Cover image for Vol. 38 Issue 6

Edited By: Andrew Moore

Online ISSN: 1521-1878

Author Guidelines

Before starting to write please read our general author guidelines (these apply to all rubrics) and specific rubric instructions and descriptions.

For a more comprehensive writing support, please see our detailed instructions.

Papers in BioEssays are primarily commissioned, and manuscripts are subjected to peer review. However, if you have a topic that you think will be suitable for the journal, particularly a hypothesis, you may send an enquiry to the Editor-in-Chief and he will advise you further. We have a pre-submission rejection rate of around 70%, and we screen proposals with particular attention to the following criteria:

  • Is the subject of the proposed paper important/interesting for a large sector of the life science community?
  • Will the paper bring new insights/ideas/hypotheses to the field in question?
  • Will the paper give future perspectives and deal with outstanding problems/open questions in the field?
  • Scope: molecular, cellular, biomedical, physiology, translational research, systems. Hypotheses are encouraged.

If you have already prepared a manuscript, and are confident that it complies with the criteria above, you may submit it directly online at

If you have not yet written your manuscript, we strongly advise that you correspond with Editorial first: In your covering letter, please make clear why your topic would be found interesting to BioEssays' readership (mainly cell/molecular biology, genetics, physiology and related disciplines). Summarise this in a paragraph of around 150 words.

Enquiries to:
Dr. Andrew Moore
Editor-in-Chief, BioEssays
Boschstrasse 12
69469 Weinheim, Germany
Contact via E-mail here
Tel: 0049 6201 606 346
Fax: 0049 6201 606 525

BioEssays considers submissions for the following rubrics:

Thoughts & Opinion section
Cause to reflect (historical and/or philosophical reflections)
Commentary (viewpoints on a particular topic of biology or scientific practice)
Ex laboratorio (science policy, education, communication etc.)
Book reviews
Correspondence (letters to the Editor)

Insights & Perspectives section
Hypotheses (new ideas substantiated by solid published data)
Ideas & Speculations (creative thinking and predictions on open questions and recent developments in biology)
Think again (point<>counterpoint, criticisms of articles/methods, reinterpretations, data re-analysis, historical perspectives)

Prospects & Overviews section (review section)
Recently in press (mini-reviews of very recent papers)
Review essays (full reviews)
Problems & Paradigms (review/perspectives on problems in biology)
Methods, Models & Techniques

Erratum (Correction of an author error)
Corrigendum (Correction of an editorial error)

Which rubrics are peer reviewed in BioEssays?
Papers for the following rubrics are always subjected to full peer review: Hypotheses, Recently in press, Review essays, Problems & Paradigms, Methods, Models & Techniques. Papers for other rubrics may be subjected to peer review, depending on the content (e.g. rubric “Think again”), or alternatively to assessment by the Editor and/or the Editorial Board.

Peer review of your paper
If your paper is put into peer review, we will typically endeavour to secure reports from two independent reviewers. Each is given 10 days to complete the report, and depending on the difficulty of securing suitable reviewers, a final decision may be possible, typically, anywhere between 2 and 6 weeks after commencement of peer review. Long peer review can result, for example, when two reports are radically different, and a third reviewer is deemed necessary. The Editor-in-Chief is responsible for the decision on a manuscript. Revised manuscripts may be put out for peer review again, depending on the nature and extent of the revision.

For formatting your reference list, get the BioEssays-specific Endnote file.

Re-use of published images or tables
If you wish to include previously published images or table contents in your manuscript, you must secure the relevant permissions for re-use before we can accept your work. Click here for a permissions form to help you with this.

Copyright policy
If your paper is accepted, the author identified as the formal corresponding author for the paper will receive an email prompting them to login into Author Services; where via the Wiley Author Licensing Service (WALS) they will be able to complete the license agreement on behalf of all authors on the paper.

(a) For authors signing the Copyright Transfer Agreement
If the OnlineOpen option is not selected the corresponding author will be presented with the copyright transfer agreement (CTA) to sign. The terms and conditions of the CTA can be previewed in the samples associated with the Copyright FAQs below:
CTA Terms and Conditions

(b) For authors choosing OnlineOpen
If the OnlineOpen option is selected the corresponding author will have a choice of the following Creative Commons License Open Access Agreements (OAA):
* Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY)
* Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License (CC BY NC)
* Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial-NoDerivs License (CC BY NC ND)
To preview the terms and conditions of these open access agreements please visit the Copyright FAQs hosted on Wiley Author Services and this Copyright & License page.
If you select the OnlineOpen option and your research is funded by The Wellcome Trust and members of the Research Councils UK (RCUK) you will be given the opportunity to publish your article under a CC BY license supporting you in complying with Wellcome Trust and Research Councils UK requirements. For more information on this policy and the Journal’s compliant self-archiving policy please visit this funderstatement page.

Open Access
OnlineOpen is available to BioEssays authors who - upon publication - wish to make their article available to non-subscribers to the journal, or who are obliged, by the conditions of their funding agency, to archive the final version of their paper. With OnlineOpen, the author, the author's funding agency, or the author's institution pays a fee to ensure that the article is made available to non-subscribers upon publication online with Wiley, as well as deposited in the funding agency's preferred archive. For the full list of terms and conditions, see

Prior to a decision to publish/reject your paper, you do not have to inform the BioEssays Editorial Office of your wish to make it OnlineOpen, if you do not want to. Be assured, however, that OnlineOpen articles are treated in the same way as any other article. They go through the journal's standard peer-review process and will be accepted or rejected based on their own merit.

Correction of proofs using the Adobe Acrobat E-annotation tool
Quickly correct your proofs and send them back electronically to the typesetters by using the Adobe Acrobat E-annotation tool.

Publication Ethics
BioEssays adheres strongly to the guidelines of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE). All instances of publishing misconduct, including, but not limited to, plagiarism, data fabrication, image/data manipulation to falsify/enhance results etc. will result in rejection/retraction of the manuscript in question. See also Wiley-Blackwell's Best Practice Guidelines on Publication Ethics: A Publisher's Perspective.

Conflict of interest
Authors are responsible for disclosing all financial and personal relationships between themselves and others that might bias their work (e.g. an author writing on advances in basic research on antibiotics might be a paid consultant, or external contractor, to a biotech or pharmaceutical company). To prevent ambiguity, authors must state explicitly whether potential conflicts do or do not exist. Should such a conflict of interest exist, a statement to that effect must be included in the manuscript (on the title page), detailing - for each author - the nature of the conflict, e.g. "Author X wishes to make known that he is a paid consultant for company Y."

Retraction of a paper
Please download the guidelines of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) here.

NIH Public Access Mandate
For those interested in the Wiley-Blackwell policy on the NIH Public Access Mandate, please visit our policy statement
For more information please go to the NIH Public Access Homepage

Author Services, from Wiley-Blackwell
A wealth of information for journal authors is now available at

  • Find out the status of your paper, and download your free author pdf
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  • Set up your favourite journals to provide quick links to online submission websites, author guidelines, and more
  • Review editorial policies on issues such as ethics, retraction of articles, and more
  • Get help if English is not your native language
  • View author benefits and rights
  • Learn where to order reprints and how to request permission to use copyrighted material
  • Claim your 25% author discount on books
  • And more…


A note on plagiarism:
BioEssays employs software that helps editors detect plagiarism. We consider both verbatim (word-for-word) copying of text without source acknowledgement, AND copying of text with word-substitution or re-formulation without source acknowledgement to be potential plagiarism. By submitting your manuscript to this journal you accept that your manuscript may be screened for plagiarism against previously published works.