Preparation of Articles

On this page: Accepted article types | Publishing original research | General manuscript preparation | Title page | Graphical abstract | Abbreviations | Data availability | References | Acknowledgments | Author contributions | Competing interests | Figures | Tables | Supplementary Material  

Accepted article types

For accepted article types and their individual specifications, please see here

Key factors for publication of original research

Mucosal Immunology receives many more submissions than it can publish each month. Therefore, submitted manuscripts are critically evaluated according to the following criteria:

  • Data reproducibility. Original data must include adequate evidence of reproducibility. An accurate description of each set of data that is shown must be provided and must include the number of biological replicates, the number of experiments performed, and the description and use of appropriate statistical methods. The editors will not accept representative single experiments without the author’s written agreement to make available all of the replicate data upon request. Manuscripts submitted without evidence of reproducibility will be rejected without formal review.
  • Novelty. Original findings should represent a major advance in the respective field. Data providing only an incremental advance or extension of prior work will be given low priority.
  • Scope. Only manuscripts that include a substantive body of work will be considered. In most cases this will include a primary observation together with data providing mechanistic insight. Purely descriptive studies will be given low priority.
  • In vivo validation. Higher priority for publication will be given to findings that are validated in well-established animal models and/or by studies of relevant immune processes in humans or patient cohorts. Purely in vitro experiments will be given low priority and may be immediately rejected without formal review.
  • Human studies. Manuscripts providing novel insights into human disease processes will be given high priority. These include studies of basic immunological and/or disease mechanisms, as well as functional studies of gene mutations or polymorphisms. Manuscripts providing primary results of clinical trials are currently not within the scope of the journal.
  • Vaccine studies. Manuscripts evaluating novel vaccine candidates will be considered. However, acceptable studies will need to include evidence of in vivo protection in humans or a relevant animal model of infection, direct experimental evidence providing a valid comparison with existing vaccines, and/or insights into basic immunological mechanisms.
  • Invertebrate immunology. Studies that provide novel insight into human or vertebrate immunology and disease will be considered.
  • Genetic studies. Studies of gene expression patterns or identification of disease-associated polymorphisms or mutations without experiments exploring the biological relevance of the findings will be given low priority.

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General manuscript preparation

Manuscripts must be typed in English and double-spaced. All manuscript pages must be numbered. For contributions requiring Abstracts, the lengths are defined in “Article Type Specifications.” For contributions that do not require an Abstract, introductory paragraphs may contain references to cited work. Manuscripts should nominally be organized under following main headings: Introduction, Results, Discussion, Methods, Data Availability, References, Acknowledgments, Author Contributions (as of May 2016), and Competing Interests.

In terms of file formats, please use a common word-processing package (such as Microsoft Word*) for the text. Tables should be provided at the end of the Word document. If tables are longer than one page, please provide them as an Excel file. 

PDFs are not acceptable formats for any manuscript files, unless they are supplementary materials, which must be included in one PDF. 

*Microsoft Office 2007 saves files in an XML format by default (file extensions .docx, .pptx and xlsx). Files saved in this format cannot be accepted for publication. Save Word documents using the file extension .doc

  • Select the Office Button in the upper left corner of the Word 2007 Window and choose "Save As"
  • Select "Word 97-2003 Document"
  • Enter a file name and select "Save"

These instructions also apply for the new versions of Excel and PowerPoint. Equations in Word must be created using Equation Editor 3.0. Equations created using the new equation editor in Word 2007 and saved as a "Word 97-2003 Document" (.doc) are converted to graphics and can no longer be edited. To insert or change an equation with the previous equation editor:

  1. Select "Object" on the "Text" section of the "Insert" tab
  2. In the drop-down menu - select "Equation Editor 3.0"
  3. Do not use the "Equation" button in the "Symbols" section of the "Insert" tab


The American Medical Association Manual of Style, Stedman's Medical Dictionary (28th edition) and Merriam Webster's Collegiate Dictionary (11th edition) should be used as standard references. Refer to drugs and therapeutic agents by their accepted generic or chemical name, and do not abbreviate them (a proprietary name may be given only with the first use of the generic name). Code names should be used only when a generic name is not yet available (the chemical name and a figure giving the chemical structure of the drug are required). Copyright or trade names of drugs should be capitalized and placed in parentheses after the name of the drug. Names and locations (city and state in United States; city and country outside United States) of manufacturers of drugs, supplies, or equipment cited in a manuscript are required to comply with trademark law and should be provided in parentheses. Quantitative data may be reported in the units used in the original measurement, but SI units are strongly preferred, including those applicable to body weight, mass (weight) and temperature. Commas, not spaces, should be used to separate thousands. 

Title page

This should include (a) the complete manuscript title; (b) all authors' names (listed as first and middle initials followed by last name), and affiliations; (c) the name and address for correspondence, fax number, telephone number, and e-mail address; and (d) any competing interests that could be perceived to bias the work, making known all financial support and any other personal connections.

Graphical abstract

A graphical abstract, which summarizes the manuscript in a visual way, is designed to attract the attention of readers in the table of contents of the journal. Graphical abstracts are author-created and optional, and can published in any article type except Image, Correction, or Retraction. In a graphical abstract, textual statements should be kept to a minimum. Color graphical abstracts are encouraged and will be published at no additional charge. The image must be sized to fit in a rectangle of dimensions 90 mm wide × 50 mm high. The graphic should be submitted as a single file using a standard file format (see below) and will be published in the HTML article, and also the table of contents. All graphical abstracts should be clearly labeled as such, submitted with a white background, and imagery should fill the available width, whenever possible. Please see figure guidelines, below, for resolution requirements.

For information about services available, at the authors' expense, to help create graphical abstracts (or "visual abstracts"), authors may consider using a paid service such as provided by Research Square. Use of these services are not known to the publisher and will not influence a publication decision.


Abbreviations should be defined at the first mention in the text and in each table and figure and must be in accordance with accepted international guidelines for mucosal immunology terms. For required guidelines, please see this article. Common mucosal immunology abbrevations can be found here. For further instructions and an extended list of standard abbreviations, please consult the Council of Science Editors Style Guide (available from the Council of Science Editors, 9650 Rockville Pike, Bethesda, MD 20814) or other standard sources. Write out the full term for each abbreviation at its first use unless it is a standard unit of measure. 

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Data Availability

Mucosal Immunology adheres to Springer Nature’s Data Policy Type 3. This means that a submission to Mucosal Immunology implies that materials described in the manuscript, including all relevant raw data, will be freely available to any researcher wishing to use them for non-commercial purposes, without breaching participant confidentiality. It also means that a Data Availability Statement (see here for more details) is required by the journal.


The Mucosal Immunology reference style can be obtained from Endnote. In the text, cite references in order of appearance (Vancouver style) using superscript numbers. The reference list should start on a separate page. Only published works and manuscripts in press should be included in the reference list; articles that are submitted or in preparation should be referred to as "unpublished data" in the text (for which all authors up to six total should be listed, then “et al.”). Mucosal Immunology also encourages recognition of "equal contributions" in references whose manuscripts authors cite. For example, we ask submissions to ensure any text in the main body of the manuscript that refers to an author by name also includes all equal contributors (eg, "Author 1, Author 2 and colleagues show…"). 

For publications in the reference list, all authors should be included unless there are more than five, in which case only the first author should be given, followed by “et al.” Authors should be listed last name first, followed by a comma and initials of given names. Titles of articles should be in Roman text and titles of books or journals in italics. Journal names are italicized and abbreviated (with periods after each abbreviated word) according to common usage; refer to Index Medicus (PubMed) for details. Volume numbers appear in bold. For book citations, the publisher and city of publication are required; include the country (and state for US) for lesser-known cities or where any ambiguity is possible (e.g., John Wiley & Sons, Hoboken, NJ, USA, 2003; MIT Press, Cambridge, MA, USA).

The following examples demonstrate correct reference style:

Journal articles

Mentink-Kane, M. M. & Wynn, T. A. Opposing roles for IL-13 and IL-13 receptor alpha 2 in health and disease. Immunol. Rev. 202, 191–202 (2004).

Kashuba, A.D. et al. Effect of fluvoxamine therapy on the activities of CYP1A2, CYP2D6, and CYP3A as determined by phenotyping. Clin. Pharmacol. Ther. 64, 257-268 (1998).


Eisen, H.N. Immunology: An Introduction to Molecular and Cellular Principles of the Immune Response 5th edn. (Harper & Row, New York, 1974).

Chapters in books

Weinstein, L. & Schwartz, M.N. Pathogenic properties of invading microorganisms. In Pathologic Physiology: Mechanisms of Disease (Sodeman, W.A. Jr. & Sodeman, W.A., eds) 457-473 (W.B. Saunders, Philadelphia, 1974).

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In this section, please include the source of funding for the research, contributions that do not meet the requirements for authorship, or special thanks. Additional disclosures, separate to the Competing interest section, go under this heading.

Author Contributions

Mucosal Immunology authors are required to include an “Author Contributions” section which follows the Acknowledgements section of the manuscript. This section should specify the contributions of every author either explicitly or by the definition of authorship to which the journal adheres (see “Authorship” section in Editorial Policies).


“PML conceived of the study. BT, WK, EY, CC, ZS, JT, and JK initiated the study design and CH and ES helped with implementation. JT and WK provided statistical expertise in clinical trial design and JT is conducting the primary statistical analysis. All authors contributed to refinement of the study protocol and approved the final manuscript.”

“BA, JK, MS and VR provided substantial contributions to the conception of the work. All authors substantially contributed to the acquisition, analysis or interpretation of data for the manuscript and drafting, revising and critically reviewing the manuscript for important intellectual content. All authors approved the final version of this manuscript to be published and agree to be accountable for all aspects of the work in ensuring that questions related to the accuracy or integrity of any part of the work are appropriately investigated and resolved. Mucosal Immunology also allows one set of up to six coauthors to be specified as having contributed equally to the work or having jointly supervised the work. Other equal contributions are best described in author contributions statements.”

For manuscripts with contributions by consortia, the format for supplying consortia will depend on whether one or more members of the consortia meet the criteria for authorship (for example, directly contributing to the work through data analysis, writing, and/or through data generation and curation of datasets).  Please see our consortia formatting instructions for further information.

Mucosal Immunology does not have a policy on multiple corresponding authors, but ScholarOne allows only one (as opposed to multiple) author to be designated as such for the purposes of the technical submission. Articles which have joint corresponding authorship can indicate this on the manuscript title page, and published articles will show this, but submitters should note that, if provided, only the corresponding author designated as such in ScholarOne will have their verified ORCID ID automatically linked to the publication.

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Competing interests

All authors are responsible for recognizing and disclosing any competing interests that could be perceived to bias their work, making known all financial support and any other personal connections. This includes, but is not limited to: funding, such as salaries, equipment, supplies, reimbursement for attending symposia, etc, from organizations that may gain or lose financially through the publication of the paper; personal financial interests, such as stocks and shares in companies that may gain or lose financially from publication, consultation fees or forms of remuneration from organizations that may gain or lose financially, or patent and patent applications whose value may be affected; and, employment, whether recent, present or anticipated, by an organization that may gain or lose from publication of the paper. Please see the journal's "Editorial policies" for a full description of this section.

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Figures should be labeled sequentially, numbered and cited in the text. If a table, figure or any other previously published material is included, the authors must obtain written permission to reproduce the material in both print and electronic formats from the copyright owner. The original source should be cited. Legends should be brief and specific, and should appear on a separate manuscript page after the Reference section. Figure legends must include the number of biological and technical replicates, and the number of experiments that have been performed for the studies shown. Statistical notation in the figures must be explained in the figure legends, and the statistical methods used indicated in the figure legends or the methods section.

Detailed guidelines for submitting artwork can be found by downloading the artwork guidelines PDF. Using the guidelines, please submit production quality artwork with your initial online submission. Please also see here for our policy on image manipulation.

Minimum Resolutions

  • Halftone images 300 dpi (dots per inch)
  • Color images 300 dpi saved as CMYK
  • Images containing text 400 dpi
  • Line art 1000 dpi


  • Figure Width - Single Image

                  - 86 mm (Should be able to fit into a single column of the printed journal)

  • Figure Width - Multi-part Image

                  - 178 mm (Should be able to fit into a double column of the printed journal)

  • Text Size

                  - 8 point (Should be readable after reduction - avoid large type or thick lines)

  • Line Width between 0.5 and 1 point


Any figures submitted to Mucosal Immunology in color will be published in color in print. Figures submitted in black and white will be published in greyscale, free. Charges are $618 per page for members of the Society for Mucosal Immunology, and $721 for nonmembers. Open access articles will incur no color charges. Note: Figures must be able to be clearly interpreted in black and white if submitted as such.

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Each table should be double-spaced on a separate sheet and numbered consecutively in the order of first citation in the text. Minimize empty space. Supply a brief title for each, but place explanatory matter in the footnotes (not in the heading). Do not use internal horizontal and vertical lines. Please do not upload images of tables. All tabular content must be editable. An image of a table, such as a scan, is not acceptable for publication.

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Supplementary Material

Supplementary file charges

There is a charge per supplementary information file, outlined on the “Costs” page.

Supplementary material files

Please submit supplementary figures, small tables and text as a single combined PDF document. Tables longer than one page should be provided as an Excel or similar file type. Please refer to the journal’s Data Policies, outlined in here, for additional options for such files, and which provides guidance on alternatives to supplementary files for data deposition, linking, preservation, and storage.

For optimal quality video files, please use H.264 encoding, the standard aspect ratio of 16:9 (4:3 is second best) and do not compress the video. Important: Supplementary information is not copyedited, so please ensure that it is clearly and succinctly presented, that the style and terminology conform to the rest of the manuscript, and that any tracked-changes or review mark-ups are removed. Supplementary material will be published as it is submitted.