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Editorial process

On submission, authors should select the Academic Editor they feel is most appropriate to handle their manuscript. If that Editor is unable to handle the manuscript, it will generally be sent to an author's second or third choice Editor - depending on availability. If a manuscript does not meet the general criteria for publication, it will be returned to the authors without being peer reviewed, typically within ~5 working days. Before making such a decision, a Development Editor might discuss a paper with an editorial colleague or with a member of the journal's Editorial Advisory Board to seek a second opinion. Otherwise, manuscripts are sent to reviewers, who are requested to complete their review within 10 working days. If an Editor, Edtorial Advisory Board member or reviewer has been excluded from seeing the manuscript by the authors, these exclusions are honoured. In cases where reviewers disagree, an editor may choose to share all the reports with one or more of the original referees, or with an additional reviewer or Editorial Advisory Board member, to elicit feedback to help the editor reach a decision. However, please note that editorial decisions are not made according to a majority rule as an editor will carefully evaluate the recommendations of all the reviewers before reaching a final decision. The average decision time for papers subjected to peer review is ~35 days from the submission date. Authors can check the status of their manuscripts in the Author Area of the Journal’s online submission system or by contacting the Editorial Office.

If revisions are a condition of publication, we allow three months for a revised manuscript to be resubmitted (unless an author has specific reasons for requesting an extension). Articles that are resubmitted after this time are considered as new submissions. We do not accept resubmissions of manuscripts that have been previously rejected for publication by the journal, unless the Editor has specifically indicated that a resubmission would be considered in their decision letter.

Authors may appeal decisions if there are strong grounds to believe there have been errors or misunderstandings on the part of the editor or referees. All appeals are carefully considered by the editors.

Upon article acceptance, all manuscripts undergo ethics checking, including screening for plagiarism (using the iThenticate software provided by Crossref) and image manipulation.

Post Acceptance

Most Research Articles and Techniques & Resource papers are posted on the journal web site as accepted author manuscripts (Accepted manuscripts) before journal copyediting and layout and in advance of publication of the print and online issues in which they will subsequently appear. Authors should select whether or not they want their accepted author manuscript to be posted as an Accepted manuscript by ticking the relevant check box during the submission process.

All accepted articles are copyedited by trained scientific copy editors. Proofs are sent to the corresponding author in PDF format and authors are given 48 hours in which to check their proofs, answer queries outlined on their proof and return their proof corrections. Articles are then processed for rapid publication on the journal's website in both full text and enhanced PDF fromat. Any major changes made to a paper after its acceptance can be subject to review and may delay publication.

Development operates a continuous publication model. As soon as an article is ready to be published, it will be immediately released online in the 'issue in progress' rather than waiting for other articles in the issue to be completed, resulting in faster access to the final version of the article. Issues build gradually, with articles being added at the top of the contents list as soon as they are ready. After about two weeks (around the 1st and 15th of each month), the issue is closed and becomes the 'latest complete issue'.

Promoting Your Paper

Development plays an active role in increasing the visibility of your paper. In-house Editors may feature an accepted article as a Research Highlight, or prepare a press release for papers of significant general interest, with the corresponding author’s permission. For more information on how to help your paper reach a wider audience, see our guidelines on promoting your paper.

Rejected article transfer to Biology Open

Papers rejected from Development can be transferred to Biology Open (BiO), an online Open Access journal also published by The Company of Biologists, for editorial consideration. Transfer to BiO is quick (one click) and easy, and your paper will be handled by research-active academic Editors. BiO is quicker than key competitors and authors are able to make changes at proof stage. Find out more about the transfer to BiO option.


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