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A Year at the Forefront of…


The ‘A Year at the Forefront of...’ series of Review articles aims to highlight the key discoveries, technological innovations, new resources and new hypotheses that have made an impact in a specific biological field during the past year. The series aims to bring coherence to rapidly progressing fields, with an emphasis on emerging science and cutting-edge research. Importance is therefore placed on the contributions of preprints to scientific advancement. This is supported by a rapid publication policy for this series of articles. There is no charge for publishing Review articles in BiO.

Read our previously published A Year at the Forefront Reviews.


The Reviews are intended to be written by early-career researchers who have less than 10 years active research experience post-PhD (excluding career breaks), independent of career stage. The early-career researcher must be the first and corresponding author, although co-authors at any career stage are also permitted.
Any early-career researcher can apply to write a Review by completing the proposal form and emailing it to All proposals will be considered by a BiO Editor, who will decide whether to invite a full Review submission. Once an invitation to submit has been received, articles must be submitted within 3 months following the end of the period under review. For example, an article reviewing publications and preprints from September 2023-August 2024 inclusive must be submitted by the end of November 2024.

Format and content

The article should review developments in a field of choice from the year under consideration (a 12-month period ending within three months of the submission date), with a focus on highlighting the contribution of preprints. Articles should therefore include a high proportion of citations to preprints or recently published papers and should focus on those that will have the highest future impact. Articles focused solely on reviewing a single paper/preprint will not be considered. The main body of the text (excluding the abstract, references and figure/table legends) should be no more than 2000 words. Up to three figures and/or tables may be included. There must not be significant overlap with an existing 'A Year at the Forefront of' review on the same topic.

The Review should be clearly separated into the following subsections:

1. The title should be 'A Year at the Forefront of...<chosen topic>'where the full title should be no more than 75 characters, including spaces. For example, “A Year at the Forefront of Single-Cell Transcriptomics”.

2. The abstract should be no longer than 150 words, and should include no references and minimal specialist jargon. The abstract should include the date range under consideration, for example “this article covers July 2023 to June 2024”.

3. The introduction should be accessible to non-specialists and should assess the current state of the field. An in-depth discussion of historical experiments within the field should also be avoided.

4. An  'A Year at the Forefront of...<chosen topic>' section should comprise most of the text. Authors are recommended to include all the following subsections. Alternative subsection titles that are more appropriate for your article are acceptable, but should be listed in the proposal form.

(i) Discoveries - new findings published or accessible as a preprint from the year under review.

(ii) Technological innovations - technical or bioinformatic innovations from the year under review that have enabled the field to progress.

(iii) New resources - any resources (databases, large datasets, etc.) that were developed during the year under review.

(iv) New hypotheses - any re-assessment of existing hypotheses with contributions from any new developments from the year under review.

5. The Future prospects section should consider the future of the field in light of the findings from the year under review. Authors may wish to highlight papers or methodological innovations that are likely to have impact in the future and are encouraged to express an opinion on the future of the field.


Reviews are invited from any field in the biological and biomedical sciences, including interdisciplinary papers in these fields. Review articles in pure physics, chemistry, engineering, earth sciences, clinical studies, surgical procedures, public health, and homeopathy, complementary or alternative medicine will not be considered.

We have a broad, international readership, so review articles must be accessible. Therefore, please avoid unnecessary jargon and explain any concepts that may be unfamiliar to a general reader.

Why publish in BiO

BiO is an online Open Access journal that publishes peer-reviewed original research in all areas of the biological and biomedical sciences.

  • Not-for-profit publisher; publishing with us supports the biological sciences community.
  • Open Access publication with no Article Publication Charge payable.
  • Articles published under CC-BY license.
  • Articles indexed by PubMed, PMC, Scopus and Web of Science (Clarivate Analytics).
  • Promotion of review on BiO homepage and social media.
  • Altmetrics and usage statistics for all articles.
  • Wide international readership.
  • Member of DOAJ, OASPA and COPE.

Find out more about BiO, its aims and scope, and its Editor team.

Further information on A Year at the Forefront reviews 

  • All proposals will be assessed by a BiO Editor.
  • We aim to notify you within two weeks of receipt of your proposal.
  • Editors will make a decision based on the excellence of the proposal.
  • BiO will aim to feature a breadth of different subject areas from within its broad scope.
  • Successful applicants will be required to provide the Review article within three months.
  • The final decision to publish rests with the BiO Editor-in-Chief.
  • There is no charge for publishing Review-type articles in BiO.
  • All articles will be published under a CC-BY license.
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