You can format your paper in the way that you choose!

It is not necessary to try to produce pages that look like published journal pages, as the detailed design (typesetting) work will be undertaken by our publisher as part of the production process.

If you would prefer to work from a template, we do provide this for both LaTeX and Word.

We do ask that you consider the readability for referees when formatting your manuscript. For example, please use a reasonable font size (at least 10 points) and line spacing. There is no need for you to include line numbers in your manuscript as these will automatically be added on submission.

Figures and tables should be embedded at the appropriate point within the text, rather than placed at the end of the manuscript.

Papers must be written in English.

Article structure

You should consider the best way to structure your article before you begin writing. If you wish to use a LaTeX template to format your manuscript (this is optional, you are not obliged to do so), then the files are available in a zipped format and Unix tar gzipped format here. Your article should follow the Introduction, Methods, Results and Discussion system, and usually, consist of the following sections:

The title should be concise, informative and meaningful to the whole readership of the journal. It should include key terms to help make it more discoverable when people search online. Please avoid the use of long systemic names and non-standard or obscure abbreviations, acronyms or symbols.
List all authors' full names and institutions. Authors in our journals have the option to include names in Chinese, Japanese or Korean characters in addition to the English name. The names will be displayed in parentheses after the English name. We recommend you supply ORCID identifiers for all authors to avoid ambiguity. If an author's current address is different from the address where the work was carried out, this should be explained in a footnote.
When you submit an article, you will be asked to supply some keywords relevant to your work. If your article is accepted for publication, we will display these keywords in the published article, and they will be used to index your article, helping to make it more discoverable. When choosing keywords, think about the kinds of terms you would use when searching online for related articles.
Your abstract should give readers a brief summary of your article. It should concisely describe the contents of your article and include key terms (especially in the first two sentences, to increase search engine discoverability). It should be informative, accessible and not only indicate the general scope of the article but also state the main results obtained and conclusions drawn. The abstract should be complete in itself; it should not contain undefined acronyms/abbreviations, and no table numbers, figure numbers, references or equations should be referred to. It should be suitable for direct inclusion in abstracting services and should not normally be more than 300 words.
This should be concise and describe the nature of the problem under investigation and its background. It should also set your work in the context of previous research, citing relevant references. Introductions should expand on highly specialised terms and abbreviations used in the article to make it accessible for readers.
This section should provide sufficient details of the experiment, simulation, statistical test or analysis carried out to generate the results such that the method can be repeated by another researcher and the results reproduced.
The results section should detail the main findings and outcomes of your study. You should use tables only to improve conciseness or where the information cannot be given satisfactorily in other ways such as histograms or graphs. Tables should be numbered serially and referred to in the text by number (Table 1, etc.). Each table should have an explanatory caption which should be as concise as possible.
This should discuss the significance of the results and compare them with previous work using relevant references.
This section should be used to highlight the novelty and significance of the work and any plans for future relevant work.
All authors and co-authors are required to disclose any potential conflict(s) of interest when submitting an article (e.g. employment, consulting fees, research contracts, stock ownership, patent licences, honoraria, advisory affiliations, etc.). This information should be included in an acknowledgements section at the end of the manuscript (before the references section). All sources of financial support for the project must also be disclosed in the acknowledgements section. The name of the funding agency and the grant number should be given.

LaTeX guidelines and class file

The text of articles may be submitted in any common variant of TeX including LaTeX2e, REVTeX, AmSTeX, AmSLaTeX and plain TeX (including pdfTeX/pdfLaTeX). A LaTeX2e class file, together with full documentation is available to help authors prepare articles for consideration by our journals. Though it is not necessary to format your paper in this way or to use this class file, using our publisher class file may help to speed the publication of accepted articles. Note that there is an incompatibility between amsmath.sty and iopart.cls. If your article relies on commands in amsmath.sty that are not available in iopart.cls, you may wish to consider using a different class file.

The files are available in a zipped format and Unix tar gzipped format.

Word template

Though it is not necessary to format your paper in this way or to use this file, using this template may help to speed the publication of accepted articles. Please use the most appropriate template (.docx or .doc) for the version of Microsoft Word or Office you are using.


Carefully chosen and well-prepared figures, such as diagrams and photographs, can greatly enhance your article. You are encouraged to prepare figures that are clear, easy to read and of the best possible quality and resolution.

Figures are converted and sized to the journal template as part of the production process for accepted articles, but they are not normally edited further. It is your responsibility to ensure that the figures you supply are legible and technically correct. Micrographs should include a scale bar of appropriate size, e.g. 1 μm.

Characters should appear as they would be set in the main body of the article.

Figures should be numbered in the order in which they are referred to in the text.

If there is more than one part to a figure (e.g. Figure 1a, Figure 1b etc.), the parts should be identified by a lower-case letter in parentheses close to or within the area of the figure.

File types

For articles prepared using LaTeX2e, please make sure that your figures are all supplied as vector Encapsulated PostScript (EPS) and linked to your main TeX files using appropriate figure inclusion commands such as \includegraphics. For articles prepared using Word, where possible, please also supply all figures as separate graphics files (in addition to being embedded in the text). Our preferred graphics format is EPS. These files can be used directly to give high-quality results, and file sizes are small in comparison with most bitmap forms.

If you are unable to send us images in EPS, we can also accept PDF, WMF, TIFF, GIF, JPEG or BMP.

Vector formats

The advantage of vector graphics is that they give the best possible quality at all output resolutions. In order to get the best possible results, please note the following important points:


Note that it is also your responsibility to obtain written permission from the copyright holder for any figures you have reused from elsewhere. This will also include any figures that you created yourself but have previously been published by another publisher, unless that publisher allows you to reuse them without permission under their author rights policy. Check individual publisher's policies for details. Many scientific, technical and medical publishers use RightsLink® to grant permission. Information on how to request permission can usually be found on the website of each publisher. Below are some useful tips for when permission is required.

Authors need permission to reuse any content that is not original, e.g.

Permission needs to be given by the copyright owner if it is:

Figure captions

Captions should be included in the text and not in the graphics files. Figure captions should contain relevant key terms and be self-contained (avoiding acronyms) so that a reader can understand the figure without having to refer to the text. Figure captions should also reference the source of the figure if the figure has been reused from elsewhere.

Colour figures

The use of colour in figures can enhance the effective presentation of results, and there are no restrictions on the use of colour in the online version of your article. However, please note that readers of the journal may download and print out on a black-and-white printer, which may make coloured lines difficult to distinguish.

Please note that because conventional full-colour printing remains an expensive process, we usually ask you (or your institution) to pay the additional costs incurred (i.e. the costs over and above the cost of normal black-on-white reproduction) if you require colour in the printed version of your article. There is no charge for colour in the online version of an article.

If you would like your figures to be reproduced in colour in the printed journal, please let us know by clicking the proper checkbox on the journal Submit an Article page.

Article multimedia

Our publisher allows inline presentation of multimedia files within journal articles, with videos, animations or sound files that are supplied by authors as part of the main article treated as figures (please note that multimedia files must not include any music). Multimedia figures are represented in the PDF by a static image with an appropriate caption. In the HTML the same image and caption are displayed, readers can click/tap the image to play the multimedia file inline.

If a figure has more than one multimedia file, there must be a separate image for each file (e.g. parts a and b for a figure with two videos). This is necessary so that the files both display in the HTML.

Technical specifications

We strongly recommend video files be delivered in the MPEG-4 container, encoded with the H.264 codec. Other formats may be provided, but using MPEG-4 will provide the most faithful rendering of your video in the HTML journal article.

Video files should be a maximum of 10 MB file size each. Exceptions can be made in cases where larger files are essential for the science being presented.

Recommended settings:

Interactive figures

Authors may prepare interactive models to enhance the communication of their research. These models are treated as figures in the article. Each model is represented in the PDF by a static image with an appropriate caption. The HTML in our publisher displays the figure and caption with a "Start interaction" button which loads the interactive model within the flow of the article.

Interactive models should use the X3D standard. This is an open-source, XML-based format curated by the International Organisation for Standardization (ISO). By using the X3DOM javascript/CSS combination, X3D models can be incorporated directly into HTML without the need for browser plug-ins. This can be downloaded at

We strongly recommend the use of X3D/X3DOM, but stand-alone interactive figures produced using alternative packages (such as Plotly or Bokeh) are also accepted.

Authors interested in using this functionality need to create and supply the interactive model and an HTML file that presents the model, along with all .JS and .CSS files used.

Supplementary material and data

Our publisher encourages authors to submit supplementary material at submission that will enhance the online version of a published research article and aid its discoverability. Supplementary material typically includes relevant material that does not form part of the main article, which may include additional data such as computer code, large tables, additional figures or appendices. It may also include multimedia files, such as video clips, animations or sound files, which are not suitable to form part of the main article (please note that multimedia files must not include any music). Supplementary material can include primary datasets where they fall within the file size limits outlined below. If the material is integral to the article, then it should be submitted as part of the article rather than as supplementary material.

Supplementary material is not included in the PDF of the article or any print version and does not form part of the Version of Record. As it is not considered integral to the article, it is not subject to peer review and cannot be formally cited. Supplementary material is hosted for free with an article on our publisher web site, in the format supplied by the author, and is accessible to the whole readership. Supplementary material is not formatted or edited by our production team, and so proofs are not provided to authors.

Files for supplementary material can be up to a maximum of 10 MB each. Authors wishing to associate larger amounts of supplementary material with their article are recommended make use of a data repository.

Authors should ensure the necessary permissions are obtained before including any third party supplementary material with their submission.


It is vitally important that you fully acknowledge all relevant work. You should also consult our publisher ethical policy for journals for general guidance on compiling your reference list. Please note it is not necessary to format your references in the ways shown below; however, we find some authors like to have a style to work to. We will ensure your references adhere to house style during the production process, whatever format you submit them in.

A reference should give your reader enough information to locate the article concerned, and you should take particular care to ensure that the information is correct so that links to referenced articles can be made successfully. Material that is really a footnote to the text should not be included in the reference list. Copies of cited publications not yet available publicly should be submitted for the benefit of the referees. Unpublished results and lectures should be cited for exceptional reasons only. We discourage the referencing of online material hosted at web addresses that have no guarantee of perpetuity. Permanent or persistent web links should be used, as these are intended to remain unchanged for many years into the future, yielding hyperlinks that are less susceptible to 'link rot'. Examples of acceptable links include:

If you have any questions regarding what constitutes an acceptable web link, then please email us. Before submitting your article, please ensure you have conducted a literature search to check for any relevant references you may have missed.


References to journal works should include:


[43] Castelló Lurbe D, Vermeulen N and Silvestre E 2016 Towards an analytical framework for tailoring supercontinuum generation Opt. Express24 26629–45

Note that the article title is not mandatory, except for Journal of Neural Engineering (J. Neural Eng.), Measurement Science and Technology (Meas. Sci. Technol.), Physical Biology (Phys. Biol.), Physiological Measurement (Physiol. Meas.) and Physics in Medicine and Biology (Phys. Med. Biol.).

If no individual is named as the author, the reference may be by a collaborative group of authors or by a corporate body, e.g.:

The ASDEX Upgrade Team 2002 Theory-based modelling of ASDEX Upgrade discharges with ECH modulation Nucl. Fus. 42 L11

If a collaboration is appended to one or more authors, the name of the collaboration must come before the year, e.g.:

Nakamura K (Particle Data Group) 2010 J. Phys. G: Nucl. Part. Phys.37 075021


References to a book should include (mandatory):


Whelan C T 2018 Atomic Structure (Bristol: IOP Publishing)

References to a book may include (optional):


Leung C-W and Ng C-K 2018 Spectra of commutative non-unital Banach rings Advances in Ultrametric Analysis (Contemporary Mathematics vol 704) ed A Escassut et al. (Providence, RI: American Mathematical Society) p 91

Conference proceedings

References to conference papers should include:


Mahanta N K and Abramson A R 2012 Thermal conductivity of graphene and graphene oxide nanoplatelets 13th Intersociety Conf. on Thermal and Thermomechanical Phenomena in Electronic Systems

References to conference proceedings may include (optional):

SPIE Proceedings, AIP Conference Proceedings and IEEE Transactions

These should be treated as journals:

  • Levin A D and Shmytkova E A 2015 Proc. SPIE 9526 95260P
  • Smith M 2004 AIP Conf Proc. 94 340–9
  • Stoffels E et al 2008 IEEE Trans. Plasma Sci. 36 1441–57
Conference series

Conference series should include the title of the conference and the title of the series but not the publisher.

The exceptions are Journal of Physics: Conference Series (J. Phys.: Conf. Ser.), IOP Conference Series: Earth and Environmental Science (IOP Conf. Ser.: Earth Environ. Sci.) and IOP Conference Series: Materials Science and Engineering (IOP Conf. Ser.: Mater. Sci. Eng.), which should be set as journal references, e.g.:

  • Barry R Holstein 2009 J. Phys.: Conf. Ser. 173 012019
  • V V Kramarenko et al 2016 IOP Conf. Ser.: Earth Environ. Sci. 43 012029
  • S Adarsh et al 2016 IOP Conf. Ser.: Mater. Sci. Eng. 149 012141

References to pre-prints should include:


Jones R and Brown A 2011 arXiv:0912.1470

Accepted or submitted

References to articles that are accepted or submitted should include:


Jones R and Brown A 2011 Class. Quantum Grav. accepted

In preparation

References to articles that are in preparation should include:


Jones R and Brown A 2011 Class. Quantum Grav. (in preparation)

Reference labelling systems

There are two main systems for labelling references.

In the Vancouver numerical system, references are numbered sequentially through the text. The numbers should be given in square brackets, e.g. [1], [4-7], etc., and one number can be used to refer to several instances of the same reference. The reference list at the end of the article then lists the references in numerical order, not alphabetically.

Alternatively, in the Harvard alphabetical system, the name of the author appears in the text together with the year of publication, e.g. (Smith 2001) or Smith (2001) (as appropriate). Where there are only two authors, both names should be given in the text, e.g. (Smith and Jones 2001) or Smith and Jones (2001). However, if there are more than two authors, only the first name should appear followed by et al.: (Smith et al. 2001) or Smith et al. (2001). If you refer to different works by one author or group of authors in the same year, they should be differentiated by including a, b, etc., after the date (e.g. 2001a). If you refer to different pages of the same article, the page number may be given in the text, e.g. Smith (2001, p 39). The reference list at the end of your article using this system should be in alphabetical order.

You may use either of these two systems for your references.

Preparing your source files for journal articles

The guidelines below provide the essential information you need to prepare your article source files (i.e. the files that you use to create your complete PDF).

Naming your files

Please name all your files according to the following guidelines.

Figure files

Please give figure files names indicating the numbers of the figures they contain; for example:


If a figure file contains a figure with multiple parts, for example, figure 2a to 2e, give it a name such as figure2a_2e.jpg, and so forth.

Article source files

Please give the article source file(s) and PDF file short name that indicates that this is the source file of your manuscript; for example, manuscript.tex, paper.docx, article.docetc.. Please use the letters A to Z (from the Latin alphabet) only.

In case you have a separate bibliography file, its name should be the same as the source file, e.g.:


If you have two or more bibliography files, they should be names as follows:


Archive and compress your files

You should combine the following files into a single compressed archive file for ease of handling and to save you time and space:

Please archive your files into 'zip', 'rar', 'gz', 'tar' or '7z' file. Please do not include additional files except for the listed above.

Good example of an archive content:
Bad examples of an archive content:
Some long title of the article instead of a short one, especially with formulae in it.pdf
Some long title of the article instead of a short one, especially with formulae in it.tex

Please provide only one file for each figure.


Please do not include additional files except for the listed in the guidelines.

laser image 1.jpg
laser image 2.jpg
Experiment 1.eps
Experimental setup.jpg

Please give figure files names indicating the numbers of the figures they contain.

Please note that any article which does not fully comply with the requirements mentioned above will be rejected automatically.