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Instructions for Authors


Types of paper

(a) Research Papers are fully documented, interpreted accounts of significant findings of original research, and should not normally exceed 5000 words (less 350 words for each normal-sized figure or table you include). Manuscripts exceeding 6000 words will not be accepted for review.

(b) Practical Papers provide new information on subjects of interest to professionals in practice, and should not normally exceed 2500 words. Manuscripts exceeding 3500 words will not be accepted for review.

(c) Short Communications are fully documented, interpreted accounts of significant findings of original research. As compared to research papers they normally reflect a tightly defined piece of work or works. They should not normally exceed 2500 words. Manuscripts exceeding 3500 words will not be accepted for review.

(d) Review Papers are critical and comprehensive reviews that provide new insights or interpretation of the subject through thorough and systematic evaluation of available evidence. They should not normally exceed 8000 words. Manuscripts exceeding 10,000 words will not be accepted for review.

(e) Discussions should normally take the form of a ‘letter’ and present significant comments or questions about a work published in the Journal. A discussion would normally include substantiated disagreement with, or alternative interpretation of, one or more aspects of a paper. It would also normally discuss associated implications for the conclusions reached. Discussions should be received within 3 months of the publication date of the paper on which they comment. Authors of potential discussions are encouraged to enter into communication with the Editor-in-Chief before preparation or submission of text. While there is no word limit, discussions should be brief and tightly focused. A discussion, if accepted, will normally be shared with the authors of the paper concerned who will be provided opportunity to respond.

(f) Book reviews provide information on a recently-published book, that is within the scope of the journal, for its readers. They normally provide both an overview and critical commentary, to assist readers in determining the relevance of the book to them. Book reviews should not exceed 3000 words. Authors of book reviews should have no conflict of interest, such as recent collaboration with or authorship with, the authors or editors of the book they are reviewing.

(g) Editorials provide commentary, by a recognized authority, on an issue of wide interest. They may precede an event (such as an international development policy conference); or be in response to a development (for example to a major international policy change or pandemic disease). Authors of potential Editorials are encouraged to enter into communication with the Editor-in-Chief before preparation or submission of text. Editorials should not normally exceed 700 words and are limited to a maximum of 1500 words.


Support for authors from lower and middle income countries

The Journal of Water Sanitation and Hygiene for Development is concerned to attract high quality papers from a wide range of countries, sectors and disciplines. Its Editors recognize that there are barriers that often discourage individuals and teams, especially in low income countries, from publishing in international journals. Some of these barriers relate to language (lesser confidence in English as the language of publication) and to ease-of-access to colleagues with familiarity with paper writing processes, skills and demands. The Journal, IWA and its editors have launched three initiatives to help reduce the impact of these barriers and to increase access to publication in the Journal of Water Sanitation and Hygiene for Development: (i) a small group of 'mentors' who assist potential authors from lower income countries; (ii) workshops on how to prepare and publish in JWaSHDev, and (iii) a Prize for the best paper each year from an author from a developing country.

Research in low and middle income countries

The Journal of Water Sanitation and Hygiene for Development welcomes publications with lead and co-authors from countries at all stages of development. We often receive submissions reporting on work undertaken in a country other than that of residence or citizenship of the authors. We normally expect that such work will have involved active and substantive participation of individuals from the country concerned as partners and that they will therefore be engaged as co-authors. Papers submitted where this is not the case may be rejected. Exceptions include papers based on re-analysis of previously published data.

Ethics: human participants

The Journal of Water Sanitation and Hygiene for Development requires ethical conduct in any work considered for publication. Many submissions to the journal involve research on human subjects, including for example interviews and focus groups. For such papers we normally expect inclusion of a statement concerning ethical review board (IRB) clearance/approval in the methods section of the manuscript.

Ethics in publishing

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.

Changes to authorship

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 add, delete, or rearrange author names in an article published in an online issue will follow the same policies as noted above and result in a corrigendum.


If your paper is selected for publication you will be expected to sign our copyright assignment form. Where necessary you must obtain permission to publish material protected by copyright. Provision is made on the form for work performed for the United States Government (for which Copyright cannot be assigned) and other extenuating circumstances.

For open access articles: 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. More information is available on our Open Access page.

Author rights

For the rights of the author to reuse your work, please refer to the Rights and Permissions page.

Role of the funding source

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.

Publishing Options

If your paper is accepted for publication, you will be able to choose from two publication options.

Open Access papers are freely available on 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).

A fee is payable to publish your paper Open Access. Please see our Open Access Fees page for more information.

Papers which are not published open access are available to the journal subscribers, as well as developing countries through Research4Life programmes.

No fee is payable by the authors.

Readers without a subscription can pay a one-off fee to download the paper.


Papers must be in good, grammatically correct English. If your paper cannot be understood, it will be rejected. 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 and comply with the instructions below.

This journal has no page charges.


You are required to submit, with the manuscript, the names and addresses of 3 potential referees that can give an independent review.


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.


Use of word processing software

The preferred format for electronic versions is Microsoft Word, though we can accept most other word-processing packages in PC or Macintosh formats; 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 will be required whether or not you embed the figures in the main text (see below).

Article structure

Do not number or letter section headings.

Use line numbering throughout your paper.

Papers should be well structured; they must comprise:

  • Title
  • 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.

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.
  • 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). Note that your paper is at risk of rejection if there are too few (<10) or too many (>25) references, or 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, in the exact format in which they are submitted. Any supplementary material should be included during the submission process for evaluation by the reviewers.

For Review Papers the organisation of the paper can be different. It is however important that a review is more than a summary of the literature; an in-depth critical discussion is essential for acceptance of a review paper.

Nomenclature and Units

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 should be embedded correctly positioned within your Word files, and should also be supplied as separate graphics files in their original formats. EPS, TIFF or PSD formats are preferred. Use a minimum of 300dpi.

The journal is printed in black and white, with colour graphics in the online version. Authors can have figures printed in colour at a cost of £350 per figure.

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.


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.

Please double-check: every citation in the text must match up to an entry in the reference list and vice-versa.

Reference links

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.

List of References

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 in Water Science and Technology 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.

Online references

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. (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

Recommendation of new IWA Notation system for wastewater modelling

Water Science and Technology is encouraging its authors to use the new IWA Notation System for wastewater modeling by Corominas et al. (2010). To further the widespread use of this notation, IWA Publishing has 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) Modeling Expert Group of the Americas (MEGA). It has also received a wide endorsement within the modeling 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:

• Keywords

• All figure captions

• All tables (including title, description, footnotes)

Further considerations

• Manuscript has been 'spell-checked' and 'grammar-checked'

• References are in the correct format for this journal

• 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)

Printed version of figures (if applicable) in colour or black and white

• Indicate clearly whether or not colour or black and white in print is required

• For reproduction in black and white, please supply black and white versions of the figures for printing purposes if necessary


Use of the Digital Object Identifier

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.


Proofs will be sent by e-mail to the listed corresponding author. Any corrections must be returned within one week of receipt and should only cover typesetting errors. All corrections must be returned to us in one communication. Proofreading is the sole responsibility of the authors.


Upon publication, the Corresponding Author will receive an electronic file of the paper. Additionally, hardcopy offprints can be ordered using the Offprint Order Form, available from IWA Publishing on request.

Author's Discount

IWA Publishing journal authors are entitled to a 25% discount on IWA Publishing books and reports.


For further advice please contact:

Journals Manager, IWA Publishing, Alliance House, 12 Caxton Street, London SW1H 0QS, UK

Tel: +44 (0)207 654 5500; Fax: +44 (0)207 654 5555; E-mail

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