Instructions to Authors
Introduction to The Biochemist
The Biochemist is the magazine of the Biochemical Society, a learned society serving the molecular life science community and is published by Portland Press Ltd, the wholly-owned publishing subsidiary of the Biochemical Society. All profits made by Portland Press Ltd are covenanted back to the Society, thereby enabling it to carry out its charitable objectives and to advance the interests of science at large.
Preparing your article
- A short attractive title is key to persuading people to take the time to read your article.
- Please include a short (150-200 word) abstract introducing your article.
- When submitting your article, please do also give us a line or summary we can use on social media to promote your article.
- Feel free to use subheadings if you wish – they are a useful way of breaking up the text and should ideally be used, particularly for longer features.
- Please minimize the use of technical language and abbreviations – consider explaining or defining any terms an undergraduate would be unfamiliar with.
- Articles can be written using either American or British spelling conventions; however, these should be used consistently throughout the article.
Sources and further reading
- Please do not include references within the text, either parenthetically or as a numbered list (these will be removed to fit with house style for the magazine).
- Key references pertaining to your article should be included in a ‘Further reading’ section at the end of your article, of ideally 5-10 items that will be beneficial to readers interested in knowing more about the topic.
- Given the nature of feature articles in The Biochemist, further reading might include academic research articles or reviews, articles published in the media and specialist media (for example, an article in the New Scientist), a government report, a relevant website or article published on such a website, or a relevant blog article.
- This can also include appropriately authoritative videos (in which case the section will be headed “Further Reading and Viewing”.
Figures and tables
- Great images can really complement the text of your feature, please include at least one figure or image. Ideally, we look for 3-5 images, these can be colour and any reasonable size.
- Images should be high-resolution (300 dpi) JPEG, EPS, TIFF or PDF files.
- Please include a title for the figure, you can also include a legend, but this is optional.
- Tables can be a useful way to summarize complex information, but we do ask that you use them sparingly. Their purpose in the feature should be to simplify and clarify and not to overcomplicate the subject.
- Images and tables should ideally be original or should cite the original source in the figure legend.
- If you wish to reuse a previously published image or table, please ensure that you either own the copyright or have written permission to use any artwork, figures, illustrations or tables you wish to include from the copyright owner (this is often the publisher).
- Tables should be provided in Microsoft Word.
- Please provide a brief paragraph (max 100 words) giving biographical details for each author.
- This should be accompanied with a head-and-shoulders photograph of each author and each author’s email address.
- If you wish, please include your twitter handle and we can tag you if we share the article.
- If you wish, feel free to involve one or two members of your team to co-write the article as part of their training in science communication; however, it is very unusual for pieces to be written by more than three authors.
Specific Advice for Features
Articles for The Biochemist are not journal articles.
Please write in an interesting and engaging way that can be understood by someone with an interest in biochemistry or molecular biology who may not be a professional in the subject (if in doubt, assume that you are writing for a first-year undergraduate biochemist).
- The ideal feature article should be 1500-2000 words in length.
Specific Advice for Beginner's Guides
Have you ever had the experience of sitting in a seminar at which the speaker jumps into their discussion at a level which assumes that their audience has rather more prior knowledge about the techniques they are using? Enter our beginner’s guide series…
This is an ongoing series of articles, each one covering a key technique and offering a beginner’s guide for the scientifically literate but not necessarily expert audience (if in doubt, assume that you are writing for a first-year undergraduate biochemist). The pieces are intended to give a background briefing on the underlying science of a technique that is (or will be) widely used in molecular bioscience.
As The Biochemist is a magazine rather than an academic journal, you are able to use more informal language and we are looking for content written in an interesting and accessible way that is appealing.
- Beginner’s Guides should be between 1500-2000 words and we encourage the use of figures and photographs to explain methodology.
- Please include a summary ‘box’ following the introduction with a few bullet points outlining the method covered.
- Please include a section at the end of the article describing how the technique is being used in an area of cutting edge or emerging research.
Submitting your Article
When you are ready, please submit your article using our online submission system here.
There is no log-in needed for submission, but please ensure that you include all the details for the contact author to ensure we can ensure you are kept up to date.
Submission Page Hints & Tips:
- Article Type: please select from the drop-down menu
- Article Title: the title of your article
- Short Summary: Using a maximum of 300 characters, how should we share your paper on social media?
- Corresponding Author: Please double check these details are correct before submitting
- Keywords: Please include some keywords about your article
- Subject Area: Please select at least one subject area from our drop-down menu, this will allow your article to be surfaced when users search for content on our websites
- Files: Please ensure that you upload the necessary documents
- Please upload your article text as a Word file, including:
- Figures and tables in situ if possible (these can be lower resolution versions and are encouraged to allow comprehension)
- Further reading section
- Author biographies and headshots
- All figure files attached separately as high-resolution images appropriate for printing
- A completed license to publish form so that we can share your article freely with the community (a blank form can be downloaded via the link above)
Articles submitted for publication must be received by the deadlines agreed with the editorial office. Should an article be received late, although every effort will be made to include the article in the issue, the Editor reserves the right not to publish a piece if this would delay publication of the whole issue.
It is important that you contact us at the Editorial Office if you are having problems meeting this deadline, rather than waiting for the deadline to pass.
On submission, your article will be sent to the Science Editor who ensures submitted articles meet a sufficient standard of scientific accuracy, overall quality and house style.
Please note that submission does not guarantee publication, your feature may be returned to you with guidance on possible revisions, or if deemed unsuitable for publication we will liaise with you to source alternative options.
Following acceptance of the article, all articles will be copyedited and typeset and you will receive proofs from our Production team. Proofs at this stage should be used to correct formatting errors only and are not an opportunity for major revision of the text. In order to ensure timely publication of the issue, corrected proofs must be returned by the date stated (usually within 3 working days of receipt).
Copyright remains with you and a form licensing Portland Press/the Biochemical Society to publish the work will be sent on receipt of your article.