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Continuous publication - frequently asked questions

The Company of Biologists moved to a continuous publication model in January 2018. This means that, as soon as an article is ready to be published, it is immediately released online rather than waiting for other articles in the issue to be completed, resulting in faster access to the final version of the article. 

What is continuous publication?

Issues build gradually, with articles being added to the contents list as soon as they are ready. The ‘issue in progress’ is the issue that is open and that we are adding new articles to as soon as they are ready to be published. The most recent articles appear at the top of the relevant section. After a month (around the 1st of each month), we close the issue and this issue then becomes the ‘latest complete issue’. New articles are then placed in the next open issue.

Why did we introduce continuous publication?

We are committed to making research available to the community as quickly as possible, which is beneficial for both readers and authors.

What is the difference between continuous publication and the posting of accepted manuscripts?

Accepted manuscripts are peer-reviewed author manuscripts that have not yet been copyedited or professionally formatted. In our continuous publication model, an accepted manuscript will still be posted in PDF form on our Accepted manuscripts page. We then publish the copyedited and formatted article online as soon as it is ready; this is the version of record.

If I spot an error in my published article, can I still correct it?

As the final version of record, the article can no longer be adjusted for minor corrections or typos; for significant errors or inaccuracies, see our corrections and retractions policy.

Which journals use the continuous publication model?

All five journals published by The Company of Biologists have switched to continuous publication: Development, Journal of Cell Science, Journal of Experimental Biology, Disease Models & Mechanisms and Biology Open.

Do the journals have traditional page numbering?

No, consecutive page numbering within an issue is not compatible with the continuous publication model. However, to aid reading of the PDF, each individual article is still numbered, starting from page 1. For citation purposes, each article has a unique identifier that uses the last six digits of the DOI and is clearly visible at the top of every page of the article – see below.

How should articles be cited?

Accepted manuscripts should be cited using the digital object identifier (DOI) as follows:

Author, A., Author, B. C. and Author D. E. (Year). Title of paper here. Journal name [Epub ahead of print] doi:xx.xxxx/xxx.xxxxxx

As articles no longer have consecutive page numbering within an issue, page numbers are not used in citations and are instead replaced by the unique identifier and DOI. Therefore, after the article has appeared in an issue, either in progress or in the latest complete issue, use the citation format:

Author, A., Author B. C. and Author D. E. (Year). Title of paper here. Journal name. Volume, article ID. doi: xx.xxxx/xxx.xxxxxx

For example:

Smith, T. and Evans, R. S. (2018). Transgenic mouse model of cutaneous adnexal tumors. Dis. Model. Mech. 310, dmm123456. doi: 10.1242/dmm.123456

Does continuous publication affect the number of issues published?

Development, Journal of Cell Science and Journal of Experimental Biology still publish 24 issues per annum. Journal of Experimental Biology sometimes also publishes supplementary issues. Disease Models & Mechanisms and Biology Open still publish 12 fully Open Access issues per annum.

What does continuous publication mean for the email alerts I receive?

Under continuous publication, we offer you more flexibility in the alerts you receive. You can choose to receive updates when new articles are published or an alert when each issue closes. Please go here to update your preferences at any time. If you would like to be kept up-to-date about any other journal or company news, such as calls for papers, upcoming special issues, journal meetings, or grant opportunities, please also sign up for news alerts. Due to data protection regulations, we are only allowed to email you about these important announcements if you give us consent to do so. We will never sell your details to third parties and we will only email you with news that we genuinely believe is relevant for you, about the journal of your interest, or the company’s charitable grants. You can also follow The Company of Biologists and all the different journals on Twitter.


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