Review Articles

Guidelines for Submitting Review Articles

submit  Submissions are welcomed via Editorial Manager. Click on the button to send us your manuscript. First, please see the guidelines.

Reviews published in StemJournal are republished as chapters StemBook (see here).

Review articles of the following types are welcomed for submissions: 

  • Seminal Reviews comprehensive and authoritative and provide directions for further research;
  • Topical Reviews more focused articles providing coverage on a topic of immediate interest and importance;  
  • Comparative Reviews – these reviews compare the efficiency of different protocols on different cell lines or test several protocols for one to two cell lines only; and
  • Ethics Reviews – highlight and target unresolved issues where failure to act or resolve disagreements leads to bottlenecks in productivity in research.


Open Access Journal

All content will be published Open Access (OA). Each review will be freely available from the moment it is published, also in the pre-press module. For the first volumes, the article processing charges (APC) are significantly reduced (by 80%) to an affordable US$ 300 / € 260 per published paper. Invited articles are exempt from the APC.

Click here for further details about APCs.
Click here for more information about the IOS Press Open Library® policy, and also to check if there are any insitutional agreements that you might be eligible for.


Preparation of Manuscripts

Generally, reviews are commissioned by the Editorial Board. Nonetheless, StemJournal and StemBook welcome suggestions for new review topics. These suggestions will be considered by the appropriate Editors on the Editorial Board. Spontaneous submission of reviews are also welcome and will be considered by the appropriate Editors prior to being sent out for peer review.

Most contributions will be read online. Long prose pieces are difficult to read, so we encourage you to structure your review with several sections and subsections, as appropriate. Try to be succinct. An outline of your section (the titles of the subsections, etc.) will be visible on the screen as people read your text. The reviews will also be available as downloadable, formatted PDFs.

Seminal Reviews should be original, comprehensive, authoritative as well as influential by providing directions for further research. The reviews should be prepared as detailed below, omitting the "Introduction" through "Discussion," and include a "Conclusion" and "Future Perspectives." Ideally, the length of a "Seminal Review" should be more than 5000 words, including references; but the length is at the discretion of the author. The Editor-in-Chief or Reviews Editor can be consulted regarding reviews of unusual length.

Topical Reviews should provide a focused and balanced coverage on a topic of immediate relevance, interest, or importance. They should be prepared as Seminal Reviews; but should not exceed 5000 words, including references.

Comparative Reviews should compare the efficiency of different protocols on different cell lines (for pluripotent stem cell lines) or test several cell differentiation protocols for 12 cell lines only. They should be prepared as for Seminal Reviews.

Ethics Reviews should address ethical issues that alter progress in stem cell research, clinical applications, and policy. Ultimately, the aim is to highlight and target unresolved issues where failure to act or resolve disagreements leads to bottlenecks in productivity in research, policy, and clinical applications. The reviews should be prepared as detailed below, omitting “Introduction” through “Discussion”, and including a “Conclusion.” [See at the foot of this page further instructions for this type of review.] 

Organization and style of presentation

  • Manuscripts must be written in US English. Authors whose native language is not English are recommended to seek the advice of a native English speaker or English language service before submitting their manuscripts. 
  • Most contributions will be read online. Long prose pieces are difficult to read, so we encourage you to structure your review with several sections and subsections, as appropriate. Do not number sections and sub-sections. An outline of your section (the titles of the subsections, etc.) will be visible on the screen as people read your text.
  • Nomenclature for amyloids should follow the 2014 guidelines of the Nomenclature Committee of the International Society of Amyloidosis (Amyloid 21, 221–224, 2014), e.g., amyloid-β (Aβ) and amyloid-β protein precursor (AβPP). Also preferred is Aβ42 and sAβPPα.
  • Manuscripts should be double spaced throughout with wide margins (2.5 cm or 1 in), including the abstract and references. Every page of the manuscript, including the title page, references, tables, etc., should include a page number centered at the bottom. Do not number headings or subheadings.
  • There are no page or word limits for Review Articles but manuscripts over 10,000 words ("Introduction" through "Discussion") should be approved by the Editor-in-Chief before submission.
  • Manuscripts should be organized in the following order with headings and subheadings typed on a separate line, without indentation.

Title page

  • Title (should be clear, descriptive, concise, and avoid the use of abbreviations)
  • Full name(s) of author(s)
  • Full affiliation(s). Delineate affiliations with lowercase letters.
  • Present address of author(s), if different from affiliation
  • Running title (45 characters or less, including spaces)
  • Complete correspondence address, including telephone number and email address

To be considered as an author of an article, the following criteria must be met:

  • Substantial contributions to the conception or design of the work; or the acquisition, analysis, or interpretation of data for the work; and
  • Drafting the work or revising it critically for important intellectual content; and
  • Final approval of the version to be published; and
  • Agreement to be accountable for all aspects of the work in ensuring that questions related to the accuracy or integrity of any part of the work are appropriately investigated and resolved.

When submitting the manuscript, the author listing and order should be final. If any addition, deletion, or rearrangement of author names in the authorship list does need to be made after submission, this can be done only before acceptance and with the Editor’s approval. To request such a change, the Editor must receive the following from the corresponding author: (1) the reason for the change in author list and (2) written confirmation from all authors, including the affected author, that they agree with the addition, removal, or rearrangement. 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 manuscript will be suspended. If the manuscript has already been published in an issue, any requests approved by the Editor will result in an Erratum. Please contact the Editorial Office (stemjournal@iospress.com) for more information.

If any author is also a member of the StemJournal Editorial Board at the time of article submission, this should be declared in the Conflict of Interest Section (see instructions in the section for Conflict of Interest, below).

Abstract and Keywords

  • The abstract should be clear, descriptive, self-explanatory, and no longer than 400 words
  • If a structured abstract is desired, the following must be included: Background, Objective, Methods, Results, and Conclusion
  • Do not include references in the abstract
  • Include a list of 410 keywords. These keywords should be terms from the MeSH database.

Include individuals or companies which have assisted with your study, including advisors, administrative support and suppliers who may have donated or given materials used in the study. If there are none, include the section and inset: "The authors report no acknowledgments." 

Include all funding sources. If there are none, include the section and insert: “The authors report no funding.”

Conflict of Interest
If there is no conflict of interest to declare, include this section and insert: "The authors report no conflict of interest." If an author is on the Editorial Board of StemJournal at the time of submission, the following statement should be included in this section: "<AUTHOR> is an Editorial Board Member of StemJournal, but was not involved in the peer-review process nor had access to any information regarding its peer-review."

Authors are requested to use the Vancouver citation style. Place citations as numbers in square brackets in the text. All publications cited in the text should be presented in a list of references at the end of the manuscript. List the references in the order in which they appear in the text. Only articles published or accepted for publication should be listed in the reference list. Submitted articles can be listed as [author(s), unpublished data]. If an article has a DOI, this should be provided after the page number details. The number is added after the letters "doi." Manuscripts will not be considered if they do not conform to the Vancouver citation guidelines.

References must be listed in Vancouver style:
[1] Rose ME, Huerbin MB, Melick J, Marion DW, Palmer AM, Schiding JK, et al. Regulation of interstitial excitatory amino acid concentrations after cortical contusion injury. Brain Res. 2002;935(12):4046.
[2] Murray PR, Rosenthal KS, Kobayashi GS, Pfaller MA. Medical microbiology. 4th ed. St. Louis: Mosby; 2002.
[3] Berkow R, Fletcher AJ, editors. The Merck manual of diagnosis and therapy. 16th ed. Rahway (NJ): Merck Research Laboratories; 1992.
[4] Meltzer PS, Kallioniemi A, Trent JM. Chromosome alterations in human solid tumors. In: Vogelstein B, Kinzler KW, editors. The genetic basis of human cancer. New York: McGrawHill; 2002. p. 93113.
[5] Canadian Cancer Society [homepage on the Internet]. Toronto: The Society; 2006 [updated 2006 May 12; cited 2006 Oct 17]. Available from: www.cancer.ca/.
[6] Tian D, Araki H, Stahl E, Bergelson J, Kreitman M. Signature of balancing selection in Arabidopsis. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. In press 2002.
[7] Fletcher D, Wagstaff CRD. Organisational psychology in elite sport: its emergence, application and future. Psychol Sport Exerc. 2009;10(4):427–434. doi:10.1016/j.psychsport.2009.03.009.

Datasets and Data Articles

  • All datasets and data articles referenced in your manuscript should be cited in the main reference list of your article (not in a separate box or in the article text)


  • Number according to their sequence in the text. The text should include references to all tables.
  • Provide each table on a separate page of the manuscript after the references
  • Include a brief and self-explanatory title with any explanations essential to the understanding of the table given in footnotes at the bottom of the table
  • Vertical lines should not be used to separate columns. Leave some extra space between the columns instead.
  • Citations in the tables should be numbered and included in the "References"

Figure Legends/Figures

  • Number the figures according to their sequence in the text. The text should include references to all figures.
  • Each figure should be provided on a separate page, not included in the text
  • Figures should preferably be formatted in TIF or EPS format. JPG is also acceptable.
  • Composite figures must be preassembled
  • Figures should be designed with the format of StemJournal in mind. They should be of such a size as to allow a reduction of 50%.
  • Line art should have a minimum resolution of 1200 dpi and be saved as an EPS or TIFF:
    • Do not use faint lines and/or lettering and check that all lines and lettering within the figures are legible at the final size.
    • All lines should be at least 0.1 mm (0.3 pt) wide.
    • Vector graphics containing fonts must have the fonts embedded in the files.
  • Grayscale figures (including photos) should have a minimum resolution of 300 dpi, or 600 dpi for combination art (lettering and images) and be saved as a TIF
  • Figures should be cropped to include the figure only (no blank space)
  • Do not save line art as JPG; this format may lose information in the publishing process
  • Do not use figures taken from the Internet; the resolution will be too low for printing
  • For figures to be printed in color, please send a CMYK encoded EPS or TIF
  • On figures where a scale is needed, use bar scales rather than numerical ones, i.e., do not use scales of the type 1:10,000. This avoids problems if the figure needs to be reduced.
  • Each figure should have a self-explanatory caption, which should be typed separately from the figure in the manuscript
  • Photographs are only acceptable if they have good contrast and intensity
  • Color figures will be published online at no charge
  • Costs for color figures in the print version of the journal are as follows: 1 figure 650 euro; 2 figures 900 euro; 3 figures 1050 euro; 4 figures 1200 euro; 5 figures 1350 euro. Cost for each additional color figure will be 150 euro. Unless the color printing charge is paid, color figures will be automatically adjusted to grayscale in print. You may opt to send in both black/white figures for print, and color figures for the online PDF (please adjust the figure legend appropriately).

Supplementary Material
Supplementary material is peer-reviewed material directly relevant to the conclusion of a paper that cannot be included in the printed version for reasons of space or medium (for example, movie clips or sound files). The supplement will be available for download from the publisher's content library site at the time of publication and will be made available in the format in which it was provided. Instructions:

  • Supplementary tables and figures must have a separate numbering system from that used for tables and figures that appear in the print version of the paper (the first figure displayed should be labeled "Supplementary Figure 1", the first table "Supplementary Table 1", and so on)
  • References should also be cited in supplements started with [1] and listed separately
  • Supplementary files are limited to 10 MB, except videos which can be up to 25 MB

Supplementary material should be included at the end of the main manuscript at the time of submission. In the case of sound/movie files, these can be sent separately to the Editorial Office (stemjournal@iospress.com) at the time of submission.

Revisions should be returned within two months of receiving a decision. Authors needing more time should email the Editor-in-Chief for an extension. When submitting a revised manuscript, please indicate your revisions in the text (either in revision mode or by highlighting) and provide a point-by-point response to the reviews at the beginning of your manuscript. Also include your previous manuscript number in your cover letter. If you choose not to resubmit to StemJournal after receiving a decision, please inform the Editorial Office (stemjournal@iospress.com) that you wish to withdrawn your manuscript from further consideration.

Special Instructions for Ethics Reviews
Ethics Reviews are slightly different from a StemJournal typical review in that that the topics and presentation are balanced but controversial so that they would likely elicit Ethics Responses. Ethics Responses from multiple disciplines and perspectives are encouraged. Whereas addressing controversial topics is encouraged, reviews should focus on constructively moving debates forward to accelerate progress.

Features of an effective an Ethics Review are as follows:

  1. Clearly identify points of disagreement and agreement in the field noting where empirical data are lacking or present that could resolve disagreements.
  2. Highlight current empirical findings that are relevant to resolving controversial topics in novel ways with productive cross disciplinary applications.
  3. Identify novel applications from fields not typically related to stem cell research and therapeutic prospects which could enhance implementation and ethics.

The manuscripts should be consistent with the current standards for StemJournal. As with other StemJournal reviews, submissions should be authoritative and topical and provide comprehensive and balanced coverage of a timely and/or controversial issue. Reviews should be prepared as detailed above, omitting “Introduction” through “Discussion”, and including a “Conclusion.”

Ethics Responses
The purpose of the Ethics Response is to engage interdisciplinary constructive interaction between the author(s) of the Ethics Review and an author who wishes to provide balance and perspective. Authors of an Ethics Response should provide substantive elaboration and references. There should be a title and the number of words can range between 750 to 1500, with no more than 10 citations (reference limit will be less strictly enforced).

The Ethics Review will be distributed and responses will be requested. Potential authors should give a brief synopsis of their response in no more than four sentences by the target proposal date. These proposals will be reviewed and if accepted they will be allowed to write an Ethics Response in time for that second deadline. Acceptance of a proposal is no guarantee that the Ethics Response is accepted. The format of the Ethics Responses will be the same as for a Commentary.

For further author instructions on other types of content, click here.