Editorial Criteria
Submissions to Bio-protocol must adhere to the following editorial criteria:
  • The protocol falls within the remit of our Aims and Scope. Please refer to our Submission Procedure for further details.

  • The protocol is structured in an appropriate format that clearly describes the experimental procedure, including separate sections for the abstract, background, materials and reagents, equipment, procedure, data analysis, recipes, acknowledgements, and references (see Protocol Preparation Guidelines for our recommended format).

  • There is demonstrable evidence that the submitted protocol works (for example, the protocol was previously published in its brief version by the authors as part of a research article).

  • The protocol contains sufficient detail to enable other researchers to effectively reproduce the steps described.

  • The protocol is clearly written in formal English.

  • Figures, videos, tables, animations and other supporting media are of acceptable publication quality, relevant to the protocol, and clearly described using appropriate legends.

  • The protocol adheres to all relevant standards (e.g. NIH for NIH-funded researchers) for experimentation and research integrity.

  • The authors sign our License to Publish agreement.

Sharing of Resources
We expect our authors to share materials from their protocols upon request. Relevant materials include strains and isolates, vectors, gene constructs, seeds, cuttings, genotypes, ecotypes, tissue samples, and other similar materials. Authors must also submit data and materials from their protocol to appropriate public repositories wherever applicable.
Appealing an Editorial Decision
Authors can appeal an editorial decision by emailing the Executive Editor that handled their submission with "Appeal of Editorial Decision" in the subject line of the email. The Executive Editor will guide the author on how to prepare a detailed appeal letter, which should state precisely why the author is appealing a decision. At Bio-protocol, the formal appeal letter will be discussed by at least 5 members of the editorial board. We aim to make a decision within three weeks of receiving the formal appeal letter.
Corrections and Retractions
Authors are requested to notify the Executive Editor that handled their submission about any errors identified in their published protocol as soon as possible after they become aware of the error. The errors will be corrected and the protocol will be updated clearly indicating that it is a correction published in a later issue. A significant error can also lead to retraction of a protocol. Protocols may be retracted by authors or editors due to irreproducible data or o​ther gross errors. A retraction will appear in a later issue including the title of the original article with an explanation of why it was retracted.
Plagiarism consists of two forms: a) self-plagiarism, in which authors reuse significant parts of their own previously published work without appropriate references; and b) copying, in which authors present someone else's published work as their own. Significant plagiarism will be determined by the Associate Editor assigned to the manuscript, and if found to violate the acceptable standard of using other pieces of work with appropriate attribution, will not be accepted for publication at Bio-protocol. Minor incidents of plagiarism without intent, for example using 1 or 2 lines from their own previous Materials and Methods section of a paper, will not be considered a violation of plagiarism ethics. Bio-protocol supports initiatives such as CrossCheck.
Bio-protocol is a member of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE), fully supports their guidelines, and follows their flowcharts for dealing with potential breaches of publication ethics. Bio-protocol also follows, as far as possible, guidelines established by the Council of Science Editors (CSE) and the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE). These include but are not limited to: standards for treatment of research subjects; falsification and fabrication of data; guidelines for authorship; and piracy and plagiarism.
Authors are expected to comply with best practice in research and publishing ethics, and with our associated guidelines. We also require authors to accurately report any competing interests.
Authorship: Bio-protocol supports and adheres to the ICMJE guidelines regarding authorship, authorship criteria, and the scope and responsibilities of corresponding authors.
All authors are expected to take responsibility for the content contained within their manuscripts submitted to Bio-protocol. All manuscript authors are contacted via email at the time of submission to ensure that they are aware of and approve the submission, as well as its content and acknowledgment of other listed authors.
Contributorship: Bio-protocol follows the ICMJE guidelines regarding contributorship. Examples of activities such as acquisition of funding, or writing assistance, or providing published data or materials alone do not satisfy the authorship criteria.
Those whose contributions do not justify authorship may be listed individually or together as a group in the acknowledgments section. Authors should obtain written permission to mention any individuals listed in the acknowledgments.
Submission of Previously Published Work: Bio-protocol publishes protocols, methodologies, and research techniques that have previously been used to produce data that are already published in the results-oriented peer-reviewed research literature. One primary method for Bio-protocol to publish this content is to invite contributions from authors that have published methods in brief that are used in the results-oriented literature but not described in sufficient detail for others to replicate. Bio-protocol invites authors to publish a full and detailed version of their experimental protocols and workflows.
Bio-protocol requires that the submitted manuscript does not significantly overlap with any other article, either published previously or at any stage in the publication process, such as in preprint format. If an author uses representative results or figures from a previous publication, they are required to get permission from the original publisher and then cite this use appropriately.
Bio-protocol also requires authors to acknowledge previously published work (where the protocol is derived from) in both the acknowledgments and references sections.
Animal and/or Human Subjects: We expect that research involving animal and/or human subjects is to be conducted to the highest ethical standards. For animal research, we recommend following the guidelines established by Animal Research: Reporting of In Vivo Experiments (ARRIVE). For protocols that include the use of live animals (e.g., vertebrates and higher invertebrates), the authors must mention the specific ethics committee(s) that reviewed the experiments and confirm that all of the experiments were performed in accordance and compliance with the established guidelines. All manuscripts and videos must include a statement that the demonstrated protocol was approved by the authors' animal use governing body (the statement should be included in the video legend). All protocols that have used human subjects must mention the specific ethics committee that approved the described experiment. Protocols including human subjects should also indicate that informed consent was obtained from all subjects (or provide a detailed explanation for why consent was not obtained). Authors should also ensure that they have the proper permission from their institutional review board or other regulatory groups overseeing their studies to film human subjects. Authors must make sure that subjects understand the format and distribution of the publication.
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