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Submitting a manuscript to BiO

Biology Open is moving to a new submission system; for more information, see our FAQ page. To submit a manuscript, please use our online submission system.

Terms of submission

BiO considers for publication original research that has not been previously published. Submission to BiO implies that this is the case and that the submitted manuscript is not under consideration for publication elsewhere.

During the submission process, authors are asked to declare that the manuscript has been seen and approved by all authors. Submission also indicates that authors agree to abide by BiO’s publishing policies, including the declaration of any competing interests to the journal on submission of a manuscript.

BiO uses the CRediT Taxonomy to define author contributions to primary research papers and requires that the independent contributions of each author be provided during online submission. It is the responsibility of the corresponding author to ensure that contributions are agreed on by ALL co-authors prior to manuscript submission. Please refer to journal policies for further information on our authorship policies.

At acceptance, the corresponding author is asked to sign a licence agreement before publication can proceed. BiO applies a single licence agreement to all its articles. Visit our licence page for further details and to see an example licence.

BiO offers advance online posting of articles on its Accepted manuscripts web site, which is updated weekly, and issues are published monthly online. It is also possible to post the accepted author manuscript within one week of acceptance. Please contact the Editorial Office if you wish to take up this option.

We support the Think.Check.Submit. initiative.

Think Check Submit logo

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Online submission

New manuscripts

BiO is committed to making submission as easy as possible for authors. As part of this commitment, BiO offers format-free submission.

At first submission, authors are not required to format their manuscript according to journal guidelines. However, for the benefit of reviewers and editors, we do encourage authors to make their manuscripts as easy to read as possible by using appropriate line spacing, line and page numbers, and ensuring that figures are clearly numbered and/or accompanied by their legend.

For new submissions, we recommend that you submit your paper as a single PDF file that contains all the necessary text, figures and tables.

Our submission system converts submitted files (PDFs or individual files) into a PDF file for the review process. The corresponding author must check and approve the PDF to complete the submission process; if there are problems with figure resolution, please contact the Editorial Office.

During the submission process, you will be asked to provide an email address for each author and suggested reviewer. We strongly encourage the use of institutional email addresses. All corresponding authors are also required to submit an ORCiD identifier (although it is best practice to use an ORCiD iD to identify each author). Papers submitted using non-institutional email addresses (e.g. gmail) and without ORCiD iDs may require additional verification steps, which could cause delays.

At submission, you will be asked to suggest at least five possible reviewers for your article. You will also have the opportunity to list any reviewers that, because of conflicts of interest, you would prefer not to review your article; please note that reviewer exclusion is at the discretion of the Editor.

As a service to our authors, and to facilitate rapid dissemination of research results, BiO offers two-way integration of our manuscript submission system with the bioRxiv preprint server (operated by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory) – avoiding the need to re-enter information or upload files in multiple submission systems. During submission to BiO, authors can opt to deposit their article in bioRxiv through a simple one-click process. In addition, authors depositing a manuscript in bioRxiv can transfer their paper directly to BiO through their transfer portal. Once deposited in bioRxiv, either directly or through our deposition portal, the unrefereed manuscript will become free for anyone to read almost immediately and cannot be removed, regardless of the editorial decision made at BiO. It will be citable with a bioRxiv DOI, its usage can be tracked, and it can be updated. Please ensure that all co-authors agree to preprint deposition before uploading or transferring to bioRxiv. Consideration of your manuscript for review and/or publication by BiO is not influenced by whether you choose to post it on bioRxiv.

Revised and accepted manuscripts

For revised submissions and accepted manuscripts, please provide all the necessary text and figures as individual files.

For more information on suitable file formats, please see our manuscript preparation and figure preparation guidelines. Authors working in LaTeX can download and use our template.

All revised manuscripts should adhere to our manuscript preparation guidelines and authors should complete and submit our submission checklist with their manuscripts. This form asks authors to confirm that they have followed best practice guidelines regarding experimental subjects, data reporting and statistics. The checklist is based on the NIH Principles and Guidelines for Reporting Preclinical Research and is intended to help ensure high standards for reporting and to aid reproducibility.

To help you meet your funder requirements, you will be asked to provide details of all funding sources from ALL authors. Please provide the full official funding agency name as listed on the Crossref Open Funder Registry, and all relevant grant numbers. See our manuscript preparation guidelines for more details.

Please note that revised manuscripts will be treated as a new submission if they are not submitted within 3 months of the date of the initial decision.

For more information on the types of articles that can be submitted to BiO, please visit our Article types page.

Transferred manuscripts

Papers rejected from Development, Journal of Cell Science, Journal of Experimental Biology and Disease Models & Mechanisms can be transferred to BiO, strictly with the authors' approval, for editorial consideration. Please contact the Editorial Office of the original journal to find out more.

Review Commons

BiO is an affiliate journal for Review Commons - a platform for high-quality, journal-independent peer review of manuscripts from the life sciences before submission to a journal. See here for a list of articles transferred from Review Commons and published in BiO.

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Fast track

Have a paper that has been reviewed elsewhere? BiO is pleased to consider such manuscripts for fast-tracked decision making. Send us your manuscript together with the full set of reviews and decision letters, and we will make an initial decision - to accept, send for further review, ask for further revision, etc. - in one week (or less). Please provide a covering letter that clearly states that you wish your manuscript to be considered for fast tracking, and include all reviews and decision letters as supplementary information. Please note that we may contact the journal from which the reviews originated to confirm details.

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Article Publication Charge

To provide Open Access, the costs of publication in BiO are covered by charging a fee to the authors or the research supporters for each accepted article. This Article Publication Charge (APC) is $1995 (plus VAT if applicable). This includes costs relating to quality peer review; support for academic editors; plagiarism and image manipulation checks; text and figure checking; layout; and online hosting, dissemination and archiving. APC fees are set in three currencies, US dollars, pound sterling and Euros, and do not follow the constantly changing exchange rate. This means that authors are not adversely affected by fluctuations in their local exchange rate.

BiO is included in many of the Read & Publish agreements offered by The Company of Biologists. This enables discounted or fee-free publication of an uncapped number of Research articles in BiO for corresponding authors at participating institutions (including, among others, the Max Planck Digital Library and University of California).

BiO has a small budget for the complete or partial waiving of publication charges for authors in developing countries and others in genuine financial hardship. Corresponding authors based in the countries listed will automatically be granted a full waiver upon application. Funds for waivers are limited, however, as the journal would not be sustainable without income from author charges to cover its costs. Payment requests will be sent to the corresponding author following acceptance of their paper.

The decision to publish a paper in BiO is wholly independent of payment or ability to pay, and is based solely on the validity and supportability of the work detailed in each manuscript. Editors and reviewers do not have access to information regarding authors' financial contributions. BiO is published by the not-for-profit publisher The Company of Biologists, a charitable organisation run by scientists to support the research community.

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Focus on biodiversity: The Forest of Biologists

The Forest of Biologists logo

For every research paper (including Methods & Techniques articles) and for every peer-reviewed review-type article (e.g. Reviews, Special Articles, Future Leader Reviews and A Year at the Forefront Reviews) published in BiO, a new tree will be planted in the Young People's Forest at Mead in Derbyshire, UK, with support from the Woodland Trust. These newly planted trees will become part of The Forest of Biologists, an ambitious new biodiversity initiative that celebrates the community's contributions to BiO and its sister journals. A representation of the real tree will appear in our virtual forest, where authors can learn more about their own trees, explore the forest and keep track of our progress. Read the Editorial to find out more about The Forest of Biologists.

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