Submission Guidelines

Length: Because we are a web-based journal, length is very flexible. In general, articles of about 2,000 words seem to work well for the columns; however, if you need more space to describe your ideas, feel free to write a longer article.  Refereed articles tend to range from 4,000-8,000 words, but there are no strict limits. 

Format: Please see the guidelines below for the format for citations and bibliographies. 

Images: We prefer JPEG or PNG image files, submitted as part of your manuscript (i.e., not as separate files or at the end of a document), although we may request separate image files later on in the editorial process. Images should be sized no larger than 700 pixels wide. If you did not create the graphic or illustration yourself, include written copyright permission for reproduction of the illustrations from the copyright holder.

Layout of Article:

Author(s) including title(s), institution(s), and e-mail address(es)
Body of Paper


ISTL uses the American Psychological Association (APA) 7th edition format for in-text citations and the reference list (not the paper formatting). See this guide from the APA Style Website or the APA Publication Manual for examples.

References should be cited in the text in the following form:

Smith (2002)
Smith (2002a, 2002b)
Smith (2002, 2005)
Smith and Jones (2005)
(Smith & Jones, 2008)
(Smith, 2009)
(Jones, 2008; Smith, 2005)
(Smith & Jones, 2008) for two authors
(Smith et al., 2010) for three or more authors
(Williams, n.d.) - for sources with no date (use in the end reference as well)
  • Inline references should come at the end of a sentence, before the period. Avoid repeating the same inline reference in one section of text.
  • Include DOIs (preferred) or URLs in the References list wherever possible.

At the end of the paper references should be listed alphabetically in the section entitled "References" in the following standard form, giving journal titles in full. Please italicize titles of books and journals. Include DOIs whenever possible.

McCormac, J. S., & Kennedy, G. (2004). Birds of Ohio. Lone Pine.

Book Chapter:
McDaniel, T. K., & Valdivia, R. H. (2005). New tools for virulence gene discovery. In Cossart, P. et al., (Eds). Cellular microbiology (2nd ed., 473-488). ASM Press.

Conference Papers:

Damm, C. J., Zloza, W. A., Staf, S. J., & Radlinger. B. (2017, June 25-28). Development of a web-based decision tool for selection of distributed energy resources and systems (DERS) for moving college and corporate campuses toward net-zero energy [Paper presentation]. ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Columbus, OH, United States.

Journal Articles (Print/Online with DOI):
Markham, J. W., & Hagmeier, E. (1982). Observations on the effects of germanium dioxide on the growth of macro-algae and diatoms. Phycologia, 21(2), 125-131.

Journal Articles (no DOI):
Leng F., Amado, L., & McMacken, R. (2004). Coupling DNA supercoiling to transcription in defined protein systems. Journal of Biological Chemistry, 279(46), 47564-47571.

Articles from ISTL
Gunapala, N. 2014. Meeting the needs of the "invisible university": Identifying information needs of postdoctoral scholars in the sciences. Issues in Science and Technology Librarianship, 77.

Web Pages (no author listed):
ASAP: Systematic annotation package for community analysis of genomes. (2013). University of Wisconsin-Madison.