Author Guidelines

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Author Guidelines

Birth Defects Research offers authors the option of immediate Open Access for a fee. For details please go to Funded Access.

NIH Public Access Mandate
For those interested in the Wiley-Blackwell policy on the NIH Public Access Mandate, please visit our policy statement.

Online Submission:
Manuscripts should be submitted online at Check for an existing account. If you are submitting for the first time, and you do not have an existing account, create a new account.

During the submission process, you will be asked to select the Editor and subject of your manuscript, based on the titles of the three Birth Defects Research journals that will merge as one journal, Birth Defects Research, as of 2017:

  • Michel Vekemans - Clinical and Molecular Teratology
  • George Daston - Developmental and Reproductive Toxicology
  • Rocky Tuan - Embryo Today: Reviews (editor-invited submissions)*

*Please contact Rocky Tuan regarding invited papers on the subject of “Embryo Today: Reviews”.

Submit manuscript, tables, and figures as separate files. You do not need to mail any paper copies of your manuscript. At the end of a successful submission, a confirmation screen with manuscript number will appear and you will receive an e-mail confirming that the manuscript has been received by the journal. If this does not happen, please check your submission and/or contact technical support at [email protected]

Manuscript Formats:
Only manuscripts in English will be considered. They should be organized as follows: Title page, Abstract, Key words, Introduction, Materials and methods, Results, Discussion, Acknowledgments, Conflict of interest, Literature cited, Table and Figure legends. The Title page must include: title, full name of author(s), complete affiliations for all authors, grant information and grant numbers, a running title not to exceed 45 characters and spaces, and the name, address, phone and fax number, and e-mail address of the corresponding author. The Abstract should not exceed 250 words and should be formatted to serve in lieu of a concluding summary. It should concisely state the significant findings without reference to the rest of the paper. Append three to six key words at the end of the abstract.

Manuscript Types

Research Article (all subjects): Manuscripts in this category describe the results of original research conducted in the broad area of birth defects research. The manuscript should be presented in the format of Abstract, Introduction, Methods, Results, and Discussion. The abstract should be structured as follows: Background, Methods, Results, and Conclusions (250-word limit).

Review (all subjects): Review articles focus on topics of broad scientific interest to investigators in the area of birth defects research. Although such articles are usually solicited by the Editors, the journal will consider author-initiated proposals. Please contact the Editor if you wish to propose a Review Article.

Brief Report (Clinical and Molecular Teratology only): Narrower in scope than Research Articles, Brief Reports may present results of studies that involve small sample sizes, introduce new methodologies, report new developments, or describe preliminary results that are experimentally well documented. The Methods should be sufficiently detailed to permit replication of the work. Results and Discussion should be separate sections. Brief Reports should not exceed 2000 words of text, 2 tables or figures, and 25 references. The Abstract should follow the same form (structured) and word length (not >250 words) as required for Research Articles.

Case Report (Clinical and Molecular Teratology only): These articles may describe one or more cases of a unique or rare clinical syndrome. The Abstract for a Case Report should be structured as Background, Case(s), and Conclusions. The text should use the following format: Introduction, Case Report, and Discussion. The Discussion is expected to place the subject(s) of the Case Report in the context of the published literature on the same or related birth defect and to discuss the possible pathogenesis of the malformation.

Hypothesis (Clinical and Molecular Teratology only): These articles present new data that lead to a specific hypothesis warranting further research (see BDRA 67 (3):149-153,2003 and 67(6):403-408, 2003 for examples). The format of Hypothesis articles should follow those outlined for Research Articles.

Teratogen Update (Clinical and Molecular Teratology only): These articles review in detail the epidemiology, animal data, pharmacokinetics, toxicokinetics, or mechanism of action of a particular teratogenic agent or group of agents,e.g., anticonvulsants. These in-depth articles are usually solicited by the Editor, but the journal will consider proposals from potential authors.

Guidelines (Clinical and Molecular Teratology only): These articles set forth guidelines related to the understanding and prevention of birth defects (see BDRA 67 (3):193-201,2003 for an example). Guidelines should be formatted with the same organization as Research Articles.

Workshop Summary (Clinical and Molecular Teratology only): Summaries of workshops with a focus on birth defect-related topics will be considered. Authors interested in submitting such a summary should contact the Editor. Worshop Summary should be formatted with the same organization as a Brief Report.

Correspondence (Clinical and Molecular Teratology only): Letters to the Editor must refer to an article that appeared within the previous 2 months. The text of the letter should be brief (not >500 words), and the letter may include 1 table or figure and 10 references. No new data may be presented. Letters to the Editor will be sent to the authors of the initial article for response. If accepted, both letters will be published in the same issue.

Literature Cited:

Literature Cited is to be arranged alphabetically in the following style:

Author's name (or names), year of publication, complete title, volume, and inclusive pages.

Journal: Hather BM, Hikida RS. 1988. Properties of standard avian slow muscle grafts following long-term regeneration. J Exp Zool 246:115-123.

Book Chapter: Gilmour ML, Rouse ST, Heilman CJ, Nash NR, Levey AI. 1998. Receptor fusion proteins and analysis. In: Ariano MA, editor. Receptor localization. New York: Wiley-Liss. p 75-90.

Book: Sternberger LA. 1986. Immunocytochemistry. 3rd ed. New York:John Wiley & Sons.

Text references should be arranged chronologically by author's name followed by year of publication:
. . . studies by Smith (1983) reveal
. . . studies by Hamburger and Hamilton (1951) reveal
. . . an earlier report (Schoenwolf, 1988)
. . . earlier reports (Chang and Leblond, 1975; Schoenwolf, 1988)

When references are made to more than one paper by the same author, published in the same year, they are to be designated in the text as (White,1993a, b) and in the literature list as follows:
Kelley RO. 1970a. An electron microscopic study of mesenchyme during development of interdigital spaces in man. Anat Rec 168:43-54.
Kelley RO. 1970b. Fine structure of apical, digital and interdigital cells during limb morphogenesis in man. In: Proceedings of the VIIth International Congress of Electron Microscopy. Vol. III: p 381-382.

Authors are responsible for the accuracy of the references.

Figure specifications:
Tables and Figures must be uploaded as separate files when submitting a manuscript. They are not to be included in the main manuscript file.
Illustrations should be in TIFF or EPS format and RGB color. The minimum requirements for proper resolution are:
300 DPI/PPI for halftones (RGB/Grayscale; figures that contain pictures only without text labeling or lines);
600 DPI/PPI for combination halftones (figures that contain pictures with text labeling and/or thin lines);
1200 DPI/PPI for monochrome (figures that are entirely black and white; line graphs are an example).

Color figures:
Authors are encouraged to submit color illustrations when the color conveys essential scientific information. All color figures will be reproduced in full color online at no cost to authors.

Photographs Permission:
If your submission contains ANY identifiable patient images or other protected health information, you MUST provide documented permission from the patient (or the patient's parent, guardian, or legal representative) BEFORE the specific material will be circulated among JOURNAL editors, reviewers and staff for the purpose of possible publication in BDR. The documented permission may be supplied as supplemental material uploaded with the submission or emailed to the editorial office at [email protected]. Manuscripts submitted without the appropriate documented permission will not be processed until those materials have been received by the editorial office. A consent form to publish identifiable photos can be found in the SPECIAL FEATURES box.

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.

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

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 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:

Proofs and Reprints:
The corresponding author will receive one set of PDF page proofs via E-mail for review. Reprints may be ordered at

Address editorial correspondence to one of the following people, based on the subject of your paper:

For Clinical and Molecular Teratology:

Michel Vekemans, Editor
Hôpital Universitaire Necker-Enfants Malades
149 rue de Sèvres
75743 Paris CEDEX15 FRANCE
Email: [email protected]

For Developmental and Reproductive Toxicology:

George P. Daston, Editor
Miami Valley Laboratories
The Procter & Gamble Company
11810 East Miami River Rd.
Cincinnati, OH 45252
FAX: (513) 627-0323
Email: [email protected]

For Embryo Today: Reviews (editor-invited submissions):

Rocky S. Tuan, Editor
6430 Brookes Lane
Bethesda, MD 20816
Tel: 301-451-6854
Fax: 301-402-2724
Email: [email protected]

Note to NIH Grantees
Pursuant to NIH mandate, Wiley-Blackwell will post the accepted version of contributions authored by NIH grant-holders to PubMed Central upon acceptance. This accepted version will be made publicly available 12 months after publication. For further information, see the NIH Public Access Mandate.