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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.
  • 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).
  • The submission file is in OpenOffice, Microsoft Word, or RTF document file format.
  • Where available, URLs (website addresses) for free full-text references have been provided.
  • The text is single-spaced; uses a 12-point font; employs italics, rather than underlining (except with URL addresses).
  • The text adheres to the stylistic and bibliographic requirements outlined in the Author Guidelines.
  • Permission has been obtained in writing for any photograph, table, or figure copied from an existing publication. This must be shared with the editors upon request. Images obtained from the Internet should be accompanied by website addresses to indicate their source. Permission should be obtained from originators or owners of images
    wherever possible.
  • If an entire sentence or more is copied from any existing publication, it has been placed in quotes and where it was obtained from has been cited. (Copying a sentence or more without doing this is plagiarism.)
  • All illustrations, figures, and tables are placed within the text at the appropriate points, rather than at the end.
  • You have considered whether you need to write an abstract. It greatly increases readership for longer evidence-based articles (with references). The words in the abstract may be searchable, making your article easier to find.
  • You may skip most fields where meta-data are called for, but using relevant key words not in your title or abstract will let more readers find your article in searches.

Author Guidelines

Authors can submit literature reviews, editorials, commentaries, book reviews or letters to the editor. If they would like to contribute a regular column to the journal, they should contact the Editor-in-Chief to discuss this. Original research is not normally published in World Nutrition, but exceptions can be made. 

There are no limits to the length of submissions, but literature reviews longer than 2000 words should be preceded by an abstract. 

All submissions are reviewed by the editors. Longer or more complex pieces will be sent for review by one or two outside peer reviewers. Peer reviewer and author identities are masked to make peer reviews anonymous. 

When authors are provided with reviewer responses, they should revise the manuscript accordingly. For substantive comments from peer reviewers, authors should explain their response if they believe the reviewer is incorrect; or explain how the requested revision is beyond the scope of the article. 


We encourage authors to use referencing liberally. In academic publishing, references are meant to buttress arguments, establish facts, and give credit where it’s due. We ask that you refer to original research, however, rather than literature reviews. So-called "daisy-chain" referencing far too often is responsible for maintaining myths and using poorly done research as "evidence." 

WN uses a simple author-date system of referencing because this is easier for authors who do not have access to reference management software. If that is difficult for you, just let us know; we can accept other systems as well. If you do have reference management software, the Chicago author-date style produces a reference list that is easier to read than the default author-date style for Endnote at least.

Authors are encouraged, wherever possible, to add URLs (website addresses) to each reference available online at no cost. Each citation must be associated with one of the entries in the alphabetized reference list at the end of the document. Please include the DOI number in all references wherever possible. 

In the text, as close as possible to where mention of a reference is needed, the surname of only the author (or both if there are two; first author followed by “et al.” if there are more than two), a comma, and then the year of the publication, should be placed in one set of parentheses. Thus, the first reference below would be cited in the text as (Awashi et al, 2013). Alternatively, one can write something like, “As Awashi et al (2013) have pointed out…”. If you cite two references with the same author and year, label one Smith, 2016a and the next Smith, 2016b.  (Reference management software will instead place the full author and date automatically.)

Here are examples of the reference formats used in WN. 

  1. Journal articles 

Awasthi S, Peto R, Read S, et al. 2013. Vitamin A supplementation every 6 months with retinol in 1 million preschool children in North India: Devta, a cluster-randomised trial. Lancet 381:1469–77. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(12)62125-4

In the reference list, the first three authors are listed before et al. There is a period at the end but no periods are used after authors’ initials. A period is placed after the date and again after the article name. The journal name is followed by the volume number, a colon and then the page numbers—with no spaces--and a fourth period. It is optional to include the issue number for journals where pagination is sequential throughout a volume. It is optional to list entire page numbers in the page range at the end.

  1. Books and reports follow a similar format: author, date, title. Then comes city of publication followed by colon and the name of the publisher. Each important word, along with the first and last words in a title are capitalized.

Beaton GH, Aronson KJ, Edmonston B, et al. 1993. Effectiveness of Vitamin A Supplementation in the Control of Young Child Morbidity and Mortality in Developing Countries. Geneva: Administrative Committee on Coordination-Subcommittee on Nutrition (ACC/SCN). https://www.unscn.org/web/archives_resources/files/Policy_paper_No_13.pdf

  1. Book chapters or articles within an edited book. The book should be referenced as in the example above, except the author(s) are usually editors, identified as First comes the name of the author(s) of the chapter and year. Then the title of the chapter. This is followed by “In:”, then the names of the editors, followed by “Eds.”, then the title of the book, the city and the publisher. Last comes the page numbers of the chapter referred to.

Allen, C. 2007. Bacteria, bioterrorism, and the geranium ladies of Guatemala. In: Cabezas AL, Reese E, Waller M, editors. Wages of empire: neoliberal policies, repression, and women's poverty. Boulder (CO): Paradigm Press. p. 169-177.


As part of the submissions process, you will be required to fill in a page asking for a range of information. These metadata are shared widely on the internet and thus assist people in finding your paper, for example in Google Scholar searches. So be complete. Add each author's name in the correct order. When you type in the names of disciplines involved (example: public health nutrition) or key words (example: infant feeding), you must place a comma at the end of each and then hit return or they will all be combined into a single word--and thus be useless. Since every word in an abstract entered as metadata will be searchable, you might want to write one even if you feel your paper is too short to actually need one. Choose key words that are relevant but not in your abstract. 

Please upload an image for your paper. Browse for it on your computer, as drag and drop doesn't seem to work. This image will then appear beside your title on the table of contents. Either use an image of your own or upload one available free and with no copyright restrictions from the internet.  

World Nutrition usually subjects submissions with referenced scientific content to a double-blind review process. Reviewers should not know the identities of the authors, and the contributing authors should not know the identities of the reviewers. To facilitate this concealment process, authors are asked to submit a “blinded” version of their manuscript with the cover page or title page submitted as a separate file. If published, the title page will be added after review. Thus no author's name should be on the manuscript itself. The file name should also not include names or initials. However, do NOT remove your name from any references you are the author of. 
It is also important to remove metadata in the Word document itself that might convey the author’s identity. The procedures are different for PC users and Mac Users:
FOR PC USERS: The method to use depends on the version of Word. Go to Help and ask how to remove personal information
FOR MAC USERS: Click Tools (on the top bar)>Protect Document>Scroll down to Privacy>Check box for “Remove personal information for this file on save">Save>OK>Save


In the context of the journal World Nutrition, conflict of interest (CoI) can be defined as “a situation that is present when there is a meaningful risk that a primary professional interest might be unduly influenced by incompatible interests.”  Awareness of CoI’s are important to authors and readers in maintaining the integrity of World Nutrition.

                An example

Professor Joe Smith and Professor Judy Alvarez have been in professional conflict with each other for over a decade. His field is sports nutrition and he publishes reviews that convincingly demonstrate that declines in exercise are more important in explaining the obesity epidemic than anything having to do with diet. Her field is public health nutrition and she publishes equally convincing evidence that it’s the change in diet characterized by increased consumption of ultra-processed foods and sugars that’s mainly to blame. Each considers that the other has a biased view of the literature. Either or both may be correct. However, both professors can honestly declare they have no conflicts of interest when they publish.

Their disagreement with each other and even their skewed views of the literature are not due to conflicts of interest beyond what may be due to the usual loyalty we tend to feel for our professional fields—which of course are also our source of income. In this scientific dispute, most public health nutrition people might be assumed to have some kind of bias on the diet side, and most in sports nutrition might be assumed to have a bias in the other direction. In most contexts, we would not call those differences in perspectives evidence of conflicts of interest.

However, suppose a company producing weightlifting equipment funds a research program for Prof Smith comparing the effectiveness of aerobic exercise with increasing muscle mass for reducing many non-communicable diseases. Smith warns them their money will not influence his views. But nevertheless, if he publishes a paper weighing the evidence for which type of exercise is best for overall health, he should declare a conflict of interest. His views and what he writes may not have changed at all. But his credibility as an objective expert on this aerobics vs muscle mass issue has changed.

Now suppose a food advocacy group funds Prof Alvarez’ research program on the impact of ultra-processed food. This funding may not have changed her views, her research objectivity, or even the subtleties of how she expresses herself on the diet vs exercise issue. But now she must declare a potential conflict of interest and her credibility must be viewed within this context.

The existence of a conflict of interest does not mean that someone is corrupt. They might not have allowed this CoI to influence what they think, how they do their research, or what they write. But the risk is there. The perception that this conflict MIGHT influence them is unavoidable.

A good deal of research does suggest that many researchers allow CoI to influence not only their judgement but something about how they do, analyze or report research. For example, published studies by drug companies routinely report a higher efficacy for those drugs than studies of the same drugs funded by others. Being suspicious of authors with CoI is not the same as drawing conclusions about the integrity of any particular author, but it is important to be aware of the risks CoI pose.

                Journal policy

All authors who submit manuscripts to be considered for publication in World Nutrition are asked to provide detailed information about all conflicting interests related to the topics of the manuscript.

These would be relevant financial interests, activities, relationships, and affiliations including, but not limited to, employment, funding and grants received or pending, consultancies, honoraria, membership in speakers' bureaus, stock ownership and options, expert testimony, royalties, and patents planned, pending, or issued. These disclosures should describe any potential conflicts of interest involving the work under consideration for publication (during the time involving the work, from initial conception and planning to present), any relevant financial activities outside the submitted work (over the 5 years prior to submission), and any other relationships or activities that readers could perceive to have influenced, or that give the appearance of potentially influencing what is written in the submitted work (based on all relationships that were present during the 5 years prior to submission).

Authors who are uncertain about what constitutes a relevant financial interest or relationship for an individual author or relevant support for the work being reported should err on the side of complete disclosure, or contact the editorial office for clarification.

For all accepted manuscripts, summaries of the CoIs will be published in an Acknowledgment section of the article to ensure they are disclosed to readers.

World Nutrition will, at its discretion, consider publishing papers whose authors have only minor conflicts of interest. However, if CoIs are judged to be so severe that the integrity of the article is in doubt, the manuscript may be rejected for that reason alone or published with a simultaneous commentary about that CoI and/or presenting an opposing point of view.