The Editors and the Editorial Board of Microbiology Australia have specified guidelines for prospective authors to follow when compiling an article they wish to submit to the journal.
Microbiology Australia is a fully open acces journal. There are no processing charges (APC), nor subscription, submission or page charges for the journal.
Microbiology Australia insists on high standards of ethical behaviour throughout the publication process. Our journal editors work within the guidelines of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) and International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE). Further information on our policies can be found at https://www.publish.csiro.au/ma/PublishingPolicies.
Use of inclusive language
These guidelines should be used to assist in identifying appropriate language, but are by no means exhaustive or definitive. Inclusive language comprises carefully chosen words and phrases that are respectful and promote the acceptance and value of all people. It is language which is free from words, phrases or tones that demean, insult, exclude, stereotype, or trivialise people on the basis of their membership of a certain group or because of a particular attribute. As such, inclusive language should make no assumptions about the beliefs or commitments of any reader, and contain nothing which might imply that one individual is superior to another on any grounds including but not limited to: age, gender, race, ethnicity, culture, sexual orientation, disability or health condition. We encourage the use of plural nouns (e.g., 'they' as default wherever possible instead of 'he/she'), and recommend avoiding the use of descriptors that refer to personal attributes, unless there is scientific or clinical relevance. For further guidance on inclusive language see Inclusive language | Style Manual. If there are questions about language use and/or publishing with regards to First Nations people, please contact the Journal.
Terms of submission
The editors accept submissions in the form of research findings, clinical papers, case studies, reports, review articles, letters and product appraisals. Each submission is evaluated on its timeliness, relevance, accuracy, clarity and applicability to the journal. The language of Microbiology Australia is English.
Accompanying each submission must be a licence to publish signed by all authors and stating that the work has not previously been published and will not be published elsewhere. Once it is published, the article and its illustrations become the property of the journal, unless rights are reserved before publication. All work is sub-edited to journal style. The editors reserve the right to modify the style and length of any article submitted, so that it conforms to journal format. Major changes to an article will be referred to the author for approval prior to publication.
The conditions around authorship for Microbiology Australia should follow the recommendations of the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE), for more information see https://www.publish.csiro.au/ma/PublishingPolicies. All authors must make a substantial contribution to the manuscript and will be required to indicate their contribution. Participation solely in the acquisition of funding, the collection of data or supervision of such does not justify authorship; an acknowledgement is appropriate. All participating authors must be acknowledged as such; proof of authorship may be requested by the editors. The corresponding author is responsible for ensuring that any other authors have seen and approved the manuscript and are fully conversant with its contents. If the author wishes to reproduce copyrighted work, it is the responsibility of that author to obtain written permission from the copyright holder and to submit the original copy of that permission to the editor with the work as it is to be copied.
Data Availability Statement
CSIRO Publishing encourages authors to share the research data underlying their papers to support transparency and reproducibility of research. A Data Availability Statement must be included at the end of the manuscript indicating whether the data used to generate the results in the paper are available and, if so, where to access them. For more information on CSIRO Publishing’s data sharing policy and for examples of what to include in the data availability statement please see https://www.publish.csiro.au/journals/publishingpolicies#6.
Authors can get credit for their work by citing their research data in the reference list of their article. Citations should include at a minimum: all authors, year of publication, title of dataset, record ID, publisher. DOI or URL if available. Examples of how to cite research data:
1 Wang L et al. (2021) Well log data analysis and interpretation on the pre-Carboniferous succession in Waukarlycarly 1, Canning Basin, Western Australia. Record 2021/003 [Dataset], Geoscience Australia, Canberra. http://pid.geoscience.gov.au/dataset/ga/144547
2 Fiddes S et al. (2020) Southern Australia’s climate regions (Version 1.0.0) [Dataset], Zenodo. doi:10.5281/zenodo.4265471
3 Digital Earth Australia (2021) Wetlands Insight Tool Queensland Wetlands Polygons. Version 1.0.0 [Dataset], Geoscience Australia, Canberra. http://pid.geoscience.gov.au/dataset/ga/144795 (accessed 6 May 2021).
Conflicts of interest
A 'Conflicts of Interest' section should be included at the end of the manuscript. It should identify any financial or non-financial (political, personal, professional) interests/relationships that may be interpreted to have influenced the manuscript. If there is no conflict of interest, please include the statement 'The authors declare no conflicts of interest'.
Declaration of Funding
Under a subheading 'Declaration of Funding' at the end of the text authors are required to declare all sources of funding for the research and/or preparation of the article, and the inclusion of grant numbers is recommended. Authors should declare sponsor names along with explanations of the role of those sources if any in the preparation of the data or manuscript or the decision to submit for publication; or a statement declaring that the supporting source had no such involvement. If no funding has been provided for the research, please include the following sentence: "This research did not receive any specific funding".
Investigations in human and animal subjects must conform to accepted ethical standards. Authors must certify that the research protocol was approved by a suitably constituted ethics committee of the institution within which the work was carried out and that it conforms to National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Human Research by the NHMRC.
In reporting research regarding human subjects, authors are required to document that a formally constituted review board (Institutional Review Board or Ethics committee) has granted approval for the research to be done, or that the principles outlined in the Declaration of Helsinki regarding human experimentation have been met. Investigators who do not have access to an institutional review board are required to provide a statement to the editor outlining why it was not possible to gain formal ethics approval. If the study is judged exempt from review, a statement from the committee is required. Authors should make an ethics statement within the manuscript to this effect. Authors should also state that the research was undertaken with appropriate informed consent of participants or guardians.
In reporting experiments on animals, authors should indicate whether institutional and national standards for the care and welfare of animals were followed and provide a statement within the manuscript regarding the use of appropriate measures to minimize pain or discomfort. Editors should ensure that peer reviewers consider ethical and welfare issues raised by the research they are reviewing, and to request additional information from authors where needed. In situations where there is doubt as to the adherence to appropriate procedures or approval by the relevant ethics committee, editors are required to reject these papers.
Microbiology Australia has a very large and broad readership; it is now released to science writers for further communication to the public. Articles should be written in a style that is attractive to this general audience while keeping your peer group informed of the latest developments and their impact.
'In Focus' articles
In Focus articles are major, review-type articles on a theme chosen by the Editorial Board which should attract interest and understanding from those in all disciplines of microbiology. They are published in each issue of the journal, should be about 1500 words in length and include 2-3 graphics or colour pictures. We would like you to discuss your own work in the context of other important work undertaken in the same field. It is important to acknowledge other work, since it helps paint a broader picture of your subject.
Short reports of under 1000 words dealing with a current aspect of the topic. The opening paragraph should include the major points being made. State your conclusions up front, then discuss how they were arrived at. Concentrate almost entirely on the significance of the work being reported, rather than reporting detailed results. Articles, which should include a graphic or colour photograph, may be solicited by the Editorial Board or proffered by members of ASM.
‘Comments’ and ‘Responses’
The Editor will consider Comments on papers published in Microbiology Australia within the past 12 months. The author(s) of the published paper will be offered the right to reply in a Response. In order to be considered for publication, Comment and Response articles must be concise and impersonal, must contribute to knowledge and must advance the discussion beyond opinion. Comments and Responses should not exceed 500 words. Comments and Responses are screened by the Editor but do not undergo peer review.
Preparation of Manuscripts
Manuscripts should include an abstract of no more than 250 words. Title page needs to include title of manuscript, author's names and affiliations, corresponding author's details including email address and contact phone number, total word count and at least 8 key words to improve online discoverability of your work.
A short summary text for the Table of Contents should be provided. This should be a three-sentence paragraph of 50 to 80 words written for interested non-experts, such as journalists, teachers, government workers, etc. This text will be included with your title in the table of contents that is available online; it is an opportunity to encourage people to read your article. The text should be free from scientific jargon, and written at the level of an article in a science magazine. Your first sentence should engage the reader, convincing them that this is an important area. The second sentence should introduce the problem addressed in the paper, and state your main discovery. The final sentence should describe how the results fit into the bigger picture (i.e. implications or impact of the discovery).
Define abbreviations in the summary and on first mention in the text. Avoid abbreviations unless terms are used repeatedly and abbreviating them will enhance clarity. Additionally, a brief biographical sketch of no more than three sentences and photograph(s) of the author(s) must be included in the submission.
SI units are preferred. Statistics and measurements should always be given in figures e.g. 10 mm, except where the number begins a sentence.
Graphics and Tables
The words 'Figure' and 'Table' should be capitalised (first letter) and spelt in full, when referred to in the text.
Tables and figures are to be presented on separate pages, one per page. Tables should be clearly typed, showing columns and lines. Number tables consecutively using Arabic numerals in the order of their first citation in the text and supply a brief title for each. Place explanatory matter in footnotes, not in the heading. Explain in footnotes all non-standard abbreviations used in each table.
Figures are ideally submitted on separate pages. Figures embedded in a Word document or in a Powerpoint presentation are acceptable. Photographs of the highest quality may be included in the submission. Images should be provided at a resolution of 300 DPI at actual size (9 cm wide for a single column figure and 19 cm for a double column.) Legends for any figures supplied must be typed in sequence on a separate page(s). Illustrations and figures must be clear, well-drawn and large enough to be legible when reproduced. Titles of illustrations should be supplied on a separate piece of paper, not in the figure or illustration. Each figure must include its place, its number, and the orientation of figure. Patients or other individual subjects should not be identifiable from photos unless they have given written permission for their identity to be disclosed; this must be supplied.
Acknowledgements and Conflicts of Interest
People who contributed to the paper not in an author role or any funding bodies need be included as an Acknowledgement. Conflicts of interest ought to be similarly stated. As a guideline, consider if suppressing a conflict of interest would lead to embarrassment if exposed.
The referencing format is based on the Vancouver style, the main feature of which is the use of superscripted numbers at the point of reference. Each number corresponds to a single reference provided in the reference list at the end and, once assigned a number, a reference retains that number throughout the text, even if cited more than once. If more than one work is quoted in a reference, each work must be assigned a number. That is, at any point in the text, the reference may be one1 or several2-4 numbers.
References are set out in the following style. Only include listings for up to two authors (for more than two, list the first followed by et al.) and cite both the first and last page numbers.
Yoshimoto FK (2020) The proteins of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS CoV-2 or n-COV19), the cause of COVID-19. Protein J 39, 198–216. doi:10.1007/s10930-020-09901-4
Mackenzie JS, Smith DW (2020) COVID-19: a novel zoonotic disease caused by a coronavirus from China: what we know and what we don’t. Microbiol Aust 41, 45–50. doi:10.1071/MA20013
3 or more authors:
Andersen KG et al. (2020) The proximal origin of SARS-CoV-2. Nat Med 26, 450–452. doi:10.1038/s41591-020-0820-9
Zhang L et al. (2020) The D614G mutation in the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein reduces S1 shedding and increases infectivity. bioRxiv [Preprint]. doi:10.1101/2020.06.12.148726
Book (or report)
OIE (2018) Manual of Diagnostic Tests and Vaccines for Terrestrial Animals. World Organisation for Animal Health, Paris.
Fenner F et al. (1990) History of Microbiology in Australia (Fenner F, ed.). Brolga Press.
Chapter in book (or Edited book)
Cumpston JHL (1989) Leprosy. In Health and Disease in Australia; a History (Lewis MJ, ed.). pp. 207–219. Australian Government Publishing Service.
Ratcliffe S (ed.) (2016) Oxford Essential Quotations. 4th edn. Helmouth von Moltke 1800–91. Kriegsgechichtliche Einzelschriften (1880). https://www.oxfordreference.com/view/10.1093/acref/9780191826719.001.0001/q-oro-ed4-00007547?rskey=sGIhyc&result=2586 (accessed 15 January 2021)
Descamps J, De Clercq E (1978) Broad-spectrum antiviral activity of pyrazofurin (pyrazomycin). In Current Chemotherapy Proceedings of the 10th International Congress of Chemotherapy (Siegenthaler W, Lüthy R, eds), 18–23 September 1977, Zürich, Switzerland. p. 354. American Society for Microbiology, Washington, DC.
Website (URL; accessed date optional)
Australian Government, Department of Health (2003) Notifiable diseases surveillance, 1917–1991. https://www1.health.gov.au/internet/main/publishing.nsf/Content/cda-pubs-annlrpt-oz_dis19_91.htm-copy3
[Not working URL]:
Australian Government, Department of Health (2021) Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). CDNA National guidelines for public health units. https://www1.health.gov.au/internet/main/publishing.nsf/Content/cdna-song-novel-coronavirus.htm (accessed 15 January 2021)
News article (including URL if available)
Sky News (2020) The whole of Australia is treating Victoria like ‘a pariah and a leper colony’. Australian News Channel Pty Ltd 30 June. https://www.skynews.com.au/details/_6168201283001
Pastorín A (2011) Proteic supplementation effect on the productive outcome of weaned lambs grazing native pastures. PhD Thesis, Agronomy Faculty, UDELAR, Montevideo, Uruguay.
Cook CE (1927) Leprosy in Australia. A general summary of the Australian position in respect of its epidemiology and control. In Report of the Federal Health Council of Australia First Session, Appendix III. pp. 17–27. Australian Government.
SAS (2009) SAS software, Version 9.2. SAS Institute Inc., Cary, NC, USA.
Personal communications, unpublished observations and manuscripts in preparation should be round-bracketed in the text – for example: (pers. comm.).
Please limit the number of references to 30.
Submission of manuscripts
Manuscripts are only accepted as an electronic submission with an attachment as a Word document. All tables, figures and photographs are to be included in the one attachment. The manuscript must be accompanied by a covering letter indicating that the manuscript has not been submitted elsewhere and transferring copyright to the journal.
Manuscripts are submitted electronically to the Editor-in-Chief. The manuscript is reviewed by the Editor and, if acceptable, sent for peer-review. You will be notified by email once your manuscript has been selected for peer-review.
Microbiology Australia is a peer-reviewed journal that uses a single-blind peer-review. The Editor-in-Chief is responsible to maintain high-quality peer-review of papers submitted to the journal and works together with an Editorial Board to ensure a thorough and fair peer-review and the highest scientific publishing standards.
All manuscripts are initially reviewed by the Editorial Board and those deemed unsuitable (insufficient originality, serious scientific or methodological flaws, or a message that is too specialised or of limited interest to a general microbiological audience) are returned to the author(s), usually within 4 weeks. If the manuscript does not conform to the submission guidelines, the author will be asked to amend prior to peer-review.
All manuscripts are reviewed by at least two independent reviewers for relevance, construction, flow, style and grammar. All reviewers spend considerable time in reviewing the manuscripts and providing feedback to the authors. The length of time of the publication process can vary and depends on the quality of the work submitted. Several revisions may be required to bring the manuscript to a standard acceptable for publication. The Editorial team undertake the final review and often have different questions for the author(s) to consider.
When time permits, proofs of articles about to be published will be sent to the corresponding author for review. This requires rapid response; if such a response is not forthcoming, the article will be published irrespective of the author’s reply. Providing facsimile numbers facilitates this process. The final decision about publication is made by the Editor.
Decisions are communicated by email to the corresponding author. Submitted manuscripts are acknowledged by email.
Authors will be provided a PDF of their article. This file can be used to:
- send to individual colleagues for non-commercial purposes
- print out and distribute to colleagues attending any conference presentation you make
- include as part of a thesis
- include in a course pack, subject to the usual copyright licensing agency arrangements.
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