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Due to pages ( characters ) constraints of a journal, I am forced to 70% of results and deeper description of methods, quality assurance and characterisation techniques submit as the additional information paper to the original. It will not be printed, but it is accessible for free on the website. My advisor is telling me not to put so many, it is bad and I am risking to be denied by editors. Why? Also I asked on some other forums, other people also tell me that if you refer a lot to SI your paper will likely be denied. Is this right? Advice that I got is to wait until editors or reviewers demand to see them additionally after submission.

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    There might be difference in field, but in chemistry, material science i have seen 100 pages SI... so there is no limitation. Try to avoid putting conclusions there, but methods, characterization etc is very common – Greg Feb 9 '17 at 11:22
  • @Greg thank you, what was impact factor of this journal? – SSimon Feb 9 '17 at 12:11
  • That is irrelevant. It applies in my field up to Nature - only difference that there are generally less deep studies in general journals like Nature due to the broad audience. – Greg Feb 9 '17 at 13:28
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There's a difference between putting a lot in the SI and referring a lot to the SI.

If you have a lot of results (for example you created a lot of new compounds) your SI has to be big to fit all the characterization data. I'd say it's also good to put more detailed version of the experimental part in the SI. The version in the paper should make clear what and how you did something, the SI could contain a version that's actually usable as a protocol. Length shouldn't be an issue here.

Referring a lot to the SI is not that great. If you have to refer to the SI a lot, this shows that the paper is not streamlined, you're not focused on the main findings, and you're making people read two manuscripts at once if they want to go into any detail. The paper should stand on its own without the SI. Tthe SI should be something extra, not required reading.

In your case, it could be that you're needlessly referring to the SI in the text regarding characterization and quality control. Those references do not need to be there, you can put the summary of the SI at the end, stating that the SI contains all characterization and quality control data (and protocols).

As a good example you can look at one of the latest papers from the group of Phil Baran, active in natural product synthesis and new synthesis methods. http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/jacs.6b13229 has a SI of more than 900 pages (not online until it's out of the "just released category), and there's not a single in-text reference to the SI. A slightly older example has a 127-page SI that is online at the moment: http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/jacs.6b00250

  • thank you for your reply and reference I will take a look on them studiously in the morning, if I minimise SI, is it common for reviewers to ask additional info? – SSimon Feb 9 '17 at 13:06
  • This is a great answer. Along the same lines, some journals are now requesting that authors write the paper with all supplemental material as part of the manuscript and figures and then have the sections that are proposed in the supplement marked off in an obvious way. This makes it easier to review but also helps streamline the writing and make sure the SI does not become an info dump. The paper will be more focused and sections of the manuscript are moved to SI during copyediting. – syntonicC Feb 11 '17 at 3:05
  • @syntonicC can you share if it is not too indiscreet which one? – SSimon Feb 11 '17 at 6:22
  • @SSimon The most recent place I remember seeing this is Nature Neuroscience. See the author guidelines for supplemental info here – syntonicC Feb 11 '17 at 12:20
  • @syntonicC I think they are not good reference for this problem, they are popular science mostly and focus on that, of course that all scientific protocol they will put in additional materials – SSimon Feb 11 '17 at 14:16

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