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
• Open access
• Peer review
• AudioSlides
• 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.

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.

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 an 'Exclusive License Agreement' (for more information see Materials Today is an open access publication and reuse of open access articles is determined by the 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

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 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.

Elsevier supports responsible sharing
Find out how you can share your research published in Elsevier journals.

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 funding bodies will reimburse the author for the Open Access Publication Fee. Details of existing agreements are available online.
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.

Elsevier Publishing Campus
The Elsevier Publishing Campus ( is an online platform offering free lectures, interactive training and professional advice to support you in publishing your research. The College of Skills training offers modules on how to prepare, write and structure your article and explains how editors will look at your paper when it is submitted for publication. Use these resources, and more, to ensure that your submission will be the best that you can make it.

Peer review

This journal operates a single blind review process. All contributions will be initially assessed by the editor for suitability for the journal. Papers deemed suitable are then sent to a minimum of two independent expert reviewers to assess the scientific quality of the paper. The Editor is responsible for the final decision regarding acceptance or rejection of articles. The Editor's decision is final. More information on types of peer review.

Reference management software
Most Elsevier journals have their reference template available in many of the most popular reference management software products. These include all products that support Citation Style Language styles, such as Mendeley and Zotero, as well as EndNote. Using the word processor plug-ins from these products, authors only need to select the appropriate journal template when preparing their article, after which citations and bibliographies will be automatically formatted in the journal's style. If no template is yet available for this journal, please follow the format of the sample references and citations as shown in this Guide.

Users of Mendeley Desktop can easily install the reference style for this journal by clicking the following link:
When preparing your manuscript, you will then be able to select this style using the Mendeley plug-ins for Microsoft Word or LibreOffice.


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. Authors of this journal will automatically receive an invitation e-mail to create an AudioSlides presentation after acceptance of their paper.

Interactive plots

This journal enables you to show an Interactive Plot with your article by simply submitting a data file. Full instructions.