The following guidelines are specific to Chemical Science.
It is the responsibility of the author(s) to provide the reviewers with the necessary information to evaluate the merit of the manuscript in terms of its scientific content. Failure to provide the necessary experimental evidence and data may result in the manuscript being withdrawn by the editor.
Chemical Science article types
Chemical Science publishes all original research in one format: Edge articles. Chemical Science editors understand that traditional two- or three-page limits for the dissemination of new research are not suitable across all sub-fields of chemistry. Edge articles have absolutely no page limits, although we anticipate that most will fall between four and 10 pages.Find out more about Edge articles
Edge articles enable novel research findings to be presented in a succinct and exciting way, without the need for abridged discussions or perspectives. As a result, we hope these frontier research studies will be more widely accessible to a larger chemistry audience.
Lengthy introductions and discussion, extensive data, and excessive experimental details and non-experiment-based conjecture should not be included. Authors are encouraged to place experimental procedures and characterisation data in the electronic supplementary information (ESI) where appropriate.
In addition, authors are encouraged to use the article template, available from our Author templates & services page, for preparing their submissions. However, the use of the template for Edge article submissions is not essential.
Reviews in Chemical Science must be authoritative, state-of-the-art accounts of the selected research field, focusing on the key developments that have shaped the topic, rather than comprehensive reviews of the literature. Written by leaders in their fields, Reviews should be timely and add to the existing literature, rather than duplicate existing articles. Authors are encouraged to summarise important findings instead of re-iterating details already available in the primary work and should provide summary figures instead of multiple figures from original manuscripts, where appropriate.Find out more about Reviews
The purpose of a Review is to bring the reader up to date with research in a particular field and to provide a critical assessment of recent developments. Since the readership of Chemical Science is broad, it is essential that the Review is easily comprehensible to a non-specialist in the field. Authors are encouraged to identify areas in the field where further developments are imminent or of urgent need. Please note that Reviews should not contain any original research.
Reviews can include photographs and brief biographies (max 100 words) for up to six authors, which must be supplied prior to acceptance. All Reviews will undergo a rigorous and full peer review procedure, in the same way as Edge primary research papers.
Reviews are normally published by invitation of the Chemical Science Editorial Board. However, suggestions from authors are welcome and enquiries should be directed to the editorial office.
A Perspective is a personalised account of a research area and provides a platform for authors to provide a personal or speculative viewpoint on a given subject and its future development. All Perspectives will undergo a rigorous and full peer review procedure, in the same way as regular research papers.Find out more about Perspectives
A Perspective should report a balanced account of the selected research field. If the author is focussing on their own research contribution to the field, then a balanced discussion of related work should be included to set the authors’ contribution within a wider context. Perspectives should be selective, focusing on the key developments that have shaped the topic, rather than comprehensive reviews of the literature. Authors are encouraged to summarise important findings instead of re-iterating details already available in the primary work and should provide summary figures instead of multiple figures from original manuscripts, where appropriate.
We encourage authors of Perspective articles to include personal biographies that will be placed at the start of the manuscript. This should give an overview of the author’s research career so far, their chosen area(s) of research and future goals. It is expected that this will be no more than 200 words in length and a photograph should also be included. A ‘Future outlook’ section should also be included at the end of the manuscript to provide a personal view of how the field will develop over the next 5-10 years and how the authors see their own research contributing to this.
Perspectives are normally published by invitation of the Chemical Science Editorial Board. However, suggestions from authors are welcome and enquiries should be directed to the editorial office. Contributions by early career researchers are particularly welcome.
To help the editorial office judge the suitability of a proposed Review or Perspective for the journal, authors may be asked to submit a synopsis. The aim is not to provide an extra burden for the author, but to ensure the article will appeal to the journal's broad readership.
Acceptance of the synopsis by the editorial office does not guarantee publication of the final manuscript. Synopses should include the following.
- a paragraph explaining the current importance of the field, its implications for the wider scientific community, and the communities of readers who will find the article of interest
- a structured outline of the review, giving section headings and expanding on each of these
- a selection of representative references to indicate its breadth and timeliness.
All Reviews and Perspectives undergo a rigorous and full peer review procedure, in the same way as regular research articles.
Articles submitted to Chemical Science that are too specialised for the general chemistry audience should be directed to the appropriate RSC specialist title.
Reproduction of colour images is unlimited and without charge.
Comments and Replies are a medium for the discussion and exchange of scientific opinions between authors and readers concerning material published in Chemical Science.Find out more about Comments
For publication, a Comment should present an alternative analysis of and/or new insight into the previously published material. Any Reply should further the discussion presented in the original article and the Comment. Comments and Replies that contain any form of personal attack are not suitable for publication.
Comments that are acceptable for publication will be forwarded to the authors of the work being discussed, and these authors will be given the opportunity to submit a Reply. The Comment and Reply will both be subject to rigorous peer review in consultation with the journal’s Editorial Board where appropriate. The Comment and Reply will be published together.
You can use our templates to help you structure and format your manuscript in the Royal Society of Chemistry style.
Guidelines on titles, abstracts and references
The title and abstract are the first parts of your manuscript that editors, reviewers and potential readers will see, and once published they play a major part in a researcher’s decision to read your article. Therefore it’s important that they clearly and concisely show the main findings of your research and why they are important.Further guidance on writing titles, abstracts and references
The title should be short and straightforward to appeal to a general reader, but detailed enough to properly reflect the contents of the article.
- Keep it relatively short
- Use easily recognisable words and phrases that can be read quickly
- Use general terms for compounds and procedures rather than specific nomenclature or very specialised terms
- Avoid using non-standard abbreviations and symbols
- Use keywords and familiar, searchable terms – these can increase the chances of your article appearing in search results. Around 70% of our readers come directly via search engines
The abstract is a single paragraph which summarises the findings of your research. It will help readers to decide whether your article is of interest to them.
- The length can vary from 50 to 250 words, but it should always be concise and easy to read with recognisable words and phrases
- It should set out the objectives of the work, the key findings and why this research is important (compared to other research in its field)
- It should emphasise (but not overstate) the significance and potential impact of the research in your article
- Avoid including detailed information on how the research was carried out; this should be described in the main part of the manuscript
- Like your title, make sure you use familiar, searchable terms and keywords
References should be listed at the end of the manuscript in numerical order as they appear in the manuscript. We encourage authors to include bibliographic details which should be cited in the order: year, volume, page, and include the article title. For example: J. Lai and J. P. Reid, Interrogating the thionium hydrogen bond as a noncovalent stereocontrolling interaction in chiral phosphate catalysis, Chem. Sci., 2022, 13, 11065-11073.
Cover letter guidance
A cover letter is an opportunity to explain the importance of the submitted work to the editor and why it is suitable for Chemical Science. They should include as much background to the work as possible, setting it in context of the existing literature and the related work. It should not be a copy of the manuscript abstract. Find more information on cover letters here.
Please note that for Chemical Science, a cover letter (sometimes referred to as a justification) will be available to the in-house team and Associate Editors but will not be sent to reviewers.
Appeals and resubmissions
Chemical Science offers authors the opportunity to appeal the decision on their manuscript. Appeals will only be considered on manuscripts that have not been revised. If you resubmit a revised version of a previously considered manuscript – this will be treated as a resubmission and not an appeal.Further guidance on appeals and resubmissions
Details of how appeals on Chemical Science decisions are handled can be found in the general Appeal procedure for all RSC journals. Authors have the right to appeal to the editor against any decision taken on their manuscript, and all appeal applications will be considered carefully by the journal editors.
If you disagree with the decision reached on your manuscript, please contact the editorial office via the journal email and provide us with your reasoning and a detailed response to any reviewers’ comments.
All appeal requests are first assessed by the editorial office and will only be passed onto an Associate Editor if there is sufficient reason for further consideration. Examples of this may be where authors can demonstrate the reviewers have misinterpreted an aspect of the work, or a reviewer’s recommendation is based on a factual error. Differences in opinion regarding novelty, general significance and or impact of the work are not generally considered grounds for an appeal. Appeals are granted at the discretion of the editor. All appeal requests are handled on a case-by-case basis, and the editor's decision is final.
If an appeal is granted your manuscript will undergo further assessment by an independent reviewer.
Please note that manuscripts should not be revised before an appeal procedure. An appeal will be considered on the original manuscript files.
If a manuscript which has been previously considered by the journal is revised and resubmitted, the case will be considered carefully by the journal editorial office. A member of the Chemical Science editorial or advisory board may be consulted on the suitability of the revised manuscript for further review.
Please note: If a resubmission contains no revised files but is accompanied by a rebuttal of the original decision, this will be treated as an application for an appeal on the original submission. Please see the appeals procedure for more details.
Data availability statements
Where possible, all data associated with the research in a manuscript should be Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, Reusable (FAIR), enabling other researchers to replicate and build on that research. Chemical Science strongly encourages authors to deposit as much data as possible in appropriate repositories.
All data required to understand and verify the research in an article must be made available on submission, and can be made available in this way, as part of the article supplementary information (ESI), or both.
In order to maintain high standards of transparency, research reproducibility, and to promote the reuse of new findings, Chemical Science requests authors to include a Data Availability Statement as part of the final published article. Exceptions to this would be at the Editor’s discretion.Further information on data availability statements
Data availability statements (DAS) provide information about where data, software or code supporting the results reported in a published article can be found. These should include, where applicable, links to datasets shared in an external data repository, which have been analysed or generated during the study. This section should list the database, accession number, DOI, URL or any other relevant details. Authors are also encouraged to formally cite associated datasets in the reference section of an article.
The DAS can provide information about the data presented in an article (e.g. in Figures or Tables) or provide a reason if data is not available to access. If supporting data or code have been included in the article’s electronic supplementary information (ESI), this should also be stated here.
A Data Availability Statement should be included at the end of the article, after the Conclusions section. Examples of Data Availability Statements which can be used are shown below:
- Crystallographic data for [compound number] has been deposited at the [name of repository, such as CCDC / ICSD / PBD ] under [accession number] and can be obtained from [URL of data record]*.
- The datasets supporting this article have been uploaded as part of the supplementary material.
- The code for [description of ] can be found at [URL] with [DOI – if available].
- Data for this paper, including [description of data types] are available at [name of repository] at [URL – format https://doi.org/DOI].
The following statement is generally not acceptable “Data are available upon request from the authors".
Peer review options
Double-anonymised peer review
Chemical Science offers authors the option of double-anonymised peer review. Both single- and double-anonymised peer review are now available to authors.
Single-anonymised peer review – where reviewers are anonymous and author names and affiliations are known to reviewers. (This is the traditional peer review model used in Chemical Science).
Double-anonymised peer review – both the authors’ and reviewers’ identities are anonymous.
More information about single- & double-anonymised peer review can be found here.
Transparent peer review
As part of our commitment to transparency and open science, Chemical Science is now offering authors the option of transparent peer review, where the editor’s decision letter, reviewers’ comments and authors’ response for all versions of the manuscript will be published alongside the article under an Open Access Creative Commons licence (CC-BY).
Reviewers will remain anonymous unless they choose to sign their report.
Find out more about our transparent peer review policy and read our Editorial on transparent peer review in Chemical Science.
Submitting your article to Chemical Science
Articles should be submitted using our online submission system. We do not accept submissions by post or email.
General guidance on the submission process
Find further information and support around submitting your article. These guidelines are relevant to all journals.More information on the submission process
Guidelines for all journals
Find general guidance on preparing an article and explore the following resources, the content of which is relevant to all of our journals.
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