DEADLINE: september 15, 2018

Fine Focus is now accepting article submissions on research in the fields of microbiology or microbiology education. You will have to register with the journal if you have not submitted anything before. Registration is free.

Please read the Submission Guidelines below before submitting and article for review.


Instructions to Authors

All parts of manuscripts must be typed fully double-spaced, at least 10-pt. type including references, tables, table captions, footnotes, and figure legends. Manuscripts must be in Word format. Page margins on all sides must be at least 1 in. (2.5 cm) wide. Lines on each page must be numbered to facilitate review of papers; but final revised manuscripts must NOT have line numbers. Number all pages, including tables and figures. The manuscript must be between approximately 2,000 and 7,000 words.

Fine Focus will consider publishing original research articlesmini-reviews on topics of contemporary interest, and research notes over abbreviated work that adds to the greater body of knowledge in a specific subdiscipline of microbiology. Fine Focus is published twice each year – in January and July. Manuscripts are accepted and reviewed on a rolling basis. However, to be considered for each volume, the submission deadlines are October 31 (for January publication) and March 20 (for July publication).

If interested in publishing in Fine Focus, at least one co-author must be (at the time of manuscript submission) an undergraduate student actively engaged in research over which the paper is written. The cover letter accompanying the manuscript must state this, and must also indicate that the manuscript is not being considered for publication elsewhere. Authors must list, in their acknowledgements section, sources of outside funding, assistance with reagents, supplies, or procedures (including data analysis), and must state that the research is in compliance with federal regulations and institutional policies relating to human subjects, informed consent, animal care and use, recombinant DNA, and/or infectious agents, as appropriate.

Authors should be aware that decisions made by the Editorial Board and Editor of Fine Focus are final. No appeals will be considered for rejected manuscripts.

Documentation Organization

Title Page

The title page should include: title of the article; list of full names, institutional addresses, and email addresses of each author; indication of corresponding author should be noted; and a list of 3-5 key words should be placed at the bottom of the title page. Please note: The title should not include abbreviations.


Each abstract shall consist of a single paragraph composed of no more than 250 words. It will briefly outline the entire article, excluding methodology and should not contain reference citations.  Include a succinct description of the microbe involved and describe how this microbe was studied.


The introduction should begin by giving the reader all the information needed to understand the article and why it is important and novel. This description should be as brief as possible, while still giving all pertinent information

Materials & Methods

The materials and methods should include a very detailed account of all procedures done and an explanation of why they were chosen. When finished, the reader should be able to replicate the experiments simply from the information given. No results or analyses should be included in this section. All sources and locations for vendors and suppliers should be listed.


There should be no interpretations or discussion of results in this section, but only the data itself. Many of the figures and tables should be in this section. Tables and figures must be numbered in the order in which they are mentioned in the text. All tables and figures must be cited in the text. Tables and figures reporting results should not be cited in the Materials and Methods section.  Only use photographs (including electron micrographs and photomicrographs) when necessary to show experimental findings.  All micrographs should include a scale bar.  Ensure that photographs and graphs used in this section are easy to interpret (avoid red and green for those with colorblindness) and use black typeface for all captions.   Graphs should ideally use grey scale for comparisons.  Statistical analysis of your data is essential and should be clearly explained and shown in all Tables and Figures. When comparing mean values among treatments, use of standard error (SE) is correct. The size of the SE is a function of the “n” so SE values are better than standard deviation (SD), because the SD does not depend on the “n”. Regardless, if an SD is used then a typical SD should be about 10 to 20% of the mean. For example, if the authors are showing data and the mean is 10, then the SD should be 1 to 2. Please refer to the posted slideshow on our website (under the "Submission" tab) for additional information on making your Figures correct and clear for digital and print publishing.


The discussion should consider the significance of the results in regards to the problem that is at hand and should also consider the significance in comparison to other research. This section will offer a synthesis of the author(s)’ conclusions based on their experimental data.


These should be standard APA style with numerical in-text citations. They should be listed alphabetically.

All citations should be listed in the works cited alphabetically by the last name of the lead author with each citation numbered. In text citations should reference the citation numbers, enclosed in parentheses, of all pertinent sources. Examples are as follows:

Book Reference 

Author, A. A. Year of publication. Title of work: Capital letter also for subtitle. Location: Publisher.


Breed, R. S., Murray, E. G., & Smith, N. R. 1957. Bergey’s Manual of Determinative Bacteriology. Baltimore: The Williams and Wilkins Company.

Journal Article Reference

Author, A. A., Author, B. B., & Author, C. C. Year. Title of article. Title of Periodical volume: pages.


Smith, A. R., Ellison, A. L., Robinson, A. L. Drake, M., McDowell, S. A., Mitchell, J. K., Gerard, P. D., Heckler, R. A., & McKillip, J. L. 2013. Enumeration of sublethally Injured Escherichia coli O157:H7 ATTC 43895 and Escherichia coli strain B-41560 using selective agar overlays versus commercial methods. Journal of Food Protection 4:674-679.

Figures & Tables

If submitting tables, the format must be XLS or DOC. Each table, comprising the title, body, and footnotes, must be typed double-spaced on a page separate from the text, following the Figure Legend or References. Number tables consecutively as cited in the text. The title is brief but fully descriptive of the information in the table. Headings and subheadings must be concise; abbreviations are used. Use no vertical rules and only three full horizontal rules: under the title, under the box heads, and at the bottom of the table. Use italic superscript letters for footnotes. Similar data in columns reads down, not across. A well-organized table should be understandable without extensive reference to the text.

Common Abbreviations to be Used

Frequently used acceptable abbreviations are given below. For further details on abbreviations, see the current edition of the ASM Style Manual. Note that a period is used with some but not all abbreviations. Abbreviations of non-SI units (e.g., atm) must be followed by the corresponding converted quantity and SI unit in parentheses: 1 atm = 101.29 kPa. (Exception: lb/in2.)