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Author Guidelines


 1. General Policy

The Proceedings of the West Virginia Academy of Science is an open access, online, peer reviewed scientific journal.  The Proceedings is intended to stimulate research by West Virginia scientists and Academy members and provide them an outlet for publication of their research results in the areas of Biology, Chemistry, Computer Science, Engineering, Geology, Mathematics, Mining, Physics, Psychology, Science Education, History of Science, Philosophy of Science, Social Science, Health Science, and Environmental Science.  Within the limits of available resources, the Academy will attempt to maximize the number of articles it can publish, while maintaining standards by the peer review process.  Where selection must be made, the sole criterion for judgment shall be the quality of the research involved.  Articles of a local or regional nature, as well as those of broader scope, will be encouraged.  Articles will not be discriminated against because of their subject matter, as long as they satisfy the requirement of the bylaws that they be "...of a scientific nature" (Section VII, Article 1) e.g., Biology, Chemistry, Computer Science, Engineering, Geology, Mathematics, Mining, Physics, Psychology, Science Education, History of Science, Philosophy of Science, Social Science, Health Science, and Environmental Science.

 The Academy will consider papers that report the results of original research or observation.  The Academy will not publish papers that have been published elsewhere.  Each manuscript will be reviewed by the Editorial Board and by referees.  Please note: Membership in the West Virginia Academy of Science is a requirement for publishing in the Proceedings. In the case of joint authorship, at least one author must be a member of the Academy.  Papers accepted for publication that have been presented at the annual meeting of the Academy will be processed without cost to the authors.  Authors of manuscripts accepted for publication in the Proceedings who have not presented their work at the annual meeting will need to remit payment in the amount of $50.00 to cover publication costs.  Payment instruction will be provided upon manuscript acceptance.  All papers will be subjected to blind peer review and the decision of publication is at the discretion of the Editor and Editorial Board. 

2. Abstract for Annual Meeting

 A 'call-for-abstracts' will be sent to members prior to each Annual Meeting.  Abstracts will be submitted through the site.  Plain-text abstracts of no more than 250 words, free of figures and tables (as well as misspellings, poor hyphenation, and poor grammar) will be accepted for review and consideration for inclusion into the upcoming annual meeting.

 3. Manuscripts

 Manuscripts for publication should be submitted electronically through in Word (doc or docx) format.  Please use the template to prepare your manuscript for download here.   Please adhere to the formatting provided in the template.  Detailed instructions for Authors may be found here.  All inquiries regarding the template, manuscript preparation, or the submission process should be directed to Joseph Horzempa at

a. Metadata

The title, author names, email addresses, author affiliations, abstract, keywords, and other information for each manuscript will be prompted and entered during electronic submission. 

b. Organization of Manuscripts

 Please use the template file for manuscript construction. Each manuscript shall start with an abstract (no more than 250 words) that should summarize the primary results.  This abstract should be suitable for sending to international abstracting services for immediate publication in the event that the paper is accepted for publication in the Proceedings.

 For original research articles, the following sequence is suggested for manuscript organization: Introduction, Materials and Methods, Results, Discussion, Acknowledgments, and Literature Cited.

 Review articles and commentaries will be considered and can follow a more liberal format at the discretion of the authors.  However, all articles must contain a Title, Abstract, article text, and Literature Cited.

c. Grammatical Considerations

 Place two spaces between the period at the end of one sentence and the first letter of the next sentence.

Hyphenate compound modifiers and compound words.  A modifier made up of an adverb (other than adverbs ending in -ly) + adjective, adjective + noun, or two nouns is a compound or unit modifier.  For example, plum-pox-resistant, transgenic plum, where plum-pox-resistant is the compound modifier (hyphens are boldface for emphasis).  Note: chemical names used as modifiers are not hyphenated except when misinterpretation is likely.  Examples: (1). Iron sulfide containing bacteria is commonly found ... ; (2) Iron sulfide-containing bacteria are … (In example (2), the bacteria contain iron sulfide and bacteria is the subject; in example (1) a sample of iron sulfide that contains bacteria within it is the subject).

 Include a comma after each member in a series of words that forms a list in a sentence, forms a series of modifiers modifying the same item, or for a series of phrases, as this sentence itself exemplifies.  For example, …dogs, horses, antelope, and trout…  A different example exemplifies an important exception: When an adjective or noun acting as an adjective is conceptually very closely related to the immediately following noun, as big in big apple, it is not considered part of the series of modifiers modifying the noun.  Thus in …moldy, green, foul-tasting big apple … commas follow all of the modifiers prior to foul-tasting, but because big is closely associated with apple, it is not in the series; hence foul-tasting is the last modifier in the series (it could have been preceded by and).

 Latin epithets used in scientific names for animals and plants follow a different set of rules than English names, even “official” English names.  The guideline for English names is based on the rule “only proper nouns are capitalized in sentences”.  Rules for the first letter of the first word in a sentence, for titles, figure captions, and table headings are different.  For example, coastal plain oak, raspberry horntail sawfly would not be capitalized in a sentence.  Capitalize the first letter of the first word in a sentence and capitalize the first letter for each major term in titles, figure captions, and table headings.  Note: the symbol pH always has a lower-case p and upper-case H; it should not be the first “word” in a sentence, caption, or title if things can be conveniently rearranged.

 Spell out numbers “one” through “nine”; use numerals for numbers higher than nine.  As with pH, avoid beginning sentences, captions, and titles with a numeral.

 There exist hyphens, en-dashes, and em-dashes, and each has a use.  One should distinguish especially between the hyphen (the shortest of these marks) and the en-dash (the intermediate in length of the three).  The en-dash should be used in two-word concepts (e.g., nickel–metal hydride battery) and spans of time (e.g., for the period January–June), among other situations.  In “Word” for PCs, the en- and em-dashes are available in the “Special Characters” tab of the “Symbol” sub-menu, which is under the “Insert” menu.  In Macintosh computers the en-dash is also available directly when the “alt/option” key is held down while striking the hyphen key.

 For other grammatical considerations please consult a good scientific writing reference, such as the Scientific Style and Format: The CSE Manual for Authors, Editors, and Publishers by Council of Science Educators Style Manual Committee.

  4. Figure, Illustration, and Table Preparation

 Each table or figure should be supplied with a legend sufficiently complete to make the table or figure intelligible without reference to the text.  Footnotes may be used in connection with tables and figures where necessary.  Footnotes should be avoided in the text itself.  Acceptable fonts include Times, Times New Roman, Arial, Courier, Helvetica and Symbol.  Table format should follow the example provided in the template (or in the example below).

Example Table:     



 Prepare figures and illustrations within the publication template at a width of no more than 3 inches (column width) or 6.5 inches for a double-column figure. If the authors would like an object (figures, tables, etc.) to appear in 2-column width, they should indicate it clearly to the editor when uploading the object as a separate supplementary file, so the layout editor can format the object accordingly in the final version of the paper.

 Illustrations and photographs will be published in color, black and white, or grayscale.  Use shaded fills for shapes and graphs.  For figures with bars, shading, diagonal, and horizontal lines are allowable.  Each bar fill-type should be clearly distinct. All drawn lines must be greater than 0.25 pts (0.1 mm) thick.  All figures should have a white chart area.  See the manuscript template for example formatting. 

 Illustrations, graphs, images should be at a resolution of at least 300 dpi.  In addition to including figures within the submitted manuscript file, all illustrations should be additionally submitted (uploaded to the manuscript submission site) electronically (a separate supplementary file for each figure).  Acceptable file formats are PNG (preferable), TIFF, PDF, JPEG, GIF, or EPS.  No other formats are accepted at this time.

 Figures and Tables should be referenced parenthetically in numerical order where appropriate.  Please use standard numbers (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, etc.) and not Roman numerals for figures and tables.  Figures with multiple panels can be further designated with letters that should be referenced alphabetically.  For instance, Figure 1A should be cited before Figure 1B. 

Please note: Illustrations, graphs, and photos that do not comply to the recommended format will be returned to the author for correction.  The manuscript will not be considered for review until it is resubmitted with the required corrections.  Figures and tables covering more than one page should have the figure or table number repeated at the top of each of the other pages followed by the word "continued" within parentheses.  Data, legends, and other identifiers that appear within a figure or table need to be large enough in the published version to be easily read.

 5. Literature Cited

 References shall be collected at the end of the manuscript as "Literature Cited" in APA format and must be cited in the text.

Citations within text:

 References should be cited by author and date within the text.  Separate multiple citations with a semicolon.

Example citations within text:

Single author: (Dare 2003)

Two authors: (Buzby and Deegan 1999)

Multiple authors: (Feldheim et al. 2002)

Multiple citations: (Buzby and Deegan 1999; Feldheim et al. 2002)

Citations at the end of paper:

 Per APA format, the title of the papers cited and the inclusive page numbers must be given.  The article title should be italicized and the journal name should be normal.  Bold the volume number, italicize the issue, and present page numbers in normal font.  End each citation with a period, followed by the DOI if available.  Citations should be formatted with hanging indentation of 0.5”.  Do not skip a line between citations.

Example journal citations:

Buzby, K. and L. Deegan. 1999. Retention of anchor and passive integrated transponder tags by arctic grayling. N. Am. J. Fish. Manage. 19(4): 1147-1150.

Dare, M.R. 2003. Mortality and long-term retention of passive integrated transponder tags by spring Chinook salmon. N. Am. J. Fish. Manage. 23: 1015-1019. DOI:10.1577/M02-106

Feldheim, K.A., S.H. Gruber, J.R.C. de Marignac, and M.V. Ashley. 2002. Genetic tagging to determine passive integrated transponder tag loss in lemon sharks. J. Fish Biol. 61: 1309-1313. DOI: 10.1111/j.1095-8649.2002.tb02474.x

Example book citation:

Stacey, M. and S. A. Barker. 1960. Polysaccharides of microorganisms. Oxford Univ. Press. London. 228 pp.

Freemark. K. and B. Collins. 1992. Landscape ecology of birds in temperate forest fragments in J. M. Hagan, III and D. W. Johnston (eds.), Ecology and Conservation of Neotropical Migrant Landbirds. pp. 443-454. Smithsonian Institution. Washington, D.C.

 6.  Peer review process

 All manuscripts will be refereed in a blind peer review process, in which the reviewers remain anonymous to the authors.  Reviews will be submitted to the editor who will make a decision on whether the manuscript is accepted, rejected, or requires revision to be reconsidered for publication.

 7. Submission of Revised Manuscripts

 All manuscripts accepted by the peer reviewers that need to be revised must be done according to the instructions of the Editorial Board through the Proceedings website.

 8. Proof

 Proofreading/ editing of proofs will be conducted electronically through the manuscript submission system.

 9. Cost of Publication

 Authors who do not present the data represented in the accepted manuscript at the prior WVAS annual meeting will be billed $50.00 by the Academy.  The corresponding author will be sent a pro forma invoice for remission of payment from the author's institution, company, research grant, etc.  Failure to honor page charges will prevent publication of the paper.


Submission Preparation Checklist

As part of the submission process, authors are required to check off their submission's compliance with all of the following items, and submissions may be returned to authors that do not adhere to these guidelines.

  1. The submission has not been previously published, nor is it before another journal for consideration (or an explanation has been provided in Comments to the Editor).
  2. The submission file uses the template, and is in OpenOffice, Microsoft Word, RTF, or WordPerfect document file format.
  3. The text adheres to the stylistic and bibliographic requirements outlined in the Author Guidelines, which is found in About the Journal.  Figures and tables should be inserted into the text and also submitted separately as Supplemental Files.
  4. One of the authors of the submission is a current member of the West Virginia Academy of Science.

Copyright Notice

Proceedings of the West Virginia Academy of Science applies the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial (CC BY-NC) license to works we publish. By virtue of their appearance in this open access journal, articles are free to use, with proper attribution, in educational and other non-commercial settings.


Privacy Statement

The names and email addresses entered in this journal site will be used exclusively for the stated purposes of the West Virginia Academy of Science and the Proceedings of the West Virginia Academy of Science, and will not be made available for any other purpose or to any other party.