Author Guidelines









  • ORIGINAL ARTICLES (research articles, method articles, systematic reviews, meta-analyses)
  • COMMENTARIES (including brief reports, perspectives, research highlights)
  • REVIEWS (literature review articles)





Format-free initial submissions

We place very few restrictions on how you prepare your article, and it is not necessary to try to replicate the layout of the journal in your initial submission. We ask only that you consider our reviewers by supplying your manuscript in a clear, generic, and readable layout, and ensure that all relevant sections are included.

While we encourage authors to use the format and style described below, this is not required for consideration of NEW SUBMISSIONS. Further, you can choose to submit your article as a single file containing text and figures, or upload each file separately.


The list below can be used as a checklist to ensure that the REVISED MANUSCRIPT has all the information necessary for successful publication.

  1. Main manuscript file:
    • Title page, including title, authors’ names, authors’ affiliations, and contact information*
    • Abstract
    • 4–6 Keywords
    • Text (introduction, materials and methods, results, discussion, conclusions)
    • Data Availability Statement, including details of where data associated with the article can be found
    • Author Contributions (check below for "CRediT" - Contributor Roles Taxonomy)
    • Acknowledgments, including details of funding bodies with grant numbers
    • Conflict of Interests (If there is no conflict of interest to declare, please state: "None declared").
    • Ethics statement (if relevant permits or approvals are not required please state: "None required")
    • References (see below for tips on references)
    • Tables
    • Figure legends
    • Appendices (if relevant)
  2. Figure files - uploaded separately (see also the later section "Figures").
  3. GRAPHICAL ABSTRACT - we ask for no more than 80 words or 3 sentences of text summarising the key findings presented in the paper and a figure that best represents the scope of the paper. Authors can use Wiley Editing Services to ensure the best presentation of their images.
  4. Concise cover letter, uploaded separately and focused on the question the manuscript attempts to address.

*You will be asked to provide the full address information for all authors. Please be sure to do this, as the processing of your manuscript may be delayed without complete address information.


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 our resources for general guidance about writing and preparing your manuscript.       




  1. Submit or confirm your submission at
  2. We will send you an email confirmation of your submission details.
  3. After peer review and acceptance, you will be prompted to sign the Open Access Agreement form. Payment of the article publication charge will be required. You can then track the progress of your article through Wiley Author Services.
  4. You will receive notification that your proof is ready for review, and be able to make corrections to your article.
  5. Your article will be published on Wiley Online Library. If you have previously signed up for alerts through Wiley’s Author Services, you will receive an email when your article is published.




A preprint is a scholarly manuscript posted by the author(s) in an openly accessible platform, usually before or in parallel with the peer review process. (COPE Council. COPE Discussion document: Preprints. March 2018).

  • MicrobiologyOpen will consider for review articles previously posted as preprints on any preprint server, such as bioRxiv, medRxiv, chemRxiv, ArXiv, engrXiv, psyArXiv, SocArXiv, and others.
  • MicrobiologyOpen accepts the citation of preprints in journal submissions.
  • Preprints can be posted prior or in parallel to submission to MicrobiologyOpen.
  • Authors are expected to declare any relevant preprint copies of the work in their cover letter.
  • Authors are requested to update any pre-publication versions with a link to the final published article.
  • Authors may also post the final published version of the article immediately after publication.


Preprint your manuscript while it is under review

MicrobiologyOpen is participating in a pilot of the "Under Review" service, Wiley’s new initiative to streamline the early sharing of research and open up the peer review process. Authors can now opt to preprint their manuscript during the submission process and showcase their work to the global research community as a preprint before it is accepted or published. The under review service is powered by Authorea. Learn more about the Under Review service.




Manuscripts must be submitted in grammatically correct English. Manuscripts that do not meet this standard cannot be reviewed. Authors for whom English is a second language may wish to consult an English-speaking colleague or seek advice from professional English language editing services before submission. If you feel that your paper could benefit from English language polishing, please consider having your manuscript professionally edited by Wiley Editing Services.


A manuscript is considered for review and possible publication on the condition that it is submitted solely to MicrobiologyOpen, and that the manuscript or a substantial portion of it is not under consideration elsewhere.



Cover letter

The cover letter should state:

  • why the manuscript is appropriate for MicrobiologyOpen,
  • where the authors plan to archive the raw data underlying the main results of the study. See also the later section "Data Availability statement",
  • that the enclosed work is not under consideration for publication in another journal or book,
  • that the submission of the manuscript for publication has been approved by all relevant authors and institutions,
  • if the authors have already posted their manuscript as a preprint (see PREPRINT POLICY)


Ethics statement

MicrobiologyOpen requires that all appropriate steps be taken in obtaining informed consent of any and all human and/or experimental animal subjects participating in the research comprising the manuscript submitted for review and possible publication. A statement indicating that the protocol and procedures employed were reviewed and approved by the appropriate institutional review committee must be included in a separate section "Ethics statement" at the end of the manuscript. For research involving recombinant DNA, containment facilities and guidelines should conform to those of the National Institutes of Health or corresponding institutions. For those investigators who do not have formal ethics review committees, the principles outlined in the Helsinki Declaration should be followed. If relevant permits or approvals were not required, please state: "None required".


  • Dual use research

MicrobiologyOpen expects that all authors will conform to the National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity (NSABB) guidelines for Dual Use Life Sciences Research. For further information, and a description of 'dual use research of concern', please refer to the June 2007 NSABB report. If any of the reported studies may fall in any of these categories, the Chief Editor must be informed at the time of manuscript submission.



Conflict of interest disclosure statement

MicrobiologyOpen 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 in this journal. It is the responsibility of the corresponding author to review this policy with all authors and collectively to list ALL pertinent commercial and other relationships. If there is no conflict of interest to declare, please state: "None declared".



Author contributions

MicrobiologyOpen adopts the authorship and contributorship criteria provided by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE). The ICMJE authorship criteria state 'authorship credit' should be based on:

  1. Substantial contributions to the conception or design of the work; or the acquisition, analysis, or interpretation of data for the work; AND
  2. Drafting the work or revising it critically for important intellectual content; AND
  3. Final approval of the version to be published; AND
  4. Agreement 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.

All those designated as authors should meet all 4 criteria for authorship, and all who meet the four criteria should be identified as authors.

In addition to being accountable for the parts of the work he or she has done, an author should be able to identify which co-authors are responsible for specific other parts of the work. In addition, authors should have confidence in the integrity of the contributions of their co-authors.

All contributors who do not meet the criteria for authorship should be listed in an Acknowledgments section.

Additional guidance on authorship and author responsibilities can be found by visiting the Council of Science Editors.

Please provide a complete list of the contributions of each co-author in an "Author Contributions" section.


  • CRediT classification

We have adopted the CRediT classification allowing for a standardized description of each author's individual contributions to the work. This description is required for all authors at submission and the submitting author is responsible for providing the contributions of all authors. It is expected that all authors will have reviewed, discussed, and agreed to their individual contributions before submission. The contribution statement will be published with the final article and should accurately reflect contributions to the work.

The list of contributions should follow the format:

Author's name: Contributor roles with the degree of contribution

For example:

Claire Jones: Conceptualization (lead); writing – original draft (lead); formal analysis (lead); writing – review and editing (equal); John Smith: Conceptualization (supporting); Writing – original draft (supporting); Writing – review and editing (equal); Anna White: Writing – review and editing (equal).

MicrobiologyOpen mandates CRediT for all articles. More information here.




Contributions from anyone who does not meet the criteria for authorship should be listed, with permission from the contributor, in an Acknowledgments section. Thanks to anonymous reviewers are not appropriate. Financial and material support should also be mentioned. Authors are responsible for the accuracy of their funder designation. If in doubt, please check the open Funder Registry for the correct nomenclature.



Data availability

Authors are required, as a condition of publication, to archive their data in a publicly accessible repository, such as Zenodo, figshare, GenBank (not a laboratory homepage), and all manuscripts must include a "Data Availability statement". This statement should contain information on where data supporting the results reported in the article can be found, with hyperlinks to publicly archived datasets analysed or generated during the study.


"Data Availability statements" can take one of the following forms (or a combination of more than one if required for multiple datasets):

  • The datasets generated and/or analysed during the current study are available in the [name] repository at [persistent link to datasets].
  • All data generated or analysed during this study are included in this published article. 
  • The datasets generated and/or analysed during the current study are not publicly available due to [reason why data are not public] but are available from the corresponding author on reasonable request.
  • The data that support the findings of this study are available from [third party name] but restrictions apply to the availability of these data, which were used under license for the current study, and so are not publicly available. Data are however available from the authors upon reasonable request and with permission of [third party name].
  • "Not applicable": data sharing is not applicable to this article as it does not contain any data / no datasets were generated or analysed during the current study.

Other examples of "Data Availability statements" are available on the University of Bath Research Data Archive.


  • Upon submission, this statement must be included, but we are happy for authors to wait until acceptance of their paper to actually archive their data (although note that many repositories will enable authors to embargo publication of their data during the review process).
  • Upon acceptance, data must be archived and the "Data Availability statement" completed including database and information such as accession numbers or DOI for all data from the manuscript.
  • Note: if data, scripts, or other artefacts used to generate the analyses presented in the paper are accessible via a publicly available data repository, authors should include a reference to the location of the material within their paper.


  • These statements should be avoided:
  1. The datasets used and/or analysed during the current study are available from the corresponding author on reasonable request.
  2. "Data not shown": authors are encouraged to publish all observations related to the submitted manuscript as "Appendix".
  3. "Personal communications", which also qualify as "data not shown", are allowed with a written confirmation from the source, but we discourage authors from relying on any unavailable data to draw their conclusions.

For more information about Wiley's Data Citation Policy, visit our Frequently Asked Questions page.


  • Distribution of strains and materials

The publication of an article in MicrobiologyOpen is subject to the understanding that authors will distribute freely any strains, clones or antibodies described therein for use in academic research. Authors might wish to make their plasmid constructs available free of charge through Addgene.


  • Software and code

The section "Data Availability statement" should include a link to the most recent version of your software or code described in the manuscript (e.g. in GitHub) as well as a link to the archived version referenced in the manuscript. The software or code should be archived in an appropriate repository with a DOI or another unique identifier. For software in GitHub, we recommend using Zenodo. If published, the software application/tool should be readily available to any scientist wishing to use it for non-commercial purposes, without restrictions (such as the need for a material transfer agreement).


  • Recommended data repositories

Mandatory deposition

Suitable repositories

DNA and RNA sequences


DNA DataBank of Japan (DDBJ)

EMBL Nucleotide Sequence Database (ENA)

DNA and RNA raw sequencing data

NCBI Trace Archive

NCBI Sequence Read Archive (SRA)

Microarray data

Gene Expression Omnibus (GEO)


Protein sequences


Macromolecular structure

Worldwide Protein Data Bank (wwPDB)

Biological Magnetic  Resonance Data Bank (BMRB)

Crystallographic data for small molecules

Cambridge Structural Database




As part of our commitment to supporting authors at every step of the publishing process, MicrobiologyOpen requires the submitting author to provide an ORCID ID when submitting an article. ORCID is a non-proprietary alphanumeric code used to uniquely identify scientific and other academic authors and contributors. Find more information.

Refer and Transfer Program

Wiley believes that no valuable research should go unshared. This journal participates in Wiley’s Refer & Transfer program. If your manuscript is not accepted, you may receive a recommendation to transfer your manuscript to another suitable Wiley journal, either through a referral from the journal’s editor or through our Transfer Desk Assistant. 



We already promote data sharing through open archives and are actively discouraging supplementary material. Regardless of the approach of other journals, unless you have movies and animations, audio clips, 3D structures, program code, or perhaps a huge dataset (which should be in a data repository, such as Zenodo or figshare), there should not be supplementary material in an online article. We think that such information is better placed in an appendix that forms part of the paper. There are no page limits with an online‐only journal. This would ensure that ALL of the information needed to understand your work is provided in a single download.

  • We encourage you to publish additional helpful figures, detailed methods, or tables with the original sources for a metaanalysis in an APPENDIX in your article instead of designating them as Supporting Information.

Appendices will be published at the end of the article. For submission, they should be placed either in the main document or uploaded separately as "Appendix" or "Appendix Figure", respectively. They should be numbered in order, but independently of primary figures and tables, and referred to in the text as e.g., Appendix 1, Appendix 2, etc., Figure A1, Figure A2, etc., Table A1, Table A2, etc.   




As with the main body of text, the completeness and content of your reference list are more important than the format chosen. A clear and consistent, generic style will assist the accuracy of our production processes and produce the highest quality published work, but it is not necessary to try to replicate the journal's own style, which is applied during the production process. If you use bibliographic software to generate your reference list, select a standard output style, and check that it produces full and comprehensive reference listings. A guide to the minimum elements required for successful reference linking appears below. The final journal output will use the Harvard style of reference citation. If your manuscript has already been prepared using the 'Vancouver' system, we are happy to receive it in this form. We will perform the conversion from one system to the other during the production process.


Minimum reference information

Journal article
Author(s) in full
Year of publication
Article title
Journal title (preferably not abbreviated)
Volume number
Issue number
Page range


Author(s) in full
Year of publication
Book title
Place of publication
No. Pages


Book chapter
Author(s) in full
Year of publication
Chapter title
Book Author/Editor
Book title
Place of publication
Page range


Online resources
References to online research articles should always include a DOI, where available. When referring to other Web pages, it is useful to include a date on which the resource was accessed.


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, the scientific name should be used only.


Genetic nomenclature
Standard genetic nomenclature should be used. Sequence variants should be described in the text and tables using both DNA and protein designations whenever appropriate. For further information, including relevant websites, authors should refer to the Genetic Nomenclature Guide in Trends in Genetics (Elsevier Science Ltd, 1995). For other detailed information, authors should consult Bachman (Microbiol Rev 47: 180–230, 1983) for E. coli K-12, Sanderson and Roth (Microbiol Rev 47: 310–453, 1983) for Salmonella typhimurium; Holloway et al. (Microbiol Rev 43: 73–102, 1979) for Bacillus subtilis; Perkins et al. (Microbiol Rev 46: 426–570, 1982) for Neurospora crassa; and the Handbook of Genetics Vol. 1 (R. C. King, ed., Plenum Press, 1974) for Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Nomenclature for DNA restriction and modification enzymes and their genes should follow Roberts et al. (Nucleic Acids Res 31: 1805-1812, 2003). Please check also on the current HGVS guidelines at, where examples of acceptable nomenclature are provided.


Metric system
The metric system should be used for all measurements, weights, etc. Temperatures should be expressed in degrees Celsius (centigrade).


LB medium - Lysogeny Broth
If you use or refer to the LB medium, please note that the abbreviation LB stands for "lysogeny broth" and not "Luria-Bertani" (Bertani 2004, DOI: 10.1128/JB.186.3.595-600.2004)



All tables must be cited in the text in the order that they should appear.



All figures must be cited in the text in the order that they should appear. Illustrations are an important medium through which to convey the meaning in your article, and there is no substitute for preparing these to the highest possible standard. Therefore, please create your illustrations carefully with reference to our graphics guidelines. It is difficult to improve an image saved or created in an inappropriate format. We realize that not everyone has access to high-end graphics software, so the following information may help if you have difficulty in deciding how to get the best out of the tools at your disposal.

1. Check your software options to see if you can 'save as' or 'export' using one of the robust, industry-standard formats. These are: 

  • Encapsulated PostScript (EPS)
  • Tagged Image File Format (TIFF)
  • Portable Document Format (PDF)
2. As a general rule, images that contain text and line art (graphs, charts, maps, etc.) will reproduce best if saved as EPS or PDF. If you choose this option, it is important to remember to embed fonts. This ensures that any text reproduces exactly as you intend.
3. Images that contain photographic information are best saved as TIFF or PNG, as this ensures that all data are included in the file. JPEG (Joint Photographic Experts Group) should be avoided if possible, as information is lost during compression; however, it is acceptable for purely photographic subjects if the image was generated as a JPEG from the outset (many digital cameras, for example, output only in JPEG format).
4. If you are not sure which format would be the best option, it is always best to default to EPS or PDF as these are more likely to preserve the high-quality characteristics of the original;
Microsoft Office: if you have generated your images in Microsoft Office software (Word, Excel, PowerPoint), or similar, it is often best simply to send us the files in their native file formats.
5. Please ensure all images are a minimum of 600 dpi.



CrossCheck is a multi-publisher initiative to screen published and submitted content using iThenticate. To find out more about CrossCheck visit here. By submitting your manuscript to MicrobiologyOpen you accept that your manuscript will be screened, using the iThenticate tool, for textual similarity to other previously published works.


Search Engine Optimization for your paper

Please consult our SEO Tips for Authors page to maximize online discoverability for your published research. Included are tips for making your title and abstract SEO-friendly, choosing appropriate keywords, and promoting your research through social media.





Accepted article received in production

When an accepted article is received by Wiley's production team, the corresponding author will receive an email prompting them to login or register with Wiley Author Services. The author will be asked to complete and sign the Open Access Agreement on behalf of all authors via the Wiley Author Licensing Service (WALS). You may preview the copyright terms and conditions here.



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, all common browsers are supported. Authors should also make sure that any renumbered tables, figures, or references match text citations and that figure legends correspond to text citations and actual figures. Proofs must be returned within 48 hours of receipt of the email. Once you have submitted your corrections, the production office will finalize the layout of your article for publication. Note that there may be a delay after corrections are received before the article appears online, as Editors also need to review proofs.    

Before we can publish an article, we require a signed license (authors should log in or register with Wiley Author Services). Once the article is published, no further changes to the article are possible. It will be indexed by PubMed; submitting authors should therefore carefully check the names and affiliations of all authors provided on the cover page of the manuscript so it is accurate for indexing (but see below for "Wiley’s Author Name Change Policy").


Cover image

After your article is accepted for publication, you can send your image to [email protected] to be considered for the cover of MicrobiologyOpen.

  • Specs for the Cover Image must be:
    • Height - 232 mm
    • Width - 210 mm
    • TIFF format files with a resolution of at least 300 dpi are preferred.

If you would like to send suggestions for artwork related to your manuscript to be considered to appear on the cover of the journal, please follow these general guidelines. Wiley Editing Services offers a professional Cover Image Design service that creates eye-catching images, ready to be showcased on the journal cover.





Citing this article: eLocators

This journal uses eLocators, which are unique identifiers for an article that serve 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 here.

Promoting the article

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


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.       


Measuring the impact of an article

Wiley also helps authors measure the impact of their research through specialist partnership with Altmetric.



As this is an open access journal, you have free, unlimited access to your article online. However, if you wish to obtain printed reprints, these may be ordered online here.


Archiving services

Portico and CLOCKSS are digital archiving/preservation services we use to ensure that Wiley content will be accessible to customers in the event of a catastrophic event such as Wiley going out of business or the platform not being accessible for a significant period of time. Member libraries participating in these services will be able to access the content after such an event. Wiley has licenses with both Portico and CLOCKSS, and all journal content gets delivered to both services as it is published on Wiley Online Library.




By submitting a manuscript to or reviewing for this publication, your name, email address, 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 here.

Wiley’s Author Name Change Policy

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.




Address correspondence to the Editorial Office: [email protected]. Any questions regarding the production of your article should be directed to the Production Editor at [email protected].

Please reference your manuscript ID in all correspondence.