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Instructions for Authors


Types of paper

(a) Research Papers: these papers are fully documented, original research papers. The maximum acceptable length of a Research Paper is 9000 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.

(c) Short Notes on works in progress.

(d) Book and Grey Literature Reviews


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 Please note that your paper will not be published until the changes have been agreed.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.

Open Access

Authors of new submissions from the 1st of February 2021 will not need to pay Article Processing Charges thanks to the support of universities, institutions and individuals who have contributed towards our annual Subscribe to Open goal. To find out more about how you can help keep these journals Open Access and APC-free, visit our website or get in touch.

Upon acceptance of an article, authors will be asked to decide on the type of Open Access Licence they would like to be published under (for more information see our Licences 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.


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. There are additional instructions on how to submit a paper through Editorial Manager here.

This journal has no page charges.


On submission of a manuscript, you are required to include 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.

Peer Review Process

All papers that an Editor sends for review will be peer reviewed by a minimum of 2 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.


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 10 keywords (in alphabetical order) which will enable subsequent abstracting or information retrieval systems to locate the paper.
  • Hightlights: 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.
  • 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.

Data: 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.

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).

The unit ‘billion’ (109 in America, 1012 in Europe) is ambiguous and must not be used.

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.

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:

Kalbermatten, J. K. (1991). Water and sanitation for all, will it become a reality or remain a dream? Water International, 16(3), 121-126.

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


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.


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'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, Republic - Export Building, 1st  Floor, 2 Clove Crescent, London, E14 2BE, UK

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

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