Peer Review Policy

This policy describes the general principles operated by BIOCAB Publishing for its own journal.

Unbiased consideration is given to all manuscripts offered for publication regardless of race, gender, religious belief, ethnic origin, citizenship or political philosophy of the authors.

Our journal (and future journals for publishing here) is international in authorship and in readership, and our referees are carefully selected from the international research community. We would be interested to hear from you if you wish to volunteer as a referee or if you wish to recommend a colleague who would be a suitable referee. In these cases nominations are approved by the Publisher, who carefully monitors our pool of referees.

Conflict of Interest

Please contact us if you are asked to referee an article in the following instances:

• You are in direct competition with the authors.
• You are a co-worker or collaborator with one of the authors.
• You are in a position to exploit the authors' work (commercially or otherwise).
• You are in a position which prevents you from giving an objective opinion of the work.

We will then select an alternative referee.

Referee Reports

Referee reports are sent to the authors. You should bear this in mind when preparing your report.

The identity of referees is strictly confidential and we ask that you do not transmit your report directly to the authors.

We also ask that you do not disclose your identity to the authors or discuss the papers you have reviewed with colleagues unless they have been published.

General Procedure

Papers

Papers submitted for publication in the majority of BIOCAB journals are generally sent to two independent referees who are asked to report on the scientific quality and originality of the work as well as its presentation.

BIOCAB is committed to publishing only high-quality material in its journals. Papers which referees deem to be technically sound, but of little interest, are referred to the Editorial Board of the journal for further consideration.

If there is sufficient agreement between the referees,

1. The Paper may be accepted;
2. The referees' reports may be sent to the authors for amendment or revision of the Paper;
3. The Paper may be rejected; or
4. If the Paper contains too many errors for the referees to comment fully on the scientific content, the authors will be asked to make major revisions and then resubmit the article.

In the case of rejection, any appeal that the authors submit in response to the referees' reports will be considered by the Editorial Board of the journal and a revised version will be considered only if the Board thinks it appropriate.

Revised Papers

When authors make revisions to their article in response to the referees' comments they are asked to submit a list of changes and any replies for transmission to the referees. The revised version is usually returned to at least one of the original referees who are then asked whether the revisions have been carried out satisfactorily. If the referees remain dissatisfied, the Paper can be referred to the Editorial Board of the journal for further consideration. However, the Board will not usually insist that the authors respond to any new criticisms raised by referees at this stage. You should bear this in mind when refereeing a Paper with a large number of faults. If the faults are too numerous to cover in your report, you should mention this so that the authors can be asked to resubmit their Paper rather than just revise it.

Use of an Adjudicator

For the cases when referees' reports are not in agreement, the paper and the referees' reports are sent to an adjudicator who is asked first to form his or her own opinion of the paper and then to read the referees' reports and adjudicate between them. If you, as a referee, are overruled by an adjudicator, we will let you know before the article appears in print.

Fast Track Communications and Rapid Communications

Fast Track, Rapid and Preliminary Communications are outstanding short papers reporting new and timely developments to their journal's community (but are not expected to meet any requirement of 'general interest'). For an article to be published as a Fast Track or Rapid Communication it must make significant advances in the subject and be of current interest. Authors are asked to accompany their article with an explanation of why they feel that rapid publication is warranted.

Speed of publication is important for these articles and we ask referees to review them promptly. Only minor amendments are allowed, and if major revision is required we may ask the author to resubmit their article as a regular Paper.

Referees are asked to consider:

1. Does the article exhibit a high degree of novelty?
2. Is the research reported timely?
3. Are the results significant enough to justify accelerated publication?
4. Is the paper likely to be of interest to the journal's readership?
5. Is the paper written in a clear and concise style?

And to recommend:

1. Acceptance (subject to minor amendments if required),
2. Rejection, or
3. Consideration as a Paper (after revision in most cases).

Other article categories

BIOCAB publishes other types of article; for example, Didactic Articles, Editorials and Brief Reports.

Editorial Board

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