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Journal of Experimental Biology partnership with Dryad

Reviewer guide

Click here to access Reviewer Area and/or submit your review

 


 

General information

Unbiased independent critical assessment is of vital importance in scholarly publishing, and JEB adheres to The Company of Biologists' editorial principles and to the guidelines on publishing objective and unbiased scientific information set by COPE (the Committee on Publication Ethics). For more information on the principles that are of relevance to reviewers, please visit our journal policies webpage. Information on our editorial process can be found here. Further details on different article types can be found here and in the sections below.

JEB encourages the involvement of postdocs and other early career scientists in the peer review process. We simply ask that: the name of the co-reviewer is reported to the Editor; the same rules of confidentiality and conflict of interest be applied; there is a genuine mentoring process; and the senior invited reviewer takes responsibility for the report delivered to the journal.

 


 

Research Articles

JEB receives many more manuscripts than it can publish. In recent years, the number of published manuscripts constitutes only about 35% of those submitted. We therefore urge reviewers to recommend acceptance of articles only if they satisfy the criteria below and represent work that will be of high interest to all experimental biologists.

(1) The single most important criterion for publication in JEB is significant advancement of scientific knowledge. In general, this means that a manuscript should pose and test a significant hypothesis or answer an important question that is relevant to basic issues of experimental biology.
(2) The manuscript should be of general importance to the field of comparative physiology.
(3) The journal does not have room for descriptive papers that do not make clear their broader mechanistic and scientific relevance. Only under compelling circumstances will an Editor decide that an exception to this guideline is warranted.
(4) JEB has strict guidelines concerning manuscript length. All Research Articles should be under 7000 words in length (excluding title page, summary, references and figure captions), with up to 10 display items (figures and tables). If you feel that the manuscript can be reduced in length, please highlight this in your report. Any revisions you suggest should not increase the word count above the maximum limit.
(5) JEB requests that authors limit the amount of supplementary information that they submit with a paper. When assessing supplementary information, please check if all of the data submitted are appropriate and essential for supporting the findings of a paper. Please also note that we only accept data files, such as movies, figures, tables and datasets, as supplementary information and that we limit the number of figures to 4. We do not accept supplementary text files that contain: Materials and methods, Results or Discussions. Such information should be included in the manuscript itself.

Manuscripts receiving conflicting rankings are read by a third reviewer, after which an editorial decision is reached.

Papers rejected from The Journal of Experimental Biology may be transferred, with the authors' approval, to The Company of Biologists’ new journal Biology Open for editorial review. In this case, the authors may choose to make the reviewers' reports available to the Biology Open Editors. By passing on reports, our aim is to reduce the burden on authors and reviewers by avoiding the multiple rounds of review often encountered on a paper's route to publication. Reviewers may choose whether to remain anonymous to the Biology Open Editors (reviewers are always anonymous to authors). Named reviewers will not be approached for further review by Biology Open.

 


 

Methods & Techniques

Methods & Techniques are short, peer-reviewed articles reporting innovative methodological advances or significant modifications to recognized methods of data collection and analysis. Manuscripts should demonstrate the use of the method in collecting/analyzing physiological data, but it is not necessary to report an extensive physiological dataset or test a hypothesis to show the application of the method.

Please consider the following when reviewing a Methods & Techniques article:

(1) Is the method truly novel or does it represent a significant improvement of an existing method?
(2) Is the method described in sufficient detail to allow it to be replicated by others?
(3) Does the manuscript demonstrate the use of the method in an appropriate physiological system?
(4) Does the manuscript illustrate the advantages and disadvantages of the method?
(5) Is the manuscript too long? JEB has strict guidelines concerning manuscript length. All Methods & Techniques should be under 2500 words in length (excluding title page, summary, references and figure captions), with up to 3 display items (figures and tables). If you feel that the manuscript can be reduced in length, please highlight this in your report. Any revisions you suggest should not increase the word count above the maximum limit.

Papers rejected from The Journal of Experimental Biology may be transferred, with the authors' approval, to The Company of Biologists’ new journal Biology Open for editorial review. In this case, the authors may choose to make the reviewers' reports available to the Biology Open Editors. By passing on reports, our aim is to reduce the burden on authors and reviewers by avoiding the multiple rounds of review often encountered on a paper's route to publication. Reviewers may choose whether to remain anonymous to the Biology Open Editors (reviewers are always anonymous to authors). Named reviewers will not be approached for further review by Biology Open.

 


 

Short Communications

Short Communications are short, peer-reviewed articles focusing on a high-quality, hypothesis-driven, self-contained piece of original research and/or the proposal of a new theory or concept based on existing research. They should not be preliminary reports or contain purely incremental data and should be of significance and broad interest to the field of comparative physiology.

Please consider the following when reviewing a Short Communication article:

(1) Is the article of broad interest to the readership of JEB?
(2) Does it make a significant and/or novel contribution to the field?
(3) For articles focusing on original research, is the research of high quality and does it represent a complete, self-contained 'publishable unit', or are additional experiments required?
(4) For articles proposing a new theory, are opinion and fact clearly distinguishable?
(5) Is the manuscript too long? JEB has strict guidelines concerning manuscript length. All Short Communications should be under 2500 words in length (excluding title page, summary, references and figure captions), with up to 3 display items (figures and tables). If you feel that the manuscript can be reduced in length, please highlight this in your report. Any revisions you suggest should not increase the word count above the maximum limit.

Papers rejected from The Journal of Experimental Biology may be transferred, with the authors' approval, to The Company of Biologists’ new journal Biology Open for editorial review. In this case, the authors may choose to make the reviewers' reports available to the Biology Open Editors. By passing on reports, our aim is to reduce the burden on authors and reviewers by avoiding the multiple rounds of review often encountered on a paper's route to publication. Reviewers may choose whether to remain anonymous to the Biology Open Editors (reviewers are always anonymous to authors). Named reviewers will not be approached for further review by Biology Open.

 


 

Reviews

Reviews in JEB are predominantly commissioned articles that aim to provide a timely, insightful and accessible overview of a particular field or aspect of experimental biology research. Longer Reviews of up to 7000 words (with up to 8 display items) provide a broad overview of a subject, by bringing together data from different fields and organisms, whereas shorter ones of up to 4500 words (with up to 5 display items) can be more focused on a particular topic. Note that word counts exclude the title page, summary, references, figure legends and boxes.

Although authors are free to express their opinions in a Review, they are asked to provide counterbalancing viewpoints where appropriate and to ensure that opinion and fact are clearly distinguishable.

There are a number of points that we would like you to keep in mind while considering Reviews:

  1. Do the title and Abstract clearly reflect the content of the article?
  2. Is the writing style accessible to a non-specialist reader?
  3. Are the author's arguments logically and coherently made, with counterbalancing viewpoints acknowledged and discussed?
  4. Does the author provide new insight into the topic?
  5. Is the science (including that presented in figures, tables and boxes) accurately reported?
  6. Is the article adequately and appropriately referenced?
  7. Is the article too long? If you feel that the manuscript can be reduced in length, please highlight this in your report. Any revisions you suggest should not increase the word count above the maximum limit.

Please resist the urge to comment extensively on grammatical issues. The Reviews Editor will perform a detailed edit of the article after peer review. Also please note that it is hard for us to reject manuscripts owing to a reviewer's lack of general enthusiasm for an article. If you have specific concerns or objections, please make these clear in your report.

 


 

Commentaries

Commentaries are commissioned, peer-reviewed overviews of a subject or novel idea that convey the author's perspective on the topic. Authors are encouraged to introduce new or potentially controversial ideas or hypotheses, but opinion and fact must be clearly distinguishable.  Commissioned authors are requested that Commentaries are a maximum of 4500 words in length (excluding the title page, summary, references, figure legends and boxes), with up to 5 display items (figures, tables or boxes).

We urge reviewers to consider the following when reviewing a Commentary:

  1. Is there sufficient background to the subject to allow a non-specialist reader to follow the arguments presented?
  2. Does the author clearly distinguish opinion from fact?
  3. Is the science (including that presented in figures, tables and boxes) accurately reported?
  4. Has the author neglected to cite any important relevant work?
  5. Is the Commentary too long? If you feel that the manuscript can be reduced in length, please highlight this in your report. Any revisions that you suggest should not increase the word count above the limit.

Please resist the urge to comment extensively on grammatical issues. The Reviews Editor will perform a detailed edit of the article after peer review.

 

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