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 | House Style | English Language Support 

Article Types Considered


Article Description


Word Limit



Article: Please see “Preparation of Articles” for details.

Unstructured abstract

Abstract: 300 words

Article: 5,000 words excluding abstract and references

Max of 6

Max of 100

Review Article

Unstructured abstract

Abstract: 300 words
Article: 6,000 words

Max of 6

Max of 250


Correspondence contributions must respond to an original research article published in Translational Psychiatry no earlier than six months prior to the proposed letter’s submission. 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.

Correspondence should contain no original or novel data. Contributions should start with a two-or-three sentence paragraph that contains the message of the article without specialized terminology.

Joint first authors are not allowed.

In the consultation with the author, the editor may change the title of a Correspondence.

No abstract required

Article: 1,000 words
(1,200 if no image)

Max of 1

Max of 15

Systematic Reviews Structured abstract

Abstract: 300 words

Article: excluding abstract, tables/figures, and references, max 6,000 

Max of 6 Max of 250
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 Abstract: 300 words
Article: 4,000 words
Max of 4 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.

Note on reporting standards for Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy

Authors are strongly encouraged to follow the community agreed reporting standards described in Lin et al’sMinimum Reporting Standards for in vivo Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy (MRSinMRS): Experts' consensus recommendations. NMR Biomed. 2021 May;34(5):e4484. doi: 10.1002/nbm.4484. Epub 2021 Feb 9. PMID: 33559967

Please follow the checklist here, that may be completed and submitted as an additional file.


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, TP 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.

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The Abstract should consist of one, single, continuous paragraph 150-250 words in length.


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, so that all experimental procedures can be reproduced, and include references. Methods, however, that have been published in detail elsewhere should not be described in detail. 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 following format. In the text, they should appear as numbers, 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 included in reference lists unless there are six or more authors, in which case only the first author should be given, 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 with six or more authors, list six authors followed by 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, by DOI (without page numbers):

Yolken RH, Torrey EF. Are some cases of psychosis caused by microbial agents? A review of the evidence. Mol Psychiatry  (2008).

Journal article, in press:

Tian, D., Araki, H., Stahl E., Bergelson, J. & Kreitman, M. Signature of balancing selection in Arabidopsis. Proc. Natl Acad. Sci. USA (in the press).

Book (edited volume):

Diener, B. J. & Wilkinson, P. (eds) Transplantation Techniques

(Harvard Univ. Press, Cambridge, 1989).

Book Chapter:

Harley, N. H. & Vivian, L. in Mechanisms of Disease 4th edn, Vol. 2 (eds Sodeman, W. A. & Smith, A.) Ch. 3 (Saunders, Philadelphia, 1974).

Published abstract:

Feig, S. A. et al. Bone marrow transplantation for

neuroblastoma. Exp. Hematol. 13, abstr. 102 (1985).

Publicly available preprint:

Babichev, S. A., Ries, J. & Lvovsky, A. I. Quantum scissors: teleportation of single-mode optical states by means of a nonlocal single photon. Preprint at  (2002).


Young, W. R. Effects of Different Tree Species on Soil Properties in Central New York. MSc thesis, Cornell Univ. (1981).

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These should be labeled 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 be ready to present it upon request. 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.

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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