Frontiers of Environmental Science & Engineering

ISSN 2095-2201 (Print)
ISSN 2095-221X (Online)
Formerly Known as Frontiers of Environmental Science & Engineering in China
2017 Impact Factor: 1.961

Guidelines for Authors

Frontiers of Environmental Science & Engineering

General Introduction

Frontiers of Environmental Science & Engineering (FESE) is an authoritative source of information for professionals in a wide range of environmental science and engineering, supervised by the Ministry of Education of China, administered by Higher Education Press of China, Chinese Academy of Engineering and Tsinghua University, and jointly published by Higher Education Press of China and Springer on a bi-monthly basis in English. The journal is published both in print and online. Online versions are available both at and

Types of Papers

The following types of papers can be submitted to the journal: 

A RESEARCH FULL PAPER is a contribution describing original research, including theoretical exposition, extensive data and in-depth critical evaluation, and is peer reviewed. The total length of a manuscript including figures, tables and references must not exceed 8000 words.

REVIEW PAPERS are encouraged for giving an in-depth overview of certain topic or a review of one’s own work or one laboratory or a group of researchers. The format and length of review papers are more flexible than for a full paper. Review papers are peer reviewed.

FEATURE PAPERS present objective reports and analyses of the major advances, trends, and challenges in environmental science, technology, engineering and policy for diverse professionals. Feature papers are in principle invited and peer reviewed, but contributors are encouraged to recommend themselves by sending an initial query letter or email to the Managing Editor that describes the scope and significance of the topic and includes a summary or outline of the proposed article and brief introduction about contributor.

SHORT COMMUNICATION is for a concise, but independent report representing a significant contribution to environmental science and engineering, not intended to publish preliminary results, only if these results are of exceptional interest and are particularly topical and relevant will be considered for publication. It should be no more than 2000 words, and could include three figures/tables. It should have at least 8 references. Short communications are also needed to give a peer review.

VIEWS and COMMENTS section mainly focuses on the views and comments on the hot issues in environmental science, technology, engineering, and policy making. It aims to promote interdisciplinary understanding in the environmental field. Although we welcome technical content in these articles, it is not a proper forum to present new data. Instead, the discussion should be based on data found in the peer-reviewed literature.

Ethics in Publishing (Duties of Authors) 

a. Reporting standards
Authors of reports of original research should present an accurate account of the work performed as well as an objective discussion of its significance. Underlying data should be represented accurately in the paper. A paper should contain sufficient detail and references to permit others to replicate the work. Fraudulent or knowingly inaccurate statements constitute unethical behavior and are unacceptable. 

b. Data access and retention 
Authors may be asked to provide the raw data in connection with a paper for editorial review, and should be prepared to provide public access to such data, if practicable, and should in any event be prepared to retain such data for a reasonable time after publication. 

c. Originality and plagiarism 
The authors should ensure that they have written entirely original works, and if the authors have used the work and/or words of others that these have been appropriately cited or quoted.

Plagiarism takes many forms, from ‘passing off’ another’s paper as the author’s own paper, to copying or paraphrasing substantial parts of another’s paper (without attribution), to claiming results from research conducted by others. Plagiarism in all its forms constitutes unethical publishing behavior and is unacceptable.

d. Concurrent publication 
An author should not in general publish manuscripts describing essentially the same research in more than one journal or primary publication. Submitting the same manuscript to more than one journal concurrently constitutes unethical publishing behavior and is unacceptable.

In general, an author should not submit for consideration in another journal a previously published paper. Publication of some kinds of papers (e.g., clinical guidelines, translations) in more than one journal is sometimes justifiable, provided certain conditions are met. The authors and editors of the journals concerned must agree to the secondary publication, which must reflect the same data and interpretation of the primary document. The primary reference must be cited in the secondary publication.

Manuscripts submitted to this journal must not be under simultaneous consideration by any other publisher and should not have been published elsewhere in substantially similar form. No part of a paper which has been published by FESE may be reproduced or published elsewhere without the written permission of the publisher.

e. Acknowledgement of sources 
Proper acknowledgement of the work of others must always be given. Authors should cite publications that have been influential deeply in the reported works. Information obtained privately, as in conversation, correspondence, or discussion with third parties, must not be used or reported without explicit, written permission from the source. Information obtained in the course of confidential services, such as refereeing manuscripts or grant applications, must not be used without the explicit written permission of the author of the work involved in these services. 

f. Authorship of the paper 
Authorship should be limited to those who have made a significant contribution to the conception, design, execution, or interpretation of the reported study. All those who have made significant contributions should be listed as co-authors. Where there are others who have participated in certain substantive aspects of the research project, they should be acknowledged or listed as contributors.

The corresponding author should ensure that all appropriate co-authors and no inappropriate co-authors are included on the paper, and that all co-authors have seen and approved the final version of the paper and have agreed to its submission for publication. 

g. Hazards and human or animal subjects 
The authors must clearly identify these in the manuscript, if their work involves chemicals, procedures or equipment that have any unusual hazards inherent in their use, or involves the use of animal or human subjects. The manuscripts must contain a statement that all procedures were performed in compliance with relevant laws and institutional guidelines and that the appropriate institutional committee(s) has approved them. 

h. Fundamental errors in published works 
When an author finds out a significant error or inaccuracy in his/her own published work, it is the author’s obligation to promptly notify the journal editor or publisher and cooperate with the editor to retract or correct the paper. If the editor or the publisher gets notice from a third party that a published work contains a significant error, it is the obligation of the author to promptly retract or correct the paper or provide evidence to the editor of the correctness of the original paper.

This journal is committed to upholding the integrity of the scientific record. As a member of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) the journal will follow the COPE guidelines on how to deal with potential acts of misconduct.   

For more information on Ethics in publishing and Ethical guidelines for journal publication, please see FESE-Ethical Publishing for author ([1].pdf)

Conflicts of Interest 

A conflict of interest may exist when an author or the author's institution has a financial or other relationship with other people or organizations that may inappropriately influence the author’s work. A conflict can be actual or potential and full disclosure to the Journal is the safest course. All submissions to the Journal must include disclosure of all relationships that could be viewed as presenting a potential conflict of interest. The Journal may use such information as a basis for editorial decisions and may publish such disclosures if they are believed to be important to readers in judging the manuscript. A decision may be made by the Journal not to publish on the basis of the declared conflict.

Copyright Transfer

Copyright of papers published in FESE is transferred to the Higher Education Press of China by the author(s). The copyright transfer form must be submitted when the manuscript is accepted. Authors are encouraged to submit the copyright together with submitting the manuscript.

Authors are asked to return by email or fax the signed statement of copyright transfer to the Editorial Office of FESE.

Preparation of Electronic Versions & Submission

Submission to this journal proceeds totally online ( The website guides authors stepwise through the creation and uploading of the various files. Note that original source files, not PDF files, are required. Once the submission files are uploaded, the system automatically generates an electronic (PDF) proof, which is then used for reviewing. All correspondence, including the editor's decision and request for revisions, will be sent by e-mail. After reviewing process, the manuscript will be finally judged by one of the responsible editors who have the right to accept or reject a paper.

The manuscript should be typed, double-spaced, in 12-point Times New Roman font, with default margins on all sides. To assist reviewers, please add line numbering to your manuscript. Include page numbers on the document, beginning with the title page as number 1.

Submission Requirements

a. Cover letter
A covering letter must accompany each submission indicating the name, address, and telephone number of the author to whom all correspondence is to be addressed. An affiliation must be supplied for each author. Authors are also asked to provide the names and contact information for four potential reviewers (at least two overseas reviewers should be recommended for contributors from China) in their cover letter. However, the journal is not obliged to use the suggested reviewers. Final selection of reviewers will be determined by the editors.

b. Research highlights
Research highlights are a short collection of bullet points that convey the core findings of the article. Highlights should be submitted as a separate file in the ScholarOne Submission System by selecting “Highlights” from the drop-down list when uploading files. Specifications: up to 5 bullet points can be included; the length of one bullet point should not exceed 85 characters (including spaces); only the core results of the manuscript should be covered.

c. Manuscript for research full paper
Manuscripts should be in a Word or LaTeX format. The following components are required for a complete manuscript: Title, Running title, Author name(s) and Affiliation(s), Abstract, Keywords and Speciality, Nomenclature (when needed), Main text (Introduction, Materials and Methods, Results, Discussion, Conclusions), References, Acknowledgements, Appendices, Figures, Tables. 

d. Manuscript for Review Papers
Reviews give a general overview of a particular field, providing the reader with an appreciation of the importance of the work, historical context, a summary of recent developments, and a starting point in the specialist literature. Manuscripts should be divided into appropriate sections, with an extensive list of references. In addition to undergoing the same rigorous level of technical peer-review as Research papers, Review papers will be critiqued based on the general impact of the field being reviewed, the relevance of the field to experimental mechanics, preexisting reviews of the field, and acknowledgement of the contributing author as a dominant figure in the field. Therefore, it is strongly recommended that authors interested in submitting a Review article correspond with the Editor prior to submission. General formatting text, illustrations, and references are the same as outlined for research papers.

Manuscript Preparation (Please organize manuscript with the following orders)

a. Title
The title of the paper should be explicit, descriptive and as brief as possible – no more than 20 words in length. Avoid abbreviations and formulae where possible.

b. Running title
A short version of the paper title (up to 80 characters).

c. Author names and affiliations
Where the family name may be ambiguous (e.g., a double name), please indicate this clearly. Present the authors' affiliation addresses (where the actual work was done) 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.

Clearly indicate who will handle correspondence at all stages of refereeing and publication, also post-publication. The telephone and fax numbers (with country and area code) in addition to the e-mail address and the complete postal address of the corresponding author should be given.

d. Highlights 
Highlights are mandatory for this journal. They consist of a short collection of bullet points that convey the core findings of the article and should be submitted in a separate editable file in the online submission system. Please use 'Highlights' in the file name and include 3 to 5 bullet points (maximum 85 characters, including spaces, per bullet point). See for details.

e. Graphical abstract 
The graphical abstract should summarize the contents of the article in a concise, pictorial form designed to capture the attention of a wide readership. Graphical abstracts should be submitted as a separate file in the online submission system. Image size: Please provide an image with a minimum of 6cm × 11cm (h × w), preferred file types: TIFF, PDF or MS Office files. Graphical abstract is mandatory for this journal. See for details.

f. Abstract 
A concise and factual abstract in range of 150-250 words is required. The abstract should state briefly the purpose of the research, the principal results and major message. An abstract is often presented separately from the article, so it must be able to stand alone. For this reason, References should be avoided, but if essential, they must be cited in full, without reference to the reference list. Also, abbreviations should be avoided, but if essential they must be defined at their first mention in the abstract itself.

g. Keywords and speciality
Immediately after the abstract, provide a maximum of 6 keywords separated by commas, avoid general and plural terms and multiple concepts (avoid, for example, "and", "of"). Be sparing with abbreviations: only abbreviations firmly established in the field may be eligible. These keywords will be used for indexing purposes. Use keywords that make your paper easy detectable for interested readers in literature databases. Repeating terms in the title is usually not needed. Please also select at least 3 specialities during the online submission.

h. Introduction 
State the objectives of the work and provide an adequate background, avoiding a detailed literature survey or a summary of the results.

i. Materials and methods 
Provide sufficient detail to allow the work to be reproduced. Methods already published should be indicated by a reference: only relevant modifications should be described.

j. Results 
Results should be clear and concise. Show only those experimental results that are relevant to your objectives and conclusions and which you want to discuss.

k. Discussion 
This should explore the significance of the results of the work, not repeat them. It should integrate your findings in a comprehensive picture and place them in the context of the existing literature. A combined Results and Discussion section can be appropriate. Avoid extensive citations and discussion of published literature.

l. Conclusions
Summarize the results in words rather than numbers and elaborate on the extent to which the objectives of the study were met. Do not include information from a literature search. Instead, focus on the primary conclusions of the study.

m. Headings and subheadings   
Headings and subheadings should be used throughout the text to divide the subject matter into its important, logical parts. Typical headings include: Introduction, Materials and methods, Results, Discussion, Conclusions, Acknowledgments, Appendixes and References.

l. Tables
Note that, unless in particular cases, a maximum of eight (8) figures and tables are allowed for a full research paper. The rest figures and tables are suggested to put into the Appendix section.

Table requirements: Authors should take notice of the limitations set by the size and layout of the journal. Large tables should be avoided. Reversing columns and rows will often reduce the dimensions of a table. If many data are to be presented, an attempt should be made to divide them over two or more tables.
(1) Supply units of measure at the heads of the columns. Abbreviations that are used only in a table should be defined in the footnotes to that table.
(2) Should always use rows and columns to correlate two variables. Submitted single-spaced and in the word processing software used. Do not embed tables as graphic files, document objects, or pictures.
(3) Submitted as three-line tables, that is, there are three horizontal lines: one under the legend, one under the column heads, and one below the body. Vertical lines are generally not used.
(4) Label each table at the top with a number followed by the table title. Insert explanatory material and footnotes below the table. Designate footnotes using lowercase superscript letters (a, b, c) reading horizontally across the table.
(5) Unless needed, all the words within the tables should start with an uppercase character.
(6) Must be sequentially numbered and cited in the text as, e.g. Table 1.
(7) Each table should be typewritten on a separate page of the manuscript. Tables should never be included in the text.

Please see example below.


n. Figures
Graphs should be practically self-explanatory. Readers should be able to understand them at a glance. Dimensional drawings and diagrams should include only the essential details and as little lettering as possible. They should present more of a picture than a working drawing.

Figure requirements:
Size: should be drawn in the size of they virtually appear.
Numbering and title: number all figures (graphs, charts, photographs, and illustrations) in the order of their citation in the text and cited as, e.g. Fig. 1. Include a title for each figure (a brief phrase, preferably no longer than 10 to 15 words). Use (a), (b), (c)… to give titles for subfigures if there are any.
Figure quality: should be sharp, noise-free, and of good contrast. All lettering should be large enough to permit legible reduction.
Color of figures: unless necessary, better drawn in black and white for line-drawing; and grayscale for images. For color reproduction in print, you will receive information regarding the costs from Higher Education Press of China and Springer after receipt of your accepted article. Please indicate your preference for color in print or on the Web only.
Figure file formats and location in manuscript: should not be embedded in word or LaTeX processing documents but rather submitted in TIFF, EPS or CorelDraw file formats. Legends should appear, separate from the figures themselves, where the figures should be located within the paper.
Maps: please use the authorized maps as the basis for map figure drawing. (Like maps published by China Map Press the like). Any maps drawn without the authorized basis have to be submitted with the certificate from the Surveying and Mapping management. All the maps should follow the publishing requirements released by the Government.
Images: please provide the original pictures in ‘.tiff’ format.

Unless needed, all the words within the figures should start with an uppercase character.

Please see example below.

o. Formulae and equations
(1) Formulae should be typewritten whenever possible, or edited with “Equation Editor”.
(2) It is extremely important that all mathematical symbols and letters used are identified and listed and that the required style of appearance of such symbols is clearly indicated, e.g., bold face, italics, script, outline, etc.
(3) Subscripts and superscripts should be set off clearly.
(4) Identify in the margin any symbols that might be confused with similar symbols.
(5) The words Equation or Equations should appear in full at the beginning of sentences but be abbreviated to Eq. or Eqs. elsewhere.
(6) A nomenclature can be included (with the use of = signs) after the abstract if there is a significant number of symbols in the paper.
(7) Equations should be located separately from other lines if they are long or complicated.

p. Abbreviations
Do not use abbreviations in the title or abstract and limit their use in the text. Expand all abbreviations at first mention in the text.

q. Footnotes
Footnotes should only be used if absolutely essential. In most cases it will be possible to incorporate the information in normal text.
If used, they should be numbered in the text, indicated by superscript numbers, and kept as short as possible.

r. Units of measurement
Use SI units as much as possible, including in tables and figures—if you must use Imperial or U.S. units, place the SI equivalent in parentheses after the first use. 
You are urged to consult IUPAC: Nomenclature of Organic Chemistry: for further information.

s. Acknowledgements
The “Acknowledgement section” is the general term for the list of contributions, credits, and other information included at the end of the text of a manuscript but before the references. Conflicts of interest and financial disclosures must be listed in this section. Authors should obtain written permission to include the names of individuals in the Acknowledgment section

t. Appendixes (if needed)
Appendix A
A1, A2, A3… 
Appendix B 
Appendix C…

u. Citations and References
In-text citations must agree with the references in either numbering or order. The references should be presented completely and without mistakes, and should be the original publication. References cited in the text should be numbered consecutively by Arabic numerals. In the reference section, references should be listed in the same order as cited in the text. Grouped citations should be separated by comma (two or inconsecutive references) or connected by “-” (no less than three and consecutive references): e.g., [1, 2], [1?5], or [1?3, 5]. Journal names should be spelled out in full.

The number of references in between 20 and 35 is suggested for a research article. A maximum of 100 references is suggested for a review paper. Please follow the formats for references as follow:

1. Martínez M E, Sánchez S, Jiménez J M, Yousfi F El, Mu?oz L. Nitrogen and phosphorus removal from urban wastewater by the microalga Scenedesumus obliquus. Bioresource Technology, 2000, 73(3): 263?272 (for journals papers)
2. Payne D K, Sullivan M D, Massie M J. Women’s psychological reactions to breast cancer. Semin Oncol, 1996, 23(Suppl 2): 89?97 (for journals papers)
3. Huang X F, Chi J P, He S L, Li X D, Yang D H, Zhou Q. Treatment of domestic wastewater with high-rate algal pond in rural areas. China Water and Wastewater, 2006, 22(5): 35?39 (in Chinese) (for journals papers)
4. Ray D. Natural Systems for Water Pollution Control. New York: van Nostrand Reinhold, 1982 (for monographs)
5. Schlessinger D, Schaechter M. Bacterial toxins. In: Schaechter M, Medoff G, Eisenstein BI, eds. Mechanisms of microbial disease. 2nd ed. Baltimore: Williams and Wilkins, 1993, 162?175 (for a chapter in a book)
6. Lens P. Study on the measures for improving constructed wetlands’ performance in treating domestic wastewater. Dissertation for the Doctoral Degree. Berlin: Universit?t zu Berlin, 2003 (for dissertations)
7. Cui F Y, Ren G. Pilot study of process of bathing wastewater treatment for reuse. In: Proceedings of the International Water Association Conference 2005, Xi’an. Beijing: China Architecture & Building Press, 2005, 87?92 (for proceedings)
8. Polito V S. Calmodulin and calmodulin inhibitors: Effect on pollen germination and tube growth. In: Mulvshy D L, Ottaviaro E, eds. Pollen: Biology and Implication for Plant Breeding. New York: Elsevier, 1983, 53?60 (for symposium)
9. Phillips N A. The Nested Grid Model. NOAA Technical Report NWS22.New York: Green Publication,1979 (for report)
10. Plank C J, Posinski E J. US Patent, 4 081 490,1978-02-15 (for Patent document)
11. Wang D L, Zhu J, Li Z K. User Manual for QTKMapper Version 1.6. Tianjin: YuHang Press,1999 (for manual)
12. US Geological Survey. 2007 Minerals Yearbook. Arsenic Statistics and Information. 2007. Available online at http:// html#myb (accessed February 26, 2013) (for website)

The digital object identifier (DOI) may be used to cite and link to electronic documents. Consisting of a unique alpha-numeric character string which is assigned to a document by the publisher upon the initial electronic publication, DOI is an ideal medium for citing a document, particularly "Papers in press" because they have not yet received their full bibliographic information. The correct format for citing a DOI is shown as follows (example taken from a document in the Communications in Nonlinear Science and Numerical Simulation): doi:10.1016/j.cnsns.2007.05.034

v. Notification
The corresponding author will be notified by the editors of the acceptance of article and invited to supply an electronic version of the accepted text, if this is not already available.

Proofreading and production

Proofs will be sent to the author and should be returned within 72 hours of receipt. Authors should clarify any questions of the proof in a query file. No new materials shall be inserted at the time of proofreading. Please note that authors are urged to check their proofs carefully before return one all-inclusive e-mail or fax, since subsequent additional corrections will not be possible.

Author Enquiries

According to managing editors’ demands, for submission inquiries, tracking papers and any information, please feel free to contact the Editorial Office of Frontiers of Environmental Science & Engineering in Tsinghua University, or the Academic Journal Publishing Division, Higher Education Press.

All correspondence for the journal should be sent to the following address. Please include the manuscript dispatch number in all correspondences.

The journal encourages authors, where possible and applicable, to deposit data that support the findings of their research in a public repository. Authors and editors who do not have a preferred repository should consult Springer Nature’s list of repositories and research data policy.
  ?List of Repositories
  ?Research Data Policy
General repositories - for all types of research data - such as figshare and Dryad may also be used. Datasets that are assigned digital object identifiers (DOIs) by a data repository may be cited in the reference list. Data citations should include the minimum information recommended by DataCite: authors, title, publisher (repository name), identifier.
Springer Nature provides a research data policy support service for authors and editors, which can be contacted at
This service provides advice on research data policy compliance and on finding research data repositories. It is independent of journal, book and conference proceedings editorial offices and does not advise on specific manuscripts.


Editorial Office of Frontiers of Environmental Science & Engineering 
Room 902, School of Environment
Tsinghua University
Beijing, 100084, China
Tel & Fax: 86-10-62797693

Academic Journal Publishing Division Higher Education Press 
Floor 15, Fusheng Building, No. 4, Huixindongjie Str., Chaoyang Dist. 
Beijing 100029, China
Tel & Fax: 86-10-58556296