Editorial policies

Editorial Policies

Authorship & author responsibilities 

All BioInsights journals follow the recommendations of the ICMJE as regards authorship. Authorship should be based on the following four criteria: 

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

Contributors who do not fulfill all four criteria should be listed in the acknowledgements section. 

For more information, please see our  Author Guidelines

External peer review 

Through a rigorous peer-review process, BioInsights titles aim to ensure that articles are unbiased, scientifically accurate and clinically relevant. All Original Research Articles (including full studies, short/preliminary communications, case studies/series, etc.), Review Articles, Perspectives, and any other articles deemed necessary by the Journal Editor, are peer reviewed by two or more members of the International Editorial Board or other external specialists selected on the basis of experience and expertise. Authors are obliged to participate in the peer review process. Review is performed on a double-blind basis – the identities of peer reviewers and authors are kept confidential. Peer reviewers must disclose potential conflicts of interests that may affect their ability to provide an unbiased appraisal (see Conflict of Interest Policy below). Submissions received by the journal from members of the Editorial Board undergo the same double-blind peer review as other content, with external reviewers assigned by the in-house Editor based on their expertise. 

Peer reviewers complete a reviewer report to provide general comments to the editor and both general and specific comments to the author(s). Reviewers are obliged to keep any articles they are given access to for the purpose of peer review confidential. 

Where an author believes that an editor has made an error in declining a paper, they may submit an appeal. The appeal letter should clearly state the reasons why the author(s) considers the decision to be incorrect and provide detailed, specific responses to any comments relating to the rejection of the article. Further advice from members of the journal’s Editorial Board and/or other external experts will be sought regarding eligibility for re-review. 


Most manuscripts require some degree of revision prior to acceptance. Authors should provide a highlighted copy of their revised manuscript to show where changes have been made. A detailed Author Response to the reviewers’ comments is also required. Manuscripts may be accepted at this point or may be subject to further peer review. The final decision on acceptability for publication lies with the Journal Editor. 

Disclosure & conflict of interest policy 

When authors submit a manuscript of any type or format they are responsible for disclosing all relationships and activities that might bias or be seen to bias their work. BioInsights Journals require that all named authors complete the ICMJE (International Committee of Medical Journal Editors) Form for Disclosure of Potential Conflicts of Interest. The form can be found here: http://www.icmje.org/conflicts-of-interest/ 

Financial relationships (such as employment, consultancies, stock ownership or options, honoraria, patents, and paid expert testimony) must be disclosed in full (including the sources of any funding). 

Other interests such as personal relationships or rivalries, academic competition, and intellectual beliefs must be disclosed if they could represent a conflict of interest. 

Authors declaring no conflict of interest are required to publish a statement to that effect within the article. 

External peer reviewers must disclose any conflicts of interest that could bias their opinions of the manuscript, and they should disqualify themselves from reviewing specific manuscripts if they believe it appropriate. Should any such conflict of interest be declared, the Journal Editor will judge whether the reviewer’s comments should be recognized or will interpret the reviewer’s comments in the context of any such declaration. 

BioInsights titles endorse the Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing and Publication of Scholarly Work in Medical Journals, issued by the International Committee for Medical Journal Editors, regarding conflicts of interest, including those related to Authors, Peer Reviewers, and Editors and Journal Staff. 

Ethical conduct of research 

For studies involving data relating to human or animal experimental investigations, appropriate institutional review board approval is required and should be described within the article, as per the ICMJE recommendations on Protection of Research Participants, and the further recommendations of the International Association of Veterinary Editors’ Consensus Author Guidelines for Animal Use. For those investigators who do not have formal ethics review committees, the principles outlined in the Declaration of Helsinki should be followed. For investigations involving human subjects, authors should explain how informed consent was obtained from the participants involved. 

Patients’ rights to privacy 

Patients have a right to privacy that should not be infringed without informed consent. Identifying information should not be included unless the information is essential for scientific purposes and the patient (or parent or legal guardian) gives written informed consent for publication. Informed consent for this purpose requires that the patient be shown the manuscript to be published. When informed consent has been obtained it should be indicated in the manuscript. 

In attempting to maintain patient anonymity, identifying details should be omitted where they are not essential. However, patient data should never be amended or falsified. Informed consent should be obtained whenever there is any doubt that anonymity can be assured. 

Use of personal communications & unpublished data   

Where an individual is identified within an article as a source of information in a personal communication or as a source for unpublished data, authors should include a signed statement of permission from the individual(s) concerned and specify the date of communication. 


Mistakes by either editor or author should be identified wherever possible and an erratum or corrigendum published at the earliest opportunity. In more extreme circumstances, a retraction may be necessary (see below). Should a reader believe they have identified a mistake in a published article, they are encouraged to get in touch with the journal as soon as possible via the Editor. We will attempt to contact the author of the original article to confirm any error brought to our attention by readers, and publish an appropriate erratum or corrigendum at the earliest opportunity. Authors are obliged to participate in this process. Please note, while the journal will make every effort to correct errors that are of scientific importance or critical to the understanding of the article, corrections will only be carried out at the discretion of the editor. It is therefore important to check you are happy with the article proof before it goes to print, as minor errors (such as spelling errors) introduced by the author(s) cannot always be corrected at a later date. 

Duplicate publication/submission & plagiarism 

All manuscripts submitted to BioInsights titles are considered for publication on the understanding that they have not been published previously elsewhere or are under consideration for publication elsewhere. The journal may, however, consider republication of a paper previously published in a language other than English, subject to prominent disclosure of the original source and with any necessary permission. Authors will be asked to certify that the manuscript represents valid work and that neither this manuscript nor one with substantially similar content under their authorship has been published or is being considered for publication elsewhere. 

Where specific findings from a particular study have been previously published (in BioInsights titles or elsewhere), BioInsights titles will not consider manuscripts reporting the same findings, except where: 

  • the results are substantially reanalyzed, reinterpreted for a different audience, or translated into another language; 
  • the primary publication is clearly acknowledged and cited and the trial registration number (where available) of the original research is included; and 
  • the publication is clearly presented as an analysis derived from the primary publication results or marked as a translation, with appropriate permission obtained from the previous publisher and copyright laws upheld. 

The use of published or unpublished ideas, words or other intellectual property derived from other sources without attribution or permission, and representation of such as those of the author(s) is regarded as scientific misconduct and will be addressed as such. 

Scientific misconduct & retraction 

As stated by the ICMJE: “Scientific misconduct in research and non-research publications includes but is not necessarily limited to data fabrication; data falsification, including deceptive manipulation of images; purposeful failure to disclose conflicts of interest; and plagiarism”. If misconduct by authors or reviewers is suspected, either pre- or post-publication, action will be taken. An explanation will be sought from the party or parties considered to be involved. If the response is unsatisfactory, then an appropriate authority will be asked to investigate fully. BioInsights will make all reasonable attempts to obtain a resolution in any such eventuality and correct the record or archive as necessary (publishing a retraction of the article as required). 

Disclaimer: Whilst every effort is made by the Publisher and Editorial Boards to ensure that no inaccurate or misleading data, opinions or statements appear in our journals, they wish to make it clear that the data and opinions that appear in the journals are the responsibility of the contributor concerned. Accordingly, the Publisher, Editorial Boards and their respective employees, officers and agents accept no liability whatsoever for the consequences of any inaccurate or misleading data, opinions or statements. 

Open Access

BioInsights publishes a number of journals under an Open Access model. Open Access is a maturing business model within publishing and challenges the conventional subscription-based model. Rather than having your article behind a subscription pay wall, the open access model enables BioInsights to publish your work online and freely available for anyone to read and download.

To support the open access model and offset the expenses incurred with processing your article – including peer-review management, copyediting, production, graphics and design, online hosting - BioInsights charge a Publication Fee of £1,500, payable upon acceptance of your paper. Your article will be granted a CC-BY-NC-ND Open Access license (please see here for more information on creative commons licenses http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/)

Under the CC-BY-NC-ND license, use of Open Access articles for commercial purposes is not permitted.

Commercial purposes include:

  • Copying or downloading of articles, or linking to such articles for further redistribution, sale or licensing;
  • Copying, downloading or posting by a site or service that incorporates advertising with such content;
  • The inclusion or incorporation of article content in other works or services (other than normal quotations with an appropriate citation) that is then available for sale or licensing, for a fee (for example, a compilation produced for marketing purposes, inclusion in a sales pack)
  • Use of article content (other than normal quotations with appropriate citation) by for-profit organizations for promotional purposes
  • Linking to article content in e-mails redistributed for promotional, marketing or educational purposes;
  • Use for the purposes of monetary reward by means of sale, resale, license, loan, transfer or other form of commercial exploitation such as marketing products.

For parties interested in using BioInsights content for commercial purposes please contact our editorial department editorial@insights.bio.

National Institutes of Health public access policy

Effective April 7, 2008, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has stated that it will “require that all investigators funded by the NIH submit, or have submitted for them to the National Library of Medicine’s PubMed Central an electronic version of their final peer-reviewed manuscripts upon acceptance for publication, to be made publicly available no later than 12 months after the official date of publication…”

To assist our NIH-supported authors in meeting these requirements, BioInsights will submit the final published PDF to the NIH submission system on their behalf, within two weeks of online publication. Authors will then be asked to indicate the funding source as part of the submission process and the identified manuscripts will be transmitted to PubMed Central. The article will appear within PubMed’s index and be freely accessible no later than 12 months after publication.

Wellcome Trust open access policy compliance

In order to comply with Wellcome Trust policy for open access, Wellcome Trust-funded authors are able to opt for our Open Access Option, whereby in return for payment of an article processing fee and signing our Open Access agreement, we will make their article freely available to subscribers and nonsubscribers on our website, and arrange for the final published version to be deposited into PubMed Central and UK PubMed Central on publication of their article, providing the Open Access payment has been received. Third parties will be entitled to re-use the Article, in whole or in part, in accordance with the conditions outlined in the Creative Commons Deed, Attribution 3.0 (CC-BY).