Science is a weekly, peer-reviewed journal that publishes significant original scientific research, plus reviews as well as commentary on current research, science policy, and issues of interest to the broad scientific community. We seek to publish papers that are influential in their fields or across fields and that will substantially advance scientific understanding. Selected papers should present novel and broadly important data, syntheses, or concepts. We welcome submissions from all fields of science and from any source.
Manuscripts should be submitted at our manuscript submission and information portal https://cts.sciencemag.org. The status of submitted manuscripts can also be tracked at this portal.
Authors should familiarize themselves with the overall editorial policies for Science and the Science family of journals before submitting their paper. These policies spell out the rights and responsibilities that authors agree to when submitting and publishing their papers. Access this information here.
Categories of manuscripts
Peer-Reviewed Research Manuscripts
Research Articles should not exceed 5 printed pages in the journal. This length can accommodate 2000 to 3000 words of main text, in addition to an abstract, 3 to 5 display items (figures or tables) with brief legends, about 50 main-text references, and a structured acknowledgments section. The main text should be divided into sections with brief subheadings. Materials and Methods should be included in supplementary materials and should be followed by additional data and figures needed to support the paper’s conclusions. All data must be available in either the main text or the supplementary materials, or must be deposited at a publicly accessible repository and cited in the paper. For more on our open data policy, including information on our partnership with Dryad, please see the “Data and Code Deposition” section of our Editorial Policies.
Science also accepts a few Research Articles for online presentation. These are expected to present significant research results that cannot be fully presented in the print format and merit the extra length and attention provided by this presentation. The cover letter should indicate why the additional length is merited. The main text can be up to 6000 words, with 4 to 8 display items (which may include videos), and up to 100 main-text references. The methods section runs after the main text as part of the article. Additional supplementary materials, which include information needed to support the paper’s conclusions, are allowed. Other elements are the same as those for print Research Articles. The full text will be included in all digital versions of Science, and a one-page summary will be included in the print version. A PDF of the full article can be downloaded.
In Research Articles, Science requires the Materials and Methods section to provide sufficient detail to allow replication of the study. In addition, for papers in the life sciences that involve a method that would benefit from the publication of a step-by-step protocol, we encourage authors to consider submitting a detailed protocol to our collaborative partner Bio-protocol.
Reviews All Reviews, except those in special issues, are published online only. A Review in Science must be a novel, insightful, and authoritative synthesis of a field that has shown wide-reaching progress over the past 3 to 5 years. Reviews in Science are not conference or workshop summaries and cannot contain analysis of unpublished data. (Formal meta-analyses are considered as original research papers.) The full text will be included in all digital versions of Science, and an enhanced abstract—consisting of 550 to 600 words, divided into 3 sections with the headings “Background,” “Advances,” and “Outlook,” plus a summary figure—will be included in the print version. Reviews can be up to 5500 words (for the main text) and may include up to 150 references, as well as 4 to 6 display items (figures, boxes, or tables); schematic figures should be produced by the authors and not reproduced from elsewhere. Ideally there should be 1 to 3 authors, and no more than 7 authors. Fewer than 20% of the reference list should refer to the authors’ own work. Unsolicited offers of Reviews are considered. Proposals in the form of an enhanced abstract, general outline, a list of 5 to 10 of the most important recent papers, as well as a cover letter explaining the rationale of the Review should be submitted to our manuscript submission and information portal: https://cts.sciencemag.org.
Science’s Insights section presents opinions and analyses by scientists and other experts on issues of interest to Science readers. With the exception of Letters and eLetters, most items in this section are commissioned by the editors, but unsolicited contributions are considered and should be submitted at https://cts.sciencemag.org. Commentary material may be peer-reviewed at the editors’ discretion.
- Perspectives highlight recent, exciting research and emerging themes that are of general interest but do not primarily discuss the author’s own work. With rare exceptions, Perspectives should have no more than two authors. Perspectives that comment on papers in Science (~1000 words, 15 references maximum, 1 figure) should add a new dimension to the research and not only describe what was done in the paper. There are also a variety of Perspectives that can “stand alone” (i.e., that are not connected to a paper in Science) and discuss emerging and important ideas in research. These can sometimes be opinionated or reflect on the history of a finding; they are usually peer-reviewed. Stand-alone Perspectives are ~1800 words, with 15 references maximum and 1 figure or table. Although Perspectives are mostly invited, we welcome inquiries regarding new advances and fresh insights.
- Book or Media Reviews (up to 800 words) feature commentary on new books, films, exhibitions, performances, mobile applications, podcasts, and other media that are likely to be of broad interest to our readership. If you submit an unsolicited book or media review, please indicate why you believe the work would be of interest to Science readers and why you are well positioned to write the review.
- Policy Forums (1000 to 2000 words, 1 or 2 figures, and up to 15 references) present issues related to the intersections between science and society that have policy implications.
- Letters (up to 300 words) discuss material published in Science in the last 3 months or issues related to recent events that are of general interest. Letters should be submitted through our manuscript submission and information portal (https://cts.sciencemag.org). Letters may be reviewed. The author of a paper in question is usually given an opportunity to reply. Letter submissions are acknowledged upon receipt by Science’s automatic system, but letter writers are not always consulted before publication. Letters are subject to editing for clarity and space. Letters rejected for print publication may be posted as eLetters.
- eLetters are brief online comments submitted in response to articles published in Science. eLetters should provide substantive and scholarly commentary but should not present new data or be based on findings/concepts that would not have been accessible to the authors when their paper was written. Embedded images are not allowed, but eLetters may link to figures hosted elsewhere. eLetters are submitted on the relevant article page on the Science website, evaluated, and posted with the article if accepted. eLetter authors are identified and must agree to our terms and conditions. Before submitting an eLetter of a technical nature, we encourage you to contact the authors of the article to share your critique. Concerns about misconduct or serious errors should not be submitted as eLetters; rather, these should be emailed to [email protected].
- Letters features (200 to 300 words) are brief personal reflections about scientists’ experiences. Life in Science highlights humorous or unusual day-to-day realities unique to the work of a scientist. Outside the Tower highlights scientists’ advocacy experiences. Past as Prologue highlights the role that family history plays in a scientist’s decision to pursue a particular career or field. Letters features can be submitted as Letters at http://cts.sciencemag.org. NextGen Voices is a survey in which young scientists have the opportunity to respond to a broad question related to the scientific community. Results, which are published in the first issue of January, April, July, and October—and occasionally in additional issues throughout the year—include excerpts from the respondents. To check for new calls for submissions, go to science.org/nextgen-voices.
- Editorials (up to 720 words) are signed pieces (up to 2 authors) and express a compelling opinion on a broadly interesting topic. With rare exceptions, they are solicited by the editors.
- Editor’s blog reflects the thoughts of Science’s editor-in-chief or invited guests.
Preparing your manuscript
We accept submissions only online at https://cts.sciencemag.org. Preparing a manuscript that follows our guidelines concerning length, style, and acceptable file formats will facilitate the evaluation process. See Instructions for preparing an initial manuscript.
Revised manuscripts largely follow the same style guidelines; however, there are some differences, particularly in figure preparation. See Guidelines for preparing a revised manuscript.
The Editorial and Publishing teams at AAAS/Science Journals have evaluated the work of the companies listed below and have found them to be effective outlets for language editing services.
Please note that AAAS takes no responsibility for and does not endorse these services. Use of these services shall have no influence on the acceptance of a manuscript for publication by AAAS. Further, any questions or concerns about the services provided by the companies above should be sent to the companies directly.
Submitting your manuscript
Authors and reviewers must have an account to sign into our Content Tracking System (CTS) at https://cts.sciencemag.org. If you do not have an account, you will need to create one by following the prompts on the welcome page. Once you have an account, you can use it for submissions to any Science journal, and it will serve as a record for your author and reviewer information. We have divided information about the submission process into 10 sections. We hope this information will help you prepare and successfully submit your manuscript.
1. Please follow our instructions for Preparing an Initial Manuscript. We prefer files to be prepared using our updated Word template. LaTeX users should use our LaTeX template and, at the submission stage, either convert files to .docx format or submit a PDF. Use of these templates facilitates the process by which our submission system extracts author and article information from the manuscript file to auto-fill subsequent fields in the manuscript record within our system.
2. Once you have logged into CTS, you will see a pop-up asking if you wish to start a new submission. You can also start a new submission by clicking on “New Submission” in the top right corner. From there, you will be able to select the journal and article type from the drop-down menu. After making these selections, you will be taken to the Welcome tab where you will find information about our submission requirements and a link to our manuscript template. If you are submitting a Research Article, you will also be asked to choose between standard format and extended online format. Once you begin a new submission, you will be assigned a manuscript ID consisting of three letters and four numbers; this ID will appear at the top left of the page followed by the status of your submission. Tabs for each step in the submission process display across the top of the page.
3. Once you have read the information on the Welcome tab, please click the red button to continue to the Terms and Conditions page. At this point, you will need to read and agree to terms regarding the submission and publication of a manuscript with Science. For details, please read our Editorial Policies.
4. Upon acceptance of the Terms and Conditions, you will move to the Article tab. In the Manuscript section of this tab, you must upload a manuscript file containing the main text. We prefer that you upload your manuscript as a Word .docx file prepared using our template. In the Combined PDF section, you must upload a PDF file that contains the complete main manuscript, figures, tables, and supplementary materials. Uploads to both sections are required before you can proceed to the next tab.
5. Related Documents: The only required file on the Related Documents tab is the Cover Letter. Your cover letter should include:
- The title of the paper and a statement of its main point.
- Any information needed to ensure a fair review process, including related manuscripts submitted to other journals.
- Reference to any pre-submission discussions with editors.
- Names of colleagues who have reviewed the paper prior to its submission.
- A statement that none of the material has been published or is under consideration for publication elsewhere.
- For investigations on humans, a statement indicating that informed consent was obtained after the nature and possible consequences of the studies were explained.
- For studies using laboratory animals, wild or temporarily captive animals, and/or genetically modified animals, a statement that the animals’ care was in accordance with institutional guidelines.
- Specification of where all data underlying the study are available, or will be deposited, and whether there are any restrictions on data availability, such as an MTA.
- Information on any reference material or additional data files (see below for uploading items to the Auxiliary files section). Your editor will facilitate review of these items as necessary.
Additional related documents and/or files can be uploaded to three other sections: Supplementary Material, Auxiliary Supplementary Material and Other Supporting Files, and Movies.
Supplementary Material may be submitted as a single file in .docx and/or PDF format, separate from the contents of the main text.
Supplementary multimedia or large data files that cannot be included in the Supplementary Material file should be uploaded as Auxiliary Supplementary Materials (up to 10 files, total size limited to 25 MB) or Movies (limited to 50 MB each). Authors should submit video and audio files with clearly identifiable accompanying captions and credit information.
- For video clips, .mp4 files are preferred. Quicktime (.mov) files are acceptable provided that the h.264 compression setting is used. Where possible, please use HD frame size (1920 ´ 1080 pixels). Animated GIFs are not accepted.
- For audio files, please use .wav, .mp3, or .m4a format, with a bit rate of at least 160 kb/s.
Other items that are required at submission and should be uploaded to the Auxiliary files section (if applicable) are:
- Any papers by any subset of the authors that are related to the manuscript and are under consideration or in press at other journals. This applies throughout the evaluation process at Science. If a related paper is submitted elsewhere while the Science paper is under consideration, please contact your editor.
- Data files required for review of your manuscript. This includes pdb validation reports for structure papers. Tabulated data underlying plots should be provided in a standard machine readable format. We have partnered with Dryad so that data files can be deposited or accessed directly from our content tracking system and will be available to editors and reviewers (see step 9 below). Data can also be made accessible to reviewers at an independent repository. In either case, access details (preferably a DOI or other persistent identifier) must also be cited in the acknowledgements section of the manuscript. For more information, please refer to the “Data and Code Deposition” section of our Editorial Policies.
- Written permission from any author who is not an author of your manuscript but whose work is cited as “in press.” Permission must allow for the distribution of in-press manuscripts or relevant data to reviewers. A copy of an email is sufficient. Please also note that we do not allow citation to in-press manuscripts at publication – these would need to be replaced by the published references.
- Copies of any relevant MTAs.
6. After your Related Documents have been uploaded and saved, a list of institutions that were identified in the affiliations section of your manuscript will be presented. The system will lead you through a series of steps to resolve the discovered institutions and add any institutions that are missing. The top-level name, city, and country are required for each institution that is saved.
7. Next, the system will present a list of discovered authors. You may deselect authors from the list, correct spelling of names, and add missing information. A valid email address for each author must be provided. Missing author names can be added to the author grid. For papers with more than 50 authors, a template for bulk upload of author names and emails is available from this window. Each submission is required to have a first author and corresponding author (who can be the same individual). An ORCID iD will be required for first and corresponding authors of revised manuscripts and is strongly encouraged for all authors. The ORCID iD cannot be provided by another individual; instead, each author must sign into both their CTS and ORCID accounts to add this information to their individual accounts.
8. Once all author information has been resolved and extraneous or incorrect information removed, the system will guide you to the Manuscript Information tab. You will be asked to approve the title, abstract text, and funding source(s) extracted from your manuscript files. You may also modify the title (96-character maximum for Research Articles) and abstract, add a Short Title (40-character maximum), and request an editor. Note that editor assignment depends upon availability, relative loads, and other factors.
We require you to list all funding sources, and we encourage you to add missing funding sources at this point. This can be done through a dropdown if your funder is included in Crossref’s Funder Registry controlled vocabulary list. If your funder is not included, you may add the funder’s name by typing it in directly. We also require that you select at least one subject area that pertains to your paper.
On this tab you will have the opportunity to indicate your interest in having your manuscript transferred to another Science journal if your paper is not accepted at Science.
9. You will then move on to the Dataset tab, where you have the option to create a new Dryad dataset associated with your article, link an existing Dryad dataset to your article, and/or specify the repository and persistent identifier for datasets hosted elsewhere.
If you elect to deposit your data in Dryad, you may do so by clicking on “Create New Dataset” and then following the system prompts. Note that you will be redirected to the Dryad site, where you will be guided through a series of steps to complete your deposit, after which you will be routed back to the Science content tracking system. Should your paper be accepted at Science, we will cover the cost of publishing the data publicly at Dryad.
Please also note that one of the authors of your article must have an ORCID iD in our content tracking system that matches the ORCID iD of the dataset owner at Dryad.
10. The next step is to suggest up to 5 potential reviewers and indicate individuals that should be excluded as reviewers, along with the reason for exclusion (limit of 5). Name and email are required for all suggested and excluded reviewers.
11. A summary of the submission information is provided in the final validation step. Incomplete or missing information is indicated in red. Review and update information as needed. Complete the submission by clicking the Submit button. Once you’ve submitted your manuscript, a pop-up will appear on your CTS home page, asking you to verify your authorship. Please follow the prompts and, once you’ve verified your authorship, check that your home page lists the status of the manuscript as “Received.” All authors will receive email confirmation that the submission has been received. The email will provide a link for co-authors to confirm authorship in the system or to notify us if they are unaware of, or did not approve of, the submission. All authors must click the verification link in the email to verify authorship. If the link breaks or expires, an author should instead directly log into CTS to verify authorship. Authors must sign into CTS with the email address to which the link was sent. All authors are encouraged to update their demographic and expertise information during the confirmation step. Authors can return to the site at any time to track the status of the manuscript.
Science is committed to thorough and efficient evaluation of submitted manuscripts. Papers are assigned to a staff editor who has knowledge of the manuscript’s field of study. Most submitted papers are rated for suitability by members of Science’s Board of Reviewing Editors. The editors at Science consider this advice in selecting papers for in-depth review. Authors of papers that are not selected for review are notified promptly, within about 2 weeks.
Research papers that are selected for in-depth review are evaluated by at least two outside reviewers. These individuals are contacted before being sent a paper and are asked to return comments within 2 weeks, in most cases. Once all reviews are in, we initiate a cross-review process in which we invite all reviewers to read the other (still anonymous) reviews and make additional comments within 2 business days. Cross-review is encouraged but not required. We are able to expedite the review process significantly for papers that require rapid assessment. Manuscripts selected for publication are edited to improve accuracy and clarity, as well as for length. Rejected papers cannot be resubmitted over a disagreement on novelty, interest, or relative merit. If a paper was rejected on the basis of serious reviewer error, resubmission may be considered.
Authors are notified of decisions by email, and the status of the manuscript can be tracked at https://cts.sciencemag.org. Membership in AAAS is not a factor in selection of manuscripts for publication. Science treats all submitted manuscripts as confidential documents. Science also instructs and expects our Board of Reviewing Editors and reviewers to treat manuscripts as confidential material. Editors do not release the identities of reviewers; however, reviewers are free to reveal their own identity by signing their reviews. (Letters are sent to the authors of papers on which they comment, for response or rebuttal, but are otherwise treated in the same way as other contributions, with respect to confidentiality.)
Science publishes five other journals: Science Signaling, Science Translational Medicine, Science Immunology, Science Robotics, and our open access, interdisciplinary journal, Science Advances. Authors submitting to Science may elect to transfer to one of our other journals, should the manuscript not be selected for publication at Science. Science editors will not see this choice until after the decision is made, and authors will be given the opportunity to confirm the choice before transfer is initiated. If a manuscript is rejected from Science with the option of transfer, we would be happy to transfer your submission from Science with no reformatting required. Editors at the second journal may use the information gathered during evaluation at Science to expedite review, including reuse of the reviews provided that reviewers agree. You may also choose to start a new review process. The transfer may only include documents that were part of the review process at Science. Specific details regarding your transfer options will be provided in the original decision letter.
Most papers are published in print and online 4 to 8 weeks after acceptance. In addition, Science selects papers for earlier online publication in First Release, using the accepted version of the paper with minimal copyediting. The official publication date of these papers is the date of First Release publication. Requests for accelerated online publication should be explained to the editors in the cover letter.
The cost of color images is $650 for the first color figure and $450 for each additional color figure. In addition, there is a comparable charge for use of color in reprints. We ask that you submit your payment with your reprint order; you will receive instructions for doing so when you receive your galley proofs. We also now provide a free electronic reprint service; information will be sent by email after your paper is published.
Our Press Office may identify specific Science articles as particularly newsworthy and may highlight them in our embargoed press package for registered journalists. If you are a journalist wishing to receive our embargoed press package or an author wanting information regarding press outreach on your embargoed Science paper, please contact the Science Press Package (“SciPak”) Team at [email protected].