Molecular Cell Cover Letter

Molecular Biology of the Cell

Instructions for Authors

Updated Feb. 2, 2018

Molecular Biology of the Cell (MBoC) is an online journal published twice monthly and owned by the American Society for Cell Biology (ASCB). Unredacted accepted manuscripts are freely accessible immediately through MBoC In Press. Final published versions are freely accessible two months after publication at MBoC is also available online through PubMed Central, sponsored by the U.S. National Library of Medicine. Access earlier than two months is available through subscription or membership in the ASCB.

All manuscript submissions are peer-reviewed before being accepted for publication. In submitting a manuscript to MBoC, authors affirm that the manuscript is not being submitted elsewhere, that it contains new and unpublished information, and that all authors have read and approved the manuscript. Previously published material will not be considered. The following activities prior to submission of a manuscript to MBoC do not constitute prior publication and do not preclude consideration of the manuscript by MBoC: publication of a short abstract; presentation of data at a scientific meeting or in a Webcast of such a meeting; or posting of a manuscript on an author's personal website, in an online institutional repository, or on a freely accessible preprint server such as arXiv or bioRxiv. Publication of a paper in the proceedings of a scientific meeting generally does constitute prior publication. Authors should include copies of all closely related publications with their submission to MBoC. A closely related publication is one that is in press or has been submitted elsewhere and includes some or all of the data presented in the manuscript submitted to MBoC.

Authors are required to submit manuscripts electronically through MBoC's Web-based submission site at MBoCassesses publication charges to authors of accepted manuscripts to offset a portion of the publication costs. The ASCB will consider a partial waiver of publication charges to member authors who have no source of funding for publication.

Scope of MBoC
Formats for Research Findings
Preparing a Manuscript for Initial Submission
Preparing a Revised Manuscript for Submission
Preparing Figures for Publication in MBoC
Standards for Preparing Supplemental Material for MBoC
Supplying Reviews and Decision Letters from Other Journals
Electronic Submission of Manuscripts
Peer Review Procedure
Special Policies

Scope of MBoC

MBoC publishes research articles that report the results of original research and present conceptual advances of broad interest and significance within all areas of cell biology, genetics, and developmental biology. Submission of manuscripts whose scope bridges several areas of cell and developmental biology is particularly encouraged.

MBoC does not, in general, publish articles that are narrow in scope and better suited to more specialized journals, merely confirmatory or preliminary reports of partially completed or incompletely documented research, findings of as yet uncertain significance, or reports that simply document well-known processes in organisms or cell types not previously studied. Manuscripts dealing principally with describing behavior or modification of specific transcription factors, or analysis of the promoter elements through which they interact, will not generally be considered unless accompanied by information supporting in vivo relevance or broad significance.

Submissions that report novel methodologies are encouraged, particularly when the technology will be widely useful, when it will significantly accelerate progress within the field, or when it reveals a new result of biological significance. Given the scope of MBoC, relevant methodologies include (but are not limited to) those based on imaging, biochemistry, computational biology, and recombinant DNA technology.

Authors should include with their manuscript submissions all previously unpublished data and methods essential to support the conclusions drawn.

Formats for Research Findings

MBoC publishes research findings in two formats:

Brief Reports are short articles on findings that represent a conceptual advance for the field or that enable or stimulate progress in the field. After the initial peer review and the submission of a revised manuscript by the authors, the Monitoring Editor will decide whether to accept or reject the manuscript without again consulting the reviewers.

Brief Reports are expected to meet these criteria:

  • 1. Display items: limited to five (figures and tables)
  • 2. Length: The total length of a Brief Report is limited to 20,000 characters (not counting spaces). The character count applies to all sections of the manuscript except the Materials and Methods and References. The number of characters should be listed on the title page.
  • 3. Supplementary Material: limited to four display items (figures, tables, and videos).
  • 4. Organization: Title Page, Abstract, Introduction, Results and Discussion (combined into one section), Materials and Methods, Acknowledgements, References, Figure Legends, and Tables.

Articles are more extensive reports of research findings that describe substantial research progress in full. MBoC places a premium on Articles that present conceptual advances of wide interest or deep mechanistic understanding of important cellular processes.

Although authors of Articles are encouraged to write clearly and concisely, there is no formal limit on the length of the text, the number of figures and tables, or the amount of supplemental material.

For both Brief Reports and Articles, authors are asked to include as many references as appropriate and are encouraged to cite primary literature in favor of reviews to give credit to the group(s) who first reported a finding.

ASCB Policy on Research Misconduct by Authors

By submitting a paper to MBoC, an author acknowledges that he or she is subject to the ASCB Policy on Research Misconduct by Authors. The policy is posted at

MBoC Guidelines to Promote Research Reproducibility

The MBoC Editorial Board has developed a checklist that authors, reviewers, and editors can use to promote reproducibility by ensuring that work submitted to the journal is carefully conceived, analyzed, and presented. (See the Editorial in the September 15, 2016, issue for more information.) During the submission process, authors will be asked to confirm that their article conforms to recommendations on the checklist or, if it does not, to provide an explanation.

Preparing a Manuscript for Initial Submission

For initial submission, manuscripts may be in any reasonable journal format. They should include a methods section and references but need not be organized like MBoC articles. However, Brief Reports must conform from the outset to the limits on length and number of display items, both in the text and as supplementary material (1–3 in the list in “Formats for Research Findings,” above)

For initial submissions, figures should appear on single pages together with their figure legends. The manuscript and figures can be compiled into a single PDF or the manuscript and figures can be uploaded in individual files.

Preparing a Revised Manuscript for Submission

Because they are more likely than initial submissions to be accepted without change, revised manuscripts must be submitted in the format described here.

General Instructions
All manuscripts submitted to MBoC should be written in clear, concise, and proper English. Every effort should be made to be brief; however, all essential data and methods should be presented. Each section of a manuscript serves a different purpose and authors should avoid repetition between sections (e.g., results should not be summarized in the Introduction nor repeated in the Discussion). Manuscripts are subject to editing to ensure conformity to editorial standards and journal style. Consult the Council of Science Editors’ style manual, Scientific Style and Format, 7th ed., for general manuscript guidelines, along with recent issues of the journal for specific style and format.

Organizing the Manuscript
The manuscript should be organized into the following sections: Title Page, Abstract, Introduction, Results, Discussion, Materials and Methods, Acknowledgments, References, Tables, Figure Legends, and Figures. For Brief Reports, Results and Discussion should be combined into one section. Authors are encouraged to be succinct and to avoid repetition between sections (e.g., summarizing findings in Introduction, repeating results in Discussion). If authors feel strongly that their paper is best presented in a different, they should explain in their cover letter.

Title Page. Include the following information:

Title. Provide an informative and concise title that describes the topic of the manuscript in terms understandable to a broad readership.

Authors. Provide full names of authors. Use lowercase superscript letters to denote affiliations. Use symbols to denote corresponding author(s), co-first authors or authors contributing equally, current mailing addresses, and other relevant information. Letters and then symbols appear immediately after an author’s surname and before the comma when authors are listed in a series. Always use * for the corresponding author(s) and then only the following footnote symbols in this order: †, ‡, §, ||, ¶, #, and @.

Affiliations. Provide complete addresses of all affiliations. Map affiliations to authors with footnote symbols (see above).

Running Head. Provide a running head fewer than 40 characters.

Abbreviations.List only nonstandard abbreviations that are used three or more times in the text.

Abstract. State the problem, summarize the key findings, and state interpretations and conclusions in 200 words or less.

Introduction. Summarize briefly the relevant background, the specific issue or question to be approached, and the experimental tactics. This section should not summarize the findings.

Results. Present, in a logical order, the experiments and data that support the conclusions to be elaborated in the Discussion. All essential data should be presented. References to "data not shown" are strongly discouraged. Rather, supportive data that is not critical to the major finding can be published online as Supplemental Material. Particular care should be taken to report findings without extensive interpretations, extended lines of inference, arguments, or speculations.

Discussion (1,800 words). Propose interpretation of the results and place the findings in a larger context. Some degree of speculation, provided it is supported by the data or the published literature, is the prerogative of the authors.

Materials and Methods. Describe in detail any new experimental protocols and indicate the origin of any unusual or special materials, tissue, cell lines, or organisms; genotypes should here be given in full. It is appropriate in this section to include most of the technical details and to provide data to support the identity or purity of reagents (e.g., manufacturer’s catalog numbers for all critical reagents, specificity of an antibody preparation), the reliability of methods (e.g., linearity of an assay), the sensitivity of an instrument, or the essential features of a genotype. For standard procedures, the original references should be cited and any modifications to these published procedures indicated. Interested readers should be able to reproduce the experiments relying solely on the manuscript and cited publications.

These websites may provide useful cell, antibody, and reagent information and resources: Antibodypedia (, 1DegreeBio (, ICLAC (, NCBI Biosample (

The Results,Discussion, and Materials and Methods sections may be subdivided further if subheadings give the manuscript more clarity.

Acknowledgments. Acknowledge dedications, contributions from others, and funding sources.

References. Only articles published or in press should be listed in the References section. Preprints on BioRxiv, ArXiv, or a similar site may be listed. Because preprints can be updated at any time, the author should indicate which version he or she is citing (e.g., by including the date and time). Also, when submitting a revised version of a manuscript in which a preprint is cited, an author should check for a more recent version of the preprint (or a version that has been published in a journal) and update the citation after confirming that it is still appropriate to reference that work. References should contain complete titles and inclusive page numbers and should be listed in alphabetical order. For references with 10 authors or fewer, list all authors. For references with more than 10 authors, list the first 10 authors followed by "et al." Abbreviate journal titles according to the National Library of Medicine ( or the most recent issue of BIOSIS Serial Sources. Unpublished results, including personal communications and submitted manuscripts, should be cited as such in the text. Personal communications may be quoted only with the agreement of the person cited.

Because MBoC seeks to promote thorough documentation and scholarship and has no page limits, authors are strongly encouraged to cite primary sources rather than review articles. Citations to review articles should generally be reserved for topics that are tangential to the main topic of the manuscript or for review articles that introduced important new concepts.


Journal Article:

Rottner K, Hall A, Small JV (1999). Interplay between Rac and in the control of substrate contact dynamics. Curr Biol 9, 640–648.


Ferry JD (1980).Viscoelastic Properties of Polymers, : John Wiley & Sons.

Book Chapter:

Smith M, Croft S (1991).Embedding and thin section preparation. In: Electron Microscopy in Biology, ed. J. R. Harris, : Press, 17–37.

Web Site:

Agatep R, Kirkpatrick RD, Parchaliuk DL, Woods RA, Gietz RD (1998).Transformation of Saccharomycescerevisiae by the lithium acetate/single-stranded carrier D.N.A/polyethylene glycol (LiAc/ss-D.N.A/P.E.G) protocol.Technical Tips Online. Available at: Search for “lithium acetate” from the opening page. Accessed May 2, 2003

Reference Callouts in Text. Cite in the text by name and date and arrange multiple callouts chronologically.


(Beckerleet al., 1987)

(Smith et al., 1987; Nagafuchi and Takeichi, 1989).

Identifying Co-first Authors in References. There is growing concern in the scientific community that researchers who contribute equally to a paper and are identified as “co-first authors” do not always receive recognition for their contributions beyond being identified with a footnote in the published article. For example, their equal contributions are not typically noted when their papers are cited. To help address this problem, MBoC has introduced a method for identifying co-first authors in citations. Authors of paper published in MBoC are encouraged to voluntarily mark co-first authors in the References sections of their manuscripts. This should be done by setting the appropriate names in boldface in the final version of the manuscript. The names will appear in boldface in the published article together with a footnote to alert the reader to the significance of the boldface names. In addition, names of all first authors (there can be more than two) should be included in in-text citations (e.g., Smith, Jones, et al., 2010, instead of Smith et al., 2010).

In addition to its effort to identify co-first authors in References, MBoC will highlight co-first authors of articles it publishes by listing all first authors in the running foot on the PDF version of their article and on the copyright line.

Tables. Tables should be separate from the text and self-explanatory. Do not use vertical rules. Label each table at the top with an Arabic numeral followed by the table title. Insert explanatory material and footnotes below the table. Supply units of measure in the heads of columns.

Table Callouts in Text. Tables should be called out in numerical order. Capitalize “Table” when called out in text. Cite tables using Arabic numerals.

Figure Legends. Figure legends should provide a general overview of the figure, followed by explanations of specific parts, if necessary. Begin the legend with “Figure” and the figure's Arabic numeral in bold. Do not indent. Type the legend in regular, not bold, text. Use uppercase letters to identify parts in the legend and in the figure.


Figure 6. Dynamics of SR1/atSRp34-YFP during mitosis in living root epidermal cells. (A) A cell (arrow) just before nuclear envelope breakdown. (B and C) In prophase, as the nuclear envelope breaks down, the splicing factors enter the cytoplasm. (D) In metaphase, splicing factors are diffusely distributed in the cytoplasm. (E–J) Splicing factors are reentering into daughter nuclei. Newly forming speckles are observed in telophase nuclei (arrows in F–I). Bar, 5 µm.

Figure Callouts in Text. Figures should be called out in numerical order. Capitalize and spell out “Figure” when called out in text. Cite figures using Arabic numerals. Use uppercase letters for multiple parts of a single figure.


Figure 1; Figures 1–3; Figure 1, A and B; Figures 2A and 3C; Figure 3, A–D

Preparing Figures for Publication in MBoC

General Information

The data shown in figures should satisfy the following conditions:

  • The data were obtained and processed according to the field’s best practice and are presented to reflect the results of the experiments in an accurate and unbiased manner.
  • Figure panels include only data points, measurements or observations that can be compared to each other in a scientifically meaningful way.
  • Graphs include clearly labeled error bars for independent experiments and sample sizes. Unless justified, error bars should not be shown for technical replicates.
  • If n less than 5, the individual data points from each experiment should be plotted and any statistical test employed should be justified
  • Source Data should be included to report the data underlying graphs.

All figures must be prepared digitally and conform to the specifications described under Resolution of Digital Figures. Multiple panels in a figure should be laid out and appear together on a single page. For initial submission, the figures should be combined into a single, merged PDF document with the manuscript text. Where possible, the figure legend should be placed on the same page as the figure. However, for submission of a revised manuscript each figure must be uploaded as a separate file. Before a manuscript is officially accepted for publication, figures will be evaluated by MBoC publications staff for compliance to MBoC standards. These suggestions provide the easiest way for authors to submit publication-quality figures successfully to MBoC. Authors will be asked to modify figures that do not follow the standards.

For review, figure resolution needs to be no greater than 150 dpi.

RGB Mode Color Figures. Because MBoC is an online journal, authors are requested to prepare color digital artwork in RGB mode rather than CMYK mode.

Software for Preparing Digital Art. Because the quality of artwork reproduction is important, MBoC requires that all artwork be prepared using professional graphic art software. Word processing and presentation software packages (such as Word and PowerPoint) are inadequate for preparing high-quality digital artwork. A digital image (gel, autoradiograph, micrograph, etc.) should not be manipulated to enhance one part of the image relative to another or to remove any potentially relevant features. Brightness, contrast, or color may be uniformly (not selectively) adjusted as long as no potentially important information is obscured.

Figure File Types. For revised manuscripts, figure files should be in .tif, .eps, or .pdf format. Files in .eps or .pdf formats must have their fonts embedded, and the images in them must meet the resolution requirements below.

Figure Size. Prepare figures at the size they are to be published.

Up to 1 column wide: Figure width should be 4.23–8.47 cm

1 to 1.5 columns wide: Figure width should be 10.16–11.43 cm

2 columns wide: Figure width should be 14.39–17.57 cm

The figure height must be ≤ 23.5 cm.

Color Mode. Save all color figures in RGB mode at 8 bits/channel.

File Size. Be mindful of file sizes:

1. Crop out all extraneous white space.
2. Use RGB color mode for color images only; use Grayscale for images not containing color.
3. Avoid excessive use of imbedded color.
4. Select the LZW compression option when saving tif files in Photoshop; this is a lossless compression mechanism.

Locants and Labels. Locants and labels can be between 1.5 and 2 mm high. Use uppercase locants. Wherever possible, place locants and labels within the figures.

Line Images. Prepare line drawings at one-column width (≤ 8.47 cm) or less if the graph or histogram is relatively simple. Symbols should be at least 1 mm high and large enough to be distinguishable from the lines connecting them.

Gels. Reduce each gel image to a lane width of between 4 and 5 mm. Prepare images of gels at the size they are to be published.

1 to 5 lanes 4.23 cm

6 to 15 lanes ≤ 8.47 cm

>15 lanes 10.16-17.57 cm

Gel labels should be at least 1.5 to 2 mm high after preparation at the appropriate column width. Labeling should be sufficiently compact to avoid large blank spaces around gel lanes. Separate groups of lanes should be separated by no more than 3 mm.

Authors may delete or crop irrelevant parts of a gel image (such as blank lanes) but should explicitly describe such manipulations in the figure legend and should add lines to the image to show where sections have been deleted.

Figure Parts. Figure parts should be separated by no more than 3 mm.

Micrographs. Micrographs should be carefully cropped to emphasize the main point of the image. Blank background areas and irrelevant or repetitive material should be cropped out. Micrographs or groups of micrographs must show scale bars. Define scale bars in the figure legend.

Use of Color
Although there is no charge for color figures, authors should be judicious in their use of color. Color should not be used when data can be clearly presented in black and white.

When color must be used, authors are encouraged to present color figures in a manner that will allow the data to be interpreted by colorblind readers. In particular, many colorblind readers are unable to interpret dual-labeled micrographs presented in green and red because the red is hard to distinguish from the black background and the yellow that represents the merge is impossible to distinguish from the green signal. MBoC suggests that authors present dual-labeled images in green and magenta rather than in green and red so that the merge will be represented by white and the colors will be easily distinguished by most colorblind readers. Green/magenta images can be generated from green/red images in Photoshop by copying the red channel into the blue channel. Alternatively, authors may wish to consider showing the red and green panels in grayscale, which can both assist colorblind readers and provide better contrast resolution for all readers. See the website of the Jfly data depository for Drosophila researchers ( for more information on how to make figures and presentations that are intelligible to a colorblind audience.

Resolution of Digital Figures
For initial submission and peer review, a merged PDF file of the manuscript and figures is preferred, and figure resolution should be ≤ 150 dpi. For revised manuscripts, prepare final, publication-quality figures according to the following specifications:

Type of figure

Minimum resolution

Line Art

600 dpi


300 dpi

Combinations (line art and grayscale)

300 dpi


300 dpi

Standards for Preparing Supplemental Material for MBoC

Minimizing the Number of Supplemental Material Files
For the convenience of reviewers and readers, authors should minimize the number of data supplement files to be uploaded with their manuscript by combining multiple figures, tables, and textual elements into single files where possible.

Create videos using QuickTime Version 4.0 or higher. Save each video as a self-contained file. Video filenames should clearly correspond to the figure they represent (e.g., or indicate order of placement (e.g., All videos should be submitted at the desired reproduction size. For best viewing, limit frame size to approximately 450 × 375 pixels. Avoid lengthy files.

Indicate clearly in text when a figure has a video associated with it and the name of the corresponding video file. If the video is not associated with a figure, please include a one- or two-sentence description for the video. Submit videos through the online submission system. In the MBoC online submission system, a text field is provided for the video description. The MBoC production system will insert, at the site of the video’s mention in the HTML version of the text, a widget from which the reader can launch the video.

Large Data Sets
Large data sets (those too large to be submitted comfortably for print publication) must be submitted through the online submission system for peer review and inclusion in the online version of MBoC. Each file should be prepared as a PDF, Excel, or text (.txt) file (no Word or PowerPoint files).

Supplying Reviews and Decision Letters from Other Journals

It may be possible to expedite review of a manuscript that has been previously reviewed by another journal if the authors provide (as supplemental material) the reviewers' comments, the editor's disposition letter, and a letter responding to the reviews and stating what changes have been made to the manuscript. The authors must certify that they are sending all reviews and that the reviews and disposition letter are unaltered. Authors should be aware that the previous reviews and disposition letter may be shown to new reviewers. The use of such material in evaluating the manuscript is at the sole discretion of the Monitoring Editor.

Electronic Submission of Manuscripts

All manuscripts and figures must be submitted electronically using the MBoC Web-based manuscript submission system. Go to and select the "Author Log On" button. Authors using the system for the first time should follow the online instructions for setting up an author account.

The following materials should be uploaded as separate files:

  • The cover letter
  • For initial submission, a merged PDF file consisting of manuscript text, tables, and figures (If you are unable to create a merged PDF, submit files individually and they will be merged automatically by the online system. However, authors should note that this can be a lengthy process. Submitting an already-merged PDF will be much more efficient.)
  • For a revised manuscript, a separate manuscript file in .doc or .rtf format and a separate file for each figure, in .tif, .eps, or .pdf format
  • A Highlight Summary of no more than 350 characters. This summary will appear in the table of contents if your article is published
  • Supplemental Material files for videos or large data sets (see information under Large Data Sets for files >10 MB)
  • PDFs of closely related manuscripts in press or submitted elsewhere the content of which should be available to the Editorial Board and Reviewers.
  • Letters from individuals cited in personal communications, approving the wording of citations.

After files have been received successfully, authors will receive a manuscript number. Submission is not complete until authors approve the submitted files. Questions regarding submitted manuscripts should be directed to the Journal Production Manager at

Peer Review Procedure

The manuscript submission and peer review process consists of the following steps:

1. The Corresponding Author (or someone on his/her behalf) submits a manuscript. Do not list the Corresponding Author as a Contributing Author. Editorial staff assumes the order of authors you choose is correct.

2. The Editor-in-Chief assigns an Editor or Associate Editor with knowledge of the manuscript subject to handle the manuscript as Monitoring Editor (ME).

3. Each manuscript is subjected to a two-tiered review system. The ME will first assess the manuscript to determine whether it is, in principle, suitable for publication in MBoC.

a) The ME will recommend that a manuscript be declined without further review if it is deemed unsuitable based either on its failure to meet the standards set by MBoC's Scope and Philosophy or on significant scientific flaws. In this case, the opinion of a second Editorial Board member will be sought. Authors will be quickly informed of the decision and rationale, typically within one week. Authors cannot appeal a decision to decline without further review and are instead encouraged to seek publication elsewhere.

b) If the manuscript is, in principle, acceptable for publication in MBoC, the ME assigns at least two potential Reviewers who are experts in the field and who will advise the ME as to the suitability of the manuscript for publication. Authors are encouraged to recommend appropriate referees and/or provide names of referees who should be excluded due to potential conflicts of interest. However, these are recommendations and the ME will assign referees at his or her discretion.

4. The Reviewers accept or decline to review the manuscript.

5. Once Reviewers are secured, they are asked to submit their reviews to the ME within two weeks.

6. The ME makes a decision based on the reviewer comments. In the case of conflicting reviews, the ME may seek a third review.

7. The staff contacts the Author with the decision. An editorial decision based on reviews will generally be provided to the author within 30 days after submission.

8. MBoC will consider revised versions of manuscripts judged by reviewers to be of substantial merit. Manuscripts that are judged to be lacking essential experiments or data or that require extensive alteration for other reasons will be returned to the Corresponding Author. A point-by-point reconciliation with the reviewer comments will be required. Revised manuscripts will be examined by the Associate Editor and may be re-reviewed.


MBoC is an online-only journal. Accepted manuscripts are published first in unredacted form on MBoC In Press ( as soon as one week after acceptance. An article's appearance on MBoC In Press establishes the official publication date for the article. Access to MBoC In Press is available without subscription. A redacted version of each manuscript will be published in a journal issue released within three months of manuscript acceptance. Access to MBoC is available without a subscription after two months.

Page proofs are emailed to the Corresponding Author, along with instructions on handling text and figure proofs. Corrections should be restricted to printer’s errors. Authors may be charged for alterations that are not the result of printer’s errors. Information on reprint purchases and special services will also be provided at this time.

Instructions for ordering reprints will be sent to the corresponding author by email after a manuscript is accepted.

Publication Charges
PAGE CHARGES are $150 per typeset page for Articles and Brief Reports. There are no charges for color figures. For papers published in the January 1, 2018, issue or thereafter, article publication charges will replace page charges. The article publication charge will be $2,100 for an Article and $1,500 for a Brief Report. These rates may be changed at any time without notice.

Corresponding authors who become ASCB members at any time before page proofs and the reprint order / payment form are due at the typesetter will receive a 20% discount on page charges.

Special Policies

Experiments Involving DNA, Humans, and Animals
All manuscripts are reviewed with the understanding that authors reporting research involving recombinant DNA, humans, and animals have carried out all of the experiments in accordance with the recommendations from the Declaration of Helsinki and the appropriate National Institutes of Health guidelines and that the research protocols have been approved where necessary by the appropriate institutional committees.

Deposition of Data

Authors are strongly encouraged to make their data publicly available by depositing them in an appropriate database (e.g., a data type–specific database or a more general database such as Dryad{}.

Authors of manuscripts reporting crystallographic studies of proteins and other biopolymers must submit the relevant structural data to the Protein Data Bank (Chemistry Department, Brookhaven National Laboratory, ) [see Commission on Biological Macromolecules (1989) ActaCrystallogr. Sect.A45, 65]. This submission will be specified in a footnote to the paper.

Manuscripts published in MBoC that have nucleotide sequences must have a GenBank (, European Molecular Biology Laboratory (, or DNA Databank of Japan ( database accession number. An accepted manuscript that does not have such a number by page proof stage will be held until the number is provided.

Distribution of Material
Publication of a manuscript in MBoC implies that the authors agree to make available all propagative materials such as mutant organisms, cell lines, recombinant plasmids, vectors, viruses, and monoclonal antibodies that were used to obtain results presented in the article. Prior to obtaining these materials, interested scientists will provide the authors with a written statement that they will be used for noncommercial research purposes only. The requirement that propagative material be shared can be satisfied by making the material available through an organization such as Addgene ( or ATCC (

Financial Support
All sources of financial support for the work reported must be acknowledged.

Protocol Development
In some cases, an ME may identify an article with a novel method that is likely to be used by other researchers and recommend that the authors submit it to Bio-Protocol,, or a similar publication or platform that provides researchers with access to detailed, publicly available protocols based methods described in the scientific literature. Such submission is entirely at the author’s discretion.

License and Publishing Agreement

Authors are required to sign a License and Publishing Agreement when a manuscript is accepted for publication. Under this agreement, the authors grant to ASCB a perpetual, irrevocable, paid-up, worldwide license with the right to publish, distribute, reproduce, display, translate, sublicense for commercial purposes, and store the manuscript in all forms now known or hereafter devised and to authorize others to do so. Such license shall be exclusive until the effective date of the licensing of rights to the public as described below.

Authors retain the copyright and the right to reprint the manuscript in any publication of which authors serve as an author or editor, subject to proper citation of the manuscript in MBoC and where feasible the presence of a link to the original publication of the manuscript in MBoC. Also, authors are permitted to post the MBoC PDF of their articles (and/or supplemental material) on their personal websites or in an online institutional repository provided there appears always the proper citation of the manuscript in MBoC and a link to the original publication of the manuscript in MBoC. (Authors agree not to post the unedited accepted manuscript as it appears in MBoC In Press.) Authors further retain the right to revise, adapt, prepare derivative works, present, or distribute the manuscript provided that all such distribution is for noncommercial benefit and there appears always the proper citation of the manuscript in MBoC and where feasible a link to the original publication of the manuscript in MBoC.

Under the License and Publishing Agreement, authors grant to the general public, effective two months after publication of (i.e.,. the appearance of the edited manuscript in an online issue of MBoC), the nonexclusive right to copy, distribute, or display the manuscript subject to the terms of the Creative Commons–Noncommercial–Share Alike 3.0 Unported license (

Author information pack

Your Paper Your Way

We now differentiate between the requirements for new and revised submissions. You may choose to submit your manuscript as a single Word or PDF file to be used in the refereeing process. Only when your paper is at the revision stage, will you be requested to put your paper in to a 'correct format' for acceptance and provide the items required for the publication of your article.
To find out more, please visit the Preparation section below.

BBA Molecular Cell Research focuses on understanding the mechanisms of cellular processes at the molecular level. These include aspects of cellular signaling, signal transduction, cell cycle, apoptosis, intracellular trafficking, secretory and endocytic pathways, biogenesis of cell organelles, cytoskeletal structures, cellular interactions, cell/tissue differentiation and cellular enzymology. Also included are studies at the interface between Cell Biology and Biophysics which apply for example novel imaging methods for characterizing cellular processes.

Types of papers

Full-length research articles, review papers.

Reviews and mini-reviews are typically commissioned by the Editors. All Review Articles should be authoritative, state-of-the-art accounts of the selected research field, be of high interest, balanced and accurate. Beyond summaries of important scientific developments and ideas, authors are encouraged to identify and discuss how the field may be impacted or develop in the future, including insights that may be of significance to the scientific community. All BBA Review Articles undergo rigorous and full peer review, in the same way as regular research papers, and publication cannot be guaranteed.

Unsolicited reviews will be considered only in exceptional cases and should be preceded by a letter of enquiry from the prospective author, who should be a recognized expert in the field of the proposed article. Pre-submission enquires may be sent to the Editorial Office Specifically, authors must provide the following in their review proposal: 1) both your own and any co-author(s) affiliation and full contact details; 2) an explanation of the current interest and significance to the broad readership of the journal, that is, compelling reasons why the review should be considered; 3) a 500-600 word summary which clearly outlines what will be discussed in the article, plus up to 20 key references that indicate the intended breadth of the proposed article (please note that references should include work published in the past 2-4 years). Only proposals that include this information will be considered. Please be sure to specify which one of the ten BBA journals you request to consider your proposal.

Reviews (full-length) should provide a comprehensive analysis on topics of broad interest to the journal's readership. Reviews should be thorough, sufficiently critical and accommodate different points of view. They should stand out from other recently published reviews on the same theme. Although Reviews are not of any fixed length, they are usually 6,000 to 10,000 words in length (excluding references and figure legends), include an abstract that is no more than 150 words, up to 100 references (should include titles), and a minimum of three figures/illustrations.

Mini-reviews are succinct, focused updates of the literature related to a question of current interest in the scientific community (typically from the last 2-3 years). Subjects covered in Mini-reviews are generally narrower, either in scope or depth, than those covered in full-length Reviews. They should highlight/analyze/discuss recent and important findings and include the author's viewpoint on how the subject relates to the current state of the field. Mini-reviews are usually 2000 to 4000 words in length (excluding references and figure legends), include an abstract that is no more than 100 words, up to 50 references (should include titles), and one to three figures/illustrations.

Papers should be submitted using the BBA Molecular Cell Research online submission system, For questions on the submission and reviewing process, please contact the Editorial Office at

Ethics in publishing

Please see our information pages on Ethics in publishing and Ethical guidelines for journal publication.

Human and animal rights

If the work involves the use of human subjects, the author should ensure that the work described has been carried out in accordance with The Code of Ethics of the World Medical Association (Declaration of Helsinki) for experiments involving humans; Uniform Requirements for manuscripts submitted to Biomedical journals. Authors should include a statement in the manuscript that informed consent was obtained for experimentation with human subjects. The privacy rights of human subjects must always be observed.

All animal experiments should comply with the ARRIVE guidelines and should be carried out in accordance with the U.K. Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act, 1986 and associated guidelines, EU Directive 2010/63/EU for animal experiments, or the National Institutes of Health guide for the care and use of Laboratory animals (NIH Publications No. 8023, revised 1978) and the authors should clearly indicate in the manuscript that such guidelines have been followed.

Conflict of Interest

BBA Molecular Cell Research follows the ICMJE recommendations regarding conflict of interest disclosures. All authors are required to report the following information with each submission: (1) All third-party financial support for the work in the submitted manuscript. (2) All financial relationships with any entities that could be viewed as relevant to the general area of the submitted manuscript. (3) All sources of revenue with relevance to the submitted work who made payments to you, or to your institution on your behalf, in the 36 months prior to submission. (4) Any other interactions with the sponsor of outside of the submitted work should also be reported. (5) Any relevant patents or copyrights (planned, pending, or issued). (6) Any other relationships or affiliations that may be perceived by readers to have influenced, or give the appearance of potentially influencing, what you wrote in the submitted work. As a general guideline, it is usually better to disclose a relationship than not. This information will be acknowledged at publication in a Transparency Document link directly in the article. Additional information on the ICMJE recommendations can be found at: The form for conflict of interest disclosure can be downloaded here: (if this link does not display properly in your browser, please right-click the link and select "Save Target As..." or "Save Link as..." from the pop-up menu).

Submission declaration and verification

Submission of an article implies that the work described has not been published previously (except in the form of an abstract or as part of a published lecture or academic thesis or as an electronic preprint, see 'Multiple, redundant or concurrent publication' section of our ethics policy for more information), that it is not under consideration for publication elsewhere, that its publication is approved by all authors and tacitly or explicitly by the responsible authorities where the work was carried out, and that, if accepted, it will not be published elsewhere in the same form, in English or in any other language, including electronically without the written consent of the copyright-holder. To verify originality, your article may be checked by the originality detection service Crossref Similarity Check.


All authors should have made substantial contributions to all of the following: (1) the conception and design of the study, or acquisition of data, or analysis and interpretation of data, (2) drafting the article or revising it critically for important intellectual content, (3) final approval of the version to be submitted.

Changes to authorship

Authors are expected to consider carefully the list and order of authors before submitting their manuscript and provide the definitive list of authors at the time of the original submission. Any addition, deletion or rearrangement of author names in the authorship list should be made only before the manuscript has been accepted and only if approved by the journal Editor. To request such a change, the Editor must receive the following from the corresponding author: (a) the reason for the change in author list and (b) written confirmation (e-mail, letter) from all authors that they agree with the addition, removal or rearrangement. In the case of addition or removal of authors, this includes confirmation from the author being added or removed.
Only in exceptional circumstances will the Editor consider the addition, deletion or rearrangement of authors after the manuscript has been accepted. While the Editor considers the request, publication of the manuscript will be suspended. If the manuscript has already been published in an online issue, any requests approved by the Editor will result in a corrigendum.

Article transfer service
This journal is part of our Article Transfer Service. This means that if the Editor feels your article is more suitable in one of our other participating journals, then you may be asked to consider transferring the article to one of those. If you agree, your article will be transferred automatically on your behalf with no need to reformat. Please note that your article will be reviewed again by the new journal. More information.


Upon acceptance of an article, authors will be asked to complete a 'Journal Publishing Agreement' (see more information on this). An e-mail will be sent to the corresponding author confirming receipt of the manuscript together with a 'Journal Publishing Agreement' form or a link to the online version of this agreement.

Subscribers may reproduce tables of contents or prepare lists of articles including abstracts for internal circulation within their institutions. Permission of the Publisher is required for resale or distribution outside the institution and for all other derivative works, including compilations and translations. If excerpts from other copyrighted works are included, the author(s) must obtain written permission from the copyright owners and credit the source(s) in the article. Elsevier has preprinted forms for use by authors in these cases.

For open access articles: Upon acceptance of an article, authors will be asked to complete an 'Exclusive License Agreement' (more information). Permitted third party reuse of open access articles is determined by the author's choice of user license.

Author rights
As an author you (or your employer or institution) have certain rights to reuse your work. More information.

Elsevier supports responsible sharing
Find out how you can share your research published in Elsevier journals.

Role of the funding source

You are requested to identify who provided financial support for the conduct of the research and/or preparation of the article and to briefly describe the role of the sponsor(s), if any, in study design; in the collection, analysis and interpretation of data; in the writing of the report; and in the decision to submit the article for publication. If the funding source(s) had no such involvement then this should be stated.

Elsevier journals comply with current NIH public access policy

Funding body agreements and policies
Elsevier has established a number of agreements with funding bodies which allow authors to comply with their funder's open access policies. Some funding bodies will reimburse the author for the Open Access Publication Fee. Details of existing agreements are available online.

Open access

This journal offers authors a choice in publishing their research:

• Articles are made available to subscribers as well as developing countries and patient groups through our universal access programs.
• No open access publication fee payable by authors.
Open access
• Articles are freely available to both subscribers and the wider public with permitted reuse.
• An open access publication fee is payable by authors or on their behalf, e.g. by their research funder or institution.

Regardless of how you choose to publish your article, the journal will apply the same peer review criteria and acceptance standards.

For open access articles, permitted third party (re)use is defined by the following Creative Commons user licenses:

Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY)
Lets others distribute and copy the article, create extracts, abstracts, and other revised versions, adaptations or derivative works of or from an article (such as a translation), include in a collective work (such as an anthology), text or data mine the article, even for commercial purposes, as long as they credit the author(s), do not represent the author as endorsing their adaptation of the article, and do not modify the article in such a way as to damage the author's honor or reputation.

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs (CC BY-NC-ND)
For non-commercial purposes, lets others distribute and copy the article, and to include in a collective work (such as an anthology), as long as they credit the author(s) and provided they do not alter or modify the article.

The open access publication fee for this journal is USD 4050, excluding taxes. Learn more about Elsevier's pricing policy:

Green open access
Authors can share their research in a variety of different ways and Elsevier has a number of green open access options available. We recommend authors see our green open access page for further information. Authors can also self-archive their manuscripts immediately and enable public access from their institution's repository after an embargo period. This is the version that has been accepted for publication and which typically includes author-incorporated changes suggested during submission, peer review and in editor-author communications. Embargo period: For subscription articles, an appropriate amount of time is needed for journals to deliver value to subscribing customers before an article becomes freely available to the public. This is the embargo period and it begins from the date the article is formally published online in its final and fully citable form. Find out more.

This journal has an embargo period of 12 months.

Elsevier Researcher Academy
Researcher Academy is a free e-learning platform designed to support early and mid-career researchers throughout their research journey. The "Learn" environment at Researcher Academy offers several interactive modules, webinars, downloadable guides and resources to guide you through the process of writing for research and going through peer review. Feel free to use these free resources to improve your submission and navigate the publication process with ease.

Language (usage and editing services)
Please write your text in good English (American or British usage is accepted, but not a mixture of these). Authors who feel their English language manuscript may require editing to eliminate possible grammatical or spelling errors and to conform to correct scientific English may wish to use the English Language Editing service available from Elsevier's WebShop.


Our online submission system guides you stepwise through the process of entering your article details and uploading your files. The system converts your article files to a single PDF file used in the peer-review process. Editable files (e.g., Word, LaTeX) are required to typeset your article for final publication. All correspondence, including notification of the Editor's decision and requests for revision, is sent by e-mail.


Please submit the names, addresses, and e-mail addresses of 4 potential referees, as well as a brief description of their expertise relevant to your manuscript. Suggested reviewers should be individuals qualified to evaluate the work you have submitted. Editorial Board members who do not have relevant expertise on the topic of your article should not be suggested. Please note that the reviewers suggested may not be current, recent or extensive collaborators of yours, and cannot have been involved in the preparation of the manuscript.

Please note that the editor retains the sole right to decide whether or not the suggested reviewers are used. Failure to provide appropriate reviewer suggestions as noted above may result in your manuscript being returned to you without review.

Authors may request exclusion of certain referees if conflicts of interest are anticipated. However, no more than 3 such names should be given. Entire groups, institutions or countries cannot be specified for exclusion.


Submission to this journal proceeds totally online and you will be guided stepwise through the creation and uploading of your files. The system automatically converts your files to a single PDF file, which is used in the peer-review process.
As part of the Your Paper Your Way service, you may choose to submit your manuscript as a single file to be used in the refereeing process. This can be a PDF file or a Word document, in any format or lay-out that can be used by referees to evaluate your manuscript. It should contain high enough quality figures for refereeing. If you prefer to do so, you may still provide all or some of the source files at the initial submission. Please note that individual figure files larger than 10 MB must be uploaded separately.

There are no strict requirements on reference formatting at submission. References can be in any style or format as long as the style is consistent. Where applicable, author(s) name(s), journal title/book title, chapter title/article title, year of publication, volume number/book chapter and the pagination must be present. Use of DOI is highly encouraged. The reference style used by the journal will be applied to the accepted article by Elsevier at the proof stage. Note that missing data will be highlighted at proof stage for the author to correct.

Formatting requirements
There are no strict formatting requirements but all manuscripts must contain the essential elements needed to convey your manuscript, for example Abstract, Keywords, Introduction, Materials and Methods, Results, Conclusions, Artwork and Tables with Captions.
If your article includes any Videos and/or other Supplementary material, this should be included in your initial submission for peer review purposes.
Divide the article into clearly defined sections.

Please ensure your paper includes page numbers - this is an essential peer review requirement.

Figures and tables embedded in text
Please ensure the figures and the tables included in the single file are placed next to the relevant text in the manuscript, rather than at the bottom or the top of the file. The corresponding caption should be placed directly below the figure or table.

Peer review

This journal operates a single blind review process. All contributions will be initially assessed by the editor for suitability for the journal. Papers deemed suitable are then typically sent to a minimum of two independent expert reviewers to assess the scientific quality of the paper. The Editor is responsible for the final decision regarding acceptance or rejection of articles. The Editor's decision is final. More information on types of peer review.


Use of word processing software
Regardless of the file format of the original submission, at revision you must provide us with an editable file of the entire article. Keep the layout of the text as simple as possible. Most formatting codes will be removed and replaced on processing the article. The electronic text should be prepared in a way very similar to that of conventional manuscripts (see also the Guide to Publishing with Elsevier). See also the section on Electronic artwork.
To avoid unnecessary errors you are strongly advised to use the 'spell-check' and 'grammar-check' functions of your word processor.

Article structure

Subdivision - numbered sections
Divide your article into clearly defined and numbered sections. Subsections should be numbered 1.1 (then 1.1.1, 1.1.2, ...), 1.2, etc. (the abstract is not included in section numbering). Use this numbering also for internal cross-referencing: do not just refer to 'the text'. Any subsection may be given a brief heading. Each heading should appear on its own separate line.

State the objectives of the work and provide an adequate background, avoiding a detailed literature survey or a summary of the results.

Material and methods
Provide sufficient detail to allow the work to be reproduced. Methods already published should be indicated by a reference: only relevant modifications should be described. Define the specificity, species of origin, and the source of all antibodies used.

Results should be clear and concise.

This should explore the significance of the results of the work, not repeat them. A combined Results and Discussion section is often appropriate. Avoid extensive citations and discussion of published literature.

The main conclusions of the study may be presented in a short Conclusions section, which may stand alone or form a subsection of a Discussion or Results and Discussion section.

If there is more than one appendix, they should be identified as A, B, etc. Formulae and equations in appendices should be given separate numbering: Eq. (A.1), Eq. (A.2), etc.; in a subsequent appendix, Eq. (B.1) and so on. Similarly for tables and figures: Table A.1; Fig. A.1, etc.

Essential title page information

Title. Concise and informative. Titles are often used in information-retrieval systems. Avoid abbreviations and formulae where possible.
Author names and affiliations. Please clearly indicate the given name(s) and family name(s) of each author and check that all names are accurately spelled. You can add your name between parentheses in your own script behind the English transliteration. Present the authors' affiliation addresses (where the actual work was done) below the names. Indicate all affiliations with a lower-case superscript letter immediately after the author's name and in front of the appropriate address. Provide the full postal address of each affiliation, including the country name and, if available, the e-mail address of each author.
Corresponding author. Clearly indicate who will handle correspondence at all stages of refereeing and publication, also post-publication. This responsibility includes answering any future queries about Methodology and Materials. Ensure that the e-mail address is given and that contact details are kept up to date by the corresponding author.
Present/permanent address. If an author has moved since the work described in the article was done, or was visiting at the time, a 'Present address' (or 'Permanent address') may be indicated as a footnote to that author's name. The address at which the author actually did the work must be retained as the main, affiliation address. Superscript Arabic numerals are used for such footnotes.


A concise and factual abstract is required. The abstract should state briefly the purpose of the research, the principal results and major conclusions. An abstract is often presented separately from the article, so it must be able to stand alone. For this reason, References should be avoided, but if essential, then cite the author(s) and year(s). Also, non-standard or uncommon abbreviations should be avoided, but if essential they must be defined at their first mention in the abstract itself.

A Regular paper should have a Summary of 100-250 words.

Graphical abstract
Although a graphical abstract is optional, its use is encouraged as it draws more attention to the online article. The graphical abstract should summarize the contents of the article in a concise, pictorial form designed to capture the attention of a wide readership. Graphical abstracts should be submitted as a separate file in the online submission system. Image size: Please provide an image with a minimum of 531 × 1328 pixels (h × w) or proportionally more. The image should be readable at a size of 5 × 13 cm using a regular screen resolution of 96 dpi. Preferred file types: TIFF, EPS, PDF or MS Office files. You can view Example Graphical Abstracts on our information site.
Authors can make use of Elsevier's Illustration Services to ensure the best presentation of their images and in accordance with all technical requirements.

Highlights are mandatory for this journal. They consist of a short collection of bullet points that convey the core findings of the article and should be submitted in a separate editable file in the online submission system. Please use 'Highlights' in the file name and include 3 to 5 bullet points (maximum 85 characters, including spaces, per bullet point). You can view example Highlights on our information site.


Immediately after the abstract, provide a maximum of 6 keywords, using American spelling and avoiding general and plural terms and multiple concepts (avoid, for example, 'and', 'of'). Be sparing with abbreviations: only abbreviations firmly established in the field may be eligible. These keywords will be used for indexing purposes.

Define abbreviations that are not standard in this field in a footnote to be placed on the first page of the article. Such abbreviations that are unavoidable in the abstract must be defined at their first mention there, as well as in the footnote. Ensure consistency of abbreviations throughout the article.

Collate acknowledgements in a separate section at the end of the article before the references and do not, therefore, include them on the title page, as a footnote to the title or otherwise. List here those individuals who provided help during the research (e.g., providing language help, writing assistance or proof reading the article, etc.).

Formatting of funding sources
List funding sources in this standard way to facilitate compliance to funder's requirements:

Funding: This work was supported by the National Institutes of Health [grant numbers xxxx, yyyy]; the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Seattle, WA [grant number zzzz]; and the United States Institutes of Peace [grant number aaaa].

It is not necessary to include detailed descriptions on the program or type of grants and awards. When funding is from a block grant or other resources available to a university, college, or other research institution, submit the name of the institute or organization that provided the funding.

If no funding has been provided for the research, please include the following sentence:

This research did not receive any specific grant from funding agencies in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors.

Standards for Reporting Enzymology Data (STRENDA)
This journal follows the recommendations of the STRENDA (Standards for Reporting Enzymology Data) Commission of the Beilstein-Institut for the reporting of kinetic and equilibrium binding data. Detailed guidelines can be found at ( or in this pdf file.
All reports of kinetic and binding data must include a description of the identity of the catalytic or binding entity (enzyme, protein, nucleic acid or other molecule). This information should include the origin or source of the molecule, its purity, composition, and other characteristics such as post-translational modifications, mutations, and any modifications made to facilitate expression or purification. The assay methods and exact experimental conditions of the assay must be fully described if it is a new assay or provided as a reference to previously published work, with or without modifications. The temperature, pH and pressure (if other than atmospheric) of the assay must always be included, even if previously published. In instances where catalytic activity or binding cannot be detected, an estimate of the limit of detection based on the sensitivity and error analysis of the assay should be provided. Ambiguous terms such as "not detectable" should be avoided. A description of the software used for data analysis should be included along with calculated errors for all parameters.
First-order and second-order rate constants: see pdf for full instructions.

Math formulae
Please submit math equations as editable text and not as images. Present simple formulae in line with normal text where possible and use the solidus (/) instead of a horizontal line for small fractional terms, e.g., X/Y. In principle, variables are to be presented in italics. Powers of e are often more conveniently denoted by exp. Number consecutively any equations that have to be displayed separately from the text (if referred to explicitly in the text).

Footnotes should be used sparingly. Number them consecutively throughout the article. Many word processors build footnotes into the text, and this feature may be used. Should this not be the case, indicate the position of footnotes in the text and present the footnotes themselves separately at the end of the article.


Image manipulation
While it is accepted that authors sometimes need to adjust images for clarity, manipulation for purposes of deception or fraud will be considered as scientific ethical abuse and will be dealt with accordingly. For graphical images, this journal is applying the following policy: no specific feature within an image may be enhanced, obscured, moved, removed, or introduced. Adjustments of brightness, contrast, and/or color balance are acceptable as long as they are applied to the entire image and do not obscure or eliminate any information present in the original image. Nonlinear adjustments (e.g., changes to gamma settings) must be disclosed in the figure legend. The figure legend must also include a statement on the number of biological replicates, as appropriate for the data presented. Legends should also indicate the statistical method used to calculate the error bars in any graph (e.g., SD, SE, SEM).

Digital images in manuscripts nearing acceptance for publication may be scrutinized for any indication of improper manipulation. BBA Molecular Cell Research reserves the right to ask for original data or images and, if these are not satisfactory, we may decide not to accept the manuscript.

Electronic Artwork
General points
• Make sure you use uniform lettering and sizing of your original artwork.
• Preferred fonts: Arial (or Helvetica), Times New Roman (or Times), Symbol, Courier.
• Display immunoblot and gel data by including the position of at least one molecular weight marker, and include a dividing line at the splice sites of blots and gels.
• Microscopy images must include a scale bar.
• Number the illustrations according to their sequence in the text.
• Use a logical naming convention for your artwork files.
• Indicate per figure if it is a single, 1.5 or 2-column fitting image.
• For Word submissions only, you may still provide figures and their captions, and tables within a single file at the revision stage.
• Please note that individual figure files larger than 10 MB must be provided in separate source files.
A detailed guide on electronic artwork is available.
You are urged to visit this site; some excerpts from the detailed information are given here.
Regardless of the application used, when your electronic artwork is finalized, please 'save as' or convert the images to one of the following formats (note the resolution requirements for line drawings, halftones, and line/halftone combinations given below):
EPS (or PDF): Vector drawings. Embed the font or save the text as 'graphics'.
TIFF (or JPG): Color or grayscale photographs (halftones): always use a minimum of 300 dpi.
TIFF (or JPG): Bitmapped line drawings: use a minimum of 1000 dpi.
TIFF (or JPG): Combinations bitmapped line/half-tone (color or grayscale): a minimum of 500 dpi is required.
Please do not:
• Supply files that are optimized for screen use (e.g., GIF, BMP, PICT, WPG); the resolution is too low.
• Supply files that are too low in resolution.
• Submit graphics that are disproportionately large for the content.

Color artwork
Please make sure that artwork files are in an acceptable format (TIFF (or JPEG), EPS (or PDF) or MS Office files) and with the correct resolution. If, together with your accepted article, you submit usable color figures then Elsevier will ensure, at no additional charge, that these figures will appear in color online (e.g., ScienceDirect and other sites) in addition to color reproduction in print. Further information on the preparation of electronic artwork.

Figure captions
Ensure that each illustration has a caption. A caption should comprise a brief title (not on the figure itself) and a description of the illustration. Keep text in the illustrations themselves to a minimum but explain all symbols and abbreviations used.


Please submit tables as editable text and not as images. Tables can be placed either next to the relevant text in the article, or on separate page(s) at the end. Number tables consecutively in accordance with their appearance in the text and place any table notes below the table body. Be sparing in the use of tables and ensure that the data presented in them do not duplicate results described elsewhere in the article. Please avoid using vertical rules and shading in table cells.


Citation in text
Please ensure that every reference cited in the text is also present in the reference list (and vice versa). Any references cited in the abstract must be given in full. Unpublished results and personal communications are not recommended in the reference list, but may be mentioned in the text. If these references are included in the reference list they should follow the standard reference style of the journal and should include a substitution of the publication date with either 'Unpublished results' or 'Personal communication'. Citation of a reference as 'in press' implies that the item has been accepted for publication and a copy of the title page of the relevant article must be submitted.

Web references
As a minimum, the full URL should be given and the date when the reference was last accessed. Any further information, if known (DOI, author names, dates, reference to a source publication, etc.), should also be given. Web references can be listed separately (e.g., after the reference list) under a different heading if desired, or can be included in the reference list.

Data references
This journal encourages you to cite underlying or relevant datasets in your manuscript by citing them in your text and including a data reference in your Reference List. Data references should include the following elements: author name(s), dataset title, data repository, version (where available), year, and global persistent identifier. Add [dataset] immediately before the reference so we can properly identify it as a data reference. The [dataset] identifier will not appear in your published article.

References in a special issue
Please ensure that the words 'this issue' are added to any references in the list (and any citations in the text) to other articles in the same Special Issue.

Reference management software
Most Elsevier journals have their reference template available in many of the most popular reference management software products. These include all products that support Citation Style Language styles, such as Mendeley and Zotero, as well as EndNote. Using the word processor plug-ins from these products, authors only need to select the appropriate journal template when preparing their article, after which citations and bibliographies will be automatically formatted in the journal's style. If no template is yet available for this journal, please follow the format of the sample references and citations as shown in this Guide.

Users of Mendeley Desktop can easily install the reference style for this journal by clicking the following link:
When preparing your manuscript, you will then be able to select this style using the Mendeley plug-ins for Microsoft Word or LibreOffice.

Reference formatting
There are no strict requirements on reference formatting at submission. References can be in any style or format as long as the style is consistent. Where applicable, author(s) name(s), journal title/book title, chapter title/article title, year of publication, volume number/book chapter and the pagination must be present. Use of DOI is highly encouraged. The reference style used by the journal will be applied to the accepted article by Elsevier at the proof stage. Note that missing data will be highlighted at proof stage for the author to correct. If you do wish to format the references yourself they should be arranged according to the following examples:

Reference style
Text: Indicate references by number(s) in square brackets in line with the text. The actual authors can be referred to, but the reference number(s) must always be given.
Example: '..... as demonstrated [3,6]. Barnaby and Jones [8] obtained a different result ....'
List: Number the references (numbers in square brackets) in the list in the order in which they appear in the text.
Reference to a journal publication:
[1] J. van der Geer, J.A.J. Hanraads, R.A. Lupton, The art of writing a scientific article, J. Sci. Commun. 163 (2010) 51–59.
Reference to a book:
[2] W. Strunk Jr., E.B. White, The Elements of Style, fourth ed., Longman, New York, 2000.
Reference to a chapter in an edited book:
[3] G.R. Mettam, L.B. Adams, How to prepare an electronic version of your article, in: B.S. Jones, R.Z. Smith (Eds.), Introduction to the Electronic Age, E-Publishing Inc., New York, 2009, pp. 281–304.
Reference to a website:
[4] Cancer Research UK, Cancer statistics reports for the UK., 2003 (accessed 13 March 2003).
Reference to a dataset:
[dataset] [5] M. Oguro, S. Imahiro, S. Saito, T. Nakashizuka, Mortality data for Japanese oak wilt disease and surrounding forest compositions, Mendeley Data, v1, 2015.

Journal abbreviations source
Journal names should be abbreviated according to the List of Title Word Abbreviations.


Elsevier accepts video material and animation sequences to support and enhance your scientific research. Authors who have video or animation files that they wish to submit with their article are strongly encouraged to include links to these within the body of the article. This can be done in the same way as a figure or table by referring to the video or animation content and noting in the body text where it should be placed. All submitted files should be properly labeled so that they directly relate to the video file's content. . In order to ensure that your video or animation material is directly usable, please provide the file in one of our recommended file formats with a preferred maximum size of 150 MB per file, 1 GB in total. Video and animation files supplied will be published online in the electronic version of your article in Elsevier Web products, including ScienceDirect. Please supply 'stills' with your files: you can choose any frame from the video or animation or make a separate image. These will be used instead of standard icons and will personalize the link to your video data. For more detailed instructions please visit our video instruction pages. Note: since video and animation cannot be embedded in the print version of the journal, please provide text for both the electronic and the print version for the portions of the article that refer to this content.


The journal encourages authors to create an AudioSlides presentation with their published article. AudioSlides are brief, webinar-style presentations that are shown next to the online article on ScienceDirect. This gives authors the opportunity to summarize their research in their own words and to help readers understand what the paper is about. More information and examples are available. Authors of this journal will automatically receive an invitation e-mail to create an AudioSlides presentation after acceptance of their paper.

Data visualization

Include interactive data visualizations in your publication and let your readers interact and engage more closely with your research. Follow the instructions here to find out about available data visualization options and how to include them with your article.

Supplementary material

Supplementary material such as applications, images and sound clips, can be published with your article to enhance it. Submitted supplementary items are published exactly as they are received (Excel or PowerPoint files will appear as such online). Please submit your material together with the article and supply a concise, descriptive caption for each supplementary file. If you wish to make changes to supplementary material during any stage of the process, please make sure to provide an updated file. Do not annotate any corrections on a previous version. Please switch off the 'Track Changes' option in Microsoft Office files as these will appear in the published version.

Research data

This journal encourages and enables you to share data that supports your research publication where appropriate, and enables you to interlink the data with your published articles. Research data refers to the results of observations or experimentation that validate research findings. To facilitate reproducibility and data reuse, this journal also encourages you to share your software, code, models, algorithms, protocols, methods and other useful materials related to the project.

Below are a number of ways in which you can associate data with your article or make a statement about the availability of your data when submitting your manuscript. If you are sharing data in one of these ways, you are encouraged to cite the data in your manuscript and reference list. Please refer to the "References" section for more information about data citation. For more information on depositing, sharing and using research data and other relevant research materials, visit the research data page.

Data linking
If you have made your research data available in a data repository, you can link your article directly to the dataset. Elsevier collaborates with a number of repositories to link articles on ScienceDirect with relevant repositories, giving readers access to underlying data that gives them a better understanding of the research described.

There are different ways to link your datasets to your article. When available, you can directly link your dataset to your article by providing the relevant information in the submission system. For more information, visit the database linking page.

For supported data repositories a repository banner will automatically appear next to your published article on ScienceDirect.

In addition, you can link to relevant data or entities through identifiers within the text of your manuscript, using the following format: Database: xxxx (e.g., TAIR: AT1G01020; CCDC: 734053; PDB: 1XFN).

Mendeley Data
This journal supports Mendeley Data, enabling you to deposit any research data (including raw and processed data, video, code, software, algorithms, protocols, and methods) associated with your manuscript in a free-to-use, open access repository. Before submitting your article, you can deposit the relevant datasets to Mendeley Data. Please include the DOI of the deposited dataset(s) in your main manuscript file. The datasets will be listed and directly accessible to readers next to your published article online.

For more information, visit the Mendeley Data for journals page.

Data in Brief
You have the option of converting any or all parts of your supplementary or additional raw data into one or multiple data articles, a new kind of article that houses and describes your data. Data articles ensure that your data is actively reviewed, curated, formatted, indexed, given a DOI and publicly available to all upon publication. You are encouraged to submit your article for Data in Brief as an additional item directly alongside the revised version of your manuscript. If your research article is accepted, your data article will automatically be transferred over to Data in Brief where it will be editorially reviewed and published in the open access data journal, Data in Brief. Please note an open access fee of 500 USD is payable for publication in Data in Brief. Full details can be found on the Data in Brief website. Please use this template to write your Data in Brief.

You have the option of converting relevant protocols and methods into one or multiple MethodsX articles, a new kind of article that describes the details of customized research methods. Many researchers spend a significant amount of time on developing methods to fit their specific needs or setting, but often without getting credit for this part of their work. MethodsX, an open access journal, now publishes this information in order to make it searchable, peer reviewed, citable and reproducible. Authors are encouraged to submit their MethodsX article as an additional item directly alongside the revised version of their manuscript. If your research article is accepted, your methods article will automatically be transferred over to MethodsX where it will be editorially reviewed. Please note an open access fee is payable for publication in MethodsX. Full details can be found on the MethodsX website. Please use this template to prepare your MethodsX article.

Data statement
To foster transparency, we encourage you to state the availability of your data in your submission. This may be a requirement of your funding body or institution. If your data is unavailable to access or unsuitable to post, you will have the opportunity to indicate why during the submission process, for example by stating that the research data is confidential. The statement will appear with your published article on ScienceDirect. For more information, visit the Data Statement page.

Submission checklist

The following list will be useful during the final checking of an article prior to sending it to the journal for review. Please consult this Guide for Authors for further details of any item.
Ensure that the following items are present:
One author has been designated as the corresponding author with contact details:
• E-mail address
• Full postal address
• Telephone
All necessary files have been uploaded, and contain:
• Keywords
• All figure captions
• All tables (including title, description, footnotes)
Further considerations
• Manuscript has been 'spell-checked' and 'grammar-checked'
• All references mentioned in the Reference list are cited in the text, and vice versa
• Permission has been obtained for use of copyrighted material from other sources (including the Web)
For any further information please visit our customer support site at

Online proof correction

Corresponding authors will receive an e-mail with a link to our online proofing system, allowing annotation and correction of proofs online. The environment is similar to MS Word: in addition to editing text, you can also comment on figures/tables and answer questions from the Copy Editor. Web-based proofing provides a faster and less error-prone process by allowing you to directly type your corrections, eliminating the potential introduction of errors.
If preferred, you can still choose to annotate and upload your edits on the PDF version. All instructions for proofing will be given in the e-mail we send to authors, including alternative methods to the online version and PDF.
We will do everything possible to get your article published quickly and accurately. Please use this proof only for checking the typesetting, editing, completeness and correctness of the text, tables and figures. Significant changes to the article as accepted for publication will only be considered at this stage with permission from the Editor. It is important to ensure that all corrections are sent back to us in one communication. Please check carefully before replying, as inclusion of any subsequent corrections cannot be guaranteed. Proofreading is solely your responsibility.


The corresponding author will, at no cost, receive a customized Share Link providing 50 days free access to the final published version of the article on ScienceDirect. The Share Link can be used for sharing the article via any communication channel, including email and social media. For an extra charge, paper offprints can be ordered via the offprint order form which is sent once the article is accepted for publication. Both corresponding and co-authors may order offprints at any time via Elsevier's Webshop. Corresponding authors who have published their article open access do not receive a Share Link as their final published version of the article is available open access on ScienceDirect and can be shared through the article DOI link.

Visit the Elsevier Support Center to find the answers you need. Here you will find everything from Frequently Asked Questions to ways to get in touch.
You can also check the status of your submitted article or find out when your accepted article will be published.
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