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WormBook publishes reviews on topics related to the biology of Caenorhabditis elegans and other nematodes. WormBook sections include WormMethods, which publishes experimental methods for nematode research, and WormHistory, a collection of essays providing personal perspectives from C. elegans researchers. Authors for WormBook, WormMethods and WormHistory should follow the detailed instructions given below. WormBook also hosts The Worm Breeder's Gazette. Author instructions for The Worm Breeder's Gazette differ from those for WormBook and can be found at http://www.wormbook.org/wbg/instructions-for-authors/.

The vast majority of WormBook chapters are commissioned by the Editorial Board, and unsolicited manuscripts are not currently considered for review or inclusion. However, WormBook welcomes suggestions for new review topics, which can be submitted either through the Feedback link or by contacting Jane Mendel and should include (if possible) potential authors. These suggestions will be considered by the appropriate editors on the Board.

Manuscript preparation

Most WormBook contributions will be read online. Long prose pieces are difficult to read, so we encourage you to structure your chapter with several sections and subsections, as appropriate. Try to be succinct. An outline of your section (the titles of the, subsections, etc.) will be visible on the screen as people read your text.

WormBook Author instructions:

  1. There is no length limit, but authors should be concise. Your text should be prepared as a Microsoft Word document. Please do not use the autoformatted styles in Word. Line spacing, page breaks, etc., are determined by our publisher, so there is no need to address this in your manuscript. Moreover, autoformatting may interfere with our copy-editing process.
  2. Include a title page that contains the chapter name, author's names and affiliations. Please indicate the corresponding author(s) and provide their email address. The title page should also include the name of the editorial board member overseeing your section, and date the chapter was last revised.

    Formatting for the title page should follow this example:

    Notch signaling: genetics and structure

    Iva Greenwald and Rhett Kovall

    1Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics, Department of Genetics and Development, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Columbia University, New York NY 10032, USA

    2Department of Molecular Genetics, Biochemistry, and Microbiology, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati OH 45267, USA

    Edited by First Last (name of the editorial board member overseeing your section)

    Last revised Month, #, #### (the most recent revision of this manuscript)

    §To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: isg4@columbia.edu or kovallra@ucmail.uc.edu

    Additional example of author/affiliation formatting:

    Steven J. Husson2*, Wagner Steuer Costa1*, Cornelia Schmitt1, Alexander Gottschalk

    1Buchman Institute for Molecular Life Sciences (BMLS), and Institute of Biochemistry, Goethe-University, Max von Laue Strasse 15, D-60438 Frankfurt, Germany

    2Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Research group of Functional Genomics and Proteomics, Naamsestraat 59, B-3000 Leuven, Belgium

  3. It is not necessary to include a Table of contents since this is done automatically by our publisher.

  4. Include a short Abstract of up to 250 words.

  5. Use CGC approved gene names throughout the text. We will add links the appropriate pages of WormBase for gene and protein names, so these should match the current WormBase release.

  6. Units should be metric and follow SI convention, e.g., 10 µl, 30 °C, 50 mM, etc.

  7. In-text references: Throughout the chapter, PMID numbers need to be added to each in-text reference. Including the PMID numbers allows us to add links from each reference to the reference list and to PubMed. This is done by computer-run scripts, so the formatting needs to be exact.

    The formatting for journal articles is:

    (Doe et al., 2002: PMID 12345678) or (Doe et al., 2002: PMID 12345678; Smith and Wesson, 2012: PMID 9101112)

    If the PMID number is not available, the format is (Doe et al., 2002: PMID 12345678; Smith and Wesson, 2012)

    Please note the use of the semicolon to separate each reference.

    The formatting for other chapters in WormBook is slightly different. In the text, please format as in this example:

    (see Vulval development, http://dx.doi.org/10.1895/wormbook.1.6.1)

  8. Subheadings should be numbered sequentially and formatted as in the following examples:

    1. Introduction

    2. Taxonomic overview

    2.1. The genus Caenorhabditis

    2.2. The family Rhabditidae

    3. Developmental systems

    3.1. Gonad development

    3.1.1. Nematodes with monodelphic female gonads

    3.1.2. Anchor cell specification an function in monodelphic species

    3.2. Vulva development

  9. Placement of figures and tables. Figures and tables are usually inserted following the paragraph in which they are first indicated by, e.g., see Figure 1. If you would like the figure or table in another location, please indicate this.

  10. Number of figures. There is no limit on the number of figures, please use as many as will enhance understanding of your chapter. We also welcome movies.

  11. Figure formatting: Please send figures as separate files in the following formats: Submit line art at a resolution of 600dpi and gray-scale/color images at a minimum of 300dpi, at least 1800 pixels across, 6 inches wide. The preferred file format for line art is PNG. TIFF or Adobe Photoshop files are preferred for gray-scale/color images. We can also accept EPS (preferred format for vector files), JPEG, or Adobe Illustrator formats. For text within a figure, please use a sans serif font such as Helvetica. Please do not send figures as PowerPoint, Canvas or Microsoft Word files. Please check with us if you wish to use another format.

  12. Figures should include a scale bar if appropriate. Units should be metric and follow SI convention.

  13. Figure legends: Please submit titled figure legends as a separate Word document, and limit the legends to no longer than 200 words.

  14. If a figure has previously been published elsewhere, then please obtain written permission from the publisher for its use and note in the figure legend that permission has been granted using the format specified by the publisher.

  15. Movies: Submit movies as Quicktime or AVI files. Please limit file size to less than 5 MB and include a titled legend.

  16. Tables: Please submit tables as Microsoft Word files. Large tables should be included as appendices. Each table should have a title. All tables should be formatted vertically on the page and should fall within 1 inch left and right margins.

  17. Figures and tables should be numbered sequentially: Figure 1, Figure 2, Table 1, etc.

  18. Include acknowledgments, such as funding information, at the end of your text.

  19. In the Reference list, please use this formatting:

Journal article:

Austin, J., and Kimble, J. (1987). glp-1 is required in the germ line for regulation of the decision between mitosis and meiosis in C. elegans. Cell 51, 589-599.


Arnett, K.L., Hass, M., McArthur, D.G., Ilagan, M.X., Aster, J.C., Kopan, R., and Blacklow, S.C. (2010). Structural and mechanistic insights into cooperative assembly of dimeric Notch transcription complexes. Nat. Struct. Mol. Biol. 17, 1312-1317.

Another chapter in WormBook (this format can be copied directly from the footer of each WormBook chapter):

Cui, M. and Han, M. (2007). Roles of chromatin factors in C. elegans development. WormBook, ed. The C. elegans Research Community, WormBook, doi/10.1895/wormbook.1.139.1, http://www.wormbook.org.

Article in a book:

Sorenson, P.W., and Caprio, J.C. (1998). Chemoreception. In The Physiology of Fishes, D.H. Evans, ed. (Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press), pp. 375-405.

An entire book:

Cowan, W.M., Jessell, T.M., and Zipursky, S.L. (1997). Molecular and Cellular Approaches to Neural Development (New York: Oxford University Press).

Please make sure that:

Submission and review

Submit your text and figures to the editor, Jane Mendel (mendelj@caltech.edu). Please include with your submission an acknowledgment of your agreement to an open-access license (see Copyright section below), as well as copies of any permissions you might have requested.

Your contribution will be sent to two reviewers knowledgeable in the area covered by your chapter. You should revise your manuscript based on the reviewer's comments.


Prior to publication, you will receive proofs of your chapter. Corrections can be made to the proofs.

Updating your chapter

Keeping chapters up to date is a key feature of WormBook. In general, the editorial board will review chapters and decide when a major revision is in order. You should expect to update your chapter every 3-5 years. You may, however, update your chapter sooner, based on progress in the field. Earlier versions of chapters are archived and available to readers via links from current chapters.


WormBook supports an open access publishing policy. Consistent with this policy, we ask WormBook contributors to retain the copyright for their material. We also attach a Creative Commons Attribution License, which allows others to copy, distribute, display and perform a copyrighted work, as well as derivative works based upon it, if proper credit is given. If others alter, transform, or build upon a work, they may distribute the resulting work only under a license identical to this one. For any reuse or distribution of the original work, the license terms of the work must be made clear (see http://www.creativecommons.org for more information). Attaching this license has many advantages: for example, schools will be allowed to include WormBook contributions in course readings, public education projects can use WormBook content in displays, and WormBook chapters may be more easily archived by libraries.

Creative Commons License All WormBook content, except where otherwise noted, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License.