Author Guidelines

Author Guidelines

Preparing your FAIR Connect Thumbnail Article

As the name suggests, the Thumbnail Article is a short-form narrative, ranging from 500 to 2000 words or about 1-2 pages. Exceptions to these word limits are possible if well justified in consultation with Senior Editors. As table and figure captions should also be terse, they are not included in the word count. Other sections such as title, author lists and references are also not counted. The ‘abstract’ is an ultra-minimal statement about the main claim of the article using only a maximum of 280 characters (including spaces).

In keeping with the FAIR Principles, FAIR Connect aspires to increasing machine-actionability of all its content. Hence, while the FAIR Connect Thumbnail Article is an instrument primarily for human readers, the format of the article has been carefully designed to be as simple as possible yet highly structured and optimized for subsequent machine parsing and text mining. By adhering to the Thumbnail Article format (with its 14 required sections as described herein), it will be much easier to enlist the help of machines to help manage the narrative and rhetoric around professional data stewardship. FAIR Connect Thumbnail Article templates are provided (in both MS Word and LaTex formats) following the structure described in this guide for authors.  The FAIR Connect Thumbnail Article has two types:

  1. FAIR Supporting Resource Description Articles: These are practical descriptions of an existing or novel FAIR Supporting Resource (FSR). There are a limited number of defined types of FSRs and articles can be written about any of these (i.e., FAIR Data Policy, FAIR Data Stewardship Plan template, FAIR Training Material, FAIR Practice, FAIR Specification, FAIR Supporting Service, FAIR Enabling Resource (with all 12 subtypes required for a FAIR Implementation Profile), Data Steward Professional Profile, and FAIR Data Stewardship Event). An FSR Description Article can be authored by the FSR creator or written as a review by a user. FSR Description Articles offer an opportunity to present the context of the FSR (background, purpose, reference to previous work) and an indication how the resource is currently being deployed. The intention is to give an informative presentation of the FSR to the global community of data stewards, encouraging the reuse of the FSR as much as is practically possible. The goal is to provide a fast-track mode of communication between professional practicing data stewards so as to prevent the needless ‘reinvention the wheel’ and accelerate wide-spread convergence on FAIR implementations. Where appropriate, and authors are encouraged to submit more formal, longer-form and comprehensive articles on the FSRs elsewhere. 
  2. Commentary Articles: Any topic in data stewardship with focus on FAIR. A Commentary Article is essentially a short essay or opinion piece. For example, a Commentary Article may focus on a proposal for a new method to be developed or draw attention to a new trend in technology use among the data stewardship community. Unlike the FSR Description Article, the Commentary Article has no required headings structure.

The official language of FAIR Connect is English, although translations of Thumbnail Articles to other languages by FAIR Connect Associate editors and/or the community of FAIR Connect data stewards are highly encouraged (and of course, will be recognized in FAIR Connect as valued, citable contributions).  Indeed, the “crowd-sourcing” of reliable and readable translations of FAIR Connect content into multiple languages is seen as an essential activity for building a globally connected data stewardship community. Serious effort towards the creation of high quality, concise, and well-composed rhetoric will be encouraged by FAIR Connect editors. Below is a guide for the preparation of FAIR Connect Thumbnail articles, providing information on the form and content of the 14 required sections that authors will find in the Word and LaTex templates.  

You can download this user guide here.


Article Title

The title should be clear, descriptive, and not too long



Complete first and last names without abbreviation (middle initials are optional) including in small letters the affiliations the author belongs to, then add the ORCID:
FirstnameA LastnameAa (,
FirstnameB LastnameBa,b (,
FirstnameC LastnameCc (, 
FirstnameD LastnameDc,d* (



[a] Department, University/Company, City, State abbreviation (if applicable), Country
[b] Department, University/Company, City, State abbreviation (if applicable), Country

[c] Department, University/Company, City, State abbreviation (if applicable), Country
[d] Department, University/Company, City, State abbreviation (if applicable), Country



[*] Corresponding author: e-mail address

Please use an institutional email address whenever possible.


Running title

Handy, short-form title, maximum 30 characters [including spaces]


The abstract should be short (maximum of 280 characters) clear, descriptive, and self-explanatory as it will be made available to abstracting services.


Please provide at least five keywords from a controlled vocabulary including their persistent identifiers, for example from this vocabulary:

Data Management Plan (,

Metadata (


Body of Text

This section contains narrative text, ranging from minimally 500 to maximally 2000 words. Manuscripts must be written in English. Authors whose native language is not English are recommended to seek the advice of a native English speaker, if possible, before submitting their manuscripts.

Manuscripts should be prepared with wide margins and double spacing throughout, including the abstract and references.

Every page of the manuscript, including references, etc., should be numbered. However, in the text no reference should be made to page numbers, but references to sections are permitted. SI units should be used throughout, i.e., the units based on the metre, kilogramme, second, etc. Try to avoid the excessive use of italics and bold face.

The text body of Thumbnail Articles should be divided into headings and subheadings that are numbered and typed on a separate line, without indentation. For FSR description articles, the following headings must be used:

1. Context

2. Description

2.1. Subsection

3. Conclusion

For Commentary Articles, headings can be created by the authors as they see fit. In all Thumbnail Articles citations should follow the Vancouver style where citations are given in the text as numbers in square brackets, for example [1]. All publications cited in the text should be presented at the end of the manuscript, in the order in which they first appear in the text, see below.


This section provides the opportunity to list contributors who are not co-authors (including ORCIDs), core facilities (consider, for example, and associated projects (include project IDs).



FAIR Connect requires authors to report all funding of relevance to the manuscript including project IDs where applicable. Hence, “Funding” is a mandatory and separate section than “Acknowledgements”. If the authors have no funding to report, include this section with the statement “The authors have no funding to report.”


Conflict of interest

FAIR Connect requires authors to declare all conflicts of interest, financial or otherwise, of relevance to the content in the manuscript.  If the authors have no conflict of interest to declare, include this statement “The authors have no conflict of interest to report.” If an author is also on the Editorial Board of FAIR Connect, include this statement: "<AUTHOR> is an Editorial Board member of this journal, but was not involved in the peer-review process nor had access to any information regarding its peer-review."



All publications cited in the text should be presented in a list of references following the text of the manuscript. You can number your references in the order that they appear in the text. The references section can also list the references in the order that they appear in the text (that is, use numerical order), but be aware that in the final type-set page, the bibliography will be sorted alphabetically.

Use the following system for arranging your references:

  • For periodicals: [initials, name], [title paper], [title periodical (italics)] [volume (bold)]([number, if any]) ([year]), [first page]--[last page].
  • For books: [initials, name], [title book (italics)], [publisher], [place of publication], [year].
  • For papers in proceedings: [initials, name], [title paper], in: [title book (italics)], [volume, if any], [initials + names of editors], eds, [publisher], [place of publication], [year], pp. [first page]-[last page].
  • For unpublished reports, departmental notes, etc.: [initial, name, if any], [title paper]. Unpublished [description], [name of institute, department, etc.].
  • Do not abbreviate the titles of periodicals, or use only standard abbreviations, in the list of references.
  • In the case of publications in any language other than English, the original title is to be retained. However, the titles of publications in non-Latin alphabets should be transliterated, and a notation such as `(in Russian)' or `(in Greek, with English abstract)' should be added.
  • Citation in the text is indicated by numbers in square brackets. Multiple citations are set without spaces: [25-27,31]. More detailed citations are set as in following examples: see [12, p. 760] and also [5, Chapter V, p. 233].
  • Sometimes author's name(s) can be given along with the reference by number. Then, if reference is made to a publication written by more than two authors, the name of the first author should be used followed by `et al.'. However, you should never use `et al.' instead of author's names in the list of references.


[1] L. Archer, N. Malleson and J. Ward, Probabilistic Programming for Dynamic Data Assimilation on an Agent-Based Model, 2019.

[2] D. Ballas and G. Clarke, GIS and microsimulation for local labour market analysis, Computers, Environment and Urban Systems 24(4) (2000), 305–330. doi:10.1016/S0198-9715(99)00051-4.

[3] M. Batty, Cities and Complexity: Understanding Cities with Cellular Automata, Agent-Based Models, and Fractals, The MIT Press, 2007. ISBN 0-262-52479-1 978-0-262-52479-7.

[4] FIP Wizard. Available from: (accessed: 03.12.2022).


Number tables as Table 1, Table 2 etc. as they are first referenced in the text and be sure to refer to all tables. Column headings should be brief, but sufficiently explanatory. Standard abbreviations of units of measurement should be added between parentheses. Tables and table captions  should be entered at the bottom of the manuscript on a separate page. Table captions (Table 1: Title of table) should be put at the top of the table, table explanations at the bottom of the table.


Number figure items as Fig. 1, Fig. 2 etc. as they are first referenced in the text and be sure to refer to all figures. Figures should not be included in the manuscript but uploaded separately in the Editorial Manager system as a figure submission item conforming to the requirements stated here. Figure captions that describe the figures should be entered at the very bottom of the manuscript on a separate page, following the format (Fig. 1: Title of figure, including a terse explanation sufficient for readers to the understand the figure). The online version has no extra charges for color figures. For the file formats of the figures please take the following into account:

  • Line art should have a minimum resolution of 600 dpi and saved as EPS or TIFF.
    Grayscales (including photos) should have a minimum resolution of 300 dpi (no lettering) or 500 dpi (when there is lettering). Grayscales should be saved as TIFF (do not save figures as JPEG, this format may lose information in the process).
  • Figures should be designed with a size/resolution allowing a reduction of 50% and while remaining readable. On maps and other figures where a scale is needed, use bar scales rather than numerical ones, i.e., do not use scales of the type 1:10,000. This avoids problems if the figures need to be reduced. Photographs are only acceptable if they have good contrast and intensity. Authors of manuscripts including previously copyrighted material (quotations, figures, images, etc.) must submit written permission from the original copyright holder.


To summarize, manuscripts should be prepared in the following order:

  1. Article title
  2. Authors
  3. Affiliations
  4. Corresponding Author
  5. Running title
  6. Abstract
  7. Keywords
  8. Body of text (divided by subheadings)
  9. Acknowledgements
  10. Funding
  11. Conflict of interest
  12. References (in order in which they appear in the text)
  13. Tables and table captions (in order in which they appear in the text)
  14. Figure captions (in order in which they appear in the text)