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Submitting a manuscript to Journal of Cell Science

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Terms of submission

Journal of Cell Science considers for publication original research that has not been previously published. Submission to Journal of Cell Science 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 Journal of Cell Science's journal policies, including the declaration of any competing interests to the journal on submission of a manuscript.

Journal of Cell Science 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. Journal of Cell Science applies a single licence agreement to all its articles. Visit our licence page for further details and to see an example licence. Authors who cannot pay for Gold OA, but must comply with a funder/institute mandate, may deposit their author accepted manuscript in an Open Access repository, under a CCBY license, for immediate release.

Upon article acceptance, Research Articles, Short Reports, and Tools & Techniques papers are posted on the journal website 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 who would prefer their accepted author manuscript NOT to be posted as an Accepted manuscript should contact the Editorial Office.

Journal of Cell Science also coordinates with bioRxiv, the preprint server for biology, to provide easy deposits from our manuscript submission system directly to bioRxiv. Authors can choose to post submitted manuscripts on bioRxiv, where the unrefereed manuscript will become free for anyone to read immediately. Please note that this is an optional service but that, once deposited in bioRxiv, articles cannot be removed. Further details can be found here.

Journal of Cell Science supports the Think.Check.Submit. initiative. For more details, click on the image below:

Think Check Submit logo

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Online submission

New manuscripts

Journal of Cell Science is committed to making submission as easy as possible for authors. As part of this commitment, Journal of Cell Science allows 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 still encourage authors to make their manuscripts as easy to read as possible and to use appropriate line spacing, line and page numbers, and ensure 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. When providing a non-institutional email address (e.g. gmail), an ORCID identifier is also required. Papers submitted using non-institutional email addresses and without ORCID iDs will require additional verification steps, which may cause delays. All corresponding authors are also required to submit an ORCID iD and it is best practice to use an ORCID iD to identify each author.

At submission, you will also have the opportunity to list any reviewers that, because of conflicts of interest, you would prefer not to review your article. Note that reviewer exclusion, however, is at the discretion of the Editor.

As a service to our authors, and to facilitate rapid dissemination of research results, Journal of Cell Science 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 Journal of Cell Science, 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 Journal of Cell Science 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 Journal of Cell Science. 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 Journal of Cell Science 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 Journal of Cell Science, please visit our article types page.

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Publication fees

There are no publication fees (page or colour charges) to publish in Journal of Cell Science unless you select our author-pays Open access option.

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Reducing the pain to publish: transfer to Biology Open

Transfer to Biology Open

Papers rejected from Journal of Cell Science can be transferred, strictly with the authors’ approval, to Biology Open (BiO), an online-only Open Access journal also published by The Company of Biologists, for editorial consideration. The Editors of BiO make their editorial decisions independently of Journal of Cell Science, have different criteria for acceptance and have a rapid decision time. Click here to find out more about the transfer option and see who has published in BiO.

Manuscript Transfer Network

Journal of Cell Science (JCS), Journal of Cell Biology (JCB) and Molecular Biology of the Cell (MBoC) operate a manuscript transfer option that empowers authors to seamlessly transfer their manuscripts and associated peer-review reports between the journals. Please refer to our manuscript transfer network page to find out more.

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Focus on biodiversity: The Forest of Biologists

The Forest of Biologists logo

For every research paper (including Short Reports and Tools and Resources articles) and for every peer-reviewed review-type article (e.g. Reviews, Essays, Hypotheses, Opinions and Cell Science at a Glance poster articles) published in Journal of Cell Science, 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 Journal of Cell Science 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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