Instructions to Authors
Environmental Monitoring and Contaminants Research is a journal dedicated to publishing data, analyses and the outcomes of research on the impacts of pollutants. The journal aims to build a comprehensive store of data and knowledge across local, regional and global scales and so be vital resource to all those interested in the impacts of pollution on the world’s environments.
AIMS & SCOPE
Environmental Monitoring and Contaminants Research (EMCR) is an international Open Access journal focusing on the environmental distribution and fate of pollutants as well as their biological impacts. The journal publishes original, scientifically and technically rigorous articles, letters, technical notes, reviews, and status reports. Articles can be relevant to local, regional, and global scales and all environments. EMCR aims to build a vital store of knowledge that contributes to progress in the field and is important to its global audience of researchers.
EMCR welcomes the results of field monitoring, experimental and other studies that are underpinned by solid analysis. Manuscripts may describe inorganic and organic contaminants including, but not limited to, persistent organic pollutants (POPs), endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs), pharmaceutical and personal care products (PPCPs), acidic substances, heavy metals, radionuclides and microplastics. Manuscripts reporting new analytical methods and unique approaches in environmental chemistry, such as non-target analysis of daily-use chemicals, molecular markers, passive sampling and modeling, are encouraged. Furthermore, toxicology studies that report on laboratory and field-based studies of contaminant toxicity are a core component of the journal.
Supported by the Japan Society for Environmental Chemistry, EMCR is published continuously online as articles are available. The journal provides rigorous but rapid peer review of all article types.
The journal welcomes five manuscript types, all of which are subject to peer review.
Full and comprehensive reports describing original research presented in a standard format. The main text (excluding references, tables, and figure legends) should not exceed 6000 words.
Letters are short, topical reports that deserve rapid publication. They can also be used to comment on articles published in the journal. In general, they should follow the format of full Articles, but it’s main text should be no longer than 3000 words.
Short articles that report new or significant advances or developments in the techniques, technology or related aspects of the field. EMCR encourages descriptions of methods that accompany new or newly developed techniques. They should follow the format of full Articles, but their main text should be no longer than 3000 words.
Full Reviews present novel or unique overviews of recent or important developments in the field. Reviews must be insightful and must address the question(s) of interest using appropriate and fully presented evidence; exhaustive general summaries will not be published. Reviews are generally 5000-10000 words and can explore several aspects of importance in a broader subject area. Reviews are occasionally commissioned by the editorial board members, and the journal welcomes proposals from interested authors.
Status Reports are a unique aspect of EMCR and designed to be reviews of monitoring data. Status Reports compile and summarize monitoring data of contaminants at local, regional, and/or global scales. In addition to understanding the spatial pattern, historical analysis of temporal trends is welcomed.
JOURNAL & ETHICS POLICIES
EMCR upholds the highest standards in scholarly publishing. Before submitting a manuscript to the journal, authors must ensure that they have read and complied with the journal’s policies. The journal reserves the right to reject without review any manuscript that the Editor believes may not comply with these policies.
EMCR welcomes manuscript submissions from authors based anywhere in the world.
Submission to the journal implies that all authors have read and approved the manuscript, have agreed to its submission, and have the right to publish their work. All authors must read and comply with the journal’s policies on scientific and publication ethics.
Submission to the journal implies that the manuscript has not been previously published (in any language), is not in press, and is not under consideration for publication elsewhere.
Authors must inform the editors if any related manuscripts are under consideration, in press or published elsewhere. The availability of a manuscript on a publicly accessible preprint server does not constitute prior publication (see ‘Preprints’).
If authors choose to submit their manuscript elsewhere before a final decision has been made on its suitability for publication in EMCR, they should first withdraw it from the journal.
Submission to the journal implies that the manuscript is original work. The journal may use software to screen manuscripts for unoriginal content and by submitting a manuscript to the journal, authors agree to this screening. Any manuscript with an unacceptable level of unoriginal material may be rejected or retracted at the editors’ discretion.
To support the wide dissemination of research, the journal encourages authors to post their research manuscripts on community-recognized preprint servers, either before or alongside submission to the journal. This policy applies only to the original version of a manuscript that describes primary research. Any version of a manuscript that has been revised in response to reviewers’ comments, accepted for publication or published in the journal should not be posted on a preprint server. Instead, forward links to the published manuscript may be posted on the preprint server.
When assessing the novelty of a manuscript submitted to the journal, the editors will not be influenced by other manuscripts that are posted on community-recognized preprint servers after the date of submission to EMCR (or after the date of posting on a preprint server, if the manuscript is submitted to the journal within 4 months).
Submission to the journal implies that all authors have seen and approved the author list. Changes to the author list after manuscript submission – such as the insertion or removal of author names, or a rearrangement of author order – must be approved by all authors and the editor.
Authors are encouraged to consider the Council of Science Editors (CSE) principles governing authorship. According to the CSE guidelines, authors have made substantial contributions to the work; have agreed to be held accountable for their own contributions to the work; can identify which co-authors are responsible for other parts of the work; have confidence in the integrity of the work; and have reviewed and approved the final manuscript. Contributors who do not qualify for authorship may be included in the Acknowledgements section instead.
Authors may digitally manipulate or process images, but only if the adjustments are kept to a minimum, are applied to the entire image, meet community standards, and are clearly described in the manuscript. All images in a manuscript must accurately reflect the original data on which they are based. Authors must not move, remove, add or enhance individual parts of an image. The editors reserve the right to request original, unprocessed images from the authors. Failure to provide requested images may result in a manuscript being rejected or retracted.
Reproducing copyrighted material
If a manuscript includes material that is not under the authors’ own copyright, the authors must obtain permission from the copyright holder(s) to reproduce it.
If a manuscript includes previously published material, the authors must obtain permission from the copyright owners and the publisher of the original work to reproduce it. The authors must cite the original work in their manuscript.
Copies of all reproduction permissions must be included with the manuscript when it is first submitted.
Availability of data and materials
Authors must disclose the source of publicly available data and materials, such as public repositories or commercial manufacturers, by including accession numbers or company details in their manuscript, as appropriate.
Authors may make their own data and materials available in Supplementary Material, or by linking from their manuscript to relevant community-recognized public databases or digital repositories. All data sets must be made available in full to the editors and reviewers during the peer review process, and must be made publicly available by the date of publication. Authors commit to preserving their data sets for at least three years from the date of publication in the journal.
The journal encourages authors to grant reasonable requests from colleagues to share any data, materials and experimental protocols described in their manuscript.
Authors of manuscripts describing experiments involving humans or materials derived from humans must demonstrate that the work was carried out in accordance with the principles embodied in the Declaration of Helsinki, its revisions, and any guidelines approved by the authors’ institutions. Where relevant, the authors must include a statement in their manuscript that describes the procedures for obtaining informed consent from participants regarding participation in the research and publication of the research.
Authors of manuscripts describing experiments involving animals or materials derived from animals must demonstrate that the work was carried out in accordance with the guidelines approved by the authors’ institution(s).
Manuscripts describing the collection of archaeological, geological, paleontological or wildlife specimens or samples should include detailed information on their provenance and collection methods. Authors must include a statement in their manuscript describing the relevant ethics guidelines, local laws and collection permits under which the research was conducted.
Conflicts of interest
In the interests of transparency, the journal requires all authors to declare any conflicts of interest in relation to their submitted manuscript. A conflict of interest exists when there are actual, perceived or potential circumstances that could influence an author’s ability to conduct or report research impartially. Potential conflicts include (but are not limited to) competing commercial or financial interests, commercial affiliations, consulting roles, or ownership of stock or equity.
Authors should list all funding sources for their work in the Acknowledgements section of their manuscript.
The journal maintains the confidentiality of all unpublished manuscripts. By submitting their manuscript to the journal, the authors warrant that they will keep all correspondence about their manuscript (from the Editorial Office, editors and reviewers) strictly confidential.
Editor / Publisher Responsibilities
Editorial and peer review process
The journal uses single-blind peer review.
When a manuscript is submitted to the journal, the Editorial Office initially screens manuscripts for scope and adherence to basic criteria; manuscripts that pass the initial screening are assigned to appropriate Associate Editors. After an initial triage, in which some manuscripts may be rejected, the Associate Editors obtain and assess independent peer reviews for each manuscript. Based on these reviews and their own assessment of the manuscript, they make a decision on the manuscript’s suitability for publication in the journal. The formalized acceptance criteria are the main guide in the recommendation process. The recommendation options are minor revision, major revision, accept or reject.
Once the reviewers’ reports have been received, the Associate Editor determines whether the manuscript requires revision. Authors who are asked to revise their manuscript must do so within two months, otherwise it may be treated as a new submission. The Associate Editor may send revised manuscripts to peer reviewers for their feedback or may use his or her own judgement to assess how well the authors have attended to the comments on the original manuscript. The Associate Editor then makes a final decision on the manuscript’s suitability for publication in the journal.
The Editor-in-Chief acts as an arbitrator when necessary. The members of the Editorial Committee act in advisory roles, providing feedback as reviewers and making suggestions to improve the journal.
When submitting a manuscript to the journal, authors may suggest reviewers that they would like included in or excluded from the peer review process. The Editor may consider these suggestions but is under no obligation to follow them. The selection, invitation, and assignment of peer reviewers is at the Editor’s sole discretion.
It is the journal’s policy to transmit reviewers’ comments to the authors in their original form. However, the journal reserves the right to edit reviewers’ comments, without consulting the reviewers, if they contain offensive language, confidential information or recommendations for publication.
Editorial decisions and acceptance criteria
If a manuscript satisfies the journal’s requirements and represents a valuable contribution to the published literature, the Associate Editor may decide to accept a manuscript for publication in the journal.
In brief, the acceptance criteria are that articles published in the journal are:
- within the subject area as outlined in the Aims and Scope
- scientifically, ethically, and otherwise rigorous
- of interest and useful to the journal’s broad audience, even if focussed at a local or regional scale
- well-constructed and written in English
If a manuscript does not meet the journal’s requirements for acceptance or revision, the Associate Editor may recommend rejection. The journal reserves the right to accept or reject manuscripts.
The Japan Society for Environmental Chemistry has granted the journal’s Editorial Board complete and sole responsibility for all editorial decisions. The Society will not become involved in editorial decisions, except in cases of a fundamental breakdown of process.
Editorial decisions are based only on a manuscript’s scientific merit and a demonstrated imperative to publish; decisions are kept completely separate from the journal’s other interests. The authors’ ability to pay any publication charges has no bearing on whether a manuscript is accepted for publication in the journal.
Authors who believe that an editorial decision has been made in error may lodge an appeal with the Editorial Office. Appeals are only considered if the authors provide detailed evidence of a misunderstanding or mistake by a reviewer or editor. Appeals are considered carefully by the Editor-in-Chief, whose decision is final.
The journal maintains the confidentiality of all unpublished manuscripts. Editors will not:
- disclose a reviewer’s identity unless the reviewer makes a reasonable request for such disclosure
- discuss the manuscript or its contents with anyone not directly involved with the manuscript or its peer review
- use any data or information from the manuscript in their own work or publications
- use information obtained from the peer review process to provide an advantage to themselves or anyone else, or to disadvantage any individual or organization.
Conflicts of interest
A conflict of interest exists when there are actual, perceived or potential circumstances that could influence an editor’s ability to act impartially when assessing a manuscript. Such circumstances might include having a personal or professional relationship with an author, working on the same topic or in direct competition with an author, or having a financial stake in the work or its publication.
Members of the journal’s Editorial Board undertake to declare any conflicts of interest when handling manuscripts. An editor who declares a conflict of interest is unassigned from the manuscript in question and is replaced by a new editor.
Errata and retractions
The journal recognizes the importance of maintaining the integrity of published literature.
A published article that contains an error may be corrected through the publication of an Erratum. Errata describe errors that significantly affect the scientific integrity of a publication, the reputation of the authors, or the journal itself. Authors who wish to correct a published article should contact the editor who handled their manuscript or the Editorial Office with full details of the error(s) and their requested changes. In cases where co-authors disagree over a correction, the Editor-in-Chief may consult the Editorial Board or external peer reviewers for advice. If a Correction is published, any dissenting authors will be noted in the text.
A published article that contains invalid or unreliable results or conclusions, has been published elsewhere, or has infringed codes of conduct (covering research or publication ethics) may be retracted. Individuals who believe that a published article should be retracted are encouraged to contact the journal’s Editorial Office with full details of their concerns. The Editor-in-Chief will investigate further and contact the authors of the published article for their response. In cases where co-authors disagree over a retraction, the Editor-in-Chief may consult the Editorial Board or external peer reviewers for advice. If a Retraction is published, any dissenting authors will be noted in the text.
The decision to publish Errata or Retractions is made at the sole discretion of the Editor-in-Chief.
Editors’ own publications in the journal
Any member of the journal’s Editorial Board who is an author on a submitted manuscript is automatically excluded from the peer review process. Within the journal’s online manuscript submission and tracking system, they will be able to see their manuscript as an author but not as an editor, thereby maintaining the confidentiality of peer review.
A manuscript authored by an editor of the journal will be subjected to the same high standards of peer review and editorial decision making as any manuscript submitted to the journal.
Responding to potential ethical breaches
The journal will respond to allegations of ethical breaches by following its own policies and, where possible, the guidelines of the Committee on Publication Ethics (http://publicationethics.org/ ).
As part of their responsibilities, reviewers agree to maintain the confidentiality of unpublished manuscripts at all times. By accepting the invitation to review a manuscript, reviewers agree not to:
- disclose their role in reviewing the manuscript
- reveal their identity to any of the authors of the manuscript
- discuss the manuscript or its contents with anyone not directly involved in the review process
- involve anyone else in the review (for example, a post-doc or PhD student) without first requesting permission from the Editor
- use any data or information from the manuscript in their own work or publications
- use information obtained from the peer review process to provide an advantage to themselves or anyone else, or to disadvantage any individual or organization.
Conflicts of interest
A conflict of interest exists when there are actual, perceived or potential circumstances that could influence a reviewer’s ability to assess a manuscript impartially. Such circumstances might include having a personal or professional relationship with an author, working on the same topic or in direct competition with an author, having a financial stake in the work or its publication, or having seen previous versions of the manuscript.
Editors try to avoid conflicts of interest when inviting reviewers, but it is not always possible to identify potential bias. Reviewers are asked to declare any conflicts of interest to the Editor, who will determine the best course of action.
Self-archiving (Green Open Access) policy
Self-archiving, also known as Green Open Access, enables authors to deposit a copy of their manuscript in an online repository. The journal encourages authors of original research manuscripts to upload their article to an institutional or public repository immediately after publication in the journal.
Long-term digital archiving
J-STAGE preserves its full digital library, including EMCR, with Portico in a dark archive (see https://www.portico.org/publishers/jstage/). In the event that the material becomes unavailable at J-STAGE, it will be released and made available by Portico.
OPEN ACCESS, COPYRIGHT AND FEES
EMCR is fully Open Access and uses Creative Commons (CC) licenses, which allow users to use, reuse and build upon the material published in the journal without charge or the need to ask prior permission from the publisher or author. More details on the CC licenses used by the journal are below.
Copyright and licensing
Authors hold all copyrights in the work, but can transfer publishing right to JSEC, who then publish the work under the Creative Commons CC BY 4.0, CC BY-ND 4.0 or CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 licenses. Each CC license has different conditions, as briefly outlined below; each CC license is not revokable where usage is within the terms of the relevant license.
CC BY 4.0 (Attribution 4.0 International)
Users are free to share and adapt the work, for any purpose, even commercially. Users must appropriately attribute the work and may not apply additional legal or technological restrictions outside the scope of the license.
CC BY-ND 4.0 (Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 International)
Users are free to share the work for any purpose, even commercially. Users must appropriately attribute the work and may not apply additional legal or technological restrictions outside the scope of the license. If a user adapts the work, it cannot be distributed.
CC BY-ND-NC 4.0 (Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International)
Users are free to share the work, but must appropriately attribute the work and may not apply additional legal or technological restrictions outside the scope of the license. Users may not use the work for commercial purposes and if a user adapts the work, it cannot be distributed.
Article Processing Charges
There is currently no Article Processing Charge to authors for EMCR. In addition, there is no submission charge. EMCR is supported by the Japan Society for Environmental Chemistry; part of that support is to subsidise the launch and running costs of the journal in its initial phase.
Manuscripts should be prepared in Microsoft Word or other appropriate software using double line spacing throughout, with margins of at least 3 cm, on A4 size paper. Use 12-point font size. The authors must put continuous line numbers and page numbers throughout the manuscript.
Manuscripts should be written in clear, grammatically correct English. Authors whose native language is not English are strongly encouraged to have their manuscript checked by a native English speaker or by an editing service prior to submission. If a manuscript is not clear due to poor English, it may be rejected without undergoing peer review.
Each full Article manuscript type should comprise the following sections. In other article types, sections may be omitted or combined as appropriate.
The first page of each manuscript should contain: Title, Authors’ full names, Affiliations, Keywords, Running title, and the name and full address (including telephone number, and e-mail address) of the corresponding author.
Authors are requested to enter continuous line numbering and page numbering in their manuscript text files before uploading their source files.
The title should describe the content of the article briefly but clearly and is important for search purposes by third-party services. Do not use the same main title with numbered minor titles, even for a series of papers by the same authors. Do not use abbreviations in the title, except those used generally in related fields.
Provide the full names, with initials, of the author(s). Corresponding author should be indicated by asterisk (*) after the author name. E-mail address of the corresponding author should be indicated.
Provide full names and addresses of institutions (including laboratory, department, institute and/or university, city, state and country). When authors belong to multiple institutions, they should be distinguished by superscript numbers. If an author has moved since the work described in the article was done, the new institution can be shown by different superscript number and “present address :” before the name of institution.
5 to10 keywords should be provided.
The running title should not exceed 50 characters, including spaces.
Footnotes should not be used.
Each abbreviation should be defined in parentheses together with its non-abbreviated term when it first appears in the text (except in the Title and Abstract). Common abbreviations may be used without any explanation.
The Abstract should clearly express the basic content of the paper in a single paragraph and should include the problem addressed, experimental approach, main results and findings, and conclusions. Abstracts must not exceed 350 words for all article types. Avoid using specific abbreviations. If it is essential to refer to a previous publication, omit the article title (e.g. Maekawa et al. (2015). Sci. Journal., 14, 10–15).
A graphical abstract, which is a single, concise, pictorial and visual summary of the main findings of the article, is mandatory. This includes a figure from the article or a figure that is specially designed for readers to capture the content of the article at a glance.
The Introduction should provide sufficient background information to allow the reader to understand the purpose of the investigation and its relation to other research in related fields, although it should not include an extensive review of the literature.
Materials and Methods
The description of the methods should be brief, but it must include sufficient details to allow the experiments to be repeated. The sources of environmental samples, specific chemicals (include CAS number if possible), animals, microbial strains or equipment should be described, and the location (city, country) of the company should be provided in parentheses. Details of environmental samples (e.g., coordinates of the sampling locations (WGS84: World Geodetic System 84, Both latitude and longitude are recommended to be 5 digits after the decimal point), date of collection, conditions of the samples and their storage) are recommended to be provided. Map of the samples is encouraged to be submitted. Photos/movies (not exceeding 50 MB) to help understanding the locality and samples are encouraged to be submitted as Supplementary materials. Google Map and Google Earth are recommended to be utilized. If hazardous materials or dangerous procedures are used in the experiments and the precautions related to their handling are not widely recognized, it is recommended that the authors provide the necessary details.
Results and Discussion
The Results and Discussion sections may be combined for readers to better understand the results of the experiments and evaluate the study. Tables and figures, including photographs, can be used to present the experimental results (see below). Excessive explanations of the data presented in tables and figures should be avoided.
The Conclusion should be concise and should deal with the interpretation of the results. Novel models or hypotheses may be proposed in this section only if they are suggested by the results obtained in the experiments. Do not repeat the description of the experimental results in this section.
This section should be brief. Authors should list all funding sources for their work in the Acknowledgements section.
References are cited in the text in the Author name/s and year of publication in parentheses:
one author: (Takada, 1991),
two authors: (Tanaka and Takada, 2017),
three authors or more: (Rochman et al., 2013);
References must be listed alphabetically. Use the standard abbreviation of a journal's name according to the ISSN List of Title Word Abbreviations, see http://www.issn.org/2-22661-LTWA-online.php. For authors using EndNote, EMCR provides an output style that supports the formatting of in-text citations and reference lists.
Andrady, A.L., 2011. Microplastics in the marine environment. Mar. Pollut. Bull. 62 (8), 1596-1605. http://doi.org/10.1016/j.marpolbul.2011.05.030.
Corcoran, P.L., Norris, T., Ceccanese, T., Walzak, M.J., Helm, P.A., Marvin, C.H., 2015. Hidden plastics of Lake Ontario, Canada and their potential preservation in the sediment record. Environ. Pollut. 204, 17-25. http://doi.org/10.1016/j.envpol.2015.04.009.
VanLoon, G.W., Duffy, S.J,, 2011. Environmental Chemistry: A Global Perspective, third ed. Oxford University Press, Oxford.
Kelly, B.P., 2001. Climate change and ice breeding pinnipeds, In: Walther, G.R., Burga, C.A., Edwards, P.J. (eds.), Fingerprints of climate changes, adapted behaviour and shifting species range, pp. 43–55, Kluwer Academic/Plenum Publishers, New York.
UNEP, 2013. The Minamata Convention on Mercury. United Nations, Geneva. http://www.mercuryconvention.org/Portals/11/documents/Booklets/Minamata%20Convention%20on%20Mercury_booklet_English.pdf (accessed 1 April 2020)
Reference to a dataset:
Oguro, M., Imahiro, S., Saito, S., Nakashizuka, T., 2015. Mortality data for Japanese oak wilt disease and surrounding forest compositions. Mendeley Data, v1. https://doi.org/10.17632/xwj98nb39r.1.
Number tables consecutively using Arabic numerals (Table 1, Table 2 etc). A title should be given to each table and it must use capital letters. Explanatory material and footnotes should be typed below the table and should be designated with superscript letters, such as a) or b). Units of measurement should be included with numerical values at the top of columns. Avoid detailed explanations of the experimental conditions used to obtain the data shown in tables (which should be included in the Materials and Methods section).
Figures include line drawings and photographs. Single-column figures must not exceed 84 x 220 mm. Double-column figures must not exceed 173 x 220 mm. Magnifications of photographs should be indicated in the legends and/or by scales included in the photographs. Illustrations must be self-explanatory and they should be numbered consecutively with Arabic numerals (i.e., Fig. 1, Fig. 2, etc.). Each figure should have a short title. Figure legends should be typed together in the same sheet(s). Figure legends should include sufficient experimental details to make the figures intelligible; however, duplicating the descriptions provided in the Materials and Methods should be avoided.
Supplementary material adds, but is not essential, to a reader’s understanding of a manuscript. Authors are encouraged to submit supplementary material for online-only publication. Supplementary material may comprise data, text, audio or movie files (not exceeding 50 MB), and is published online alongside the accepted manuscript.
As supplementary material is peer-reviewed, authors must submit it in its final form as part of their manuscript submission. After a manuscript has been accepted for publication, authors may not make any changes to the supplementary material.
All manuscripts must be submitted via the journal’s online submission system, Scholar One: https://mc.manuscriptcentral.com/emcr. The original or revised manuscript text may be uploaded as a PDF or Microsoft Word file, but a Word file is required for the final manuscript text. Figures may be submitted separately in several other formats.
If you encounter any problems with online submission, please contact the Editorial Office:
Manuscripts that are accepted for publication are copyedited and typeset by the journal’s production team before publication. The journal is published continuously online. All communication regarding accepted manuscripts is with the corresponding author.
Page proofs are sent to the corresponding author, who should check and return them as soon as possible. Only essential corrections to typesetting errors or omissions are accepted; excessive changes are not permitted at the proofing stage.
To contact the Editor-in-Chief or Editorial Office, please use the details below.
Environmental Monitoring and Contaminants Research (EMCR)
3-18-7-103 Koyadai, Tsukuba, IBARAKI, Japan, 305-0074
Tel: +81-298-86-3185 Fax: +81-298-86-3186