supporting information.

Results. The results should draw attention in the text to important details shown in tables and figures.

Discussion. This should point out the significance of the results in relation to the reasons for doing the work, and place them in the context of other work.

Acknowledgements. In addition to acknowledging collaborators, research assistants, and previous reviewers of your manuscript, include relevant permit numbers (including institutional animal use permits), acknowledgment of funding sources, and give recognition to nature reserves or other organizations that made this work possible.

Data Accessibility. Authors are required to provide a statement here. If the paper has archived data associated with it, the authors are required to  state the location. To enable readers to locate archived data from papers, we require that authors list the database and the respective accession numbers or DOIs for all data from the manuscript that has been made publicly available. See the Specifications below or Data Archiving Q&A for more details.

If there are no archived data associated with this paper, the authors should give a statement with an explanation, eg.

  • All data used in this manuscript are present in the manuscript and its supporting information.
  • This manuscript does not use data (eg. Perspectives, FE Spotlights, etc.)
  • Some or all of the data associated with this paper have not been publically archived. [Please state the approved justification for this. Long embargoes and waivers will only be granted in exceptional circumstances.]


References (see Specifications)

Tables (see Specifications). These should be referred to in the text as Table 1, Table 2, etc. Do not present the same data in both figure and table form. Do not use an excessive number of digits when writing a decimal number to represent the mean of a set of measurements (the number of digits should reflect the precision of the measurement).

Figures (see Specifications). Figures should be referred to in the text as Fig. 1, etc. (note Figs 1 and 2 with no period). Illustrations should be referred to as Figures. When possible, include a key to symbols on the figure itself rather than in the figure legend.

Reviews and Perspectives. Most Reviews and Perspectives will be in essay format, with the subject headings dependent on the topic of the paper. See recent editions of the journal for examples.

Manuscript Specifications
Manuscripts.  The paper must include sequential line numbering throughout, and pages should be numbered consecutively, including those containing acknowledgements, references, tables and figure legends. Authors should submit the main document as a RTF or Word file. Figures can be embedded or uploaded as separate files.  The RTF and Word will be converted to PDF (portable document format) upon upload. Reviewers will review the PDF version while the Word file will remain accessible by the Editorial Office. Manuscripts must be in English, and spelling should conform to the Oxford English Dictionary. Please refer to the Functional Ecology Manuscript Template for an example of manuscript formatting.

Figures. Please submit electronic artwork as TIFF files (for half-tones) or non-rasterized EPS files (for vector graphics) if possible. Detailed information on the publisher's digital illustration standards is available at http://authorservices.wiley.com/electronicartworkguidelines.pdf. When uploaded the appropriate file designation should be selected from the options on Manuscript Central.

Please ensure that symbols, labels, etc. are large enough for 50% reduction. Figures should not be boxed and tick marks should be on the inside of the axes. If several photographs are used together to make one figure, they should be well matched for tonal range. All figure files should be lab

Figure legends. In the full-text online edition of the journal, figure legends may be truncated in abbreviated links to the full-screen version. Therefore the first 100 characters of any legend should inform the reader of key aspects of the figure.

Tables. Each table should be on a separate page, numbered and titled.

Data Accessibility. A statement must be included in your manuscript indicating where the data are deposited (in an external archive, in supporting information, etc.), or an explanation must be provided explaining why there are no additional data (e.g., all data are included in the manuscript, the data are confidential, the data are under a long embargo, etc.)A list of databases with relevant accession numbers or DOIs for all data from the manuscript that has been made publicly available should be included in this section. For example:
Data Accessibility
- Species descriptions: uploaded as online supporting information
- Phylogenetic data: TreeBASE Study accession no. Sxxxx
- R scripts: uploaded as online supporting information
- Sample locations, IMa2 input files and microsatellite data: DRYAD entry doi: xx.xxxx/dryad.xxxx 
Data deposited in the Dryad repository: http://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.585t4

Archived daa (such as data archived on DRYAD) should be included in the references as well as the Data accessability session.

References. References to work by up to three authors in the text should be in full on first mention, e.g. (Able, Baker & Charles 1986), and subsequently abbreviated (Able et al. 1986). When different groups of authors with the same first author and date occur, they should be cited thus: (Able, Baker & Charles 1986a; Able, David & Edwards 1986b), then subsequently abbreviated to (Able et al. 1986a; Able et al. 1986b). If the number of authors exceeds three, they should always be abbreviated thus: (Carroll et al. 2007). References in the text should be listed in chronological order. References in the list should be in alphabetical order with the journal name in full. The format for papers, entire books, and chapters in books is as follows.

Carroll, S.P., Hendry A.P., Reznick, D.N. & Fox, C.W. (2007) Evolution on ecological time-scales. Functional Ecology, 21, 387-393.
Darwin, C. (1859) On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life. J. Murray, London.
Travis, J. (1994) Evaluating the adaptive role of morphological plasticity. Ecological Morphology (eds P.C. Wainwright & S.M. Reilly), pp. 99-122. University of Chicago Press, Chicago.
Platenkamp, G.A.J. (1989) Phenotypic plasticity and genetic differentiation in the demography of the grass Anthoxanthum odoratum L. PhD thesis, University of California, Davis.

References should be cited as 'in press' only if the paper has been accepted for publication. Other references should be cited as 'unpublished' and not included in the list. Any paper cited as 'in press' must be uploaded with the manuscript as a file 'not for review' so that it can be seen by the editors and, if necessary, made available to the reviewers. Work not yet submitted for publication may be cited in the text and attributed to its author as: 'full author name, unpublished data'.

EndNote reference styles can be searched for here

Reference Manager reference styles can be searched for here

Archived data (such as data archived on Dryad or figshare) should also be included in the references as well as the data accessability section.

Citations from World Wide Web. Citations from the World Wide Web are allowed only when alternative hard literature sources do not exist for the cited information. Authors are asked to ensure that:

  • fully authenticated addresses are included in the reference list, along with titles, years and authors of the sources being cited;
  • the sites or information sources have sufficient longevity and ease of access for others to follow up the citation;
  • the information is of a scientific quality at least equal to that of peer-reviewed information available in learned scientific journals.


Scientific names. Give the Latin names of each species in full (together with the authority for that name for the species studied) at first mention in the main text. After this, the common or generic names (when they exist) can be used. If there are many species, cite a Flora or checklist that may be consulted instead of listing them in the text. Do not give authorities for species cited from published references. Use scientific names in the text (with colloquial names in parentheses, if desired).

Makers' names. Special pieces of equipment should be described such that a reader can trace specifications by writing to the manufacturer; thus: 'Data were collected using a solid-state data logger (CR21X, Campbell Scientific, Utah, USA).' Where commercially available software has been used, details of the supplier should be given in parentheses or the reference given in full in the reference list.

Units and symbols. Authors are requested to use the International System of Units (SI, Système International d'Unités) where possible for all measurements (see Quantities, Units and Symbols, 2nd edn (1975) The Royal Society, London). Note that mathematical expressions should contain symbols not abbreviations. If the paper contains many symbols, they should be defined as early in the text as possible, or within a subsection of the Materials and methods section.

Mathematical material. Mathematical expressions should be carefully represented. Suffixes and operators such as d, log, ln and exp will be set in Roman type; matrices and vectors will be set in bold type; other algebraic symbols (except Greek letters) will be set in italic. Make sure that there is no confusion between similar characters like 'l' (ell) and '1' (one). Also make sure that expressions are spaced as they should appear and, if there are several equations, they should be identified by a number in parentheses.

Numbers in text. Numbers from one to nine should be spelled out except when used with units; e.g. two eyes, but 10 stomata and 5 years.

Requests for Revisions and Processing of Accepted Papers
Revision. A revision should be submitted within 3 months of being requested unless the editor agrees to an extension. Revisions may be re-reviewed, at the discretion of the editor.

Final versions of papers. Final versions of accepted manuscript must be submitted in an electronic word processor format (such as MS Word). These files will be used by the publisher and must exactly match the accepted version. Do not use the carriage return (enter) at the end of lines within a paragraph. Turn the hyphenation option off and remove any footnotes.

Editors reserve the right to modify manuscripts that do not conform to scientific, technical, stylistic or grammatical standards, and minor alterations of this nature will normally be seen by authors only at the proof stage.

Lay Summaries
The journal takes every opportunity to raise the profile of work about to be published in Functional Ecology. As part of this promotion we post lay summaries of all papers published in the journal on our website and with published papers on Wiley Online Library.  Lay summaries are 250-350 words of text explaining the importance of the work described in the paper written in a way comprehensible to the ‘reasonably educated man-in-the-street’ i.e. written using simple language that will make the work accessible to a much wider audience than readers of Functional Ecology.   The lay summary will be requested at the revision stage of the editorial process and once edited by a senior editor will be posted to the www.functionalecology.org website and Wiley Online Library with a photograph relevant to the paper and then highlighted on the homepage of the website.

Pre-publication Review of Proofs. Proofs of papers accepted for publication in Functional Ecology are sent out electronically (e-proofing). The corresponding author of the accepted paper will receive an e-mail from the typesetter when their proof is available on the e-proofing site. Instructions about how to mark-up proofs electronically using the PDF annotation tools will be provided. In the corresponding author's absence, arrangements should be made for a colleague to have access to the corresponding author's e-mails in order to retrieve the proofs. The editors reserve the right to correct the proofs, using the accepted version of the manuscript, if the author's corrections are overdue. Proofs should be checked carefully, and it is the corresponding author's responsibility to ensure they are correct.

Licence to Publish Authors of accepted manuscripts will be required to grant Wiley-Blackwell an exclusive licence to publish the article on behalf of the British Ecological Society. Signing an Exclusive Licence Form is a condition of publication and papers will not be published until a signed form is received. (Papers subject to government or Crown copyright are exempt from this requirement.) Once a paper is accepted, the corresponding author will receive an email from Wiley-Blackwell prompting them to login to Author Services, where they will be able to complete the licence agreement on behalf of all co-authors. You can download a copy of the Exclusive Licence Form here to view the terms and conditions. Do not complete this PDF until you are prompted to do so by Author Services. Please read the licence form carefully before signing: conditions are changed from time to time and may not be the same as the last time you completed one of these forms

Funder arrangements
A number of funders, including Research Councils UK (RCUK), the NIH and Wellcome Trust, require deposit of the accepted (post-peer-reviewed) version of articles that they fund, if these are not already published via an open access route. The BES journals are all compliant with these mandates and full details of the arrangements can be found here

Accepted Online After a paper has been sent to our publishers, it will be uploaded online within ~2 working days, BEFORE copyediting, typesetting and proofing. The paper will be assigned its DOI (digital object identifier) at this stage so that it can be read and cited as normal. Any final, minor corrections can still be made to the paper at the proofing stage.

Promoting your article As well as promoting your article through our own resources, Functional Ecology encourages authors to take advantage of their institution's promotion resources. If requested, Functional Ecology will help coordinate publication of an article with press releases, videos, etc. If you are planning a press release, please let the assistant editor know at the revision stage. For more information or guidance, please contact the assistant editor, Jennifer Meyer.

Early View After the proofing stage, the 'Accepted Article' version will be replaced online by the Early View version. Early View articles are final, complete, full-text articles. Once your paper has been published you can post your abstract, plus a link to the article on Wiley Online Library, in your institutional repository or on your home page. Please refer to the publisher terms & conditions for re-use under the licence agreed for details relating to the posting a PDF or a full text version of your article in your institutional repository or on your home page. The full text of your article will be freely available after 24 months.

Early View articles are complete and final. Because they are in their final form, no changes can be made after online publication. The nature of Early View articles means that they do not yet have volume, issue or page numbers, so Early View articles cannot be cited in the traditional way. They are therefore given a Digital Object Identifier (DOI), which allows them to be cited and tracked before allocation to an issue. After print publication, the DOI remains valid and can continue to be used to cite and access the article. More information about DOIs can be found at http://www.doi.org/faq.html.

OnlineOpen OnlineOpen is available to authors of primary research articles who wish to make their article available to non-subscribers on publication, or whose funding agency requires grantees to archive the final version of their article. With OnlineOpen, the author, the author's funding agency, or the author's institution pays a fee to ensure that the article is made available to non-subscribers upon publication via Wiley Online Library, as well as deposited in the funding agency's preferred archive. The charge for OnlineOpen publication is $3,000 (discounted to $2,250 for papers where the first or corresponding author is a current member of the British Ecological Society, www.britishecologicalsociety.org). For the full list of terms and conditions, click here.

 

 

 

Following acceptance, any authors wishing to publish their paper OnlineOpen will be required to complete the payment form and will be given the option of signing a range of different Creative Commons licences, depending on author choice and funder mandate.

 

Prior to acceptance there is no requirement to inform an Editorial Office that you intend to publish your paper OnlineOpen if you do not wish to. All OnlineOpen articles are treated in the same way as any other article. They go through the journal's standard peer-review process and will be accepted or rejected based on their own merit.
 
Offprints A PDF offprint is available to authors via an automated system integrated with Wiley-Blackwell Author Services. Authors will be directed to retrieve the final PDF file of their article online. A copy of the Publisher's Terms and Conditions for the use of the PDF file will accompany the PDF offprint and the file can only be distributed in accordance with these requirements.

Printed off-prints are no longer available for articles published in Functional Ecology.

For any enquiries regarding Functional Ecology or submitting papers to the journal then please contact the Assistant Editor, Jenny Meyer, at admin@functionalecology.org

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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