According to an analysis published in BMC Medicine, scientists worldwide spent approximately $230 million in 2021 on reformatting papers for biomedical journals,. The authors propose that journals should allow free-format submissions to save researchers’ time and money. Inconsistencies between journals’ guidelines, such as graphical abstracts and section arrangements, force researchers to redo their manuscripts. Although some journals don’t reject non-compliant submissions, there is implicit pressure to follow guidelines. This burden disproportionately affects early-career researchers. If journal practices remain unchanged, reformatting could cost researchers around $2.5 billion in time between 2022 and 2030. The authors recommend a “golden-middle” solution, allowing structural requirements but no specific formatting demands.