Materials Highlights is an international, peer-reviewed, open access journal that publishes original research reports, review papers, commentaries and communications in the broadly defined fields of materials science and engineering. Before submitting an article to this journal, please review the Instructions for Authors below.
Before submitting your manuscript to Materials Highlights for review, please ensure that all the items listed below have been checked and uploaded with your submission. In case you require more information about any of the items in this list, please refer to the relevant section in these Instructions for Authors or contact the Publisher directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Materials Highlights publishes various article types with the following specifications:
Manuscripts are submitted to Materials Highlights using the Editorial Manager online submission and peer review system (*). Please click on the Submit your Article button in the left-hand menu on the journal homepage for a link to access this system. Instructions will be provided on screen for uploading all the relevant information and files associated with your submission. All manuscripts must be in the English language and Authors are advised to ensure clarity, brevity and accuracy of the information provided.
Note that the submission of a manuscript means that the research described has not been published previously in other journals, that it is not under consideration for publication elsewhere, that its publication is approved by all Authors – either tacitly or explicitly – and by the responsible authorities where the work was carried out, and that upon acceptance the article will not be published elsewhere in the same form, either in English or in any other language, including in any electronic medium, without the written permission of the journal owner. The editorial team of Materials Highlights verifies the originality of submitted manuscripts using similarity detection software.
Submission to the journal proceeds in an online environment only where Authors will be stepwise guided through the process of entering article details and uploading submission files. The online submission system automatically converts all source files into a single PDF file which is used in the peer review process. Please note that even though source files are converted to PDF at submission, the original editable files (e.g. in Word or LaTeX) are still needed for further processing and typesetting after acceptance. All correspondence, including notification of the Editor’s decision and requests for revision, is sent via email.
(*) NOTE: We are currently in the process of setting up our online submission system for this journal. In the meantime, articles can be submitted via email following the instructions here.
Materials Highlights supports ORCID in its publication workflow, enabling researchers to apply for a unique ID which is connected to their work. Similar to DOIs for articles, ORCID for Authors will help researchers to distinguish their research from others, to get appropriate recognition and to enhance the discovery of their work. Corresponding Authors are required to register for an ORCID identifier (free of charge) and to link this identifier to their submission. Any co-Authors are encouraged to do the same.
If you have registered with ORCID, you can link your personal ID to your existing Editorial Manager account by going to your account details and entering your ORCID identifier. After you validate and confirm your details, you will be directed to the ORCID website to sign in (make sure you have your username and password ready). You will then be requested to agree to attach your ORCID details to your Editorial Manager account. In the event that the number is invalid (you will see a red cross next to the ORCID identifier) you can click on the link to “Update ORCID iD” and follow the instructions to authorize the link between the journal submission system and your ORCID iD.
It is important that your manuscript text file is saved in the native format of the word processor used. The text should be in a single-column format and the layout should be kept as simple as possible. Most formatting codes will be removed and replaced on processing the article. In particular, do not use the word processor’s options to justify text or to hyphenate words. However, you can use bold face, italics, subscripts, superscripts, etc. When preparing tables, if you are using a table grid, use only one grid for each individual table and not a grid for each row. If no grid is used, use tabs and not spaces to align columns. Note that source files of figures, tables and text graphics will be required regardless of whether you embed your figures in the text or not. To avoid unnecessary errors you are strongly advised to use the “spell-check” and “grammar-check” functions of your word processor.
Manuscripts, for example those which contain a lot of mathematical formulas, can also be submitted in LaTeX. All source files that are uploaded to the submission system will be automatically compiled into a single PDF file to be approved by the Author at the end of the submission process. While the compiled PDF will be used during peer review, the uploaded source files will be sent to the Publisher for publication upon acceptance. Please do not use subfolders for your LaTeX submission, e.g. for figures or bibliographic files. Should you require additional technical information for uploading and compiling your LaTeX submission, please refer to the following resource: https://www.ariessys.com/wp-content/uploads/EM_PM_LaTeX_Guide.pdf.
Including a cover letter with your submission gives you a chance to convince the Editors that your article is suitable for publication in the journal and of importance to its readership. A cover letter should be no more than two pages long and should include all the standard elements which are to be expected in an official letter (for example, the date and the address of the recipient, etc.). The Author(s) should confirm that the submission is original (include the title of the manuscript and the journal name) and not under consideration for publication in another journal. Furthermore, you should briefly mention the focus of the manuscript (no more than 4-5 sentences). Note that while we ask the Author(s) to provide competing interest information separately, you are welcome to also include this information in the cover letter.
The abstract of your article should briefly state the purpose of the research, the main results and the major conclusions. An abstract is often presented separately from the article, so it must be able to stand alone. It should therefore not contain any undefined abbreviations or unspecified references. If references are still deemed essential, then cite the Author(s) and year(s). Also, if non-standard or uncommon abbreviations cannot be avoided they must be defined at their first mention in the abstract itself.
A graphical abstract is a graphical equivalent of the written abstract of an article. Graphical abstracts should be a single image, designed to help the reader to quickly gain an overview of the article and to ascertain the purpose and results of a given research. Graphical abstracts are intended to facilitate online browsing, to help readers quickly identify if an article is relevant to their research interests, and to draw extra attention to an article thereby increasing its readership. Adding a graphical abstract to an article is optional, but if included it has to be submitted as a single figure meeting the general artwork requirements which can be found in the Artwork section below. Note that graphical abstracts should not exceed 280 (width) x 140 (height) pixels in size and that no caption is to be included with the figure.
Immediately after the abstract, provide a maximum of 8 keywords, using American-English spelling and avoiding general and plural terms and multiple concepts (for example, avoid “and”, “of”, etc.). Also avoid using abbreviations unless they are firmly established in the field. Note that these keywords will be used for indexing purposes.
Divide your article into clearly defined and numbered sections. Subsections should be numbered 1.1 (then 1.1.1, 1.1.2, ...), 1.2, etc. Note that the abstract should not be included in the section numbering. Use the section numbering also for internal cross-referencing: do not just refer to 'the text'. Any subsection may be given a brief heading. Each heading should appear on its own separate line.
Abbreviations which are non-standard in the field should be defined at their first mention in the text and used consistently thereafter. Definitions can be placed in a footnote on the first page of the article.
An introduction should state the objectives of the work and provide an adequate background. Make sure you explain the nature of the problem and provide the context of why the work is important. Avoid a detailed literature survey or a summary of the results and make sure you include all the relevant references.
This section is important to allow reproducibility of your work by an independent researcher. You should therefore provide sufficient details and a description of the techniques and equipment used. Standard techniques and methods used during the work should just be mentioned at the beginning of the section and descriptions of these are not needed. Methods that are already published should be summarized and indicated by a reference. If quoting directly from a previously published method, use quotation marks and cite the source. Any modifications to existing methods should also be described. If lengthy descriptions of experimental procedures are required, the Authors are encouraged to include them in a supplementary file. Where applicable, Authors must confirm whether all ethical approvals for a procedure have been obtained.
Present your results and experimental data in a clear, consistent and concise manner. Only essential results should be included in the text and only points which are important for the discussion should be highlighted. Do not attempt to hide data; any secondary data can be included in a supplementary file.
This section should contain an interpretation of what the results mean and explore their significance. Highlight the impact of your results compared with recent work and relate it back to the problem or original question in your study. Do not repeat the results in this section and avoid extensive citations or a discussion of published literature.
The main conclusions of the study may be presented in a short Conclusions section. Recommendations or plans for future studies can be included in this section as well.
All Authors must disclose any financial and personal relationships with other people or organizations that could inappropriately influence or bias their work. Examples of potential conflicts of interest include employment, consultancies, stock ownership, honoraria, paid expert testimony, patent applications or registrations, and grants or other funding. Authors submitting to the journal are required to answer mandatory questions on potential conflicts of interest before proceeding with the manuscript. Any potential competing interests must also be mentioned in an explicit statement within the manuscript itself: this statement should describe all potential conflicts of interest (or lack thereof) for each contributing Author.
Materials Highlights encourages Authors to deposit their research data in a relevant data repository and to cite and link to this dataset in their article. In cases where data sharing is not possible for some reason, Authors are requested to make a statement to explain why the research data cannot be shared. Authors are required to provide a Data Availability Statement along these lines as a mandatory item in the submission process. For more information, please refer to the section entitled Research Data Policy in our Transparency & Research Data policy.
Authors are required to include a statement in which they disclose and list any parties which have made a financial contribution to the research and/or the preparation of the article and to briefly describe the role that such party may have had in the work (if any). If the funding source(s) had no involvement in the work beyond providing a financial contribution, then this should be explicitly stated as well. In cases where the research has not been funded, the statement should mention this.
Each Author is encouraged to declare his/her individual contribution to the work submitted: all Authors should have materially participated in the research and/or article preparation and as such the roles of each Author should be clearly described. The statement that all Authors have approved the final article should be true and included in the disclosure. For more information, please refer to the Author Statement of Contribution section in our Guidelines for Authors.
Where applicable, Authors can collate a list of grants, funds and/or individuals who provided help during the research or writing of the manuscript in a separate Acknowledgements section at the end of the article before the References. Names of funding organizations should be written in full. Do not include acknowledgements on the title page, as a footnote to the title or otherwise.
Authors must ensure that each illustration has a caption. Captions must be supplied separately and not attached to the figure itself. A caption should comprise a brief title (not on the figure itself) and a description of the illustration. Keep text in the illustrations themselves to a minimum, but explain all symbols and abbreviations used. Note that captions should contain the figure number as cited in the text.
Tables should be numbered consecutively in accordance with their appearance in the text and cited accordingly. They can be placed either next to the relevant text in the article or on separate pages at the end. For each table, please supply a caption consisting of the table number, a brief title and a description of the data shown in the table. Any previously published material must be identified by providing the original source in the form of a reference at the end of the table caption after ensuring that permission has been sought from the copyright owner (where required). Any footnotes to tables should be indicated by superscript lower-case letters and placed below the table body. Tables should be submitted as editable text and not as images. Avoid using vertical rules and shading in table cells and make sure that the data presented in a table does not duplicate results described elsewhere in the article.
Authors are responsible for the accuracy of the references used. References should be numbered consecutively in the order in which they are first cited. References used in tables or figure captions must be numbered in sequence with those in the text.
Citations in text. Please ensure that every reference cited in the text is also present in the reference list and vice versa. Any references cited in the abstract must be specified in full, i.e. citing the author(s) and year(s). Unpublished results and personal communications are not recommended in the reference list, but may be mentioned in the text. If such references are included in the reference list they should follow the standard reference style of the journal and should include a substitution of the publication date as either ‘Unpublished results’ or ‘Personal communication’. Citation of a reference as ‘in press’ implies that the item has been accepted for publication.
Web references. As a minimum, the full URL should be given and the date when the reference was last accessed. Any further information, if available (e.g. DOI, author names, dates, reference to a source publication, etc.), should also be mentioned. Web references can be listed separately under a different heading, if desired, or can be included in the reference list as well.
References in a special issue. Please ensure that the words ‘this issue’ are added to any references in the list (and any citations in the text) to other articles in the same special issue.
Citing Research Data. Datasets, program code and other methods should be recognized as original intellectual contributions and afforded recognition through citation. The journal therefore encourages Authors to appropriately cite underlying or relevant datasets in their manuscript by citing them in the text and including a data reference in the reference list. Data references should include the following elements: author name(s), dataset title, data repository, version (where available) and year. References to datasets and program code should also include a persistent identifier (e.g. a DOI). Persistent identifiers ensure future access to published digital objects and are assigned to datasets by digital archives, such as institutional repositories, or by partners in various digital preservation initiatives (e.g. Data-PASS).
In text : Designate references by number(s) in square brackets in line with the text. The actual Author(s) can be mentioned, but the reference number(s) must always be included.
In reference list : Number the references (with numbers in square brackets) in the list in the order in which they are first cited in the text.
Example of a reference to a journal publication :
 J. Carmody, V. Traynor, A. Steele. Dementia, Decision Aids and General Practice. Australian Family Physician, 2015, Volume 44(5), pp. 307-310.
Example of a reference to a book :
 J.B. Lawhead, M.C. Baker. Introduction to Veterinary Science, 2nd edition. Cengage Learning, Boston (MA), 2008.
Example of a reference to a chapter in an edited book :
 H.L. Ford, R.A. Sclafani, J. Degregori. Cell Cycle Regulatory Cascades. In: G.S. Stein, A.B. Pardee, editors. Cell Cycle and Growth Control: Biomolecular Regulation and Cancer, 2nd edition. Wiley-Liss, Hoboken (NJ), 2004, pp. 42-67.
Example of a web reference :
 E.M. Abrams, A.B. Becker, T.V. Gerstner. Anaphylaxis Related to Avocado Ingestion: A Case and Review. Allergy, Asthma & Clinical Immunology [Internet], 2011, Volume 7:12, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1186/1710-1492-7-12. Available from: BioMed Central.
Example of a research data citation :
 A. Campbell, K. Robert. American National Election Study, 1948. ICPSR07218v3 [dataset]. Ann Arbor (MI): Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 1999. DOI: http://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR07218.v3.
Notes : In case of more than 6 Authors, the first 6 Authors should be listed followed by “et al.”.
Materials Highlights accepts electronic supplementary materials – such as applications, presentations, data sheets, images and sound clips – to support and enhance the circulation and presentation of your research. Submitted supplementary items will be published exactly as they are received (Excel and PowerPoint files will appear as such online) alongside the electronic version of the article. Please submit your supplementary materials together with the article and provide a concise and descriptive caption for each supplementary file. If you wish to make changes to supplementary materials during any stage of the publication process, please make sure to provide an updated file. Do not annotate any corrections on a previous version. Please switch off the ‘Track Changes’ option in Microsoft Office files as these will appear in the published version.
Footnotes can be used to give additional information and may include citations of references included in the reference list. They should be numbered consecutively throughout the article. Many word processors can build footnotes into the text and this feature may be used. If this is not the case, please indicate the position of footnotes in the text and list the footnotes themselves separately at the end of the article. Do not include footnotes in the reference list. Footnotes cannot contain a table or a figure. Footnotes to tables should be indicated by superscript lower-case letters (or asterisks for significance values and other statistical data) and placed below the table body instead. Footnotes to the title or Authors of an article are not given reference symbols. Authors are advised to always use footnotes instead of endnotes.
Journal names should be abbreviated according to:
Authors are permitted to manipulate images for the purpose of clarity only. Manipulation for purposes of deception or fraud will be regarded as scientific ethical abuse and will be dealt with accordingly. For graphical images, Materials Highlights applies the following policy: no specific feature within an image may be enhanced, obscured, moved, removed or introduced. Adjustments of brightness, contrast or color balance are acceptable if and as long as they do not obscure or eliminate any information present in the original. Nonlinear adjustments (e.g. changes to gamma settings) must be disclosed in the figure legend.
If your electronic artwork is created in a Microsoft Office application (Word, PowerPoint, Excel) then please supply the file “as is” in the native document format. For any application other than Microsoft Office which is used for creating artwork, once your electronic artwork is finalized please click “Save as” or convert the images to one of the following formats (note the resolution requirements for line drawings, halftones and line/halftone combinations):
Please do not:
Materials Highlights uses a single-blind peer review process, meaning that the names of Reviewers are hidden from the Authors. All submissions will be initially assessed by an Editor to ensure that they fall within the Aims & Scope of the journal, are of reasonable scientific quality and meet the basic criteria for publication. Papers which are deemed suitable are then typically sent to a minimum of two independent subject experts to assess the scientific quality. These Reviewers submit review reports with recommendations back to the assigned Editor who makes a decision on the manuscript based on these reports. If the recommendations from Reviewers are conflicting or no final decision can be made based on the reviews, then the assigned Editor may consult another senior Reviewer and/or the Editorial Board members of the journal. Note that the Editor-in-Chief is ultimately responsible for the final decision regarding acceptance or rejection of articles and that the Editor-in-Chief’s decision is final in this regard.
Together with your manuscript, please submit the names, institutional addresses and email addresses of at least four potential reviewers which would be qualified to review your article. Make sure to exclude reviewers with grounds for potential bias. Note that the Editor(s) of the journal retain(s) the sole right to decide whether the suggested reviewers will be used or not.
After submitting an article, the Corresponding Author will receive a confirmation of receipt. Due to the many papers we are currently receiving, the peer review process may take up to three months, but this depends strongly on the subject and the details of the article. The journal's main policy is not to compromise on quality, so in some cases the review time can be longer. Once a paper has been accepted for publication, the Corresponding Author will be asked to sign a Journal Publishing Agreement (JPA) and - where applicable - to pay the Article Publication Charge (APC) for making the article available to readers on an open access basis. Upon receiving the signed JPA and the APC payment, the accepted manuscript goes into production. Prior to publication, a set of page proofs in PDF format will be sent to the Corresponding Author via email for proofreading and to answer any author queries which may have arisen during the production process.
All Authors should have made substantial contributions to each of the following: (1) the conception and design of the study, or acquisition of data, or analysis and interpretation of data; (2) drafting the article or revising it critically; (3) final approval of the version to be submitted. The statement that all Authors have approved the final article should be true and included in the Authors Contribution Statement. For more information, please refer to the Author Statement of Contribution section in our Guidelines for Authors.
Materials Highlights adheres to the COPE guidelines for authorship changes. Authors are expected to carefully consider the list and order of all the Authors of a manuscript before submitting it and to provide the definitive list of Authors at the time of the original submission. Any addition, deletion or rearrangement of Author names in the authorship list should only be made before the manuscript has been accepted and only if approved by the journal Editor. To request such a change, the Editor must receive the following from the Corresponding Author of the manuscript: (i) the reason for the change in the authorship list; and (ii) written confirmation – via email or letter – from all Authors that they agree with the addition, removal or rearrangement. In the case of addition or removal of Authors, this includes confirmation from the Author being added or removed. Only in exceptional circumstances will the Editor consider the addition, deletion or rearrangement of Authors after the manuscript has been accepted. While the Editor considers the request, publication of the article will be suspended. If the article has already been published online, any requests approved by the Editor will result in a corrigendum.
Materials Highlights adheres to the ethical standards as outlined in the policies of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE). As such, the journal follows the COPE Core Practices and the Principles of Transparency and Best Practice in Scholarly Publishing. All ethical and misconduct cases for this journal are handled according to these guidelines and it is expected of Authors, Editors and Reviewers that they follow the COPE standards on ethical behaviour contained in them. For more information, please refer to our Publishing Ethics & Misconduct policy.
All articles published in Materials Highlights are Open Access, meaning that they are immediately and permanently accessible for free on the Athena International Publishing platform. A Creative Commons (CC) user license subsequently defines how end users can reuse those articles after publication.
Articles in Materials Highlights are published under the CC BY-NC 4.0 license, meaning that end users can freely share an article (i.e. copy and redistribute the material in any medium or format) and adapt it (i.e. remix, transform and build upon the material), on the condition that proper attribution is given (i.e. appropriate credit, a link to the license and an indication if any changes were made; all in such a way that does not suggest that the licensor endorses the user or the use) and the material is only used for non-commercial purposes.
Note that Authors must accept this CC license upon submission of their paper and when signing the Journal Publishing Agreement upon acceptance of their manuscript. However, in exceptional cases other user licenses can be applied to individual articles to comply with government regulations or funding mandates. Authors which are required by mandate to deviate from the standard user license are requested to contact Athena International Publishing by sending an email to email@example.com immediately on acceptance of their article. Note that once applied to a published article a Creative Commons user license is non-revocable and cannot be changed anymore.
For more information on the terms associated with applicable user licenses, please refer to the section on End-User Licenses in our Copyright & User Licenses policy.
The copyright of all articles which are published in Materials Highlights remains with the Authors, i.e. Authors retain full ownership of their published work. Upon acceptance of an article, Authors are requested to sign a Journal Publishing Agreement in which they grant Athena International Publishing an exclusive publication license. Under this license, Authors grant the following rights to Athena:
For more information on post-acceptance rights, please refer to the section on Copyright in our Copyright & User Licenses policy.
Upon receiving the signed Journal Publishing Agreement (JPA) and - where applicable - payment of the Article Publication Charge (APC), the accepted manuscript is sent to production for typesetting in accordance with the journal style. A set of page proofs in PDF format is subsequently sent to the Corresponding Author via email, or a link will be provided in the email so that Authors can download the files themselves. Authors are provided with PDF proofs which can be annotated. For this, you will need Adobe Reader version 7 (or higher) which can be downloaded for free from https://get.adobe.com/reader (for system requirements please check this page). Instructions on how to annotate PDF files will accompany the proofs and can also be found here. Authors who do not wish to use the PDF annotation function, may list their corrections (including replies to any author queries which may have arisen during the production process) and return them to us in an email. Please list your corrections quoting line numbers in this case. Note that article proofs should only be used for checking the typesetting, editing, completeness and correctness of the text, tables and figures. Significant changes to an article as accepted for publication will only be considered at this stage with permission from the Editor(s).
The production team will do their best to get your article published quickly and accurately. To support this, Authors are requested to return all their proof corrections within three working days. It is the Author’s responsibility to ensure that all corrections are sent back in one go: please check carefully before replying to the email, as any subsequent corrections cannot be guaranteed. Note that the Editor(s) of the journal may proceed with the publication of your article if no (timely) response is received.
To accelerate the online publication of accepted manuscripts, Materials Highlights supports the concept of “Articles in Press”. These are accepted peer-reviewed articles that have not yet been assigned to any volume/issue, but which are already citable using a Digital Object Identifier (DOI). For more information about DOIs, please visit https://www.doi.org/. An accepted article will be published online under “Articles in Press” as soon as an uncorrected proof has been produced for it. This is the first version of the article which is citable using the DOI. Subsequently, once the corrected proof has been received the uncorrected version will be replaced by the corrected one. Note that once the final published version of the article (a.k.a. the “version of record” or VOR) has been released and assigned to a volume/issue, the article can also be cited using issue and page numbers.
For more information about anything that is written in these Instructions for Authors or for general inquiries about the journal or about an article that you have submitted for publication in the journal, you can contact our author support team at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please always make sure to mention the journal acronym (MAHIG) or the full journal name (Materials Highlights) in your query.