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 indicate the Editor(s) they feel is 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 7 working days. Before making such a decision, a JEB 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 15-21 days. We operate single blind peer review. In cases where reviewers disagree, an Editor may choose to share all the reports with one or more of the original reviewers or with an additional reviewer or Editorial Advisory Board member to elicit feedback before reaching 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 ~40 days from the submission date; please note that this is an average and is dependent on the availability and timeliness of reviewers and therefore is very variable. Authors can check the status of their manuscripts in the Author Area of the JEB 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 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.
Upon article acceptance, all manuscripts undergo ethics checking, including screening for plagiarism (using the iThenticate software provided by Crossref) and image manipulation. Most Research Articles, Short Communications and Methods & Techniques papers are then posted on the journal web site as accepted author manuscripts (Accepted manuscripts) before journal copyediting and layout and in advance of publication of the print and online issues in which they will subsequently appear. Authors who would prefer their accepted author manuscript NOT to be posted as an Accepted manuscript should tick the relevant check box during the submission process.
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 and license agreement. Accepted papers are usually published online within 2 months and appear in print within 3 months. Any major changes made to a paper after its acceptance can be subject to review and may delay publication. JEB 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
JEB 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, the News & Views Editor may feature an accepted article in the Inside JEB section of the journal and 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 JEB 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 and easy (one-click), 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. To find out more about the transfer option and see who has published in BiO in your field, please click here.