Biomedical Engineering (BME) Frontiers
Manuscript Submission Guide

Submission Requirements

In preparation for submitting a research manuscript to BME Frontiers, authors should review the Manuscript-Template for BME Frontiers (attachment 1), which will facilitate accurate preparation and processing. The body text of a manuscript for a research article must include the sections in the list below in the same order listed. 

● Title

● Authors and their affiliations

● Abstract

● Keywords

● Introduction

● Materials and Methods

● Results

● Discussion

● Acknowledgements

● Supplementary Materials

● References


The manuscript should also include the following:

● An abstract that does not include any cited references

● Definitions of all symbols, abbreviations and acronyms

● Legends for all figures and tables

● All data (no use of “data not shown”; no citations of unpublished results)

● Descriptions of all statistical tests

● Complete references. Each citation should include all authors (do not use et al.), full article title, journal title, journal volume, year of publication and first and last page. In place of first page number, use article number for journals that do not use page number ranges (e.g., AGU journals). If an article has been published online only, supply the DOI instead of volume and page numbers. For a source published only in conference proceedings, supply a URL

● For investigations on humans, a statement indicating that ethics approval has been obtained from the Institutional Review Board (IRB) or an equivalent ethics committee, and 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


Formats for submission are as follows: 


Please use a standard 12-pt font and 1.5-line spacing, numbering all pages (right hand side, bottom of the page). Lines should be numbered up to the start of the references section. We prefer that the initial submission be uploaded as a Word file that contains all components of the paper. Create a single file (see above for correct order) consisting of the text, references, figures and their legends, tables and their legends. Supplementary Materials could be sent to us separately (see below). You may upload your manuscript as one file that contains all of the textual material plus separate figure files (one for each figure) and separate Supplementary Material files. The text file should be a Word .docx (preferred) or .doc file. Please use zipped files when necessary to upload unusually large supplementary files.


See the guidelines below for creating and formatting your original figures. For initial submission, the figure files should be incorporated into the main text .docx or .doc file at their proper places. All figures should be cited in the manuscript in a consecutive order.

Preparation of Tables

Tables should be cited consecutively in the text. Every table must have a descriptive title and if numerical measurements are given, the units should be included in the column heading. Vertical rules should not be used.

Supplementary Materials

Text and figures. Include supporting text (including supplementary materials and methods, tables, and figures). Supplementary Materials can be included as a separate .docx file that can be uploaded.

Video files. Acceptable formats for videos are MP4, AVI, MOV, MPEG, and WMV. Keep videos short and the display window small to minimize the file size of the video. Supply caption information with the videos. Edit longer sequences into several small pieces with captions specific to each video sequence.

Audio files. Please contact regarding submission of such file types. 


Study Design Guidelines 

In the first section of the Materials and Methods, we encourage authors to have first subtitle of “Experimental and Technical Design,” which includes a diagram or flowchart to show the entire experimental design and illustrates the most significant elements: materials, treatments, measurements, data collection, methods of data analysis. This will facilitate the editors, reviewers and readers to understand and follow the whole concept, design, and results. 


Figure Preparation Guidelines

Creating Your Figures

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. Although we do not need the highest-resolution files for the initial submission, you will need to have these high-resolution files of your figures on hand so that they can be submitted with your revised manuscript for final publication. These figure files can be saved at a lower resolution to minimize the file size at initial submission.

Figure Layout and Scaling

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. Please follow these guidelines for your figures:

● The figure’s title should be at the beginning of the figure legend, not within the figure itself.

● Include the figure’s identifying number (e.g., “Figure 1”) on the same manuscript page that includes the figure.

● Keys to symbols, if needed, should be kept as simple as possible. Details can be put into the figure legend.

● Use solid symbols for plotting data if possible (unless data overlap or there are multiple symbols). For legibility when figures are reduced, symbol sizes should be a minimum of 6 points and line widths should be a minimum of 0.5 points.

● Panels should be set close to each other and common axis labels should not be repeated.

● Scales or axes should not extend beyond the range of the data plotted. 

● Do not use minor tick marks in scales or grid lines.

● Avoid using y-axis labels on the right that repeat those on the left.  

● All microscopic images should include scale bars, with their values shown either with the bar or in the figure legend.

Typefaces and Labels

Please observe the following guidelines for labels on graphs and figures:

● Use a sans-serif font whenever possible.

● Simple solid or open symbols reduce well.

● Label graphs on the ordinate and abscissa with the parameter or variable being measured, the units of measure in parentheses and the scale. Scales with large or small numbers should be presented as powers of 10. (When an individual value must be presented as an exponential, use correct form: 6 × 10–3, not 6e-03.)

● Avoid the use of light lines and screen shading. Instead, use black-and-white, hatched, and cross-hatched designs for emphasis.

● Capitalize the first letter in a label only, not every word (and proper nouns, of course).

● Units should be included in parentheses. Use SI notation. If there is room, write out variables—e.g., Pressure (MPa), Temperature (K).

● Variables are always set in italics or as plain Greek letters (e.g., P, T, µ). Vectors should be set as roman boldface (rather than as italics with arrows above).

● Type on top of color in a color figure should be in boldface. Avoid using color type.

● Use leading zeros on all decimals—e.g., 0.3, 0.55—and only report significant digits.

● Use small letters for part labels in multipart figures enclosed in brackets, (a), (b), (c), etc.

● Avoid subpart labels within a figure part; instead, maintain the established sequence of part labels, using small or lower-case letters. Use numbers (1, 2, 3) only to represent a time sequence of images.

● When reproducing images that include labels with illegible computer-generated type (e.g., units for scale bars), omit such labels and present the information in the legend instead.

Color-mix and Contrast Considerations

● Avoid using red and green together. Color-blind individuals will not be able to read the figure.

● Do not use colors that are close to each other in hue to identify different parts of a figure.

● Avoid using grayscale.

● Use white type and scale bars over darker areas of images.

Restrictions on Figure Modification

BME Frontiers does not allow certain electronic enhancements or manipulations of micrographs, gels or other digital images.

● Figures assembled from multiple photographs or images must indicate the separate parts with lines between them.

● Linear adjustment of contrast, brightness or color must be applied to an entire image or plate equally. Nonlinear adjustments must be specified in the figure legend.

● Selective enhancement or alteration of one part of an image is not acceptable.

● In addition, BME Frontiers may ask authors of papers returned for revision to provide additional documentation of their primary data. 


Citation Style

● Authors may submit their references in any style. If accepted, BME Frontiers will reformat the references in Chicago style. 

● List all authors by first initial(s) and last name. 

● All references should be numbered consecutively in the order of their first citation. Citations of references in the text should be identified using numbers in square brackets e.g., “as discussed by Liu [9]”; “as discussed elsewhere [9, 10]”. 

● DOIs, if available, should be included for each reference.


Publication Forms

Each submission to BME Frontiers must be accompanied by Authorship Conflict of Interest (attachment 2) and Licenses to Publish (attachment 3) forms completed by each author before the review process can be completed. Image Permission (attachment 4) forms are required as needed for re-use of any third-party created figure, image, or other asset; permission is only needed if the copyright holder is not an author on the paper.

These forms need to be completed prior to manuscript acceptance. They do not need to be completed prior to submission.

Documents may be printed out, signed, and scanned or signed using an electronic signature. Once completed, please upload the files into Editorial Manager alongside your manuscript files.

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