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AEM Submission and Review Process

How Do I Format My Manuscript? (Initial Submissions)

We encourage uploading a single PDF that incorporates the full text, tables, and figures.

We are format-neutral at initial submission. At this stage, you may already have formatted your paper, so you don’t have to change your manuscript to follow our guidelines for word counts, reference style, figure placement, sections, etc.

If you'd like to review or follow our formatting guidelines, explore AEM Formatting Information and the Initial Submission Checklist.

How Do I Submit a Manuscript? (Initial Submissions)

Visit the AEM submission system to upload your manuscript and cover letter and fill out a form that includes:

  • Title
  • Abstract
  • Author Information (including all co-authors)
  • Which author should receive correspondence during peer review. We encourage authors to review ASM journals criteria for authorship before selecting a corresponding author.
  • Keyword and research areas
  • Preprint deposit information (if applicable)
  • Whether the manuscript has been submitted previously
  • Three reviewer options
  • Comment box for anything else you’d like us to know. For example:
    • If this is a companion paper
    • Any editors or reviewers you would like to exclude

 

At initial submission, each figure file can be no more than 15MB.

Does ASM Charge a Submission Fee?

ASM doesn’t charge authors a fee to submit their manuscript for review.

What Happens After I Submit My Manuscript?

All authors get notified by email when a manuscript is submitted by the corresponding author.

You can check your account in the AEM submission system for updates on the status of the manuscript or contact us.

Find out more about the Peer Review Process.

How Do I Withdraw My Paper?

Authors sometimes need to withdraw a submission after using our submission system or during the peer review process. Common reasons include errors and additions.

Withdrawing Before Initial Submission (Partially Completed)

You may have begun a submission that you decide not to complete. The corresponding author can log into their author account and click the link to the manuscript they would like to withdraw. Scroll down to the bottom of the page under "More Manuscript Info and Tools" and click "Delete Halted Submission."

Withdrawing After Initial Submission

If you have submitted your paper and decide not to continue with the review process before receiving a decision, please contact us to withdraw it.

Withdrawing After a Revision Decision

Please contact us and then follow the steps below.

The corresponding author can log into their author account and click the link to the manuscript they would like to withdraw. Scroll down to the bottom of the page under "More Manuscript Info and Tools" and click "Delete Halted Submission."

Can I Transfer My Paper to Another ASM Journal?

If your paper is declined by AEM, the corresponding author may transfer it to Microbiology Spectrum.

Note that we are piloting a simplified submission process for some journals. If your manuscript is transferred, you will be asked to provide more information.

Can I Resubmit?

If your manuscript was rejected with the option to resubmit, you can resubmit if the major criticisms have been addressed. Please contact us if you have any questions before or during this process.

The corresponding author will receive a link to the AEM submission system to resubmit that will be active for 180 days. Once you click that link, you will have 30 days to complete your resubmission.

Before you click the resubmission link, be ready to include all of the following:

  • Cover letter that states it is a resubmission.
  • Previous manuscript number (example: AEM01234-56).
  • New manuscript .doc or .docx file with edits incorporated (without tracked changes).
  • Separate "Response to Reviewer Comments" file with a point-by-point response to all reviews.
  • Separate "Marked Up Manuscript file" with tracked changes from the original submission. Highlight all changes, no matter how minor.

Other Things to Know About Resubmissions:

  • You can only resubmit once unless you get permission from the original editor or editor in chief.
  • If your manuscript was rejected solely on the basis of scope, you may resubmit it to a more appropriate ASM journal.
  • If your manuscript was rejected on scientific grounds or on the basis of its general suitability for publication by AEM, it is considered rejected by all ASM journals and therefore can’t be resubmitted.

How Much Does It Cost to Publish My Paper?

The chart on the publication fees page breaks it down. There is also a list on that page of article types that do not have a fee.

How Do I Format a Revised Manuscript?

Review AEM Formatting Information.

How Do I Submit a Revised Manuscript?

The corresponding author will get a link to the AEM submission system to submit the revision. They will have two months to do so or choose to withdraw the manuscript. Please contact us if you need an extension.

To complete the submission, the corresponding author will need to do the following:

  • Upload a new version of the manuscript that follows our formatting guidelines and uses .doc or .docx format.
  • Each figure must be uploaded as a separate, editable, high-resolution TIFF or EPS file, and any multipanel figures must be assembled into one file.
  • Tables may be included in the manuscript file or uploaded separately. Authors should provide tables in Microsoft Word.
  • Any supplemental material files should be uploaded separately from the main manuscript. You can put it into one file (preferred), or split it into a maximum of 10 files, with all supplemental legends included.
  • Fill out additional questions in the submission form, including but not limited to:
    • Data availability
    • Funding
    • Conflict of Interest
  • Separate "Response to Reviewer Comments" file with a point-by-point response to all reviews.
  • Separate "Marked Up Manuscript file" with tracked changes from the original submission. Highlight all changes, no matter how minor.

What Do I Do if I Get Stuck?

Contact us with any questions and see the tips below for FAQs.

Submission System Tips

    • Make sure you are logging in to the AEM submission system website. It will have "msubmit" in the address bar/URL. Other ASM websites are not yet connected to the submission system.
    • Login with a username, not your email address, in the submission system.
      • Your username is automatically assigned by the system. It is typically your first initial + last name, but if that username is already in use, it will add the second character of your first name, and so on.
      • For example, if your name is Jane Doe, your username is jdoe if you are the only user with that name, jadoe if you are the second, jandoe if you are the third, and so on.
      • Contact us if you are not able to find your username.
    • If you see an error message resetting your password, it usually means that you have more than one account.
    • ASM will need to merge the accounts so that you can reset your password.
    • Contact us so that we can get this fixed.
    • If merging is taking longer than 5-10 minutes, try removing and re-uploading your documents.
    • Contact us for help merging files.
  • If you are having trouble navigating the submission form, try scrolling down and looking for the “Next” button, or using the menu on the right side of the page to skip to the right section.