Guidelines for Book Chapter Preparation

Guidelines for Book Chapter Preparation

Please follow these guidelines when preparing a manuscript for any ASM Press publication.

Manuscript Formatting

• Prepare your submission as a Word document.

• All articles or chapters must have an abstract.

• Double-space all elements (including text, references, figure legends, tables, and table footnotes). Type each table on a separate page, with all elements double spaced. With rare exceptions, the data in tables should be arranged so that columns of like material read down, not across.

• Use 1-inch (2.5-cm) margins.

• Follow standard ASM style, as detailed in the instructions to authors of any ASM journal (www.journals.asm.org) for other style questions, such as nomenclature, designations, and abbreviations.


• Submit all figures as digital images. We may request high-quality hard copies of figures upon acceptance of your manuscript if there are problems with the digital image files.

• Continuous-tone figures (gels, micrographs, photographs, etc.) should be high-quality photographic prints. Digital files must have a resolution of at least 300 dpi. TIFF (.tif), JPEG (.jpg), and EPS (.eps) files are preferred. Do not submit photos as PowerPoint or Word files. Note: illustrations downloaded from the Internet are not acceptable unless their resolution meets or exceeds the minimum specified in these guidelines; the resolution of most photos on the Internet is insufficient for printing.

• Line figures should be high-quality laser prints on a white background. Avoid the use of gray shading; differences in shades of gray will not reproduce clearly. Use black or white fills or fill patterns such as cross-hatching instead. Avoid the use of fine lines (such as hairline rules) and tiny lettering, and do not use wide variations in type size within a single figure. Digital line art files (TIFF, JPEG, or EPS) should have a resolution of at least 1,200 dpi. PowerPoint files are also acceptable for line art.

• Figures must be able to withstand significant reduction.

• Do not embed figures in text or PowerPoint files. Each figure must be submitted as a separate file.

• Submit color figures if color is needed for proper or improved interpretation of the data by the reader.

• Computer-generated images may be processed only minimally. Processing, e.g., changing contrast, brightness, or color balance, is acceptable only if applied to all parts of the image, as well as to the controls, equally, and descriptions of all such adjustments and the tools used (both hardware and software) must be provided in the manuscript. Unprocessed data and files must be retained by the authors and be provided to the editor on request.

References Style

• References must be numbered in the order in which they are cited in the text.

• Cite references in the text by number within parentheses (not superscript).

Journals References to journals (printed or online) must include all authors’ names (do not use “et al.”), year, article title, journal name, volume, and inclusive page numbers. An example of an acceptable journal citation (modified PubMed/NLM reference style) follows:

  1. Chen Y, McAleer KL, Murrell JC. 2010. Monomethylamine as a nitrogen source for a nonmethylotrophic bacterium, Agrobacterium tumefaciens. Appl Environ Microbiol 76:4102-4104.

Books References to chapters in books (printed or online) must include all authors (do not use “et al.”), year, chapter title, and page numbers as well as the names of all editors, the title of the book, and the publisher and its location. An example of an acceptable book citation (modified PubMed/NLM reference style) follows:

  1. Brandt ME, Gomez BL, Warnock DW. 2011. Histoplasma, Blastomyces, Coccidioides, and other dimorphic fungi causing systemic mycoses, p 1902-1918. In Versalovic J, Carroll KC, Funke G, Jorgensen JH, Landry ML, Warnock DW (ed), Manual of Clinical Microbiology, 10th ed. ASM Press, Washington, DC.

Other types of references to list in the References section: in-press references, patents that have been granted, theses and dissertations, published conference proceedings, published meeting abstracts, laws, letters to the editor, editorials, company publications (except package inserts), and online documents having authority and permanence (see below).

• References to cite in the text: unpublished data (including manuscripts in preparation), articles submitted for publication, personal communications, unpublished conference presentations, package inserts, computer software, databases, patent applications and patents pending, and commercial or evolving web pages (see below) (including temporary material on authors’ websites).

• Online and website references: References available online should be listed in the References section only if they have authority and permanence, e.g., online journals or books and final government and other documents and reports. Provide full facts of publication, including title, author (if available), owner/sponsor of website, URL, and date of publication, most recent revision, or most recent access. Authors are responsible for accuracy of all URLs.


You are responsible for obtaining permission from the copyright owner (usually the original publisher) and the original author to reproduce or modify figures and tables and to reproduce text (in whole or in part) from previous publications. You may request permission via Copyright Clearance Center via RightsLink (http://www.copyright.com) or use the form here when requesting permission. Note that all permissions must obtain a specific set of rights detailed on permission form.

Credit lines It is your responsibility to give proper credit in the text. The following is an example of a credit line: “Reprinted from the Journal of Biological Chemistry (10) with permission of the publisher.”

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