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Appeals and complaints

Complaint about editorial decisions (e.g. appeal against a decision)

Authors may appeal decisions by contacting the Editorial Office if there are strong grounds to believe there have been errors or misunderstandings on the part of the Editor or reviewers. All appeals are carefully considered by the Editor and, if necessary, Editor-in-Chief. Where appropriate, additional advice may be sought from other members of the Editorial team or Editorial Advisory Board. Decisions on appeals are final.

Complaint about processes

Complaints or concerns about processes (e.g. delays or technical issues) should be raised in the first instance with the Managing Editor of each journal via the Editorial Office. They will work with the in-house Editorial and Production teams (where appropriate) to resolve any outstanding issues and thoroughly investigate the matter.

Complaint about publication ethics

Ethical issues are handled in consultation with the guidelines published by COPE. Queries or concerns should be raised in the first instance with the Managing Editor of each journal via the Editorial Office. They will work with the Ethics Coordinator for The Company of Biologists, Editor-in-Chief and Handling Editor (where appropriate) to resolve the issue and thoroughly investigate the matter. Advice from third-party experts may be taken if necessary.

Contacts for complaints and appeals

Development: dev@biologists.com
Journal of Cell Science: jcs@biologists.com
Journal of Experimental Biology: jeb@biologists.com
Disease Models & Mechanisms: dmm@biologists.com
Biology Open: bio@biologists.com

Equity, diversity and inclusion

The Company of Biologists is committed to improving diversity and inclusion in our activities. We believe that diversity – in areas including but not limited to geography, ethnicity, gender and career stage – is essential for a community to thrive, and aim to engage a broad and diverse group of authors, reviewers, Editors, editorial staff, Editorial Board members and readers. As a founding signatory of a cross-publisher Joint commitment for action on inclusion and diversity in publishing, we recognise that disparities and biases exist in publishing, and are actively working towards ensuring we reflect the diversity of the community in our publishing activities. By working with other like-minded publishers to share knowledge and expertise, we aim to develop more inclusive practices and policies to better serve and improve outcomes for under-represented members of our community.


Corrections and Retractions

The Company of Biologists will take all necessary steps to maintain the accuracy and quality of the papers published in their journals. 

The Company of Biologists investigates all potential issues reported to it or of which it becomes aware, including anonymous allegations made by whistle blowers (either directly or on community platforms such as PubPeer). Where authors become aware of errors in a published paper, we expect them to contact the journal to help resolve these issues. In some cases, this will require the involvement of authors’ institutes and sometimes the appointment of independent experts. Most cases are resolved pre-publication, but some do relate to published articles. Should investigations find that no action is required, it is usual practice not to make any public statement about the investigation. If, however, investigations find that action is required relating to a published article, this will be made clear through the published record, for example, in the form of a Correction, Retraction, Expression of Concern and/or Publisher’s Note.

The journals also publish occasional Correspondence and Response articles in cases in which a paper warrants further discussion.


Peer review policy

Unbiased independent critical assessment is of vital importance in scholarly publishing. The Company of Biologists’ peer review policies adhere to the guidelines on publishing objective and unbiased scientific information set by COPE (Committee on Publication Ethics).

The Company operates single-blind peer review for all its primary research papers and commissioned Review-type material.

More detailed information about the individual journal policies, including cross-referee commenting and transparent peer review, is available on the journal web sites.


Permanence of the publication record

Preservation of electronic versions of articles in a permanent archive is an essential component of today’s publishing. The Company of Biologists has a third-party agreement with Silverchair, who administer our archive, and is a member of the LOCKSS/CLOCKSS program.

The Company has adopted the DOI (digital object identifier) system to enable accurate citation and stable online availability of our published articles (see www.doi.org).


Preprint policies

The Company of Biologists recognises the growing use of preprint servers in the biological sciences, and appreciates the value in rapid dissemination of research results. To this end, the Company supports authors who wish to post primary research manuscripts on community preprint servers such as bioRxiv. Such deposition will not be considered prior publication and will not compromise potential publication in the journals.


Data deposition

The Company endorses the Force 11 Data Citation Principles and its journal submission systems are integrated with the Dryad data repository.


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