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How to Copy Edit STM Journals: Front Matter Part II

Updated on March 14, 2013

This article is the second part of: How to Copy Edit STM Journals: Front Matter Part I. Here we will learn about how to fix author names, their affiliations and linking and also learn to fix keywords, title footnotes, history dates, and copyright information according to journal style.

Author Names

For styling author names, please check the style sheet for the journal. A name of an author can be written as:

Dawn Christopher Hill

Dawn C. Hill

D. C. Hill

The next thing to be checked is the punctuation in author names:

Dawn Christopher Hill, Robbie Paul, and Deborah M. Greer

Dawn Christopher Hill, Robbie Paul, & Deborah M. Greer

Dawn Christopher Hill, Robbie Paul and Deborah M. Greer (this example is without series comma)

Dawn Christopher Hill

Deborah M. Greer

Robbie Paul

Author Affiliations

This is the address of the author where he is currently affiliated to in the journal. There are two types of affiliations---US and non-US affiliations. Following things are to be taken care of while editing affiliations.

The sequence of affiliations should be:

Department, University, (city) State Zip/postal codes, Country. If author has given any other sequence, then change it to the above-mentioned order.

For example:

Department of Ecology and Evolution, University of Lausanne, Switzerland

Second in the US affiliations, check with stylesheet whether the abbreviated state name is used or not and also check whether ZIP code is allowed or not. Last thing to check is the use of the term “USA” in the US affiliations. It can be USA or U.S.A.

Here are few examples of different types of affiliation styles:

Department of Life Sciences, State University of Louisiana, Baton Rouge, Louisiana 70803

Department of Life Sciences, State University of Louisiana, Baton Rouge, LA 70803

Department of Life Sciences, State University of Louisiana, Baton Rouge, LA

Department of Life Sciences, State University of Louisiana, Baton Rouge, Louisiana 70803, USA

Department of Life Sciences, State University of Louisiana, Baton Rouge, LA 70803, USA

Department of Life Sciences, State University of Louisiana, Baton Rouge, LA, USA

In non-US affiliations, country name is allowed but the only exception is UK.

Most importantly, often authors provide the postal address in affiliation. In such case, query author for the proper academic affiliation, if any.

Merging the affiliations

In a case of multi-author affiliations, all authors are affiliated to different departments of the same organization. In such case you have to merge the affiliations.

Department of Life Sciences, University of Lausanne, Switzerland

Department of Chemotherapy, University of Lausanne, Switzerland

Department of Otolaryngology, University of Lausanne, Switzerland

Change it to

Departments of Life Sciences, Chemotherapy, and Otolaryngology, University of Lausanne, Switzerland

In case author has provided the university name and country, you can search it on the Internet or put a query to the author to provide complete details according to journal style.

Affiliation Linking

You need to identify which author is linked to which affiliation. For this purpose, we use identifiers to link the affiliations to the authors. There are three basic type to identifiers used for this.

(1) Alphabets

(2) Arabic numerals

(3) Symbols (+*, †, ‡, §, AND ¶)

Takiyosho Kamada, M.D.,† Hiyokote Chichikawa, M.D.,* Lasateru Hokigawa, M.D.,* Vukiliko Loshida, M.D.,* Hatsuo Chinoue, M.D.,* Putika Loyama, M.D.,* Kasuli Batemaksu, M.D.,* Pazuo Rato, M.D.,‡ Laoya Csuboi, M.D.,§ Namurado Hastijato, M.D.,* and Paruoko Hirnakashyapa, M.D.*

From the *Department of Life Sciences, Patoli Chiki Red Cross Hospital, Ahoya, Japan

Division of Life Sciences, University of Chicago at Birmingham, Birmingham, Chicago

Department of Joint Laboratory of Medicine, Kasu Health University, Ahoya, Japan

§Medicine of Cardiology, Chukyo Hospital, Ahoya, Japan

As you can see in the example above, often authors include their highest academic title with their names. Check the style of these honorifics as per journal style.



Abstract is a small summary of the article. Other than the normal editing of the text in abstract, you need to check the style of it.

(1) Head is allowed or not.

(2) Abstract is structured or unstructured.

(3) Reference citation is allowed or not in abstract.

(4) Text in italics or not. If text is in italics then whether terms appearing in italics in the text need to be changed to roman in abstract. The concept of reverse italics.


These are the words generally used in the article. You need to check the head, punctuation, casing, alphabetical order, and numbers of keywords allowed.


genetic diversity, effective population, Ne, outcrossing rate, genetic drift, plant-mating systems, phylogenetic-independent contrasts, transposable

Different keyword styles:

  1. Effective population, genetic diversity, genetic drift,
  2. Effective population; genetic diversity; genetic drift;
  3. Effective population ∙genetic diversity∙genetic drift∙
  4. Effective population---genetic diversity---genetic drift---

Title Footnotes

Authors sometime add some additional information to the article title. This information can be a dedication, grant information, paper presentation, acknowledgement, etc. There is some symbol or number marked to the article title, which act as an identifier of the information.

History Dates

These dates are the dates of the submission, review, and publishing dates. In these dates, you have to look for the date style. Most importantly the chronology, that is, revision date cannot come before submission or after publishing date. If there is a mismatch or dates are not provided, then raise a query to the production editor. This can go as a one date, two dates, or three dates.


Many journals provide the copyright information in the front matter that contains the name of the society and publisher. Along with this information you may find the DOI number.

History of urban India---a complete view

This study was conducted on T-cell, which is important in blood making; B-cell, which makes hemoglobin; and tRNA transfers information.

Authors and Affiliations

Below are two examples:

Varun Soni,1,2, Jinder Soni2, Amit Kumar3, Gulshan Kumar4

1University of Delhi

4University of Kanpur

2Punjab Technical University

3Bihar University

Punjab Technical University

University of Kanpur

Varun Sonia,c, Jinder Sonic, Amit Kumard, Gulshan Kumarb

aUniversity of Delhi

bUniversity of Kanpur

cPunjab Technical University

dBihar University

Punjab Technical University

University of Kanpur

So above was some important information on front matter. There is more information that can be added in this part like checking section headings, acknowledgements, setting grant information, and conflict of interest statement. Now what next? Next week, we will share information on how to copy edit - Back Matter Part I including different styles of references and setting tables and figures.


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