Instructions for authors of revised research articles

(Submission after invited revision)

Preparing your Text, Tables, and Figure Legends

Preparing your Supplementary Material

Preparing your Figures

Citation Style

Article Publication Fees

Submitting your Revised Manuscript

The information below will guide you toward preparing your manuscript text, figures, and Supplementary Materials so that they can be processed by your editor and the copyediting department. (Instructions for submission of a new manuscript are very different. If you are submitting a manuscript for initial evaluation, please refer to the instructions for initial submission of a new manuscript.)

Preparing your Text, Tables, and Figure Legends

  • Collate all text, references, figure and table captions, and tables into one .docx file.

  • Do not include the figures themselves.

  • Supplementary text, figures, and tables should be prepared as a separate .docx file.

  • Use double spacing throughout the text, tables, figure legends, and references and notes.

  • Use Times and Symbol fonts only.

  • Format files for U.S. letter paper.

  • Define technical terms, symbols, abbreviations, and acronyms the first time that they are used.

  • Cite all tables and figures in numerical order.

  • If requested by your editor, please provide a version with the changes either tracked or highlighted in some way.

Acceptable formats for text.

Text files must be .docx (Macintosh or Windows).

Naming your text file.

Our manuscript handling system will rename your .docx file once it is uploaded, so there are no file naming requirements.

All data must be shown.

Please remove all reference to data not shown and provide in the main manuscript or the Supplementary Materials all data as indicated by the editor.

Organization of Research Articles.

All Research Articles follow the same format whether long or short.

  • Title (should not exceed 135 characters including spaces)

  • Authors (include affiliations linked by superscript numbers and indicate the corresponding author and provide email address)

  • Abstract (ideal length is 125 words or fewer, may not exceed 250 words)

  • One-sentence summary (should not exceed 150 characters including spaces)

  • Introduction

  • Results (may be divided into subheadings to delineate different experimental themes. Subheadings should either be all phrases or all complete sentences.)

  • Discussion

  • Materials and Methods, including sections on Experimental Design and Statistical Analysis

  • List of Supplementary Materials (this is not the complete Supplementary Materials, just a list of the titles of all Supplementary Materials items, if any)

  • References and Notes (numbered in the order in which they are cited, first through the text, and then through the figure and table legends; see details regarding format of the reference section in the Citation Style section)

  • Acknowledgements in a paragraph after the last numbered reference that also includes complete funding information, authors' contributions to the study, competing interests, and information about data and material access, including accession numbers and MTAs.

  • Tables (Tables should be included after the references. The first sentence of the table legend should be a brief descriptive title. Every vertical column should have a heading, consisting of a title with the unit of measure in parentheses. Units should not change within a column.)

  • Figure legends (Provide double-spaced in numerical order at the end of the manuscript. The figure title should be given as the first line of the legend. No single legend should be longer than 200 words. Nomenclature, abbreviations, symbols, and units used in a figure should match those used in the text.)

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Preparing your Supplementary Materials

Supplementary materials should be uploaded separately from the main manuscript file and the figure files as one .docx file containing text, figures, tables, and captions.

Supplementary figures, text, and tables

Place the figure caption and table legend on the same page as the figure or table.

Acceptable formats for Supplementary Materials

Supplementary figures, text, and tables should be supplied as a Word .docx file with any figures embedded. Movies and animations, audio clips, database files, and excel files can also be accommodated.

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Preparing Your Figures

To expedite publication of your paper, please follow these style guidelines in preparing the figures for your revised manuscript. Note that some of these instructions (with respect to format and resolution) differ from the instructions for figures with initial manuscript submission. It is best to create your figures as vector-based files such as those produced by Adobe Illustrator. Vector-based files will give us maximum flexibility for sizing your figures properly without losing resolution, as they can be altered in size while maintaining high print-quality resolution.

Please send the figures electronically through the online revision site using your account. Submit each figure as an individual file separated from the manuscript text.

Figure layout and scaling

Figures in Science Translational Medicine are commonly reduced to fit in 1, 1.5 or 2 columns (1 column = 21p3, or 3.5 inches, or 9 cm; 2 columns = 43p6, or 7.3 inches, or 18.4 cm). Your editor will indicate the final size of your figures in the marked copy of the manuscript and on the separate instructions for preparation of revised figures sent back with your manuscript. If one figure in particular is key, please indicate that it should be given some preference in sizing.


It is essential that revised manuscripts have adequate figure resolution for a high-quality print and online rendering of your paper. Line art that is not available as vector files should have a resolution of at least 300 dots per inch (dpi) at final print size (see "Figure layout and scaling" above), preferably higher. Grayscale and color artwork should have a minimum resolution of 300 dpi at final print size, and a higher resolution if possible.

Please note that these resolutions apply to figures sized at dimensions comparable to those of figures in the PDF or print version of the final published article. Reducing or enlarging the dimensions of a digital image will also change its effective resolution. For example, reducing the dimensions of an image by 50%, with no change in file size, will double its effective resolution. Doubling the dimensions of the image will cut resolution by 50%, increase visible pixilation and degrade image quality. Up-sampling artwork (artificially increasing file size or resolution) is not permitted.


Figure files at the revision stage must be in one of the following formats (in preferred order):

Vector illustrations and diagrams (preferred): Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF) Encapsulated PostScript (EPS), or Adobe Illustrator (AI).

Raster illustrations and diagrams: Tagged Image File Format (TIFF)(minimum 300 dpi).

Vector and raster combinations for photographs or microscopy images: Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF) or Encapsulated PostScript (EPS)

Raster photographs or microscopy images: Tagged Image File Format (TIFF)

Please keep an archive of all original images used in figures as Science Translational Medicine may request delivery of these images for production purposes. Save these at the highest resolution possible, preferably as the original file in its native format.

At this stage in the process, we cannot accept files in formats other than those specified above; in particular, we cannot accept:

  • Figures embedded in Microsoft Word files.

  • Microsoft PowerPoint files.

  • Figures prepared in Microsoft Word or PowerPoint that have been converted to other, acceptable formats such as .ps or .pdf.

Compressing files

For ease of uploading on our submission site, it is recommended that you save files using software-based image compression, such as LZW compression within Photoshop to minimize the size of figure files. Alternatively, you may compress files into .zip or .sea archives (by using an external program such as WinZip or Aladdin Stuffit) and send the compressed archives rather than the uncompressed files. Our system can handle files up to 25 MB.

Modification of figures

Science Translational Medicine does not allow certain electronic enhancements or manipulations of micrographs, gels, or other digital images. Figures assembled from multiple photographs or images must indicate the separate parts with lines between them. Linear adjustment of contrast, brightness, or color must be applied to an entire image or plate equally. Nonlinear adjustments must be specified in the figure legend. Selective enhancement or alteration of one part of an image is not acceptable. In addition, Science Translational Medicine may ask authors of papers returned for revision to provide additional documentation of their primary data.

Figure layout and scaling

Electronic figures should be sized to fit on single 8.5" × 11" or A4 paper, preferably at 1(3.5 in), 1.5 (5.0 in) or 2 (7.3 in) columns wide. In laying out information in a figure, the objective is to maximize the space given to presentation of the data. Avoid wasted white space and clutter.

  • The figure's title should be at the beginning of the figure legend, not in the figure itself.

  • Include the figure's identifying number (e.g., "Fig. 1") on the same manuscript page that includes the figure.

  • Keys to symbols, if needed, should be kept as simple as possible and be positioned so they do not needlessly enlarge the figure. Details can be put into the captions.

  • Use solid symbols for plotting data if possible (unless data overlap or there are multiple symbols). Size symbols so that they will be distinguishable when the figure is reduced (6 pt minimum). Line widths should be legible upon reduction (minimum of 0.5 pt at the final reduced size).

  • Panels should be set close to each other, and common axis labels should not be repeated.

  • Scales or axes should not extend beyond the range of the data plotted.

  • Use scale bars in place of, or in addition to, magnifications. Do not use minor tick marks in scales or grid lines. Avoid using y-axis labels on the right that repeat those on the left.

Color-mix and contrast considerations

  • Avoid using red and green together. Color blind individuals will not be able read the figure

  • Please do not use colors that are close in hue to identify different parts of a figure.

  • Avoid using grayscale.

  • Use white type and scale bars over darker areas of images.

Typefaces and labels

  • Please observe the following guidelines for labels on graphs and figures:

  • Use a sans-serif font whenever possible (we prefer Myriad).

  • Simple solid or open symbols reduce well.

  • Label graphs on the ordinate and abscissa with the parameter or variable being measured, the units of measure, and the scale. Scales with large or small numbers should be presented as powers of 10.

  • Avoid the use of light lines and screen shading. Instead, use black-and-white, hatched, and cross-hatched designs for emphasis.

  • Capitalize the first letter in a label only, not every word (and proper nouns, of course).

  • Units should be included in parentheses. Use SI notation. If there is room, write out variables -- e.g., Pressure (MPa), Temperature (K).

  • Variables are always set in italics or as plain Greek letters (e.g., P, T, m). The rest of the text in the figure should be plain or bold text.

  • Type on top of color in a color figure should be in bold face. Avoid using color type.

  • When figures are assembled from multiple gels or micrographs, a line or space should indicate the border between two original images.

  • Use leading zeros on all decimals -- e.g., 0.3, 0.55 -- and only report significant digits.

  • Use capital letters for part labels in multipart figures -- A, B, C, etc. These should be 9 pt and bold in the final figure. When possible, place part labels at the upper left-hand corner of each figure part; if a part is an image, set labels inside the perimeter so as not to waste space.

  • Avoid subpart labels within a figure part; instead, maintain the established sequence of part labels [e.g., use A, B, C, D, E instead of A, B, C(a), C(b), C(c)]. If use of subpart labels is unavoidable, use lowercase letters (a, b, c). Use numbers (1, 2, 3) only to represent a time sequence of images.

  • When reproducing images that include labels with illegible computer-generated type (e.g., units for scale bars), omit such labels and present the information in the legend instead.

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Citation Style

Science Translational Medicine uses a complete citation format that includes all authors, full titles of journal articles, the journal abbreviation, the volume, the first and last page, and the year of publication. The absolute formatting (what is bold and what is italic) is less important than having a complete citation for each journal article cited.

References and notes are numbered in the order in which they are cited, first through the text, then through the table and figure legends. List a reference only one time. Any references to in-press manuscripts or personal communications should be given a number in the text and placed, in correct sequence, in the references and notes. We do not allow such references to unpublished data to be included in support of claims or conclusions; necessary data should be included in the manuscript, its Supplementary Materials, or an approved archival database. The abbreviations for journal names are taken from the Bibliographic Guide for Editors and Authors (BGEA) or Serial Sources for the BIOSIS Data Base (BIOSIS), a more recent publication. When in doubt, provide the journal's complete name. Spell out cities that are listed after a journal name: Acta Zool. (Stockholm). Do not use op. cit., ibid., 3-m dashes, en dashes, or et al. (in place of the complete list of authors' names). For author names with Jr. or 2nd, etc. see example number 4 in the Journals section. Publisher's names are given in shortened form. "Press" and the like are usually dropped, except Academic Press ("Academic" is an adjective), University Park Press, CRC Press, MIT Press, and Cambridge Univ. Press (for university presses, to distinguish them from the university itself). Only one publisher's location is needed. A few world-renowned cities (for example, Amsterdam, London, Philadelphia, Chicago, New York, Baltimore) can be listed without state or country; less well-known cities and those with names that could be confused take state abbreviations (Cambridge alone for the city in the U.K., but Cambridge, MA). Inclusive pages numbers or chapter number must be given when specific articles are referred to within an edited volume.

Please use full citations in the following format:


  1. E. J. Neer, T. Kozasa, Sites for Gα binding on the G protein β subunit overlap with sites for regulation of phospholipase Cb and adenylyl cyclase. J. Biol. Chem. 273, 16265-16272 (1998).

  2. D. J. Mangelsdorf, C. Thummel, M. Beato, P. Herrlich, G. Schutz, K. Umesono, B. Blumberg, P. Kastner, M. Mark, P. Chambon, R. M. Evans, The nuclear receptor superfamily: The second decade. Cell 83, 835-839 (1995).

  3. J. J. Tesmer, R. K. Sunahara, A. G. Gilman, S. R. Sprang, Crystal structure of the catalytic domains of adenylyl cyclase in a complex with Gs·GTP-γ-S. Science 278, 1907-1916 (1997).

  4. J. D. Brown, M. R. DiChiara, K. R. Anderson, M. A. Gimbrone, Jr., J. N. Topper, MEKK-1, a component of the stress (stress-activated protein kinase/c-Jun N-terminal kinase) pathway, can selectively activate Smad2-mediated transcriptional activation in endothelial cells. J. Biol. Chem. 274, 8797-8805 (1999).

  5. J. Burton, C. K. Goldman, P. Rao, M. Moos, T. A. Waldmann, Association of intercellular adhesion molecule 1 with the multichain high-affinity interleukin 2 receptor. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 87, 7329-7333 (1990).

  6. A. Miyawaki, R. Tsien, Monitoring protein conformations and interactions by fluorescence resonance energy transfer between mutants of green fluorescent protein. Methods Enzymol., in press.

  7. F. Watson, R. S. Kiernan, D. G. Deavall, A. Varro, R. Dimaline, Transcriptional activation of the rat vesicular monoamine transporter 2 promoter in gastric epithelial cells: Regulation by gastrin. J. Biol. Chem. Papers in Press, published 2000 as 10.1074/jbc.M006697200.

  8. K. L. Clark, P. B. Larsen, X. Wang, C. Chang, Association of the Arabidopsis CTR1 Raf-like kinase with the ETR1 and ERS ethylene receptors. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 95, 5401-5406 (1998) [published erratum appears in Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 95, 9060 (1998)]. [style for published erratum]

  9. L. C. Cantley, PI3K pathway. Sci. Signal. (Connections Map in the Database of Cell Signaling, as seen February 2001), [style for citing a pathway in the Database of Cell Signaling at Science Translational Medicine]

  10. H. R. de Jonge, B. Hogema, B. C. Tilly, Protein N-myristoylation: Critical role in apoptosis and salt tolerance. Sci. STKE 2000, pe1 (2000). [style for citing a Science's STKE paper; note: volume and year are the same]

  11. E. Canalis, Notch signaling in osteoblasts. Sci. Signal.1, pe17 (2008). [style for citing a Science Translational Medicine article published following title change in January 2008]

– When published in Science Express but not yet in print:

  1. W. Jones, B. Smith, Location and function of DNA binding proteins. Science 20 December 2000 (10.4444/science.1054678).

– When published in Science Express and in print:

  1. W. Jones, B. Smith, Location and function of DNA binding proteins. Science 252, 1056 (2001); published online 20 December 2000 (10.4444/science.1054678).

Technical reports

  1. D. E. Shaw, Technical Report CUCS-29-82 (Columbia University, New York, 1982).

  2. F. Press, A Report on the Computational Needs for Physics (National Science Foundation, Washington, DC, 1981). [unpublished or access by title]

  3. Assessment of the Carcinogenicity and Mutagenicity of Chemicals (WHO Technical Report Series No. 556, World Health Organization, Geneva, Switzerland, 1974).


  1. Title of Symposium Published as a Book, sponsoring organization, city and state of meeting, inclusive dates and year (publisher, publisher's city and state, year).

Paper presented at a meeting (not published)

  1. M. Konishi, paper presented at the 14th Annual Meeting of the Society for Neuroscience, Anaheim, CA, 10 to 14 October 1984. [sponsoring organization should be mentioned if it is not part of the meeting name]

Theses and unpublished material

  1. B. Smith, thesis, Georgetown University, Washington, DC (1973).

  2. J. A. Norton, unpublished material.


  1. A. M. Lister, Fundamentals of Operating Systems (Springer-Verlag, New York, ed. 3, 1984). [third edition]

  2. J. B. Carroll, Ed., Language, Thought and Reality, Selected Writings of Benjamin Lee Whorf (MIT Press, Cambridge, MA, 1956).

  3. R. Davis, J. King, in Machine Intelligence, E. Acock and R. Michie, Eds. (Wiley, New York, 1976), vol. 8, chap. 3.

  4. D. Curtis, in Clinical Neurology of Development, B. Walters, Ed. (Oxford Univ. Press, New York, 1983), pp. 60-73.

  5. Principles and Procedures for Evaluating the Toxicity of Household Substances (National Academy of Sciences, Washington, DC, 1977). [organization as author and publisher]

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Article Publication Fees

Figure processing fees for both color and black and white illustrations will be assessed for Research Articles. There is no cost to have a manuscript evaluated.

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Submitting your Revised Manuscript

Please submit your revised text, figures and Supplementary Materials files through the Science Journals Submission and Information Portal: Use the account that you used for initial manuscript submission.

If you have questions, please email the Science Translational Medicine editors at

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