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Submissions Guidelines

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Aims and Scope

Network Neuroscience aims to publish innovative scientific work that significantly advances our understanding of network organization and function in the brain across all scales, from molecules and neurons to circuits and systems.

Positioned at the intersection of brain and network sciences, the journal covers empirical and computational studies that record, analyze or model relational data capturing connections and interactions among elements of neurobiological systems. Examples include neuronal signaling and information flow in circuits, patterns of functional connectivity recorded with electrophysiological or imaging methodology, studies of anatomical connections among neurons and brain regions, and interactions among biomolecules or genes. The journal aims to cover studies carried out in all neurobiological systems and all species, including humans. Articles addressing developmental, evolutionary, social, and clinical/translational aspects of neurobiological networks as well as articles describing significant new network data, tools and methods are welcome.

Examples of topics within the scope of Network Neuroscience include, but are not limited to:

  • Biochemical, metabolic, and genetic networks that underpin and support neurobiological processes
  • Connectomics across all levels, organisms, and methodologies, including EM reconstruction, light microscopy, tract tracing, and diffusion imaging
  • Network studies of circuit dynamics, e.g. microelectrode recordings or optical imaging in in vitro or in vivo model systems
  • Studies of human brain networks, including patterns of structural, functional and effective connectivity
  • Animal models relevant to understanding brain connectivity or neural circuit function, including large-scale recordings and optogenetics
  • Basic and translational studies examining the role of genetic, neuronal, and whole-brain networks in clinical disorders
  • Empirical and theoretical work that address multiscale organization and temporal dynamics of brain networks
  • Computational models of brain networks that explain and predict empirical data, or implement and test specific hypotheses
  • Mathematical modeling, including work that addresses principles of statistical physics and dynamical systems theory relevant to the structure and function of brain networks
  • New methods that enable the gathering and analysis network data from neural systems, including empirical mapping, recording and reconstruction technology
  • Algorithms and software, as well as neuroinformatics and data science tools that make an important contribution to understanding the organization of brain networks
  • Studies that employ data mining and meta-analyses of previously published data sets to disclose novel relationships and patterns in brain networks

Network Neuroscience strongly supports open access for data and analysis tools and urges authors to utilize the resources we offer for data sharing.

Before Submitting

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

  • Think about whether your article fits with the Aims and Scope of the journal. On first submission, we require a brief cover letter that should comment on your article’s significance and fit with the journal.
  • 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. Related submissions at other journals should be brought to the attention of the Editor. Note that publication of preprints on servers such as arXiv and bioRxiv is acceptable and encouraged.
  • The abstract is limited to 200 words, and titles should be concise (no more than 350 characters). Please provide a short title (no more than 70 characters) as well.
  • Prepare a list of up to 6 keywords.
  • Prepare a list of at least 3 potential reviewers. Be sure to avoid conflicts of interest.
  • Confirm that all co-authors approve the manuscript in its submitted form. Collect their names, affiliations, email addresses and funding information.
  • Be ready to enter author contributions, which are required for all Research, Methods, and Data Articles.
  • On first submission, articles can use any formatting the author chooses and can be submitted as a single pdf file. Please be sure to integrate all figures and tables into the main text and prepare a pdf that is legible and facilitates the review process. Consider including line numbering.
  • Be ready to declare any competing interests for yourself and all co-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 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. See Accessibility of Data and Other Materials below.
  • Pre-submission posting of articles online, e.g. by using the arXiv or bioRxiv preprint servers, is encouraged. We regard dissemination of preprints as an important step to make research more accessible and accelerate progress in the field. This practice will not affect judgements of novelty or originality of the submitted work.

First Submission

On first submission, Network Neuroscience does not require any specific formatting, including formatting of references. All articles are uploaded as a single pdf document with all elements of the article fully integrated (including figures, tables and references). It is the responsibility of the authors to ensure that their pdf article file is readable, complete and that figures are legible and properly placed.

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. See Accessibility of Data and Other Materials below for more information.

Regarding formatting of the article, we suggest the following general guidelines:

  • The text (including all formulas and mathematical symbols) should be typed so as to be easily legible and properly spaced.
  • Figures and tables may be placed anywhere in the text. Most reviewers prefer that figures and tables are placed close to where they are first referenced.
  • Figures should be supplied at a suitable resolution, with labels that are legible and properly sized.
  • Corresponding figure legends and figures should be placed on the same page.
  • All pages should be numbered consecutively. In addition, we strongly suggest line numbering as well.
  • References can be in any citation style but must be complete and should be consistently formatted. Citation of papers that are “in press” or “submitted”, or otherwise inaccessible, is not permitted. Note that references will need to follow the American Psychological Association format at the Revision stage (see below).
  • Your cover letter can help in editorial decision making. It should address how the article provides an important scientific or methodological advance and why it fits within the aims and scope of the journal.

Network Neuroscience requires that the specific contributions of all authors are identified. On submission, you will be asked to enter author contributions using a Credit Taxonomy tool within the submission system.


Once an article reaches the stage of revision, we do require specific formatting. Files must be provided in Word or using the NETN LaTeX style file. Do not edit the LaTeX template.

Word submission requirements:

  • Single-column
  • Standard 12 pt. serif font (e.g., Times)
  • Text, references, and figure legends all double spaced
  • Equations in Math Type (not images)

LaTeX submission requirements:

  • Use the NETN style file
  • Provide all elements of the TeX package
  • Include a compiled PDF version

Figure requirements, Word and TeX: Figures may appear inline, but please also supply them as separate files. Appropriate formats include EPS, JPG, and TIFF. High-resolution (300 dpi) figures are desirable, and individual figure files should be no larger than 10Mb. Figure labels and lettering should be legible once figures are reproduced at their publication sizes (no larger than 7x10 inches). Separate panels should be labeled clearly and fully referred to in the figure legend. Authors are strongly encouraged to design their figures so that they reproduce well in the final pdf layout.

Table requirements: Table should appear inline and be formatted as tables, not tab or comma delimited text.

Style and Formatting

At the revision stage, all manuscripts should conform to the format and style of the American Psychological Association as specified in the APA Publication Manual. References should be formatted in APA style.

Footnotes, endnotes and appendices are not permitted. All articles require a statement of competing interests before publication, made by the corresponding author on behalf of all co-authors. The dates the manuscript was received, accepted and published will be recorded on each article’s cover page.

For Research articles, we prefer that the Methods section be placed at the end of the manuscript (after the Discussion). However, we will also accept articles that place the Methods between the Introduction and the Results, if authors consider this ordering to be more suitable for their manuscript. Research articles should generally be arranged as follows:

  1. Title/Authors/Affiliations/Contact Information/Keywords
  2. Abstract
  3. Author Summary (Research and Focus articles only)
  4. Introduction
  5. Results
  6. Discussion
  7. Materials and Methods (alternatively titled Methods, Models or Theory, as appropriate)
  8. Acknowledgements
  9. References

The Introduction does not have subheadings. For Research articles, use subheadings “Results”, “Discussion” and “Methods” (or appropriate alternative) for the article’s main sections. Methods and Data articles may reposition and/or relabel Results and Materials/Methods sections as appropriate. The Author Summary is required only for Research articles. For Reviews and Perspectives, the main text headings/subheadings should reflect the scientific content, rather than follow the scheme above.

For all article types, Abstracts are limited to 200 words, article titles to 350 characters and short titles to 70 characters. The Author Summary (Research and Focus articles only) is limited to 125 words. 

All articles should provide a list of Technical Terms which is uploaded as a separate document (pdf). This list should comprise around 10 key terms that are mentioned in the article and whose usage and definition may not be familiar across the broad readership of the journal. Authors should provide brief (20 words or less) definitions for each of these terms, avoiding in these definitions the use of jargon, or highly technical or specialized language. Technical Terms will appear in the margins of the article at or near their first mention in the text. Please upload Technical Terms as a separate file.

Supplementary Materials should be uploaded as a separate file(s), and should not be appended at the end of the manuscript (see Accessibility of Data and Other Materials)

Upon final acceptance, all articles will receive a DOI (to allow them to become fully citable) and will be posted online, under the ‘Just Accepted’ tab on the journal website. Authors should carefully check that the last version they provide before acceptance is complete and accurate, including figures, tables, and author list and affiliations. Typesetting and proofing of the final version of the article will occur at a later stage.

Article Types

Network Neuroscience publishes Research, Methods, Data, Review and Perspective articles. Research articles are the principal article type in Network Neuroscience and cover original research that is of broad interest and high significance to the field. Research articles must employ rigorous empirical and analytic methodology and provide substantial support for their conclusions. They should be written in a style that is accessible to a broad audience of scientists interested in neurobiological networks.

Methods articles describe novel experimental or computational/analytic methods and tools that advance the goals of network neuroscience. Methods articles should provide detailed protocols for method implementation and strive to establish the validity of new methodologies. Authors of Methods articles are required to supply new materials, data and analytic tools covered in the article freely and openly to the scientific community.

Data articles provide detailed descriptions of publicly shared brain network data sets, including full accounts on how the data were collected and assembled. Authors of Data articles must supply data sets covered in the article in a form that is freely accessible to the public, either through Supplementary Information or through an online public data repository.

Review articles provide authoritative and balanced overviews and address timely topics of broad interest. Rather than serving as literature reviews we urge authors to aim for an integrative synthesis that sheds new light on an important development in the field. Review articles should be accessible to a broad audience.

Perspective articles allow authors to advance a personal viewpoint, propose a novel idea or theory, trigger discussion and dialogue, or address a controversial topic in the field. While Perspectives may reflect an author’s opinion, all such articles should maintain objectivity and balance.

Focus articles are published as part of a Focus Feature, a set of articles that address a common research topic. Proposals for organizing a Focus Feature should be sent directly to the Editor and should include a rationale for the proposed topic, its significance and timeliness, the scientific fit with the journal’s aims and scope, a time line for paper submissions, and a list of prospective contributing authors. Focus articles can fall under any of the journal’s five major article types (Research, Methods, Data, Review or Perspective). When submitting a Focus article, use the formatting guidelines that match the type of article you are preparing. Note that all Focus articles should be accompanied by a 125-word Author Summary. All Focus articles are fully peer-reviewed. Articles belonging to a Focus Feature will be published jointly as a group and will be promoted and highlighted on the journal website.

Research, Methods, and Data articles do not require pre-submission inquiry and should be submitted directly. Review and Perspective articles are commissioned by the Editor in consultation with other members of the editorial board. Proposals for such articles may be directed to the Editor and should include a brief summary or outline. Articles of all types are fully peer-reviewed.

Notes on Article Types

Research. Research articles should communicate findings and conclusions clearly and concisely. While Research articles have no strict overall word limit, authors should aim for a maximum length of around 6000 words total (excluding references). The Introduction and Discussion sections may not exceed 800 and 1600 words, respectively. All non-essential material should be provided as Supplementary Materials. 

Methods. Methods articles should address the significance of new experimental or computational tools, and clearly demonstrate their potential for providing important new insights into neurobiological networks. As for Research articles, the Introduction and Discussion sections are limited to 800 and 1600 words, respectively, and the total article length should not exceed 6000 words. Avoid reproducing code as part of the main text. Methods articles must include all essential materials needed to apply the method (full experimental procedures or software tools) as part of the Supplementary Materials or through a permanent link (URL or DOI) in a public repository.

Data. Data articles should provide comprehensive information about novel data sets that enables readers to access and use these data for their own independent studies. Data articles must provide data sets as part of the Supplementary Materials or through a permanent link (URL or DOI) in a public repository. As for Research articles, the Introduction and Discussion sections are limited to 800 and 1600 words, respectively, and the total article length should not exceed 6000 words.

Review. A key objective of Review articles is to communicate important topics across disciplinary boundaries. Hence, articles should be written clearly and concisely, and avoid excessive use of specialized terminology, jargon and technical detail. Reviews are limited to 6000 words (not including references and figure legends) and may feature up to 6 display items (tables, figures or boxes), in addition to a required Glossary and Future Directions box. References are limited to 140 and should predominantly cover the recent primary literature.

Perspective. As for Review articles, Perspectives should be written clearly and concisely, and avoid excessive use of specialized terminology, jargon and technical detail. Perspectives are limited to 3000 words and 3 display items (tables, figures or boxes). Glossary and Future Directions boxes are welcome if they fit with the purpose of the article. References are limited to 70.

Editorials. Editorials are occasionally published to update the readership on developments in the field or important news regarding the journal. Editorials can only be submitted by the Editor and must be invited or commissioned. 

Accessibility of Data and Other Materials

Network Neuroscience strongly urges all authors to openly share all data and other materials that are essential for reproducing the article’s key 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. Data and materials should be available or 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. Authors will be queried about sharing of data and other materials on first submission.

Sharing of data and materials is strongly encouraged for Research articles and is an absolute requirement for Methods and Data articles. Original data or other materials should not be linked to Review and Perspective articles.

Peer Review Taxonomy

Network Neuroscience and the MIT Press are participating in a pilot of STM's Working Group on Peer Review Taxonomy.

Background statement: "STM, the International Association of Scientific, Technical and Medical Publishers, has recognised a need to identify and standardise definitions and terminology in peer review practices in order to help align nomenclature as more publishers use open peer review models. A peer review taxonomy that is used across publishers will help make the peer review process for articles and journals more transparent, and will enable the community to better assess and compare peer review practices between different journals."


  1. Identity transparency: Single Anonymized
  2. Reviewer interacts with: Editor
  3. Review information published: None

Publication Fees

Network Neuroscience is an open access, online-only journal. This gold OA journal charges an APC (Article Processing Charge) of $2,250 per article which will be billed upon acceptance of the manuscript. Commissioned Review and Perspective articles may be exempt from the APC, subject to prior arrangement with the Editor. Authors who are unable to pay may apply for a fee waiver; waivers will be granted on a case-by-case basis.

Indexing and Archiving

Network 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. Network Neuroscience is currently indexed in Web of Science, MEDLINE, PubMed and Scopus. A full list is available here.

Impact Measures

Network 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.

Network Neuroscience Editorial Policy

All manuscripts submitted to Network Neuroscience are entered into an online submission system (Editorial Manager). Upon receipt, all manuscripts are initially reviewed by the Editor and other members of the Editorial Board to assess whether the article is within scope of the journal, adheres to the journal’s publishing and bioethics guidelines, and is of sufficient quality to merit external peer review. If an article is found not to meet these criteria it will be editorially rejected. A decision letter is sent to the corresponding author stating the reasons for the rejection.

If these criteria are met, the article will be assigned to a Handling Editor who then sends the article to at least two, and possibly more, independent referees. Manuscripts are reviewed in single-blind fashion, with authors’ names and affiliations known to the reviewers, and the reviewers’ identities kept confidential. Referees are selected based on their expertise in the subject matter of the article. Upon invitation, reviewers are asked to comment on the technical merits of the work, as well as its significance and impact. Reviewers are asked to decline the assignment if they have any conflicts of interest that may interfere with an objective evaluation of the manuscript. Upon submitting their reviews, reviewers are asked to declare any possible conflict and can leave confidential comments to the editor, as well as comments that will be transmitted to the authors.

The Handling Editor reviews the referees’ reports and makes a decision which is transmitted to the Editor or a Senior Editor for approval (unless they themselves act as Handling Editors). If the decision is “Reject after Review” a decision letter is sent to the corresponding author that states the reason for rejection and appends the reviews. If the decision is to revise (“Major Revision” or “Minor Revision”) the reviews are appended to the decision letter and the editors may provide additional comments. Once a revised manuscript is received it will again be examined by the Editor and/or Handling Editor and then sent to all or a subset of the original reviewers. Once reviews are received, the Editor/Handling Editor again makes a decision which may be to Reject, Revise, or a “Provisional Accept”. In the case the decision is “Revise”, the manuscript is returned to authors for another round of revisions. In the case the decision is “Provisional Accept”, the manuscript is returned to the authors for final file checks and forms to be filled. The journal office checks the paper for compliance with all publication and formatting instructions. The Editor/Handling Editor then makes a final decision to “Accept” the paper for publication.

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