Guidelines for Writing for Scienitific Journals: Title Pages


Note: this page is designed for non-native speakers of English, especially those who speak Chinese.

             After the cover letter, the title page is the first thing a journal editor will see when he or she reviewers your manuscript.  If you fail to follow journal guidelines, the editor will instantly know he or she needs to look very carefully at your manuscript.  If you do follow journal guidelines, the editor will probably next look at your list of references.  Why look at the title page and references first?  If an author has done his job well, you can almost guarantee the title page and references will be in good shape.  Those are the first things I review on a paper when I get ready to edit it.  So, I want to emphasize the point again.  Follow your journal's guidelines.

             Here's a list of what you should include on your title page and why.  Again, check your journal's guidelines.  Each journal uses slightly different guidelines, although some companies publish many journals and their guidelines are the same or nearly the same for every journal.  A title page usually includes:


  • Your journal will probably say the title should be breif and summarize the topic.
  • Many journals will limit a title to 20, 25, or 30 words.  Do not try to exceed journal guidelines.
  • Scientific names of plants in titles usually do not have the author(s) of the species name.
  • A good title includes: the topic, species studied, and (for ecological research) the location of the study.

    Example: Camellia sinensis and not Camellia sinensis (L.) Kuntze

    Sample title: A study of Camellia sinensis cultivation in Sichuan Province, China.

Author’s names

  • Usually author's names are followed by a superscripted number or letter.
  • The letter indicates the author's affiliations and designate a corresponding author (see example).
  • Family names are listed last using pinyin (Changji Lu, not Lu Changji or 长吉)
  • Many journals will require the family name to be in ALL CAPITAL LETTERS such as Changji LU.

    Example: Changji LU1,2, Li GAO1, and Jianbing MA3; but check your journals guidelines!

Author’s affiliations (some journals require email addresses of all authors

  • The address should include the name, full street address, city, postal code, and country
  • Many authors forget they live in a country.  Add China or P. R. China.

    Example: College of Resources and Environment, Jilin Agricultural University, Changchun, Jilin, 130118, China.

Corresponding author’s phone number, fax number, email address

  • Often, authors forget to add the corresponding author's information.


             2Corresponding author: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; phone, 870-555-1212; fax, 870-555-1212.

Other requirements

  • Many journals require other title page information.  The most frequent is a "running title."
  • Check your journal guidelines

Running title

  • A running title appears on the top of every page of the article.
  • It is usually limited to 40-45 spaces and characters

    Example: Tea growing in Sichuan Province, China