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Submission Preparation Checklist

As part of the submission process, authors are required to check off their submission's compliance with all of the following items, and submissions may be returned to authors that do not adhere to these guidelines.
  • ONLINE SELF-DIAGNOSIS TOOL: The Author has used this tool to determine if their manuscript is ready for submission. Diagnose Your Manuscript.
  • GUIDELINES FOR MANUSCRIPT TITLES: The Author has used the following guidelines to help increase their manuscript's "discoverability" online, thus leading to a wider audience and increased citations. Improve Your Manuscript Title.

  • CONTENT ADHERES TO AUTHOR GUIDELINES: The text meets the journal's formatting requirements as outlined in the General Guidelines and specific Section Guidelines for the section to which the paper has been submitted.

  • LABORATORY BIOSAFETY GUIDELINES: The author has confirmed that any laboratory procedures and/or practices outlined in the submission adhere to the ASM Guidelines for Biosafety in Teaching Laboratories. Furthermore, the author has indicated in the submission how those procedures and/or practices adhere to the ASM Guidelines for Biosafety in Teaching Laboratories.
  • PREVIOUS OR DUPLICATE PUBLICATION: The submission has not been previously published, nor is it before another journal for consideration; or an explanation has been provided in “Comments to the Editor.”

  • FILE FORMAT: The submission file is in Microsoft Word or RTF document file format.

  • DOCUMENT FORMAT: The text is double-spaced; uses a 10-point Times New Roman font or equivalent; employs italics, rather than underlining (except for URL addresses); with figures and tables placed at the end of the text, rather than embedded within.

  • WEBSITE LINKING: All URL addresses in the text are activated and ready to click.

  • FIGURES AND TABLES: Figures and tables are placed at the end of the text, rather than embedded within. They are numbered and include a heading followed by a period. Permissions are required to reproduce or modify figures and tables within the submitted manuscript and any associated supplemental materials.

  • IMAGES: All images are uploaded as Supplemental Files in JPG or GIF with 300 dpi (color or grayscale). Monochrome images have been saved in grayscale mode; color images are in RGB. No BMP, RTF, or TIF images are included. Images are at least 3 inches and no greater than 5 inches in the greatest dimension. Permissions are required to reproduce or modify images within the submitted manuscript and any associated supplemental materials.

  • SUPPLEMENTAL MATERIALS: Any supplemental materials are loaded as one Word doc file. All materials are designated as Appendix 1, Appendix 2, etc., within the manuscript text and listed at the end of the manuscript as well. Permissions are required to reproduce or modify images, figures (including maps), and tables within the supplemental materials. A formatted and linked Table of Contents will be provided for supplemental materials once the manuscript and associated supplemental materials have been accepted for publication in JMBE.

  • REFERENCES: References are numbered in the order in which they are cited in the article (citation-sequence reference system) and formatted according to ASM Style.

  • INFORMED CONSENT: The use of human subjects or other animals for research purposes is regulated by the federal government and individual institutions. Manuscripts containing information related to human or animal use should clearly state that the research has complied with all relevant federal guidelines and institutional policies.

  • AUTHOR FEES (2018): Authors should be aware that JMBE will charge author fees for the publication of manuscripts in the Research, Perspectives, Curriculum, and Tips and Tools sections. No payment is required at the time of submission, but if your article is accepted you will be expected to pay the author fee. For more information, see our editorial policies and a letter from the Editor in Chief.

Author Guidelines


Need help with the submission process? A unique feature of the Journal of Microbiology & Biology Education (JMBE) editorial process is to provide extensive feedback, guidance, and support for authors from submission through publication. With that in mind, Editors have created several resources to help Authors through the submission and review process. These include:

  • JMBE Biosafety Review  Rubric - created to help authors include important safety information in their manuscript, thus mitigating the risk to students and educators. This rubric is used by the Laboratory Safety Review Committee.
  • An Author’s Guide to Institutional Review Board (IRB) - created to help authors understand the IRB's role, when to get IRB approval, the IRB application and review process, and FAQs.
  • Detailed step-by-step Author Guidelines - for each core journal section that includes the rubrics used by reviewers when evaluating your manuscript. See Author Tools below.
  • JMBE Author Guidelines Available in Chinese and Spanish - translations to help international authors navigate the finer details of the submission process. JMBE thanks the hardworking volunteers who undertook the herculean task of translating the JMBE Author Guidelines into these two languages: Teresita Bertoli, Shih-Ping Chung, Carmen Espino, Zhongjun Jia, Min-Ken Liao, Nydia Alejandra Castillo Martinez, Juana Ortellado-Canese, María Alejandra Pereyra, Veronica Rajal, Martha Vives, and Diana Vullo. Want to translate the JMBE Author Guidelines into your native language? Have suggestions for corrections? Please email jmbe@asmusa.org.
    > JMBE作者指引手冊 - Simplified Chinese
    > JMBE作者指引手冊 - Traditional Chinese
    > JMBE Author Guidelines - Spanish
  • "JMBE How-To Series" - 10-15 minute video tutorials on the overall manuscript submission process as well as specific tutorials recorded by Editors describing precisely what they are looking for in a submission and best practices for authors. See Author Tools below. 
  • An online Self-Diagnosis Tool - used by authors to determine if a manuscript is ready for submission. This tool helps authors understand the scope and level of assessment required by each core section. Diagnose Your Manuscript.
  • Guidelines for Manuscript Titles - helps authors increase their "discoverability" online, thus leading to a wider audience and increased citations. Part of the Author Tools below.
  • Need more? Visit the ASM-sponsored webinars to get an in-depth look at teaching-related courses and learn about manuscript writing.

In addition to these valuable author tools, Editors are always open to previewing an abstract or manuscript idea to offer advice on which section of the journal is the best fit. All inquiries should be sent to jmbe@asmusa.org.



Letters to the Editor Submission Guidelines

JMBE welcomes letters that directly address articles published in this or other biology education journals. Letters must include relevant data or literature references that provide evidence for the stance of the author. In addition, these letters must be written in the interest of generating informed discussion amongst the readership. Authors must follow the online submission procedures, as outlined on the website. Letters will be reviewed by the Editor-in-Chief for suitability and shall be published at their discretion.

Manuscript length: up to 1,000 words in length.


Research Manuscript Submission Guidelines

Research articles typically report original, hypothesis-driven, scholarly research that addresses teaching and learning and other facets of science education. Articles that address social science or qualitative work are also welcome. Potential topics may include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Evidence-based learning activities and courses that have been rigorously evaluated through the systematic collection and analysis of assessment data
  • Rigorous assessments of teaching delivery methods and/or approaches that enhance student learning in the sciences
  • Scholarly work that describes how science students learn
  • Student attitudes, motivations and other factors in STEM retention
  • Validation of the outcomes of a particular strategy or program
  • Student perceptions of value, self-efficacy, or understanding
  • Evidence-based studies of program effectiveness or engagement in science education
  • Assessment of learning activities, courses, and programs organized according to national standards and curriculum guidelines (e.g., recommended core curricula from ASM, HAPS, or APS for microbiology, anatomy, or physiology education, respectively, or concept inventories in biology, genetics, nature of science, and more)

Manuscript length: 1,500 to 4,000 words in length, including the abstract and excluding the references.

Author Tools for Research Section:


Perspectives Manuscript Submission Guidelines

Perspectives articles are aimed at placing into broader view a particular, current topic or problem of specific interest to science educators. Topics include, but are not limited to:

  • Assessment methods
  • Student engagement
  • Curricular changes
  • Faculty development
  • K-20, graduate, and/or professional education
  • Approaches to various educational challenges
  • Current advances and future directions in science education

The manuscript should: (1) identify the education problem or challenge and present referenced data to substantiate the issue; (2) describe previous scholarly attempts to address the problem; (3) although not the impetus for the article, discuss how the author's study or work addresses the problem or challenge and helps resolve the issue; and (4) offer a viewpoint as to the next steps to be taken. With rare exceptions, Perspectives articles should have no more than two authors.

Manuscript length: 1,000 to 3,000 words, including the abstract and excluding the references.

Author Tools for Perspectives Section:


Curriculum Manuscript Submission Guidelines

Curriculum articles describe innovative, field-tested activities that may be used in the classroom, laboratory, and/or field or online. The activities are ready for adoption by instructors teaching biology so detailed instructions for students and directions for instructor preparation and use are important components of all curriculum articles. To facilitate ready use of the activity all institution specific references (e.g., course numbers, facilities) should be absent. Curriculum articles also:

  • List learning objectives
  • Use high-impact pedagogical practices that engage students in thinking beyond knowledge and comprehension (e.g., about application, analysis, synthesis, and evaluation)
  • Describe previous use of the activity in the classroom or laboratory
  • Include examples of student data and/or outcomes expected from the activity
  • Provide suggestions for determining student learning
  • Provide adequate support materials (e.g., references to background information, student worksheets, answer keys, sources of materials, etc.)
  • Present results of assessment of student achievement, demonstrating that the stated learning objectives have been met
  • Suggest possible modifications and/or extensions

Manuscript length: 1,000 to 4,000 words in length, including the abstract and excluding the references. Word limit does not include supplemental materials (e.g., student instruction handouts, directions for preparation, and student learning assessment materials).

Author Tools for Curriculum Section:


Tips and Tools Manuscript Submission Guidelines

Manuscripts in this section describe practical, technical, and feasible advice for improving teaching and learning in the science classroom or laboratory. Brief, novel, ready-to-use best practices for teaching scientific concepts are welcome. Articles in this section present quick ideas and practices that have not been rigorously tested. Assessment of the topic is encouraged but NOT required.

Topics for Tips & Tools may include but are not limited to:

  • Novel classroom, laboratory, or field activities
  • Independent project ideas
  • Service learning ideas
  • Class management approaches
  • Assessment tools
  • Career education
  • Outreach activities

Manuscript length: 800 to 1,100 words in length, not including the abstract or references, with the goal of the text and figures fitting on two printed pages. The abstract must be submitted as part of the original manuscript, but will be published in the article metadata only. Supplemental materials (e.g., student instruction handouts, directions for preparation, and the like) may be submitted and are not included in the word limit.

Author Tools for Tips and Tools Section:


Theme Issue Manuscript Submission Guidelines

JMBE publishes annual themed issues on topics with broad, inter-disciplinary focus, such as Science Communication and Inclusive Science. For information on this year’s theme, see our themed issues page. Manuscripts submitted for these special issues should follow the Author Guidelines for Themed Manuscripts and will be vetted using the JMBE Themed Issue Rubric.

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