Guidelines to Authors on Figure Preparation

1. Figure preparation

Figures are a very important part of an article. Consequently, they should be designed with great care and presented in the best possible quality. While we do not require high-resolution figures during review, a high image resolution is important for your accepted article.


2. Figure size
When planning figures, take into account the page size of our journals:

  • Type area = 169 x 225 mm, column width = 81 mm, gutter width: 7 mm
  • Though the final size of your image will be determined by one of our typesetters, you can pre-estimate it:
    • single panel figure (with less text) → 81 mm width
    • single panel figure (with more text or insets) → 105 mm width
    • two panel figure (horizontally aligned) → 169 mm width
    • two panel figure (vertically aligned) → 81 mm width
    • multiple panel figure → 169 mm width


3. Characteristics
If several figures are of similar style, characteristics such as font type, font size and line thickness should be kept consistent. Texts should not overlap and should be clearly visible/readable.


Font family: Inter-Research fonts for images are Helvetica and Times New Roman. A sans serif font such as Helvetica/Arial is preferred.


Font size: Around 8–9 pt at final figure size. A guideline size is that upper-case letters should be about 2–4 mm high.


Colour: Good quality colour images are welcome. Inter-Research subsidises colour printing costs; no charge is made to authors, provided that the use of colour is appropriate.

Coloured figures should be submitted in the CMYK colour spectrum. RGB (Red, Green, Blue) is used for all digital media (e.g. images on websites, photos) by „mixing light“ on a display. CMYK (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Key/Black), on the other hand, is used as the primary method for colour printing (e.g. magazines, books) by mixing colour pigments on paper. Therefore, in order to print our PDFs with the best possible quality it is crucial to properly convert images to CMYK before sending them to the printer. That means RGB images – which have a greater spectrum – will be „squeezed“ into the CMYK spectrum and therefore can result in a loss of colours; especially intense neon colours are affected. For figures submitted using the RGB spectrum we strive to keep all colours as consistent as possible.



4. Figure file requirements
Please submit only figures generated from the source program. Please note that the .jpg/.jpeg file format suffers from quality loss upon opening and saving and, therefore, should be avoided where possible.


File type: Vectorised file formats (EPS, SVG) are preferred over rasterised file formats (TIFF). See table below for output options.


Resolution: Rasterised images should have a resolution of at least 300 dpi at final (print) size and must be free of jpeg compression. Simply increasing the resolution (e.g. interpolating via Adobe Photoshop) of an existing low-resolution figure-file is not sufficient, as no new information is created.



5. Suitable file formats
Please refer to the list below for different file format options for a range of commonly used graphic programs. For further questions please contact us (


Program File format
Microsoft Excel PDF (if possible), XLS(X)
Adobe Illustrator EPS, PDF, SVG, EMF, SWP, MWF, AI
Adobe Photoshop TIFF (LZW compression with layers), PSD
Matlab EPS, PDF, TIFF (-dtiff')
SigmaPlot EPS, PDF, TIFF (LZW compression)
Canoco AI
R (use RStudio) EPS, PDF, SVG, TIFF
Microsoft PowerPoint PDF (if possible), PPT, PPTX
OceanData View EPS, TIFF
GIMP TIFF (LZW compression), SVG (if available)
Inkscape EPS, PDF, SVG, EMF
ArcGIS EPS, PDF, SVG, EMF, TIFF (LZW compression)
DeltaGraph EPS, PDF, PSD
KaleidaGraph TIFF (with high resolution option), EPS
MagicPlot Pro PDF, EPS, SVG, EMF
GraphPad Prism TIFF (LZW compression), EPS
Stata PDF, EPS
Mathematica EPS, PDF, SVG, EMF
Origin, Origin Pro EPS, PDF, TIFF, EMF
gnuplot EPS, PDF, SVG


6. Permissions
It is the responsibility of an author to ensure that the necessary reproduction rights for third party material used within a manuscript have been secured prior to submission. Copyright permissions must be obtained and, if necessary, paid for by the author. Copyright of third party material must be acknowledged according to the copyright holder's requirements. Note that the responsibility to keep the permanent record of the reproduction license falls on the person requesting the permission, not on the copyright holder issuing it. Authors must be able to provide proof of the license to Inter-Research if requested.


7. How to send files
Upload figure files during the submission process, embedded at the end of the main text file. Higher quality figures may be required later for production, if the manuscript is accepted. Low quality scans, files in rare formats, and pictures from the Internet (e.g. .jpg) are unsuitable. Larger files for production may be uploaded to the Inter-Research ftp site at The site can be freely accessed, but please inform us before uploading anything (