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Why does an electronic journal have page limits?

When it comes to a research article, how many pages is enough? How many is too many? These are matters mBio has wrangled with over the last year, and after much deliberation we’ve come up with a policy for page limits: http://mbio.asm.org/site/misc/authors.xhtml.

But why should mBio set page limits at all? After all, if articles are being published online only and not in a printed journal issue, the case certainly could be made that an article should be “as long as it needs to be” to present and explain the author’s findings.

Click the link above to read more about why mBIo and other online electronic journals set page limits. When you're done, use the "comments" function on our blog, mBiosphere, to weigh in on the matter and let us know your thoughts. What do you think of our page limits policies? Would page limits prevent you from publishing with mBio? Or do you think folks are more likely to read an article if it’s short but sweet?

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