Guide for Authors

  • Aims

    Chemistry & Biology is a monthly interdisciplinary journal that publishes papers of exceptional interest in all areas at the interface between chemistry and biology. Such areas include the use of natural and designed molecules as probes of cellular pathways; rational drug design based on knowledge of the structure and/or function of the target molecule; the nature of molecular recognition in biological systems; novel procedures for the large-scale analysis of genes and proteins; functional and structural genomics; proteomics; molecular basis of evolution; chemical insights into signaling, catalysis, and gene expression; and novel chemical and biological methods for molecular design, synthesis, and analysis.

    Chemical & Biology will regularly publish reviews and minireviews on topics of broad interest to chemists and biologists. These are normally commissioned, but suggestions in the form of a brief summary are welcome and should be sent to the editorial office at

    Submission of Research Articles

    Effective January 2002, all papers should be submitted to Chemistry & Biology, Cell Press, 1100 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA.

    Four copies of each double-spaced manuscript should be provided, as well as a word processor file on disk. Authors may list the names of potential reviewers whom they believe can provide an expert and impartial critique of the work. The editors will also consider requests to exclude one or two potential referees who might have difficulty rendering an unbiased opinion. Copies of closely related papers in press or submitted elsewhere must accompany the manuscript before it will be considered for publication. Under no circumstances will any paper be considered that contains any data that have been or will be submitted for publication elsewhere (including symposium volumes). Revised manuscripts will be reconsidered only if resubmitted within 2 months of the date of the original decision. For submissions that are not published, only available figures will be returned to authors.

    All submissions are evaluated by the editors and associate editors before a decision is made regarding peer review. The editors will strive to reach decisions within four weeks of submission, and papers will be published in the next issue to go to press after proofs have been returned.

    Chemistry & Biology does not impose page charges.

    Presubmission Inquiries

    Authors may obtain prompt advice on the potential suitability of a manuscript by e-mailing details to the editors at

    Organization and Style of Research Papers

    Research articles contain a maximum total character count of 50,000 (including spaces), with no more than eight figures and tables. (Additional data may be published online as supplementary information at the editor's discretion).

    Summary: Should be one paragraph of no more than 135 words. Experimental details should generally not be included.

    Running Title: No more than 50 characters (including spaces).

    Introduction: Succinct, with no subheadings. A summary figure may be included.

    Results and Discussion: May also be two separate sections and can include subheadings. Footnotes should not be used and will be transferred to the text. Gene symbols should be italicized; protein products are not italicized. Nonstandard abbreviations should be defined when first used in the text.

    Significance: Each article should conclude with a section entitled Significance, which explains the major findings and broader implications of the work for the general audience, including both chemists and biologists, in no more than 300 words. This section should be able to stand alone from the main text.

    Acknowledgments: should be kept to a minimum.

    Experimental Procedures: This section should contain sufficient detail so that all procedures can be repeated, in conjuntion with cited references. Only essential details of chemical syntheses should be included for publication, but relevant supplementary materials must also be included in both printed and disk form for evaluation by the referees. List any information submitted under the subheading "Supplementary material available."

    References: References are cited under the Vancouver system, i.e., numbered consecutively in the text in square brackets and listed numerically in the reference list (with no brackets). Only articles that are published or in press should be referenced; unpublished data, submitted manuscripts, abstracts, and personal communications (documented by a letter of permission) should be noted only within the text. The reference style is identical to the of Cell, as follows:

    Article in a journal:

    1. Hanahan, D., and Weinberg, R.A. (2000). The hallmarks of cancer. Cell 100, 57-70.

    Article in a book:

    2. Folkman, J. (1995). Tumor Angiogenesis. In The Molecular Basis of Cancer, J. Mendelsohn, P.M. Howley, M.A. Israel, & L.A. Liotta. eds. (New York: W.B. Saunders). pp 206-232.

    An entire book:

    3. Davies, K.A., and White, M. (1996). Breakthrough: The Race to Find the Breast Cancer Gene. (New York: John Wiley & Sons).

    Figures: Each copy of a submitted manuscript must be accompanied by a set of figures of sufficient quality for reviewers to judge the data. All figures, illustrations, and chemical formulae should be provided as high-quality prints ready for scanning and reduction to fit the printed page of the journal. Please use soft mounts wherever possible. Multipaneled figures should be premounted as a montage ready for scanning. Magnification should be indicated by a bar scale. Stereo pairs should be in divergent view and at the same size as they are to appear in the journal (stereo pairs should ordinarily be sized to fit in a 116-mm-wide box) and be mounted so that the corresponding points in each half are 55-65 mm apart.

    Color costs: In order to defray the costs of color figures, authors will be charged $500 for the first and $250 for each additional color figure. (These charges will not apply to manuscripts submitted prior to 2002.)

    Electronic submission of figures is encouraged. Details on acceptable formats for figures and text are available, see Guidelines for Sending Electronic Images.

    Figures Legends and Tables: Legends and tables should be included in the submitted manuscript as separate sections. Each figure legend should have a brief, separate title that describes the entire figure without citing specific panels or references.


    Authors will receive PDF proofs from the printer. Proofs should be returned to Cell Press within 24 hours, preferably by fax/courier. Any substantial additions must be in the form of a note added in proofs.

    Offprints can be ordered before the press date. An offprint order form will accompany article proofs. Reprints may be purchased after publication.

    Publication Schedule

    Papers that do not meet the editors' criteria for publication will be returned promptly after consideration, without peer review. Otherwise, we try to let authors have reviewers'comments within a month. If revisions are a condition of publication, generally only one revised version of the paper will be considered. Because of Chemistry & Biology's rapid publication schedule, strict limitations are placed on corrections to articles at the proof state, so manuscripts must be rigorously edited and checked before final submission. Articles will be published in print within 12 weeks of acceptance, usually much sooner.

    Distribution of Material

    Publication of a research article in Chemistry & Biology is taken to imply that the authors are prepared to distribute freely to academic researchers for their own use any materials (e.g., cells, DNA, antibodies) used in the published experiments. In cases of dispute, authors may be required to make primary data available to the editors. Sequence information and structural coordinates should be deposed in the appropriate database.


    Previews are concise, informative essays that highlight the significance and implications of a newly published paper or topic of experimental research. A premium is placed on making the text accessible to researchers in other areas. The length is generally 800-1200 words, with no more than 20 references to published material. Most Previews will be commissioned, but unsolicited proposals may be submitted to the editors at


    Crosstalk is a forum for review and discussion of subjects of vital interest to the chemical biology community. Most Crosstalk articles will be commissioned, but unsolicited proposals are welcomed. Suggestions may be sent to the editors at


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