IMWA - International Mine Water Association

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FAQs Text

Why should I avoid the term “Heavy Metals”

The term “Heavy Metals” has about 40 different definitions. Many publications even list arsenic or antimony in tables called “Heavy Metal Analyses” – but neither arsenic nor antimony is a metal at all! Because of that fact, we want you to avoid that term in your papers for “Mine Water and the Environment” and our proceedings. Please substitute the term by either “Metals”, “Potentially Toxic Elements”, “Metals and Semi-Metals” or whichever term is correct.

Read the following papers to understand our reason for this procedure:

PDFDuffus, J. H. (2002): “Heavy Metals” – A meaningless term? – Pure Appl. Chem., 74 (5): 793-807.
Pourret, O. & Hursthouse, A. (2019): It's Time to Replace the Term “Heavy Metals” with “Potentially Toxic Elements” When Reporting Environmental Research. – Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health, 16(22)  doi:10.3390/ijerph16224446.

The first paper is published here under the copyright of IUPAC©

If, and only if, you really want to use the term “heavy metal” in your paper, we would be glad if it only relates to the music style with the same name:

Martikainen, P., Korhonen, K. & Tarkiainen, L. (2021): Heavy metal toxicity and mortality—association between density of heavy metal bands and cause specific hospital admissions and mortality: population based cohort study. – BMJ, 375:e067633, doi:10.1136/bmj-2021-067633.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 21 December 2021 10:26

How shall I submit my document?

We prefer electronic submissions of your manuscript through our web based Editorial Manager software, which you can reach here.


Which common formating errors should I avoid?

There are several common typesetting, formatting and SI unit errors that we encounter. Therefore:

  • if you want to write “is equal to”, don’t use the ~ symbol, but ≈
  • use the correct symbol for degrees, which is Num Code 0176 (°) not Num Code 0186 (º). The latter is a small zero. Do not write deg C or just C.
  • delete all double spaces
  • remove all empty lines (don’t use them for formatting your text)
  • remove all double tabs (don’t use them for formatting your text)
  • for equations and formulas use the equation editor
  • the abbreviation for liter is a capital L, not a small l or(the latter commonly used in South Africa)
  • write “electrical conductivity” not only “conductivity” if you mean EC
  • write µS or mS instead of µMOHS, uMOHS or mMOHS. The Num Code for µ is 0181
  • don’t use paragraphs that consist of only one or two sentences
  • don’t use hard line or page breaks to format your text
  • the correct multiply sign is × (Num Code 0215), not the letter x
  • avoid “etc.” at the end of lists, but start your list with “e.g.” instead (in the first case the reader might think you didn't have more ideas and in the second case the reader assumes you thoroughly thought about your list and selected the most important items)
  • do not use a capital K for kilo. The capital K is used for the unit Kelvin. You need to use a lower case k instead: kg, km, kt, kJ. But use a capital M for mega, G for giga and so on
  • do not write ‘and/or’. This is bad English. Just write ‘or’ or substitute by another sentence
  • if you use Imperial units, equivalent SI units must be provided in parentheses (use the Measurement Converter Smart Tag in Microsoft Word)
  • do not write SI units in the long format (i.e. avoid “… TSS concentration of 25,000 milligrams per liter (mg/L) …” and use instead  “… TSS concentration of 25,000 mg/L …”)
  • use proper notation for scientific numbers. Instead of 0.16E-18 write 0.16 × 10-18
  • indicate decimal points with periods rather than commas (0.4 mg L-1 instead of 0,1 mg L-1)

Num Code can be reached with keystroke ALT + above mentioned 4 digit number code

Last Updated on Sunday, 08 December 2013 11:48

How to cite with DOIs?

A digital object identifier (DOI) can be used to cite and link to electronic documents. A DOI is guaranteed never to change, so you can use it to link permanently to electronic documents.

In your references list, you can use the paper's DOI for referencing purposes like that:

Wolkersdorfer C. 2004. Mine Water Literature in ISI’s Science Citation Index Expanded™. Mine Water and the Environment; 23(2):96-99. doi:10.1007/s10230-004-0046-y.

How to Open a document with a DOI?

  1. Copy the DOI of the document you want to open.

    The correct format for citing a DOI is as follows: doi:10.1007/s10230-004-0046-y

  2. Open the following DOI site in your browser:

  3. Enter the entire DOI citation in the text box provided, and then click Go.

The DOI scheme is administered by the International DOI Foundation. Many of the world's leading publishers have come together to build a DOI-based document linking scheme known as CrossRef.

(this is a modified text from

Last Updated on Tuesday, 15 January 2013 12:29

How shall I format my text?

Please don't format your text at all. Remove your section numbering. In general, papers should be written concisely in the past tense, and should generally not exceed ≈ 5000 words. Use the Times New Roman 11 point font. Italics and boldface fonts may be used, if desired. If English units are used, equivalent SI units must be provided in parentheses. Furthermore, you should indicate decimal points with periods rather than commas.

Last Updated on Thursday, 23 December 2010 00:21

What shall I do with the hyperlinks in my text?

All hyperlinks (e.g. to figures, tables, references, internet ressources) must be removed before final submittal of your manuscript. If you use MS Word, please do the following:

  • Press CTRL+A
  • Press F9
  • Press CTRL+SHIFT+F9
Last Updated on Wednesday, 26 January 2011 16:54

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