Instructions for Authors
Peer Review Process
FAQ for Authors
All accepted Blue-Green Systems papers are published open access, and freely available on our website upon payment of the Article Processing Charge (APC). Usage of papers published open access by third parties is defined by the type of Creative Commons user licence selected by the author (see all options on our Open Access page).
Upon acceptance of an article, authors will be asked to complete an 'Exclusive Licence Agreement' (for more information see our Rights and Permissions page). Permitted third party reuse of open access articles is determined by the author's choice of user licence.
IWA Publishing supports authors in the developing world through its relationship with Research4Life. Authors from Research4Life’s Group A list are exempt from payment of the APC and authors from Research4Life's Groupe B list are eligible for a 50% waiver.
You will be required to accept the IWA Publishing Ethics Statement for Authors when you submit your paper to the journal. The statement covers authorship, originality and conflicts of interest. Please read this statement to ensure your submission complies.
Note that conference proceedings are a form of publication.
To verify originality, your article may be checked by the originality detection service CrossCheck.
For the rights of the author to reuse your work, please refer to the Rights and Permissions page.
You are requested to identify who provided financial support for the conduct of the research and/or preparation of the article and to briefly describe the role of the sponsor(s), if any, in study design; in the collection, analysis and interpretation of data; in the writing of the report; and in the decision to submit the article for publication. If the funding source(s) had no such involvement then this should be stated.
IWA Publishing journal authors are entitled to a 25% discount on IWA Publishing books and reports.
For further advice please contact:
Journals Office, IWA Publishing, Republic - Units 1.04 & 1.05 Export Building, 1 Clove Crescent, London, E14 2BA
Tel: +44 (0)207 654 5500; E-mail
Blue-Green Systems welcomes the submission of original research and review papers. We are flexible in the length of submissions however, we encourage authors to be concise in their work, and bear in mind the recommended word limits for each article type below.
(a) Research Papers: These papers are fully documented, interpreted accounts of significant findings of original research. Research Papers should be between 5,000 and 10,000 words (less 350 words for each normal-sized figure or table you include).
(b) Review Papers: These are critical and comprehensive reviews that provide new insights or interpretation of a subject through thorough and systematic evaluation of available evidence. They should not normally exceed 10,000 words (less 350 words for each normal-sized figure or table you include).
The preferred format for electronic versions is Microsoft Word, though we can accept most other word-processing packages; however, please do not supply your typescript as a PDF. Authors should not add their own macros. Please supply only the final version of your file (with no hidden text), to avoid any risk of old versions of the text being used in error.
The source files of figures are required if a paper is accepted and you should embed the figures in the main text (see below).
Use line numbering throughout your paper.
For Review Papers, and articles which do not report primary research, the organisation of the paper can be different. It is important that a Review be more than a summary of the literature; an in-depth critical discussion is essential for acceptance of a Review Paper.
All articles reporting primary research must comprise:
- Short title of no more than 80 characters
- Author name(s), full postal and email addresses for each author. Please indicate who the corresponding author is.
- Abstract: No more than 200 words briefly specifying the aims of the work, the main results obtained, and the conclusions drawn. Citations must not be included in the Abstract.
- Keywords: Up to 6 keywords (in alphabetical order) which will enable subsequent abstracting or information retrieval systems to locate the paper.
- Highlights: Up to 5 numbered points which describe the novelty and/or the impact of your research. The highlights should help increase the discoverability of your article. Ensure the highlights are, concise, easy to read, and include key search terms (you should not simply rewrite the abstract).
- Graphical Abstract: This should offer readers an at-a-glance visualisation of your paper via a single, concise image. Graphical abstracts are optional, but helpful for readers and for the promotion of your paper.
- Main text: For clarity this should be subdivided into:
Introduction: Describing the background of the work and its aims.
Methods: A brief description of the methods/techniques used (the principles of these methods should not be described if readers can be directed to easily accessible references or standard texts).
Results and Discussion: A clear presentation of experimental results obtained, highlighting any trends or points of interest. (Results and discussion can be separate sections, if needed).
Conclusions: A brief explanation of the significance and implications of the work reported.
- References: These should be to accessible sources. Please ensure that all work cited in the text is included in the reference list, and that the dates and authors given in the text match those in the reference list. References must always be given in sufficient detail for the reader to locate the work cited (see below for formats). As a guide, a paper should normally include between 10 and 25 References. Note that your paper is at risk of rejection if a disproportionate share of the references cited are your own.
- Supplementary Material: Appendices and other Supplementary Material are permitted, and will be published online only.
- We encourage authors to make the dataset on which their paper is based available to access. Authors may upload all data related to the results reported in the manuscript as supplementary materials with the submission, or provided via a URL to a public repository. Data should be presented in a format that facilitates readability and reuse.
Where restrictions apply, submissions should be accompanied by a statement of the conditions of access and permitted reuse of the data.
If needed, a template on how to format your paper can be found here.
Please take care that all terminology and notation used will be widely understood. Abbreviations and acronyms should be spelled out in full at their first occurrence in the text. In describing wastewater treatment processes authors should consult Corominas et al. (2010). New framework for standardized notation in wastewater treatment modelling. Water Science & Technology, 61(4), 841-857.
SI units are strongly recommended. If non-SI units must be used, SI equivalents (or conversion factors) must also be given. Please use the spellings 'litre' and 'metre' (a 'meter' is a measuring instrument).
Please use a decimal point rather than a comma in numbers (i.e. 3.142 not 3,142).
Write equations in dimensionless form or in metric units. Please use italic letters to denote variables (in text or in displayed equations).
All figures and tables should be embedded in the text where possible, unless otherwise requested by the publisher.
Figures should appear in numerical order, be described in the body of the text and be positioned close to where they are first cited. Each figure should have a caption which describes the illustration, and that can be understood independently of the main text. The caption should be given in the text, and not on the figure itself.
Make sure all figures and tables will fit inside the text area.
Because figures may be resized in the course of production please use scale bars and not magnification factors.
Please submit tables as editable text and not as images. Number tables consecutively in accordance with their appearance in the text and place any table notes below the table body. Be sparing in the use of tables and ensure that the data presented in them do not duplicate results described elsewhere in the article. Please avoid using vertical rules.
Papers must be in good, grammatically correct English. If your paper cannot be understood, it will be rejected before peer review. If English is not your native language, you should seek the assistance of a colleague or professional translator. IWA Publishing has partnered with Peerwith, who offer a language editing service.
In addition, you should always have your manuscript read by at least two other people to avoid typing errors before submitting to a journal.
Articles should be provided in electronic form (uploaded to our online submission site here) and comply with the instructions below. There are additional instructions on how to submit a paper through Editorial Manager here.
This journal has no submission fee, but an APC is payable should the submission be accepted for publication.
Citations in text:
Use surname of author and year of publication: Jones (2002) or (Jones 2002).
Insert initials only if there are two different authors with the same surname and same year of publication.
Two or more years in parentheses following an author's name are cited in ascending order of year, and two or more references published in the same year by the same author are differentiated by letters a, b, c, etc. For example: Brown (1999, 2002, 2003a, b).
Different references cited together should be in date order, for example: (Smith 1959; Thomson & Jones 2008; Green 2015).
If a paper has been accepted for publication but has not been published the term "(in press)" should be used instead of a date.
If a paper has been submitted but not definitely accepted the term "(submitted)" should be used. If the paper is still being prepared the term "(in preparation)" should be used.
The abbreviation "et al." should be used in the text when there are more than two co-authors of a cited paper.
If you decide to use online referencing software, then you can use the Harvard referencing option.
Please double-check: every citation in the text must match up to an entry in the reference list and vice-versa.
We use digital object identifiers (DOIs) to link references to the source material. This can only be done if the data provided in the references are correct. Please be very careful, especially when copying references, to ensure that surnames, journal/book titles, publication year and pagination are all correct. Please include DOIs where available.
References should be listed alphabetically at the end of the paper. Although "et al." is preferable in the text, in the list of references all authors should be given.
Journal reference style:
Zeng R. J., Lemaire R., Yuan Z. & Keller J. 2004 A novel wastewater treatment process: simultaneous nitrification, denitrification and phosphorus removal. Water Science and Technology, 50(10), 163-170.
Note that to unambiguously identify articles published before 2008 the issue number as well as the volume number is needed.
Book reference styles: (i) article in compilation; (ii) multi-author work; (iii) standard reference; (iv) report; (v) thesis:
(i) McInerney M. J. 1999 Anaerobic metabolism and its regulation. In: Biotechnology, J. Winter (ed.), 2nd edn, Wiley-VCH Verlag, Weinheim, Germany, pp. 455-478.
(ii) Henze M., Harremoës P., LaCour Jansen J. & Arvin E. 1995 Wastewater Treatment: Biological and Chemical Processes. Springer, Heidelberg.
(iii) Standard Methods for the Examination of Water and Wastewater 1998 20th edn, American Public Health Association/American Water Works Association/Water Environment Federation, Washington DC, USA.
(iv) Sobsey M. D. & Pfaender F. K. 2002 Evaluation of the H2S method for Detection of Fecal Contamination of Drinking Water, Report WHO/SDE/WSH/02.08, Water Sanitation and Health Programme, WHO, Geneva, Switzerland.
(v) Bell J. 2002 Treatment of Dye Wastewaters in the Anaerobic Baffled Reactor and Characterisation of the Associated Microbial Populations. PhD thesis, Pollution Research Group, University of Natal, Durban, South Africa.
These should specify the full URL for the reference and give the date on which it was consulted. Please check again to confirm that the work you are citing is still accessible:
Alcock S. J. & Branston L. 2000 SENSPOL: Sensors for Monitoring Water Pollution from Contaminated Land, Landfills and Sediment. http://www.cranfield.ac.uk/biotech/senspol/ (accessed 22 July 2005)
References in languages other than English
These should be accompanied by an English translation of the article title:
Barjenbruch M., Erler C & Steinke M. 2003 Untersuchungen an Abwasserteichanlagen in Sachsen-Anhalt im Jahr 2003 (Investigation on wastewater lagoons in Saxony-Anhalt in 2003), Report for the Environment Ministry of Saxony-Anhalt, Magdeburg, Germany
Blue-Green Systems encourages its authors to use the IWA Notation System for wastewater modelling by Corominas et al. (2010). To further the widespread use of this notation, IWA Publishing decided to make this paper open access.
The notation was developed by a group of distinguished modelers out of a WWTmod2008 workshop and is supported by the IWA Task Groups on Good Modelling Practice (GMP), Benchmarking of Control Strategies (BSM), and the Water Environment Federation (WEF) Modelling Expert Group of the Americas (MEGA). It has also received a wide endorsement within the modelling community.
The new notation will help the community to assist in model communication, allow for direct model comparisons, and facilitate understanding of newly developed models. The paper by Corominas et al. (2010) aims at standardizing naming rules and provides examples for already published models.
We understand that changing notation is difficult when one has become used to represent concepts in a certain way, but the old notation methods had several shortcomings as a result of the much larger body of knowledge that is now available in comparison to the situation when the original notation was developed (Grau et al., 1987).
The Good Modelling Practice (GMP) Task Group will take on the task to provide assistance with any question that you may have. Please contact the journal office.
Open access link to Corominas et al. (2010) paper:
Corominas, L., Rieger, L., Takács, I., Ekama, G., Hauduc, H., Vanrolleghem, P.A., Oehmen, A., Gernaey, K.V., van Loosdrecht, M.C.M. and Comeau, Y. (2010). New framework for standardized notation in wastewater treatment modelling. Water Science & Technology, 61(4), 841-857.
Grau, P., Sutton, P. M., Henze, M., Elmaleh, S., Grady, C. P. L., Gujer, W. and Koller, J. (1987). Notation for the use in the description of wastewater treatment processes. Water Research, 21(2), 135-139.
The following list will be useful during the final checking of an article prior to sending it to the journal for review. Please consult this Instruction for Authors for further details of any item.
Ensure that the following items are present:
One author has been designated as the corresponding author with contact details:
- E-mail address
- Full postal address
- All co-author E-mail addresses for verification
All necessary files have been uploaded, and contain:
- All figures with captions
- All tables (including title, description, footnotes)
- Manuscript has been 'spell-checked' and 'grammar-checked'
- All references mentioned in the Reference list are cited in the text, and vice versa
- Permission has been obtained for use of copyrighted material from other sources (including the Internet)
- The co-authors that are listed in Editorial Manager match the co-authors listed on the manuscript
When submitting a paper for consideration in a Special Issue, please ensure that you select both the correct article type (Special Issue OA) and then also select the correct Special Issue in the article category.
Peer Review Process
All papers that an Editor sends for review will be peer reviewed by a minimum of two independent reviewers. You can see the full process here. More information on how to review a paper can be found here. Instructions on how to submit a review in Editorial Manager are here.
You are required to submit, with the manuscript, the names and addresses of 3 potential reviewers that can give an independent review. You should make sure that these reviewers are not within your institution and where possible use reviewers from different countries. If in doubt please look at your references.
Major corrections cannot be undertaken by either the editor or the publishers; if your paper is not prepared in accordance with these instructions it may not be considered further. Where requested to do so in the course of the peer review process, authors must revise their papers within one month of the request; otherwise the contribution will be considered withdrawn.
If you wish to add, delete or rearrange the authors of your accepted paper:
Before online publication: The corresponding author should contact the Journals Manager, and provide (a) the reason for the change, and (b) the written consent of all co-authors, including the authors being added or removed. Please note that your paper will not be published until the changes have been agreed.
After online publication: Any requests to correct an error made with the author names in an article published in an online issue will follow the same policies as noted above and result in a corrigendum. Changes to the author list will not be made for any other reason after publication.
The DOI is a unique set of letters and numbers which can be used to cite and link to your paper online. The DOI is assigned to your paper when the first proof is generated, and it will not change, meaning you can cite an Uncorrected Proof immediately using the DOI.
The corresponding author will be notified via the online system when proofs are ready. Any corrections must be returned within one week of receipt and should only cover typesetting errors. Proofreading is the sole responsibility of the authors.
As soon as the article has been published online, the corresponding author will receive a customized link to the article, which they are encouraged to share via any communication channel, including e-mail and social media. The corresponding author will receive an electronic file of the final version of the article when it has been published in an issue. Additionally, hardcopy offprints can be ordered using the Offprint Order Form, available from IWA Publishing on request.
You should ensure you check your proofs carefully to avoid errors in the final published article. If, however, you notice a scientifically relevant error in the final version of your article, you should contact the journal office to request a correction. Please ensure you include the manuscript reference number of the article. Relevant reasons for correction include:
- An error in a figure that does not alter the conclusions of the article;
- An error in data that does not alter the conclusions of the article;
- Mislabelled figures;
- An error in the author list (an author has been included or omitted);
- An error introduced by the publisher during production.
Author name change policy
An author may change their name, for example as a result of religious conversion, gender transition, marriage or divorce, and wish for their publication to reflect the change. IWA Publishing will update the article and send the metadata to secondary indexers. IWA Publishing respects authors’ privacy in this regard and, if appropriate, will not inform the article’s co-authors of the change or publish an Erratum or other note. Authors with a name change request should e-mail the Journal Office, including their list of publications that require a change.
FAQ for Authors
Please see our FAQ page here.