For Authors

Revisions to these Guidelines




About the journal

Editorial Policies

Editorial Process

Manuscript Preparation


For Acceptance and Publication

Help and Contact


About the Journal

Aims and Scope

EMBO reports publishes short-format, original research papers that report ground-breaking advances in any aspect of molecular biology. The journal also offers accessible, expert, scientific reviews, as well as essays and articles that explore how science is shaping the world and vice versa.

Non peer-reviewed article types (subject to editorial review):

  • Editorial
  • Opinion
  • News & Views
  • Correspondence
  • Science & Society

Peer-reviewed article types:

  • Review
  • Scientific Report

The Journal is one of four journals owned and run by the European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO) and is editorially entirely independent.

Article Types

EMBO reports publishes the following article types:

Scientific Reports and Research Articles

EMBO reports publishes both long and short-format papers. Papers published in the journal should present compelling data to support a significant conceptual advance in any area of molecular biology, with a special emphasis on functional insight and potential applications. When considering submissions, the journal focuses on novelty and the physiological and/or functional significance of a finding, rather than the level of mechanistic detail reported. Manuscripts will be selected on the basis of conceptual advance, general interest and technical quality.

As a guide, the journal welcomes submission of articles in the following areas, investigated at any level of organization (from the structural and molecular through to the organismal) and in any model system (including plants and micro-organisms):

  • Membranes & Transport
  • Cell & Tissue Architecture
  • Signal Transduction
  • Chromatin & Transcription
  • RNA
  • Proteins
  • Cell Cycle
  • Genome Stability & Dynamics
  • Development
  • Differentiation & Death
  • Cellular Metabolism
  • Neuroscience
  • Immunology
  • Plant Biology
  • Microbiology & Pathogens
  • Molecular Biology of Disease
  • Genomic & Computational Biology
  • Structural Biology
  • Molecular Evolution
  • Molecular Ecology
  • Biotechnology


EMBO reports publishes concise Reviews that balance interest for the general reader with usefulness for specialists. When commissioning or assessing Reviews, the editors focus on articles that report the latest developments and newest insights in a given field and set them in a wider context.

Science & Society

Contributed articles from a range of experts and science journalists presenting detailed analysis and discussion of science and/or its relationship with society.


Leading scientists and others offer commentary and opinion on topics on and beyond molecular biology.

News & Views

The latest research papers highlighted and contextualized.


Correspondence concerning the validity of data or its interpretation in articles published in EMBO reports (see the Scientific Integrity section below for further information), or feedback commenting on the ideas, information and views put forward in EMBO reports.

Open Access option

Authors of accepted peer-reviewed original articles may choose to pay a fee in order for their published article to be made freely accessible to all immediately upon publication. Please visit the section on Charges below.


Editorial Policies

Submission of a manuscript implies that it reports unpublished work and that neither itself, nor parts of it, have been published or are under consideration for publication elsewhere. By submitting a manuscript, the authors guarantee that they have the appropriate authority from their employers and/or funding agencies to publish the work. Any related work under consideration, review, revision or accepted for publication elsewhere must accompany the submission if they are relevant to its scientific assessment.

The journal reserves the right not to publish material that has already been formally published, completely or substantially, including in established digital media such as blogs. All EMBO Press journals encourage prior publication on recognized non-peer-reviewed, community preprint servers such as arXiv and bioRxiv for commenting by other scientists before formal submission to the journal. The details of the preprint server concerned and any accession numbers or DOIs must be included in the cover letter accompanying submission of the manuscript.

Transparent Process

All EMBO Press journals have made the editorial process transparent for all accepted manuscripts by publishing as an online supplementary document all correspondence between authors and the editorial office relevant to the decision process. This will by default include all referee comments directed to the authors, as well as the authors' point-by-point responses. Internal communications and informal consultations between editors and editorial advisors will remain excluded from these policies. Likewise, referee anonymity will be strictly maintained, unless a referee chooses to sign his or her report. Authors who are, for specific reasons or as a matter of principle, not comfortable with these disclosures will have the possibility to opt out of the transparent process at any stage prior to publication. More information about the EMBO Press Transparent Process can be found below and on the EMBO Press website.

Authorship Guidelines

Submission of a manuscript requires that all authors have seen and approved the manuscript and its contents, and that they are aware of the responsibilities connected to authorship. Each of the listed authors has to concur with the text of the submitted manuscript, confirm the integrity of the data and its presentation, and agree with its interpretation as discussed in the manuscript. Signatures from all the authors are not required; it is the corresponding author’s responsibility to obtain agreement from all authors supporting the submission. All authors will be notified upon peer-review of a new manuscript and upon acceptance of a manuscript, but the editorial office generally corresponds only with the Corresponding Author, whose responsibility it is to communicate information sent from the editorial office with all other authors. Editors may send information such as referee reports to all the authors where they consider this to be essential

Submission of a manuscript requires that all authors agree to the authorship as listed in the manuscript. The nature of every author’s contribution must be specified both in the manuscript submission system and in the manuscript under the heading “Author Contributions”.

Our authorship policies conform to international standards (see, for example, ICMJE authorship guidelines).

The journal encourages the submission of a completed author checklist (right click to download) at submission (which covers animal welfare, human subjects, data deposition and ethics), and will require it to be filled and returned to the editorial office at revision, either via the online submission system (upload as a supplementary file) or by email to the editorial office. All information covered in the checklist should be included in the manuscript.

Use of living organisms

For research submitted to EMBO Press journals reporting experiments on live vertebrates and/or higher invertebrates, the corresponding author must confirm that all experiments were performed in accordance with relevant guidelines and regulations. The manuscript must include a statement in the Materials and Methods identifying the institutional and/or licensing committee approving the experiments, including any relevant details. For experiments involving human subjects, authors must identify the committee approving the experiments, and include with their submission a statement confirming that informed consent was obtained from all subjects.

Right click to download and complete the author checklist here.

Animal welfare

For studies reporting experiments on live vertebrates and/or higher invertebrates, the corresponding author must confirm that all experiments were performed in accordance with relevant guidelines and regulations. The manuscript must include a statement in the Materials and Methods identifying the institutional and/or licensing committee approving the experiments. The editors reserve the right to consult with board members or external experts and reject manuscripts that contain animal experiments that do not conform to NIH or MRC guidelines for animal welfare. For further information see: Office of Laboratory Animal Welfare; The journal encourages authors to follow the ARRIVE guidelines (PLoS Biol. 8(6), e1000412, 2010) for reporting studies involving animals. Please see the following website for details:

Right click to download and complete the author checklist here.

Human Subjects

For experiments involving human subjects the corresponding author must identify the committee approving the experiments and include a statement that informed consent was obtained from all subjects and that the experiments conformed to the principles set out in the WMA Declaration of Helsinki and the Department of Health and Human Services Belmont Report. Editors or referees may request further documentation confirming that this is the case. 

Any restrictions on the availability or on the use of human data or samples should be clearly specified in the manuscript. Any restrictions that may detract from the overall impact of a study or undermine its reproducibility will be taken into account in the editorial decision. 

For clinical trials reporting, the authors should fill out a CONSORT flow diagram and submit it as supplementary information. The journal also encourages authors to follow the CONSORT reporting guidelines Please see the EQUATOR website for details. Clinical trials should also be registered as recommended by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors, and the trial registration number should be provided.

Right click to download and complete the author checklist here.

Reporting Guidelines

Authors are encouraged to follow the EQUATOR Network reporting guidelines for the following:

Type of Study Guidelines
Animal research ARRIVE
Parallel group randomized trials CONSORT
Conensus-based Clinical Case Reporting CARE
Prognostic marker studies REMARK
Diagnostic Accuracy STARD
Meta-analysis of observational studies MOOSE
Systematic reviews and meta-analysis PRISMA
Observational studies STROBE
Genetic association studies STREGA
Statistical analyses and methods STAMPL
Microarray/deep sequencing studies MIAME
Studies using biospecimens BRISQ


Planned research and results from experiments should be evaluated at an early stage for possible dual use concerns. In such cases, authors should first consult with an appropriate local body concerning the implications for biosecurity and public health. For further information see the U.S. National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity's recommendations and the US National Select Agent Registry.

Authors should explicitly describe any potential biosecurity implications and the local body's assessment in their cover letter at submission and in the author checklist. The threat posed by the potential abuse of certain experimental data or material for bioweapons, terrorist or other criminal activities may require that editors balance the risks and benefits of publication. The ultimate decision whether to publish the paper as submitted or with suggested changes is the prerogative of the editors after consultation with board members or external experts in biosafety, biosecurity, or public and environmental health.

Right click to download and complete the author checklist here.

Availability of published material and data

It is understood that by publishing a paper in this journal, the authors agree to make available to colleagues in academic research all new reagents, including organisms (or means to produce them), viruses, cells, nucleic acids and antibodies, that were used in the research reported and that are not available from public repositories or commercial suppliers. Human patient samples and data should be made available in accordance with the relevant ethical standards. Materials must be made available at a reasonable cost that reflects production and distribution. The distribution of published materials does not automatically confer a right of co-authorship. Right click to download and complete the author checklist here.

The journal will only review and publish manuscripts if the authors agree to make all data that cannot be published in the journal itself (e.g. novel nucleotide sequences, structural data, or data from large-scale gene expression experiments) freely available, where possible in an appropriate public database (detailed guidelines can be found below).

Right click to download and complete the author checklist here.

Conflicts of interest

In the interests of transparency and to help editors and reviewers assess any potential bias, the journal requires authors of original research papers to declare any competing commercial interests in relation to the submitted work. It is difficult to specify a threshold at which a financial interest becomes significant, but as a practical guideline, we would suggest this to be any undeclared interest that could embarrass you were it to become publicly known. Referees and editors are also subject to Conflict of Interest regulations.

Scientific Integrity

The editorial staff are committed to maintaining high standards of integrity of the published scientific record. Journal staff undertake routine image analysis of data in manuscripts submitted for publication and will request source data and an author response to image aberrations.

The journal requests that authors take note of and adhere to national standards, as well as guidelines established by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Research Integrity ( The journal will investigate suspected instances of scientific fraud, inappropriate image manipulation or processing, plagiarism, misrepresentation, duplicate publication and other cases that violate research ethics in submitted manuscripts or published papers. Depending on the outcome of these investigations, the journal may opt to publish errata or corrigenda (see below), or, in cases of serious scientific misconduct, either to ask authors to retract their paper, or to impose retraction on them. In such cases, the authors’ current employers and the research institution of the corresponding author at the time of publication of the paper will also be informed. The journal may also issue an editorial note attached to the paper to alert readers to an ongoing investigation. As a matter of policy, the journal will collaborate with independent institutional investigations into misconduct and, where appropriate, will accept the outcome of such investigations.

All EMBO Press journals are members of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE).

Corrigenda, errata, addenda and refutations

Correction and additions to a paper are published at the sole discretion of the editors.

An erratum is notification of a significant error made by the journal that would mislead the readership if left uncorrected.

A corrigendum is notification of a significant error made by the author(s). A corrigendum may include a communication by the authors and/or an editorial statement.

An editorial note may be used to alert readers to a specific issue related to a paper.

An addendum may be published in rare cases where additional data directly relevant to central aspects of a paper emerge and it is apparent that publication would strengthen the paper in question fundamentally. All additional data is subject to peer review.

Refutations of articles published in the journal can be considered for the Correspondence section of the journal. Such correspondence will almost always include data to support the arguments of the correspondent and will have to concern central aspects of a paper. The original authors of the article will be offered the opportunity to respond side-by-side with the correspondence. Both the refutation and the response will be peer reviewed at the discretion of the editor and acceptance depends on the strength of the arguments raised as well as the importance of the matter to a general readership. Publication of the correspondence does not automatically entail publication of a response of the authors of the challenged research paper. After one round of correspondence, the journal will consider the matter closed and will not publish further exchanges.

Data collection and presentation

Presented data must represent the findings in an unbiased, accurate and transparent manner. This includes appropriate statistical analysis and image processing. For further details, please refer to these guidelines.

The Editors reserve the right to request minimally processed versions of figures and the source data that were used to assemble the figure from the authors of a paper under consideration, or of a paper already published in the journal.

Originality and Plagiarism

The editors require that any information published in the journal represents a substantially novel contribution to the scientific record. Any manuscript submitted to the journal should therefore not contain content that has been formally published in a peer reviewed journal or another formally citable manner, whether in print or electronic. This includes websites, blogs and the news media. Recognized, non-peer-reviewed pre-print servers and conference presentations (including summaries) are not considered prior publication (see below).

Subject to licensing restrictions, the journal will consider manuscripts based on information that has been previously discussed by the authors at scientific conferences in the form of posters, talks, abstract books, meeting reports or webcasts. Manuscripts may be posted prior to or at the time of submission on recognised non-peer reviewed pre-publication platforms dedicated to discussion among peers, including the preprint servers bioRXiv, arXiv, PeerJ Preprint and Faculty1000 posters. The details of the preprint server concerned and any accession numbers must be included in the cover letter accompanying submission of the manuscript. The journal will also consider manuscripts based on unpublished academic theses released in accordance with institutional rules. If your institution requires formal publication of your thesis, please contact the editorial office.
Any text, data, material, images, ideas or quotes should be attributed to the original source, even if it is by the same authors. If necessary, authors should seek permission to use the material from the copyright holder in accordance to licensing stipulations. The journal's policies on attribution follow the standards set by the Associated Press. It is at the discretion of the editors whether prior publication of such related material prevents subsequent publication in the journal.
Plagiarism is the misappropriation of intellectual property and the substantial unattributed textual copying of another's work. The journal uses CrossCheck, a multi-publisher initiative to screen submitted content for plagiarism, to detect overlapping and similar text (including self-plagiarism) prior to publication. To find out more about CrossCheck visit If you do reproduce text from other publications, it should be obvious that the text is a quotation and you must cite the source (the journal has no limit on references).

Embargo Policy

The content of papers and any associated press releases is strictly embargoed until the official date of publication of a manuscript. Accepted contributions can be discussed with the media from one week before the publication date provided the journalist respects the embargo date. We will press release selected papers with summaries. Authors may arrange their own publicity, but must adhere to the embargo conditions. Further details can be provided by the editorial office.


Comprehensive and accurate citation of the relevant literature is essential. We require citation of the primary literature wherever appropriate. There are no limits on the total number of references in the bibliography, and the reference list is not subject to manuscript length format requirements (for details, see below). Similarly, page charges will apply only to the body of a published article, not to the reference list.

Editorial Process

All submissions are initially assessed by a dedicated scientific editor specialised in the scientific topics covered in the manuscript, and may also be evaluated by an appropriate Editorial Advisory Board member or another external expert advisor. All research manuscripts and reviews published in the journal are subject to peer-review. Non-research articles, editorial material and commentaries are usually not reviewed, although editors may elect to undertake review in the interest of authoritative and balanced reporting.

Double blind review: As a default, the referees are aware of the identities of the authors and referee names are withheld from authors (single-blind review). We will withhold author names from referees on request by the authors. The authors may chose this option during the submission process, but it is the authors’ responsibility to anonymize their manuscript. The editorial offices will not edit the manuscript files submitted for anonymity and will not alert authors who have chosen the anonymization option, but who have not anonymized the manuscript files. The journal may consult with the referees after conditional acceptance of a manuscript on a de-anonymized manuscript to assess the changes applied in revision.

Research manuscripts judged by the editors to be potentially suitable for publication in the journal with realistic experimental revision are sent out for formal peer review, so that manuscripts with a low probability of success can be returned to the authors without delay. Manuscripts are typically reviewed by three appropriate independent experts selected by the editors. Authors may exclude a small number of experts if they are concerned of a conflict of interest or bias.

Referee Cross-commenting: Referees are routinely invited to comment on each other’s reports and may discuss issues under moderation of the editors. Referees are not informed of each other’s identities.

Based on the arguments and recommendations of the referees, the editors decide whether to offer publication or revision, or whether to reject the manuscript. This decision might involve further consultation with the referees, the Editorial Advisory Board and/or the authors. Revisions are invited only for manuscripts that have a high probability of acceptance after one major round of experimental revision.

‘Scooping’: During the editorial and peer review process and the agreed author revision period, other studies that may appear in the literature are not taken into account in assessing the conceptual advance of a study. Please inform editors once you become aware of other studies directly relevant to your study.

Authors may appeal decisions if there is concrete evidence for a misunderstanding or mistake at the editorial or referee level. Appeals are evaluated in depth and without prejudice.

Transparent Process: The journal makes the editorial process transparent for all accepted manuscripts, by publishing as an online supplementary document (the Review Process File, RPF) all correspondence between authors and the editorial office relevant to the decision process. This will include all referee comments directed to the authors, as well as the authors’ point-by-point responses. Internal communications and informal consultations between editors, editorial advisors or referees will remain excluded from these documents. Importantly, referee anonymity will be strictly maintained. Authors have the possibility to opt out of the transparent process at any stage prior to publication.

To further facilitate transparency, the journal has removed the “Confidential Comments” field from our referee reporting forms. This is to ensure that the authors receive all information pertinent to the decision made on a manuscript. Referees should be aware that all comments will be transmitted to the authors and the other referees. Should there be any issues with the manuscript, in particular concerns about ethical standards, data integrity, biosecurity, or conflicts of an academic or commercial nature that need to be communicated directly and confidentially to the editor, this can be done by email.

Please see the EMBO Press website for more information on these policies.

Transfer policies

The EMBO Press journals are editorially independent from their publishers, one another and EMBO.

Authors can choose to transfer manuscripts rejected from any one of the EMBO Press journals to any other of the EMBO Press journals by following the instructions appended to the editorial decision letter. Manuscripts transferred post-review will automatically include the referees’ reports and identities, and authors are invited to include a point-by-point rebuttal and a revised manuscript as part of the transfer. The editors will aim to use the transferred referee reports in arriving at a rapid decision – they may involve an arbitrating expert, who is asked to adjudicate based on the information provided by the authors and referees. Editors may choose to seek additional advice from referees or editorial advisory board members in cases where this would enhance informed decision-making.

Transfers of manuscripts with referee reports from Journals unrelated to EMBO Press are also possible at the editor’s discretion. If anonymous, authenticated referee reports are available, the editors will aim to work with this information to arrive at a timely decision without entering a de novo review process. This may involve expert advice in an adjudicating function. Please contact the editors to discuss options. EMBO Press is committed to a rapid, efficient and fair editorial process.


Manuscript Preparation

EMBO Reports publishes the following article types:

Research Article and Scientific Report Submissions


The following guidelines refer to Research Articles and Scientific Reports. While published manuscripts are expected to conform tightly to the following guidelines, this is not a requirement at first submission.

Manuscripts must be written in clear and concise English and be intelligible to a broad readership. Prior to submission, authors may benefit from having their manuscript reviewed for clarity by colleagues and/or by using one of the many English language-editing services that are available.

Research Articles have no specific format restrictions. Only particularly noteworthy papers that require a more expansive format in the judgement of the editors due to the scope of the data and analysis presented will be selected for this section. While there are no outright format limitations, text and figures should be as concise as possible. The editors will advise if a research article will need to be condensed or rationalized in its presentation.

Scientific Reports are intended to be conceptually striking, self-contained observations based on compelling data. In order to maximize the readability of these papers to the broad readership of EMBO reports, they should conform to the following format guidelines:

  • Main text: 25,000 (+/- 2,000) characters, excluding references and materials and methods.
  • Materials and methods are to be included in the main manuscript file (they are not included in the word count). Methods cannot be included in a supplemental/appendix file.
  • Please note that we have a policy to request the citation of relevant primary research papers where appropriate and of publishing full experimental methods that are sufficient to allow reproduction of the work by others. This should include a detailed description of the experimental variables and reagents. If the format for these sections exceeds the confines of the scientific report format, additional information may be included as Expanded View text files.
  • Please display no more than 4-5 figures. Additional figures can be included as Expanded View figures, which are embedded in the main manuscript and fully edited (Expanded View Level 2) . Certain data sets may need to be displayed as supplementary information in the appendix (Expanded View Level 3).

Text Format (for Research Articles and Scientific Reports)

The Editorial Office will only accept text files in RTF or MS Word format. The final character count must be clearly indicated on the title page of the manuscript. Revised manuscripts that do not comply with the formatting guidelines, or exceed the length restrictions, may be returned to the authors for amendment.

Please submit the full text (including figure legends, expanded view figure legends, tables, and references) as a single MS Word or RTF file.

Submitted manuscripts should be divided into the following sections:

  • Title page
  • Abstract
  • Introduction
  • Results
  • Discussion
  • Materials and Methods
  • Acknowledgements
  • Author Contributions
  • Conflict of Interest
  • References
  • Figure Legends
  • Table Legends
  • Expanded View Figure Legends

Title Page

The title should be short and informative, and should not contain any abbreviations (for example, Epithelial-Mesenchymal Transition should not be abbreviated to EMT). However, commonly used gene or protein acronyms are acceptable. The total length of the title should not exceed 100 characters (including spaces). Serial titles are not accepted.

The full name of each author should be given. Multiple first-authorships are acceptable and should be indicated. Numbers in superscript should be used to indicate the department, institution, city with postal code and country, for each author. Any changes of address may also be given in numbered footnotes. It is possible to name more than one author as the correspondent of a published article, although we will by default address all correspondence to the single author listed as Corresponding Author upon submission.

Please provide a running title of no more than 50 characters including spaces.

Up to five keywords, which may or may not appear in the title, should be given in alphabetical order, below the abstract, each separated by a slash (/).


This should be a single paragraph not exceeding 175 words. The Abstract should be comprehensible to readers before they have read the paper, and abbreviations should be avoided where possible (as for the title). Reference citations within the abstract are not permitted. The abstract should describe all key novel findings of the study.


The Introduction should be succinct and without subheadings. It should provide only the necessary background information, rather than comprise a comprehensive review of the field. Citation of the primary literature is required where appropriate (see section on Citation Policy).


The Results section, and associated figures, tables and Expanded View information, must accurately describe the findings of the study. Figure order should follow the text. Detailed methodological descriptions should be restricted to the Materials and Methods section. ‘Data not shown’ is not permitted (see below): all significant data should be displayed in the main figures or Expanded View information.


The Discussion should accurately interpret the results, but not be repetitive with the Results section. Authors are encouraged to discuss their work in the broader context. Related published data must be appropriately discussed and cited. Speculation is allowed but should be clearly labelled as such. For shorter articles, the Results and Discussion sections can be combined.

Materials and methods

This section should contain sufficient detail so that all experimental procedures can be repeated by others, in conjunction with cited references. Reagents must be described in such a way as to allow readers to identify them unequivocally and/or reproduce them. For example, antibodies epitopes should be described and siRNA and other probe sequences must be provided. Materials and Methods are excluded from the word count for all article types and should thus be complete. No additional materials and methods are permitted outside of the main manuscript text. 


These should be placed at the end of the text and not in footnotes. Personal acknowledgements should precede those of institutions or agencies. Grant numbers are permissible. Dedications are discouraged.

Author Contribution

The journal requires a statement specifying the contributions of every author. Further details on authorship can be found here.

Conflict of Interest

The journal requires a statement specifying whether or not the authors have a Conflict of Interest (see above for details). In the case of a Conflict of Interest, this must be specified.


You can download an EndNote style file for Scientific Reports, Articles, Reviews and Science & Society here, and a different style file for News & Views and Opinions here.

As a matter of policy, the journal requires the citation of primary literature (over review articles) wherever appropriate. Authors are responsible for the accuracy of the references. Authors are responsible for ensuring that the related literature is accurately and comprehensively discussed and cited. Review articles should only be cited for general background information, the proposal of certain concepts or similar purposes, whereas primary research articles should preferentially be referenced to introduce the question being addressed or to support the conclusions and interpretations of the results. Articles in press can be cited with the explicit permission corresponding author of the study; the journal name has to be included and, where available, the Digital Object Identifier.

In the text, a reference should be cited by a number in square brackets: [1]. The citation should appear within the punctuation. Where more than one reference is cited, commas should be used to separate non-sequential references, and a hyphen used to separate sequential references: [1,4,8] or [1-5], respectively. In the reference list, the citations should be listed in the order in which they appear in the text and numbered accordingly: all the references in the main text should be numbered, followed by references present in the figure legends and then tables. In the reference list, the authors' surnames and initials should be inverted; 'et al' should be used if there are more than ten authors. The name of each journal should be abbreviated according to Index Medicus and italicized. The issue in which the article appeared should be given in bold face followed by a colon and the page range.

References should therefore be listed (and will subsequently appear in print) as follows:

Research article/review
1. Shih SC, Sloper-Mould KE, Hicke L (2000) Mono-ubiquitin carries a novel internalization signal that is appended to activated receptors. EMBO J 19: 187-198
2. Bonnet J, Wang Y-H, Spedale G, Atkinson RA, Romier C, Hamiche A, Pijnappel WWMP, Timmers HThM, Tora L, Devys D, et al (2010) The structural plasticity of SCA7 domains defines their differential nucleosome‚Äźbinding properties. EMBO rep 11: 612-618

Essay in a collection
1. Gehring W (1994) A history of the homeobox. In Duboule D (ed.), Guidebook to the Homeobox Genes pp 1-10. Oxford University Press, Oxford, UK

1. Lewin B (1994) Genes V. Oxford University Press, Oxford, UK

For other citable material in Science & Society articles, see the section below.


Tables should be typed on separate sheets and numbered consecutively with Roman numerals (I, II, III, IV,). Tables should be self-explanatory and include a brief descriptive title. Footnotes to tables indicated by lower-case superscript letters are acceptable, but they should not include extensive experimental detail.

Conventions and Abbreviations

In general, the journal follows conventions given in Scientific Style and Format: The CBE Manual for Authors, Editors and Publishers (1994) Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK, 6th edn. Please follow Chemical Abstracts and its indexes for chemical names. For guidance in the use of biochemical terminology follow the recommendations issued by the IUPAC-IUBMB Joint Commission on Biochemical Nomenclature. In general, genes and genotypes should be indicated in italics; proteins and phenotypes should not be italicized.

Authors should use approved gene and gene product nomenclature and apply the italicization and capitalization formatting as appropriate for each organism’s standard nomenclature. Please consult the appropriate nomenclature databases for correct gene names and symbols. Some useful general resources are: Entrez Gene (; UniProt (

Try to restrict the use of abbreviations to SI symbols (standard units of measurements) and those recommended by the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC). Abbreviations should be defined in brackets after their first mention in the text, not in a list of abbreviations. SI symbols and symbols of chemical elements may be used without definition in the body of the paper. Abbreviations of standard biochemical compounds, e.g. ATP, DNA, nucleotides in nucleic acids, and amino acids in proteins, need not be defined. Common language abbreviations, such as e.g. or i.e., should not be used.


Figure Legends

Figure legends should contain sufficient information to allow the reader to follow the data presented without referring back to the text, but should not be redundant with the Results section. Each figure must contain a heading, and each panel a subheading. All symbols and abbreviations used in the figure must be defined, unless they are common abbreviations or have already been defined in the text. Experimental details should, where possible, be given in the Materials and Methods section, and not repeated in the figure legends. Figure legends should be formatted such that each panel, or group of panels, has its own entry with the panel letter (or range) on the left and the description on the right. The description of specific panels can be preceded or followed by free text describing features, statistics or values pertinent to all panels.


Figure 1 - Generation of hiPSCs from a patient with type-2 long-QT syndrome.

  • A  Genetic screening in the patient revealed the heterozygous single-nucleotide mutation Aright arrowT in exon 13 of the KCNH2 gene, in position 2987 of the coding sequence (CDS) (c.A2987T, NM_000238.3), resulting in the substitution of an asparagine with an isoleucine at position 996 of the protein (N996I, NP_000229.1).
  • B  The N996I mutation (red dot) is located in the C-terminal of the HERG protein, which is made of six trans-membrane domains (S1-S6), an amino (NH2) domain, a carboxyl (COOH) domain, and a pore (P) region.
  • C  Example of a hiPSC colony harbouring the c.A2987T (N996I) KCNH2 mutation (LQT2-hiPSCsN996I). Scale bar: 400 mu;m.
  • D  Immunofluorescence analysis of pluripotency markers SSEA4 (green) and NANOG (red) in a representative LQT2-hiPSCN996I clone, with nuclear staining (DNA, blue). The image on the right is a magnification of the area framed in the left image. Scale bars: 100 mu;m (left image); 50 mu;m (right image).


Figure Formatting

Figures and Expanded View figures should be presented in the order they are mentioned in the text. Figures use the numbering system Fig 1, while Expanded View figures use the system Fig EV1. The figure count in each is separate, such that there will be both a Fig 1 and a Fig EV1 (and so on) in a manuscript.

The final size of figures will be between 82 mm and 172 mm wide on the printed page. Please bear this in mind when submitting your manuscript for review and allow for sufficient resolution at a suitable size.

Figures divided into parts should be labelled with an upper-case, bold letter (Helvetica Font). Figures with several parts should also be in proportion, with consistently sized lettering so that the whole figure can be reduced by the same amount to the smallest size at which the essential details are visible. Use Courier font for sequence data and Symbol font for any symbols.

All lettering should be done using standard fonts (Helvetica, Times, Symbol, Courier) and retained in a separate layer (if possible) so that the production team can adapt any labels to the journal’s style if necessary. All fonts used for labelling the figures should also be embedded in the final files if the software package offers this option.

Scale bars, rather than magnification factors, should be used, with the length of the bar defined in the legend rather than on the bar itself. In general, visual cues on the figure itself are preferred rather than verbal explanations (for example, ‘broken line’ or ‘filled black triangles’) in the legend.

When preparing figures of microscopy images, please note that we strongly encourage the use of colours that are suitable for colour-blind readers: for example, the use of magenta/green is preferred over red/green for 2-channel images.

For publication, we require PowerPoint, TIFF or EPS files in PC or Macintosh format, preferably from PhotoShop or Illustrator software. We cannot accept Freehand, Canvas, CorelDRAW or MacDrawPro files. These files must be converted to postscript (eps) format. For any figures submitted in photoshop or tiff format we require layered files to be sent whereby all text, arrows or additional attributes are placed on individual layers within the file. For line art/charts/graphs we prefer to work with Adobe Illustrator AI or EPS files. We can also accept high-resolution PDF files.

All colour artwork must be submitted in CMYK colour mode. When converting files from RGB, please consider that the final figures will be printed on coated paper, using Euroscale process inks. If you are not familiar with these specifications, or are not sure how to apply them within your software package, please consult a local graphics expert. Ultimately, it is important that all colours look satisfactory after conversion to CMYK, both on screen and when printed on different printers.

Non-vector graphics should be preserved at high resolution: 300 dpi minimum at final size for greyscale or colour halftone images, and 600 dpi minimum for bitmap (b/w) artwork. Combinations of monochrome and greyscale/photographs should be at 600 dpi.

Further detailed guidelines regarding the preparation of artwork is available to download in this document [pdf].

The journal does not have colour charges for figures, and the authors are therefore welcome to submit full colour figures.

Figure/Data Presentation

Figures must accurately reflect the results of the experiments. Appropriate controls, markers and scale bars should be included in all panels. Statistical tests must be clearly defined and appropriate to the data.

Source Data
The EMBO Press journals strongly encourage authors to upload the ‘source data’ – for example, tables of individual numerical values and measurements or uncropped gels – that were used to generate figures. These files are separate from the Expanded View information files and are submitted using the "figure source data" option in the tracking system. Source data are directly linked to specific figure panels so that interested readers can directly download the associated ‘source data’ for the purpose of alternative visualization, re-analysis or integration with other data.

The data should at minimum allow users to redraw the figures using an alternative graphical representation, or to identify how a gel was cropped or otherwise edited for inclusion in the original figure. The data should be annotated to provide essential information to interpret the source data.

Image Processing
Images submitted with a manuscript for review should be minimally processed (for instance, to add arrows to a micrograph). Authors should retain their unprocessed data and metadata files, as editors may request them to aid in manuscript evaluation. If unprocessed data are unavailable, manuscript evaluation may be stalled until the issue is resolved.

A certain degree of image processing is acceptable for publication (and for some experiments, fields and techniques is unavoidable), but the final image must correctly represent the original data and conform to community standards. The guidelines below will aid in accurate data presentation at the image processing level; authors must also take care to exercise prudence during data acquisition, where misrepresentation must equally be avoided. Where appropriate, manuscripts should include further Methods as part of the Expanded View that describe for each figure the pertinent instrument settings, acquisition conditions and processing changes.

Authors should list all image acquisition tools and image processing software packages used. Authors should document key image-gathering settings and processing manipulations in the Methods.

Images gathered at different times or from different locations should not be combined into a single image, unless it is stated that the resultant image is a product of time-averaged data or a time-lapse sequence. If juxtaposing images is essential, the borders should be clearly demarcated in the figure and described in the legend.

The use of touch-up tools, such as cloning and healing tools in Photoshop, or any feature that deliberately obscures manipulations, is to be avoided.

Processing (such as changing brightness and contrast) is appropriate only when it is applied equally across the entire image and is applied equally to controls. Contrast should not be adjusted so that data disappear. Excessive manipulations, such as processing to emphasize one region in the image at the expense of others (for example, through the use of a biased choice of threshold settings), is inappropriate, as is emphasizing experimental data relative to the control.

When submitting revised final figures upon conditional acceptance, authors may be asked to submit original, minimally processed images.

Electrophoretic gels and blots
Positive and negative controls, as well as molecular size markers, should be included on each gel and blot. For previously characterized antibodies, a citation must be provided. For antibodies less well characterized in the system under study, a detailed characterization that demonstrates not only the specificity of the antibody, but also the range of reactivity of the reagent in the assay, should be published as part of the Expanded View. The display of cropped gels and blots in the main paper is permitted if it improves the clarity and conciseness of the presentation. Cropped gels in the paper must retain all important bands, and space (several band-widths) should be retained above and below the relevant band(s). Vertically sliced images that juxtapose lanes that were non-adjacent in the gel must have a clear separation or a black line delineating the boundary between the gels. Quantitative comparisons between samples on different gels/blots are discouraged; if this is unavoidable, the figure legend must state that the samples derive from the same experiment and that gels/blots were processed in parallel. Loading controls must be run on the same blot. High-contrast gels and blots are discouraged, as overexposure may mask additional bands. Authors should strive for exposures with gray backgrounds. Multiple exposures should be presented in the Expanded View information if high contrast is unavoidable. Immunoblots should be surrounded by a black line to indicate the borders of the blot, if the background is faint. For quantitative comparisons, appropriate reagents, controls and imaging methods with linear signal ranges should be used.

Authors should be prepared to supply the editors with original data on request, at the resolution collected, from which their images were generated. Cells from multiple fields should not be juxtaposed in a single field; instead multiple supporting fields of cells should be shown as part of the Expanded View. Specific guidelines: Adjustments should be applied to the entire image. Threshold manipulation, expansion or contraction of signal ranges and the altering of high signals should be avoided. If ‘Pseudo-colouring’ and nonlinear adjustment (for example ‘gamma changes’) are used, this must be disclosed. Adjustments of individual colour channels are sometimes necessary on ‘merged’ images, but this should be noted in the figure legend. We encourage inclusion of the following with the final revised version of the manuscript for publication: In the Methods, specify the type of equipment (microscopes/objective lenses, cameras, detectors, filter model and batch number) and acquisition software used. Although we appreciate that there is some variation between instruments, equipment settings for critical measurements should also be listed. A further Methods section as part of the Expanded View (or part of a larger Methods section) titled ‘equipment and settings’ should list for each image: acquisition information, including time and space resolution data (xyzt and pixel dimensions); image bit depth; experimental conditions such as temperature and imaging medium; and fluorochromes (excitation and emission wavelengths or ranges, filters, dichroic beamsplitters, if any). The display lookup table (LUT) and the quantitative map between the LUT and the bitmap should be provided, especially when rainbow pseudocolor is used. If the LUT is linear and covers the full range of the data, that should be stated. Processing software should be named and manipulations indicated (such as type of deconvolution, three-dimensional reconstructions, surface and volume rendering, ‘gamma changes’, filtering, thresholding and projection). Authors should state the measured resolution at which an image was acquired and any downstream processing or averaging that enhances the resolution of the image.

Statistical analysis
The description of all reported data that includes statistical testing must state the name of the statistical test used to generate error bars and P values, the number (n) of independent experiments underlying each data point (not replicate measures of one sample), and the actual P value for each test (not merely 'significant' or 'P < 0.05'). Discussion of statistical methodology can be reported in the materials and methods section, but figure legends should contain a basic description of n, P and the test applied.

Descriptive statistics should include a clearly labelled measure of centre (such as the mean or the median), and a clearly labelled measure of variability (such as standard deviation or range). Ranges are more appropriate than standard deviations or standard errors for small data sets. Standard error or confidence interval is appropriate to compare data to a control. Graphs must include clearly labelled error bars for cases where more than two independent experiments have been performed (error bars for replicate samples are less useful). Authors must state whether a number that follows the ± sign is a standard error (s.e.m.) or a standard deviation (s.d.) Authors must justify the use of a particular test and explain whether their data conform to the assumptions of the tests. In particular:

  • When using statistical methods based on the normal distribution authors should explain how they tested their data for normality. If the data do not meet the assumptions of the test, then a non-parametric alternative should be used.
  • When making multiple statistical comparisons on a single data set, authors should explain how they adjusted the alpha level to avoid an inflated Type I error rate, or they should select statistical tests appropriate for multiple groups.
  • For each experiment, the number of both technical and biological replicates should be clearly stated. Biological replicates are derived from independent experiments using separately obtained biological samples, while technical replicates are created by repeated measurements on the same biological sample. In general, technical replicates should be averaged before any statistical inference tests are performed.
  • In cases where n is small, appropriate statistical tests should be employed and justified in the text.

Since for complex biological experiments the number of independent repeats of a measurement often has to be limited for practical reasons, statistical measures with a very small n are commonplace. However, statistical measures applied to too small a sample size are not significant and they can suggest a false level of significance. We recommend that the actual individual data from each experiment should be plotted if n < 5, alongside an error bar. In cases where n is small, a justification for the use of the statistical test employed has to be provided. Presenting a single ‘typical result’ of n experiments is sometimes unavoidable, but should be accompanied by an indication of the variability of data between independent experiments. If n is not based on independent experiments (that is, n merely represents replicates of a measurement), statistics may still be useful, but a detailed description of the repeated measurement is required.

For more information on the appropriate use of standard deviation, standard error, and confidence intervals please refer to Cumming et al (2007).

Expanded View (replacing Supplementary Information)


Please follow the guidelines below when submitting a revision.

EMBO Press journals encourage the inclusion of extra figures in the HTML version of the main manuscript. These figures are presented in an expandable format inline in the main text so that readers who are interested can access them directly as they read in the context of the article. They are also provided for download in a separate PDF to accompany the Article PDF.

Figures appropriate for the Expanded View format are those of particular value to specialist readers, but which are not essential to follow the main thread of the paper for the general reader. Previously, important data would have been difficult to find and access as Supplementary Information. EMBO Press strongly encourages authors to select a limited number (typically 5) of supplementary figures for inclusion in the article proper as Expanded View figures in order to improve their accessibility, visibility and utility. Any extra figures that are not promoted to the Expanded View should be included in a 'traditional' supplementary PDF (along with supplementary text and tables) now called the Appendix.

We intend that by promoting only the essential elements of the supplementary information to be fully integrated in the main manuscript, authors and journals can reduce the often excessive amounts of information that is largely hidden in supplementary information sections. Note that it is explicit policy at all four EMBO Press journals to only include data directly relevant to the scientific claims of the paper.

Our editors will be happy to help you to decide which figures to promote to the Expanded View, or to explain about the Expanded View in more detail. There is no extra typesetting cost for figures that you choose promote in this way. However, please keep in mind the limit of 5 extra figures, unless agreed otherwise with the editor.

Your paper will now include 4 levels of information designed to add more structure and more flexibility to read or browse:

LEVEL 1 (Main manuscript and figures)

Main manuscript text, main figures and simple tables (Figures nomenclature: Figure 1, Table 1 etc.)
UPLOAD using file types: Manuscript File (including main text and tables), Figure File (as separate image files).

LEVEL 2 (Expanded View)

Expanded View figures (Expanded View figure nomenclature: Figure EV1)
[These figures will be displayed in the main HTML of the paper in a collapsible format. They will also be collected by the publisher into a single PDF and made available for download]
UPLOAD as separate image files using the file type Figure File (as for Main Figures, but note the different nomenclature when naming your Expanded View figures in the system).

Expanded View large tables and files (nomenclature: Table EV1, Dataset EV1 etc.)
[These extra files will be collected at the end of the manuscript in the Expanded View section]
UPLOAD as separate files (.txt, .xls., .ZIP etc.) using the file type Expanded View File.

LEVEL 3 (Appendix PDF)

Appendix PDF: Extra figures not promoted to the Expanded View, simple Tables not provided as separate Excel files and extra text (e.g. extra methods) provided in a single PDF (nomenclature to name and refer to Appendix items in the main text: Appendix Figure S1, Appendix Table S1, Appendix Supplementary Methods)
Please use this format for figures/tables/text beyond the limitations set of the main manuscript (level 1) and Expanded View (level 2). The Appendix should begin with a short table of contents.
[The Appendix will be provided at the end of the manuscript at as PDF]
UPLOAD as a single PDF using the file type Expanded View File

LEVEL 4 (Source Data)

Source Data for main figures: Source Data should be uploaded using the Source Data file type to link source data underlying regular figures (level 1) or Expanded View figures (level 2) to the relevant figures. Source Data can include minimally processed version of data presented in figures, numerical data underlying plots or charts, as well as replicates.
UPLOAD as single files using the file type Source Data

Source Data for Expanded View and Appendix figures: We cannot currently link Source Data to Expanded View Figures (level 2) and Appendix files (level 3) for technical reasons. It should therefore be uploaded using the Expanded View File filetype in a single ZIP file containing all the Source Data for Expanded View and Appendix content.
UPLOAD as a single ZIP file containing multiple folders/files relating to individual Expanded View items using the file type Expanded View File


To take advantage of the Expanded View

Authors will need to:

1. Select from their current Supplementary Information up to 5 figures for inclusion in the Expanded View.
2. Provide these figures as separate figure files (as for main figures in EPS, TIFF, PPT format etc.) using the file type Figure File in our manuscript submission system.
3. Include the legends for these figures in the main manuscript document file in a section called Expanded View Figure Legends after the main Figure Legends section.
4. Use the nomenclature Figure EV1 (and so on) for the figure legends and making reference to the figures in the text. The figures should be included in numerical sequential order (note that the EV sequence is separate from the sequence for regular figures).

For the figures that are not promoted to Expanded View format, and for supplementary text and tables, we ask authors to provide a single PDF file titled Appendix, containing:

1. A table of contents on the first page
2. Supplementary figures, text and simple tables and their legends (i.e. traditional Supplementary Information)
3. Use the nomenclature Appendix Figure S1, Appendix Table S1, Appendix Supplementary Methods etc. to ensure readers are not confused between Appendix figures and Expanded View figures
4. Reference these items in the manuscript text as: Appendix Figure S1, Appendix Table S1, Appendix Supplementary Methods
5. The Appendix PDF should be uploaded using the file type Expanded View File in our manuscript submission system.

For complex tables (more than 5 columns or 20 rows), datasets, computer code and so on, authors are asked to supply individual ZIP files using the nomenclature: Dataset EV1, Table EV1 and so on. Each ZIP file should contain the data file (movie, excel file, computer code) AND a separate plain text README file with item title and description. Submit these using the file type Expanded View File in our manuscript submission system.

Source data for Expanded View figures, Appendix content and individual files should be provided in a single ZIP file called Source Data for Expanded View and Appendix. Within the ZIP file, the Source Data should be included in individual folders pertaining to the figure/table that the Source Data is for. Submit this using the file type Expanded View File in our manuscript submission system.


File naming conventions

Files should be named based on manuscript number, file type and sequence position as in the following examples. Your Manuscript ID can be seen at the top of the page when you begin submission.


Unpublished Data

The journal does not permit citation of “Data not shown”. All data referred to in the paper should be displayed in the main or Expanded View figures. “Unpublished observations” may be referred to in exceptional cases, where these are data peripheral to the major message of the paper and are intended to form part of a future or separate study. Personal communications (Author name(s), personal communications) must be authorised in writing by those involved, and the authorisation sent to the editorial office at time of submission. Care should be taken that embargo policies are not contravened. References to manuscripts in preparation or submitted, but not yet accepted, should be cited in the text as (Author names(s), in preparation), and should not be included in the list of references. Copies of such manuscripts should be enclosed at submission for reviewing purposes where relevant, as should manuscripts in press, which should be cited in the reference list (see above)

Data deposition

Large-scale datasets, sequences, atomic coordinates and computational models should be deposited in one of the relevant public databases prior to submission (provided private access is available at the database) and authors should include accession codes in the Materials & Methods section. The suggested wording for referring to accession identifiers in a manuscript is the following: “The [protein interaction | microarray | mass spectrometry ] data from this publication have been submitted to the [name of the database] database [URL] and assigned the identifier [accession | permalink | hashtag ].” If necessary, please include in the manuscript the relevant information (username and password) for confidential access by peer-reviewers.

Data for which no suitable public database exists should be included, if possible, as dataset files in the Expanded View. In cases where data can not be confidentially deposited in a public database, and is too large to be included in the Expanded View, please contact the editorial office for advice on how to make these data available for refereeing purposes.

Functional genomics data

Microarray and sequencing-based functional genomics data should be deposited in the ArrayExpress (, GEO ( or CIBEX ( databases in compliance to the MIAME ( standards and the MINSEQE ( draft proposal.

Proteomics, metabolomics and molecular interactions

Mass spectrometry datasets should be deposited in a machine-readable format (e.g. mzML if possible) in one of the major public database, for example Pride ( or PeptideAtlas ( and authors should follow the MIAPE recommendations (

Molecular interaction data should be deposited with a member of the International Molecular Exchange Consortium (IMEx, prior to submission of the manuscript. Authors should follow the MIMIx recommendations (

Metabolomics data should be deposited following the recommendations of the Metabolomics Standards Initiative (MSI) ( in a recognised repository such as MetaboLights (

Sequence data

Nucleotide sequence data should be submitted to an International Nucleotide Sequence Database Collaboration member: GenBank (, EMBL Nucleotide Sequence Database ( or DDBJ (

Computational models

Computational models should be provided in a machine-readable form at submission stage to allow reviewers to reproduce the analysis and simulations performed in the study. When possible, standardize format (SBML, CellML) should be used instead of scripts (e.g. MATLAB). Authors are strongly encouraged to follow the MIRIAM guidelines ( and deposit their model in a public database such as Biomodels ( or JWS Online (

Structural data

The journal accepts and follows the recommendations of the International Union of Crystallography (IUCr), with regard to the deposition and release of macromolecular structural data. These guidelines are set out in the article by the IUCr Commission on Biological Macromolecules in Acta Crystallographica (2000), D56, 2. In summary, they state that all publications must be accompanied by deposition of both the atomic coordinates and the structure-factor amplitudes in the appropriate database (PDB or NDB). In the case of low-resolution structures for which only a chain trace is reported, a set of C alpha positions and structure-factor amplitudes may be sufficient.

For NMR structures, data deposited should include resonance assignments, and all restraints used in structure determination (NOEs, spin-spin coupling constants, amide exchange rates, etc) and the derived atomic coordinates for both an individual structure and for a family of acceptable structures.

Structures of biological macromolecules solved by electron microscopy must be submitted to the EMDB database at For a brief description of the database, see Lawson et al. (2011) Nucleic Acids Res. 39: D456-D464.

Human clinical and genomic datasets

The journal encourages authors to provide access to genotype and clinical data with as few restrictions as possible while respecting ethical obligations to the patients and relevant medical and legal issues. If practically possible and compatible with the individual consent agreement used in the study, such data should be deposited in one of the major public access-controlled repositories such as dbGAP ( or EGA ( Simple genetic polymorphisms should be submitted to dbSNP (

Right click to download and complete the author checklist here.


Other Article Types


Review articles in EMBO reports should cover an aspect of molecular biology that is topical and constitutes a novel analysis of the field at the time of submission. EMBO reports publishes Reviews that balance interest for the general reader with usefulness for specialists. When commissioning or assessing Reviews, the editors focus on articles that report the latest developments and newest insights in a given field and set them in a wider context.

EMBO reports Reviews are usually 8 to 12 pages long, although there are no strict page or reference limits.

We can accommodate up to four figures, and we encourage authors to maximize the use of these visual elements, which will increase the accessibility of the piece to a non-specialist readership.

Suggestions may be submitted to the Editorial Office in the form of a one to two-page proposal, including references, for consideration. The submission of complete manuscripts as Review proposals, without prior arrangement with the appropriate editor is not encouraged. The content of the Reviews section is usually commissioned by the editors and, given the high pressure for space in the journal, those proposals that are accepted must conform to rather stringent standards of novelty, timeliness and interest to a broad readership.

All manuscripts submitted to this section are peer-reviewed and, if accepted, may be extensively edited in-house.

Subtitles can be used to divide the review into appropriate sections. A list of abbreviations should be included. Referencing guidelines are the same as for research articles.

Science & Society

EMBO reports welcomes submissions to its Science & Society section. The Science & Society section is intended to cover the wider aspects of biological research and the impact and application of science: uses and abuses of science, communication and education, policy and practice.

Science & Society articles should both inform and, where appropriate, entertain the reader, but should also be grounded in documented facts or findings. Numerical information should be presented in a historically accurate as well as statistically rigorous way. Inferences or assertions that are the opinion of the writer rather than constituting a widely accepted view are permitted, provided this is made clear.

The style of Science & Society articles may therefore be more similar to a science magazine or even a general newspaper article, rather than a scientific paper or review.

All contributions to the Science & Society section are subject to editorial review and may be rejected if they are deemed to be outside the scope of the journal or of insufficient general interest. Submissions that are accepted in principle will be edited in-house. We aim to work with the author(s) to ensure that the final version of any article is both correct and interesting to a broad readership. All changes must be approved by the author(s) to ensure that the edited article accurately represents the facts and their viewpoint, but must also conform to the journal's editorial standards. Articles are not peer-reviewed, although editors may ask members of EMBO reports Advisory Editorial Board for advice and guidance.

The editors also reserve the right to reject any manuscript if they consider the content to be inappropriate, libelous, not of general interest to EMBO reports readership or if it involves a conflict of interest that would significantly undermine the credibility of the article.


Submitted manuscripts should be in the format of an essay with a Title page, and should be no longer than 35,000 characters including spaces, references and figure legends. References should be limited to fewer than 10, and should follow the style outlined below. It is possible to include items as part of the Expanded View.

Subtitles should not be used to separate sections; rather, the journal uses 'drop caps' to denote a change in topic (see examples of this article type on our website).

Authors are encouraged to provide relevant images, photographs, infographics and figures to illustrate and expand articles. Infographics and figures will be redrawn by our professional graphics team, so please feel free to submit hand-drawn or rough ideas.

Referencing formats are the same as for research articles.

You can download an EndNote style file for Science & Society here.

Other citable items for Science & Society
Documents from governments, agencies, societies, think-tanks and companies should be cited following EMBO reports citation rules whenever possible. Any other documents, articles or press releases should be included in the reference list only if they are identifiable as individual documents online or in print.

Websites - including blogs at the discretion of the editor in discussion with the author - should only be cited in the text or as reference if they are likely to be available long-term. URLs to individual documents should be shortened whenever possible. If the document can be easily found using the website or blog's search engine, only the URL to the homepage should be given. It is preferable to cite websites and blogs in parentheses in the text. Online documents from individuals (as opposed to organizations or groups) or private homepages should be avoided.

Newspapers or magazine articles should comply with EMBO reports citation style. No URL is needed if it is a well-known publication, but the exact date of publication (and page number, where applicable) should be given:

Bosman J (2006) Reporters Find Science Journals Harder to Trust, but Not Easy to Verify. The New York Times, 13 Feb, pC1

News & Views

News & Views are commissioned and should not be submitted without an invitation from the Editorial Office. These articles should focus on one or more original articles that are of fundamental relevance to a general readership, and which are due for publication in the same issue of EMBO reports and/or cognate journals.

News & Views contextualize and underscore the significance of original articles and may be extensively edited in-house.

Submitted manuscripts should be in the form a short essay. References should follow the style outlined below.

The total character count for a News & Views, including spaces, figure legend and references, may not exceed 9,000 characters and the exact character count should be stated on the front page of the manuscript. The report can feature a maximum of one figure, and the authors are asked to make use of this element to maximize the accessibility of the piece for a general readership. The total length of the report when printed may not exceed two pages. Please bear in mind this limit when preparing the figure and any accompanying table.

Please note that Acknowledgments and Expanded View content are not permitted for this article type.

Reference format for News & Views and Opinons

You can download an EndNote style file for News & Views and Opinions here.

Authors are responsible for the accuracy of the references. We strongly encourage authors to cite 7 references or fewer. If absolutely necessary and in agreement in with the handling editor, a maximum of 10 references can be accommodated. For Correspondence refuting a paper published in the journal, more references will be accommodated.

In the text, a reference should be cited by a number in square brackets: [1]. The citation should appear within the punctuation. Where more than one reference is cited, commas should be used to separate non-sequential references, and a hypen used to separate sequential references: [1,4,8] or [1-5], respectively. In the reference list, the citations should be listed in the order in which they appear in the text and numbered accordingly: all the references in the main text should be numbered, followed by references present in the figure legends and then tables. In the reference list, the authors' surnames and initials should be inverted; 'et al' should be used if there are more than three authors. The title of the paper should NOT be included. The name of each journal should be abbreviated according to Index Medicus and italicized. The issue in which the article appeared should be given in bold face followed by a colon and the page range.

References should therefore be listed (and will subsequently appear in print) as follows:

Research article/review
1. Shih SC, Sloper-Mould KE, Hicke L (2000) EMBO J 19: 187-198
2. Hackmann A, Gross T, Baierlein C, et al (2011) EMBO rep 12: 1024-1031

Essay in a collection
1. Gehring W (1994) Guidebook to the Homeobox Genes pp 1-10. Oxford University Press, Oxford, UK

1. Lewin B (1994) Genes V. Oxford University Press, Oxford, UK


Opinions are commissioned and should not be submitted without an invitation from the Editorial Office. These articles essentially take the form of an op-ed column and allow the author to present his/her view of a scientific, social, ethical or other topic in a brief, thought-provoking format. A single, small figure is possible, though the length of the text will need to be shortened to accommodate this.


Submitted manuscripts should be in the form a short essay. References should be limited to 10, and should follow the style outlined for News & Views above.

The total word count for an opinion, including affiliation and references may not exceed 4,500 characters. The article must fit on a single printed page of the journal. The Opinion could feature a figure, but prior agreement must be obtained from the commissioning editor and the text must be shortened so that the article still fits in one page (a good rule of thumb is to subtract 250 words).

Please note that Acknowledgments and Expanded View content are not permitted for this article type.


EMBO reports considers two kinds of correspondence: refutations and comments.


In general, both kinds of Correspondence should occupy a maximum of two pages of the journal. For refutations, the author(s) may include the figures necessary to present his or her evidence. For comment on other journal content, figures are not permitted.

For both types of Correspondence, the authors of the original article will be shown the Correspondence and invited to respond. Submission of a response does not, however, guarantee its publication. After one round of Correspondence, EMBO reports will consider the matter closed and will not take further Correspondence on the topic.

The total character count for a Correspondence commenting on an article, including spaces, figure legend and references, should not exceed 9,000 characters. The total character count for a Correspondence refuting an article is obviously more flexible. In both cases, the exact character count should be stated on the front page of the manuscript.

Refutations will be peer-reviewed.

Referencing formats are the same as for research articles.



Presubmission Enquiries

Presubmission enquires allow authors to receive rapid feedback on whether a manuscript in preparation is likely to be of interest to the journal. Presubmission enquiries should be submitted via our online submission system ( or by e-mail and should minimally include a list of all authors, a cover letter and an abstract.

If you have already prepared a manuscript, you should submit this via our online system as an article, rather than sending a presubmission enquiry. This allows the editors to make a more informed decision as to whether or not the manuscript is potentially appropriate for the journal. Initial editorial assessment of full submissions is usually rapid, with an average decision time of four days. Full manuscripts should not have been submitted elsewhere, even if they are sent as a presubmission enquiry.

How to Submit


We use an online manuscript submission and tracking system:

In order to submit, you must have registered for an account (on any of the four EMBO Press journals). After this, please consult the following instrutions for submission via our secure server. Please be sure that your browser is set to accept cookies. Our tracking system requires cookies for proper operation.

Please refrain from submitting your manuscript by e-mail attachment.

For original submissions, you will need to upload a cover letter, a Word file of the text of the manuscript (including figure legends), and a PDF file containing all the figures. Alternatively, individual figure files can be uploaded separately, but please note that this can be more time-consuming than a PDF submission. You can also submit all of these files within a single ZIP file. The system will expand it for you. Additional Expanded View files can also be uploaded when applicable (please refer to the section ‘Expanded View’ above).

Once you have submitted your files and the conversion is in progress, it can take up to 30 minutes before the PDF, created in the conversion process, is ready for approval. Please contact the editorial office if the conversion engine takes longer than this. It is important to check the quality of the figures in the converted PDF before approving the submission. You can also upload your own PDF for each file if this is faster and/or provides the quality you require. Please remember that your manuscript will not be submitted until you have approved the converted or uploaded PDF files.

To avoid any unnecessary delays, please refer to the most current electronic formatting guidelines when preparing your manuscript for submission. Authors using computer systems with non-Western type encoding are strongly encouraged to eliminate all occurrences of non-standard fonts in both the manuscript and the figures. We suggest using only the fonts Times, Symbol, Courier and Helvetica.

We will acknowledge receipt of a submitted manuscript by e-mail to the Corresponding author as soon as the quality check (appropriate manuscript format and image quality) has been completed. All further correspondence will also be by e-mail. Please ensure that your servers are set up to allow e-mails from the journal, and contact us if you do not receive an acknowledgement e-mail within a few days of submission.

Manuscript Status

You can check the status of your manuscript at any time in the review process by:

  1. Accessing the system with your password or link sent to you in the acknowledgement e-mail.
  2. Clicking on the link represented by your manuscript tracking number and abbreviated title.
  3. Clicking on the “Check Status” link at the bottom of the displayed page.

This procedure will display tracking information about where your manuscript is in the submission/peer review process.

Please feel free to contact the editorial office with status queries.

Submission of Revisions

When a manuscript is returned to authors for revision, the revised version should be submitted within three months of the authors’ receipt of the referee reports, unless another date is specified in the decision letter. Please contact the editor by the deadline in cases where extra time is required for revision. Additional time may be granted upon request at the Editors’ discretion, assuming the conceptual advance of the study stands (with regard to the current literature). As a matter of policy, we do not consider any competing manuscripts published during the specified revision period as negatively impacting on the conceptual advance presented by your study. However, we request that you contact the editor as soon as possible upon publication of any related work, to discuss how to proceed. Only a single round of revision is generally permitted. The initial decision letter on the original version of the manuscript provides a URL that should be used for submission of revised manuscripts. Please do not upload revisions as new submissions.

Revisions should be accompanied by a point-by-point response to the referees’ comments and editorial decision letter, in PDF or Word format. To facilitate the re-evaluation, we encourage authors to intercalate their response with the referee comments.

Revisions must also be accompanied by a completed author checklist. Right click to download and complete the author checklist here.

At this stage, you must also conform for our formatting guidelines, and the following items are mandatorily required when submitting a revision:

  1. The manuscript text in LaTeX, RTF or MS Word format.
  2. A letter with a detailed description of the changes made in response to the referees.
  3. Three to four 'bullet points' highlighting the main findings of your study
  4. A short 'blurb' text summarizing in two sentences the study (max. 250 characters). Bullet points and standfirst text should be submitted as a separate manuscript file in LaTeX, RTF or MS Word format.
  5. A "thumbnail image" (width=211 x height=157 pixels, Illustrator, PowerPoint, OmniGraffle or jpeg format), which can be used as "visual title" for the synopsis section of your paper.
  6. The latter three are for the paper's synopsis, which ensures the paper is more visible and browsable by a wide readership - this text is also used in condensed form on the electronic Table of Contents to complement the titles of papers.


For Acceptance and Publication

Before acceptance and transfer to our publishers, manuscripts will be checked for appropriate formatting and image processing, and for plagiarism. We cannot proceed to acceptance until data are available in public databases when required; see above for details.

Speed of publication

The journal aims for rapid publication of papers, usually within 15 to 20 working days. Please help the Editors and publisher avoid delays by providing current e-mail address(es), telephone and fax numbers at which author(s) can be contacted.

The journal offers a fast-track (10 working day) publication route for manuscripts under competition. Please notify the editor as soon as possible in such circumstances.


Authors will be sent an e-mail with a link to access and annotate their proof. It is the authors’ responsibility to check that the final proof is accurate. In the interests of speed, corrections should be submitted within 24 hours. If you have any trouble submitting corrections through the system, please contact the production office immediately. Essential changes of an extensive nature may be made only by insertion of a ‘Note added in proof’, and only with the approval of the Editors. A charge will be made to authors who insist on extensive amendment within the text at the page proof stage. Excessive alterations may delay publication of the article.

Press Embargo

When discussing unpublished data (including data in accepted papers not yet published) with the press, authors should take care not to break the journal embargo policy (see above for details)


The journal levies an article publication charge to partially offset production costs. The following articles are exempted from this charge: Reviews, Science & Society, Opinions, Correspondences, News & Views

For articles accepted as of May 1st 2015, the charges are:

Non open access: 195 Euros per typeset page (excluding reference only pages) plus tax (where applicable)

Open Access: 95 Euros per typeset page (excluding the reference only pages) plus tax (where applicable), plus the EMBO OPEN article fee of 3,900 USD plus tax (where applicable); the EMBO OPEN article fee will be collected separately from the publication charges.

Please note that there are no additional charges for colour.

The authorization form for publication charges can be downloaded here: Charges PDF

Cover Charges

We now feature journal covers based on the research presented in a paper selected by the journal editors. Please note that charges apply for this feature. Two options are available:

  • A. The authors provide a high-resolution 2575 pixels (w) x 3354 pixels (h) image, which will be optimized for use on the cover. The charge of €1,900 includes design and production of the cover for digital media (website, slide and high resolution PDF) and three poster printouts.
  • B. Our expert graphics designers, Uta Mackensen and Sandra Krahl, can create a custom designed cover (for an example, see in full consultation with you. Please ask us for a quote if you are interested in this option.


Open Access & Self Archiving

Authors of original research articles are encouraged to submit the author’s version of the accepted paper (the unedited manuscript) to their funding body’s archive, for public release six months after publication. In addition, authors are encouraged to archive this version of the manuscript in their institution’s repositories and on their personal websites, also six months after the original publication. This is in line with EMBO Press’ self-archiving policy.

Authors of research articles can also opt to pay an article processing charge of 3,900 USD (plus tax where applicable) for their accepted articles to be open access online immediately upon publication. By paying this charge authors are also permitted to post the final, published PDF of their article on a website, institutional repository or other free public server, immediately on publication.

Please note that EMBO OPEN charges will have to be levied in addition to the page charges, in order to cover some of the costs associated with the production process for a paper.

EMBO Press’ publishing policies ensure that authors can fully comply with the public access requirements of the major funding bodies worldwide - please see for more information. However, it is the author’s responsibility to take the necessary actions to achieve compliance. These may include self archiving, opting into EMBO Press' manuscript deposition service and / or choosing open access publication.

Author licence agreement

The corresponding author must complete and sign the Licence to Publish form upon acceptance of the manuscript (a link to the form will be provided in the acceptance email). Failure to do so will result in delays to the publication of your paper. The corresponding author will receive instructions in the decision letter sent from the journal. Signing the license will involve following a link to the Wiley Online Author Serivces system.

EMBO Press does not require authors of original research papers to assign release copyright of their published contributions. Authors grant EMBO Press and its publishers an exclusive licence to publish, in return for which they can re-use their papers in their future printed work. Authors are encouraged to submit their version of the accepted, peer-reviewed manuscript to their funding body’s archive, for public release six months after publication. In addition, authors are encouraged to archive their version of the manuscript in their institution’s repositories (as well as on their personal websites), also six months after the original publication. Authors should cite the publication reference and DOI number on any deposited version, and provide a link from it to the published article. This policy is consistent with the policies of the US National Institutes of Health, the Wellcome Trust and other research funding bodies around the world. EMBO Press and its publishers recognise the efforts of funding bodies to increase access of the research they fund, and strongly encourage authors to participate in such efforts. Upon submission, authors of original research articles can opt for EMBO Press and its publishers to deposit their author accepted paper on PMC and UKPMC via the manuscript deposition service automatically after six months.

After 12 months all articles in the journal will be converted to open access on PubMedCentral in their final published form.

EMBO Open articles are published under one of three Creative Commons licences at the free choice of the authors. The publication charges remain the same irrespective of the licence chosen.

Under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 Unported Licence (CC BY), users are free to share (copy, distribute and transmit) and to adapt (edit, rewrite or remix) the contribution including for commercial purposes, but with formal attribution. Users must attribute the contribution in the manner specified by the author or licensor (but not in any way that suggests that they or their use of the contribution is endorsed by the author or licensor; see full legal code at

The use of the CC-BY licence is mandatory for open access publication by recipients of funding from Research Councils UK (RCUK) and the Wellcome Trust after April 2013.

EMBO encourages use of the CC-BY licence. The CC-BY licence facilitates the sharing of scientific information, while mandating citation of the source. This is particularly important for academic re-use of the data, such as for systematic literature analysis.

Under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 Unported License, users are free to share (copy, distribute and transmit) the contribution under the following conditions (see full legal code at

  • Attribution. Users must attribute the contribution in the manner specified by the author or licensor (but not in any way that suggests that they or their use of the contribution is endorsed by the author or licensor).
  • NonCommercial. Users may not use this contribution for commercial purposes.
  • No derivative works. Users may not alter, transform, or build upon this work.

None of these Creative Commons Licence impairs or restricts the author's moral rights. Additionally, the following terms hold:

  • For any reuse or distribution, users must make clear to others the license terms of this work, preferably using a link to the Creative commons webpage
  • Any of the above conditions can be waived if users get permission from the copyright holder.

Please note that any file labeled "Source Data", "Dataset" or "Resource" is released under a Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal Licence (legal code at This allows unrestricted re-use without the explicit requirement of attribution. We encourage attribution where this is warranted by good scholarly practice.

Digital Object Identifier

EMBO Press and its publishers assign a unique digital object identifier (DOI) to every article it publishes. The DOI initiative is an international effort for electronic content identification and is guided by the International DOI Foundation, composed primarily of academic publishers and societies. The DOI appears on the title page of the article. It is assigned after the article has been accepted for publication and persists throughout the lifetime of the article. It is important to include the article’s DOI in the reference, as volume and page information is not always available for articles published online.


Help and Contact

If you need additional help, you can click on the help signs (icon) spread throughout the system. A help dialogue will pop up with context sensitive help. For questions regarding our policies and guidelines, please contact EMBO reports editorial office (