Research Articles are limited to 5,000 words, not including the References section and figure legends, and should make fundamental contributions to our understanding of any area of microbiology or allied fields. These articles should include the elements described in the Organization and Format section of the Instructions to Authors.
Resource Reports (5,000 word limit) describe major technical advances and/or major informational databases that would be of interest in microbiology or allied fields. The manuscripts should include detailed methods and illustration of proof-of-principle so that the new methodology can be replicated and/or utilized by others. Resource Reports follow the same formatting guidelines as Research Articles.
Methods and Protocols
Methods and Protocols manuscripts (5,000 word limit) describe major technical and methodological developments in systems biology. These can be bioinformatic or laboratory techniques or any protocols that practically advance the field of systems microbiology. The description of each method or protocol must include validation of, or application to, a relevant and important question in microbial cell biology or ecology and provide results demonstrating its performance in comparison to existing state-of-the-art techniques. Articles will be selected on the basis of importance to the field, methodological performance, and detailed description to enable application to the field immediately. Methods and Protocols follow the same formatting guidelines as Research Articles.
Observations are short descriptions (maximum 1,200 words with a maximum of 2 figures and 25 references) of research results of exceptional importance and unusual interest to the broad microbiology community, e.g., reports of a new type of organism, a new organelle, a new association of microbes and disease, etc.
The body of an Observation may have paragraph lead-ins. As with Research Articles, authors should include an abstract of 250 words or fewer as well as an Importance section of 150 words or fewer, providing a nontechnical explanation of why the work was undertaken.
Minireviews are brief (maximum 3,000 words with a maximum of 2 figures or tables) summaries of important developments in microbiology research. They must be based on published articles and may address any subject within the scope of the journal.
Minireviews must have abstracts. Limit the abstract to 250 words or fewer. The body of the Minireview may have section headings and/or paragraph lead-ins.
Opinions and Hypotheses
Opinions and Hypotheses are short articles (maximum 2,500 words with a maximum of 25 references) that present original and well-developed insights without complete supporting data. Although microbiology and allied fields are primarily experimental sciences, this article type places equal importance on new thought that is formulated in a manner that summarizes a problem, provides a new synthesis, and/or is suitable for subsequent experimental testing.
In this category, the journal provides a highly visible venue for the publication of ideas that have the potential to move fields and to challenge the status quo.
Authors should provide an abstract of 150 words or fewer. The body of an Opinions and Hypotheses article may have section headings and/or paragraph lead-ins.
Commentaries are short invited articles (maximum 1,000 words) that discuss mSystems™ papers or issues of special interest. These are solicited by editors from reviewers or experts in the field.
Authors should provide an abstract of 150 words or fewer. The body of a Commentary may have section headings and/or paragraph lead-ins.
Perspectives are brief reviews (maximum 2,000 words) that offer a succinct overview of a specific topic with an emphasis on opinion and synthesis.
Authors should provide an abstract of 150 words or fewer. The body of a Perspectives article may have section headings and/or paragraph lead-ins.
Editorials (maximum 500 words) communicated by members of the mSystems™ Board of Editors address issues of science, politics, or policy.
Editorials should include an abstract of 150 words or fewer.
Letters to the Editor
Letters to the Editor are intended for comments on articles published in the journal and must cite published references to support the writer’s argument. Letters may be no more than 500 words long and must be typed double-spaced.
All Letters to the Editor must be submitted electronically. The cover letter should refer to the article in question by its title and the last name of the first author. In addition, the volume and issue and/or DOI should be indicated. In the Abstract section of the submission form, put “Not Applicable.” Letters to the Editor do not have abstracts. The Letter must have a distinct title, which must appear on the manuscript and on the submission form. Figures and tables should be kept to a minimum.
The Letter will be sent to the editor who handled the article in question. If the editor believes that publication is warranted, he/she will solicit a reply from the corresponding author of the article and make a recommendation to the editor in chief. Final approval for publication rests with the editor in chief.
Please note that some indexing/abstracting services do not include Letters to the Editor in their databases.