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Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - IRI THESys

Authors Guide

Please download the guide for authors and the formatted template


THESys Discussion Papers provide a platform for the publication of high quality, theoretically and/or empirically rigorous research or review papers, essays, policy briefs, discussions, reports, book reviews, short scientific communication and other more alternative forms of scientific communication which advance knowledge about the human-environment nexus. The Paper Series understand this nexus to mean the outcome of interactions between a biophysical setting and social, economic, historical, and political processes that are manifest in localities, but with consequences at multiple spatial, temporal and socio-political scales. Topics could include the drivers, consequences and management of changes in:  ecosystem services, climate, coasts, biodiversity, food systems, land use and land cover, oceans, urban areas, and water resources.

If accepted the paper will be published online as a PDF file on the IRI THESys Homepage under THESys Discussion Papers. The paper will also be retrievable via the Humboldt eDoc server and will be given a URN/DOI number. The Discussion Paper Series is Open Access. 


Papers should be no longer than 10,000 words (including main body text, table and figure captions but not including references), although longer papers will be accepted if the topic demands this length of treatment. Shorter scientific communication should be between 2000 and 4000 words. There is no lower word limit for papers largely based upon visual materials such as maps, satellite images, and photographs. Such contributions should, however, all include a written introduction to the visual material stating how the material contributes to the aims and scopes of the Discussion Paper Series.


Please write your text in good English (American or British usage is accepted, but not a mixture of these). Authors who feel their English language manuscript may require editing to eliminate possible grammatical or spelling errors and to conform to correct scientific English may wish to use an English Language Revision Service.


Submission to the Discussion Paper Series proceeds totally online. To the extent possible, please write in template provided on homepage. Submission should be mailed to editor-in-chief: Jonas.ostergard.nielsen@hu-berlin.de. Please write Discussion Paper Series in mail Subject line. Please indicate what type of manuscript is submitted (e.g research paper, discussion, book review). Please convert your work to one PDF file prior to submission and please try and adhere to the template.  Please note that even though manuscript source files are converted to a PDF file at submission for the review process, manuscript source files will be needed for further processing after acceptance. All correspondence, including notification of the Editor's decision and requests for revision, takes place by e-mail.


There are no strict requirements on reference formatting. We strongly encourage though, that referencing follows the standard of Discussion Paper 1. See homepage.  The style must be consistent. Where applicable, author(s) name(s), journal title/book title, chapter title/article title, year of publication, volume number/book chapter and the pagination must be present.

Citation in text

Please ensure that every reference cited in the text is also present in the reference list (and vice versa). Please insure consistency throughout the submission. Unpublished results and personal communications are not recommended in the reference list, but may be mentioned in the text. If these references are included in the reference list they should follow the standard reference style of the paper and should include a substitution of the publication date with either 'Unpublished results' or 'Personal communication'. Citation of a reference as 'in press' implies that the item has been accepted for publication.

Formatting requirements

Please refer to Template provided on homepage. In general, all manuscripts must contain the essential elements needed to convey your manuscript, for example Abstract, Keywords, Introduction, Materials and Methods, Results, Conclusions, Artwork and Tables with Captions. If your article includes any Videos and/or other Supplementary material, this should be included in your initial submission for the review purposes.

Divide the article into clearly defined sections. Please ensure the figures and the tables included in the single file are placed next to the relevant text in the manuscript, rather than at the bottom, end or the top of the file.


Please provide a concise and informative title. Please avoid the use of acronyms, abbreviations, formular or chemical symbols in the title - these should appear in the full form e.g. 'CO2' should appear as 'carbon dioxide'.

Author names and affiliations

Please provide full name/s. Present the authors' affiliation addresses below the names. Indicate all affiliations with a lower-case superscript letter immediately after the author's name and in front of the appropriate address. Provide the full postal address of each affiliation, including the country name, and, if available, the e-mail address of each author.

Corresponding author. Clearly indicate who will handle correspondence at all stages of refereeing and publication, also post-publication. Ensure that telephone and fax numbers (with country and area code) are provided in addition to the e-mail address and the complete postal address. Contact details must be kept up to date by the corresponding author.


A concise abstract is required. The abstract should state briefly the purpose of the paper, the principal results and major conclusions. The abstract must be able to stand alone. For this reason, references should be avoided, but if essential, then cite the author(s) and year(s). Please avoid the use of acronyms, abbreviations, formulae or chemical symbols in the abstract - these should appear in their full form e.g. 'CO2' should appear as 'carbon dioxide'.  Max length 250 words.


Place these immediately after the abstract, provide a maximum of 6 keywords.


Place acknowledgements after the text but before the reference List.   List here those individuals who provided help during the research (e.g., providing language help, writing assistance or proof reading the article, etc.) as well as funding sources and/or other relevant information.


Footnotes should be used sparingly. Number them consecutively throughout the paper. Many Word processors build footnotes into the text, and this feature may be used.

Tables and Figures

Number tables and figures consecutively in accordance with their appearance in the text. Place footnotes to tables and figures below the table and figure body. Be sparing in the use of tables and ensure that the data presented in tables do not duplicate results described elsewhere in the paper.

Formats for figures. Regardless of the application used, when your electronic artwork is finalized, please 'save as' or convert the images to one of the following formats:

EPS (or PDF): Vector drawings. Embed the font or save the text as 'graphics'.

TIFF (or JPG): Color or grayscale photographs (halftones): always use a minimum of 300 dpi.

TIFF (or JPG): Bitmapped line drawings: use a minimum of 1000 dpi.

TIFF (or JPG): Combinations bitmapped line/half-tone (color or grayscale): a minimum of 500 dpi is required.

Please do not:

Supply files that are optimized for screen use (e.g., GIF, BMP, PICT, WPG); the resolution is too low.

Supply files that are too low in resolution.

Submit graphics that are disproportionately large for the content.

Review Process

All submitted Research or Review papers will go through a review process. All other contributions will be looked at by the editorial team. In all cases, the author/s must incorporate comments to the satisfaction of the editorial team before final acceptance.

After Acceptance

The paper will be published online as a PDF file on the IRI THESys Homepage under THESys Discussion Papers. The paper will also be retrievable via the Humboldt eDoc server. Each Paper will be given a Uniform Resource Name or a Digital Object Identifier number. The Uniform Resource Name (URN) / Digital Object Identifier (DOI) may be used to cite and link to electronic documents.