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Instructions for authors

Journal of Nutritional Science (JNS) is an international, peer-reviewed, online only, Open Access journal that welcomes high-quality research articles in all aspects of nutrition. The underlying aim of all work should be, as far as possible, to develop nutritional understanding.


This journal uses ScholarOne Manuscripts for online submission and peer review.

Complete guidelines for preparing and submitting your manuscript to this journal are provided below.


JNS encompasses the full spectrum of nutritional science including public health nutrition, epidemiology, dietary surveys, nutritional requirements, metabolic studies, body composition, energetics, appetite, obesity, ageing, endocrinology, immunology, neuroscience, microbiology, genetics, molecular and cellular biology and nutrigenomics

Please note that the remit of the journal does not include papers on the following topics: Case studies; papers on food technology, food science or food chemistry; studies on herbs, spices or other flavouring agents, pharmaceutical agents.


JNS publishes the following: Research Articles, Brief Reports, Review Articles, Systematic Reviews, Perspectives, Workshop Reports, Invited Commentaries, Letters to the Editor, Obituaries, and Editorials.

Research Articles, Brief Reports, Reviews, Systematic Reviews, Letters to the Editor and Workshop Reports should be submitted to Please contact the Editorial Office on regarding Perspectives or any other types of article.

Brief Reports

A Brief Report should describe a complete study that examines a specific question of scientific interest and that extends nutritional knowledge. The nature of the study or question being investigated means that the number of experiments or the amount of data presented is less than would be expected for a full publication. However, all aspects of scientific rigour and evaluation will be of the same standard as for a full publication.

Brief Reports should include an abstract of no more than 150 words and be no more than 3,000 words in total, including an Introduction, Methods and a combined Results and Discussion section (but not figure legends and tables). These articles should have no more than 20 references and no more than four display items (Tables and Figures) in total.

Review Articles

JNS accepts critical reviews that are designed to advance knowledge, policy and practice in nutritional science. Current knowledge should be appropriately contextualised and presented such that knowledge gaps and research needs can be characterised. Reviews will be handled by specialist Reviews Editors. Please contact the Editorial Office with any queries regarding the submission of potential review articles. All reviews, including systematic reviews and meta-analyses, should present the uncertainties and variabilities associated with the papers and data being reviewed.

  • Reviews: These articles are written in a narrative style, and aim to critically evaluate a specific topic in nutritional science.
  • Systematic Reviews and meta-analyses: A systematic review or meta-analysis of randomised trials and other evaluation studies must be accompanied by a completed Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) Statement checklist, a guideline to help authors report a systematic review and meta-analysis (see British Medical Journal (2009) 339, b2535). Meta-analysis of observational studies must be accompanied by a completed Meta-analysis of Observational Studies in Epidemiology (MOOSE) reporting checklist, indicating the page where each item is included (see JAMA (2000) 283, 2008-2012). Manuscripts in these areas of review will not be sent for peer review unless accompanied by the relevant completed checklist.

  • Perspectives in Nutritional Science

    Perspectives are invited articles that should present and defend a clear stance on a particular topic related to the journal's scope; authors may discuss a potential submission with the Editor-in-Chief. They should include a short abstract of no more than 150 words and generally be no more than 2,000 words in total, with up to 25 references. Two Figures or Tables may be included. The Article Processing Charge will be waived for these articles.

    Letters to the Editor

    Letters that discuss, criticise or develop themes put forward in papers published in JNS are invited. They should not, however, be used as a means of publishing new work. Acceptance will be at the discretion of the Editorial Board, and editorial changes may be required. Wherever possible, letters from responding authors will be included in the same issue as the original article.


    Authors or their institutions retain copyright of papers published in JNS. The corresponding author should complete a Publication Agreement form on behalf of all authors, and upload this with the manuscript files at the time of submission. If the manuscript is not accepted, the form will be destroyed.

    Articles will be published under a creative commons attribution (CC BY) licence as standard, but authors may elect to publish under the following alternative licences:

    • CC-BY-NC-SA (Attribution - Non-Commercial - Share Alike)
    • CC-BY-NC-ND (Attribution - Non-Commercial - No Derivatives)

    For information on what each licence allows, please visit

    Open access publishing in JNS is funded through levying an article processing charge (APC) on each individual author's institution or funding body. The APC for JNS is £1,100 (£825 where the corresponding author is a member of the Nutrition Society) plus VAT where applicable. 

    A full waiver of the APC will be granted automatically where the corresponding author is based in a Research4Life Group A country, and a 50% waiver will be granted where the corresponding author is based in a Research4Life Group B country.

    Cambridge University Press has made a number of Read and Publish agreements to support Open Access publishing in Cambridge journals for publicly financed research articles. Authors based at participating institutions in the countries below will automatically receive a waiver. For more information regarding individual agreements and whether your university or institute is covered, please visit this page.

    • Germany
    • The Netherlands
    • Sweden
    • United Kingdom

    The APC charge will be waived for certain commissioned articles and Editorials and in rare cases when authors and their institutes can clearly demonstrate inability to pay. To ensure availability of funding has no bearing on editorial decisions, the Editors of JNS are never involved in correspondence with authors on payment of publication charges. All APC waiver requests must be submitted directly to the publisher prior to submission.

    The decision whether to accept a paper for publication will rest solely with the Editors, and without reference to the funding situation of the authors. Please note: APC collection is managed by RightsLink, who will contact authors following acceptance of their paper.


    JNS uses a single blind review process.

    As part of the online submission process, authors are asked to affirm that the submission represents original work that has not been published previously, and that it is not currently being considered by another journal. Authors must also confirm that each author has seen and approved the contents of the submitted manuscript.

    At submission, authors are asked to nominate at least three potential referees who may then be asked by the Editorial Board to help review the work. Please ensure that these potential referees are not located at the same affiliation as any of the co-authors. Manuscripts are normally reviewed by two external peer reviewers and a member of the Editorial Board.

    When substantial revisions are required to manuscripts after review, authors are normally given the opportunity to do this once only; the need for any further changes should at most reflect only minor issues.

    Appeals against an editorial decision will only be considered under exceptional circumstances. To appeal, please submit an appeal letter by responding to the decision letter directly, or directly to the Editorial Office at Decisions on appeals are made by the Editor-in-Chief.

    Format-neutral submission

    JNS has now introduced format-neutral submission for original submissions only. This means that authors do not need to format their article to journal style at this stage; and figures and tables can be kept in their original locations in the text. We do ask however that your article is line-numbered and is in an easily readable layout, which will aid our Editors and Reviewers in reviewing your paper. Please note that revised manuscripts will be subject to full formatting requirements of the journal, which can be found below. 


    The Journal adheres to the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) guidelines on research and publications ethics and is a member of COPE. 

    The Nutrition Society, as the owner of JNS, endorses the Publication Ethics outlined by Cambridge University Press.



    Papers submitted for publication must be written in English and should be as concise as possible. We recommend that authors for whom English is not their first language have their manuscript checked by a native English speaker before submission.

    We list a number of third-party services specialising in language editing and / or translation, and suggest that authors contact as appropriate. Use of any of these services is voluntary, and at the author's own expense.

    Spelling should generally be that of the Concise Oxford Dictionary (1995), 9th ed. Oxford: Clarendon Press. Authors are advised to consult a current issue in order to make themselves familiar with JNS as to typographical and other conventions, layout of tables etc. Sufficient information should be given to permit repetition of the published work by any competent reader of JNS.

    Published examples of JNS article types can be found here.


    The Journal conforms to the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) definition of authorship, as described by P.C. Calder (Br J Nutr (2009) 101, 775). Authorship credit should be based on:

    1. Substantial contributions to conception and design, data acquisition, analysis and/or interpretation; and
    2. Drafting the article or revising it critically for important intellectual content; and
    3. Final approval of the version to be published; and
    4. Agreement to be accountable for all aspects of the work in ensuring that questions related to the accuracy or integrity of any part of the work are appropriately investigated and resolved.

    The contribution of individuals who were involved in the study but do not meet these criteria should be described in the Acknowledgments section.

    Ethical standards

    The required standards for reporting studies involving humans and experimental animals are detailed in an Editorial by G.C. Burdge (J Nutr Sci (2014) 3, e19).

    Experiments involving human subjects

    The notice of contributors is drawn to the guidelines in the World Medical Association (2000) Declaration of Helsinki: ethical principles for medical research involving human subjects, with notes of clarification of 2002 and 2004 (, the Guidelines on the Practice of Ethics Committees Involved in Medical Research Involving Human Subjects (3rd ed., 1996; London: The Royal College of Physicians) and the Guidelines for the ethical conduct of medical research involving children, revised in 2000 by the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health: Ethics Advisory Committee (Arch Dis Child (2000) 82, 177–182). Articles reporting randomised trials must conform to the standards set by the Consolidated Standards of Reporting Trials (CONSORT) consortium.

    Required disclosures: A paper describing any experimental work on human subjects MUST include the following statement in the Experimental Methods section: "This study was conducted according to the guidelines laid down in the Declaration of Helsinki and all procedures involving human subjects/patients were approved by the [insert name of the ethics committee; a specific ethics number MUST be inserted]. Written [or Verbal] informed consent was obtained from all subjects/patients. [Where verbal consent was obtained this must be followed by a statement such as: Verbal consent was witnessed and formally recorded]." For clinical trials, the trial registry name, registration identification number, and the URL for the registry should be included.

    PLEASE NOTE: All randomised controlled trials that involve human subjects submitted to JNS must be registered in a public trials registry. A clinical trial is defined by the ICMJE (in accordance with the definition of the World Health Organisation) as any research project that prospectively assigns human participants or groups of humans to one or more health-related interventions to evaluate the effects on health outcomes. Registration information must be provided at the time of submission, including the trial registry name, registration identification number, and the URL for the registry.

    Experiments involving the use of other vertebrate animals

    Papers that report studies involving vertebrate animals should conform to the 'ARRIVE Guidelines for Reporting Animal Research' detailed in Kilkenny et al. (J Pharmacol Pharmacother (2010) 1, 94-99) and summarised at Authors must state in the Experimental Methods section the institutional and national guidelines for the care and use of animals that were followed and that all experimental procedures involving animals were approved by the animal ethics committee or other approving body.

    Manuscript Format

    The requirements of JNS are in accordance with the Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts Submitted to Biomedical Journals produced by the ICMJE.

    Line numbering and page numbering are required. 

    Typescripts should be prepared with 1.5 line spacing and wide margins (2 cm), the preferred font being Times New Roman size 12. At the ends of lines, words should not be hyphenated unless hyphens are to be printed (as per JNS's new policy on format-neutral submission for original submissions, please note that this applies to revised papers only)

    Manuscripts should be organised as follows:

    Cover letter

    Papers should be accompanied by a cover letter including a brief summary of the work and a short explanation of the novelty of the study. The text for the cover letter should be entered in the appropriate box as part of the online submission process.

    Title Page

    The title page should include:

    • The title of the article;
    • Authors' names;
    • Name and address of department(s) and institution(s) to which the work should be attributed for each author;
    • Name, mailing address, email address, telephone and fax numbers of the author responsible for correspondence about the manuscript;
    • A shortened version of the title, not exceeding 45 characters (including letters and spaces) in length;
    • At least four keywords or phrases (each containing up to three words).

    Authors' names should be given without titles or degrees and one forename may be given in full. Identify each author's institution by a superscript number (e.g. A.B. Smith1) and list the institutions underneath and after the final author.


    Each paper must begin with an unstructured abstract of not more than 250 words (150 words for Brief Reports and Perspectives). The abstract should be a single paragraph of continuous text without subheadings outlining the aims of the work, the experimental approach taken, the principal results and the conclusions.

    Graphical abstract

    A Graphical Abstract is a single image that summarises the main findings of a paper, allowing readers to gain quickly an overview of your work. Well-designed graphical abstracts are a way to highlight your research. Ideally, the graphical abstract should be created independently of the figures already in the paper, but it could include a simplified version of an existing figure. Graphical abstracts are displayed at article level, and on the article landing page online. Submission of a graphical abstract is not mandatory, but authors are encouraged to submit one alongside their paper.

    The graphical abstract should be submitted separately from the main paper using the ‘Graphical Abstract’ file designation on ScholarOne at the revised submission stage. Graphical abstracts should be clear and easy to read, and should illustrate one main point only. Permission to reuse images should be sought before submitting a graphical abstract.

    We recommend that TIFF, EPS or PDF formats are used for electronic artwork. Other usable, but non-preferred, formats are JPG, PPT and GIF files and images created in Microsoft Word. The image will be scaled to fit the appropriate space on Cambridge Core, so please ensure that fonts used can be clearly read, and that any text is included as part of the image file (text should be kept to a minimum). There is no need to include the title ‘Graphical Abstract’ in your image.


    It is not necessary to introduce a paper with a full account of the relevant literature, but the introduction should indicate briefly the nature of the question asked and the reasons for asking it. It should be no longer than two manuscript pages.

    Experimental methods

    The methods section must include a subsection that describes the methods used for statistical analysis (see the section on statistical analysis in the Appendix) and the sample size must be justified by the results of appropriate calculations and related to the study outcomes.

    For studies involving humans subjects or experimental animals, the Methods section must include a subsection that reports the appropriate ethical approvals for the study (see Ethical Standards above).

    Analytical procedures should be accompanied by a statement of within and between assay precision.

    Diets: The nutrient composition of diets used in studies published in JNS must be described in detail, preferably in a table(s). Experimentally relevant differences in composition between diets are essential. For instance, studies of fat nutrition should always include fatty acid compositions of all diets.

    PCR analysis: Where experiments involve measurement of relative levels of mRNA in the analysis of individual genes, mRNA should be measured by quantitative PCR. A statement about the quality and integrity of the RNA should be provided. Unless published elsewhere, full details of the oligonuceoltide primers and of the PCR protocol must be stated either in the text or in Supplementary Material. 

    Microarray analysis: Studies involving microarray analysis of mRNA must conform to the "Minimum Information about a Microarray Experiment" (MIAME) guidelines including deposition of the raw data in an appropriate repository (the Access Code must be stated in the Methods).


    These should be given as concisely as possible, using figures or tables as appropriate. Data should not be duplicated in tables and figures.


    While it is generally desirable that the presentation of the results and the discussion of their significance should be presented separately, there may be occasions when combining these sections may be beneficial. Authors may also find that additional or alternative sections such as 'conclusions' may be useful. The discussion should be no longer than five manuscript pages.


    Here you may acknowledge individuals or organizations that provided advice and/or support (non-financial). Formal financial support and funding should be listed in the following section.

    Financial Support

    Please provide details of the sources of financial support for all authors, including grant numbers, e.g "This work was supported by the Wellcome Trust (grant number XXXX)". Grants held by different authors should be identified as belonging to individual authors by the authors' initials, and should be formatted as follows: "This work was supported by the Wellcome Trust (A.B., grant numbers XXXX, YYYY), (C.D., grant number ZZZZ); the Natural Environment Research Council (E.F., grant numbers FFFF); and the National Institutes of Health (A.B., grant number GGGG), (E.F., grant number HHHH)".

    This disclosure is particularly important in the case of research that is supported by industry. Support from industry not only includes direct financial support for the study but also support in kind such as provision of medications, equipment, kits or reagents without charge or at reduced cost and provision of services such as statistical analysis. If no such support was received this must be stated. Where no specific funding has been provided for research, please provide the following statement: "This research received no specific grant from any funding agency, commercial or not-for-profit sectors."

    In addition to the source of financial support, please state whether the funder contributed to the study design, conduct of the study, analysis of samples or data, interpretation of findings or the preparation of the manuscript. If the funder made no such contribution, please provide the following statement: "[Funder's name] had no role in the design, analysis or writing of this article."

    Conflict of Interest

    Please provide details of all known financial, professional and personal relationships with the potential to bias the work. Where no known conflicts of interest exist, please include the following statement: "None."

    For more information on what constitutes a conflict of interest, please see the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) guidelines.


    Please provide a very brief description of the contribution of each author to the research. Their roles in formulating the research question(s), designing the study, carrying it out, analysing the data and writing the article should be made plain.


    As per JNS's new policy on format-neutral submission for original submissions, please note that the below applies to revised papers only

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

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

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

    Examples of correct forms of references are given below.

    Journal articles

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

    Books and monographs

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

    Sources from the internet

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

    For authors that use Endnote, please find the style guide for JNS here.


    Figures should be supplied as separate electronic files. Figure legends should be grouped in a section at the end of the manuscript text. Each figure should be clearly marked with its number and separate panels within figures should be clearly marked (a), (b), (c) etc. Each figure, with its legend, should be comprehensible without reference to the text and should include definitions of abbreviations. The nature of the information displayed in the figures (e.g. mean (SEM)) and the statistical test used must be stated.

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

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

    Images submitted with a manuscript should be minimally processed; some image processing is acceptable (and may be unavoidable), but the final image must accurately represent the original data. Grouping or cropping of images must be identified in the legend and indicated by clear demarcation. Please refer to the Office of Research Integrity guidelines on image processing in scientific publication. Authors should provide sufficient detail of image-gathering procedures and process manipulation in the Methods sections to enable the accuracy of image presentation to be assessed. Authors should retain their original data, as Editors may request them for comparison during manuscript review.


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

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

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

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

    Supplementary material

    Additional data (e.g. data sets, large tables) relevant to the paper can be submitted for publication online only, where they are made available via a link from the paper. The paper should stand alone without these data. Supplementary Material must be cited in a relevant place in the text of the paper.

    Although Supplementary Material is peer reviewed, it is not checked, copyedited or typeset after acceptance and it is loaded onto the journal's website exactly as supplied. You should check your Supplementary Material carefully to ensure that it adheres to journal styles. Corrections cannot be made to the Supplementary Material after acceptance of the manuscript. Please bear this in mind when deciding what content to include as Supplementary Material.


    AuthorAID is a global network that provides free support, mentoring, resources and training to help researchers in low- and middle-income countries to write, publish and otherwise communicate their work. For any authors new to publishing research articles, we encourage you to make use of the AuthorAID resources before submitting your paper to JNS. Through the AuthorAID network, guidance can be found to help researchers through the process of writing and submitting scientific papers, advice about responding to reviewer comments, as well as research design and grant applications.


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

    Corrected proofs should be returned within 2 days by email to:

    Rachael Lowther
    Production Editor
    Cambridge University Press
    Telephone: +44 1223 325032
    Fax: +44 1223 325802

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


    A PDF file of the paper will be supplied free of charge to the corresponding author of each paper.


    For resources about peer review, including guides on how to peer review journal articles and book proposals, in addition to information on ethics in peer review, OPRS blinding, and Publons, please visit our ‘Information for Peer Reviewers’ page.


    Prospective authors may contact the Editorial Office directly at