News from The Company of Biologists
The Company of Biologists and Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory’s preprint server bioRxiv are delighted to announce two-way integration of their manuscript submission systems, operated by Bench>Press (HighWire Press).
Authors depositing a manuscript in bioRxiv can now transfer their paper directly to any of The Company of Biologists’ journals (Development, Journal of Cell Science, Journal of Experimental Biology, Disease Models &Mechanisms and Biology Open) through a simple transfer portal – avoiding the need to re-enter information or upload files in multiple submission systems.
In addition, authors submitting a manuscript to any of The Company of Biologists’ journals will soon be able to deposit their article in bioRxiv through a simple one-click process in the journal’s submission system. Once deposited through this optional service, the unrefereed manuscript will become free for anyone to read almost immediately, regardless of the editorial decision made at the journal. It will be citable with a bioRxiv DOI, and its usage can be tracked. This system has been in place at Development for several months. Feedback has been positive and the service is now being extended to all the Company’s journals.
Through these services, The Company of Biologists aims to support authors in making their research available to the community at an early stage – before peer review and formal publication.
Two of our journals have introduced a new step in their peer review process whereby referees are invited to comment on the other referee reports before the editor makes a decision. The aim of this ‘cross-referee commenting’ step is to help resolve differences between referees, identify unnecessary or unreasonable requests, or – conversely – highlight valid concerns raised by one referee but overlooked by others. More information can be found in the recent editorials in Development and J Cell Sci, and in a recent interview with the Development Executive Editor.
We have recently signed the ORCID agreement, joining the growing number of publishers who recognize the value of widespread ORCID adoption and require ORCID iDs to be provided at submission by their authors.
ORCID provides a unique identifier for all researchers that can be linked to their different research works and activities across multiple platforms. It also serves to distinguish authors with similar names and simplify searching of publications databases (such as PubMed, Scopus, etc.) to avoid retrieving articles by authors with the same name.
During the submission process, the corresponding author will be required to provide an ORCID iD and we encourage authors to use ORCID iDs to identify each researcher.
Register for a free ORCID iD here.
We are delighted to announce that The Company of Biologists journals are partnering with the Dryad data repository to support authors in making the data underlying their research available to the community, and to better integrate data accessibility with manuscript submission.
For many years, our journals have encouraged authors to make data that cannot be included as ‘flat’ figures available to readers upon publication. Several appropriate field-specific repositories exist where authors can deposit data for community access. We require that such data are made available at the time of publication, and encourage authors to deposit at an early stage so that referees can review the data behind the paper.
However, issues of data availability apply across all fields and data types and, in many cases, there is no specific repository for the deposition of data. In some cases, relevant data can be made available as part of the Supplementary Information, but this is not always appropriate (particularly given the large file sizes that are often involved). To overcome this problem, a number of general purpose data repositories have been developed that allow researchers to submit data packages in almost any format, and can be accessed and cited by the community. In addition, they allow your files to be permanently and safely archived. Where appropriate, we encourage authors to submit data to repositories such as Dryad and figshare.
Our partnership with Dryad will now allow authors to submit their data packages at the time of manuscript submission, so that the data can be made securely available to referees and then automatically made public if and when the paper is published. Dryad charges a small fee, but waivers are available for submissions from low-income or lower-middle-income economies. Data packages are given a permanent, citable DOI and bidirectional linking between the data and the paper will help readers easily access the relevant files. We are not changing our policies regarding deposition, but hope to make it easier for authors to deposit data where they wish to do so. Our staff and editors can provide advice to authors on what types of data should ideally be made available, so please feel free to get in touch with any queries. More information on Dryad can also be found here. We welcome your feedback on this new partnership.