Instructions for Authors of Focuses

Focuses in Science Signaling are short, lively articles that feature the author’s opinion regarding a Science Signaling paper published in the same issue. Occasionally, Focuses may be on other topics of interest to the signal transduction community. The Science Signaling Editors solicit nearly all Focuses. These articles have an upper limit of 1000 words and should cite at most 10 references, one of which must be the highlighted research article. We would like each Focus to include one figure.

Editorial Policies

Authors of Reviews should familiarize themselves with the submission requirements and conditions of acceptance for Science Journals before submitting their paper. Access this information here. These policies spell out the rights and responsibilities that authors agree to when submitting and publishing their papers, although some of these apply only to authors of original research papers.

Writing your Focus

Title: The title should be informative, thought-provoking and inviting and should be no more than 100 characters in length (including spaces).

Abstract: The Abstract must be no longer than 2 sentences. The first sentence should be a short introductory sentence. The second sentence must mention the highlighted research article (for example, “In this issue of Science Signaling, Foley et al. reveal that…”).

Body of article: The ideal Focus begins with an introductory paragraph that immediately presents the issues in a way that captures the reader's interest. The highlighted paper should be mentioned in this first paragraph. Your introduction should be general enough to orient the reader not familiar with the specifics of your field. Here, and throughout the article, you should avoid the jargon and specialized terms of your field or system. If specialized language is necessary, define terms for the general reader.

The body of the text should, in the limited space available, develop your discussion in a lively manner. By "lively" we don't mean hype and oversimplification. Rather, the editors seek clear, declarative writing that avoids the passive tense, tangled constructions, and needless detail.

The final paragraph should draw the piece to a concise conclusion, without simply restating the text. It should be a conclusion and not a summary. Tell the reader about future prospects and implications. What are the unanswered questions? Where is the field going?

References, cited by consecutive numbers in the text, should be given in a full format. Avoid lengthy notes, details, or asides that interrupt the flow of the text.

The Figure: The figure should illustrate the essential message of the Focus. It can be a schematic, graph, table, or photograph. The point is to catch the eye while informing the reader. You can submit finished artwork, a sketch, or even a rough written idea for the figure. With the help of our art department, we will refine or modify the figure as needed. See the accompanying instructions for submitting electronic art. If the figure has multiple panels, each panel must be explicitly called out in the text in order.

References: No more than 10 references are allowed, one of which must be the highlighted Research Article. References to personal communications or in-press manuscripts without DOIs are not allowed.

The Editor's Role We expect that authors will do their best to meet our criteria for a good Focus, but you should be prepared for extensive editing, perhaps even rewriting, if the editors find it necessary. The editors will show you the editorial changes and you will be asked to check the galleys before publication.

Author Checklist

  • Have you included an Abstract? Is it no longer than 1-2 sentences and does one of the sentences explicitly reference the Science Signaling research paper being highlighted?
  • Are all authors listed correctly along with their affiliations and is the corresponding author indicated?
  • Is the body of your Focus 1,000 words or less?
  • Have you included at least one figure or table? Have you included legends for all figures and tables? If your figure has multiple panels, has you explicitly called out each figure panel in order in the body of your Focus?
  • Have any of the figures been previously published?
  • Does your Focus cite 10 or fewer references? Is one of the references the Science Signaling research paper being highlighted by your Focus?
  • Are the references complete? Each citation should include the full article title, journal title, journal volume, year of publication, and first and last page. Please include all authors (no et al.).

Instructions for Submitting the Text and Figure for a Focus

The editor handling your Focus will send you a formal invitation by email, which will contain your manuscript ID. Please submit your text and figures through the Science Journals Submission and Information Portal at Log into your account (your username is your email address) and click on the manuscript ID. Note that our submission site will automatically rename your files upon upload, so it is not necessary to follow a particular naming convention for your files. Upload the Word and figure files on the “MS Documents” tab. Our system will automatically extract information from the Word document to populate the manuscript record. You will be able to confirm, revise, or add author names, email addresses, and affiliations on the “Authors” tab. Our system will also extract the title and abstract; you may revise them on the “MS Info” tab.

Text: Text files must be in Microsoft Word .docx format. Include text, as well as any figure captions and references, in this single Microsoft Word .docx file.

Figures: If possible, figure files should be compatible with Macintosh computer Adobe Illustrator (Version 3.0 to 9.0) and Adobe Photoshop (version 2.0 to 6.0). Figures prepared in PowerPoint will be redrawn by our art department to achieve the necessary resolution. Our submission system can handle files up to 25 MB. We can accept figures in the following formats (in descending order of preference):

• Illustrator EPS (Encapsulated Postscript) or AI (Adobe Illustrator) or PDF (Adobe Acrobat)

• Photoshop PSD (Photoshop - with active text layers, do not flatten and do not rasterize text)

Supplementary Materials: Supplementary Materials are not allowed for a Focus.

Presubmission inquiries

Due to limited editorial resources and time, the Science Signaling Editors regretfully do not accept presubmission inquiries for Focuses. Authors may submit their complete manuscripts through our online submission site at Submitted manuscripts will undergo screening by the editors. The Science Signaling Editors will quickly inform authors if a Focus is not appropriate for the journal.