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About BMC Biology

This page includes information about the aims and scope of BMC Biology, editorial policies, open access and article-processing charges, the peer review process and other information. For details of how to prepare and submit a manuscript through the online submission system, please see the instructions for authors.


BMC Biology is the flagship biology journal of the BMC series, publishing peer-reviewed research and methodology articles of special importance and broad interest in any area of biology, as well as commissioned reviews, opinion pieces, comment and Q&As on topics of special or topical interest.

Re-review opt-out In response to widespread frustration with delays to publication through iterative reviewing, we give our authors a choice (see our Editorial: Q&A: Re-review opt-out and painless publishing).

Editorial team

Miranda Robertson
Deputy Editors
Penelope Austin
Associate Editor
Kester Jarvis
Assistant Editor
Graham Bell
Editorial Assistant
Fiona Chuka
Production Editor
Niamh Lynch

Open access

All articles published by BMC Biology are made freely and permanently accessible online immediately upon publication, without subscription charges or registration barriers. Further information about open access can be found here.

Authors of articles published in BMC Biology are the copyright holders of their articles and have granted to any third party, in advance and in perpetuity, the right to use, reproduce or disseminate the article, according to the BioMed Central copyright and license agreement.

For authors who are US government employees or are prevented from being copyright holders for similar reasons, BioMed Central can accommodate non-standard copyright lines. Please contact us if further information is needed.

Article-processing charges

Open access publishing is not without costs. BMC Biology therefore levies an article-processing charge of £1665/$2605/€2120 for each article accepted for publication. If the corresponding author's institution is a Member, the cost of the article-processing charge is covered by the membership, and no further charge is payable. In the case of authors whose institutions are Supporter Members, however, a discounted article-processing charge is payable by the author. We routinely waive charges for authors from low-income countries. For other countries, article-processing charge waivers or discounts are granted on a case-by-case basis to authors with insufficient funds. Authors can request a waiver or discount during the submission process. For further details, see our article-processing charge page.

Indexing services

All articles published in BMC Biology are included in:

  • Biological Abstracts
  • CABI
  • CAS
  • Citebase
  • DOAJ
  • Embase
  • EmBiology
  • Global Health
  • Google Scholar
  • OAIster
  • PubMed
  • PubMed Central
  • Science Citation Index
  • Science Citation Index Expanded
  • SCImago
  • Scopus
  • Zetoc
  • Zoological Record

The full text of all research articles is deposited in digital archives including e-Depot (The Netherlands).

The full text of all research articles published by BioMed Central is also available on SpringerLink.

BMC Biology is tracked by Thomson Reuters (ISI) and has an Impact Factor of 7.98.

Publication and peer review process

Research papers submitted to BMC Biology are assessed by a dedicated in-house staff in consultation with an Editorial Board of internationally respected scientists. Decisions on the suitability in principle of research submissions for BMC Biology are made before the paper is sent for review, and generally take two to four working days. Decisions on papers sent for peer review normally take no longer than four weeks, and can be accelerated in some circumstances. BMC Biology operates a re-review opt-out policy aimed at providing the benefits of rigorous peer review while avoiding undue iterations.

The re-review opt-out policy of BMC Biology

To minimize frustration and delay to authors, and help maximize the efficiency of peer review, BMC Biology offers authors who are asked to make revisions before a final decision is taken on their papers the opportunity to choose whether the paper is seen again by referees.

Essential features of our policy are as follows:

• All submitted research articles are subjected to immediate rapid screening by the editors, in consultation with the Editorial Board or others working in the field as appropriate, to ensure they are likely to be of the level of interest and importance appropriate for the journal. Contributors who are in doubt about the suitability of their manuscript may send a presubmission enquiry.

• Papers considered appropriate in principle for the journal are then sent to referees who are asked only whether the data are adequate to support the conclusions. At least one referee will usually be selected from those nominated by the author.

• Every effort is made by the editors to clarify differences of opinion between referees, and resolve disputes between authors and referees, in consultation with the Editorial Board, before decisions are made on publication.

• Where referees advise that the paper must be revised, with additional information, analysis, or experimental data, before a decision can be made, the authors will be requested to meet the referees’ criticisms and may choose whether the revised paper is seen again by the referees.

• Where authors choose not to go back to referees on revision, the editors will assess the revisions and the authors’ responses to the referees.

• Where authors would prefer that referees are consulted on their revisions, but are anxious to avoid delay to publication, the referees will be asked to comment again within a week, after which the editors will if necessary make a decision without their input.

Every effort is made to give a clear account of the reasons for each decision.

Submissions to BMC Biology may include large datasets, as well as large numbers of illustrations and moving pictures where these are necessary or desirable to substantiate the conclusions of the paper. Tabular data may be displayed in a form that can be read directly by other software packages (e.g. statistical programs), and relevant links (e.g. to PubMed, sequences, or other papers available on the web) may be included.

Authors will be able to check the progress of their manuscript through the submission system at any time by logging into My BMC Biology, a personalized section of the site.

Copyediting and proofs

All articles published in BMC Biology are copyedited before publication of the final version.

Articles published in BMC Biology are published immediately on acceptance in the form of a provisional PDF. Copyedited and fully formatted PDF and full-text (HTML) versions are made available shortly after that.

Edited versions will be sent by email and corrections should be returned within two working days. Please provide a typed list of corrections clearly indicating where the corrections should be made and please send this list by email.

The editing is designed only to correct such things as misused words, spelling errors, missing references or incomplete citation information.


High-quality, bound reprints can be purchased for all articles published. Please see our reprints website for further information about ordering reprints.


BMC Biology will consider supplements based on proceedings (full articles or meeting abstracts), reviews or research. All articles submitted for publication in supplements are subject to peer review. Published supplements are fully searchable and freely accessible online and can also be produced in print. For further information, please contact us.

Editorial policies

All manuscripts submitted to BMC Biology should adhere to BioMed Central's editorial policies.

Minimum standards for reporting checklist

BMC Biology advocates full and transparent reporting. For all articles reporting original research, excluding commentaries, reviews, and the like, please ensure that your paper provides the information detailed in our Minimum Standards for Reporting Checklist. On submitting your article you will be asked to confirm you have included this information, or give reasons for any instances where it is not made available or not applicable.

Citing articles in BMC Biology

Articles in BMC Biology should be cited in the same way as articles in a traditional journal. Because articles are not printed, they do not have page numbers; instead, they are given a unique article number.

Article citations follow this format:

Authors: Title. BMC Biol [year], [volume number]:[article number].

e.g. Roberts LD, Hassall DG, Winegar DA, Haselden JN, Nicholls AW, Griffin JL: Increased hepatic oxidative metabolism distinguishes the action of Peroxisome Proliferator-Activated Receptor delta from Peroxisome Proliferator-Activated Receptor gamma in the Ob/Ob mouse. BMC Biol 2009, 1:115.

refers to article 115 from Volume 1 of the journal.

Why publish your article in BMC Biology?

High visibility

BMC Biology's open access policy allows maximum visibility of articles published in the journal as they are available to a wide, global audience. Articles that have been especially highly accessed are highlighted with a 'Highly accessed' graphic, which appears on the journal's contents pages and search results.

Speed of publication

BMC Biology offers a fast publication schedule whilst maintaining rigorous peer review; all articles must be submitted online, and peer review is managed fully electronically (articles are distributed in PDF form, which is automatically generated from the submitted files). Articles will be published with their final citation after acceptance, in both fully browsable web form, and as a formatted PDF; the article will then be available through BMC Biology and BioMed Central.


Online publication in BMC Biology gives authors the opportunity to publish large datasets, large numbers of color illustrations and moving pictures, to display data in a form that can be read directly by other software packages so as to allow readers to manipulate the data for themselves, and to create all relevant links (for example, to PubMed, to sequence and other databases, and to other articles).

Promotion and press coverage

Articles published in BMC Biology are included in article alerts and regular email updates. Some may be included in abstract books mailed to academics and are highlighted on BMC Biology's pages and on the BioMed Central homepage.

In addition, articles published in BMC Biology may be promoted by press releases to the general or scientific press. These activities increase the exposure and number of accesses for articles published in BMC Biology. A list of articles recently press-released by journals published by BioMed Central is available here.

Authors of articles published in BMC Biology retain the copyright of their articles and are free to reproduce and disseminate their work (for further details, see the BioMed Central copyright policy and license agreement).

For further information about the advantages of publishing in a journal from BioMed Central, please click here.