- Types of Manuscripts
- Preparing a New Manuscript
- Submitting a New Manuscript
- Formatting an Initial Manuscript
- Revised Manuscripts
- Supplementary Materials
- Permissions and Licensing
- Cover Images
- Post-Publication Correction
- Press Services
Science Advances is a highly selective, open access journal that publishes innovative, original research and reviews across a broad range of scientific disciplines. The Science Advances Editorial Board, a group of active researchers and scientists with a wide diversity of expertise, evaluates submissions and sends those that warrant further consideration for external peer review.
Submit your manuscript through our manuscript submission and information portal: https://cts.sciencemag.org. You can track the status of submitted manuscripts through this site as well. Please review the editorial policies for the Science family of journals before submitting a paper. These policies state author rights and responsibilities which you agree to by submitting and publishing a paper with AAAS.
Science Advances publishes a variety of article types. Reviews and editorials are commissioned by the Editorial Board.
Research articles should present a major advance. Science Advances allows for a flexible format for research articles: articles can be short or long format, up to 15,000 words, with up to 10 figures and/or tables (combined), and 80 references. Research article requirements may be found here.
These articles present a validated technique, tool, or informational database without substantial analysis that results in a new research insight. Research Resources describing new methods or techniques should include appropriately controlled validation experiments. The Science Advances deputy editors will decide whether to publish an article under the tag of Research Resources.
Research Resources should describe how the technique, tool or database could lead to important and substantial advances in understanding key questions in subsequent studies. The articles have the same format as Research Articles (but may omit the Results heading if appropriate) and will follow the same review process as a Research Article (editor evaluation, Board of Reviewing Editor evaluation, and in-depth peer review).
Review articles should describe and synthesize recent significant developments in a single field, or across multidisciplinary fields, and highlight future directions. Reviews are limited to 10,000 words, up to 10 figures and/or tables, and no more than 150 references (more may be permitted upon request).
Please note that reviews are generally solicited by our editors. However, unsolicited submissions may also be considered. Unsolicited reviews must be a complete manuscript. The timeframe for editorial evaluation is longer than standard evaluations. If you wish us to consider an unsolicited review, please submit it directly to our submission platform.
A complete manuscript package will help expedite your paper through the review and publication process. Use the Science Advances main paper template and Supplementary Materials template to format your new submission. For specific details, see Formatting an Initial Submission.
Revised manuscripts for the most part follow the same style guidelines however some differences do exist. For specific details, see the Revised Manuscript section.
English Language Editing Services
The Editorial and Publishing teams at AAAS/Science 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.
For research in health science, authors are encouraged to follow published standard reporting guidelines for the study discipline found on the EQUATOR website.
When ready to submit a manuscript (formatted using the online templates), create an account at https://cts.sciencemag.org. Several brief tutorials are available on the portal to help you navigate the system. Please note: If you already have an account (have already submitted to a Science family journal before or have a reviewer account), please do not create a new account. Your username is your email address. If you have trouble accessing your account, please contact [email protected].
The main submission form is a series of tabbed windows that you populate:
1. Authors: Names, telephone numbers, and e-mail addresses for all authors, including designation of at least one as corresponding author. An ORCID ID is required for first and corresponding authors and is strongly encouraged for all authors. Entering ORCIDs requires authentication. Each author must be logged in to their own already existing ORCID account for their personal IDs to link to their individual accounts in the AAAS submission portal. Please note, corresponding authors cannot add ORCID IDs for their co-authors. Each author must make their own account and update as needed. Additional guidance on creating an ORCID account can be found here.
2. Manuscript Information:
- The article type (see a description of manuscript types)
- Manuscript title (135 character maximum)
- Short title (50 character maximum)
- Field codes (select one or two fields/disciplines that best describe your manuscript)
- Cover letter (PDF or Word) which includes:
- Article title
- Describe briefly why your work is appropriate for Science Advances: What is new and how does it advance the field
- Any information needed to ensure a fair review process, including related manuscripts submitted to other journals
- A statement confirming that none of the material has been published or is under consideration for publication elsewhere
- A statement noting potential conflicts of interest
- For investigations on humans, a statement indicating that informed consent was obtained after the nature and possible consequences of the studies were explained
- For authors using laboratory 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 a materials transfer agreement (MTA)
- Information on any reference material or additional data files uploaded to the Auxiliary files section (see below)
- A suggestion for a Deputy and an Associate Editor best qualified to handle the paper. You can review the Science Advances Editorial Board here
- A list of all funding sources. This can be done through a dropdown if your funder is included in FundRef’s controlled vocabulary list
3. Reviewers: In the submission portal, you must provide the names, affiliations, and e-mail addresses of five potential reviewers; you may provide contact details for up to three excluded reviewers. These suggestions will not necessarily be used by editors, but they will be referenced as an indication of the authors' view of the research landscape of the submitted work. Authors are strongly encouraged to keep both gender and country of origin in mind when identifying potential reviewers. AAAS is committed to fostering diversity throughout the global scientific community, and we believe that gender, racial and international diversity of scientists participating in research assessment increases the fairness and quality of the peer review process.
4. Upload Documents Upload the cover letter (PDF or .docx), a combined PDF (manuscript including figures, tables and Supplementary Material) which will be used during the evaluation process, the manuscript in .docx (preferred) or LaTeX format, and any Auxiliary Files. If you have Supplementary Materials, please upload those as a single file in PDF format.
Refer to Formatting an Initial Submission for limits on file sizes and details on how to format each piece of the manuscript package.
Items required for new submissions that should be uploaded as Auxiliary Files include:
- 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 Advances. If a related paper is submitted elsewhere while the Science Advances paper is under consideration, please contact the Science Advances Editorial Office.
- Data files required for manuscript review.
- Written permission from any author who is not an author of your manuscript but whose work is cited as “in press.” Permission must allow distribution of “in press” manuscripts or relevant data to reviewers. A copy of an email is sufficient. Please note: we do not allow “In Press” citations in accepted manuscripts – these must be removed or replaced by a published reference.
- Copies of any relevant MTAs.
5. Validate: Confirm and complete submission (we will not consider a submission complete until it is confirmed).
Your home page in the information and manuscript portal will show the status as “Received” after all elements (manuscript and paperwork) are uploaded. Use the home page to view your manuscript’s status which will update on the home page and be available upon log in.
The initial submission should be uploaded to the information and manuscript portal as a single .docx file containing all components of the paper, in sequential order (i.e. title, main text, references, table/figure legends, then a list of material contained in the Supplementary Material [if applicable]).
The main text should include the following sections:
- Title (up to 135 characters maximum)
- Short title (up to 50 characters)
- Authors and Affiliations
- Materials and Methods
Tables and figures should be embedded in the text at first mention and include legends.
Use the Science Advances template to easily format your paper. Examples of each item below are included in the template.
Authors should be listed first name, middle initial (if any), then last name with each name separated by commas. Designate first author, corresponding author(s) and equal contribution authors beneath the title on the first page of the manuscript in a single paragraph with no line breaks. Author institutional affiliations should be listed beneath the author list and referenced by superscript numbers by each appropriate name.
The abstract provides a snapshot of the research in the paper and should be no more than 150 words in a single paragraph written for a general readership. Do not include citations. Provide a sentence offering a general introduction to the field and then a sentence with more detailed background specific to the research described. Follow this with a very brief explanation of objectives/methods and then key results. The final sentence should describe the main conclusions of the research. Any abbreviations that appear in the title should be defined in the abstract. Graphic representations of the abstract are not permitted.
This one-sentence summary provides a snapshot of your research for non-specialist readers and will be used to promote your article if accepted for publication. These should complement rather than repeat the title. Enter the required 125-character (or less including spaces) teaser in the field in the submission portal.
The Introduction clearly identifies the purpose and scope of the research presented in the article, and details the scientific question being investigated. Any necessary background information should provide context to readers in other disciplines to ensure that the implications of the experimental findings can be understood by researchers outside the authors’ area of research.
The Results describes the findings observed from experiments performed and presented in the manuscript. This section should be divided into subsections to differentiate experimental themes. Subheads within this section should be descriptive phrases. Technical terms should be defined. Symbols, abbreviations and acronyms should be defined the first time they are used. All tables and figures should be cited in numerical order. All data must be shown in the main text, the Supplementary Materials, or must be available in an established database with accession details provided in the Acknowledgements section
The Discussion describes the conclusions drawn from the Results and restates in detail the significance and implications of the research presented. This section should also include a paragraph discussing the limitations of the study.
The Materials and Methods section describes the experimental design of the study and objectives of the research, clearly distinguishing pre-specified hypotheses from hypotheses suggested after initiation of the data analyses. This section should also explain statistical methods with enough detail to enable a knowledgeable reader with access to the original data to verify the results. The values for N, P, and the specific statistical test performed for each experiment should be included in the appropriate figure legend or main text. Subheads in this section should be descriptive phrases.
For guidelines on human and animal studies, statistical analysis and experimental design, please consult our Editorial Policies page for required documentation.
Combine all references from the main text and the Supplementary Material into a single list and append it to the main text.
In-text references should be cited in parentheses by their corresponding number (#). Multiple reference citations are separated by commas (#, #). When citing more than two consecutive references, use an en dash (#–#).
- A recent study points to green frogs (1).
- Convex mirrors provide more light (2, 3).
- Wolves like daisies (4–6).
References should be numbered in order of citation in the text: first in the text, then through figure and table captions and text boxes, and finally SM-only references. List each reference only once. Each reference should have a unique number; do not use “op.”; “cit.”; “ibid.”; or “et al.”
If references are included within tables and figures, use the (#) format. Do not use author last name and publication year to denote the citation.
Initial submissions can include “in-press” references but these must convert to “published” prior to publication or the reference will be removed. Personal communications and working papers are not considered acceptable references.
Footnotes and endnotes are not allowed; material normally added using these formats should be incorporated into the text by authors.
Science Advances uses a complete citation format that includes all authors, full titles of journal articles, the journal abbreviation, the volume number, the first and last page, and the year of publication. City of publication should be spelled out. Do not use op. cit., ibid., 3-m dashes, en dashes, or et al. in place of the complete list of authors’ names. For author names with Jr. or 2nd, etc. see example number 5 below.
To find the correct abbreviations for journal names to use in your citations, consult the Bibliographic Guide for Editors and Authors (BGEA) or Serial Sources for the BIOSIS. When in doubt, provide complete title of a journal.
- N. Tang, On the equilibrium partial pressures of nitric acid and ammonia in the atmosphere. Atmos. Environ. 14, 819-834 (1980).
- W. R. Harvey, S. Nedergaard, Sodium-independent active transport of potassium in the isolated midgut of the Cecropia silkworm. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 51, 731-735 (1964).
- N. H. Sleep, Stagnant lid convection and carbonate metasomatism of the deep continental lithosphere. Geochem. Geophys. Geosyst. 10, Q11010 (2009). [online-only paper; use article number instead of page]
- J. M. Dinning, Am. J. Clin. Nutr. 42 (suppl. 1), 12 (1984). [journal with supplement noted]
- J. D. Brown, M. R. DiChiara, K. R. Anderson, M. A. Gimbrone Jr., J. N. Topper, MEKK-1, a component of the stress (stress-activated protein kinase/c-Jun N-terminal kinase) pathway, can selectively activate Smad2-mediated transcriptional activation in endothelial cells. J. Biol. Chem. 274, 8797-8805 (1999).
References to books or chapters in books, and publisher names are listed in shortened form; “press” is usually dropped, except for university presses, to distinguish them from the university itself. Only one publisher city is needed. Inclusive page numbers or a chapter number must be given when specific articles are referred to within an edited volume.
- M. Lister, “[Chapter title goes here]” in Fundamentals of Operating Systems (Springer, New York, ed. 3, 1984), pp. 7-11.
- J. B. Carroll, Ed., Language, Thought and Reality, Selected Writings of Benjamin Lee Whorf (MIT Press, Cambridge, MA, 1956).
- R. Davis, J. King, “[Chapter title goes here]” in Machine Intelligence, E. Acock, D. Michie, Eds. (Wiley, 1976), vol. 8, chap. 3. [use short form of publisher name, not “John Wiley & Sons”]
- J. Sprung, Corals: A Quick Reference Guide (Oceanographic Series, Ricordea, Miami, FL, 1999). [for books in series, include the series title]
- National Academy of Sciences, Principles and Procedures for Evaluating the Toxicity of Household Substances (National Academy of Sciences, Washington, DC, 1977). [organization as author and publisher]
- G. B. Shaw, “Practical uses of litmus paper in Möbius strips” (Tech. Rep. CUCS-29-82, Columbia Univ., 1982).
- F. Press, “A report on the computational needs for physics” (National Science Foundation, 1981). [unpublished or access by title]
- “Assessment of the carcinogenicity and mutagenicity of chemicals,” WHO Tech. Rep. Ser. No. 556 (1974). [no author]
- U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, (EPA), “White Paper on Bt plant-pesticide resistance management” (Publication 739-S-98-001, EPA, 1998; www.epa.gov/pesticides/biopesticides/white_bt.pdf). [the easiest access to this source is via the URL]
- M. Konishi, paper presented at the 14th Annual Meeting of the Society for Neuroscience, Anaheim, CA, 10 October 1984.
- E. M. Pietras, G. Cheng, A new TRADDition in intracellular antiviral signaling. Sci. Signal. 1, pe36 (2008). [Science Signaling]
- R. K. Aziz, V. Nizet, Pathogen microevolution in high resolution. Sci. Transl. Med. 2, 16ps4 (2010). [Science Translational Medicine]
- A. Clauset, S. Arbesman, D. B. Larremore, Systematic inequality and hierarchy in faculty hiring networks. Sci. Adv. 1, e1400005 (2015). [Science Advances]
- B. Thomas. 2018. “Driving to the store is fun.” Facebook, June 24, 2020. https://www.facebook.com/billthomas/posts/912498972815454.
- S. Smith (@SukiSmith). 2017. “Lighting the way with optics.” Twitter, May 22, 2017, 11:15 a.m. https://twitter.com/SukiSmit/status/590932792677016448.
- A. Smette et al., http://xxx.lanl.gov/abs/astro-ph/0012193 (2001).
- K. Abe et al., http://arXiv.org/abs/hep-ex/0107061 (2001) [if now published, omit the URL and provide only a standard reference]
- R. White, “[Thesis title goes here],“ thesis, University of Illinois, Chicago, IL (1983). [Optional: The title of the thesis may be provided in quotes after the author name.]
For additional examples, consult the Science citation style.
Acknowledgments should immediately follow the References and include complete funding information, a description of each author's contribution to the paper using each author’s initials, a statement declaring any competing interests for any of the authors, and a statement regarding data availability and materials sharing (including any material transfer agreements [MTAs]).
Our standard competing interest statement if none are present is as follows:
"The authors declare that they have no competing interests." If this is not accurate, please list the competing interests.
Our standard data availability statement is as follows:
“All data needed to evaluate the conclusions in the paper are present in the paper and/or the Supplementary Materials.”
If applicable, please list any repositories storing additional data and the access code to obtain the data.
Our standard MTA statement is as follows:
“The [data] can be provided by [owner of data] pending scientific review and a completed material transfer agreement. Requests for the [data] should be submitted to: [data permission contact information].”
Our standard funding statement if no funding was used is as follows:
“The authors acknowledge that they received no funding in support for this research.”
For more information on our Data Availability and Data Deposition requirements and policies, please see the Editorial Policies.
You may include up to a total of ten figures and/or tables (combined) throughout the manuscript. Figures should be called out within the text. Figures should be numbered in the order of their citation in the text. For initial submission, the figure files should appear in the combined PDF. They should be submitted as part of the online submission embedded in the Word file (with legend below). See below for detailed instructions on preparation of and preferred formats for your figures.
Tables should supplement, not duplicate, the text. Each table should include a boldfaced label and title such as Table 1. Findings. The legend should be roman type. Please do not use footnotes in column heads; include such details in the table legend. Legends and units should be clearly legible and may not exceed 250 words. See the Science Advances template for more details on preparing tables.
For best results, use universal fonts (such as Times New Roman) only, as special fonts may affect the rendering of your figure or table files.
Should your paper be accepted, you will have to ensure that your figures and tables follow our online publication specifications as described under Revised Manuscripts.
Science Advances does not allow digital enhancements or manipulations of images, including micrographs and gels. Figures assembled from multiple photographs or images must indicate the separate parts with lines between them. Linear adjustment of contrast, brightness, or color must be applied to an entire image or plate, equally. Nonlinear adjustments must be specified in the figure legend.
The discovery of figure manipulation or enhancement will require additional documentation from the authors and could be grounds for rejection.
Display equations should be set on their own line and numbered, as with Figures or Tables. We do not punctuate equations. We recommend authors use the legacy equation editor if using Microsoft Word or MathType.
MathType should be used within text only when the desired result cannot be achieved using ordinary Word characters.
Do not to use the equation editor provided in Word 2007 or later; display errors can occur with these.
If authors submit in LaTeX format, carefully check that all equations convert accurately in Word 2007 and higher or when imported into a PDF.
Supplementary Materials should include any auxiliary information that provides additional understanding of the research presented in the main text. Supplementary Materials may include data sets, movies, audio files, and additional figures and/or tables.
Each Supplementary Material element should include a brief title and a brief description. Prepare a PDF of Supplementary Materials using the template supplied here.
Supplementary figures and tables must be referenced in-text in numerical order in the Supplementary Materials.
Supplementary Materials may include:
Supplementary Text: Additional information regarding control or supplemental experiments, field sites, observations, hypotheses and so on, that bear directly on the arguments of the main paper. Further discussion or development of arguments beyond those in the main text is not permitted in supplementary text. This can be referred to in the main text as “supplementary text” with no reference note required.
Figures: Embed figures in the PDF, numbering Fig. S1, S2 etc. Include a figure title in bold. Include captions for all figures (no bold). Call out all figures in the main text; no reference number is required.
Tables: Embed tables created in Word in the PDF, numbering Table S1, S2 etc. Include a table title in bold. Write a caption for each table. For extensive tables, use Excel and upload with submission.
References: Include references cited only in the Supplementary Materials at the end of the reference section of the main text; reference numbering should continue as if the Supplementary Materials are a continuation of the main text. Do not create a separate reference list for Supplementary Materials.
Acceptable formats include: Video Interleave (.avi), Quicktime (.mov), Windows Media (.wmv), and MP4 or MPEG files. Keep movies brief and the display window small to minimize the file size of the video. Video clips should be in .mp4 format. Quicktime (.mov) files are acceptable provided the h.264 compression setting is used. Where possible please use HD frame size (1920x1080 pixels). Animated GIFs are not accepted.
Number movies at the end of the SM list on the SM cover page. Include the captions within the body of the SM. Do not place them on the cover page. Split longer sequences into smaller clips with separate labels and captions for each.
For audio files, WAV AIFF, AU or .m4a are preferred. MP3 or AAC files are acceptable but a bit rate of at least 160kb/s must be used. Authors should submit audio with clearly identifiable accompanying captions and credit information.
Both at initial submission and at revision, submit supplementary text, tables and figures as a single PDF, not exceeding 25 MB. Single space text and tables; individually number each figure/table. Upload multimedia or large data files as Auxiliary Supplementary Materials or Movies. Auxiliary or movie files are limited to 10 files total and combined cannot exceed 25MB.
Make sure to read all reviewer and editor comments before revising the paper. The format of the revised paper should follow the Science Advances template. As you finalize the revised paper refer to the checklist for your topical area to ensure the paper includes the correct journal style for your topical area:
Once you submit the revised paper, it is considered final. No more changes are allowed. Since this version could be accepted by the Editors, it should be complete and as you intend it to appear in the journal.
Revised submissions that do not meet the required criteria and elements will not be moved forward to our Editors until resolved. This could introduce significant delays in the review process.
Response to Reviews
Please provide a point-by-point response to reviewer comments uploaded as a separate document (.pdf or .docx) under Auxiliary Supplementary Materials in the submission record. Also include a list of changes of changes to the figures if needed.
Changes to Authorship
Any changes to authorship should be highlighted in the main text. In addition, please use this Change of Authorship form to provide details to the Editorial Office on the changes. Corresponding authors will be required to provide proof that all authors approve of the change.
Make any changes to the Supplementary Materials per reviewer and editor comments. Convert the revised .docx file to PDF format. Review equations to ensure they converted correctly.
Author Publishing Licenses
Before Science Advances fully accepts a manuscript, all listed authors must sign and submit a License to Publish Agreement granting AAAS exclusive rights to publish.
As an open access journal, Science Advances asks authors to choose one of two Creative Commons licenses, each of which allows readers to reuse the published content in specific ways:
- The CC BY-NC license allows users to use, distribute, or reproduce the article but solely for non-commercial purposes, provided the work is properly cited in accordance with the terms of the license.
- The CC-BY license allows users to distribute, adapt, or reuse articles, including for commercial purposes, as long as the work is cited in accordance with the terms of the license.
When completing the forms, select that you have applied for a waiver only if your institution has its own publishing license, as some institutions have policies that might restrict AAAS from claiming the exclusive rights we require to publish a manuscript. Check your institution's copyright policy to see if there is a publication policy or Open Access policy requiring authors to grant the institution nonexclusive rights under copyright.
Please note that a CC-BY license may be a funding requirement, as in cases where an author’s research was funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Wellcome Trust, or the Charity Open Access Fund (COAF). Please check with your institution or funding agency before selecting a license.
Permission for Previously Published Content in a Manuscript
Identify previously published figures, tables, or videos and provide permission documentation from the copyright holder for both the online and print editions of the published source. Include the correct attribution line in the caption. Please check with the original source for proper credit attribution. The format for previously published photos is: “Photo Credit: Photographer Name, Photographer Institution.” Images included in the paper by a photographer other than an author require completion of a separate image permissions form found here.
“In-press” included in References (not yet published)
Any “in-press” references must convert to “published” prior to publication or the reference will be removed. Authors may be required to provide documentation of permission to use the “in-press” article.
For accepted manuscripts, authors may submit an image for possible use as a cover or website image. Specifications: high-resolution files with dimensions of 2476 pixels wide by 3137 tall (cover) or 1280 pixels wide by 427 pixels tall (site image). Upload image(s), photo or artistic credit information, and a brief description to the submission portal Auxiliary Supplementary Materials section and select “Cover possibility.”
Please note, submitting an image does not guarantee its use as a cover.
Resubmissions are allowed only when explicitly invited by a member of our Editorial Board. Resubmissions must include the full title and manuscript tracking number of the previous submission in an accompanying cover letter addressed to the Editor and provide justification for the reconsideration of your work.
If you feel a significant reviewer or editorial error has occurred during review, submit a formal letter detailing the issue. Appeal letters must be submitted directly to the Science Advances Editorial Office at: [email protected]. Do not send appeals to members of the Editorial Board.
Please note the following:
- Manuscripts desk rejected by Science Advances (i.e., did not receive external review), will not be considered.
- Appeals submitted past 4 weeks of the decision to reject will not be considered.
- Reject decisions that do not qualify for an appeal based on editorial/reviewer error are considered final. Appeals in the form of uninvited revisions will not be considered.
Authors can submit a post-publication correction request on published articles. Post-publication corrections are not guaranteed because they are limited to essential changes to online articles. Requests for changes will be evaluated by journal staff and/or the handling editor who must approve the correction before it is processed.
Approved corrections to errors that do not affect the core conclusions of a paper are posted online and linked to the published paper. Corrections to Supplementary Materials will be processed only if the errors are significant and impact content.
In cases where an institutional investigation of large-scale error or misconduct is under way, Science Advances may publish an Editorial Expression of Concern relating to the paper in question. In cases of irreproducibility of research findings reported in a Science Advances paper, a retraction may be considered if the core conclusions are thereby invalidated. Papers will also be retracted in case of research misconduct, in accordance with COPE guidelines. Submit requests for a correction to the Science Advances Correction Team at [email protected].
Our Press Office may identify specific Science Advances articles as particularly newsworthy and 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 Advances paper, please contact the Science Advances Press Package (“VancePak”) Team at [email protected].