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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 feature article

Features 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 student).

Main Text

  • The ideal feature article should be 1500-2000 words in length.
  • A short attractive title is key to persuading people to take the time to read your article.
  • Please include an introduction paragraph (similar to an abstract in a traditional journal 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.
  • 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 4-5 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.

Authors

  • 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, 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.

Submitting your feature

When you are ready, please send your text as a Microsoft Word file and any figures or images attached to an email.

Please send your text to biochemist@biochemistry.org.

Submission checklist:

  • Article text as a Word File, including
    • Summary
    • Further reading
    • Author biographies and headshots
    • All image files attached separately (Illustrations embedded in a Microsoft Word text file are not high-enough resolution for production/printing)
    • If you received a blank license to publish form upon agreeing to contribute to the magazine, please include a completed one with your feature

Further details

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 (biochemist@biochemistry.org or editorial@portlandpress.com) if you are having problems meeting this deadline, rather than waiting for the deadline to pass.

Following submission

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).

Free copies

All feature authors will receive a print copy of the issue in which their article appears.

Copyright

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.

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