Information for authors

Science Immunology is an online peer-reviewed journal devoted to research and issues of high interest to basic, translational, and clinical scientists. We encourage submission of original research findings from all areas within the broad field of immunology. Areas covered range from basic studies into the biology of innate and adaptive immunity (immune cell development and differentiation, immunogenomics, systems immunology, structural immunology, antigen presentation, immunometabolism, and mucosal immunology) to immune contributions to health and disease (host defense, inflammation, cancer immunology, autoimmunity, allergy, transplantation, and immunodeficiency). We encourage submission of research from all model organisms, including studies that provide insight into the human immune response in health and disease. Interdisciplinary approaches are encouraged. We accept original research, as well as Reviews, Editorials, Focus articles, and Perspectives.

Editorial Policies

These policies spell out the rights and responsibilities that authors agree to when submitting and publishing their papers in each of the Science family of journals. Authors should familiarize themselves with these policies before submitting a manuscript to Science Immunology.

General Editorial Policies

Research Standards

Publication Policies

Categories of Submitted Manuscripts

Research Articles are original research papers that represent significant advances in immunological research. They should include an abstract and be structured as follows: Abstract, Introduction, Results, Discussion, Materials and Methods, References, Figures and Tables, Supplementary Materials. Research Articles should be no more than 8000 words in length and may have up to 8 figures/tables. Supplementary materials are permitted but should be limited to information that is not essential to the general understanding of the research presented in the main text, such as unaltered blots and source data, as well as other file types. Shorter Research Articles with fewer figures will also be considered and may be published as Reports at the discretion of the editors.

Detailed information about preparing a new Research Article

Detailed information about preparing a revised Research Article

Focus articles are short, timely pieces that spotlight new research findings published in Science Immunology or other journals or policy issues of interest to the immunological research community that are of immediate importance. Focus articles cannot exceed 1800 words total (including abstract, main text, references, and figure legend). They should have a short snappy or newsy title and a one-sentence abstract, no more than 10 references, and one figure (with figure legend) or table.

Detailed information about preparing a Focus

Editorials are short, invited opinion pieces that discuss an issue of immediate importance to the immunological research community. Editorials should be less than 1000 words in length, do not have an abstract, should keep references to a minimum but definitely no more than 5, and do not have figures or tables (although they do have a photograph of the author as an illustration).

Detailed information about preparing an Editorial

Perspectives discuss key research findings recently published in Science Immunology or other journals that are of broad interest to the immunological research community. Perspectives should not exceed 2500 words total (including abstract, main text, references and figure legends). They should have a short pithy title, an abstract of 50 words or fewer, no more than 15 to 20 recent references, and 1 or 2 figures (with figure legends) or tables.

Detailed information about preparing a Perspective

Reviews provide a balanced synthesis of new and current knowledge about an active area of research in immunology. Reviews can be up to 5000 words (including abstract, main text, references, and figure legends). They should have a short pithy title, an abstract of no more than 75 words, no more than 75 references, and up to four figures (with figure legends) or tables.

Detailed information about preparing a Review

Letters is an article format that provides readers with an opportunity to respond to an article published in Science Immunology within the previous two months or to raise issues of interest to the immunology community. Letters should provide new information or insights about the published article and should be of interest to the broad readership of Science Immunology. Letters should be less than 1000 words, with no more than 10 references, and may have one figure or table. If appropriate, letters are sent to the authors of the published article under discussion for a response. We encourage submission of e-letters to facilitate discussion on individual manuscripts.

Submission

Primary research articles or other unsolicited articles may be submitted online at https://cts.sciencemag.org

For submission, you will need the following:

  1. Authors: Names, telephone, and e-mail addresses for all authors, including selection of one to be corresponding author.
  2. Manuscript Information
    • The article type you are submitting
    • The title of your manuscript (135 character maximum for Research Articles)
    • Funding sources
    • A cover letter that includes
      • Reference to any pre-submission discussions with editors
      • The title of the paper and a statement of its main point
      • Any information needed to ensure a fair review process, including related manuscripts submitted to other journals
      • Names of colleagues who have reviewed the paper
      • A statement that none of the material has been published or is under consideration elsewhere, including the Internet
      • For investigations on humans, a statement indicating that informed consent was obtained after the nature and possible consequences of the studies were explained
      • For authors using experimental animals, a statement that the animals' care was in accordance with institutional guidelines
      • Note where data are available, or will be deposited, and whether there are any restrictions on data availability such as an MTA.
      • Information on any Reference material or additional data files uploaded to the Auxiliary files section (see below).
      • A .docx version of your cover letter.
  3. Reviewers: Names, affiliations, and email addresses of up to five potential referees and up to five excluded reviewers.
  4. Upload Documents: During submission, you will upload the manuscript, a cover letter, the Supplementary Materials file, and any auxiliary files. Science Immunology prefers to receive a single complete file that includes all figures and tables in Word's .docx format (Word 2007, 2010, or 2008 or 2011 for a Mac). The Supplementary Materials should be submitted as a single separate file in .docx or PDF format. The main manuscript file and the Supplementary Materials file each have a 25 MB size limit.
  5. Supplementary multi-media or large data files that cannot be included in the main Supplementary Materials file should be uploaded as Auxiliary Supplementary Materials at our submission site. There is a 25 MB combined size limit on auxiliary files and a limit of 10 auxiliary files. Video clips should be in mp4 format. Quicktime (mov) files are acceptable provided the h.264 compression setting is used. Where possible please use HD frame size (1920 x 1080 pixels). Animated GIFs are not accepted. For audio files, WAV AIFF, AU, or m4a are preferred. MP3 or AAC files are acceptable but a bit rate of at least 160 kb/s must be used. Authors should submit video and audio with clearly identifiable accompanying captions and credit information.
  6. Other items that are required at submission and should be uploaded to the Auxiliary files section are:
    • Reference Material:  Authors must supply Science Immunology with a copy of any of their papers that are related to the Science Immunology manuscript and are under consideration or in press at other journals. This condition applies at all times while the Science Immunology manuscript is under consideration. If a related paper is submitted elsewhere while the Science Immunology paper is under consideration, please contact your editor.
    • Data files required for review of your manuscript.
    • Written permission from any author who is not an author of your manuscript but whose work is cited as in press. Permission must allow distribution of in press manuscripts or relevant data to reviewers. A copy of an email is sufficient. We do not allow citation to in-press manuscripts at publication – these would need to be replaced by the published reference.
    • Any relevant MTAs

Manuscript selection

Science Immunology is committed to thorough and efficient evaluation of submitted manuscripts. Papers are assigned to a staff editor who has knowledge of the field discussed in the manuscript. Most submitted papers are rated for suitability by members of Science Immunology’s Advisory Board. The editors at Science Immunology consider this advice in selecting papers for in-depth review. Authors of papers that are not selected are notified promptly, within about 1 week.

Research papers that are selected for in-depth review are evaluated by at least two outside referees. Reviewers are contacted before being sent a paper and asked to return comments within 1 to 2 weeks for most papers. We are able to expedite the review process significantly for papers that require rapid assessment. Selected papers are edited to improve accuracy and clarity and for length. Papers cannot be resubmitted over a disagreement on novelty, interest, or priority. Resubmission is allowed only if a paper was rejected on the basis of a serious reviewer error.

Authors are notified of decisions by email, and the status of the manuscript can be tracked at https://cts.sciencemag.org. Membership in AAAS or FOCIS is not a factor in selection of manuscripts for publication. Science treats all submitted manuscripts as confidential documents. Science journals also instruct and expect the Advisory Board and reviewers to treat manuscripts as confidential material. Our peer review process is confidential and identities of reviewers are not released.

AAAS publishes four other journals: Science, Science Signaling, Science Translational Medicine and our open access, interdisciplinary journal Science Advances. Papers submitted to Science Immunology but not accepted for publication may, in some cases, be eligible for publication in one of these four journals. If a manuscript is rejected from Science Immunology with the option of transfer, we would be happy to transfer your submission from Science Immunology with no reformatting required. Editors at the second journal may use the information gathered during evaluation at Science Immunology to expedite review, including reuse of the reviews provided reviewers agree. You may also choose to start a new review process. The transfer can only include documents that were part of the review process at Science Immunology. Once transfer is complete, you will have the opportunity to upload a response to the reviews or revised manuscript where appropriate.