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Instructions for Authors


Pure and Applied Chemistry is the official monthly Journal of IUPAC, with responsibility for publishing works arising from those international scientific events and projects that are sponsored and undertaken by the Union. The policy is to publish highly topical and credible works at the forefront of all aspects of pure and applied chemistry, and the attendant goal is to promote widespread acceptance of the Journal as an authoritative and indispensable holding in academic and institutional libraries.

Pure Appl. Chem. publishes collections of papers based upon authoritative lectures presented at IUPAC sponsored events, most usually those of plenary or main lecturers. In exceptional circumstances, determined through prior negotiation, this may be extended to include selected contributions by a broader cross-section of participants. In addition, papers or collections of papers on topics of compelling scientific interest may be published by invitation or arrangement, as Special Topic features. Unsolicited manuscripts are not normally considered for publication.

Pure Appl. Chem. is also the designated medium for publication of recommendations, technical reports on standardization, recommended procedures, data compilations, and collaborative studies of IUPAC bodies.

Submission of Papers

Pure Appl. Chem. seeks to achieve representative, timely and scientifically useful publication of Conference outputs. Accordingly, invited authors are encouraged to make every effort to participate, and to adhere to the prescribed timetable for submission of manuscripts.

Manuscripts are to be submitted using the ManuscriptCentral online manuscript handling system. Authors will be given directions on how to access the system before the conference date (see below). A submission template and instructions are available on the Union's web site or can be obtained from the IUPAC Secretariat (E-mail: If you cannot use the submission template, follow the following instructions for setting up your file.

  • Include all parts of the paper in a single Microsoft Word file if possible.
  • Submit illustrations in separate files as well as the single Word file.
  • Do not use the carriage return (enter) at the end of lines within a paragraph.
  • Turn the hyphenation option off.
  • Do not use the endnote feature for references.
  • Do not number headings.
  • Take care not to use l (ell) for 1 (one), O (capital o) for 0 (zero), or ß (German esszett) for b (beta).
  • Use a tab, not spaces, to separate data points in tables.
  • If you use a table editor function, ensure that each data point is contained within a unique cell; i.e., do not use carriage returns within cells.

Submission of a manuscript will be regarded as assurance that the same material is not being considered for publication by another journal.

Electronic file submission

Authors will receive an e-mail inviting them to submit a paper for consideration. If the 'accept' link is clicked, they will receive an e-mail providing them with a logon ID and temporary password to access ManuscriptCentral. They can then logon to their Author Center and continue the manuscript submission process. The link to an invited manuscript can be found under the list of "My Manuscripts" at the left side of the screen. Click on this link to complete the manuscript submission form. The information required includes keywords and the names of proposed reviewers. Complete address information for the principal Author and co-authors should be entered at this time. The online manuscript submission process can be interrupted at any point and resumed at a later time. After the manuscript has been submitted, its current status can be determined using ManuscriptCentral. (Note: PDF files should only be submitted as an example of what the illustration or text looks like. Microsoft Word file is preferred for editing.)

IUPAC Technical Reports and Recommendations

There are special requirements for deciding the category (Technical Report or Recommendations) to which a particular report belongs. Additional instructions can be found in the IUPAC Handbook 2004-2005:

  • Procedure for Publication of IUPAC Technical Reports and Recommendations, or online
  • Guidelines for Drafting IUPAC Technical Reports and Recommendations (2007), online

These Guidelines contain more details than described in these general instructions, and authors are advised to consult these documents carefully before drafting an IUPAC report.

Preparation of Papers

A collection of papers based upon a Conference, Symposium or Workshop is expected to capture the scientific impact and topicality of the theme, and furnish readers with an indispensable archival resource. Conference papers are typically short critical overviews of specialized topics, and authors have considerable latitude in emphasizing review content or disclosing hitherto unpublished findings. Pure Appl. Chem. aspires to offer readers distinctive insights into new science that complement rather than compete with or replicate those published in the primary research literature.

A critical overview based upon a plenary presentation may occupy up to perhaps 12 Journal pages, whereas other forms of Conference presentation will usually be shorter (6 to 8 Journal pages), and may even incorporate a short experimental section to exemplify and underpin new findings. However, guidelines on manuscript content and length are applied flexibly, and authors are welcome to explore the scope for departing from these guidelines, in consultation with the Scientific Editor.

Much emphasis is placed upon representative, timely, and scientifically useful publication of Conference outputs. Accordingly, invited authors are encouraged to make every effort to participate, and to adhere to the prescribed timetable for submission of manuscripts.


Include a short abstract (not more than 200 words).


Provide affiliation in English for each author. Link author and affiliation with superscript numerals.


Color vs. black and white

Color illustrations will remain in color for the online version, however, they will be printed in black and white unless the author pays for color printing. The Pure Appl. Chem. production editor will indicate the cost of color printing when sending the author the pdf proof. If the illustrations are originally in color, but will print in black and white, be sure they can also be understood by the reader in black and white format (for example, do not refer to color elements in the caption).


Lettering, numbering, and symbols in the figures must be clear and suitable for reduction to single or double column width. Lettering and lines on graphs should also be strong enough to withstand reduction. Figures should be submitted in the highest resolution possible (low-resolution files may look satisfactory online but will not print well). Chemical schemes, etc., should be supplied as standard figures, and, in all cases, the figure must be accompanied by a title and/or legend that describes the illustration.


Figures and schemes should be numbered serially throughout the paper in arabic numerals and should be cited in the text at first occurrence. The word 'Figure' should be shortened to 'Fig.' at the beginning of figure captions and in the text, except where the word 'Figure' begins a sentence.

File format

In addition to submitting the paper as a single Word document with all illustrations and tables included, illustrations should be supplied as separate ChemDraw (or an equivalent program) files. TIF format is also accepted.

Structural formulas

Formulas should be prepared with particular care, preferably with a suitable computer program. They may be numbered with boldface arabic numerals. Within reason, these numbers may be used in the text to avoid repetition of long chemical names, but numbers should not be used in the abstract. Structural formulas should be presented in groups where feasible to improve presentation and save space.


Tables should not be used more than is necessary and, in particular, they should not duplicate results that are presented in graphical form. Tables should be numbered serially throughout the paper in arabic numerals and should be cited in the text at first occurrence. Table headings should appear above the table with one line space between the heading and the table. The word 'Table' should be boldface, and the table heading should be typed with an initial capital for the first word and proper nouns only. If necessary, a font size smaller than 9 point may be used.

Mathematical expressions and chemical equations

Mathematical expressions and chemical equations should be indented on the left, with space above and below, and should be numbered in parentheses with consecutive arabic numerals flush right.

kp = A exp(-EA / RT) (1)

Simple mathematical expressions should be left in the text, written in one line instead of in two-line form wherever possible to avoid awkward line spacing. Use additional half line spaces as needed to ensure that mathematical expressions in the text do not overlap preceding or succeeding lines.

For additional information on quantity calculus or quantity algebra and on percents and per mils, see IUPAC Interdivisional Committee on Terminology, Nomenclature, and Symbols, February 2002; available online.


Numbers should be printed in roman (upright) fonts. Numerical values of physical quantities (and the symbols of units) should be printed in roman even in italic texts.

The decimal marker for IUPAC publications in English should be a point on the line. For many-digit numbers the digits should be grouped in threes around the decimal marker with a space* between the groups, but never leaving a single digit on its own.


Numbers in a running text: 3.1416 or 3.141 6

Numbers in a column:
 1 000.234 5
21 110.216 48
   500.123 3

Additional guidelines for the printing of numbers are detailed in the Guidelines for Drafting IUPAC Technical Reports and Recommendations (2007) online as <> (the 2004 version was available in print in the IUPAC Handbook 2004-2005)

* It is best to use a nonbreaking space of constant width (in MS Word under Windows, use ctrl-shift-space, or under Mac OS, use command-space) which also prevents the splitting of numbers on line breaks.


All references should be mentioned in the text or captions. They should be typed in brackets, e.g., [41], in sequence. References appear at the end of the paper in numerical order. For journal articles, only the first page is required, but for books, Inclusive page numbers are desirable.

Examples of formats are shown below. Abbreviations of journal titles should agree with usage by Chemical Abstracts (see Chemical Abstracts Service Source Index, 1907-1994 Cumulative, American Chemical Society, Columbus, Ohio, 1994).

Examples of Reference Formats:
  1. J. P. Lee, G. C. Pimentel. J. Chem. Phys. 75, 4241 (1981).
  2. S. Stoeva, G. Grübler, H. Echner, W. Rönspeck, W. Voelter. Pure Appl. Chem. 66, 101 (1994). [Use names of all authors rather than et al.]
  3. R. Stephenson. Introduction to Nuclear Engineering, p. 27. McGraw-Hill, New York (1964).
  4. S. N. Loh, C.W. McNemar, J. L. Markley. In Techniques in Protein Chemistry (J. J. Villafranca, ed.), pp. 275-282. Academic Press, New York (1991).
  5. F. Bloch. US Patent 2960 649, Filed 18 June 1954, Issued 15 Nov 1960.

Footnotes should be used sparingly and referred to in the text in parentheses as (Note a), etc.

Only references to articles in journals, books, and issued patents will be permitted. Meeting abstracts and patent applications may not be quoted unless they are published in a form that is available for library reference.

Symbols and units

Symbols for scalar physical quantities (or variables) should be set in italic (sloping) type, and symbols for units, or labels, should be set in roman (upright) type. Quantity symbols may be qualified by subscripts or by further information in parentheses; subscripts should themselves be in italic type when they represent physical quantities, and otherwise in roman type. For other classes of quantities, (vectors, matrices, etc.) see additional information given below.

Quantity calculus should be used in presenting the values of physical quantities, and according to the following equation:

(physical quantity) = (numerical value) x (unit). Each term in parentheses can be treated as an algebraic quantity. These two statements are necessary and sufficient to define quantity calculus. See the examples below and the IUPAC Green Book (ref. 1, list below) for further examples.

p = 0.123 mbar = 12.3 Pa = 12.3 N m-2 or p/Pa = 12.3

r = 2.13 Å = 0.213 nm or r/nm = 0.213

k = 108.2 s-1 or lg(k/s-1) = 8.2

Note particularly the use of an italic font for quantity symbols such as p, r, and k, and the use of an upright font for unit symbols such as Pa, mbar, m, nm, and s. The format (quantity symbol)/(unit), as in r/nm = 0.213, is particularly convenient for heading the columns of tables and labeling the axes of graphs, so that the entries in the table columns or the labels on the tick marks of the graph may be pure numbers. The symbols lg and ln should be used for log10 and loge, respectively. (For additional information, see On the use of italic and roman fonts for symbols in scientific text, I. M. Mills and W. V. Metanomski, IUPAC Interdivisional Committee on Nomenclature and Symbols, January 2000; available online).

The following IUPAC references should be considered:

  1. IUPAC. Quantities, Units and Symbols in Physical Chemistry, 3rd ed. (the 'Green Book'). Prepared for publication by E. R. Cohen, T. Cvitaš, J. G. Frey, B. Holmström, K. Kuchitsu, R. Marquardt, I. Mills, F. Pavese, M. Quack, J. Stohner, H. L. Strauss, M. Takami, and A. J. Thor, RSC Publishing, Cambridge, UK (2007).
  2. IUPAC. Compendium of Chemical Terminology, 2nd ed. (the 'Gold Book'). Compiled by A. D. McNaught and A. Wilkinson. Blackwell Scientific Publications, Oxford (1997). XML on-line corrected version: (2006-) created by M. Nic, J. Jirat, and B. Kosata; updates compiled by A.D. Jenkins.
  3. (a) IUPAC. Nomenclature of Inorganic Chemistry. IUPAC Recommendations 2005 (the 'Red Book'). Prepared for publication by N. G. Connelly, T. Damhus, R. M. Hartshorn, and A. T. Hutton. RSC Publishing, Cambridge, UK (2005); (b) IUPAC. Nomenclature of Inorganic Chemistry I, Recommendations 2000 (the 'Red Book II'). J. A. McCleverty and N. G. Connelly (Eds.), RSC Publishing, Cambridge, UK (2000). Superseded in part by (a).
  4. IUPAC Recommendations 1979. Nomenclature of Organic Chemistry (the 'Blue Book'). Sections A, B, C, D, E, F, H. Prepared for publication by J. Rigaudy and S. P. Klesneym, Pergamon Press, Oxford (1979).
  5. IUPAC. A Guide to IUPAC Nomenclature of Organic Compounds. R. Panico, W. H. Powell, J.-C. Richer (Eds.), Blackwell Scientific Publications, Oxford, (1993).
  6. IUPAC. Compendium of Polymer Terminology and Nomenclature, IUPAC Recommendations 2008 (the 'Purple Book'), R. G. Jones, J. Kahovec, R. Stepto, E. S. Wilks, M. Hess, T. Kitayama, W. V. Metanomski (Eds.), RSC Publishing, Cambridge, UK (2008).
  7. IUPAC. Compendium of Analytical Nomenclature, 3rd ed. (the 'Orange Book'). Prepared for publication by J. Inczédy, T. Lengyel, A. M. Ure. Blackwell Science, Oxford (1998).
  8. D.R. Lide Jr. 'Use of abbreviations in the chemical literature', Pure Appl. Chem. 52, 2229 (1980).

Permission to Reproduce

For any material that is not original, permission to reproduce must be obtained in advance in writing by the author(s) from those concerned. An appropriate acknowledgment should be included in the text.


Offprints of individual contributions may be ordered by the senior author, who should write his/her full postal address on the offprints order form and return it with his/her manuscript, even if no additional offprints are ordered. Full instructions for ordering and payment are printed on the offprints order form. A pdf file of the final printed article can be downloaded by authors after the journal is printed.

If accepted, papers become the copyright of IUPAC. Authors will be required to give signed consent to publication, but permission to use material elsewhere (for example in review articles) will normally be granted on request. The Copyright form should be returned to the IUPAC secretariat, as requested on the form.