Before you decide to publish with us, please read the following items carefully and make sure that you are well aware of Editorial Policies and the following requirements.
The topic of the manuscript must fit the scope of the journal. Please refer to Aims and Scope for more information.
The journal adopts Gold Open Access publishing model and distributes content under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. Copyright is retained by authors. Please make sure that you are well aware of these policies.
Soft Science is an open access journal. When a paper is accepted for publication, authors are required to pay Article Processing Charges (APCs) to cover its editorial and production costs. The APC for each submission is $600. There are no additional charges based on color, length, figures, or other elements. For more details, please refer to OAE Publication Fees.
All submissions are required to be presented clearly and cohesively in good English. Authors whose first language is not English are advised to have their manuscripts checked or edited by a native English speaker before submission to ensure the high quality of expression. A well-organized manuscript in good English would make the peer review even the whole editorial handling more smoothly and efficiently.
If needed, authors are recommended to consider the language editing services provided by Charlesworth to ensure that the manuscript is written in correct scientific English before submission. Authors who publish with OAE journals enjoy a special discount for the services of Charlesworth via the following two ways.
If an accepted manuscript was funded by National Institutes of Health (NIH), the author may inform Editors of the NIH funding number. The Editors are able to deposit the paper to the NIH Manuscript Submission System on behalf of the author.
A cover letter is required to be submitted accompanying each manuscript. It should be concise and explain why the study is significant, why it fits the scope of the journal, and why it would be attractive to readers, etc.
Here is a guideline of a cover letter for authors' consideration:
In the first paragraph: include the title and type (e.g., Research Article, Review Article, etc.) of the manuscript, a brief on the background of the study, the question the author sought out to answer and why;
In the second paragraph: concisely explain what was done, the main findings and why they are significant;
In the third paragraph: indicate why the manuscript fits the Aims and Scope of the journal, and why it would be attractive to readers;
In the fourth paragraph: confirm that the manuscript has not been published elsewhere and not under consideration of any other journal. All authors have approved the manuscript and agreed on its submission to the journal. Journal’s specific requirements have been met if any.
If the manuscript is contributed to a special issue, please also mention it in the cover letter.
If the manuscript was presented partly or entirely in a conference, the author should clearly state the background information of the event, including the conference name, time and place in the cover letter.
There is no restriction on the length of manuscripts, number of figures, tables and references, provided that the manuscript is concise and comprehensive. The journal publishes Research Article, Review Article, Editorial, Perspective etc. For more details about paper type, please refer to the following table.
|Manuscript Type||Definition||Abstract||Keywords||Main Text Structure|
|Research Article||A Research Article is a seminal and insightful research study and showcases that often involves modern techniques or methodologies. Authors should justify that their work are of novel findings.||The abstract should state briefly the purpose of the research, the principal results and major conclusions. No more than 250 words.||3-6 keywords||The main content should include four sections: Introduction, Experimental, Results and discussion, and Conclusions.|
|Review Article||A Review Article should be an authoritative, well balanced and critical survey of recent progresses in an attractive or a fundamental soft science research field.||Unstructured abstract. No more than 250 words.||3-6 keywords||The main text may consist of several sections with unfixed section titles. We suggest that the author include an "Introduction" section at the beginning, several sections with unfixed titles in the middle part, and a "Conclusion and outlook" section in the end.|
|Editorial||An Editorial can be a comment about an important event in the world related or not to Soft Science or a particular discovery in Soft Science, needing a particular attention of Soft Science community.||None required.||None required.||/|
|Perspective||A Perspective provides personal points of view on the state-of-the-art of a specific area of knowledge and its future prospects.||Unstructured abstract. No more than 150 words.||3-6 keywords.||/|
The title of the manuscript should be concise, specific and relevant, with no more than 16 words if possible. When gene or protein names are included, the abbreviated name rather than full name should be used.
Authors' full names should be listed. The initials of middle names can be provided. Institutional addresses and email addresses for all authors should be listed. At least one author should be designated as corresponding author. In addition, corresponding authors are suggested to provide their Open Researcher and Contributor ID upon submission. Please note that any change to authorship is not allowed after manuscript acceptance.
The abstract should be a single paragraph with word limitation and specific structure requirements (for more details please refer to Types of Manuscripts). It usually describes the main objective(s) of the study, explains how the study was done, including any model organisms used, without methodological detail, and summarizes the most important results and their significance. The abstract must be an objective representation of the study: it is not allowed to contain results which are not presented and substantiated in the manuscript, or exaggerate the main conclusions. Citations should not be included in the abstract.
The graphical abstract is essential as this can catch first view of your publication by readers. We recommend you to submit an eye-catching figure. It should summarize the content of the article in a concise graphical form. It is recommended to use it because this can make online articles get more attention. The graphic abstract should be submitted as a separate document in the online submission system. Please provide an image with a minimum of 730 × 1,228 pixels (h × w) or proportionally more. The image should be readable at a size of 7 × 12 cm using a regular screen resolution of 96 dpi. Preferred file types: TIFF, PSD, AI, JPG, JPEG, EPS, PNG, ZIP and PDF files.
Three to six keywords should be provided, which are specific to the article, yet reasonably common within the subject discipline.
Manuscripts of different types are structured with different sections of content. Please refer to Types of Manuscripts to make sure which sections should be included in the manuscripts.
The introduction should contain background that puts the manuscript into context, allow readers to understand why the study is important, include a brief review of key literature, and conclude with a brief statement of the overall aim of the work and a comment about whether that aim was achieved. Relevant controversies or disagreements in the field should be introduced as well.
Experimental should contain sufficient details to allow others to fully replicate the study. New methods and protocols should be described in detail while well-established methods can be briefly described or appropriately cited. Experimental participants selected, the drugs and chemicals used, the statistical methods taken, and the computer software used should be identified precisely. Statistical terms, abbreviations, and all symbols used should be defined clearly. Protocol documents for clinical trials, observational studies, and other non-laboratory investigations may be uploaded as supplementary materials.
This section should contain the findings of the study and discuss the implications of the findings in context of existing research and highlight limitations of the study. Future research directions may also be mentioned. Results of statistical analysis should also be included either as text or as tables or figures if appropriate. Authors should emphasize and summarize only the most important observations. Data on all primary and secondary outcomes identified in the section Methods should also be provided. Extra or supplementary materials and technical details can be placed in supplementary documents.
It should state clearly the main conclusions and include the explanation of their relevance or importance to the field.
Anyone who contributed towards the article but does not meet the criteria for authorship, including those who provided professional writing services or materials, should be acknowledged. Authors should obtain permission to acknowledge from all those mentioned in the Acknowledgments section. This section is not added if the author does not have anyone to acknowledge.
Each author is expected to have made substantial contributions to the conception or design of the work, or the acquisition, analysis, or interpretation of data, or the creation of new software used in the work, or have drafted the work or substantively revised it.
Please use Surname and Initial of Forename to refer to an author's contribution. For example: made substantial contributions to conception and design of the study and performed data analysis and interpretation: Salas H, Castaneda WV; performed data acquisition, as well as provided administrative, technical, and material support: Castillo N, Young V.
If an article is single-authored, please include "The author contributed solely to the article." in this section.
In order to maintain the integrity, transparency and reproducibility of research records, authors should include this section in their manuscripts, detailing where the data supporting their findings can be found. Data can be deposited into data repositories or published as supplementary information in the journal. Authors who cannot share their data should state that the data will not be shared and explain it. If a manuscript does not involve such issue, please state "Not applicable." in this section.
All sources of funding for the study reported should be declared. The role of the funding body in the experiment design, collection, analysis and interpretation of data, and writing of the manuscript should be declared. Any relevant grant numbers and the link of funder's website should be provided if any. If the study is not involved with this issue, state "None." in this section.
Authors must declare any potential conflicts of interest that may be perceived as inappropriately influencing the representation or interpretation of reported research results. If there are no conflicts of interest, please state "All authors declared that there are no conflicts of interest." in this section. Some authors may be bound by confidentiality agreements. In such cases, in place of itemized disclosures, we will require authors to state "All authors declare that they are bound by confidentiality agreements that prevent them from disclosing their conflicts of interest in this work.". If authors are unsure whether conflicts of interest exist, please refer to the "Conflicts of Interest" of Soft Science Editorial Policies for a full explanation.
Research involving human subjects, human material or human data must be performed in accordance with the Declaration of Helsinki and approved by an appropriate ethics committee. An informed consent to participate in the study should also be obtained from participants, or their parents or legal guardians for children under 16. A statement detailing the name of the ethics committee (including the reference number where appropriate) and the informed consent obtained must appear in the manuscripts reporting such research.
Studies involving animals and cell lines must include a statement on ethical approval. More information is available at Editorial Policies.
If the manuscript does not involve such issue, please state "Not applicable." in this section.
Manuscripts containing individual details, images or videos, must obtain consent for publication from that person, or in the case of children, their parents or legal guardians. If the person has died, consent for publication must be obtained from the next of kin of the participant. Manuscripts must include a statement that a written informed consent for publication was obtained. Authors do not have to submit such content accompanying the manuscript. However, these documents must be available if requested. If the manuscript does not involve this issue, state "Not applicable." in this section.
Authors retain copyright of their works through a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License that clearly states how readers can copy, distribute, and use their attributed research, free of charge. A declaration "© The Author(s) 2021." will be added to each article. Authors are required to sign License to Publish before formal publication.
References should be numbered in order of appearance at the end of manuscripts. In the text, reference numbers should be placed in square brackets and the corresponding references are cited thereafter. If the number of authors is less than or equal to six, we require to list all authors’ names. If the number of authors is more than six, only the first three authors' names are required to be listed in the references, other authors’ names should be omitted and replaced with "et al.". Abbreviations of the journals should be provided on the basis of Index Medicus. Information from manuscripts accepted but not published should be cited in the text as "Unpublished material" with written permission from the source.
References should be described as follows, depending on the types of works:
|Journal articles by individual authors||Weaver DL, Ashikaga T, Krag DN, et al. Effect of occult metastases on survival in node-negative breast cancer. N Engl J Med 2011;364:412-21. [DOI: 10.1056/NEJMoa1008108]|
|Organization as author||Diabetes Prevention Program Research Group. Hypertension, insulin, and proinsulin in participants with impaired glucose tolerance. Hypertension 2002;40:679-86. [DOI: 10.1161/01.HYP.0000035706.28494.09]|
|Both personal authors and organization as author||Vallancien G, Emberton M, Harving N, van Moorselaar RJ; Alf-One Study Group. Sexual dysfunction in 1,274 European men suffering from lower urinary tract symptoms. J Urol 2003;169:2257-61. [DOI: 10.1097/01.ju.0000067940.76090.73]|
|Journal articles not in English||Zhang X, Xiong H, Ji TY, Zhang YH, Wang Y. Case report of anti-N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor encephalitis in child. J Appl Clin Pediatr 2012;27:1903-7. (in Chinese)|
|Journal articles ahead of print||Odibo AO. Falling stillbirth and neonatal mortality rates in twin gestation: not a reason for complacency. BJOG 2018; Epub ahead of print [DOI: 10.1111/1471-0528.15541]|
|Books||Sherlock S, Dooley J. Diseases of the liver and billiary system. 9th ed. Oxford: Blackwell Sci Pub; 1993. pp. 258-96.|
|Book chapters||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: McGraw-Hill; 2002. pp. 93-113.|
|Online resource||FDA News Release. FDA approval brings first gene therapy to the United States. Available from: https://www.fda.gov/NewsEvents/Newsroom/PressAnnouncements/ucm574058.htm. [Last accessed on 30 Oct 2017]|
|Conference proceedings||Harnden P, Joffe JK, Jones WG, editors. Germ cell tumours V. Proceedings of the 5th Germ Cell Tumour Conference; 2001 Sep 13-15; Leeds, UK. New York: Springer; 2002.|
|Conference paper||Christensen S, Oppacher F. An analysis of Koza's computational effort statistic for genetic programming. In: Foster JA, Lutton E, Miller J, Ryan C, Tettamanzi AG, editors. Genetic programming. EuroGP 2002: Proceedings of the 5th European Conference on Genetic Programming; 2002 Apr 3-5; Kinsdale, Ireland. Berlin: Springer; 2002. pp. 182-91.|
|Unpublished material||Tian D, Araki H, Stahl E, Bergelson J, Kreitman M. Signature of balancing selection in Arabidopsis. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. Forthcoming 2002.|
For other types of references, please refer to U.S. National Library of Medicine.
The journal also recommends that authors prepare references with a bibliography software package, such as EndNote to avoid typing mistakes and duplicated references.
Additional data and information can be uploaded as Supplementary Materials to accompany the manuscripts. The supplementary materials will also be available to the referees as part of the peer-review process. Any file format is acceptable, such as data sheet (word, excel, csv, cdx, fasta, pdf or zip files), presentation (powerpoint, pdf or zip files), image (cdx, eps, jpeg, pdf, png or tiff), table (word, excel, csv or pdf), audio (mp3, wav or wma) or video (avi, divx, flv, mov, mp4, mpeg, mpg or wmv). All information should be clearly presented. Supplementary materials should be cited in the main text in numeric order (e.g., Supplementary Figure 1, Supplementary Figure 2, Supplementary Table 1, Supplementary Table 2, etc.). The style of supplementary figures or tables complies with the same requirements on figures or tables in main text. Videos and audios should be prepared in English, and limited to a size of 500 MB.
Manuscript files can be in DOC and DOCX formats and should not be locked or protected.
There are no restrictions on paper length, number of figures, or number of supporting documents. Authors are encouraged to present and discuss their findings concisely.
Manuscripts must be written in English.
Abbreviations should be defined upon first appearance in the abstract, main text, and in figure or table captions and used consistently thereafter. Non-standard abbreviations are not allowed unless they appear at least three times in the text. Commonly-used abbreviations, such as DNA, RNA, ATP, etc., can be used directly without definition. Abbreviations in titles and keywords should be avoided, except for the ones which are widely used.
General italic words like vs., et al., etc., in vivo, in vitro; t test, F test, U test; related coefficient as r, sample number as n, and probability as P; names of genes; names of bacteria and biology species in Latin.
SI Units should be used. Imperial, US customary and other units should be converted to SI units whenever possible. There is a space between the number and the unit (i.e., 23 mL). Hour, minute, second should be written as h, min, s.
Numbers appearing at the beginning of sentences should be expressed in English. When there are two or more numbers in a paragraph, they should be expressed as Arabic numerals; when there is only one number in a paragraph, number < 10 should be expressed in English and number > 10 should be expressed as Arabic numerals. 12345678 should be written as 12,345,678.
Equations should be editable and not appear in a picture format. Authors are advised to use either the Microsoft Equation Editor or the MathType for display and inline equations.
Submit an article via https://oaemesas.com/login?JournalId=ss.
All studies involving human subjects must be in accordance with the Helsinki Declaration and seek approval to conduct the study from an independent local, regional, or national review body (e.g., ethics committee, institutional review board, etc.). Such approval, including the names of the ethics committee, institutional review board, etc., must be listed in a declaration statement of Ethical Approval and Consent to Participate in the manuscript. If the study is judged exempt from ethics approval, related information (e.g., name of the ethics committee granting the exemption and the reason for the exemption) must be listed. Further documentation on ethics should also be prepared, as editors may request more detailed information. Manuscripts with suspected ethical problems will be investigated according to COPE Guidelines.
For all studies involving human subjects, informed consent to participate in the studies must be obtained from participants, or their parents or legal guardians for children under 16. Statements regarding consent to participate should be included in a declaration statement of Ethical Approval and Consent to Participate in the manuscript. If informed consent is not required, the name of the ethics committee granting the exemption and the reason for the exemption must be listed. If any ethical violation is found at any stage of publication, the issue will be investigated seriously based on COPE Guidelines.
All articles published by OAE are freely available on the Internet. All manuscripts that include individual participants' data in any form (i.e., details, images, videos, etc.) will not be published without Consent for Publication obtained from that person(s), or for children, their parents or legal guardians. If the person has died, Consent for Publication must be obtained from the next of kin. Authors must add a declaration statement of Consent for Publication in the manuscript, specifying written informed consent for publication has been obtained.
Soft Science requires all authors to register all relevant clinical trials that are reported in manuscripts submitted. Soft Science follows the World Health Organization (WHO)'s definition of clinical trials: "A clinical trial is any research study that prospectively assigns human participants or groups of humans to one or more health-related interventions to evaluate the effects on health outcomes. Interventions include but are not restricted to drugs, cells and other biological products, surgical procedures, radiologic procedures, devices, behavioural treatments, process-of-care changes, preventive care, etc."
In line with ICMJE recommendation, Soft Science requires the registration of clinical trials in a public trials registry at or before the time of first patient enrollment. Soft Science accepts publicly accessible registration in any registry that is a primary register of the WHO International Clinical Trials Registry Platform (ICTRP) or in ClinicalTrials.gov. The trial registration number should be listed at the end of the Abstract.
Secondary data analyses of primary (parent) clinical trials should not be registered as a new clinical trial, but rather reference the trial registration number of the primary trial.
Editors should consider carefully whether studies failed to register or had an incomplete trial registration. Because of the importance of prospective trial registration, if there is an exception to this policy, trials must be registered and the authors should indicate in the publication when registration was completed and why it was delayed. Editors should publish a statement indicating why an exception was allowed. Please note such exceptions should be rare, and authors failing to prospectively register a trial risk its inadmissibility to Soft Science.
Authors who are not sure whether they need trial registration may refer to ICMJE FAQs for further information.
Experimental research on animals should be approved by appropriate ethics committees and must comply with institutional, national, or international guidelines. Soft Science encourages authors to comply with the AALAS Guidelines, the ARRIVE Guidelines, and the ICLAS Guidelines and obtain prior approval from relevant ethics committee. Manuscripts must include a declaration statement of Ethical Approval and Consent to Participate indicating that the study has been approved by relevant ethical committee and the whole research process complies with ethical guidelines. If a study has been granted an exemption from requiring ethics approval, the name of the ethics committee that granted the exemption and the reasons for the exemption should be detailed. Editors will take account of animal welfare issues and reserve the right to reject a manuscript, especially if the research involves protocols that are inconsistent with commonly accepted norms of animal research.
The Editors of this journal enforce a rigorous peer-review process together with strict ethical policies and standards to guarantee to add high-quality scientific works to the field of scholarly publication. Unfortunately, cases of plagiarism, data falsification, image manipulation, inappropriate authorship credit, and the like, do arise. The Editors of Soft Science take such publishing ethics issues very seriously and are trained to proceed in such cases with zero tolerance policy.
Authors wishing to publish their papers in Soft Science must abide to the following:
Plagiarism involves the inclusion of large sections of unaltered or minimally altered text from an existing source without appropriate and unambiguous attribution, and/or an attempt to misattribute original authorship regarding ideas or results, and copying text, images, or data from another source, even from your own publications, without giving credit to the source.
As to reusing the text that is copied from another source, it must be between quotation marks and the source must be cited. If a study's design or the manuscript's structure or language has been inspired by previous studies, these studies must be cited explicitly.
If plagiarism is detected during the peer-review process, the manuscript may be rejected. If plagiarism is detected after publication, we may publish a Correction or retract the paper.
Falsification is manipulating research materials, equipment, or processes, or changing or omitting data or results so that the findings are not accurately represented in the research record.
Image files must not be manipulated or adjusted in any way that could lead to misinterpretation of the information provided by the original image.
Irregular manipulation includes: introduction, enhancement, moving, or removing features from the original image; grouping of images that should be presented separately, or modifying the contrast, brightness, or color balance to obscure, eliminate, or enhance some information.
If irregular image manipulation is identified and confirmed during the peer-review process, we may reject the manuscript. If irregular image manipulation is identified and confirmed after publication, we may publish a Correction or retract the paper.
OAE reserves the right to contact the authors' institution(s) to investigate possible publication misconduct if the Editors find conclusive evidence of misconduct before or after publication. OAE has a partnership with iThenticate, which is the most trusted similarity checker. It is used to analyze received manuscripts to avoid plagiarism to the greatest extent possible. When plagiarism becomes evident after publication, we will retract the original publication or require modifications, depending on the degree of plagiarism, context within the published article, and its impact on the overall integrity of the published study. Journal Editors will act under the relevant COPE guidelines.
Authorship credit of Soft Science should be solely based on substantial contributions to a published study, as specified in the following four criteria:
1. Substantial contributions to the conception or design of the work, or the acquisition, analysis, or interpretation of data for the work;
2. Drafting the work or revising it critically for important intellectual content;
3. Final approval of the version to be published;
4. 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.
All those who meet these criteria should be identified as authors. Authors must specify their contributions in the section Authors' Contributions of their manuscripts. Contributors who do not meet all the four criteria (like only involved in acquisition of funding, general supervision of a research group, general administrative support, writing assistance, technical editing, language editing, proofreading, etc.) should be acknowledged in the section of Acknowledgement in the manuscript rather than being listed as authors.
If a large multiple-author group has conducted the work, the group ideally should decide who will be authors before the work starts and confirm authors before submission. All authors of the group named as authors must meet all the four criteria for authorship.
You are welcome to exclude a limited number of researchers as potential Editors or reviewers of your manuscript. To ensure a fair and rigorous peer review process, we ask that you keep your exclusions to a maximum of three people. If you wish to exclude additional referees, please explain or justify your concerns—this information will be helpful for Editors when deciding whether to honor your request.
Editorial independence is extremely important and OAE does not interfere with editorial decisions. Editorial staff or Editors shall not be involved in the processing their own academic work. Submissions authored by editorial staff/Editors will be assigned to at least two independently outside reviewers. Decisions will be made by other editorial board members who do not have conflict of interests with the author. Journal staffs are not involved in the processing of their own work submitted to any OAE journals.
OAE journals require authors to declare any possible financial and/or non-financial conflicts of interest at the end of their manuscript and in the cover letter, as well as confirm this point when submitting their manuscript in the submission system. If no conflicts of interest exist, authors need to state "The authors declare no conflicts of interest". We also recognize that some authors may be bound by confidentiality agreements, in which cases authors need to sate "The authors declare that they are bound by confidentiality agreements that prevent them from disclosing their competing interests in this work".
New submissions are initially checked by the Managing Editor from the perspectives of originality, suitability, structure and formatting, conflicts of interest, background of authors, etc. Poorly-prepared manuscripts may be rejected at this stage. If your manuscript does not meet one or more of these requirements, we will return it for further revisions.
All manuscripts submitted to Soft Science are screened using iThenticate powered by CrossCheck to identify any plagiarized content. Your study must also meet all ethical requirements as outlined in our Editorial Policies. If the manuscript does not pass any of these checks, we may return it to you for further revisions or decline to consider your study for publication.
Once your manuscript has passed the initial check, it will be assigned to an Assistant Editor, and then the Editor-in-Chief, or an Editor in the case of a conflict of interest, will be notified of the submission and invited to check. The Editor-in-Chief, or the Editor may reject manuscripts that they deem highly unlikely to pass peer review without further consultation. Once your manuscript has passed the editorial assessment, the Editor-in-Chief will assign it to an Editor to organize peer-review.
Soft Science operates a single-blind review process, which means that reviewers know the names of authors, but the names of the reviewers are hidden from the authors. The scientific quality of the research described in the manuscript is assessed by a minimum of two independent expert reviewers. The Editor-in-Chief is responsible for the final decision regarding acceptance or rejection of the manuscript.
Your research will be judged on technical soundness only, not on its perceived impact as judged by Editors or referees. There are three possible decisions: Accept (your study satisfies all publication criteria), Invitation to Revise (more work is required to satisfy all criteria), and Reject (your study fails to satisfy key criteria and it is highly unlikely that further work can address its shortcomings).