Materials and Methods Articles

Publish, share and discover materials and methods in peer-reviewed, brief articles

Materials and methods articles are brief, peer-reviewed publications about the methods developed and materials used during a research cycle. They recognize the time researchers spend customizing methods and creating materials including hardware and original laboratory resources. By publishing the description of method customizations and resource details, researchers can share their findings, helping other researchers reuse, reproduce and cite information throughout their research cycle.

Why publish a materials and methods article?

  • Get the credit for methods and materials developed
  • Facilitate reproducibility by thoroughly describing materials and methods
  • Open doors for new collaborations
  • Prepare and submit easily, using a template

Materials and methods articles are easy to submit and subject to a quick and transparent peer review process. Templates ensure that articles describing materials and methods developed are actively reviewed, curated and formatted. In addition, the articles will be indexed and made available immediately upon publication.

Journals that publish materials and methods articles include MethodsX and Stem Cell Research. They provide template-based, brief article formats to help researchers get credit for the work they have done.

Not every method is novel enough to warrant a full research article. However, the customizations researchers make to methods, and the new materials they use, can be useful for others, saving them valuable time in developing their own approaches. With materials and methods articles, researchers can record the customizations they made to existing methods, and any new materials they developed, and get credit when others use them.

Materials and methods articles are part of Research Elements: articles that support the publication of research output, including data, software materials and methods – in brief, citable articles complementary to final research articles.

Why publish materials and methods articles?

Sharing information about materials and methods gives researchers credit for the work they have done and helps save others time. Materials and methods articles provide a peer-reviewed, quick and easy way to share and get cited for the work that goes into developing methods and materials, in addition to making them available.

Ease and speed of submission

A template is available with standardized formatting for materials and methods articles. This provides authors with a quick and easy way to write up their article in addition to their full research article. Materials and methods articles can be submitted directly to participating journals.

Quick and transparent peer review

The article template makes it easy for reviewers – experts in the relevant field – to review the submission efficiently and ensure that all necessary information is provided. The template also shows authors exactly what reviewers are looking for in their materials and methods article, speeding up the review process.

Supporting Journals

Go to journal MethodsX 

MethodsX welcomes submissions that describe customized methods from all research areas. 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 is open access, it is even more visible and citable, giving your work the exposure it deserves. A number of Elsevier journals in life sciences offer authors the possibility to co-submit one or more method articles alongside their research article. See list of participating Elsevier journals.

HardwareX | Journal Cover 

HardwareX publishes articles related to research hardware and instruments. HardwareX aims to recognize researchers for the time and effort in developing scientific infrastructure while providing end-users with sufficient information to replicate and validate the advances presented. HardwareX is open to input from all scientific, technological and medical disciplines.

Materials & Methods articles are also supported by:

Go to journal Stem Cell Research

Stem Cell Research publishes Lab Resource: Stem Cell Line are short, structured articles detailing the establishment of new pluripotent stem cell lines, generated by SCNT and reprogramming or the establishment of genetically modified stem cell sub-lines.

Go to journal Genomics Data

Genomics Data publishes Lab Resources describing various types of original biological resources useful for genomics research: biological reagents, home-made tools and software.

Go to Journal Toxicology Letters

Toxicology Letters publishes Lab Resource: Cell Line,  describing the obtention and characterization of unique cell lines for use as an in vitro model system for toxicology testing.

Protocols | Colloids and Surfaces B: Biointerfaces 

Colloids and Surfaces B: Biointerfaces publishes Protocols, expert research guidelines on how to use an experimental set-up. Protocols of methods should deal with fundamental and applied research on colloid and interfacial phenomena in relation to systems of biological origin.