Information for Authors
Biology Direct operates a model of author-driven and fully transparent peer review. This guide for authors contains information on our peer-review process.
If you intend to submit a manuscript to the journal please also familiarize yourself with our submission guidelines and policy information.
At a glance
- Scope: Biology Direct considers articles that lie within 8 key journal sections, please ensure that your article is broadly within this scope. You will be required to indicate the most relevant section when submitting online.
- Technical check: Before your manuscript is sent for review our in-house staff will carry out basic technical checks to ensure Biology Direct’s editorial policies are adhered to. Please therefore refer to our submission guidelines in advance of submitting to the journal.
- Selecting reviewers: After consulting the subject area/s most relevant to your submission please identify eight members of our Editorial Board who you expect to be qualified to review your work (who should not be recent co-authors or close colleagues). Your reviewer suggestions will be required when submitting online. Note that Editorial Board members and Section Editors can nominate an alternative reviewer in their place.
Stage 1: Reviewer endorsement
- To be eligible for publication in Biology Direct usually three Editorial Board members must assume responsibility for each published article*; either by providing a review directly, or soliciting a review from a suitable colleague of their choice.
- The peer-review process will be coordinated by BioMed Central staff and you will be notified once the required number of reviews have been received and provided with the reviewers' reports, along with instructions regarding how to proceed.
* Only two Editorial Board members are required to review Discovery note articles. Reviewers should be selected from the Editorial Board section specifically assembled for Discovery notes.
Stage 2: Author’s decision
If you receive the appropriate number of reviews for your manuscript you will be required to indicate whether you intend to either:
- Revise your manuscript in light of the reviewer comments (strongly encouraged)
- Proceed to publication without responding to the reviewer comments
- Withdraw your manuscript
Authors may choose to publish manuscripts even when the review(s) are negative, however please note that the reviewers' comments will still be published alongside the article.
1. Revising your manuscript and responding to reviewer comments
- As part of the novel scheme of peer review operated by Biology Direct, authors are invited to provide ‘public’ responses to the reviewers' comments, as well as revising their manuscript in light of the reviews.
- Please include your responses alongside the reviewer comments within the revised manuscript (please see instructions for including the reviewers' comments below).
- Upon re-submission, the revised manuscript and author responses will be sent back to the reviewers for any final remarks and/or modifications to the reviews prior to publication.
2. Proceeding to publication without responding to the reviewer comments
- To proceed in this way authors should re-submit the manuscript, now including the reviewer reports, by logging into the and submitting a revised manuscript (please see instructions for including the reviewers' comments below).
- You should indicate in your covering letter that you wish to proceed to publication at this point.
3. Withdrawing your submission
- Please inform the our Editorial Team if you wish to withdraw from the peer-review process.
- In the event that you decide to pursue publication elsewhere, you must withdraw the manuscript from Biology Direct first, so as to avoid having it under consideration at two journals simultaneously.
Open and transparent peer review is at the core of Biology Direct’s ethos and as such all published articles include a ‘Reviewers comments’ section presenting both reviewer comments and author responses.
Our authors are responsible for making the peer review history as comprehensible as possible when submitting the final version of their article in advance of publication.
When formatting your article please therefore:
Insert a "Reviewers" section as a new paragraph at the end of the abstract:
- Reviewers: This article was reviewed by XX, YY and ZZ. (NB please state if a reviewer was nominated by an Editorial Board member thus: XX (nominated by AA)).
Insert an "Open peer review" section on a new page after the abstract, just before the Introduction/Background (this will aid navigation in the published version of your article):
- Open peer review: Reviewed by XX, YY and ZZ. (NB please state if a reviewer was nominated by an Editorial Board member thus: XX (nominated by AA)). For the full reviews, please go to the Reviewers' comments section.
Insert the reviewers' comments, together with each reviewer's name, under the heading "Reviewers' comments" at the end of your manuscript (before the references section) in the following style:
- Reviewers' comments
Reviewer's report 1
Name, Affiliation (nominated by Name, Affiliation if applicable)
[Note: If the reviewer has not returned their comments, please state "This reviewer provided no comments for publication."]
If you want to add your replies to any reviewer comment, please insert them preceded by Author's response:.