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Author Guidelines

All parts of manuscripts must be typed fully double-spaced, at least 10-pt. type including references, tables, table captions, footnotes, and figure legends. Manuscripts must be in Word format. Page margins on all sides must be at least 1 in. (2.5 cm) wide. Lines on each page must be numbered to facilitate review of papers; but final revised manuscripts must NOT have line numbers. Number all pages, including tables and figures. The manuscript must be between approximately 2,000 and 7,000 words.


Fine Focus will consider publishing original research articles, mini-reviews on topics of contemporary interest, and research notes over abbreviated work that adds to the greater body of knowledge in a specific sub-discipline of microbiology.  Fine Focus is published twice each year – in January and July.  Manuscripts are accepted and reviewed on a rolling basis. However, to be considered for each volume, the submission deadlines are Sept. 1 (for January publication) and March 1 (for July publication).


If interested in publishing in Fine Focus, at least one coauthor must be (at the time of manuscript submission) an undergraduate student actively engaged in research over which the paper is written.  The cover letter accompanying the manuscript must state this, and must also indicate that the manuscript is not being considered for publication elsewhere.  Authors must list, in their acknowledgements section, sources of outside funding, assistance with reagents, supplies, or procedures (including data analysis), and must state that the research is in compliance with federal regulations and institutional policies relating to human subjects, informed consent, animal care and use, recombinant DNA, and/or infectious agents, as appropriate.


Authors should be aware that decisions made by the Editorial Board and Editor of Fine Focus are final. No appeals will be considered for rejected manuscripts.


Document Organization:


Title Page:

The title page should include: title of the article; list of full names, institutional addresses, and email addresses of each author; indication of corresponding author should be noted; and a list of 3-5 key words should be placed at the bottom of the title page. Please note: The title should not include abbreviations.



Each abstract shall consist of a single paragraph composed of no more than 250 words. It will briefly outline the entire article, excluding methodology and should not contain reference citations.



The introduction should begin by giving the reader all the information needed to understand the article and why it is important and novel. This description should be as brief as possible, while still giving all pertinent information.


Materials & Methods:

The materials and methods should include a very detailed account of all procedures done and an explanation of why they were chosen. When finished, the reader should be able to replicate the experiments simply from the information given. No results or analyses should be included in this section. All sources and locations for vendors and suppliers should be listed.



There should be no interpretations or discussion of results in this section, but only the data itself. Many of the figures and tables should be in this section. Tables and figures must be numbered in the order in which they are mentioned in the text. All tables and figures must be cited in the text. Tables and figures reporting results should not be cited in the Materials and Methods section.



The discussion should consider the significance of the results in regards to the problem that is at hand and should also consider the significance in comparison to other research. This section will offer a synthesis of the author(s)’ conclusions based on their experimental data. 



These should be standard APA style with numerical in-text citations. They should be listed according to the order that they appear in the text. Examples are as follows:

  • Book Reference:

Author, A. A. (Year of publication). Title of work: Capital letter also for subtitle. Location: Publisher.

  • Journal Article Reference:

Author, A. A., Author, B. B., & Author, C. C. (Year). Title of article. Title of Periodical, volume number(issue number), pages.


Figures & Tables:

If submitting tables, the format must be XLS or DOC. Each table, comprising the title, body, and footnotes, must be typed double-spaced on a page separate from the text, following the Figure Legend or References.  Number tables consecutively as cited in the text. The title is brief but fully descriptive of the information in the table. Headings and subheadings must be concise; abbreviations are used. Use no vertical rules and only three full horizontal rules: under the title, under the box heads, and at the bottom of the table. Use italic superscript letters for footnotes. Similar data in columns reads down, not across. A well-organized table should be understandable without extensive reference to the text.


Common Abbreviations to be used:

Frequently used acceptable abbreviations are given below. For further details on abbreviations, see the current edition of the ASM Style Manual. Note that a period is used with some but not all abbreviations. Abbreviations of non-SI units (e.g., atm) must be followed by the corresponding converted quantity and SI unit in parentheses: 1 atm = 101.29 kPa. (Exception: lb/in2.)

ångström, Å

atmosphere, atm

base pairs, bp

British thermal unit, BTU

calorie, cal

centimeter, cm

CFU (never spelled out: colony-forming units)

cubic centimeter, cm3

day (no abbreviation)

degree Celsius, °C

degree Fahrenheit, °F

diameter, diam

enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, ELISA

equivalent weight, equiv wt

fluid ounce, fl oz

foot (feet), ft

gallon, gal

gram, g

gravity, g

hour(s), h

inch, in.

international unit, IU

intramuscular, i.m.

intraperitoneal, i.p.

intravenous, i.v.

kilocalorie, kcal

kilogram, kg

lux, lx

meter, m

microequivalent, μeq

microgram, μg

microliter, μl

micrometer, μm

micromole, μmol

milliequivalent, meq

milligram, mg

milliliter, ml

millimeter, mm

millimolar, mM

minute(s), min

molar, M

mole, mol

most probable number, MPN

nanometer, nm

normal, N

number, no.

parts per billion, ppb

parts per million, ppm

percent, %

PCR (never spelled out: polymerase chain reaction)

pound, lb

pounds per square inch, lb in2

revolutions per minute, rpm

second, s

species (singular), sp.

species (plural), spp.

specific activity, sp. act

UV (never spelled out:ultraviolet)

volume, vol

weight, wt


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. The submission has not been previously published, nor is it before another journal for consideration (or an explanation has been provided in Comments to the Editor).
  2. The submission file is in Microsoft Word document file format. The text is double-spaced; uses at least a 10-point font; and margins are at least 1-inch on all sides. Lines on each page are numbered.
  3. The text adheres to the stylistic and bibliographic requirements outlined in the Author Guidelines. The instructions in Ensuring a Blind Review have been followed.
  4. Any conflicts of interest have been noted in the comments section below.
  5. The work presented in this manuscript is in compliance with federal and institutional guidelines for animal care and use, human subjects, and/or biosafety/recombinant DNA, if applicable. All manuscripts are subject to relevant Indiana, Federal, and International Statutory Law. I have read the attached law and agree to submit to its provisions with regard to my submissions.
  6. At least one of the authors of this manuscript was an undergraduate at the time the work was completed.

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