Guidelines for Graphics Preparation for Manuscripts



    General Considerations


  • First and foremost, all drawings for publication should be prepared to the highest professional standards possible taking into consideration the following: accuracy, aesthetics, symmetry, succinctness, and consistency.


  • If you know the Journal that you will be submitting the manuscript to, your first step is to read and implement the "guidelines for authors" usually found on the Journal website or in the first issue of the year. Some Journals provide manuscript templates; these can be a great resource when article length is an issue.


  • If you do not know the Journal, use the ACS style in your ChemDraw program. Since the molecules we draw are usually large, 2D representations of 3D structures, bond lengths and font sizes may be reduced, however a clear drawing must be maintained. Once your drawings have been created you will find it an easy matter to modify the properties, especially if you have been consistent during their creation.


  • Drawings should contain as little "wasted" space as possible. This will help to ensure your published manuscript appears professionally prepared and will also aid the Journal editor with manuscript organization.


  • Preparing drawings in portrait mode rather than landscape and using one inch margins will help to insure your drawings are ready for incorporation into your paper at the desired position. Ultimately the margins are set by the Journal and can be found in the author guidelines.


  • Element spacing and juxtapositioning are critical to professionally prepared manuscripts. Where possible, elements should be evenly distributed vertically and horizontally relative to a central, top, or bottom point, line, or plane of reference. Both ChemDraw and Powerpoint possess 'align' and 'distribute' capabilities. The choice of reference position should be determined by the overall aesthetics and symmetry of your completed drawing(s).


  • Consistency is essential to the professionally prepared document. Maintaining line length and thickness for such elements as arrows, bonds, and fonts will instill a professional presentation to your drawing. Attention to fine details should also include arrowhead size and shape and the use of a degree symbol and not a superscripted lowercase 'o'.


  • Accuarcy is crutial. Take the time to review your drawing and ask the question - does my drawing depict what I intend the reader to understand from it in a clear and concise manner.


  • Brevity and succinctness should be considered for all drawing design. Redundancy and the use of more elements than necessary tend to cloud and confuse what is intended by the drawing.





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