Instructions for authors (Submitting an article to Matters) | sciencematters

Instructions for authors (Submitting an article to Matters)

Basic information:

  • In order to submit a manuscript, you need to first register your information. For this you need to click “Submit” on the top right. This leads to the page where you can register your information, along with your email address. For registration, you need to provide a username and choose a password. You can also register via your ORCID, LinkedIn or Facebook accounts. Please fill in all the details and give only correct information. Providing incorrect information about yourself could forfeit your registration.
  • After you register, you will be sent an email to confirm your registration. Once you confirmed your registration you will be prompted to login. After login, on the top right of the page, your name will appear. If you click on it, your personal menu will appear below. This is the area from which you can either choose to submit a new document, access existing drafts of documents and - if you are an editor or reviewer - access the documents for editing/reviewing. 
  • To submit a manuscript, please click on your personal menu and choose “New document”. Once you click on “New document”, this will lead you to the Submission template page, which is a guided template for submitting your manuscript. 

Before submitting, please remember the following things:

  • Maintain anonymity; don’t refer to your own work and say, “We have previously showed,” or other self-identifying phrases, and be sure not to include more than 20% of self-references. We use triple blind reviewing to ensure the fairest review process and this will not work if you identify yourself. Any manuscript that reveals the author’s information will be sent back to the authors and only when the manuscript is written in an anonymous fashion it will considered for further review.
  • Please maintain high standards of scientific integrity by practicing ethical practices, especially with reference to animal experiments, and reporting your data honestly, with all authors being aware that the work has been submitted for publication.
  • Any violation of these standards, for example, manuscripts that have manipulated images or fabricated data, and ethically wrong work will be rejected and the authors will be blacklisted.
  • Only single, robustly validated observations are considered for publication at Matters. This means that the authors communicate only one finding at a time (A does this; A leads to B; A interacts with B; Perturbation of A has an effect on B, etc.). Once your manuscript is accepted, you can then come back and extend the continuing observations in real-time. If the author/s are trying to submit a story with multiple findings and results, the manuscript will be returned to the authors asking to submit only validated single observations.

Here’s how you submit a manuscript in detail

  • Title: Please enter the title as specific as possible (e.g., Perturbation of gene A by Method X results in a Phenotype Y in the cell types B and C).
  • For the author list, your name will be automatically imported from your registration details. In order to include other authors, assign the position in the author list. Click on “Edit Authors”, and fill in as much information as possible in the fields. Please also indicate the nature of contribution of the co-authors and whether some of them share equal contribution.
  • If you would like one or more co-authors to edit the draft/manuscript, then you can give them access by checking the “edit” box next to the authors.
  • Selection of the categories: At the moment, Matters offers publication only in three categories: Chemistry, Biology and Medicine. Please check one from this list (in the case of interdisciplinary work, select both). Also, choose a sub-discipline from the list given. If you cannot find your sub-discipline, please check “other” or type in your sub-discipline.
  • Keywords: Please provide at least 3 keywords that represent your work. We provide a short list from which you can select by using the drop-down menu. If you do not find your keywords, simply type them in the available box.
  • Linking your observation: Since Matters allows you to link your observation to already published papers either at Matters or elsewhere, we ask you to specify if your manuscript that you are currently submitting is a standalone observation (this is the first article on this topic that you submit to Matters) or a follow-up (this is a subsequent work that you are following up on a study already published – by you - in Matters). To link your observation to a published article, please “pick an observation” that it is related to and use either DOI or search manually and link them. Once linked, you can then specify the nature of the link: If yours is a confirmatory or contradictory study related to the linked article, or if it is simply continuing the study. We also publish negative data, resources, big data and case studies, and you can specify these categories as well.
  • From Abstract to Conclusions, our form follows a standard format, and the guidelines are given for each section. Be precise, be concise and for the introduction, cite appropriate references. We recommend you cite one or two reviews to introduce the topic instead of writing a lengthy review as introduction. The other sections are self-explanatory. 
  • For Figures, you have the option to drag and drop your figure using the cool canvas that we created especially for this purpose.  Try it out! You can also assemble multiple panel figures. Please check the recommended file formats and do not exceed 1-2 MB. 
  • For uploading Videos, Tables and other supplementary information, please use the “Supplementary data” tab on the figure panel.
  • Once you upload the primary figure, the “Raw data” tab on the figure panel will be activated. It is currently optional for authors to upload raw data. However, we strongly recommend uploading the corresponding raw data along with all the processed data, thus promoting and helping Open data and Open Science, the other two pillars of ScienceMatters.
  • Conclusions: For Matters, you do not have to conclude the outcome of the observation and hence it is optional.
  • Limitations: Please be your own critic and specify the limitations of the work and how you could improve.
  • Conjectures: This is a unique new feature as well. Here you can tell the world what the next steps in your scientific journey are, following your first report and how you want to proceed. You can actually also invite other scientists to join this journey with you, promoting a sense of community and collaboration.
  • Please try to allow other scientists to use the description of your methods. Regardless, we strongly recommend that you write in detail the methods used. 
  • Here’s how we score your document: In summary, you submit a sound observation and we make sure that it gets published. If it is technically well done, we will publish it at Matters (a score of 4 or above on the Technical Quality scale of 0-10). If it is an outstanding observation, it has the chance of getting published at Matters Select (a score of 8 or above on all categories: Technical Quality, Originality and Impact). In the worst-case scenario, if your observation gets rejected, you get the option of depositing at Matters Archives (a score of 1-3 on Technical Quality), where you have the option of revising and resubmitting with appropriate improvements in quality. A score of 0 indicates that it is not suitable for publication at Matters and will be rejected with no option for submitting at Matters Archives
  • The more robust the validation of your data is, the better the score of your observation and the higher the chances of getting accepted to Matters and Matters Select. Please use at least two different methodologies or two different systems with enough replicates. We are not interested in stories; just correctly reported observations.

Technical Information

  • We all know how frustrating it is to write your manuscript in Word/LaTeX, go through multiple iterations, make figures in Photoshop/PowerPoint/Illustrator (to which many researchers don’t even have access) and then submit – only to face a very slim chance of your paper even being sent out for review. We are working to change this. We created Matters to facilitate dissemination of science as it is. And we did it in a WYSIWYG (What You See is What You Get) model for you to submit your observation as it is. Simply follow our instructions.
  • Figures: You can assemble the figures using our in-house built canvas (accepted: -.jpeg, .gif, .png or .bmp). We just ask you to make it small (1-2 MB). You will also have the possibility to upload the raw data corresponding to the sub-figures (after you click the “submit now” button in the upper right corner, it will lead you to a page where you can upload raw data).
  • References: In the upper right corner of the submission form, you can find the “insert reference” and you can use this tool to insert references, either from DOIs or cross-ref tools. In case you find difficulties in the order of references, just please paste the DOIs or PMID (PubMedID) and we will make sure that all your references will be included in your manuscript.
  • Supplementary Information: You can also upload supplementary tables, figures and even scanned lab pages (if it is allowed by your institution). After you click the “submit now” button on the upper right corner, it will lead you to a page where you can upload supplementary information.
  • In case you face problems, feel free contact us at info@sciencematters.io.