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Guide for Authors

TL;DR: Important Items to Remember

  • Make sure your article fits with the journal scope detailed below.
  • Be very careful not to suggest conflicted reviewers.
  • Initial submission is an all-in-one PDF. Revisions should use Word or LaTeX files.
  • Identify the corresponding author and supply their email address.
  • You need to include statements on: ethics, data/code availability, author contributions, competing interests.
  • Submit at
  • Please email with any queries.

Table of Contents

Aims and Scope

Imaging Neuroscience is an open access non-profit journal. The scope of the journal includes research that significantly contributes to the understanding of brain function, structure, and behavior through the application of neuroimaging, as well as major advances in brain imaging methods. The focus is on imaging of the brain and spinal cord, in humans and other species, and includes neurophysiological and neuromodulation methods.

While the primary focus is on the macro-level organization of the human brain, the journal also considers research using meso- and micro-scopic neuroimaging in all species, if it contributes to a systems-level comprehension of the human brain or probes biophysical properties and processes through brain imaging. The scope includes work that explicitly addresses these questions in clinical populations or animal models. However, regular submissions reporting on apparent effects of disease will only be considered to be within scope if they enhance our understanding of physiological brain function or present significant methodological advances.

Imaging Neuroscience publishes original research articles, review papers, theoretical models of brain function, data resource papers, software toolbox papers, technical notes, and positions on controversial issues. We also publish Registered Reports, for which the clinical scope restrictions are relaxed. For all submission types, we strongly encourage open sharing of datasets and code.

The editorial team highly values equity, diversity and inclusion. It comprises individuals with diverse specialties, reflecting the multidisciplinary nature of imaging neuroscience.

Before Submitting

The following is a checklist of important issues to address before submitting to Imaging Neuroscience:

  • Think about whether your article fits with the scope of the journal. On first submission, please include a brief cover letter that should comment on your article’s significance and fit with the journal. Imagine as recipient an editor who is not exactly from your own field of expertise.
  • For details on research and publication ethics, see the MIT Press Ethics page.
  • Be ready to certify that your article represents original work and that there is no significant overlap with any other articles by the authors that are under consideration or in press elsewhere. Closely related submissions at other journals or conferences should be brought to the attention of the Editor. Publication of preprints on servers such as arXiv and bioRxiv is acceptable and encouraged. Any use of AI tools in generating the text must be clearly explained within the text and in the submission cover letter.
  • Prepare a list of up to 6 keywords/phrases.
  • Prepare a list of at least 5 potential reviewers (suggesting a greater number of reviewers may help the editors to swiftly secure reviewers with the required topical and/or methodological expertise that your paper deserves). Be sure to avoid conflicts of interest (e.g., people at your institution or people you have co-authored or collaborated with in the last 5 years). Requesting conflicted reviewers is likely to mean that your submission is rejected without review or the possibility of resubmission. If you list opposed reviewers, please include a brief explanation.
  • All submissions are screened via plagiarism detection software. If your methods are similar to those of another paper and you wish to re-use the same text, this should be clearly stated.
  • You can use either American or British English, but please be consistent in your choice. Papers with significant amounts of grammatical or spelling errors are likely to be returned to you for further editing before we send the paper to reviewers.
  • Please use inclusive language. Ensure that the use of “gender” vs “sex” is correct for the given context.
  • Confirm that all co-authors approve the manuscript in its submitted form. Collect their names, affiliations, email addresses and funding information. Make sure it is clear who the corresponding author is, and include their email address. AI tools cannot be listed as authors.
  • We do not allow for individuals or groups to be listed in the author byline (often referred to as the author list) unless that individual/group has made a direct contribution to the paper in question. In some cases (e.g., most papers listing “ENIGMA”), many individuals covered by the group name have made specific contributions, such as carrying out new analyses for the study being described in the paper, and such listing is acceptable at Imaging Neuroscience. In other cases (e.g., most papers listing “ADNI”), the individuals have not contributed directly to the paper, and are not taking responsibility for the work; in such cases, this group name is not acceptable on the author byline. For more detailed discussions of these issues, see papers by Rohlfing & Poline (2012) and Hurko et al (2012). ADNI have stated that they can authorise exceptions to their acknowledgement policy on a case-by-case basis, and authors may want to request this from ADNI.
  • Be ready to enter author contributions (CRediT statement).
  • On first submission, articles can use any formatting the author chooses and should be submitted as a single PDF file. Please be sure to integrate all figures and tables into the body of the main text. Include page numbers and ideally line numbering.
  • Be ready to declare any competing interests for all authors.
  • Be sure all authors agree that your article will be published under a Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license, which allows free and unlimited reuse of articles without permission or fees.
  • Be sure all authors of reprinted figures or text agree that your article will be published under a Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license, which allows free and unlimited reuse of articles without permission or fees.
  • If you plan to publish data sets or tools, please cite these materials in the text of your article and include entries for them in your references list. Either enclose them as supplementary material with your submission (if less than ≤100Mb) or include a link to a public repository where the materials can be accessed. We strongly recommend that when materials are not to be hosted by the journal, you place them in a repository with a robust persistence policy that will register and supply you with a persistent identifier like a DOI. Include this persistent ID in your reference listing.

Article Types

Imaging Neuroscience publishes the following article types:

  • Research
  • Review
  • Registered Report
  • Data Resource
  • Software Toolbox
  • Technical Note
  • Comment
  • Perspective

For Review papers, it is a good idea to email the journal editors with a pre-submission inquiry before writing the paper, to get feedback on the proposed review.

For Data Resource and Software Toolbox papers, the data and code must be made openly available, as the value of the paper is otherwise seriously undermined.

Comment and Perspective articles are normally short, and the APC for these article types will be waived if the total word count is under 3,000 and there are no more than 2 figures and tables.

See more details below on Registered Reports, Data Resource papers and Software Toolbox papers.

Registered Reports

Registered Reports have a scope that is identical to regular articles except for relaxing the restrictions on clinical focus described above. We therefore welcome Registered Reports in any area of neuroimaging related to health and disease, in human and animal models. In contrast to regular submissions, Registered Reports undergo a two-stage review process in which the rationale and methodology are evaluated before the research is conducted, and if assessed favorably, the study is formally registered on the Open Science Framework and accepted in advance, regardless of the main results. Once the research is complete, authors then submit a Stage 2 manuscript that includes the outcomes and conclusions, and the entire programme of work is then published in the journal as a complete single article. By deciding which research is published based on theory and methods, independently of results, Registered Reports aim to eliminate various forms of bias that hinder reproducibility and transparency, including publication bias and analytic reporting bias.

Currently, Registered Reports should be submitted via the Peer Community in Registered Reports (PCI RR), which coordinates peer review at the preprint stage and then gives authors the option to publish their recommended Stage 2 manuscript without further peer review in a range of PCI RR-friendly journals – including Imaging Neuroscience. To submit a Registered Report, authors should initially consult the PCI RR Guide for Authors and the additional requirements set by Imaging Neuroscience, and should then submit their manuscript directly to PCI RR. Once the research is complete and the Stage 2 manuscript has achieved a final positive recommendation from PCI RR, authors intending to publish in Imaging Neuroscience should submit their recommended preprint directly to the journal. The submitted Stage 2 manuscript should state below the Abstract the URL to the Stage 1 and Stage 2 recommendations, and the cover letter should note that the submission is a Stage 2 Registered Report being submitted via the PCI RR track. The manuscript will then be accepted for publication in Imaging Neuroscience without further peer review.

Data Resource Papers

Data Resource articles detail the development of novel data resources, such as newly established imaging-based cohorts. The evaluation of these papers will be based on their significance to the field, including novelty of imaging sequences, the scale or distinctiveness of the cohort, or the combination of imaging with other data such as phenotypic or genetic information. Clinical cohorts will be considered if they demonstrate innovative imaging protocols specifically designed to identify distinctive disease markers and mechanisms. Additionally, derived data such as a new atlas may be regarded as a valuable resource. In general, before submitting a resource paper, a study should have reached an advanced stage, with most of the data already available.

The data resource must be available (ideally openly) for other researchers to access and use for their own questions. In cases where ethical or governance concerns prevent the data from being made openly available, conditions for access must be clearly outlined, for example, requirement to sign a data access agreement, or obtaining local ethics approval. Access requirements that are not adequately "Open," such as those that require co-authorship with the data owners, are unlikely to lead to suitable Data Resource papers.

A Data Resource paper must include full details of the dataset including acquisition and processing methods used, and full details of the cohort statistics and demographics. It must include full details of the ethics approval process, confidentiality agreements used and anonymisation steps taken. Access logistics and requirements must be given in detail. The paper should effectively showcase the noteworthy aspects of the data through at least one illustrative study.

Software Toolbox Papers

Software Toolbox articles should present original software developments that are relevant and significant to the field. These papers should describe the functionality and analysis use cases, and the algorithmic and coding structure of the software. It is important to discuss the similarities and differences, as well as the advantages and disadvantages, of the toolbox in relation to existing software. This should cover both the underlying algorithms and practical aspects of usage. The software's effectiveness should be demonstrated through meaningful applications to real data. Any novel algorithms and code must be validated in the manuscript. Papers describing software with narrow functionality, small plug-ins for existing software, or extensions of existing algorithms with limited scope are unlikely to make good Software Toolbox papers. Any dependence on (or reuse of) existing software must be made clear, including giving suitable citations, both in the paper and when researchers use the software.

The software must be openly available for use by any researcher, and the source code should be provided to ensure scientific transparency and enable reuse. The toolbox should be available at the time of submission, to allow reviewers to test the software and potentially examine the code. Additionally, sample data should be provided, allowing for replication of the demonstrations presented in the manuscript.

Paper Organization

Research articles should generally be arranged as follows:

  • Title, Authors, Affiliations, Corresponding author information, Abstract, Keywords
  • Introduction
  • Methods
  • Results
  • Discussion and/or Conclusions
  • Ending sections:
    • Data and Code Availability  (mandatory unless there is no data or code used)
    • Author Contributions (mandatory)
    • Funding (optional)
    • Declaration of Competing Interests (mandatory)
    • Acknowledgements (optional)
    • Supplementary Material (created during production as a web link to online material)
  • References (formatted in APA style)
  • Appendices (optional, and normally better to include such additional content as Supplementary Material)

Make sure that there is a clear ethics statement (including where relevant a statement about informed consent) in an appropriate place (e.g., near the start of Methods).

Where necessary, it may be acceptable to combine Methods and Results into one section, although this is rarely the best approach.

Number all sections and subsections except the Abstract, starting with “1 Introduction”. Subsections should be numbered 1.1 (then 1.1.1, 1.1.2, ...), 1.2, etc.

First Submission

Please create an account and submit at the Editorial Manager website. On first submission, Imaging Neuroscience does not require any specific formatting. All articles are uploaded as a single PDF document with all elements of the article fully integrated (including figures, tables, and references). We explicitly encourage providing figures and tables (and their captions) at the intended position within the main document to facilitate the reading process. Where possible please also include all supplementary material in the same main PDF. If creating the first submission PDF with LaTeX, please use our style file.


Once an article reaches the stage of revision, we do require specific formatting. Files must be provided in Word or LaTeX.

Word submission requirements:

  • Single-column
  • Standard 12 pt. sans serif font (e.g., Arial)
  • Equations in Math Type (not images)

LaTeX submission requirements:

  • Use our style file
  • Provide all elements of the TeX package
  • Also include a compiled PDF version in addition to the LaTeX source file

Figure requirements, Word and LaTeX: Figures may appear inline in your main text files, but please also supply them as separate files. Appropriate formats include PDF, EPS, JPG, PNG, and TIFF. Individual figure files should ideally be no larger than 10Mb, but this is not a hard limit. Please use Arial or Helvetica fonts within figures.

Table requirements: Tables should appear inline and be formatted as tables, not tab or comma delimited text. Please do not use shading or colored type in tables. These cannot be reproduced in an accessible manner in full-text html. If shading or colored type are required, the table will be reproduced as a figure in the full-text html.

Supplementary Materials can be supplied as pdf files or any file type that is suitable (e.g. excel files, txt files) and should not exceed 100Mb. Supplementary figures and tables (etc) should in general be accompanied by explanatory text (such as titles and captions), and so generally a PDF will be more suitable than a pure image file such as JPG. For larger or more complex supplements, including data packages, authors should upload to a public repository and reference these in the manuscript, including a persistent URL or identifier (DOI).

Upon final acceptance, all articles will receive a DOI and will be posted online, marked as ‘Just Accepted’. Typesetting and proofing of the final version of the article will then proceed rapidly, with the aim of providing the finalized version online within 3 weeks.

Accessibility of Data and Other Materials

For Data Resource and Software Toolbox papers, the data and code must be made openly available, as the value of the paper is otherwise seriously undermined. For all other paper types, Imaging Neuroscience strongly urges all authors to openly share all data, code, and other materials that are essential for reproducing the article’s findings and conclusions, and for building on the published work.

Small (<100Mb) data and tools can be shared as Supplementary Materials which will be directly linked to the article. Larger packages should be hosted at a public repository. They should be referenced in the manuscript and a persistent URL or identifier (DOI) should be provided.

Where they will be shared, data and materials should be accessible to editors and reviewers at the time of first submission, for the purpose of evaluating the suitability and quality of the manuscript, and should be made freely and openly accessible to the public at the time of acceptance. If data was obtained from another source (e.g., public repository), the source and process of obtaining the data should be described.

Whether data/code will be shared or not, all papers must include a statement on Data and Code Availability. "Available upon request" is not acceptable without further detailed explanation, which might include: The need for a formal data sharing agreement; The need for approval from the requesting researcher's local ethics committee; The need to submit a formal project outline; Requirements for co-authorship or inclusion in the author byline.

Editorial Process

Papers are submitted to Imaging Neuroscience using the online submission system Editorial Manager. All manuscripts are initially reviewed by the Editor-in-Chief, who will then assign the majority of new papers to the most suitable Senior Editor, sometimes with a suggestion that a paper might need to be triaged (because it is probably not within scope, or high enough quality, for the journal). The Senior Editor then will either triage the paper, or assign it to a Handling Editor, who then sends the paper out to reviewers. Manuscripts are reviewed in single-blind fashion, with authors’ names and affiliations known to the reviewers, and the reviewers’ identities (and normally the Handling Editor identity) kept confidential. Reviewers are selected based on their expertise in the subject matter of the article.

We aim to obtain at least 3 reviews, as we consider that a smaller number of reviews reduces the robustness of the review process. Once reviews are completed, the Handling Editor makes a decision recommendation, which the Senior Editor then acts on (most of the time acting on the Handling Editor’s recommendation).

If you want to appeal a decision, please prepare a formal letter to the relevant Senior Editor. This should include a clear argument supporting your appeal. The Senior Editor will consider your appeal, often involving the Handling Editor, and in some cases the reviewers, members of the editorial board, or the Editor-in-Chief. If you are unhappy with the response, you can ask for the Editor-in-Chief to be brought into the discussion.

Publication Fees

Imaging Neuroscience is an open access, online-only journal. This gold OA journal charges an APC (Article Processing Charge) of $1,600 per article which will be billed upon acceptance of the manuscript. The APC fee is waived if the last author's main institution is in an LMIC, currently defined as the country having an expenditure on R&D per capita of under $225.

For Comment and Perspective papers, the APC will be waived if the total word count is under 3,000 and there are no more than 2 figures and tables.

Indexing and Archiving

Imaging Neuroscience will submit article metadata to the following discovery services: CNKI Scholar, EBSCO Discovery, Ex Libris Primo, IBZ, Naver Academic, OCLC Discovery, ProQuest Summon. In addition, articles will be visible immediately on google scholar. Imaging Neuroscience is expected to be indexed in Web of Science, MEDLINE, PubMed and Scopus in 2024. A full list is available here.

Impact Measures

Imaging Neuroscience provides data on article access and impact for each published manuscript. Data provided include: download counts from the site; citation counts provided by CrossRef; and attention scores provided by Altmetric, which tracks attention to the article by news outlets, blogs, social media, online reference managers, etc. Articles also receive a Dimensions badge that provides additional citation and impact data.


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