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Instructions for contributors

Microscopy and Microanalysis is published bimonthly and contains papers that report original research from the entire interdisciplinary range of microscopy and microanalysis: new microscopy methods and instrumentation and their applications to biological or materials microstructures for determination of structure or chemistry. Four categories of communications are published in the Journal.

Regular articles contain reports of new instrumentation and new theoretical methods and their applications to microstructural analysis in biology and materials science. Communications are short (2000–2500 words) technical or scientific reports of developments in these fields. Reviews have broader technical content than regular articles. Authors contemplating review articles are encouraged to discuss their plans with the appropriate editor. Articles are accepted for publication with the understanding that they, or their substantive contents, have not been and will not be submitted to any other publication.

Readers may send Letters to the Editor for publication in the Journal. These must address a specific technical point or points in a published article and must be clearly written and concise. The corresponding author of the paper commented upon will be invited to reply. The author of the Letter to the Editor will not be sent the reply prior to publication. Both the Letter to the Editor and the Reply will be published together. No subsequent letters or replies by the same persons concerning that particular paper will be considered for publication. The appropriate Editor will make any necessary decisions concerning suitability for publication of particular Letters to the Editor or Replies.

Manuscript Submission and Review

All manuscript submissions to Microscopy and Microanalysis must be made electronically via Manuscript Central, at the following website address:

Complete instructions are provided on this website. Please follow the instructions on the website to avoid delays. The instructions will prompt the author to provide all necessary information, including the corresponding author's contact information, which includes complete mailing address, phone and fax numbers, and an e-mail address. The website also requests suggested reviewers. The website will automatically acknowledge receipt of the manuscript and provide a manuscript reference number. The Editor-in-Chief will assign the manuscript to an Editor who will choose at least two other reviewers. Every effort will be made to provide the author with a rapid review. If the Editor requests that revisions be made to the manuscript before publication, a maximum of 3 months will be allowed for preparation of the revision.

Manuscript Preparation

General information. Manuscripts must be submitted in English. Authors should follow generally accepted rules of grammar and punctuation. Because articles on microscopy attract broad ranges of readers with diverse backgrounds, jargon should not be used; acronyms and abbreviations must be clearly defined the first time they are used and then used consistently thereafter throughout the manuscript.

Format. All manuscripts must be typed double-spaced, including title page, abstract, text, references, tables, and figure legends, in 12 point type. Pages should have margins of about 1 inch (about 2.5 cm). Number all pages at the bottom.

All manuscript title pages must contain:

  • A complete title.
  • A brief title to be used as a running head.
  • Authors' names listed by full given and last names.
  • Primary institutions where the research was performed.
  • Other institutions involved for each author.
  • Permanent or new addresses of all authors. Note: Institutional addresses must include the full institutional and department / center name, city, state, postal code, and country.
  • A complete corresponding (mailing) address for the author to whom all correspondence should be sent.
  • Corresponding author's telephone number and fax number, and e-mail address.

All manuscripts must include:

  • An abstract not to exceed 200 words and 6 to 10 key words for indexing.
  • The following sections: Introduction, Materials and Methods, Results, Discussion, Summary or Conclusions, Acknowledgments, References, tables, figure legends, figures. Sections may be subdivided to increase clarity.

Chemical names and mathematical expressions. Chemical names and methods should be spelled out the first time they are used, followed by the abbreviation in parentheses. After first mention the abbreviation may be used alone. SI units should be used. Mathematical expressions need to be carefully presented, with all symbols defined. Use a type font that clearly differentiates between zero and capital letter O. Equations containing algebraic fractions should use numerator over denominator, separated by a horizontal line, and not typed on a single line separated by a slash. Indicate vector symbols; they will be printed in bold.

References. References must be inserted in the text at the place they are used, by the author's surname and year of publication. All references included in the reference list must be cited in the text. References to personal communications, unpublished data, and manuscripts either in preparation or submitted for publication are unacceptable. If essential, such material may be incorporated in the appropriate place in the text. For references with more than two authors use the first author's surname followed by "et al." and if there is more than one reference in the same year by a single author(s), use a, b. For example: (Roberts, 1981); (Roberts & Johnson, 1983); (Jones et al., 1986); (Johnson, 1998a, 1998b).

All authors must be included in the reference list; "et al." is unacceptable here. The alphabetical list of references begins a new page, and must be typed double-spaced. List works by different authors who are cited within the same parentheses in chronological order, beginning with the earlier work according to the CBE Manual for Authors, Editors, and Publishers. Abbreviate journal names according to the Chemical Abstracts Service Source Index (CASSI). Only published articles and articles in press should appear in this list. Responsibility for the accuracy of references cited lies with the authors. Brief examples:

Journal Articles

Hogan, J. & Patton, C. (1976). Variation in intramembrane components of Trypanosoma brucei from intact and X-radiated rats: A freeze-cleave study. J Protozool 23, 205–215.

Entire Book

Rappaport, R. (1996). Cytokinesis in Animal Cells. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

Chapter in an Edited Book

Gardner, R.L. & Papaioannou, V.E. (1975). Differentiation in trophectoderm and inner cell mass. In The Early Development of Mammals, Balls, M. & Wild, A.E. (Eds.), pp. 107–132. Cambridge, New York: Cambridge University Press.

Proceedings Paper

Wood, J.E., Williams, D.B. & Goldstein, J.I. (1981). Quantitative X-ray Microanalysis in the Analytical Electron Microscope. In Quantitative Microanalysis with High Spatial Resolution, Jacobs, M.H., Lorimer, G.W. & Doig, P. (Eds.), pp. 24–33. London: The Metals Society.

Tables. Tables must be uploaded individually at the website. Number tables consecutively using Arabic numbers and include concise titles and column headings. Type footnotes under the tables. All tables must be cited consecutively in the text.

Guidelines for Figure Preparation

Figures must be uploaded individually at the website. Figures should be professionally drawn and prepared according to the guidelines below. Symbols, letters, numbers, and scale bars should be of sufficient size to be clearly recognizable when the figure is reduced to publication size, usually one column width (84 mm). Figure captions must be double-spaced and appear on a separate page in the text document. All figures must be cited in the text. Photographs in which human subjects are identifiable must be accompanied by written permission for publication.

Note the following specifications

  • Black and white figures: Raster (scanned) images should be submitted in grayscale mode for continuous-tone images and as bitmaps for line art.
  • Color figures: Color images should be submitted in CMYK color mode. Do not submit files in RGB color. Files should be free of color functions, including PostScript color management, transfer curves, halftone screen assignments, and black generation functions.
  • Digital resolution: Raster (scanned) image files should be:

    • at least 300 dpi for continuous tone images (grayscale or color);
    • at least 900 dpi for monochrome (1-bit) line art.
  • Image Size/Crop: Digital art files should be cropped to remove non-printing borders. Lettering and axis labels for graphs should remain legible when reduced to an image width of 84 mm. Letters within a word should not touch at this reduction. The submitted image orientation should be the same as intended for print. Lines: Lines or rules should not be defined as hairline width. The recommended minimum line width is 1 / 4 point when the file is supplied at the same size as the final print; thicker lines must be used if the figure is to be reduced.
  • File Format: Rastered image files (continuous tone or line art) should be submitted only in ".tif",".eps", or ".psd" format. For vector ".eps" or ".ai" files, fonts should be embedded or converted to outlines. Images should be flattened prior to submission; this means that files should not contain layers and / or transparent objects.
  • Submission: Each figure must be uploaded separately from the text document of the manuscript.

Printed Color Figures. If you will not be paying to have your figures printed in color, your figures can still be in color in the electronic version of the paper. However, for the printed figure you must supply a grayscale monochrome version that can be completely understood without the need of color. Contrast adjustments may be necessary before submitting the grayscale image or figure.

Permissions. All previously published material included in your manuscript must be accompanied by permission forms or letters documenting that permission has been obtained to reprint the material in your article in this journal.

Guidelines for Reviewers

Microscopy and Microanalysis publishes original research papers and reviews dealing with a broad range of topics in microscopy and microanalysis. These include articles describing new techniques or instrumentation and their applications, as well as papers in which established methods of microscopy or microanalysis are applied to important problems in the fields of biology or materials science. The terms microscopy and microanalysis are used here in their broad sense and include all current and developing approaches to the imaging and analysis of microstructure. In reviewing this manuscript please answer the following questions:

  • Is this manuscript suitable for Microscopy and Microanalysis?
  • Is the work presented here original (not previously published except in M&M 2-page format)?
  • Does the abstract provide the main conclusions of the paper?
  • Are acronyms and abbreviations defined when first used?
  • Are SI units used throughout (other units may be given in parentheses)?
  • Are the figures of high quality and easy to understand when read with the captions provided?
  • Are references in the format described in the "Instructions for Contributors"?
  • Is the English clear and easy to understand?

Please provide specific guidance to the author concerning any of the questions above which you must answer in the negative. Your comments are the most important part of this review.