Aerosol and Air Quality Research

Instructions for Authors in PDF Download

Template for Manuscript Preparation Download

These instructions and templates are provided to help authors prepare their manuscript. A manuscript that does not adhere to the instructions will be returned to the authors for correction, and peer review will not proceed. Submitted manuscripts should report new work or ideas.

This instruction document provides preparation guidelines and requirements for (1) New Submission, (2) Revised Submission, and (3) After Acceptance. We strongly encourage the authors to use the Manuscript Template for preparation.

All submitting authors are advised to visit AAQR’s Online Submission for the latest Instructions for Authors, Open Access License Agreement, Publication Fees and the ongoing Call for Papers.


Manuscript Types

AAQR accepts Original Articles, Technical Notes, Short Communications, Data Reports, Invited Reviews, Focus Articles, Letters to the Editor, and Joint Publications with JAAST and KAPAR. Additionally, we publish Special Issues on topical themes.

  1. Original articles: These articles report previously unpublished research or review published research. Literature reviews herein are expected to be in-depth, critical pieces on specific subjects. The length is limited to less than 6500 words.

  2. Technical Notes: These articles cover topics which may be simpler in structure but are usually of urgent matter. Technical notes may describe significant modifications to or adaptations of methods and tools. “Materials” and “Methods” should be concise, with routine instrumental methods placed in “Supplementary Materials.” The length is limited to less than 3000 words, or 4 typeset pages.

  3. Short communications: These communications provide a brief description of significant scientific findings or practical developments that are of outstanding interest and urgency to the aerosol and air quality community. The need for Short Communication must be clearly stated in the cover letter. The length is limited to less than 3000 words, or 4 typeset pages.

  4. Data Reports: These reports present new, preliminary or partial results from analysis of data (sets), and may have limited conclusions/implications compared to original articles. The data (sets) may include original measured/modeling data or readily-available data of sufficient quality. Upon acceptance of publication, the data (sets) must be made publicly available for at least five years. Please refer to the section on Accessibility of Materials and Data for details. AAQR reserves the right to deny publication when authors do not comply with this data policy. The length is limited to less than 3000 words, or 4 typeset pages.

  5. Invited Reviews: Invitations for these reviews are issued by the Editor(s)-in-Chief of AAQR. The length is limited to less than 10000 words.

  6. Focus Articles: These brief perspective reviews (2 authors max.) assess the current status of a field and highlight recent key findings. Not intended to be comprehensive and text-only pieces are welcome; figs. should be simple and low in number (preferably 1). The length is limited to less than 1000 words, or 2 typeset pages.

  7. Letters to the Editor: These letters comment or remark on published results and substantial issues of aerosols and air quality. The length is limited to less than 1000 words, or 2 typeset pages.

  8. Joint Publications with JAAST and KAPAR: Manuscripts published in Earozoru Kenkyu (Journal of Aerosol Research) or Particle and Aerosol Research may be recommended by JAAST or KAPAR, respectively, for secondary publication in AAQR. Submissions must include the approval letter.

Note 1: The above word-count limits exclude the title, author names, affiliations, table texts and references.
Note 2: The publication fee is charged according to the number of typeset pages.


  1. A cover letter should be prepared separately from the manuscript file, and either uploaded into or typed into the text box of the online submission system. This is mandatory.

  2. Papers must be written in American or British English, but not a mixture of both. Spelling and grammar should be checked by an English-speaking editor if English is not the authors’ first language. In any case, the authors are strongly advised to use the spell- and grammar-check functions of the Word processor to avoid unnecessary grammatical and typographical errors.

  3. The manuscript in Word format should be submitted on-line here. The system will convert the Word file into pdf/html files for review purpose only. Upon approval of the format and appropriateness of the submitted manuscript, the manuscript will be sent through the review process. You must first create an account in the on-line submission system before you are able to submit the manuscript.

  4. The main text of the manuscript must be typed in Times New Roman 12-pt font, double-spaced, on A4 or Letter using appropriate margins. The font size of the title and sub-title is 16 pt and 14 pt, respectively. All pages should be numbered at the bottom of each page. This is mandatory, otherwise the manuscript will be returned to the authors for correction.

  5. Authors are encouraged to write clearly and concisely. Page charges are increased for longer manuscripts and editors may return the manuscript without review if the length is superfluous to the corresponding amount of new results. Do not include extraneous information or tables that are inconsequential to the scientific analysis. The main manuscript should include all essential materials to understand the methods and interpretation; extra materials can be included in the supplemental section.

  6. Insert continuous line numbers in the left margin of all pages (including the title and abstract). This feature can be found in the MS Word menu commands: “File/Page Setup/Layout/Line Numbers.” This is mandatory for the review process, otherwise the manuscript will be returned to the authors for correction.

  7. New submissions must be clean versions (i.e. 'track changes' from the word processor must not be visible).

  8. Leave only one space after periods.

  9. Manuscripts should contain the following elements in sequence: title, names and affiliations of authors, contact info of corresponding author(s), abstract, keywords, main text (introduction, methods, results and discussion, conclusions), acknowledgements, appendices, references, tables (with titles above), and figures (with captions below).

  10. Download the Manuscript Template for manuscripts and follow the same format to prepare your manuscript.

  11. A manuscript that does not adhere to the instructions will be returned to the authors for correction or directly rejected.


  1. Title should be informative and specific, not to exceed 110 characters (including spaces).
  2. Capitalize only major words of the title.
  3. Avoid chemical formulae in title.

Name of Author and Affiliation

  1. List each author’s first, middle initial and last name, and affiliation, and identify the corresponding author(s) with asterisk. The maximum number of corresponding authors is two.
  2. Include the e-mail address, telephone and fax for the corresponding author below the author name/affiliation list.
  3. All authors should be added and linked to the submission in the online submission system. This is mandatory for ethical reasons, otherwise the manuscript will be returned to the authors for correction.


  1. Abstract should be formatted as a single paragraph and not to exceed the 300-word limit.
  2. The purposes, methods, contents, conclusions, as well as new significant findings, should be summarized in the abstract, but do not include subheadings in the abstract.


  1. Include 3 to 5 keywords to facilitate literature searches.
  2. Avoid duplicating words already contained in the title.
  3. The first letter of the keywords should be capitalized, and the keywords separated with commas.


  1. This is optional if the number of symbols in the manuscript is limited.
  2. A list of symbols is required when a manuscript contains numerous formulae and hence mathematical symbols.
  3. Nomenclature is prepared in a separate section and placed after the Keywords and before the Main text.

Main Text

  1. Numbered sections:
  • All sections and subsections must be numbered, given a brief heading and appear on its own separate line.
  • A maximum of three levels of sectioning is allowed, e.g., 2, 2.1, 2.1.1. Please refer to a (sub)section as “Sect. 2.1” for in-text cross-referencing. Typically, two levels are adequate.
  • For the 1st level of sectioning, flush left, bold, all cap heading, e.g., 2 METHODS.
  • For the 2nd level of sectioning, flush left, bold, title case heading, e.g., 2.1 Study Location.
  • For the 3rd level of sectioning, flush left, bold italic, sentence case heading, e.g., 2.1.1 Sampling sites.

  1. Footnote: Please avoid using footnotes in the main text; instead, cite the reference or webpage URL directly in parentheses, or state the information directly in the text.

  2. Units: The use of S.I. units throughout is required. Express derived units or other units in exponent form (superscript) with space(s) between the elements of the derived unit, e.g., L min–1, 100 µg m3 and 20 µg m–2 day–1.

  3. In-text citation: Beginning in 2021, AAQR adopts a new style of citation and reference. Please refer to the section on References for details.

  4. Symbols:
  • Define symbols (including Greek letters and other non-Latin symbols) at their first appearance in the text or in a separate list of notations.
  • Take care to clearly differentiate zero (0) and the letter (O), one (1) and the letter (l), times sign (´) and the letter (x).

  1. Equations and chemical reactions:
  • All equations must be clearly typewritten, preferably using the Equation Editor in the Word processor.
  • Equations should be sequentially numbered in parentheses ((1), (2), etc.) at the far right of the line, according to their appearance in the text.
  • Subscripts and superscripts should be clearly legible.
  • The meanings of all symbols must be defined immediately after the equation in which they are first used.
  • When referring to equations in the text, preface the number with the word “Eq.” or “Eqs.” and place the number within the bracket as Eq. (1), or Eqs. (1–4), etc.
  • At the first reference to a chemical compound, write the compound’s name in full, followed by its abbreviation in parentheses. Thereafter, use the abbreviation.
  • Chemical reactions should be sequentially numbered in parentheses ((R1), (R2), etc.) at the far right of the line, according to their appearance in the text.
  • When referring to reactions in the text, preface the number with the word “Rxn.” or “Rxns.” and place the number within the bracket as Rxn. (R1), or Rxns. (R1–R4), etc.

  1. Date and time:
  • Use international date format: DD Month YYYY, e.g., 2 November 2020, and time format: HH:MM:SS, e.g., 23:30:15.
  • Specify whether it is local time (LT), universal time coordinated (UTC), or others.


Write the acknowledgements briefly in a separate section just before the references.


  1. Beginning in 2021, AAQR adopts a new style of citation and reference. You may download the citation and reference style for EndNote and in CSL style below. 

    Download EndNote File here Download
    Zotero CSL style
  2. In-text citation: All references to literature in the text should be cited in the form as Smith (1997) if there is one author, Smith and Jones (1997) for two authors, or Smith et al. (1997) if more than two authors. Some examples:

    (i) This result was later verified by Smith and Jones (1997).
    (ii) This phenomenon has been described before (Smith, 1997).
    (iii) This result is similar to the findings of many previous studies (Smith et al., 1997; Smith and Jones, 1998).
    (iv) Smith et al. (1997) suggested that…

  3. Reference list entries should be arranged in alphabetical order by the first author’s last name.

  4. For a work with more than 20 authors, include only the first 20 authors followed by et al. in the reference list.

  5. Some examples for formatting the references:

    (i) Journals:
    Watson, J.G., Chow, J.C., Chen, L.-W.A. (2005). Summary of organic and elemental carbon/black carbon analysis methods and intercomparisons. Aerosol Air Qual. Res. 5, 65–102.

    Charell, P.R., Hawley, R.E. (1981). Characteristics of water adsorption on air sampling filters. Am. Ind. Hyg. Assoc. J. 42, 353–360.

    (ii) Books:
    Kerker, M. (1969). The scattering of light, 1st ed. Academic Press, New York.

    (iii) Chapter in edited book:
    Crittenden, B.D., Long, R. (1976). The mechanisms of formation of polynuclear aromatic compounds in combustion systems, in: Freudenthal, R.I., Jones, P.W. (Eds.), Carcinogenesis—A comprehensive survey, Vol. 1, Raven Press, New York, pp. 209–231.

    (iv) Conference proceedings, symposia, etc.:
    Evans, A.C., Jr., Garbarino, J., Bocanegra, E., Kinscherff, R.T., Márquez-Greene, N. (2019). Gun violence: An event on the power of community [Conference presentation]. APA 2019 Convention, Chicago, IL, United States.

    Morgan, R., Meldrum, K., Bryan, S., Mathiesen, B., Yakob, N., Esa, N., Ziden, A.A. (2017). Embedding digital literacies in curricula: Australian and Malaysian experiences, in: Teh, G.B., Choy, S.C. (Eds.), Empowering 21st century learners through holistic and enterprising learning: Selected papers from Tunku Abdul Rahman University College International Conference 2016, Springer, pp. 11–19,

    (v) Webpages:
    Aerosol and Air Quality Research (2020). Aims and scope. URL (accessed 2 November 2020).

Tables and Figures

  1. Tables and figures can be placed either in the main text, or on separate pages at the end with tables, followed by figures. In the latter case, place each table and figure on a separate page of the Word document.
  2. Number tables and figures consecutively with Arabic numerals (Table 1, Fig. 1, etc.) in order of citation in the text. You should refer to all tables and figures in the main text.
  3. Each table should have a brief and self-explanatory title above the table.
  4. Tables should be formatted with horizontal borderlines only, and submitted as editable text (not as image).
  5. Avoid excessive tabulation of data or large tables.
  6. Explanations should be given in footnotes with superscript italic Roman letters (a, b, c, etc.) at the bottom of the table, if it is necessary for the understanding of the table.
  7. Figures should be clearly legible when reduced to a single-column width.
  8. Each figure should have a concise but instructive caption meant to be below the figure. The caption should describe any details in the figure that are not obviously understood.
  9. Authors do not need to prepare table titles and figure captions separately from the tables and figures. Instead, keep the titles and captions alongside with the tables and figures, respectively.
  10. Authors are required to obtain permission for use of copyrighted material from other sources.
  11. In the text, refer to figures as “Fig. 1”, or “Figs. 1(a) and 1(b)”, whereas tables as “Table 1”, or “Tables 1 and 2”.

Supplementary Material

  1. To avoid extra page charges, the text contents, appendices, Tables and Figures that are not crucial to the topic are suggested to move to a supplementary materials file.
  2. There is no specific format requirement for the Supplementary material, but it needs to be a separate file from the main manuscript.
  3. Include a cover page in the Supplementary material file to clearly separate it from the manuscript.
  4. The format of Figure and Table numbers in the Supplementary material need to be different from those in the manuscript. Table Sx or Fig. Sx (e.g., Table S1, Fig. S2) are suggested to be used in the Supplementary material.


  1. Highlights are mandatory for AAQR, and should be submitted in a separate file through the online submission system. They will also be reviewed by reviewers and editors.
  2. Highlights should include 3 to 5 bullet points (maximum 85 characters, including spaces, per bullet point) to convey the essence of the research.
  3. Highlights will be displayed in online search result lists, the contents list and in the online article, but will not appear in the article PDF file or in print.

Graphical Abstract

  1. The graphical abstract is one single figure or photo that is shown in the contents list to more succinctly present the main findings of the article. Please avoid making a complicated composite figure.
  2. Graphical abstract is mandatory for all manuscript types, except Letters to the Editor, to aid readers in quickly finding articles relevant to their research interests, and improve their interpretation of the article.
  3. Graphical abstract is also included in the peer review, and is submitted in a separate file through the online submission system.
  4. Although a key figure in the submitted article can also be submitted as a graphical abstract, authors are encouraged to submit a new and more creative figure or image that engages the reader with a visual impression of the main findings of the article without including excess details and promotes further browsing.
  5. When preparing the graphical abstract, the following general specifications should be adhered to:

    Dimensions: minimum 300 × 550 pixels (h × w)
    Resolution: minimum 300 dpi
    Preferred file types: JPG, TIFF, PDF or MS Office files.
    Do not include a caption or explanatory texts in the graphical abstract.

  1. Graphical abstract will not appear in the article PDF file or in print.

Accessibility of Materials and Data

  1. To allow others to replicate, verify and build upon conclusions published in AAQR, authors are encouraged to deposit their data, such as microarray data, protein or DNA sequences, atomic coordinates and climate data, as much as possible in publicly accessible databases. The data library PANGAEA is recommended for authors to deposit their data. An access number or a specific access address should be included in the published article. Sufficient detail on computer codes involved in the creation or analysis of data must be given, either within the paper or in the Supporting Materials. After publication, the authors should make a reasonable effort to provide data and materials when requested by researchers for their own use. It is reasonable for authors to charge a modest amount to cover the cost of preparing and shipping the requested material.
  2. Any restrictions on the availability of data, codes, or materials should be disclosed to the Editor(s)-in-Chief upon submission.

Screening for Plagiarism

  1. AAQR carries out Plagiarism Check powered by iThenticate (Turnitin, LLC) on each and every submitted manuscript for similarity with other copyrighted and published materials.
  2. The authors are required to present original passages in her/his own words, without copying words or structure from others, and all original sources must be cited in detail. It is the sole responsibility of the authors to avoid plagiarism and maintain academic integrity.

Template for Manuscript Preparation  Download

Preprints Policy

  1. A preprint is a version of scholarly or scientific paper that has not gone through or is currently in the peer-review process. Preprints are publicly available via Internet preprint platforms.
  2. AAQR allows for the submission of manuscripts previously available as preprints.
  3. Authors are requested to update any preprints with a link to the final published article.


In addition to the above guidelines, there are other requirements specific to revised submissions. When resubmitting a revised manuscript:

  1. Authors must prepare/submit a separate file that addresses reviewer comments directly, point by point.
  2. Authors are required to edit/revise the manuscript, as appropriate, according to the reviewer comments, as well as the editing/format/language comments given in the initial screening stage.
  3. In the revised manuscript, authors are required to highlight the changes made to the manuscript with colored text or track changes (Simple Markup, i.e., without comments or editing marks).
  4. Authors are required to upload the entire article in an editable file format (Word document), individual figures (JPG, TIFF, PDF or MS Office files), and the set of tables (Word document). At this stage, please do not place tables and figures in the main text of the revised manuscript.
  5. When copyrighted material are used in the manuscript, authors must present/upload the permission for use from the sources.


After the Manuscript is Accepted

  1. Upon acceptance, authors are requested to complete an online Open Access Agreement Form for final processing and publishing by the Production Center of AAQR. E-mail address: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
  2. Accepted manuscripts are watermarked “Accepted Manuscript”, assigned with DOI numbers and immediately posted online as In-press Articles on AAQR’s website.
  3. In the meantime, accepted manuscripts are subjected to final editing checks on format and language by the Editorial Office.
  4. After typesetting, manuscript proofs in Word format will be emailed to the corresponding and/or submitting author for proofreading and correction.
  5. Along with the proofs, authors will receive a publication fee form, which is to be filled out by the authors and returned to the Production Center.
  6. Payments are then made at this stage, prior to formal publication.


  1. Authorship and major changes to accepted manuscripts are not allowed, except with the permission from the Editor(s)-in-Chief.
  2. Authors should return the page proofs of their articles within 2 days of receipt.
  3. The editors have the right to revise the content and modify the writing style of manuscripts.
  4. The decision of the Editor(s)-in-Chief is final.

Publication Fee

  1. Please note that the publication fee is charged according to the number of ‘typeset’ pages, not Word document pages, so payment of fee is made near the end of the production process, not upon acceptance of manuscript.
  2. For more information, please visit Publication Fee.
Aerosol and Air Quality Research (AAQR) is an independently-run non-profit journal, promotes submissions of high-quality research, and strives to be one of the leading aerosol and air quality open-access journals in the world.