Instructions for authors

Aims and Scope

National Science Open is an open access journal that disseminates the most influential research of profound impact in advancing human knowledge, covering the full arc of natural sciences and engineering. Papers with transformative originality and pivotal development in multidisciplinary area, or their distinctive fields are published in this journal with fair, rigorous review, and fast production. Led by a global team of distinguished researchers, National Science Open also publishes timely, insightful commentaries and perspectives, engaging the interest of academic community and wider public.

Types of Manuscripts


Editorials are written by the Editor-in-Chief, Associate Editors, Editorial Board Members, or invited scientists and policy makers, on a broad range of topics from science to science policy and issues related to the broader society.


Extensive reviews cover recent progress in specific areas of science, including historical overviews, recent advances made by scientists within China and internationally, and perspectives for future development. The content should be based on, or closely related to, the author’s own research work and appropriate for readers of a broad range of scientific disciplines. Reviews can be short or long formats, up to 50,000 words, with up to 20 figures/tables, and up to 300 references.

Research Articles

Research articles originally report substantial advances regarding an important scientific problem. Articles are flexible in length, up to 20,000 words, with up to 10 figures/tables, and up to 100 references. Other supporting information should usually be included in supplementary materials that will only be published online.


Perspectives include articles on the latest developments in a specific area of research, viewpoints on recent progress in science and technology, scientific research funding and administration, as well as science-related societal issues. Perspectives are limited to 1000 words, with no more than 10 references and one figure/table.


These include comments received by NSO on contents and subjects covered by NSO that are of general interest to our readers. Commentaries are limited to 1000 words, with no more than 10 references and one figure/table.

Journal Policies

Peer Review Policy

All manuscripts sent for publication in NSO are strictly and thoroughly peer-reviewed, and the peer review process is single blind. Our science editor and executive editor first review the submitted manuscript. The criteria used in the initial review include whether the paper is interesting for a broad scientific audience, and whether the content is innovative and valuable. The results of the initial review will be returned to the author in seven days, although this will not include specific opinions. Papers that pass the initial review will be forwarded to one editorial board member for the recommendations of 2–3 referees. The Editorial Office will invite those referees to review the paper and collect at least two review reports and ask the authors for adequate revision (peer-review again whenever necessary) before requesting the decision of the Executive Editor. Regardless of whether a paper is accepted or rejected, editorial office will inform the author of the evaluation results. In the case of manuscripts in which one of the authors is an editor on the editorial board of the journal, that editor will be blinded from reviewing or making decisions on the manuscript.


By submitting your manuscript to the journal it is understood that this it is an original manuscript and is unpublished work and is not under consideration elsewhere. Plagiarism, including duplicate publication of the author’s own work, in whole or in part without proper citation is not tolerated by the journal. Manuscripts submitted to the journal may be checked for originality using anti-plagiarism software.

Open Accesss

All articles published by NSO are available online for free under a Creative Commons CC BY copyright agreement. The journal is supported by article processing charge (APC) which is currently waived for all authors. Details about CC BY can be found at

Conflicts of Interest

NSO policy requires that each author reveals any financial interests or connections, direct or indirect, or other situations that might raise the question of bias in the work reported or the conclusions, implications, or opinions stated including pertinent commercial or other sources of funding for the individual author(s) or for the associated department(s) or organization(s), personal relationships, or direct academic competition. In addition, financial competing interests, such as awards, pending patents, ownership of stock shares/options, along with non-financial competing interests, such as advisory board members, related consulting services, personal relationships, are also required to be disclosed by authors.

Animal Experiments

When reporting animal experiments authors should indicate whether the institution’s, national research council’s, or any other law on the care and use of laboratory animals was followed.

Human Subjects

When reporting on human subjects, authors should indicate whether the procedures followed were in accordance with the ethical standards of the Helsinki Declaration (1964, amended most recently in 2008) of the World Medical Association. Manuscripts should include a statement that the patient’s written consent was obtained and any information, including illustrations, should be as anonymized as far as possible. Authors should indicate that the design of the work has been approved by local ethical committees or that it conforms to standards currently applied in the country of origin. The name of the authorizing body should be stated in the paper.


The opinions expressed in NSO are those of the authors and contributors, and do not necessarily reflect those of the editors, the editorial board, Science Press and EDP Sciences or the organization to which the authors are affiliated.


For any further questions please contact NSO editorial office at:
 Editorial Office
 National Science Open
 16 Donghuangchenggen North Street, Beijing 100717, China
 Tel: +86-10-64037232
 Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Manuscript Preparation Instructions

For particular inquiry of manuscript style, please feel free to contact editorial office at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . For detailed style references, please check our journal style guide.


Manuscripts should be prepared in Microsoft Word or LaTex. Times New Roman is the recommended font. Manuscripts should be in English only.

[Download NSO Word template .doc]
[Download NSO LaTex template .tex]
[Download NSO Latex template .cls]

Pages should be numbered consecutively throughout.

Tables, maps and photographs should be provided separately but with their position within the text indicated appropriately (for example, a cue in capitals and square brackets: [INSERT TABLE 1 HERE].

Any unusual features, such as variable line-spacing, reduced font-size, underlining, partial indenting, symbols or abbreviations, should be drawn to the attention of the typesetters with appropriate instructions: if tables and editions are to be typeset exactly as submitted, that should be indicated.


Use abbreviations and symbols sparingly and only if terms are repeated frequently. Commonly used abbreviations do not need defining. All other abbreviations are defined at first mention in both the abstract and the text.

Use abbreviated SI Units for units of measure, e.g. kg, mL, mol/L. Use a space between the numeral and the unit of measure, except with degrees, per cent, and Svedberg (5°C, 10%, 6S). Avoid using nonstandard abbreviations in titles and headings.

Paper Structure

Title Page

Place the title page on a separate sheet and include title of article, authors’ full names and affiliations (please include the country of your institution in the affiliation).

Manuscript Title

The full manuscript title should be succinct (less than 100 characters) and informative. It should not contain unconventional abbreviations.


All persons designated as authors should qualify for authorship. Each author should have participated sufficiently in the work to take public responsibility for the content. All authors should be involved in drafting the article or revising it critically for important intellectual content, and must have read and approved the final version of the manuscript. Any other contributors should not be listed as authors, but rather be acknowledged appropriately in the Acknowledgments section. The corresponding author is responsible for ensuring that all authors have made bona fide, substantive contributions to the research and have seen and approved the manuscript in final form prior to submission.

Multiple corresponding authors are accepted in a single submission. The journal does not allow addition or removal of author names after submission unless exceptional circumstances are noted. A satisfactory explanation for any proposed changes in authorship will be required. We will also require a letter of consent from any person whose name has been removed indicating that they agree to the removal of their name from the author list. Owing to the complexity of these rules we strongly advise authors to fix the author list before submission and not to attempt to make changes at a later date.


This part consists of a single paragraph not exceeding 150 words. In particular, the abstract should summarize the content of the article as briefly as possible. It should convey clearly and completely the significance and advancement of the work to the readership before they have read the paper. Abbreviations and citations to references should generally be avoided.


Up to 6 relevant keywords should be provided below the abstract.


The materials and methods should be placed after the conclusion, and should be as concise as possible. More detailed materials can be included as supplementary data.


Please do pay attention to the following requirements for figures in the main text (not including figures in the supplementary materials) and upload each figure file separately in the right format to the system.

  • Figures size: NSO’s standard figure sizes are 65 mm wide, 97.5 mm wide, 140 mm wide, and 170 mm. The height of a figure should be less than 200 mm. Please strictly follow this formatting requirement in the final publication version.
  • Text settings: NSO uses Arial family for all figures. The optimum font size is between 5 pt–9 pt at the size when appear in print. Be consistent with italic type and boldface type among figures and between figures and text. And fonts should be embedded and editable.
  • Line: Line weights and strokes should be set between 0.25 and 1 pt at the final size (lines thinner than 0.25 pt may vanish in print).
  • The graphic file can be provided in RGB or CMYK format. Figures should be in vector image format. Vector images consist of many individual elements or vector objects, allowing each vector object to be transformed independently within the image. We prefer vector files with editable layers. Acceptable formats are: .ai, .eps, .pdf, .ps, .svg for fully editable vector-based art; layered .psd or .tif for editable layered art; .psd, .tif, .png or .jpg for bitmap images; .ppt if fully editable and without styling effects; ChemDraw (.cdx) for chemical structures.

Conflict of Interest

All authors must make a formal statement at the time of submission indicating any potential conflict of interest that might constitute an embarrassment to any of the authors if it were not to be declared and were to emerge after publication. Such conflicts might include, but are not limited to, shareholding in or receipt of a grant or consultancy fee from a company whose product features in the submitted manuscript or which manufactures a competing product.

A conflict of interest statement must also be included in the manuscript after any “Acknowledgements” and “Funding” sections and should summarize all aspects of any conflicts of interest. If there is no conflict of interest, authors must include “Conflict of interest statement. None declared.”.

Availability of Data and Materials

Where ethically feasible, NSO strongly encourages authors to make all data and software code on which the conclusions of the paper rely available to readers. We suggest that data be presented in the main manuscript or additional supporting files, or deposited in a public repository whenever possible. NSO supports the Force 11 Data Citation Principles and requires that all publicly available datasets be fully referenced in the reference list with an accession number or unique identifier such as a digital object identifier (DOI).

A clear statement of the above-mentioned data availability is required after acceptance. The statement should come after the Conflict of Interest, with the direct link or DOI to the repository or database, if the authors choose to upload the data in this manner. Otherwise author should state: “The original data are available from corresponding authors upon reasonable request.”


Acknowledgements and details of non-financial support must be included at the end of the text before references and not in footnotes. Personal acknowledgements should precede those of institutions or agencies. Please note that acknowledgement of funding bodies should be given in separate Funding section.


Details of all funding sources for the work in question should be given in a separate section entitled “Funding”. This should appear after the “Acknowledgements” section.

Author Contributions

To give appropriate credit and to make sure all individuals listed as authors, the individual contributions of authors should be specified in “Author contributions” section of the manuscript.


If you use EndNote and Mendeley to facilitate referencing citations (not required for submission), this journal’s style can be found at:

Number references consecutively in the order in which they are mentioned in the text. Reference numbers in the text are full-sized Arabic numerals in brackets within the sentence. For three or more consecutive references cited all at once, use, for example, [1–4]. Format other references as [4,5,12], with no space between the reference numbers.

References must be verified against the original documents and must give the exact authors’ last names, initials, and article title. Please supply the published year, volume number and entire page range. For manuscripts accepted (not submitted) but not yet published, designate the journal followed by a period and then “In press”. For references to papers presented at conferences, give the location (city and state or country), month, days, and year of the conference. For references published online in advance of print publication, provide the journal abbreviation followed by the digital object identifier (DOI) number in parentheses.

The reference list should be limited to published or “in press” references. No “submitted” manuscript should appear in the reference list. A manuscript submitted for publication but not yet accepted may be referenced in parentheses in the text. Give the author’s name, institutional affiliation, and “unpublished manuscript”. However, authors should not refer to “forthcoming” papers or promise the future publication of results.

References to personal, written communications should be inserted in parentheses in the text rather than in the reference list. Give the person’s name, institutional affiliation, “personal communication” and the year. Verbal communications are not acceptable as supporting documentation.

Further details and examples can be found in our style guide. If you have more questions, please feel free to contact the editorial office.

Supplementary Data

Supporting material that is not essential for inclusion in the full text of the manuscript, but would nevertheless benefit the reader, can be made available by the publisher as online-only content, linked to the online manuscript. The material should not be essential to understanding the conclusions of the paper, but should contain data that is additional or complementary and directly relevant to the article content. Such information might include more detailed methods, extended data sets/data analysis, or additional figures.

It is standard practice for appendices to be made available online-only as supplementary data. All text and figures must be provided in suitable electronic formats. All material to be considered as supplementary data must be submitted at the same time as the main manuscript for peer review. It cannot be altered or replaced after the paper has been accepted for publication, and will not be edited. Please indicate clearly all material intended as supplementary data upon submission and name the files, e.g. “Supplementary Figure 1”, “Supplementary Data”, etc. Also ensure that the supplementary data is referred to in the main manuscript where necessary, for example as “(see Supplementary data)” or “(see Supplementary Figure 1)”.

Please note that the responsibility for scientific accuracy and content in supplementary data remains entirely with authors.