Growth and Form

Author Guidelines

Introduction and Article Types
Manuscript Submission Checklist
Submission Process
Manuscript Preparation
Article Structure and Organization
Journal Editorial Standards
Journal Ethical Standards
Open Access & CC License
Post-Acceptance Rights
Article Proofs
Articles in Press
Author Inquiries

Introduction and Article Types

Growth and Form (GAF) is an open access peer-reviewed journal devoted to the geometric analysis of growth and form, as visible in such areas as biology and physics. It welcomes articles from various fields that expose the variability or correspondence in natural shapes and/or describe mathematical and geometrical strategies to understand natural shapes, their variability and their development. The journal publishes original research articles and review articles. Only papers that fall within the Aims & Scope of the journal will be considered for publication.

Manuscript Submission Checklist

Before you submit your manuscript to the journal for review, please ensure that all the items listed below have been checked and included with your submission. In case you require more information about any of the items in this list, please refer to the relevant section in these Author Guidelines or contact the Publisher directly at

  • A title page which shows: (i) a concise and informative article title; (ii) the name(s) of the Author(s); (iii) the affiliation(s) and complete permanent address(es) of the Author(s) – the address at which the research was conducted must be kept as the main affiliation address; any current address (if different) can be included as a footnote to the Author’s name; (iv) clear indication of the designated Corresponding Author with contact details including email address, full postal address and telephone number (including country code); (v) a total word count for the article; and (vi) a total table and figure count for the article.
  • Keywords have been included in the manuscript.
  • All figures (including relevant captions).
  • All tables (including title, description, footnotes).
  • All figure and table citations in the text match the files provided.
  • References are in accordance with the journal reference style.
  • All references mentioned in the reference list are cited in the text and vice versa.
  • Author Declaration of Potential Conflict form. Note that this competing interest declaration needs to be provided, even if the Author(s) have no competing interests to declare.
  • Data Availability Statement.
  • Any supplementary files/materials (where applicable).
  • Manuscript has been “spell checked” and “grammar checked” in the word processor tool used.
  • Permission has been sought and obtained for the use of copyrighted materials from other sources (including the Internet).
  • Referee suggestions and contact details have been provided as per the journal’s requirements.
  • Journal policies detailed in these Author Guidelines have been reviewed.

Submission Process

Submission of articles to Growth and Form proceeds via email only to the Editor-in-Chief of the journal. Please click on the Submit your Paper button in the left-hand menu on the journal homepage for more details on how to submit an article. All correspondence, including notification of the Editor’s decision and requests for revision, is sent via email.

Note that the submission of a manuscript means that the research described has not been published previously in other journals, that it is not under consideration for publication elsewhere, that its publication is approved by all Authors – either tacitly or explicitly – and by the responsible authorities where the work was carried out, and that upon acceptance the article will not be published elsewhere in the same form, either in English or in any other language, including in any electronic medium, without the written permission of the journal owner. The editorial team of Growth and Form verifies the originality of submitted manuscripts using similarity detection software.

Manuscript Preparation

All manuscripts must be prepared according to the journal's guidelines, style files and samples which have been prepared by Atlantis Press. Downloadable ZIP files are available for both LaTeX and MS-Word:

  • For LaTeX instructions, please click here.
  • For MS-Word instructions, please click here.

All manuscripts must be in the English language and Authors are advised to ensure clarity, brevity and accuracy of the information provided. Authors are also reminded that papers are published to be read and that their works should be composed with a wide audience in mind.

Article Structure and Organization

Cover Letter

Including a cover letter with your submission gives you a chance to convince the Editors that your article is suitable for publication in the journal and of importance to its readership. A cover letter should be no more than two pages long and should include all the standard elements which are to be expected in an official letter (for example, the date and the address of the recipient, etc.). The Author(s) should confirm that the submission is original (include the title of the manuscript and the journal name) and not under consideration for publication in another journal. Furthermore, you should briefly mention the focus of the manuscript (no more than 4-5 sentences). Note that while we ask the Author(s) to provide competing interest information separately, you are welcome to also include this information in the cover letter.


The abstract of your article should briefly state the purpose of the research, the main results and the major conclusions. An abstract is often presented separately from the article, so it must be able to stand alone. It should therefore not contain any undefined abbreviations or unspecified references. If references are still deemed essential, then cite the Author(s) and year(s). Also, if non-standard or uncommon abbreviations cannot be avoided they must be defined at their first mention in the abstract itself.


Immediately after the abstract, provide a maximum of 6 keywords, using American-English spelling and avoiding general and plural terms and multiple concepts (for example, avoid “and”, “of”, etc.). Also avoid using abbreviations unless they are firmly established in the field. Note that these keywords will be used for indexing purposes.

Subdivision – Numbered Sections

Divide your article into clearly defined and numbered sections. Subsections should be numbered 1.1 (then 1.1.1, 1.1.2, ...), 1.2, etc. Note that the abstract should not be included in the section numbering. Use the section numbering also for internal cross-referencing: do not just refer to 'the text'. Any subsection may be given a brief heading. Each heading should appear on its own separate line.


Abbreviations which are non-standard in the field should be defined at their first mention in the text and used consistently thereafter. Definitions can be placed in a footnote on the first page of the article.


An introduction should state the objectives of the work and provide an adequate background. Make sure you explain the nature of the problem and provide the context of why the work is important. Avoid a detailed literature survey or a summary of the results and make sure you include all the relevant references.

Materials and Methods

This section is important to allow reproducibility of your work by an independent researcher. You should therefore provide sufficient details and a description of the techniques and equipment used. Standard techniques and methods used during the work should just be mentioned at the beginning of the section and descriptions of these are not needed. Methods that are already published should be summarized and indicated by a reference. If quoting directly from a previously published method, use quotation marks and cite the source. Any modifications to existing methods should also be described. If lengthy descriptions of experimental procedures are required, the Authors are encouraged to include them in a supplementary file. Where applicable, Authors must confirm whether all ethical approvals for a procedure have been obtained.


Present your results and experimental data in a clear, consistent and concise manner. Only essential results should be included in the text and only points which are important for the discussion should be highlighted. Do not attempt to hide data; any secondary data can be included in a supplementary file.


This section should contain an interpretation of what the results mean and explore their significance. Highlight the impact of your results compared with recent work and relate it back to the problem or original question in your study. Do not repeat the results in this section and avoid extensive citations or a discussion of published literature.


The main conclusions of the study may be presented in a short Conclusions section. Recommendations or plans for future studies can be included in this section as well.

Competing Interests

All Authors must disclose any financial and personal relationships with other people or organizations that could inappropriately influence or bias their work. Examples of potential conflicts of interest include employment, consultancies, stock ownership, honoraria, paid expert testimony, patent applications or registrations, and grants or other funding. Authors submitting to the journal are required to complete an Author Declaration of Potential Conflict form and submit it as a mandatory item together with their manuscript. Any potential competing interests must also be mentioned in an explicit statement within the manuscript itself: this statement should describe all potential conflicts of interest (or lack thereof) for each contributing Author.


Each Author is encouraged to declare his/her individual contribution to the work submitted: all Authors should have materially participated in the research and/or article preparation and as such the roles of each Author should be clearly described. The statement that all Authors have approved the final article should be true and included in the disclosure. For more information, please refer to the Author Statement of Contribution section in the Atlantis Press Submission & Author Guidelines policy.

Role of Funding Source

Authors are required to disclose and list any parties which have made a financial contribution to the research and/or the preparation of the article and to briefly describe the role that such party may have had in the work (if any). If the funding source(s) had no involvement in the work beyond providing a financial contribution, then this should be explicitly stated as well.


Where applicable, Authors can collate a list of grants, funds and/or individuals who provided help during the research or writing of the manuscript in a separate Acknowledgements section at the end of the article before the references. Names of funding organizations should be written in full. Do not include acknowledgements on the title page, as a footnote to the title or otherwise.

Research Data

Growth and Form encourages Authors to deposit their research data in a relevant data repository and to cite and link to this dataset in their article. In cases where data sharing is not possible for some reason, Authors are requested to make a statement to explain why the research data cannot be shared. Authors are required to provide a Data Availability Statement along these lines as a mandatory item in the submission process. For more information, please refer to the Research Data Policy section in the Atlantis Press Transparency & Research Data policy.

Figure Captions

Authors must ensure that each illustration has a caption. Captions must be supplied separately and not attached to the figure itself. A caption should comprise a brief title (not on the figure itself) and a description of the illustration. Keep text in the illustrations themselves to a minimum, but explain all symbols and abbreviations used. Note that captions should contain the figure number as cited in the text.


Tables should be numbered consecutively in accordance with their appearance in the text and cited accordingly. They can be placed either next to the relevant text in the article or on separate pages at the end. For each table, please supply a caption consisting of the table number, a brief title and a description of the data shown in the table. Any previously published material must be identified by providing the original source in the form of a reference at the end of the table caption after ensuring that permission has been sought from the copyright owner (where required). Any footnotes to tables should be indicated by superscript lower-case letters and placed below the table body. Tables should be submitted as editable text and not as images. Avoid using vertical rules and shading in table cells and make sure that the data presented in a table does not duplicate results described elsewhere in the article.


Authors are responsible for the accuracy of the references used. References should be numbered consecutively in the order in which they are first cited. References used in tables or figure captions must be numbered in sequence with those in the text.

  • Citations in text. Please ensure that every reference cited in the text is also present in the reference list and vice versa. Any references cited in the abstract must be specified in full. Unpublished results and personal communications are not recommended in the reference list, but may be mentioned in the text. If such references are included in the reference list they should follow the standard reference style of the journal and should include a substitution of the publication date as either ‘Unpublished results’ or ‘Personal communication’. Citation of a reference as ‘in press’ implies that the item has been accepted for publication.
  • Web references. As a minimum, the full URL should be given and the date when the reference was last accessed. Any further information, if available (e.g. DOI, author names, dates, reference to a source publication, etc.) should also be mentioned. Web references can be listed separately under a different heading, if desired, or can be included in the reference list as well.
  • References in a special issue. Please ensure that the words ‘this issue’ are added to any references in the list (and any citations in the text) to other articles in the same special issue.
  • Citing Research Data. Datasets, program code and other methods should be recognized as original intellectual contributions and afforded recognition through citation. The journal therefore encourages Authors to appropriately cite underlying or relevant datasets in their manuscript by citing them in the text and including a data reference in the reference list. Data references should include the following elements: author name(s), dataset title, data repository, version (where available) and year. References to datasets and program code should also include a persistent identifier (e.g. a DOI) where possible.

Reference Style

Please follow the format as indicated in the journal's style files.

Supplementary Materials

The journal accepts electronic supplementary materials – such as applications, presentations, data sheets, images and sound clips – to support and enhance the circulation and presentation of your research. Submitted supplementary items will be published exactly as they are received (Excel and PowerPoint files will appear as such online) alongside the electronic version of the article. Please submit your supplementary materials together with the article and provide a concise and descriptive caption for each supplementary file. If you wish to make changes to supplementary materials during any stage of the publication process, please make sure to provide an updated file. Do not annotate any corrections on a previous version. Please switch off the ‘Track Changes’ option in Microsoft Office files as these will appear in the published version.


Footnotes can be used to give additional information and may include citations of references included in the reference list. They should be numbered consecutively throughout the article. Many word processors can build footnotes into the text and this feature may be used. If this is not the case, please indicate the position of footnotes in the text and list the footnotes themselves separately at the end of the article. Do not include footnotes in the reference list. Footnotes cannot contain a table or a figure. Footnotes to tables should be indicated by superscript lower-case letters (or asterisks for significance values and other statistical data) and placed below the table body instead. Footnotes to the title or Authors of an article are not given reference symbols. Authors are advised to always use footnotes instead of endnotes.

Journal Abbreviations

Journal names should be abbreviated according to the ISSN International Centre’s “LTWA” (List of Title Word Abbreviations):


Together with your manuscript, please submit the names, institutional addresses and email addresses of at least two potential referees which would be qualified to review your article. Make sure to exclude reviewers with grounds for potential bias. Note that the Editor(s) of the journal retain(s) the sole right to decide whether the suggested reviewers will be used or not.


Image Manipulation

Authors are permitted to manipulate images for the purpose of clarity only. Manipulation for purposes of deception or fraud will be regarded as scientific ethical abuse and will be dealt with accordingly. For graphical images, Growth and Form applies the following policy: no specific feature within an image may be enhanced, obscured, moved, removed or introduced. Adjustments of brightness, contrast or color balance are acceptable if and as long as they do not obscure or eliminate any information present in the original. Nonlinear adjustments (e.g. changes to gamma settings) must be disclosed in the figure legend.

Electronic Artwork

  • Make sure you use uniform lettering and sizing of your original artwork.
  • Save text in illustrations as “graphics” or embed the fonts used if your application provides that option.
  • Number illustrations according to their sequence in the text.
  • Use a logical naming convention for your artwork files.
  • Provide captions to illustrations separately.
  • Size your illustrations close to the desired dimensions in the published version.
  • Submit each illustration as a separate file.

Image Formats

If your electronic artwork is created in a Microsoft Office application (Word, PowerPoint, Excel) then please supply the file “as is” in the native document format. For any application other than Microsoft Office which is used for creating artwork, once your electronic artwork is finalized please click “Save as” or convert the images to one of the following formats (note the resolution requirements for line drawings, halftones and line/halftone combinations):

  • EPS (or PDF): Vector drawings; embed the fonts or save the text as “graphics”.
  • TIFF (or JPEG): Color or grayscale photographs (halftones); keep to a minimum of 300 dpi.
  • TIFF (or JPEG): Bitmapped (pure black & white pixels) line drawings; keep to a minimum of 1000 dpi.
  • TIFF (or JPEG): Combinations bitmapped line/halftone (color or grayscale); keep to a minimum of 500 dpi.

Please do not:

  • Supply files that are optimized for screen use (e.g. GIF, BMP, PICT, WPG); these typically have a low number of pixels and limited set of colors;
  • Supply files that are too low in resolution;
  • Submit graphics that are disproportionately large for the content.

Journal Editorial Standards

Peer Review

Growth and Form applies a single-blind peer review process, meaning that the names of Reviewers are hidden from the Authors. All submissions will be initially assessed by an Editor to ensure that they fall within the Aims & Scope of the journal, are of reasonable scientific quality and meet the basic criteria for publication. Papers which are deemed suitable are then typically sent to a minimum of two independent subject experts to assess the scientific quality. These Reviewers then submit review reports with recommendations back to the assigned Editor who makes a decision on the manuscript based on the reports received. If the recommendations from Reviewers are conflicting or no final decision can be made based on the reports received, then the assigned Editor may consult another senior Reviewer and/or the Editorial Board members of the journal. Note that the Editor-in-Chief is ultimately responsible for the final decision regarding acceptance or rejection of articles and that the Editor-in-Chief’s decision is final in this regard. There are four possible outcomes for each submission:

  • Accept: the paper is accepted for publication and no changes are required.
  • Revise: the Author is requested to make minor revisions based on the comments from Reviewers; the revised paper will then be further reviewed by the Editor before it is accepted.
  • Reject: the paper is rejected and the Author receives a full report on the reasons why.
  • Resubmit: the paper needs major revisions; the Author is requested to resubmit the manuscript for another review round provided that the comments from reviewers have been taken into consideration.

Editorial Procedure and Timeline

After submitting an article, the Corresponding Author will receive a confirmation of receipt. Due to the many papers we are currently receiving, the peer review process may take up to 2-3 months, but this depends strongly on the subject and the details of the article. The journal's main policy is not to compromise on quality, so in some cases the review time can be longer. Once a paper has been accepted for publication, the Corresponding Author will be asked to sign a Journal Publishing Agreement (JPA) and - where applicable - to pay the Article Publication Charge (APC) for making the article open access. Upon receipt of the signed JPA and the APC payment, the accepted manuscript goes into production. Prior to publication, a set of page proofs in PDF format will be sent to the Corresponding Author via email for proofreading.


All Authors should have made substantial contributions to each of the following: (1) the conception and design of the study, or acquisition of data, or analysis and interpretation of data; (2) drafting the article or revising it critically for important intellectual content; (3) final approval of the version to be submitted. The statement that all Authors have approved the final article should be true and included in the disclosure. For more information, please refer to the Author Statement of Contribution section in the Atlantis Press Submission & Author Guidelines policy.

Authorship Changes

Growth and Form adheres to the COPE guidelines for authorship changes. Authors are expected to carefully consider the list and order of all the Authors of a manuscript before submitting it and to provide the definitive list of Authors at the time of the original submission. Any addition, deletion or rearrangement of Author names in the authorship list should only be made before the manuscript has been accepted and only if approved by the journal Editor. To request such a change, the Editor must receive the following from the Corresponding Author of the manuscript: (i) the reason for the change in the authorship list; and (ii) written confirmation – via email or letter – from all Authors that they agree with the addition, removal or rearrangement. In the case of addition or removal of Authors, this includes confirmation from the Author being added or removed. Only in exceptional circumstances will the Editor consider the addition, deletion or rearrangement of Authors after the manuscript has been accepted. While the Editor considers the request, publication of the article will be suspended. If the article has already been published in an online issue, any requests approved by the Editor will result in a corrigendum.

Journal Ethical Standards

Growth and Form adheres to the ethical standards as outlined in the policies of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE). As such, the journal follows the COPE Core Practices and the Principles of Transparency and Best Practice in Scholarly Publishing. All ethical and misconduct cases for this journal are handled according to these guidelines and it is expected of Authors, Editors and Reviewers that they follow the COPE standards on ethical behaviour contained in them. For more information, please refer to the Atlantis Press Publishing Ethics & Misconduct policy.

Open Access & CC License

All articles which are published in Growth and Form are open access, meaning that they are freely, immediately and permanently accessible on the Atlantis Press content platform. A Creative Commons (CC) user license defines how end users can subsequently reuse the articles. All articles in Growth and Form are published under the CC BY-NC 4.0 license, meaning that end users can freely share an article (i.e. copy and redistribute the material in any medium or format) and adapt it (i.e. remix, transform and build upon the material) on the condition that proper attribution is given (i.e. appropriate credit, a link to the license and an indication if any changes were made; all in such a way that does not suggest that the licensor endorses the user or the use) and the material is only used for non-commercial purposes. Note that Authors must accept this CC license upon submission of their paper. For more information, please refer to the Open Access and User Licenses section in the Atlantis Press Open Access & Article Sharing policy.

Post-Acceptance Rights

The copyright of all articles which are published in Growth and Form remains with the Authors, i.e. Authors retain full ownership of their published work. Upon acceptance of an article, Authors are requested to sign a Journal Publishing Agreement in which they grant Atlantis Press an exclusive publication license. Under this license, Authors grant the following rights to Atlantis Press:

  • The exclusive right to publish and distribute the article, and to grant this right to others, including for commercial purposes.
  • The right to publish and circulate the article as open access under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 (CC BY-NC 4.0) license.
  • The right to provide the article in all forms and media so that the article can be used on the latest technology even after publication.
  • The authority to enforce the rights in the article, on behalf of the Authors, against third parties, for example, in the case of plagiarism or copyright infringement.

For more information on post-acceptance rights, please refer to the Copyright section in the Atlantis Press Open Access & Article Sharing policy.

Article Proofs

Upon receipt of the signed Journal Publishing Agreement and the Article Processing Charge for making an article open access, the accepted manuscript is sent to production for typesetting in accordance with the journal style. A set of page proofs in PDF format is subsequently sent to the Corresponding Author via email. Authors are provided with PDF proofs which can be annotated. For this, you will need Adobe Reader version 7 (or higher) which can be downloaded for free from (for system requirements please check this page). Instructions on how to annotate PDF files will accompany the proofs and can also be found here. Authors which do not wish to use the PDF annotation function, may list their corrections (including replies to questions on a query form where applicable) and return them to us in an email. Please list your corrections quoting line numbers in this case. Note that article proofs should only be used for checking the typesetting, editing, completeness and correctness of the text, tables and figures. Significant changes to an article as accepted for publication will only be considered at this stage with permission from the Editor.

The production team will do their best to get your article published quickly and accurately. To support this, Authors are requested to return all their proof corrections within 3 working days. It is the Author’s responsibility to ensure that all corrections are sent back in one go: please check carefully before replying to the email, as any subsequent corrections cannot be guaranteed. Note that the Editors of the journal may proceed with the publication of your article if no (timely) response is received.

Articles in Press

To accelerate the online publication of accepted manuscripts, this journal supports the concept of “Articles in Press”. These are accepted peer-reviewed articles that have not yet been assigned to any volume/issue, but which are already citable using a DOI (for more information about DOIs, please visit An accepted article will be published online under ‘Articles in Press’ as soon as an uncorrected proof has been produced. This is the first version of the article which is citable using the DOI. Subsequently, once the corrected proof has been received the uncorrected version will be replaced by the corrected one. Note that once the final published version of the article (the ‘version of record’ or VOR) has been released and assigned to a volume/issue, the article can also be cited using issue and page numbers.

Author Inquiries

For more information about anything that is written in these Author Guidelines or for general inquiries about the journal or about an article that you have submitted for publication in the journal, you can contact our author support team at Please always make sure to mention the journal acronym or full journal name in your query.