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Manuscript Types


In this guide, we provide information on types and preparation of manuscripts for submission to MBE. Note that the manuscript formats and types changed substantially on October 7, 2012, so please read the following description carefully to familiarize yourself with the new format.

Now, MBE requires that all new submissions be uploaded as a single PDF that contains the main text, tables, figure captions, and figures. This file will be used by the editors and the reviewers at every step. For revised manuscripts, you will be provided instructions in the decision letter. If you are submitting any Supplementary Materials, upload them in a single separate PDF file, whenever possible. All tables and figures in the supplementary files must be referred to in the main text. Please read the General Author Guidelines for all other information on manuscript preparation.

Articles
Letters
Brief Communications
Perspectives
Reviews
Protocols


Articles are original reports of significant discoveries, methods, and resources. Articles may present novel and important empirical results, theories that have the potential to advance our understanding of molecular evolution, or statistical, computational, or experimental methods. Articles based primarily on empirical results need to be more than confirmatory, and must provide data that advance the field of evolutionary biology. Theoretical and methodological reports need to clearly demonstrate the robustness and practical utility of the advanced methods using computer simulations and example data analysis. MBE also welcomes articles presenting the accuracy and comparative effectiveness of existing methods and algorithms, which should also include guidelines for selecting methods in practical data analysis.


Articles may describe significant advances in widely-used software tools, databases, and experimental protocols that currently serve as critical enabling technologies for molecular evolutionary studies. Articles must clearly describe how the advances will broaden the application scope or significantly accelerate the pace of biological discovery. MBE also welcomes articles describing new resources that have broad applicability and clear potential to become widely used. Authors of resource articles that describe incremental, but highly impactful advances should consider submitting them as Brief Communications. All research resources must be made available for general usage at the time of publication.

  • Format: Articles have an abstract of up to 250 words. This is followed by sections (in order) with headings: Introduction, Results, Discussion, and Materials and Methods. Results and Discussion may be combined. Subsections are allowed throughout. For articles describing new or improved methods and resources, authors should add a section entitled New Approaches after the Introduction. This section should clearly and succinctly present the new or improved methods or approaches, with extensive details provided in the Materials and Methods section, if necessary (See General Author Guidelines for all other information on manuscript preparation).


Letters are short articles that present significant discoveries, methods, and resources.

  • Format: Letters begin with an abstract of up to 150 words. The main text in the letter is no more than 2,000 words and may contain subsections and up to three figures. A brief Materials and Methods section may follow the main text (this text is included in the word count). Letters presenting new methods or resources should include a New Approaches section after the introductory paragraph(s). (See General Author Guidelines for all other information on manuscript preparation.)


Brief Communications are very short reports of methodological, technological, or experimental advances in existing methods, tools, or protocols that have the potential of very significant and immediate impact on the scientific community. The editors act as primary peer reviewers of these manuscripts, whose handling may be expedited as appropriate.

  • Format: Brief Communications begin with an abstract no more than 100 words, followed by the main text of no more than 750 words and one figure or table. No subsections are allowed and the Materials and Methods section, if necessary, should be included in the Supplementary Materials. (See General Author Guidelines for all other information on manuscript preparation.)


Perspectives are forward-looking viewpoints that advocate important future directions in a field or application of molecular evolution. Authors present them in the context of the most recent developments. Perspectives are generally solicited by the Editors, but unsolicited Perspectives are welcome and should be submitted online. All Perspectives are peer-reviewed and their publication is fast-tracked. They are made freely available and incur no page charges.

  • Format: Perspectives begin with an abstract of up to 100 words. This is followed by the main text no more than 2,000 words, with subsections and one figure. (See General Author Guidelines for all other information on manuscript preparation.)


Reviews provide a balanced review of recent developments in one or more fields in molecular evolution and/or evolutionary biology. Reviews are authoritative accounts and should conclude with a perspective and/or a set of guidelines. They are generally solicited by the Editor-in-Chief, but we welcome interested authors to send a proposal for consideration to the Editor-in-Chief. This proposal should contain a short abstract (~100 words) and list of major sections and points you plan to address. All Review articles are peer-reviewed and their publication fast-tracked. They are made freely available and incur no page charges.

  • Format: Reviews begin with an abstract no more than 200 words. This is followed by the main text of no more than 5,000 words, which may contain subsections. There should be no more than five figures. (See General Author Guidelines for all other information on manuscript preparation.)


Protocols provide step-by-step instructions to carry out a specific evolutionary analysis of molecular data using one or more research resources available freely to the community. Protocols should explain how to interpret the outcome of the data analysis and include a section on other competing resources that may also be relevant to the problem at hand. Importantly, protocols do not include new findings or methods, but they should summarize the comparative effectiveness of competing resources based on already published scientific literature. All protocols are commissioned, but we welcome proposals for new protocols. Your proposal should contain a short abstract (~100 words) and be submitted directly to the Editor-in-Chief. All protocols are made freely available and incur no page charges.

  • Format: Protocols are no more than 5,000 words and contain up to four figures. Color figures will be chargeable in the usual way. (See General Author Guidelines for all other information on manuscript preparation.)


Updated on 15th October 2012