pharmaceutical chemistry research papers

RSC Medicinal Chemistry  

pharmaceutical chemistry research papers

About RSC Medicinal Chemistry

Research and review articles in medicinal chemistry and related drug discovery science. Editor-in-chief: Mike Waring Impact Factor: 4.1 Time to first decision (peer reviewed only): 40 days

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RSC Medicinal Chemistry

The journal for research and review articles in medicinal chemistry and related drug discovery science

pharmaceutical chemistry research papers

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RSC Medicinal Chemistry  is a Transformative Journal and Plan S compliant

Impact factor: 4.1*

Time to first decision (all decisions): 14.0 days**

Time to first decision (peer reviewed only): 40.0 days***

Editor-in-Chief: Mike Waring

CiteScore: 7.5****

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Journal scope.

RSC Medicinal Chemistry  publishes significant research in medicinal chemistry and related drug discovery science.

Research articles published in  RSC Medicinal Chemistry  must show a breakthrough or significant advance on previously published work, or bring new thinking or results that will have a strong impact in their field.

Examples of areas within the journal's scope are:

  • Design, synthesis and biological evaluation of novel chemical entities or biotherapeutic modalities. To be suitable for publication these must exhibit significant potential as new pharmacological agents, tools, probes or potential drugs.
  • Modifications of known chemical entities or biotherapeutic modalities that result in a significantly greater understanding of their structure-activity relationships, an improvement of their properties or provide other information of significant value, for example, the identification of a new target or mode of action for a known agent. Routine modifications with minimal or no improvement are not suitable for  RSC Medicinal Chemistry .
  • Novel methodologies and technologies in the broader chemical and biological sciences (for example, enabling synthetic chemistry, chemical biology, -omics sciences, nanoscience) with application to drug discovery, target identification or elucidation of the mechanism of action. Biological studies should present sufficient innovation with respect to the chemistry.
  • Computational studies are welcome where they significantly advance medicinal chemistry knowledge. Studies that use established computational methods should include an original prediction and be accompanied by new experimental data which validates the prediction made. Studies that report novel computational methodology must demonstrate its use in medicinal chemistry through comparison with experimental data. Computational research that does not clearly relate the results obtained to experimental data or that has no demonstrated utility (or where the utility is unlikely to advance the field significantly) is not suitable for RSC Medicinal Chemistry. Docking studies presented without experimental data are not suitable for publication in the journal.
  • Studies that examine the effect of the molecular structure of a compound on pharmacokinetic behaviour and pharmacodynamics.
  • Studies that present new insights into drug design based on analysis of existing experimental datasets or new theoretical approaches if supported by experimental evidence.
  • Studies presenting new drug delivery systems with novel chemical agents are welcomed, in particular those that involve chemical modification of the delivery system of conjugation with novel delivery vectors. Those that focus solely on formulations of known drugs are not suitable for publication in RSC Medicinal Chemistry.

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Note that studies where new or existing compounds are tested as pharmacological agents will only be considered if they are carried out in the presence of clear positive and negative controls. Studies of this type should include a clearly defined and hypothesis-driven compound design rationale. Potential antimicrobial agents should be tested for cytotoxicity and activity against non-related pathogens.

To help editors and referees assess the significance of each submitted manuscript we ask all authors on submission to provide a brief statement of significance. This should contain one sentence to summarise the most important finding(s) in the manuscript and a second sentence to say why this is a significant advance in the field. This significance statement should focus specifically on the importance of the piece of research being submitted, rather than the importance of the field.

RSC Medicinal Chemistry Lectureship award

This Lectureship celebrates outstanding early career researchers who have made significant contributions in the fields of medicinal chemistry and drug discovery. The RSC Medicinal Chemistry Lectureship is awarded annually through a process whereby nominations of candidates are invited from our community.

You can read about eligibility, how to nominate, deadlines for nominations and see all of our lectureship winners.

Find out who is on the editorial and advisory boards for the  RSC Medicinal Chemistry  journal.


Mike Waring , Newcastle University, UK

Associate editors

Cynthia Dowd , George Washington University, USA

Maria Duca , Université Côte d’Azur - CNRS, France

Sally-Ann Poulsen , Griffith University, Queensland, Australia

Jian Zhang , Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine, China

Editorial board members

Hayley Binch , Hoffman-La Roche, Switzerland

Paola Castaldi , LifeMine Therapeutics, USA

Matthew Fuchter , Imperial College London, UK

Lyn Jones , Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, USA

Jean-Louis Reymond , University of Bern, Switzerland

Timor Baasov , Israel Institute of Technology, Israel

Andreas Bender , University of Cambridge, UK

Julian Blagg , Institute of Cancer Research, UK

Margaret Brimble , University of Auckland, New Zealand

Mark Bunnage , Vertex, USA

Christopher Burns , Certa Therapeutics, Australia

Andrea Cavalli , University of Bologna, Italy

Young-Tae Chang , POSTECH, South Korea

James Crawford , Genentech Inc, USA  

Matthew Duncton , Rigel Pharmaceuticals Inc

Stephen Frye , University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, USA

Sylvie Garneau-Tsodikova , University of Kentucky, USA

Barry Gold , University of Pittsburgh, USA

Jayanta Haldar , Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research, India

Gyoonhee Han , Yonsei University, Korea

Mike Hann , GSK Medicines Research Centre, Stevenage, UK

Christian Heinis , EPFL, Switzerland

Laura H. Heitman , Leiden University, Netherlands

Yoshinori Ikeura , Axcelead Drug Discovery Partners, Japan

Ahmed Kamal , NIPER, Hyderabad, India

Robert Langer , MIT, USA

Steven V Ley , University of Cambridge, UK

María Luz López Rodríguez , Complutense University of Madrid, Spain

Christa Muller , University of Bonn, Germany

Roberto Pellicciari , University of Perugia, Italy

David Rees , Astex Therapeutics, Cambridge, UK

Motonari Uesugi , Kyoto University, Japan

John C Vederas , University of Alberta, Canada

Paul Wender , Stanford University, USA

Zhen Yang , Peking University, China

Ming-Qiang Zhang , Amgen, Shanghai, China

Katie Lim , Executive Editor

Harriet Riley , Deputy Editor

Emily Cuffin-Munday , Development Editor

Sarah Anthony , Editorial Production Manager

Nicola Burton , Publishing Editor

Tom Cozens , Publishing Editor

Katie Fernandez , Publishing Editor

Ryan Kean , Publishing Editor

Roxane Owen , Publishing Editor, ORCID  0000-0002-4553-233X

Andrea Whiteside , Publishing Assistant

Sam Keltie , Publisher, Journals, ORCID  0000-0002-9369-8414

Article types

RSC Medicinal Chemistry  publishes:

  • Research articles
  • Review articles

Research article

All new research in  RSC Medicinal Chemistry  is published in the Research article format. Research articles have no page limits, although most articles fall between 4 and 10 journal pages (approximately 10–25 pages of double-spaced text). Research Articles encompass both full paper and communication styles. Where a communication style article is submitted the work should be of enough importance to merit urgent publication before the full study is complete. In all cases authors should provide the same level of experimental detail and data (full details of requirements can be found in the “Journal Specific Guidelines” section below).

Research findings should be presented in an informative way, emphasising the importance and potential impact of the research. Authors should limit experimental procedures and data in the main text to a maximum two journal pages (approximately 5 double-spaced pages), with all additional experimental information and data placed in the electronic supplementary information (ESI).

Authors are particularly encouraged to prepare a title and abstract which concisely summarise the key findings of their research and their importance, avoiding the use of non-standard abbreviations, acronyms and symbols, as this will enable potential readers to quickly understand the significance of the research. Authors should also consider using recognisable, searchable terms, as around 70% of our readers come directly via search engines. The table of contents graphic should give the reader a clear indication of the topic of the study, for example by showing key compounds.

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 Research article submissions is not essential.

Additional guidance on the layout and formatting of the article and supplementary information can be found on our  Prepare your article page .

Review article

These are easy-to-read articles covering current areas of interest for a broad medicinal chemistry audience. They are a concise and critical appraisal of an area in medicinal chemistry or a related topic, typically 6-12 pages in length. We also welcome shorter, mini-review style articles under this article type.

Reviews should focus 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.

Authors should include their own perspective on developments and trends, and the final paragraphs should discuss future directions, particularly identifying areas where further developments are imminent or that are in urgent need of being addressed.

Please note that Reviews should include balanced coverage of the field and not focus predominantly on the author’s own research.

Opinions are short, personal viewpoints on a topic of current interest to the community. They can be speculative in nature and stimulate counter-opinion, provided that they are not defamatory to the work of others. They should contain rigorous, evidence-backed scientific justification, and bring significant and valuable insights to the field.

Opinions are typically three to four pages in length and are normally published by invitation of the  RSC Medicinal Chemistry  Editorial Board or Editorial Office. Opinions undergo a rigorous and full peer review procedure, in the same way as Research and Review articles.

Comments and Replies are a medium for the discussion and exchange of scientific opinions between authors and readers concerning material published in  RSC Medicinal Chemistry .

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.

Journal specific guidelines

Human and animal welfare.

When a study involves the use of live animals or human subjects, authors must include in the 'methods/experimental' section of the manuscript a statement that all experiments were performed in compliance with the relevant laws and institutional guidelines, and must state the institutional committee(s) that has approved the experiments. A statement that informed consent was obtained for any experimentation with human subjects is required. Reviewers may be asked to comment specifically on any cases in which concerns arise.

More information on the Royal Society of Chemistry journals’ ethical policies can be found in our Author responsibilities page .

Disclosure of chemical structures

Chemical structures should be reported in the manuscript if that structure is necessary to understand the paper or repeat an experimental or computational procedure. Chemical structures should not be blanked out. In certain cases the non-disclosure of chemical structures may be acceptable, and these are considered on a case-by-case basis by the Associate Editor.

Experimental methods and data

Sufficient details of experimental or computational procedures should be included such that a scientist skilled in the art would be able to reproduce the results presented. The synthesis of all new compounds must be described in detail. Descriptions of synthetic procedures must include the specific reagents and solvents employed and must give the amounts (g, mmol) used. Products yields (%) must be reported together with a clear statement of how the percentage yields were calculated. The final physical state (solid; amorphous; liquid; solution) of the product should be disclosed. Where compounds are synthesised as part of an array or library a representative synthesis will be sufficient.

Authors should limit experimental procedures and data to two journal pages (approximately 5 double-spaced pages), with all additional experimental information and data placed in the electronic supplementary information (ESI).

Characterisation of organic compounds

Characterisation levels should be consistent with the importance of the compound to the conclusion of the work:

  • For all tested compounds purity should be at least 95%, confirmed by either 1 H/ 13 C NMR data (with spectrum presented in the supplementary file), HPLC, GC, electrophoresis or elemental analysis. Further characterisation data should be supplied where available
  • For key compounds (those which are subject to further study beyond initial screening), additional data should include 1 H NMR data (with spectrum presented in the supplementary file) and LC-MS data. Further data such as 13 C NMR, IR, CHN data and HRMS data should be supplied if available
  • For chiral compounds, when used as a non-racemate, specific rotation and evidence of enantiomeric purity via chiral HPLC or derivatisation to diastereoisomeric compounds/use of chiral shift reagents should be given. Where HPLC is used conditions employed should be supplied including column type, flow rate, solvent system and detection method
  • For compounds made as part of an array that are not considered key compounds, LC-MS data is sufficient.
  • For compounds generated through combinatorial methods, lead compounds should be characterised to the same standards as compounds generated through standard synthetic procedures.
  • For known compounds, an original reference to previously reported data should be cited; however authors should also include any new, previously unpublished characterisation data that have been obtained for known compounds.

Characterisation of biomolecules (For example, enzymes, peptides, proteins, DNA/RNA, oligosaccharides, oligonucleotides)

Authors should provide evidence for the identity and purity of the biomolecules described. The techniques that may be employed to substantiate identity include the following:

  • Mass spectrometry
  • Sequencing data (for proteins and oligonucleotides)
  • High field 1 H, 13 C NMR
  • X-ray crystallography

Purity must be established by one or more of the following:

  • Gel electrophoresis
  • Capillary electrophoresis
  • High field 1 H, 13 C NMR.

Sequence verification should also be provided for nucleic acid cases involving molecular biology. For organic synthesis involving DNA, RNA oligonucleotides, their derivatives or mimics, purity must be established using HPLC and mass spectrometry as a minimum. For new derivatives comprising modified monomers, the usual organic chemistry analytical requirements for the novel monomer must be provided. However, it is not necessary to provide this level of characterisation for the oligonucleotide into which the novel monomer is incorporated.

Novel macromolecular structures and newly reported nucleic acid or protein sequences and microarray data must be deposited with the appropriate database. Articles will not be published until the relevant accession number has been provided. These codes should be quoted in the experimental section of the manuscript. Microarray data should be MIAME compliant.

All Western blot and other electrophoresis data should be supported by the underlying raw images. The image of the full gel and blot, uncropped and unprocessed, should be provided in the supplementary information on submission. All samples and controls used for a comparative analysis should be run on the same gel or blot.

When illustrating the result, any cropping or rearrangement of lanes within an image should be stated in the figure legend and with lane boundaries clearly delineated. Alterations should be kept to a minimum required for clarity.

Each image should be appropriately labelled, with closest molecular mass markers and lanes labelled. All details must be visible, over or underexposed gels and blots are not acceptable. Authors should be able to provide raw data for all replicate experiments upon request.

Biological data

Biological test methods should be described in sufficient detail such that a scientist skilled in the art would be able to reproduce the results presented. Forms of administration as well as physical states and formulations should be noted. Doses and concentrations should be expressed as molar quantities (for example, mol kg -1 , µmol kg -1 , M, µM). For those compounds found to be inactive, the highest concentration ( in vitro ) or dose level ( in vivo ) tested should be indicated. For in vivo studies vehicle information should be supplied.

Quantitative biological data are required for all test compounds. It is expected that all tested compounds would be 95% pure and shown to be so using standard methods. Active compounds from combinatorial syntheses should be re-synthesised and retested to verify biological activity. In these cases experimental procedures and characterisation data as described above should be provided. Known or standard compounds or drugs should be tested under the same experimental conditions for the purpose of comparison (as a positive control). Data may be presented in tabulated form or as graphs; extensive data for compounds should be presented in the electronic supplementary information. Authors should use a number of significant figures that is relevant to the accuracy of the data. Information about the error associated with biological data, for example standard deviation or SEM, should be provided along with the number of experimental determinations.

Pan Assay Interference (PAINS) Compounds

In cases where potential assay interference compounds (for example covalent modifiers, luminescent molecules, redox active compounds, metal chelators, membrane disruptors or unstable compounds which can decompose to form active compounds)are reported as being active, authors should provide evidence in the experimental section that this activity is genuine and is not due to an artefact. For more information about interference compounds see JB Baell and GA Holloway, J. Med. Chem. 2010, 53 , 2719-2740.

Computational studies

Details of the types of computational studies that are suitable for publication in RSC Medicinal Chemistry are given in the “Scope” section above.

Computational methods should be described in sufficient detail such that a scientist skilled in the art would be able to reproduce the results presented. Where computational studies are accompanied by experimental results (for example to validate a prediction) those experimental procedures and data should also be described in detail (see guidelines for experimental procedures above). Where an existing computational method is used authors should provide reasoning why this is appropriate for their study.

QSAR & QSPR studies

Studies which report new methodology or theory should be validated against at least one other common data set for which a study using another method has been published previously. Standard studies must be accompanied by new experimental data which tests their predictive power. To be considered for RSC Medicinal Chemistry  such studies should demonstrate significant potential to advance the field of medicinal chemistry. Any data or structures which are used to carry out a QSAR or QSPR study should either be made available as supplementary material, or be freely available elsewhere with a reference to the location included in the manuscript.

Statistical analysis

In articles where there is large-scale statistical analysis one of the named authors should be a statistician.

Guidelines on writing titles, abstracts & table of contents entry

The title, abstract and table of contents entry (graphical abstract) are the first parts of your manuscript that editors, referees 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 these clearly and concisely show the main findings of your research and why they are important.

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 – between 8 and 15 words is ideal
  • 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
  • Avoid using subjective terms such as “novel”
  • 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 40 to 150 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.

Table of contents entry

A table of contents entry (graphical abstract) is required, which should be submitted at the revision stage. This should include an eye-catching graphic and 1-2 sentence(s) of text to summarise the key findings of the article to the reader. It will appear in the table of contents and feeds – for example, RSS feeds.

The graphic should:

  • Be simple, but informative.
  • Capture the reader’s attention (the use of colour is encouraged).
  • Include a structure, scheme, graph, drawing, photograph or combination that conveys the message of the article. Please note, complex schematics or spectra should be avoided.
  • Be original, unpublished artwork created by one of the co-authors. Preferably, the graphic should not be reused and appear again within the article.
  • Be suitable for, and uphold the standards of, a scholarly publication that has a global reach.
  • Not contain any elements that are offensive or inappropriate, in particular words or images that are discriminatory.
  • Not contain large amounts of text. Text should be limited to the labelling of compounds, reaction arrows and diagrams, with long phrases or sentences being avoided. Any text should be clearly legible to a reader.
  • Not contain logos, trademarks or brands names.

The text should:

  • Be concise and focus only on the key findings of the manuscript and their importance, not the processes used; think about what would grab the attention of the potential reader and would encourage them to read the full article.
  • Avoid repeating or paraphrasing the title or abstract.
  • Use easily recognisable words and phrases that can be read quickly.

Table of contents specifications:

  • The figure should be a maximum size of 8 cm wide x 4 cm high.
  • Figures should be supplied as TIFF files, with a resolution of 600 dpi or greater.
  • The text supplied should be 1-2 sentences long, using a maximum of 250 characters.

Injectable peptide hydrogels for controlled-release of opioids From DOI:  10.1039/C5MD00440C

Drug trapping in hERG K +  channels: (not) a matter of drug size? From DOI:  10.1039/C5MD00443H

Structural hybridization of three aminoglycoside antibiotics yields a potent broad-spectrum bactericide that eludes bacterial resistance enzymes From DOI:  10.1039/C5MD00429B

Rigid amphipathic nucleosides suppress reproduction of the tick-borne encephalitis virus From DOI:  10.1039/C5MD00538H

Vast numbers of prevalent aminoglycoside-modifying enzymes undermine the clinical use of aminoglycoside antibiotics. We present the design and synthesis of a potent broad-spectrum bactericidal aminoglycoside based on available X-ray co-crystal structures within the ribosomal binding-site. The resulting antibiotic displays broad protection of its functional groups from inactivation by clinically relevant resistance enzymes.

From DOI:  10.1039/C5MD00429B

Advanced glycation end products (AGEs) are associated with various diseases, especially during aging and the development of diabetes and uremia. To better understand these biological processes, investigation of the in vivo kinetics of AGEs, i.e., analysis of trafficking and clearance properties, was carried out by molecular imaging. Following the preparation of Cy7.5-labeled AGE-albumin and intravenous injection in BALB/cA-nu/nu mice, noninvasive fluorescence kinetics analysis was performed. In vivo imaging and fluorescence microscopy analysis revealed that non-enzymatic AGEs were smoothly captured by scavenger cells in the liver, i.e., Kupffer and other sinusoidal cells, but were unable to be properly cleared from the body. Overall, these results highlight an important link between AGEs and various disorders

From DOI:  10.1039/C6OB00098C

A screen of 20 compounds identified small molecule adjuvants capable of potentiating antibiotic activity against  Francisella philomiragia . Analogue synthesis of an initial hit compound led to the discovery of a potentially new class of small molecule adjuvants containing an indole core. The lead compound was able to lower the MIC of colistin by 32-fold against intrinsically resistant  F. philomiragia .

From DOI:  10.1039/C5MD00353A

Table of contents

Structural modifications through bioisosteric approach yielded fusidic acid analogues with 2–35 folds increase in antiplasmodial activity as compared to fusidic acid. From DOI: 10.1039/C5MD00343A

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The combination of flow chemistry and computational tools has been successfully applied to prepare a focused library of tricyclic tetrahydroquinolines endowed with drug-like properties. From DOI:  10.1039/C5MD00455A

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A screen of 20 compounds identified small molecule adjuvants capable of potentiating antibiotic activity against  Francisella philomiragia . From DOI:  10.1039/C5MD00353A

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A platinum complex/peptide chimera shows specific DNA binding and covalent platination with potential as a novel chemotherapeutic. From DOI:  10.1039/C5OB01885D

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Open access publishing options

RSC Medicinal Chemistry  is a hybrid (transformative) journal and gives authors the choice of publishing their research either via the traditional subscription-based model or instead by choosing our gold open access option.  Find out more about our Transformative Journals. which are Plan S compliant .

Gold open access

For authors who want to publish their article gold open access , RSC Medicinal Chemistry  charges an article processing charge (APC) of £2,500 (+ any applicable tax). Our APC is all-inclusive and makes your article freely available online immediately, permanently, and includes your choice of Creative Commons licence (CC BY or CC BY-NC) at no extra cost. It is not a submission charge, so you only pay if your article is accepted for publication.

Learn more about publishing open access .

Read & Publish

If your institution has a Read & Publish agreement in place with the Royal Society of Chemistry, APCs for gold open access publishing in RSC Medicinal Chemistry  may already be covered.

Use our journal finder to check if your institution has an open access agreement with us.

Please use your official institutional email address to submit your manuscript and check you are assigned as the corresponding author; this helps us to identify if you are eligible for Read & Publish or other APC discounts.

Traditional subscription model

Authors can also publish in RSC Medicinal Chemistry via the traditional subscription model without needing to pay an APC. Articles published via this route are available to institutions and individuals who subscribe to the journal. Our standard licence allows you to make the accepted manuscript of your article freely available after a 12-month embargo period. This is known as the green route to open access.

Learn more about green open access .

Readership information

Researchers in academia and industry studying medicinal chemistry, pharmacology, and topics in the wider chemical, biological and materials sciences with application to biological problems.

Subscription information

RSC Medicinal Chemistry  is part of the RSC Gold subscription package.

Online only 2024 : ISSN 2632-8682, £1,709 / $2,533

*2022 Journal Citation Reports (Clarivate Analytics, 2023)

**The median time from submission to first decision including manuscripts rejected without peer review from the previous calendar year

***The median time from submission to first decision for peer-reviewed manuscripts from the previous calendar year

****CiteScore™ 2022 available at

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Drug Design and Discovery: Principles and Applications

Shu-feng zhou.

1 Department of Bioengineering and Biotechnology, College of Chemical Engineering, Huaqiao University, Xiamen 361021, Fujian, China

Wei-Zhu Zhong

2 Gordon Life Science Institute, Belmont, MA 02478, USA

Drug discovery is the process through which potential new therapeutic entities are identified, using a combination of computational, experimental, translational, and clinical models (see, e.g., [ 1 , 2 ]). Despite advances in biotechnology and understanding of biological systems, drug discovery is still a lengthy, costly, difficult, and inefficient process with a high attrition rate of new therapeutic discovery. Drug design is the inventive process of finding new medications based on the knowledge of a biological target. In the most basic sense, drug design involves the design of molecules that are complementary in shape and charge to the molecular target with which they interact and bind. Drug design frequently but not necessarily relies on computer modeling techniques and bioinformatics approaches in the big data era. In addition to small molecules, biopharmaceuticals and especially therapeutic antibodies are an increasingly important class of drugs and computational methods for improving the affinity, selectivity, and stability of these protein-based therapeutics have also gained great advances [ 3 ]. Drug development and discovery includes preclinical research on cell-based and animal models and clinical trials on humans, and finally move forward to the step of obtaining regulatory approval in order to market the drug. Modern drug discovery involves the identification of screening hits, medicinal chemistry and optimization of those hits to increase the affinity, selectivity (to reduce the potential of side effects), efficacy/potency, metabolic stability (to increase the half-life), and oral bioavailability. Once a compound that fulfills all of these requirements has been identified, it will begin the process of drug development prior to clinical trials.

This Special Issue “Drug Design and Discovery: Principles and Applications” was focused on the basic principles of modern drug design and discovery and the potential applications. It covered seventeen research articles and one communication contributed from experts all around the world, as briefed below.

The 2014 Ebola epidemic in West Africa is believed to have caused more than 11,000 fatalities. The request for novel drug development, finding efficient drug discovery pathways is going to be crucial in the fight against future outbreaks. In the article entitled “Combating Ebola with Repurposed Therapeutic Using the CANDO Platform” [ 4 ], Gaurav Chopra, Ram Samudrala, and coauthors have developed a Computational Analysis of Novel Drug Opportunities (CANDO) platform based on the hypothesis that drugs function by interacting with multiple protein targets to create a molecular interaction signature that can be exploited for rapid therapeutic repurposing and discovery. They used the CANDO platform to generate top ranking drug candidates for Ebola virus disease treatment, which were compared to those identified from in vitro studies. They found that integrating computational docking predictions on a proteomic scale with results from in vitro screening studies may be used to select and prioritize compounds for further in vivo and clinical testing. This approach will significantly reduce the lead time, risk, cost, and resources required to determine efficacious therapies against future Ebola virus disease outbreaks.

Wei Xiao, Huiming Hua, Jinyi Xu, and their coworkers wrote an article with the title “NO-Releasing Enmein-Type Diterpenoid Derivatives with Selective Antiproliferative Activity and Effects on Apoptosis-Related Proteins” [ 5 ]. They designed and synthesized a series of nine enmein-type ent-kaurane diterpenoid and furoxan-based nitric oxide (NO) donor hybrids from commercially available oridonin. Their investigation in antiproliferative activity of these hybrids suggested that these kinds of NO-donor/diterpenoid hybrids could provide a promising approach for the discovery of novel antitumor agents.

Dimitra Hadjipavlou-Litina and colleagues presented an exhaustive docking analysis considering the case of autotaxin in the article entitled “Boronic Acid Group: A Cumbersome False Negative Case in the Process of Drug Design” [ 6 ]. They found that virtual screening of large libraries of boronic acid derivatives fail to dock in a natural mode. They are left out as false negatives both in regards to their binding poses and their scoring function values. To solve the problems encountered, the authors characterized the formed bond between Ser/Thr residues more accurately as a polar covalent bond instead of as a simple nonpolar covalent bond based on natural bond orbital calculations. The findings described in this article highlight general options that need to be considered when large libraries of boron compounds are virtually screened to identify novel hits in drug design.

In their article “Antiproliferative Activity and Cellular Uptake of Evodiamine and Rutaecarpine Based on 3D Tumor Models” [ 7 ], Feng Xu and coauthors employed the 3D culture of MCF-7 and SMMC-7721 cells based on the hanging drop method and evaluated the anti-proliferative activity and cellular uptake of two promising anti-tumor drug candidates, evodiamine (EVO) and rutaecarpine (RUT), in 3D multicellular spheroids and compared the results with those obtained from 2D monolayers. They believe that their study provided a new vision of the anti-tumor activity of EVO and RUT via 3D multicellular spheroids and cellular uptake through the fluorescence of compounds and may be helpful for drug screening and cytotoxicity studies.

Malaria is one of the principal diseases of developing countries, particularly in Africa, Asia, and South America. Due to the toxic side effects and the risk of developing resistance after prolonged treatment with aminoquinolines, it demands a continuous effort to develop new antimalarial agents, especially as an effective vaccine for malaria is not available. Rizk E. Khidre and colleagues designed and synthesized a novel series of quinoline compounds and screened for their antimalarial activities, with the hope that these compounds could lead to the availability of better drugs to treat malaria. Their study results are presented in the article “New Potential Antimalarial Agents: Design, Synthesis and Biological Evaluation of Some Novel Quinoline Derivatives as Antimalarial Agents” [ 8 ].

As described in the article entitled “Novel ( E )-β-Farnesene Analogues Containing 2-Nitroiminohexahydro-1,3,5-triazine: Synthesis and Biological Activity Evaluation” [ 9 ], Xinling Yang and coauthors introduced a series of novel ( E )-β-farnesene analogues by replacing the conjugated double bonds of EβF with 2-nitroiminohexahydro-1,3,5-triazine. Their bioassay results showed that all the analogues displayed different repellent and aphicidal activities against the green peach aphid (Myzus persicae). They also performed a preliminary structure-activity relationship (SAR), which offered valuable clues for the design of new EβF analogues.

In the search for prodrug analogs of clopidogrel with improved metabolic characteristics and antiplatelet bioactivity, a group of clopidogrel and vicagrel analogs selectively deuterated at the benzylic methyl ester group were synthesized, characterized, and evaluated by Yan Yang, Jingkai Gu, and their colleagues. The ability of the compounds to inhibit ADP-induced platelet aggregation and pharmacokinetics from rats after oral dosing were studied and the results are detailed in the article “Significant Improvement of Metabolic Characteristics and Bioactivities of Clopidogrel and Analogs by Selective Deuteration” [ 10 ].

Interest in intranasal administration as a non-invasive route for drug delivery continues to grow rapidly. Because of the sensitive respiratory mucosa, not only the active ingredients, but also additives need to be tested in appropriate models for toxicity. Rita Ambrus and coworkers studied the cytotoxicity of six pharmaceutical excipients, which could help to reach larger residence time, better permeability, and an increased solubility dissolution rate. As described in the communication entitled “Cytotoxicity of Different Excipients on RPMI 2650 Human Nasal Epithelial Cells” [ 11 ], they found that all additives at 0.3% sodium hyaluronate and polyvinyl alcohol at 1% concentrations can be safely used for nasal formulations.

As spermatozoa become mature and acquire fertilizing capacity during their passage through the epididymal lumen, Li-Juan Qu, Yan Zhu, et al. conducted a study to identify new epididymal luminal fluid proteins involved in sperm maturation in infertile rats by dutasteride, a dual 5α-reductase inhibitor, in order to provide potential epididymal targets for new contraceptives and infertility treatments. They report for the first time that dutasteride influences the protein expression profiling in the epididymal luminal fluids of rats, and this result provides some new epididymal targets for male contraception and infertility therapy. The study results are presented in the article “Identification of New Epididymal Luminal Fluid Proteins Involved in Sperm Maturation in Infertile Rats Treated by Dutasteride Using iTRAQ” [ 12 ].

Reported in the article “Synthesis and Evaluation of Ester Derivatives of 10-Hydroxycanthin-6-one as Potential Antimicrobial Agents” [ 13 ], Jun-Ru Wang and coauthors studied a new series of ester derivatives of 10-hydroxycanthin-6-one using a simple and effective synthetic route as part of their continuing research on canthin-6-one antimicrobial agents. They characterized the structure and antimicrobial activity of each compound, investigated the structure-activity relationship, and identified the promising lead compound that had significant antimicrobial activity against all the fungi and bacterial strains tested for the development of novel canthine-6-one antimicrobial agents.

Chun-Mei Jin, Zhe-Shan Quan, and colleagues wrote an article entitled “Synthesis and Biological Evaluation of Novel Benzothiazole Derivatives as Potential Anticonvulsant Agents” [ 14 ]. Because of the crucial need to develop more effective antiepileptic drugs endowed with an improved safety profile, the authors investigated new benzotriazoles with a mercapto-triazole and other heterocycle substituents, and evaluated their anticonvulsant activity and neurotoxicity for each compound by using the maximal electroshock, subcutaneous pentylenetetrazole, and rotarod neurotoxicity tests. The study outcomes are presented in their paper [ 14 ].

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are the most commonly prescribed anti-inflammatory and pain relief medications. However, their use is associated with many drawbacks. In an attempt to circumvent these risks, Ahmed M. Gouda and coworkers designed, synthesized, and evaluated a set of N-(4-bromophenyl)-7-cyano-6-substituted-H-pyrrolizine-5-carboxamide derivatives as dual COX/5-LOX inhibitors. In light of their findings, these novel pyrrolizine-5-carboxamide derivatives represent a promising scaffold for further development into potential dual COX/5-LOX inhibitors with safer gastric profiles. Their results are detailed in the article “Design, Synthesis, and Biological Evaluation of Some Novel Pyrrolizine Derivatives as COX Inhibitors with Anti Inflammatory/Analgesic Activities and Low Ulcerogenic Liability” [ 15 ].

The main step in a successful drug discovery pipeline is the identification of small potent compounds that selectively bind to the target of interest with high affinity. In the work reported in the article “Self Organizing Map-Based Classification of Cathepsin k and S Inhibitors with Different Selectivity Profiles Using Different Structural Molecular Fingerprints: Design and Application for Discovery of Novel Hits” [ 16 ], Hany E. A. Ahmed and colleagues proposed an affordable machine learning method to perform compound selectivity classification and prediction. They collected compounds with reported activity and built a selectivity database formed of 153 cathepsin K and S inhibitors that are considered of medicinal interest. The study results exhibited the capability of the method in the design of further novel inhibitors with high activity and target selectivity.

Vancomycin, a widely used antibiotic, often induces nephrotoxicity; however, the molecular targets and underlying mechanisms of this side effect remain unclear. In order to uncover the comprehensive and global understanding on the effect of vancomycin, Zhi-Ling Li and Shu-Feng Zhou investigated the molecular targets of vancomycin in human proximal tubule epithelial HK-2 cells with a focus on cell cycle, apoptosis, autophagy, and epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT) pathways. The quantitative SILAC-based proteomic approach showed that vancomycin regulated cell proliferation, mitochondria-dependent apoptotic pathway and autophagy, and EMT in HK-2 cells, involving a number of key functional proteins and related molecular signaling pathways. This study may provide a clue to fully identify the molecular targets and elucidate the underlying mechanism of vancomycin-associated nephrotoxicity, resulting in an improved therapeutic effect and reduced side effect in clinical settings. Detailed results are presented in the article “A SILAC-Based Approach Elicits the Proteomic Responses to Vancomycin-Associated Nephrotoxicity in Human Proximal Tubule Epithelial HK-2 Cells” [ 17 ].

Knowledge of protein-protein interactions and their binding sites is indispensable for in-depth understanding of the networks in living cells. With the avalanche of protein sequences generated in the postgenomic age, it is critical to develop computational methods for identifying in a timely fashion the protein-protein binding sites (PPBSs) based on the sequence information alone because the information obtained by this method can be used for both biomedical research and drug development. To address such a challenge, Jianhua Jia, Bingxiang Liu, and colleagues [ 18 ] have proposed a new predictor, called iPPBS-Opt, in which they have used the concept of pseudo amino acid composition (PseAAC) [ 19 ] to formulate complicated protein sequences. Although there are many investigators (see, e.g., [ 20 , 21 , 22 , 23 ]) who also used the PseAAC to formulate protein sequences, this is the first time the stationary wavelet transform approach is introduced to reflect the functions of low-frequency phonons in proteins as deduced some 40 years ago [ 24 , 25 ]. Furthermore, to maximize the convenience for most experimental scientists, they have provided a step-by-step guide on how to use the predictor’s web server ( ) to obtain the desired results without the need to go through the complicated mathematical equations involved.

In the article “Synthesis of Canthardin Sulfanilamides and Their Acid Anhydride Analogues via a Ring-Opening Reaction of Activated Aziridines and Their Associated Pharmacological Effects” [ 26 ], Mei-Hsiang Lin and coworkers reported their investigation to find new cantharidinimides and related imides containing the sulfonamide group. The modification of cantharidinimide by means of the reaction of activated aziridine ring opening led to the discovery of a novel class of antitumor compounds. They found that the most potent cytostatic compound, N -cantharidinimido-sulfamethazine, exhibited anti-HL-60 and anti-Hep3B cell activities. Detailed results of their investigation are presented in the article [ 26 ].

Jian Li and coworkers wrote an article entitled “Chemical Structure-Related Drug-Like Criteria of Global Approved Drugs” [ 27 ]. They uncovered three important structure-related criteria closely related to drug-likeness, namely: (1) the best numbers of aromatic and non-aromatic rings are 2 and 1, respectively; (2) the best functional groups of candidate drugs are usually -OH, -COOR, and -COOH in turn, but not -CONHOH, -SH, -CHO, and -SO 3 H. In addition, the -F functional group is beneficial to CNS drugs, and the -NH 2 functional group is beneficial to anti-infective drugs and anti-cancer drugs; (3) the best R value intervals of candidate drugs are in the range of 0.05–0.50 (preferably 0.10–0.35), and the R value of candidate CNS drugs should be as small as possible in this interval. They envision that the three chemical structure-related criteria may be applicable in a prospective manner for the identification of novel candidate drugs and will provide a theoretical foundation for designing new chemical entities with good drug-like properties.

For the purpose of finding highly active pyrazole amide compounds, Jin-Xia Mu, Xing-Hai Liu, Bao-Ju Li, and their coworkers designed and synthesized a series of novel pyrazole amide derivatives by multi-step reactions from phenylhydrazine and ethyl 3-oxobutanoate as starting materials. They characterized the structures and antifungal activities of the title compounds and used DFT calculations to study the structure-activity relationships. Their results indicated that some of the title compounds exhibited moderate antifungal activity, as shown in the article “Design, Synthesis, DFT Study and Antifungal Activity of Pyrazolecarboxamide Derivatives” [ 28 ].

The eighteen articles published in this thematic issue “Drug Design and Discovery: Principles and Applications” are highlighted in the areas of computer-aided drug discovery and development, drug design and synthesis approaches, in vitro and in vivo pharmacological and toxicological evaluations, etc. These articles not only provided important information, but also generated many useful tools for drug discovery and development. These works showed that the in vitro and in vivo experiments complemented with computation methods are continuously improving the effectiveness and efficiency of drug discovery processes to select lead candidates with more favorable pharmacological, pharmacokinetics, and toxicological profiles.

It is our intent that publication of this Special Issue can stimulate new strategies in drug design and provide new tools, approaches, and technologies to facilitate the evaluation of new drug candidates, leading to the rapid and successful development of novel, effective, and safe medicines for treating diseases [ 29 ].

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflict of interest.

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Volumes and issues

Volume 32 january - november 2023.

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Special Issue in Honor of Prof. Thomas A. Baillie for His Many Contributions to Drug Metabolism and Drug Discovery

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Special Issue in Honor of Prof. Laurence H. Hurley for His Many Contributions in Medicinal Chemistry and Drug Discovery

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Chemistry articles from across Nature Portfolio

Chemistry is a branch of science that involves the study of the composition, structure and properties of matter. Often known as the central science, it is a creative discipline chiefly concerned with atomic and molecular structure and its change, for instance through chemical reactions.

pharmaceutical chemistry research papers

Atom-swap chemistry could aid drug discovery

An unconventional route for modifying pharmaceutically relevant molecules swaps an atom of carbon for one of nitrogen. The resulting derivatives might open up avenues of research in medicinal-chemistry campaigns.

  • Filippo Ficarra
  • Mattia Silvi

pharmaceutical chemistry research papers

A 21-electron cobalt sandwich

  • Joan Serrano-Plana

pharmaceutical chemistry research papers

An open-shell molecule that exhibits conformational dynamics

Open-shell organic molecules with properties that can be modulated by external stimuli are of interest for spintronics applications. Now, an overcrowded alkene with open-shell tetraradical character has been synthesized in which the interaction between the π -conjugated subunits depends on the charge and spin state.

  • Yoshito Tobe

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Preparation and properties of novel binary and ternary highly amorphous poly(vinyl alcohol)-based composites with hybrid nanofillers

  • Anastasiia Stepura
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pharmaceutical chemistry research papers

Advances in the greener synthesis of chromopyrimidine derivatives by a multicomponent tandem oxidation process

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Nucleophilic aromatization of monoterpenes from isoprene under nickel/iodine cascade catalysis

Organic compounds possessing two isoprene units play important roles in chemical industry. Herein, the authors use bulk C5 chemical—isoprene to synthesise various monoterpenoids via a nucleophilic aromatization of monoterpenes under cascade catalysis of nickel and iodine

  • Wei-Song Zhang
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pharmaceutical chemistry research papers

Adsorption and safe immobilization of Sr ions in modified zeolite matrices

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pharmaceutical chemistry research papers

Metal-free photoanodes for C–H functionalization

The photoelectrochemical performance of carbon nitride is still insufficient for organic transformations. Here, the authors introduce a spin coating strategy for the synthesis of carbon nitride photoelectrodes, enabling high yields in C-H functionalization.

  • Junfang Zhang
  • Felix F. Loeffler

pharmaceutical chemistry research papers

Non-isocyanate polyurethanes synthesized from terpenes using thiourea organocatalysis and thiol-ene-chemistry

Polyurethanes find versatile applications in our daily lives, e.g., as coatings, foams and adhesives, but non-hazardous synthesis routes with renewable feedstocks are urgently needed. Here, the authors report an organocatalytic synthesis route towards non-isocyanate polyurethanes using terpenes as renewable starting materials.

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Us universities must tackle their huge carbon footprints.

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pharmaceutical chemistry research papers

Enyne difluorination

Fluorination strategies are important in assisting the synthesis of pharmaceuticals. Iodine(I/III) catalysis has become particularly useful for installing gem -difluoro groups but is limited to styrenes. Now, the hypervalent iodane-catalysed difluorination of enynes has enabled access to diverse homopropargylic difluorides.

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pharmaceutical chemistry research papers

Electronics can be more sustainable

Integrated design assisted by materials and technology innovations can help a transition from traditional to sustainable electronics.

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Detailed Instructions for Authors (Download pdf, 287 kB)

Medicinal Chemistry Research is a journal for the prompt disclosure of novel experimental achievements in many facets of drug design, drug discovery, and the elucidation of mechanisms of action of biologically active compounds. Articles are sought which emphasize research in chemical biological relationships, especially with respect to: structure-activity relationships, investigations of biochemical and pharmacological targets of drug action, and correlations of structures with the mode of action of biologically active compounds. Studies will be welcomed that increase our understanding of biochemical interactions between drug molecules, ions, free radicals, and sterically important sections of macromolecular targets. The Journal is also dedicated to medicinal plants and to bioactive natural products of plant, fungal, mammalian, and aquatic origin. The Journal publishes original contributions in the following major areas:

  • Design, synthesis, and structure-activity relationships of bioactive compounds
  • Docking, molecular modeling, and computational studies of bioactive interactions
  • Characterization of active ingredients of medicinal plants and identification of bioactivity in plant extracts
  • Identification of targets and mechanism of activity of bioactive compounds
  • Chemistry and biochemistry of bioactive natural products of plant origin
  • Critical reviews of the historical, clinical, and legal status of medicinal agents, and accounts on topical issues.

Contributions reporting the following are not normally considered for publication:

  • Biological activity on crude extracts that have not been characterized by analysis of their secondary metabolites (HPLC, 1H and 13C NMR including 2D NMR).
  • Unexceptional and predictable bioactivity (e.g. antioxidant properties of phenolic or antibacterial activity of essential oils or antioxidant properties of metals such as iron, copper, etc.).
  • Uncritical ethnopharmacological investigations, where a list of plants and their use are simply reported.
  • Synthetic work in which the spectroscopic characterization is not complete (e.g., 1H and 13C NMR, HRMS, CHN, UV, IR, etc.).
  • Computational work that simply discusses the docking, molecular modeling, QSAR, SAR, and computational studies of bioactive interactions without validation of the method (with experimental data).
  • Biological activity that is low and insufficient to generate meaningful structure activity relationship.

Violation of any of the following rules will result in an immediate rejection:

RULE 1: The manuscript does not fall into any of the areas of interest of the Journal.

RULE 2: The manuscript is too preliminary (e.g., data without comparison to a reference, or without a positive control).

RULE 3: The botanical source is not clearly identified, authenticated, or documented (voucher specimen).

RULE 4: The manuscript is too focused on a non-chemical subject (e.g., pharmacology, analytical studies of active ingredients, analytical studies of drug concentrations (ADME is suitable), etc.

RULE 5: Manuscripts that simply discuss antioxidant properties of phenols or other compounds known to possess antioxidant effects.

RULE 6: Computer QSAR/modeling manuscripts that lack experimental biological validation of the proposed model(s).

RULE 7: The manuscript does not follow the formatting provided in this document.

RULE 8: The manuscripts contains poor English or difficult to read language.

2. General Considerations and types of manuscripts

Authors are strongly encouraged to provide their manuscript in an electronic format. The text must be in a single-column format and lines with double space. Use plain font 12 point Times New Roman and symbols (use internationally accepted signs and symbols for units, SI units). Use the automatic page numbering function to number all the pages. Ensure that all special characters are presented in the body of the text and do not use graphics. Abbreviations, except for very common ones, must be defined the first time they are used and a list supplied with the manuscript.

Using clear and concise English will help the editors and the reviewers concentrate on the scientific merit of the manuscript and thus smooth the peer review process. We reject manuscripts with good science that are poorly written.

The text of a research manuscript should be divided into the following sections: Introduction, Results and Discussion, Conclusions, Materials and Methods/Experimental, Acknowledgements (Funding), Conflict of Interest, and References as appropriate for the specific manuscript type. Tables, figures, and schemes should be embedded in the text or be included right after the references on separate pages (one each per page). Do not upload tables, figures, and schemes that are to be published in the manuscript into the electronic supplementary material. Authors are encouraged to provide supplementary material to keep the manuscript to a reasonable length appropriate for the specific manuscript type.

Types of manuscript accepted include comments, reviews, brief reports, and original research articles.

2.1. Guidelines for comments

Comments are normally by invitation only. Unsolicited comment articles are rarely considered, but if you wish to enquire further about the suitability of your article, you can email Dr. Hans Detlef Klueber ([email protected]).

Comments are short focused articles or viewpoints that are usually invited by the journal. These articles are generally peer-reviewed in consultation with the journal's Editorial Board. A comment article can be editorial in nature discussing new topics or new technologies in medicinal chemistry research and can also be used to highlight one or more exciting research articles recently published in Med. Chem. Res.

Comments should be less than 3,000 words with less than 15 references, preferably <5 references. No abstract or graphical abstract is needed. Supplementary materials are allowed.

2.2. Guidelines for review articles

Review articles are peer-reviewed articles covering important topic areas that are of significant interest to the broad community of scientists working in drug design, discovery, and development. They are typically 10-20 pages in length. We also welcome shorter, mini-review style articles under this article type that cover new drugs recently developed and tested in clinical trials and/or received regulatory approval.

Review articles do not need to be comprehensive and should focus on important drug targets, mechanism of action, and/or important structure-activity relationship findings and key physicochemical/pharmaceutical/DMPK properties that made the molecule into a drug. Authors should summarize important findings rather than reiterating details published in the primary literature. Whenever possible, authors should make their own summary figures instead of reusing multiple figures from the primary literature. If reusing or simply adapting figures already published, authors need to obtain permission from the copy right holders and reference accordingly.

Authors should include balanced coverage of the field reviewed and not just their own research. The authors are encouraged to incorporate their own perspectives and do their own analysis of data published. In the final section, the authors should discuss future directions and trends where appropriate.

2.3. Guidelines for brief reports

Brief reports are peer-reviewed short papers that present original and significant results in drug design, discovery, and development for rapid dissemination or short notes that present technical developments and innovations in the use of new technologies such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, high throughput experimentation, flow chemistry, and software to advance drug discovery and development.

Brief reports are limited to 6 pages in length. The paper should contain an abstract, graphical abstract, main body and references, and contain no more than 6 figures, schemes, or tables, combined. The abstract is limited to 150 words. The paper may not need an experimental section but details about compound characterization and purity confirmation can be placed in a supporting document.

2.4. Guidelines for original research articles

Original research articles are peer-reviewed full papers that present original and significant results in drug design, discovery, and development with an experimental section. There are no page limits, although most original research articles would have around 8-15 journal pages.

The text of an original research article should be divided into the following sections: Introduction, Results and Discussion, Conclusions, Materials and Methods/Experimental, Acknowledgements (Funding), Conflict of Interest, and References. Tables, figures, and schemes should be embedded in the text or be included right after the references on separate pages (one each per page). The authors should limit the number of schemes/figures/tables to a total of 10 or less in the manuscript.

2.5. Manuscript requirements at a glance

Graphical Abstract. The author(s) are strongly encouraged to provide a graphical abstract that is a single schematic image which visually represents the main findings of the article, allowing readers to easily capture the content of the article at a single glance. The graphical abstract must meet the same quality and permissions standards as any other figure in the article. A caption is not needed, while compound numbers can be given in the graphical abstract. The use of color is encouraged and there is no charge for the graphical abstract. The graphical abstract should be legible at a size of 5 × 3 inches (130 × 75 mm, w × h)) using a regular screen resolution of 96 dpi. Graphical abstracts can be selected as the front cover image.

Cover Image. Authors are encouraged to submit a high resolution image of their graphical abstract as a separate file for consideration as a cover image at the revision/proofing stage. The image file should be created at publication size: 8 × 4.8 in (200 × 120 mm, w × h) at a resolution of at least 300 dpi in uncompressed JPEG, TIFF, PNG, PSD, AI, EPS, or PDF format.

Immediately after the abstract paragraph/graphical abstract, 4 to 6 keywords, should be provided for indexing purposes under the heading Keywords.

Submission of a manuscript implies: that the work described has not been published before; that it is not under consideration for publication anywhere else; that its publication has been approved by all co-authors, if any, as well as by the responsible authorities – tacitly or explicitly – at the institute where the work has been carried out. The publisher will not be held legally responsible should there be any claims for compensation.


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) for both the print and online format and to include evidence that such permission has been granted when submitting their papers. Any material received without such evidence will be assumed to originate from the authors.

Online Submission

Please follow the hyperlink “Submit manuscript” on the right and upload all of your manuscript files following the instructions given on the screen.

Source Files

Please ensure you provide all relevant editable source files at every submission and revision. Failing to submit a complete set of editable source files will result in your article not being considered for review. For your manuscript text please always submit in common word processing formats such as .docx or LaTeX.

Please make sure your title page contains the following information

The title should be concise and informative.

Author information

  • The name(s) of the author(s)
  • The affiliation(s) of the author(s), i.e. institution, (department), city, (state), country
  • A clear indication and an active e-mail address of the corresponding author
  • If available, the 16-digit ORCID of the author(s)

If address information is provided with the affiliation(s) it will also be published.

For authors that are (temporarily) unaffiliated we will only capture their city and country of residence, not their e-mail address unless specifically requested.

Large Language Models (LLMs), such as ChatGPT , do not currently satisfy our authorship criteria . Notably an attribution of authorship carries with it accountability for the work, which cannot be effectively applied to LLMs. Use of an LLM should be properly documented in the Methods section (and if a Methods section is not available, in a suitable alternative part) of the manuscript.

Please provide an abstract of 150 to 250 words. The abstract should not contain any undefined abbreviations or unspecified references.

For life science journals only (when applicable)

  • Trial registration number and date of registration for prospectively registered trials
  • Trial registration number and date of registration, followed by “retrospectively registered”, for retrospectively registered trials

Please provide 4 to 6 keywords which can be used for indexing purposes.

Statements and Declarations

  • Competing Interests: Authors are required to disclose financial or non-financial interests that are directly or indirectly related to the work submitted for publication. Please refer to "Competing Interests and Funding" below for more information on how to complete this section.

Please see the relevant sections in the submission guidelines for further information as well as various examples of wording. Please revise/customize the sample statements according to your own needs.

Text Formatting

Manuscripts should be submitted in Word.

  • Use a normal, plain font (e.g., 10-point Times Roman) for text.
  • Use italics for emphasis.
  • Use the automatic page numbering function to number the pages.
  • Do not use field functions.
  • Use tab stops or other commands for indents, not the space bar.
  • Use the table function, not spreadsheets, to make tables.
  • Use the equation editor or MathType for equations.
  • Save your file in docx format (Word 2007 or higher) or doc format (older Word versions).

Manuscripts with mathematical content can also be submitted in LaTeX. We recommend using Springer Nature’s LaTeX template .

Please use no more than three levels of displayed headings.


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

Footnotes can be used to give additional information, which may include the citation of a reference included in the reference list. They should not consist solely of a reference citation, and they should never include the bibliographic details of a reference. They should also not contain any figures or tables.

Footnotes to the text are numbered consecutively; those to tables should be indicated by superscript lower-case letters (or asterisks for significance values and other statistical data). Footnotes to the title or the authors of the article are not given reference symbols.

Always use footnotes instead of endnotes.


Acknowledgments of people, grants, funds, etc. should be placed in a separate section after Experimental. The names of funding organizations should be written in full.

Reference citations in the text should be identified by numbers in square brackets. Some examples:

1. Negotiation research spans many disciplines [3].

2. This result was later contradicted by Becker and Seligman [5].

3. This effect has been widely studied [1-3, 7].

Reference list

The list of references should only include works that are cited in the text and that have been published or accepted for publication. Personal communications and unpublished works should only be mentioned in the text.

The entries in the list should be numbered consecutively.

If available, please always include DOIs as full DOI links in your reference list (e.g. “”).

Smith JJ. The world of science. Am J Sci. 1999;36:234–5.

Slifka MK, Whitton JL. Clinical implications of dysregulated cytokine production. J Mol Med. 2000;

Blenkinsopp A, Paxton P. Symptoms in the pharmacy: a guide to the management of common illness. 3rd ed. Oxford: Blackwell Science; 1998.

Wyllie AH, Kerr JFR, Currie AR. Cell death: the significance of apoptosis. In: Bourne GH, Danielli JF, Jeon KW, editors. International review of cytology. London: Academic; 1980. pp. 251–306.

Doe J. Title of subordinate document. In: The dictionary of substances and their effects. Royal Society of Chemistry. 1999. of subordinate document. Accessed 15 Jan 1999.

Always use the standard abbreviation of a journal’s name according to the ISSN List of Title Word Abbreviations, see LTWA

If you are unsure, please use the full journal title.

For authors using EndNote, Springer provides an output style that supports the formatting of in-text citations and reference list. Please click link below to download the EndNote style file.


  • All tables are to be numbered using Arabic numerals.
  • Tables should always be cited in text in consecutive numerical order.
  • For each table, please supply a table caption (title) explaining the components of the table.
  • Identify any previously published material by giving the original source in the form of a reference at the end of the table caption.
  • Footnotes to tables should be indicated by superscript lower-case letters (or asterisks for significance values and other statistical data) and included beneath the table body.

Electronic Figure Submission

  • Supply all figures electronically.
  • Indicate what graphics program was used to create the artwork.
  • For vector graphics, the preferred format is EPS; for halftones, please use TIFF format. MSOffice files are also acceptable.
  • Vector graphics containing fonts must have the fonts embedded in the files.
  • Name your figure files with "Fig" and the figure number, e.g., Fig1.eps.
  • Definition: Black and white graphic with no shading.
  • Do not use faint lines and/or lettering and check that all lines and lettering within the figures are legible at final size.
  • All lines should be at least 0.1 mm (0.3 pt) wide.
  • Scanned line drawings and line drawings in bitmap format should have a minimum resolution of 1200 dpi.

Halftone Art

pharmaceutical chemistry research papers

  • Definition: Photographs, drawings, or paintings with fine shading, etc.
  • If any magnification is used in the photographs, indicate this by using scale bars within the figures themselves.
  • Halftones should have a minimum resolution of 300 dpi.

Combination Art

pharmaceutical chemistry research papers

  • Definition: a combination of halftone and line art, e.g., halftones containing line drawing, extensive lettering, color diagrams, etc.
  • Combination artwork should have a minimum resolution of 600 dpi.
  • Color art is free of charge for online publication.
  • If black and white will be shown in the print version, make sure that the main information will still be visible. Many colors are not distinguishable from one another when converted to black and white. A simple way to check this is to make a xerographic copy to see if the necessary distinctions between the different colors are still apparent.
  • If the figures will be printed in black and white, do not refer to color in the captions.
  • Color illustrations should be submitted as RGB (8 bits per channel).

Figure Lettering

  • To add lettering, it is best to use Helvetica or Arial (sans serif fonts).
  • Keep lettering consistently sized throughout your final-sized artwork, usually about 2–3 mm (8–12 pt).
  • Variance of type size within an illustration should be minimal, e.g., do not use 8-pt type on an axis and 20-pt type for the axis label.
  • Avoid effects such as shading, outline letters, etc.
  • Do not include titles or captions within your illustrations.

Figure Numbering

  • All figures are to be numbered using Arabic numerals.
  • Figures should always be cited in text in consecutive numerical order.
  • Figure parts should be denoted by lowercase letters (a, b, c, etc.).
  • If an appendix appears in your article and it contains one or more figures, continue the consecutive numbering of the main text. Do not number the appendix figures,"A1, A2, A3, etc." Figures in online appendices [Supplementary Information (SI)] should, however, be numbered separately.

Figure Captions

  • Each figure should have a concise caption describing accurately what the figure depicts. Include the captions in the text file of the manuscript, not in the figure file.
  • Figure captions begin with the term Fig. in bold type, followed by the figure number, also in bold type.
  • No punctuation is to be included after the number, nor is any punctuation to be placed at the end of the caption.
  • Identify all elements found in the figure in the figure caption; and use boxes, circles, etc., as coordinate points in graphs.
  • Identify previously published material by giving the original source in the form of a reference citation at the end of the figure caption.

Figure Placement and Size

  • Figures should be submitted separately from the text, if possible.
  • When preparing your figures, size figures to fit in the column width.
  • For large-sized journals the figures should be 84 mm (for double-column text areas), or 174 mm (for single-column text areas) wide and not higher than 234 mm.
  • For small-sized journals, the figures should be 119 mm wide and not higher than 195 mm.

If you include figures that have already been published elsewhere, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner(s) for both the print and online format. Please be aware that some publishers do not grant electronic rights for free and that Springer will not be able to refund any costs that may have occurred to receive these permissions. In such cases, material from other sources should be used.


In order to give people of all abilities and disabilities access to the content of your figures, please make sure that

  • All figures have descriptive captions (blind users could then use a text-to-speech software or a text-to-Braille hardware)
  • Patterns are used instead of or in addition to colors for conveying information (colorblind users would then be able to distinguish the visual elements)
  • Any figure lettering has a contrast ratio of at least 4.5:1

Springer accepts electronic multimedia files (animations, movies, audio, etc.) and other supplementary files to be published online along with an article or a book chapter. This feature can add dimension to the author's article, as certain information cannot be printed or is more convenient in electronic form.

Before submitting research datasets as Supplementary Information, authors should read the journal’s Research data policy. We encourage research data to be archived in data repositories wherever possible.

  • Supply all supplementary material in standard file formats.
  • Please include in each file the following information: article title, journal name, author names; affiliation and e-mail address of the corresponding author.
  • To accommodate user downloads, please keep in mind that larger-sized files may require very long download times and that some users may experience other problems during downloading.
  • High resolution (streamable quality) videos can be submitted up to a maximum of 25GB; low resolution videos should not be larger than 5GB.

Audio, Video, and Animations

  • Aspect ratio: 16:9 or 4:3
  • Maximum file size: 25 GB for high resolution files; 5 GB for low resolution files
  • Minimum video duration: 1 sec
  • Supported file formats: avi, wmv, mp4, mov, m2p, mp2, mpg, mpeg, flv, mxf, mts, m4v, 3gp

Text and Presentations

  • Submit your material in PDF format; .doc or .ppt files are not suitable for long-term viability.
  • A collection of figures may also be combined in a PDF file.


  • Spreadsheets should be submitted as .csv or .xlsx files (MS Excel).

Specialized Formats

  • Specialized formats such as .pdb (chemical), .wrl (VRML), .nb (Mathematica notebook), and .tex can also be supplied.

Collecting Multiple Files

  • It is possible to collect multiple files in a .zip or .gz file.
  • If supplying any supplementary material, the text must make specific mention of the material as a citation, similar to that of figures and tables.
  • Refer to the supplementary files as “Online Resource”, e.g., "... as shown in the animation (Online Resource 3)", “... additional data are given in Online Resource 4”.
  • Name the files consecutively, e.g. “ESM_3.mpg”, “ESM_4.pdf”.
  • For each supplementary material, please supply a concise caption describing the content of the file.

Processing of supplementary files

  • Supplementary Information (SI) will be published as received from the author without any conversion, editing, or reformatting.

In order to give people of all abilities and disabilities access to the content of your supplementary files, please make sure that

  • The manuscript contains a descriptive caption for each supplementary material
  • Video files do not contain anything that flashes more than three times per second (so that users prone to seizures caused by such effects are not put at risk)

Upon acceptance, your article will be exported to Production to undergo typesetting. Once typesetting is complete, you will receive a link asking you to confirm your affiliation, choose the publishing model for your article as well as arrange rights and payment of any associated publication cost.

Once you have completed this, your article will be processed and you will receive the proofs.

Article publishing agreement

Depending on the ownership of the journal and its policies, you will either grant the Publisher an exclusive licence to publish the article or will be asked to transfer copyright of the article to the Publisher.

Offprints can be ordered by the corresponding author.

Color illustrations

Online publication of color illustrations is free of charge. For color in the print version, authors will be expected to make a contribution towards the extra costs.

Proof reading

The purpose of the proof is to check for typesetting or conversion errors and the completeness and accuracy of the text, tables and figures. Substantial changes in content, e.g., new results, corrected values, title and authorship, are not allowed without the approval of the Editor.

After online publication, further changes can only be made in the form of an Erratum, which will be hyperlinked to the article.

Online First

The article will be published online after receipt of the corrected proofs. This is the official first publication citable with the DOI. After release of the printed version, the paper can also be cited by issue and page numbers.

Open Choice allows you to publish open access in more than 1850 Springer Nature journals, making your research more visible and accessible immediately on publication.

Article processing charges (APCs) vary by journal – view the full list

  • Increased researcher engagement: Open Choice enables access by anyone with an internet connection, immediately on publication.

It is easy to find funding to support open access – please see our funding and support pages for more information.

*) Within the first three years of publication. Springer Nature hybrid journal OA impact analysis, 2018.

Funding and Support pages

Copyright and license term – CC BY

Open Choice articles do not require transfer of copyright as the copyright remains with the author. In opting for open access, the author(s) agree to publish the article under the Creative Commons Attribution License.

Find more about the license agreement

This journal operates a type 2 research data policy (life sciences).

The journal strongly encourages that all datasets on which the conclusions of the paper rely should be available to readers. We encourage authors to ensure that their datasets are either deposited in publicly available repositories (where available and appropriate) or presented in the main manuscript or additional supporting files whenever possible. Please see Springer Nature’s information on recommended repositories.

List of Repositories

Research Data Policy

General repositories - for all types of research data - such as figshare and Dryad may be used where appropriate.

Datasets that are assigned digital object identifiers (DOIs) by a data repository may be cited in the reference list. Data citations should include the minimum information recommended by DataCite: authors, title, publisher (repository name), identifier.

Where a widely established research community expectation for data archiving in public repositories exists, submission to a community-endorsed, public repository is mandatory. Persistent identifiers (such as DOIs and accession numbers) for relevant datasets must be provided in the paper.

If the journal that you’re submitting to uses double-blind peer review and you are providing reviewers with access to your data (for example via a repository link, supplementary information or data on request), it is strongly suggested that the authorship in the data is also blinded. There are data repositories that can assist with this and/or will create a link to mask the authorship of your data.

For the following types of data set, submission to a community-endorsed, public repository is mandatory:

For more information:

Research Data Policy Frequently Asked Questions

Data availability

The journal encourages authors to provide a statement of Data availability in their article. Data availability statements should include information on where data supporting the results reported in the article can be found, including, where applicable, hyperlinks to publicly archived datasets analysed or generated during the study. Data availability statements can also indicate whether data are available on request from the authors and where no data are available, if appropriate.

Data Availability statements can take one of the following forms (or a combination of more than one if required for multiple datasets):

  • 4. Data sharing not applicable to this article as no datasets were generated or analysed during the current study.

More examples of template data availability statements, which include examples of openly available and restricted access datasets, are available:

Data availability statements

Authors who need help understanding our data sharing policies, help finding a suitable data repository, or help organising and sharing research data can access our Author Support portal for additional guidance.

  • Please always use internationally accepted signs and symbols for units (SI units).
  • Nomenclature: Insofar as possible, authors should use systematic names similar to those used by Chemical Abstract Service or IUPAC.
  • Genus and species names should be in italics.
  • Generic names of drugs and pesticides are preferred; if trade names are used, the generic name should be given at first mention.
  • Please use the standard mathematical notation for formulae, symbols, etc.:Italic for single letters that denote mathematical constants, variables, and unknown quantities Roman/upright for numerals, operators, and punctuation, and commonly defined functions or abbreviations, e.g., cos, det, e or exp, lim, log, max, min, sin, tan, d (for derivative) Bold for vectors, tensors, and matrices.

Chemical Abstract Service ( ) or IUPAC ( )

  • Manuscripts submitted to the journal are expected to adhere to internationally accepted nomenclature for receptors ( ) and enzymes ( ).

This journal is committed to upholding the integrity of the scientific record. As a member of the Committee on Publication Ethics ( COPE ) the journal will follow the COPE guidelines on how to deal with potential acts of misconduct.

Authors should refrain from misrepresenting research results which could damage the trust in the journal, the professionalism of scientific authorship, and ultimately the entire scientific endeavour. Maintaining integrity of the research and its presentation is helped by following the rules of good scientific practice, which include*:

  • The manuscript should not be submitted to more than one journal for simultaneous consideration.
  • The submitted work should be original and should not have been published elsewhere in any form or language (partially or in full), unless the new work concerns an expansion of previous work. (Please provide transparency on the re-use of material to avoid the concerns about text-recycling (‘self-plagiarism’).
  • A single study should not be split up into several parts to increase the quantity of submissions and submitted to various journals or to one journal over time (i.e. ‘salami-slicing/publishing’).
  • Concurrent or secondary publication is sometimes justifiable, provided certain conditions are met. Examples include: translations or a manuscript that is intended for a different group of readers.
  • Results should be presented clearly, honestly, and without fabrication, falsification or inappropriate data manipulation (including image based manipulation). Authors should adhere to discipline-specific rules for acquiring, selecting and processing data.
  • No data, text, or theories by others are presented as if they were the author’s own (‘plagiarism’). Proper acknowledgements to other works must be given (this includes material that is closely copied (near verbatim), summarized and/or paraphrased), quotation marks (to indicate words taken from another source) are used for verbatim copying of material, and permissions secured for material that is copyrighted.

Important note: the journal may use software to screen for plagiarism.

  • Authors should make sure they have permissions for the use of software, questionnaires/(web) surveys and scales in their studies (if appropriate).
  • Research articles and non-research articles (e.g. Opinion, Review, and Commentary articles) must cite appropriate and relevant literature in support of the claims made. Excessive and inappropriate self-citation or coordinated efforts among several authors to collectively self-cite is strongly discouraged.
  • Authors should avoid untrue statements about an entity (who can be an individual person or a company) or descriptions of their behavior or actions that could potentially be seen as personal attacks or allegations about that person.
  • Research that may be misapplied to pose a threat to public health or national security should be clearly identified in the manuscript (e.g. dual use of research). Examples include creation of harmful consequences of biological agents or toxins, disruption of immunity of vaccines, unusual hazards in the use of chemicals, weaponization of research/technology (amongst others).
  • Authors are strongly advised to ensure the author group, the Corresponding Author, and the order of authors are all correct at submission. Adding and/or deleting authors during the revision stages is generally not permitted, but in some cases may be warranted. Reasons for changes in authorship should be explained in detail. Please note that changes to authorship cannot be made after acceptance of a manuscript.

*All of the above are guidelines and authors need to make sure to respect third parties rights such as copyright and/or moral rights.

Upon request authors should be prepared to send relevant documentation or data in order to verify the validity of the results presented. This could be in the form of raw data, samples, records, etc. Sensitive information in the form of confidential or proprietary data is excluded.

If there is suspicion of misbehavior or alleged fraud the Journal and/or Publisher will carry out an investigation following COPE guidelines. If, after investigation, there are valid concerns, the author(s) concerned will be contacted under their given e-mail address and given an opportunity to address the issue. Depending on the situation, this may result in the Journal’s and/or Publisher’s implementation of the following measures, including, but not limited to:

  • If the manuscript is still under consideration, it may be rejected and returned to the author.

- an erratum/correction may be placed with the article

- an expression of concern may be placed with the article

- or in severe cases retraction of the article may occur.

The reason will be given in the published erratum/correction, expression of concern or retraction note. Please note that retraction means that the article is maintained on the platform , watermarked “retracted” and the explanation for the retraction is provided in a note linked to the watermarked article.

  • The author’s institution may be informed
  • A notice of suspected transgression of ethical standards in the peer review system may be included as part of the author’s and article’s bibliographic record.

Fundamental errors

Authors have an obligation to correct mistakes once they discover a significant error or inaccuracy in their published article. The author(s) is/are requested to contact the journal and explain in what sense the error is impacting the article. A decision on how to correct the literature will depend on the nature of the error. This may be a correction or retraction. The retraction note should provide transparency which parts of the article are impacted by the error.

Suggesting / excluding reviewers

Authors are welcome to suggest suitable reviewers and/or request the exclusion of certain individuals when they submit their manuscripts. When suggesting reviewers, authors should make sure they are totally independent and not connected to the work in any way. It is strongly recommended to suggest a mix of reviewers from different countries and different institutions. When suggesting reviewers, the Corresponding Author must provide an institutional email address for each suggested reviewer, or, if this is not possible to include other means of verifying the identity such as a link to a personal homepage, a link to the publication record or a researcher or author ID in the submission letter. Please note that the Journal may not use the suggestions, but suggestions are appreciated and may help facilitate the peer review process.

Authors are requested to disclose interests that are directly or indirectly related to the work submitted for publication. Interests within the last 3 years of beginning the work (conducting the research and preparing the work for submission) should be reported. Interests outside the 3-year time frame must be disclosed if they could reasonably be perceived as influencing the submitted work. Disclosure of interests provides a complete and transparent process and helps readers form their own judgments of potential bias. This is not meant to imply that a financial relationship with an organization that sponsored the research or compensation received for consultancy work is inappropriate.

Editorial Board Members and Editors are required to declare any competing interests and may be excluded from the peer review process if a competing interest exists. In addition, they should exclude themselves from handling manuscripts in cases where there is a competing interest. This may include – but is not limited to – having previously published with one or more of the authors, and sharing the same institution as one or more of the authors. Where an Editor or Editorial Board Member is on the author list they must declare this in the competing interests section on the submitted manuscript. If they are an author or have any other competing interest regarding a specific manuscript, another Editor or member of the Editorial Board will be assigned to assume responsibility for overseeing peer review. These submissions are subject to the exact same review process as any other manuscript. Editorial Board Members are welcome to submit papers to the journal. These submissions are not given any priority over other manuscripts, and Editorial Board Member status has no bearing on editorial consideration.

Interests that should be considered and disclosed but are not limited to the following:

Funding: Research grants from funding agencies (please give the research funder and the grant number) and/or research support (including salaries, equipment, supplies, reimbursement for attending symposia, and other expenses) by organizations that may gain or lose financially through publication of this manuscript.

Employment: Recent (while engaged in the research project), present or anticipated employment by any organization that may gain or lose financially through publication of this manuscript. This includes multiple affiliations (if applicable).

Financial interests: Stocks or shares in companies (including holdings of spouse and/or children) that may gain or lose financially through publication of this manuscript; consultation fees or other forms of remuneration from organizations that may gain or lose financially; patents or patent applications whose value may be affected by publication of this manuscript.

It is difficult to specify a threshold at which a financial interest becomes significant, any such figure is necessarily arbitrary, so one possible practical guideline is the following: "Any undeclared financial interest that could embarrass the author were it to become publicly known after the work was published."

Non-financial interests: In addition, authors are requested to disclose interests that go beyond financial interests that could impart bias on the work submitted for publication such as professional interests, personal relationships or personal beliefs (amongst others). Examples include, but are not limited to: position on editorial board, advisory board or board of directors or other type of management relationships; writing and/or consulting for educational purposes; expert witness; mentoring relations; and so forth.

Primary research articles require a disclosure statement. Review articles present an expert synthesis of evidence and may be treated as an authoritative work on a subject. Review articles therefore require a disclosure statement.Other article types such as editorials, book reviews, comments (amongst others) may, dependent on their content, require a disclosure statement. If you are unclear whether your article type requires a disclosure statement, please contact the Editor-in-Chief.

Please note that, in addition to the above requirements, funding information (given that funding is a potential competing interest (as mentioned above)) needs to be disclosed upon submission of the manuscript in the peer review system. This information will automatically be added to the Record of CrossMark, however it is not added to the manuscript itself. Under ‘summary of requirements’ (see below) funding information should be included in the ‘ Declarations ’ section.

Summary of requirements

The above should be summarized in a statement and placed in a ‘Declarations’ section before the reference list under a heading of ‘Funding’ and/or ‘Competing interests’. Other declarations include Ethics approval, Consent, Data, Material and/or Code availability and Authors’ contribution statements.

Please see the various examples of wording below and revise/customize the sample statements according to your own needs.

When all authors have the same (or no) conflicts and/or funding it is sufficient to use one blanket statement.

Examples of statements to be used when funding has been received:

  • Partial financial support was received from [...]
  • The research leading to these results received funding from […] under Grant Agreement No[…].
  • This study was funded by […]
  • This work was supported by […] (Grant numbers […] and […]

Examples of statements to be used when there is no funding:

  • The authors did not receive support from any organization for the submitted work.
  • No funding was received to assist with the preparation of this manuscript.
  • No funding was received for conducting this study.
  • No funds, grants, or other support was received.

Examples of statements to be used when there are interests to declare:

Non-financial interests: Author C is an unpaid member of committee Z.

Non-financial interests: Author A is on the board of directors of Y and receives no compensation as member of the board of directors.

Non-financial interests: none.

Non-financial interests: Author D has served on advisory boards for Company M, Company N and Company O.

Examples of statements to be used when authors have nothing to declare:

  • The authors have no relevant financial or non-financial interests to disclose.
  • The authors have no competing interests to declare that are relevant to the content of this article.
  • All authors certify that they have no affiliations with or involvement in any organization or entity with any financial interest or non-financial interest in the subject matter or materials discussed in this manuscript.
  • The authors have no financial or proprietary interests in any material discussed in this article.

Authors are responsible for correctness of the statements provided in the manuscript. See also Authorship Principles. The Editor-in-Chief reserves the right to reject submissions that do not meet the guidelines described in this section.

Ethics approval

When reporting a study that involved human participants, their data or biological material, authors should include a statement that confirms that the study was approved (or granted exemption) by the appropriate institutional and/or national research ethics committee (including the name of the ethics committee) and certify that the study was performed in accordance with the ethical standards as laid down in the 1964 Declaration of Helsinki and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards. If doubt exists whether the research was conducted in accordance with the 1964 Helsinki Declaration or comparable standards, the authors must explain the reasons for their approach, and demonstrate that an independent ethics committee or institutional review board explicitly approved the doubtful aspects of the study. If a study was granted exemption from requiring ethics approval, this should also be detailed in the manuscript (including the reasons for the exemption).

Retrospective ethics approval

If a study has not been granted ethics committee approval prior to commencing, retrospective ethics approval usually cannot be obtained and it may not be possible to consider the manuscript for peer review. The decision on whether to proceed to peer review in such cases is at the Editor's discretion.

Ethics approval for retrospective studies

Although retrospective studies are conducted on already available data or biological material (for which formal consent may not be needed or is difficult to obtain) ethics approval may be required dependent on the law and the national ethical guidelines of a country. Authors should check with their institution to make sure they are complying with the specific requirements of their country.

Ethics approval for case studies

Case reports require ethics approval. Most institutions will have specific policies on this subject. Authors should check with their institution to make sure they are complying with the specific requirements of their institution and seek ethics approval where needed. Authors should be aware to secure informed consent from the individual (or parent or guardian if the participant is a minor or incapable) See also section on Informed Consent .

If human cells are used, authors must declare in the manuscript: what cell lines were used by describing the source of the cell line, including when and from where it was obtained, whether the cell line has recently been authenticated and by what method. If cells were bought from a life science company the following need to be given in the manuscript: name of company (that provided the cells), cell type, number of cell line, and batch of cells.

It is recommended that authors check the NCBI database for misidentification and contamination of human cell lines. This step will alert authors to possible problems with the cell line and may save considerable time and effort.

Further information is available from the International Cell Line Authentication Committee (ICLAC).

Authors should include a statement that confirms that an institutional or independent ethics committee (including the name of the ethics committee) approved the study and that informed consent was obtained from the donor or next of kin.

Research Resource Identifiers (RRID)

Research Resource Identifiers (RRID) are persistent unique identifiers (effectively similar to a DOI) for research resources. This journal encourages authors to adopt RRIDs when reporting key biological resources (antibodies, cell lines, model organisms and tools) in their manuscripts.

Organism: Filip1 tm1a(KOMP)Wtsi RRID:MMRRC_055641-UCD

Cell Line: RST307 cell line RRID:CVCL_C321

Antibody: Luciferase antibody DSHB Cat# LUC-3, RRID:AB_2722109

Plasmid: mRuby3 plasmid RRID:Addgene_104005

Software: ImageJ Version 1.2.4 RRID:SCR_003070

RRIDs are provided by the Resource Identification Portal . Many commonly used research resources already have designated RRIDs. The portal also provides authors links so that they can quickly register a new resource and obtain an RRID.

Clinical Trial Registration

The World Health Organization (WHO) definition of a clinical trial is "any research study that prospectively assigns human participants or groups of humans to one or more health-related interventions to evaluate the effects on health outcomes". The WHO defines health interventions as “A health intervention is an act performed for, with or on behalf of a person or population whose purpose is to assess, improve, maintain, promote or modify health, functioning or health conditions” and a health-related outcome is generally defined as a change in the health of a person or population as a result of an intervention.

To ensure the integrity of the reporting of patient-centered trials, authors must register prospective clinical trials (phase II to IV trials) in suitable publicly available repositories. For example or any of the primary registries that participate in the WHO International Clinical Trials Registry Platform .

The trial registration number (TRN) and date of registration should be included as the last line of the manuscript abstract.

For clinical trials that have not been registered prospectively, authors are encouraged to register retrospectively to ensure the complete publication of all results. The trial registration number (TRN), date of registration and the words 'retrospectively registered’ should be included as the last line of the manuscript abstract.

Standards of reporting

Springer Nature advocates complete and transparent reporting of biomedical and biological research and research with biological applications. Authors are recommended to adhere to the minimum reporting guidelines hosted by the EQUATOR Network when preparing their manuscript.

Exact requirements may vary depending on the journal; please refer to the journal’s Instructions for Authors.

Checklists are available for a number of study designs, including:

Randomised trials (CONSORT) and Study protocols (SPIRIT)

Observational studies (STROBE)

Systematic reviews and meta-analyses (PRISMA) and protocols (Prisma-P)

Diagnostic/prognostic studies (STARD) and (TRIPOD)

Case reports (CARE)

Clinical practice guidelines (AGREE) and (RIGHT)

Qualitative research (SRQR) and (COREQ)

Animal pre-clinical studies (ARRIVE)

Quality improvement studies (SQUIRE)

Economic evaluations (CHEERS)

The above should be summarized in a statement and placed in a ‘Declarations’ section before the reference list under a heading of ‘Ethics approval’.

Examples of statements to be used when ethics approval has been obtained:

• All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki Declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards. The study was approved by the Bioethics Committee of the Medical University of A (No. ...).

• This study was performed in line with the principles of the Declaration of Helsinki. Approval was granted by the Ethics Committee of University B (Date.../No. ...).

• Approval was obtained from the ethics committee of University C. The procedures used in this study adhere to the tenets of the Declaration of Helsinki.

• The questionnaire and methodology for this study was approved by the Human Research Ethics committee of the University of D (Ethics approval number: ...).

Examples of statements to be used for a retrospective study:

• Ethical approval was waived by the local Ethics Committee of University A in view of the retrospective nature of the study and all the procedures being performed were part of the routine care.

• This research study was conducted retrospectively from data obtained for clinical purposes. We consulted extensively with the IRB of XYZ who determined that our study did not need ethical approval. An IRB official waiver of ethical approval was granted from the IRB of XYZ.

• This retrospective chart review study involving human participants was in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki Declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards. The Human Investigation Committee (IRB) of University B approved this study.

Examples of statements to be used when no ethical approval is required/exemption granted:

• This is an observational study. The XYZ Research Ethics Committee has confirmed that no ethical approval is required.

• The data reproduced from Article X utilized human tissue that was procured via our Biobank AB, which provides de-identified samples. This study was reviewed and deemed exempt by our XYZ Institutional Review Board. The BioBank protocols are in accordance with the ethical standards of our institution and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

The welfare of animals (vertebrate and higher invertebrate) used for research, education and testing must be respected. Authors should supply detailed information on the ethical treatment of their animals in their submission. For that purpose they may use the ARRIVE checklist which is designed to be used when submitting manuscripts describing animal research.

For studies involving client-owned animals, authors must also document informed consent from the client or owner and adherence to a high standard (best practice) of veterinary care.

Authors are recommended to comply with:

• The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Policy Statement on Research Involving Species at Risk of Extinction and consult the IUCN red list index of threatened species .

• Convention on the Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora

When reporting results authors should indicate:

• … that the studies have been approved by a research ethics committee at the institution or practice at which the studies were conducted. Please provide the name of ethics committee and relevant permit number;

• … whether the legal requirements or guidelines in the country and/or state or province for the care and use of animals have been followed.

Researchers from countries without any legal requirements or guidelines voluntarily should refer to the following sites for guidance:

– The Basel Declaration describes fundamental principles of using animals in biomedical research

– The International Council for Laboratory Animal Science (ICLAS) provides ethical guidelines for researchers as well as editors and reviewers

– The Association for the study of Animal Behaviour describes ethical guidelines for the treatment of animals in research and teaching

– The International Association of Veterinary Editors’ Consensus Author Guidelines on Animal Ethics provide guidelines for authors on animal ethics and welfare

Researchers may wish to consult the most recent (ethical) guidelines available from relevant taxon-oriented professional societies.

If a study was granted exemption or did not require ethics approval, this should also be detailed in the manuscript.

• All procedures involving animals were in compliance with the European Community Council Directive of 24 November 1986, and ethical approval was granted by the Kocaeli University Ethics Committee (No. 29 12 2014, Kocaeli, Turkey).

• All procedures performed in the study were in accordance with the ARVO Statement for Use of Animals in Ophthalmic Vision and Research. The ethical principles established by the National Institutes of Health Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals (NIH Publications No. 8523, revised 2011) were followed. The research protocol was approved by the Ethics Committee on Animal Use (Protocol No. 06174/14) of FCAV/Unesp, Jaboticabal.

• This study involved a questionnaire-based survey of farmers as well as blood sampling from their animals. The study protocol was assessed and approved by Haramaya University, research and extension office. Participants provided their verbal informed consent for animal blood sampling as well as for the related survey questions. Collection of blood samples was carried out by veterinarians adhering to the regulations and guidelines on animal husbandry and welfare.

• All brown bear captures and handling were approved by the Ethical Committee on Animal Experiments, Uppsala, Sweden (Application C18/15) and the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency in compliance with Swedish laws and regulations.

• The ethics governing the use and conduct of experiments on animals were strictly observed, and the experimental protocol was approved by the University of Maiduguri Senate committee on Medical Research ethics. Proper permit and consent were obtained from the Maiduguri abattoir management, before the faecal samples of the cattle and camels slaughtered in this abattoir were used for this experiment.

• No approval of research ethics committees was required to accomplish the goals of this study because experimental work was conducted with an unregulated invertebrate species.

• As the trappings of small mammals were conducted as part of regular pest control measures in accordance with the NATO Standardized Agreement 2048 "Deployment Pest and Vector Surveillance and Control ", no approval by an ethics committee was required.

• All experiments have been conducted as per the guidelines of the Institutional Animal Ethics Committee, Department of Zoology, Utkal University, Bhubaneswar, Odisha, India. However, the insect species used in this study is reared for commercial production of raw silk materials, as a part of agro-based industry. Therefore, use of this animal in research does not require ethical clearance. We have obtained permission from the office of Research officer sericulture, Baripada, Orissa, India for the provision of infrastructure and support for rearing of silkworm both in indoor and outdoor conditions related to our study to promote sericulture practices.

All individuals have individual rights that are not to be infringed. Individual participants in studies have, for example, the right to decide what happens to the (identifiable) personal data gathered, to what they have said during a study or an interview, as well as to any photograph that was taken. This is especially true concerning images of vulnerable people (e.g. minors, patients, refugees, etc) or the use of images in sensitive contexts. In many instances authors will need to secure written consent before including images.

Identifying details (names, dates of birth, identity numbers, biometrical characteristics (such as facial features, fingerprint, writing style, voice pattern, DNA or other distinguishing characteristic) and other information) of the participants that were studied should not be published in written descriptions, photographs, and genetic profiles unless the information is essential for scholarly purposes and the participant (or parent/guardian if the participant is a minor or incapable or legal representative) gave written informed consent for publication. Complete anonymity is difficult to achieve in some cases. Detailed descriptions of individual participants, whether of their whole bodies or of body sections, may lead to disclosure of their identity. Under certain circumstances consent is not required as long as information is anonymized and the submission does not include images that may identify the person.

Informed consent for publication should be obtained if there is any doubt. For example, masking the eye region in photographs of participants is inadequate protection of anonymity. If identifying characteristics are altered to protect anonymity, such as in genetic profiles, authors should provide assurance that alterations do not distort meaning.

Exceptions where it is not necessary to obtain consent:

• Images such as x rays, laparoscopic images, ultrasound images, brain scans, pathology slides unless there is a concern about identifying information in which case, authors should ensure that consent is obtained.

• Reuse of images: If images are being reused from prior publications, the Publisher will assume that the prior publication obtained the relevant information regarding consent. Authors should provide the appropriate attribution for republished images.

Consent and already available data and/or biologic material

Regardless of whether material is collected from living or dead patients, they (family or guardian if the deceased has not made a pre-mortem decision) must have given prior written consent. The aspect of confidentiality as well as any wishes from the deceased should be respected.

Data protection, confidentiality and privacy

When biological material is donated for or data is generated as part of a research project authors should ensure, as part of the informed consent procedure, that the participants are made aware what kind of (personal) data will be processed, how it will be used and for what purpose. In case of data acquired via a biobank/biorepository, it is possible they apply a broad consent which allows research participants to consent to a broad range of uses of their data and samples which is regarded by research ethics committees as specific enough to be considered “informed”. However, authors should always check the specific biobank/biorepository policies or any other type of data provider policies (in case of non-bio research) to be sure that this is the case.

Consent to Participate

For all research involving human subjects, freely-given, informed consent to participate in the study must be obtained from participants (or their parent or legal guardian in the case of children under 16) and a statement to this effect should appear in the manuscript. In the case of articles describing human transplantation studies, authors must include a statement declaring that no organs/tissues were obtained from prisoners and must also name the institution(s)/clinic(s)/department(s) via which organs/tissues were obtained. For manuscripts reporting studies involving vulnerable groups where there is the potential for coercion or where consent may not have been fully informed, extra care will be taken by the editor and may be referred to the Springer Nature Research Integrity Group.

Consent to Publish

Individuals may consent to participate in a study, but object to having their data published in a journal article. Authors should make sure to also seek consent from individuals to publish their data prior to submitting their paper to a journal. This is in particular applicable to case studies. A consent to publish form can be found

here. (Download docx, 36 kB)

The above should be summarized in a statement and placed in a ‘Declarations’ section before the reference list under a heading of ‘Consent to participate’ and/or ‘Consent to publish’. Other declarations include Funding, Competing interests, Ethics approval, Consent, Data and/or Code availability and Authors’ contribution statements.

Sample statements for "Consent to participate" :

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.

Informed consent was obtained from legal guardians.

Written informed consent was obtained from the parents.

Verbal informed consent was obtained prior to the interview.

Sample statements for “Consent to publish” :

The authors affirm that human research participants provided informed consent for publication of the images in Figure(s) 1a, 1b and 1c.

The participant has consented to the submission of the case report to the journal.

Patients signed informed consent regarding publishing their data and photographs.

Sample statements if identifying information about participants is available in the article:

Additional informed consent was obtained from all individual participants for whom identifying information is included in this article.

Images will be removed from publication if authors have not obtained informed consent or the paper may be removed and replaced with a notice explaining the reason for removal.

These guidelines describe authorship principles and good authorship practices to which prospective authors should adhere to.

Authorship clarified

The Journal and Publisher assume all authors agreed with the content and that all gave explicit consent to submit and that they obtained consent from the responsible authorities at the institute/organization where the work has been carried out, before the work is submitted.

The Publisher does not prescribe the kinds of contributions that warrant authorship. It is recommended that authors adhere to the guidelines for authorship that are applicable in their specific research field. In absence of specific guidelines it is recommended to adhere to the following guidelines*:

All authors whose names appear on the submission

1) made substantial contributions to the conception or design of the work; or the acquisition, analysis, or interpretation of data; or the creation of new software used in the work;

2) drafted the work or revised it critically for important intellectual content;

3) approved the version to be published; and

4) agree to be accountable for all aspects of the work in ensuring that questions related to the accuracy or integrity of any part of the work are appropriately investigated and resolved.

* Based on/adapted from:

ICMJE, Defining the Role of Authors and Contributors,

Transparency in authors’ contributions and responsibilities to promote integrity in scientific publication, McNutt at all, PNAS February 27, 2018

Disclosures and declarations

All authors are requested to include information regarding sources of funding, financial or non-financial interests, study-specific approval by the appropriate ethics committee for research involving humans and/or animals, informed consent if the research involved human participants, and a statement on welfare of animals if the research involved animals (as appropriate).

The decision whether such information should be included is not only dependent on the scope of the journal, but also the scope of the article. Work submitted for publication may have implications for public health or general welfare and in those cases it is the responsibility of all authors to include the appropriate disclosures and declarations.

Data transparency

All authors are requested to make sure that all data and materials as well as software application or custom code support their published claims and comply with field standards. Please note that journals may have individual policies on (sharing) research data in concordance with disciplinary norms and expectations.

Role of the Corresponding Author

One author is assigned as Corresponding Author and acts on behalf of all co-authors and ensures that questions related to the accuracy or integrity of any part of the work are appropriately addressed.

The Corresponding Author is responsible for the following requirements:

  • ensuring that all listed authors have approved the manuscript before submission, including the names and order of authors;
  • managing all communication between the Journal and all co-authors, before and after publication;*
  • providing transparency on re-use of material and mention any unpublished material (for example manuscripts in press) included in the manuscript in a cover letter to the Editor;
  • making sure disclosures, declarations and transparency on data statements from all authors are included in the manuscript as appropriate (see above).

* The requirement of managing all communication between the journal and all co-authors during submission and proofing may be delegated to a Contact or Submitting Author. In this case please make sure the Corresponding Author is clearly indicated in the manuscript.

Author contributions

In absence of specific instructions and in research fields where it is possible to describe discrete efforts, the Publisher recommends authors to include contribution statements in the work that specifies the contribution of every author in order to promote transparency. These contributions should be listed at the separate title page.

Examples of such statement(s) are shown below:

• Free text:

All authors contributed to the study conception and design. Material preparation, data collection and analysis were performed by [full name], [full name] and [full name]. The first draft of the manuscript was written by [full name] and all authors commented on previous versions of the manuscript. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.

Example: CRediT taxonomy:

• Conceptualization: [full name], …; Methodology: [full name], …; Formal analysis and investigation: [full name], …; Writing - original draft preparation: [full name, …]; Writing - review and editing: [full name], …; Funding acquisition: [full name], …; Resources: [full name], …; Supervision: [full name],….

For review articles where discrete statements are less applicable a statement should be included who had the idea for the article, who performed the literature search and data analysis, and who drafted and/or critically revised the work.

For articles that are based primarily on the student’s dissertation or thesis , it is recommended that the student is usually listed as principal author:

A Graduate Student’s Guide to Determining Authorship Credit and Authorship Order, APA Science Student Council 2006


The primary affiliation for each author should be the institution where the majority of their work was done. If an author has subsequently moved, the current address may additionally be stated. Addresses will not be updated or changed after publication of the article.

Changes to authorship

Authors are strongly advised to ensure the correct author group, the Corresponding Author, and the order of authors at submission. Changes of authorship by adding or deleting authors, and/or changes in Corresponding Author, and/or changes in the sequence of authors are not accepted after acceptance of a manuscript.

  • Please note that author names will be published exactly as they appear on the accepted submission!

Please make sure that the names of all authors are present and correctly spelled, and that addresses and affiliations are current.

Adding and/or deleting authors at revision stage are generally not permitted, but in some cases it may be warranted. Reasons for these changes in authorship should be explained. Approval of the change during revision is at the discretion of the Editor-in-Chief. Please note that journals may have individual policies on adding and/or deleting authors during revision stage.

Author identification

Authors are recommended to use their ORCID ID when submitting an article for consideration or acquire an ORCID ID via the submission process.

Deceased or incapacitated authors

For cases in which a co-author dies or is incapacitated during the writing, submission, or peer-review process, and the co-authors feel it is appropriate to include the author, co-authors should obtain approval from a (legal) representative which could be a direct relative.

Authorship issues or disputes

In the case of an authorship dispute during peer review or after acceptance and publication, the Journal will not be in a position to investigate or adjudicate. Authors will be asked to resolve the dispute themselves. If they are unable the Journal reserves the right to withdraw a manuscript from the editorial process or in case of a published paper raise the issue with the authors’ institution(s) and abide by its guidelines.


Authors should treat all communication with the Journal as confidential which includes correspondence with direct representatives from the Journal such as Editors-in-Chief and/or Handling Editors and reviewers’ reports unless explicit consent has been received to share information.

Manuscripts that report experiments involving the use of human embryos and gametes, human embryonic stem cells and related materials, and clinical applications of stem cells must include confirmation that all experiments were performed in accordance with relevant guidelines and regulations (See also Research involving human participants, their data or biological material .

The manuscript should include an ethics statement identifying the institutional and/or national research ethics committee (including the name of the ethics committee) approving the experiments and describing any relevant details. Authors should confirm that informed consent (See also Informed Consent ) was obtained from all recipients and/or donors of cells or tissues, where necessary, and describe the conditions of donation of materials for research, such as human embryos or gametes. Copies of approval and redacted consent documents may be requested by the Journal.

We encourage authors to follow the principles laid out in the 2016 ISSCR Guidelines for Stem Cell Research and Clinical Translation

In deciding whether to publish papers describing modifications of the human germline, the Journal is guided by safety considerations, compliance with applicable regulations, as well as the status of the societal debate on the implications of such modifications for future generations. In case of concerns regarding a particular type of study the Journal may seek the advice from the Springer Nature Research Integrity Group.

The decision to publish a paper is the responsibility of the Editor-in-Chief of the Journal.

This journal values stewardship, transparency, and adhering to governance with regards to collecting and utilizing specimens and conducting experiments and/or field studies. Therefore the journal sets out the following guidelines:

Field studies involving genetically engineered plants must be conducted in accordance with national or local legislation and, if applicable, the manuscript needs to include a statement specifying the appropriate permissions and/or licences.

Authors utilizing genetic plant resources received via local suppliers/collectors, such as species collected from protected areas or endangered species with medical importance, must conduct their experiments following the Nagoya Protocol (as part of the Convention on Biological Diversity).

Authors whose research is focusing on quarantine organisms (i.e. harmful or pest organisms, including plant pathogens) should adhere to national legislation and notify the relevant National Plant Protection Organization of new findings before publication. More information can be found via the International Plant Protection Convention .

In principle, it is recommended that authors comply with:

  • The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Policy Statement on Research Involving Species at Risk of Extinction and consult the IUCN red list index of threatened species
  • Convention on the Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora

Voucher specimens ensure that the identity of organisms studied in the field or in laboratory experiments can be verified, and ensure that new species concepts can be applied to past research. Voucher specimens documenting all investigated accessions (for population samples at least one specimen per population) are to be deposited in a public herbarium, for example: Index Herbariorum , or other public collection providing access to deposited material. Information on the voucher specimen and who identified it must be included in the manuscript such as Genus name, species name, author, and year of publication.

Names of plants, algae and fungi

Manuscripts containing new taxon names or other nomenclatural acts must follow the guidelines set by the International Code of Nomenclature for algae, fungi, and plants .

Authors describing new fungal taxa should register the names with a recognized repository, such as Mycobank , and request a unique digital identifier which should be included in the published article.

Single-blind peer review

This journal follows a single-blind reviewing procedure.

This journal also publishes special/guest-edited issues. The peer review process for these articles is the same as the peer review process of the journal in general.

Additionally, if a guest editor authors an article in their issue/collection, they will not handle the peer review process.

Additional Information

All submissions to Springer journals are first reviewed for completeness and only then sent to be assessed by an Editor who will decide whether they are suitable for peer review. Where an Editor is on the author list or has any other competing interest regarding a specific manuscript, another member of the Editorial Board will be assigned to oversee peer review. Editors will consider the peer-reviewed reports when making a decision, but are not bound by the opinions or recommendations therein. A concern raised by a single peer reviewer or the Editor themself may result in the manuscript being rejected. Authors receive peer review reports with the editorial decision on their manuscript.

This journal operates a single-blind peer-review system, where the reviewers are aware of the names and affiliations of the authors, but the reviewer reports provided to authors are anonymous.The benefit of single-blind peer review is that it is the traditional model of peer review that many reviewers are comfortable with, and it facilitates a dispassionate critique of a manuscript.

Submitted manuscripts will generally be reviewed by two or more experts who will be asked to evaluate whether the manuscript is scientifically sound and coherent, whether it duplicates already published work, and whether or not the manuscript is sufficiently clear for publication. The Editors will reach a decision based on these reports and, where necessary, they will consult with members of the Editorial Board.

When selecting reviewers, the editorial board seeks to avoid conflicts of interest. The journal accepts manuscript submissions from its own editorial board members in cases where the identities of the associate editor and referees handling the manuscript can remain fully confidential. To be accepted, manuscripts submitted by editorial board members must meet the same quality standards as all other accepted submissions.

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Top five research articles of 2020

Top 5 Research articles

Despite the significant challenges this year has posed, The Pharmaceutical Journal  has continued to publish high-quality peer-reviewed research.

Our researchers have made a range of investigations — from evaluating pharmacist interventions using the Simpler tool in Malaysia , to a pharmacist-led virtual thiopurine clinic to support people with inflammatory bowel disease and auto-immune hepatitis, here in the UK.

We have some exciting research coming up in 2021, but in case you missed them the first time around, here are the top five most popular research articles of 2020:

5. Misuse of prescription and over-the-counter drugs to obtain illicit highs: how pharmacists can prevent abuse

Use of prescription and over-the-counter drugs for recreational purposes is increasing, and this perspective article collates the existing literature to provide an in-depth overview of the misuse and diversion of a range of drugs with psychoactive potential, including gabapentinoids, antihistamine drugs and loperamide.

4. Effective detection and management of hypertension through community pharmacy in England

Community pharmacists can play a big role in managing hypertension — from the identification of medication-related problems, to providing lifestyle advice. Despite this, they are not routinely involved in structured hypertension management or screening programmes. So, this review summarises the evidence to recommend the roll-out of a community pharmacy-led hypertension management service.

3. Recent advances in the oral delivery of biologics

Oral administration of medicines is often preferred by patients for its convenience, but, for biologics, the gastrointestinal tract poses challenges for administering in this way. This review discusses the advantages and limitations of several novel drug delivery strategies, and highlights the work to be done to put this technology into clinical practice.

2. Immuno-oncology agents for cancer therapy

Immuno-oncology is a novel treatment that works by conditioning the body’s immune cells to recognise and kill cancer cells — combining this treatment with conventional therapies has led to promising improvements in patient outcomes. This review looks at the range of immuno-oncology agents, and how problems such as their toxicity and high cost can be overcome.

1. Investigational treatments for COVID-19

The emergence of COVID-19 resulted in a global research effort to find effective treatment options to relieve healthcare burdens and, ultimately, save lives. In June 2020, this rapid review summarised the clinical trials and treatment evidence at the time.

Check out The Pharmaceutical Journal’ s   ‘Everything you should know about the coronavirus outbreak’ for the latest on this continually evolving situation.

Find the full catalogue of articles in our research section .

Call for submissions

In 2021, The Pharmaceutical Journal will keep adding to the evidence base with review, perspective and research articles. If you have undertaken research into innovations and initiatives that can improve pharmacy services and administration, the pharmacological management of disease, or advances in drug development, please submit your article for consideration by email to: [email protected]

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