1. Submission
  2. Aims and Scope
  3. Manuscript Categories and Requirements
  4. Preparing the Submission
  5. Editorial Policies and Ethical Considerations
  6. Author Licensing
  7. Publication Process After Acceptance
  8. Post Publication
  9. Editorial Office Contact Details


Authors, please note that submission implies that the content has not been published or submitted for publication elsewhere in English or in any other language except as a brief abstract in the proceedings of a scientific meeting or symposium. GCB will consider submissions containing material that has previously formed part of a PhD or other academic thesis, which has been published according to the requirements of the institution awarding the qualification. Preprint posting is not considered prior publication and will not jeopardize consideration at GCB. More information about Wiley’s policies on preprints can be found here.

GCB no longer has strict formatting requirements, but all manuscripts must contain the essential elements required during submission. These can be found here. Manuscripts should be submitted online at

By submitting a manuscript to or reviewing for this publication, your name, email address, and affiliation, and other contact details the publication might require, will be used for the regular operations of the publication, including, when necessary, sharing with the publisher (Wiley) and partners for production and publication. The publication and the publisher recognize the importance of protecting the personal information collected from users in the operation of these services, and have practices in place to ensure that steps are taken to maintain the security, integrity, and privacy of the personal data collected and processed. You can learn more at

All submitted manuscripts will be processed through plagiarism detection software. In submitting your manuscript, you accept that it may be screened against previously published literature. Plagiarized manuscripts will be rejected immediately.


The list of authors should accurately illustrate who contributed to the work and how. All those listed as authors should qualify for authorship according to the following criteria:

  1. Have made substantial contributions to conception and design, or acquisition of data, or analysis and interpretation of data;
  2. Been involved in drafting the manuscript or revising it critically for important intellectual content;
  3. Given final approval of the version to be published. Each author should have participated sufficiently in the work to take public responsibility for appropriate portions of the content; and
  4. Agreed to be accountable for all aspects of the work in ensuring that questions related to the accuracy or integrity of any part of the work are appropriately investigated and resolved.
  5. Contributions from anyone who does not meet the criteria for authorship should be listed, with permission from the contributor, in an Acknowledgments section (for example, to recognize contributions from people who provided technical help, collation of data, writing assistance, acquisition of funding, or a department chairperson who provided general support). Prior to submitting the article all authors should agree on the order in which their names will be listed in the manuscript.

Joint first or senior authorship: In the case of joint first authorship, a footnote should be added to the author listing, e.g. ‘X and Y should be considered joint first author’ or ‘X and Y should be considered joint senior author.’

Contributions from anyone who does not meet the criteria for authorship should be listed, with permission from the contributor, in an Acknowledgments section. Financial and material support should also be mentioned. Thanks to anonymous reviewers are not appropriate.

All sources of institutional, private and corporate financial support for the work within the manuscript must be fully acknowledged, and any potential conflicts of interest noted. If in doubt, please check the Open Funder Registry for the correct nomenclature:

Submission Questions
In lieu of a cover letter, authors must answer the following questions during submission (max 50 words per answer):

  1. What is the scientific question you are addressing?
  2. What is/are the key finding(s) that answers this question?
  3. Why is this work important and timely?
  4. Does your paper fall within the scope of GCB; what biological AND global change aspects does it address?
  5. What are the three most recently published papers that are relevant to this question? This information will assist the Editors in selecting reviewers.

Conflict of Interest Statement
Authors will be asked to provide a conflict of interest statement during the submission process. For details on what to include in this section, see the ‘Conflict of Interest’ section in the Editorial Policies and Ethical Considerations section below. Submitting authors should ensure they liaise with all co-authors to confirm agreement with the final statement.

The journal requires that all authors disclose any potential sources of conflict of interest. Any interest or relationship, financial or otherwise that might be perceived as influencing an author's objectivity is considered a potential source of conflict of interest. These must be disclosed when directly relevant or directly related to the work that the authors describe in their manuscript. Potential sources of conflict of interest include, but are not limited to: patent or stock ownership, membership of a company board of directors, membership of an advisory board or committee for a company, and consultancy for or receipt of speaker's fees from a company. The existence of a conflict of interest does not preclude publication. If the authors have no conflict of interest to declare, they must also state this at submission. It is the responsibility of the corresponding author to review this policy with all authors and collectively to disclose with the submission ALL pertinent commercial and other relationships.

GCB is committed to rapid evaluation and publication of submitted papers. To this end, we strive to return the Editor's decision and reviewer comments within 60 days of submission and to publish papers online within 30 days of receipt of the final version of the manuscript and all necessary files and forms.

In order to achieve this, manuscript review is based on a two-stage process:

  • During the first stage, manuscripts are assigned to appropriate members of the Editorial Board who determine if the manuscript should be sent for peer-review. This decision is based on the submission questions and abstract. In 2020, the median time for this stage was 5 days and 45% of manuscript progressed to the second stage.
  • During the second stage, manuscripts are assessed by two to three independent reviewers. The final decision is made by the Subject Editor. In 2020, the median time for stage two was 43 days and 17% of submitted manuscripts were accepted for publication. A decision letter will be emailed to the corresponding author once the Subject Editor has made his or her decision.

For help with submissions, manuscript status inquiries, or questions about the peer review process, please contact:

Click here for more details on how to use ScholarOne


Global Change Biology exists to promote new understanding of the interface between biological systems and all aspects of environmental change that affects a substantial part of the globe. Studies must concern biological systems, regardless of whether they are aquatic or terrestrial, and managed or natural environments. Both biological responses and feedbacks to change are included, and may be considered at any level of organization from molecular to biome. Studies may employ theoretical, modeling, analytical, experimental, observational, and historical approaches and should be exploratory rather than confirmatory. GCB publishes primary research articles, technical advances, research reviews, commentaries and letters.

Global Change Biology defines global change as any consistent trend in the environment - past, present or projected - that affects a substantial part of the globe. Examples include:

  • Rising tropospheric, ozone, carbon dioxide and sulphur dioxide concentrations
  • Changing global radiation and stratospheric ozone depletion
  • Ecosystem and biome collapse
  • Mechanisms of species and ecosystems resilience
  • Contaminant and pollutant impacts of global relevance
  • Biological adaptations and evolutionary processes
  • Management in the face of climate change
  • Invasive species
  • Urbanisation
  • Wildfire
  • Global climate change
  • Biological sinks and sources of atmospheric trace gases
  • Perturbations of biogeochemical cycling
  • Land use change and system connectivity
  • Loss of biodiversity
  • Biological feedback on climate change
  • Biological mitigation for atmospheric change


Please click here to follow the Manuscript Submission for Review Checklist to prepare your manuscript for review.

Global Change Biology will consider the following manuscript types:

Original Research
Primary Research Articles present the results of a completed research project and are up to 8000 words in length. Word limits apply to the main body of the text (Introduction, Materials and Methods, Results, Discussion, and Acknowledgements). Formatting is standard (see Formatting Instructions, below). These are peer reviewed. Decisions are made by the Editors.

Technical Advances present exciting new research tools, methods, and techniques, including new modelling approaches, and should include a detailed description of the methodological design and discussion of how this technique improves the study of global change biology. GCB has a wide readership; accordingly the technical advance must be broadly applicable. Papers describing methods that apply to one species or system are unlikely to meet our criteria unless authors are able to show that their methods can be generalized. The main body word limit is 4000 words (Introduction, Materials and Methods, Results & Discussion, and Acknowledgements). Formatting is standard (see Formatting Instructions, below) except that Results and Discussion may be combined. These are peer reviewed. Decisions are made by the Editors.

Comment and Review
Research Reviews examine a defined specialist subject that is of topical interest. Reviews should begin with an abstract and an introduction, followed by up to 10 sections following a logically developed plan, and end with a Conclusion. Reviews should be no more than 8000 words (count includes Abstract, Introduction, body, Conclusions and Acknowledgements). These are peer reviewed. Decisions are made by the Editors.

Opinions are usually a review or re-analysis that challenges prevailing views on a topical issue. These may include emerging frameworks arising from a synthesis of recent research, alternative interpretations of a field of research, controversial perspectives on current areas of research of high interest, or reason the need for a new direction in research. This list is not exclusive and the Editors are interested to hear of other ideas. While this category of article is designed to allow expression of viewpoints that may run counter to established viewpoints, articles must be anchored in sound reasoning developed from the peer-reviewed literature. The article must be sufficiently complete to convince reviewers of the value of the contribution. Articles that are essentially reviewing a topic, a statement of opinion not reasoned from the peer-reviewed literature, arguing for redirection of government funding for research and those primarily discussing the authors’ own work will not be considered. Opinion articles should begin with an Abstract and Introduction, followed by a body with up to 6 sections, and end with a Conclusion. Opinion articles should be 3000- 5000 words.

Reports are expert scientific reports, which outline the direction of a relevant research area, integrated experimental network, etc. Reports should begin with an abstract and introduction, followed by up to 20 sections, and end with a Conclusion and/or Recommendations. These are peer reviewed at the Editor’s discretion. Decisions are made by the Editors. Authors interested in submitting a Report should first send a one-paragraph proposal (300 words) to the Editorial Office.

Editorial and Front Material
Perspectives are a review, re-analysis, or challenge to prevailing views on a topical issue. While this category of article is designed to allow expression of viewpoints that may run counter to established viewpoints, articles must be anchored in sound reasoning developed from the peer-reviewed literature. The article must be sufficiently complete to convince reviewers of the value of the contribution. Articles that are essentially reviewing a topic, a statement of opinion not reasoned from the peer-reviewed literature, arguing for redirection of government funding for research and those primarily discussing the authors’ own work will not be considered. Perspective have only the following sections: body and references. Perspective articles should be no more than 1500 words and have no more than no more than 1 table or figure total and 10 references.

Commentaries are invited discussions highlighting the novelty of a recently published article. They should include no more than 1 table or figure total and 10 references, and be no more than 1,500 words (count includes body and acknowledgments).

Letters to the Editor are a well-reasoned challenge to a recently published article of relevance to the journal. Opinions are welcome as long as they are factually based. Letters only have the following sections: body and references. They should include no more than 1 table or figure total and 10 references, and be no more than 800 words (count includes body and Acknowledgements). If a letter is accepted for publication it will be provided to the authors of the original article (when appropriate) so that they may have an opportunity to provide a Response to the Editor.

Responses are a response to a Letter to the Editor. Opinions are welcome as long as they are factually based. Responses only have the following sections: body and references. They should include no more than 1 table or figure total and 10 references, and be no more than 500 words (count includes body and Acknowledgements).

We also commission content, such as Editorials, GCB Reviews, and Profiles.


Article Preparation Support

Wiley Editing Services offers expert help with English Language Editing, as well as translation, manuscript formatting, figure illustration, figure formatting, and graphical abstract design – so you can submit your manuscript with confidence. Also, check out our resources for Preparing Your Article for general guidance about writing and preparing your manuscript.

Wiley Author Resources
Manuscript Preparation Tips: Wiley has a range of resources for authors preparing manuscripts for submission available here. In particular, authors may benefit from referring to Wiley’s best practice tips on Writing for Search Engine Optimization.

Editing, Translation, and Formatting Support: Wiley Editing Services can greatly improve the chances of a manuscript being accepted. Offering expert help in English language editing, translation, manuscript formatting, and figure preparation, Wiley Editing Services ensures that the manuscript is ready for submission.

GCB no longer has strict formatting requirements for initial submissions, but all manuscripts must contain the essential elements required during submission:

  • Title
  • Running Title: A short running title of less than 45 characters including spaces
  • List of Authors: The full names of the authors. As part of the journal’s commitment to supporting authors at every step of the publishing process, the journal requires the submitting author (only) to provide an ORCID iD when submitting a manuscript. This takes around 2 minutes to complete. Find more information here.
  • Institutional affiliations: All author's institutional affiliations where the work was conducted, with a footnote for the author’s present address if different from where the work was conducted; where authors have different addresses, use numbered superscripts to refer to each address provided.
  • Contact Information Corresponding author’s telephone, and email details
  • Abstract: Limited to 300 words. 
  • Keywords: 6-10 keywords

Additional Files
Supplemental materials should be supplied as separate files but referred to in the main text. Supporting information and appendices are information that is not essential to the article, but provides greater depth and background. It is hosted online and appears without editing or typesetting. It may include tables, figures, videos, datasets, etc. For submission, they should be supplied as separate files but referred to in the text. Click here for Wiley’s FAQs on supporting information.

Note: if data, scripts, or other artefacts used to generate the analyses presented in the paper are available via a publicly available data repository, authors should include a reference to the location of the material within their paper.

General Style Points
The following points provide general advice on formatting and style.

  • Abbreviations: In general, terms should not be abbreviated unless they are used repeatedly and the abbreviation is helpful to the reader. Initially, use the word in full, followed by the abbreviation in parentheses. Thereafter use the abbreviation only.
  • Units of measurement: Measurements should be given in SI or SI-derived units. Visit the Bureau International des Poids et Mesures (BIPM) website for more information about SI units.
  • Numbers: numbers under 10 are spelt out, except for: measurements with a unit (8mmol/l); age (6 weeks old), or lists with other numbers (11 dogs, 9 cats, 4 gerbils).
  • Lines should be double spaced and also be numbered
  • Spelling: The journal uses British/US spelling; however, authors may submit using either option, as spelling of accepted papers is converted during the production process.
  • Footnotes to the text are not allowed and any such material should be incorporated into the text as parenthetical matter.

Embedded Rich Media 

Global Change Biology has the option for authors to embed rich media (i.e. video and audio) within their final article. These files should be submitted with the manuscript files online, using either the “Embedded Video” or “Embedded Audio” file designation. If the video/audio includes dialogue, a transcript should be included as a separate file. The combined manuscript files, including video, audio, tables, figures, and text must not exceed 350 MB. For full guidance on accepted file types and resolution please see here. Each file needs to be numbered (e.g. Video 1, Video 2, etc.) and legends for the rich media files should be placed at the end of the article. The content of the video should not display overt product advertising. Educational presentations are encouraged. Any narration should be in English, if possible. A typed transcript of any speech within the video/audio should be provided. An English translation of any non-English speech should be provided in the transcript. All embedded rich media will be subject to peer review. Editors reserve the right to request edits to rich media files as a condition of acceptance. Authors are asked to be succinct, and the Editors reserve the right to require shorter video/audio duration. The video/audio should be high quality (both in content and visibility/audibility). The video/audio should make a specific point; particularly, it should demonstrate the features described in the text of the manuscript. 

Participant Consent: It is the responsibility of the corresponding author to seek informed consent from any identifiable participant in the rich media files. Masking a participant’s eyes, or excluded head and shoulders is not sufficient. Please ensure that a consent form ( is provided for each participant. 

Translated Abstracts

All submissions must be written in English. However, we encourage authors to provide a second abstract in their first language or the language relevant to the country in which the research was conducted. The second abstract will be published with the online version of the article and will not be included in the PDF. Please note that second abstracts will not be copyedited and will be published as provided by the authors, who take responsibility for the accuracy of the translation. Authors who wish to take advantage of this option should upload their second abstract alongside their submission, selecting the file type “Translated Abstract not for Review".


Peer Review and Acceptance
The acceptance criteria for all papers are the quality and originality of the research and its significance to journal readership. Except where otherwise stated, manuscripts are peer reviewed. Papers will only be sent to review if the Editor-in-Chief determines that the paper meets the appropriate quality and relevance requirements. Wiley's policy on the confidentiality of the review process is available here.

Data Sharing and Data Accessibility
Global Change Biology requires, as a condition for publication, that data supporting the results in the paper must be archived in an appropriate public repository, such as GenBank, TreeBASE, Dryad, the Knowledge Network for Biocomplexity or other suitable long-term and stable public repositories. Authors are required to provide a data availability statement, including a link to the repository they have used, and to cite the data they have shared. Whenever possible the scripts and other artefacts used to generate the analyses presented in the paper should also be publicly archived. Exceptions may be granted at the discretion of the editor, for example, if sharing data compromises privacy of human data, ethical standards or legal requirements. If authors are unable to share data (for example, if sharing data compromises ethical standards or legal requirements) then authors are not required to share it and must describe restrictions in their data availability statement.

Upon acceptance:

  1. Data must be archived in a publicly accessible repository.
  2. Data must be cited within the text in the in the Materials and Methods section and included in the Reference section.
  3. Authors must submit a Data Availability statement that includes DOIs for all datasets used in the manuscript. See Wiley’s Data Sharing policy templates to see and select the data availability statement that is right for your submission.
  4. Manuscripts that include modelling must include full equations and parameters in the text, supplementary files, or cited publicly accessible repository. This information must also be included in the Data Availability statement.

Species Names
Upon its first use in the title, abstract, and text, the common name of a species should be followed by the scientific name (genus, species, and authority) in parentheses. For well-known species, however, scientific names may be omitted from article titles. If no common name exists in English, only the scientific name should be used.

Publication Ethics
This journal is a member of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE). Note this journal uses iThenticate’s CrossCheck software to detect instances of overlapping and similar text in submitted manuscripts. Read Wiley’s Top 10 Publishing Ethics Tips for Authors here. Wiley’s Publication Ethics Guidelines can be found here.


If a paper is accepted for publication, the author identified as the formal corresponding author will receive an email prompting them to log in to Author Services, where via the Wiley Author Licensing Service (WALS) they will be required to complete a copyright license agreement on behalf of all authors of the paper.

Authors may choose to publish under the terms of the journal’s standard copyright agreement, or Open Access under the terms of a Creative Commons License.
General information regarding licensing and copyright is available here. To review the Creative Commons License options offered under Open Access, please click here. (Note that certain funders mandate a particular type of CC license be used; to check this please click here.)

Self-Archiving Definitions and Policies: Note that the journal’s standard copyright agreement allows for self-archiving of different versions of the article under specific conditions. Please click here for more detailed information about self-archiving definitions and policies.

Open Access fees: Authors who choose to publish using Open Access will be charged a fee. When this option is chosen, charges for publishing figures in colour are waived. A list of Article Publication Charges for Wiley journals is available here.

Funder Open Access: Please click here for more information on Wiley’s compliance with specific Funder Open Access Policies.


Submission of Final Files by Authors
Upon acceptance, authors will be provided with a "Submission Checklist" to ensure that their article is formatted correctly for publication.

  • Introduction
  • Materials and methods
  • Results 
  • Tables
  • Figures and figure legends
  • Figures submitted in colour may be reproduced in colour online free of charge. If an author would prefer to have figures printed in colour in hard copies of the journal, a fee will be charged by the Publisher.
  • Discussion
  • References: Authors are strongly encouraged to cite primary research papers. References should be cited using the APA reference format, however as GCB no longer has strict formatting requirements for authors, this is for information only and you do not need to format the references in your article. This will instead be taken care of by the typesetter. In-text citations should include the author and date, either both inside parentheses or with the author names in running text and the date in parentheses. Items should only include articles that have been published or are currently in press. ‘In press’ manuscripts that are necessary to understand and evaluate the submitted manuscript must be included at the time of submission.

Citing a Journal Article by DOI
Yang J., Tian H., Pan S., Chen G., Bowen Z., Dangal S. (2018). Amazon drought and forest response: Largely reduced forest photosynthesis but slightly increased canopy greenness during the extreme drought of 2015/2016. Global Change Biology. doi: 10.1111/gcb.14056

Citing a Chapter in a Book
Nelson, J.R., Craig, E. (1994). SSA hsp70 subfamily. In: J. Rothblatt & T.Stevens (Eds.), Guidebook to the Secretory Pathway (pp. 27–29). New York: Oxford University Press.

Citing a Complete Book
Segel, I.H. (1968). Biochemical Calculations. USA: John Wiley and Sons, Inc.

GCB uses images supplied by authors for the front cover of the journal. These are welcomed and should be accompanied by a suggested caption and photo credit.

Graphical Abstract: authors must submit an abstract figure (diagram or illustration selected from the manuscript or an additional "eye-catching" figure) with their final files. A short description of the graphical abstract must be provided, as well.

Press Releases: Authors who intend to distribute a press release for the article should notify the Editorial Office as soon as possible to ensure that the article will not appear online as an "Accepted Article" and an embargo date can be set after final proofs are received.

Accepted Article Received in Production

After the final manuscript files are found to be suitable for publication, they will be forwarded to the publisher. Accepted Articles are published online a few days after final acceptance and appear in PDF format only. They are given a Digital Object Identifier (DOI), which allows them to be cited and indexed by PubMed. Submitting authors should therefore carefully check the names and affiliations of all authors provided in the cover page of the manuscript so it is accurate for indexing. Subsequently, the final copyedited and proofed articles will appear in an issue on Wiley Online Library; the link to the article in PubMed will update automatically.

When an accepted article is received by Wiley’s production team, the corresponding author will receive an email asking them to login or register with Wiley Author Services. The author will be asked to sign a publication license at this point.

Proof Corrections

Authors will receive an e-mail notification with a link and instructions for accessing HTML page proofs online. Page proofs should be carefully proofread for any copyediting or typesetting errors. Online guidelines are provided within the system. No special software is required, most common browsers are supported. Authors should also make sure that any renumbered tables, figures, or references match text citations and that figure legends correspond with text citations and actual figures. Proofs must be returned within 48 hours of receipt of the email. Return of proofs via e-mail is possible in the event that the online system cannot be used or accessed. 

Please note that the author is responsible for all statements made in their work, including changes made during the editorial process – authors should check proofs carefully. Note that proofs should be returned within 48 hours from receipt of first proof.

After the final version article of the proof is published (the article of record) no changes can be made. The DOI is reserved to cite and access the article.

Publication Charges
Publication in the journal is free. However, there is a cost for publishing colour figures in print.

Colour Figures
Colour figures may be published online free of charge; however, the journal charges for publishing figures in colour in print.  If the author supplies colour figures at Early View publication, they will be invited to complete a colour charge agreement in RightsLink for Author Services. The cost of color printing in Global Change Biology is 150 GBP for the first figure and 50 GBP for each subsequent figure. The author will have the option of paying immediately with a credit or debit card, or they can request an invoice. If the author chooses not to purchase colour printing, the figures will be converted to black and white for the print issue of the journal. Articles published using Open Access will have free color prints.

Please contact the Production Editor if you have any queries regarding this.

Early View
The journal offers rapid publication via Wiley’s Early View service. Early View (Online Version of Record) articles are published on Wiley Online Library before inclusion in an issue. Once the article is published on Early View, no further changes to the article are possible. The Early View article is fully citable and carries an online publication date and DOI for citations.

Citing this Article: eLocators
This journal now uses eLocators. eLocators are unique identifies for an article that service the same function page numbers have traditionally served in the print world. When citing this article, please insert the eLocator in place of the page number. For more information, please visit the Author Services eLocator page here.

Author Name Change
In cases where authors wish to change their name following publication, Wiley will update and republish the paper and redeliver the updated metadata to indexing services. Our editorial and production teams will use discretion in recognizing that name changes may be of a sensitive and private nature for various reasons including (but not limited to) alignment with gender identity, or as a result of marriage, divorce, or religious conversion. Accordingly, to protect the author’s privacy, we will not publish a correction notice to the paper, and we will not notify co-authors of the change. Authors should contact the journal’s Editorial Office with their name change request.


Article Promotion Support

Wiley Editing Services offers professional video, design, and writing services to create shareable video abstracts, infographics, conference posters, lay summaries, and research news stories for your research – so you can help your research get the attention it deserves.

Access and Sharing
When the article is published online:

  • The author receives an email alert (if requested using Wiley Author Services).
  • The link to the published article can be shared through social media.
  • The author will have free access to the paper (after accepting the Terms & Conditions of use, they can view the article).
  • The corresponding author and co-authors can nominate up to ten colleagues to receive a publication alert and free online access to the article.

Promoting the Article
To find out how to best promote an article, click here.

Measuring the Impact of an Article
Wiley also helps authors measure the impact of their research through specialist partnerships with Kudos and Altmetric.


Global Change Biology
University of Illinois
1118 Institute for Genomic Biology
1206 West Gregory Drive
Urbana, IL 61801-3838

Author Guidelines updated February 2021