Guide for Authors

  • Methods X publishes the small but important customizations you make to methods every day. By releasing the hidden gems from your lab book, you can get credit for the time, effort and money you've put in to making methods work for you. And because it's Open Access, it is even more visible and citable, giving your work the exposure it deserves.

    MethodsX provides an outlet for technical information that can be useful for others working in the same field, and help them save time in their own research, while giving you the deserved credit for your efforts. Since this is relevant for any field doing experimental work, MethodsX welcomes submissions from all research areas.

    MethodsX puts the technical aspects of your work into the spotlight. Publish essential details of the tweaks you have made to a method, without spending time on writing up a traditional article, with detailed background and contextual information. Your MethodsX article showcases the work you've done to customize a method. It's that simple.

    A MethodsX article features:

    • an abstract to outline the customization
    • a graphical abstract visual to illustrate what you've done
    • the method(s) in sufficient detail to help people replicate it, including any relevant figures, tables etc
    • at least one reference to the original description of the method you're using
    To see some examples please click here

    For any questions contact us at: MethodsX@elsevier.com

    BEFORE YOU BEGIN

    The MethodsX Editorial and Review process

    MethodsX aims at having a transparent and quick editorial process. All submitted articles conform to the MethodsX format will be sent out for review. As the content of a MethodsX article is purely technical, reviewers are asked to focus on the technical aspects of the manuscript. Are the procedures suggested by the authors plausible? Are the methods clear and logical to follow, so that someone else could reproduce them easily?

    View the full set of Reviewer Guidelines here

    Authors are invited to revise and resubmit their manuscript when reviews are overall positive and request textual adjustments only. If extensive additional experiments are required, authors will be advised that their manuscript cannot be accepted for publication. Of course, every author will be welcome to resubmit their manuscript anew in the future.
    MethodsX is a community effort, by researchers for researchers. We appreciate the work not only of the authors submitting, but also of the reviewers who provide valuable input to each submission. We therefore publish a standard "reviewer thank you" note in each published article and give the reviewers the choice to be named or to remain anonymous.

    When submitting, please provide a minimum of three suitable potential reviewers (including their name, institutional email addresses, and institutional affiliation). When compiling this list of potential reviewers please consider the following important criteria: they must be knowledgeable about the manuscript subject area; must not be from your own institution; at least two of the suggested reviewers should be from another country than the authors'; and they should not have recent (less than four years) joint publications with any of the authors. However, the final choice of reviewers is at the editors' discretion.

    Please note that no cover letter to the Editor is required. Should you have comments or questions to the Editor, you can submit them in a free text box at the end of the submission process.

    Open access and Copyright
    This journal is fully open access; all articles will be immediately and permanently free for everyone to read and download. Upon acceptance of an article, authors will be asked to complete an 'Exclusive License Agreement' where authors will retain copyright (for more information on this see http://www.elsevier.com/OAauthoragreement.) Permitted reuse is defined by the following Creative Commons user license:

    Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY): lets others distribute and copy the article, to create extracts, abstracts, and other revised versions, adaptations or derivative works of or from an article (such as a translation), to include in a collective work (such as an anthology), to text or data mine the article, even for commercial purposes, as long as they credit the author(s), do not represent the author as endorsing their adaptation of the article, and do not modify the article in such a way as to damage the author's honor or reputation.

    To provide Open Access, this journal has a publication fee of 520 USD which needs to be met by the authors or their research funders.

    Retained author rights
    As an author you (or your employer or institution) retain certain rights, including copyright; for details you are referred to http://www.elsevier.com/OAauthoragreement.

    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, the design of the study, in the collection, analysis and interpretation of data; in the writing of the report; and in the decision to submit the article for publication. If the funding source(s) had no such involvement then this should be stated. Please see http://www.elsevier.com/funding.

    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 http://www.elsevier.com/fundingbodies.

    Ethics in publishing
    For information on Ethics in publishing and Ethical guidelines for journal publication see http://www.elsevier.com/publishingethics and http://www.elsevier.com/journal-authors/ethics.

    Human and animal rights
    If the work involves the use of animal or human subjects, the author should ensure that the work described has been carried out in accordance with The Code of Ethics of the World Medical Association (Declaration of Helsinki) for experiments involving humans http://www.wma.net/en/30publications/10policies/b3/index.html; EU Directive 2010/63/EU for animal experiments http://ec.europa.eu/environment/chemicals/lab_animals/legislation_en.htm; Uniform Requirements for manuscripts submitted to Biomedical journals http://www.icmje.org. Authors should include a statement in the manuscript that informed consent was obtained for experimentation with human subjects. The privacy rights of human subjects must always be observed.

    Informed consent and patient details
    Studies on patients or volunteers require ethics committee approval and informed consent, which should be documented in the paper. Appropriate consents, permissions and releases must be obtained where an author wishes to include case details or other personal information or images of patients and any other individuals in an Elsevier publication. Written consents must be retained by the author and copies of the consents or evidence that such consents have been obtained must be provided to Elsevier on request. For more information, please review the Elsevier Policy on the Use of Images or Personal Information of Patients or other Individuals, http://www.elsevier.com/patient-consent-policy. Unless you have written permission from the patient (or, where applicable, the next of kin), the personal details of any patient included in any part of the article and in any supplementary materials (including all illustrations and videos) must be removed before submission.

    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 http://www.elsevier.com/conflictsofinterest. Further information and an example of a Conflict of Interest form can be found at: http://help.elsevier.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/286/p/7923.

    Submission declaration and verification
    MethodsX is a platform to publish detailed information on your research methods; this includes both new methods as well as adjustments or customizations to methods that have already been published. For example, we want to capture changes you have made to a known method to make it work in another organism, system or environment. Your submission can also be an extension of a previously published original research paper, whereas your MethodsX paper will include all of the technical details that might not have been included in your research paper.

    Note that any published work your article relates to, such as the original method or your own research paper, should be cited in your MethodsX paper.

    To see some examples please click here

    A paper is accepted for publication on the understanding that it has not been submitted simultaneously to another journal in the English language.

    Authorship
    All authors should have made substantial contributions to all of the following: (1) the conception and design of the study, or acquisition of data, or analysis and interpretation of data, (2) drafting the article or revising it critically for important intellectual content, (3) final approval of the version to be submitted.

    Changes to authorship
    This policy concerns the addition, deletion, or rearrangement of author names in the authorship of accepted manuscripts:
    Before the accepted manuscript is published in an online issue: Requests to add or remove an author, or to rearrange the author names, must be sent to the Journal Manager from the corresponding author of the accepted manuscript and must include: (a) the reason the name should be added or removed, or the author names rearranged and (b) written confirmation (e-mail, fax, letter) from all authors that they agree with the addition, removal or rearrangement. In the case of addition or removal of authors, this includes confirmation from the author being added or removed. Requests that are not sent by the corresponding author will be forwarded by the Journal Manager to the corresponding author, who must follow the procedure as described above. Note that: (1) Journal Managers will inform the Journal Editors of any such requests and (2) publication of the accepted manuscript in an online issue is suspended until authorship has been agreed.
    After the accepted manuscript is published in an online issue: Any requests to add, delete, or rearrange author names in an article published in an online issue will follow the same policies as noted above and result in a corrigendum.

    Electronic Submission
    Please note: for initial submission we only need to receive a pdf file containing all elements of your article (title, abstract, graphical abstract, methods with all figures/tables included, references). Supplementary material can however be uploaded separately.

    Only upon revision will we need ALL original source files.

    Always keep a backup copy of the electronic file for reference and safety. Full details of electronic submission and formats can be obtained from: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/disksub or from Elsevier's Author Services.

    PREPARATION

    Article structure

    A MethodsX article consists of:

    1. an abstract to outline the customization
    2. a graphical abstract - an image, graph or other visual to illustrate what you've done
    3. the methods(s) to help people replicate the method including any relevant figures, tables etc
    4. at least one reference to the original description of the method you're using
    5. Optional: Any additional information you may want to share with readers

    Note that no introduction, discussion or conclusion is needed.

    To see some examples please click here

    Abstract
    The abstract should focus on your method customization and clearly highlight what changes over the status quo are being presented. Please avoid giving general background (a few focused sentences will suffice) or simply listing the steps of the procedure. The abstract should not exceed 200 words, and include up to three bullet points. Use those bullet points to highlight how your method differs from pre-existing methods. This will help readers quickly grasp the importance of your work.

    Remember that the abstract is what readers see first in any search engine. Be accurate and specific, and keep it as brief as possible. This will help others to find your publication more easily.

    Graphical abstract
    A Graphical abstract is optional for this journal but highly recommended. It should summarize the contents of the article in a concise, pictorial form designed to capture the attention of a wide readership online. Authors must provide images that clearly represent the work described in the article. Upon revision graphical abstracts should be submitted as a separate file. Image size: please provide an image with a minimum of 531 × 1328 pixels (h × w) or proportionally more. The image should be readable at a size of 5 × 13 cm using a regular screen resolution of 96 dpi. Preferred file types: TIFF, EPS, PDF or MS Office files. See http://www.elsevier.com/graphicalabstracts for examples.If you need help with your graphical abstract, please contact us at methodsX@elsevier.com.

    Methods
    Methods are a step-by-step description of the technical procedure, clear, concise and with enough detail to allow others repeating the method. Please remember that the main focus of your manuscript will be on the technical steps required for this method, rather than results. Although 'results' is not a section included in the MethodsX format, providing data that validate the method is valuable and required. Method validation can be included in the method description, or spelled out as a separate "method validation" paragraph within "Method details". Where appropriate, you may want to provide extra observations or "tricks" alongside the protocol. NOTE: Introduction and Discussion are not sections included in the MethodsX format. This information can be included under "Additional Information".

    Authors are encouraged to enrich their descriptive methods with figures, tables or videos, where applicable. Please refer to the details below regarding color artwork and multimedia components.To see sample articles please click here

    References
    Please make sure to include all essential references.There are no strict requirements on reference formatting. References can be in any style or format as long as the style is consistent. Where applicable, author(s) name(s), journal title/book title, chapter title/article title, year of publication, volume number/book chapter and the pagination must be present. Use of DOI is highly encouraged. The reference style used by the journal will be applied to the accepted article by Elsevier at the proof stage. Note that missing data will be highlighted at proof stage for the author to correct.

    Optional: additional information
    If authors wish to provide further information such as broader background on the topic, useful links etc, this can be added as "additional information" following the methods.

    Supplementary material
    Authors can also submit supplementary material (such as raw data). Each supplementary material file should have a short caption which will be placed at the bottom of the article, where it can assist the reader and also be used by search engines. Note that supplementary material will not appear in printable pdf files.
    Link to new data types you can add as supplementary material here.

    Acknowledgements
    Please collate acknowledgements in a separate section at the end of the article before the references; do not include them in the title page as a footnote to the title or otherwise. List here those individuals who provided help during the research (e.g., providing language help, proof reading the article, etc.).

    As mentioned above, MethodsX acknowledges the valuable feedback that reviewers provide to further improve each manuscript before publication. We will therefore add the following standard sentence in each Acknowledgment section:

    "MethodsX thanks the reviewers of this article for taking the time to provide valuable feedback."

    If reviewers wish to be named individually, their name will be added in brackets after "reviewers".

    Essential title page information

    • Title. Concise and informative. Titles are often used in information-retrieval systems. Avoid abbreviations and formulae where possible.
    • Author names and affiliations. Where the family name may be ambiguous (e.g., a double name), please indicate this clearly. Present the authors' affiliation addresses (where the actual work was done) below the names. Indicate all affiliations with a lower-case superscript letter immediately after the author's name and in front of the appropriate address. Provide the full postal address of each affiliation, including the country name and, if available, the e-mail address of each author.
    • Corresponding author. Clearly indicate who will handle correspondence at all stages of refereeing publication, and post-publication. Ensure that phone numbers (with country and area code) are provided in addition to the e-mail address and the complete postal address. Contact details must be kept up to date by the corresponding author.
    • Present/permanent address. If an author has moved since the work described in the article was done, or was visiting at the time, a 'Present address' (or 'Permanent address') may be indicated as a footnote to that author's name. The address at which the author actually did the work must be retained as the main, affiliation address. Superscript Arabic numerals are used for such footnotes.

    Keywords
    Immediately after the abstract, provide a minimum of 6 keywords, using American spelling and avoiding plural terms and multiple concepts (avoid, for example, 'and', 'of...'). Be sparing with abbreviations: only abbreviations firmly established in the field may be eligible. These keywords will be used for indexing purposes.

    In addition to the keywords, you will be asked upon submission to separately name the methods your work relates to. This information will improve the discoverability of your article.

    Language (usage and editing services)

    Please write your text in good English (American or British usage is accepted, but not a mixture of these). Authors who feel their English language manuscript may require editing to eliminate possible grammar or spelling mistakes and to conform to correct scientific English may wish to use the English Language Editing service available from Elsevier's WebShop (http://webshop.elsevier.com/languageediting/) or visit our customer support site (http://support.elsevier.com) for more information.

    Image manipulations
    All Western blots should be presented with molecular weights noted, replicated, quantified and with statistical analysis. Cropping of the image is acceptable but must be clearly indicated. Merging images together to give the appearance of one image is not acceptable. The method of normalization to total protein, or where appropriate, a loading control (e.g. cell signaling studies) should be explicitly stated in the text. Images may be subjected to analysis for manipulation prior to publication and authors may be requested to provide copies of the original data.

    Color artwork
    Please make sure that artwork files are in an acceptable format (TIFF, EPS or MS Office files) and with the correct resolution. If, together with your accepted article, you submit usable color figures Elsevier will ensure, at no additional cost, that these figures appear in color on the Web (e.g., ScienceDirect and other sites. For further information on the preparation of electronic artwork, please see http://www.elsevier.com/artworkinstructions.

    Abbreviations
    Define abbreviations that are not standard in the field in a footnote to be placed on the first page of the article. Those abbreviations that cannot be avoided in the abstract must be defined at their first mention there, as well as in the footnote. Ensure consistency of abbreviations throughout the article.

    Database linking
    Elsevier encourages authors to connect articles with external databases, giving their readers one-click access to relevant databases that help to build a better understanding of the described research. Please refer to relevant database identifiers using the following format in your article: Database: xxxx (e.g., TAIR: AT1G01020; CCDC: 734053; PDB: 1XFN). See http://www.elsevier.com/databaselinking for more information and a full list of supported databases.

    Footnotes
    Footnotes should be used sparingly. Number them consecutively throughout the article. Many Word processors build footnotes into the text, and this feature may be used. Should this not be the case, indicate the position of footnotes in the text and present the footnotes themselves separately at the end of the article. Do not include footnotes in the Reference list.

    Table footnotes
    Indicate each table footnote with a superscript lowercase letter.

    Journal abbreviations source
    Journal names should be abbreviated according to the list of title word abbreviations: http://www.issn.org/2-22661-LTWA-online.php.

    Video data
    Elsevier accepts video material and animation sequences to support and enhance your scientific research. Authors who have video or animation files that they wish to submit with their article are strongly encouraged to include links to these within the body of the article. This can be done in the same way as a figure or table by referring to the video or animation content and noting in the body text where it should be placed. All submitted files should be properly labeled so that they directly relate to the video file's content. In order to ensure that your video or animation material is directly usable, please provide the files in one of our recommended file formats with a preferred maximum size of 50 MB. Video and animation files supplied will be published online in the electronic version of your article in Elsevier Web products, including ScienceDirect: http://www.sciencedirect.com. Please supply 'stills' with your files: you can choose any frame from the video or animation or make a separate image. These will be used instead of standard icons and will personalize the link to your video data. For more detailed instructions please visit our video instruction pages at http://www.elsevier.com/artworkinstructions. Note: since video and animation cannot be embedded in the print version of the journal, please provide text for both the electronic and the print version for the portions of the article that refer to this content.

    AudioSlides
    The journal encourages authors to create an AudioSlides presentation with their published article. AudioSlides are brief, webinar-style presentations that are shown next to the online article on ScienceDirect. This gives authors the opportunity to summarize their research in their own words and to help readers understand what the paper is about. More information and examples are available at http://www.elsevier.com/audioslides. Authors of this journal will automatically receive an invitation e-mail to create an AudioSlides presentation after acceptance of their paper.

    Submission checklist
    The following list will be useful during the final checking of an article prior to sending it to the journal for review. Please consult this Guide for Authors for further details of any item. Ensure that the following items are present:

    • Abstract: include up to 3 bullet points, highlighting how your work differs and/or what advantage it offers over pre-existing methods.
    • "Graphical Abstract": although not compulsory, it is strongly encouraged. For accepted manuscripts MethodsX can, if needed, provide free illustration service to improve the appearance of the graphical abstract.
    • Methods: focus on the technical steps required, and include information validating your method
    One author has been designated as the corresponding author with contact details:

    E-mail address
    Full postal address
    Telephone

    All necessary files have been uploaded, and contain:

    • Keywords
    • All figure captions
    • All tables (including title, description, footnotes)

    Further considerations
    • Manuscript has been 'spell-checked' and 'grammar-checked'
    • All references mentioned in the Reference list are cited in the text, and vice versa
    • Permission has been obtained for use of copyrighted material from other sources (including the Web)

    For any further general information please visit our customer support site at http://support.elsevier.com.

    AFTER ACCEPTANCE

    Use of the Digital Object Identifier
    The Digital Object Identifier (DOI) may be used to cite and link to electronic documents. The DOI consists of a unique alpha-numeric character string which is assigned to a document by the publisher upon the initial electronic publication. The assigned DOI never changes. Therefore, it is an ideal medium for citing a document, particularly 'Articles in press' because they have not yet received their full bibliographic information. Example of a correctly given DOI (in URL format; here an article in the journal Physics Letters B): http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.physletb.2010.09.059
    When you use a DOI to create links to documents on the web, the DOIs are guaranteed never to change.

    Online proof correction
    Corresponding authors will receive an e-mail with a link to our ProofCentral system, allowing annotation and correction of proofs online. The environment is similar to MS Word: in addition to editing text, you can also comment on figures/tables and answer questions from the Copy Editor. Web-based proofing provides a faster and less error-prone process by allowing you to directly type your corrections, eliminating the potential introduction of errors.
    If preferred, you can still choose to annotate and upload your edits on the PDF version. All instructions for proofing will be given in the e-mail we send to authors, including alternative methods to the online version and PDF.
    We will do everything possible to get your article published quickly and accurately - please upload all of your corrections within 48 hours. It is important to ensure that all corrections are sent back to us in one communication. Please check carefully before replying, as inclusion of any subsequent corrections cannot be guaranteed. Proofreading is solely your responsibility. Note that Elsevier may proceed with the publication of your article if no response is received.

    AUTHOR INQUIRIES
    For inquiries relating to the submission of articles (including electronic submission) please visit this journal's homepage. For detailed instructions on the preparation of electronic artwork, please visit http://www.elsevier.com/artworkinstructions. Contact details for questions arising after acceptance of an article, especially those relating to proofs, will be provided by the publisher. You can track accepted articles at http://www.elsevier.com/trackarticle. You can also check our Author FAQs at http://www.elsevier.com/authorFAQ and/or contact Customer Support via http://support.elsevier.com.

Advertisement

advert image