Editorial Policies

Focus and Scope

Receptors & Clinical Investigation is an open access, peer-reviewed, online journal publishing articles of the highest quality pertaining to the fields of basic, translational, and clinical research for all aspects of receptors and associated signal transduction pathways.

Topics of interest include but are not limited to the following areas:

  • Receptors and associated signal transduction pathways
  • Ligands
  • Corregulators
  • Drugs acting on receptors
  • Cell signaling and communications involved with receptors
  • Clinical investigation involved with receptors

Receptors & Clinical Investigation offers the opportunity for basis scientists, clinicians and physician-scientists to publish their research in a journal which is applicable to their specific field.


Section Policies

Research articles

It is a substantial novel research study, with a complex story often involving several techniques or approaches.

Abstract length: 350 words or fewer (The Abstract must not be structured into separate sections).

Article Length: 5000 words or fewer.

Checked Open Submissions Checked Indexed Checked Peer Reviewed

Brief reports

It reports a concise study of high quality and broad interest, but is less substantial than a Research article.

Abstract length: 350 words or fewer (The Abstract must not be structured into separate sections).

Article Length: 5000 words or fewer.

Checked Open Submissions Checked Indexed Checked Peer Reviewed

Research highlights

It is by invitation only. It is kind of brief review focusing on the paper of exceptional significance written by the same author. It would be better that the research highlight can be combined with proceedings of the author research.

Abstract length: 350 words or fewer (The Abstract must not be structured into separate sections).

Article Length: 5000 words or fewer.

Checked Open Submissions Checked Indexed Unchecked Peer Reviewed


It should present an untested original hypothesis backed up solely by a survey of previously published results rather than any new evidence.

Abstract length: 350 words or fewer (The Abstract must not be structured into separate sections).

Article Length: 5000 words or fewer.

Checked Open Submissions Checked Indexed Checked Peer Reviewed


It is an authoritative, balanced and scholarly survey of recent developments in a research field.

Abstract length: 350 words or fewer (The Abstract must not be structured into separate sections).

Article Length: 5000 words or fewer.

Checked Open Submissions Checked Indexed Checked Peer Reviewed

Case reports

It highlights unique presentations or aspects of disease processes that may expand the differential diagnosis and improve patient care.

Abstract length: Do not require abstracts.

Article Length: 5000 words or fewer.

Checked Open Submissions Checked Indexed Checked Peer Reviewed


It is opinion pieces consisting of a main point and supporting discussion. These contributions usually pertain to a specific article.

Abstract length: Do not require abstracts.

Article Length: 5000 words or fewer.

Checked Open Submissions Checked Indexed Unchecked Peer Reviewed

Peer Review Process

Receptors & Clinical Investigation has enlisted the services of an Editorial Board with broad expertise in many relevant research areas, but will also solicit the help of other specialists as required. Each member of the Board is involved with strong research programs into many aspects of normal and/or pathological receptor functions, and will make every effort to fulfil the mandate of the journal. The Board promise to conduct and facilitate unbiased and critical reviews of manuscripts and will strive to expedite the communication of work that is original, scientifically sound and thought provoking.

Generally peer review is completed within 4-6 weeks and the editor’s decision within 2-7 days of this. 


Publication Frequency

This journal is published 4 times per year.


Open Access Policy

This journal provides immediate open access to its content on the principle that making research freely available to the public supports a greater global exchange of knowledge.



Digital Archiving: The journal utilizes several digital archives to guarantee long-term digital preservation and restoration such as the PKP LOCKSS developed by Public Knowledge Project (PKP). The journal also makes article metadata available in compliance with Open Archives Initiative Protocol for Metadata Harvesting (OAI-PMH) to enable automated harvesting of articles by as many international archives as possible, such as the PKP Open Archives Harvester. 

PubMed Central (PMC): NIH-funded papers are submitted to PubMed Central (PMC) for permanent archive in compliance with the NIH Public Access Policy. 

PubMed Central Canada (PMC Canada): CIHR-funded papers are submitted to PMC Canada for permanent archive in compliance with the Tri-Agency Open Access Policy on Publications.

Author Self-Archiving: Authors of articles retain the copyright of their articles. Author can archive pre-print, post-print, and publisher's versions.

Commercial Archiving (Bluehost): Journals published by Smart Science & Technology utilizes the Bluehost to create distributed archiving systems to create permanent archives of the journals for purposes of preservation and restoration.


Advertising Policy

No advertisements are accepted.


Ethics Summary

All research must have been carried out within an appropriate ethical framework. If there is suspicion that work has not taken place within an appropriate ethical framework, Editors will follow the COPE guidelines and may reject the manuscript, and/or contact the author(s)’ institution or ethics committee. On rare occasions, if the Editor has serious concerns about the ethics of a study, the manuscript may be rejected on ethical grounds, even if approval from an ethics committee has been obtained.

Plagiarism and duplicate submission are serious acts of misconduct. Plagiarism is defined as unreferenced use of published or unauthorized use of unpublished ideas, and may occur at any stage of planning, researching, writing, or publication. Plagiarism takes many forms, from 'passing off' another's paper as the author's own paper, to copying or paraphrasing substantial parts of another's paper (without attribution), to claiming results from research conducted by others. Plagiarism in all its forms constitutes unethical publishing behavior and is unacceptable.

Smart Science & Technology LLC uses anti-plagiarism software from iPlagiarism and crosscheck. If plagiarism is identified, COPE guidelines on plagiarism will be followed.

Research involving human subjects, human material, or human data

Research involving human subjects, human material, or human data, must have been performed in accordance with the Declaration of Helsinki and must have been approved by an appropriate ethics committee. A statement detailing this, including the name of the ethics committee and the reference number where appropriate, must appear in all manuscripts reporting such research. If a study has been granted an exemption from requiring ethics approval, this should also be detailed in the manuscript (including the name of the ethics committee that granted the exemption). Further information and documentation to support this should be made available to Editors on request. Manuscripts may be rejected if the Editor considers that the research has not been carried out within an appropriate ethical framework. In rare cases, Editors may contact the ethics committee for further information.

Retrospective ethics approval

If a study has not been submitted to an ethics committee prior to commencing, retrospective ethics approval usually cannot be obtained and it may not be possible to consider the manuscript for peer review. How to proceed in such cases is at the Editor(s)’ discretion.

New clinical tools and procedures

Authors reporting the use of a new procedure or tool in a clinical setting, for example as a technical advance or case report, must give a clear justification in the manuscript for why the new procedure or tool was deemed more appropriate than usual clinical practice to meet the patient’s clinical need. Such justification is not required if the new procedure is already approved for clinical use at the authors’ institution. Authors will be expected to have obtained ethics committee approval and informed patient consent for any experimental use of a novel procedure or tool where a clear clinical advantage based on clinical need was not apparent before treatment.


For all research involving human subjects, informed consent to participate in the study should be obtained from participants (or their parent or guardian in the case of children under 16) and a statement to this effect should appear in the manuscript.

Consent for publication of individual patient data

For all manuscripts that include details, images, or videos relating to individual participants, written informed consent for the publication of these must be obtained from the participants (or their parent or legal guardian in the case of children under 16) and a statement to this effect should appear in the manuscript. Consent form must be made available to Editors on request, and will be treated confidentially. In cases where images are entirely unidentifiable and there are no details on individuals reported within the manuscript, consent for publication of images may not be required. The final decision on whether consent to publish is required lies with the Editor.

Research involving animals

Experimental research on vertebrates or any regulated invertebrates must comply with institutional, national, or international guidelines, and where available should have been approved by an appropriate ethics committee. A statement detailing compliance with guidelines and/or ethical approval must be included in the manuscript. For studies involving client-owned animals, authors must document informed client consent and adherence to a high standard (best practice) of veterinary care. Authors are encouraged to conform to the Animal Research: Reporting In Vivo Experiments (ARRIVE) guidelines for reporting animal studies.

Field studies should be conducted in accordance with local legislation, and the manuscript should include a statement specifying the appropriate permissions and/or licences. We recommend that authors comply with the Convention on Biological Diversity and the Convention on the Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora.


Trial Registration

Receptors & Clinical Investigation supports initiatives to improve reporting of clinical trials. This includes prospective registering of clinical trials in suitable publicly available databases. In line with ICMJE guidelines, Smart Science & Technology LLC requires registration of all clinical trials that are reported in manuscripts submitted to its journals.

The ICMJE use the World Health Organization (WHO) definition of a clinical trial, which 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". This definition includes phase I to IV trials. The ICMJE define health-related interventions as "any intervention used to modify a biomedical or health-related outcome" and health-related outcomes as "any biomedical or health-related measures obtained in patients or participants". If you are unsure whether your trial needs registering, see the ICMJE FAQs for further information.

Suitable publicly available registries are those listed on the ICMJE website as well as any of the primary registries that participate in the WHO International Clinical Trials Registry Platform, including the ISRCTN register administered by Current Controlled Trials, part of the BioMed Central group.

The trial registration number (TRN) and date of registration should be included as the last line of the manuscript abstract.


Data and Material Release

Submission of a manuscript to Receptors & Clinical Investigation implies that readily reproducible materials described in the manuscript, including all relevant raw data, will be freely available to any scientist wishing to use them for non-commercial purposes, without breaching participant confidentiality. Nucleotide sequences, protein sequences, and atomic coordinates should be deposited in an appropriate database in time for the accession number to be included in the published article. In computational studies where the sequence information is unacceptable for inclusion in databases because of lack of experimental validation, the sequences must be published as an additional file with the article. 

Nucleotide sequences

Nucleotide sequences can be deposited with the DNA Data Bank of Japan (DDBJ), the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL/EBI) Nucleotide Sequence Database, or GenBank (National Center for Biotechnology Information).

Protein sequences

Protein sequences can be deposited with the Swiss-Prot Protein Database (Swiss-Prot) or the Protein Information Resource (PIR).

The accession numbers of any nucleic acid sequences, protein sequences, or atomic coordinates cited in the manuscript should be provided, in square brackets with the corresponding database name; for example, [EMBL:AB026295, EMBL:AC137000, DDBJ:AE000812, GenBank:U49845, PDB:1BFM, Swiss-Prot:Q96KQ7, PIR:S66116].

The databases for which we can provide direct links are: EMBL/EBI Nucleotide Sequence Database,DDBJGenBankProtein Data Bank (PDB)PIR and the Swiss-Prot.

Mass spectrometry

Mass spectrometry data should be supplied in the mzML format recommended by the HUPO ProteinStandards Initiative Mass Spectrometry Standards Working Group guidelines. We also recommend that the data is deposited in the ProteomeExchange through the PRIDE website, and protein interaction data can be submitted to members of the IMEx consortium.


Protein structures can be deposited with one of the members of the Worldwide Protein Data Bank. Nucleic acid structures can be deposited with the Nucleic Acid Database at Rutgers. Crystal structures of organic compounds can be deposited with the Cambridge Crystallographic Data Centre.

Chemical structures and assays

Structures of chemical substances can be deposited with PubChem Substance. Bioactivity screens of chemical substances can be deposited with PubChem BioAssay.

Functional genomics data (such as microarray, RNA-seq or ChIP-seq data)

Where appropriate, authors should adhere to the standards proposed by the Functional Genomics Data Society and must deposit microarray data in MIAME-compliant format in one of the public repositories, such as ArrayExpress or Gene Expression Omnibus (GEO). Deposition of high-throughput functional genomics sequencing data (such as RNA-Seq or ChIP-Seq data) with ArrayExpress or GEO in compliance with MINSEQE is also required.

Computational modeling

We encourage authors to prepare models of biochemical reaction networks using the Systems Biology Markup Language and to deposit the model with the BioModels database, as well as submitting it as an additional file with the manuscript.


We encourage authors to deposit copies of their plasmids as DNA or bacterial stocks with Addgene orPlasmID.

Phylogenetic data

Phylogenetic data (alignments, phylogenetic trees, or other relevant primary data) should be deposited in either TreeBase or Dryad. BioMed Central is a member of Dryad and participates in sharing knowledge and coordinating action around data policies.

Ecological data

We encourage authors to deposit ecological data in Dryad.

Plant raw materials, derivatives, and extracts

Investigations on the biological activity of plant raw materials, derivatives, or extracts, including essential oils, must be standardized in order to elucidate their qualitative and quantitative phytochemical composition, at least of major compounds. The methodology used must be described in detail, including procedures, apparatus, columns, stationary and mobile phases, detection, etc.

For all plant species used in such investigations, either from wild populations or cultivations, a voucher specimen must be deposited in a public herbarium or other public collection providing access to deposited material. Voucher specimens should include details on the site of collection(GPS coordinates), date of collection, and document the part(s) used in the study where appropriate. Information on the voucher specimen and who identified it must be included in the manuscript.

Other data

If no field-specific repository exists authors may deposit other relevant raw data in DryadFigShare, orLabArchives.


Non-Native Speakers of English

Researchers who are not native speakers of English who submit manuscripts to international journals sometimes receive negative comments from referees or editors about the English-language usage in their manuscripts, and these problems can contribute to a decision to reject a paper. To help reduce the possibility of such problems, we strongly encourage such authors to take at least one of the following steps:

  • Have your manuscript reviewed for clarity by a colleague whose native language is English.
  • Use one of the many English language editing services that are available, such as that offered by Nature Publishing Group Language Editing. An editor will improve the English to ensure that your meaning is clear and to identify problems that require your review.

Please note that the use of Editing is at the author's own expense and in no way implies that the article will be selected for peer review or accepted by any journal. The decisions that the editors of Receptors & Clinical Investigation make based on the quality and suitability of a manuscript for that journal are entirely independent of whether that manuscript has been language-edited by any Language Editing.


Conflict-of-Interest Statement

Receptors & Clinical Investigation requires all authors and reviewers to declare any conflicts of interest that may be inherent in their submissions.

Conflict of interest for a given manuscript exists when a participant in the peer review and publication process – author, reviewer, or editor – has ties to activities that could inappropriately influence his or her judgment, whether or not judgment is in fact affected.

Financial relationships with industry, for example, through employment, consultancies, stock ownership, honoraria, expert testimony, either directly or through immediate family, are usually considered to be the most important conflicts of interest.

However, conflicts can occur for other reasons, such as personal relationships, academic competition, and intellectual passion.

Public trust in the peer review process and the credibility of published articles depend in part on how well conflict of interest is handled during writing, peer review, and editorial decision making. Bias can often be identified and eliminated by careful attention to the scientific methods and conclusions of the work.

Financial relationships and their effects are less easily detected than other conflicts of interest. Participants in peer review and publication should disclose their conflicting interests, and the information should be made available so that others can judge their effects for themselves.

Authors: When they submit a manuscript, whether an article or a letter, authors are responsible for recognizing and disclosing financial and other conflicts of interest that might bias their work. They should acknowledge in the manuscript all financial support for the work and other financial or personal connections to the work.

Reviewers: External peer reviewers should disclose to editors any conflicts of interest that could bias their opinions of the manuscript, and they should disqualify themselves from reviewing specific manuscripts if they believe it appropriate. The editors must be made aware of reviewers’ conflicts of interest to interpret the reviews and judge for themselves whether the reviewer should be disqualified. Reviewers should not use knowledge of the work, before its publication, to further their own interests.


Statement of Informed Consent

Patients have a right to privacy that should not be violated without informed consent. Identifying information, including names, initials, or hospital numbers, should not be published in written descriptions, photographs, or pedigrees unless the information is essential for scientific purposes and the patient (or parent or guardian) gives written informed consent for publication. Informed consent for this purpose requires that an identifiable patient be shown the manuscript to be published. Authors should disclose to these patients whether any potential identifiable material might be available via the Internet as well as in print after publication. Patient consent should be written and archived either with the journal, the authors, or both, as dictated by local regulations or laws. Nonessential identifying details should be omitted. Informed consent should be obtained if there is any doubt that anonymity can be maintained. For example, masking the eye region in photographs of patients is inadequate protection of anonymity. If identifying characteristics are altered to protect anonymity, such as in genetic pedigrees, authors should provide assurance, and editors should so note, that such alterations do not distort scientific meaning. When informed consent has been obtained, it should be indicated in the published article.


Statement of Human and Animal Rights

When reporting experiments on human subjects, authors should indicate whether the procedures followed were in accordance with the ethical standards of the responsible committee on human experimentation (institutional and national) and with the Helsinki Declaration of 1975, as revised in 2000 (5). If doubt exists whether the research was conducted in accordance with the Helsinki Declaration, the authors must explain the rationale for their approach and demonstrate that the institutional review body explicitly approved the doubtful aspects of the study. When reporting experiments on animals, authors should indicate whether the institutional and national guide for the care and use of laboratory animals was followed. [International Committee of Medical Journal Editors ("Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts Submitted to Biomedical Journals") February 2006].


Article Processing Charges (APCs)

Smart Science & Technology publishes all its journals in full open access format. The scientific community and the general public have, for free, unlimited and immediate access to all content published in our journals as soon as it is published on the Internet. This means that Smart Science & Technology does not receive any income from selling subscriptions to print or view online versions of its journals or from charging "pay-per-view" fees. Therefore, Smart Science & Technology needs to defray its editorial and production costs by collecting APCs from author(s) or authors' sponsors.  Many funding agencies explicitly allow the use of research grants for the payment of APCs for publishing in open access journals. An APC covers the entire cost of the publication process if paper is accepted for publication. This includes peer-reviewing, editing, publishing, maintaining and archiving, and allows immediate access to the full text versions of the research articles. Our APCs for all types of articles is $1280.


Peer-review Policy

General information

The following types of manuscripts are single-blind peer-reviewed: Research articles, Brief reports, Hypotheses, Reviews, Case reports. Editorials, Research highlights, Commentaries, and all forms of published correction may also be peer-reviewed at the discretion of the editors.

Online review

Editors will email selected Reviewers the title and abstract of the submission, as well as an invitation to log into the journal web site to complete the review. Reviewers enter the journal web site to agree to do the review, to download submissions, submit their comments, and select a recommendation.

Selecting peer-reviewers

Reviewer selection is critical to the publication process, and we base our choice on many factors, including expertise, reputation, specific recommendations and our own previous experience of a reviewer's characteristics.

Review guidelines

The reviewer should provide an honest, critical assessment of the research. The reviewer’s job is to analyze the strengths and weaknesses of the research, provide suggestions for improvement, and clearly state what must be done to raise the level of enthusiasm for the work. The reviewer should not manipulate the process to force the authors to address issues interesting or important to the reviewer but peripheral to the objective(s) of the study.

The reviewer should also maintain confidentiality about the existence and substance of the manuscript. It is not appropriate to share the manuscript or to discuss it in detail with others or even to reveal the existence of the submission before publication. There are some exceptions, if approved by the editor. One exception is that the reviewer may want a junior colleague to have the experience of reviewing and therefore may ask him/her to collaborate on a review. However, if this is done, your collaborator on the review should also agree to maintain confidentiality, and the editor should be informed of the participation of this additional person.

The reviewer must not participate in plagiarism. It is obviously a very serious transgression to take data or novel concepts from a paper to advance your own work before the manuscript is published.

The reviewer should always avoid, or disclose, any conflicts of interest. For example, the reviewer should decline to review a manuscript on a subject in which he/she is involved in a contentious dispute and does not feel that a fair review can be provided. The reviewer should also avoid biases that influence the scientific basis for a review. Another example is if the reviewer has a close personal or professional relationship with one or more of the authors such that his/her objectivity would be compromised. Scientific merit should be the basis for all reviews.

The reviewer should accept manuscripts for review only in his/her areas of expertise. Although editors try very hard to match manuscripts with the most expert reviewers, sometimes mistakes are made. It is unfair to the authors and to the overall review process if the referee does not have the expertise to review the manuscript adequately. The exception to this general rule is when an editor specifically asks for your view as a "nonexpert" or seeks your opinion on a special aspect of the manuscript (e.g., statistics).

The reviewer should agree to review only those manuscripts that can be completed on time. Sometimes, unforeseen circumstances arise that preclude a reviewer from meeting a deadline, but in these instances the reviewer should immediately contact the editor.

The reviewer also has the unpleasant responsibility of reporting suspected duplicate publication, fraud, plagiarism, or ethical concerns about the use of animals or humans in the research being reported.

Peer Review processes

If you want to learn more about our peer review process, please check: http://www.journals.smartscitech.com/about_us.php or Editorial Policies of this journal.


Policy of NIH-funded Articles

NIH-funded author manuscripts must be submitted to PubMed Central (PMC) through the NIH Manuscript Submission (NIHMS) system which may be initiated by either an author or a publisher, but must be completed by the author. For an overview of different submission methods, see this NIH Public Access Policy page.


Selecting Editors

Editors play a key role on our journals: they put their reputation and name to the journal, they help publishers steer the strategic direction of the journal and they oversee the journal's peer-review process. Usually, editors are selected by the journal’s editor-in-chief or suggested by existing editors, with input from the publisher. However, editors from internationally key research institutes may be considered and invited by the publisher in priority. Former Guest Editors of special issues, and authors of key reviews, and top reviewers may be suitable. Editors generally undergo a complete revision every four or five years, with editors joining, stepping down or continuing for another term. Changes also occur in the interim, for example if an editor resigns. A journal’s editorial board can affect its quality, so editors should also consider the following:

  • The location of editors should represent the reach of the journal
  • Editors’ expertise should represent the journal's scope


Corrections, Retractions, and Editorial Expressions of Concern

Errors in published articles must be corrected as soon as possible, in accordance with the requirements of the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE). Authors and readers are encouraged to notify the Editor-in-Chief or editorial office if they discover errors in published articles. Corrections are made at the journal's discretion. A correction notice will be published online and linked to the article. The places that need to be corrected will be clearly indicated, with the correction date. The corrected version, and the version with errors, should be available for future access upon request from the authors. If the error is major enough to jeopardize the fundamental results or conclusions of the research, retraction instead of correction should be considered.
Retractions are considered by journal editors in cases of evidence of unreliable data or findings, plagiarism, duplicate publication, and unethical research. The article PDF will be replaced with a version watermarked with “Retracted” but the original text will remain accessible. A retraction notice will also be published online and linked to the article. In rare cases, we may have to remove the original content for legal reasons. In such cases we will leave the metadata (title and authors) and replace the text with a note saying the article has been removed for legal reasons. A retraction notice will also be published online and linked to the article.
Editorial expressions of concern
We may consider an expression of concern notice if an article is under investigation, which will be published online and linked to the article.