Author Guidelines

Last modified April 2, 2021

Article types


SBPReports offers a variety of articles’ types to submit. We welcome submissions in the following formats:

  • Original Research Papers
  • Short Reports
  • Comprehensive Reviews
  • Letters

Original Research Papers

  • Articles should contain an unstructured abstract of 200 words. They should contain between 2 and 6 keywords.
  • Manuscripts should be divided into the following sections: Abstract, Introduction, Methods, Results, Discussion, Acknowledgements, References, Tables and Figures. A Conclusion section is optional. Other subsection headings within the main headings may be used but should be limited.
  • Up to 7 Figures or Tables are permitted, unless Authors contact the Editor.
  • Word Count for Original Articles and Reviews: normally 4000 words excluding the title page, abstract, references, figures, tables and their legends, but flexibility may be applied at the discretion of the Editor.
  • Supporting Information should be limited to data sets or additional figures or tables. Under exceptional circumstances (for example, the use of a newly developed method that needs extensive description), an extended methods section can be submitted as part of the supporting information, but in these cases the main body of the paper should still contain a description of the basic methods employed in the study. There is no maximal length for Supporting information. Supporting information must be submitted to the journal with the rest of the article. Any such material that is submitted after acceptance of the main article will be referred to the Editor for approval and this may delay publication. Supporting information will be published exactly as supplied and it is the author's responsibility to ensure that the material is logically laid out, adequately described, and is in a format that is likely to be accessible to readers. It is recommended that text (single-spaced) and graphics be supplied in PDF format, data tables in native file formats such as Excel, and animations and other moving images or sound files in common Internet standard formats such as AVI, MPG, WAV, QuickTime or animated GIF.

Short Reports

  • Short reports follow a similar format as an Original Article in that they should be structured and have an abstract of up to 200 words
  • Results and Discussion sections in the main body of the text should be combined
  • Word Count for Short Reports is limited to 1500 words excluding the title page, abstract, references, figures, tables and their legends.
  • Up to 4 Figures or Tables are permitted
  • No supporting information is permitted for Brief Reports

Comprehensive Reviews

  • SBPR publishes commissioned reviews but also invites authors to submit reviews on a topic of their choosing upon discussion with Editor-in-Chief
  • Reviews are up to 4.000 words with an abstract.
  • SBPReports uses the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) guidelines as a basis for systematic reviews. Systematic reviews are up to 4,000 words.


Letters may be on any topic of interest to readers of the journal but a particular use of a letter is in addressing points arising from papers recently published in SBPReports, providing evidence to confirm or refute the work described in the paper in question. Authors of the original paper would be allowed the opportunity to comment on the contents of the letter. Letters should be up to 1,200 words. No abstract is required. Up to two Figures or Tables (or one of each) is permitted.

Initial Submissions

General Title and Authorship Formatting

  • All submissions should include a title page at the beginning of their main manuscript file. This should contain your manuscript title, a list of all authors, the corresponding author’s contact information, and all authors’ affiliations. Author names should be listed as first names followed by surnames.
  • In addition to the full title, authors should provide a short version (running head), not more than 100 characters long, including spaces.
  • Authorship implies a substantial contribution to concept and design, analysis and/or interpretation of data; critical writing or revising the intellectual content; and final approval of the version to be published. The order of the authors must be agreed upon before submission of the manuscript and any changes in the order can only be made after explicit consent of each of the authors. 

·      SBPReports does allow the use of dual authorship (co-first and senior authorship status). There is no restriction on number of authors for original articles.

  • During initial submission, enter author names on the title page of the manuscript. If your manuscript is selected for peer review, you will also add author details to the submission system.
  • On the title page, write author names in the following order:
  • First name (or initials, if used)
  • Middle name (or initials, if used)
  • Last name (surname, family name)
  • Each author on the list must have an affiliation. The affiliation includes department, university, or organizational affiliation and its location, including city, state/province (if applicable), and country. Authors have the option to include a current address in addition to the address of their affiliation at the time of the study. The current address should be listed in the byline and clearly labeled “current address.” At a minimum, the address must include the author’s current institution, city, and country.
  • If an author has multiple affiliations, enter the full list of affiliations on the title page. In the submission system, enter only the preferred or primary affiliation. Author affiliations will be listed in the typeset PDF article in the same order that the authors are listed in the submission.
  • Designate at least one corresponding author on the title page. Include an email address for each corresponding author listed on the title page of the manuscript. We do not restrict the number of corresponding authors that may be listed on the article in the event of publication.Whoever is designated as a corresponding author on the title page of the manuscript file will be listed as such upon publication. The corresponding author role may be transferred to another coauthor. However, note that transferring the corresponding author role also transfers access to the manuscript.
  • Any involvement of medical writers/researchers, particularly those employed or supported by the pharmaceutical industry, in the writing of an article must be clearly defined and fully disclosed in the Addendum and/or the Acknowledgements section(s) as appropriate. This type of involvement must also be disclosed to the Editors-in-Chief in the Cover Letter.

Author contributions

You will enter all author contributions in the submission system if your manuscript is selected for peer review. Provide at minimum one contribution for each author. Contributions will be published with the final article, and they should accurately reflect contributions to the work. The submitting author is responsible for completing this information at submission, and we expect that all authors will have reviewed, discussed, and agreed to their individual contributions ahead of this time.


The Abstract comes after the title page in the manuscript file. The Abstract succinctly introduces the manuscript. It should mention the techniques used without going into methodological detail and mention the most important results. The Abstract is conceptually divided into the following three sections: Background, Methodology/Principal Findings, and Conclusions/Significance. Do not include any citations in the Abstract. Avoid specialist abbreviations. Maximal abstract length is 350 words.


The Introduction should put the focus of the manuscript into a broader context. As you compose the Introduction, think of readers who are not experts in this field. Include a brief review of the key literature. If there are relevant controversies or disagreements in the field, they should be mentioned so that a non-expert reader can delve into these issues further. The Introduction should conclude with a brief statement of the overall aim of the reported research and a comment about whether that aim was achieved.


The Results section should provide details of all of the experiments that are required to support the conclusions of the paper, including information on the number of replicates (if relevant to ensure replicability). There is no specific word limit for this section, but details of experiments that are peripheral to the main thrust of the article and that detract from the focus of the article should not be included. The section may be divided into subsections, each with a concise subheading. The Results section should be written in past tense.

SBPReports requires authors to make all data underlying the findings described in their manuscript fully available without restriction, with rare exception.

Large data sets, including raw data, may be deposited in an appropriate public repository.

For smaller data sets and certain data types, authors may provide their data within supporting information files accompanying the manuscript. Authors should take care to maximize the accessibility and reusability of the data by selecting a file format from which data can be efficiently extracted (for example, spreadsheets or flat files should be provided rather than PDFs when providing tabulated data).


The Discussion should spell out the major conclusions and interpretations of the work including some explanation on the significance of these conclusions. How do the conclusions affect the existing assumptions and models in the field? How can future research build on these observations? What are the key experiments that must be done? The Discussion should be concise and tightly argued. If warranted, the Results and Discussion may be combined into one section.

Materials and Methods

The Materials and Methods should provide enough detail for reproduction of the findings. Submit detailed protocols for newer or less established methods. Well-established protocols may simply be referenced. 

Details of algorithms and protocol documents for clinical trials, observational studies, and other non-laboratory investigations may be uploaded as supporting information. These are not included in the typeset manuscript, but are downloadable and fully searchable from the HTML version of the article. Read the supporting information guidelines for formatting instructions.


A legend should be provided for each illustration. Photomicrographs should state the original magnification. Legends should provide sufficient information to allow the reader comprehension without reference to the text, and should be placed in the body manuscript. Illustrations should be referred to in the text as ‘Figure’ or ‘Fig.’ and be given Arabic numbers. The final width of the figures will be either 4 or 6.75 inches. Lines should be of sufficient thickness to stand reduction, and letters should be a minimum of 9 pt Arial or an equivalent size. Please use pictures in at least 300 dpi resolution.


Tables should be kept to a minimum and contain only essential data and should be cited in the text. Verify information for accuracy and consistency with the manuscript’s text. Each table should be given an Arabic number. The title (legend) of the table should contain only minimal text. Any other information, such as definitions of abbreviations, probability statistics, etc., should be in the table footnote; if symbols are necessary, they should be the same as given for the authors’ details above. Headings and columns should be laid out clearly; avoid use of sub-headings. Avoid wordy, over-full tables. Any blank cells should have a dash. Tables should be submitted in an editable file format, not in image format (e.g., not as a PDF, JPEG, etc.).


Only papers closely related to the author’s work should be referenced; exhaustive lists should be avoided. Authors should preferably refer to original work, not to reviews. Verify all references for completeness and accuracy, and format references as a plain, unstructured list. References should appear as a numbered list at the end of the manuscript and with numbers in square brackets [1], [3–5] in the text. References should be formatted in Elsevier-Vancouver style. References to personal communications, unpublished data, and manuscripts either ‘in preparation’ or ‘submitted for publication’ should be inserted, if essential, in the text only and not listed in the references. Publications ‘in press’ should be updated as soon as possible. Manuscript tracking software (e.g. EndNote, Mendeley, Zotero) is highly recommended for use.


Individuals who have contributed materially to the work, but do not satisfy the authorship criteria should be listed in the acknowledgements section. Authors should seek permission to include any individuals mentioned in the acknowledgements.

Competing Interests

At this stage we request that the corresponding author provides a statement of financial and non-financial competing interests on behalf of all authors. Examples include paid employment or consultancy, stock ownership, patent applications, personal relationships with relevant individuals, and membership of an advisory board.

Cover letter

Upload a cover letter as a separate file in the submission system. The length limit is 1000 words.

The cover letter should address the following questions:

  • What is the scientific question you are addressing?
  • What is the key finding that answers this question?
  • What is the nature of the evidence you provide in support of your conclusion?
  • What are the three most recently published articles that are relevant to this question?
  • What significance do your results have for the field?
  • What significance do your results have for the broader community (of biologists and/or the public)?
  • What other novel findings do you present?
  • Is there additional information that we should take into account?

You may enter requests to exclude specific reviewers from the evaluation process in the submission system. If you choose to enter opposed reviewers, please provide a reason for doing so. Please also read our policy about competing interests before submitting your inquiry.

Revised Submissions

Response to the Decision Letter after Peer Review

Authors should provide a response to the decision letter, responding point-by-point. If the paper is accepted, responses to any major concerns will be published, so please upload an editable file wherever possible.

Article Manuscript File

The manuscript file, with any main tables in the main body, should be uploaded as a DOCX (or DOC) file. The uploaded Article File should include tracked changes indicating the revisions made, ideally using the tracked changes function in Word (if you prefer to indicate textual changes in another way, for example with colored text, this version should instead be uploaded as a Related Manuscript file, with a clean version of the text file uploaded as the Article File).

Please also make sure to include information in your manuscript related to the use of cell lines, animal or human experimentation and data and software availability, as indicated in our Research Ethics Policies.


Limited Metadata 

You will be asked to enter the following information when completing the submission form:

  1. Corresponding Author: At this stage, we only need the name, institution, and email address of the corresponding author.
  2. Cover Letter: To help with the initial evaluation of your submission, you will be asked to briefly answer the following questions in a cover letter:
  • Where relevant, please address the following questions: How will your work make others in the field think differently and move the field forward? How does your work relate to the current literature on the topic? Who do you consider to be the most relevant audience for this work? Have you made clear in the letter what the work has and has not achieved?
  • For clinical papers, please summarise how the work could further clinical practice, medical care, or disease prevention.

In addition, please upload any related studies that you have published recently or have under consideration elsewhere as supporting files and describe them in your cover letter.

  1. Manuscript Title
  2. Article Type: Information on the articles we publish can be found in Article Type section.
  3. Subject Area(s): A list of major subject areas is provided from which authors should select one or two.
  4. Editor suggestions: Authors should be ready to suggest two of SBPReports' Senior Editors who would be appropriate for the assessment of the work.
  5. Reviewer Suggestions/Exclusions: Authors are encouraged to suggest potential reviewers for their work at the Initial Submission stage. Please list the names of experts who are knowledgeable in your area and could give an unbiased review of your work. To support diversity, please consider suggesting reviewers at an early stage of their career, women, experts from groups that are underrepresented in science, or from places other than the United States and Europe. Please do not list colleagues who are close associates, collaborators, or family members. Authors may also provide the names of reviewers or editors who they would prefer to exclude from the assessment of the article. We will make every effort to follow author requests for excluded individuals unless the editors judge that such exclusion would interfere with the rigorous assessment of the work. Requests to exclude individuals must be accompanied with a brief explanation.



Post Decision

Posting Public Reviews After Peer Review

Unless we have agreed with you otherwise, the public reviews will be posted to a preprint server using a Public Domain Dedication, which allows them to be freely reused by anyone for any purpose. Authors can currently opt out of posting a preprint. Where a preprint exists, authors control when the public reviews are posted.


SBPReports is an open-access journal: articles are distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (except where otherwise noted), which permits unrestricted use and redistribution provided that the original author and source are credited, in line with the BOAI definition of open access.

Publication of the Accepted Manuscript

Accepted manuscripts are citable, have a DOI and are available to download from SBPReports’ upcoming, browse and archive pages.

The main figures and tables of the accepted manuscript are available in the main body of the PDF. Additional items such as videos, figure supplements and source data files are available to download as a separate zip file.

Authors are invited to opt-in to this service when submitting a revised manuscript. In the event that the study has potentially broad public significance, we recommend that authors consult their institutional press officer before choosing to publish the accepted manuscript.

Publication of the Final Version

The final version of the accepted article will be published, along with the decision letter incorporating the review comments and the authors’ response to those comments. If authors have any questions or concerns about the content of the decision letter after peer review, or their response to this letter, it is important to notify the journal office as soon as possible.

The corresponding author will have an opportunity to review a proof of the article in HTML format prior to publication. Authors will have 48 hours to answer queries generated during the production process. Changes should be limited to essential corrections.

Corrections to Published Articles

Publishers have a responsibility to correct errors that have been discovered in published articles. Requests for corrections or retractions should be sent to the journal’s editorial staff for consideration and further advice.

Corrections are limited to those that will affect the scientific integrity of the content. Requests to retroactively change names in published articles can, however, be made in accordance with our name-change policy without requiring a formal correction.

In the rare instance that there is a substantive error that requires a correction to an accepted manuscript before the final version is published, a second version of the accepted manuscript will be published. The first version will still be accessible and a description of the correction(s) will be included as a footnote within the PDF of the new version. A description of the correction(s) will also be added as a comment online. Once the final version of record is published, a formal correction would need to be issued for any further changes. Formal corrections are published on the SBPReports website, with links to a corrected version of the relevant article. The previous version of the article is replaced and the published correction provides a clear record of the change. We will transmit corrections to relevant indexes and repositories, although some services will not be able to present the correction or replace the content. If you have any concerns about a correction, please contact the editorial staff.


If you wish to appeal against a decision, you should contact the editorial office. Please provide a formal response stating the grounds for appeal and include “Appeal” in the subject line. Please also provide a point-by-point response if the decision was after peer review. Appeals will be considered when there has been a significant factual error, when a competing interest may have compromised the objectivity of the review process, or when new data or analyses that address the central reason for rejection have already been acquired. Please clearly state your reasons for appeal when you contact us. Appeals would ideally be requested within one month of receiving the decision, after which any new version of the paper should be submitted as a new submission. Appeals will usually be directed to the original Editor. We will only consider one request for an appeal for any single version of a submission.


Article Processing Charges

  • Short report – 250 €
  • Original research paper – 350 €
  • Comprehensive reviews – 250 €

Discounts for 50% will be provided to the authors willing to provide popular reports alongside their paper.

Institutions can sign a contract with a publisher to publish 5 papers within the next year with a discount of 75% per paper. The discount will be removed if the contract conditions are violated.


The Author Guidelines have been developed on the best practices, implied by eLife, PLOS and ICMJ