Guide for Authors

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Sci. Bull. is indexed by Science Citation Index, Chemical Abstracts, Ei Compendex, Scopus, Google Scholar, Inspec, Academic Search Alumni Edition, Academic Search Complete, Academic Search Elite, Academic Search Premier, ASFA 1: Biological Sciences and Living Resources, ASFA 2: Ocean Technology, Policy and Non-Living Resources, Biological Sciences, Biological Abstracts, BIOSIS Previews, CAB Abstracts, Current Contents/Physical, Chemical and Earth Sciences, Current Mathematical Publications, Digital Mathematics Registry, EMBio, Environmental Engineering Abstracts, Environmental Sciences and Pollution Management, Mathematical Reviews, MathSciNet, Meteorological and Geoastrophysical Abstracts, Pollution Abstracts, Water Resources Abstracts, Zentralblatt MATH, and Zoological Record.

Criteria for publication

The criteria for publication in Sci. Bull. include:

  • Originality and creativity of the research
  • Significant scientific importance
  • Interest to a broad interdisciplinary readership

Review policy and procedures

Sci. Bull. adopts a rigorous peer-review procedure and publishes only about 10% of the papers submitted each year. All submissions (including invited papers, which comprise approximately 10% of all published manuscripts) are initially evaluated carefully by the scientific editors and executive editors who have a broader perspective and wider context. Manuscripts that fall outside the journal's scope and those that are not deemed by the editors to be strong candidates for publication will be returned to the authors before peer-review, typically within 3–5 working days. The manuscripts passing the initial review will be assigned to associate editors, and then sent to qualified peer reviewers. The editors will make every effort to reach decisions on these papers within 4 weeks of the submission date.

Sci. Bull. invites an editorial board consisting of more than 100 top scientists throughout the world to ensure the editorial decisions made are independent, unbiased and professional. Being a multidisciplinary scientific journal, the editorial criteria can be made uniform across disciplines. Sci. Bull. does not have a guest editor policy for now.

Please note that Sci. Bull. offers Fast-Track review and publication for papers that require rapid assessment. The main selection criterion for Fast-Track paper is the scientific merit of a paper.

Types of Paper

Articles
Originally repot substantial advances regarding an important scientific problem. Articles normally include a 250-word abstract, 4-6 keywords, up to 6 figures or tables and 60 references. Other supporting information should usually be included in supplementary materials that will only be published online. Articles are suggested to be limited to 10 print pages, including references, captions and notes.

Reviews
Summarize the recent progress in certain core scientific disciplines, comment on the research status, and highlight future directions. They should focus on one topical aspect rather than providing a comprehensive literature survey. Review papers should closely relate to, but not only focus on the author's own research work. Reviews are usually solicited by editors, but unsolicited submissions may also be considered. Reviews are suggested to be limited to 15 pages including up to 100 references, a 250-word abstract, 4-6 keywords and a maximum of 10 displayed items.

Short Communications
Provide rapid and concise report of a novel finding that is brief in nature but is of general interest to a broad readership. Short Communications are expected to be less than 3 printed pages with 1–2 displayed items and less than 15 references. Abstract and keywords are not needed. Thus, the beginning paragraphs should present concise yet sufficient background information that would allow the readers to appreciate the rationale of the work, and put the study in a proper perspective. Any other supporting information (if necessary) should be submitted as Supplementary materials.

Perspectives
Provide fresh insights on new advances of a specific research field of science and technology, or scientific policy and other issues related to science community. Authors should not primarily discuss their own work. While snapshot the issue or problem, perspectives are expected to propose a solution in detail. Perspectives should be less than 3000 words with a maximum of 15 references and 1–2 displayed items.

Research Highlights
Highlight and explain potential scientific significance of a most recent exciting research. Research Highlights should be limited to approximately 2000 words with 1 displayed item and 15 references.

News and Views
Introduce or comment on recent scientific advances or issues that have major influence on science or scientific community. News and Views are generally solicited and are expected to have no more than 2000 words with 1 displayed item and 15 references.

Commentaries
Comment on a recent scientific publication, a general scientific issue, or a policy of broad interest. While snapshot an issue or problem, commentaries are expected to propose a solution in detail. Commentaries are usually limited to 1 page (~1000 words) with less than 10 references.

Correspondences
Remark on a recent publication in Sci Bull. or a brief introduction of a recent research advance. Correspondences are generally within 1 page ( ~1000 words) withless than 10 references.


Please ensure that you select the appropriate article type from the list of options when making your submission.

Ethics in Publishing

Sci Bull is committed to upholding the integrity of the scientific record. As a member of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE), the journal will follow the COPE guidelines on how to deal with potential acts of misconduct.

All submissions to Sci Bull must conform to the ethical standards printed below. To confirm their agreement with this, authors are required to include the following statement in their cover letter indicating their agreement with these standards: "I have read and have abided by the statement of ethical standards for manuscripts submitted to Sci Bull." A list of ethical standards is not required in the cover letter.

Policy and ethics

The authors declare that all experiments on animal or human subjects were conducted in accordance with the Declaration of Helsinki and that all procedures were carried out with the adequate understanding and written consent of the subjects.

The authors also certify that formal approval to conduct the experiments described has been obtained from the animal/human subjects review board of their institution and could be provided upon request.

If the ethical standard governing the reported research is different from those guidelines indicated above, the authors must provide information in the manuscript about which guidelines and oversight procedures were followed.

The following statements should be included in the "Materials and methods" or in the text before the References section:
Ethical approval: "All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards" or "All applicable institutional and/or national guidelines for the care and use of animals were followed".

For studies with animals: all animal experiments should comply with the ARRIVE guidelines.

For random clinical research: clinical trials/research should comply with the CONSORT guidelines.

For systematic reviews/meta-analyses: system reviews/meta-analyses should comply with the PRISMA guidelines.

The Editors reserve the right to return manuscripts in which there is any question as to the appropriate and ethical use of human or animal subjects.

For more information on Ethics in Publishing and Ethical guidelines for journal publication see
https://www.elsevier.com/publishingethics and https://www.elsevier.com/ethicalguidelines.

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 http://www.elsevier.com/conflictsofinterest.

Declaration of competing interest

All authors must disclose any financial and personal relationships with other people or organizations that could inappropriately influence (bias) their work. Examples of potential conflicts of interest include employment, consultancies, stock ownership, honoraria, paid expert testimony, patent applications/registrations, and grants or other funding. Authors should complete the declaration of competing interest statement using this template and upload to the submission system at the Attach/Upload Files step. Note: Please do not convert the .docx template to another file type. Author signatures are not required. If there are no interests to declare, please choose the first option in the template. More information.

Submission Declaration and Verification

Submission of an article implies that the work described has not been published previously or 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 in the same form in any language, including electronically without the written consent of the copyright-holder. To verify originality, your article may be checked by the originality detection service CrossCheck.

Submission Checklist

The following list will be useful during the final checking of an article prior to sending it to the journal for review. Please consult this Guide for Authors for further details of any item.

Ensure that the following items are present:
Corresponding Author (s) has been designated

  • E-mail Address
  • Full Postal Address
  • Telephone and fax numbers

All necessary files have been uploaded

  • Keywords
  • All figure captions
  • All tables (including title, description, footnotes)

Further considerations:

  • Manuscript has been "spellchecked" and "grammar-checked"
  • References are in the correct format for this journal
  • 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
  • Color figures are clearly marked as being intended for color reproduction online only or to be reproduced in color both online and in print

For any further information please visit our customer support site at https://service.elsevier.com.

Manuscript rejection Editorial decisions are not simply based on counting votes or rank assessments. Sci. Bull. only has space to publish a relatively small portion of submitted papers each year and the primary responsibilities of us are to our readers and the scientific community at large; therefore, many submissions will be declined, despite favorable peer-review comments sometimes. Sci. Bull. does not encourage appeal or request for additional reviews if the reviews are accurate. However, under certain circumstances, such as the reviews are unfair with solid evidence provided by the author(s), the manuscript will be reconsidered and the EIC will accept the appeal and initiate the appeal process. Please note that any appeal should be made by the corresponding author to the Editorial Office by email before resubmitting the manuscript. Please do not resubmit the revised version of a rejected manuscript without getting a response from the Editorial Office.

Use of inclusive language

Inclusive language acknowledges diversity, conveys respect to all people, is sensitive to differences, and promotes equal opportunities. Content should make no assumptions about the beliefs or commitments of any reader; contain nothing which might imply that one individual is superior to another on the grounds of age, gender, race, ethnicity, culture, sexual orientation, disability or health condition; and use inclusive language throughout. Authors should ensure that writing is free from bias, stereotypes, slang, reference to dominant culture and/or cultural assumptions. We advise to seek gender neutrality by using plural nouns ("clinicians, patients/clients") as default/wherever possible to avoid using "he, she," or "he/she." We recommend avoiding the use of descriptors that refer to personal attributes such as age, gender, race, ethnicity, culture, sexual orientation, disability or health condition unless they are relevant and valid. When coding terminology is used, we recommend to avoid offensive or exclusionary terms such as "master", "slave", "blacklist" and "whitelist". We suggest using alternatives that are more appropriate and (self-) explanatory such as "primary", "secondary", "blocklist" and "allowlist". These guidelines are meant as a point of reference to help identify appropriate language but are by no means exhaustive or definitive.

Authorship

Corresponding author(s)

Corresponding author(s) are responsible for clarifying any issues, such as those pertaining to materials and methods, or technical comments. If Sci Bull receives feedback from its readers concerning the published paper, the corresponding author will be contacted.

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 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.

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.

Copyright

Upon acceptance of an article, E-mail will be sent to the corresponding author confirming the acceptance of the manuscript together with a "Copyright Transfer Agreement" form or a link to the online version of this agreement.

Subscribers may reproduce tables of contents or prepare lists of articles including abstracts for internal circulation within their institutions. Permission of Sci Bull is required for resale or distribution outside the institution and for all other derivative works, including compilations and translations. If excerpts from other copyrighted works are included, the author(s) must obtain written permission from the copyright owners and credit the source(s) in the article. Sci Bull has preprinted forms for use by authors in these cases, please contact csb@scichina.org when needed.

Role of the Funding Source

Authors are requested to identify the financial support for the conduct of the research and/or preparation of the article and to briefly describe the role of the sponsor(s) in Acknowledgements.Please note to provide a statement even if there is no funding for the paper.

Open access

Sci. Bull. offers authors a choice for Open Access in publishing their research. Upon acceptance of an article, authors will be asked to complete the Exclusive License Agreement. The open access publication fee is USD 2500, excluding taxes.

Manuscript Submission

Manuscripts should be submitted via online submission at https://mc03.manuscriptcentral.com/csb. If you have problems with the online submission, please contact Sci Bull Editorial Office by email at csb@scichina.org or by phone at 86-10-64036120. Please make sure you have prepared all the required manuscript information listed as follows before starting submission. If you are submitting a revised manuscript, please enclose a "Responses to the reviewers" to answer the reviewers and the editors' comments, together with the revised manuscript with all the changes highlighted.

Referees

Sci. Bull. uses a single-blind peer-review system. As Sci. Bull. receives many more submissions than it can publish, referees are asked to keep in mind that general guidelines as followed should be met if a paper is to be published in Sci. Bull.:

  • The paper is important to researchers of the specific field
  • The topic is interesting to a broad scientific audience
  • The data are technically valid and sound
  • The manuscript provides strong evidence for its conclusion
  • The results of the research are novel and significant

To save authors' and referees' time, all submissions are initially evaluated carefully by the scientific editors and executive editors who have a broader perspective and wider context. The manuscripts evaluated to be of potential interest to our readership will be assigned to associate editors, and then sent to three qualified referees (typically). Normally, the referees will be requested to complete review and submit their comments within 2 weeks of accepting the invitation. To avoid potential conflict, in-house article submission by Editor-in-Chief or Editorial Board members (including their family members or colleagues) will be evaluated with a double-blind system and the member him/herself will not participate in any review process of the specific submission.

Manuscript Preparation
Cover Letter

Please include:

  • The names, affiliation, phone numbers and e-mail address of corresponding author(s)
  • Total number of words of the manuscript
  • Conflict of interest statement for all authors
  • Brief introduction to the significance of the research work
  • Statement of responsibility that specifies the contribution of each author

Article organization

Manuscripts are suggested to be arranged in the following order:

    a.Title page
    b.Abstract
    c.Keywords
    d.Introduction
    e.Materials and methods
    f.Results
    g.Discussion and conclusion
    h.Conflict of interest
    i.Acknowledgments
    j.Author contributions
    k.References
    l.Figure captions
    m.Tables
    n.Artwork
    o.Supplementary materials
    p.Data availability
a. Title page

  • A concise and informative title
  • The name(s) of the author(s). All authors are responsible for the content of the manuscript
  • The affiliation(s) and address(es) of the author(s)
  • The current e-mail address, telephone numbers of the corresponding author(s)

b. Abstract

One single paragraph of no more than 250 words that clearly describe the major findings reported in the manuscript.

c. Keywords

Provide a list of 4-6 words/phrases that reflect the specificity of the paper for indexing purposes in order of importance. Careful selection of keywords will help researchers to retrieve, read and cite your paper.

d. Introduction

Briefly introduce the purpose of the study and its relationship to earlier work in the field. Usually no more than one formatted page.

e. Materials and methods

Briefly but sufficiently describe the details to permit a qualified reader to repeat the experiments. Previously published procedures should be referenced without detailed description.

When reporting studies that involve human participants, authors should include a statement that the studies have been approved by the appropriate institutional and/or national research ethics committee and have been performed in accordance with the ethical standards as laid down in the 1964 Declaration of Helsinki and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

f.Results

Concisely present experimental results in text or display items (tables or figures).

g. Discussion and conclusion

Should focus on the interpretation of the results and avoid repeated information that already existed in the "Introduction" and "Results" sections.

h. Conflict of Interest

Authors must disclose all relationships or interests that could influence or bias the work. Examples of potential conflicts of interests that are directly or indirectly related to the research may include but not limited to the following:

  • Research grants from funding agencies (please give the research funder and the grant number)
  • Honoraria for speaking at symposia
  • Financial support for attending symposia
  • Financial support for educational programs
  • Employment or consultation
  • Support from a project sponsor
  • Position on advisory board or board of directors or other types of management relationships
  • Multiple affiliations
  • Financial relationships, e.g., equity ownership or investment interest
  • Intellectual property rights (e.g., patents, copyrights and royalties from such rights)
  • Holdings of spouse and/or children that may have financial interest in the work

In addition, interests that go beyond financial interests and compensation (non-financial interests) that may be important to readers should be disclosed. These may include but are not limited to personal relationships or competing interests directly or indirectly tied to this research, or professional interests or personal beliefs that may influence your research.

The corresponding author will include a summary statement in the text of the manuscript in a separate section before the reference list. An example of disclosure is shown below:

Conflict of interest: Author A has received research grants from Company A. Author B has received a speaker honorarium from Company X and owns stock in Company Y. Author C is a member of committee Z.

    If no conflict exists, the authors should state: "Conflict of interest: The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest."


i. Acknowledgments

Acknowledgments of grants, funds, people, etc. should be placed in a separate section before the reference list. The names of funding organizations should be written in full.

j. Author contributions

Authors are required to include a statement to specify the contributions of each co-author. The statement can be up to several sentences long, describing the tasks of individual authors referred to by their initials.

    k. References

    • Citation
      Reference citations in the text should be numbered consecutively in square brackets. Some examples:

      (i) Negotiation research spans many disciplines [3, 4].
      (ii) This result was later contradicted by Becker and Seligman [5].
      (iii) This effect has been widely studied [1-3, 7].

    • References list

      The list of references should only include work that is cited in the text and that has been published or accepted for publication. Personal communications and unpublished work should only be mentioned in the text. Do not use footnotes or endnotes as a substitute for a reference list.

    Please always use the standard abbreviation of a journal's name according to the ISSN List of Title Word Abbreviations, see www.issn.org/2-22661- LTWA-online.php.

    Reference to a journal publication:

      [1] Van der Geer J, Hanraads JAJ, Lupton RA. The art of writing a scientific article. J Sci Commun 2000;163:51-9.

      [2] Lei Y, Liu Y, Song H, et al. A wetness index derived from tree-rings in the Mt. Yishan area of China since 1755 AD and its agricultural implications. Sci Bull 2014;59:3449-56.

      Reference to a book:

      [3] Strunk Jr W, White EB. The elements of style. 3rd ed. New York: Macmillan; 1979.

      Reference to a chapter in an edited book:

      [4] Mettam GR, Adams LB. How to prepare an electronic version of your article. In: Jones BS, Smith RZ, editors. Introduction to the electronic age. New York: E-Publishing Inc; 1999, p. 281-304.



    i. Figure captions

    Ensure that each illustration has a caption. Supply captions separately, not attached to the figure. A caption should comprise a brief title (not on the figure itself) and a description of the illustration. Keep text in the illustrations themselves to a minimum but explain all symbols and abbreviations used.

    m. Tables

    Number tables consecutively in accordance with their appearance in the text. Place footnotes to tables below the table body and indicate them with superscript lowercase letters. Avoid vertical rules. Be sparing in the use of tables and ensure that the data presented in tables do not duplicate results described elsewhere in the article.

    n. Artwork

    General points

    • Make sure you use uniform lettering and sizing of your original artwork.
    • Save text in illustrations as "graphics" or enclose the font.
    • Only use the following fonts in your illustrations: Arial, Courier, Times, Symbol.
    • Number the illustrations according to their sequence in the text.
    • Use a logical naming convention for your artwork files.
    • Provide captions to illustrations separately.
    • Produce images near to the desired size of the printed version.
    • Submit each figure as a separate file.

    A detailed guide on electronic artwork is available on our website:https://www.elsevier.com/artworkinstructions

    Formats
    Regardless of the application used, when your electronic artwork is finalized, please "save as" or convert the images to one of the following formats (note the resolution requirements for line drawings, halftones, and line/halftone combinations given below):

    EPS: Vector drawings. Embed the font or save the text as "graphics".
    TIFF: Color or grayscale photographs (halftones): always use a minimum of 300 dpi.
    TIFF: Bitmapped line drawings: use a minimum of 1000 dpi.
    TIFF: Combinations bitmapped line/half-tone (color or grayscale): a minimum of 500 dpi is required.

    If your electronic artwork is created in a Microsoft Office application (Word, PowerPoint, Excel) then please supply "as is".

    Please do not:
    a. Supply files that are optimised for screen use (like GIF, BMP, PICT, WPG); the resolution is too low;
    b. Supply files that are too low in resolution;
    c. Submit graphics that are disproportionately large for the content.

    o. Supplementary materials

    Supplementary materials can support and enhance your scientific research. Supplementary files offer the author additional possibilities to publish supporting applications, high-resolution images, background datasets, sound clips and more. Please note that such items are published online exactly as they are submitted; there is no typesetting involved (supplementary data supplied as an Excel file or as a PowerPoint slide will appear as such online). Please submit the material together with the article and supply a concise and descriptive caption for each file. If you wish to make any changes to supplementary data during any stage of the process, then please make sure to provide an updated file, and do not annotate any corrections on a previous version. Please also make sure to switch off the "Track Changes" option in any Microsoft Office files as these will appear in the published supplementary file(s). For more detailed instructions please visit our artwork instruction pages.

    p. Data availability

    To facilitate reproducibility and data reuse of research, Sci. Bull. encourages authors to share data (including but not limited to software, codes, models, algorithms, protocols, methods, and other materials) that supports publications where appropriate, and enables interlink of the data with the published articles. If you have made your research data available in a data repository, you can link your article directly to the dataset. Elsevier collaborates with a number of repositories to link articles on ScienceDirect with relevant repositories, giving readers access to underlying data that gives them a better understanding of the research described. For more information, please visit the database linking page (https://www.elsevier.com/authors/tools-and-resources/research-data/data-base-linking). An alternative way to share your data is to directly list the identifiers of your data or entities within the text of your manuscript and the recommended format is: Database: ID number (e.g., PDB: 6KXW).

    Color artwork
    Please make sure that artwork files are in an acceptable format (TIFF (or JPEG), EPS (or PDF) or MS Office files) and with the correct resolution. If, together with your accepted article, you submit usable color figures then Elsevier will ensure, at no additional charge, that these figures will appear in color online (e.g., ScienceDirect and other sites) in addition to color reproduction in print. Further information on the preparation of electronic artwork.

    Preprint references
    Where a preprint has subsequently become available as a peer-reviewed publication, the formal publication should be used as the reference. If there are preprints that are central to your work or that cover crucial developments in the topic, but are not yet formally published, these may be referenced. Preprints should be clearly marked as such, for example by including the word preprint, or the name of the preprint server, as part of the reference. The preprint DOI should also be provided.

    Proofs

    One set of page proofs (as PDF files) will be sent by e-mail to the corresponding author (s). Elsevier now provides authors with PDF proofs which can be annotated; for this you will need to download Adobe Reader version 7 (or higher) available free from http://get.adobe.com/reader. Instructions on how to annotate PDF files will accompany the proofs (also given online). The exact system requirements are given at the Adobe site: http://www.adobe.com/products/reader/systemreqs. Please use this proof only for checking the typesetting, editing, completeness and correctness of the text, tables and figures. Significant changes to the article as accepted for publication will only be considered at this stage with permission from the Editor. We will do everything possible to get your article published quickly and accurately - please let us have all 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.

    Page Charges and Offprints

    Page charges are 500 RMB (US $80) for each page in black and white. Charge for color pages is dependent on the total page numbers. Detailed information please visit the online version of Guide for Authors on Sci Bull website. The Editorial Office will send an invoice regarding the payment to the corresponding author (s) right after you receive the galley proof. If extra offprints and sample journals are required, please return the detailed information to Editorial Office. The full text article opens free to the readers inside China at http://www.scibull.com. For oversea readers, articles are available at https://www.sciencedirect.com/journal/science-bulletin

    Offprints

    The corresponding author will, at no cost, receive a customized Share Link providing 50 days free access to the final published version of the article on ScienceDirect. The Share Link can be used for sharing the article via any communication channel, including email and social media. For an extra charge, paper offprints can be ordered via the offprint order form which is sent once the article is accepted for publication. Both corresponding and co-authors may order offprints at any time via Elsevier's Author Services. Corresponding authors who have published their article gold open access do not receive a Share Link as their final published version of the article is available open access on ScienceDirect and can be shared through the article DOI link.