Guide for Authors

MethodsX 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:

To watch our five-minute overview highlighting the most important information for authors see here


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, you are encouraged to submit a list of potential reviewer (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 in the course of the submission process (submission step entitled Enter Comments).

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 here) 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 USD 600 which needs to be met by the authors or their research funders upon acceptance.

Retained author rights
As an author you (or your employer or institution) retain certain rights, including copyright; for details you are referred to here

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.

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 the agreements page.

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

Ethics in publishing
For information on Ethics in publishing and Ethical guidelines for journal publication see the publishing ethics and author ethics pages.

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; EU Directive 2010/63/EU for animal experiments; Uniform Requirements for manuscripts submitted to Biomedical journals. 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, 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 here for further information and an example of a Conflict of Interest form can be found here.

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. Examples are available here

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

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 the journal authors pages or from Elsevier's Author Services.

Types of article
MethodsX publishes two types of articles, Method articles and Protocol articles.

  • Method articles describe new methods in all research areas.
  • Protocol articles focus on the life and health science areas.

Please select and download the correct template to prepare your article: Method article template or Protocol article template.

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 or visit our support center for more information.

Graphical abstract
A Graphical abstract is mandatory for this journal. 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 here for examples.

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.

Data references
This journal encourages you to cite underlying or relevant datasets in your manuscript by citing them in your text and including a data reference in your Reference List. Data references should include the following elements: author name(s), dataset title, data repository, version (where available), year, and global persistent identifier. Add [dataset] immediately before the reference so we can properly identify it as a data reference. This identifier will not appear in your published article.
Example: [dataset] [5] M. Oguro, S. Imahiro, S. Saito, T. Nakashizuka, Mortality data for Japanese oak wilt disease and surrounding forest compositions, Mendeley Data, v1, 2015.

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 here

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 database linking for more information and a full list of supported databases.

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 here.

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.

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: 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. 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.

Submission checklist
Check the correct template has been used to prepare your article: Method article template or Protocol article template.

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 Support Center.


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):
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.

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 Artwork instructions. You can also track accepted articles here, check our Journal Authors page and/or contact the Elsevier Support Center. Contact details for questions arising after acceptance of an article, especially those relating to proofs, will be provided by the publisher.