Author Instructions

Cell Structure and Function supplies comprehensive and clear Instructions to Authors, which offer guidance on article types and format, journal policies, and how to submit manuscripts.

These Instructions to Authors may also be downloaded as a PDF.

Manuscript Submission
Manuscript Types
Manuscript Preparation
Journal Policies
Open Access, Copyright and Licensing

Scientists from any country may submit manuscripts to Cell Structure and Function, irrespective of whether they are members of the Japan Society for Cell Biology.

Submission to the journal implies that all authors have seen and approved of the manuscript, have agreed to its submission, and have the right to publish their work. Submission to the journal also implies that the manuscript is original work that has not been previously published in any language and is not under consideration elsewhere. Authors must inform the editors if any related publications are under consideration or in press elsewhere.


Authors are encouraged to use the Author Checklist to ensure that their manuscripts are ready for submission to Cell Structure and Function. The checklist is for the authors’ information only; it should not be submitted to ScholarOne or the Editorial Office.

All manuscripts must be submitted via the journal’s online submission system, ScholarOne: The original or revised manuscript text may be uploaded as a PDF or MS Word file, but a Word file is required for the final manuscript text. Figures may be submitted separately in several other formats.

If you encounter any problems with online submission, please contact the Editorial Office:

Editorial Office
Cell Structure and Function
E-mail: csf[at] (Please replace [at] with @)


Cell Structure and Function welcomes five manuscript types, all of which are subject to single-blind peer review.

Full Articles

Full and comprehensive reports describing original research presented in the standard format of Abstract, Introduction, Methods, Results, Discussion and References. The main text (excluding references, tables, and figure legends) should not exceed 6000 words.

Short Communications

Concise, topical reports describing original research that may not warrant a Full Article, but deserve publication as soon as possible. The main text should not exceed 2000 words and should follow the format for Full Articles.

Reviews and Mini-reviews

Articles presenting novel or unique overviews of recent or important developments in the field. Reviews must be insightful and must address the question(s) of interest using appropriate and fully presented evidence; exhaustive general summaries will not be published. Reviews are generally 5000-6000 words and can explore several aspects of importance in a broader subject area; Mini-reviews are shorter (2000 words) and address a single issue. Reviews and Mini-reviews are occasionally commissioned by the Editor-in-Chief, and the journal welcomes proposals from prospective authors.

Technical Notes

Concise articles that allow authors to report new or significant advances or developments in the techniques, technology or related aspects of cell biology. The journal also welcomes descriptions of methods that accompany new or newly developed techniques.


Fully peer-reviewed, evidence-based articles that offer authors the opportunity to present novel viewpoints or opinions, or raise important matters, for the attention of the cell biology community. New data is not usually provided, but the journal will consider articles that use novel information to support their case. Perspectives should follow the same format as Full Articles, where relevant, and are generally 1000-2000 words in length.



Manuscripts should be prepared in Microsoft Word using double line spacing throughout.

English standard

Manuscripts should be written in clear, grammatically correct English. Authors whose native language is not English are strongly encouraged to have their manuscript checked by a native English speaker or by an editing service (such as INLEXIO) prior to submission. If a manuscript is not clear due to poor English, it may be rejected without undergoing peer review.

Cover Letter

A cover letter must be submitted, which provides a brief paragraph of an overview of the work, its significance and justification for publication. The journal also encourages authors to nominate one or more Associate Editors as potential handling editor(s) of their manuscript. Please see the list of Associate Editors.


Each Full Article should comprise the following sections: Title, Authors, Affiliations, Key words, Running title, Footnotes including abbreviations, Abstract, Introduction, Materials and Methods, Results, Discussion, Acknowledgments, References, Tables, Figure Legends, and Figures (including photographs). In other article types, sections may be omitted or combined as appropriate.

The first page of each manuscript should contain: Title, Authors’ full names, Affiliations, Key words, Running title, and the name and full address (including telephone number, facsimile number, and e-mail address) of the corresponding author.


The title should describe the content of the article briefly but clearly. Do not use the same main title with numbered minor titles, even for a series of papers by the same authors. Do not use abbreviations in the title, except those used generally in related fields. The title should not exceed 100 characters, including spaces.


Provide the full names of the author(s).


Provide full names and addresses of institutions (including Laboratory, Department, Institute and/or University, city, state, zip or postcode, and country). When authors belong to different institutions, their respective addresses should be indicated by superscript numbers. When authors have new addresses, they should be given in a footnote and should be indicated by superscript symbols (such as * and **).

Key Words

A maximum of five key words should be provided.

Running Title

The running title should not exceed 50 characters, including spaces.


Footnotes, if any, should be typed in a separate sheet (the second page of the manuscript). Abbreviations should also be listed on this page.


Each abbreviation should be defined in parentheses together with its non-abbreviated term when it first appears in the text (except in the Title and Abstract). Common abbreviations that may be used without any explanation include ATP (NTP), ADP (NDP), AMP (NMP), cAMP, DNA, RNA, mRNA, tRNA, rRNA, DEAE, EDTA, and SDS.


The Abstract should clearly express the basic content of the paper in a single paragraph and should include the problem addressed, experimental approach, main results and findings, and conclusions. Abstracts must not exceed 250 words for all article types except Short Communications, which should be limited to 200 words. Avoid using specific abbreviations. If it is essential to refer to a previous publication, omit the article title (e.g. Maekawa, S., Endo, S., and Sakai, H. (1989). Cell Struct. Funct., 14: 249–259). The Abstract should be typed in a separate sheet (the third page of the manuscript when Footnotes are used, or the second page when Footnotes are not used).


The Introduction should provide sufficient background information to allow the reader to understand the purpose of the investigation and its relationship with other research in related fields, although it should not include an extensive review of the literature.

Materials and Methods

The description of the methods should be brief, but it must include sufficient details to allow the experiments to be repeated. The sources of unusual chemicals, animals, microbial strains or equipment should be described, and the location (city, state, country) of the company should be provided in parentheses when it appears for the first time. If hazardous materials or dangerous procedures are used in the experiments and the precautions related to their handling are not widely recognized, it is recommended that the authors provide the necessary details.


This section includes the results of the experiments. The Results and Discussion sections may be combined if this helps readers to understand and evaluate the study. Tables and figures, including photographs, can be used to present the experimental results (see below). Excessive explanations of the data presented in tables and figures should be avoided.


The Discussion should be concise and should deal with the interpretation of the results. Novel models or hypotheses may be proposed in this section only if they are suggested by the results obtained in the experiments. Do not repeat the description of the experimental results in this section.


This section should be brief and include those who have contributed to the manuscript’s completion but who do not qualify for authorship. Examples include administrative or general support, or technical or language editing.


Authors should list all funding sources for their work in the Funding section in the following format.

This work was financially supported in part by grants awarded to [Author(s) Initials].

  • Institution awarded the funding: [Institution name; if none, write “None”]
  • Funder: [Funding agency name, City, Country]
  • Grant number (for each grant): [Grant number or GrantID]

If no funding was used to support the work, write “Not applicable” under the section heading.


All the publications cited in the manuscript should be listed alphabetically according to the first author. When two or more publications by the same first author are cited in the text, they should be listed chronologically. References are cited in the text by surname and year within parentheses, e.g. (Tuma et al., 1999; Hurd and Saxton, 1998).

EndNote users can use the output style file, available here (created by USACO Corporation).

An “in press” paper may be included in the references if the paper is expected to be published during the processing of the manuscript for publication in Cell Structure and Function. In this case, the authors are required to send three copies of the preprint to the Editorial Office to facilitate the review process.

Research that has been “submitted for publication” or that is “in preparation” may be cited in the text by adding the appropriate phrase in parentheses, but such citations should be used sparingly. Personal communications must not be cited.

Meeting abstracts must not be cited in the References; however, they may be cited in the text by indicating the publication abstract, page, and year. Oral presentations without published abstracts must not be cited.

Journal abbreviations should follow the system used in the Serial Sources for the Biosis Database (published by BioSciences Information Service of Biological Abstracts, 2100 Arch Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103, USA). Examples of reference citations are as follows:

1. Edelman, G.M. 1987. Neural Darwinism. Basic Books, Inc., New York. 371 pp.
2. Nishida, E., Tobe, K., Kadowaki, T., Kasuga, M., Sato, C., and Sakai, H. 1988. Stimulation of the
phosphorylation of cytoskeletal 350-kDa and 300-kDa proteins by insulin-like growth factor-I, platelet-derived growth factor and phorbol ester in rat 3Y1 cells. Cell Struct. Funct., 13: 417-423.
3. Yamamori, T., Osawa, T., Tobe, T., Ito, K., and Yura, T. 1982. Escherichia coli gene (hin) control
transcription of heat-shock operons and cell growth at high temperature. In: Heat Shock from Bacteria to Man (M.J. Schlesinger, M. Ashburner, and A. Tissieres, eds.). Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, Cold Spring Harbor, New York, pp. 131-137.


Number tables consecutively using Roman numerals (I, II, III, IV, etc.). A title should be given to each table and it must use capital letters. Explanatory material and footnotes should be typed below the table and should be designated with superscript letters, such as a) or b). Units of measurement should be included with numerical values at the top of columns. Avoid detailed explanations of the experimental conditions used to obtain the data shown in tables (which should be included in the Materials and Methods section).


Figures include line drawings and photographs. Single-column figures must not exceed 84 mm x 220 mm. Double-column figures must not exceed 173 mm x 220 mm. Magnifications of photographs should be indicated in the legends and/or by scales included in the photographs. Illustrations must be self-explanatory and they should be numbered consecutively with Arabic numerals (i.e., Fig. 1, Fig. 2, etc.). Each figure should have a short title. Figure legends should be typed together in a separate sheet(s). Figure legends should include sufficient experimental details to make the figures intelligible; however, duplicating the descriptions provided in the Materials and Methods should be avoided.

Supplementary material

Supplementary material adds, but is not essential, to a reader’s understanding of a manuscript. Authors are encouraged to submit supplementary material for online-only publication. Supplementary material may comprise data, text, audio or movie files, and is published online alongside the accepted manuscript.

As supplementary material is peer-reviewed, authors must submit it in its final form as part of their manuscript submission. After a manuscript has been accepted for publication, authors may not make any changes to the supplementary material.


Cell Structure and Function upholds the highest standards in scholarly publishing.

Before submitting a manuscript to the journal, authors must ensure that they have read and complied with the journal’s policies. The journal reserves the right to reject without review, or retract, any manuscript that the Editor believes may not comply with these policies.

The responsibilities of the journal’s authors, editors, reviewers and publisher regarding research and publication ethics are described below.


Authors are encouraged to consider the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) Recommendations on ‘Defining the Role of Authors and Contributors’. The ICMJE recommends that authorship is based on four criteria: making a substantial contribution to the conception or design of the work, or the acquisition, analysis or interpretation of data for the work; drafting the manuscript or revising it critically for important intellectual content; approving the final version of the manuscript for publication; and agreeing to be held accountable for all aspects of the work. Any contributor who has met all four criteria should be an author on the manuscript. Contributors who do not meet all four criteria should not be authors of the manuscript but may be included in the Acknowledgments section instead.

Submission to Cell Structure and Function implies that all authors have agreed to the author list. Any amendments to the list (such as changing the order, or adding or removing authors) after submission must be approved by all authors and the editor.

Animal/human experimentation

In cases where experiments have been performed using humans or materials derived from humans, the authors must demonstrate that the work was carried out in accordance with the principles embodied in the Declaration of Helsinki and any guidelines approved by the authors’ institutions. For experiments conducted using animals or materials derived from animals, the authors must demonstrate that the work was performed according to guidelines approved by the authors’ institution(s).

Unoriginal material

Submission to the journal implies that the manuscript represents original work. Cell Structure and Function uses CrossCheck software to screen manuscripts for unoriginal material. By submitting a manuscript to the journal, authors agree to this screening. The editors reserve the right to reject or retract the manuscript at any time if CrossCheck screening indicates that the manuscript contains an unacceptable level of unoriginal material.

Data falsification, data fabrication and image integrity

Authors must not falsify or fabricate data. Authors may digitally manipulate or process images, as long as any adjustments are kept to a minimum, are applied to the entire image, and meet community standards. All figures in a submitted manuscript must accurately reflect the original data. To aid in their assessment of a submitted manuscript, the editors reserve the right to request original, unprocessed images from the authors.

Reproducing copyrighted material

If a manuscript contains a figure that is not under the authors’ own copyright, the authors must show that the copyright holder has given permission for the figure to be used. In cases where previously published figures are included in a submitted manuscript, the authors must obtain permission from the copyright holders and the publisher of the original work.

Availability of data and materials

Reproducibility of published research is a fundamental tenet of the scientific method. Submission of a manuscript to Cell Structure and Function implies that the authors are willing and able to share material, data and experimental protocols with readers without unreasonable restriction. If this is not possible, the authors must explain why at the time of submission.

Authors may make their own data and materials available as Supplementary Material, or in relevant public databases or digital repositories (such as J-STAGE Data).

Authors must disclose the source of publicly available data and materials, such as public repositories or commercial manufacturers, by including accession numbers or company details as appropriate.

Conflicts of interest

In the interests of transparency, all authors must declare any conflicts of interest in relation to their submitted manuscript. A conflict of interest exists when there are actual, perceived or potential circumstances that could influence an author’s ability to conduct and report research impartially. Such circumstances could include (but are not limited to) competing commercial or financial interests, commercial affiliations, consulting roles, or ownership of stock or equity. Authors should list all funding sources for their work in the Funding section.


Cell Structure and Function maintains the confidentiality of all manuscripts under consideration and all manuscripts that have been rejected. Submission to the journal implies that authors agree to keep all correspondence about their manuscript (from the Editorial Office, editors and reviewer) strictly confidential.

As Cell Structure and Function uses single-blind peer review, the identities of reviewers are kept confidential. Journal staff will not disclose a reviewer’s identity unless the reviewer specifically requests such disclosure. As part of their responsibilities, reviewers agree to maintain the confidentiality of submitted manuscripts.

Editorial and peer review process

The journal uses single-blind peer review. When a manuscript is submitted to the journal, it is assigned to the Editor-in-Chief, who performs initial screening. Manuscripts that do not fit the journal’s scope or are not deemed suitable for publication are rejected without review. The remaining manuscripts are assigned to an Associate Editor who assigns two reviewers to assess each manuscript. Reviewers are selected based on their expertise, reputation and previous experience as peer reviewers. The deadline for submission of the reviewers’ reports varies by article type.

Upon receipt of the two reviewers’ reports, the Associate Editor makes the first decision on the manuscript. If the decision is to request revision of the manuscript, authors have 3 months to resubmit their revised manuscript. Revised manuscripts submitted after this deadline may be treated as new submissions. The Associate Editor may send revised manuscripts to peer reviewers for their feedback or may use his or her own judgement to assess how closely the authors have followed the Associate Editor’s and the reviewers’ comments on the original manuscript.

The Associate Editor then makes a recommendation to the Editor-in-Chief on the manuscript’s suitability for publication. The Editor-in-Chief is responsible for making the final decision on each manuscript.

The members of the Editorial Board act in advisory roles, providing feedback as reviewers and making suggestions to improve the journal. In cases where the Editor-in-Chief is an author on a manuscript submitted to the journal, a member of the Editorial Committee is responsible for making the final decision on the manuscript’s suitability for publication in the journal.

Reviewer selection, timing and suggestions

Reviewers are selected based on their expertise in the field, reputation, recommendation by others, and/or previous experience as peer reviewers for the journal.

Reviewers are asked to submit their first review within 2 weeks of accepting the invitation to review. Reviewers who anticipate any delays should inform the Editorial Office as soon as possible.

When submitting a manuscript to the journal, authors may suggest reviewers that they would like included in or excluded from the peer review process. The Editor may consider these suggestions but is under no obligation to follow them. The selection, invitation and assignment of peer reviewers is at the Editor’s sole discretion.

Reviewer reports

It is the journal’s policy to transmit reviewers’ comments to the authors in their original form. However, the journal reserves the right to edit reviewers’ comments, without consulting the reviewers, if they contain offensive language, confidential information or recommendations for publication.

Acceptance criteria

If a manuscript satisfies the journal’s requirements and represents a significant contribution to the published literature, the Associate Editor may recommend acceptance for publication in the journal.

Articles in the journal must be:

  • within the subject area of the journal’s scope
  • novel and original
  • descriptions of technically rigorous research
  • important additions to the field.

If a manuscript does not meet the journal’s requirements for acceptance or revision, an Editor may recommend rejection.

Editorial independence

The Japan Society for Cell Biology (JSCB) has granted the journal’s Editorial Board complete and sole responsibility for all editorial decisions. The JSCB will not become involved in editorial decisions, except in cases of a fundamental breakdown of process.

Editorial decisions are based only on a manuscript’s scientific merit and are kept completely separate from the journal’s other interests. The authors’ ability to pay any publication charges has no bearing on whether a manuscript is accepted for publication in the journal.


Authors who believe that an editorial decision has been made in error may lodge an appeal with the Editorial Office. Appeals are only considered if the authors provide detailed evidence of a misunderstanding or mistake by a reviewer or editor. Appeals are considered carefully by the Editor-in-Chief, whose decision is final. The guidelines of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) are followed where and when relevant.

Confidentiality in peer review

The journal maintains the confidentiality of all unpublished manuscripts. Editors and reviewers will not:

  1. disclose a reviewer’s identity unless the reviewer makes a reasonable request for such disclosure
  2. discuss the manuscript or its contents with anyone not directly involved with the manuscript or its peer review
  3. use any data or information from the manuscript in their own work or publications
  4. use information obtained from the peer review process to provide an advantage to themselves or anyone else, or to disadvantage any individual or organization.

In addition, reviewers will not reveal their identity to any of the authors of the manuscript or involve anyone else in the review (for example, a post-doc or PhD student) without first receiving permission from the Editor.

Editor and reviewer conflicts of interest in peer review

A conflict of interest exists when there are actual, perceived or potential circumstances that could influence an editor or reviewer’s ability to act impartially when assessing a manuscript. Such circumstances might include having a personal or professional relationship with an author, working on the same topic or in direct competition with an author, having a financial stake in the work or its publication, or having seen previous versions of the manuscript.

Reviewers and members of the journal’s Editorial Board undertake to declare any conflicts of interest when handling manuscripts. An editor or reviewer who declares a conflict of interest is unassigned from the manuscript in question and is replaced by a new editor or reviewer.

Editors try to avoid conflicts of interest when inviting reviewers, but it is not always possible to identify potential bias.

Editors as authors in the journal

Any member of the journal’s Editorial Board, including the Editor-in-Chief, who is an author on a submitted manuscript is excluded from the peer review process. Within the journal’s online manuscript submission and tracking system, they will be able to see their manuscript as an author but not as an editor, thereby maintaining the confidentiality of peer review.

A manuscript authored by an editor of the journal is subject to the same high standards of peer review and editorial decision making as any manuscript considered by the journal.

Responding to potential ethical breaches

The journal will respond to allegations of ethical breaches by following its own policies and, where possible, the guidelines of COPE.

Errata and retractions

Cell Structure and Function supports the correction of errors in the published literature. If published manuscripts are found to contain significant errors, the Editors will determine whether an Erratum or a Retraction is most appropriate.

Errata describe errors that significantly affect the scientific integrity of a publication, the reputation of the authors, or the journal itself. Retractions are usually used for publications in which the results or conclusions are found to be invalid or unsound, or for cases in which authors are believed to have breached research or publication ethics.

In cases where co-authors do not agree to a correction, the journal reserves the right to proceed with publication of an Erratum or Retraction that includes a list of the dissenting co-authors.


To support the wide dissemination of research, the journal encourages authors to post their research manuscripts on community-recognized preprint servers, either before or alongside submission to the journal. This policy applies only to the original version of a manuscript that describes primary research. Any version of a manuscript that has been revised in response to reviewers’ comments, accepted for publication or published in the journal should not be posted on a preprint server. Instead, forward links to the published manuscript should be posted instead.


When assessing the novelty of a manuscript submitted to the journal, the editors will not be influenced by other manuscripts that are posted on community-recognized preprint servers after the date of submission to CSF (or after the date of posting on a preprint server, if the manuscript is submitted to CSF within 4 months).


Cell Structure and Function recently moved to a fully Open Access publication model. For more information on the journal’s Open Access policies, see the Open Access Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs).

Publication Fee

There are many costs associated with publishing scholarly journals, such as those of managing peer review, copy editing, typesetting and online hosting. To cover these costs in the absence of journal subscriptions, authors (or their representatives) are asked to pay article processing charges (APCs).

The APC in Cell Structure and Function is ¥100,000 for all article types except commissioned Reviews and Mini-reviews, which are free to publish. Authors of accepted manuscripts will be invoiced for the APC before publication of their manuscript.

The journal does not charge a submission fee.

License to Publish

Authors are required to sign a License to Publish to grant the Japan Society for Cell Biology permission to reproduce the work in Cell Structure and Function under a Creative Commons license (see below).

Creative Commons licenses

Open Access publications in Cell Structure and Function are published under the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) 4.0 International license. For more information about this license, see the Open Access FAQs page.


Copyright of articles printed in Cell Structure and Function belongs to the Japan Society for Cell Biology for published articles submitted before 1 October 2016 and to the Authors for published articles submitted on or after 1 October 2016. More information about the journal’s Open Access policy is available on the Open Access FAQs page.

Last updated 23 October 2023