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Instructions to Authors

Thank you for agreeing to write a mini-review for Biochemical Society Transactions.

Biochemical Society Transactions (BST) is the reviews journal of the Biochemical Society, publishing mini-reviews from across the molecular biosciences. Mini-reviews are short, digestible papers which review the latest developments in the field. If you would be interested in writing a longer, more comprehensive review please contact the Editorial Office.

The information provided below is given as guidance on preparing your article ready for submission and consideration by the Journal.

Please contact the Editorial Office if you have any questions that are not answered in the information below.

1. Length of article

Mini-reviews in BST are approx. 2500­–3500 words in length (excluding figure legends and references).

Please do note that one of the key benefits to our users/readers is the short format mini-review style.

2. Editorial Style

UK/US spelling

Articles can be written using either American or British spelling conventions; however, these should be used consistently throughout the article. Authors should be aware that, if accepted, inconsistent usage will be corrected during the copyediting stage.

3. What to include in your article

a) Abstract

All mini-reviews submitted must contain an abstract, up to 250 words in length. Please ensure that this is included within the paper and is provided on the online submission system during the submission process.

This will be published in the final Version of Record (VoR) and will also be the abstract that is used by indexing services.

b) Introduction

Your article should standalone and should not be written assuming that the article might be part of a series, therefore the introduction of the article should be written to set the scene for the rest of the article.

c) Main body of the article

Section headings and sub-headings are useful in breaking up the main body of the article to aid understanding.

Terms that are used in an abbreviated form should be included in a list of abbreviations. For the benefit of readers who may not be familiar with the subject matter of your article, you are encouraged to define abbreviated terms either at first mention or in a list of abbreviations.

If possible, ‘jargon’ should be avoided; however, you should consider alternative ways to help the readership, for example, the use of a glossary or text boxes could be used to explain a concept.

d) Perspective section

Each article must contain a perspectives section, where the following three points are addressed (in bullet point form):

(i)               highlight the importance of the field

(ii)              a summary of the current thinking

(iii)            a comment on future directions

Each bullet point should be no more than 1-2 sentences if possible.

e) Figures and tables

The inclusion of one figure in your article is mandatory, and you are encouraged to include at least two figures.

The use of colour in figures is encouraged, and there is no charge to authors to publish in colour.

Each figure should be accompanied by an appropriate figure title and legend (where needed).

Figures should be provided in the following file formats and at the indicated resolution.

  • Black and white (e.g. line diagrams, histograms) – as .tiff (or .eps) files at 600 dpi
  • Greyscale (e.g. gel images) – as .tiff (or .eps) files at 300 dpi
  • Colour – as .tiff (or .eps) files at 300 dpi

Please note that if you are using a figure from a work that is already published, you are responsible for obtaining the necessary permissions to reuse the article, and an appropriate credit line should be included in the figure legend.

The use of tables is permitted, and these should be accompanied by an appropriate table title and legend (where needed). Tables longer than two A4 pages are difficult to read, and so do consider whether longer tables can be split into multiple shorter tables.

f) References

The number of references included in articles can vary depending on the subject area, but on average, 50–100 references should be included. Most references cited should be from the past 2–5 years.

Please use a Vancouver style referencing system.

References should be included in your article, cited throughout the text by sequential numbers, and listed at the end of your article in a reference list, listed in number order. For example:

Recent research [1] indicates that…

Several studies [6-9, 13, 15] have examined…

In the reference list, six author names should be given before et al.

g) Conflicts of interest, acknowledgements, funding information and author contribution

Author contributions

A statement indicating the contribution of each author to the article should be included.

Portland Press endorses the Vancouver Guidelines on authorship as set out by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors.

Full details on authorship can be found in the Portland Press Editorial Policy. Contributors who do not meet the criteria for authorship should be listed in the Acknowledgements section.

Declaration of Interests

Any potential conflicts of interest (for any authors listed on your article) should be declared. Examples of potential conflicts of interest that should be declared include but are not limited to:

(i)               employment (where you will receive financial gain)

(ii)              consultancy (where you will receive financial gain)

(iii)            personal relationships, and (iv) academic competition


Any acknowledgements should be included in a statement at the end of your article.


Any funding information that you would like to acknowledge should be included at the end of the article.

Useful links

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Portland Press Editorial Policy

Portland Press Open Access Policy

Portland Press Rights and Permissions

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