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Author Guidelines


1 General

Silva Fennica is a scientific online journal, which publishes articles reporting significant new knowledge and understanding on all aspects of forest research, both basic and applied subjects. All articles must be relevant also to readers out of the geographical area where the research was conducted. Submissions with only local interest will normally be rejected without peer-review.

Silva Fennica is an open access journal, in which the articles are published with the Creative Commons CC BY-SA 4.0 licence. The authors may upload their articles to their own/institutional repositories after publication if the original source is credited. Articles may not be modified after publishing. Articles published in Silva Fennica may not be sold or used for any other commercial purposes.

Each annual volume is divided into bimonthly issues yet all articles are published immediately after copyediting. All articles are published both as html files with supporting information and as printer-friendly pdf files.

Submission of a manuscript to Silva Fennica is taken to imply that the manuscript has neither been published nor is being considered for publication elsewhere. Silva Fennica follows the double-blind peer-review practice, i.e. both authors and reviewers are anonymous to each others. Silva Fennica is published in English. The authors must consistently follow only one English standard (e.g. British or American English). The authors must follow a concise scientific writing style. The authors are responsible of ensuring that the manuscript does not contain grammatical, orthographic, stylistics, or other linguistic errors. Manuscripts which are not written in good English will be rejected without peer-review.


2 Article Categories


Research articles report findings of original research. They follow a structure that best fits to the research problem, e.g. when reporting experimental work, the structure must be Introduction – Material and methods – Results – Discussion – References. Results and discussion items should never be combined. Modelling studies must include an adequate validation of the model, verification of enhanced performance, or applications. Research article text is normally not longer than 8 000 words. The abstract must not be longer than 250 words (submission of longer abstracts is disabled in the system).

Review articles are literature-based critical surveys summarising and analysing particular fields or topics in forest science. Authors planning to submit a review article are encouraged to contact the editor before hand about the proposed review topic. The editor may also invite reknown scientists to write a review article on a topical issue of general relevance. The abstract must not be longer than 400 words (submission of longer abstracts is disabled in the system).

Research notes report preliminary or tentative results of projects underway (e.g. test of a research methodology), or completed research with limited scope but relevant to an international readership. Research note must not be longer than 2 500 words and include more than 4 tables and/or figures. The abstract must not be longer than 250 words (submission of longer abstracts is disabled in the system).

Discussion articles put forward fresh ideas or new views about the theory and practice of science, point out problems needing the attention of researchers, or comment on topical issues. The views presented must be justified with adequate references to earlier work. Discussion articles are revised by the scientific editors of Silva Fennica. Discussion article is normally not longer than 2 500 words and includes no more than 4 tables and/or figures.

Commentaries are always invited by the editor. He/she may ask a renowned scientist to write  a comment on an important manuscript submitted to Silva Fennica or another topical issue.


3 Submission of manuscripts


3.1 First submission

Silva Fennica uses the Open Journal System (OJS) for manuscript processing. All types of manuscripts must be submitted using the the OJS page of Silva Fennica. You must register as an author to OJS. The system will guide you through the submission process. In the first submission, you must submit the complete manuscript – except supplementary data – as a single MS Word or RTF file. Make sure that the manuscript is complete with all tables and figures and that pages and lines are numbered continuously. You may also submit supplementary data (e.g. videos, databases, large tables), which will be linked to your article. Supplementary data will be revised, stored, and viewed in the same format as you submit it. See point 5 for recommended formats of the supplementary data.

You must accept the copyright statement of Silva Fennica before submitting a manuscript.

During the manuscript submission, you must submit complete information of all authors, including affiliations, addresses, and e-mail addresses, in the OJS page. ORCID id of all authors that have one must be given. After the forthcoming upgrade of our website, we will start to publish ORCID ids in the author information. Further, phone number of the corresponding author must be entered to the system. Note that this information will not be transmitted to the reviewers but it will be available to the editors and associate editors.

An e-mail message acknowledging receipt will be sent to the corresponding author.


3.2 Review process

Manuscripts are usually sent to two or three reviewers. Upon receiving and considering the reviewers' reports, the editor will send a letter of response to the corresponding author. If the editor's response calls for revision, a revised manuscript should be sent to the editorial office in two months. The editor-in-chief will then inform the corresponding author about his/her final decision. After acceptance, you will receive instructions for submitting your manuscript for online publishing. Following acceptance, no major changes may be made to the manuscript without the permission of the editor.


4 Form of manuscript


4.1 First page

The first page of the manuscript includes the manuscript title, highlights, abstract, and keywords. This will be the first page of the manuscript that will be submitted to peer-review. Because of the double-blind review process, it is important that you do not identify yourself or the co-authors anywhere in the manuscript. Do not include acknowledgements to the first manuscript version. Remove also identifying metadata from your text and supplementary data files.


4.2 Title, highlights, abstract, and keywords

A good title is brief and informative. Do not use empty words and constructions like "A study of...", "Observations on...", and the like conveying very little to the reader.

Highlights of each paper are included in the online table of contents and pasted below the article title in the article files. Emphasise the most important research findings reported in the article in your highlights statement. Write the highlight statements separated by semicolon (;) below the title in your manuscript. The total length of highlights must not be more than 60 words.

An abstract is a concise, independent résumé of the paper. Its purpose is to assist the reader in deciding whether it is worth reading the entire paper, to provide sufficient information for a reader who is not an expert on the topic involved, and to assist the communication of information. If your abstract is not well-written, a reader will probably not read your full article. Most bibliographic databases also include the abstract.

The length of an abstract must not be more than 250 words in one paragraph (400 words for review articles). The abstract must be structured to provide sufficient information on the context, aims, methods, and results of your research. Always end the abstract with a clear conclusion. Do not use references to literature.

The abstract is followed by 3–7 keywords. Separate keywords with semicolons (;). Do not repeat title words in the keywords.

4.3 Text lay-out

Format the manuscript on an A4 page with minimum margins of 25 mm. Use double line spacing. Pages must be numbered, starting with the title page. Lines must be numbered continuously throughout the manuscript starting from the Abstract. Do not use any other text formatting than those specified in these instructions. Much of the formatting must be removed or redefined when producing the publication files. Thus, extra formatting will delay publication of your manuscript.

Separate paragraphs with a blank line. Do not use automatic space before or after a paragraph.

Separate equations from the body text with a blank line before and after the equation.

Collect all tables and figures to the end of the manuscript, each on an own page. Write table heading and figure caption on the same page with the table or figure.


4.4 Headings

Use no more than three levels of headings. Do not capitalise words in the headings. Number headings as follows:




Do not number "Acknowledgements" and "References". Separate headings from the text by a blank before and after.


4.5 Italics

Use italics for scientific names of species, but not for expressions or abbreviations such as in vitro, a priori, et al., e.g.


4.6 Equations

Number equations continuously in parenthesis. Align the equation number to the right. Explain the symbols used before or after the equation, unless specified in connection to an earlier equation. Include a separate List of symbols in manuscripts containing many symbols. You must explain the symbols also with the equation even if you include a List of symbols. Write simple equations as text. Use MathType or Microsoft Equation Editor for complicated equations. Do not use the default equation editor in Word 2007 or newer. In the text, refer to the equations as Eq. 1, Eq. 2 etc.


4.7 Units

Use only SI quantities and units. If your original data was collected using non-SI units, you must write this out in the Materials and methods section and report the conversion factors or equations used. Thereafter, use the SI unit in the whole manuscript. Use always exponential notation for units (e.g. µmol m‑2 s‑1) instead of dash. Use non-breaking spaces and hyphens within a unit.

Use euros (preferred) or US dollars for all monetary values throughout the manuscript. If the original currency is other than US dollar, it must be converted to euros. Use the conversion factor for the time of the data collection if possible. Always provide the date – at least month and year – for the conversion factor used.


4.8 Scientific Names

Use an authoritative contemporary source for scientific names. If possible, use only one reference source for the entire article and mention it in the Materials and methods section. Scientific names should be in italics. Authors of scientific names should be given only the first time a name appears in the abstract and in the text body but not in the manuscript title.

4.9 Citing References in the Text

4.9.1 Reference format

It is important that you follow exactly the formatting instructions given here for both citing references in the text and writing the reference list because within-article links are created automatically by the publishing software of Silva Fennica. All deviations from these instructions will cause delay in publishing of your manuscript.

For references in the text, use the name-year system:

"Smith (1996) has shown..." or "It has been shown (Smith 1996)..."

Smith and Allen (2005)

Smith et al. (2010)

(Smith 1996; Deleuze and Houllier 1997; Kähkölä et al. 2012)*

(Finnish Forest Research Institute 2011)**

* When reference is made to several publications, arrange them in chronological order. Use semicolon (;) for separating references.

** Where a publication has no person named as the author or editor, the name of the publisher is quoted, together with the year of publication. The term "Anonymous" must not be used.

4.9.2 Secondary references

Secondary references should be avoided and you must make a reasonable effort to find the original work. In the case of very old or difficult-to-find references, you may use a secondary reference by citing also the work where the secondary reference is cited: (Virtanen and Saastamoinen 1936 as cited by Kähkölä et al. 2012). Include both references into the reference list.

4.9.3 Unwritten information sources

Personal communications and similar sources of information must be avoided as far as possible. If you absolutely need to refer to an unwritten source of information, identify it in the text, preferably in parentheses: (Prof. John Doe, University of Lapland, pers. comm. in 2011).


4.10 List of references

4.10.1 General principles

Make reference only to published, available material. Avoid references to second-hand sources. If you must refer to a secondary source, include both the original work and the work, in which the original work is cited, into the list of references. Do not include personal communications in the list of references but refer to them in the text as shown in point 4.9.3.

For the order, structure and form of the references, consult the examples below. In addition, note the following:

  • If a publication has no person named as the author or editor, it is listed alphabetically according to the name of the publisher.
  • If the title of an article/a book is not in English, the English translation must be given in square brackets after the original title. If the original title is in a language that does not use Latin letters, you may give only the English translation with mention of the original language in square brackets.
  • The standard number, ISBN in books, or STRN in reports, should be given for sources of low circulation at the end of the reference.
  • Use italics for scientific names of taxa mentioned  in the title. Otherwise, use only regular font in the reference list.
  • Do not abbreviate or translate journal names.

4.10.2 Order of references

Smith C. (1996). Aspen. Timber 77: 369–384.

Smith C. (2007). Silver birch. Timber 88: 17–23.

Smith C., Allen A. (2005). Scots pine. Forest Management 15: 5–9.

Smith C., Harris B. (1993). Asian pines. Forest Management 3: 105–119.

Smith C., Harris B., Allen A. (2008). Sawn goods. Timber 89: 131–140.

Smith C., Allen A., Harris B. (2010). Sawn goods revisited. Timber 91: 231–240.

4.10.3 Article in a journal with DOI number

Kähkölä A-K.,  Nygren P.,  Leblanc H.A., Pennanen T., Pietikäinen J. (2012). Leaf and root litter of a legume tree as nitrogen sources for cacaos with different root colonisation by arbuscular mycorrhizae. Nutrient Cycling in Agroecosystems 92: 51–65.

4.10.4 Article in a journal without DOI number

Smith C., Harris B., Allen A. (2008). Sawn goods. Timber 89: 131–140.

4.10.5 Article in a book

Wilcove D.S., McLellan C.H., Dobson A.P. (1986). Habitat fragmentation in the temperate zone. In: Soulé M.E. (ed.) Conservation biology: the science of scarcity and diversity. Sinauer, Sunderland, Massachusetts. p. 237–256.

4.10.6 Monograph

Ilvessalo-Pfäffli M-S. (1995). Fiber atlas: identification of papermaking fibers. Springer Series in Wood Sciences. Springer-Verlag, Berlin-Heidelberg-New York. 400 p.

4.10.7 Non-English original

Rytteri T., Lukkarinen J. (2014). Puun energiakäytön yhteiskunnallinen ohjaus Suomessa. [Societal control of the energy use of wood in Finland]. Metsätieteen Aikakauskirja 3/2014: 163-182.

Volkov A.D. (2003). The bioecological basis of exploitation of spruce forests in the north-west of taiga zone of Russia. Karelian Science Centre of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Petrozavodsk, Russian Federation. 250 p. [in Russian]

4.10.8 References to Internet sources with DOI number

Jalonen R., Sierra J. (2012). Temporal variation of N isotopic composition of decomposing legume roots and its implications to N cycling estimates in 15N tracer studies in agroforestry systems. Applied and Environmental Soil Science.

4.10.9 References to Internet sources without DOI number

Daily G. (1999). Developing a scientific basis for managing Earth’s life support systems. Conservation Ecology 3: 14. [Cited 18 Jan 2001].

FAOStat (2011). [Cited 29 July 2011].

World Cocoa Foundation (2010). Cocoa market update May 2010. [Cited 12 Aug 2011].

4.11 Notes

You should avoid using notes in the text. In most cases, the information in the note can be included in the text; if not, the note is probably not necessary. If you feel that it is necessary to use notes, use only endnotes. Footnotes may be used in tables (point 4.8).


4.12 Tables

Tables are numbered continuously through the paper. Vertical dividers are not allowed. Prepare the tables using a table editor. Never enter a paragraph break or a line break within a table cell.

Write table heading above the table. The table heading must be self-explanatory, i.e. you must provide enough information so that a reader understands the table without referring to the text.

If you use symbols in the table, all of them must be explained in a footnote to the table. Because each table must be understandable alone, you must repeat the symbol explanations even in the case that the same symbol appears in an earlier table or figure.


4.13 Figures

4.13.1 Instructions common to all figure types

All image material, e.g. charts illustrating data or photographs, are considered as figures. Figures are an important part of the communication of scientific information. Thus, it is in your own interest to strictly adhere to the figure instructions given below. Otherwise, communication of your results may be hampered.

Figures are numbered continuously throughout the manuscript. Refer to them in the text as "Fig. 1" etc. A figure must fit on an A4 page; otherwise, its printing quality may decrease seriously and it will be difficult understand. Further, bigger figures cannot be inspected with sufficient details even in big computer screens.

Silva Fennica publishes both colour and black-and-white figures. However, consider carefully if colour is necessary. Especially data charts are often clearer as black-and-white line drawings. If you choose to use colours, check that your graph is readable also when printed black-and-white.

Always use the same identifier (e.g. symbol, column fill, line colour) for a variable, which appears in more than one figure of a manuscript.

In the first submission, paste each figure on its own page. Write figure caption below the figure. Caption must be self-explanatory and independent; references to the text should be avoided. Explain all symbols used either in the figure caption or in the figure legend. You must repeat the symbol explanation even in the case that the same symbol appears in an earlier table or figure.

Lettering within the figure (including the legend) must be sized adequately with the figure contents. However, lettering size must not radically differ from font size in the text. Use Arial of Helvetica font for Latin letters and numbers and Symbol font for Greek letters and mathematical symbols. Keep lettering consistently sized both within a figure and between the figures of a manuscript.

4.13.2 Data charts

Data charts are graphical presentations of data.

Consider if colour is necessary. Black-and-white line drawings are often clearer for communicating data than colour graphs. Aim at clarity and simplicity, avoid unnecessary effects, like 3-D and shadows. Use solid black or white or coarse line fills for columns. If you cannot separate columns or column items with black-and-white fills, consider first if you can simplify the graph. If this is not possible, use colour fills,  not grey fills. Check the readability of your graph when printed black-and-white. Always write axis titles and units in the data chart.

Line drawings must be prepared at 600 dpi resolution. Prefer lines in solid black and use markers for differentiating small number of lines in the same graph. If you need more than four lines in a line graph, use solid colours. Select colours that can be distinguished in black-and-white printing. Do not use line weights below 1.0 point.

4.13.3 Photographs and combined figures

Photographs must be high quality colour or grey scale digital photos. Scale the photographs to 300 dpi resolution. If you combine photographs and line drawings, the complete figure must be prepared at 600 dpi resolution. If you add only a scale bar to a photograph, retain the 300 dpi resolution.

Visualisation of model output (e.g. tree architecture produced by a model) is a colour or grey-scale figure and it must be prepared according to the instructions in this point.

4.13.4 Figure copyright

The authors are responsible to acquire necessary copyright for publishing any figures that are not under their own copyright. Please, note that Silva Fennica is an open access journal and readers are free to copy, reproduce, and distribute articles published in Silva Fennica. Thus, some publishers do not grant reuse for free. You must assume all such costs, because Silva Fennica does not have funds for assisting copyright costs. If the copyright of a figure is held by someone else than you or any of the co-authors, the copyright holder's name must be published with the figure.

Silva Fennica follows the copyright law of Finland. It provides relative freedom for reuse of charts provided that the original source is adequately credited but photographers’ rights are strictly protected. Note also that the figure you want to resuse may be under another jurisdiction. In case of any doubt, consult the editorial office.


5 Supplementary files


5.1 Types of supplementary data

Silva Fennica accepts electronic multimedia files (animations, movies, etc.) and other supplementary files to be published along with your article. Also material that would be published as an annex in print media should be published in the supplementary material. Examples of the type of supplementary files include but do not exclude other types:

-      model flow chart

-      short programme code, or part of a programme code that is significantly modified

-      complete list of model equations

-      long parameter or variable list

-      complete species list in a study of plant community ecology

-      detailed weather data of the study site

-      video on embryogenesis

-      video on a forest work study

-      animation or video on landscape change over time by succession


5.2 Recommended formats

-      Audio, video, and animations: always use mpg format.

-      Text: submit always in pdf format.

-      Spreadsheets and other tabular material: spreadsheets must be converted to pdf if no interaction with the data is needed. If the readers are expected to do their own calculations with the data, submit the spreadsheet as a MS Excel file (.xls or .xlsx).

-      Programme code: if readers are allowed to copy the programme code to their own programmes, submit it as a text file without formatting. Otherwise, use a pdf file.

-      Figures: single figures may be submitted as jpg or pdf files. Several connected figures must be submitted in a pdf file.

Otherwise, follow the instructions given in point 4 above for preparing your supplementary files.


5.3 Naming of and references to the supplementary files

Name the supplementary files with four first words of your manuscript title followed by file number. Number supplementary files consecutively as they are referred in the manuscript. Never use author name or Silva Fennica in the file name.

Each supplementary file must include the bibliographic reference of the main article at the top of the first page of the file because supplementary files may become separated from the original context. This information is added after acceptance to the final submission of the production version of your manuscript.

All supplementary files must be referred in the manuscript text. The reference format is “ shown in Supplementary file 3” or “ shown in the animation of the landscape change (Supplementary file 3)”. Also list all supplementary files between the text body and reference list in a table that includes the number, title, and type of each supplementary file.


5.4 Submitting supplementary files

You must submit each supplementary file separately from the manuscript (follow instructions in the OJS page of Silva Fennica). All supplementary files must be included in the first submission and they are peer-revived. No new supplementary files may be added to the revised manuscript or the review process will be started over. However, you must revise the supplementary files according to the advice given by the reviewers and editors.


6 Procedures for revised and accepted manuscripts

6.1 Submission of revised manuscript

If revisions are required, you must add detailed responses to the reviewers' and editor's comments to the end of the manuscript file. You are expected to explain changes made to the manuscript and justify your opinion in cases where you do not follow the advice given by the reviewers.

Upload the revised manuscript text, which includes the responses to the reviewer and editor comments, and any other necessary files to the system following these instructions:

- Sign in as an author; you will be automatically directed to the ”Submissions” page.
- Click the manuscript title.
- Select review from the bar in the upper left corner.
- Scroll down to Editor Decision.
- Upload your revised manuscript, responses to reviewer, and other files, if any, using the Upload Author Version box.

Please, note that if you come to the submission system using the link in the main page of Silva Fennica (, you will be automatically directed to the ”New submission” page. Select ”Submissions” from the upper left bar to see your active submissions.

6.2 Procedure after acceptance

Prepare your manuscript text, tables, and figures exactly according to these instructions. All corrections that the copy-editor will have to make will delay publication of your work. Submit the manuscript and tables in a single Word file. Each table must be on a separate page - even small tables.

Add a title page to the accepted manuscript that includes the title of the manuscript, authors’ names and affiliations, complete contact information of the corresponding author, and Acknowledgements.

Supplementary files (if included): Add the bibliographic reference of the main article to the top of the first page of each supplementary file. The information must include: name(s) of author(s), title of the main article, Silva Fennica, submission year, and a blank line so that the copy editor may add the DOI after it is applied. With this information, the original article may be located. If your supplementary file is a figure or video, add this information to the file meta data if possible.

Prepare the figures according to the instructions given above in point 4.10. Save each figure as a separate maximum-quality jpeg file. Minimum resolution for data charts is 600 dpi and for photographs and visualisations 300 dpi - see exact instructions in point 4.10. Name the figure with the name of first author, word "figure", and figure number. Figures must be numbered consecutively in the order they appear in the article.

Follow the submission instructions given in point 6.1 above. Upload each figure as a separate file.


Submission Preparation Checklist

As part of the submission process, authors are required to check off their submission's compliance with all of the following items, and submissions may be returned to authors that do not adhere to these guidelines.

  1. I/We confirm that the submitted manuscript is new, it has not been published elsewhere, and it is not being considered for publication in any other forum.
  2. I/We accept the author guidelines, review policy, and publication of the manuscript - if accepted for publication - with Creative Commons CC BY-SA 4.0 licence.
  3. I/We confirm that I/we have the rights to the data and contents of the manuscript to the extent necessary for publishing with CC BY-SA 4.0 licence.
  4. I/We confirm that all authors agree about authorship, publication of the article, order of authors in the article, and naming of the corresponding author for all correspondence with the publisher.
  5. I/We confirm that all authors have read the submitted manuscript version and agree on its contents. I/We understand that the authors are collectively responsible on the contents of the article.
  6. The text adheres to the stylistic and bibliographic requirements outlined in the Author Guidelines, which is found in About the Journal.
  7. If submitting to a peer-reviewed section of the journal, the manuscript has been anonymisised according to the instructions in the Author Guidelines.
  8. All required meta data on authors is submitted to the manuscript management system, including the ORCID-identifier, if an author has it. The meta data will not be made available for reviewers during the review process but editors of the journal may access it.

Copyright Notice

Silva Fennica is an open access journal published by the Finnish Society of Forest Science (hereafter “Publisher”). All articles published in Silva Fennica (hereinafter, the “Articles”) shall be publicly available on the Internet according to the Creative Commons CC BY-SA 4.0 attribution - share alike licence.

The Author retains the copyright of his/her Article. The Publisher has the right to publish the Articles and keep them available for the public in any current or future publishing format. Publisher may also transfer publishing rights and/or maintenance of the Silva Fennica website to others who respect the CC BY-SA 4.0 licence.

Silva Fennica accepts deposition of the final, edited Publisher's version of the article in other repositories, e.g. personal, institutional, or professional. Deposition of intermediate review versions is not permitted. All articles deposited in an external repository must include a full bibliographic reference to the original publication in Silva Fennica, including DOI, and a mention on the publication with CC BY-SA 4.0 licence. The repository must respect the licence.


Privacy Statement

The names and email addresses entered in this journal site will be used exclusively for the editorial purposes of the journals of this site (Silva Fennica, Dissertationes Forestales, Metsätieteen aikakauskirja, and Suo - Mires and Peat) and will not be made available for any other purpose or to any other party.