Submissions are assessed by the Editorial Board and are subject to external peer review using the single blind method whereby the authors are blinded to the identity of the reviewers and editors.
The journal aims to return a decision on a peer-reviewed paper in less than a month.
Authors who feel they have grounds to appeal a rejection decision should send a rebuttal letter to the editorial office, detailing the reasons for the appeal. Rebuttals will be considered by the Editor-in-Chief, often in consultation with the Editorial Board Member who handled the paper. Decisions on appeals are final.
- Structure – Ensure the submission is structured as requested by the journal, and contains all relevant sections. See ‘Preparation of Manuscripts’ for further details.
- Title page – All submissions must have a title page stating all of the relevant information. See ’General’ for further details.
- Format – All submissions should follow the journal guidelines for word count, page margins and line numbering. See ‘General’ for further details.
- Language – Non-native English speakers are encouraged to have their manuscript professionally edited before submission. This is particular key for revised submissions. Click here for full details of our recommended English Language Editing Services.
- Reported data – Data accuracy is crucial. Authors are strongly encouraged to double check all reported data for accuracy and to confirm that all units of measurement are correct and consistent.
- References – Please see ‘References’ for full details of the journal’s required style.
- Graphics - All figures and tables should be presented in a clear and informative manner with accompanying legends.
- Ethical compliance – All articles are required to meet the requirements outlined in our ethical policy. Ensure you have included all relevant ethical approval statements.
- Approval – Ensure all authors have seen and approved the final version of the article prior to submission. All authors must also approve the journal to which you are submitting.
- Open Access – The appropriate Open Access licence must be selected on submission. Authors are responsible for ensuring any funder mandates are followed. For further details, please see the Open Access policy.
- Charges – Bioscientifica is sponsoring the Article Publication Charge during the launch years; as such authors can publish completely free of charge. Further details are available on our publication charges page.
Uploading your submission
- Author list – All authors must be listed on the title page and entered on the ScholarOne Manuscripts submission in the correct order. Ensure all author email addresses provided are valid. Author information entered into ScholarOne Manuscripts will be used to generate PubMed listings for published papers.
- Cover Letter - This letter should introduce your paper and outline why your work is important and suitable publication at this time.
- File formats – Ensure all files are in the correct format for revised submissions. See ‘General’ for further instructions.
- Figures and tables – Ensure all figures and table files are present and correct, and that they display clearly in the PDF proof.
Preparation of Manuscripts
- Be concise and clear.
- Be limited to 5000 words for Research submissions. For information on other manuscript types please see the relevant section below.
- Display the word count on the title page.
- Contain no more than 10 figures and 60 references as recommended by the journal.
- Use double line spacing throughout (including reference list and figure legends), and contain continuous line numbering down the left-side of each page.
- Define all abbreviations when first mentioned.
- Be submitted in the correct file type, ie. main document in an editable Word format.
- Be written in either UK or US English.
- Contain a title page.
Accepted file types:
- Please be aware that the combined size of your files should not exceed 40 MB.
- For article text: txt, doc, docx, tex. We are unable to accept PDF files for article text for revised manuscripts but can do so for first submissions
- For figures: eps, tiff, jpg, pdf
Changes within revised manuscripts should be highlighted using the highlighter function or coloured text, and should be accompanied by a full response letter to editor and reviewer comments.
All research submissions should be formatted in the following sections:
1. Title Page
Include a separate title page with:
- Title (maximum 85 characters)
- All authors names and full addresses
- Corresponding author’s postal and email address
- A short title (maximum 46 characters, including spaces)
- A minimum of four keywords describing the manuscript
- Word count of the full article, excluding references and figure legends
The abstract should be a single paragraph of not more than 250 words, clearly stating the objective of the study or review, the methods used (where applicable), and summarizing results and conclusions. Avoid abbreviations and references in this section.
The introduction should set the study in context by briefly reviewing relevant knowledge of the subject; follow this with a concise statement of the objectives of the study.
4. Materials and methods
Provide sufficient information for other workers to repeat the study. If well-established methods are used give a reference to the technique and provide full details of any modifications.
- Include the source of chemicals, reagents and hormones and give the manufacturer’s name and location (town, country) in parentheses.
- Give the generic name, dose and route of administration for drugs.
- Specify the composition of buffers, solutions and culture media.
- Use SI symbols, give concentrations in mol/L and define the term % as w/v or v/v for all solutions. For international units use IU (U should be used for enzyme activity).
- Specify the type of equipment (microscopes/objective lenses, cameras, detectors) used to obtain images.
- Specify any image acquisition software used, and give a description of specialized techniques requiring large amounts of processing, such as confocal, deconvolution, 3D reconstructions, or surface and volume rendering.
7. Declaration of interest, Funding and Acknowledgements
Declaration of interest
Actual or perceived conflicts of interest for all authors must be declared in full.
Please either (a) declare that there is no conflict of interest that could be perceived as prejudicing the impartiality of the research reported; or (b) fully declare any financial or other potential conflict of interest.
Conflicts of interest include, but are not limited to:
- Employment and consultancies
- Grants, fees and honoraria
- Ownership of stock or shares
- Patents (pending and actual)
- Board membership
Please detail all of the sources of funding relevant to the research reported in the following format:
This work was supported by the Medical Research Council (grant numbers xxxx, yyyy); the Wellcome Trust (grant number xxxx); and Tommy’s Baby charity (grant number xxxx).
Where research has not been funded please state the following:
This research did not receive any specific grant from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sector.
Author contribution statement (optional)
Please include a statement specifying the contribution of each co-author.
Please be as brief as possible.
All references cited in the text must be included in the reference list and vice versa. However, if a reference consists of only a web address do not include it in the reference list but cite it in the text, giving the date the page was accessed.
Any unpublished work (personal communications, manuscripts in preparation and manuscripts submitted but not yet accepted for publication) must be referred to in the text and not listed in the references.
Give the full list of authors, including their initials. For example:
(A Stone, J Brown & M R Smith, unpublished observations)
(J Brown, personal communication)
Articles accepted for publication but not yet published may be listed as ‘in press’ in the reference list, using the current year as the publication year. If an ‘in press’ article is included in the Accepted Manuscript service or a similar scheme, then the Digital Object Identifier (DOI) should be included; otherwise, provide a copy of the article as a supplementary file for reviewing purposes.
In the text
Cite references in the text in numerical order.
In the reference list
List references in alphabetical order. Give articles by the same author in the order:
- Single author
- Two authors alphabetically according to the name of the second author
- Three or more authors chronologically, with a, b and c etc. for articles published in the same year, in the order in which they are cited in the text
List a maximum of ten authors. Where there are more than ten authors, list the first ten and then use et al.
Reference in the following format:
See RH, Calvo D, Shi Y, Kawa H, Luke MP & Yuan Z 2001 Stimulation of p300-mediated transcription by the kinase MEKK1. Journal of Biological Chemistry 276 16310–16317.
Harvey SS 1975 Hypnotics and sedatives. The barbiturates. In The Pharmacological Basis of Therapeutics, edn 5, pp 102–123. Eds LS Goodman & A Gilman. New York: Macmillan Publishing Co.
Tables should be concise.
- Number tables in the order they are cited in the text
- Include a title – a single sentence at the head of the table that includes the name of the organism studied
- Use footnotes to provide any additional explanatory material, cross-referenced to the column entries
- Give a short heading for each column
- Do not use internal horizontal or vertical lines, colour or shading
- Explain all abbreviations used in the table in the footnotes
The journal has produced digital image guidelines in order to clarify the standards expected by the journal. All submitted digital images must adhere to these guidelines.
- Number figures in the order they are cited in the text
- Include legends to all figures, giving the figure number, keys to any symbols used, the name of the organism studied, the names of any statistical tests used and the probability levels used for comparisons
- Label figure sections as A, B etc in the top left-hand corner
- Use Arial or a similar sans-serif font for text labels
- Do not enclose figures in boxes
- Indicate magnification by a scale bar in the bottom right-hand corner of the image and give the measurement in the legend
- Use the preferred symbols of closed and open circles, squares and triangles. Ensure that symbols are large enough to be read clearly when the figure is reduced for publication
- Use Courier or a similar non-proportional font for amino acid, DNA, RNA and PCR primer sequences and highlight sections of homology between sequences with grey shading
File types and resolution
Vascular Biology is committed to publishing high quality figures.
EPS or TIFF files are preferred. Files should be exported in Illustrator compatible format. Avoid using PowerPoint or Word files for figures.
- Line images/graphs: EPS, TIFF, high-resolution PDF, AI (Adobe Illustrator); resolution at final published size: 1200 dpi
- Half-tone (greyscale) images: TIFF, high-resolution PDF, JPEG; resolution at final published size: 600 dpi
- Colour images: TIFF, high-resolution PDF, JPEG. EPS or AI files can be used for graphical data and illustrations that don’t include photographs; resolution at final published size: 300 dpi; RGB format
Vascular Biology also accepts the following manuscript types. For full details please see the scope page.
The format of review articles is more fluid but should include the following:
- Title page
- Declaration of interest, Funding, Author contributions statements (where appropriate)
- Figure legends
- Figures/ tables
Review submissions should be limited to 6000 words. We recommend a maximum of 60 references for review articles, with 2-6 figures and tables. Original summary diagrams and illustrations of proposed models (in colour where appropriate) are encouraged. Line drawings may be redrawn. Boxes can be used to separate detailed explanations and background information from the main part of the text.
Article length should be limited to 3000 words. We recommend a maximum of 30 references, with 2-4 figures and tables. The format remains the same as for review articles, except that we ask the authors to be very concise in writing.
Data sets which exceed the bounds of the manuscript may be submitted for publication as supplementary files.
Supplementary data files intended for publication should be submitted online via ScholarOne Manuscripts as ‘Supplemental File for Review’, and referred to as supplementary data in the text:
(Supplementary Table 1)
(Supplementary Figures 1 and 2)
Supplementary information will be reviewed as part of the manuscript, evaluated for its importance and relevance and, if accepted, will be referenced in the text of the article.
Human subjects research
Authors must ensure research involving human subjects complies with the Declaration of Helsinki.
Authors must include a statement that consent has been obtained from each patient after full explanation of the purpose and nature of all procedures used. For research requiring ethics committee approval, please include a statement to this effect in the manuscript. Also indicate whether patient consent was obtained in line with the below policy. We will be unable to accept research papers without this statement.
Experiments with animals must be performed in accordance with international, national and institutional requirements. Include a statement that investigations have been approved by the local ethical committee, along with the following.
- Give the full binomial Latin names for all experimental animals other than common laboratory animals
- State the breed or strain and source of animals, and give details of age, weight, sex and housing
- Detail the procedures and anaesthetics used, including doses given
Articles will only be considered if the procedures used are clearly described and conformed with the international and national legal and ethical requirements, as well as the requirements outlined by the institution in which the work took place. A statement identifying the committee approving the study must also be included in the Methods section.
Authors are encouraged to refer to the ARRIVE guidelines, and in particular the checklist within them, when preparing manuscripts detailing animal experiments.
Editors reserve the right to request further information on the exact procedures and ethical approval obtained as part of the review process. Papers may be rejected on ethical grounds should the editors feel the study does not adequately meet current international guidelines for humane research.
Experiments with genetically engineered mice
In inbred mice, genetic strain effects can have significant effects on phenotype. Because of this the following controls for experiments with genetically-manipulated mice should be used: parental inbred strain, or wild-type littermates.
In general, studies that are based on observations performed in a single cell line will not be considered for publication if other lines of the same general lineage and characteristics are available. If at all possible, observations should be replicated in multiple cell lines.
Authentication of cell lines
We require that all cell lines are authenticated for correct origin. Specifically, the author should include the following information supporting the authentication of lines:
- Source of cell lines. Gifts of cell lines from individuals will not be acceptable
- Please state what the method of authentication is. For example, ATCC uses STRS analysis
- State the passage number(s) of cell lines used for the experiments described in the submission. Unless the research is specifically about senescence, lines >35 passages would not be acceptable
Wherever possible, manuscripts must be prepared in accordance with approved gene nomenclature.
- In gene and protein symbols, substitute Greek letters with the corresponding roman letter, e.g. TGFBR2 not TGFβR2
- Avoid hyphens unless they are part of the approved symbol, e.g. IGF1 not IGF-1
- Use arabic rather than roman numerals, e.g. BMPR2 not BMPRII
Follow species-specific formatting standards as follows:
Mice and rats
- Gene symbols should be in italics with only the first letter capitalised, e.g. Sox2
- Protein designations should be the same as the gene symbols except that all letters should be capitalised and in roman (i.e. not italicised), e.g. SOX2
- Please use symbols approved by the International Committee on Standardized Genetic Nomenclature for Mice and the Rat Genome and Nomenclature Committee, which can be queried at the MGI website
Humans, non-human primates and domestic species
- Gene symbols should be in italics with all letters capitalised, e.g. SOX2
- Protein designations should be the same as the gene symbols but not italicised, e.g. SOX2
- Please use symbols approved by the HUGO Gene Nomenclature Committee (HGNC)
- Gene symbols should be in italics with all letters in lower case, e.g. sox2
- Protein designations should be the same as the gene symbols but not italicised and with the first letter capitalised, e.g. Sox2
- Please use symbols approved by the Zebrafish Nomenclature Committee (ZNC), which can be queried at the ZFIN website
Digital image guidelines
Recognizing that the inappropriate use of computer software for digital image analysis and processing can raise concerns, the journal has produced the following requirements for the representation of research data:
- No specific feature within an image may be enhanced, obscured, moved, removed, or introduced
- Adjustments of brightness, contrast, or colour balance are acceptable if and as long as they do not obscure or eliminate any information present in the original. Any such adjustments should be applied to the entire image
- Threshold manipulation, expansion or contraction of signal ranges and the altering of high signals should be avoided
- The legend to a digital image should state if and what digital modifications were applied
The following guidelines apply to digital images that that result from gel electrophoresis and blotting procedures:
- Band intensity should be quantified from several independent experiments. If only a "typical" experiment is shown in the figure, authors should be prepared to provide unprocessed images of gels or blots at the request of the Editor-in-Chief.
- Extensively cropped images are not acceptable. Images can be cropped to enhance clarity of presentation, but should always contain at least two markers (one with a smaller, one with a larger molecular size than the band of interest) with their molecular sizes indicated.
- Producing spliced images by combining lanes from gels or blots from different experimental runs should be avoided. A lane containing markers should be on the same gel for each run. If spliced images are presented, the vertical lanes obtained from gels or blots from different experimental runs should be clearly demarcated with lines.
- As the validity of immunoblots relies heavily on antibody specificity, an appropriate control (tissue from knockout mice or protein knockdown in cell lines) must be included, or alternatively a reference should be given in the methods section referring to such a control (Saper 2009; Burry 2011).
- The reuse of images of loading controls from other experiments or previous publications is unacceptable.
Burry RW 2011 Controls for immunocytochemistry: An update. Journal of Histochemistry & Cytochemistry 59 6–12. (doi:10.1369/jhc.2010.956920)
Saper CB 2009 A guide to the perplexed on the specificity of antibodies. Journal of Histochemistry & Cytochemistry 57 1–5. (doi:10.1369/jhc.2008.952770)
Microscope images should be made available to referees in images that are at least 300 dpi at the size which they will be published. 'Pseudo-colouring' and nonlinear adjustment (for example 'gamma changes') are only allowed if unavoidable and must be disclosed.
It is the author’s responsibility to document that the results are reproducible and that the differences found are not due to random variation. No absolute rules can be applied but, in general, quantitative data should be from no fewer than three replicate experiments. Appropriate statistical methods should be used to test the significance of differences in results. The term ‘significant’ should not be used unless statistical analysis was performed, and the probability value used to identify significance (e.g. P < 0.05) should be specified.
When several t-tests are employed, authors should be aware that nominal probability levels no longer apply. Accordingly, the multiple t-test, multiple range test, or similar techniques to permit simultaneous comparisons should be employed. Also, in lieu of using several t-tests, it is often more appropriate to utilize an analysis of variance (ANOVA) to permit pooling of data, increase the number of degrees of freedom, and improve reliability of results. Authors should use appropriate nonparametric tests when the data depart substantially from a normal distribution.
In presenting results of linear regression analyses, it is desirable to show 95% confidence limits.
When data points are fitted with lines, specify the method used for fitting (graphical, least squares, computer program). If differences in slopes and/or axis intercepts are claimed for plotted lines, these should be supported by statistical analysis.
Give sufficient details of the experimental design and analysis so that the reader can assess their adequacy and validity for testing the hypotheses of interest.
- Describe the numbers of experimental units used and the way in which they have been allocated to treatments
- Justify the omission of any observations from the analysis
- Describe methods of analysis precisely and state any necessary assumptions, as these may affect the conclusions that can be drawn from the experiment
Preprint and data repositories
A preprint is a version of the article prior to submission to the journal for peer review, and has not been copyedited or typeset.
Bioscientifica allows deposition of preprints to recognized repositories, such as bioRxiv, provided that Bioscientifica is informed of this at the time of submission and it does not infringe any subsequent copyright or licence agreement.
Upon final publication, authors are required to add a link from the preprint to the published article (version of record).
Depositing data in public databases
Authors are strongly encouraged to deposit data sets in appropriate public databases. Authors should include the relevant database identifiers and accession numbers for deposited sequences within the manuscript using the following format: Database: xxxx, e.g: GEO: GSE6364. Authors are also required to provide the URL for the sequence(s).
Below is a list of public databases:
- Array Express
- DNA Databank of Japan
- ENA's Sequence Read Archive
- NCBI Trace and Short-Read Archive
- Protein DataBank
- Gene Expression Omnibus (GEO)
This list is not exhaustive. Please contact the editorial office if you have a query about relevant databases.
Licence and Copyright
Authors retain copyright of their articles and may choose to publish under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY); Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC); or Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND) licences. Please see Gold open access licenses for further information. Authors are permitted to copy and redistribute their work within the terms of their selected license. In the latter two cases authors also grant Bioscientifica Ltd commercial rights.