Instructions for Authors

International Journal of Biological Sciences publishes papers of high quality in any area of biology and biological sciences. Submission to the Journal is on the understanding that the article has not been previously published in any other form and is not under consideration for publication elsewhere.

  • Research Paper: Please provide full author information, a set of keywords and an abstract in the title page. Supplementary materials can be published if necessary. Authors are encouraged to be concise although currently there is no length limit on research paper.
  • Short Research Communication presents a concise study, or sometimes preliminary but innovative research findings that might be less substantial than a full research paper. Short Research Communication is limited to 2500 words. It should have a set of keywords and an abstract summarizing background of the work, the results and their implications. Results and Discussion Section should be combined and followed by Conclusion. Materials and Methods will remain as a separate section. The number of references is limited to 30 and the number of figures and/or tables combined is limited to 4.
  • Letter: Description of novel findings that might not be suitable for a regular research paper or short research communication may be published as letter. Letter is limited to be under 500 words and 5 references. There should be not more than two figures or tables combined, and no supplementary material.
  • Commentary: This is the place for discussing controversial and/or interdisciplinary topics, viewpoints and any other issues of interest. It is limited to a maximum of 10 references, 1 display (figure/table), and 1000 words including all contents.
  • Review or mini-review should be authoritative and of high interest. A minimum of two figures/illustrations should be included in the review or mini-review that should be some 3000 or 5000 words long (excluding references and figure legends). High quality reviews from leading researchers in their fields are particularly welcome.

When suggesting potential reviewers, please provide their names, academic ranks, affiliations, and emails. The reviewers must be credible and free from any potential conflict of interest. It is up to the editors to decide whether to use the suggested reviewers. At least 30% of the suggested reviewers must be from different countries. Please provide the website links of all suggested reviewers.


Studies that are performed in only one single cell line are not acceptable in this journal. Please do not submit manuscripts of studies with only single cell line.

All original images in the research articles, i.e. Western blots and compact panels in figures, should be provided at revision stages or at any stages upon editorial request. Please submit these images as supplementary files (in one PDF preferably) with figure legends.

Authors should make genomic and transcriptimic data publicly available prior to acceptance or at the earliest date possible.

Pre-submission inquiries

We do not provide pre-submission evaluation since we feel that it is difficult to make a proper judgement purely based on an abstract or limited information provided, and also our submission system is very easy to submit entire manuscript.


It is the responsibility of every person listed as an author of an article submitted to this journal to follow the 4 criteria about the authorship recommended by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE):

  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.

Strong justification is needed when there are more than one first (listed as co-first) or corresponding (listed as co-corresponding) authors.


A note on plagiarism (please read before submission): There is a zero-tolerance policy towards plagiarism (including self-plagiarism) in our journal. Manuscripts are screened for plagiarism before, during, and after publication, and if found they will be rejected at any stage. In case that a paper is already published in our journal and appears in PubMed Central but plagiarism is still detected or later reported by readers, it will be retracted from our journal and the authors' institutions and department heads will be notified to take actions. This includes data fabrication, data falsification and image manipulation.


★ To submit a new manuscript, please go to here.

  1. Please put all formal figures at the end of the manuscript so that they can be submitted as one file (PDF or Word).
  2. All supplementary figures, if any, should be put into one file (PDF or Word).
  3. Please add line numbers and page numbers in the manuscript.
  4. Please format references according to the required styles below.
  5. Abstract should be less than 200 words in one paragraph without subtitles.

★ To submit a revision, please login, select a manuscript and follow the "Submit revision" link. Do not submit a revision as a new submission.

All files should be submitted online in the journal's web site. Submissions by email of any manuscript files, either to the editors or to the journal office, are not acceptable and are discarded automatically.

The submitting author must be the corresponding author or one of the corresponding authors.

Please embed figures and tables in the manuscript to become one single file for submission (Word or PDF) in the journal website. Once submission is complete, the system will generate a manuscript ID sent to author's contact email.

Supplementary files: The initial submission allows one supplementary file to be submitted together with the main manuscript file and cover letter. If you have more than one supplementary files, you can submit the extra ones after the initial submission in the manuscript login page (under "Supplementary file" heading, click on the link "[Add More]"). Large files can be compressed into a ZIP file when submitting, but not RAR. To zip files in Windows, select the files and right click "Send to > Compressed (zipped) folder". Supplementary materials appear online linked to the paper and are not edited.

Manuscripts that have been previously posted to preprint servers (e.g. BioRxiv, MedRxiv, ChemRxiv, etc.) are allowed for submissions to our journal. Authors can also post their manuscripts to other preprint servers if the manuscripts are accepted by our journal.


Manuscripts that are judged to be of insufficient quality or unlikely to be competitive enough for publication are rejected during initial screening. The remaining manuscripts go through a single-blind peer review process with two or more reviewers. In single-blind review, reviewers' identities are hidden from the authors but not vice versa. Possible decisions after review are: accept as is, minor revision, major revision, or reject. Authors should submit back their revisions within 3 months in the case of minor revision, or 6 months in the case of major revision. If longer time is needed, please contact the editor in charge for extension. To submit a revision please sign in here and use the submit button at the right side of page. Manuscripts with significant results are typically reviewed and published at the highest priority.

Note: After the manuscript is accepted, any inquiry related to publishing (copyediting, fees, proofs, etc) must be addressed to our publishing team only. Please do not send or cc any publishing-related inquiry to our editor-in-chief or editors as they are not involved in the publishing process after a manuscript is accepted.


Articles in our journal are now distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC-BY license) Authors retain copyright of the article.

For articles published before June 10 2019, the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 License was used by default and copyright is with the publisher. Please refer to each individual article's copyright and open access statement.

Publication Fee

Publication fee is payable only if a manuscript is accepted for publication. There is no additional fee for color figures, and no submission charge. Instruction for payment will be sent during the publication process and invoice will be available in the manuscript login page after a manuscript is accepted. Payment can be made by credit card (Visa/MasterCard/UnionPaynew) or bank transfer. Publication fee is required to cover the cost of publication. The fee should be paid before copyediting and publication and within 3 months from the date of acceptance.

Research paper/
Short research communication/
$AUD 4500
Letter/Erratum $AUD 2250

* $AUD: Australian dollar. Currency Converter (external source)

Graphic abstract sample

Graphical Abstract

Authors should provide a graphical abstract (a beautifully designed feature figure) to represent the paper aiming to catch the attention and interest of readers. Graphical abstract will be published online in the table of content. The graphical abstract should be colored, and kept within an area of 12 cm (width) x 6 cm (height). Image should have a minimum resolution of 600 dpi and line art 1200 dpi. Note: Height of the image should be no more than half of the width. Please avoid putting too much information into the graphical abstract as it occupies only a small space. Graphical abstract can be provided in the format of jpg (preferred), PDF, Word, PowerPoint, or png, after a manuscript is accepted for publication.

There is no need to provide graphic abstract at the first submission, but it is required at revision or publication stage. See more sample graphical abstracts in

Format for Publication

Once a manuscript is accepted, authors should provide a final version (in Microsoft Word file) according to the guidelines here for copyediting purpose and publication. Note that the final manuscript must be provided in Microsoft Word, and we cannot accept Latex and Tex files.

Please include figures at the end of manuscript Word file, or provide a high quality PDF containing all figures. Make sure images are of highest resolution, and any letters inside are clear and legible. If the figures or tables are created using PowerPoint, Photoshop, Microsoft Excel etc, please also provide the original files from those programs.

Title Page

The first letter of each word in title should use upper case. Include in the first page the article title, author's names, affiliations, corresponding author's phone/fax number and/or email. Also provide 3-6 keywords.

Abstract should not contain citations to references, any images or math equations. It should be less than 200 words in one paragraph without subtitles.

Author's names: please provide full names. Important! Please write first name and middle name before surname or lastname, e.g., "Mike Johnson" (not "Johnson, Mike"; not "Johnson M."; not "M. Johnson").

Authorship: The list of authors and contributors should conform to the guidelines as set out in the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE).

Web pages and Web links

We strongly discourage any mentioning or citing web links/URLs in your paper, since web addresses are changed frequently by their owners. This often results in broken links (dead links) in your paper in the future. Inaccessible web links can cause frustrations for readers.


In the main text or figure/table legends, please do not color the fonts or use smaller font size to distinguish one text from other texts. In our xml, only bold, italic, superscript and subscript are allowed.

Please do not add number before subtitles (This does not apply for Review or mini-review).

Tables and Figures

Tables and Figures should be numbered consecutively. Citation of tables and figures should use the format: Table 1, Table 2, ... Figure 1, Figure 2, ... (or Fig. 1, Fig. 2, ...). Parts in a figure can be identified by A, B, C, D, ... . and cited as Figure 2A, Figure 2B, Figure 2C. Do not abbreviate the word "Table" to "Tab.".

Tables: Please create/format tables using Microsoft  Word table format. Tables must be editable, and not as images.

Figures: Resolutions for images should be at least 600 dpi, and for line arts at least 1200 dpi. Graphics downloaded from Internet are not acceptable because the 72 dpi resolution is too low for satisfactory reproduction. Please submit one (1) highest quality PDF containing all figures (one figure per page). Please remove the word "Figure" or "Fig" from the image itself.

Math Formulas and Symbols

Simple mathematical formulas should be constructed in normal text using superscript, subscript, italic, and symbols in Microsoft Word.

  • Use symbols in the Fonts: (normal text) or Symbol fonts. To insert a symbol, use Insert/symbol in the Word menu.
  • Use / for "divide" or "over". For example, 1/7, 5/(4+6).
  • Use Symbol fonts for "±"; "≤" and "≥" (avoid underline).

* Please avoid using math equations of Word whenever possible, because in full text xml/html version, math equations are replaced by images, which does not look good in the normal flow of text.


References should be numbered consecutively starting from 1, and should be cited in the manuscript by numbers, e.g. [1,2,3], (not cited by author and date). One article per reference only (not 1a, 1b, 1c). Please avoid putting personal communications, unpublished observations, conference abstracts or conference papers in references. Do not format references as footnotes. Please use plain text in references, no image or math equation.

EndNote: A reference style for our journal can be downloaded here. Please put the style file in Windows C:\Program Files (x86)\EndNote X?\Styles ('?' is EndNote version number.) Then open MS Word. In the EndNote tab, select Style: ivyspring. The style is the same for other Ivyspring journals.

Please note the number of references must not exceed 200 for any article.

  • Journal Paper
    Use the sequence: [Author surname] [Author initials], [Other author surnames & initials]. [Article title]. [Journal name abbreviation]. [Year]; [Volume]: [First page number]-[Last page number].
    • Journal paper must have journal name (or journal abbreviation), year, volume and page numbers.
    • Please make sure that the year of publication is not missing.
    • Please use ":" to separate volume and first page number.
    • Do not bold or italicize the title, journal name, or any part of references. Omit any "." in the journal abbreviations.
    • 1. Eknoyan G, Beck GJ, Cheung AK, et al. Effect of dialysis dose and membrane flux in maintenance hemodialysis. N Engl J Med. 2002; 347: 2010-9.
    • Supplement example:
      2. Volk HD, Reinke P, Krausch D, et al. Monocyte deactivation-rationale for a new therapeutic strategy in sepsis. Intensive Care Med. 1996; 22 (Suppl 4):S474-S481.
    • No author given example:
      3. [No authors listed]. Medicare program; criteria for Medicare coverage of adult liver transplants-HCFA. Final notice. Fed Regist. 1991; 56(71):15006-15018.
    • In press example:
      4. Cheung TMT, et al. Effectiveness of non-invasive positive pressure ventilation in the treatment of acute respiratory failure in severe acute respiratory syndrome. Chest; in press.
    • Epub ahead of print example:
      5. Li W, Chen Y, Cameron DJ, et al. Elovl4 haploinsufficiency does not induce early onset retinal degeneration in mice. Vision Res 2007; [Epub ahead of print].
  • Book
    1. Kiloh LG, Smith JS, Johnson GF, et al. Physical treatment in psychiatry. Boston, USA: Blackwell Scientific Publisher; 1988.
  • Chapter in Edited Book
    1. Beckenbough RD, Linscheid RL. Arthroplasty in the hand and wrist. In: Green DP, ed. Operative Hand Surgery, 2nd ed. New York: Churchill Livingstone; 1988: 167-214.
  • Website (discouraged)
    1. [Internet] WHO. Summary of probable SARS cases with onset of illness from 1 November 2002 to 31 July 2003.
    2. [Internet] Kornberg R.

DOI: Please remove the "[pii]" field in any doi. E.g., doi:00932.2006 [pii] 10.1152/japplphysiol.00932.2006. Remove "00932.2006 [pii]".

* Please do not add web links or web URLs in references.

Supplementary materials

Supplementary materials may include figures, tables, methods, videos, and other materials. They are available online linked to the original published article. Supplementary tables and figures should be labeled with "S1", "S2", ... E.g. Table S1, Figure S1, Video/Movie S1, and cited in the manuscript in the same way. Do not write them as "S Table 1" or "S Figure 1".

The maximum file size for supplementary materials is 10MB each uncompressed. Please kept the files as small possible to avoid the frustrations experienced by readers with downloading large files. Large files can be compressed into a ZIP file, but not RAR.

Supplementary materials are published as provided by the authors, and are not copyedited.


Abbreviations must be presented in one paragraph, in the format: "term: definition". Please separate the items by ";". Please strictly follow the format.

E.g. HIV: human immunodeficiency virus; SIV: simian immunodeficiency virus; ....


Our journal is fully open-access with articles freely available in the journal website including PDF, xml, and supplementary materials if applicable. All published articles of our journal are permanently archived by PubMed Central of US National Library of Medicine and Europe PMC. Authors are also encouraged to self-archive the published articles in their own or institutional websites as well as governmental websites, library websites, without permissions required.

Ethics Committee Approval and Patient Consent

Experimental research involving human or animals should have been approved by author's institutional review board or ethics committee. This information should be mentioned in the manuscript including the name of the board/committee that gave the approval. Investigations involving humans will have been performed in accordance with the principles of Declaration of Helsinki. Authors should also comply with the clinical trial registration statement from the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors, and the clinical trial registration number should be provided.

For research involving human subjects, informed consent from each patient or participant should be obtained. Patient or participants' identities and privacy must be fully protected in the manuscript. Please follow the guidelines from ICMJE on Protection of Research Participants.

The information of whether informed consent has been obtained should be written in the manuscript, either in the Methods section, Acknowledgement, or in a separate section. If informed consent was obtained orally only or not obtained, the authors must clearly explain the reasons with a statement in the manuscript and this should have been approved by author's institutional review board or ethics committee.

Competing Interests

Competing interests (also called "Conflict of interests") that might interfere with the objective presentation of the research findings contained in the manuscript should be declared in a paragraph heading "Competing interests" (after Acknowledgment section and before References).

According to the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors: Financial relationships (such as employment, consultancies, stock ownership or options, honoraria, patents, and paid expert testimony) are the most easily identifiable, the ones most often judged to represent potential conflicts of interest and thus the most likely to undermine the credibility of the journal, the authors, and of science itself. Other interests may also represent or be perceived as conflicts, such as personal relationships or rivalries, academic competition, and intellectual beliefs. Authors should avoid entering in to agreements with study sponsors, both for-profit and non-profit, that interfere with authors’ access to all of the study’s data or that interfere with their ability to analyze and interpret the data and to prepare and publish manuscripts independently when and where they choose. Policies that dictate where authors may publish their work violate this principle of academic freedom. Authors may be required to provide the journal with the agreements in confidence.

Authors should fully disclose their conflicts of interest. If there is no conflict of interest, please use the statement "The authors have declared that no competing interest exists".

Data Availability

Authors are recommended to deposit large data in a public repository. Small data sets may be published as supplementary materials. Authors may provide:

  • The location and method where the data can be downloaded or obtained. If all data are included in the manuscript or as supplementary material, please indicate so. If data will be shared upon request please provide detailed contact information.
  • If the data are deposited in a public repository, provide the URLs (and DOIs if available).
  • If the data cannot be openly shared, please explain why (e.g., to protect study participants or patient privacy).

Publication Ethics

Our journals follow the guidelines as set out in the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) in dealing with publication ethics issues. For details please visit our dedicated page on Publication Ethics.

Commercial advertising

Commercial advertising is not allowed in our journal.

For general information about preparing biomedical manuscripts, please consult the "Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts Submitted to Biomedical Journals: Writing and Editing for Biomedical Publication", available from

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