Instructions for Appendices

for Ecology, Ecological Applications, and Ecological Monographs

NOTE: For manuscripts submitted after 1 January 2016 please read here:

Supporting Information
Digital appendices and supplements (including data files) to be posted in conjunction with the online version of the article should be submitted with the manuscript. This information will be linked to the manuscript in the online journal, but is not copyedited, typeset, or printed in the hard copy. All supporting information should be prepared for publication in the Wiley Online Library and labeled with the prefix "S"; for example Appendix S1 (for the first appendix), Figure S2 (for the second figure), Table S3 (for the third table). Supporting information is optional.



NOTE: For resubmitted manuscripts submitted through EcoTrack please read here:

What are appendices?

Appendices are online documents that contain supporting information to the main article. They are directly viewable with a standard web browser (or executable in the case of sound or video) and are self-contained; all critical supporting materials are present in the caption, footnotes, or are in the associated original article. Appendices commonly consist of:

- Figures, graphs, or photographs - Methods, descriptions, or analyses
- Tables - Equations - Video or audio files

Authors of field studies are encouraged to submit a photograph of their study site for inclusion as an appendix (include photo credits and include permissions if photographer is not one of the authors). Authors do not need to know HTML to submit appendices - the data editors will be responsible for converting the submitted files into a web-accessible format for online viewing after a manuscript has been accepted for publication. It may be helpful to look at a few published examples:

Note: appendices are not the same as supplements. One way to think of the distinction between appendices and supplements is that appendices generally are meant to be read, while supplements generally are meant to be used. If you are unsure if your material should be classified as an appendix or a supplement, see the instructions for supplements. Any further questions may be directed to Jane Bain, the Associate Data Editor <>.

Creating your appendices

It is not necessary to follow all of the ESA's normal formatting requirements when creating your appendices. Title pages, running heads, line and page numbering, specific margin and page sizes, and double-spacing are not necessary. There is no length limit for appendices and no charge for file size, as long as files stay under 10MB (uncompressed).

If your paper is still in the pre-review or review process:

Appendices should be uploaded along with other manuscript files through the online system, EcoTrack. At this stage, the only requirement is that the appendices can be converted to PDF format for viewing by editors and reviewers.

If your paper has been accepted for publication by Ecology, Ecological Applications, Ecological Monographs, Ecosphere, or Ecosystem Health and Sustainability:

All appendices must be prepared in accordance with the following guidelines for your final submission. If you have any supplements, these require preparation as well - see our instructions for supplements for more information.

Formatting and preparation guidelines

A template version of the appendix format is available for instructional purposes.

1. Create a title for each appendix

The title should be clearly displayed at the beginning of each appendix. Titles should be short and concise, approximately one sentence each but also descriptive of the contents. For instance, the title "Additional methods" is not descriptive enough. These titles will appear on the index page (see example) for your supplemental material.

Each appendix is designated by a letter based on order of appearance, from A to Z. Appendices will be referenced by these letters (e.g. "as seen in Appendix D") in the main article.

The main article will point to your archives files as shown below:


2a. Prepare the figures (if any)

  • Ensure images are displaying clearly and properly
  • Include high resolution versions (particularly if images appear fuzzy in a Word document)
  • Provide a detailed description of each figure (figure legend)
  • Indicate units where relevant
  • Label each figure individually
  • Use acceptable formats

2b. Prepare the tables (if any)

  • Tables must not be formatted with tabs, spaces, or line breaks - use the built-in table functionality of your word processor.
  • Provide a detailed description of each table
  • Indicate units where relevant
  • Label each table individually
  • Note: exceptionally large tables (> 25 columns and/or > 100 rows) may be better suited as supplements.

2c. Prepare the equations (if any)

2d. Label the figures, tables, and equations

Within each appendix, every table, figure, and equation requires an alphanumeric designation. These are the labels by which appendix material will be referenced in the main article (e.g. "as seen in Appendix C, Fig. C2"). Here is a table demonstrating how to label the first three occurrences in two appendices:

  Appendix A Appendix B
Figure Fig. A1 Fig. A2 Fig. A3 Fig. B1 Fig. B2 Fig. B3
Table Table A1 Table A2 Table A3 Table B1 Table B2 Table B3
Equation (A.1) (A.2) (A.3) (B.1) (B.2) (B.3)

Note: when referencing equations in-text, parentheses should not be included (e.g. "shown in Eq. C.3" or "Eqs. D.1 and D.2").

3. Use acceptable file formats

The data editors will be responsible for converting your files into HTML for viewing online. Our primary goal is to ensure that your appendices will be accessible and legible to every user, on every platform. Many of our submissions include a large number of complex sets of equations and variables, which HTML alone is not yet capable of displaying in a satisfactory manner. For this reason, we will sometimes opt to post PDF versions of an appendix if we are unable to reproduce the content in HTML without losing legibility and quality of display.

Material Acceptable Formats Notes
tables, and
.DOC/.DOCX (MS Word) Do not create tables using tabs, spaces, or line breaks. Use the built-in table functionality in MS Word.
.TEX (LaTeX) Ensure all tables, figures, and equations are labeled correctly. Convert to PDF prior to submission. Include all source files with submission.
.PDF (for LaTeX files only) Ensure all tables, figures, and equations are labeled correctly. Include source files with submission.
.HTML If original files are in an acceptable format for submission, please do not convert them to HTML. Submit the original files only.
plates, and
.PNG Most desirable format, best used for non-photogaphic images and figures containing text (i.e. graphs).
.JPG Best used for photographs.
.GIF Should be reserved for animations or image sequences only.
.TIFF Will be converted to an appropriate format (.PNG or .JPG) before publishing. May be desirable in cases where image manipulation is required (such as to correct spelling/grammatical errors)
Videos .MPG or .MOV Be aware of additional charges incurred when exceeding 10MB in hosted data.
Sound recordings .MP3 or .WAV

4. Cite references and avoid links

If literature is referenced, include a literature cited section at the end of each appendix, exclusive to that appendix and adhering to ESA style. Including links to other web pages for additional components or material is discouraged, since availability cannot be guaranteed; many links will break after just a few years. If links are absolutely unavoidable, please consider using WebCite® or another long-term archive for links.

Uploading the archives

Correctly prepared archives will be processed more quickly! For each appendix, ensure that:

  • Every appendix has a concise but detailed title (i.e., "Supplemental tables" is not acceptable)
  • Detailed descriptions are provided for every table and figure
  • Every table, figure, and equation is labeled properly
  • All images display clearly and properly
  • Tables are not formatted using spaces, tabs, or line breaks
  • If literature is referenced, a literature cited section is included
  • All files are in an acceptable format

Appendices and supplements are submitted together. If you have any supplements, ensure your supplements adhere to the formatting and preparation guidelines.

Compress and submit

Place all your Ecological Archives files into a folder, and then compress the folder into a .zip or .rar archive. If your operating system doesn't have built-in functionality for compressing files into archives, free programs such as 7-Zip or WinRAR are capable of doing this. Once created, your .zip or .rar archive should be uploaded to EcoTrack with the final version of your manuscript. PLEASE NOTE: in EcoTrack you will need to delete the previous version, then use "Add File" to provide the .zip or .rar file. You must choose "ZIP File" as the "File Type" and then choose "Supp Material-Zip" for "File format" to upload Ecological Archives files successfully.

If you are unable to upload your files to EcoTrack, please email your archives via attachment to the Associate Data Editor, Jane Bain <>. If your files are too large to send via email, FTP is available as an option.

After uploading

Be advised that the data editors may request (via email) additional revisions, files, or other information upon review of your archives. Archives are not made available earlier for preprints and will be posted concurrently with the posting of the journal's online issue. If you have revisions or corrections to submit for your archives, please contact the Associate Data Editor, Jane Bain <>.