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Science: Information for authors

Categories of manuscripts

Preparing your manuscript

Submitting your manuscript

Manuscript selection

Publication

Science is a weekly, peer-reviewed journal that publishes significant original scientific research, plus reviews and analyses of current research and science policy. We seek to publish papers that are influential in their fields or across fields and that will substantially advance scientific understanding. Selected papers should present novel and broadly important data, syntheses, or concepts. We welcome submissions from all fields of science and from any source.

Manuscripts should be submitted at our manuscript submission and information portal //cts.多寶網. The status of submitted manuscripts can also be tracked at this portal.

Authors should familiarize themselves with the overall editorial policies for the Science Journals before submitting their paper. These policies spell out the rights and responsibilities that authors agree to when submitting and publishing their papers. Access this information here.

Categories of manuscripts

Peer-Reviewed Research Manuscripts

Research Articles (up to ~4500 words, including references, notes and captions–corresponds to ~5 printed pages in the journal) are expected to present a major advance. Research Articles include an abstract, an introduction, up to six figures or tables, sections with brief subheadings, and about 40 references. Materials and Methods should be included in supplementary materials, which should also include information needed to support the paper's conclusions.

Science also accepts a few Research Articles for online presentation. These are expected to present significant research results that cannot be fully presented in the print format and merit the extra length and attention provided by this presentation. The cover letter should indicate why the additional length is merited. These can be up to 8000 words and include methods, additional figures and potentially videos, as part of the main article. Additional supplementary materials which include information needed to support the paper's conclusions, are allowed. The full text will be included in all digital versions of Science, and a structured abstract will be included in the print version. A pdf of the full article can be downloaded.

Reports (up to ~2500 words including references, notes and captions–corresponds to ~3 printed pages in the journal) present important new research results of broad significance. Reports should include an abstract, an introductory paragraph, up to four figures or tables, and about 30 references. Materials and Methods should be included in supplementary materials, which should also include information needed to support the paper's conclusions.

In Research Articles and Reports Science requires the Materials and Methods section to provide sufficient detail to allow replication of the study. In addition, for papers in the life sciences that involve a method that would benefit from the publication of a step-by-step protocol, we encourage authors to consider submitting a detailed protocol to our collaborative partner Bio-protocol.

Reviews All Reviews, except reviews in Special Issues, are now published online, where additional length, references, and enhanced media, are possible. The full text will be included in all digital versions of Science, and an enhanced abstract consisting of 550-600 words divided into 3 sections headed Background, Advances, and Outlook will be included in the print version. Reviews can be up to 6000 words and include up to 100 references, and 4-6 figures or tables. Reviews do not contain supplementary material. They should describe and synthesize recent developments of interdisciplinary significance and highlight future directions. They include an abstract, an introduction that outlines the main themes, brief subheadings, and an outline of important unresolved questions. Unsolicited offers of Reviews are considered. Proposals in the form of an enhanced abstract, one figure, and a list of 5-10 of the most important recent citations should be emailed to science_editors@aaas.org 

Commentary 

Science's Insights section presents analysis by scientists and other experts on issues of interest to Science readers. With the exception of Letters, eLetters, and Technical Comments, most items in this section are commissioned by the editors, but unsolicited contributions are welcome. Perspectives and Policy Forums should include an abstract. Commentary material may be peer reviewed at the Editors' discretion.

  • Perspectives (up to 1000 words plus 1 figure) highlight recent exciting research, but do not primarily discuss the author's own work. They may provide context for the findings within a field or explain potential interdisciplinary importance. Perspectives that comment on papers in Science should add a dimension to the research and not merely be a summary of the experiments described in the paper. Although many Perspectives that comment on research published in Science are solicited, we welcome inquiries regarding new advances and fresh insights. As these are meant to express a personal viewpoint, with rare exceptions, Perspectives should have no more than two authors.
  • Books or Media Reviews (up to 800 words) feature commentary on new books, films, exhibitions, performances, mobile applications, podcasts, and other media that are likely to be of broad interest to our readership. Please contact the Book Review Editor before you begin preparing your book or media review, indicating why you believe the work would be of interest to Science readers, and why you are well-positioned to write the review.
  • Policy Forums (1000 to 2000 words, 1-2 figures, and up to 15 references) presents issues related to the intersections between science and society that have policy implications.
  • Letters (up to 300 words) discuss material published in Science in the last 3 months or issues of general interest. Letters should be submitted through our Manuscript Submission and Information Portal (//cts.多寶網). Letters may be reviewed. The author of a paper in question is usually given an opportunity to reply. Letter submissions are acknowledged upon receipt by Science’s automatic system, but letter writers are not always consulted before publication. Letters are subject to editing for clarity and space. Letters rejected for print publication may be posted as eLetters.
  • eLetters are brief online comments that can be submitted in response to papers or news stories published in Science. eLetters are submitted on the Science website, evaluated, and posted with the article if accepted. Authors are identified and must agree to our terms and conditions (//lw.mobi666.mobi/about/terms-service). 
  • Technical Comments (up to 1000 words, 2 figures or tables, 15 references, and no Supplementary Materials), are published online and critique the core conclusions and/or methodology of research published in Science within the previous 3 months. The abstract (60 words or less) will be included in the Letters section of the print edition. Technical Comments should not present new data or other previously unpublished work nor be based on new findings/concepts that would not have been accessible to the authors when the paper was written. Pertinent comments on non-technical aspects of a paper should be submitted as eLetters. Authors of Technical Comments should contact the authors of the paper before submitting their manuscript, and should submit to Science the relevant correspondence. Technical Comments that are accepted will be posted online along with a formal reply from the authors of the original paper. 

Preparing your manuscript

We accept submissions only online at //cts.多寶網. Preparing a manuscript that follows our guidelines concerning length, style and acceptable file formats will facilitate the evaluation process.

See Guidelines for Preparing a New Manuscript. Revised manuscripts for the most part follow the same style guidelines, however there are some differences, particularly in figure preparation. See Guidelines for Preparing a Revised Manuscript.

The Editorial and Publishing teams at AAAS/Science Journals have evaluated the work of the companies listed below and have found them to be effective outlets for language editing services.

Accdon LetPub
Edanz
Editage
Enago

Please note that AAAS takes no responsibility for and does not endorse these services. Use of these services shall have no influence on the acceptance of a manuscript for publication by AAAS. Further, any questions or concerns about the services provided by the companies above should be sent to the companies directly.

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Submitting your manuscript

Authors and reviewers must have an account to sign into our Content Tracking System (CTS) at //cts.多寶網. If you do not have an account, you will need to create one by following the prompts on the welcome page. Once you have an account, you can use it for submissions to any Science Journal and it will serve as a record for your author and reviewer information. We have divided information about the submission process into 10 sections. We hope this information will help you prepare and successfully submit your manuscript.

1. Please follow our instructions for Preparing an Initial Manuscript. We prefer files to be prepared using our updated Word template. LaTeX users should use our LaTeX template and at the submission stage either convert files to a Word .docx or submit a PDF file. Using these templates facilitates the process by which our system extracts author and article information from the manuscript file to pre-fill subsequent pages in the submissions process.

2. Once you have logged into CTS, you will see a pop-up asking if you wish to start a new submission.  You can also start a new submission by clicking on “New Submission” in the top right corner. From there, you will be able to select the journal and article type from the drop-down menu. After making these selections, you will be taken to the Welcome tab where you will find information about our submission requirements and a link to our manuscript template. Once you begin a new submission, you will be assigned a manuscript ID consisting of three letters and four numbers; this ID will appear at the top left of the page followed by the status of your submission. Tabs for each step in the submission process display across the top of the page.

3. Once you have read the information on the Welcome tab, please click the red button to continue to the Terms and Conditions page. At this point, you will need to read and agree to terms regarding the submission and publication of a manuscript with Science. For details, please read our Editorial Policies.

4. Upon acceptance of the Terms and Conditions, you will move to the Article tab. In the Manuscript section of this tab, you must upload a manuscript file containing the main text. We prefer that you upload your manuscript as a Word .docx prepared using our template. In the Combined PDF section, you must upload a PDF file that contains the complete main manuscript, figures, tables, and supplementary materials. Uploads to both sections are required before you can proceed to the next tab.

5. Related Documents: The only required file on the Related Documents tab is the Cover Letter. Your cover letter should include:

  • The title of the paper and a statement of its main point.                           
  • Any information needed to ensure a fair review process, including related manuscripts submitted to other journals.   
  • Reference to any pre-submission discussions with editors.
  • Names of colleagues who have reviewed the paper prior to its submission. 
  • A statement that none of the material has been published or is under consideration for publication elsewhere.                             
  • For investigations on humans, a statement indicating that informed consent was obtained after the nature and possible consequences of the studies were explained.                              
  • For studies using laboratory animals, wild or temporarily captive animals, and/or genetically modified animals, a statement that the animals' care was in accordance with institutional guidelines.                     
  • Specification of where all data underlying the study are available, or will be deposited, and whether there are any restrictions on data availability such as an MTA.                           
  • Information on any reference material or additional data files (see below for uploading items to the Auxiliary files section). Your editor will facilitate review of these items as necessary. 

Additional related documents and/or files can be uploaded to three other sections: Supplementary Material, Auxiliary Supplementary Material and Other Supporting Files, and Movies.

Supplementary Material may be submitted as a single file in .docx and/or PDF format, separate from the contents of the main text. The manuscript file and the Supplementary Material file each have a 25-MB size limit.

Supplementary multimedia or large data files that cannot be included in the Supplementary Material file should be uploaded as Auxiliary Supplementary Materials or Movies. There is a 25-MB combined size limit on auxiliary or movie files and a limit of 10 auxiliary or movie files. Authors should submit video and audio files with clearly identifiable accompanying captions and credit information.

  • For video clips, .mp4 files are preferred. Quicktime (.mov) files are acceptable provided the h.264 compression setting is used. Where possible please use HD frame size (1920x1080 pixels). Animated GIFs are not accepted.
  • For audio files, WAV AIFF, AU, or .m4a file formats are preferred. MP3 or AAC files are acceptable, but a bit rate of at least 160 kb/s must be used.

Other items that are required at submission and should be uploaded to the Auxiliary files section if applicable are:

  • Any papers by any subset of the authors that are related to the manuscript and are under consideration or in press at other journals. This applies throughout the evaluation process at Science. If a related paper is submitted elsewhere while the Science paper is under consideration, please contact your Editor.
  • Data files required for review of your manuscript.       
  • Written permission from any author who is not an author of your manuscript but whose work is cited as in press. Permission must allow for the distribution of in press manuscripts or relevant data to reviewers. A copy of an email is sufficient. We do not allow citation to in press manuscripts at publication – these would need to be replaced by the published reference.   
  • Copies of any relevant MTAs.

6. After your Related Documents have been uploaded and saved, a list of institutions that were identified in the affiliations section of your manuscript will be presented. The system will lead you through a series of steps to resolve the discovered institutions and add any institutions that are missing. The top-level name along with city and country are required for each institution that is saved.

7. Next, the system will present a list of discovered authors. You may deselect authors from the list, correct spelling of names, and add missing information. A valid email address for each author must be provided. Missing author names can be added to the author grid. For papers with more than 50 authors, a template for bulk upload of author names and emails is available from this window. Each submission is required to have a first author and corresponding author (who can be the same individual). An ORCID iD will be required for first and corresponding authors of revised manuscripts and is strongly encouraged for all authors. The ORCID iD cannot be provided by another individual; instead, each author must sign into both their CTS and ORCID accounts to add this information to their individual accounts.

Upon successful completion of the submission, all authors will receive email confirmation the submission has been received. The email will provide a link for co-authors to confirm authorship in the system or notify us if they are unaware of, or did not approve of, the submission. All authors must click the verification link in the email to verify authorship. If the link breaks or expires, an author should instead directly log into CTS to verify authorship. Authors must sign into CTS with the email address to which the link was sent. All authors are encouraged to update their demographic and expertise information during the confirmation step.

8. Once all author information has been resolved and extraneous or incorrect information removed, the system will guide you to the Manuscript Information tab. You will be asked to approve the title, abstract text, and funding source extracted from your manuscript files. You may also modify the title (96 character maximum for Research Articles and Reports) and abstract, add a Short Title (40 character maximum), and request an Editor. Note that Editor assignment depends upon availability, relative loads, and other factors. 

We require you to list all funding sources and we encourage you to add missing funding sources at this point. This can be done through a dropdown if your funder is included in Crossref’s Funder Registry controlled vocabulary list. If your Funder is not included, you may add the Funder’s name by typing it in directly. We also require that you select at least one Subject Area that pertains to your paper.

On this tab you will have the opportunity to indicate your interest in having your manuscript transferred to another Science Journal if your paper is not accepted at Science.

9. The next step is to suggest up to 5 potential reviewers and indicate individuals that should be excluded as reviewers along with the reason for exclusion (limit of 5). Name and email are required for all suggested or excluded reviewers.

10. A summary of the submission information is provided in the final validation step. Incomplete or missing information is indicated in red. Review and update information as needed. Complete the submission by clicking the Submit button. Once you’ve submitted your manuscript, a pop-up will appear on your CTS Home page asking you to verify your authorship. Please follow the prompts and, once you’ve verified your authorship, check that your home page lists the status of the manuscript as “Received”. You can return to the site at any time to track the status of the manuscript.

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Manuscript selection

Science is committed to thorough and efficient evaluation of submitted manuscripts. Papers are assigned to a staff editor who has knowledge of the manuscript’s field-of-study. Most submitted papers are rated for suitability by members of Science’s Board of Reviewing Editors. The editors at Science consider this advice in selecting papers for in-depth review. Authors of papers that are not selected for review are notified promptly, within about 2 weeks.

Research papers that are selected for in-depth review are evaluated by at least two outside reviewers, who are contacted before being sent a paper and asked to return comments within 2 weeks in most cases. Once all reviews are in, we initiate a cross-review process in which we invite all reviewers to read the other (still anonymous) reviews and make additional comments within 2 business days. Cross-review is encouraged, but not required. We are able to expedite the review process significantly for papers that require rapid assessment. Manuscripts selected for publication are edited to improve accuracy and clarity, as well as for length. Rejected papers cannot be resubmitted over a disagreement on novelty, interest, or relative merit. If a paper was rejected on the basis of serious reviewer error, resubmission may be considered.

Authors are notified of decisions by e-mail, and the status of the manuscript can be tracked at //cts.多寶網. Membership in AAAS is not a factor in selection of manuscripts for publication. Science treats all submitted manuscripts as confidential documents. Science also instructs and expects our Board of Reviewing Editors and reviewers to treat manuscripts as confidential material. Our peer review process is confidential and identities of reviewers are not released. (Letters and Technical Comments are sent to the authors of papers on which they comment for response or rebuttal, but otherwise are treated in the same way as other contributions with respect to confidentiality.)

Science publishes five other journals: Science Signaling, Science Translational Medicine, Science Immunology, Science Robotics, and our open access, interdisciplinary journal, Science Advances. Authors submitting to Science may elect to transfer to one of our other journals should the manuscript not be selected for publication at Science. Science editors will not see this choice until after the decision is made, and authors will be given the opportunity to confirm the choice before transfer is initiated. If a manuscript is rejected from Science with the option of transfer, we would be happy to transfer your submission from Science with no reformatting required. Editors at the second journal may use the information gathered during evaluation at Science to expedite review, including reuse of the reviews provided reviewers agree. You may also choose to start a new review process. The transfer can only include documents that were part of the review process at Science. Once transfer is complete, you will have the opportunity to upload a response to the reviews where appropriate.

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Publication

Most papers are published in print and online 4 to 8 weeks after acceptance. In addition, Science selects papers for earlier online publication in First Release, using the accepted version of the paper with minimal copyediting. The official publication date of these papers is the date of First Release publication. Requests for accelerated online publication should be explained to the editors in the cover letter.

The cost of color illustrations is $650 for the first color figure and $450 for each additional color figure. In addition, there is a comparable charge for use of color in reprints. We ask that you submit your payment with your reprint order, which you will receive with your galley proofs. We also now provide a free electronic reprint service; information will be sent by email after your paper is published.

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