Q: What is the difference between 'Institution' and 'Affiliation' in a journal submission form?

Detailed Question -

On a particular journal submission page, there are fields for ‘Institution’ (mandatory) and ‘Affiliation’ (optional). For ‘Institution,’ should I fill the name of the university or the company? For ‘Affiliation,’ should I fill the department name or the section name? Can you let me know the difference between ‘Institution’ and ‘Affiliation’?

1 Answer to this question

You have three questions. Let’s take them one by one, from bigger to smaller.

Institution vs Affiliation

Informally speaking, these terms are often used interchangeably. However, the difference is that ‘Institution’ is the research organization or university where you are presently working/studying and ‘Affiliation’ is the description of your association with the organization or university. When distinguished like this, ‘Institution’ refers to the name of the university/organization and ‘Affiliation’ refers to the department (or section, in case there are several sections within that department).

This distinction is done for various reasons:

  • In case the research was done via an organization different from one’s present organization (for whatever reason)
  • To allow the journal editor to identify peer reviewers that do not have the same affiliation, in order to avoid a conflict of interest

Entry for ‘Institution’

In the Institution field, you should enter the name of your present university or organization, where you are studying or working, as the case may be. As you mentioned ‘company,’ in case you are working in a corporate organization (in an industry job), you need to mention the name of this organization.

Entry for ‘Affiliation’

For the Affiliation field, you should enter the name of your department in your university/organization, and if space permits, you may include the section name too. In which case, you need to first include the section name and then the department name with a comma separating the two, like this: [Name of Section], [Name of Department]

Basically, you should provide your inputs in the form in such a manner that when the details of your name and affiliation appear in the article, it should read in the following sequence: [Your Name], [Name of Section], [Name of Department], [Name of Institution]

You may think of this like providing your address in an online delivery form, in the following sequence: Apartment, Building, Complex, Street, Area, City

Hope that helps. For more on affiliations, you may find the following previous queries of interest.

And for future submissions, you may wish to know more about our submission service here: Editage Journal Submission

All the best for your submission!