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Instructions for preparing a revised manuscript

In general the style guidelines and formatting are the same as for an initial submission. See Preparing your initial submission which includes a word template and provides guidelines for each section of the manuscript. We prefer to receive final manuscripts in docx format. If you need to submit your final manuscript file in LaTeX, please see our LaTeX instructions here. Here we give some formatting guidelines relevant to revised manuscripts. For instructions on submitting your manuscript see Submitting your manuscript.

At the revision stage:

  • Please see your revision letter, checklist and edited manuscript and follow all editorial requirements.

  • Collate all text, references, figure legends, and tables into one .docx file. We have no naming requirements – the file will be renamed when uploaded to our manuscript handling system

  • Do not include the figures themselves. Figures should be uploaded as separate files. See further instructions below

  • Supplementary text, figures, and tables should be prepared as a separate pdf file.

  • Use double spacing throughout the text, tables, figure legends, and references and notes.

  • Use Times and Symbol fonts only.

  • See instructions below for preparing equations to avoid problems during production.

  • Format files for U.S. letter paper.

  • Define technical terms, symbols, abbreviations, and acronyms the first time that they are used.

  • Cite all tables and figures in numerical order.

  • Remove all reference to data not shown and provide in the main manuscript or the Supplementary Materials all data as indicated by the editor.

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Preparing Revised Figures

To expedite publication of your paper, please follow the style guidelines given in Instructions for preparing an initial manuscript. It is best to create your figures as vector-based files such as those produced by Adobe Illustrator. Vector-based files will give us maximum flexibility for sizing your figures properly without losing resolution, as they can be altered in size while maintaining high print-quality resolution.

Submit each figure as an individual file separated from the manuscript text.

Figure layout and scaling

The width of figures, when printed, will usually be 5.5 cm (2.25 inches or 1 column) or 12.0 cm (4.75 inches or 2 columns). Bar graphs, simple line graphs, and gels may be reduced to a smaller width. Symbols and lettering should be large enough to be legible after reduction [a reduced size of about 7 points (2 mm) high, and not smaller than 5 points]. Avoid wide variation in type size within a single figure. In laying out information in a figure, the objective is to maximize the space given to presentation of the data. Avoid wasted white space and clutter.


It is essential that revised manuscripts have adequate figure resolution for a high-quality print and online rendering of your paper. Line art that is not available as vector files should have a resolution of at least 300 dots per inch (dpi) at final print size (see “Figure layout and scaling” above), preferably higher. Grayscale and color artwork should have a minimum resolution of 300 dpi at final print size, and a higher resolution if possible.

Please note that these resolutions apply to figures sized at dimensions comparable to those of figures in the PDF or print version of the final published article. Reducing or enlarging the dimensions of a digital image will also change its effective resolution. For example, reducing the dimensions of an image by 50%, with no change in file size, will double its effective resolution. Doubling the dimensions of the image will cut resolution by 50%, increase visible pixilation and degrade image quality. Up-sampling artwork (artificially increasing file size or resolution) is not permitted.


Figure files at the revision stage must be in one of the following formats (in preferred order):

Vector illustrations and diagrams (preferred): Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF) Encapsulated PostScript (EPS), or Adobe Illustrator (AI).

Raster illustrations and diagrams: Tagged Image File Format (TIFF)(minimum 300 dpi).

Vector and raster combinations for photographs or microscopy images: Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF) or Encapsulated PostScript (EPS)

Raster photographs or microscopy images: Tagged Image File Format (TIFF)

Please keep an archive of all original images used in figures as Science may request delivery of these images for production purposes. Save these at the highest resolution possible, preferably as the original file in its native format.

At this stage in the process, we cannot accept files in formats other than those specified above; in particular, we cannot accept:

  • Figures embedded in Microsoft Word files.

  • Microsoft PowerPoint files.

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Preparing Equations:

  • Equations created in the Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, or 2011 default equation editor pose problems because the MathML mapping of this editor is not 100% accurate. Please use the legacy equation editor in Word, or use MathType, to create equations.

  • Long equations should be set off from the text and numbered sequentially. After an equation is introduced, refer to it by number (e.g., “Eq. 1,” “Eqs. 3 and 4”).

  • If some or all of your equations are simple (on a single baseline), use normal text and fonts:

    E(t) · r = D+[exp(-iωt)] + D-[exp(iωt)] (1)

  • Complex equations should be embedded using standard plug-ins like Mathtype or the Word Equation Editor contained in versions of Microsoft Word up to 2003 (or 2004 for the Macintosh) or the legacy equation editor in Word 2007, 2008 for Mac, or 2010:


  • If the paper includes many equations or schemes, these can be collected in a table of equations, which we can display as a boxed figure.

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For instructions on submitting your revised manuscript see Submitting your manuscript.