Author instructions

MELBA seeks to review and publish original work on new machine-learning approaches, new applications of machine-learning approaches to medical data, and invited review articles. MELBA encourages submissions of original research articles that have not been published before in a peer reviewed venue (conference or journal) or are substantially expanded versions thereof.

MELBA is an overlay journal which hosts final accepted versions on arXiv. So, prior submissions of articles on arXiv are encouraged. All manuscripts will be submitted through Scholastica. Submissions must be in LaTeX using the provided template.

Submission checklist

Before submitting a manuscript to MELBA make sure you have the following prepared:


Preprints can be shared at any time. Once peer-reviewed, we encourage to include the full journal citation as per the final manuscript.

Inclusivity and diversity

Authors should use inclusive language throughout their manuscript that acknowledges diversity, and try to avoid any bias against a person and/or groups of people.

Changes to authorship

To avoid later reviewing conflicts, changes of authorship can only be allowed in exceptional circumstances, and require a full justification to the handling editor. It is at their discretion to allow such changes.

Conference Paper Extensions

If the paper being submitted extends a conference paper, you must specify this in the cover letter. MELBA requires that any manuscript that is submitted based on a conference paper to include significant extensions of the work presented in the conference paper. This can include more details about the methods, additional experiments, a more extensive literature review, etc.. Typically, this substantially increases the paper length. In your cover letter, and in the paper itself, please specify what are the extensions in the submitted version of the work beyond the conference paper.

If the reviews and rebuttals from the conference paper are available online (e.g. via, in your cover letter, you are welcome to add in any additional information regarding how you have addressed reviewer comments (or why you did not).

Funding sources and acknowledgements of contributions

The authors must acknowledge any funding sources used for the conduct of the research or manuscript, and the funders’ direct involvement in this research where applicable. They also should include acknowledgments of contributions by others who are not co-authors of the manuscript, and data acknowledgements.

Ethical standards

The work presented must follow appropriate ethical standards in conducting research and writing the manuscript, following all applicable laws and regulations regarding treatment of animals or human subjects.

Copyright and licensing

The authors retain the copyright of their work at all times. They must however adhere to the copyright permissions if they wish to re-use figures from work previously published elsewhere.
Authors should make sure they hold the copyright for all the material in your manuscript or have permission to use material (e.g., figures). All submitted manuscripts need to adhere to the arXiv licensing agreement:

Formatting and Length

Please use the MELBA provided LaTeX template for formatting. This includes following the template for the manuscript itself as well as for the bibliography. Regular research manuscripts are expected to be approximately 20 pages long, though MELBA does not enforce a strict page limit. Please also follow the suggested manuscript structure of the MELBA manuscript template. Deviations from this structure are permissible, but should be based on a compelling reason.

Cover Letter

Articles must be accompanied by a cover letter (in PDF or plain text format) addressing all of the following:

  1. Declaration of originality. Authors must declare that the work described has not been published previously or has substantial overlap with previously published work (except in the form of an abstract of up to 4 pages in length; or as a publically archived paper such as arXiv) nor that it is under review for publication. For conference paper extensions, please follow the additional instructions stated above. The submitted article can already be on arXiv upon submission (in fact this is encouraged), but is not allowed to be under review anywhere else
  2. Author confirmation: All authors must have approved the submission for publication and consent to its review by MELBA.
  3. Declaration of possible conflicts of interest: Authors must disclose any financial, organisational, commercial or personal conflicts of interest that might bias their work. Authors must also name all editors that have recently collaborated with authors of the submission.

Submission procedure

All submissions will be handled via Scholastica. To submit an article to the journal, click on the “Submit a manuscript” button above and you will be taken through the very short submission process. The article can be uploaded or, if it has appeared on the arXiv, you will need to provide a link to the arXiv paper. Supporting documents (see above) should be submitted in a “supporting file”.

Review procedure

  1. When a paper is submitted to MELBA, it is scanned by the Editor-in-Chief (EIC). If the EIC finds that the paper is very clearly below the standards of the journal, or not in its scope, then the paper can be rejected without written review.
  2. The EIC assigns the paper to an Associate Editor (AE) who has expertise in the area of the paper. If the AE finds that the paper is very likely to be rejected on full review, the AE will write a single short review explaining that position, and the paper will be rejected.
  3. The AE assigns the paper to three reviewers. The reviewers write detailed technical reviews of the paper. The identity of reviewers will be hidden from authors.
  4. If two reviews come in, and the decision is clear to the AE, the paper may be accepted or rejected. Alternately, the AE may decide to wait for the third review or even commission additional reviews, until the decision is clear.
  5. Possible decisions are Accept, Major Revisions, and Reject. Accepted papers may still require minor revisions, but those are usually checked only by the AE. Major revisions require a full rebuttal addressing all the concerns expressed by the AE and reviewers. These changes should also be highlighted in color in the revised manuscript. Permission for resubmission with a major revision should not be interpreted as any sort of guarantee of acceptance upon resubmission. Paper rejection implies resubmission is not possible in its current form.

Post-processing after Acceptance

An accepted MELBA manuscript will be listed on the MELBA website, but the actual PDF of the manuscript will be hosted on arXiv. Final papers must include a footnote referring back to MELBA, must be formatted with the MELBA LaTeX template, and must indicate (automatic via the MELBA LaTeX template) that this is the final accepted version. This reference information will be provided to the authors upon acceptance. Once the manuscript is uploaded to arXiv, the authors will provide the final arXiv manuscript to MELBA and will then become the final accepted paper that will be linked to from the MELBA webpage. The authors may update the arXiv submissions, but must use the updated template option, which modifies the footnote to clarify the distinction.