Guide for Authors

All journal information and instructions compiled in one document (PDF) in just one mouse-click Author information pack

• Content
• Peer-reviewed research articles
• Manuscript formatting
• General
• Title
• Abstract
• Main text
• Acknowledgments
• References
• Tables
• Figures
• Instrument citation
• Figure copyright permission
• Submission
• Deadlines
• Ethics in Publishing
• Conflict of interest
• Submission declaration
• Copyright
• Copyright
• Funding body agreements and policies
• Open access
• Interactive plots

Materials Today is an open access journal covering the latest research, news, reviews, comments, and opinions in materials science. There are no page charges and color is free in both the print and online versions.

Content in the journal is specially commissioned by the editors. At present, the journal is not able to consider unsolicited manuscripts: authors are recommended to consider publication in one of Materials Today's sister publications. However, those wishing to propose a possible contribution or nominate topics or authors for invitation, may do so by contacting the Editorial team.

This guide describes how to prepare contributions for submission. In addition to peer-review, manuscripts are also internally reviewed to assess the style and the suitability for publication in Materials Today. We recommend contributors familiarize themselves with the Materials Today style and content by accessing the journal archive. Authors should follow the guide carefully, and ensure that all of the necessary information is provided during submission, as this will greatly speed-up the processing of your manuscript.

If you have any questions, please contact the commissioning editor.


Our content can be divided into two categories: editorial and research articles. Both types of article should be accessible to a broad range of materials researchers; however, editorial articles are more journalistic than the academic style of peer-reviewed research papers.

There are no page charges and color is free in both the print and online versions.

Peer-reviewed research articles


Reviews should inform readers of new research advances, while looking ahead to future directions. The features may be less formal than review papers in traditional journals and can express the contributors' personal perspectives, but they should be scientifically rigorous and pitched at a level suitable for an audience of materials researchers.

Length: 3500 words, not including captions or references. Extensions are permitted with agreement from the Editor. A maximum of 100 references should be included. Additional references are permitted with agreement from the Editor. Up to ten figures and tables can be included. Color is encouraged. Additional figures are permitted with agreement from the Editor.

Current research articles

Current research articles are the ideal platform for informing the materials science community of major breakthroughs and significant results. The features may report on emerging technologies or potential new applications of relevance and importance to materials researchers. As with reviews, articles should be written in a clear, concise fashion, and be accessible to readers from a broad scientific background.

Length: 3500 words, not including captions or references. Extensions are permitted with agreement from the Editor. A maximum of 100 references should be included. Additional references are permitted with agreement from the Editor. Up to ten figures and tables can be included. Color is encouraged. Additional figures are permitted with agreement from the Editor.

Manuscript formatting


  • Microsoft Word is preferred.
  • Define all acronyms, abbreviations, and terms on first mention in the text.
  • US spelling and SI units should be used throughout. Units should have a single space between the number and the unit.
  • Only one space should be used after full stops.
  • Equations should be numbered as they appear in the text and referred to as eq 1, etc.


  • The title should not exceed 45 characters (including spaces).
  • The title should be followed by the contributors' full names and affiliations. The corresponding contributor should be clearly indicated and their e-mail address supplied.


  • An abstract of approximately 100 words should be included separate from the main body of the text. This should introduce the topic of the feature and its content. It should contain no unexplained acronyms, abbreviations, or references. If possible, we request this be provided in advance of submission.

Main text

  • We encourage the use of short subheadings for longer papers. Up to a maximum of three levels are acceptable and should not be numbered. A separate introduction is mandatory.
  • Figures should be referred to as 'Fig. 1' and so on in the text.
  • Text boxes may be included to explain basic concepts or theories, complex math or terminology.
  • A glossary of technical terms can be included if necessary.
  • A 'Further information' section may be included, listing relevant websites and databases.
  • An 'Instrument citation' section may be included, which contains a list of any apparatus used to perform the research contained within the paper.


  • Brief acknowledgments may be given at the end of the text body.


  • References in main text, boxes and figures are numbered, and listed at the end of the main text.
  • In tables, references should be cited in numbers, in a separate column, and listed at the end of the main text.
  • References listed in order of citation, not alphabetically, with one reference per number.
  • For journal references: please give authors' names (if more than three authors, use et al. after first author).
  • For online journal references: please give authors’ names (as above); abbreviated journal name; date (in parentheses); digital object identifier (DOI) number; and the website of the journal. For example:
    Y.Z.Q. Yang, W. Feng, F. Li, Chem. Rev. (2012),doi:10.1021/cr2004103.
  • For whole books: please give editors' names; date (in parentheses); title (in italics); and publisher. For example:
    N. Chowdhury and A. Alonso Aguirre, eds (2001) Helminths of Wildlife, Science Publishers Inc.
  • For book chapters: please give chapter authors; date (in parentheses); chapter title; book title (in italics); editors' names; page numbers and publisher. For example:
    T. Clutton-Brock and H.C.J. Godfray, (1991) Parental investment. In Behavioural Ecology (3rd edn)(Krebs, J.R. and Davies, N.B., eds), pp. 234–262, Blackwell.


  • Tables should be supplied separately with a short, one-line title.


  • Figures should be supplied as individual, separate, high-resolution tif, jpg, or eps files (at least 300 dpi, assuming full page width reproduction). The use of color in figures is encouraged (at no charge).
  • Figure captions should be listed sequentially at the end of the manuscript and should not exceed 75 words. The captions should contain a short description of the figure and state if it has been previously published elsewhere. Please do not write a caption below each figure.
  • Please ensure that the captions match the figures and that the citation in the text matches the relevant figure.
  • Please ensure that all figures are referred to in the main body of text.

Instrument citation

  • Apparatus used to collect significant results should be listed at the end of the manuscript, in the form: Apparatus type, model name/number, manufacturer.

Figure copyright permission

Permission must be obtained to reproduce any copyrighted material from the original authors and publishers. Permission from publishers can usually be obtained by following the appropriate links on the web page of the original article. Please apply early for figure permissions as they can take a long time to be processed by publishers.

The Materials Today office can provide advice and help with this process where necessary.


All manuscripts should be submitted with a cover letter via e-mail to the editor:
Stewart Bland
Tel: +44 (0)1865 843124

Contributors are asked to provide a list of 5-6 potential referees. Contributors may also stipulate any individuals they specifically prefer not to be contacted. However, the editors cannot guarantee that preferences will be met. Following peer-review contributors will be advised by the editors of any comments and a suggested course of action.

Manuscripts will also be reviewed internally to assess the suitability for publication in Materials Today. Please note: the editor's decision is final and commissioning/invitation does not automatically guarantee publication.

PDF page proofs will be provided prior to publication and contributors are asked to return comments promptly, typically within 48 hours.


Materials Today has strict print schedules. Therefore, contributors must adhere strictly to deadlines. Please be aware that late manuscripts may be rejected.

Ethics in Publishing

For information on Ethics in Publishing and Ethical guidelines for journal publication see

Conflict of interest

All authors are requested to disclose any actual or potential conflict of interest including any financial, personal or other relationships with other people or organizations within three years of beginning the submitted work that could inappropriately influence, or be perceived to influence, their work. See also

Submission declaration

Submission of an article implies that the work described has not been published previously (except in the form of an abstract or as part of a published lecture or academic thesis), that it is not under consideration for publication elsewhere, that its publication is approved by all authors and tacitly or explicitly by the responsible authorities where the work was carried out, and that, if accepted, it will not be published elsewhere including electronically in the same form, in English or in any other language, without the written consent of the copyright-holder.


Upon acceptance of an article, authors will be asked to complete a 'Journal Publishing Agreement' (for more information on this and copyright see Acceptance of the agreement will ensure the widest possible dissemination of information. Materials Today is an open access publication and readers are permitted to read, download, print out, extract, reuse, archive, translate and distribute the article provided the appropriate credit is given to the authors and source of the work.

For commercial use or systemic distribution, readers must still request permission via ScienceDirect - please locate the relevant article and follow the "Permissions and Reprints" link.

Retained author rights

As an author you (or your employer or institution) retain certain rights; for details you are referred to:

Role of the funding source

You are requested to identify who provided financial support for the conduct of the research and/or preparation of the article and to briefly describe the role of the sponsor(s), if any, in study design; in the collection, analysis and interpretation of data; in the writing of the report; and in the decision to submit the paper for publication. If the funding source(s) had no such involvement then this should be stated. Please see

Funding body agreements and policies

Elsevier has established agreements and developed policies to allow authors whose articles appear in journals published by Elsevier, to comply with potential manuscript archiving requirements as specified as conditions of their grant awards. To learn more about existing agreements and policies please visit


Upon acceptance of an article, authors will be asked to complete an 'Exclusive License Agreement' (for more information see Permitted third party reuse of open access articles is determined by the author's choice of user license (see

Author rights
As an author you (or your employer or institution) have certain rights to reuse your work. For more information on author rights please see

Funding body agreements and policies

Elsevier has established a number of agreements with funding bodies which allow authors to comply with their funder's open access policies. Some authors may also be reimbursed for associated publication fees. To learn more about existing agreements please visit
After acceptance, open access papers will be published under a noncommercial license. For authors requiring a commercial CC BY license, you can apply after your manuscript is accepted for publication.

Open access

This journal is fully open access; all articles will be immediately and permanently free for everyone to read and download. Permitted reuse is defined by the following Creative Commons user license:

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs (CC BY-NC-ND): for non-commercial purposes, lets others distribute and copy the article, and to include in a collective work (such as an anthology), as long as they credit the author(s) and provided they do not alter or modify the article.

If you need to comply with your funding body policy you can apply for a CC-BY license after your manuscript is accepted for publication.

Reference management software
Most Elsevier journals have a standard template available in key reference management packages. This covers packages using the Citation Style Language, such as Mendeley ( and also others like EndNote ( and Reference Manager ( Using plug-ins to word processing packages which are available from the above sites, authors only need to select the appropriate journal template when preparing their article and the list of references and citations to these will be formatted according to the journal style as described in this Guide. The process of including templates in these packages is constantly ongoing. If the journal you are looking for does not have a template available yet, please see the list of sample references and citations provided in this Guide to help you format these according to the journal style.

If you manage your research with Mendeley Desktop, you can easily install the reference style for this journal by clicking the link below:
When preparing your manuscript, you will then be able to select this style using the Mendeley plug-ins for Microsoft Word or LibreOffice. For more information about the Citation Style Language, visit

Interactive plots

This journal encourages you to include data and quantitative results as interactive plots with your publication. To make use of this feature, please include your data as a CSV (comma-separated values) file when you submit your manuscript. Please refer to for further details and formatting instructions.