Information for Authors


Acta Pharmaceutica Sinica B is an English language bimonthly peer-reviewed journal published online in ScienceDirect which invites research articles, reviews and communications in all areas of the Acta Pharmaceutica Sinica journals founded in 1953 and sponsored by the Institute of Materia Medica, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences and the Chinese Pharmaceutical Association. It is produced and hosted by Elsevier B. V.

1 . Scope of submitted manuscripts

The Journal invites original articles and review papers dealing with all aspects of the pharmaceutical sciences including pharmacology, pharmaceutics, medicinal chemistry, natural products, pharmacognosy, pharmaceutical analysis and pharmacokinetics.

Review articles: These should encompass new and important aspects of study and should describe research results and provide a critical analysis of the issue.

Original articles: These should deal with new, significant and innovative findings based on recent research.

Communications: Articles should contain new and important information that is likely to be of interest to readers and makes urgent publication desirable.

2 . Submissions of manuscripts

Acta Pharmaceutica Sinica B will operate an online submission and peer-review system from June, 2011.  The system is easy to use and allows authors to submit papers online and track their progress through the editorial process.

Prior or duplicate publications are not accepted.  All manuscripts, especially data, must not have been published or submitted for publication elsewhere. The authors should make a full disclosure of any past submissions. Submitted manuscripts should be accompanied by a covering letter giving: (1) the title of the manuscript; (2) a statement that the manuscript has not been published in part or whole (except in the form of abstract) nor is under consideration for publication elsewhere in any language.

The source of financial assistance and other support must be acknowledged. The contribution of colleagues or institutions should also be acknowledged.

3 . Peer-review

3.1 Manuscript receipt

Upon receipt of a manuscript, the Editorial Office will immediately assign a code number which should be used in all subsequent correspondence. An acknowledgement of receipt letter will be sent to the corresponding author. After pre-review by the editors, most submitted manuscripts will be sent to expert reviewers for peer-review. All manuscripts are subject to editorial modification.

3.2 Revision

On receipt of comments from the Editorial Office, the authors should revise their manuscript, answer the comments one by one and indicate the page and line of each correction to the manuscript. A revised manuscript will be considered a new submission if not returned to the Editorial Office within 2 months. Revised versions labeled with the manuscript code number should be sent electronically or by mail.

3.3 Rejected manuscripts

If a manuscript is not accepted for publication, the authors will receive a decision letter along with the reviewers’ comments.

3.4 Proof reading

Checking the proofs is solely the authors’ responsibility. Answer any queries on the proof itself. Corrections are restricted to printer’s errors and should be made legibly (preferably by typing) in the margins. Use universally accepted proofreader’s signs and symbols. If the authors feel the need to include new information, it should be inserted as a “Note added in proof” and will be included with the permission of the Editorial Office.

3.5 Copyright Assignment Form

Papers accepted for publication become the copyright of Acta Pharmaceutica Sinica B and authors will be asked to sign a transfer of copyright form. In signing the transfer of copyright, it is assumed that authors have obtained permission to use any copyrighted or previously published material. All authors must read and agree to the conditions outlined in the Copyright Assignment Form and must sign it. Articles will not be published until a signed Copyright Assignment Form has been received.

Authors should return the proof and Copyright Assignment Form within 3 days to the Editorial Office. If the time limit is exceeded, publication of the article may be delayed.

4 . Organization of the manuscript

4.1 Title

The title of the manuscript must be informative, specific and brief (<30 words). Words should be chosen carefully to facilitate the retrieval process. Minimal use of nonfunctional words is encouraged.

4.2 Authors and affiliation

Each author should have participated sufficiently in the work to take public responsibility for the content. Capitalize all letters in the surname(s) and spell out the given name(s) in full e.g. Xi-an LIU. Any change in authorship must be approved in writing by all authors. The corresponding author should be indicated by an asterisk (*) to the right of the corresponding author’s name and their telephone number, fax number and e-mail address given in the footnote. The affiliation of each author should also be given.

4.3 Abstract

The abstract should describe the aim, general methods, results and conclusions of the manuscript. It should be presented as a single paragraph following the title page.

4.4 Key words

Authors should provide 3-8 key words or phrases drawn from those recommended by the US National Library of Medicine’s Medical Subject Headings (MeSH) browser list at If a suitable MeSH term is not available, a more general term suitable for indexing may be used.

4.5 Text

4.5.1 Introduction: This should provide a concise summary of the topic based on relevant references and should give a clear description of the purpose of the study being reported or reviewed.

4.5.2 Materials and methods: This should provide sources of the main drugs, chemicals and instruments (including manufacturers and specifications) used in the study and should provide sufficient technical information to allow the experiments to be repeated. New methods or modifications to existing methods should be described in detail.

Drug nomenclature International Nonproprietary Names (INN) or generic names should be employed whenever possible. The first letter of the drug name should be lowercase for INN or generic names, but capitalized for proprietary names.

Species nomenclature: The scientific names [genus, species (in italics) and authority] of all plants, animals and microorganisms should be given. Common chemical names may be used in certain circumstances.

Experimental subjects: The authors should indicate the grade of animals used in experiments. Rats and mice should be at least specific pathogen free. The sex, age and body weight of tested animals (or humans in clinical studies) should be given as mean, standard deviation and total range. Animal experiments should adhere to instructions for the care and use of animals provided by the appropriate Ethics Committee. Human experiments may be performed only in accordance with the ethical standards and permission of the responsible committee of the institution at which the work was carried out.

4.5.3 Quantities, units, and numerical values: SI units must be used for example: length (m, cm, mm, μm, nm), mass (kg, g, mg, μg), volume (L, mL, μL), time (s, min, h, d), temperature (°C, K), radiation (Bq, dpm), concentration [mol/L, mmol/L, mg/mL, μg/mL, % (v/v), % (w/v)]. Physical quantities should be printed in italic type e.g. t/h (t/h). A solidus (/) should not be followed by a multiplication or division sign unless parentheses are inserted to avoid any ambiguity. When an Arabic number precedes an SI unit, the unit symbol should be used rather than the full name of the unit, for example, 1 min (one minute), 2 h (two hours). No unit is required for relative molecular mass.

4.5.4 Abbreviations: These must only be used after being spelled out in full at their first appearance followed by the abbreviation in parentheses. Routes of administration may be abbreviated e.g. intravenous (iv), intramuscular (im), intraperitoneal (ip), subcutaneous (sc), intracerebroventricular (icv), intraarterial (ia), per os (po), intragastric gavage (ig).

4.5.5 Effective digits: The effective digits in a datum are determined by the variation within the sample which is one-third of the standard deviation. For example: (4.8±0.3) kg (not 4820±340.8 g). Use 2%-6% (not 2-6%), 5×104-7×104 (not 5-7×104) and 2 mm×3 mm×4 mm (not 2×3×4 mm).

4.5.6 Tables and figures: Each table and figure should have a legend that is self-explanatory (intelligible without reference to the text) and should avoid repetition of data in the text. Tables are preferable to figures especially if the figure is a simple histogram. Indicate the number (n) and character of observations and subjects.

Tables should be numbered consecutively with Arabic numerals followed immediately by its legend. Each column in a table should have a short or abbreviated heading in which the quantity and the unit are usually separated by a solidus (/). More than one solidus is not allowed in a single item. If an experimental condition is the same for all of the tabulated experiments (e.g. the n), give this information in a statement accompanying the table.

Figures must not include handwritten or typewriten lettering. The intervals should be so that the interpolation will permit accurate evaluation of the points. Symbols and curves can be identified in the figure itself or in the legend. Broader lines should be drawn for curves than for the axes. Avoid wasting space. Combine related curves in a single figure when possible to save space and convey more information. Do not extrapolate curves nor extend the axes far beyond the contents. When feasible, curves should be transformed into straight lines with the aid of logarithm, reciprocal, probit, logit, etc. Indicate scales by short index lines and repeat the index lines on the opposite side unless more than one scale is used. In general, the height/width ratio of figures should be 2/3.

Photographs must be of the highest quality with good contrast. Color photographs are welcome. With photomicrographs, crop to show only the essential parts: a second small photomicrograph at higher magnification is usually more informative than a single large one. Scale markers (e.g. 1 μm) should be put inside the photomicrographs. Briefly explain the symbols, arrows, numbers, or letters in the illustrations. Identify the method of staining and magnification of the photomicrographs (e.g. HE stain, ×900).

Maximum width of tables and figures should be 8 cm (or 10-17 cm for two-column width). Please use only one size of writing in any one diagram.

4.5.7 Nomenclature: For chemical compounds, this should be in accordance with the nomenclature rules formulated by IUPAC. Alternatively naming may conform to that given in the index of Chemical Abstracts or the Ring Index. Stereochemical information (cis, Z, R, etc.), locants (N-methyl, α-amino) and symmetry designations (C2v) should also be italicized. Chemical formula(e) should be numbered with boldface Arabic numerals (e.g.1). Abbreviations such as Me, Et, n-Bu, i-Pr, s-Bu, t-Bu, and Ph (not φ) may be used. General substituents should be indicated by R1, R2 etc or R, R′ etc. The spatial arrangement of substituents should be indicated by hatched lines or a wedge. A minus sign must be as long as the crossbar of a plus sign.

4.5.8 Confirmation of structure: Adequate evidence to establish structural identity must accompany all new compounds that appear in the Experimental Section of Original Articles and Communications. Generally, the physical and chemical parameters of new compounds should be given in the following order: m.p. (b.p.); [α]D; UV-vis λmax; IRυ, 1H NMR and 13C NMR; MS m/z; elemental analyses or HRMS data.  List only IR wavelengths that are diagnostic for key functional groups.

4.5.9 Statistical methods: These should be described when they are used to verify the results. Suitable techniques should be chosen for statistical treatments e.g. t-test (group or paired comparisons), chi-square test, Ridit, probit, regression (linear, curvilinear, or stepwise), correlation, analysis of variance (ANOVA), analysis of covariance, etc. Only homogeneous data can be averaged. Standard deviations are preferred to standard errors. Give the number of observations and subjects (n).

Identify statistical significance by superscripts in front of the probabilities (P): *P<0.05, **P<0.01, ***P<0.001 vs A; P<0.05, △△P<0.01, △△△P<0.001 vs B.

Values such as ED50, LD50, IC50 should have their 95% confidence limits calculated and compared by weighted probit analysis (Bliss and Finney). The word “significantly” should be replaced by its synonyms (if it indicates extent) or the P value (if it indicates statistical significance).

4.5.10 Results and discussion: These should emphasize or summarize only important observations. Give absolute values rather than percentages particularly for control values. Present your results followed by tables or figures and reserve extensive interpretation of the results for the discussion section. In the discussion, emphasize new and important findings and relate your results to other studies. Discuss the shortcomings or .limitations of your experiments. New hypotheses and recommendations may be proposed when warranted.

4.5.11 Acknowledgments: These may briefly include acknowledgement of assistance from: (i) contributors that do not warrant authorship; (ii) technical help; and (iii) material support.

4.6 References: Please ensure that every reference cited in the text is also present in the reference list (and vice versa). Superscript numbers should be given before punctuation. "Times New Roman"">Any references cited in the abstract must be given in full. Unpublished results and personal communications should be avoided in the reference list but may be mentioned in the text. If such references are included in the reference list, they should follow the standard reference style of the Journal and should include a substitution of the publication date with either "Unpublished results" or "Personal communication". Citation of a reference as "in press" implies that the item has been accepted for publication.

Reference style: The titles of journals should be abbreviated according to the “List of Journals Indexed” in Index Medicus ( List all authors, but if the number exceeds 6 give the names of 6 authors followed by et al.

Text: Indicate references by superscript numbers in the text. The actual authors can be referred to in the text but the reference number(s) must always be given.
List: Number the references in the list in the order in which they appear in the text.
Reference to a journal publication:
1. Van der Geer J, Hanraads JAJ, Lupton RA. The art of writing a scientific article. J Sci Commun 2000;163:51–9.
Reference to a book:
2. Strunk Jr W, White EB. The elements of style. 3rd ed. New York: Macmillan; 1979.
Reference to a chapter in an edited book:
3. Mettam GR, Adams LB. How to prepare an electronic version of your article. In: Jones BS, Smith RZ, editors. Introduction to the electronic age. New York: E-Publishing Inc; 1999, p. 281–304.

For further details you are referred to "Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts submitted to Biomedical Journals" (J Am Med Assoc 1997;277:927–934)


Editoral Office of Acta Pharmaceutica Sinica

1 Xiannongtan Street, Beijing 100050

Tel: 86-10-3035116, 86-10-63026192;

Fax: 86-10-63026192;