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Instructions to Authors

All manuscripts should be submitted via ScholarOne Manuscripts.

The Instructions to Authors is also provided as a PDF file and may be viewed with Adobe Acrobat Reader. This software is free and can be installed from Adobe´s web site.

Reproduction, Fertility and Development is an international journal for the publication of original work, review and comment in the fields of reproductive biology, reproductive technologies and developmental biology.

Submission of a paper implies that the results reported have not been published and are not being considered for publication elsewhere. Abstracts from conferences would not normally be regarded as publications, but where material has been widely disseminated in report form the Editor should be consulted. The Journal assumes that all authors of a multi-authored paper agree to its submission. The Journal will use its best endeavours to ensure that work published is that of the named authors except where acknowledged and, through its reviewing procedures, that any published results and conclusions are consistent with the primary data. It takes no responsibility for fraud or inaccuracy on the part of the authors. All papers are refereed to international standards. Authors may suggest the names of suitable referees.

Licence to publish
For details regarding copyright, please see Copyright/Licence to Publish.

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Open access
Authors may choose to publish their paper Open Access on payment of a publication fee. See Open Access for more details.

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See Scope for more details.

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Submission of manuscripts
To submit your paper, please use our online journal management system ScholarOne Manuscripts, which can be reached directly through this link or from the link on the journal´s homepage. If a first-time user, register via the ´Register here´ link, or use your existing username and password to log in. Then click on the ´Author Centre´ link and proceed.

A covering letter must accompany the submission and should include the name, address, fax and telephone numbers, and email address of the corresponding author. The letter should also contain a statement justifying why the work should be considered for publication in the journal, and that the manuscript has not been published or simultaneously submitted for publication elsewhere. Suggestions of possible referees are welcome.

Format of manuscripts
Papers must be typed with double- or 1.5-line spacing throughout and with a margin of at least 3 cm on the left-hand side. Line numbers should be included. All pages of the manuscript must also be numbered consecutively, including those carrying references, tables and figure captions, all of which are to be placed after the text. Illustrations, both line drawings and photographs, are to be numbered as figures in a common sequence, and each must be referred to in the text. Figures that are of the same quality as those to be reproduced in the published paper must be included at the end of the electronic file or submitted as separate electronic files in correct order and must be clearly named and numbered (e.g. Smith et al_Fig1).

Authors are advised to note the style of headings, tables and illustrations exemplified in the latest issues of the Journal. Strict observance of these and the requirements listed under ´Preparation of manuscripts´ will shorten the interval between submission and publication. Poorly prepared or unnecessarily lengthy manuscripts have less prospect of being accepted. Poor quality figures will be returned for correction and will delay acceptance.

Review articles
The Journal welcomes review articles and they should be submitted in the same way as research papers. They should be formatted as simply as possible, using no more than three levels of heading and normal or body text style for the main text. Summary diagrams should be used where possible to reduce the amount of description required to introduce a topic. Authors should remember the wide readership of the Journal when preparing their article, and are advised to discuss the review with the Editor or a member of the Editorial Board before submission.

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Submission of cover images
Reproduction, Fertility and Development welcomes the submission of suitably eye-catching and high quality images for consideration for the cover of the journal. Image files must be at least 300 dpi at 150-180 mm wide for maximum quality reproduction. If your paper is accepted, please submit any figures/photographic images that you consider suitable for a cover image, with your production files.

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Preparation of manuscripts
General presentation. The work should be presented clearly and concisely in English. The title should reflect the key points of interest in the paper. The names and addresses of all authors should be presented on the first page, together with the full postal address and email address (or facsimile number) of the corresponding author. Authors of multi-authored papers may wish to assign relative values to their contributions to the work or to indicate that two or more authors contributed equally to the paper. This can be done in a note at the end of the address field on the paper. The introduction should indicate the reason for the work and include essential background references.

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Title. The title should be concise and appropriately informative and should contain all keywords necessary to facilitate retrieval by modern searching techniques. Additional keywords not already contained in the title or abstract may be listed beneath the abstract. An abridged title suitable for use as a running head at the top of the printed page and not exceeding 50 letter spaces should also be supplied.

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Abstract. The abstract should be fewer than 200 words and should state concisely the scope of the work and give the principal findings. It should be complete enough for direct use by abstracting services. Acronyms and references should be avoided.

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References. In the text, references are cited chronologically by author and date and are not numbered. Names of two coauthors are linked by ´and´; for three or more coauthors, the first author´s name is followed by ´et al.´. All references cited must be listed alphabetically at the end of the paper; all entries in this list must correspond to references in the text. No editorial responsibility can be taken for the accuracy of the references and authors are requested to check these with special care. Titles must be included for all references as well as first and last page numbers. Papers that have not been accepted for publication may not be included in the list of references and must be cited either as ´unpubl. data´ or as a ´pers. comm..´; the use of such citations is discouraged. It is the authors´ responsibility to ensure that they have permission to cite material as a personal communication. Titles of periodicals must be abbreviated. Abbreviations should conform to those given in the latest edition of ´Serial Sources for the BIOSIS Data Base´ (Bio-Sciences Information Service, Philadelphia, PA).

EndNote and Reference Manager provide output styles for Reproduction, Fertility and Development. References should be in the following formats:

  • Chapter in a book
    Calderon, I., and Healy, D. (1993). Endocrinology of IVF. In ´Handbook of in vitro Fertilization´. (Eds A. Trounson and D. K. Gardner.) pp. 1-16. (CRC Press: Boca Raton, FL.)

  • Journal article
    Cohen, J., Malter, H., Elsner, C., Kort, H., Massey, J., and Mayer, M. P. (1990). Immunosuppression supports implantation of zona pellucida dissected human embryos. Fertil. Steril. 54, 662-665.

  • Whole book
    Cohen, J. Malter, H. E., Talansky, B. E., and Grifo, J. (1992a). ´Micromanipulation of Human Gametes and Embryos.´ (Raven Press: New York.)

  • Conference Proceedings
    Hayman, P. T., and Collett, I. J. (1996). Estimating soil water: to kick, to stick, to core or computer? In ´Proceedings of the 8th Australian Agronomy Conference, Toowoomba, 1 January 1996´. (Ed. M. Asghar.) p. 664. Australian Society of Agronomy: Toowoomba.

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Units. Authors are requested to use the International System of Units (Système International d´Unités) for exact measurements of physical quantities and where appropriate elsewhere. Concentrations should be expressed in molar terms where appropriate. The double solidus must not be used in complex groupings of units; the negative index form is preferred.

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Mathematical formulae should be carefully typed with symbols in correct alignment and adequately spaced. Equations should not be embedded images; use equation editors that result in an editable format. Each formula should be displayed on a single line if possible.

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Enzyme nomenclature. The names of enzymes should conform to the recommendations in ´Enzyme Nomenclature 1992´ (Academic Press: San Diego, CA, 1992). Where enzymes are referred to only in the course of discussion, or are obtained from commercial sources and are used solely as a reagent, it will be adequate to use the recommended name without the identifying EC number. For enzymes that are more central to the paper, the recommended names should be used throughout and they should be identified by their EC numbers, at the first mention in body of the paper. If there is good reason to use a name, other than the recommended name, at the first mention of the alternative name in the text, it should be identified by the recommended name and EC number. The Editor should be advised of the reasons for using the alternative name.

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Chemical nomenclature. The nomenclature of compounds such as amino acids, carbohydrates, lipids, steroids, vitamins, etc. should follow the recommendations of the IUPAC-IUB Commission on Biochemical Nomenclature. Other biologically active compounds, such as metabolic inhibitors, buffers, etc. should be referred to once by their correct chemical name (which is in accordance with IUPAC rules of Chemical Nomenclature) and then by their most widely accepted common name. Where there is no common name, trade names or letter abbreviations of the chemical may be used.

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Statistical evaluation of results. The tests used should be described briefly and, if necessary, supported by references. Numbers of individuals, mean values and measures of variability should be stated. It should be made clear whether the standard deviation or the standard error of the mean has been given.

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Experimental guidelines
Human and animal experimentation. Manuscripts reporting work with humans or animals must include a reference to the code of practice adopted for the experimentation. It is expected that reported experiments have been performed according to appropriate ethical and legal standards, and that relevant licences have been obtained. Editors will take account of ethical and animal welfare issues and reserve the right not to publish.

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Quantitative PCR. Authors should use the nomenclature outlined in the ´Minimal Information for Publication of Quantitative Real-Time PCR Experiments´ (MIQE) guidelines, where appropriate (Bustin et al. (2009) The MIQE Guidelines: Minimum Information for Publication of Quantitative Real-Time PCR Experiments. Clin. Chem. 55: 611-622; available at http://www.rdml.org/miqe.php). Authors should provide the following minimum data for each sub-procedure:

  • Nucleic acid extraction: details of DNase or RNase treatments; contamination assessment (DNA or RNA); nucleic acid quantification and purity (A260/280).
  • Reverse transcription: amount of RNA and reaction volume; priming oligonucleotide (if using gene-specific primers) and concentration; reverse transcriptase and concentration.
  • qPCR target information: location of each primer by exon or intron (if applicable).
  • qPCR oligonucleotides: primer sequences or RTPrimerDB Identification Number.
  • qPCR protocol: complete thermocycling parameters; manufacturer of qPCR instrument.
  • qPCR validation: specificity (gel, sequence, melt or digest); for SYBR Green I, Cq of the no-template control (NTC); if using reverse transcription (RT), Cqs with and without RT; if using standard curves, slope and ?-intercept (PCR efficiency calculated from slope, r2 of standard curve); linear dynamic range (Cq variation at lower limit); evidence for limit of detection (LOD); if multiplex, efficiency and LOD of each assay.
  • Data analysis: qPCR analysis program (source, version, and Cq method determination and number of technical replicates); results of NTCs; justification of choice and suitability of reference gene(s); description of normalisation method and if appropriate, conversion to ´relative´ changes; data used for statistical analysis.

Note: Cq represents quantification cycle (and replaces the abbreviation Ct). Authors may be required to provide evidence to the editor(s) that quantitative PCR experiments comply with these guidelines. When using the abbreviation ´RT-PCR´, authors should clarify whether they mean ´real-time´ or ´reverse transcription´.

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Hormone assays. Validation should conform to the recommendations set out in ´The Validation of Assays, the Statistical Treatment of Results and Steroid Nomenclature´ (Journal of Endocrinology (1977) 72: 1-4). The minimum detectable amount of standard in the assay and the procedure for obtaining this value, and the intra- and inter-assay precisions should all be given. When only a few observations are available the dispersion is better indicated by the range. If the distribution is skewed it may be justifiable to give both the standard deviation and the range. Assessment of specificity is a particular problem with peptide hormones where reference to physicochemical procedures such as GLC-mass spectrometry is not possible. Activity of fractions obtained by column separation should therefore be included whenever possible. When practicable, validation should be repeated for each novel physiological or pathological situation.

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Flow cytometry. Authors are strongly encouraged to adhere to the recommendation of the International Society for Advancement of Cytometry on the minimum information necessary for describing a flow cytometry experiment (Lee J et al. (2008) MIFlowCyt: The minimum information about a flow cytometry experiment. Cytometry 73A: 926-930. doi: 10.1002/cyto.a.20623). This recommendation is also summarised in ´Minimum information about a flow cytometry experiment (MIFlowCyt) checklist´, published Open Access in Cytometry (2010) 77A: 813. Authors may be required to provide evidence to the editor(s) that quantitative flow cytometry experiments comply with the MIFlowCyt guidelines.

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Tables must be numbered with arabic numerals and each must be accompanied by a title. A headnote containing material relevant to the whole table should start on a new line, as it will be set in a different font. Tables should be arranged with regard to the dimensions of the printed page (17.5 by 22.5 cm in two 8.5-cm columns) and the number of table columns kept to a minimum. Excessive subdivision of column headings is undesirable and long headings should be avoided by the use of explanatory notes, which should be incorporated into the headnote. The first letter only of headings to rows and vertical columns should be capitalised. The symbol for the unit of measurement should be placed in parentheses beneath the column heading. Prefixes for units should be chosen to avoid an excessive number of digits in the body of the table or scaling factors in the headings. When scaling factors cannot be avoided, the quantity expressed should be the power of 10 by which the value has been multiplied. Footnotes should be kept to a minimum and be reserved for specific items in columns. Horizontal rules should be inserted only above and below column headings and at the foot of the table. Vertical rules must not be used. Each table must be referred to in the text. Only in exceptional circumstances will the presentation of essentially the same data in both tabular and graphical form be permitted; where adequate, the graphical form should be used. Short tables can frequently be incorporated into the text as a sentence or as a brief untitled tabulation.

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Authors are encouraged to submit their illustrations in electronic format (see ´Electronic files´). However, all illustrations should conform to the general instructions for layout as follows.

Line drawings. Figures should not normally exceed 8.5 cm wide (single column) or 17.5 cm by 22.5 cm (double column) when printed. The dimensions of figures submitted for scanning must not exceed 20 by 25 cm. Lettering should be in ´sans-serif´ type (Helvetica is preferred) with only the first letter of the first word and of any proper names capitalised. The x-height after reduction should be 1.3-1.7 mm (or 8-10 point in Helvetica). Thus for the reduction of graphs to 30, 40 or 50% of original linear dimensions, the initial x-height of lettering would be 5, 4 or 3 mm (c. 30, 22 and 18 pt) respectively. Proportionately smaller sizes of type, symbols, grid marks and curve thickness should be used for lesser reductions. Symbols and grid marks should be the same respective sizes and, after reduction, curves and axes should not exceed 1.5 pt in thickness unless required for clarity. Lines should not be thinner than 0.5 pt, or they may drop out during printing. The following symbols are readily available and should be used: . The symbols + or × should be avoided in figures. Explanations of symbols should be given in the caption to the figure. Lettering of graphs should be kept to a minimum as excessive lettering within the frame of a graph makes the lines difficult to decipher. Grid marks should point inwards; legends to axes should state the quantity being measured and be followed by the appropriate units in parentheses. Unsatisfactory artwork will be returned for correction.

Photographs. In multi-part figures, images should be arranged in multiple panels on the page so that their dimensions do not exceed 17.5 by 22.5 cm (double column) when printed. Part labels should be lowercase in italic font and enclosed by parentheses. Each image should exclude features not relevant to the paper and be separated from adjacent images by uniform spaces that will be 1-2 mm wide after reduction. A scale bar must be included on all micrographs except scanning electron micrographs where the magnification can be given in the caption. Lettering should be in ´sans-serif´ type (Helvetica is preferred) that contrasts with its background and should be 1.5 to 2 mm (10-12 pt) high when printed. Important features to which attention has been drawn in the text should be indicated.

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Digitisation and manipulation of images
All digital images in manuscripts considered for publication will be scrutinized for any indication of manipulation.

  • No specific feature within an image may be enhanced, obscured, moved, removed, or introduced.
  • The grouping of images from different parts of the same gel, or from different gels, fields, or exposures must be made explicit by the arrangement of the figure (i.e., using dividing lines) and in the text of the figure legend. If dividing lines are not included, they will be added by our production department, and this may result in production delays.
  • Adjustments of brightness, contrast or colour balance are acceptable if they are applied to the whole image and as long as they do not obscure, eliminate or misrepresent any information present in the original, including backgrounds. Non-linear adjustments (e.g. changes to gamma settings) must be disclosed in figure legends. Non-linear adjustments are acceptable only if they are applied to the entire image, are clearly disclosed in the figure legend, and do not alter interpretation of the original image. Authors must indicate any alterations made to their figures with image processing software, and give the details of the software used.
  • Where questions are raised by editors, they will request the original data from the authors for comparison to the prepared figures. If the original data cannot be produced manuscripts may be rejected. Any case in which a manipulation affects the interpretation of the data will result in rejection. Cases of suspected misconduct will be reported to an author´s home institution and funding agency, where appropriate.

These guidelines are derived from those provided by the Journal of Cell Biology, to whom we are grateful. Authors are encouraged to read the papers by M. Rossner and K. M. Yamada (2004) J. Cell Biol. 166, 11-15; H. Pearson (2005) Nature 434, 952-953; U.S. Neill (2006) J. Clin. Invest. 116, 1740-1741; D. Parrish and B. Noonan (2009) Sci. Eng. Ethics 15, 161-167.

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Electronic files for accepted manuscripts
The text, figure captions and tables should be sent as a single Word file, with the figue captions and tables at the end of the manuscript. If you are unable to supply a Word file, please contact the Editor for acceptable alternatives.

We prefer to receive illustrations electronically (both line diagrams and photographs) and electronic files are recommended for best quality reproduction. However, scans should only be prepared if they can be produced at high resolution in the required formats. Illustrations should be presented in black and white (or greyscale) unless colour is required. Adobe Photoshop is the preferred program for submitting figure scans.

Photographs should be scanned at a resolution of at least 300 dpi at final size and saved in greyscale format as .tif or Photoshop (.psd) files. It is preferable for labels to be applied electronically to the scanned images, rather than scanning manually labelled figures. Electronic files of colour figures or photographs should be saved in CMYK colour not in RGB colour, because the CMYK format is required for printing. Authors should note that colours change when converted to CMYK from RGB and when printed from different types of printer; hence when colour accuracy is important, authors should provide a hard copy that is correct so that colour reproduction during printing can be matched to an accurate original.

Computer-generated figures prepared using either a draw or chart/graph program should be saved in the following formats: Adobe Illustrator (.ai) (preferred format); encapsulated postscript (.eps); Excel; illustrations created using Powerpoint should be saved in Powerpoint and also as Windows metafiles (.wmf); CorelDraw files should be saved as .eps or .ai files; charts created on a Macintosh computer should be saved as .eps, .ps or PICT files. In all cases they should be editable vector graphic files. Avoid using 3D surface area charts because print quality is often poor. Remove colours from all charts and graphs. Figures embedded in Word are often difficult to import successfully into typesetting programs; thus, if you can only provide Word files for your figures, please also make sure that you give us high-quality, hardcopy originals, not larger than A4 size, for scanning if necessary.

Authors unable to prepare electronic artwork should submit lettered line drawings and lettered and mounted photographs that are suitable for direct reproduction and which comply with the instructions above. Unsatisfactory figures will be returned for correction. The Editor may be consulted for further guidance.

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Page proofs and corrections
Page proofs are sent to the corresponding author for checking prior to publication. At this stage only essential alterations and correction of printer errors may be undertaken. Excessive author alterations may be charged back to the author at $5 per item.

A free PDF reprint will be supplied to the author on publication of the article. Hard copy reprints may also be ordered before publication using the publication charges form, which is sent to the corresponding author with the page proofs.

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Address for submission enquiries
For general enquires about submitted papers please contact:
Editorial Assistant
Reproduction, Fertility and Development
PO Box 1139 (150 Oxford Street)
Collingwood, Vic. 3066
Telephone +61 3 9662 7616
Fax +61 3 9662 7611
Email publishing.rfd@csiro.au

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