Molecular Life publishes 4 (four) issues a year, except for the first year, when only 2 issues will appear. Its editorial team, composed of highly experienced editors, is building a tight collaboration with all the involved parties – authors, reviewers and editorial board – to keep the standards of the journal and to allow access to the results of high quality scientific work for a wide readership.

Editorial evaluation timetable

Each submitted manuscript is read and assessed by two independent editors. The editorial timelines are as follows:

Decision on whether to peer-review: maximum 5 working days after submission

• Decision after review: maximum 3 weeks after submission

• Time allowed for revision: maximum 2 months

• Time to online publication: maximum 3 weeks after acceptance

Editorial policies

Manuscripts are fit to enter the peer-review process if no part of the work has been published previously either in print or online, or is under potential evaluation by another publication. In order to avoid any reviewing delay or even a possible rejection of the submitted paper, each revised manuscript has to be accompanied by manuscript(s) on related topics that has (have) been submitted for publication elsewhere during the revision process. Articles that contain any data that have been submitted for publication elsewhere are definitely not considered for evaluation.

A useful resource that could help to learn about general tips and best practices to increase awareness of journals’ editorial requirements, submission processes, publication ethics, peer review and effective communication with editors is The Authors’ Submission Toolkit: A practical guide to getting your research published (

Authorship and contributorship

The corresponding author (a maximum of two is allowed) has to ensure that all contributors are listed as authors and all of them have agreed to the content of the manuscript and its submission to Molecular Life. He (she) is also responsible for ensuring full adherence to editorial and submission policies and for any communications and actions that may be necessary after publication.

An explicit contributorship statement should make clear who has contributed what to the planning, conduct, and reporting of the work described in the manuscript.

Conflict of interest

For all submitted research manuscripts and reviews, authors have to disclose any financial competing interest that might influence the results or interpretation of their manuscript. They must declare such conflict in both the cover letter accompanying the manuscript and the Acknowledgments section – for example, “Author (initials) is an employee and shareholder of Company”; “Author (initials) is a founder of Company and a member of its scientific advisory board”; “This work was partly supported by a grant from ….”. At the time of acceptance, the corresponding author is asked to sign a form on behalf of all authors regarding potential conflicts of interest.

Studies that involve humans and animals

The “Materials and methods” section must include statements identifying the committee approving the studies and confirming that either informed consent was obtained from all subjects (for manuscripts reporting studies involving human subjects) or all experiments are in line with the relevant regulatory standards (for manuscripts reporting experiments on animals). On any cases in which concerns arise, the editors are free to look for comments from reviewers or supplementary information from authors.

Research article formats

Authors may communicate their results in various article formats, keeping in mind that the manuscript has to be on a topic within the scope of the journal and that it offers new information that is significant and easily usable by a wide readership. Each article type is described below.

Original research articles

The main text (including references and figure legends) should not exceed 55,000 characters with spaces. The manuscript may contain maximum 7 figures and/or tables.

Short articles

This format reports succinct, exciting, completely validated findings. It is organized like a research article, but usually present only one principal conceptual point. The main text should not exceed 20,000 characters with spaces, and it may contain maximum 3 figures and/or tables.


Molecular Life publishes full-length reviews (about 40,000 characters with spaces) on a various range of topics that are of interest to its readers. Proposals for reviews may be submitted online, directly to the editors.


Mini-reviews debate a focused scientific topic of interest, generally calling attention to subjects arising from recently published papers. They should have maximum 20,000 characters with spaces, including references (no more than 20) and figure legends (one or two figures).

To whom the manuscripts should be addressed: Molecular Life requires authors to submit manuscripts via our online submission system ….

Cover letter

Each submission should be accompanied by a cover letter that contains a brief explanation of what was previously known, the conceptual progress provided by the findings, and the significance of the findings to a broad readership. A cover letter may contain suggestions for appropriate reviewers and up to three requests for reviewer exclusions. The cover letter is confidential to the editor and will not be seen by reviewers.

Preparation and submission of research articles

For initial editorial evaluation and peer-review, you may submit a Word document for the manuscript and separate PDFs for the figures (their total size should not exceed 20 MB). This should be classified as “Manuscript”. If it is accepted for publication, you will have to include all of the sections and files as outlined below:

The final text should be provided as one document, which may also contain the tables. Figures should be provided individually. The total character count of the main text, including all sections should not exceed 55,000 (including spaces). An article may contain maximum 7 figures and/or tables. Gene symbols should appear in Italics, which should not apply to protein products of the loci. Non-standard abbreviations should be defined when first used in the text. Excessive use of abbreviations should be avoided (they should not exceed 5). Manuscript file types that can be accepted for submission include Word and RTF. Required items differ for each article type and are specified during the submission process.

The text should be 1.5 or double spaced and pages should be numbered. Although summaries need to be entered as text files separate from the body of the manuscript during the online submission process, they should also be included within the manuscript file.

Manuscripts that do not conform to the format guidelines may be returned to the authors for reformatting.

Preparation of specific sections

Full-length articles have several sections in the following order: Title, Authors, Affiliations, Contact information, Summary, Introduction, Material and methods, Results, Discussion, Author contributions, Acknowledgments, References, Figure and table legends, Figures and tables.


Titles can occupy maximum three lines of type, with each line containing maximum 50 characters with spaces. It should express the conceptual meaning of the article to a wide readership.

Authors & Affiliations

Authors’ names should be given in full (not initials). Each author’s corresponding affiliation(s) (clear information on the author’s department(s)/subunit(s), institution, city, state/region/county, postal code, and country) should be footnoted.

Contact information

Contact information should include the email address of the corresponding author (preferably just one, but two are also allowed). The corresponding author has to ensure adherence to editorial and submission policies and to be responsible for communications that may follow publication.

Materials and methods

This section should include sufficiently detailed data about protocols and procedures to allow the reader to understand the general experimental design and to be able to assess the data presented in the figures.


This section should be succinct, with no subheadings, and should describe the background information necessary to provide a biological context for the results.


The Summary must appear as a single paragraph with maximum 150 words and no reference citations. Its aim is to offer a broad readership a clear perspective on the conceptual progress and meaning of the presented work. Specifically, the Summary should contain a concise background of the study question, a brief description of the results, and a succinct commentary on the importance of the findings.


The “Results” section should contain subheadings. Footnote use has to be avoided. If possible, authors are encouraged to compare a novel procedure presented in their paper to existing ones.


The “Discussion” section has to define the importance of the research work in the context of the literature and the existing knowledge about the subject, without reiterating results. It may contain subheadings and can in some cases be combined with the Results section.

Author contributions

A concise Author contributions section should precede the Acknowledgments to mention individual author contributions to the collective work (for example, “A.B. had the idea of the manuscript and conducted research; C.D. designed the experiments and wrote the manuscript, etc.”. Using initials to indicate each author’s identity is highly recommended.


This section contains acknowledgment of people and/or funding sources, and it should include a statement of grants and disclosures (conflicts of interest).


Only articles that are already published or in press (in the latter case, a confirmation from the cited journal is needed) must be cited as references. Unpublished data, submitted manuscripts, abstracts, and personal communications should be cited within the text only, while personal communication should be documented by a letter of permission. Submitted articles should be cited elsewhere as unpublished data, data not shown, or personal communication. In-text citations should be written in Vancouver style and numbered consecutively in the order in which they appear in the text. Please, see details in Reference guidelines; also, note that “et al.” should only be used after six authors.

Figure legends

Figure legends should appear as a separate section in the submitted manuscript. Each one should have a brief title that describes the entire figure without citing specific panels, followed by a description of each panel. For figures presenting pooled data, the measures should be defined in the figure legends (for example, “Data are represented as mean ± SEM.”).


Figure files must conform to our Figure guidelines or authors will be asked to revise them.

Submission of revised manuscripts

The revised manuscripts must also contain a detailed point-by-point response to the comments and recommendations of the reviewers and/or editors, and the way these have been addressed by the authors should be briefly explained in the cover letter. We recommend submission of revised manuscripts within 2-3 months of the date of the original decision. If you think a longer time would be needed, please email the editor who invited the revision.


The Microsoft Word Table function should be used when creating a table (for details, please see the Table guidelines). Any table must have a title, and footnotes and/or legend should be concise. Tables should be included in the submitted manuscript as a separate section.