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Style Guide

DOCX Standard Scientific Style
DOCX Standard Scientific Style badge showing cascadability (1 styleguide capturing enough metadata to express the originality of any journal)

Getting Started

'DOCX Standard Scientific Style' (DS3) is a style guide that encourages authors of scholarly articles in any discipline not to worry about the appearance of their document and instead to concentrate on giving it structure and making it accessible.

The only requirement of 'DOCX Standard Scientific Style' (DS3) is to follow the Styles and Sections of this guide to add titles, sections, and subsections.

From there, browse sections of the style guide from the table of contents as needed to add tables, figures, equations, and more. Customize the style guide (below) to display only a subset of sections.

Additional (optional) guidelines are provided for authors wishing to further enrich their submission with five star metadata. Adding five star metadata helps to give the document structure, making it accessible to all users and assistive devices such as screen readers, and saves the author from having to re-enter information at submission or upload separate files (for figures, tables, etc.). Customize the style guide (below) to display guidelines for five star metadata.

Note, no previous knowledge of Microsoft Word is required to follow this style guide. Detailed instructions are provided at the end of each section.



Customize This Guide

Styles and Sections

Overview

Heading style 2 applied to the Introduction section heading.
Do
  • The only requirement of 'DOCX Standard Scientific Style' (DS3) is to organize the document into sections with headings and apply built-in styles to the title (Heading 1), short title (Subtitle), section headings (Heading 2) and subsection headings (Heading 3, Heading 4, ...).
  • For the body of the document (including any blank lines), use the default Normal style.
  • When applicable, name sections using the following headings (Heading 2): 'Abstract', 'Short Abstract', 'Graphical Abstract', 'Structured Abstract', 'Introduction', 'Materials and Methods', 'Results', 'Conclusion', 'Funding', 'Acknowledgements', 'Disclosures', 'Supporting Information'.
    • If bold (Strong) and italic (Emphasis) styles are used, be sure to apply them only when semantically appropriate and not for visual purposes alone.
    • If the document contains quotes, wrap inline quotes with quotation marks ("") directly in the text flow.
    • If the document contains block quotes, apply the Quote style to block quotes. Include the source of the quote (if any), on the following line starting with a dash (en dash , em dash or hyphen -). Be sure that the source of the quote is also marked with the Quote style.
Manually styled section heading
Don't

Create a heading by simply changing the font color, enlarging the font size, making it bold, etc.

Using built-in styles provides the same aesthetic benefits but also gives the document structure, making it accessible to all users and assistive devices such as screen readers. For instance, a table of contents can be automatically generated allowing readers to quickly navigate the document.

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Detailed Instructions

Sections and Headings

Create sections by giving them a heading and applying the Style corresponding to the appropriate section heading level.

To create a heading:

  1. Type the heading name (title of the section), e.g., 'Introduction'.
  2. Select the heading text.
  3. From the Home tab of the ribbon, click on the Style corresponding to the appropriate section heading level (Heading 2 here).

    Heading styles start with Heading 1 for the manuscript title and increase with each level of nesting. For example, sections within the document, such as 'Introduction' are Heading 2 and sections within sections (subsections) are Heading 3, etc. See below for suggested heading names (section titles) and corresponding heading styles.

Apply built-in Heading 2 style to section heading

When applicable, use the following heading names (section titles) and corresponding Heading Styles for common sections of a scholarly article:

Manuscript Title
Heading 1
Manuscript Subtitle
Subtitle
Authors
Heading 2
Contributors
Heading 2
Affiliations
Heading 2
Abstract
Heading 2
Short Abstract
Heading 2
Structured Abstract
Heading 2
Background
Heading 3
Methods
Heading 3
Results
Heading 3
Conclusion
Heading 3
Keywords
Heading 2
Introduction
Heading 2
subsection
Heading 3
Materials and Methods
Heading 2
subsection
Heading 3
Results
Heading 2
subsection
Heading 3
Conclusion
Heading 2
subsection
Heading 3
Funding
Heading 2
Acknowledgements
Heading 2
Disclosure
Heading 2
Supporting Information
Heading 2
Bibliography
Heading 2

If multiple abstracts are present (such as 'Short Abstract', 'Structured Abstract', 'Graphical Abstract', 'Editor’s Summary', 'Executive Summary', 'Highlights', 'Synopsis', 'Key Points', 'Teaser', ...) enter them each in their own section labeled with a Heading 2 style. When applicable, prefer the header names: 'Abstract', 'ShortAbstract', 'Graphical Abstract' and 'Structured Abstract'.

(Optional) Once section headings are styled, a Document Map can be displayed to quickly navigate among the different sections (represented by their headings) of the document.

To display a Document Map:

  1. Go the the View tab of the ribbon.
  2. Check the Navigation Pane option.
  3. In the side bar that appears, click on the Document Map tab.
navigation view
Paragraphs

Format all paragraphs in the document with the Normal style (this is the default style).

Apply normal styles to body text.

Be sure to check that blank lines do not contain styles (clicking on a blank line should highlight the Normal style in the Home ribbon).

Strong and Emphasized text

For text with strong importance (bold), apply the Strong style. This is Strong.

For text with emphatic stress (italic), as well as for variable names and scientific names, apply the Emphasis style. This is Emphasis

Strong and Emphasis styles can also be added directly with the Bold B (for strong) and italic I (for emphasis) buttons in the Home tab of the ribbon.

apply strong style with bold tool

Be sure to only apply the Strong and Emphasis styles when semantically appropriate and not for visual purposes alone.

Quotes
Inline Quotes

If the document contains inline quotes, wrap them in quotation marks ("") directly in the text flow.

Everything is deeply intertwingled.

inline quote example
Block Quotes

If the document contains block quotes:

    1. Start block quotes on a new line, and add the quote source (if any) on the next line starting with a dash (en dash , em dash or hyphen -).
    2. Select the entire quote (including the source).
    3. Apply the Quote style (in the Home tab of the ribbon) to the selection.
    apply the quote style to block quotations and sources
  1. The block quote is now properly styled.

    So, the point was to be able to have a medium that would record all the connections and all the structures and all the thoughts that paper could not. Since the computer could hold any structure in any form, this was the way to go.

    Ted Nelson
    styled block quote
Lists

If the document contains lists, creat a list by:

  1. Placing the cursor on a new line and starting a new list either by clicking the bulleted list icon (for unordered list) or the numbered list icon (for ordered list) on the Home tab of the ribbon.

    Create a list using the bulleted list icon
  2. Then, add the list items.
    add items to the list

After the list is complete, be sure to clear the bullet points, numbers, or the paragraph list style on subsequent lines by selecting the Normal style from the styles pane (in the Home tab of the ribbon).

Footnotes and Endnotes

Overview

Footnotes added to the document using built in insert footnote tool

Do

Use the built-in Footnote and Endnote features of Microsoft Word to add footnotes and endnotes to the document.

Footnote added to the document manually

Don't

Create footnotes or endnotes manually with superscript numbers or symbols, etc.

Using the built-in features to add footnotes and endnotes provides the same aesthetic benefits but also links footnotes and endnotes to their references in the text, making them accessible to all users and assistive devices such as screen readers. When footnotes and endnotes are linked they can be viewed in context when reading the document.

Detailed Instructions

Insert footnotes and endnotes

Insert footnotes and endnotes using the built-in Footnote and Endnote features of Microsoft Word:

  1. Place the cursor after the character in the text where the footnote or endnote will be inserted.
    The cursor is placed in the text where a footnote is to be added
  2. Go to the References tab of the ribbon and click on Insert Footnote or Insert Endnote.
    The built in insert footnote tool is used to insert a footnote
  3. Type the footnote or endnote text after the automatically inserted footnote or endnote number (or symbol).

    Do not type any body text below the footnotes or endnotes.

    A footnote is  created at the bottom of the page and footnote text is added
Multiple references to a footnote or endnote

To reference an existing footnote or endnote, use the built-in Cross-reference feature of Microsoft Word:

    1. Place the cursor where the reference to an existing footnote or endnote needs to be added.
    2. Go to the Insert tab on the ribbon and click on Cross-reference.
    3. In the new Cross-reference dialogue window, set the Reference type to Footnote for footnotes and to Endnote for endnotes.
    4. Under Insert reference to, select Footnote number (formatted)' for footnotes and Endnote number (formatted)' for endnotes.
    5. Under For which footnote for footnotes and For which endnote for endnotes, select the footnote or endnote to insert from the list.
    6. Make sure to leave the insert as hyperlink option checked.
    7. Click on Insert.
    insert footnote as cross-reference
  1. A new reference to the same footnote or endnote is automatically inserted.
    a new reference to the same footnote is automatically inserted

Authors, contributors, and affiliations

Overview

Built in bookmark tool being used to bookmark author affiliations.

Do

  1. Add authors and contributors (if any) in their own sections, named 'Authors' and 'Contributors' (Heading 2), and
  2. Add affiliations in a separate section, named 'Affiliations' (Heading 2).
Author and affiliation information combined in one paragraph

Don't

Combine author, contributor, and affiliation information into a single section

Automated methods to identify persons and organizations from text are still maturing. Using built-in styles to create separate sections with headings for authors, contributors, and affiliations saves authors from having to re-enter the information at submission.

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Detailed Instructions

Authors list

Create a new section below the manuscript title, with a Heading 2 style named: 'Authors' and add primary author(s).

Authors can be persons or organizations.

Heading style 2 is applied to the authors section heading
Contributors List

If the submission contains secondary contributors:

Create a new section with a Heading 2 style named: 'Contributors' below the 'Author' section, and add contributor(s).

Add contributing author information following the format guidelines
Affiliation list
To add affiliations, create a new section with Heading 2 style named: 'Affiliations' below the 'Contributors' section.
Heading style 2 is applied to the contributors section heading
Cross-reference authors, contributors, and affiliations
  1. Leverage the affiliation bookmarks created previously to link each author and contributor to their affiliations using the Cross-reference feature:

    1. Place the cursor at the end of the first author bullet point.
    2. Go to the Insert tab of the ribbon and click on Cross-reference.
    3. In the Cross-reference dialogue window:

      • Set the Reference type to bookmark.
      • Set Insert reference to to Bookmark text.
      • Under For which bookmark, select the bookmark to insert from the list of bookmark names.
      • Make sure to leave the Insert as hyperlink option checked.
      • Click on Insert.
    use the built-in insert cross reference tool to insert the bookmark text associated with an affiliation after an author
  2. The bookmark text is now inserted in the author list next to the author, linking the author to an affiliation.
    The superscripted number corresponding to an affiliation appears after the author's information
Contact information

If contact information (email, social media, telephone, fax, and address) is provided for the corresponding author(s), insert a footnote following the contact format (defined at the end of the section) to include the information.

  1. First, create a footnote:
    1. Place the cursor after author and affiliation information of the corresponding author.
    2. Go to the Insert tab of the ribbon and click on Insert Footnote.
    3. A footnote will appear at the bottom of the page.
  2. Then, add corresponding author contact information.
  3. If multiple corresponding authors, repeat for each.
insert footnote
Author contributions

If additional information regarding the nature of author contributions (e.g., 'authors contributed equally', 'senior author', 'conceived and designed the experiments', 'wrote the Introduction' etc.) is available, add it next to the relevant authors and contributors using footnotes.

  1. Place the cursor next to the author or contributor where the contribution footnote should be inserted.
    place cursor at the end of author's name information
  2. Go to the Insert tab of the ribbon and click on Insert Footnote.
    insert footnote using built-in tool
  3. Type the footnote text after the automatically inserted footnote number (or symbol).

    Do not type any body text below the footnote section.

    Type the footnote text after the automatically inserted number

Keywords

Overview

A separate section titled 'Keywords' with a list of keywords.

Do

Create a new section with a heading (Heading 2) named: 'Keywords' and add keywords.

A list of keywords on a single line

Don't

Include keywords directly or in a section with a manually styled heading (e.g., changing the font color, size, or making it bold)

Keywords help make the document more discoverable on search engines. Creating a separate section for keywords ensures that they can be identified and made accessible to users and search engines alike.

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Detailed Instructions

To add keywords, first create a new section with a heading (Heading 2 style) named: 'Keywords' and then add keywords.
Heading style 2 is applied to the Keywords section heading

License

Overview

license in a dedicated section with SPDX identifier and hyperlink

Do

Create a new section with a heading (Heading 2) named: 'License' and specify the license.

license not in a dedicated section

Don't

Include license information directly or in a section with a manually styled heading (e.g., changing the font color, size, or making it bold).

Providing license information in a separate section ensures that the information is accessible to all users and assistive devices such as screen readers and saves authors from having to re-enter the license information at submission.

view five star metadata

Detailed Instructions

To add license information, create a new section with a heading (Heading 2 style) named: 'License' and then specify the license.
Heading style 2 is applied to the license section heading

Abbreviations

Overview

A separate section titled 'Abbreviations' with a list of bookmarked abbreviations with definitions.

Do

Create a new section with heading (Heading 2) named: 'Abbreviations' and then add abbreviations.

A block of abbreviations in the text without a section heading

Don't

Include abbreviations directly or in a section with a manually styled heading (e.g., changing the font color, size, or making it bold).

Creating a separate section for abbreviations and using the built-in features to link them to repeated references in the text eliminates confusion when using abbreviations and makes them accessible to all users and assistive devices such as screen readers. When abbreviations are linked they can be viewed in context when reading the document.

Detailed Instructions

To add abbreviations, create a new section with a heading (Heading 2 style) named: 'Abbreviations' and then add abbreviations.
Heading style 2 is applied to the Abbreviations section heading

Tables

Overview

Table, table caption, and table footnotes properly formatted.

Do

  • Use the built-in Table feature of Microsoft Word to add tables.
  • To give the table additional structure, use the options available in the Table Design tab of the ribbon to specify (when needed), a Header Row (first row), a First Column of header cells, and a summary row (last row, labeled Total Row in Microsoft Word).
  • If the table has footnotes, use the built-in footnote feature of Microsoft Word to add table footnotes and add specific semantic to table values.
  • If more complex table layouts are needed:
    • Use the Repeat Header Rows option to specify multiple (contiguous) header rows.
    • If a table needs to be divided into multiple sections, define the section and subsection headings in the first column header cells. Specify the subsection headings below the section headings by increasing their indent level using the Increase Indent button (1 indent level for the content of a section, 2 indent levels for a sub-subsection heading, 3 indent levels for the content of a subsection, etc.).
    • If a table needs additional header cells than the ones available by default (first column cells and first contiguous rows), create a custom style for additional table header cells. Name the style Table Header Cell and set the Style type to Character (inline).
    • If more than one summary row is needed at the end of the table, mark extra rows as being part of the table summary section by manually setting a double border () at the bottom of the table body (before the summary rows).
Table inserted manually using Tabs and footnotes added using insert footnote tool.

Don't

  • Create tables using tabs or spaces.
  • Style tables by simply changing the font color, making cells bold, etc.
  • Add table footnotes manually.

Tables are notoriously difficult to navigate for users accessing them on screen readers and other assistive devices. Using the built-in table features provides the same aesthetic but also gives the table structure, making it possible for the information in the table to be accessed by all users and read in the correct order by assistive devices.

view five star metadata

Detailed Instructions

Simple table layout

A simple table layout is adapted for tables containing:

  • An optional header row (first row of the table).
  • An optional header column (first column of the table).
  • An optional summary row (last row of the table).
Average number of errors made using Microsoft Word or Latex.
Type of Errors Word Latex
Grammatical 6.9 9.2
Typos 9.7 17.1
Total 16.6 26.3

To create a table following the simple table layout:

  1. Insert a new table:

    1. Click where the table should be inserted.
    2. Go to the Insert tab of the ribbon and click on Table.
    3. Select one of the possible options from the drop-down menu to specify the Number of rows and Number of columns of the table.
    insert a 3 column by 4 row table using built in insert table tool
  2. Use the options available in the Table Design tab of the ribbon to specify (when needed):

    • A Header Row (first row).
    • A First Column of header cells.
    • A summary row (last row, labeled Total Row in Microsoft Word).
    • A table design. Grid Table 5 Dark is recommended as it improves the visibility of the table elements (header row, first column, total row) selected.
    select a table design and tick all the required table heading elements
  3. Fill in the table headers cells and data.

    fill in data
Table footnotes

Table footnotes provide additional information on the table contents. Use the built-in Footnote feature to add footnotes to tables and use the built-in Cross-reference feature to insert repeated references to existing footnotes.

To add table footnotes using the built-in Footnote feature of Microsoft Word:

  1. Place the cursor after the text in the table where a footnote should be inserted (here after the cell value located at the second row and second column).
    place cursor where footnote needs to be added
  2. Go to the Insert tab of the ribbon and click on Insert Footnote.
    insert footnote
  3. Type the footnote text after the automatically inserted footnote number or symbol (here 1).

    1 p-value < 0.05, statistically significant.

    Do not type any body text below the footnotes.

    type footnote text

Avoid using stylistic elements in the table content, and use table footnotes instead to add specific semantic to table values. For instance, instead of indicating special table values by coloring them in green, add footnotes next to these values, and specify the values’ special meaning in the footnote text (see figure above).

Refering to the same footnote more than once

To reference an existing footnote using the built-in Cross-reference feature of Microsoft Word:

    1. Place the cursor after the text in the table where a reference to an existing footnote needs to be added (here a reference to the footnote 1 will be inserted after the content of the cell located in the third column of the third row).
    2. Go to the Insert tab of the ribbon and click on Cross-reference.
    3. In the new Cross-reference dialogue window:

      1. Set the Reference type to Footnote
      2. Set Insert reference to to Footnote number (formatted) so that footnote numbers are inserted as superscripts (e.g., 1).
      3. Under For which footnote, select the footnote to reference (1 here).
      4. Make sure to leave the insert as hyperlink option checked.
      5. Click on Insert.
    Insert repeated footnotes as cross-reference
  1. A new reference to the footnote number, or symbol (here 1) is now present in the table.
    The cross-referenced footnote appears in the table
Complex table layout
Table with multiple sections

Tables with multiple sections are a common pattern in scholarly communication. These tables deviate from the simple table layout because they usually have:

  • More complex table headers, often spanning across multiple contiguous rows and containing merged cells.
  • Multiple sections within the table body.
Social determinants of Anchilles fever vaccination
Variables Age 65-79 years Age ≥ 80 years
Vaccinated % SD Vaccinated % SD
Traveler 49.3 3.2 60.2 2.1
Gender
Male 55.9 5.1 60 7.3
Female 54.8 2.8 59.3 0.5
Income
Low 45.2 6.3 49.2 6.2
Medium 46.3 2.3 50.1 0.3
High 54.2 2.2 57.4 4.6
Sample size 875 932

To create a table with multiple sections:

  1. Insert a new table:

    1. Click where the table should be inserted.
    2. Go to the Insert tab of the ribbon and click on Table.
    3. Select one of the possible options from the drop-down menu to specify the Number of rows and Number of columns of the table.
    insert a table using built in insert table tool
  2. Use the options available in the Table Design tab of the ribbon to specify (when needed):

    • A Header Row (first row).
    • A First Column of header cells.
    • A summary row (last row, labeled Total Row in Microsoft Word).
    • A table design. Grid Table 5 Dark is recommended as it improves the visibility of the table elements (header row, first column, total row) selected.
    select a table design and tick all the required table heading elements
  3. To create multiple contiguous table header rows:

    1. Select all the rows that need to become header rows.
    2. Click on the Repeat header rows button from the Layout tab of the ribbon.

    If a table design was selected, the header styles and background shading will be applied to all the header row cells.

    repeat header rows
  4. Merge cells that span multiple rows or columns:

    1. Highlight the cells to be merged.
    2. Click on the Merge cells button in the Layout tab of the ribbon (or right click and select Merge cells).
    merge cell
  5. Add sections to the table by indenting the headings of the first column:

    For instance, here, the indentation in front of 'Male' and 'Female' marks their belonging to the 'Gender' section.

                Gender
                    Male
                    Female
                                      
    • To indent a heading, use the increase indent button (in the Home tab of the ribbon).

      If additional levels of subheadings are required, use multiple indents (clicking several time on the increase indent button).

    • For sections with headers that span multiple columns (like 'Gender' here), merge cells across multiple columns (following the instructions of the previous step).
    merge cell
Multiple summary rows

Some tables require more than one summary row at the end of the table (for instance to specify sample sizes, averages, standard deviations, minima, maxima, median values, etc.).

To include multiple summary rows:

  1. Insert a new table:

    1. Click where the table should be inserted.
    2. Go to the Insert tab of the ribbon and click on Table.
    3. Select one of the possible options from the drop-down menu to specify the Number of rows and Number of columns of the table.
    insert a table using built in insert table tool
    1. Use the options available in the Table Design tab of the ribbon to specify (when needed):

      • A Header Row (first row).
      • A First Column of header cells.
      • A summary row (last row, labeled Total Row in Microsoft Word).
      • A table design. Grid Table 5 Dark is recommended as it improves the visibility of the table elements (header row, first column, total row) selected.
    2. Add table data.
    select a table design and tick all the required table heading elements
  2. If more than one summary row is needed at the end of the table (here the last two rows should be part of the summary rows):

    1. Select the last row in the table body (before the first summary row).
    2. In the Table Design tab of the ribbon:

      • Select the double border line style ().
      • Apply the double border line style to the bottom border only (click on the Borders control and select Bottom border from the drop-down menu).

    Summary rows can only be added as one contiguous block of cells and the end of the table.

    add bottom border to the table body
  3. A double line border () is now present in the table, separating the summary rows from the rest of the table.

    Optionally, a background shading and font color can be applied to all cells in the summary rows to better differentiate them from the rest of the table:

    1. Select the cells in the summary row to be styled.
    2. On the Home tab of the ribbon, set the font color and background shading to match existing summary row cells (white, and grey here).
    style summary cells
  4. The table is now complete.
    complete table
Table with complex header cells

Tables with complex header cells refer to tables with header cells that are not located in the first column (or first contiguous rows) of the table.

Microsoft Word does not currently support table header cells not located in the first column cells or in the first contiguous rows. Therefore, creating a custom 'Table Header Cell' style is required before being able to style table with complex header cells.

Age started teleporting regularly versus adrenal stress cause-specific rate ratio (RR) among urban and rural population
Population Age O2 μL/L Adrenal stress
Cases RR
Urban < 20 16.5 127 3.78
20-24 15.2 127 3.17
≥ 25 12.6 96 2.23
Rural < 20 15.1 271 2.91
20-24 13.6 275 2.45
≥ 25 11.8 177 1.63
Mean 14.13 178 2.69
SD 1.77 77.4 0.75

First, create a custom style named Table Header Cell:

  1. On the Home tab of the ribbon, click on the Styes Pane control to reveal the Styles side bar.
  2. In the Styles side bar, click on New Style...

In the New Style dialogue window:

  • Name the style Table Header Cell, and set the Style type to Character (inline).
  • Activate the bold B button in the Formatting section so that table header cell can be seen easily.
  • Click on OK.
create the Table Header Cell style

Apply the newly created style to table header cells:

  1. Insert a new table:

    1. Click where the table should be inserted.
    2. Go to the Insert tab of the ribbon and click on Table.
    3. Select one of the possible options from the drop-down menu to specify the Number of rows and Number of columns of the table.
    insert a table using built in insert table tool
  2. Use the options available in the Table Design tab of the ribbon to specify (when needed):

    • A Header Row (first row).
    • A First Column of header cells.
    • A summary row (last row, labeled Total Row in Microsoft Word).
    • A table design. Grid Table 5 Dark is recommended as it improves the visibility of the table elements (header row, first column, total row) selected.
    select a table design and tick all the required table heading elements
    1. Add the content of the header cells to the table.
    2. Merge cells for headers cells that span multiple rows:

      1. Highlight the cells to be merged.
      2. Click on the Merge cells button in the Layout tab of the ribbon (or right click and select Merge cells).
    add column header data
  3. Extend the header row to the second row:

    1. Select all the rows that need to become part of the extended header rows.
    2. Click on the Repeat header rows button in the Layout tab of the ribbon.
    apply table header style
  4. Style the remaining header cells:

    In the Home tab of the ribbon:

    1. Select any unstyled column header cells and apply the Table Header Cell style.
    2. To improve readability, apply a font color and background shading to the new header cells to match other header cells (here white and grey).
    apply table header style
  5. Add the data.
    apply table header style
  6. If more than one summary row is needed at the end of the table (here the last two rows should be part of the summary rows):

    1. Select the last row in the table body (before the first summary row).
    2. In the Table Design tab of the ribbon:

      • Select the double border line style ().
      • Apply the double border line style to the bottom border only (click on the Borders control and select Bottom border from the drop-down menu).
    apply table header style
  7. A double line border () is now present in the table, separating the summary rows from the rest of the table.

    Optionally, a background shading and font color can be applied to all cells in the summary rows to better differentiate them from the rest of the table:

    1. Select the cells in the summary row to be styled.
    2. In the Home tab of the ribbon, set the font color and background shading to match existing summary row cells (white, and grey here).
    apply table header style
  8. The table is now complete.
    complete table

Figures

Overview

Figure and figure caption inserted using built-in tools

Do

  • Use the built-in Pictures feature of Microsoft Word to add figures or drag and drop them directly into the document.
  • If figures have multiple parts, use the built-in SmartArt and Picture Grid features of Microsoft Word to add multi-part figures and short labels to each part (e.g., A, B, C, etc). Short labels can be used to identify each part in the figure caption and when cross-referencing the figure label in the text.
Figure caption styled manually

Don't

  • Insert multi-part figures as a single image.
  • Embed caption text directly in a figure (or part of a multi-part figure).
  • Repeat the figure caption and number when labeling the parts of a multi-part figure (e.g., if Figure 4 has two parts 'A' and 'B', label the parts 'A' and 'B' not 'Figure 4A' and 'Figure 4B').

When multiple figures are embedded in one image or figure captions are embedded in the figure, the figure and caption cannot be accessed by visually impaired users or understood by screen readers. Separating figures into multiple parts and using the built-in feature to add captions makes figures accessible and saves authors from uploading separate figure files and captions at submission.

view added data

Detailed Instructions

Insert figure

When possible, use the TIFF file format over EPS as EPS files often have missing/corrupted fonts, oversized masks, stray points, and boxes, which can result in errors and poor output.

To insert images, pictures, or figures using one of 3 possible options:

    1. As a first option, go to the Insert tab of the ribbon, click on Picture and select Picture from file... from the drop-down menu.
    2. In the new dialogue window, select the image to be inserted.
    Insert a figure using the built-in insert picture tool
  1. As a second option, drag and drop an image file into the document.
    Insert a figure by dragging and dropping an image file into the document
  2. As a third option, copy the image and paste it directly into the document.
Multi-part figure

If a figure has multiple parts, use the built-in Picture Grid feature of Microsoft Word to create a multi-part figure.

    1. Place the cursor in the document where the multi-part figure needs to be inserted.
    2. Go to the Insert tab of the ribbon.
    3. Click on the SmartArt icon, select Picture from the drop-down menu and, in the grid of options that appeared, select Picture Grid.
    Picture Grid is selected from the list of options in the SmartArt picture menu
  1. A 2×2 multi-part figure is automatically inserted in the document.

    Click on the + or - icons of the SmartArt Text window to adjust the number of parts required by the multi-part figure. Note that the positioning of the figure does not matter for multi-part figure, only their order.

    To insert the first figure part, click on one of the picture icons in the multi-part figure (or in the SmartArt Text window). Select the image to be inserted from the pop-up Choose a Picture window and click on Insert.

    Upper left figure is clicked inside the automatically inserted 2 X 2 picture grid
  2. The figure is automatically inserted in the multi-part figure.

    When a figure is inserted, Microsoft Word may zoom in on it to fill the whole available space. To change this behavior and guarantee that the entire figure is visible (recommended):

    1. Select the figure in the multi-part figure that needs to be adjusted.
    2. Click on the Picture Format tab on the ribbon.
    3. Click on the Crop icon and select Fit from the drop-down menu. This will adjust the part so that the entire figure is now visible.
    adjust the image to fit in the window
  3. Add short labels for each part of the multi-part figure by filling the text boxes ([ Text ]) located above the figure parts (or in the SmartArt Text window).

    Short labels are used to identify the parts of a multi-part figure. Examples of short labels include single letters (e.g., A, B, C, D), positioning information (e.g., Left profile, Right profile), or any other short identifying information (e.g., Species names).

    Avoid writing long text for short labels and instead, provide additional information about each part of a multi-part figure in the multi-part figure caption (referring to the parts by their short labels).

    Avoid repeating the multi-part figure caption label in the short labels of the parts of a multi-part figure. For instance, if a multi-part figure labeled 'Figure 4' has 2 parts, the parts should be labeled 'A' and 'B' as opposed to 'Figure 4A' and 'Figure 4B'.

    Cursor is placed in the text box above the inserted figure to add a caption
  4. Complete the multi-part figure by adding the remaining parts and short labels.

    Complete picture grid with a four-part figure with captions A, B, C, and D

Equations

Overview

Equation and equation caption inserted using built-in tools

Do

Add equations using the built-in Equation feature of Microsoft Word.

Equation inserted as an image

Don't

Type equations directly in the document or insert equations as images.

Equations are notoriously hard to navigate on mobile phones, tablets, and assistive devices such as screen readers. Using the built-in equation feature ensures that equations are accessible to all users, irrespective of disability or device used.

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Detailed Instructions

Inline equation

To insert inline equations (equations that flow with the text and do not require a caption):

    1. Place the cursor where the equation needs to be inserted.
    2. Go to the Insert tab of the ribbon and click on Equation.
    Insert inline equation using the built in insert equation tool
  1. Type the equation using the mathematical symbols and expressions available in the Equation tab of the ribbon.
    edit the equation
Block equation

To insert a block equation:

    1. Create a new blank line where the equation needs to be inserted.
    2. As for inline equations, go to the Insert tab of the ribbon and click on Equation.
    Insert block equation on new line with insert equation tool
  1. Type the equation using the mathematical symbols and expressions available in the Equation tab of the ribbon.
    Type the equation

Code

Overview

Create custom code block style using New Style tool

Do

Apply custom styles to identify inline code and short code blocks:

  • For inline code, create a custom style named Verbatim Char, with Style type set to Character (inline).
  • For short code blocks (~ 50 lines of code, directly inserted in the manuscript), create a custom style named Source Code. Set Style type to Paragraph (block),
Code block styled without creating the specified code style

Don't

Add inline code or short code blocks to the document without applying the specified code styles.

Using the specified code styles makes it possible for code to be processed more efficiently for a richer reading experience for all users, for example, by enabling automated syntax highlighting.

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Detailed Instructions

Inline code

Create a custom style named Verbatim Char to identify inline code in the document:

  1. On the Home tab of the ribbon, click on the Styes Pane control to reveal the Styles side bar.
  2. In the Styles side bar, click on New Style...

In the New Style dialogue window:

  • Name the style Verbatim Char and set the Style type to Character (inline).
  • Optionally, customize the font and background color:

    • For font type, select a monospaced font (e.g., 'Monaco') in the Formatting section.
    • To set a background color, in the Format drop-down menu select Border. In the new Borders and shading dialogue window, click on the Shading tab and select a background color from the Fill drop-down menu. Click on OK.
  • Confirm the new style creation by clicking on OK in the New Style dialouge window.
Inline code is selected

Apply the newly created Verbatim Char style to inline code in the document.

  1. Select the inline code.
  2. Apply the Verbatim Char style either from the Home tab of the ribbon or from the Styles pane.
The Verbatim Char style is then available in the home banner styles pane and can be applied to other inline code
Short code blocks

Create a custom Source Code style that can be re-used to identify all the short code snippets (~ 50 line of code) of the document. For longer code blocks, refer to the Supporting Information section.

  1. On the Home tab of the ribbon, click on the Styes Pane control to reveal the Styles side bar.
  2. In the Styles side bar, click on New Style...

In the New Style dialogue window:

  • Name the style Source Code and set the Style type to Paragraph (block).
  • Optionally, customize the font and background color:

    • For font type, select a monospaced font (e.g., 'Monaco' in the Formatting section.
    • To set a background color, in the Format drop-down menu select Border. In the new Borders and shading dialogue window, click on the Shading tab and select a background color from the Fill drop-down menu. Click on OK.
  • Confirm the new style creation by clicking on OK in the New Style dialogue window.
A new Source Code style is created from the Styles pane and applied to the code block

Apply the newly created Source Code style to short code blocks in the document.

  1. Select the short code block.
  2. Apply the Source Code style either from the Home tab of the ribbon or from the Styles pane.
The source code style is then available in the home banner styles pane and can be applied to other code blocks

Text boxes

Overview

Text box and text box caption inserted inside the text box

Do

Use the built-in Text Box feature in Microsoft Word to add text boxes.

Text box caption created outside of the textbox

Don't

Create custom text boxes with captions as floated elements outside the text box.

Using the built-in feature to add text boxes makes text boxes accessible to all users and assistive devices such as screen readers. Adding captions inside the text box ensures that they stay linked to the text box even if the text box is moved, so the caption can always be accessed in context.

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Detailed Instructions

Text boxes are often used to provide background information or a high level summary for readers.

Insert text boxes
    1. Go to the Insert tab of the ribbon, click on Text Box and select Draw Text Box from the drop-down menu.
    2. Click and drag the cursor to draw a text box in the document. Surrounding content will automatically reflow around the text box. The height and width of the text box can be adjusted at any time.
    A text box is inserted using the built-in Insert Text Box tool
  1. Type text into the text box and add any relevant figures, equations, tables, or short code snippets using the methods described above.
    Text is added to the text box

Resource Metadata

Overview

Add a cross-referenced list of authors to individual resources

Do

Add any resource metadata (authors, contributors, license, copyright, sources, and permissions) to the end of the corresponding resource (figure, table, dataset, etc.) caption.

If different from the manuscript, also include corresponding author contact information and specify the nature of author contributions in the resource metadata, using footnotes inserted next to the relevant authors.

Narrative of author contributions

Don't

Include resource metadata as text narrative within the document (e.g., as part of an 'Author contributions' or 'Acknowledgements' section).

Adding resource metadata directly in the caption of a resource makes the information accessible to all users and assistive devices such as screen readers and saves authors from having to re-enter it at submission. Further, by specifying metadata at the resource level authors get credit for all their work.

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Detailed Instructions

Include any resource (figure, table, dataset, etc.) metadata (authors, contributors, license, copyright, sources, adaptation and reproduction permissions) at the end of the corresponding resource caption.

Funding

Overview

Separate funding section created with a linked list of funding sources

Do

Create a new section with a heading (Heading 2) named: 'Funding' and then add sources of funding.

Funding sources as text narrative in Acknowledgements

Don't

Include funding in the 'Acknowledgements' section or as a text narrative.

Automated methods to identify funding sources from text are still maturing. Using built-in styles to create a separate section for funding saves authors from having to re-enter the information at submission and helps to measure the impact of funding sources.

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Detailed Instructions

To add funding information:

Create a new section with a heading (Heading 2 style) named: 'Funding' and add funding sources.

Heading style 2 is applied to the Funding section heading

Acknowledgements

Overview

structured list of acknowledgements

Do

Create a new section with a heading (Heading 2) named: 'Acknowledgements' and then add acknowledgement statements.

acknowledgements as text narrative mixed with funding and disclosure information

Don't

Include funding information or disclosure information as text narrative in the 'Acknowledgements' section.

Automated methods to identify persons and organizations being acknowledged are still maturing. Creating a separate section for acknowledgements makes it possible to identify the people and organizations being acknowledged, notify them, and ensure they get credit for their contribution.

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Detailed Instructions

To add acknowledgements (e.g., thanking reviewers):

Create a new section named 'Acknowledgements' (Heading 2) and add acknowledgement statements.
Apply heading 2 style to the new section heading 'Acknowledgements'

Disclosure

Overview

Prof. James P Sullivan received personal fees for consulting for Pfizer

Do

Create a new section with a heading (Heading 2) named: 'Disclosures' and add disclosure statements.

Disclosure statements as text narrative in Acknowledgements

Don't

Include disclosure statements as text narrative in other sections of the document

Creating a separate section for disclosure statements makes the information accessible to all users and assistive devices such as screen readers and ensures that disclosure information is accessible in search results so that potential sources of biases are transparent when reviewing the published study.

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Detailed Instructions

To add disclosure information (such as conflict of interest or competing interest):

Create a new section named 'Disclosure' (Heading 2) and add disclosure statements.
Apply heading 2 style to the new section heading 'Disclosure'

Supporting Information

Overview

Supporting table and caption added using New Label tool

Do

Supporting table caption created and styled manually

Don't

Omit supporting information and resources.

Using the built-in tools to add supporting text, figures, tables, and more makes supporting information accessible to all users and assistive devices such as screen readers and saves authors having to upload separate files and re-enter information at submission.

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Detailed Instructions

  1. Create a new section (Heading 2 style) named: 'Supporting Information' typically right above the 'Bibliography' (or 'Works Cited') section.
    Heading style 2 is applied to the Supporting Information section heading
    1. Then, give the document structure by organizing the 'Supporting Information' section using sub-sections and headings.
    2. Insert any supporting tables, figures, equations, text boxes, code blocks, links to local files, and links to resources created as part of this work but hosted in external registries or databases in the Supporting Information text.
    Heading style 2 is applied to the Supporting Information section heading
Supporting tables, figures, equations, text boxes, and code blocks

Add supporting tables, figures, equations, text boxes, and code blocks directly to the 'Supporting Information' section, following the same instructions as for inserting figures, equations, tables or short code snippets.

A supporting table
Local files

If there are local files (such as dataset, code, audio, video) that are relevant to the manuscript.

  1. First, create a hyperlink to the local file:

    1. In the Insert tab of the ribbon, click on Hyperlink
    2. In the new Insert Hyperlink dialogue window, click on Select... in the Web Page or File tab.
    3. Choose the desired file and click on OK

    A path to the file is inserted in the document.

    Moving the file will break the link as the file is simply linked to the document and not embedded in it. Links must be regenerated (or edited) each time the file path changes.

    add URL of local files and hyperlink
External resources

If any external resources were created as part of the work that are hosted in external registries or databases (e.g., GitHub, Dryad, GenBank), provide URLs to the resources in the supporting information.

  1. Create a hyperlink to the URL of the external resources:

    1. In the Insert tab of the ribbon, click on Hyperlink
    2. In the new Insert Hyperlink dialogue window, specify the URL in the Address field.
    3. Click on OK.
    Add URL (hyperlinked)

Citations

Overview

hyperlink, bookmark, or use built in bibliography tool to link citations

Do

Add citations of creative works (books, articles, websites, datasets, etc.), authorities (cases, statutes, rules, etc.), or entities (genetic sequences, proteins, chemicals, artifacts, etc.) by inserting them inline in the text, as footnotes or endnotes, and/or in a dedicated section (named 'References', 'Bibliography' or 'Works Cited').

When possible, citations should be styled following the guidelines of the Chicago Manual of Style.

Citations must be inserted using either:

  • The built-in bibliography feature of Microsoft Word.
  • Manually, using bookmarks and hyperlinks (bookmark the long version of the citations and hyperlink the shortened versions of the citation to the bookmark of the long versions).
  • Manually, using hyperlinks and screen tips (hyperlink all mentions of a citation to a URL and provide the long version of the citation as screen tips, preventing link rot and providing enough metadata to ensure a good reading experience in a printed version of the article).
Unlinked citations

Don't

Insert citations to creative works, authorities, or entitites without using hyperlinks and bookmarks, or the built-in Bibliography feature of Microsoft Word.

Using hyperlinks and bookmarks, or the built-in bibliography feature of Microsoft Word provides the same aesthetic benefits but also links citations to references in the text, making all elements of a citation (e.g., author, title, date published, etc.) accessible to users and assistive devices such as screen readers. This way, full citations can be viewed in context when reading the document.

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Detailed Instructions

Citations must be inserted using either:

The Chicago Manual of Style is recommended to style citations over other guidelines (e.g., APA, MLA, Vancouver) as:

  • The Chicago Manual of Style contains guidelines for citation as notes (footnotes and/or endnotes) and bibliography as well as for citations following the author-date reference system.
  • The Chicago Manual of Style usually results in citations containing more metadata (more authors etc.) than any other citation format.
Adding citations using the built-in bibliography feature of Microsoft Word

The Bibliography feature of Microsoft Word provides a convenient way to organize a bibliography, automatically format citations, and guarantee that each shortened version of a citation is properly linked to its long version.

Authors needing more flexibility than what the built-in Bibliography feature of Microsoft Word allows (or preferring to enter references manually) should skip to the 'adding citations using bookmarks and hyperlinks' or 'adding citations using hyperlinks and screentips' sections.

Insert citations from a new source
  1. Set the bibliography style to Chicago Manual of Style (recommended):

    1. Go to the References tab of the ribbon.
    2. Set Bibliography Style to Chicago.
    The citations button in the Reference tab of the banner is clicked
    1. Place the cursor where a citation needs to be inserted.
    2. Click on Insert Citation
    3. Fill in the source information, starting with the Type of Source.

      Be sure to include author information in the format prompted by Microsoft Word when adding source information (for instance for Author, enter the family name followed by a comma (,) followed by the given name, followed by any additional names).

      If a citation contains several authors, separate them by a semicolon (;), or click on the Edit... button and add more authors by clicking on the + button.

      Use the Standard number field to add identifiers such as DOIs or ISBNs.

      If a URL is known for the citation but the Type of Source corresponding to the source does not contain a URL enter the URL in the Comments field.

      If no appropriate Type of Source can be found, select the Miscellaneous style. Fill in as many relevant fields as possible and provide the long form of the citation (including any relevant URL) in the Comments field (formatted according the guidelines of the Chicago Manual of Style).

    4. Click on OK, the bibliography now has a new entry.
    The chicago citation style is selected in the citations window that appears
  2. A reference to the citation is now inserted in the citation source manager and a specific instance of the citation is inserted in the text.

    (Smith & Doe, 2014)

    If a citation is inserted in a footnote, Microsoft Word may automatically convert it into plain text, losing the benefit of using the built-in Bibliography feature. To prevent this behavior, insert the citation in the text (not in the footnote) first, copy it, and then paste it in the footnote.

    The citation appears in the text where the cursor was located
  3. Once inserted, the reference text can be modified to suppress the author, year, or title from being displayed or to display a pinpoint citation (e.g., citation to specific pages, sections, or resources):

    1. Click on the citation.
    2. Click on the arrow on the right (or right click) to access a drop-down menu and select Edit this citation.
    3. Check the box next to author, year, or title to supress it from being displayed and enter pinpoint citation information after the pages label.

    Note, any modifications made only apply to this instance of the citation and do not impact the citation stored in the citation source manager (or any other reference to that source).

    Modifying the instance citation to add page numbers
Insert citations from an existing source
    1. Go to the References tab of the ribbon.
    2. Click on Citations.
    With the citation window open, an existing source is added to the text by double clicking it
  1. A side menu containing the list of sources relevant to the document is now available.

    Double click on the source to be cited to insert it in the text.

    (Smith & Doe, 2014)

    If a citation is inserted in a footnote, Microsoft Word may automatically convert it into text, losing the benefit of using the built-in Bibliography feature. To prevent this behavior, insert the citation in the text first, copy it, and then paste it in the footnote.

    To expand the inserted reference '(Smith & Doe, 2014)' with additional references, e.g., '(Smith & Doe, 2014; Sullivan, 2015)', click on the inserted citation in the document and then insert another citation.

    If the document includes multiple citations sharing the same first author and years, additional authors and/or the publication title will also be included in the inserted citation (along with the first author and year). This is an expected behavior and makes it possible to differentiate between multiple citations sharing the same first authors and years.

    With the citation window open, add a second existing source is added to the text by double clicking it
  2. Once inserted, the reference text can be modified to suppress the author, year, or title from being displayed or to display a pinpoint citation (e.g., citation to specific pages, sections, or resources):

    1. Click on the citation.
    2. Click on the arrow on the right (or right click) to access a drop-down menu and select Edit this citation.
    3. Check the box next to author, year, or title to supress it from being displayed and enter pinpoint citation information after the pages label.

    Note, any modifications made only apply to this instance of the citation and do not impact the citation stored in the citation source manager (or any other reference to that source).

    The citation appears in the text where the cursor was located
Add bibliography section
  1. Go to the References tab of the ribbon.
  2. Place the cursor at the end of the document, where the Bibliography should be inserted.
  3. Click on Bibliography and select the desired option from the drop-down menu.
Works cited is selected from the bibliography button on the Reference banner
A bibliography will be inserted, using the bibliography style specified (Chicago here).
A works cited section is automatically generated at the end of the document
Managing citation sources

Citation sources can be imported from other documents, added from scratch (without being inserted in the text), edited, or deleted.

To manage citation sources:

  1. Go to the References tab of the ribbon.
  2. Click on Citations to open the citations side bar.
  3. Click on the settings menu icon in the bottom right corner and select citation source manager... from the drop-down menu.
  4. A new dialogue window will appear allowing to add, import, delete, or edit citation sources.
insert list of references

FAQ

How many style guides were reviewed before writing 'DOCX Standard Scientific Style' (DS3)

In order to be as complete as possible, a searchable database of style guides was developed before writing DS3. The full list of indexed style guides can be found here, as well as some intriguing statistics.

Why does a DOCX file need to be structured by humans? Can't machines just do it?

State of the art methods for automatically detecting elements of scientific manuscripts such as titles, authors, abstracts, and dates are currently between 60% and 92% accurate (Lipinski et al 2013). Human assistance is therefore needed to have access to accurate, reliable structured data.

Can 'DOCX Standard Scientific Style' (DS3) really work for any journal without sacrificing originality?

Yes. 'DOCX Standard Scientific Style' (DS3) is designed to be the smallest possible set of principles sufficient to capture metadata and accessibility semantics required by any journal publishing scholarly articles. Journals can all adopt 'DOCX Standard Scientific Style' (DS3) without sacrificing their originality while saving authors the need to:

  • Fill out long forms at submission to capture data already present in the manuscript.
  • Reformat rejected manuscripts (and repopulate submission forms) for resubmission to other journals.

Can structuring a DOCX file really result in better discoverability of the content?

Yes. By first structuring the DOCX file, it can then be automatically converted into valid Scholarly HTML — a flavor of HTML designed for the interoperable exchange, discoverability, and long-term preservation of accessible scholarly articles, containing rich schema.org markup. Publishing information on the web with structured, semantic markup understood by search engines (schema.org) has proven to increase click-through rates and discoverability by up to 52% (New York Times).

Will structuring a DOCX file help bring the star trek computer to life?

Yes. Publishing science in scholarly HTML using schema.org is the first step. The best applications are yet to come.

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Version

DOCX Standard Scientific Style Guide (DS3) follows Semantic Versioning.

License

This guide is licensed under a CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 license. If you would like to use this material to create your own styleguide, please contact us at contact@standardanalytics.io.