Instructions for Authors

Manuscript Format

Different types of articles can be submitted to EXCLI Journal:

  • Original articles: These are detailed studies reporting original research and are classified as primary literature. They include hypothesis, background study, methods, results, interpretation of findings, and a discussion of possible implications.
  • Review articles give an overview of existing literature in a field, often identifying specific problems or issues and analyzing information from available published work on the topic with a balanced perspective. These are considered as secondary literature and can be a particularly efficient way for early career researchers to begin publishing. Review articles can be of three types, broadly speaking: literature reviews, systematic reviews, and meta-analyses.
  • Clinical case studies present the details of real patient cases from medical or clinical practice. The cases presented are usually those that contribute significantly to the existing knowledge on the field. The study is expected to discuss the signs, symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment of a disease.
  • A letter to the editor is a letter sent to a publication about issues of concern from its readers. It has no abstract. Usually, letters are intended for publication. The subject matter of letters to the editor vary widely. However, the most common topics include:
    • Supporting or opposing a stance taken by the publication in its editorial, or responding to another writer's letter to the editor.
    • Remarking on materials (such as a news story) that have appeared in a previous edition. Such letters may either be critical or praising.
    • Correcting a perceived error or misrepresentation.
    • Format and preparation (see at the end of this page)
  • A guest editorial provides an opportunity for an author to reflect on a recent event, methodological innovation, or gap in the literature. Many successful editorials do all three, culminating in proposing an agenda for the discipline.


Original and review articles:

Title Page: The title page should include the name of all authors, a concise and informative title, the affiliation and addresses of all authors, and the e-mail address, telephone number(s) of the corresponding author. In the online submission system the email addresses of all co-authors must be given (List of contributors).

Abstract: An abstract of 150 to 300 words summarizing the work presented must be provided. Please do not include any references or undefined abbreviations in the abstract.

Keywords: Please provide up to 6 keywords which can be used for indexing purposes.

Text Formatting: Manuscripts should be submitted in a Word-readable document ((e.g. odt, doc, docx, rtf, txt; do not use compressed file formats like zip or rar). A normal, plain font (e.g., 12-point Times Roman) should be used for the text, and bold font used for section headings.

Use the automatic page numbering function to number the pages. Use tab stops or other commands for indents, and not the space bar. Where possible, please use the table function rather than spreadsheets, to create tables.

For mathematical expressions, the preferred font is Cambria Math. Equations that are referred to in the text are identified by parenthetical numbers, such as (1), and are referred to in the manuscript as "equation (1)". All expressions should be kept simple so that they can be displayed on a single line, including common formatting options such as subscript or superscript. In the case that more complex formatting is required, use any Microsoft Word equation editor.

Headings: Please use no more than three levels of displayed headings.

Abbreviations: Abbreviations should be defined at first mention and used consistently thereafter.

Acknowledgments: Acknowledgments of people, grants, funds, etc. should be placed in a separate section directly before the reference list. The names of funding organizations should be written in full.

Conflict of interest: This statement is required during the submission process.

Reference List: The list of references should only include works that are cited in the text that have been published or accepted for publication. Personal communications and unpublished works should only be mentioned in the text. Do not use footnotes or endnotes as a substitute for a reference list. Reference list entries should be alphabetized according to the last name of the first author of each work.

References should be cited in the text by providing the author(s) name and year of publication in parentheses. For example:
- 1 author (Meier, 2012)
- 2 authors (Schmitt and Huber, 2010)
- more than two authors (Kaminsky et al., 2013.)

References should be listed alphabetically in the bibliography. Up to six authors are cited, with further authors replaced by et al. The citation is done according to PubMed. By using Endnote choose style "NLM"

To cite in-text, please choose the author-year system (items in order alphabetically by author’s last name, then year of publication, e.g. Johnson, 2011).

Please follow the guidelines precisely (further examples):

Example: Recently, several single nucleotide polymorphisms have also been identified that are associated with urinary bladder cancer risk, all of which have been confirmed in independent follow-up studies (Kiemeney et al., 2008; Hein, 2002; Hein and Doll, 2012a, b). As Selinski and colleagues (2012) summarized, in total 13 novel SNPs have been identified.

Journal Articles:
Hein DW. Molecular genetics and function of NAT1 and NAT2: role in aromatic amine metabolism and carcinogenesis. Mutat Res. 2002;506-507:65-77.
Hein DW, Doll MA. A four-SNP NAT2 genotyping panel recommended to infer human acetylator phenotype. Pharmacogenomics. 2012a;13:855.
Hein DW, Doll MA. Accuracy of various human NAT2 SNP genotyping panels to infer rapid, intermediate and slow acetylator phenotypes. Pharmacogenomics. 2012b;13:31-41.
Kiemeney LA, Thorlacius S, Sulem P, Geller F, Aben KK, Stacey SN, et al. Sequence variant on 8q24 confers susceptibility to urinary bladder cancer. Nat Genet. 2008;40:1307-12.
Selinski S, Lehmann ML, Blaszkewicz M, Ovsiannikov D, Moormann O, Guballa C. Rs11892031[A] on chromosome 2q37 in an intronic region of the UGT1A locus is associated with urinary bladder cancer risk. Arch Toxicol. 2012;86:1369-78.

Hainfeld JF, Safer D, Wall JS, Simon M, Lin B, Powell RD. Methylamine vanadate (NanoVan) negative stain. In: Proceedings of the 52nd Annual Meeting, Microscopy Society of America (pp 132-2). San Francisco, CA: San Francisco Press, 1994.

Online Document:
Jaschinski W, Koenig M. Better seeing and working at the computer. The consultation tool. Accessed 22 March 2018.

Trent JW. Experimental acute renal failure. Berkeley, CA: University of California, Thesis, 1975.

Tables, Figures and Multimedia Files: For optimum quality, it is highly recommended that all figures, photographs, etc. are submitted in file formats (e.g. png, size at least 300 dpi, max. 4 MB per figure), table (file formats as ods, xlsx, odt, docx are admissible) or multimedia file (file formats as mp3/mp4 or HTML5).

All illustrations are to be numbered using Arabic numerals. They should always be cited within the text in consecutive numerical order. If a graphical abstract is presented, it should be referred to as Figure 1. All other figure numbers have to count high.

Each illustration should be self-explanatory, including a caption (title) that summarizes the findings of the figure. Individual graphs or images making up a multi-panel figure/illustration should be denoted by lowercase letters (a, b, c, etc.). Figures in online appendices (Electronic Supplementary Material) should be numbered separately, e.g., Figure S1. Keep caption (title and illustrations) in the same file, but as separate objects.

Permissions: Authors wishing to include figures, tables, or text passages that have already been published elsewhere are required to obtain permission from the copyright owner(s) prior to publishing online. Confirmation of use must be included at the time of initial submission. Please be aware that some publishers do not grant electronic rights without extensive costs. Any material received without such documentation will be assumed to be "original work" from the authors. Previously published material must be identified by giving the original source in the form of a reference, e.g., in the reference list, and in case of illustrations, additionally at the end of the caption.

Supplementary Material and/or Data: Supply all supplementary material and data in standard file formats specified above. Please include in each file the following information: article title, journal name, author names; affiliation and email address of the corresponding author. To accommodate user downloads, authors should consider that larger-sized files may require very long download times and that some users may experience problems during downloading.

Raw Data: Excli Journal encourages the publication of the raw data of clinical, as well as experimental studies. 

For this purpose extensive supplementary table(s) with all raw data should be provided. If patient material is included in the study, clinical data must also be provided. Patients’ data must be anonymized, and data tables named as Supplement 1, Supplement 2, etc. It must be clear how each table is related to a specific figure, table or passage in the main manuscript. The tables should include legends explaining the data and all abbreviations so that they are self-explanatory. The tables must be concise and easy to follow.

Examples of raw data are: the presentation of Western blots of all independent experiments; the presentation of full length Western blots; clinical chemistry data of each individual animal of studies including animal experiments; anonymized tables with the data of each individual patient, whereby the given data must not reveal the identity of individual patients; data from the measurements of each individual experiment (e.g., behavioral and questionnaire data), when only means and error ranges are shown in the main manuscript (for neurophysiological data, essential parameters (such as latencies and amplitudes of electrophysiological data) for all experimental conditions). In contrast, array- and sequence-based data should not be submitted as electronic supplement to this journal but should be made available in a MIAME-compliant form to established public databases, such as Gene Expression Omnibus (GEO). An alternative option for all other authors is providing links to the raw data deposited in suitable open access online repositories.

Checklist for raw data

  • Each supplemental table and figure
    • must be named separately as Supplement 1, 2, …, x
    • must contain a title, a legend, and must be self-explanatory
    • must have all abbreviations defined
    • must indicate to which main figure the material belongs to
    • should be in a useable format (in the terms of open data as excel file or similar)
  • Raw data or primary imaging data must not have been processed, analyzed, or manipulated by a software program or manually.
  • Patients’ data must be anonymized.

Examples of published raw data supplements:

Excel Table (2021):


Letter to the editor (format and preparation)

A letter is usually 1-2 printed pages long and should not exceed 4 printed pages. It consists of a title (please do not use phrases, such as “dear Sir” or “dear editor”; instead, an informative, short title is preferred), the author (or list of authors) and affiliations. An abstract is possible but not obligatory. The text should not be structured (there should be no introduction, results or discussion sections and no subheadings). References are welcome but their number should be limited to ten. If you absolutely have accompanying material (1 Figure or 1 Table), this is to be brought in an electronic supplement and not part of the letter. Exceptions from these rules are possible but should be discussed with the editors.