Biological Reviews

Cover image for Vol. 89 Issue 3

Edited By: Dr. William Foster

Impact Factor: 9.79

ISI Journal Citation Reports © Ranking: 2013: 2/83 (Biology)

Online ISSN: 1469-185X

Author Guidelines

Biological Reviews welcomes the submission of manuscripts that fit the aims and scope of the journal, articles do not have to be invited.

Submissions of Manuscripts
Submissions to Biological Reviews are now made online using ScholarOne Manuscripts (formerly known as Manuscript Central). To submit to the journal go to If this is the first time you have used the system you will be asked to register by clicking on 'create an account'. Full instructions on making your submission are provided. You should receive an acknowledgement within a few minutes. Thereafter, the system will keep you informed of the process of your submission through refereeing, any revisions that are required, and a final decision.Manuscripts submitted by other methods will not be considered.

Submitting authors should include phone numbers and email address. Submission of a paper is taken to imply it has not previously been published and that it is not being considered publication elsewhere. Upon acceptance of a paper, the author will be asked to transfer copyright to the Cambridge Philosophical Society. Enquiries should be addressed to the Editor, Biological Reviews, Cambridge Philosophical Society, Bene't Street, Cambridge, CB2 3PY, UK (Tel: +44 (0) 1223 334735)

Style and content

Articles should be critical assessments of fields of research of value to specialists in the field, and comprehensible to biologists in general.  Those presenting a new theory or point of view are preferred.  Papers should be in the range of 5,000 – 20,000 words: papers of more than 20,000 words or 50 printed pages will not normally be accepted.  When submitting an article, authors are asked to provide a word count and to suggest the names of up to four suitable referees.  Articles should be written in English.

Each article should have an Abstract (not more than 500 words), 5 – 10 Key words, a list of Contents, a general Introduction, and Conclusions (given as numbered statements).  Sections and subsections are to be numbered 1., (1), (a) etc.  The generic name of a species should be given in full for the first time it occurs in a paragraph.  The author for each species is desirable on its first mention.  In general, chemical formulae may not be used as abbreviations in the text.  Use S.I. units.  Recent issues of the Journal should be consulted for style.

Preparation of manuscripts
Manuscripts should be submitted in an editable format such as .doc or .rtf. Text should be double-spaced throughout and with adequate margins.

Figures may be line diagrams, drawings or photographs and must have legends which should make the Figures comprehensible without reference to the text.  The legends should be typed double-spaced on separate sheets.  Figures should be drawn in Indian ink on good quality white paper or produced by computer to comparable quality. A photocopy showing the position of any lettering should accompany each Figure. Lettering will be added by the Press. Please read our instructions for electronic artwork formats and resolutions (digital illustration standards) before you create electronic figure files. Figures copied, with permission, from other sources can be incorporated with their own lettering and the source acknowledged.  The position of Figures and Tables should be indicated.

Colour figures. The Journal encourages the publication of colour figures. Colour is free to authors where the Editors are of the view that it is essential. In all other instances, authors will be asked to return a signed copy of the completed Colourwork Agreement Form to Customer Services (OPI) after their manuscript has been accepted and sent to the Publisher. Please post or courier all pages of your completed form to Customer Services. Note that electronic or faxed copies cannot be accepted in compliance with Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) requirements.

Once completed, please return the form via post only to the Customer Services at:

      Customer Services (OPI)
      John Wiley & Sons Ltd, European Distribution Centre
      New Era Estate
      Oldlands Way
      Bognor Regis
      West Sussex
      PO22 9NQ

For queries, please contact the production editor of the journal. The Journal is pleased to allow authors to publish figures in colour free of charge in the online edition.

Supporting Information
Supporting Information can be a useful way for an author to include important but ancillary information with the online version of an article. Examples of Supporting Information include additional tables, data sets, figures, movie files, audio clips, 3D structures, and other related nonessential multimedia files.

Supporting Information should be cited within the article text, and a descriptive legend should be included. It is published as supplied by the author, and a proof is not made available prior to publication; for these reasons, authors should provide any Supporting Information in the desired final format.

For further information on recommended file types and requirements for submission, please visit:

Exclusive Licence Form
Authors will be required to sign an Exclusive Licence Form (ELF) for all papers accepted for publication. Signature of the ELF is a condition of publication and papers will not be published unless a signed form has been received. Please note that signature of the ELF does not affect ownership of copyright in the material. (Government employees need to complete the Author Warranty sections, although copyright in such cases does not need to be assigned.) After submission authors will retain the right to publish their paper in various media/circumstances: in particular authors are entitled at any time to post an electronic version of their submitted article online. Authors may post their accepted version (i.e as originally submitted for publication in BRV Journal, and revised to take account of peer review comments) 12 months after the date of publication. Articles may be posted on personal websites, employer's website/repository and on free public servers in the subject area. Electronic versions of the accepted article must include a link to the published version on Wiley Online Library. Please note that authors are not permitted to post the Wiley Blackwell PDF version of the article online. (Please see the form for further details). The ELF can be downloaded here.
Authors or a third party wishing to reproduce figures, tables or brief quotations from the text of articles published in BRV Journal for non-commercial purposes may do so, providing the original publication is acknowledged accordingly and the approval of all the authors is obtained. No special permission is needed from either BRV or the Publisher for this. If authors or a third party wish to use a major part of an article or an entire article elsewhere, whether in English or in any translation, permission must be asked from the Publisher, who will if necessary contact BRV, the licence holder.

OnlineOpen is available to authors of primary research articles who wish to make their article available to non-subscribers on publication, or whose funding agency requires grantees to archive the final version of their article. 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 via Wiley Online Library, as well as deposited in the funding agency's preferred archive. Any authors wishing to send their paper OnlineOpen will be required to complete the online payment form AND exclusive licence form.

Prior to acceptance there is no requirement to inform an Editorial Office that you intend to publish your paper OnlineOpen if you do not wish to. All 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.

References should be listed in alphabetical order at the end of the text.  Names of journals should not be abbreviated, and full titles of papers and first and last page numbers should be given.  All references listed must be cited in the text, giving author and date, and if more than one paper is cited for one year the letters a, b, etc follow the date.  For up to three authors all names should be given in the first citation and the first name with et al. subsequently.  For more than three authors et al. is to be used in all citations.  Authors should consult a recent issue of the Journal for style. We recommend the use of a tool such as EndNote or Reference Manager for reference management and formatting.

EndNote reference styles can be searched for here:

Reference Manager reference styles can be searched for here:

After Acceptance
After acceptance and upload of the final files the manuscript is passed to the production editor. 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. Failure to complete the forms will delay the publication of manuscripts.

For authors signing the exclusive licence form
If the OnlineOpen option is not selected the corresponding author will be presented with the exclusive licence form (ELF) to sign. The terms and conditions of the ELF can be previewed in the samples associated with the Copyright FAQs below:
ELF Terms and Conditions

For authors choosing OnlineOpen
OnlineOpen is available to authors of articles who wish to make their article open access. With OnlineOpen the author, their funding agency, or institution pays a fee to ensure that the article is made available to non-subscribers upon publication via Wiley Online Library, as well as deposited in PubMed Central and PMC mirror sites. In addition to publication online via Wiley Online Library, authors of OnlineOpen articles are permitted to post the final, published PDF of their article on a website, institutional repository, or other free public server, immediately on publication.

If you want your article to be open access please choose the appropriate licence agreement when you log in to Wiley’s Author Services system. Click on ‘Make my article OnlineOpen’ and choose the appropriate license by clicking on ‘Sign license agreement now’ when you log in to Wiley’s Author Services system.

For the full list of terms and conditions, see

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 OAA
Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License OAA
Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial -NoDerivs License OAA

To preview the terms and conditions of these open access agreements please visit the Copyright FAQs hosted on Wiley Author Services and visit

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:


Corresponding author will receive an email alert containing a link to a web site that allows the author to correct the proof via Online Proofing System. A working e-mail address must therefore be provided for the corresponding author. The proof can be downloaded as a PDF (portable document format) file from this site or you may choose to correct the proof directly online. Acrobat Reader will be required in order to read the PDF file. This software can be downloaded (free of charge) from This will enable the file to be opened, read on screen and printed out in order for any corrections to be added. Further instructions will be sent with the proof. As few alterations should be made to it as possible. Excessive changes made by the author in the proofs, excluding typesetting errors, will be charged separately. Corrected proofs should be finalised through the Online Proofing System or sent to the Production Editor. An addendum of not more than 1000 words dealing with recently published work may be sent to the Editor with the first corrected proof.

Free access to the final PDF offprint of your article will be available via Author Services only. Please therefore sign up for author services if you would like to access your article PDF offprint and enjoy the many other benefits the service offers.

Additional paper offprints may be ordered online. Please click on the following link, fill in the necessary details and ensure that you type information in all of the required fields:

If you have queries about paper offprints please e-mail

Last updated: 25 November 2013