Cover image for Vol. 70 Issue 3

Edited By: Peter Jenner and Henrique von Gersdorff

Impact Factor: 2.127

ISI Journal Citation Reports © Ranking: 2014: 170/252 (Neurosciences)

Online ISSN: 1098-2396

Author Guidelines

NIH Public Access Mandate
For those interested in the Wiley-Blackwell policy on the NIH Public Access Mandate, please visit our policy statement

Visit the new Author Services today! Features include:

  • Free access to your article for 10 of your colleagues; each author of a paper may nominate up to 10 colleagues. This feature is retrospective—even articles already published offer this feature for free colleague access.
  • Access in perpetuity to your published article.
  • Production tracking for your article and easy communication with the Production Editor via e-mail.
  • A list of your favorite journals with quick links to the Editorial Board, Aims & Scope, Author Guidelines and if applicable the Online Submission website; journals in which you have tracked production of an article are automatically added to your Favorites.
  • Guidelines on optimizing your article for maximum discoverability.

Author Guidelines

Please Note: Peer-reviewed, accepted articles are published as Preprints and appear in the Accepted Articles section of Synapse prior to copyediting, author corrections, and pagination. Preprints contain a DOI, are completely citable and appear online within days of acceptance (provided the authors have properly submitted figure files, a signed copyright transfer agreement and permission forms).

Note to NIH Grantees: Pursuant to NIH mandate, Wiley-Blackwell will post the accepted version of contributions authored by NIH grant-holders to PubMed Central upon acceptance. This accepted version will be made publicly available 12 months after publication. For further information, see

ALL MANUSCRIPTS submitted to SYNAPSE must be submitted solely to this journal, may not have been published in any part or form (except as an abstract for a meeting) in another publication of any type, professional or lay, and become the property of the publisher. The publisher reserves copyright, and no published material may be reproduced or published elsewhere without the written permission of the publisher and the author. The journal will not be responsible for the loss of manuscripts at any time. All statements in, or omissions from, published manuscripts are the responsibility of the authors, who will assist the Editor by reviewing proofs before publication. Reprints may be purchased at No page charges will be levied against authors or their institutions for publication in the journal.

At the time of manuscript submission, authors are required to provide the name(s) of at least one appropriate editorial board member with the requisite expertise to handle the review of their paper, and are also encouraged to suggest other potential referees.  Authors should provide the email address, institutional affiliation, physical address & telephone number for individuals specified who are not on the editorial board.

Submission: SYNAPSE will now use ScholarOne Manuscripts (formerly known as Manuscript Central) for receiving, reviewing, and accepting manuscripts for publication. This exciting feature for SYNAPSE enables authors to submit their manuscripts online to expedite the peer review process. Authors also have the ability to check the status of their manuscripts during the peer review process. ScholarOne Manuscripts will allow us to move manuscripts through the peer review process more expeditiously and will decrease time to publication. In order to submit a manuscript, use the SYNAPSE journal homepage ( There you will find a link for “Online Submission”. Using that link, the corresponding author will be instructed to create a user account. Once that account is created, manuscripts are to be submitted through “Author Center”. Follow all instructions and complete all required fields. Submit your manuscript and all Figures and Tables as separate files. After the manuscript has been successfully submitted, authors will see a confirmation screen with the manuscript number and receive an acknowledgement of successful submission by email.  If that does not happen, please contact the editorial office at

Three types of manuscripts will be considered:

  1. Original Research Articles. An abstract, Introduction, Materials and Methods, Results, and Discussion sections are required. The literature review should be succinct. There are no restrictions on the number of pages or figures.
  2. Review Articles in which a specific field is reviewed through an exhaustive literature survey. An abstract is required. A Materials and Methods section and a Results section are not required. There are no restrictions on the number of pages or figures. Review articles are usually invited, but submitted review articles will be considered.
  3. Short Communications representing data on research projects which have progressed to a point where the preliminary observations should be disseminated. Examples falling into this category would be pilot studies, unanticipated findings that will need replication, initial trials on new clinically significant drugs, etc. The manuscript should consist of six or less manuscript pages, including double-spaced text, references, figures and legends. No subdivisions such as Introduction, Materials and Methods, Results, and Discussion are required. An abstract is not necessary but may be included if desired (it will count as part of the six-page limitation). It is anticipated that short communications will be published as soon as possible within journal production schedules.


General instructions

The manuscript text should have a uniform style and be submitted exactly as the author wishes it to appear in print. It should consist of subdivisions in the following sequence: title page; abstract; text; acknowledgments; funding information; author roles; references; footnotes; figure legends. Start each subdivision on a new page. Authors should also supply all tables and figures as separate individual files (see sections below).

Suggested Reviewers: Authors must select at least one member of the Editorial Board, with the requisite expertise to evaluate their article, as a potential reviewer at the time of manuscript submission. Please consult Synapse's Editorial Board directory for a listing of our board members. Each board member's areas of focus will appear when you mouse over the member's name.

  • Title of paper
  • Full name of author(s)
  • Institutional affiliation and complete mailing address
  • A running title not to exceed 45 letters and spaces
  • Individual, address, telephone number, and fax number to whom correspondence concerning manuscript should be sent.

Key Words. Two to ten key words, which are not in the title, should be included. Try to use key words such as those found in the headings of Index Medicus.

Abstract. Submit an abstract of 250 words or less that will serve in lieu of a concluding summary. The abstract must be written in complete sentences and succinctly state the objectives, experimental design of the paper, and principal observations and conclusions; and be intelligible without reference to the rest of the paper.

Text. The text should be presented in the following order: INTRODUCTION; MATERIALS AND METHODS; RESULTS; DISCUSSION.

Graphical Abstract. This feature will appear in the online Table of Contents of each issue of the journal. The graphical abstract provides readers with a visual representation of the conclusions and an efficient way to appreciate the key finding and main message of the work. Please upload a short statement of 50 words or less (1-2 sentences), together with an illustration (TIFF or EPS) describing the context and significance of the findings.  We encourage authors to use simple language to make the abstract accessible to the broader Synapse readership and to attract the attention of non-specialists.

A fictitious example is provided below.

"Using live 2-photon microscopy combined with an ultrastructural approach, the authors show that docking vesicles in excitatory thalamocortical synapses represent only a very small subset of the vesicles. This population of vesicles, specifically distributed at presynaptic sites, is crucial for efficient neuromodulatory processes."

The text file should be of DOC format and be designated as the Graphical Abstract Text file-type in ScholarOne Manuscripts. The intent of this text is to summarize the key results and major conceptual advance of the article, providing readers with an efficient understanding of the main take-home message of the paper, without including extensive experimental details. The image should be a single image not containing multiple panels. It is meant to represent one key aspect of the results. The selected image must pertain to data that is included in the paper only. This is not a vehicle to publish supplementary information not directly reported in the paper. To prepare the image, select an image or graphic that is easy to read and as much as possible devoid of cluttering items, conveying clear, non-speculative, visual information about the biological context of the findings. Labels, while useful, must be kept to a minimum. The image should be provided in one of the following height and width configurations: 400 x 300 pixel, 300 x 400 pixel, or 400 x 400 pixel, and at a maximal resolution of 72 dpi. Please use Arial or Helvetica font with a size of 10–12 points; preferred file types are EPS and TIFF. When uploading, please designate the image as Graphical Abstract Image in ScholarOne Manuscripts.

References. In the text, references to the literature should be made by author's name followed by year of publication arranged by alphabetical order first, then by year of publication:
...studies by Briggs (1993) reveal...
...studies by Briggs and Porter (1994) reveal... earlier report (Briggs, 1994)...
...earlier reports (Briggs, 1993; Briggs and Porter, 1993, 1994)...
When references are made to more than one paper by the same author, published in the same year, they are to be designated in the text as (Nisenbaum et al., 1992a,b) and in the reference list as shown below. References are to be arranged alphabetically in the following style: Author's name(s), year of publication, complete article title, abbreviated journal title, volume, and inclusive pages as follows:

Kazuhiro K, Shibasaki M, Ohkuma S. 2010. Methamphetamine-induced up-regulation of a 2/d subunit of voltage-gated calcium channels is regulated by DA receptors. Synapse 64:822-828.

Bowyer JF, Ali S. 2006. High doses of methamphetamine that cause disruption of the blood-brainer barrier in limbic regions produce extensive neuronal degeneration in mouse hippocampus. Synapse 60:521-532.

Nisenbaum ES, Berger TW, Grace AA. 1992a. Presynaptic modulation by GABAB receptors of glutamatergic excitation and GABAergic inhibition of neostriatal neurons. J Neurophysiol 67:477-481.

Nisenbaum ES, Grace AA, Berger TW. 1992b. Functionally distinct subpopulations of striatal neurons are differentially regulated by GABAergic and dopaminergic inputs. II. In vitro analysis. Neuroscience 48:579-593.

Roland PE. 1993. Brain Activation. New York:Wiley-Liss. pp. 365-393.

Steck PA, Nicolson, GL. 1993. Metastases to the central nervous system. In: Levine AJ, Schmidek HH, editors. Molecular Genetics of Nervous System Tumors. New YorK:Wiley-Liss. p. 371-379.

Weissman A, Caldecott-Hazard S. 1991. In utero methamphetamine differentially regulates adult brain monoamine uptake sites. Proc of Society for Neurosci 17:158.

Footnotes. Number footnotes to the text with consecutive arabic numerals. The corresponding reference numbers must be clearly indicated in the text. Additional references to the identical footnote must be numbered with the next consecutive number, for example:

1 Material used for this experiment was
2 Provided by ...
3 See footnote 2, page...

Type table footnotes to a table directly beneath the table and number them 1, 2, 3, etc. They must not be numbered in sequence with text footnotes.

Tables. All tables must be cited in the text and have titles.  Table titles should be complete, but brief.  Number them consecutively with Roman numerals.  Each table should be contained in a separate Word (.doc) file, and the files should be named by table number (i.e., Table 1, Table 2...).  Tables that require extensive formatting may be submitted as image files, using .tif format, but should be named by table number.  Information other than that defining the data should be presented as footnotes.

Figures.Figures should be numbered in one consecutive series using Arabic numerals.  The figures should be uploaded in files separate from the text and tables.  Each file should contain a single figure and be named figure number (i.e., Figure 1, Figure 2, etc.), and should be in TIFF(.tif) or EPS (.eps) format at a resolution of 300 dpi. For your figures, please do NOT use JPEG (.jpg), GIF (.gif), PNG (.png), PowerPoint (.ppt), Word (.doc) files, or proprietary file types that are not interchangeable among programs (e.g., Illustrator, Canvas, or Photoshop). 

Graphs should be produced at a resolution of 600–1200 dpi and use a legible font (such as Arial or Helvetica for the labels. Remove all background shading, horizontal and vertical lines or frames around the plots.

Each figure should be submitted as its own file and designated as the "Figure" file type. They should be high-contrast with the figure number entered in the "file tag" field and both the figure number and legend entered together in the caption field provided in Manuscript Central. We also ask that you include your figure legends in the main text in a separate Figure Legends section.  All color figures will be reproduced in full color in the online edition of the journal at no cost to the authors.  Authors are encouraged to submit color illustrations that highlight the text and convey essential scientific information.  For best reproduction, bright, clear colors should be used.  Dark colors against a dark background do not reproduce well; please place your color images against a white background whenever possible.

EarlyView . Articles are available online before the print version. Individual articles are published online via Wiley's EarlyView service at, once a corrected proof is received by Wiley from the author. EarlyView significantly reduces publication time, as the article is considered published once it appears online. Each article includes a digital object identifier (DOI) and a collaborative reference linking service through which readers can click on a reference citation and immediately access article content. Once articles are published electronically, it is not possible for authors to make further changes before the print version appears. The print version will indicate the online publication date. Authors may read more about DOIs at . Reference linking information is available at

Copyright/Licensing Agreements. If your paper is accepted, the author identified as the formal corresponding author for the paper will receive an email prompting them to login into Author Services; where via the Wiley Author Licensing Service (WALS) they will be able to complete the license agreement on behalf of all authors on the paper.
For authors signing the copyright transfer agreement:
If the OnlineOpen option is not selected the corresponding author will be presented with the copyright transfer agreement (CTA) to sign. The terms and conditions of the CTA can be previewed in the samples associated with the Copyright FAQs below:
CTA Terms and Conditions
For authors choosing OnlineOpen:
If the OnlineOpen option is selected the corresponding author will have a choice of the following Creative Commons License Open Access Agreements (OAA):
Creative Commons Attribution License OAA
Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License OAA
Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial -NoDerivs License OAA
To preview the terms and conditions of these open access agreements please visit the Copyright FAQs hosted on Wiley Author Services and visit
If you select the OnlineOpen option and your research is funded by The Wellcome Trust and members of the Research Councils UK (RCUK) you will be given the opportunity to publish your article under a CC-BY license supporting you in complying with Wellcome Trust and Research Councils UK requirements. For more information on this policy and the Journal’s compliant self-archiving policy please visit:

Request Permissions
John Wiley and Sons has partnered with Copyright Clearance Center's RightsLink service to offer a variety of options for reusing John Wiley and Sons content. To request permissions for reuse of article content, please use the Request Permissions option in the Article Tools box on each article abstract page.

Peer Review Scorecard Pilot

Synapse is participating in Wiley's pilot of transferable peer review in which reviewers complete a standard scorecard in addition to their usual review. Authors of original research articles rejected with completed scorecards will be invited to transfer the manuscript, reviews, and scorecard to any of the other journals participating in the pilot. Authors will have the opportunity to revise their manuscript according to the review comments prior to the transfer if they wish to do so. A list of the participating journals and more information about the pilot can be found here. We believe that this system of preserving the original peer review for the next journal's use will decrease repetitious review, save authors, reviewers and editors valuable time and significantly increase the speed to publication for many papers.

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