Goals of JBC Reviews

The Journal of Biological Chemistry (JBC) publishes timely reviews that highlight new insights and paradigm shifts in our understanding of the molecular and cellular basis of life processes.

All JBC Reviews should be written for a broad interdisciplinary readership and highlight the opportunities, challenges and wider implications of the work. We welcome a spectrum of reviews that may: critically review and provide new insight into the state of a field; focus on advances in methods, tools, techniques and resources that are of broad interest to the biological chemistry community; and/or address forward looking, multidisciplinary and cross-cutting themes.

The JBC Reviews Committee will work with authors and associate editors during the preparation of reviews to assist in refining the focus and scope by providing feedback on outlines or early drafts to help identify missing elements, comment on figures, and make suggestions on the global organization. JBC will give editorial input on the overall organization and presentation of the first submission. JBC will provide artistic support for critical figures that can be used for educational purposes and capture the central message(s) of the review to create a consistent style for the JBC Reviews section. Please note that this step will only occur once it is clear the review is on track to publication; the initially submitted figures must be sufficiently developed to facilitate the peer review process. See more information regarding this part of the process.

Additional considerations

  • JBC Reviews are normally invited. However, authors may submit brief outlines for consideration by the Committee.
  • Where the focus is more on a particular field, authors should discuss open questions, controversies in that field and the broader implications of new findings.
  • Discussion of advances in methodologies/tools/resources should articulate opportunities, describe new developments and insights, and provide critical assessment of the benefits and pitfalls of new approaches.
  • Works highlighting opportunities that are forward-looking and have a broader and multi-disciplinary approach that provide new insight to multiple themes and fields are particularly welcome.
  • Please avoid lengthy details about specific experiments, unless they are directly relevant to the central advances you want to highlight.
  • New analysis of publicly available data (such as extracting mutations from gene databases or overlaying biomolecule structures) will be allowed at the editor’s discretion; the inclusion of new primary data is not allowed. Unpublished data are not generally allowed.

Formatting guidelines

  • Titles should be accessible to a broad readership and not exceed 150 characters (including spaces).
  • Abstracts should not exceed 250 words.
  • Include a Conflict of Interest statement.
  • The overall length is at the author’s discretion, pending input from the Committee and referees. JBC welcomes short reviews (comparable to previous JBC Mini-reviews, i.e. 28000 characters) but longer monographs are fine where a more comprehensive approach is justified.
  • The figures and tables should illustrate the main points of the Review and/or provide useful resources; authors should generally aim for 6 or fewer images to make optimal use of artistic support. Ideally at least one image summarizing the overall system/process/biomolecule featured in the review will be included to assist interested non-experts.
  • The number of references is not restricted. References should be cited by number. Citation of original research for the majority of the references is preferred, although providing a clear statement of the relationship of this review to any previous reviews is recommended.
  • For the initial submission, it is not necessary to adopt specific formatting. For subsequent submissions, please refer to the Instructions for Authors page for guidance on JBC’s preferred formatting style (e.g., running title, keywords etc.).
  • Supplementary information is not permitted in review articles.

Publication policies

  • Authors may re-use material from any ASBMB publications without formally obtaining permission as long as the original source is cited. Proof of permission to re-use copyrighted material from other sources should be provided prior to acceptance. If you need more information on whether and how to obtain permissions, please refer to this simple guide. Please consult with your handling editor/the JBC Reviews committee if you are not sure how to proceed.
  • Each author may receive up to 25 reprints upon request, and of course there are no publication charges associated with your contribution.
  • As of January 2021, all content in JBC is published as gold open access using a CC-BY license.

Artistic support

  • Generally, our artist is available to assist with six or fewer figures.
  • The artist will enhance the figures to clarify their meaning if necessary, and ensure they conform in style and color with figures in other JBC Reviews.
  • When it is clear the review is on track to publication and there are no requests to substantively edit or add to the images, your handling associate editor will consult with you as to which figures should be sent to the artist and any additional instructions that should be conveyed.
  • You will have one opportunity to request changes to the images, and the revised files will be sent to you to upload as part of the final submission.
  • Please click here for a few examples of “before” (author version) and “after” (artist revision) to get a sense for the kinds of changes that can/will be made.
  • If there are more than four figures the artist may be able to assist with those too, but authors should ensure that they prepare their figures at the proper final sizes so they are not reduced/enlarged later. The figures should be a minimum of 300dpi resolution at final size and we request that you use Helvetica (or Arial), Symbol for Greek letters, 8 point for text and 10 pt/bold/uppercase for panel letters. Additionally, if there are many figures we ask that the authors try and match the colors with figures in other JBC Reviews.

If you have any questions, please contact the JBC Reviews Committee at [email protected].