JBIS: Guidelines for Authors

This document is available as a downloadable PDF: JBIS Author Guidelines.

1. Manuscript Text

a. Text for publication in JBIS must be in the English language.

b. A License to Publish form is required with the paper, signed by the corresponding author. This can be sent separately from the paper but is required before the review process begins. It is the corresponding author's responsibility to ensure all other authors are in agreement with the submission and the terms of publication.

c. Security and copyright clearance, where necessary, is the responsibility of the authors.

d. JBIS requires papers to be submitted in an electronic form compatible with PC formats. We can handle Microsoft Word for Windows up to version Word 2010. A PDF version of the paper would also be helpful to aid formatting. Authors are asked not to use auto-formatting, footnotes, headers, footers and other advanced features and keep the manuscript as close to a pure text file as possible. The exception to this is that it is helpful if mathematical equations are formatted in an equation editor. Please note that any formatting you introduce will have to be removed by the Editorial team for our own formatting process, so using your own formatting does not assist the process.

e. The manuscript's file name should include the first named author's surname.

f. For preference we would ask authors to submit manuscripts via email to: jbis@bis-space.com.

However if this is not possible, manuscripts can also be submitted by post and sent to: JBIS, The British Interplanetary Society, 27/29 South Lambeth Road, London SW8 1SZ.

2. Preparation of Manuscripts

a. A concise title should be followed by the author's name (without designation or distinction), full contact address, affiliation, email address (if applicable), a short summary abstract (a single paragraph of not more than 200 words) and a number of keywords (about five) suitable for search engines to find the paper. The typescript should continue with introduction, text, conclusions, acknowledgements, references and notes, tables, figures and figure captions. Decimal paragraphing is used. Information on previous or intended conference presentation should be provided. JBIS does not have strict rules regarding paper length but expects authors to be concise and succinct in the presentation of their arguments. Typically a paper would be 5000 to 6000 words but shorter (2-3 page) papers are also accepted called Technical Notes. Papers longer than this would only be accepted when the content demands it, such as a major subject review.

b. Mathematical equations may be either handwritten or typed, but must be clear. Unusual letters or symbols should be clearly identifiable. The solidus should be used for fractions in the text and for displayed formulae. Parentheses and fractional superscripts should be used to indicate square roots. On first use, acronyms should be translated in full into English. JBIS uses the SI system of units; if Imperial units are given, SI equivalent values should be added. The use of an Equation Editor is strongly advised.

c. References and notes should be shown in the text in numerical sequence in square parentheses e.g. [3], with the full list at the end of the paper in the following styles:

  1. A. June and W.R. Camp, “Space Trajectories”, J. Aerospace Sci., 20, pp.635-642, 1983. (Journal Paper — where 20 is the volume number and pp gives page numbers)
  2. N. Sisakyan and V. Yazdavdkiy (eds), “First Group Flight into Outer Space”, Nauka Publishing House, Academy of Sciences, Moscow, 1964. (Book)
  3. D.F. Lawden, “Interplanetary Rocket Trajectories”, in Advance in Space Science, Vol. 1, ed. F.I. Ordway III, Academic Press, New York, p.3, 1959. (Article in Book)
  4. D.M. Ashford, “The Aeroplane Approach to Launch Vehicle Design”, JBIS, 37, pp.163-71, 1984. (Paper in JBIS)

d. Internet sources are not generally acceptable as scientific confirmatory evidence, and are often transitory in nature. Their use as reference material should be carefully evaluated in the context of the contention they are being used to support. If they are used include the date the site was accessed in the following style: (Last Accessed 12th April 2012).

3. Style

a. Texts will be edited, if necessary to conform to our House Style or achieve the best possible presentation. Acceptance of MSS will be dependent on acceptance by the author of any modifications required by the Editorial considerations or Peer Review.

b. Please help us to avoid unnecessary editing by conforming to our editorial style as below. If these are not followed the Editor may alter texts to conform to our House Style but may also reject the paper if it does not read as a professional piece of writing.

  1. Please refer to figures in the text as e.g. “Fig. 1” etc.
  2. Avoid “I” and we” (first person) and “You” (second person). Text should be written in an impersonal third person style e.g. “it will be seen” rather than “you will see” and “it will be shown” rather than “I will show”.
  3. Omit references to previous sections or text e.g. “I have already said...” or which summarise what is to follow e.g. “This section will consider... and then consider... and will show...”.
  4. Do not use commas with conjunctions such as “and” or “but” and do not begin sentences with such words.
  5. The use of footnotes is discouraged. Such material should be incorporated into the main text.

4. Illustrations

a. A figure number and caption must be provided for each illustration. “Top” must be indicated if this is not obvious. Each figure should be cited in numerical order in the text. Figure captions should be short and concise. Every figure used must be referred to in the text.

b. Permission should be obtained and formal acknowledgement made for use of a copyright illustration or material from elsewhere.

c. Photos: Original photos are preferred if possible or good quality copies. Photos should be clear, with good contrast and free from blemish. If this is not possible can you please scan them as black and white photos with a resolution of 350 dpi. Please submit them in JPG format.

d. Line drawings: Original drawings are preferred. If this is not possible can you please scan them as black and white drawings with a resolution of 600 dpi they can be submitted in TIFF format. Photocopies are not usually of an acceptable quality.

e. Illustration size: Can you please ensure that all electronically submitted illustrations are a minimum width of 140 mm.

f. Images embedded in electronic documents are acceptable on first submission for review purposes, however if the paper is accepted for publication each illustration will be required as a separate file.

5. Suggested Referees

a. Authors are asked to provide the names and contact details (including email addresses) for two suitable referees for their paper, if the paper is a highly specialised subject. These potential referees should not belong to the same organisation as the authors, nor be involved in the work reported, or have any other issues that might affect their ability to objectively review the paper. The authors should not contact the potential referees to ask their permission, this will be done by the JBIS editor if he decides to use them. The response of the suggested referees if contacted will not influence the acceptance or rejection of the paper. The responsibility for finding referees and their selection is the editors and the author's suggestions may or may not be used. The Editor has the final decision on publication or rejection.

b. Additionally authors may also identify any potential referees that for reasons that are unlikely to be known to the editor would mean their objectivity would be in question. Authors do not need to provide the reasons they are requesting a specific referee not be used unless requested by the Editor.

6. The Process

a. On receipt of the Manuscript and the License to Publish form the author will be sent an acknowledgement and the Editor will determine whether the paper is suitable for JBIS. Reasons for rejection at this stage include papers that are not within the subject matter covered by JBIS, papers that do not meet the originality requirements for an academic paper and papers where the presentational standard is irredeemably poor.

b. If the paper is judged suitable then arrangements will be made for the paper to be reviewed. In general, only papers that are recommended for publication by the referee will be published, although on rare occasions the Editor may overrule this recommendation or decide that further reviewers are required before a decision can be made. Every effort is made to shorten editorial review procedures to enable authors to be notified as soon as possible regarding acceptance for publication. However, JBIS is run largely by volunteers, and authors are requested to be patient with the process.

c. The referee report is then returned to the author. It is common for referees to request changes or to suggest improvements. In general the paper will only be accepted if the referee's comments are fully addressed. The final form of the paper should then be submitted and this will be used to prepare the proofs which will be sent to the corresponding author for approval before publication.

d. Authors should restrict alterations at proof stage to errors in spelling, punctuation etc. As these are often overlooked, it is recommended that, wherever possible, a colleague be invited to read the proofs to provide a second check against misprints of this sort. Major modifications to the original script can be accepted only in special circumstances.

e. Once the proofs are accepted by the author the paper will be published in the next suitable issue. As a guide, papers are normally published within six months of submission and we aim to always get publication within a year. However the review process is very variable and JBIS cannot make any guarantees as to the publication date.

f. Authors will receive a complimentary copy of the issue containing their paper free of charge.