Highlights are short summaries of articles published in peer-reviewed journals.

Format of a highlight article

  • Less than 850 words for the complete document (i.e. title, summary, body, legends and references)
  • Title: different to the original publication, preferably shorter and suitable for non specialists
  • Lay summary: to explain to non specialists the aims of the work (length around 50 words)
  • Main body and images legends (length around 700 words)
  • Format: .doc, .docx or .rtf
  • Only 2 figures or images


Highlights are written for a scientific audience, but many of the readers will not be specialists in the same field. Accounts should be summarised and simplified where possible. The interested reader can consult the principal publication for the more intricate details. Space is limited in the printed Highlights publication to around a page and a half per article, therefore we request that the number of figures is limited to two. Image legends should be brief, and linked to from the main text with the following style, Figure 1 when explicit, or otherwise (Figure 2). The ESRF beamline on which work was carried out should be clearly identified.

The reference section should include the original publication’s title, author names, journal reference and doi. Also to be included is a list of author’s institutes and country. References contained in the principal publication do not need to be listed again here. The most useful references are those that highlight the authors previous work; it will help us if the format given below is used [1,2].

Principal publication and authors
Title, A.N. Author (a, b), A.N. Other (a), Journal 5, 101-108 (2015).
(a) Institute name, town (Country)
(b) Institute name, town (Country)

[1] A.N. Author et al., Journal 22, 111-116 (1999).
[2] A. Author, in Book Title, A. Editor, B. Editor (Eds.), Press, Location, 1-34 (2010).

Figure 1. Figure legends should be brief. The reader can always refer to the principal publication for more precision.

Figure 2. If multipart, label parts with (a), (b) etc. (a) Part one description. (b) Part two description.


Preparation of images

Images are usually printed with a maximum width of 12 cm, at 300 dpi. You are welcome to provide higher resolution. Scalable vectorial images are ideal (e.g. eps format). Otherwise, if you are making bitmap images, please create your images for this size and resolution, or higher. Please do not add a coloured background to charts or graphs. We prefer the formats TIF or EPS, but are able to use a variety of common image formats. If working with specialised software, then please export your images to pdf. To avoid loss of quality, please provide individual images, rather than including them within a text document. For images created in Powerpoint, please provide the original file.

Small images (e.g. less than 8 mb) can usually be sent as e-mail attachments, whereas larger images are best transferred using FTP. Consider making a zip archive of your files to simplify transfer. FTP instructions for authors external to the ESRF's computer systems are available on request.

Previous editions

Past highlights editions can be consulted for examples. But please note that for 2015 the format has changed slightly with addition of a lay summary and inclusion of the title of the principal publication.

An example Highlight article is  "Tuning the magnetism of 3d-metal phthalocyanine adlayers by electron doping".