• Ethics in publishing
• Informed consent and patient details
• Submission declaration and verification
• Use of inclusive language
• Changes to authorship
• Clinical trial results
• Copyright
• Role of the funding source
• Queries
• Article structure
• Graphical Abstract, Highlights, and In Brief
• Online proof correction

Ethics in publishing

Please see our information on Ethics in publishing.

Authorship criteria

Adapted from the recommendation of the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE)

Authorship credit should be based on the following:
  1. substantial contributions to conception and design, acquisition of data, or analysis and interpretation of data;
  2. drafting the article or substantively contributing to revisions in intellectual content;
  3. final approval of the version to be published;
  4. agreement to be accountable for all aspects of the work in ensuring that questions related to the accuracy or integrity of any part of the work are appropriately investigated and resolved.

All those designated as authors must meet all four criteria for authorship. Acquisition of funding or general supervision of the research group alone does not constitute authorship. It is expected that each author has made an important scientific contribution to the study and is thoroughly familiar with the original data. It is also expected that each author has read the complete manuscript and takes responsibility for its content and completeness. By accepting authorship, the author understands that if the paper, or any part thereof, is found to be faulty or in violation of ethical standards, they share responsibility with their co-authors.

Assignment of each author's contributions is requested as part of the online submission process.

"Group authorship" is allowed in which the name of the consortium or program is listed as an author, with members of the group listed in the Acknowledgments section. All listed members must meet the full criteria and requirements for authorship as described.

The Editor-in-Chief maintains discretion to allow or disallow inclusion of authors who are deceased. To facilitate review in each case, the contributions of these authors should be described in detail in the manuscript cover letter and within the online submission system.

All substantial changes in authorship (additions, removals, or change in order) that are requested after acceptance must be approved by the Associate Editor and all co-authors. Requests for changes must be made by the corresponding author, co-signed by all co-authors, and sent to the Associate Editor who handled the manuscript. For any requests to remove a co-author, the person who will be removed must also send a letter to the Associate Editor acknowledging this change.

ASBMB journals follow the ICJME recommendations for responsibilities of the corresponding author.

Studies involving human subjects or animals

Human subjects

All studies involving human subjects must be approved by the appropriate review board(s) and abide by the Declaration of Helsinki principles. A specific statement declaring approval and Helsinki compliance must be included in the Experimental Procedures section. Published studies that involve human subjects should not provide any identifying information (e.g., names, true initials, recognizable images) unless the information is essential for scientific purposes and the patient (or patient's parent/guardian) gives written informed consent for publication. If the patient is deceased, then the authors should seek consent from a relative. If such written consent is required, please download the form here and upload as additional Supplemental material for review only.

Animal and preclinical research studies

ASBMB encourages the reporting of animal data using the nomenclature and standards outlined in the ARRIVE (Animal in Research: Reporting In Vivo Experiments) guidelines, Kilkenny C, Browne WJ, Cuthill IC, Emerson M, Altman DG. Improving Bioscience Research Reporting: The ARRIVE Guidelines for Reporting Animal Research PLoS Biol. 2010 Jun 29;8(6):e1000412. All studies must be approved by the appropriate review board(s) and a specific statement of such an approval must be made in the Experimental Procedures section.

Informed consent and patient details

Studies on patients or volunteers require ethics committee approval and informed consent, which should be documented in the paper. Appropriate consents, permissions and releases must be obtained where an author wishes to include case details or other personal information or images of patients and any other individuals in an Elsevier publication. Written consents must be retained by the author but copies should not be provided to the journal. Only if specifically requested by the journal in exceptional circumstances (for example if a legal issue arises) the author must provide copies of the consents or evidence that such consents have been obtained. For more information, please review the Elsevier Policy on the Use of Images or Personal Information of Patients or other Individuals. Unless you have written permission from the patient (or, where applicable, the next of kin), the personal details of any patient included in any part of the article and in any supplementary materials (including all illustrations and videos) must be removed before submission.

Conflict of Interest

All authors must disclose any financial and personal relationships with other people or organizations that could inappropriately influence (bias) their work. Examples of potential competing interests include employment, consultancies, stock ownership, honoraria, paid expert testimony, patent applications/registrations, and grants or other funding. Authors must disclose any interests in one of two places: 1. A summary conflict of interest statement in the title page file (if double anonymized) or the manuscript file (if single anonymized). If there are no conflicts of interest to declare then please state this: 'Conflicts of interest: none'. 2. Detailed disclosures as part of a separate Conflict of Interest form, which forms part of the journal's official records. It is important for potential interests to be declared in one of these locations. More information.

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, a published lecture, academic thesis, or preprint, see 'Multiple, redundant or concurrent publication' 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.


Please note that preprints can be shared anywhere at any time, in line with Elsevier's sharing policy. Sharing your preprints e.g. on a preprint server will not count as prior publication (see 'Multiple, redundant or concurrent publication' for more information).

Use of inclusive language

Inclusive language acknowledges diversity, conveys respect to all people, is sensitive to differences, and promotes equal opportunities. Content should make no assumptions about the beliefs or commitments of any reader; contain nothing which might imply that one individual is superior to another on the grounds of age, gender, race, ethnicity, culture, sexual orientation, disability or health condition; and use inclusive language throughout. Authors should ensure that writing is free from bias, stereotypes, slang, reference to dominant culture and/or cultural assumptions. We advise to seek gender neutrality by using plural nouns ("clinicians, patients/clients") as default/wherever possible to avoid using "he, she," or "he/she." We recommend avoiding the use of descriptors that refer to personal attributes such as age, gender, race, ethnicity, culture, sexual orientation, disability or health condition unless they are relevant and valid. When coding terminology is used, we recommend to avoid offensive or exclusionary terms such as "master", "slave", "blacklist" and "whitelist". We suggest using alternatives that are more appropriate and (self-) explanatory such as "primary", "secondary", "blocklist" and "allowlist". These guidelines are meant as a point of reference to help identify appropriate language but are by no means exhaustive or definitive.

Author contributions

For transparency, authors are required to submit an author statement file outlining their individual contributions to the paper using the relevant 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. Authorship statements should be formatted with the names of authors first and CRediT role(s) following. More details and an example. Please click here to view the author statement file. The Author Contribution statement is optional at initial submission, but it must be included in the revised submission.

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.

Clinical trial results

In line with the position of the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors, the journal will not consider results posted in the same clinical trials registry in which primary registration resides to be prior publication if the results posted are presented in the form of a brief structured (less than 500 words) abstract or table. However, divulging results in other circumstances (e.g., investors' meetings) is discouraged and may jeopardise consideration of the manuscript. Authors should fully disclose all posting in registries of results of the same or closely related work.

Reporting clinical trials

Randomized controlled trials should be presented according to the CONSORT guidelines. At manuscript submission, authors must provide the CONSORT checklist accompanied by a flow diagram that illustrates the progress of patients through the trial, including recruitment, enrollment, randomization, withdrawal and completion, and a detailed description of the randomization procedure. The CONSORT checklist and template flow diagram are available online.

Registration of clinical trials

Registration in a public trials registry is a condition for publication of clinical trials in this journal in accordance with International Committee of Medical Journal Editors recommendations. Trials must register at or before the onset of patient enrolment. The clinical trial registration number should be included at the end of the abstract of the article. A clinical trial is defined as any research study that prospectively assigns human participants or groups of humans to one or more health-related interventions to evaluate the effects of health outcomes. Health-related interventions include any intervention used to modify a biomedical or health-related outcome (for example drugs, surgical procedures, devices, behavioural treatments, dietary interventions, and process-of-care changes). Health outcomes include any biomedical or health-related measures obtained in patients or participants, including pharmacokinetic measures and adverse events. Purely observational studies (those in which the assignment of the medical intervention is not at the discretion of the investigator) will not require registration.


Upon acceptance of an article, authors will be asked to complete a 'License Agreement' (see more information on this). 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, it is recommended to state this.

Open access

Please visit our Open Access page from the Journal Homepage for more information.

If you cannot afford the fees to get your article published open access, then individual waiver requests are considered on a case-by-case basis and may be granted in cases of genuine need. Please click on for more information. If you are not eligible via Research4Life, please contact us at [email protected] for more details. Please note that all waiver requests must be submitted prior to the article's acceptance.

Peer review process

The identity of all reviewers remains unknown to the authors. Every manuscript is treated by the Editors and reviewers as privileged information, and they are instructed to exclude themselves from the review of any manuscript that might involve a conflict of interest or the appearance thereof. During initial submission, prospective authors are encouraged to recommend one or more Associate Editors who would be particularly appropriate to handle their manuscript. Authors cannot exclude Associate Editors. Authors are also given an opportunity to suggest (and exclude) potential referees with the expertise needed to evaluate the manuscript.

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 Author Services.


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 Word files 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.


For questions about the editorial process (including the status of manuscripts under review) or for technical support on submissions, please visit our Support Center.

Use of word processing software

It is important that the file be saved in the native format of the word processor used. The text should be in single-column format. Keep the layout of the text as simple as possible. Most formatting codes will be removed and replaced on processing the article. In particular, do not use the word processor's options to justify text or to hyphenate words. However, do use bold face, italics, subscripts, superscripts etc. When preparing tables, if you are using a table grid, use only one grid for each individual table and not a grid for each row. If no grid is used, use tabs, not spaces, to align columns. The electronic text should be prepared in a way very similar to that of conventional manuscripts (see also the Guide to Publishing with Elsevier). Note that source files of figures, tables and text graphics will be required whether or not you embed your figures in the text. 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

Formatting your manuscript file

Our editorial system, Editorial Manager, automatically extracts the information from your submitted file to save you time during submission. Therefore, a PDF is not an acceptable source file for the manuscript. Only editable source files must be uploaded for the main manuscript file - including figure captions, and these will typically have the extension .docx, .doc, or .tex. We strongly recommend you use the formatting described here to enter authors names and section titles in your manuscript file. This will allow our editorial system to automatically extract manuscript information and prefill many of the required submission fields on the following pages, saving you a lot of time during the submission.

Preparing the manuscript text

For INITIAL submission, the primary goal is for the manuscript to contain the necessary information to enable a full scientific assessment; so while all sections of the manuscript need to be present, references need to be complete, and figures and tables need to be clearly numbered, adherence to the remaining formatting guidelines described below is not critical. Revised manuscripts, however, must adopt MCP's style below to avoid delays in review or publication. Authors must always follow MCP's data reporting requirements for protein identification and other relevant guidelines to avoid complications in submission and review.
  • Formatted for an 8.5 x 11 page
  • Double spacing throughout
  • One-inch margins
  • Text in a font size of at least 10 points
  • No line numbering
  • Arrange the manuscript in the following order:
    • Title page: Title, authors and institutions
    • Running title
    • Abbreviations
    • Abstract
    • Introduction
    • Experimental Procedures (including a subsection called Experimental Design and Statistical Rationale)
    • Results
    • Discussion
    • Acknowledgments
    • Data availability
    • References
    • Footnotes
    • Tables (Supplemental tables and their legends should not be included in the main article file)
    • Figure legends (Supplemental figures and their legends should not be included in the main article file; figures should be included as individual source files and not embedded in the main article file)


  • As short and informative as possible.
  • Should be intelligible to MCP readers who are not specialists in the field and should convey your essential points clearly.
  • Should not exceed two printed lines.
  • Acronyms or abbreviations may be used without definition in the title, but authors should strive to limit abbreviations for clarity. Any abbreviations that do not appear on this list of common terms should be defined at first usage in the abstract or main text.


  • Should include the complete names of all authors and affiliations where the work was performed (for those authors who have since moved, please indicate their present address as a separate note).
  • Should identify which author will receive correspondence regarding the manuscript and include this author's current e-mail address.

Running title

  • Should be at the top of each page except the first, where it should appear below the author affiliations.
  • Cannot exceed 60 characters and spaces.


  • All abbreviations are to be listed and defined. A list of abbreviations not requiring definition can be found here.
  • Abbreviations in the title do not need to be defined within the title; define them (if necessary, see next point) at their first appearance in the abstract or main text.
  • Some terms and units need not be spelled out; please review the abbreviations page to learn more.
  • Numerical data should be reported with the number of significant digits that corresponds to the magnitude of experimental uncertainty.
  • Compounds: The rules and recommendations of IUPAC should be used for abbreviation of chemical names, nomenclature of chemical compounds, isotopic compounds, optically active isomers, and spectroscopic data.
  • Enzymes: The trivial and systematic names of enzymes should be those recommended by the Nomenclature Committee of the IUBMB and not abbreviated except in terms of the substrates for which there are accepted abbreviations, e.g., ATPase and RNase.
  • Organisms: Nomenclature should follow the guidelines developed by the American Society for Microbiology.
  • Lipids: The use of the classification, nomenclature and structural representation of lipids used by the LIPID MAPS Initiative should be used whenever possible (see Fahy et al. (2005) J. Lipid Res. 46, 839-862 and Fahy et al. (2009) J. Lipid Res. 50, S9-S14). Lipid structures can be downloaded directly from the Lipid Classification section of the LIPID MAPS website or structures drawn de novo from the Tools section of the website, and then inserted into the manuscript.
  • Glycans: All figures that depict glycans using symbols for monosaccharides should follow the shapes and colors presented in the current version of the Symbol Nomenclature for Glycans (SNFG). The original citation is Varki et al. (2015) Glycobiology 25, 1323-1324.


  • Should describe the background, methods used, central findings, and conclusions drawn in the manuscript.
  • Should avoid specialized terms and abbreviations as much as possible. Abbreviations not on the abbreviations page should be spelled out upon first usage.
  • Should be no more than 300 words.
  • References (as reference numbers or full citations) are not allowed.


  • Presents the purpose of the studies reported and their relationship to earlier work in the field.
  • Should not be an extensive review of the literature, but germane previous work should be accurately cited.

Experimental procedures

  • Should describe the overall experimental design briefly but with sufficient information to permit a qualified reader to repeat the experiments; truly new procedures should be described in detail.
  • Previously published procedures should be referenced, and modifications given in detail where necessary to repeat the work.
  • Must include a subsection with the header Experimental Design and Statistical Rationale.
  • If the manuscript includes human or animal studies, authors must include a statement as to whether the studies were approved and by which review board. Please also see our Clinical Proteomics Guidelines for data that were obtained from human tissues/fluids (except for cell lines not established as part of the reported study).
  • Can be abbreviated or combined with Results in technology papers.


  • Presented in figures and tables.
  • Should not be an extensive discussion of the Results section.


  • Should be a concise interpretation.
  • Focused on the interpretation of results rather than a repetition of the Results section.

Data availability

  • Must indicate where the data described in the manuscript are located. If all data are contained within the manuscript, then the statement should indicate so. If data are to be shared upon request, then the individual along with their contact information (institution and email address) must be indicated.
  • For datasets that were deposited into a publicly accessible repository, the location and identifying information (i.e., accession numbers) must be provided.
  • Software code should be archived in a repository that can assign it a DOI and the DOI should be provided. If DOIs cannot be provided, include placeholder language to indicate that DOIs will be made available after acceptance.
  • Any exceptions or limitations to the sharing of data, materials, and software must be described in this section

Supplemental data

  • If your article contains supplemental data please include a sentence stating "This article contains supplemental data." Any references cited in the Supplemental Data should be cited in this sentence.


  • Cited in text by number, rather than by author and date.
  • Numbered consecutively in the order of appearance in the manuscript.
  • DOIs should be added for any articles that do not have designated volume and page numbers (such as MCP's Papers in Press; see example 3).
  • Previously deposited/published datasets should be provided as a reference along with the article describing the dataset. The data citation should be formatted using the general format (see example 5): [dataset] Creator(s)/Author(s). (Publication Year) Title. Repository. Version (if applicable), Global Persistent Identifier.
  • Preprints may be cited in the reference list of the article (see example 6).
  • All references should be included in this section. If any references are cited in the Supplemental Data, they should be included in the References of the main text and cited in the Supplemental Data section at the end of the article. The numbering of the citations in the Supplemental Data should start after the last reference in the main text.

  1. Mukherjee, A. K., Sharma, S., Bagri, S., Kutum, R., Kumar, P., Hussain, A., et al. (2019) Telomere repeat-binding factor 2 binds extensively to extra-telomeric G-quadruplexes and regulates the epigenetic status of several gene promoters. J Biol Chem. 294, 17709-17722
  2. Sambrook, J., Fritsch, E. F., and Maniatis, T. (1989) Molecular Cloning: A Laboratory Manual, 2nd Ed. Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, Cold Spring Harbor, New York.
  3. Ramachandran, A., Summerville, L., Learn, B. A., DeBell, L., and Bailey, S. (December 30, 2019) Processing and integration of functionally oriented prespacers in the E. coli CRISPR system depends on bacterial host exonucleases. J Biol Chem. 10.1074/jbc.RA119.012196
  4. Farrell, C. (1992) The Role of SecB During Protein Export in Escherichia coli. Ph.D. thesis, The Johns Hopkins University
  5. [dataset] Archer, C. R., Enslow, B. T., Taylor, A. B., De la Rosa, V., Bhattacharya, A., Shapiro, M. S. (2019) Crystal structure of the Ca2+/CaM complex with independent peptides of Kv7.4 (KCNQ4) A & B domains. Protein Data Bank. 6N5W.
  6. [preprint] Chen, J. J., Nathaniel, D. L., Raghavan, P., Nelson, M., Tian, R., Tse, E., et al. (2019) Compromised function of an ESCRT complex promotes endolysosomal escape of tau seeds and propagation of tau aggregation. bioRxiv. 10.1101/637785

Unpublished observations and personal communications

  • Must be cited using footnotes.
  • Written approval for all personal communications, exactly as written in the text, should be available upon request.


  • Should have an overall title and each column within the table must have a heading.
  • Should contain sufficient experimental detail to be understood without reference to the text.
  • Abbreviations, when necessary, should be defined in the legend.
  • Complex tables, such as sequence alignments, should be submitted as figures. Very large tables that cannot fit on a single page (e.g., peptide/protein identification data by mass spectrometry) should be submitted as Supplemental Data in an appropriate format such as Excel.

Figures and figure legends

Ensure that each illustration has a caption. Supply captions separately, not attached to the figure. 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.
  • Figure legends should appear at the end of the article (not within the body of the manuscript).
  • Legends should contain sufficient detail to make the figure easily understood.
  • Should be numbered in the order in which they are mentioned in the text.
  • Figure file names should include the figure number.
  • All symbols should be defined and all equations used to plot lines and curves should be provided.

Preparing figures

It is the authors' responsibility to review the accuracy of figures before submission. Authors should create figures using applications that are capable of preparing high resolution TIFF or EPS file formats. We require submission of figures as separate files at publication quality resolution at the revision stage.


Please provide individual source files (i.e., .tif, .tiff, .pdf, .ps, .eps, .jpg, .jpeg, .gif, .bmp, .psd, or .png) for any figures included with your submission. Figures should not be embedded within or at the end of your manuscript Word file. Figures supplied in EPS format should have all fonts converted to outlines/paths to avoid problems with character substitutions (in Adobe Illustrator, choose Edit » Select All then Type » Create Outlines).

It is the authors' responsibility to verify the quality of the graphics and confirm that compression of the files during the submission process does not distort the images.

We cannot accept figure files formatted for certain applications, such as Microsoft Office (PowerPoint, Word, Excel, Access), Corel Perfect Office (WordPerfect, Quattro Pro, Presentations), and Lotus SmartSuite (Freelance Graphics, 1-2-3, Approach, and WordPro).

Color figures

Color figures must be prepared in RGB color mode, not CMYK. The use of color figures is encouraged where they will enhance the presentation of the data. Because color blindness affects 5-10% of the population it is recommended that you create figures that are accessible to all, including those with impaired color vision. Please follow these five guidelines: 1) use a color-blind safe palette; 2) use sufficiently high contrast; 3) in fluorescent red-green images, replace red with magenta; 4) simulate how your design would look to the color-blind eye using one of the many free tools or the "Proof setup" function in Adobe Photoshop; 5) consider if you really need to use color to represent your data or if monochromatic figures, or different shapes, positions and line types could be used instead.

Figure dimensions and labeling

Figure files should be properly sized and cropped so that no unnecessary white space is left bordering the figure. Figures will be placed in 1 (3.5 in/8.9 cm), 1.5 (5 in/12.7 cm) or 2 (7.2 in/18.2 cm) column widths. The maximum height is 6 inches (15 cm). Panels should be assembled into a single composite figure that fits on one page and this figure saved as a single file.

Text labels should be adjusted so that the smallest type on the figure will be at least 2mm at the intended width. The sizes of numbers, letters and symbols used in multi-paneled figures should be consistent between panels and units of measurement must be given. Helvetica or European PI fonts should be used for best results.

Image resolution

Figures must be prepared with the proper resolution for publication to avoid inaccurate presentation of the data. The minimum acceptable resolution for all figures is 300 dpi. Excessive file compression can distort images, so files should be carefully checked after compression. Note that figures that contain both line art (such as graphs) and RGB/grayscale areas (such as photographs) are best prepared as EPS (vector) files with embedded TIFF images for the RGB/grayscale portions. The resolution of those embedded TIFF images should be at least 300 dpi.

Figure permissions and reuse

All submissions should contain the appropriate permissions statements for reuse of content from previous publications. If you are not sure whether you need permissions for any figures, please click here for a simple guide.

If you require further information, please send an e-mail query to .

Supplemental data

All the data necessary to support the conclusions of a paper should be included within the main body of the paper. Any additional data supporting the research reported in a manuscript but not essential for the interpretations presented in the text may be included as Supplemental Data. Also, data in formats that cannot be accommodated in the text may be included as Supplemental Data. Therefore, Supplemental Data may include extensive mass spectrometry data, experimental results under additional conditions, non-essential controls, videos, 3-D structures/images, extended chemical syntheses, kinetic modeling data, and other large data sets.

Supplemental Data will be reviewed as a part of the normal manuscript review process and will be judged by the same rigorous criteria as the main body of the paper. Most Supplemental Data (except for large supplemental tables) can be submitted as a single PDF file; this PDF should begin with the title of the article, the names of the authors, and a list of the material included. Pages should be numbered S-1, S-2, and so forth. Tables and figures in Supplemental Data should be labeled Table S1, Table S2, and so forth. If your Supplemental Data contains figures, please indicate it upon submission. Each figure legend should be placed directly by the figure. If references are cited in this section, they should be included in the main manuscript file, beginning after the references cited in the main text, and cited in the Supplemental Data section at the end of the article. All supporting tables and figures must be of high quality. Supplemental Data in file types other than pdf, such as large data files, movies, etc., should be submitted in their native formats as separate files, and the content listed/described in the main Supplemental Data PDF. Protein and peptide identification data using mass spectrometry such as those required in our guidelines should be provided in Excel format to allow easy examination of the data. Supplemental Data cannot be added after acceptance.

Supplemental Data should not contain preliminary data that simply extends the scope of the study, unnecessary "control" data, or data that are thought to be not "clean enough" for the main text. Some detailed methodology may be presented in the Supplemental Data, but it should not be viewed as a "dump" for most methods; the main text should contain sufficient methodology for an experienced investigator to replicate the experiments. Authors should carefully review the Supplementary Data for factual, grammatical, and typographical issues since this material will not be professionally copyedited but permanently posted "as is."

The following Supplemental Data file formats are accepted: avi, doc, docx, gif, html, jpg, mov, mpg, pdb, pdf, ppt, pptx, txt, wmv, xls, xlsx, and zip.

Source files for Supplemental Data are NOT needed at the time of acceptance. We will use the files included in your submission. Supplemental files cannot be added after acceptance.


Revised manuscripts must be accompanied by a cover letter that includes a detailed point-by-point response listing as to how each of the reviewers' comments has been addressed and describes any other changes made to the manuscript. Authors are invited to upload a copy of the original manuscript marked using Word with Track Changes, highlighting, or colored text to indicate changes and facilitate evaluation of the revisions. Such a file should be uploaded as "Supplemental Data (for reviewers only)," so that it does not appear online if this version of the paper is accepted. The main PDF file should not include tracked changes/color, etc., and should follow the formatting requirements as described above as it will be published directly as a Paper in Press if accepted. In addition, all resubmissions must be accompanied by a Graphical Abstract, Highlights, and In Brief for use in publication (see below for more detail).

Graphical Abstract, Highlights, and In Brief

Graphical abstract

A graphical abstract is an image that summarizes the main findings of a paper. It adds a rich, visual component to the start of a paper, helping readers to quickly appreciate and understand the central message.

Graphical abstracts may be submitted at any stage but are only required with the final submission. The image should be 1200 pixels square at 300 dpi, using Arial font with a size of 12-16 points; smaller fonts will not be legible online. Please refer to our graphical abstract guidelines for more details and recommendations.


Highlights are mandatory for this journal for revised/resubmitted manuscripts and are encouraged upon initial submission as they help increase the discoverability of your article via search engines. They consist of a short collection of bullet points that capture the novel results of your research as well as new methods that were used during the study (if any). Please have a look at the examples here: example Highlights.

Highlights 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).

In Brief statement

The "In Brief" blurb is mandatory for this journal for revised/resubmitted manuscripts and is encouraged upon initial submission. The "In Brief" blurb is a short summary that describes the context and significance of the findings for the broader readership. The blurb should be 80 words or less

Preprint references

Where a preprint has subsequently become available as a peer-reviewed publication, the formal publication should be used as the reference. If there are preprints that are central to your work or that cover crucial developments in the topic, but are not yet formally published, these may be referenced. Preprints should be clearly marked as such, for example by including the word preprint, or the name of the preprint server, as part of the reference. The preprint DOI should also be provided.

Availability of accepted article

This journal makes articles available online as soon as possible after acceptance. This concerns the Journal Pre-proofs (both in HTML and PDF format), which have undergone enhancements after acceptance, such as the addition of a cover page and metadata, and formatting for readability, but are not yet the definitive versions of record. A Digital Object Identifier (DOI) is allocated, thereby making it fully citable and searchable by title, author name(s) and the full text. The article's PDF also carries a disclaimer stating that it is an unedited article. Subsequent production stages will simply replace this version.

Online proof correction

To ensure a fast publication process of the article, we kindly ask authors to provide us with their proof corrections within two days. 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 be notified and receive a link to the published version of the open access article on ScienceDirect. This link is in the form of an article DOI link which can be shared via email and social networks. Both corresponding and co-authors may order offprints at any time via Elsevier's Author Services.

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.