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Instructions for contributors


Parasitology publishes original papers on pure and applied parasitology, including biochemistry, molecular biology, immunology, genetics, physiology, epidemiology, ecology, vaccine and drug studies, and the control of parasitic infections, the application of new techniques, advances in the understanding of host-parasite relationships, theoretical studies and major systematic revisions. There is no minimum or maximum length for a paper but all manuscripts, including short ones, must be prepared in the standard format for this journal and any manuscript that is excessively long will be returned for shortening.

Editorial Process

All manuscripts submitted to Parasitology are received by the Editor-in-Chief, Professor Stephen Phillips, who will make a first assessment of their suitability for the journal. At this stage a very small number of submissions are immediately rejected. Thereafter the manuscripts deemed appropriate for the journal are passed to the one of the Editors or retained by the E-in-C, to be then sent out to external reviewers for comment and advice. The referees are often members of the Editorial Board and their names and expertise are published on the Parasitology website. (The names of all of the Referees used each year are published in the journal.) The Editor detailed to process a manuscript will make the final decision although he or she might ask for advice from another Editor. An Editor who submits a manuscript to the journal takes no part in the refereeing process and has no access to the names of the referees involved.

Manuscripts are submitted electronically to Parasitology, allowing authors to benefit from faster review and quicker online publication. Authors should submit their manuscripts online to: All enquiries should be directed to the Editorial Office at

Authors must follow these Instructions for Authors and should refer to a recent issue of Parasitology for the correct style. Authors of Reviews must follow these instructions with major headings in UPPER CASE and secondary headings in lower case italics.

The preferred word processing packages are Word or WordPerfect in either PC or Macintosh format.

Submission of a manuscript implies that it has been approved in its final form by all the named authors, that it reports on unpublished work and that it has not been published or submitted for publication, in whole or in part, elsewhere. It is the responsibility of the corresponding author to ensure that these conditions are fulfilled. Authors of articles published in the journal assign copyright to Cambridge University Press (with certain rights reserved), and a copyright assignment form must be completed on acceptance of the paper. On acceptance the corresponding author will be asked to supply a final version of the manuscript. Once a proof has been returned only minor changes will be allowed. Authors should be aware that large numbers of changes may lead to the paper being returned to reviewers for approval, delaying publication, in addition to incurring costs associated with making the changes.

Manuscript Format

Please note that failure to follow the Instructions for Authors will almost certainly result in the manuscript being returned to the author for correct formatting before it is sent out to the referees and hence there will be an unavoidable delay in the processing of your manuscript.

The manuscript should be organized as follows:

1.         TITLE PAGE. The title page should contain (i) a concise and informative full title, (ii) the initials and name(s) of the authors and family names, (iii) the full postal address(es) of the institution(s) where the work was carried out, (iv) a short informative running title and (v) the name and address, telephone and fax numbers, and E-mail address of the corresponding author. Footnotes containing other addresses may be included. Nothing else should appear on the title page.

2.         SUMMARY/ABSTRACT. This should not be more than about 150-200 words and its purpose is to summarize the main aims, results and conclusions in such a way that they could be understood by any interested reader and not only experts in the subject, and could be used by an abstracting journal. A well worded abstract can dramatically improve the visibility and discoverability of your work so please take care with this section. References to published or unpublished work and unnecessary abbreviations should be avoided. Appended to the Summary should be 3-10 relevant key words, suitable for indexing. Nothing else should appear on the Summary page.

3.         KEY FINDINGS (only necessary for original articles not special issue articles). Distil the key results and/or conclusions of the study into 3 to 5 short bullet points of less than 90 characters each. These key points will give the editor and referees an immediate overview of the paper and an insight into the importance of your findings.

4.         INTRODUCTION. This should be as short as possible, normally not more than 2-3 paragraphs, and should simply serve to introduce the reader to the purpose and significance of the work described. It should neither be a mini-review nor should it be so bland as to be uninformative. When making general statements, reference should be made to recent reviews, and specific references should be cited only if they are particularly relevant.

5.         MATERIALS AND METHODS. Sufficient information for the reader to be able to repeat the work must be given, but techniques described in detail in other publications need not be repeated, provided that an adequate reference is cited. Major modifications to methods should be clearly described. The numbers of experiments, replicates, etc. and any statistical tests used should be stated.

The full binomial name should be given for all organisms, except those such as mice, rats and rabbits, commonly used in laboratories and domesticated animals such as cows, dogs and cats. Generic names should be given in full when first mentioned and subsequently if any confusion is likely to arise. If reference is made to an uncommon taxon the authority for the taxon and date should be stated. Abbreviations such as An. (for Anopheles) should be avoided unless absolutely essential, for example when referring to two or more generic names beginning with the same letter. Authors should follow International Rules for Nomenclature and, if new names are introduced, the International Code for Zoological Nomenclature. All strains and sources of hosts and parasites should be stated.

Abbreviations should be used sparingly and unambiguously. SI units should be used wherever appropriate and other standard statistical, chemical, biochemical and molecular abbreviations may also be used. In case of any doubt, authors are advised to spell out the term in full, followed by the abbreviation in parenthesis, when it is first used.

6. RESULTS. These should be confined to a factual account of the actual results obtained. Where necessary results should be analysed using an appropriate statistical test. Discussion and reference to other work should be left to the Discussion.

(i)         Tables. Each table, headed by a self-explanatory title, must be double spaced on a separate page and numbered consecutively. Rules, particularly vertical ones, should be avoided. Each table should be referred to consecutively as Table 1 etc in the text. The use of bold and italic text should be avoided unless absolutely necessary.

(ii)         Figures. These may be line drawings or photographs and all should be referred to consecutively in the text as Fig. 1 etc. Component parts of figures should be labelled A, B, C etc. Legends for figures should be self-explanatory and must not contain details of results.

Line drawings should not be larger than twice the final size and in no circumstances should exceed 170 x 250 mm. Line drawings should be as simple as possible, lines should be bold enough to stand reduction to about 0.25-0.35 mm. Preferred symbols are open and filled circles, squares and triangles, and these should be used consistently. Lettering should be kept to a minimum and should be self-explanatory and unambiguous and of sufficiently high quality and size to be clearly visible after reduction to final size.

Photographs should be the same size as they will appear in the journal and should be selected to fit neatly into one column (80 mm) or two columns (166 mm). Photographs should be labelled and numbered as for line drawings. For microscopical preparations, scale bars with appropriate units (e.g. 50μm) must be provided; statements of magnification are not acceptable.

Colour figures may be accepted provided that they are of a very high quality and scientifically necessary. The final decision for use of colour will be at the discretion of the Editors. Charges of £200 per page may apply. If colour figures are accepted, but are not deemed to be necessary for the print version, or funds are not available, we are able to publish articles in colour for the online version of the journal. In these instances two versions of the figures should be submitted (i.e., one set in colour and one set in black and white), ensuring that the figure legends provided are able to accurately describe the qualities of both.

7.         DISCUSSION. The results (including further reference to figures and tables) should neither be repeated in detail nor should new information be introduced. Speculation is encouraged but should not go beyond reasonable and testable hypotheses. The Discussion should not attempt to be a mini-review.

8.         ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS. You may acknowledge individuals or organisations that provided advice, support (non-financial). Formal financial support and funding should be listed in the following section.

9.         FINANCIAL SUPPORT. Please provide details of the sources of financial support for all authors, including grant numbers. For example, “This work was supported by the Medical research Council (grant number XXXXXXX)”. Multiple grant numbers should be separated by a comma and space, and where research was funded by more than one agency the different agencies should be separated by a semi-colon, with “and before the final funder. Grants held by different authors should be identified as belonging to individual authors by the authors’ initials. For example, “This work was supported by the Wellcome Trust (A.B., grant numbers XXXX, YYYY), (C.D., grant number ZZZZ); the Natural Environment Research Council (E.F., grant number FFFF); and the National Institutes of Health (A.B., grant number GGGG), (E.F., grant number HHHH). Where no specific funding has been provided for research, please provide the following statement “This research received no specific grant from any funding agency, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.”

10. REFERENCES. It is essential that the appropriate reference format for Parasitology is adhered to precisely.

Where using reference management software Endnote, please note that Endnote version 7 is compatible with this journal’s formatting.

(i) References in the text.

References should be kept to an essential minimum. Only references to published work or work actually 'in Press’ are permitted. Reference to unpublished work is acceptable but only as either 'unpublished results' or 'personal communication' and under no circumstances should references to unpublished work, work in preparation or un-refereed abstracts be included in the Reference List.

Lists of text references should be arranged in ascending date order and then alphabetically, please note the first line of references is no longer indented.


Brown and Green, 1961; Black, 1995, 2011; Brown, 1995; Brown et al. 2001, 2002a,b, 2010

       For papers with more than two authors et al. should be used.

Brown, A. et al. (1992a)

When authors are not directly referred to the reference should be in parentheses as follows:

All currently known COI sequences of G. salaris from rainbow trout (Hansen et al. 2003; Meinilä et al. 2004) are haplotype F.

(ii) List of References

References, which must be double spaced and listed alphabetically, should begin on a separate page following the Discussion and Acknowledgements. The accuracy and appropriateness of the references are solely the responsibility of the author and are not checked in the editorial office.

The format required by this journal is given below and, if in any doubt, authors should refer to a recent copy of the journal. Please note that the names of all authors should be given in bold font and that the journal name should be italicized and given in full, not abbreviated. Where known, the article Digital Object Identifier (doi) should be included, at the end of the entry (see example below).

Journal References

Higgs, S., Snow, K. and Gould, E. A. (2003). The potential for West Nile virus to establish outside of its natural range: a consideration of potential mosquito vectors in the United Kingdom. Transactions of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene 98, 82-87. doi: 10.1016/S0035- 9203(03)00004-X.


Smyth, J. D. (1994). Introduction to Animal Parasitology, 3rd Edn. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK.

Chapters in Books

Grenfell, B. T., Dietz, K. and Roberts, M. G. (1995). Modelling the immuno-epidemiology of macroparasites in naturally-fluctuating host populations. In Ecology of Infectious Diseases in Natural Populations (ed. Grenfell, B. T. and Dobson, A. P.), pp. 362-383. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK.

WHO Publications

World Health Organization (1995). Onchocerciasis and its Control. WHO Technical Report Series No. 852. World Health Organization, Geneva, Switzerland.

When referencing Parasitology Supplements

Jenkins, D. J. and MacPherson, C. N. L. (2003). Transmission ecology of Echinococcus in wild-life in Australia and Africa. Parasitology 127 (Suppl.), S63-S72. doi: 10.1017/S0031182003003871.

PhD Theses (note: we will not accept MSc theses)

Geets, A. (1998). Host-parasite interactions between sympatric Pomatoschistus species (Gobiidae, Teleostei) and their helminth parasites: ecological and phylogenic aspects. PhD theses, KU Leuven, Leuven, Belgium.

11.       REVIEWS AND SPECIAL ISSUES: The headings* for papers should be as follows:

  • Summary (and key words)
  • Introduction
  • Additional headings and sub-headings as appropriate to each paper
  • Discussion
  • Conclusions/Future directions
  • Acknowledgements
  • Financial support
  • References

*          Headings (not in bold) are formatted as follows: primary - UPPER CASE; secondary sub-heading -lower case italics on separate line; tertiary sub-heading - lower case italics running on

12. ETHICAL AND REGULATORY GUIDELINES: policy on animal (vertebrates and higher invertebrates) use:

The authors must demonstrate the experimental procedures employed conform to the accepted principles of animal welfare in experimental science. The principles defined and explained in the European Convention for the Protection of Vertebrate Animals used for Experimental and Other Scientific Purposes and its appendix and/or the National Research Council Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals should be followed. A statement acknowledging conformation to these standards and that the authors have involved the minimum number of animals to produce statistically reproducible results must be included in the covering letter to the Editor-in-Chief as well as in the ‘Materials and Methods’ section of the manuscript. If experimental methodology raises particular ethical or welfare concerns then the Editor will take additional guidance from Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986, when making decisions. The Editor’s decision with regard to ethics will be final.

On Acceptance

On acceptance to the journal the final version of the manuscript containing the following should be submitted: Title Page, Summary, Introduction, Materials and Methods, Results, Discussion, Acknowledgements, References, Tables, Figure legends.

In particular, each table should occupy a separate page.

Please ensure that your figures are submitted separately at final publication size (one column, 80mm) or two-column (166 mm) and are in the recommended file formats. Following these guidelines will result in high quality images being reproduced in both the print and the online versions of the journal. Please do not submit the final versions of figures in MS WORD, .jpeg or Powerpoint (.ppt) format.

Line artwork

Format: .tif or .eps

Colour mode: black and white (also known as 1-bit)

Resolution: 1000 dpi

Combination artwork (line/tone)

Format: .tif or .eps

Colour mode: greyscale (also known as 8-bit)

Resolution: 600 dpi

Black and white halftone artwork

Format: .tif

Colour mode: greyscale (also known as 8-bit)

Resolution: 300 dpi

Colour halftone artwork

Format: .tif

Colour mode: CMYK colour

Resolution: 300 dpi

  For further information, please refer to the Cambridge Journals Artwork Guide, which can be found online at:

Open Access

Parasitology is a hybrid Open Access journal. Green OA applies to all of Cambridge University Press's journal articles but is primarily designed to support OA for articles that are otherwise only available by subscription or other payment. For that reason, the copyright freedoms allowed are more restrictive than under a Gold OA option which is also available at Parasitology.

Under the conditions detailed on the Journal’s standard transfer of copyright form, when an article is accepted, its authors are free to post their accepted version of the accepted manuscript - not the Version of Record - on a: 

  • Department or institutional repository 6 months after publication
  • Non-commercial subject repository 6 months after publication
  • Commercial repository or social media site - only abstract plus link to VoR on

As such, the Journal is compliant with the ‘Open Access’ mandates of the vast majority of academic institutions and funding sources. For more information on our Green OA policy, visit here.

 Authors also have the option to publish their paper under a fully or Gold ‘Open Access’ agreement, upon the payment of a one-off ‘Article Processing Charge’ of £1,695/$2,700.

In this case, the final published ‘Version of Record’ shall be made freely available to all, in perpetuity, and will be published under a creative commons licence, enabling its free re-use and re- distribution for non-commercial means. Click here for the paid option Open Access transfer of copyright form. The corresponding author will be able to choose between standard publication and publication under the ‘Open Access’ agreement once their paper has been accepted. 


Page proofs will be forwarded as PDF files by E-mail to the corresponding author. It is the responsibility of the author to ensure that no errors are present. Only essential corrections should be made and authors will be charged for excessive alterations at the proof stage. If corrections are deemed to be substantial the paper will be rejected and the author asked to resubmit their work for peer review.

Cambridge Language Editing Service

We suggest that authors whose first language is not English have their manuscripts checked by a native English speaker before submission. This is optional, but will help to ensure that any submissions that reach peer review can be judged exclusively on academic merit. We offer a Cambridge service which you can find out more about here, and suggest that authors contact as appropriate. Please note that use of language editing services is voluntary, and at the author’s own expense. Use of these services does not guarantee that the manuscript will be accepted for publication, nor does it restrict the author to submitting to a Cambridge-published journal.

Download the Parasitology instructions for contributors here: Download Instruction for Contributors in PDF. (122.617 KB)

To view the PDF file linked above, you will need Adobe Acrobat Reader.

Click here to read more about Parasitology Express.