The Seven Stones

Updated Instructions for Authors

Molecular Systems Biology has recently completed a major update of its Instructions for Authors. Of particular importance, this new document now fully incorporates information about our policies regarding transparency in scientific publishing. Molecular Systems Biology, along with the other EMBO Publications journals, has made a strong commitment to promoting transparency in the editorial process, and recently began publishing a Review Process File, containing anonymous reviewers’ reports, authors’ rebuttal letters, and the editor’s decisions, with accepted manuscripts. In addition, we have been working to promote greater availability, transparency, and re-usability for scientific data associated with published works. For more details on these efforts please see our editorial, “From bench to website.”

Data transparency

For some time now, Molecular Systems Biology has allowed authors to submit source data that directly supports a particular figure panel. Links to these data are then included in the html manuscript version, directly below the associated figures, so that readers can easily discover and reuse data that is of interest to them. This feature can be used both for numeric results (e.g. supporting a graph), or for more structured data types (e.g. SBML model files). Information regarding how source data for figures should be prepared, what types of data can be accommodated, and how to submit these files in our manuscript submission system, is now included in the Instructions for Authors.

Data deposition

Molecular Systems Biology, requires that authors submit data to public repositories according to community standards, and strongly encourages them to do so before manuscript submission. Our Instructions for Authors now provides information regarding our standards for a variety of data types, including functional genomics, proteomics, molecular interactions, and computational models.

Other improvements

These publishing policies and standards have grown out of extensive discussion with members of the scientific community, and we are eager to receive any comments or feedback you may have.


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