Quantitative Biology

Guidelines for Authors

Quantitative Biology

General information
Quantitative Biology (QB) is a quarterly journal seeking to provide an inter- and multi-disciplinary forum for a broad blend of peer-reviewed academic papers in order to promote rapid communication and exchanges between scientists in the East and the West. It covers all branches of systems biology, synthetic biology, bioinformatics and computational biology to reflect the significant advances in quantitatively investigating and modeling natural as well as engineered life system at the molecular and higher levels. The journal especially encourages original papers that aim at coupling novel theory with cutting-edge experiments, especially in newly emerging and multi-disciplinary areas of research and development. The journal also welcomes high quality reviews and perspective articles.
Submissions of the following types are included, but not limited to:
  ●  Research Article: Substantial novel research study, with a complex story often involving several techniques or approaches.
  ●  Review: Comprehensive overviews of recent developments in a research field with comprehensive depth, balanced perspective, intellectual insight, and broad general interest.
  ●  Mini Review: Topics of current interest and recent developments in a specific field.
  ●  Perspective: A viewpoint discusses current advances and future directions on a specific field or subfield, which may advocate a controversial position or a speculative hypothesis.
  ●  Letter: Important novel research result, but is less substantial than a Research Article.
  ●  News and Views: Inform readers about the latest advances in quantitative biology research, as reported in published papers (appearing in Quantitative Biology or elsewhere) and at scientific meetings.
Papers that have been reviewed, if the authors choose, may be submitted with previous reviews and decision letters. This allows for accelerated review.
When a manuscript is submitted, the Editors assume that no similar paper has been or will be submitted for publication elsewhere. Further, it is understood that all authors listed on a manuscript have agreed to its submission. Upon acceptance, authors must transfer copyright to Higher Education Press.

Editorial policies
All research articles are subject to strict peer review organized by the journal, who will select 2-5 reviewers with relevant expertise. Should a split recommendation occur between the reviewers, another reviewer may be selected at the Editor or the Board member's discretion. Final acceptance or rejection decision resides in the Editor-in-Chief/Associate Editors of Quantitative Biology. In general, the first-round review process takes up to 3-4 weeks from the date of submission, and the Editors will make every effort to reach a decision on a manuscript within this timeline. If revisions are required for further consideration for publication, we generally allow one or two months for revisions.

Submission requirements

Cover letter
A cover letter from the corresponding author must accompany the manuscript and should provide a brief description of what was known in the field, the conceptual breakthrough, and the significant impact of the reported findings. The authors are encouraged to suggest appropriate reviewers and are permitted to make request for up to three reviewer exclusions. Cover letter should state that the submitted material is original research, has not been previously published, and has not been submitted elsewhere while under review by Quantitative Biology. The cover letter is confidential and will not be sent to the reviewers.

Manuscript components

Manuscript should be arranged in the following order:
(a) Title section (including Title, Running Title, Authors, Author Affiliations, and Correspondence).
(b) Abstract.
(c) Introduction.
(d) Results.
(e) Discussion.
(f) Materials and Methods.
(g) Acknowledgements.
(h) Compliance with Ethics Guidelines.
(i) References.
(j) Figure legends and table legends.
(k) Figures.
(l) Tables.
(m) Supplemental materials.
Text components of the manuscripts (a-j) should be prepared with Microsoft Word in double space and size 10 Times New Roman font. Tables should be prepared in Microsoft Word with single space. Figures (k) should be uploaded individually (through online submission system) in its original file form. Please use Mathtype in creating your equations rather than the equation creator inbuilt with Microsoft Word. If your submission is prepared in Tex file, please submit the pdf file of your article in submission through the online system instead of the original file.

Research article format


●  Title  The title should be informative and concise, and not longer than 150 characters (including space). It should describe the topic of the manuscript in terms understandable to a broad readership in either a complete sentence or a phrase.
●  Running title  The running title that describes the key meaning of the paper should be within 80 characters (including space).
●  Authors  Authors should be listed in full names, beginning with the given name, and followed by the family name. Affiliations (including department/subunit, institution, city, state/region, postal code and country) should be provided for each author. If the authors are affiliated to different units, the affiliation sequence should be in the same order of author list, marked at the right upper corner of the author names using 1, 2, 3, etc. Corresponding author's name, full postal address, telephone and fax numbers and e-mail address need to be provided.
●  Abstract  The Abstract should not exceed 250 words. Please minimize the use of abbreviations and do not cite references in the abstract. The abstract must include the following separate sections for research articles and review articles:
Background: the context and purpose of the study
Methods: the main design and analysis (if any for review articles)
Results: the main findings
Conclusions: a brief summary and potential implications
●  Introduction  It mainly includes the following parts: the background of the research through literature citation, the problems or questions needed to be solved, the objectives of the research, and the main methods used.
●  Results  Results can be described using text, tables and figures. The text should complement material given in Tables and/or Figures but should not directly repeat it. Please give full details of statistical analysis either in the text or in Tables and/or Figure legends. Please include the type of test, the precise data to which it was applied, the value of the relevant statistics, the sample size and/or degrees of freedom, and the probability level.
●  Discussion  The main purpose of the Discussion is to comment on the significance of the results and set them in the context of previous work. Hypothesis should be rational and evidence-based. Please avoid repeating information in the Results section.
●  Materials and methods  Methods must be described completely enough so that other laboratories can replicate results and verify claims. Generally, standard procedures should be referenced, though significant variations should be described. Appropriate experimental design and statistical methods should be applied and described wherever necessary for proper interpretation of data and verification of claims. All novel materials and procedures should be described in sufficient detail to allow their reproduction (e.g., DNA constructs, genetic stocks, enzyme preparations, and analytical software).
●  Acknowledgements  A list of contributions, credits, potential conflicts of interests, and previous presentation of the information reported in the manuscript.
●  Abbreviations  Abbreviations used in the text should be defined. However, some common names, such as GTP, RNA, PBS, PCR may not be defined. All nomenclature, including gene names and symbols, should be used in a scientifically accurate manner following the nomenclature conventions adopted by the scientific community.
●  Figure/Table legends  Every figure should contain a title, and the figure legend should follow the title closely. Figure legends should provide enough information to make the figures understandable without frequently referring to the text. Do not describe methods in figure legends unless they are necessary to interpret the results conveyed by the figure. Define in the legend all symbols and abbreviations that are used in the figure.
●  References  The references section should include all printed/online journal articles, books and book chapters, published conference proceedings, and meeting abstracts. Please cite unpublished data (including submitted manuscripts), personal communications, statistical packages, computer programs and web sites in text only. Accession numbers may be cited either within the text or in the form of a reference. All the references should be cited in the text by sequential number only, in order of appearance, and listed numerically in the References section. All authors' names (up to ten) should be quoted. Where the list of authors is extensive it is acceptable to list the first 10 authors followed by et al. Full titles of journal articles should be provided. Please refer to the following examples:
1. Schmitt, E., Panvert, M., Blanquet, S. and Mechulam, Y. (1995) Transition state stabilisation by the 'high' motif of class I aminoacyl-tRNA synthetases: the case of Escherichia coli methionyl-tRNA synthetase. Nucleic Acids Res., 23, 4793–4798.
2. Huynh, T. V., Young, R. A. and Davies, R. W. (1988) Constructing and screening cDNA libraries in lambdagt10 and lambdagt11. In Glover, D. M. (ed.), DNA Cloning ― A Practical Approach. Oxford: IRL Press, Vol. I, 49–78.
3. Maniatis, T., Fritsch, E. F. and Sambrook, J. (1982) Molecular Cloning: A Laboratory Manual. Cold Spring Harbor, NY: Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press.
4. Burnett, R. C. (1993) EMBL accession no. X52486.
5. Capaldi, S., Getts, R. C. and Jayasena, S. D. (2000) Signal amplification through nucleotide extension and excision on a dendritic DNA platform. Nucleic Acids Res., 28, e21.
6. Qiao, D., Chen, W., Stratagoules, E. and Martinez, J. (2000) Bile acid-induced activation of activator protein-1 requires both extracellular signal-regulated kinase and protein kinase C signaling. J. Biol. Chem., 10.1074/jbc.M908890199.
7. Bernhagen, J., Elkine, B., Geiger, G., Tovar, G. and Vitzthum, F. (1999) Patent DE-198198889.2-44; PCT/WO/EP/99/03047.

Tables and Figures

●  Tables  Tables should be practically self-contained and self-explanatory. All tables should be cited in the text and numbered consecutively with Arabic numerals. Label each table at the top with an Arabic numeral followed by the table title. Insert explanatory material and footnotes below the table. Designate footnotes using lowercase superscript letters (a, b, c) reading horizontally across the table. Abbreviations that are used in a table should be defined in the footnotes. Please prepare the tables in MS Word with a single-space format. Do not embed tables as graphic files, document objects, or pictures.
●  Figures  Figures (graphs, charts, photographs, and illustrations) should be practically self-explanatory and labeled professionally. Dimensional drawings and diagrams should include only the essential details and as little lettering as possible. The magnification for micrograph should be indicated by scale bars, inscriptions should be legible, and the symbols and letters should be consistent among the panels.
Please make sure that the letters, labels and symbols are in proportion to the figure and are easily readable after the figures are reduced to printable size. For example, the final text should be at least 2 mm in size and the graph lines should be at least 0.5 pt in weight. We recommend that all graphs are submitted in the intended publication size.
The options include:
●  1 column width: 3.3 inches (8.4 cm)
●  2 column width: 6.7 inches (17 cm)
●  Maximum height: 9 inches (23.0 cm)
  Figures should be prepared in a publication quality resolution. The minimal resolution is:
●  color images – 300 dpi. Color figures must be supplied in CMYK not RGB colors.
●  grayscale images and line drawing – 600 dpi
●  screen – 72 dpi.

Each figure (with one or more panels) can be submitted individually through online submission system, which will automatically convert the figures to PDF format for review purpose and keep the original files for publication. To ensure the quality, we recommend TIFF or EPS file types for illustrations. If a single PDF file containing multiple figures is submitted, each figure should occupy a single page and the figure number should be indicated. However, original files will be requested upon acceptance. We cannot accept MS Powerpoint or MS Word file for figures.

●  Cover figures  Authors are encouraged to submit color figures to be considered for the cover figures of Quantitative Biology. Such figures must be related to the manuscript they accompany. Potential cover figures should be uploaded as separate files during the online submission of a manuscript.

Supplemental Materials

Supplemental materials that are directly related to the conclusion are welcomed. However, unrelated data may be removed by editors. Depending on the nature of supplemental materials, they can be in plain text, MS Word, MS Excel, JPEG, TIFF, video, et al. We encourage authors to submit supplemental documents in PDF format if applicable.

Review article format

Reviews can be organized by the following:
Introduction (First-level heading)
...... (First-level heading)
  ...... (Second-level heading)
  ...... (Third-level heading)
...... (First-level heading)
Abbreviations (if any)
Conflict of interest

Compliance with ethical standards

To ensure objectivity and transparency in research and to ensure that accepted principles of ethical and professional conduct have been followed, authors should include information regarding sources of funding, potential conflicts of interest (financial or non-financial), informed consent if the research involved human participants, and a statement on welfare of animals if the research involved animals.
Authors should include the following statements (if applicable) in a separate section entitled “Compliance with Ethical Standards” before the References when submitting a paper:
● Disclosure of potential conflicts of interest
● Research involving Human Participants and/or Animal
● Informed consent
Please note that standards could vary slightly per journal dependent on their peer review policies (i.e. double blind peer review) as well as per journal subject discipline. Before submitting your article check the Instructions for Authors carefully.
The corresponding author should be prepared to collect documentation of compliance with ethical standards and send if requested during peer review or after publication.
The Editors reserve the right to reject manuscripts that do not comply with the above-mentioned guidelines. The author will be held responsible for false statements or failure to fulfill the above-mentioned guidelines.
More details on the ethical principles of the journal may be found at the "Ethical responsibilities of authors", " Conflicts of interest" and " Informed consent " in the "Editorial policy" pages.

Research involving human participants and/or animals

1) Statement of human rights
When reporting studies that involve human participants, authors should include a statement that the studies have been approved by the appropriate institutional and/or national research ethics committee and have been performed in accordance with the ethical standards as laid down in the 1964 Declaration of Helsinki and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.
If doubt exists whether the research was conducted in accordance with the 1964 Helsinki Declaration or comparable standards, the authors must explain the reasons for their approach, and demonstrate that the independent ethics committee or institutional review board explicitly approved the doubtful aspects of the study.
The following statements should be included in the text before the References section:
Ethical approval: “All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.”
For retrospective studies, please add the following sentence:
“For this type of study formal consent is not required.”
2) Statement on the welfare of animals
The welfare of animals used for research must be respected. When reporting experiments on animals, authors should indicate whether the international, national, and/or institutional guidelines for the care and use of animals have been followed, and that the studies have been approved by a research ethics committee at the institution or practice at which the studies were conducted (where such a committee exists).
For studies with animals, the following statement should be included in in the text before the References section:
Ethical approval: “All applicable international, national, and/or institutional guidelines for the care and use of animals were followed.”
If applicable (where such a committee exists): “All procedures performed in studies involving animals were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institution or practice at which the studies were conducted.”
If articles do not contain studies with human participants or animals by any of the authors, please select one of the following statements:
“This article does not contain any studies with human participants performed by any of the authors.”
“This article does not contain any studies with animals performed by any of the authors.”
“This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.”


Please submit your complete manuscript to QB editorial office through online submission system, http://mc.manuscriptcentral.com/qb.

After acceptance
  ● The peer-reviewed accepted article with a DOI can already be cited (As soon as a peer-reviewed article is accepted, it can be cited with a DOI through the platform). The early editions will be replaced when the later versions come out with better editing and typesetting. Online versions are available through both https://link.springer.com/journal/40484 and http://journal.hep.com.cn/qb/EN/2095-4689/current.shtml.
  ● The purpose of the proof is to check for typesetting or conversion errors and the completeness and accuracy of the text, tables and figures. Substantial changes in content, e.g., new results, corrected values, title and authorship, are not allowed without the approval of the Editor.
  ● All authors will receive a complimentary copy of the print issue, and the corresponding author will also receive a PDF of the article to share with coauthors.

Copyright transfer

No article can be published unless accompanied by a signed Copyright Transfer Statement, which ensures a transfer of copyright from the authors to the Higher Education Press, including print version, disk version, online version and other media versions. A copy of the Copyright Transfer Statement to be used will be provided with the letter of acceptance of the manuscript. Authors are asked to scan and return by e-mail or fax the signed statement to the editorial office of QB at the Academic Publishing Division of the Higher Education Press.
No part of a paper which has been published by QB may be reproduced or published elsewhere without the written permission of the publisher.

Language assistance

Authors who are not native English speakers may appreciate assistance with grammar, vocabulary, and style. This can improve the accuracy and facilitate the communication with other scientists and reviewers. Some companies provide revising, editing, and proofreading services for scientific and medical research documents are listed:
Please note that Quantitative Biology does not use these services and will not guarantee the quality of their work.