The migration of individual cells has been closely studied for many years, but more recently it has become clear that cells can also migrate as a group in many physiological contexts, such as during development and wound repair. Importantly, it has been shown that collective cell migration can also occur when tumour cells invade surrounding tissues during metastasis – thus, the study of collective cell migration is likely to yield important therapeutic insights. This issue's Minifocus highlights three important aspects of collective cell migration. In a Cell Science at a Glance poster article (p. 3203), Olga Ilina and Peter Friedl dissect the different mechanisms that underpin this phenomenon, exploring how migrating cells interact with one other, with resident tissue cells and with the extracellular matrix. In an accompanying poster article, Tanya Shaw and Paul Martin (p. 3209) provide a comprehensive overview of wound repair at the cellular level, including the role of collective cell migration in this process. On page 3215, Cornelis Weijer explores the diverse forms of collective cell movement that occur during development and morphogenesis in several model organisms. Together, these articles showcase recent key findings on the nature of collective cell migration, and highlight the diversity in the biological settings in which it is important.