There are three main types of manuscripts in JMCB:
- Letters to the Editor
Some other types of manuscripts, e.g. Research Highlights, Perspectives, Retrospects, and Meeting Reports, are usually commissioned, but reports and suggestions may also be submitted for the editors' consideration. These papers, classified as ‘Editorial Materials’, do not contain primary research data and thus do not undergo a peer-review.
Articles are original papers whose conclusions represent a substantial advance in understanding of an important problem and have immediate, far-reaching implications. Articles have an abstract, separate from the main text, of fewer than 200 words, which does not have references, and does not contain numbers, abbreviations, acronyms or measurements unless essential. It is aimed at readers outside the discipline. Articles should begin with an introduction expanding on the background to the work (some overlap with the abstract is acceptable), before proceeding to a concise, focused account of the findings, ending with some paragraphs of discussion. Materials and methods should be after the discussion and before the acknowledgements. For an original article, the total words for the main text (including references and figure legends) are expected to be no more than 8000, and figures more than 8 can be set as the Supplementary material.
Reviews should be recognized as scholarly by specialists in the field being covered, but should also be written with a view to informing readers who are not specialized in that particular field, and should therefore be presented using simple prose. Please avoid excessive jargon and technical detail. Reviews should capture the broad developments and implications of recent work. The opening paragraph should make clear the general thrust of the review and provide a clear sense of why the review is now particularly appropriate. The concluding paragraph should provide the reader with an idea of how the field may develop or future problems to overcome, but should not summarize the article. Reviews should include an abstract of fewer than 200 words and should cite no more than 150 references. The total words for the main text (including references and figure legends) are expected to be no more than 10000, and figures more than 3 can be set as the Supplementary material.
Letters to the Editor
These are short experimental papers that may present as little as a single experiment or observation and should constitute unusually interesting data combined with a discussion of what the data might mean, or an explanation of why the data contradicts current paradigms. There is no abstract and no subsection on introduction, results or discussion. Nevertheless, the beginning paragraphs should present concise but yet sufficient background information that would allow the readers to appreciate the rationale of the work, and put the study in a proper perspective. Generally, the information on materials and methods is not needed, but in the case when such information is unique and important to the study, it could be submitted as the supplementary data. The total words for the main text (including references and figure legends) are expected to be no more than 1500, with less than 10 references, and figures more than 1 can be set as the Supplementary material.
Research Highlights comment on recent advances, which were reported by one or several breaking papers, in a certain field. A Research Highlight piece is intended for our general readers, and it should be readily accessible to the non-expert audience without a need to look into additional literatures. Each Research Highlight should be contributed by no more than 3 authors. There is no abstract and no subsection. Generally, the total words for the main text (including references and figure legends) are expected to be no more than 1000, with less than 10 references and 1 figure.
Perspectives provide views from scientists with high reputation in the field on the developments and implications of key findings in the proper context of the field. Each Perspective is expected to be contributed by no more than 3 authors. The Perspective has an abstract of fewer than 200 words to outline the main message. Subheadings can be included where necessary to break up the main text. But there is no strict hierarchical organization as required in a Review. Generally, the total words for the main text (including references and figure legends) are expected to be no more than 3000, with less than 30 references and 3 figures. Additional detailed description on the topic, references, figures, and tables should be submitted and set as the Supplementary material.
Retrospects are invited essays authored by respected and recognized researchers in a certain field to share with general audience the personal experiences, major events of the field, and stories behind those achievements. Retrospects follow the similar formatting guidelines as Perspectives, except for not including the Supplementary material.
Meeting reports are short descriptions of key scientific progress presented and discussed at a conference that author(s) have attended. A meeting report is written by one or several attendees who aim to record the major talks during the conference. It is a summary of the latest advances in the field, but does not contain any detailed original data. Meeting Reports follow the similar formatting guidelines as Research Highlights.