Editorial Policies

This page presents the shared editorial policies for the three ASBMB journals. You can also navigate to JBC, JLR or MCP to find journal-specific information about scope, editorial processes, submissions guidelines and more.

Authorship criteria

Adapted from the recommendation of the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE)

Authorship credit should be based on the following:

  1. substantial contributions to conception and design, acquisition of data, or analysis and interpretation of data;
  2. drafting the article or substantively contributing to revisions in intellectual content;
  3. final approval of the version to be published;
  4. agreement to be accountable for all aspects of the work in ensuring that questions related to the accuracy or integrity of any part of the work are appropriately investigated and resolved.

All those designated as authors must meet all four criteria for authorship. Acquisition of funding or general supervision of the research group alone does not constitute authorship. It is expected that each author has made an important scientific contribution to the study and is thoroughly familiar with the original data. It is also expected that each author has read the complete manuscript and takes responsibility for its content and completeness. By accepting authorship, the author understands that if the paper, or any part thereof, is found to be faulty or in violation of ethical standards, they share responsibility with their co-authors.

Assignment of each author’s contributions is requested as part of the online submission process.

"Group authorship" is allowed in which the name of the consortium or program is listed as an author, with members of the group listed in the Acknowledgments section. All listed members must meet the full criteria and requirements for authorship as described.

The Editor-in-Chief maintains discretion to allow or disallow inclusion of authors who are deceased. To facilitate review in each case, the contributions of these authors should be described in detail in the manuscript cover letter and within the online submission system.

All substantial changes in authorship (additions, removals, or change in order) that are requested after acceptance must be approved by the Associate Editor and all co-authors. Requests for changes must be made by the corresponding author, co-signed by all co-authors, and sent to the Associate Editor who handled the manuscript. For any requests to remove a co-author, the person who will be removed must also send a letter to the Associate Editor acknowledging this change.

ASBMB journals follow the ICJME recommendations for responsibilities of the corresponding author.

Conflicts of interest

At submission, the corresponding author is required to disclose any actual or perceived conflicts of interest on the part of any author. Both authors and readers should understand that a declared conflict of interest is a neutral term that does not imply any unethical behavior, but instead serves to inform all parties about relationships that could affect scientific judgment. Potential conflicts of interest include affiliations, financial relationships, personal relationships, or funding sources that could be perceived as influencing an author’s objectivity regarding the manuscript content. Conflict of interest disclosures will be published in the article.

Copyright and license to publish

The text below explains the process for reusing content that was originally published in an ASBMB journal. If you want to reuse previously published content in a new submission to an ASBMB journal and need guidance regarding permissions, please click here.

For authors:

Effective with initial submissions from January 1, 2018, authors must agree that if their manuscript is accepted, they will grant ASBMB an exclusive, irrevocable License to Publish their work; the copyright remains with the authors.

For an example of a License to Publish, click here.

Manuscripts initially submitted prior to January 1, 2018 are subject to ASBMB’s former policy whereby, as a condition of publication, authors transfer copyright to ASBMB upon acceptance.

Authors of manuscripts, submitted at any time, need not contact the journal to request permission to reuse their own material. Authors are allowed to do the following:

  1. to use all or part of the work in compilations or other publications of the Authors’ own commercial and noncommercial works (includes theses/dissertations), to use figures, photos, and tables created by them and contained in the work, to present the work orally in its entirety, and to make copies of all or part of the work for the Authors’ use for lectures, classroom instruction or similar uses. If the author is employed by an academic institution, that institution also may reproduce the article for teaching purposes.
  2. to post the accepted manuscript version of the work, the “Paper in Press,” on the author’s personal web page, their personal or institutional repository, or their funding body’s archive or designated noncommercial repository, provided that a link to the article on the journal site is included.
  3. to post a manuscript version of the work on not-for-profit preprint servers provided that the Authors retain distribution rights to the work, that ASBMB formatted final files are not posted, and that a link to the article on the journal site is included.
  4. to post the final edited PDFs, created by ASBMB, to their own departmental/university websites, provided that the posting does not happen until 12 months after publication of the work, and that a link to the article on the journal site is included.

Reuse of JBC content must include the following: This research was originally published in the Journal of Biological Chemistry. Author(s). Title. J Biol Chem. Year; Vol:pp-pp. © the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology or © the Author(s).

Reuse of MCP content must include the following: This research was originally published in Molecular and Cellular Proteomics. Author(s). Title. Mol Cell Proteomics. Year; Vol:pp-pp. © the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology or © the Author(s).

Reuse of JLR content must include the following: This research was originally published in the Journal of Lipid Research. Author(s). Title. J Lipid Res. Year; Vol:pp-pp. © the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology or © the Author(s).

Parties who are not authors on the article

For noncommercial use:

Parties other than the authors seeking to reuse ASBMB content for noncommercial purposes are welcome to copy, distribute, transmit and adapt the work at no cost and without permission as long as they attribute the work to the original source using the citation above. Examples of noncommercial use include:

  • Reproducing a figure for educational purposes, such as schoolwork or lecture presentations.
  • Appending a reprinted article to a Ph.D. dissertation.
For commercial use:

Parties other than the authors seeking to reuse ASBMB content for commercial purposes must obtain permission to do so. Navigate to the article of interest and click the "Request Permissions" button, and obtain permission through copyright.com. Examples of commercial use include:

  • Reproducing a figure in a book published by a commercial publisher.
  • Reproducing a figure in a journal article published by a commercial publisher.
For noncommercial and commercial use of content published under CC-BY license:

For ASBMB content that was published under ASBMB’s paid open access publishing option, Author’s Choice, the article was distributed under the CC-BY license which automatically grants all commercial and noncommercial use of the article to all, as long as appropriate attribution is given to the original work.

Data, software, and materials availability

In efforts to increase reproducibility and discoverability of research findings, ASBMB has adopted the following policies regarding data, software, and materials. In order to maximize research outputs, ASBMB encourages authors to make all data available to readers through the use of public domain repositories. Sharing data through the use of public domain repositories reduces the burden of authors to preserve and locate older data. Additionally, assignment of DOIs to data enhances visibility and discoverability of the research and ensures recognition of the data producers. If data are not deposited into a repository, ASBMB requires authors to share any data described in a published article upon request by a qualified investigator. If you have any questions regarding any of these policies, please contact us at data@asbmb.org.

Data availability and retention

At submission, ASBMB requires authors to agree to make all original data underlying the findings described in their manuscript fully available upon request by ASBMB. Images of micrographs, blots, gels, etc, must be retained as the unprocessed versions of the images used in the manuscript. In addition, any direct outputs from imaging systems must be retained. Failure or refusal to provide these data upon request will be grounds for rejection if the manuscript is under review. If authors refuse or fail to provide requested data after publication, the authors may be asked to withdraw their article or the publisher may retract the article. Authors are expected to maintain all original data for a minimum of 6 years after the final publication date of their article. Funders and/or institutions may have longer retention requirements. Retention of primary data after the minimum 6-year time frame is recommended in case questions should arise post-publication.

Data deposition

For the following types of datasets, deposition into a community-endorsed, public repository is required for publication. The accession numbers or identifiers for the data must be provided in the Data Availability Statement. All data deposited into a repository must be made publicly available upon acceptance and publication of the manuscript as a Paper in Press. No data are to be withdrawn following publication.

Protein and nucleic acid sequences

Newly determined nucleotide or protein sequences must be deposited in GenBankEMBL, or the DNA Databank of Japan.

Functional genomics data

Functional genomics data such as microarray, ChIP-seq, RNA-seq, or other high-throughput data must be deposited in a database such as GEOArrayExpress, or SRA. Information to access the data must be provided at submission (i.e., private tokens or login details).

Proteomics data

Proteomics data must comply with the guidelines developed by Molecular and Cellular Proteomics. All mass spectrometric output files in the original instrument vendor file format must be deposited in a publicly accessible site that is independent of the authors’ control. Information to access the data must be provided at submission (e.g., username and password).

Structural studies

For structures of biological macromolecules, the atomic coordinates and the related experimental data (structure factor amplitudes/intensities and/or NMR restraints and chemical shifts) must be deposited in the PDB at a member site of the Worldwide Protein Data Bank or BMRB. For NMR structures, all chemical shifts for backbone and side chain assignments (as well as methyl group chemical shift assignments) must be deposited in the BMRB.

For papers describing structures of biological macromolecules from electron microscopy (all averaging methods that produce 3D maps, including sub-tomogram averaging), the 3D maps must be deposited in EM Data Bank (EMDB). Any structure models fitted to EM maps must also be deposited in the PDB. For electron tomographic studies with no averaging, deposition of one or more representative tomograms in EMDB is strongly recommended.

In cases where PDB models have been fitted to EMDB maps, the correspondences between them should be clearly stated. Authors must also submit the annotated PDB Summary Validation Report (designated with a Confidential watermark) to ASBMB for review at the time of submission. Click here for more information regarding validation reports. For model structures determined by computational methods, authors should include the coordinates as a supplement to the online paper formatted as if they were a PDB submission.  Click here for additional guidelines for crystallographic studies.

Mandatory datasets

Suitable repositories

Provide at submission

Protein sequences

EMBL UniProt

Accession numbers

DNA and RNA sequences

EMBL Nucleotide Sequence Database (ENA)

GenBank

DNA DataBank of Japan (DDBJ)

Accession numbers

DNA and RNA sequencing data

NCBI Trace Archive

NCBI Sequence Read Archive (SRA)

Accession numbers and credentials for Reviewers

Microarray data

Gene Expression Omnibus (GEO)

ArrayExpress

Accession numbers and credentials for Reviewers

RNA-Seq and ChIP-Seq data

Gene Expression Omnibus (GEO)

Accession numbers and credentials for Reviewers

Proteomics data

Proteomics Identifications database (PRIDE)

Peptide Atlas

Mass Spectrometry Interactive Virtual Environment (MassIVE)

Japan Proteome Standard Repository/Database (JPOST)

Accession numbers and credentials for Reviewers

Structural data

Worldwide Protein Data Bank (wwPDB)

Biological Magnetic Resonance Data Bank (BMRB)

Electron Microscopy Data Bank (EMDB)

Accession numbers and annotated validation report

Other data types

For all other data, the preferred method of sharing data is through the use of community-endorsed, public repositories. If no such repository exists, then a generalist repository such as Zenodo, Figshare, Dryad, or Dataverse are recommended. A comprehensive list of data repositories can be found here.

Data availability statements

Data Availability Statements are required for all submissions. These statements must indicate where the data described in the manuscript are located. If all data are contained within the manuscript, then the statement should indicate so. For datasets that were generated and deposited into a publicly accessible repository for submission, the location and identifying information must be provided. If data are to be shared upon request, then an individual along with their contact information must be indicated in the statement. The DOIs for any software code should be provided in this section.

Any exceptions or limitations to the sharing of data, materials, and software should be described in this section.

Data citation

Authors should include citations in their main reference list to datasets obtained from public repositories. While datasets generated for and reported in submitted manuscripts should be detailed in the Data Availability Statement, all other publicly available datasets mentioned in the manuscript should be cited at the time of their first mention in the text. Citing datasets increases the data’s accessibility and findability, thereby promoting FAIR principles, while providing greater recognition for and credit to dataset creators. When citing a dataset, the article in which the dataset was initially reported should also be cited.

When formatting data citations, the word [dataset] should be included before the citation, which will help the production office define metadata appropriately and will be hidden during copyediting of accepted manuscripts. Your data citation should include as much of the following pieces of information as you can clearly identify. Global Persistent Identifier refers to the long-lasting references to the digital resource such as a DOI (digital object identifier) or accession number.

[dataset] Creator(s)/Author(s). (Publication Year) Title. Repository. Version (if applicable), Global Persistent Identifier

Unique materials

Authors of papers published in any ASBMB journal are obligated to honor any reasonable request by qualified investigators for unique propagative materials, such as cell lines, hybridomas, DNA clones, and organisms that are described in the paper.

Software

If computer software programs are a central component in submitted manuscripts, the program(s) must be made available to the reviewers upon request.  The source code or the program must be made available, if the manuscript is accepted for publication. Authors are encouraged to archive their code in a public repository that can assign it a DOI. For complex code, authors should archive their code into GitHub and assign it a DOI either through figshare or Zenodo. Authors should license their code using an open source license. The DOI for the software should be included in the Data Availability Statement. If DOIs cannot be provided in a submitted manuscript, include placeholder language in the Data Availability Statement to indicate that DOIs will be made available after acceptance. The editorial office will contact authors for the information.

Exceptions

Laws may prohibit or limit the sharing of data. Any limitations to the sharing of data must be stated in the Data Availability Statement. Additionally, any limitations to code and/or materials must be specified in the Data Availability Statement. These restrictions will be taken into account in the final editorial decision.

The editors may deny further publication rights to authors unwilling to abide by the principles outlined in this section.

Ethics policy

The submission of a manuscript having multiple authors constitutes a representation that all listed authors concur with the submission and approve the final version. Authors are expected to present experimental results accurately. Evidence or allegations of violations of the standard norms for publishing original research — such as publication without approval of all authors, plagiarism, republication of data used previously without acknowledgement, or inappropriate image manipulation — will be investigated and may result in correction to or retraction of published manuscripts.

By submitting a manuscript to an ASBMB journal, the authors agree to abide by ASBMB's policies and procedures for handling questionable manuscripts, including procedures for notifying the authors’ current and former employers and/or funding bodies if found to be suspect after examination. Authors also agree to cooperate with any inquiry or investigation initiated by the journal, institution, regulatory agency, and/or funding body into an allegation of research misconduct involving a manuscript. If any investigative or reviewing body makes any finding with respect to a manuscript, each author is required to provide immediately the details of the findings and support. When an allegation of a suspected violation is received for a published article, ASBMB shall first contact the corresponding author and request the original data or an explanation. The editor will decide upon a course of action based on the material provided by the authors.  When the editor and the authors cannot agree on course of action, the ASBMB Publications Committee will review the case and make the final decision.

The following outcomes may occur in papers found to contain violations of ASBMB editorial policies:

  • submitted manuscripts may be rejected;
  • authors may be asked to correct or withdraw an article after publication;
  • the publisher may retract the article;
  • sanctions may be imposed on the author(s);
  • and/or the matter may be referred to institutional officials and/or funding bodies.

Image manipulation

While certain modifications of primary data are often needed for clarity and/or brevity, image manipulation for deceptive purposes, to unfairly enhance or eliminate or otherwise obscure data, is misconduct and will be addressed as such.

For graphic material, we have adopted and modified the policy of The Journal of Cell Biology:

“No specific feature within an image may be enhanced, obscured, moved, removed, or introduced. The groupings of images from different parts of the same gel fields or exposures must be made explicit by the arrangement of the figure (e.g., using dividing lines) and in the text of the figure legend. Adjustments of brightness, contrast, or color balance are acceptable if they are applied to every pixel in the image and as long as they do not obscure, eliminate, or misrepresent any information present in the original, including the background. Nonlinear adjustments (e.g., changes to gamma settings) must be disclosed in the figure legend.”

Additionally, any re-use of the same images in more than one panel or figure must be disclosed and justified. This applies equally to any protein, DNA, or RNA bands and/or microscopy images.

Preprint servers

Manuscripts posted in recognized not-for-profit preprint archives do not constitute prior/duplicate publication provided that upon acceptance of the manuscript for publication, the author is still able to grant ASBMB exclusive license to publish their work or agree to the terms of an Open Access license and pay the associated fee. Moreover, ASBMB encourages authors to post their primary research articles in a non-peer-reviewed community-recognized preprint server before or at the same time as submission.

bioRxiv preprints can be directly transferred to any ASBMB journal using the B2J functionality. Papers imported from bioRxiv must contain all of the basic sections described in the ASBMB journal’s Instructions for Authors (i.e., abstract, introduction, results, etc.), but other journal-specific formatting is not required for initial submission. Adherence to the ASBMB journal’s formatting guidelines is required for revisions.

Authors should not post article versions that have been accepted for publication or formally published in an ASBMB journal as this will cause problems with DOI assignment. While a manuscript is under consideration at an ASBMB journal, no versions revised in response to editorial input and peer review should be posted on a preprint server. Authors whose manuscripts are posted in a not-for-profit preprint archive should include details in the cover letter about the archive and any archive manuscript identifiers such as a DOI. If the manuscript is accepted, the author should ask the preprint archive to acknowledge that the article has been published and include a reference and link to the published article.

Preprints may be cited in the references. When formatting preprint citations, the word [preprint] should be included before the citation, which will help the production office define metadata appropriately and will be hidden during copyediting of accepted manuscripts. Citations in the reference list should be formatted as follows: [preprint] Authors (Year) Article title. Preprint server. DOI. Below is an example:

[preprint] Chen, J. J., Nathaniel, D. L., Raghavan, P., Nelson, M., Tian, R., Tse, E., Hong, J. Y., See, S. K., Mok, S. A., Southworth, D. R., Grinberg, L. T., Gestwicki, J. E., Leonetti, M. D., Kampmann, M. (2019) Compromised function of an ESCRT complex promotes endolysosomal escape of tau seeds and propagation of tau aggregation. bioRxiv. 10.1101/637785

Prior publication

Submitted manuscripts must describe original research not previously published and not under consideration for publication elsewhere. The following do not constitute prior or duplicate publication and will not preclude a manuscript from consideration:

  • an abstract
  • a poster
  • a thesis or dissertation
  • a presentation
  • a manuscript posted on a personal or institutional website
  • a preprint

PubMed Central

All articles are automatically deposited into PubMed Central (PMC). There is no fee, and no action is required on the part of the authors.

PMCIDs are usually available within two weeks of final publication. They are not created for Papers in Press, only the final versions of articles published in an issue. If you need to report a PMCID to NIH, but it is not yet assigned, you can use the notation “PMC Journal – In Process.”

Studies involving human subjects or animals

Human subjects

All studies involving human subjects must be approved by the appropriate review board(s) and abide by the Declaration of Helsinki principles. A specific statement declaring approval and Helsinki compliance must be included in the Experimental Procedures section. Published studies that involve human subjects should not provide any identifying information (e.g., names, true initials, recognizable images) unless the information is essential for scientific purposes and the patient (or patient’s parent/guardian) gives written informed consent for publication. If the patient is deceased, then the authors should seek consent from a relative. If such written consent is required, please download the form here and upload as additional Supplemental material for review only.

MCP has prepared a set of guidelines for preparing manuscripts describing research in clinical proteomics. Manuscripts that contain data obtained from human tissues/fluids (except cell lines not established as part of the reported study) need to comply with these guidelines.

Animal and preclinical research studies

ASBMB encourages the reporting of animal data using the nomenclature and standards outlined in the ARRIVE (Animal in Research: Reporting In Vivo Experiments) guidelines, Kilkenny C, Browne WJ, Cuthill IC, Emerson M, Altman DG. Improving Bioscience Research Reporting: The ARRIVE Guidelines for Reporting Animal Research PLoS Biol. 2010 Jun 29;8(6):e1000412. All studies must be approved by the appropriate review board(s) and a specific statement of such an approval must be made in the Experimental Procedures section.

Withdrawal/Retraction notices

Articles that have been withdrawn by the author or retracted by the publisher will be accompanied with a notice that provides a reason why the article has been withdrawn or retracted. The issues will not be characterized as an error nor will any statements regarding reproducibility be allowed. Statements may not assign blame to a specific author.