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Author Guidelines

Submissions should be made electronically through this website.


Article Types & Format

Elementa publishes the following types of articles:

  • Research Article, presenting the results of primary scientific research and typically following the format of a traditional research paper;
  • Review, presenting conceptual advances, syntheses, and integration of a field or topic; 
  • Policy Bridge, articles focused on bridging scientific knowledge with policy issues, policy options, or policy analysis;
  • Practice Bridge, articles focused on bridging scientific knowledge with analysis of, challenges with, or opportunities for specific practices;
  • Commentary, explanatory essays, treatises, and opinion papers, typically invited by the Editors-in-Chief;
  • Commentary & Reply, items of correspondence relating to Elementa articles and promoting discussion of relevant research, accompanied by author responses; and
  • Book Reviews, critical reviews of books relevant to Elementa, invited by the Editors-in-Chief.

Elementa also welcomes Special Features, a set of related articles addressing themes or projects of broad interest, typically 4–10 articles in each group, usually including a synthesizing Commentary. Special Features may fall within a single knowledge domain or be cross-listed under two or more domains; in either case, a single Editor-in-Chief will be responsible for the entire Special Feature. For more information, see our Special Features informational page.

For detailed information on structure and formatting for each article type, please see our Manuscript Preparation guidelines below.

Supplemental Material & Data

Supplemental Material

We encourage authors to include supplementary information with their submissions, including audio, video, three-dimensional representations, and other rich media as well as additional figures and tables, or other data integral to the published manuscript. Supplemental material provides information that enhances the main text and is directly referenced within the text, but is not critical to its assertions. We encourage authors to always consider clarity and ease of use for readers when presenting supplemental material: consider whether some supplementary files work best in a composite file (e.g. text, table, and figure in one downloadable document – see sample template here) or whether there is a strong reason to publish these individually (e.g. very large tables, movie, audio files). Please note that Editors are free to request changes in how supplemental files are presented to ensure clarity for readers.

Although we do not limit the number or type of supplemental material items authors may include, we do require that they provide a relevant and useful expansion of the article, and that they are as well described as are figures and tables included within the body of the article. Good metadata of this material are key to discoverability and usefulness.

For detailed information on formatting and submitting supplementary information, please see our guidelines on Supplemental Material & Data.



An inherent principle of publication is that others should be able to replicate and build upon the authors’ published claims. Therefore, we require that all datasets associated with an article be made openly available, unless there are clear reasons and agreement from an Editor-in-Chief to restrict access. Datasets should be archived and published in any stable domain-specific or general repository. 

For more information, please see our guidelines on Supplemental Material & Data.


Submission, Review, & Decision

Requirements for Submission

Submissions to Elementa must meet the following requirements to be considered for publication:

  • The submission is scientifically and methodologically sound, and claims or conclusions are transparently supported by the data.
  • The study meets all applicable standards for ethics and research integrity.
  • The authors have complied with applicable reporting standards and guidelines for data publication.
  • The previous literature has been treated fairly and adequately.
  • The submission represents work that has not been published or submitted for publication elsewhere.
  • The submission is written clearly and unambiguously in standard English.
Submission Components

Initial manuscripts should be submitted via this website, and should typically include the following elements:

  • Cover letter (required)
  • Manuscript (required)
  • Figures
  • Supplemental Material

Authors are encouraged to provide the names and contact information for 3–5 external reviewers, though Associate Editors are not obligated to use these suggestions. Authors may also indicate researchers whom they feel should not review the submission.

For more information, please see our guidelines on Manuscript Preparation below.


The Review Process

Each of Elementa’s six knowledge domains are led by an Editor-in-Chief and supported by an international Board of Associate Editors, comprised of respected researchers in relevant fields. We are committed to providing Elementa authors with a fair and timely review process, constructive feedback, and a supportive environment. We publish articles that are scientifically, methodologically, and ethically sound, that are worthy of inclusion in the scholarly record, and that further research and discourse in the relevant field of study.

Our goal is to make initial decisions on submissions within 30 calendar days. After acceptance, the manuscript and supporting files will be immediately processed for publication, a process taking approximately 15 business days, if all supporting files are in order.

Our review process follows these steps:

  • A Production Editor will review the submission to ensure that all required elements are present, and that the submission guidelines have been followed.
  • The pertinent Editor-in-Chief will review submissions to identify those that are appropriate for full review, and assign an Associate Editor to manage the review process. Note that at their discretion, Editors-in-Chief may manage the review process themselves, acting in place of an Associate Editor.
  • The Associate Editor will select reviewers, manage the review process, and will make one of the following publication recommendations to the Editor-in-Chief:
    • Accept without revision
    • Invite author(s) to revise the submission to address specific but relatively minor concerns
    • Invite author(s) to revise the submission to address moderate to major concerns
    • Reject, but indicate to author(s) that further work might justify resubmission (requires an entirely new submission)
    • Reject outright
  • If a revision is recommended, the Associate Editor will include, with her or his review, a short paragraph summarizing the most important issues raised by the reviewers for the author(s) to address and ask the author(s) to include a Response to Reviewers with their revision. In some cases the Associate Editor may seek further review from the original or other reviewers.
  • The Editor-in-Chief will make the ultimate decision regarding publication, and communicate directly with the corresponding author on the results of the review process.
  • The names of both the Editor-in-Chief and the Associate Editor will be published with the article.
  • After acceptance, a Production Editor will perform a technical audit of the final manuscript and supporting files, to ensure that the submission will move through the production process smoothly. At the final stage before publication, the corresponding author will be sent PDF proofs to review for any errors that may have been introduced during the coding and composition process.

Authors are asked to submit revised manuscripts within four weeks of receiving an invitation to revise from the Editor-in-Chief, unless advised otherwise. Two extensions of two weeks each will be granted upon request to the editorial office. Further extensions require approval of the pertinent Editor-in-Chief. If a revised manuscript is not received within four months, the author(s) may be required to resubmit the manuscript as an entirely new submission.

Copyediting & Language Assistance

To keep costs as low as possible, Elementa articles are not subject to detailed copyediting. We encourage authors whose native language is not English to enlist the aid of a native English-speaking colleague to review the manuscript for correct usage and clarity prior to submission and after revision, or to employ language or copyediting services. These services can be found on the Web using search terms such as “scientific editing service” or “manuscript editing service.”

Submission Components

Submissions to Elementa consist of the following components:

  • Cover letter (required — uploaded)
  • Manuscript (required — uploaded)
  • Figures (uploaded)
  • Supplemental Material (uploaded)

A diagram of the upload order can be found below.

Cover Letter

Please write an approximately one-page cover  letter that:

  • briefly summarizes why your paper is a worthy contribution to the scientific literature;
  • relates your submission to previously published work;
  • specifies the Elementa knowledge domain that your submission best pertains to;
  • specifies the type of article you are submitting (see Article Types & Format);
  • indicates, if applicable, that the article is submitted as part of an Elementa Special Feature or Forum, and
  • details any previous interactions with Elementa regarding your submission.

Authors are also encouraged to provide the names and contact information for 3–5 external reviewers, though Associate Editors are not obligated to use these suggestions. Authors may also indicate researchers whom they feel should not review the submission.

Please do not include requests to waive publication fees in your cover letter. If your submission is accepted for publication, you will have the opportunity to request a waiver then.



We do not have arbitrary restrictions on manuscript length. We do, however, encourage you to employ a clear and concise writing style. Please note that a request to be more concise is legitimate feedback during the review process, despite no arbitrary restrictions being in place. If you believe your manuscripts would benefit from professional editing, we encourage you to utilize a copyediting service—or ask a colleague whose native language is English for assistance. Copyediting services can be found on the Internet using search terms as “scientific editing service” or “manuscript editing service.”

All submissions should begin with the following sections:

  • Title
  • Authors (with corresponding author clearly indicated)
  • Affiliations
  • Abstract

All submissions should end with the following sections:

  • References
  • Contributions
  • Acknowledgements (if applicable)
  • Funding information (if applicable)
  • Competing interests
  • Supplemental material (if applicable)
  • Data accessibility statement (if applicable; required for Research Articles)
  • Figure titles and legends (if applicable)
  • Tables (if applicable)

We have no explicit requirements for section organization between these beginning and ending sections. Articles may be organized in different ways and with different section titles, according to the authors’ preference and type of article. For research articles, sections typically include:

  • Introduction
  • Materials and methods
  • Results
  • Discussion
  • Conclusions
Abbreviations should be kept to a minimum and defined upon first use in the text. Non-standard abbreviations should not be used unless they appear at least three times in the text.

The title must be 150 characters or fewer and set in sentence case (only the first word and proper nouns capitalized). It should be specific, descriptive, concise, and comprehensible to readers outside the subject field. Avoid abbreviations if possible.


Proactive ecology in the Anthropocene: A shift to a leadership role in defining problems and possibilities

All persons designated as authors should qualify for authorship, and all those who qualify should be listed (see Editorial Policies). Each author must have participated sufficiently in the work to take public responsibility for appropriate portions of the content. Those who contributed to the work but do not qualify for authorship should be listed in the acknowledgments.

When a large group or center has conducted the work, the author list should include the individuals whose contributions meet the criteria defined above, as well as the group name.

One author should be designated (with an asterisk) as the corresponding author, and his or her email address should be included on the manuscript cover page. This information will be published with the article, if accepted.

All author names should be listed in the following order:

  • First names (or initials, if used),
  • Middle names (or initials, if used), and
  • Last names (surname, family name)

Each author should list an associated department, university, or organizational affiliation and its location, including city, state/province (if applicable), and country. If the article has been submitted on behalf of a consortium, all author names and affiliations should be listed.


AnneMarie Luijendijk, Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey, United States
– or –
AnneMarie Luijendijk1
1Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey, United States


The abstract should provide a clear description of the main objective(s) of the submission, explain how the study was done (as applicable), and summarize the article’s most important conclusions and their significance to a potentially wider audience. Abstracts should not exceed 300 words, and should not include sub-headings.

Please do not include citations in your abstract and avoid the use of abbreviations, if possible.


Published works, works accepted for publication, and citable datasets should appear in the reference list. Mentions of unpublished work should be cited parenthetically within the main text of the article as personal communications.

Elementa employs the name-year (or “Harvard”) system of in-text references, in which the author’s surname and year of publication are cited in the text of your work, enclosed in parentheses. The reference list (appearing at the end of the article) should be in alphabetical order by author. Journals’ titles should be abbreviated following the ISI Journal Title Abbreviation List, but set in title case and italicized.

EndNote users can download the Elementa Endnote template here.

Detailed information on formatting references can be found in our Reference Style Guide. We use Scientific Style and Format: The CSE Manual for Authors, Editors, and Publishers as our primary style guide and highly recommend that authors consult it.


Please indicate author contributions as clearly as possible, according to the following criteria:

  • Substantial contributions to conception and design
  • Acquisition of data
  • Analysis and interpretation of data
  • Drafting the article or revising it critically for important intellectual content
  • Final approval of the version to be published


  • Contributed to conception and design: KDM, Y-LC
  • Contributed to acquisition of data: KDM
  • Contributed to analysis and interpretation of data: KDM, Y-LC
  • Drafted and/or revised the article: KDM, Y-LC
  • Approved the submitted version for publication: KDM, Y-LC

People who contributed to the work but do not fit our author criteria should be listed in the acknowledgments, along with their contributions. You must ensure that anyone named in the acknowledgments agrees to being so named.

Funding sources should not be included in the acknowledgments.

Funding information

Please provide a list of the sources of funding, as well as the relevant grant numbers, where possible. List the authors associated with specific funding sources. You will also enter this information in a form during the submission process, but it must be repeated here.

Competing interests

In order to provide readers of articles with information about interests and relationships that might influence, or might be perceived to influence, the interpretation of articles published in Elementa, all individuals involved with a submission (authors, editors, external reviewers) are required to declare all competing interests. Corresponding authors must provide a statement of competing interests on behalf of all authors and, if no competing interests exist, state this specifically.

Authors who are also editors at Elementa play no role during the review process of their specific paper, and this is ensured by the publisher. However, authors who are also editors should still declare this (and corresponding authors should be aware of this on behalf of other authors who are also editors).

Erring on the side of full disclosure is best. For guidance, we encourage authors and editors to consult the NSF’s Conflict of Interest Policies and the thoughtful guidelines provided by PLoS One.

Supplemental material

Although we do not limit the number or type of supplemental material items authors may include, we do require that they provide a relevant and useful expansion of the article, and that they be as well described as are figures and tables included within the body of the article. We encourage authors to always consider clarity and ease of use for readers when presenting supplemental material: consider whether some supplementary files work best in a composite file (e.g. text, table, and figure in one downloadable document) or whether they are most useful downloaded separately as individual files. Please note, Editors are free to request changes in how supplemental files are presented to ensure clarity for readers. Good metadata of this material are key to discoverability and usefulness. All supplemental material should include the following:

  • Type and number: Supplemental material can be named in almost any way, provided that the files are consistently named, and numbers are preceded by “S” and closed with a period. If it is a composite file e.g. a document containing both text and a table, please name it “Text”. Examples:
    • Figure S1.
    • Table S1.
    • Text S1.
    • Video S1.
    • Alternative Language Abstract S1.
  • Title: Supplemental material titles should be no more than 15 words, using sentence case ending with a period. For example:
  • Legend: Supplementary material figures and tables should follow the requirements for main-text figures and tables (see Figure Preparation and Table Preparation). Other types of supplementary material files should include a descriptive caption of no more than 300 words, describing the key message of the item.
  • File Type: Please indicate the format of the file (e.g., DOC, PDF, CSV, AVI)


Video S1. Selection of video footage showing typical examples of observed fish species attracted to baited remote underwater video systems in New Zealand waters. Representative footage from three locations (Three Kings Islands, Great Barrier Island and White Island) and seven depth strata are presented (50, 100, 300, 500, 700, 900 and 1200 m). (MP4)

Data accessibility statement

We require that authors include a “data accessibility statement” (DAS) with their submission. This should list the database(s) and the respective accession numbers and DOIs for all data from the manuscript that has been made publicly available.


The following datasets were generated:

  • Morgan, Daniel; Hladik, Liba (2017), [Dataset Title], UC Press Dash, Dataset, 
  • DNA sequences: Genbank accessions F234391-F234402; NCBI SRA: SRX0110215
  • Final DNA sequence assembly: uploaded as online supporting information
  • Phylogenetic data: TreeBASE Study accession no. S9345
  • R scripts: uploaded as online supporting information
Figure Legends

Figure titles and legends (captions) for all figures should be included in the main article file, not as part of the figure files themselves. Each figure caption should be inserted immediately after the embedded figure in the article file, and should include the following information:.

  • Number: Figures should be numbered and cited in sequence, using Arabic numerals: Figure 1, Figure 2, Figure 3, etc. for main figures
  • Title: Figure titles should be no more than 15 words and set in bold type, using sentence case ending with a period.
  • Legend: A legend of no more than 300 words should follow the figure title, describing the key message of the figure in such a way that readers can interpret the figure without referring to the text.


Figure 2. Ordination of fish assemblages with depth at each of three New Zealand locations.

Non-metric MDS plot on the basis of Jaccard resemblances between fish assemblages consisting of averages from n = 6 baited remote underwater stereo-video system deployments within each combination of depth (50, 100, 300, 500, 700, 900 or 1200 m) and location (White Island, Great Barrier Island or the Three Kings Islands).


Tables should be cited in ascending numeric order upon first appearance. Each table should be inserted immediately after the first paragraph in which it is cited in the article file. All tables should have a concise title. Table footnotes can be used to explain abbreviations. Citations should be indicated using the same style as outlined above. Tables occupying more than one printed page should be avoided, if possible. Larger tables can be published as supplementary material. Please consult Table Preparation for detailed guidelines on formatting tables.

File Types

You may submit your manuscript files in Microsoft Word (.doc or .docx), OpenOffice, LaTeX (as .pdf), or RTF format. Only RTF and .doc/.dox files can be used during the production process.

LaTeX submissions. Articles prepared in LaTeX must be submitted in PDF format for use during the review process. The PDF file is both necessary and sufficient for the review process. After acceptance, however, .tex files and formatting information will be required as a zipped file.

Submissions with Equations

Microsoft Word Submissions with Equations. Editable versions of equations are required for production. If using a version older than Word 2010, please format equations using MathType. Do not insert your equations as Graphic Objects and do not use of Symbol font.


Figures should be included in the manuscript file, to aid with the review process, but must always also be uploaded as separate files in the exact order that they appear in the manuscript, to our manuscript submission system. Detailed instructions for formatting figures can be found in our Figure Preparation section.

Supplemental Material

Information integral to a full understanding of the article but are in formats that (a) cannot be rendered in two dimensions or (b) are too large to be clearly represented in current viewing systems (Web browsers, e-readers, PDF) should be submitted as supplemental material. Examples of this category of supplemental material include very large tables, audios, videos, three-dimensional visualizations, interactive graphics, and so on. Please consult Supplemental Material & Data for additional information.

File Upload Order

  • Write or paste your cover letter into the online form on the first page of the submission process.
  • Upload your article file first.
  • Figures and supplemental material should be numbered in the order they are first mentioned in the text, and uploaded in the same order. For example, Figure 1 should be uploaded as the first figure file, Figure 2 the second, etc.; Video S1 should be uploaded as the first Supplemental Material file, Video S2 the second, etc.
  • All figures, main and supplemental, should be uploaded in the desired display orientation.

Multimedia files (.avi or .swf files) must be uploaded as supplementary material and not main figures. See Supplemental Material & Data for more information.

Authoring Templates


Users of EndNote can download the Elementa template here.


Elementa’s LaTeX template can be downloaded as a zip file here. The folder contains a BibTeX file to ensure correct reference formatting.

Microsoft Word

For authors submitting manuscripts in Microsoft Word, we have created a Word style template(.dotx) that includes preferred styles. We strongly encourage authors to review this template for submission components and ordering, and then install the template, as follows:

1. Download the template file and save it to your computer

2. Open your manuscript file in Word

3. Delete any embedded styles from your Word document:

  • Tools → Templates and Add ins → Organizer
  • In the dialogue box, select and delete and non-default styles (e.g. Balloon text)

4. Attach the Elementa template to your document:

  • Tools →Templates and Add ins → Attach…
  • Then attach ElementaWordTemplate.dotx, check “Automatically update document styles,” and then click OK.

The Elementa paragraph styles should now appear in the Styles list of the Format toolbar, as follows:

  • Article Title
  • Normal
  • Heading 1
  • Heading 2
  • Heading 3

Submission Preparation Checklist

As part of the submission process, authors are required to check off their submission's compliance with all of the following items, and submissions may be returned to authors that do not adhere to these guidelines.

  1. The submission has not been previously published, nor is it before another journal for consideration (or an explanation has been provided in Comments to the Editor).
  2. Any third-party-owned materials used have been identified with appropriate credit lines, and permission obtained from the copyright holder for all formats of the journal.
  3. All authors have given permission to be listed on the submitted paper and satisfy the authorship guidelines.
  4. The submission file is in OpenOffice, Microsoft Word, RTF, or WordPerfect document file format.
  5. All DOIs for the references have been provided, when available.
  6. Tables and figures are all cited in the text. Tables and figures are included within the text document, whilst figure files are ALSO uploaded as separate files.
  7. Figures/images are provided as the highest quality files available in a reasonably common file format (EPS, JPEG, GIF, TIFF, etc.). See Figure Preparation for the full instructions.
  8. The text adheres to all stylistic, bibliographic, and other requirements outlined in the Author Guidelines.
  9. The submission is scientifically and methodologically sound, and claims or conclusions are transparently supported by the data.
  10. The study meets all applicable standards for ethics and research integrity.
  11. The authors have complied with all applicable reporting standards and guidelines for data publication.

Copyright Notice

Authors who publish with this journal agree to the following terms:

  1. Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.
  2. Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.
  3. Authors are permitted and encouraged to post their work online (e.g., in institutional repositories or on their website) prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work (See The Effect of Open Access).

Privacy Statement

The names and email addresses entered in this journal site will be used exclusively for the stated purposes of this journal and will not be made available for any other purpose or to any other party. For more information, see the full Privacy Policy here.

Publication Fees

Section APC
Research Article 1450.00$
Review 1450.00$
Policy Bridge 1450.00$
Practice Bridge 1450.00$
Commentary 650.00$
Comment and Reply 650.00$
Book Review 1450.00$

The costs of producing, publishing and maintaining Elementa are recovered by charging a publication fee to authors or research sponsors for each article that they publish. The current publication fee is $1,450 for all article types except Commentary and Comment and Reply, which are both $650.

Note: Many institutions, funding bodies, and governments are now making funds available to support open access publications by their employees, grantees, or staff. If you do not know about your institution’s policy on open access funding, please contact your departmental/faculty administrators and institution library, as funds will often be available to you.

If accepted, you will receive an APC request email along with information on how payment can be arranged from the Ubiquity Partner Network ( 

If you need to waive the APC, please contact the editorial office on acceptance of your article.

Waiver Information

Authors who lack the funds to cover publication should request a waiver immediately after acceptance of their manuscript. For enquiries in advance of this, please contact the publisher at In order to keep publication charges as low as possible, fee waivers are not automatically given but must be approved on a case-by-case basis after acceptance (in order to ensure it has no influence on the editorial decision) and authors from developing and transitional countries are given priority.
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