Laws — Instructions for Authors

Please first read the section 'Aims & Scope' to have an overview, and to assess if your manuscript is suitable for this journal.


Please use the MS Word template or LaTeX template to prepare your paper.

Submission of Manuscripts

  • Submission Process: Manuscripts for Laws should be submitted online at To submit your manuscript, register and log in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form for Laws.
  • Accepted File Formats:
    • Microsoft Word: Manuscript prepared in MS Word must be converted into a single file before submission. When preparing manuscripts in MS Word, the Laws Microsoft Word template file must be used. Please do not insert any graphics (schemes, figures, etc.) into a movable frame which can superimpose the text and make the layout very difficult.
    • LaTeX: Manuscripts prepared in LaTeX must be zipped into one ZIP folder (include all source files and images, so that the Editorial Office can modify the manuscript before peer-review, if needed). Ensure to send a copy of your manuscript as a PDF file also, if you decided to use LaTeX. When preparing manuscripts in LaTeX, please use the Laws LaTeX template files. Preparing and submitting manuscripts using writeLaTeX: You can now prepare your LaTeX manuscripts online using the writeLaTeX application. MDPI LaTeX template files are provided in the writeLaTeX template gallery. Papers can be directly submitted to this journal from writeLaTeX.
  • Coverletter: Please provide a short cover letter where you detail the reasons why the editors of Laws should consider your paper for publication in this journal. Check if the English corrections are done before submission.
  • Note Regarding Conference Papers: Expanded and high quality conference papers are also considered in Laws if they fulfill the following requirements: (1) The paper should be expanded to the size of a research article. (2) The conference paper should be cited and mentioned as a note on the first page of the paper. (3) If the authors do not hold the copyright to the published conference paper, authors should seek the appropriate permission from the copyright holder. (4) Authors are asked to disclose the conference paper in their cover letter including a statement on what has been changed compared to the conference paper.

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Manuscript Preparation

  • Paper Format: A4 paper format, the printing area is 17.5 cm x 26.2 cm. The margins should be 1.75 cm on each side of the paper (top, bottom, left, and right sides). There is no page limit.
  • Formatting / Style: The paper style of Laws should be followed. You may download a template file from Laws homepage to prepare your paper. It is not necessary to follow the manuscript structure showed in the template file for review papers. The full titles and the cited papers must be given. Reference numbers should be placed in square brackets [ ], and placed before the punctuation; for example [4] or [1-3], and all the references should be listed separately and as the last section at the end of the manuscript.
  • Reference Formatting: All the references mentioned in the text should be listed separately as the last section at the end of the manuscript, and be numbered consecutively throughout the paper. Do not repeat references in the reference list for citations with different pagination (i.e. if you cite Chapter 1 and Chapter 7 of the same book, list the book as one reference in the reference list). Reference numbers should be placed in square brackets [ ], and placed before the punctuation; for example [4] or [1-3]. For embedded citations in the text with pagination, use both parentheses and brackets to indicate the reference number and page numbers. The page range is preceded by a comma; for example ([5], p. 10). or ([6], pp. 101–105). For the bibliography the Chicago style should be used, for more information download our Chicago Reference List and Citations Style Guide.
  • Reference Preparation: References should preferably be prepared with a bibliography software package, such as Zotero, EndNote or ReferenceManager. If references are prepared manually they must be checked for integrity and correctness. The Editorial Office reserves the right to charge 10 CHF (Swiss Francs) per reference for which extensive corrections must be made.
  • Authors List and Affiliation Format: Authors' full first and last names must be given. Abbreviated middle name can be added. For papers written by various contributors a corresponding author must be designated. The following format is used for affiliations: Department, University, Address, ZIP code, City, Country, and email address should be added. All authors who contributed significantly to the manuscript (including writing a section) should be listed on the first page of the manuscript, below the title of the article. Other parties, who provided only minor contributions, should be listed under Acknowledgments only. A minor contribution might be a discussion with the author, reading through the draft of the manuscript, or performing English corrections.
  • Abstract and Keywords: The abstract should be prepared as one paragraph (about 200 words). A list of three to ten keywords must be given, and placed after the Abstract.
  • Figures, Schemes and Tables: Authors are encouraged to prepare figures and schemes in color. Full color graphics will be published free of charge. Figure and schemes must be numbered (Figure 1, Scheme I, Figure 2, Scheme II, etc.) and a explanatory title must be added. Tables should be inserted into the main text, and numbers and titles for all tables supplied. All table columns should have an explanatory heading. Please supply legends for all figures, schemes and tables. The legends should be prepared as a separate paragraph of the main text and placed in the main text before a table, a figure or a scheme.
  • Abstract/Table of Contents Graphic: Authors are encouraged to provide a graphical representation of the paper (in either JPEG, GIF, PNG or PDF format) to be used as a graphic of the paper, along with the abstract, on the Table of Contents. The graphic should not exceed 500 pixels width/height. As an example, authors may review the abstract graphic of following papers:
  • Electronic Supplementary Information (ESI): Conference slides, video sequences, software, etc., can be included with the submission and published as supplementary material. Please read the information about Supplementary Material Deposit beneath.

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Authorship and Authors Contributions

For research articles with more than one author, authors are asked to prepare a short, one paragraph statement giving the individual contribution of each co-author to the reported research and writing of the paper. The paragraph should be titled "Author Contributions" and placed in the paper after the "Acknowledgment" section and before the "Conflicts of Interest" statement.

Only major contributors should be listed as authors. Those with small or technical contributions can be mentioned in the Acknowledgment section. Authors themselves are responsible for the correct identification and attribution of authorship. According to the COPE standard, to which this journal adheres, "all authors should agree to be listed and should approve the submitted and accepted versions of the publication. Any change to the author list should be approved by all authors including any who have been removed from the list. The corresponding author should act as a point of contact between the editor and the other authors and should keep co-authors informed and involve them in major decisions about the publication (e.g. responding to reviewers’ comments)." [1]

  1. Wager, E.; Kleinert, S. Responsible research publication: international standards for authors. A position statement developed at the 2nd World Conference on Research Integrity, Singapore, July 22-24, 2010. In Promoting Research Integrity in a Global Environment; Mayer, T., Steneck, N., eds.; Imperial College Press / World Scientific Publishing: Singapore; Chapter 50, pp. 309-16.

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Peer-Review and Editorial Procedure

Initial Check

All submitted manuscripts are received by the Editorial Office. The in-house Managing Editor will perform a preliminary check of the manuscript to assess if: it suits the scope of the journal, whether it is properly prepared, and whether the manuscript follows the ethical policies of the journal. In case of doubt, the Managing Editor may consult with the journals’ Editor-in-Chief or an Editorial Board member. Manuscripts that do not fit the journal or are not in line with our ethical policy may be rejected before peer-review. Manuscripts that are not properly prepared will be returned to the authors for revision and resubmission.

Expert Peer-Review

Once a manuscript passes the initial check, it will be assigned to several independent experts for peer-review. A single-blind peer-review process is applied, where authors names are revealed to reviewers. Experts may include past and present Editorial Board members and Guest Editors of the journal. However, we also actively seek other experts, which are identified during literature searches. Potential referees suggested by the authors are also carefully considered. As a general rule, referees should not have published with one or more of the co-authors during the past five years and should not currently work or collaborate with one of the institutes of the co-authors of the manuscript under consideration. At least two expert opinions will be collected for each manuscript.

Revisions and Editorial Decision

Based on the comments from the outside referees, the Editorial Office will usually ask the authors for minor or major revisions. If the comments are either very positive or very negative, the Editorial Office may directly ask the academic editor (usually the Editor-in-Chief or a Guest Editor) for a decision. Otherwise, the manuscript will be sent back to the authors for minor or major revisions. In case of minor revisions, the Editorial Office will ask the academic editor for a final decision on the revised version of the manuscript. In case of major revisions, the manuscript will usually be sent back to one or more of the outside referees before sending the paper to the academic editor for a decision. We allow a maximum of two rounds of major revisions.

Author Appeals

Authors may appeal editorial decisions by sending an e-mail to the Editorial Office of the journal. The Managing Editor of the journal will forward the manuscript and relating information (including the identities of the referees) to an appropriate Editorial Board member of the journal. If no appropriate Editorial Board member is available, the editor will identify a suitable external scientist. The Editorial Board member may judge the paper by himself or request additional expert opinions to judge the manuscript. The Editorial Board member will be asked to give an advisory recommendation on the manuscript. If the manuscript is rejected based on the Editorial Board member review, the decision will be final and cannot be revoked.

Production and Publication

Once accepted, a manuscript will undergo our standard production procedure. This entails professional copy-editing of the paper, English editing, proofreading by the authors, final corrections, pagination and publication on the website.

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Peer-Review / Referees

During the submission process, authors can suggest potential referees with the appropriate expertise to review the manuscript. The editors will not necessarily approach these referees. Please provide as detailed contact information as possible (address, homepage, phone, e-mail address). The proposed referees should be experts in the field who can provide an objective report—they should not be current collaborators of the co-authors nor have published with any of the co-authors of the manuscript within the last 5 years. Proposed referees should be from different institutions to the authors. You may identify appropriate Editorial Board members of the journal as potential referees. Another possibility is to select referees from among the authors that you frequently cite in your paper.

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English Corrections

This journal is published in English, so it is essential that for proper refereeing and quick publication all manuscripts are submitted in grammatically correct English. If you are not a native English speaker, we strongly recommend that you have your manuscript professionally edited before submission or read by a native English-speaking colleague. Professional editing will mean that reviewers are better able to read and assess your manuscript. An additional fee of 250 CHF (Swiss Francs) will be paid by authors if extensive English corrections must be done by the Editorial Office. For additional information see the English Editing Guidelines for Authors.

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Publication Ethics Statement

Laws is a member of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE). The editors of this journal take the responsibility to enforce a rigorous peer-review process together with strict ethical policies and standards to ensure to add high quality scientific works to the field of scholarly publication. Unfortunately, cases of plagiarism, data falsification, image manipulation, inappropriate authorship credit, and the like, do arise. The editors of Laws take such publishing ethics issues very seriously and are trained to proceed in such cases with a zero tolerance policy.

Authors wishing to publish their papers in Laws are asked to abide to the following rules:

  • Authorship and authors' contributions to the paper need to be fully and accurately disclosed.
  • Any facts that might be perceived as a possible conflict of interest of the author(s) need to be disclosed in the paper prior to submission.
  • All funding of the research needs to be precisely disclosed.
  • Authors should accurately present their research findings and include an objective discussion of the significance of their findings.
  • Data and methods used in the research need to be presented in sufficient detail in the paper, so that other researchers can replicate the work.
  • Raw data should preferably be publicly deposited by the authors before submission of their manuscript. At least, authors need to have the raw data readily available for presentation to the referees and the editors of the journal, if requested. Authors need to ensure appropriate measures are taken so that raw data is retained in full for a reasonable time after publication.
  • Plagiarism, data fabrication and image manipulation are not tolerated. Simultaneous submission of manuscripts to more than one journal is not tolerated.
  • Republishing content that is not novel is not tolerated (for instance, an English translation of a paper that is already published in another language is not tolerated).
  • If errors and inaccuracies are found by the authors after publication of their paper, those need to be promptly communicated to the editors of this journal, so that editors can issue a correction, amendment or retraction of the paper.

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Supplementary Material and Data Deposit

In order to maintain the integrity, transparency and reproducibility of research records, authors are strongly encouraged to make their experimental and research data openly available either by depositing into data repositories or by publishing the data and files as supplementary information in this journal. Supplementary data and files can be uploaded as "Supplementary Files" during the manuscript submission process. The supplementary files will be offered to the referees as part of the peer-review process, although referees are not specifically asked to review supplementary files. Accepted file formats include (but are not limited to):

  • data tables and spreadsheets (text files, MS Excel, OpenOffice, CSV, XML, etc.)
  • text documents (text files, PDF, MS Word, OpenOffice, etc.; text documents will be preferably converted to PDF files for the publication)
  • images (JPEG, PNG, GIF, TIFF, BMP, etc.)
  • videos (AVI, MPG, QuickTime, etc.)
  • executables (EXE, Java, etc.)
  • software source code

Large data sets and files should be deposited to specialized service providers (such as Figshare) or institutional/subject repositories, preferably those that use the DataCite mechanism. For a list of specialized repositories for the deposit of scientific and experimental data, please consult or The data repository name, link to the data set (URL) and accession number, doi or handle number of the data set must be provided in the paper. The journal Data (ISSN 2306-5729) is also accepting submissions of data set papers, and the publication of small data sets and/or software source code along with the paper is encouraged.

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Submission to the Social Science Research Network (SSRN)

Authors of papers in the fields of social sciences are encouraged to send the final, published version of their papers to the Social Science Research Network (SSRN,

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Laws EISSN 2075-471X Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert