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Highlights of Molecular Science Editorial Office
Av. Madrid, 189-195, 3-3, 08014 Barcelona, Spain
Zejian Zhang
Managing Editor
Submit Your Article
Instructions for Authors
Before Submission
Make sure your manuscript fits the journal’s Aims and Scope.
Manuscripts should be submitted via the journal’s online editorial management system. Authors are encouraged to submit their manuscripts to one of the forthcoming Special Issues.
Manuscripts should be prepared in .doc, .docx or .odt format. Please consider to use the template file provided here (Download Manuscript Template), and respect the word limit. The template is formatted only for peer-review efficiency, and it does not indicate the final length and appearance of the publication.
Please use clear, unambiguous, technically and grammatically correct English throughout the manuscript.
Article Types
The following article types are accepted for submission to this journal (all must be original and can not have been published elsewhere):
Article: a paper containing original research results that has not been published elsewhere. Articles shall have a maximum word count of 12,000 (not including title, abstract, and references list) and may contain no more than 15 Figures/Tables. Original research articles should have the following format: 1) Abstract, 2) Introduction, 3) Materials and Methods, 4) Results, 5) Discussion.
Review: a paper which comprehensively sums up the current state of research on a particular topic. Review articles shall have a maximum word count of 12,000 (not including title, abstract, and references list) and may contain no more than 15 Figures/Tables. Review articles should have the following format: 1) Abstract, 2) Introduction, 3) Subsections relevant for the subject, 4) Discussion.
Commentary: an opinion piece providing a critical evaluation of a published article or topic of interest to the readership of the journal. Letters to the editor and replies should be submitted as Commentaries. Commentaries shall have a maximum word count of 2,000 words (not including title, abstract, and references list) and may contain no more than one Figure/Table. Commentary articles should have the following format: 1) Title: “Commentary: Title of the original article” (mandatory), 2) Introduction, 3) Subsections relevant for the subject, 4) Discussion.
Case Report: a short description of important scientific observations that are missed or undetectable in clinical trials. It usually refers to an unreported, unexpected, or unusual occurrence. Case Report shall have a maximum word count of 2,000 words (not including title, abstract, and references list).
Short Note: a short description of important current research findings, which is more focused and concise than an article. Short Note shall have a maximum word count of 2,000 words (not including title, abstract, and references list).
Editorial: an opinion piece submitted by an academic editor providing an insight into a topic of interest to the readership of the issue. Editorials shall have a maximum word count of 2,000 words (not including title, abstract, and references list).
Book Review: a report which offers a critical analysis of a book based on its content and merit. Book Reviews shall have a maximum word count of 2,000 words (not including title, abstract, and references list) and may only be submitted upon invitation.
Language
All submitted manuscripts must meet the international English language standards in order to be considered for publication. Both British and American spellings are accepted, as long as one spelling is used consistently throughout the text. To facilitate proper peer-reviewing of your manuscript, it is essential that it is submitted in grammatically correct English. Authors whose native language is not English are strongly advised to ensure the grammatical correctness of their paper prior to submission. Papers with serious deficiencies in English will be rejected without peer-review.
Accepted manuscripts authored by non-English native speakers must be edited by an English editor. The authors may choose an independent professionally English editing service or consult with a native English-speaking colleague.
Manuscript Preparation
Cover Letter
Enter your cover letter into the online system. The length limit is one page. The cover letter should include the following information:
Summarize the study’s contribution to the scientific literature;
Relate the study to previously published work;
Confirm that neither the manuscript nor any parts of its content are currently under consideration or have been published in another journal;
Describe any prior interactions with Highlights of Science regarding the submitted manuscript;
List any opposed reviewers.
Title
The title of your manuscript should be clear, specific and appealing. It should be concise and no more than 20 words and accurately describe the work. Avoid acronyms, abbreviations and jargon in the title. When gene or protein names are included, the abbreviated name rather than full name should be used.
Author List and Affiliations
Authors' full first given and family names must be provided. Middle name initial(s) can be added. Affiliations: complete address information including department, university, or organizational affiliation, city, postcode, state/province, and country. At least one author should be designated as corresponding author, and his or her email address and other details should be included at the end of the affiliation section.
Abstract
The abstract should be a total of about 200 words maximum, one paragraph length. The abstract must be concise, self-contained, and complete enough to appear separately in abstract publications. For a research paper, briefly state the problem or the purpose of the research, indicate the theoretical or experimental plan used, summarize the principal findings, and point out major conclusions. Do not supplement or evaluate the conclusions in the abstract.
Do not cite references, tables, figures, or sections of the paper in the abstract. Do not include equations, schemes, or structures that require display on a line separate from the text. Use abbreviations and acronyms only when necessary. Define abbreviations at first use in the abstract (and again at first use in the text).
Keywords
Three to ten pertinent keywords need to be added after the abstract. We recommend that the keywords are specific to the article, yet reasonably common within the subject discipline.
Introduction
The introduction should provide a concise and appropriate context for the study, namely, the nature of the problem and its significance of being carried out. It should state the specific purpose of, or the hypothesis being tested by, the work. Authors should review the state-of-the-art research in the field and cite only those directly pertinent references. Finally, include a brief description of the main objective and conclusions of the work.
Materials and Methods
Materials and methods should be given in sufficient detail so that interested readers can reproduce the work and obtain comparable results. Describe the procedures used in detail. Cite well-established and standard methods properly and give only the details needed. In case computer software is used, the name and version of the software should be presented clearly, including whether the relevant program code is available.
Results
Present your results in logical sequence in the text, tables, and figures. The results should be concise and precise, in which the most important findings should be summarized or emphasized.
Discussion
Authors should highlight the main findings as well as the limitations of the work, compare the results with the recent studies in the field, and relate the results to the original working hypotheses. The logical implications of the results should be briefly discussed. Mention future research or applications when warranted.
Results and Discussion can be combined as one section.
Conclusions
Authors can put the interpretation into the context of the original problem, and summarize the main points in this section. This section is not mandatory.
Acknowledgments
Acknowledge anyone who contributed substantially to the work but do not meet the authorship criteria. Do not include their titles.
Do not include funding sources in the Acknowledgments. Funding information should only be listed separately in the Funding section.
Funding
All funding resources should be identified and clarified. Please clearly indicate the financial support for the conduct of the research and/or the cover of the publication costs.
Author Contributions
Each author should contribute substantially to the work. For research articles with several authors, please submit an authorship statement specifying their individual contribution. Authors are recommended to refer to the CRediT roles: Conceptualization; Data curation; Formal analysis; Funding acquisition; Investigation; Methodology; Project administration; Resources; Software; Supervision; Validation; Visualization; Roles/Writing—original draft; Writing—review & editing.
Conflicts of Interest
Authors must disclose and declare any personal, professional or financial conflicts of interest that may inappropriately influence the research work. If there are no interests to declare, please state "The authors declare no conflict of interest".
Tables and Figures
File for Figures and Schemes must be provided during submission in a single .zip archive and at a sufficiently high resolution. All images must have a resolution of 300 dpi at final size. Check the resolution of your figure by enlarging it to 150%. If the image appears blurry, jagged or has a stair-stepped effect, the resolution is too low. Authors are encouraged to prepare Figures and Schemes in color (RGB at 8-bit per channel).
Common formats are accepted, however, TIFF, JPEG, EPS and PDF are preferred.
Tables and Figures must be mentioned in the text and in numerical order, an explanatory title and caption must be added. All Figures, Schemes and Tables should be inserted into the main text close to their first citation and must be numbered following their number of appearance (Figure 1, Scheme I, Figure 2, Scheme II, Table 1, etc.). Figure panels are referred to by bold capital letters in brackets: (A), (B), (C), (D), etc.
It is the author's responsibility to obtain permission from the copyright owner to reproduce Figures and Tables that have been published elsewhere. Tables and Figures without such evidence are assumed to originate from the author.
Supplementary Files
Authors may submit supplementary files to be made available alongside their article. The supplementary files will be available to the reviewers during the peer-review process.
Supplementary material is available online only on the article’s webpage (it is not published in the final PDF of the article). Supplementary files are not copy-edited nor proofread by the Editorial Office, and it is the authors’ responsibility to guarantee the scientific accuracy of these files.
References
Articles shall be submitted using the ACS style guide, 3rd edition. ACS style requires both in‐text citations and a final references list. For every in‐text citation, there should be a full citation in the reference list and vice versa. The names of the first six authors followed by et al. and the DOI (when available) should be provided.
With numerical reference citations, start with 1 and number consecutively throughout the paper, including references in text and those in Tables, Figures, and other non-text components. If a reference is repeated, do not give it a new number; use the original reference number. In the text, reference numbers should be placed in square brackets [ ], and placed before the punctuation; for example [1], [1–3] or [1,3]. Do not use superscript text to indicate citations. Authors are encouraged to insert hyperlinks to the in-text citations so that they can be linked to the reference list.
References list shall follow the following style, depending on the type of work:
Article in Scientific Journal
Author, A.A.; Author, B.B.; Author, C.C. Title of the article. Abbreviated Journal Name Year, Volume, firstpage–lastpage.
Book
Author, A.A.; Author, B.B. Book Title, 3rd ed.; Publisher: Publisher Location, Country, Year; pp. firstpage–lastpage.
Book Chapter
Author, A.A.; Author, B.B. Title of the chapter. In Book Title, 2nd ed.; Editor, A.A., Editor, B.B., Eds.; Publisher: Publisher Location, Country, Year; Volume, pp. firstpage–lastpage.
Unpublished Work
Author, A.A.; Author, B.B. Title of Unpublished Work. status (unpublished; manuscript in preparation).
Submitted Work
Author, A.A.; Author, B.B. Title of Unpublished Work. Abbreviated Journal Name stage of publication (under review; accepted; in press).
Conference Proceedings
Author, A.A.; Author, B.B.; Author, C.C. Title of Presentation. In Title of the Collected Work (if available), Proceedings of the Name of the Conference, Location of Conference, Country, Date of Conference; Editor, A.A., Editor, B.B., Eds. (if available); Publisher: City, Country, Year (if available); Abstract Number (optional), Pagination (optional).
Thesis / Dissertation
Author, A.A.; Author, B.B. Title of Thesis. Level of Thesis, Degree-Granting University, Location of University, Date of Completion.
Websites
Author, A. A. Title of Site. Available online: URL (accessed Day Month Year).
Editorial and Peer-Review Process
Pre-Check
1. Journal Editorial Office Assessment
The in-house editorial staff will make a first assessment of the manuscript submitted and check whether it fits the aims and scope of the journal. Manuscripts that are not properly prepared or do not meet the standards of the journal will be rejected before peer-review.
2. Academic Editor Assessment
An academic editor, i.e., the Editor-in-Chief for regular submissions, or the Guest Editor for Special Issue submissions, or an Editorial Board Member in case of a conflict of interest, will be invited to check whether the manuscript is scientifically sound. If not, the manuscript will be rejected immediately before peer review.
Peer-Review
Manuscripts will be sent to at least two external reviewers for peer review. The journal uses single-blind review where authors will be identified by reviewers and reviewer’s identities remain anonymous. Reviewers typically have 10 days to submit their report after agreeing to review. The journal Editorial Office will follow up with late reviewers and keep authors informed if there are any delays.
Peer-Review Models
Highlights of Molecular Science applies a single-blind peer-review process, but offers choices for authors and reviewers to participate in signed review and open peer review.
Single-Blind Peer Review: During the peer review process, reviewers know the identity of the authors, but authors do not know who reviewed their manuscript unless reviewers choose to sign their report.
Signed Peer Review: Reviewers can choose to sign their name to the review, allowing themselves to be identified by authors and other reviewers of the manuscript.
Open Peer Review: Authors are given the choice to publish all the review reports and editorial decisions alongside their manuscript. In such cases, reviewers’ identities will not be disclosed unless they choose to sign their report.
Editorial Decision and Revision
Once enough review reports are collected, the in-house editorial staff will communicate with the academic editors to make a decision, which will be one of the following:
Accept: The manuscript is considered of high quality and can be published in its current form and requires no further corrections.
Minor Revisions: The manuscript has a very good chance of being accepted for publication after revision. Authors are given five days for minor revisions.
Major Revisions: The manuscript has a chance of being accepted but would depend on the revisions. Authors are asked to resubmit the revised paper within a given deadline, and the revised version will be returned to the reviewers for further comments.
Reject and Encourage Resubmission: If very substantial changes are requested that are too significant to warrant a revision of the article in its current form, the manuscript will be rejected and the authors are encouraged to re-submit the paper once it has been substantially rewritten.
Reject: The manuscript has major flaws that could not be resolved by revision and resubmission.
Author Appeals
Authors may submit a formal appeal for rejections by sending an email to the journal Editorial Office with the word “appeal” in the subject line. The appeal must provide a detailed justification and point-by-point responses to the reviewers' and/or academic editor's comments.
Decisions on appeals are final and cannot be reversed.
Production and Publication
Once accepted, the manuscript will undergo professional copy-editing, proofreading by the authors, final corrections, pagination, and publication on the website.
Refer to the Highlights of Science editorial process at the Editorial Process section for more information.
Highlights Mol. Sci., ISSN: 2696-6549
Highlights Mol. Sci., ISSN: 2696-6549
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