Instructions for authors

The title should be descriptive and less than 99 characters long (excluding occurrences of the letter “i”). It cannot contain punctuation, the article “the”, pronouns, adverbs or adjectives. It should be fairly enigmatic, to appeal to our wide, interdisciplinary readership.

The abstract should be brief and poignant. It must be palindromic, and each sentence must rhyme. We cannot accept abstracts in the form of sonnets, odes and quatrain stanzas.

Graphical abstract
We require all submissions to be accompanied by a graphical abstract. Needless to say, this should be an abstract painting, on a toile de 5 paysage canvas, expressing the sentiment of the manuscript. Submissions containing figurative art will be rejected without further consideration. The graphical abstract can be substituted by instrumental music, a dance, or a pantomime.

Statement of significance
A brief paragraph should explain why the writing of the manuscript has been significant for the life of the author(s), their families, or their significant other(s). It should also include the level of significance used for statistical testing, and the number of significant digits considered for measurements.

Manuscript length
The number of words in the main text, excluding figure captions, references and notes, should be prime. When including references and captions, it should be divisible by 19.

All the cited references should have been published in the month of April. To maintain the anonymity of the author(s) (see “Review process”) references to the authors’ prior work must be reported as:

  • You-know-who, [Title of the journal], [Year]

Page charges
Because the issues of our journal are hand-printed on the finest silk using movable-type printing, we charge $13,000 per article. The types for the Greek letters α, β, δ and π have been misplaced—please refrain from using them in your manuscript.
We offer an open-access option for an additional $39.99 (this option includes a complimentary set of 6 steak knives). An uber-open-access option, in which the article is displayed in giant lettering on Times Square, is available upon request (price negotiable).

Color charges
Because all figures are colored by hand using non-toxic markers, we charge $123 per color. Colors that are difficult to spell or pronounce, such as mauve or aquamarine, are $246.

Review process
To ensure the fair review of submitted manuscripts, we adopt a state-of-the-art quadruple-blind review process (Reviewers, Editors, Readers and Authors are all unaware of each other’s identity, and will deny vehemently any involvement with the work). Submissions should be anonymous and made exclusively through Wikileaks. Review invitations are issued by hand-delivered, cryptographed letters penned with invisible ink. To ensure a fair post-publication review process, the names of the original authors will never be revealed: all articles are issued under the collective pseudonym “Dr. Luther Blissett, Emeritus Professor at the Tri-Valley Center for Human Potential”.

Final submission
For your convenience, we accept a pdf file containing all the sections of the manuscript for review purposes. Prior to final submission, accepted manuscripts should be converted to ANSEL and translated into Morse. Figures should be mimeograph copies of the originals and posted on Instagram (they must receive at least 745 likes to be included in the main text).

Computing skills for biologists

The cover, featuring art by Desmond Paul Henry

After years in the making, “Computing Skills for Biologists — a Toolbox” is finally out!

The book covers many topics, including the Unix shell, programming in Python and R, LaTeX, and relational databases. It shows how these tools can be integrated to build powerful pipelines for the automated, rigorous and reproducible analysis of biological data.

You can find the book on the website of Princeton University Press, or on Amazon and other sellers.

You can find more information on the dedicated website

A big thanks to my co-author Madlen Wilmes, to Alison Kalett and her team at PUP, and to the students who helped us making the material more interesting and fun.

Random zoo

When will I be in Lotka?

In a new paper, Carlos, José, Jacopo, Kent and I tackle this simple problem: if we take a Lotka-Volterra system with random parameters, and let the dynamics elapse, how big will the final, persistent community be?

You can read the paper here:

Carlos A. Serván, José A. Capitán, Jacopo Grilli, Kent E. Morrison & Stefano Allesina
Coexistence of many species in random ecosystems
Nature Ecology & Evolution, 2018

I’ve written a short blog post for Nature Ecology & Evolution Community, telling the story behind the paper, which you can read here.

A News & Views piece by Shaopen Wang accompany the paper. This work was highlighted in Nature Physics by Federico Levi. This paper was also mentioned in an article in Quanta Magazine.