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Environmental Health Perspectives

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Manuscript Style

Plain Language

EHP covers all disciplines engaged in the broad field of environmental health sciences. Therefore, authors should write in a clear and simple manner, in the active voice, and avoid unnecessary jargon, so the article is understandable to readers in other disciplines and to those whose first language is not English. In deference to the breadth of the journal’s readership, please define terms that may not be universally recognized among all environmental health scientists.

Clearly define all outcomes, exposures, predictors, confounders, and covariates, and describe the methods or assays used to charac­terize study data. Results should be presented in a clear and unambiguous manner. Comparison groups or reference conditions should be clearly indicated when reporting meas­ures of association or effect and when reporting p-values for statistical tests comparing outcomes or effects between groups.

We recommend against the use of “-fold” terminology because it can be difficult to determine whether it is being used to describe relative versus absolute differences or changes between groups or conditions.

Whenever possible, provide an estimate of variability or precision when reporting meas­ures of association or central tendency (e.g., confidence intervals, standard deviations, interquartile ranges), regardless of whether p-values are also reported for these estimates.

All manuscripts should be submitted in English. American spelling should be used throughout except for direct quotations from primary sources. For example, use “analyze,” not “analyse”; “behavior,” not “behaviour”; “modeling,” not “modelling”; and “fulfill,” not “fulfil.” Please consult Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, 11th Edition, for guidance. Proper names containing British spelling should be expressed as given (e.g., “BC Centre for Disease Control”; “Minister of Employment, Workforce, and Labour”).


All abbreviations, including abbreviations for elements (e.g., Fe, Cu) and chemical compounds [e.g., polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), carbon dioxide (CO2)], should be defined in the text on first use with abbreviations used thereafter.

Units of measure should be abbreviated only when a specific amount is given (e.g., “concentration of 10 ng/mL” versus “units of nanograms per milliliter”).

In-Text Citations and Reference Lists

References and citations must be formatted according to EHP style as described below. This will reduce copyediting time and the number of author queries included in page proofs. Authors should double-check all references for accuracy and completeness of information, spelling, diacritical marks, symbols, subscripts/superscripts, and italics. Authors are fully responsible for the accuracy of their references.

In-Text Citations

All in-text citations must be in name/date form. Place the citation immediately after the textual information cited, placing name and date within parentheses without a comma. EndNote is a useful source for EHP reference style; the current EHP reference style for EndNote can be downloaded from

  • Single author: (Wing 2002)
  • Two authors: (Wing and Wolf 2000)
  • Three or more authors: Use first author’s last name plus “et al.” (Wing et al. 2008)
  • Multiple sources cited at one time: List publications alphabetically by author in the citation. Separate publications by the same author(s) with commas and those by different authors with semicolons: (Aldridge et al. 2005; Jameson et al. 2006; Levin et al. 2007; Slotkin 2004a, 2004b; Slotkin et al. 2008)
  • Multiple sources cited at one time with different first authors but same last name and date: Use first author’s last name plus initial(s) (Smith A 2000; Smith J 2000).

Provide references for any quotations used in the text. For example:

According to Rubin et al. (2001), “it is only with a multidisciplinary and collaborative approach that the environmental and public health significance of Pfiesteria will be fully understood.”

Any items that must be cited but are not accessible to the public must appear in the text in parentheses but should not be listed in the references: (Ramsdell JS, Moeller PDR, personal communication); (Reeves MK, ­unpublished data).

Reference List

Authors are fully responsible for the accuracy of their references. The list of references should begin on a new page after the Conclusions of the manuscript. All references must include

  • Author/editor last name plus initials (for six or fewer authors; if there are more than six authors, use “et al.” after the sixth) or authoring agency
  • Year of publication
  • Full title of article or chapter (lower case)
  • Title of journal [abbreviated according to BIOSIS, Index Medicus, or PubMed (] or book/proceedings in title case
  • For books and meeting reports, city/state/country of publication and name of publisher
  • Volume and inclusive page numbers
  • DOI number, if available; this information is required for articles published online only
  • For websites and documents available online, URL (web address) and date accessed.

If you are uncertain what to include, please include all information.

List references alphabetically by the last name of the first author. If the first author has more than one publication, list references in alphabetical order (letter by letter) of subsequent authors. If the first author shares the last name with another first author (Smith JM vs. Smith RB), alphabetize by initials. If you list more than one publication by the same author/group of authors, arrange publications by date, early to late. If you list more than one publication published in the same year by the same author/group of authors, use a, b, c, and so on to distinguish the publications.

Sample Alphabetical List

Slotkin TA. 2004a. Cholinergic systems in brain develop­ment and disruption by neuro­toxicants: nicotine, environmental tobacco smoke, organo­phosphates. Toxicol Appl Pharmacol 198:132–151.

Slotkin TA. 2004b. Guidelines for develop­mental neuro­toxicity and their impact on organo­phosphate pesticides: a personal view from an academic perspective. Neurotoxicology 25:631–640.

Slotkin TA. 2005. Developmental neuro­toxicity of organophosphates: a case study of chlorpyrifos. In: Toxicity of Organophosphate and Carbamate Pesticides (Gupta RC, ed). San Diego:Elsevier Academic Press, 293–314.

Slotkin TA, MacKillop EA, Ryde IT, Tate CA, Seidler FJ. 2007. Screening for developmental neuro­toxicity using PC12 cells: comparisons of organophosphates with a carbamate, an organo­chlorine and divalent nickel. Environ Health Perspect 115:93–101.

Slotkin TA, Persons D, Slepetis RJ, Taylor D, Bartolome J. 1984. Control of nucleic acid and protein synthesis in developing brain, kidney, and heart of the neo­natal rat: effects of a difluoro­methylornithine, a specific, irreversible inhibitor of ornithine decarboxylase. Teratology 30:211–224.

Slotkin TA, Seidler FJ. 2007. Comparative developmental neurotoxicity of organophosphates in vivo: transcriptional responses of pathways for brain cell develop­ment, cell signaling, cyto­toxicity and neuro­transmitter systems. Brain Res Bull 72:232–274.


Do not use footnotes. Place all textual information within the manuscript and all references in the proper form both in text and in the ­reference list.

Preparing Tables and Figures


Each table must begin on a new page after the References. Tables must be numbered with Arabic numerals, followed by a brief title (not to exceed 25 words). Tables should contain no more than two layers of column headings. A column heading must be provided for each column. Additional column heads should not be placed in the middle of a table. Tables must be created using the Table feature in Microsoft Word. List abbreviations and definitions under each table. Type footnotes directly after the abbreviations, beginning on the next line. General footnotes to tables must be indicated by lowercase superscript letters beginning with “a” for each table. Footnotes indicating statistical significance must be identified in the following order: asterisks (*, **), number signs (###), and daggers (††). The comparison to which the p-value applies must be clearly indicated (e.g., “compared with untreated controls”). For presentation of data in tables, please use the “±” symbol for arithmetic mean and standard deviation or standard error (e.g., “mean ± SE”) and parentheses for the standard error when presented with the geometric mean [e.g., “GM (SE)”]. Please present number and percent as “n (%)” (i.e., in one column separated with one space). Confidence intervals should be presented in parentheses in the same column as the point estimate, with the upper and lower bounds separated by a comma [e.g., (0.1, 2.3)].

Figure Legends

Figure legends should be provided on a new page after tables. Each figure legend should include a title for the entire figure and descriptors for each panel [e.g., “Figure 1. Incidence of hepato­cellular adenomas (A) and carcinomas (B) in mice exposed to DEHP”]. Define error bars and any abbreviations not defined in the text. Footnotes indicating statistical significance must be identified in the following order: asterisks (*, **), number signs (###), and daggers (††). The comparison to which the p-value applies must be clearly indicated (e.g., “compared with controls from the corresponding age group”). Type footnotes directly after the abbreviations beginning on the next line.


Each figure must be provided as a separate file in one of the following formats: EPS, PDF, TIFF, or JPG. Do not embed figures in the main text (Microsoft Word) file. Each figure must be labeled with the figure number. For TIFF or JPG format, the resolution should be 300 dpi for color images, 600 dpi for grayscale images, and 1,200 dpi for line art (black-and-white art). JPG files should be saved on the “highest quality” setting. Color images should be RGB and saved at a minimum of 8 bits per channel. Because figures may be reduced or enlarged to fit our layouts, sufficient resolution is essential. Vector images should be saved as editable EPS files. Any images embedded in the EPS should also be included in a separate file. Do not convert text to path outlines before submission.

Graphics must fit standard letter-size paper (8.5 × 11 inches, portrait orientation). Multiple panels within a figure also must fit on a single page. All letters, numbers, and lines must be clearly legible and easy to differentiate. Provide a key defining representational elements (e.g., dotted/dashed lines, symbols, box plot elements) for each figure. All axes must be clearly labeled, giving both the measure and the unit of measurement where applicable. Consistency among terms and styles (including symbols and colors) used in figures is desirable. For example, if a black circle represents the control in Figure 1, a black circle (or a black bar) should be used for controls in all other figures. Photomicrographs should include a scale bar in each image, and the length should be specified in the typed figure legend (e.g., “bar = 10 µm”). EHP encourages authors to use color to enhance figures. However, to ensure accessibility, all figures must be interpretable when printed in black and white.

EHP editors reserve the right to request that complex figures (e.g., figures with multiple panels showing information in a variety of formats, or that include panels related to different experiments) be divided into separate figures for publication. Questions concerning figures should be directed to

Image Integrity

Adjusting an image for brightness and contrast is acceptable if it is applied to the entire image. Background data of gels and blots must not be removed. The final image must accurately represent the original data.

Supplemental Material

EHP welcomes reasonable amounts of material suitable for inclusion as online documentation for submitted manuscripts. Examples are bio­informatic data, formulae, statistical derivations, full gene data and analysis, additional high-­resolution microscopic data, kinetic analyses, and other supporting tables, figures, or videos. The submitted manuscripts must be able to stand alone in the absence of Supplemental Material. All information included as Supplemental Material should be directly rele­vant to the article; however, information should be included only in the paper or the Supplemental Material—not in both. The principal methodologi­cal approach must be clearly described in the main body of the paper and not relegated to Supplemental Material. Supplemental Material will be peer reviewed along with the manuscript and thus must meet the same rigorous standards.

Supplemental Material should not exceed 2,000 words, including text, tables, references, and figure legends plus an additional 250 words per figure. If the Supplemental Material exceeds this limit, the author must justify the overage in the Author Comments field provided in our online manuscript submission system. Authors may provide a separate (permanent) web repository for information that is not included in the Supplemental Material file if they believe it would be of interest to readers. This material should be clearly identified as not peer reviewed. This information should be cited in the text and included in the reference list (formatted as a website).

Supplemental Material files are linked to papers through a common DOI number. We use Supplemental Material files “as is” (i.e., EHP will not copyedit or reformat the file). Therefore, please carefully check files to confirm that they are complete, accurate, and ready for publication.

  • Begin the Supplemental Material file with a title page that indicates “Supplemental Material” followed by the title of the paper and the author list.
  • Provide a Table of Contents (on or after the title page) if the Supplemental Material comprises multiple tables, figures, and/or sections of text.
  • Place figure legends below corresponding figures.
  • Landscape (versus portrait) layout may be used when needed.
  • Tables or figures included in the Supplemental Material should be labeled as Table S1; Figure S1; and so on.
  • When referring to Supplemental Material in the main manuscript, indicate the table, figure, or section as follows: See Supplemental Material; see Table S1; see Fig. S1; see Supplemental Material, p. 6; see Supplemental Material, Part 2.
  • A separate reference list must be included in the Supplemental Material file for any sources cited in the Supplemental Material, even if they are cited in the main paper.

Types of References

Journal article—conventional reference
Waalkes MP, Liu J, Diwan BA. 2007. Transplacental arsenic carcinogenesis in mice. Toxicol Appl Pharmacol 222:271–280.

Journal article—advance publication
Latendresse JR, Bucci TJ, Olson G, Mellick P, Weiss C, Thorn B, et al. 2009. Genistein and ethinyl estradiol dietary exposures in multigenerational and chronic studies induce similar poliferative lesions in mammary gland of male Sprague-Dawley rats. Reprod Toxicol; doi:10.1016/j.reprotox.2009.04.006 [Online 19 April 2009].

Journal article—published online only
Glas AM, Floore A, Delahaye LJ, Witteveen AT, Pover RC, Bakx N, et al. 2006. Converting a breast cancer microarray signature into a high-throughput diagnostic test. BMC Genomics 7:278; doi:10.1186/1471-2164-7-278.

Journal article, “in press”
Holmes AK, Maisonet M, Rubin C, Kieszak S, Barr DB, Calafat AM, et al. In press. A pilot study of exposures to endocrine-disrupting compounds in pregnant women and children from the United Kingdom. Int J Child Adolesc Health.

Article in non-English language
Rateau JG, Broillard M, Morgant G, Aymard P. 1986. Etude experimental chez le lapin de l’effet de la cholestyramine dans le traitement des diarrhees infectieuses d’orgine cholerique [in French]. Actualite Therapeut 22:289–296.

Magazine article
Grant M. 1997. The cell from hell. People, 19 May:101–103.

Newspaper article
Clabby C. 2001. Study details how centuries of fishing depleted sea life. News and Observer (Raleigh, NC) 27 July: B1.

Luna LG. 1968. Manual of Histopathologic Staining Methods of the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology. 3rd ed. New York:McGraw-Hill.

Book, edited
Gross TL, Ihrke PJ, Walder EJ, eds. 1992. Veterinary Dermatopathology. St. Louis, MO:Mosby Year Book.

Chapter in edited book
Gurevitch J, Hedges LV. 1993. Meta-analysis: combining the results of independent experiments. In: The Design and Analysis of Ecological Experiments (Scheiner SM, Gurevitch J, eds). New York:Chapman & Hall, 378–398.

Book chapter, “in press”
McCoy KA, Guillette LJ. In press. Endocrine disruptors. In: Amphibian Biology. Vol 8. Conservation and Decline of Amphibians (Heatwole HF, ed). Chipping Norton, New South Wales, Australia:Surrey Beatty & Sons.

Agency monograph
IARC (International Agency for Research on Cancer). 1993. Cadmium and cadmium compounds. IARC Monogr Eval Carcinog Risk Hum 58:119–237.

Agency as author
CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention). 2005. Fourth National Report on Human Exposure to Environmental Chemicals. Atlanta, GA:Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Available: [accessed 14 January 2010].

Ibrahim K. 1994. The status of marine turtle conservation in Peninsular Malaysia. In: Proceedings of the first ASEAN Symposium Workshop on Marine Turtle Conservation, 6–10 December 1993, Manila, Philippines (Nacu A, Trono R, Palma JA, Torres D, Agas F Jr, eds). Manila, Philippines:ASEAN, 87–103.

Technical paper
NTP. 2006. Toxicology and Carcinogenesis Studies of Bromodichloromethane (CAS No. 75-27-4) in Male F344/N Rats and Female B6C3F1 Mice (Drinking Water Studies). TR 532. Research Triangle Park, NC:National Toxicology Program.

Gelobter M. 1993. Race, Class, and Outdoor Air Pollution: The Dynamics of Environmental Discrimination from 1970 to 1990 [PhD Dissertation]. Berkeley, CA:University of California, Berkeley.

Software manual
SAS Institute Inc. 2001. SAS/STAT Guide for Personal Computers, Version 8. Cary, NC:SAS Institute, Inc.

CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention). 2003. National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey Homepage. Available: [accessed 6 August 2008].

Online database
National Center for Biotechnology Information. 2011. PubMed. Available: [accessed 14 July 2011].

Barbeito AG, Guelfi N, Varga MR, Pehar M, Beckman J, Barbeito L, et al. 2005. Chronic low-level lead exposure increases survival of G93A SOD-1 transgenic mice [Abstract]. In: Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis: Beyond the Motor Neuron. Available: [accessed 14 April 2008].

Federal regulation
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. 2001. National primary drinking water regulations. Arsenic and clarifications to compliance and new source contaminants monitoring. Final rule. Fed Reg 66:6076–7066.

Executive order; federal regulation
Clinton WJ. 2000. Executive Order 13148. Greening of the government through leadership in environmental management. Fed Reg 65:24595–24606.

U.S. Government document
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. 2004. Air Quality Criteria for Particulate Matter. EPA/600/P-99/002aF. Research Triangle Park, NC:U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

State document
State of Maryland. 1998. Water Quality Improvement Act of 1998. Annapolis, MD:General Assembly.

Food Quality Protection Act of 1996. 1996. Public Law 104-170.

Court case
Leach v. E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Co. 2002. Civil Action No. 01-C-608, 2002 WL 1270121. Circuit Court of Wood County, West Virginia, 10 April 2002.


All nonstandard abbreviations [e.g., organochlorine (OC) pesticides, limit of detection (LOD), polymerase chain reaction (PCR)] and abbreviations for elements (e.g., Fe, Cu, Ag) and chemical compounds [e.g., polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), carbon dioxide (CO2)] should be defined in the text on first use and abbreviated thereafter.

Standard abbreviations, which do not need to be defined, are shown below. Units of measure should be abbreviated only when a specific amount is given (e.g., “concentration of 10 ng/mL” versus “units of nanograms per milliliter”).

Abbreviation Description
Å angstrom
amu atomic mass unit
ATP adenosine 5´- triphosphate
BW body weight
°C degrees Celsius
cm centimeter
cm2 square centimeter
cm3 cubic centimeter
Da dalton
df degrees of freedom
DNA deoxyribonucleic acid
EDTA ethylenediamine-tetraacetic acid
ELISA enzyme-linked immunoadsorbent assay
ft foot
g gram
g gravity (10,000 x g)
gal gallon
Gy gray (unit of absorbed dose of ionizing radiation)
ha hectare
HEPES N-2-hydroxyethylpiperazine--2-ethane sulfonic acid
HPLC high-performance liquid chromatography
hr hour
Hz hertz
i.d. inside diameter
IM intramuscular
in. inch
IU international unit
J joule
kDa kilodalton
kg kilogram
km kilometer
Km Michaelis constant
L liter
lb pound
ln natural logarithm
M molar
Abbreviation Description
m meter
m2 square meter
m3 cubic meter
mCi millicurie
µg microgram
mg milligram
mi mile
µL microliter
min minute
mL milliliter
mM millimolar
mm millimeter
mol mole
mRNA messenger RNA
n number
ng nanogram
nL nanoliter
nmol nanomole
o.d. outside diameter
pg picogram
ppb parts per billion
ppm parts per million
ppt parts per trillion
RNA ribonucleic acid
RNase ribonuclease
SD standard deviation
SDS/PAGE sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis
SE standard error, standard error of the mean
sec second
U unit
V volt
vol/vol volume/volume
W watt
wt weight
wt/vol weight/volume
yd yard


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