Highlights are three to five (three to four for Cell Press articles) result-oriented points that provide readers with an at-a-glance overview of the main findings of your article. Think of them as a quick snippet of the results—short and sweet. Each Highlight must be 85 characters or fewer, including spaces, and the Highlights together must clearly convey only the results of the study. Ideas, concepts and methods are best saved for the abstract or “In Brief” paragraph (currently in Cell Press journals only). Don't try to capture every piece of data or conclusion. Let the paper do the talking.

Highlights offer your paper an advantage in the online world. At a glance, readers can view the results of a manuscript and quickly identify what they want to read, without having to dig through abstracts. The more eyes scanning your Highlights, the easier it is for readers to discover something they might not have stumbled upon otherwise.

The nitty gritty

  • Not part of editorial consideration and aren't required until the final files stage
  • Only required for full research articles
  • Must be provided as a Word document— select "Highlights" from the drop-down list when uploading files
  • Each Highlight can be no more than 85 characters, including spaces.
  • No jargon, acronyms, or abbreviations; aim for a general audience and use keywords
  • Consider the reader—Highlights are the first thing they'll see


From: Cancer Cell, Volume 32, Issue 2, 14 August 2017, Pages 169-184.e7


  • Metastases mostly disseminate late from primary breast tumors, keeping most drivers
  • Drivers at relapse sample from a wider range of cancer genes than in primary tumors
  • Mutations in SWI-SNF complex and inactivated JAK-STAT signaling enriched at relapse
  • Mutational processes similar in primary and relapse; radiotherapy can damage genome

From: Learning and Instruction, Volume 21, Issue 6, December 2011, 746-756


  • Fading of a script alone does not foster domain-general strategy knowledge
  • Performance of the strategy declines during the fading of a script
  • Monitoring by a peer keeps performance of the strategy up during script fading
  • Performance of a strategy after fading fosters domain-general strategy knowledge
  • Fading and monitoring by a peer combined foster domain-general strategy knowledge