Editorial Process

What does J. Exp. Molec. Biol. publish?

J. Exp. Molec. Biol. publishes original research papers (articles and short communications) reviews as well as other contributions (letters to editors and book reviews) in all areas of Biology. Editors are particularly interested in contributions that present new and improved methods, resources, and theories critical for understanding life.

Who makes decisions on what to publish?

The Editor-in-Chief (EiC) oversees all editorial processing and sets the direction of the journal. All publication decisions are made by the EiC based on the recommendations from the Subject Editor (SE). The SE is responsible for allocating each paper to a member of the Editorial Board. Once assigned to a manuscript, the Editor will solicit external peer reviews and make an initial recommendation of the publication priority for each manuscript. The Editor can also call upon an Advisory Editor (AE) to give input on a specialized subject or add weight to a tentative decision.

What happens when a new manuscript is submitted?

Once a manuscript is successfully submitted online, it is subjected to an initial review by the EiC and SE. The purpose is to identify manuscripts that will likely receive high priority based on our initial assessment of the novelty, impact, and broad significance needed to publish in J. Exp. Molec. Biol.
The manuscripts that do not pass the Initial Review by the EiC and SEs are reported to authors in less than one week. This decision may not reflect negatively on the scientific and technical soundness of the work presented in the manuscript. Rather, the intention is to enable authors to send manuscripts elsewhere without delay.

What does the peer review involve?

Each manuscript selected for peer review is sent to at least two external reviewers with the ability to fairly assess the technical merits of the paper. In exceptional cases, when only one external reviewer is available, one of the Editors or AEs can act as a reviewer. These peer reviewers provide a ranking (Low to Very High) for the manuscript for one or more of the following criteria:
- Scientific accuracy/credibility;
- Adequacy of documentation;
- Importance/significance.

How to interpret Decision Letters?

Once the peer review and editorial process are completed, the author will receive one of the following notifications. (a) The manuscript is accepted for publication, (b) the manuscript is deemed suitable for publication pending a required revision, (c) the manuscript requires a substantial revision before it can be considered further, or (d) the manuscript is not recommended for further consideration, i.e., rejected. Authors receiving letters requesting a revision (items b and c) must revise their manuscript to satisfy all editors' and reviewers’ concerns. Editors may choose to send the manuscript back to the original reviewers, and sometimes to additional reviewers, in order to make a final decision. For rejected manuscripts, editors may occasionally suggest that the authors resubmit their manuscript after improving it. In this case, the revised manuscript must be submitted as a new manuscript online; they must indicate the previous manuscript number and provide a response to editorial and reviewer comments, along with a statement that they have been advised to resubmit the manuscript in the decision letter.

How to appeal an editorial decision?

Authors appealing a rejected decision must submit a rebuttal detailing a point-by-point response to reviewer and editor comments (no revised manuscripts please). The rebuttal should clearly explain how authors can update the manuscript to handle the concerns raised and can be sent to the Editor-in-Chief by email. Using the authors’ rebuttal and the original submissions reviews and rankings, the Team of Editors will make a decision on allowing a resubmission. This decision will generally take 1-4 weeks. If the authors are permitted to resubmit the manuscript it must be submitted as a NEW manuscript. It will be subjected to initial review, which is followed by the reviewers in-depth review for a subset of all manuscripts submitted. An author cannot appeal an editorial decision when the manuscript is rejected without an in-depth review.

Ethical Standards

Manuscripts are considered for publication in J. Exp. Molec. Biol. on the understanding that authors have complied with all ethical and privacy guidelines and/or legislation covering the work being reported. Manuscripts comprising a part or parts that have previously been published or are under consideration for publication elsewhere should not be submitted to J. Exp. Molec. Biol.