Preparation of Articles

On this page: Article Types Considered | Manuscript | Cover Letter | Title page | Abstract | Introduction | Materials / Subjects and Methods | Results and Discussion | Acknowledgements | Conflict of Interest | References | Tables | Figures | Supplementary Information | Availability of Data and Materials | House Style | English Language Support 

Article Types Considered


Article Description


Word Limit



Articles: Please see the Preparation of Article page for further information


Abstract: 150-250 words
Introduction: 1,500
Article: 3,500 words,
excluding abstract and

Max of 5

Max of 75

Immediate Communications: These are definitive, full-length articles of high merit and exceptional significance and novelty, which warrant rapid dissemination. Review and publication of Immediate Communications will be maximally expedited for fast publication.

Submitting your manuscript as an Immediate Communication in no way ensures the Editor will select the paper for this category; recommendations to re-categorize papers, if appropriate, may occur.

Unstructured abstract

Abstract: 150-250 words
Introduction: 1,500
Article: 3,500 words,
excluding abstract and

Max of 5

Max of 75

Expert Reviews: Scholarly reviews of topics within the scope of Molecular Psychiatry are submitted by invitation only. Only members of the editorial board can submit without invitation.

Unstructured abstract.

Abstract: no limit
Article: 5,000 words

No limit

Max of 200

Guest Editorial (by editor invitation only)





Image (by editor invitation only)





Review Articles: Scholarly reviews of topics within the scope of Molecular Psychiatry are considered.

No abstract

Abstract: no limit
Article: 4,000 words

Max of 2

Max of 150

Correspondences: Correspondences should contain no original or novel data. These are comments on original research papers or other technical material published in Molecular Psychiatry. Original authors will have the opportunity to respond to the letter, should it be chosen for acceptance. This response will be published alongside the correspondence

No abstract
Opening paragraph: 2-3 sentences
Article: 700 words
(900 if no image)
Max of 1 Max of 10
News: These are short overviews of new original work, or a scientific perspective on a topical issue of international public interest. News & Commentary should contain no original or novel data. Generally commissioned, but a limited number of unsolicited manuscripts are considered. No abstract
Introductory sentence:
20-30 words
Max of 1 Max of 10
Perspectives: A scholarly review and discussion of the primary literature that does not meet the criteria for a review article, either because the scope is too narrow, or a primary purpose of the piece is to advocate a controversial position or a speculative hypothesis, or to discuss work primarily from one or a few research groups. Perspectives tend to be more forward- looking and/or speculative than reviews and while they should remain balanced, may take a more specific point of view Unstructured
Abstract: 200 words
Article: 3,500 words
Max of 2 each Max of 100
Comment: An agenda-setting, authoritative, informed and often provocative expert piece calling for action on topical issues pertaining to scientific research and its political, ethical and social ramifications. Written to be accessible and appealing to the entire target readership of the journal and propose a detailed solution rather than simply providing a snapshot of the problem. Alternatively, a ‘Comment’ article can denote a writerly historical narrative or conceptual or philosophical argument of pressing contemporary relevance, told with authority, color, vivacity and personal voice. These attempt to bring an original perspective before the widest readership, through erudite reasoning and telling. No abstract
Article: 1,000 Max of 1 Max of 10
Systematic Reviews

Structured abstract max. 300 words

Article: excluding abstract, tables/figures, and references, max 6,000  Max of 8  Max of 100

Note on Systematic Reviews:

We strongly encourage full adherence with PRISMA (Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses) protocols. For further details, please refer to the PRISMA website

Briefly, PRISMA recommends an evidence-based minimum set of items with the goal of supporting reports of a wide array of systematic reviews and meta-analyses on the effects of interventions. PRISMA can also be used as a basis for reporting systematic reviews with objectives other than evaluating interventions (e.g., etiology, prevalence, diagnosis or prognosis). PRISMA facilitates transparent and complete reporting of researchers. 

Please include a completed PRISMA 2020 checklist and flow diagram to accompany the main text. A blank template of the checklist and flow diagram can be downloaded from the PRISMA website. As per the checklist, the manuscript structure should be as follows:

  • Title
  • Abstract
  • Introduction
  • Methods
  • Results
  • Discussion
  • Funding

Where possible, we advise that you try and use the same headings used in the abstract in the main body of text. Additional headings can of course be added.


Please note that original articles must contain the following components. Please see below for further details.

  1. Cover letter 
  2. Title page (excluding acknowledgements)
  3. Abstract
  4. Introduction
  5. Materials (or patients) and methods
  6. Results
  7. Discussion
  8. Acknowledgements
  9. Conflict of Interest
  10. References
  11. Figure legends
  12. Tables
  13. Figures

Cover Letter

The uploaded cover letter must state the material is original research, has not been previously published and has not been submitted for publication elsewhere while under consideration. Please note: As with Nature titles, MP does not collect keywords. Keywords that are provided to us will not be published. If a term is important in the discoverability of the paper, it should be in the title or abstract of the paper.

Title Page

The title page should bear the title of the paper, the full names of all the authors, highest academic degree obtained, and their affiliations; also, the name, full postal address, telephone and fax numbers and e-mail address of the author to whom correspondence and offprint requests are to be sent (This information is also asked for on the electronic submission site). The title should be brief, informative, of 150 characters or less and should not make a statement or conclusion. The running title should consist of not more than 50 letters and spaces. It should be as brief as possible, convey the essential message of the paper and contain no abbreviations. Please note – the running head for a manuscript on all pages after the title page will be the shortened manuscript title followed by an ellipsis.

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The Abstract should consist of one, single, continuous paragraph of 150-250 words in length. In Molecular Psychiatry abstracts do NOT have paragraph breaks, headings or subheadings (such as methods, results, etc) in the abstract.


The Introduction should assume that the reader is knowledgeable in the field and should therefore be as brief as possible but can include a short historical review where desirable.

Materials / Subjects and Methods

This section should contain sufficient detail such that experimental procedures can be reproduced. For methods that have been published in detail elsewhere, authors can reference more full descriptions in other publications, but should still make effort to describe adequately in the main body of the text (not supplemental files). Authors should provide the name of the manufacturer and their location for any specifically named medical equipment and instruments, and all drugs should be identified by their pharmaceutical names, and by their trade name if relevant.

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Results and Discussion

The Results section should briefly present the experimental data in text, tables or figures. Tables and figures should not be described extensively in the text, either. The discussion should focus on the interpretation and the significance of the findings with concise objective comments that describe their relation to other work in the area. It should not repeat information in the results. The final paragraph should highlight the main conclusion(s), and provide some indication of the direction future research should take.


These should be brief, and should include sources of support including sponsorship (e.g. university, charity, commercial organization) and sources of material (e.g. novel drugs) not available commercially.

Conflict of Interest

Authors must declare whether or not there are any competing financial interests in relation to the work described. This information must be included at this stage and will be published as part of the paper. Conflict of interest should be a part of the submission process. See the Conflict of Interest documentation in the Editorial Policy section for detailed information.


Only papers directly related to the article should be cited. Exhaustive lists should be avoided. References should follow the Vancouver format. In the text they should appear as numbers starting at one and at the end of the paper they should be listed (double-spaced) in numerical order corresponding to the order of citation in the text. All authors should be quoted for papers with up to six authors; for papers with more than six authors, the first six only should be quoted, followed by et al. Abbreviations for titles of medical periodicals should conform to those used in the latest edition of Index Medicus. The first and last page numbers for each reference should be provided. Abstracts and letters must be identified as such. Papers in press and papers already submitted for publication may be included in the list of references but no citation is required for work that is not yet submitted for publication.

Personal communications must be allocated a number and included in the list of references in the usual way or simply referred to in the text; the authors may choose which method to use. In either case, authors must obtain permission from the individual concerned to quote his/her unpublished work

Journal article, up to six authors et al:
Martin JC, Bourgnoux P, Fignon A, Theret V, Antoine JM, Lamisse F et al. Dependence on human milk essential fatty acids on adipose stores during lactation. Am J Clin Nutr 1993; 58: 653–569.

Journal article, e-pub ahead of print:
da Costa SP, van den Engel–Hoek L, Bos AF. Sucking and swallowing in infants and diagnostic tools. J Perinatol 2008; e-pub ahead of print 17 January 2008; doi:10.1038/

Journal article, in press:
Brown N. Perinatal and newborn care in South Asia: priorities for action. Arch Dis Child (in press).

Complete book:
Willett WC. Nutritional Epidemiology. Oxford University Press: New York, 1998.

Chapter in book:
Blizzard RM, Bulatovic A. (1996). Syndromes of psychosocial short stature. In: Lipshitz F (ed). Pediatric Endocrinology. Marcel Dekker: New York, 1986, pp 213–276.

Minck P. A synactive model of neonatal behavioral organization. Phys Occup Ther Pediatr 2002; 22(Suppl 1): 28 (abstract 456).

Letter to the editor:
Sehgal A, Ramsden A (2008). Treating hypotension in the preterm infant: when and with what: a critical and systematic review [letter]. J Perinatol 28, 167.

EndNote users should select the Molecular Psychiatry output style for the correct reference style.

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These should be labelled sequentially and cited within the text. Each table should be presented on its own page, numbered and titled. Reference to table footnotes should be made by means of Arabic numerals. Tables should not duplicate the content of the text. They should consist of at least two columns; columns should always have headings. Authors should ensure that the data in the tables are consistent with those cited in the relevant places in the text, totals add up correctly, and percentages have been calculated correctly. Unlike figures or images, tables may be embedded into the word processing software if necessary, or supplied as separate electronic files.


Figures and images should be labeled, sequentially numbered and cited in the text. Figure legends should be brief, specific and appear on a separate manuscript page after the References section. Refer to (and cite) figures specifically in the text of the paper. Figures should not be embedded within the text. If a table or figure has been published before, the authors must obtain written permission to reproduce the material in both print and electronic formats from the copyright owner and submit it with the manuscript. This follows for quotes, illustrations and other materials taken from previously published works not in the public domain. The original source should be cited in the figure caption or table footnote. The use of three-dimensional histograms is strongly discouraged when the addition of the third dimension gives no extra information. Scale markers should be used in the image for electron micrographs, and indicate the type of stain used. Detailed guidelines for submitting artwork can be found by downloading the Artwork Guidelines PDF.

Supplementary Information

Supplementary information (SI) is material directly relevant to the conclusion of an article that cannot be included in the printed version owing to space or format constraints. The article must be complete and self-explanatory without the SI, which is posted on the journal's website and linked to the article. SI may consist of data files, graphics, movies or extensive tables, view the Artwork Guidelines PDF for more information on accepted file types. Authors should submit documents in their FINAL format as they are not edited, typeset or changed, and will appear online exactly as submitted.

Each piece of SI must be referred to at least once within the text of the main article. SI must be referred to and labelled as follows: Supplementary Table, Figure, or Video. Each type of SI should be continuously numbered (for example, Supplementary Figure 1, Supplementary Figure 2, Supplementary Table 1, Supplementary Table 2 and so on). Please provide a title for Supplementary Tables and a title and a caption for Supplementary Figures and Supplementary Videos

When submitting SI authors are required to:

  • Include a text summary (no more than 50 words) to describe the contents of each file.
  • Identify the types of files (file formats) submitted.
  • Include the text “Supplementary information is available at MP’s website”) at the end of the article and before the references.

Please note: We do not allow the resupplying of Supplementary Information files for style reasons after a paper has been exported in production, unless there is a serious error that affects the science and, if by not replacing, it would lead to a formal correction once the paper has been published. In these cases we would make an exception and replace the file; however there are very few instances where a Supplementary Information file would be corrected post publication.

Availability of Data and Materials

Please see our Editorial Policies for information regarding data, protocols, sequences, or structures.

House Style

  • Do not make rules thinner than 1pt (0.36mm)
  • Use a coarse hatching pattern rather than shading for tints in graphs
  • Color should be distinct when being used as an identifying tool
  • Spaces, not commas should be used to separate thousands
  • Abbreviations should be preceded by the words they stand for in the first instance of use
  • Use SI units throughout
  • Text should be double spaced with a wide margin
  • At first mention of a manufacturer, the town (and
    state if USA) and country should be provided

English Language Support

For editors and reviewers to accurately assess the work presented in your manuscript you need to ensure the English language is of sufficient quality to be understood. If you need help with writing in English, you should consider:

  • Asking a colleague who is a native English speaker to review your manuscript for clarity.
  • Visiting the English language tutorial which covers the common mistakes when writing in English.
  • Using a professional language editing service where editors will improve the English to ensure that your meaning is clear and identify problems that require your review. Two such services are provided by our affiliates Nature Research Editing Service and American Journal Experts.

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