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Instructions for contributors

Proceedings of the Nutrition Society (PNS) publishes 1) review papers presented by invitation at the symposia and meetings of The Nutrition Society; and 2) accepted abstracts presented as oral communications at the Nutrition Society's meetings and conferences. The geographical scope of the journal is international. PNS is indexed in several databases including MEDLINE, Scopus and Science Citation Index Expanded, and has an Impact Factor of 4.937 (2013).


Invitations to present papers at symposia are issued on the understanding that the persons invited submit their papers for publication to PNS in the format outlined in the letter of invitation. Invited papers may be co-authored. Submitted papers should not be previously published elsewhere in the same form either in English or another language, without the consent of the Publications Officer. Please be aware that the remit of PNS is to publish invited review style manuscripts (not research papers), and equally papers should not include previously unpublished original data or material. Publication of papers is subject to peer review by the Editorial Board.

Original Communications (abstracts) accepted for presentation and publication at meetings of the Society will be published online only in PNS in the form of an abstract not exceeding 400 words or the equivalent space in print. These abstracts should be submitted as stated in notices calling such meetings. The style of references, abbreviations, symbols and illustrations should be that of PNS. Full guidelines can be found on the Nutrition Society website:

Complete guidelines for preparing your invited manuscript are provided below.

Review Process

PNS uses a single-blind peer review process. Manuscripts are subject to review by the Editorial Board or external reviewers as appropriate.

Publishing Ethics

PNS adheres to the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) guidelines on research and publications ethics. The Journal considers all manuscripts on the strict condition that:

  1. 1. The manuscript is your own original work, and does not duplicate any other previously published work;
  1. 2. The manuscript has been submitted only to the journal - it is not under consideration or peer review or accepted for publication or in press or published elsewhere;
  1. 3. All listed authors know of and agree to the manuscript being submitted to the journal; and
  1. 4. The manuscript contains nothing that is abusive, defamatory, fraudulent, illegal, libellous, or obscene.

Text taken directly or closely paraphrased from earlier published work that has not been acknowledged or referenced will be considered plagiarism. Submitted manuscripts in which such text is identified will be withdrawn from the editorial process. Any concerns raised about possible plagiarism or other violations of ethical guidelines in an article submitted to, or published in, PNS will be investigated fully and dealt with in accordance with the COPE guidelines.

Detailed manuscript preparation instructions

Papers submitted for publication must be written in English and should be written clearly and concisely. We recommend that, where necessary, authors have their manuscript checked by an English language native speaker before submission, to ensure that submissions are judged at peer review exclusively on academic merit.

We list a number of third-party services specialising in language editing and / or translation, and suggest that authors contact as appropriate. Use of any of these services is voluntary, and at the author's own expense. Spelling should generally be that of the Concise Oxford Dictionary (1995), 9th ed. Oxford: Clarendon Press.


The Journal conforms to the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) definition of authorship. The contribution of individuals who were involved in the study but do not meet these criteria should be described in the Acknowledgments section.

Invited symposium papers

Authors are reminded that their papers will be read by a wide cross-section of the Society's members, many of whom were neither at the meeting nor are they specialists in the subject area. Authors should thus seek to provide an introduction and context to the subject and are encouraged to provide extensive references to allow the reader to further explore the subject, in addition to summarising the more recent findings, conclusions and hypotheses of their own and other research groups. Authors should avoid unnecessary use of 'jargon' and acronyms and ensure that as far as possible acronyms and abbreviations are defined and explained in the text. Please see previous examples of published papers here.

Authors will be emailed with instructions for submitting their manuscript online and a deadline shortly after the end of the relevant conference. Authors are normally asked to submit their manuscript within 6 weeks of the close of the conference; if the deadline is missed, the manuscript may not be published in the journal issue that is allocated to that conference.

Manuscript Format

The requirements of PNS are in accordance with the Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts Submitted to Biomedical Journals produced by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE), and authors are encouraged to consult the latest guidelines, which contain useful, general information about preparing scientific papers. The journal endorses the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta- Analyses (PRISMA) Statement, a guideline to help authors report a systematic review and meta-analysis (see British Medical Journal(2009) 339, b2535). A systematic review or meta-analysis of randomised trials and other evaluation studies should follow the PRISMA guidelines.

  • Papers should not exceed 7000 words, excluding references.
  • The title of the paper should reflect the content, and may therefore differ slightly from the title of the oral presentation.
  • Tables and figures may be included, but must be considered in the in the overall word count (one half-page table or figure is equivalent to about 500 words in two columns or 250 words in one column).
  • Typescripts should be prepared with 1.5 line spacing and wide margins (2 cm), and the preferred font is Times New Roman size 12. At the ends of lines, words should not be hyphenated unless hyphens are to be printed.
  • Use of headings is encouraged.
  • Line numbering and page numbering are required.

Manuscripts should include the following sections:

Cover letter

Authors are invited to upload a cover letter as part of the online submission process.

Title Page

The title page should include:

    1. 1. The title of the article;
    2. 2. Authors' names;
    3. 3. Name and address of department(s) and institution(s) to which the work should be attributed for each author;
    4. 4. Name, mailing address, email address, telephone and fax numbers of the author responsible for correspondence about the manuscript;
    5. 5. A shortened version of the title, not exceeding 45 characters (including letters and spaces) in length;
    6. 6. Three or four keywords or phrases (each containing up to three words); where possible authors should use terms from the Medical Subject Headings from Index Medicus to aid in indexing and information retrieval.
Authors' names should be given without titles or degrees and one forename may be given in full. Identify each author's institution by a superscript number (e.g. A.B. Smith1) and list the institutions underneath and after the final author.


Each paper must begin with a carefully prepared, accurate, informative abstract, in one paragraph, that is complete in itself and intelligible without reference to text or figures. The abstract should start with the objective / aim of the review paper, followed by the key findings and ending in clear conclusion. It should not exceed 250 words. You may have previously been invited to submit a speaker abstract for your presentations – please be aware that your manuscript abstract can, and may need to, be different from the manuscript abstract to reflect the scope and content of the paper.


Here you may acknowledge individuals or organisations that provided advice and/or support (non-financial). This section should be listed after the main body of the manuscript, before the references. Formal financial support and funding should be listed in the following section.

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)".

This disclosure is particularly important in the case of authors or research supported by industry, including not only direct financial support for the study but also support in kind such as provision of medications, equipment, kits or reagents without charge or at reduced cost and provision of services such as statistical analysis. All such support should be disclosed here and if no such support was received this must be stated.

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."

Conflict of Interest

Conflict of interest exists when an author has interests that might inappropriately influence his or her judgement, even if that judgement is not influenced. Because of this, authors must disclose potentially conflicting interests so that others can make judgements about such effects. Please provide details of all known financial and non-financial (professional and personal) relationships with the potential to bias the work. Where no known conflicts of interest exist, please include the following statement: "None."

For more information on what constitutes a conflict of interest, please see the ICMJE guidelines.


References should be numbered consecutively in the order in which they first appear in the text using superscript Arabic numerals in parentheses, e.g. 'The conceptual difficulty of this approach has recently been highlighted(1,2)'. If a reference is cited more than once, the same number should be used each time. References cited only in tables and figure legends should be numbered in sequence from the last number used in the text and in the order of mention of the individual tables and figures in the text.

Names and initials of authors of unpublished work should be given in the text as 'unpublished results' and not included in the References. References that have been published online only but not yet in an issue should include the online publication date and the Digital Object Identifier (doi) reference, as per the example below.

At the end of the paper, on a page(s) separate from the text, references should be listed in numerical order using the Vancouver system. When an article has more than three authors only the names of the first three authors should be given followed by 'et al.' The issue number should be omitted if there is continuous pagination throughout a volume. Titles of journals should appear in their abbreviated form using the NCBI LinkOut page. References to books and monographs should include the town of publication and the number of the edition to which reference is made. References to material available on websites should follow a similar style, with the full URL included at the end of the reference, as well as the date of the version cited and the date of access.

Examples of correct forms of references are given below.

Journal articles

    1. Rebello SA, Koh H, Chen C et al. (2014) Amount, type, and sources of carbohydrates in relation to ischemic heart disease mortality in a Chinese population: a prospective cohort study. Am J Clin Nutr 100, 53-64.
    1. Villar J, Ismail LC, Victora CG et al. (2014) International standards for newborn weight, length, and head circumference by gestational age and sex: the Newborn Cross-Sectional Study of the INTERGROWTH-21st Project.Lancet 384, 857-868.
    1. Alonso VR & Guarner F (2013) Linking the gut microbiota to human health. Br J Nutr 109, Suppl. 2, S21–S26.
    1. Bauserman M, Lokangaka A, Gado J et al. A cluster-randomized trial determining the efficacy of caterpillar cereal as a locally available and sustainable complementary food to prevent stunting and anaemia. Public Health Nutr. Published online: 29 January 2015. doi: 10.1017/S1368980014003334.

Books and monographs

    1. Bradbury J (2002) Dietary intervention in edentulous patients. PhD Thesis, University of Newcastle.
    1. Ailhaud G & Hauner H (2004) Development of white adipose tissue. In Handbook of Obesity. Etiology and Pathophysiology, 2nd ed., pp. 481–514 [GA Bray and C Bouchard, editors]. New York: Marcel Dekker.
    1. Bruinsma J (editor) (2003) World Agriculture towards 2015/2030: An FAO Perspective. London: Earthscan Publications.
    2. World Health Organization (2003) Diet, Nutrition and the Prevention of Chronic Diseases. Joint WHO/FAO Expert Consultation. WHO Technical Report Series no. 916. Geneva: WHO.
    1. Keiding L (1997) Astma, Allergi og Anden Overfølsomhed i Danmark – Og Udviklingen 1987–199I (Asthma, Allergy and Other Hypersensitivities in Denmark, 1987–1991). Copenhagen, Denmark: Dansk Institut for Klinisk Epidemiologi.

Sources from the internet

    1. Nationmaster (2005) HIV AIDS – Adult prevalence rate. (accessed June 2013).


Figures should be supplied as separate electronic files. Figure legends should be grouped in a section at the end of the manuscript text. Each figure should be clearly marked with its number and separate panels within figures should be clearly marked (a), (b), (c) and so forth. so that they are easily identifiable when the article and figure files are merged for review. Each figure, with its legend, should be comprehensible without reference to the manuscript text and should include definitions of abbreviations.

We recommend that only TIFF, EPS or PDF formats are used for electronic artwork. Other formats (e.g. JPG, PPT and GIF files and images created in Microsoft Word) are usable but generally NOT suitable for conversion to print reproduction. For further information about how to prepare your figures, including sizing and resolution requirements, please see our artwork guide.

In curves presenting experimental results the determined points should be clearly shown, the symbols used being, in order of preference, ○, ●, ∆, ▲, □, ■, ×, +. Curves and symbols should not extend beyond the experimental points. Scale-marks on the axes should be on the inner side of each axis and should extend beyond the last experimental point. Ensure that lines and symbols used in graphs and shading used in histograms are large enough to be easily identified when the figure size is reduced to fit the printed page.

Colour figures will be published online free of charge, and there is a fee of £250 per figure for colour figures in the printed version. If you request colour figures in the printed version, you will be contacted by CCC- Rightslink who are acting on our behalf to collect colour charges. Please follow their instructions in order to avoid any delay in the publication of your article.

Images submitted with a manuscript should be minimally processed; some image processing is acceptable (and may be unavoidable), but the final image must accurately represent the original data. Grouping or cropping of images must be identified in the legend and indicated by clear demarcation. Adjustment of brightness, contrast or colour balance is acceptable if applied to the whole image and to controls and if data do not disappear as the result of the manipulation. Authors should provide sufficient detail of image-gathering procedures and process manipulation in the Methods sections to enable the accuracy of image presentation to be assessed. Authors should retain their original data, as Editors may request them for comparison during manuscript review. If such data are unavailable the manuscript may be withdrawn from the review process. If a concern is raised about possible image manipulation in an article published in PNS, this will be investigated fully and dealt with in accordance with the Committee on Publication Ethics guidelines.

Please ensure that permission for all appropriate uses has been obtained from the copyright holder for any figures or other material not in the authors' copyright, and that the appropriate acknowledgement has been made to the original source.


Tables should be placed in the main manuscript file at the end of the document, not within the main text. Be sure that each table is cited in the text. Tables should carry headings describing their content and should be comprehensible without reference to the text. Tables should not be subdivided by ruled lines.

The dimensions of the values, e.g. mg/kg, should be given at the top of each column. Separate columns should be used for measures of variance (SD, SE etc.), the ± sign should not be used. The number of decimal places used should be standardized; for whole numbers 1.0, 2.0 etc. should be used. Shortened forms of the words weight (wt) height (ht) and experiment (Expt) may be used to save space in tables, but only Expt (when referring to a specified experiment, e.g. Expt 1) is acceptable in the heading.

Footnotes are given in the following order: (1) abbreviations, (2) superscript letters, (3) symbols. Abbreviations are given in the format: RS, resistant starch. Abbreviations in tables must be defined in footnotes in the order that they appear in the table (reading from left to right across the table, then down each column). Symbols for footnotes should be used in the sequence: *†‡§||¶, then ** etc. (omit * or †, or both, from the sequence if they are used to indicate levels of significance).

For indicating statistical significance, superscript letters or symbols may be used. Superscript letters are useful where comparisons are within a row or column and the level of significance is uniform, e.g. 'a,b,cMean values within a column with unlike superscript letters were significantly different (P<0•05)'. Symbols are useful for indicating significant differences between rows or columns, especially where different levels of significance are found, e.g. 'Mean values were significantly different from those of the control group: *P<0•05, **P<0•01, ***P<0•001'. The symbols used for P values in the tables must be consistent.

License to Publish form

Authors or their institutions retain copyright of papers published in PNS. The corresponding author should complete a License to Publish form on behalf of all authors, and upload this with the manuscript files at the time of submission. The form includes confirmation that permission for all appropriate uses has been obtained from the copyright holder for any figures or other material not in the authors' copyright, and that the appropriate acknowledgement has been made to the original source. If the manuscript is not accepted, the form will be destroyed.

Open Access

Authors in PNS have the option to publish their paper under a fully Open Access agreement, upon payment of a one-off Article Processing Charge. In this case, the final published Version of Record will be made freely available to all in perpetuity under a creative commons license, enabling its re-use and re-distribution. This Open Access option is only offered to authors upon acceptance of an article for publication.

Authors choosing the Open Access option are required to complete the Open Access License to Publish form. More information about Open Access in PNS, including the current Article Processing Charge, can be found on our website.


AuthorAID is a global network that provides free support, mentoring, resources and training to help researchers in low- and middle-income countries to write, publish and otherwise communicate their work.

Key features of AuthorAID are:

a community space for discussion and questions where researchers can benefit from advice and insights from members across the globe
access to a range of documents and presentations on best practice in writing and publication
world-wide training workshops and MOOCs on scientific writing
a chance to network with other researchers
personal mentoring by highly published researchers and professional editors

For any authors new to publishing research articles, we encourage you to make use of the AuthorAID resources before submitting your paper to PNS. Through the AuthorAID network, guidance can be found to help researchers through the process of writing and submitting scientific papers, advice about responding to reviewer comments, as well as research design and grant applications.

Please note that seeking support through AuthorAID will not guarantee acceptance for publication in PNS, or affect the editorial process in any way.

Accepted Manuscripts

PDF proofs are sent to authors in order that they make sure that the paper has been correctly set up in type. Only changes to errors induced by typesetting/copy-editing or typographical errors will be accepted.

Corrected proofs should be returned within 3 days by email to:

Monica Nelson, email:

If corrected proofs are not received from authors within 7 days the paper may be published as it stands.


A PDF file of the paper will be supplied free of charge to the corresponding author of each paper, and offprints may be ordered on the order form sent with the proofs.


Prospective authors may contact the Editorial Office directly on +44 (0) 1223 347922 (telephone) or