News from Journal of Cell Science
The Forest of Biologists — a bio-positive publishing initiative from The Company of Biologists
The Company of Biologists is excited to announce a new biodiversity initiative — The Forest of Biologists — creating, restoring and preserving important woodland habitats in the UK.
For each Research Article and Review article published in the five Company journals (Development, Journal of Cell Science, Journal of Experimental Biology, Disease Models & Mechanisms, Biology Open), a tree is planted in a UK forest. For each peer review completed, a piece of ancient woodland is being preserved. All of these trees are represented together in a virtual forest.
13 March 2023
Journal of Cell Science uses Proofig to aid image manipulation checks
The Company of Biologists has chosen Proofig to help with image manipulation checks across its portfolio of journals in the biological and biomedical sciences field.
All articles accepted by Journal of Cell Science and its sister journals undergo rigorous ethics checks, including screening for plagiarism and image manipulation. We use a combination of tools and technology alongside a team of people for best practices in our ethics checks procedures. Proofig will aid our team to analyse a wide variety of images, including western blot bands, all types of microscopies (confocal, light or electron), plates, plants, in vitro and in vivo images.
Find out more about image manipulation on our journal policy page.
1 March 2022
Journal of Cell Science has exceeded its Open Access target for 2021
In August 2020 Journal of Cell Science, along with its sister journals Development and Journal of Experimental Biology, committed to becoming a Transformative Journal.
Transformative Journals proactively champion Open Access publishing and have Open Access growth targets. Over the 2021-2024 transition period, the journals aim to grow the proportion of Open Access research content by at least 5% year-on-year in absolute terms. For 2021, these targets were not only met, but they were exceeded, with Journal of Cell Science’s Open Access research content growing by around 12%.
Read & Publish agreements played an important part in reaching these targets – these are agreements made with our library partners to offer authors an additional APC-free Open Access publishing route.
Read more about our status as a Transformative Journal, which allows us to support a range of publishing options for our authors, and check our list of participating institutions to see if you are eligible for APC-free publication of OA Research Articles through our Read & Publish initiative.
4 January 2022
The Company of Biologists joins the UKRN as an affiliate stakeholder
The Company of Biologists, the publisher of Journal of Cell Science and its four sister journals, has joined the UK Reproducibility Network (UKRN) as an affiliate stakeholder.
The UK Reproducibility Network (UKRN) is a national peer-led consortium that aims to ensure the UK retains its place as a centre for world-leading research. They do this by investigating the factors that contribute to robust research, promoting training activities, and disseminating best practice. They also work collaboratively with various external stakeholders to ensure coordination of efforts across the sector.
The Company of Biologists is proud to join a long list of prestigious organisations who together make up the group of UKRN external stakeholders.
1 November 2021
Journal of Cell Science joins the Preprint Reviewer Recruitment Network
Preprint feedback has the potential to not only help authors and readers, but also to identify potential reviewers and editorial board members for journals. Unfortunately, finding preprint reviews authored by a particular individual and linking them to other useful information (such as disciplinary keywords) remains challenging. The Preprint Reviewer Recruitment Network, organised by ASAPbio, addresses these issues by enabling willing researchers to share preprint feedback as work samples for review by participating journals.
Along with its sister journals Development and Biology Open, Journal of Cell Science has joined this exciting initiative, which will initially run as a 6-month long pilot. To find out more, including information on how to sign up as a researcher, visit the Preprint Reviewer Recruitment Network.
6 September 2021
FocalPlane turns 1
FocalPlane is celebrating its first birthday on 1 July. Over the past year the microscopy community site has gone from strength to strength and received great feedback from the community, with 50 contributors and more than 500 registered users. FocalPlane has continued to develop its offering over the past 12 months, introducing two blog series, Journal Clubs and the FocalPlane features… webinar series. Read the review of FocalPlane's first year and watch the how-to video to learn how to access content and contribute to the site.
To celebrate its birthday, FocalPlane is running a new image competition to feature on the cover of Journal of Cell Science. As a special thank you to all those who have registered on the site, FocalPlane is also offering two goody bags. If you haven't already, register by Thursday 8 July for your chance to win.
1 July 2021
The Company of Biologists recognises that there are many reasons why an author might want to change their name, including but not limited to marriage, divorce, change in gender identity or change in religion. Having your name changed on academic papers retrospectively means that you are still correctly linked to those papers and your contribution to science is traceable. To support this process, The Company of Biologists, the publisher of Journal of Cell Science, facilitates retrospective name changes on all its journals. Authors can choose to have name changes made with or without a public notification in the journal and it will not require a formal correction of the article in question.
To learn more, visit our journal policy page.
1 June 2021
We are delighted to announce that researchers in 30 developing and transition economy countries can benefit from immediate and fee-free Open Access publishing in Journal of Cell Science, and our sister journals Development and Journal of Experimental Biology, following a Read & Publish agreement with Electronic Information for Libraries (EIFL). Researchers will also benefit from free and unlimited access to the journals and their archives dating back to 1853.
Find out more about our agreement with EIFL.
13 May 2021
The Company of Biologists has migrated its leading journals to the hosting platform of Silverchair, improving user experience and maximising the discoverability of their content for the biological community.
The Silverchair Platform now hosts The Company of Biologists' five influential journals: Development, Journal of Cell Science, Journal of Experimental Biology, Disease Models & Mechanisms, and Biology Open. The journal websites, available via journals.biologists.com have been given an updated, modern design, with additional functionalities, such as split-screen view for easy data reference. Moving platforms has also given the Company’s journals access to a range of partner integrations via the Silverchair Universe.
Read the full press release.
16 April 2021
Immediate fee-free publication of Open Access research articles is now available to corresponding authors at over 150 institutions in 14 countries
How do Read & Publish agreements benefit researchers and authors?
- Unlimited access to our three subscription journals – Development, Journal of Cell Science and Journal of Experimental Biology – including the full archive dating back to 1853
- Free and uncapped publishing of Gold Open Access research articles for all corresponding authors under CC-BY licence terms, with authors retaining copyright and automatic deposit of articles in PubMed Central
- Straightforward article submission process - see our Read & Publish guide for authors
What do authors say?
Dr Jacques Behmoaras, Department of Immunology and Inflammation, Imperial College London, UK:
I was very pleased to publish Open Access in Journal of Cell Science with no fees nor time-consuming admin processes. The clear advantages are rapid and efficient exposure and easy access to my article around the world. I believe it is great to have this publishing option in fast-growing fields in biomedical research.
Which institutions are participating in our Read & Publish initiative?
You can see the list of participating institutions here. If your institution is not on the list, you may wish to contact your library to find out if they plan to participate soon.
11 February 2021
We are delighted to announce that the following institutions – the first in their respective countries – are now participating in our Read & Publish Open Access initiative:
- Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), Australia
- German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE), Germany
- Montana State University, USA
- University of Northern British Columbia, Canada
- Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Netherlands
We are also pleased to welcome a new institution to our Read & Publish agreement with Jisc, bringing the total number of Jisc members participating to 24:
- University of Bristol, UK
Corresponding authors at these institutions can publish an uncapped number of Open Access research articles free of charge in Development, Journal of Cell Science and Journal of Experimental Biology. Unlimited access to the journals and their archives is also available.
11 December 2020
The COVID-19 outbreak, declared as a pandemic by the WHO in March 2020, has had an unprecedented impact on researchers worldwide. With many labs, institutes and universities now reopening, the Editors of The Company of Biologists’ journals have reviewed the actions announced in March aimed at alleviating concerns that members of our community may have had at that time.
We are sure that everyone will recognise the need for ongoing flexibility as the impact of the evolving pandemic continues to be felt at both home and work.
- Any reviewer or author unable to meet deadlines set by the journal should contact the Editorial Office for advice on deadline extension.
- Many authors are likely to still be experiencing disruption to the normal running of their lab that makes experimental revisions challenging. The journal needs to ensure that submissions are held to the same standards as usual and that all conclusions drawn in a paper are supported by the data presented. However, we remind reviewers to limit requests for experimental revisions to those they deem essential for publication in the journal.
- Where authors are concerned about their ability to respond to reviewers’ reports, we encourage them to contact the Editorial Office to discuss their revision further.
- Our scoop protection policy means you don’t need to worry about being scooped once you’ve submitted your manuscript – even if your revisions take longer than expected.
We hope these policies will continue to support our communities. Please contact the Editorial Office if you have any questions or concerns.
30 September 2020
We are making changes to ensure that all authors are able to publish with Journal of Cell Science, whatever their funder or financial status.
We’re making sure that we provide publishing options that help our authors meet any Open Access mandates coming from their funders or institutions – along with options for those authors who don’t want to publish Open Access.
Along with our sister journals Development and Journal of Experimental Biology, we’ve therefore chosen to become a ‘Transformative Journal’.
For further information read the full announcement.
4 August 2020
In recognition of the unprecedented and ongoing challenges facing the library and research communities worldwide, there will be no increase in The Company of Biologists’ e-journal prices in 2021.
As a not-for-profit publisher committed to maximising the availability of high-quality biological science research, we are keen to support our authors, readers and library customers as far as possible during these difficult times.
We are therefore freezing fees for e-access to our subscription journals – Development, Journal of Cell Science and Journal of Experimental Biology – until 31 December 2021. This applies to both new and existing customers. Article processing charges (APCs) for these three journals will also remain at 2020 levels throughout 2021.
In addition, we are waiving 2021 price increases for the two-year Read & Publish Open Access agreements we have signed with national library consortia – Jisc in the UK, IReL in Ireland, and MALMAD in Israel – and with individual institutions.
For further details, see the full announcement.
6 July 2020
The Company of Biologists and Journal of Cell Science launch FocalPlane, a new microscopy community site
FocalPlane is the third community site launched by The Company of Biologists, following in the successful footsteps of the Node and preLights.
For anyone with an interest in microscopy, FocalPlane will host news, interviews, opinions, images, tools, job listings and events to help promote interactions and foster connections. The site is free to access and users can register for a free account to post their own contribution.
A Scientific Advisory Board has been appointed to support the site alongside its own dedicated Community Manager.
“We encourage you to make the site part of your online routine, and look forward to many interactions with you all,” says Sharon Ahmad, Executive Editor, Journal of Cell Science.
1 July 2020
Researchers at nine institutions in Ireland can now publish an unlimited number of Open Access articles in our three hybrid journals (Development, Journal of Cell Science and Journal of Experimental Biology), immediately and at no cost to them, following a three-year Read & Publish agreement between The Company of Biologists and IReL. IReL is an Irish e-resource licensing consortium, which has been providing online access to journals and databases for libraries in participating publicly funded Irish higher education institutions since 2004. IReL is based in Maynooth University.
Further information can be found on the Read & Publish page.
4 June 2020
Silverchair and The Company of Biologists today announced a new partnership to host the leading, peer-reviewed journals published by The Company of Biologists, improving user experience and maximizing the discoverability of their content for the biological community.
The Silverchair Platform will host The Company of Biologists' five influential journals: Development, Journal of Cell Science, Journal of Experimental Biology, Disease Models & Mechanisms, and Biology Open. In addition to receiving an updated, modern design, The Company of Biologists will gain access to powerful, easy-to-use tools for site creation and updating, as well as a range of simplified partner integrations via the Silverchair Universe, all on a single responsive platform.
“The Company of Biologists joins a growing group of nonprofit publisher peers who desire a cost-effective, independent platform that offers them the agility to create new sites, collections, and products as quickly as their needs change and new opportunities emerge”, said Thane Kerner, Silverchair CEO. “We look forward to collaborating with The Company of Biologists' team to serve the needs of scientists and researchers.”
“We are excited to partner with Silverchair for the hosting of our journals”, said Claire Moulton, Publisher at The Company of Biologists. “We believe that joining this platform gives us greater flexibility as we evolve the ways in which we present content to our communities, enhancing our service to readers and authors.”
For further details, see the full press release.
31 March 2020
We are of course aware that the COVID-19 pandemic is having an unprecedented impact on researchers worldwide, with many labs shutting down either partially or fully. The Editors of all The Company of Biologists’ journals have been considering ways in which we can alleviate concerns that members of our community may have around publishing activities during this time. Here, we detail the actions we are taking at this point:
- Any reviewer or author unable to meet deadlines set by the journal should contact the Editorial Office and we will be able to extend your deadline. Our Editors may also be somewhat delayed in handling papers as they deal with pressing matters – we hope that all parties will recognise the need for increased flexibility with timelines during this period. Please note that reviewers will still receive automated reminders from our system, but these are not intended to put you under increased pressure so please just let us know if you need extra time.
- Our scoop protection policy means you don’t need to worry about being scooped once you’ve submitted your manuscript – even if your revisions take longer than expected. Moreover, we will not necessarily reject a new submission if a competing paper has just been published: in these cases, we encourage authors to contact us to discuss how to proceed.
- We ask that reviewers bear in mind that authors may be unable to conduct experimental revisions for a paper. Obviously the journal needs to ensure that submissions are held to the same standards as usual, and that all conclusions drawn in a paper are supported by the data presented, but ask reviewers to limit requests for experimental revisions to those they deem essential for publication in the journal.
- Where authors are concerned about their ability to respond to reviewers’ reports, we encourage you to contact the Editorial Office to discuss their revision further. Please send us a point-by-point response indicating where you are able to address concerns raised (either experimentally or by changes to the text) and where you will not be able to do so within the normal timeframe of a revision. The Editor will then provide further guidance.
- We will make COVID-19-related research data fully open access and other related commentary-style content free to read throughout the pandemic – if you notice any content that you believe is relevant to COVID-19 and we have not done this, please contact the Editorial Office.
We hope these policies will help to support authors during these difficult times; we will continue to review the situation going forwards. Please don’t hesitate to contact the Editorial Office if you have any questions or concerns.
23 March 2020
Building on their first Open Access Read & Publish deal with Jisc, The Company of Biologists has signed two further Read & Publish Agreements. The first one is with MALMAD, an Israeli consortium of leading universities. The second new deal is with SAMS, the Scottish Association for Marine Science. The Read & Publish Agreements allow researchers at participating institutions to not only access full content of the Company's three hybrid journals (Development, Journal of Cell Science and Journal of Experimental Biology), but also to publish an unlimited number of Open Access Research Articles, for corresponding authors.
Further information can be found on the Read & Publish page.
10 February 2020
Journal of Cell Science, along with other journals of The Company of Biologists, is delighted to be part of Review Commons, an exciting new initiative facilitating journal-independent peer review.
Review Commons is a platform for high-quality, journal-independent peer review of manuscripts from the life sciences before submission to a journal. Authors can submit preprints or unpublished manuscripts to Review Commons for expert peer review. The resulting Refereed Preprint empowers authors to make an informed decision on the best home for their paper. Authors can direct Review Commons to post reviews and their own responses to bioRxiv through bioRxiv’s new Transparent Review in Preprints (TRiP) project. The Review Commons platform expedites submission to 17 affiliate journals that have agreed to consider the transferred reviews without restarting the review process.
For more information, visit Review Commons.
9 December 2019
The Company of Biologists, publisher of Journal of Cell Science, is excited to announce a two-year pilot Open Access (OA) Read & Publish Agreement with Jisc from January 2020.
The Read & Publish deal will permit researchers at participating institutions unlimited access to all three subscription journals (Development, Journal of Cell Science, Journal of Experimental Biology), including the full archive dating back as far as 1853, and will allow the accepted articles of corresponding authors to be published Open Access by default and without limit.
Matthew Freeman, Chairman of The Company of Biologists and Head of the Dunn School of Pathology, University of Oxford said “We are thrilled to sign our first transitional agreement with Jisc. As a small not-for-profit publisher, the establishment of Read & Publish deals strengthens our support for the biological community and represents an important step in our Open Access journey.”
For more information visit our website. We will announce participating institutions on our website and on Twitter as they are confirmed.
20 November 2019
In the interests of promoting transparency around the editorial process, Journal of Cell Science will now be publishing a ‘Peer review history’ file alongside published papers, where the author has opted in to such a file being published. All research papers submitted on or after 1 August 2019 are eligible. More information can be found here.
1 August 2019
Journal of Cell Science is pleased to announce a new partnership with Publons, part of the Web of Science Group (a Clarivate Analytics company). Publons gives reviewers formal recognition of their peer review contributions using the Reviewer Recognition Service.
Our partnership with Publons allows reviewers to easily track and verify every review by choosing to add the review to their Publons profile when completing the review submission form. Publons makes it simple for reviewers to showcase their peer review contributions in a format that can be included in job and funding applications (without breaking reviewer anonymity). Reviews completed previously can also be added by forwarding review receipts (i.e. ‘Review received’ emails) to firstname.lastname@example.org.
We are genuinely grateful for the time and expertise volunteered by our reviewers each year. We regularly acknowledge their contributions and support by publishing a list of reviewers who have provided reports in the previous year.
1 August 2019
Journal of Cell Science (JCS), Journal of Cell Biology (JCB) and Molecular Biology of the Cell (MBoC) have launched a new manuscript transfer option that empowers authors whose manuscripts have been declined to seamlessly transfer their manuscripts and associated peer review reports between the journals.
JCS, JCB and MBoC have developed the new manuscript transfer option to alleviate the burden on authors who must submit to several journals in succession and on reviewers who may encounter the same manuscript from different journals, and to accelerate science.
When a manuscript submitted to one of the participating journals is declined, the journal editor may offer the authors the opportunity to transfer their manuscript and reviewer comments between journal manuscript submission systems. Authors will be given the option to update their manuscript files prior to resubmission. This new feature is aimed at limiting the time a paper spends in peer review and to provide quick, concise and informed editorial decisions.
Find out more from our FAQs here.
You are still welcome to submit directly in the absence of an offer to transfer. See the JCS fast-track policy here, for submitting such manuscripts.
15 May 2019
As part of the Society Publishers’ Coalition, The Company of Biologists, publisher of Journal of Cell Science, submitted a joint Plan S consultation response.
8 February 2019
Journal of Cell Science, and its sister journal Development, have signed an open letter published by ASAPbio announcing our intention to publish peer review reports alongside accepted manuscripts. Details are still being finalised and will be announced in due course, but we plan to roll this out in early 2019. This commitment reflects our recognition of the benefits of transparency in the peer review process. We hope that our authors and referees will support this initiative, and that readers will find the additional information provided by the published reports valuable.
29 August 2018
Journal of Cell Science, along with the other journals of The Company of Biologists, has recently introduced the option of playing movies in place in the full text online version of its articles. This means that videos can now be an integral part of any article and that they are placed into the full text online version of the article, making it easier and quicker for readers to access this type of content. In order to provide this service we have partnered with Glencoe Software.
20 March 2018
The Company of Biologists, the publisher of Journal of Cell Science, has launched preLights, a new preprint highlights service, run by the biological community.
preLights has a dedicated team of scientists from the community who regularly select, highlight and comment on preprints they feel are of interest to the biological community. You’ll find a summary of each preprint, the reasons it was selected and the selector’s thoughts on its significance. You might also see relevant comments from the preprints’ authors and we strongly encourage website visitors to join in the conversation.
For the latest posts and more information visit https://prelights.biologists.com.
20 February 2018
We are very pleased to announce that The Company of Biologists’ journals, including Journal of Cell Science, are introducing continuous publication. This means that as soon as an article is ready to be published, it will be immediately released online rather than waiting for other articles in the issue to be completed, resulting in faster access to the final version of the article.
By moving to a continuous publication model, we are making research available for the community as quickly as possible, which is beneficial for both readers and authors.
To learn more about continuous publication, please visit our FAQs page.
4 January 2018
At The Company of Biologists, the publisher of Journal of Cell Science, we realise how important citations are within a scientific article. Not only do they serve to give credit where credit is due, but they are also key in helping us understand the developments within a scientific field, and encourage the reproducibility and evaluation of research. As The Initiative for Open Citations (I4OC) puts it: ‘Citations are the most important vehicle for the discovery, dissemination, and evaluation of all scholarly knowledge.’
This is why we choose to support this important initiative I4OC and ensure that the citation data in all of our journals is freely accessible. It means that everyone can access the citation data for all articles, even if they cannot access the scientific article itself. This is done by depositing reference lists with Crossref and ensuring the citation data is open, both for future articles, and also for all articles in our online archives.
For more information on this initiative and the publishers who support it, visit https://i4oc.org/.
6 October 2017
At Journal of Cell Science, we are committed to making submission as easy as possible for our authors. We realise that submitting a paper to any journal can be a lengthy process: authors are asked to comply with detailed journal-specific guidelines without knowing whether the paper will be accepted or even peer-reviewed. We are therefore delighted to announce our new format-free submission policy.
Authors can now submit a paper to Journal of Cell Science in any format. We will only ask for what is absolutely necessary at submission. What this means is that as long as an article adheres to our guidelines on length and the text and figures are easily viewable by reviewers, we only require information that is necessary to confirm the identities of all authors. This does mean that other requirements, such as file formats and sizes, our submission checklist, and provision of funding information, will move to the revision stage – at which point over 95% of papers will be accepted for publication.
As part of this change, and recognising the importance of comprehensive Materials and Methods sections to aid transparency and reproducibility, we are also removing the Materials and Methods section from our length limit to an article. The aim is to allow authors the space they need to describe their methods in sufficient detail for readers to fully understand and replicate the experiments conducted.
19 April 2017
The Company of Biologists and Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory’s preprint server bioRxiv are delighted to announce two-way integration of their manuscript submission systems, operated by Bench>Press (HighWire Press).
Authors depositing a manuscript in bioRxiv can now transfer their paper directly to any of The Company of Biologists’ journals (Development, Journal of Cell Science, Journal of Experimental Biology, Disease Models &Mechanisms and Biology Open) through a simple transfer portal – avoiding the need to re-enter information or upload files in multiple submission systems.
In addition, authors submitting a manuscript to any of The Company of Biologists’ journals can now deposit their article in bioRxiv through a simple one-click process in the journal's submission system. Once deposited through this optional service, the unrefereed manuscript will become free for anyone to read almost immediately, regardless of the editorial decision made at the journal. It will be citable with a bioRxiv DOI, and its usage can be tracked.
Through these services, The Company of Biologists aims to support authors in making their research available to the community at an early stage – before peer review and formal publication.
17 November 2016
We have now introduced a cross-referee commenting step in our peer review process whereby we invite referees to comment on the other referee reports before the Editor makes a decision (see our recent editorial for more information). The aim of this new step is to help resolve differences between referees, identify unnecessary or unreasonable requests, or – conversely – highlight valid concerns raised by one referee but overlooked by others.
14 November 2016
We have recently signed the ORCID agreement, joining the growing number of publishers who recognize the value of widespread ORCID adoption and require ORCID iDs to be provided at submission by their authors.
ORCID provides a unique identifier for all researchers that can be linked to their different research works and activities across multiple platforms. It also serves to distinguish authors with similar names and simplify searching of publications databases (such as PubMed, Scopus, etc.) to avoid retrieving articles by authors with the same name.
During the submission process, the corresponding author will be required to provide an ORCID iD and we encourage authors to use ORCID iDs to identify each researcher.
16 March 2016
We are delighted to announce that The Company of Biologists journals, including Journal of Cell Science, are partnering with the Dryad data repository to support authors in making the data underlying their research available to the community, and to better integrate data accessibility with manuscript submission.
For many years, Journal of Cell Science has encouraged authors to make data that cannot be included as ‘flat’ figures available to readers upon publication. Several appropriate field-specific repositories exist where authors can deposit data for community access. Journal of Cell Science journal policies require that such data are made available at the time of publication, and encourages authors to deposit at an early stage so that referees can review the data behind the paper.
However, issues of data availability apply across all fields and data types and, in many cases, there is no specific repository for the deposition of data. In some cases, relevant data can be made available as part of the Supplementary Information, but this is not always appropriate (particularly given the large file sizes that are often involved). To overcome this problem, a number of general purpose data repositories have been developed that allow researchers to submit data packages in almost any format, and can be accessed and cited by the community. In addition, they allow your files to be permanently and safely archived. Where appropriate, Journal of Cell Science encourages authors to submit data to repositories such as Dryad and figshare.
Our partnership with Dryad will now allow authors to submit their data packages at the time of manuscript submission, so that the data can be made securely available to referees and then automatically made public, if and when the paper is published. Dryad charges a small fee, but waivers are available for submissions from low-income or lower-middle-income economies. Data packages are given a permanent, citable DOI and bidirectional linking between the data and the paper will help readers easily access the relevant files. We are not changing our policies regarding deposition, but hope to make it easier for authors to deposit data where they wish to do so. Our staff and editors can provide advice to authors on what types of data should ideally be made available, so please feel free to get in touch with any queries. See Dryad's FAQs for more information. We welcome your feedback on this new partnership.
11 February 2016