For Authors & Referees
This resource center provides information and services to help you publish your research and review for Synthetic Biology Journal. Core practices are what our journal, authors and reviewers need, to reach the highest standards in publication ethics. Here we list several vital publication ethics to our journal. For more details, please refer to the web of the Publication Ethics Committee (COPE) (http://www.publicationethics.org/).
Our processes & policies
Initial assessment of submissions
We are committed to publishing high-quality new work that makes a significant contribution within the scope of our journal. In order to meet this aim, submitted manuscripts undergo initial evaluation by an editor to ensure that they meet the essential criteria of the journal.
After passing the preliminary review process, the manuscript is forwarded to the reviewer for further consideration, and we use single-blind peer review.
A manuscript may be returned to the author(s) without external review if, in the opinion of the editor(s), one or more of the following apply:
● The work clearly falls outside the scope of the journal.
● The work is of poor scientific quality such that it is clearly not suitable for publication in a scientific journal.
● The manuscript contains redundant information or large amounts of material that have already been published elsewhere or are under consideration by another journal.
● The quality of the Chinese in the manuscript is too poor to present the science clearly.
Authors have the right to appeal against any decision taken on their manuscript at any stage. An appeal would be granted at the discretion of the editorial broad Synthetic Biology Journal. Through the appeal process, further opinion will be sought on the manuscript's suitability for publication. After the appeal process, the editor's decision is final.
Step 1: Send a rebuttal letter to the editor. The letter should explain clearly why you disagree with the decision on your manuscript, and should include a detailed response to reviewers’ comments.
Step 2: The editor will consider your appeal. All appeal requests are handled on a case by case basis, and the editor's decision is final.
Step 3: Your manuscript will undergo further assessment by an independent reviewer.
Step 4: The editor will make a final decision on your manuscript.
All the accepted manuscripts will be available on our and CNKI website as soon as possible. The edited and formatted article will replace the accepted manuscript after publication.
Correction & retraction policy
The Committee on Publishing Ethics (COPE) guidelines is followed when correcting and retracting articles.
We will consider issuing a correction if:
● The scientific record is seriously affected, for instance, with regard to the scientific accuracy of published information.
● A small part of an otherwise reliable publication proves to be misleading (especially because of honest error).
● The author/contributor list is incorrect (i.e., a deserving author has been omitted, or somebody who does not meet authorship criteria has been included).
We will not usually publish a correction that does not affect the contribution in a material way or if the issue does not significantly impair the reader's understanding, such as spelling or grammatical error. The correction is free to view and is linked to the article of record that it corrects.
We will consider issuing a retraction notice if:
● We have clear evidence that the findings are unreliable, either as a result of misconduct (for example, data preparation) or honest error (such as a miscalculation or experimental error).
● The findings have previously been published elsewhere without proper cross-referencing, permission or justification (that is, cases of redundant publication).
● The publication constitutes plagiarism.
● The publication reports unethical research.
The retraction notice is free to view and is linked to the article of record that it retracts; the article of record will be watermarked 'RETRACTED'.
This section provides guidance to authors on their responsibilities and the code of conduct they should follow when submitting to Synthetic Biology Journal. It also describes what are considered to be conflicts of interest and outlines our policy on human and animal welfare.
There is no broadly agreed definition of authorship, but authors should, as a minimum, take responsibility for a particular section of the study. The award of authorship should balance intellectual contributions to the conception, design, analysis and writing of the study against the collection of data and other routine work. If no task can reasonably be attributed to a particular individual, then that individual should not be credited with authorship.
Authors have a responsibility to give due acknowledgment to all workers contributing to the work. Those who have contributed significantly to the research should be listed as co-authors. On submission of the manuscript, the corresponding author should make sure that those named as co-authors have agreed to its submission for publication and accepts the responsibility for having properly included all (and only) co-authors. All authors must sign the Transfer of Copyright Agreement before the article can be published. Changes in authorship after initial submission must be approved by all authors and justified to the editor.
Authenticity & professionalism
Collect and interpret data in an honest way: Editors, reviewers, readers and publishers have the right to assume that submitted (and published) manuscripts do not contain scientific dishonesty and/or fraud comprising among others fictitious or manipulated data, plagiarised material, reference omissions, false priority statements, 'hidden' multiple publication of the same data and wrong authorship. Authors must not breach any copyright.
For the reproduction of figures and/or schemes from other publications, it is the author's responsibility to seek permission from the relevant publishers.
Give due recognition to published work relating to their submitted manuscript by way of correct reference and citation: if a significant amount of other published material is to be used, permission must be sought in accordance with copyright law. Any act of plagiarism is strictly forbidden.
All sources of fundings for the work should be declared in the manuscript.
Publication of related works
Do not engage in redundant publication: This occurs when two or more papers, without full cross reference, share the same hypothesis, data, discussion points, or conclusions. Previous publication of an abstract or preprint of the proceedings of meetings does not preclude subsequent submission for publication, but full disclosure should be made.
Authors may be asked to recommend suitable reviewers on submission of their manuscript. When recommending reviewers, the following points should be considered:
● Authors should not recommend reviewers with a conflict of interest, for example, a close collaborator or colleague.
● Recommended reviewers should not be at the same institute as any of the authors.
● Official email addresses should be provided for recommended reviewers, wherever possible.
This section provides general guidance to reviewers on the procedure and requirements to assess manuscripts submitted to Synthetic Biology Journal.
Becoming a reviewer
To register as a reviewer, contact the journal office to ask to be considered for the position. Reviewers are selected based on their expertise and experience. We will only consider as reviewers those who:
● Are qualified to PhD level (or equivalent) and title in vice-high class or above
● Are current active researchers
● Have one or more recent publications in peer-reviewed journals of suitable impact and reputation
We also recognize the contribution that our reviewers make to the journal by announcing each year our Outstanding Reviewers who have made a significant contribution to the journal.
Treat the manuscript as confidential: The manuscript (or its existence) should not be shown to or discussed with others, except when specific scientific advice may be sought; in that event, the editor must be informed. Information acquired by a reviewer from such a paper is not available for disclosure or citation until the paper is published.
To ensure that all unpublished data, information and discussion in a submitted article remain confidential and not to use reported work in unpublished, submitted articles for their own research.
To comment the manuscript objectively and timely: Reviewers should not make personal criticism in their reviews.
To respect the intellectual independence of authors.
To inform the editor of any similarity between the submitted manuscript and another either published or under consideration.
To alert the editor if a manuscript contains or appears to contain plagiarized material, falsified data, or manipulated data.
To inform the editor if there is a conflict of interest: Reviewers should not review manuscripts authored or co-authored by a person whom has a close personal or professional relationship with the reviewer.
For further guidance on avoiding potential conflicts of interest during the peer review process, see the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) ethical guidelines for peer reviewers.