Content types

The following article types can be submitted to Communications Biology:

Article
Review
Perspective
Comment
Matters Arising

Article

Communications Biology publishes original research in one format, Articles, which may range in length from short communications through to more in-depth studies. Regardless of the length, an Article is a novel and important research study of high quality and of interest to that specific research community. Articles can be up to 12 pages in length.

The main text (not including abstract, Methods, References and figure legends) is limited to 5,000 words. The maximum title length is 15 words. The abstract—which should be no more than 150 words long and contain no references—should serve both as a general introduction to the topic and as a brief, non-technical summary of the main results and their implications.

The main text of an Article should begin with an introduction (without heading) of referenced text that expands on the background of the work (some overlap with the abstract is acceptable), followed by sections headed Results, Discussion (if appropriate) and Methods (if appropriate). The Results and Methods sections may be divided by topical subheadings; the Discussion should be succinct and may not contain subheadings. Methods are typically less than 3000 words. Figure legends are limited to 350 words each. References are generally limited to 70. Footnotes are not used.

Depending on the word count, Articles may have up to 10 display items (figures and/or tables). In addition, a limited number of uncaptioned molecular structure graphics and numbered mathematical equations may be included if necessary. To enable typesetting of papers, the number of display items should be commensurate with the word length—those with word counts less than 2,000 should have no more than 4 figures/tables. Please note that schemes are not used; these should be presented as figures.

Articles are peer-reviewed and include received/accepted dates. Authors must provide a competing interests and author contributions statement before publication.

Review

A Review article summarizes recent advances within a given discipline. Although Reviews should be recognized as scholarly by specialists in the field, they should be written with a view to informing non-specialist readers. Thus, Reviews should be presented using simple prose, avoiding excessive jargon and technical detail.

Review is a flexible article format, but typically occupies no more than 10 pages. A review should begin with a title of up to 15 words and a preface of less than 100 words written for a general audience. The main text can be up to 6,000 words. Reviews can include up to 8 display items (figures, tables and/or boxes). Figure legends are limited to 350 words and boxes to 750 words. References should not exceed 100 in number, so citations should be selective. Footnotes are not used. Review articles should typically have no more than three authors.

The scope of a Review should be broad enough that it is not dominated by the work of a single laboratory, and particularly not by the authors' own work. Unpublished primary research data are not permitted in Reviews.

Authors must provide a competing interests statement before publication. Reviews include received/accepted dates. Reviews are always peer reviewed to ensure factual accuracy, appropriate citations and scholarly balance, and they are edited in consultation with the editorial team.

Perspective

A Perspective is intended to provide a forum for authors to discuss models and ideas from a personal viewpoint. They are more forward looking and/or speculative than Review articles and may take a narrower field of view. They may be opinionated but should remain balanced and are intended to stimulate discussion and new experimental approaches.

Perspectives follow the same formatting guidelines and policies as Reviews, and also require a synopsis. Perspectives are peer-reviewed and include received/accepted dates. Authors must provide a competing interests and author contributions statement before publication.

Comment

Comment is a very flexible format. Comments may be on policy, science and society or purely scientific issues. The main criteria are that they should be of immediate interest to the readership of the journal and should be written in an accessible, non-technical style. Their length is typically 1-4 pages, up to 1,500 words, although some may be longer. Because the content is variable, the format is also flexible. Comments do not normally contain primary research data, although they may present 'sociological' data (funding trends, demographics, bibliographic data, etc).

Comment authors must provide a competing interests statement before publication. Comments may be peer reviewed at the editors' discretion.

Matters Arising

Important scientific comments and clarifications on peer-reviewed articles published in Communications Biology may be submitted as Matters Arising. The guidelines for Matters Arising are outlined here.