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Editorial process

All submitted manuscripts undergo a series of checks, to ensure they adhere to submission criteria, before being assigned to an Editor for consideration. On submission, authors should select three Editors they feel are most appropriate to handle their manuscript. The Editorial Office will take such considerations into account when assigning the manuscript. If a manuscript does not meet the general criteria for publication (see aims and scope), it will be returned to the authors without being peer reviewed, typically within ~5 working days. Before making such a decision, a Journal of Cell Science Editor might discuss a paper with an editorial colleague or with a member of the journal's Editorial Advisory Board to seek a second opinion. Otherwise, manuscripts are sent to reviewers, who are requested to complete their review within 10 working days. Peer review is single blind. In cases where reviewers disagree, an Editor may choose to share all the reports with one or more of the original referees, or with an additional reviewer or Editorial Advisory Board member, to elicit feedback to help the editor reach a decision. However, please note that editorial decisions are not made according to a majority rule as an editor will carefully evaluate the recommendations of all the reviewers before reaching a final decision. The average decision time for papers subjected to peer review is ~30 days from the submission date. Authors can check the status of their manuscripts in the Author Area of the Journal’s online submission system or by contacting the Editorial Office.

If revisions are a condition of publication, we allow three months for a revised manuscript to be resubmitted (unless an author has specific reasons for requesting an extension). Articles that are resubmitted after this time are considered as new submissions. We do not accept resubmissions of manuscripts that have been previously rejected for publication by the journal, unless the Editor has specifically indicated that a resubmission would be considered in their decision letter.

Authors may appeal decisions through our online submission system, or by contacting the Editorial Office, if there are strong grounds to believe there have been errors or misunderstandings on the part of the Editor or reviewers. All appeals are carefully considered by the Editor and, if necessary, Editor-in-Chief. Where appropriate, additional advice may be sought from other members of the Editorial team or Editorial Advisory Board.

Post acceptance

Upon article acceptance, all manuscripts undergo ethics checking, including screening for plagiarism (using the iThenticate software provided by CrossRef) and image manipulation. Most articles are then posted on the journal's Editorial Office as soon as possible following acceptance.

All accepted articles are copyedited by trained scientific copyeditors. Proofs are sent to the corresponding author in PDF format and authors are given 48 hours in which to check their proofs, answer queries outlined on their proof and return their proof corrections. Accepted papers are usually published online within eight weeks and appear in print within three months. Any major changes made to a paper after its acceptance can be subject to review and may delay publication.

Journal of Cell Science operates a continuous publication model. As soon as an article is ready to be published, it is immediately released online in the ‘issue in progress’ rather than waiting for other articles in the issue to be completed, resulting in faster access to the final version of the article. Issues build gradually, with articles being added at the top of the contents list as soon as they are ready. After about two weeks (around the 1st and 15th of each month), the issue is closed and becomes the ‘latest complete issue’.

Promoting your paper

Journal of Cell Science plays an active role in increasing the visibility of your paper. In addition to highlighting upcoming papers on the journal’s Facebook and Twitter sites, in-house Editors may feature an accepted article as a 'Research Highlight' and/or prepare a press release for papers of significant general interest, with the corresponding author’s permission. For more information on how to help your paper reach a wider audience, see our guidelines on promoting your paper.

Rejected article transfer to Biology Open

Papers rejected from Journal of Cell Science can be transferred to Biology Open (BiO), an online Open Access journal also published by The Company of Biologists, for editorial consideration. Transfer to BiO is quick (one click) and easy, and your paper will be handled by research-active academic Editors. BiO is quicker than key competitors and authors are able to make changes at proof stage. Find out more about the transfer to BiO option.

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