The criteria for acceptance are:
- Original research in science, engineering or mathematics.
- Submissions should satisfy the Editor that they sufficiently advance scientific knowledge. Negative findings, meta analyses and studies testing the reproducibility of significant work are encouraged. Experiments with little or no new content will only be considered if they provide a meaningful contribution to the literature, for instance by contributing to reproducibility studies. Work that has a strong clinical focus, including but not limited to clinical psychology, will not be considered for publication, and any exceptions will be at the sole discretion of the Editor.
- Results reported have not been published elsewhere.
- Conclusions are supported by the data.
- Compliance with appropriate ethical standards, see our policy page.
- Experimental protocols/procedure and statistical analysis performed to a high technical standard which are both methodologically and scientifically sound. Work must be high quality in terms of exhaustively analysing all the relevant scientific/methodological issues.
- Data supporting the findings of the paper are publicly available, and appropriately cited in the manuscript reference list. Data should be accesible to referees and Editors at the point of submission.
- Manuscripts submitted must satisfy our TOP guideline standards. Please see here for more details.
Invited review: The journal will only consider submitted invited reviews for publication. The journal welcomes unsolicited review proposals, but all proposals must first be agreed by the relevant Subject Editor. Proposals for reviews should be no longer than 1 side of A4, include a structural outline with sub-headings to briefly explain description of content, and must succinctly identify the core issue(s) to be addressed. Please note that reviews transferred from other Royal Society Publishing journals will not automatically be considered for publication; instead, before the review will be considered for publication in Royal Society Open Science, a proposal must be submitted for consideration and approved by the relevant Subject Editor, only then will a review be invited from the proposing author(s). Please contact the Editorial Office with details of your proposal.
Invited Perspective:Upon election to the Royal Society, Fellows and Foreign Members are invited to contribute a Perspective article. Perspectives take the form of a review that provides the reader with an overview of the subject and give a personal insight into the advances and challenges the future may hold. Perspectives can be selective in their coverage rather than an in-depth review of an area.
Registered Report:A Registered Report (RR) is a form of journal article in which methods and proposed analyses are pre-registered and peer-reviewed prior to research being conducted (stage 1). High quality protocols are then provisionally accepted for publication before data collection commences. The format is open to attempts of replication as well as novel studies. Once the study is completed, the author will finish the article including results and discussion sections (stage 2). This will be appraised by the reviewers, and provided necessary conditions are met, will be published. Full details can be found here.
Comment and invited reply: Royal Society Open Science publishes short comments on articles previously published in the journal. Comments bring attention to an oversight in a Royal Society Open Science article or propose an opposing view. They are often a critique, providing corrections or offering new analyses. Comments will be published at the discretion of the Editor. However, if factual errors are identified that affect the accuracy of the published record, a correction may be published instead. Comments are self-proposed by any reader shortly after the initial article is published (ideally within 6 months of publication). Comments and replies should be less than 4 pages and should remain concise. The comment is peer-reviewed by the corresponding author of the original article, a referee from the original article, and another impartial referee. If the comment is accepted, the authors of the original article will be invited to submit a reply, which will also be peer reviewed by the two impartial referees who assessed the comment. We will not consider unsolicited, standalone comments. Please contact the editorial office prior to submission with any queries.
Please note that we no longer publish brief reports: As of March 2016, the journal no longer publishes brief reports as a separate article type. Brief reports were used prior to this date for a number of different purposes (including acting as a communication paper or as an update paper). Should an author wish to submit a communication or update paper, they can still do so; however, it will be published under the broader article category of 'research article'. Authors can submit an update paper in relation to a peer reviewed journal article they have authored. Update papers can be used to report additional methods or controls, or add additional data or conclusions to existing work. Update papers should be used when the advance does not warrant publication of a new research article.Top
Open data in Royal Society Open Science
We require supporting data and information, including source code, to be made available at the time of submission of the manuscript to ensure that referees have access to the data. This is in line with our policy that all results should be reproducible and our promotion of openness in science. For more information, please refer to our data sharing policies. In order to make it as easy as possible to comply with this policy, the Royal Society Open Science submission system is fully integrated with the Dryad data repository. We also cover the cost of submitting data to Dryad up to 20GB. Data submitted as electronic supplementary material will, upon acceptance of a manuscript, be deposited at the Royal Society's figshare portal free of charge.
Datasets and code that have been deposited in an external repository should be appropriately cited in both the reference list prior to submission and data accessibility section.
Unless there are strong extenuating circumstances for doing so, we will not generally accept statements such as "Data and materials are available upon request from the authors" in our data accessibility statements. Exceptions are at the Editor's discretion.
Open peer review in Royal Society Open Science
Royal Society Open Science operates optional open peer review, making the review process as transparent as possible. For more information please click here.
Preparing your article
Please visit our instructions for authors page for full guidelines on formatting your paper.
Please note that all manuscripts must include the following statements before the reference section at the point of submission. If statements are not included at submission, the journal will return the paper to the authors to ensure the statements are added. Accepted manuscripts will not be published without their inclusion. We ask authors to include headings for every section, but when a given statement does not apply, we ask authors to nevertheless include the statement's heading and explicitly state that it does not apply to their manuscript:
Ethics statementIf your study uses humans or animals please include details of the ethical approval received, including the name of the committee that granted approval. For human studies please also detail whether informed consent was obtained. For field studies on animals please include details of all permissions, licences and/or approvals granted to carry out the fieldwork.
Data accessibilityIt is the policy of the journal that authors make publically available any data, code and other digital research materials supporting the results in the article. The data, code or other digital research materials should be accessible either in a publically available repository or as supplementary material, and appropriately cited in the manuscript reference list. A statement of best practice is available. Data should be available to referees and Editors at the point of submission. A ‘Data Accessibility’ section should appear at the end of the manuscript to make clear where these data etc. can be found – if no data deposition is applicable for the paper, this should be clearly stated. You will be asked to confirm that this statement is available and that suitable content has been provided. Please contact the editorial office if you feel that the information provided is insufficient for you to assess, and please include details of anything that you feel is missing in your comments to the authors.
Competing interestsPlease declare any financial or non-financial competing interests, or state that you have no competing interests.
Authors' contributionsAll submissions, other than those with a single author, must include an Authors’ Contributions section which individually lists the specific contribution of each author. The list of Authors should meet all of the following criteria; 1) substantial contributions to conception and design, or acquisition of data, or analysis and interpretation of data; 2) drafting the article or revising it critically for important intellectual content; and 3) final approval of the version to be published.
We suggest the following format: AB carried out the molecular lab work, participated in data analysis, carried out sequence alignments, participated in the design of the study and drafted the manuscript; CD carried out the statistical analyses; EF collected field data; GH conceived of the study, designed the study, coordinated the study and helped draft the manuscript. All authors gave final approval for publication.
All contributors who do not meet all of these criteria should be included in the acknowledgements.
AcknowledgementsPlease acknowledge anyone who contributed to the study but did not meet the authorship criteria.
Funding statementPlease list the source of funding for each author.
Instructions for submitting new chemical compounds are also available on our Requirements for characterising chemical compounds page.
A PDF or Word document with figures embedded is acceptable at initial submission for review, however our production team will require an editable text document and individual figure files if your paper is accepted. Royal Society Open Science does not have a word limit, but writing should be clear and concise. We will not consider monographs.Top
How to submit
Papers must be submitted using our online submission system: http://mc.manuscriptcentral.com/rsos.
Papers sent by email or post will not be considered.Top
LaTeX class file
Authors using LaTeX are encouraged to use the Royal Society Open Science class file. The class file and instructions are available in your author centre under 'Instructions & Forms' on our submission site. Our LaTeX class file is also available for download as a zip folder at this link.Top
The Overleaf service offers a template for authors to assist in the formatting of your manuscript.Top
In accordance with our preprint policy, we encourage authors to deposit early versions of articles in appropriate subject repositories or preprint servers. Additionally, authors submitting to Royal Society Open Science after prior deposition in arXiv benefit from a simpler article upload process using just the e-print number.Top
Articles describing new animal species must conform to the International Code of Zoological Nomenclature. All relevant information must be included in the main article. The online version is the relevant version for nomenclatural purposes. The article must be registered in ZooBank, the Official Registry of Zoological Nomenclature (http://zoobank.org), and contain evidence that such registration took place (e.g. exact date of registration or/and registration number). Articles describing new species must be flagged to the editorial office on submission.Top