Book structure

To guarantee a smooth publication process and a seamless transformation of your manuscript into the final layout and various electronic formats (e.g., HTML for online publication, ePub for e-book readers), the manuscript needs to be structured as follows:

  • Front Matter: Title page, dedication (optional), foreword (optional), preface (optional), table of contents, list of abbreviations (optional).
  • Text Body: It comprises the chapters containing the content of the book,e. text, figures, tables, and references. Chapters can be grouped together in parts.
  • Back Matter: After the last chapter, the back matter can contain an appendix, a glossary, and/or an index, all of which are optional.

Front matter

Title page, preface, and table of contents precede the actual content of a book. The preface should be about the book: why it was written, who it is for, its organization, or the selection of contributors. An introduction in the subject of the book, however, should appear as the first chapter of the book.

Title page

Please include all author names (for contributed books the editor names) and their affiliations, the book title and subtitle.

  • Ensure that the sequence of the author names is correct;
  • Ensure the title of your book is final when you submit your manuscript;
  • Please supply all emails, telephone numbers and address of each author and editor;
  • Once the manuscript has been delivered to production, changes to title or authorship are no longer possible.

Foreword (optional)

A foreword is usually written by an authority in the subject and serves as a recommendation for the book. The name of the foreword’s contributor is always given at the end of the foreword; affiliations and titles are generally not included, but the date and place of writing may be.

Preface (optional)

The preface should be written in the first person and briefly discuss the purpose, scope, market, and content of your book. It should explain the main features of your book, what is unique about it, how the book is organized, and how the book can be most effectively used. If your book is a revised edition, you should include the reasons for revising the previous edition and the new features of the revision. The preface from the previous edition can be repeated in the front matter of the revised edition.

  • An introduction to the subject of the book does not belong in the front matter, but should appear as the first chapter of the book;
  • A preface should not contain a reference list;
  • Acknowledgment of support or assistance in preparing the book can be included as the last paragraph(s) of the preface. If the acknowledgement is longer than one page, start a separate page with the heading “Acknowledgements”.

Table of contents

List all parts, chapters, and back matter material (e.g., an index) in the final sequence. If your chapters are numbered, use Arabic numerals and number the chapters consecutively throughout the book (Chapter 1, Chapter 2, etc.), i.e., do not start anew with each part. If there are parts, use Roman numerals for parts (Part I, Part II, etc.).

List of abbreviations (optional)

A list of abbreviations and/or symbols is optional but it may be very helpful if numerous abbreviations and special symbols are scattered throughout the text.

Text Body


Chapters contain the actual content of the book, i.e., text, figures, tables, and references. Chapters can be grouped together in parts; subparts are not possible. Only one chapter (e.g. an introduction) may precede the first part and would be the first chapter.


Either British or American English can be used, but be consistent within your chapter or book. In contributed books chapter-specific consistency is accepted. Check for consistent spelling of names, terms and abbreviations, including in tables and figure legends.

  • For American spelling please consult Merriam–Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary; for British spelling you should refer to Collins English Dictionary.
  • If English is not your native language, please ask a native speaker to help you or arrange for your text to be checked by a professional editing service.

Chapter title & authors

For contributed volumes, please include each chapter authors’ names (spelled out as they would be cited), affiliations and e-mail addresses and telephone numbers after the chapter title.


Begin each chapter with an abstract that summarizes the content of the chapter in 150 to 250 words. The abstract will be available with unrestricted access to facilitate online searching (e.g. Google) and allow unregistered users to read the abstract as a teaser for the complete chapter.

  • If no abstract is submitted, we will use the first paragraph of the chapter instead;
  • Don’t include reference citations or undefined abbreviations in the abstract, since abstracts are often read independently of the actual chapter and without access to the reference list.

Headings & 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 if your headings are numbered;
  • Never skip a heading level. The only exception are run-in headings which can be used at any hierarchical level;
  • In cross-references, for hyperlink purposes, please refer to the chapter or section number (e.g., see Chapter 4 or see Section 6.5.1);
  • In addition to numbered headings, two more (lower) heading levels are possible;
  • Another option for lower level headings are run-in headings,e., headings which are set immediately at the beginning of the paragraph. Such headings should be formatted in bold or italics.

Terminology, units & 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 (also called SI units);
  • Numerals should follow the British/American method of decimal points to indicate decimals and commas to separate thousands;
  • If the manuscript contains a large number of terms and abbreviations, a list of abbreviations or a glossary is advised.

Formal style & text formatting

Manuscripts will be checked by a copy editor for formal style.

Emphasis & special type

  • Italics should be used for emphasized words or phrases in running text. Do not format entire paragraphs in italics. Use italics for species and genus names, mathematical/physical variables, and prefixes in chemical compounds;
  • Bold formatting should only be used for run-in headings and small capitals for indicating optical activity (D- and L-dopa);
  • Sans serif (e.g., Arial) and non-proportional fonts (e.g., Courier) can be used to distinguish the literal text of computer programs from running text.


Do not set entire pages as boxes, because this diminishes online readability. Additional text elements for professional and text books such as examples, questions or exercises, summaries or key messages, author should use a consistent style for each of these elements and submit a list of the styles used together with your manuscript.


  • Always use footnotes instead of endnotes;
  • Never use footnotes or endnotes instead of a reference list;
  • Footnotes should not consist of a reference citation;
  • Footnotes should not contain figures, tables and the bibliographic details of a reference.

Equations & program code

  • In Word, use the Math function of Word 2007 or 2010, MathType or Microsoft Equation Editor with Word 2003 to create your equations, and insert the graphic into your text file as an object;
  • In LaTeX, use the Math environment to create your equations.


  • Give each table a heading (caption). Add a reference to the table source at the end of the caption if necessary;
  • Number tables consecutively using the chapter number (e.g. Table 1.1 for the first table in Chapter 1) 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 please do not use Excel to create tables as this can cause problems when converting your tables into the typesetting program and other formats;
  • Simple, one-column lists should not be treated as tables. Use the displayed list function instead;
  • Save the tables in the same file as text, references, and figure legends.



Number the figures using the chapter number (e.g. Figure 1.1 for the first figure in Chapter 1) and ensure that all figures are cited in the text in sequential order. Do not write “the following figure”.

Figure captions

  • 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;
  • Identify all elements found in the figure in the figure caption; and use boxes, circles, etc., as coordinate points in graphs instead of color lines;
  • If a figure is reproduced from a previous publication, include the source as the last item in the caption.

Figure files

  • A figure is an object that is drawn or photographed; it does not consist solely of characters and thus cannot be keyed;
  • Do not submit tabular material as figures;
  • Graphics and diagrams should be saved as EPS file with the fonts embedded. MS Office files (Excel or PowerPoint) can be submitted in the original format (xls, xlsx, ppt, pptx). Scanned graphics in TIFF format should have a minimum resolution of 1200 dpi;
  • Photos or drawings with fine shading should be saved as TIFF with a minimum resolution of 300 dpi;
  • A combination of halftone and line art (e.g., photos containing line drawing or extensive lettering, color diagrams, etc.) should be saved as TIFF with a minimum resolution of 600 dpi.
  • Color figures will appear in color in the eBook but may be printed in black and white. In that case, do not refer to color in the captions and make sure that the main information will still be visible if converted to black and white. A simple way to check this is to make a black and white printout to see if the necessary distinctions between the different colors are still apparent. Color illustrations should be submitted as RGB (8 bits per channel);
  • Ensure consistency by using similar sizing and lettering for similar figures. Ideally, you should size figures to fit in the page or column width. For books in ISCI’s standard format, the figures should be 78 mm or 117 mm (3 or 4 1/2 inch) wide and not higher than 198 mm (7 3/4 inch);
  • To add lettering, it is best to use Helvetica or Arial (sans serif fonts) and avoid effects such as shading, outline letters, etc. Keep lettering consistently sized throughout your final-sized artwork, usually about 2–3 mm (8–12 pt). Variance of type size within an illustration should be minimal, e.g., do not use 8-pt type on an axis and 20-pt type for the axis label.


Reference citations

Cite references in the text with author name/s and year of publication in parentheses (“Harvard system”)

  • 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)

Reference list

  • Include a reference list at the end of each chapter so that readers of single chapters of the eBook can make full use of the citations. References at the end of the book cannot be linked to citations in the chapters. Please do not include reference lists at the end of a chapter section, at the end of a book part, in a preface or an appendix;
  • Include all works that are cited in the chapter and that have been published (including on the internet) or accepted for publication. Personal communications and unpublished works should only be mentioned in the text;
  • Do not use footnotes as a substitute for a reference list.

Entries in the list must be listed alphabetically 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 coauthor, ordered alphabetically by coauthor
  • Finally, all works by the author with several coauthors, ordered chronologically by year of publication

Back matter

After the last chapter, the back matter of the book can contain an appendix, a glossary or an index, all of which are optional. Do not include a reference list containing the cited literature in the back matter, as references are then not linked to citations in the chapters. Instead, please include reference lists at the end of each chapter. A list of further reading may be included in the back matter.