Guide for Authors

Preparing and submitting your manuscript

Cell Metabolism publishes research papers and review material from a variety of disciplines, unified under the theme of cellular and physiological homeostasis in health and disease. As a cross-disciplinary journal, accessibility for a more general readership and clarity of presentation are key, and authors? efforts in this regard will assist greatly in the evaluation of their work.

Research Papers

Research papers should report novel findings that are of exceptional significance in their field. Cell Metabolism publishes primary research articles in two formats, full papers and short papers.

Full papers

Most submissions are expected to be in full paper format. These should have a character count of less than 55,000 (including spaces), with no more than seven display items (figures and tables combined).

Short papers

These should fit into less than six published pages, with a character count of less than 32,000 characters (including spaces) and no more than four display items (figures and tables combined). Short papers follow the same general organization as full papers.

All research papers should include:

Title: No more than 150 characters (including spaces).

Summary: A specific abstract of the experimental results of fewer than 150 words. It is especially important that the Summary make the general significance and conceptual advance clear to a broad readership. References should not be cited.

Introduction: Please be succinct, yet complete. No subheadings.

Results: May be separate or integrated with the Discussion in a single section. Each figure panel should be explicitly cited.

Discussion: May be separate or integrated with Results in a single section. Again, please be succinct.

Experimental Procedures: This section should contain sufficient detail so that all procedures can be repeated, in conjunction with cited references.

References: All in-text citations and listed references should be set in Cell Press style: in text citations should include first author surname and year of publication (eg. Smith et al., 2004), and the reference list should be in alphabetical order. The reference list should include only articles that are published or in press. See style notes below for examples. Unpublished data, submitted manuscripts, abstracts, and personal communications (documented by a letter of permission) should be noted only within the text.


The combined number of tables and figures should not exceed seven. Authors will be charged $1000 for the first color figure and $250 for each additional color figure, which partially defrays the cost of separating and printing color figures. Photographs should be provided with a scale bar, if appropriate. Before sending figures, please refer to the guidelines for submission, which can be found below.

Figure Legends

Legends should be included in the submitted manuscript as a separate section. Each figure legend should have a brief, separate title that describes the entire figure without citing specific panels.


Tables should include a title, and footnotes and/or legend should be concise. If possible, try to avoid separating columns with tabs or spaces. Instead, please use the Microsoft Word table function. Include tables in the submitted manuscript as a separate section.

Review Material


Previews are concise, informative essays that highlight the significance and implications of newly published papers or topics of experimental research. A premium is placed on making the text accessible to researchers in other areas. The length may be up to 1,200 words, with no more than 10 references to published material. Each Preview submission should include short single-sentence summary of the general content. Most Previews are commissioned, but timely unsolicited contributions will be considered.


Reviews should highlight and put into perspective the latest advances in subjects of exceptional general interest. Not more than 3000 words and 50 references, most Reviews are commissioned by the editors, but unsolicited proposals will be considered. Each Review submission should include a short summary (fewer than 100 words) of its content.

Style notes:

  • All text should be double spaced.
  • Gene symbols should be italicized; protein products are not italicized.
  • Non-standard abbreviations should be defined when first used in the text.
  • Please use American spelling.
  • Footnotes should not be used and will be transferred to the text.
  • The reference style is as follows:

Article in a periodical: Sondheimer, N., and Lindquist, S. (2000). Rnq1: an epigenetic modifier of protein function in yeast. Mol. Cell 5, 163-172.

Article in a book: Sorenson, P.W., and Caprio, J.C. (1998). Chemoreception. In The Physiology of Fishes, D.H. Evans, ed. (Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press), pp. 375-405.

An entire book: Cowan, W.M., Jessell, T.M., and Zipursky, S.L. (1997). Molecular and Cellular Approaches to Neural Development (New York: Oxford University Press).

Figures for Manuscripts Submitted for ReviewFigures submitted for review (via Editorial Manager) can be in any of the following formats. They should adhere generally to the style guidelines outlined under Figures for Accepted Manuscripts (below).Image formats for figures in manuscripts submitted for review:
• TIFF (.tif)
• Encapsulated Postscript (.eps)
• Postscript (.ps)
• Portable Document File (.pdf)
• JPEG (.jpg)

Please note that in order to use electronic submission, you will need to convert Adobe Photoshop/Illustrator and Microsoft PowerPoint files to one of the formats listed above.

Figures for Accepted Manuscripts

Once a manuscript is accepted for publication, authors will be asked to send the following:
§ Two sets of high-quality glossy hard copies that can be used for scanning (if necessary) and color matching.
§ High-resolution digital files. Please see Resolution Requirements below.

For figures that have multiple panels, the labels should be set in uppercase Helvetica or Arial. Each figure must be assembled into one file that prints onto one 8½ x 11 page. Please do not print separate panels on multiple pages.

Image formats for figures in accepted manuscripts:
• TIFF (.tif) (preferred format for raster image files)
• Encapsulated Postscript (.eps) (preferred format for vector image files)
• Postscript (.ps)
• Adobe Illustrator (.ai)
• Adobe Photoshop (all versions) (.psd)
• Portable Document File (.pdf)
• JPEG (.jpg)

TIFF Files (.tif)

TIFF is our preferred format.

Encapsulated Postscript Files (.eps)

As with all vector files (Adobe Illustrator, etc.), when saving as .eps, please be sure to embed all fonts or convert to outlines or paths.

Postscript Files (.ps)

There are many different drawing programs, not all of them supported by the software we use. From almost all of these programs, you should be able to produce a postscript file. When printing, select to print to a (postscript) file, rather than printing by default to a printer. The image must be in portrait orientation. Please be sure to embed all fonts when you save as postscript.

Resolution Requirements

For black and white photographs or micrographs and for any type of graph or drawing in grayscale, the resolution of your file should be a minimum of 500 dpi. For figures that contain color, the resolution should be a minimum of 300 dpi.

Color Images

Please submit your figures in the color mode (RGB or CMYK) in which you originally created them - do not convert your files. If possible, embed the ICC profile. For printing, we will convert RGB colors to CMYK, so please check a CMYK version of the figures before submission. Alert the Managing Editor if you think the color shift may pose a problem.

Figure Sizing

The publisher reserves the right to resize figures. Please note that 16 cm is the maximum width at which figures can be printed; the maximum height is 23 cm.

File Naming

Please name files by first author and number of figure, e.g., Smith1.tif, Smith2.tif, etc.

Submission of Research ArticlesCell Metabolism encourages authors to submit manuscripts via our online submission system, Editorial Manager ( ). If you need assistance with Editorial Manager please contact the editorial office at

Manuscript file types that we can accept for online submission include Word, WordPerfect, RTF, and TXT; figure file types include TIFF, JPEG, EPS, Postscript, and PDF (see below for figure specifications). Please do not submit Excel, PowerPoint, Photoshop, or Illustrator files to Cell Metabolism for review purposes, as Editorial Manager does not support these file types. Required items differ for each article type and are specified during the uploading of files for review. Note that abstracts need to be submitted as text files separate from the body of the manuscript as well as within the manuscript file. If you are unable to submit your manuscript online, a copy of the manuscript can be sent to The Editors, Cell Metabolism, Cell Press, 1100 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02138.

Please note: If a paper is accepted for publication, the author will be asked to send hard copies of all text and figures, as well as a Microsoft Word file of the text and digital files of the figures on a single CD.

If a manuscript is closely related to papers in press or submitted elsewhere, it will be considered for publication only after copies of these papers are provided. 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 two months of the date of the original decision.

Editorial policies and procedures

Reviewing and Publication Schedule

All submissions will be subject to an immediate screening process by the Editors. Those that meet the criteria for consideration will normally be sent to reviewers who have agreed in advance to assess the paper rapidly. The Editors will make every effort to reach decisions on these papers within four weeks of the submission date. Papers that do not conform to the general criteria for publication will be returned immediately, without detailed review. Accepted papers will appear in the next available issue.

Conflict of Interest Policy

Cell Metabolism requires all authors to disclose any financial conflict of interest that might be construed to influence the results or interpretation of their manuscript. Authors must declare any such conflict in the cover letter accompanying the manuscript and in the acknowledgments section of the manuscript itself. As a guideline, any affiliation associated with a payment or financial benefit exceeding $10,000 p.a. or 5% ownership of a company with related interests would constitute a conflict that must be declared. This policy applies to all submitted research manuscripts and review material.

Distribution of Materials and Data
Publication of a research article in Cell Metabolism 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 Editor.

Nucleic acid and protein sequences, macromolecular structures determined by X-ray crystallography (along with structure factors), and microarray data must be deposited in the appropriate public database and must be accessible without restriction from the date of publication. An entry name or accession number must be included at the last paragraph of the Experimental Procedures section in the final version of the manuscript. Microarray data should be MIAME compliant (for guidelines see ).

In addition to the information that must be deposited in public databases as detailed above, authors are encouraged to contribute additional information to the appropriate databases. Authors are also encouraged to deposit materials used in their studies to the appropriate repositories for distribution to researchers.

Prepublication Publicity Policy

Work intended for submission to Cell Metabolism, currently under consideration at Cell Metabolism, or "in press" at Cell Metabolism may not be discussed with the media (including other scientific journals) before publication. Providing preprints, granting interviews, discussing data with members of the media, or participating in press conferences in advance of publication without prior approval from the Cell Press editorial office may be grounds for rejection. Authors are welcome to present and discuss material intended for publication in Cell Metabolism at scientific meetings; however, we do require that they refrain from discussing the findings with members of the press beyond those included in the formal presentation. In addition, we encourage meeting organizers to contact our editorial office in advance of a meeting if they have any questions regarding this policy.