All EMBO Press journals Open Access as of 1 January 2024 - read the FAQs

Author Guidelines

Please note that from 1 January 2024, The EMBO Journal is a fully Open Access (OA) journal. All articles are published with a CC BY 4.0 license and all previously published content is freely available (please see OA FAQs here).

The journal requires an author checklist to be submitted with ALL revised research articles.

For an illustrated technical guide to preparing figures, please download our figure preparation PDF.

About the journal

Editorial Policies

Editorial Process

Manuscript Preparation


For Acceptance and Publication

Help and Contact


Aims and Scope

Launched in 1982, The EMBO Journal publishes high quality research of broad interest and impact across molecular and cell biology with an emphasis on physiological relevance and molecular mechanism. The Journal is one of four journals owned and run by the European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO) and published through EMBO Press with support from Springer Nature.

The journal welcomes submission of all articles, in particular on the following biological processes, investigated at any level of organization (from the structural and molecular through to the organismal) and in any model system (including plants and micro-organisms):

  • Ageing
  • Autophagy
  • Cancer
  • Cell Adhesion, Polarity & Cytoskeleton
  • Cell Cycle
  • Cell Death
  • Developmental Biology
  • DNA Replication, Repair & Recombination
  • Chromatin, Epigenetics & Genomics
  • Immunology
  • Membrane & Intracellular Transport
  • Metabolism
  • Microbiology, Virology & Host Pathogen Interaction
  • Molecular Biology of Disease
  • Neuroscience
  • Plant Biology
  • Post-translational Modifications, Proteolysis & Proteomics
  • RNA Biology
  • Signal Transduction
  • Stem Cells
  • Structural Biology
  • Systems, Chemical & Computational Biology
  • Transcription
  • Protein Biosynthesis & Quality Control
  • Vascular Biology

Article Types

The EMBO Journal publishes the following article types:

Research Articles, Resources, Methods

Original research papers, reporting novel findings in all molecular and cell biology-related fields. Papers are assessed with regard to mechanistic insight, physiological relevance, and the level of conceptual advance. These articles are peer-reviewed.

Reviews & Commentary

Reviews - Reviews that balance interest for the general reader with usefulness for specialists. Reviews are typically commissioned from leaders in the field and should focus on the latest developments and newest insights, setting them in a wider context. These articles are peer-reviewed.

News & Views - Commissioned short commentaries on specific articles, discussing the advance and the broader implications of the respective study. These are not peer-reviewed, except in exceptional circumstances.

Editorials - Policies, news and comment.

Comment - Leading scientists and subject experts offer concise commentary and opinion on a broad range of topics of interest to the research community. These articles are usually evaluated and edited by journal editors, occasionally based on expert advice. Comments are not peer reviewed.

Correspondence (peer-reviewed) - Correspondence concerning the validity of data or its interpretation in articles published in The EMBO Journal (see below for further information).

Correspondence (not peer-reviewed) - General science and science policy-related correspondence, feedback on ideas and issues discussed in the journal.


Submission of a manuscript implies that it reports unpublished work and that neither itself, nor parts of it, have been published or are under consideration for publication elsewhere. By submitting a manuscript, the authors guarantee that they have the appropriate authority from their employers and/or funding agencies to publish the work. Any related work under consideration, review, revision or accepted for publication elsewhere must accompany the submission if they are relevant to its scientific assessment.

Preprint Servers

All EMBO Press Journals encourage the posting of primary research manuscripts on non-peer-reviewed recognized community preprint servers such as arXivbioRxiv, medRxiv and PeerJ Preprint before - or in parallel with - formal submission to the journal. Manuscripts posted on bioRxiv/medRxiv will automatically forward-link to papers published in EMBO Press journals.

Manuscripts posted on recognized community preprint servers will not be considered in the evaluation of the conceptual advance of a manuscript submitted for publication in an EMBO Press journal.

BioRxiv posts can be directly transferred for formal submission to any EMBO Press journal using the B2J functionality. Please declare a preprint version of a manuscript in the cover letter accompanying submission to an EMBO Press journal.

We encourage formal citation of preprints in the reference list, where appropriate. The citation in the text is: (preprint: NAME1 et al, YEAR); in the reference list: Author NAME1, Author NAME2 (YEAR) article title. bioRxiv doi [PREPRINT].

This policy applies to primary research papers, but not to reviews and commentary. The journal reserves the right not to publish material that has already been formally published, completely or substantially, in peer reviewed journals or in persistent digital media such as blogs that are not recognized as preprint servers. Conference presentations (including summaries, abstracts and posters) and doctoral (PhD) or master (MSc) theses are exempt (see Originality and Plagiarism).

Scooping Protection extended to include preprints

Other papers published in peer reviewed journals, or manuscripts posted on recognized preprint servers after submission of a manuscript to The EMBO Journal, are not considered relevant to the editorial assessment of the conceptual advance/novelty of the submitted manuscript.

A manuscript submitted to The EMBO Journal is subject to scooping protection from the day of submission to The EMBO Journal, and extends through the agreed revision period. For transferred manuscripts, scooping protection applies from the day of submission to the EMBO Press sister journal.

Scooping Protection has now been extended to also apply from the day of posting a manuscript on a recognized preprint server in the same form as the manuscript submitted to The EMBO Journal, provided the manuscript is submitted to the journal within 4 months of posting.

Note that related papers, and where appropriate preprints, have to be cited appropriately if they are published before the manuscript proofs stage.

Note that scooping protection does not apply for related papers with an overlapping set of authors (see originality and plagiarism)

Transparent Process

Since 2009, all EMBO Press journals have made the editorial process transparent for papers by publishing as an online supplementary document all correspondence between authors and the editorial office relevant to the decision process. This will by default include all referee reports, the editorial decision letters, the author checklist, as well as the authors' point-by-point responses. Internal communications and informal consultations between editors, editorial advisors, referees, and authors peripheral to the scientific assessment are not included. Referee anonymity will be strictly maintained, unless a referee chooses to sign his or her report. Authors who are, for specific reasons or as a matter of principle, not comfortable with these disclosures will have the possibility to opt out of the transparent process at any stage prior to publication. Authors may request that data specifically included in the response to referees and intended for publication elsewhere be redacted from the document. Currently, 95% of primary research papers at The EMBO Journal are linked to a Peer Review Process File. More information about the EMBO Press Transparent Process can be found below and on the EMBO Press website. Please note that the author checklist forms part of the review process file.

Authorship Guidelines

Our authorship policies conform to international standards for scholarly research journals in the biological sciences. A violation of this policy may constitute scientific misconduct.
Every author must meet ALL of the following criteria:

  • Substantial contributions to the conception or design of the work; or the acquisition, analysis, or interpretation of data for the work; AND
  • Drafting the work or revising it critically for important intellectual content; AND
  • Final approval of the version to be published; AND
  • 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.

(adapted from the ICMJE authorship guidelines, accessed 3-2023). 

In addition, corresponding authors must:

  • Ensure that all listed authors have received and approved the manuscript prior to submission.
  • Relay all substantive correspondence with editors and referee reports to all listed authors.
  • Verify that all new data, materials/reagents, code presented comply with the transparency and reproducibility standards of both the field and the journal.
  • Agree to make all data underlying the figures presented available as source data linked to the and thus to ensure that original data/materials/code are preserved and retrievable indefinitely.
  • Confirm that the presentation in the paper of the data/materials/code accurately reflects the original sources.
  • Conform to the journal policies governing the sharing of data/materials/code.
  • Provide an institutional email address at submission.

Authorship implies that to the author’s best knowledge the text, schemata and data presented in a paper are original, cite all the relevant literature in a scholarly manner (the journal has no reference list limit), accurate and reproducible. Authorship implies adherence to the journal’s AI tools policy.

The nature of every author’s contribution must be specified using the CRediT contributor role taxonomy. This may be complemented by free text additional contributions in a mandatory author contribution section included in every paper irrespective of format or content type.

An AI program cannot be listed as an author of an article.

Submission of a manuscript requires that all authors agree to the authorship as listed in the manuscript. Any changes in the authorship or authorship order from the manuscript first submitted must be approved in writing to the journal’s editorial office by all of the original authors. The journal’s editors cannot decide on or arbitrate on authorship matters and defer to appropriate institutional oversight structures.

All authors are notified about a manuscript submission using the provided e-mail addresses at first submission and at acceptance. All other communication is to the designated corresponding author only.

Co-first and co-corresponding authorship is permitted if multiple authors contributed equally to a paper. This has to be specified in the author list and detailed in the author contribution section. There is no explicit or implicit hierarachy in the order of co-first or co-corresponding authors.  The journal discourages the listing of co-first, or co-corresponding authors in excess of five. If there is a specific reason to list more, please contact the handling editor. Co- second or other co-authorship is not permitted. 

An author who has changed their name (e.g. due to gender transition or religious conversion) may request for their name and other relevant biographical information to be corrected on papers published prior to the change. A formal public Author Correction is encouraged, as it ensures that changes are transmitted through the bibliographic record. However, the author can choose for this correction to happen silently, in which case there will be no note indicating the change on either the pdf or the html of the paper.

Use of AI tools in text, figures and authorship

  1. an Artificial Intelligence (AI) or Large Language Models (LLM) program cannot be listed as an author of an article.
  2. Use of AI programs should be primarily restricted to improve the style, accessibility or quality of human generated text and images, including schemata and data figures. Any part of an article assembled with the use of an AI based program must be thoroughly checked and verified by the authors, including deriving an understanding of the provenance of new information and ideas. The authors bear full responsibility for all text and images published in a paper, including factual accuracy, completeness as well as accurate, comprehensive literature citation (including preprints and dataset, where appropriate). Authors must take care to ensure that application of AI-based tools does not lead them to plagiarize, misrepresent or falsify content, or infringe third party rights.  Authors must disclose their use in the published article, including details on which parts of the article were assembled with the assistance of AI programs and details on the tools employed.
  3. Data figures and schemata presented in papers must be original, or, if presented for illustrative purposes, accurately cite the source. For data based on original experimentation or meta-analysis of the literature, AI programs can be used in the collection and analysis of data if this is documented in the Methods section of the paper. If AI is used to generate synthetic data, this must be clearly labeled in the main text and figure, and it must also be documented in the Methods section. AI must not be used to synthesize or edit experimental data in a manner that misrepresents the findings. AI programs may be used to display data or for illustrative purposes, as long as that is declared and attribution is provided, where appropriate.

ORCID identifier

We encourage all authors to register for ORCID iD digital identifiers (iDs) to ensure unambiguous name assignment. Corresponding authors are required to supply an ORDCID ID for their name upon submission of a revised manuscript (EMBO Press signed a joint statement to encourage ORCID adoption). Registration takes less than two minutes, and adoption of digital identifiers enables accurate attribution and improves discoverability of published work.

Use of living organisms

For Research Articles submitted to EMBO Press journals reporting experiments on live vertebrates and/or higher invertebrates, the corresponding author must confirm that all experiments were performed in accordance with relevant guidelines and regulations. The manuscript must include a statement in the Materials and Methods identifying the institutional and/or licensing committee approving the experiments, including any relevant details. For experiments involving human subjects, authors must identify the committee approving the experiments, and include with their submission a statement confirming that informed consent was obtained from all subjects.

Right click to download and complete the author checklist here.

Animal welfare

For studies reporting experiments on live vertebrates and/or higher invertebrates, the corresponding author must confirm that all experiments were performed in accordance with relevant guidelines and regulations. The manuscript must include a statement in the Materials and Methods identifying the institutional and/or licensing committee approving the experiments. The editors reserve the right to consult with board members or external experts and reject manuscripts that contain animal experiments that do not conform to NIH or MRC guidelines for animal welfare. For further information see: Office of Laboratory Animal Welfare. The journal encourages authors to follow the ARRIVE guidelines (PLoS Biol. 8(6), e1000412, 2010) for reporting studies involving animals. Please see the following website for details:

Right click to download and complete the author checklist here.

Human Subjects

For experiments involving human subjects the corresponding author must identify the committee approving the experiments and include a statement that informed consent was obtained from all subjects and that the experiments conformed to the principles set out in the WMA Declaration of Helsinki and the Department of Health and Human Services Belmont Report. Editors or referees may request further documentation confirming that this is the case. 

Any restrictions on the availability or on the use of human data or samples should be clearly specified in the manuscript. Any restrictions that may detract from the overall impact of a study or undermine its reproducibility will be taken into account in the editorial decision. 

For clinical trials reporting, the authors should fill out a CONSORT flow diagram and submit it as supplementary information. The journal also encourages authors to follow the CONSORT reporting guidelines Please see the EQUATOR website for details. Clinical trials should also be registered as recommended by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors, and the trial registration number should be provided.

Right click to download and complete the author checklist here.

Reporting Guidelines

Authors are encouraged to follow the EQUATOR Network reporting guidelines for the following:

Type of Study Guidelines
Animal research ARRIVE
Parallel group randomized trials CONSORT
Conensus-based Clinical Case Reporting CARE
Prognostic marker studies REMARK
Diagnostic Accuracy STARD
Meta-analysis of observational studies MOOSE
Systematic reviews and meta-analysis PRISMA
Observational studies STROBE
Genetic association studies STREGA
Statistical analyses and methods STAMPL
Microarray/deep sequencing studies MIAME
Studies using biospecimens BRISQ


Planned research and results from experiments should be evaluated at an early stage for possible dual use concerns. In such cases, authors should first consult with an appropriate local body concerning the implications for biosecurity and public health. For further information see the U.S. National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity's recommendations and the US National Select Agent Registry.

Authors should explicitly describe any potential biosecurity implications and the local body's assessment in their cover letter at submission and in the author checklist. The threat posed by the potential abuse of certain experimental data or material for bioweapons, terrorist or other criminal activities may require that editors balance the risks and benefits of publication. The ultimate decision whether to publish the paper as submitted or with suggested changes is the prerogative of the editors after consultation with board members or external experts in biosafety, biosecurity, or public and environmental health.

Right click to download and complete the author checklist here. Please note that the author checklist will be included in the transparent process information.

Availability of published material and data

It is understood that by publishing a paper in this journal, the authors agree to make available to colleagues in academic research all new reagents, including organisms (or means to produce them), viruses, cells, nucleic acids and antibodies, that were used in the research reported and that are not available from public repositories or commercial suppliers. Human patient samples and data should be made available in accordance with the relevant ethical standards. Materials must be made available at a reasonable cost that reflects production and distribution. The distribution of published materials does not automatically confer a right of co-authorship. The guidelines below were inspired, in part, by the recommendations formulated by the Board on Life Sciences from the National Academies Sharing Publication-Related Data and Materials: Responsibilities of Authorship in the Life Sciences (National Academies Press, 2003). Right click to download and complete the author checklist here.

  • Organisms, viruses, cells, nucleic acids, antibodies, and other reagents that were used in the research reported and that are not available from commercial suppliers should be freely available to colleagues in academic research. Human patient samples and data should be made available in accordance with the relevant ethical standards. We strongly encourage authors to deposit copies of their plasmids as DNA or bacterial stocks with repositories such as Addgene or equivalent nonprofit plasmid repository.
  • Datasets obtained by experimentation, computation or data mining, should be made freely available, without restriction. This holds without exception to data that are central and integral to the findings reported in the paper and it is strongly recommended for any remaining associated data.
  • Software should be described in sufficient detail to allow reproduction of the underlying algorithms by others. This may be achieved by providing the appropriate narrative or mathematical description, pseudocode and, possibly but not obligatorily, the source code. If a specific implementation is the focus of the study, it is strongly recommended that non-commercial users are granted free access to this implementation.
  • If a piece of software is central to the study, it is strongly recommended that it provides appropriate mechanisms (eg data import and export functionalities) for a reasonable integration in other workflows.
  • Any restrictions on the availability or on the use of included data, software and databases should be clearly specified in the paper. These restrictions may detract from the overall impact of a study, in particular when datasets, software or databases are central to the findings reported, and, therefore, will be taken into account in the final editorial decision.

The journal will only review and publish manuscripts if the authors agree to make all data that cannot be published in the journal itself (e.g. novel nucleotide sequences, structural data, or data from large-scale gene expression experiments) freely available, where possible in an appropriate public database (detailed guidelines can be found under Data Deposition).

Right click to download and complete the author checklist here.

Disclosure Statement & Competing Interests

Authors, referees, advisors, and editors are required to declare all potential or actual interests that could be perceived to influence the presentation, interpretation, or assessment of an article at the earliest opportunity and before viewing or downloading relevant files (this applies to every manuscript type and at any stage of the publication process). If in doubt, potential referees, advisors, and board members are asked to discuss any potential conflicts with the editor before agreeing to evaluate a manuscript. Editors will exclude themselves from handling a manuscript owing to competing interests.

Authors must include a declaration of these interests in the paper’s disclosure statement. The full policy with examples of disclosure statements is available here.

Scientific Integrity

The editorial staff are committed to maintaining high standards of integrity of the published scientific record. Journal staff undertake routine image analysis of data in manuscripts submitted for publication and will request source data and an author response to image aberrations.

The journal requests that authors take note of and adhere to national standards, as well as guidelines established by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Research Integrity ( The journal will investigate suspected instances of scientific fraud, inappropriate image manipulation or processing, plagiarism, misrepresentation, duplicate publication and other cases that violate research ethics in submitted manuscripts or published papers. Depending on the outcome of these investigations, the journal may opt to publish errata or corrigenda (see below), or, in cases of serious scientific misconduct, either to ask authors to retract their paper, or to impose retraction on them. In such cases, the authors’ current employers and the research institution of the corresponding author at the time of publication of the paper will also be informed. The journal may also issue an editorial note attached to the paper to alert readers to an ongoing investigation. As a matter of policy, the journal will collaborate with independent institutional investigations into misconduct and, where appropriate, will accept the outcome of such investigations.

All EMBO Press journals are members of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE).

Corrigenda, errata, addenda and refutations

Corrections and additions to a paper are published at the sole discretion of the editors, and can only be made in exceptional cases.

Authors are obliged to carefully review the proofs. If an author finds a significant issue after the article is published online ahead of print, he or she should contact the journal immediately. The publisher can make changes indicated by a footnote before the article is assigned an issue, usually without issuing a formal correction. Changes made after this stage will most likely require a formal correction.

Corrigenda involving figure corrections are subject to the journal’s policy on the data integrity. In the case of a figure correction, the journal will review all figures in the paper to screen for any additional issues. The journal reserves the right to request and publish source data with corrigenda. In rare cases the journal may consider data from an alternate and compelling dataset that was produced at the same time as the original data. When journal staff detect potential aberrations in image-based data, the severity is classified according to a three-tiered system. Depending on the severity of the issue (please see Classifying image aberrations), the authors will be notified and the authors’ research institution may be contacted.

The journal uses specific terminology based on the nature of the correction:

  • A corrigendum is notification of a significant error made by the author(s), which may include a statement by the authors and/or an editorial statement.
  • An erratum is notification of a significant error made by the journal that would mislead the readership if left uncorrected.
  • An editorial note may be used to alert readers to a specific issue related to a paper.
  • An addendum may be published in rare cases where additional data emerge that are directly relevant to central aspects of the paper, and would be essential to strengthen the paper in question. All additional data are subject to peer review.

Articles may be refuted in the Correspondence section of the journal. Such correspondence will typically include data to support the arguments of the correspondent, and will concern central aspects of the paper in question. The authors of the refuted paper will be offered the opportunity to respond alongside the correspondence. Both the refutation and the response will be peer reviewed at the discretion of the editor, and acceptance depends on the strength of the arguments raised as well as the importance of the matter to a general readership. Publication of the correspondence does not automatically entail publication of a response of the authors of the challenged research paper. After one round of correspondence, the journal will consider the matter closed and will not publish further exchanges.

Author name changes after publication
In cases where authors have formally changed their name and wish to update their published paper, please contact the editorial office. The journal will update the paper with the new name and redeliver the updated metadata to the relevant indexing services; PubMed, PubMedCentral and Google Scholar should consequently update the name. Please be aware that there will be no documentation of the previous name in the paper and that citations that point to the paper will retain the previous name. Our editorial and production teams will use discretion in recognizing that name changes may be of a sensitive nature for various reasons including (but not limited to) alignment with gender identity, or as a result of marriage, divorce, or religion. Accordingly, we will not publish a correction notice to the paper. We request that the author informs their co-authors of this change to avoid confusion.

Data collection and presentation

Presented data must represent the findings in an unbiased, accurate and transparent manner. This includes appropriate statistical analysis and image processing. For further details, please refer to these guidelines.

The Editors reserve the right to request minimally processed versions of figures and the source data that were used to assemble the figure from the authors of a paper under consideration, or of a paper already published in the journal.

Data integrity of Images

The EMBO Press data integrity policy aims to ensure that EMBO Press journals publish research that is reliable, reproducible and conforms to international scientific research standards, including COPE. Authors are expected to follow basic guidelines for preserving data integrity, which have been outlined in the Figure/Data Presentation section

Journal staff conduct an analysis of all image-based data presented in manuscripts before acceptance for publication. Editors may request source data for any figure as a requirement for publication. Editors reserve the right to forego publication of a manuscript if key data do not meet journal data integrity, ethical or reproducibility standards. When journal staff note potential aberrations in image-based data, the severity is classified according to a three-tiered system. The authors will be contacted, and depending on the severity of the issue, the authors’ research institution may be contacted.

See also: Pulverer, B. (2015) When things go wrong: correcting the scientific record

Originality and Plagiarism

Plagiarism is the misappropriation of intellectual property and the substantial unattributed textual copying of another's work, including ideas, text, images or materials and methods.

Any information published in the journal should represent a substantial, novel contribution to the scientific record. The journal reserves the right not to publish material that has already been published, completely or substantially, in peer reviewed journals, persistent news media or online information platforms and blogs. Posts on recognized non-peer reviewed preprint servers (see Preprint Servers), as well as oral or written conference presentations (including summaries, abstracts and posters), meeting reports, as well as doctoral (PhD) or master (MSc, MA) theses are exempt (if your institution requires formal publication of your thesis, please contact the editorial office).

Manuscripts submitted for publication elsewhere that are conceptually related to a submission to this journal, and that feature one or more of the same authors must be declared in the cover letter and included in full with the submission. It is at the discretion of the editors whether publication of such related material prevents publication in the journal.

Any text, data, material, images, ideas or quotes must be attributed to the original source, even if it is by the same authors. If necessary, authors should seek permission to use the material from the copyright holder in accordance to licensing stipulations. The journal’s policies on attribution follow the standards set by the Associated Press, including formal citation of the primary source and clearly demarked quotation. The journal has no limit on references and all relevant references must be included in the reference list.

Manuscripts with overlapping authors are not subject to the journal’s ‘scooping protection’ policy.

The journal uses CrossCheck to screen submitted content for plagiarism (including self-plagiarism) prior to publication. It is at the discretion of the editors whether related text is inadmissible for publication in the journal.

Embargo Policy

The content of papers and any associated press releases is strictly embargoed until the official date of publication of a manuscript. Accepted contributions can be discussed with the media from one week before the publication date provided the journalist respects the embargo date. We will press release selected papers with summaries. Authors may arrange their own publicity, but must adhere to the embargo conditions. Further details can be provided by the editorial office.

Citation Policy

Comprehensive and accurate citation of the relevant literature is essential. We require citation of the primary literature wherever appropriate. There are no limits on the total number of references in the bibliography, and the reference list is not subject to manuscript length format requirements (for details, see below). Similarly, page charges will apply only to the body of a published article, not to the reference list.


All submissions are initially assessed by a dedicated scientific editor specialised in the scientific topics covered in the manuscript, and may also be evaluated by an appropriate Editorial Advisory Board member or another external expert advisor. All research manuscripts and reviews published in the journal are subject to peer-review. Non-research articles, editorial material and commentaries are usually not reviewed, although editors may elect to undertake review in the interest of authoritative and balanced reporting.

Double blind review: As a default, the referees are aware of the identities of the authors and referee names are withheld from authors (single-blind review). We will withhold author names from referees on request by the authors. The authors may chose this option during the submission process, but it is the authors’ responsibility to anonymize their manuscript. The editorial offices will not edit the manuscript files submitted for anonymity and will not alert authors who have chosen the anonymization option, but who have not anonymized the manuscript files. The journal may consult with the referees after conditional acceptance of a manuscript on a de-anonymized manuscript to assess the changes applied in revision.

Research manuscripts judged by the editors to be potentially suitable for publication in the journal with realistic experimental revision are sent out for formal peer review, so that manuscripts with a low probability of success can be returned to the authors without delay. Manuscripts are typically reviewed by three appropriate independent experts selected by the editors. Authors may exclude a small number of experts if they are concerned of a conflict of interest or bias.

Referee Cross-commenting: Referees are routinely invited to comment on each other’s reports and may discuss issues under moderation of the editors. Referees are not informed of each other’s identities.

Based on the arguments and recommendations of the referees, the editors decide whether to offer publication or revision, or whether to reject the manuscript. This decision might involve further consultation with the referees, the Editorial Advisory Board and/or the authors. Revisions are invited only for manuscripts that have a high probability of acceptance after one major round of experimental revision.

‘Scooping’: During the editorial and peer review process and the agreed author revision period, other studies that may appear in the literature are not taken into account in assessing the conceptual advance of a study. Please inform editors once you become aware of other studies directly relevant to your study.

Authors may appeal decisions if there is concrete evidence for a misunderstanding or mistake at the editorial or referee level. Appeals are evaluated in depth and without prejudice.

Transparent Process: The journal makes the editorial process transparent for all accepted manuscripts, by publishing as an online supplementary document (the Review Process File, RPF) all correspondence between authors and the editorial office relevant to the decision process. This will include all referee comments directed to the authors, as well as the authors’ point-by-point responses. Internal communications and informal consultations between editors, editorial advisors or referees will remain excluded from these documents. Importantly, referee anonymity will be strictly maintained. Authors have the possibility to opt out of the transparent process at any stage prior to publication. Please note that the author checklist will still be published even if authors opt-out of the transparent process.

To further facilitate transparency, the journal has removed the “Confidential Comments” field from our referee reporting forms. This is to ensure that the authors receive all information pertinent to the decision made on a manuscript. Referees should be aware that all comments will be transmitted to the authors and the other referees. Should there be any issues with the manuscript, in particular concerns about ethical standards, data integrity, biosecurity, or conflicts of an academic or commercial nature that need to be communicated directly and confidentially to the editor, this can be done by email.

Please see the EMBO Press website for more information on these policies.

Extended Scooping Protection

Other papers published in peer reviewed journals or manuscripts posted on recognized preprint servers after submission of a manuscript to The EMBO Journal are not considered relevant to the editorial assessment of the conceptual advance/novelty of the submitted manuscript.

A manuscript submitted to The EMBO Journal is subject to scooping protection from the day of submission to The EMBO Journal and extends through the agreed revision period. For transferred manuscript scooping protection applies from the day of submission to the EMBO Press sister journal.

Scooping Protection has now been extended to also apply from the day of posting a manuscript on a recognized preprint server in the same form as the manuscript submitted to The EMBO Journal, provided the manuscript is submitted to the journal within 4 months of posting.

Note that related papers, and where appropriate preprints, have to be cited appropriately if they are published before the manuscript proofs stage.

Please inform editors as soon as you become aware of other studies directly relevant to your study. Conceptually related studies formally published elsewhere must be cited (citations can be added at proofs stage where necessary).

Note that scooping protection does not apply for related papers with an overlapping set of authors.

Related manuscripts submitted, in press or published elsewhere must be declared at submission and cited where appropriate (see Originality and Plagiarism). It is at the discretion of the editors whether prior publication of such related material prevents subsequent publication in the journal.


Authors may appeal decisions if there is concrete evidence for a misunderstanding or mistake at the editorial or referee level. Appeals are evaluated in depth and without prejudice.

Transfer policies

The EMBO Press journals are editorially independent from their publishers, one another and EMBO.

Authors can choose to transfer manuscripts rejected from any one of the EMBO Press journals to any other of the EMBO Press journals by following the instructions appended to the editorial decision letter. Authors may also request transfer by contacting the The EMBO Journal office directly. Both peer-reviewed and non-peer-reviewed manuscripts can be transferred.

We also offer seamless transfer to the new open access journal Life Science Alliance, launched in partnership between EMBO Press, Rockefeller University Press, and Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press. Where appropriate, an editor at the original journal will confidentially pre-consult with the editors of Life Science Alliance to explicitly invite transfer. Authors who do not wish to be considered for transfers can opt out at submission stage.

Manuscripts transferred post-review will automatically include the referees’ reports and identities of referees (unless the referee has opted out), and authors are invited to include a point-by-point rebuttal and a revised manuscript as part of the transfer. The editors will aim to use the transferred referee reports in arriving at a rapid decision – where necessary, they may involve an arbitrating expert, who is asked to adjudicate based on the information provided by the authors and referees. Editors may choose to seek additional advice from referees or editorial advisory board members in cases where this would enhance informed decision-making.

Transfers of manuscripts with referee reports from Journals unrelated to EMBO Press to The EMBO Journal are also possible at the editor’s discretion. If anonymous, authenticated referee reports are available, the editors will aim to work with this information to arrive at a timely decision without entering a de novo review process. This may involve expert advice in an adjudicating function. Please contact the editors to discuss options. EMBO Press is committed to a rapid, efficient and fair editorial process.


The EMBO Journal publishes the following article types:

Research Article Submission


The following guidelines refer to Research Articles. While published manuscripts are expected to conform tightly to the following guidelines, this is not a requirement at first submission.

Manuscripts must be written in clear and concise English and be intelligible to a broad readership. Prior to submission, authors may benefit from having their manuscript reviewed for clarity by colleagues and/or by using one of the many English language-editing services that are available.

Text Format

The Editorial Office will only accept text files in RTF or MS Word format. The final character count must be clearly indicated on the title page of the manuscript. Revised manuscripts that do not comply with the formatting guidelines, or exceed the length restrictions, may be returned to the authors for amendment.

Please submit the full text (including figure legends, expanded view figure legends, tables (note: tables may also be be provided as separate Word or Excel files, they need to be editable), and references) as a single MS Word or RTF file.

Submitted manuscripts should be divided into the following sections:

  • Title page
  • Abstract
  • Introduction
  • Results
  • Discussion
  • Methods
  • Acknowledgements
  • Conflict of interest
  • References
  • Figure legends
  • Tables and their legends
  • Expanded View Figure legends


Title Page

The title should be short and informative, and should not contain any abbreviations (for example, Epithelial-Mesenchymal Transition should not be abbreviated to EMT). However, commonly used gene or protein acronyms are acceptable. The total length of the title should not exceed 100 characters (including spaces). Serial titles are not accepted.

The full name (middle names as initials) of each author should be given. Multiple first-authorships are acceptable and should be indicated. Numbers in superscript should be used to indicate the department, institution, city with postal code and country, for each author. Any changes of address may also be given in numbered footnotes. It is possible to name more than one author as the correspondent of a published article, although we will by default address all correspondence to the single author listed as Corresponding Author upon submission.

Up to five keywords, which may or may not appear in the title, should be given in alphabetical order, below the abstract, each separated by a slash (/).


This should be a single paragraph not exceeding 175 words. The Abstract should be comprehensible to readers before they have read the paper, and abbreviations should be avoided where possible (as for the title). Reference citations within the abstract are not permitted. The abstract should describe all key novel findings of the study.


The Introduction should be succinct and without subheadings. It should provide only the necessary background information, rather than comprise a comprehensive review of the field. Citation of the primary literature is required where appropriate (see section on Citation Policy).


The Results section, and associated figures, tables and Expanded View information, must accurately describe the findings of the study. Figure, Table, Expanded View figure, Expanded View table, Expanded View movie, etc. order should follow the text. Detailed methodological descriptions should be restricted to the Materials and Methods section. ‘Data not shown’ is not permitted (see below): all significant data should be displayed in the main figures or Expanded View information.


The Discussion should accurately interpret the results, but not be repetitive with the Results section. Authors are encouraged to discuss their work in the broader context. Related published data must be appropriately discussed and cited. Speculation is allowed but should be clearly labelled as such. For shorter articles, the Results and Discussion sections can be combined.


This section should contain sufficient detail so that all experimental procedures can be repeated by others, in conjunction with cited references. Reagents must be described in such a way as to allow readers to identify them unequivocally and/or reproduce them. For example, antibodies epitopes should be described and siRNA and other probe sequences must be provided. In cases where detailed methods cannot be described within the length limits of the article, additional Materials and Methods can be included as part of the Appendix (see Expanded View section). This additional information should, however, not be of immediate importance for the understanding of the manuscript, and it is not permissible to move the entire “Materials and Methods” section into the Appendix.

Structured Methods

Resource and Method papers should include a structured Methods section that includes a Reagents and Tools Table followed by a Methods and Protocols section.

Please note that this format is not required at initial submission. It is only mandatory for Resource and Method papers and is optional for Articles.

To adhere to this format please include the following two sections (see an example here and download our Excel template or Word template for the Table):

Reagents and Tools Table: Key reagents, experimental models, software and relevant equipment should be listed in this table, including their sources and relevant identifiers. Please fill one of the templates referenced above and upload it to the manuscript tracking system as a ‘Reagent Table’ file. This example shows how the table will display in the published article and includes examples of the type of information that should be provided for the different categories of reagents and tools. Please list your reagents/tools using the categories provided in the template and do not add additional subheadings to the table. Reagents/tools that do no fit in any of the specific categories can be listed under “Other”.

Methods and Protocols: We encourage the authors to describe their methods using a step-by-step protocol format with bullet points and notes on “tricky steps” in the procedure (see example). We strongly recommend this ‘protocol’ format for novel methodologies and procedures that will be relevant for readers to use in their own studies. Using the protocol format is optional unless otherwise specified by the editor. The protocol format does not need to be applied throughout the Methods section.

We encourage authors who provide protocols using our Structured Methods format to also deposit their protocol in Protocols deposited in should be referred to using the statement “A version of the protocol is maintained at”


These should be placed at the end of the text and not in footnotes. Personal acknowledgements should precede those of institutions or agencies. Grant numbers are permissible. Dedications are discouraged. It is the authors responsibility to add required funder information to the acknowledgement section before proof stage. Such information can only be added to published paper in exceptional circumstances and at the editors’ discretion.

Author contributions

The CRediT contributor roles taxonomy (see authorship guidelines) is used to specify the contributions of each author in the journal submission system. Please use the free text box in the 'author information' section of the manuscript submisssion system to provide more detailed descriptions (e.g., 'X provided intracellular Ca++ measurements in fig Y'). CRediT replaces the 'Author Contributions' section.

Upon final acceptance of the manuscript, authors will be invited as part of the SourceData curation process to assign their individual contributions at the figure panel level. This authorship is more closely associated with the data presented and is thus complementary to the author contribution section in the paper. Figure panel-level authorship should conform to the established authorship guidelines and will be displayed on the BioStudies hosted data version of the paper. 

Disclosure and competing interests statement

The journal requires a statement specifying whether or not authors have competing interests (defined as all potential or actual interests that could be perceived to influence the presentation or interpretation of an article; click here for details). In case of competing interests, this must be specified in your disclosure statement.

Data Availability Section

Datasets and computer code that were generated in the reported study should be listed in a structured manner in the “Data Availability” section placed after the Materials & Methods section. If your study does not include datasets, please insert the following statement: This study includes no data deposited in external repositories. See also Guide for Source Data Submission.

Each dataset should be listed under a separate bullet point that includes 1) a short description of the measurement type (eg RNA-Seq, ChIP-Seq, mass spectrometry proteomics, imaging, etc…), 2) the name of the repository (or its recommended acronym, see table below and consult; 3) the DOI or accession number of the dataset; and 4) a resolvable link to the dataset, either in the form of a resolvable link from or as the full URL to the respective database record:

Data availability

The datasets and computer code produced in this study are available in the following databases:

  • RNA-Seq data: Gene Expression Omnibus GSE46843 (
  • Chip-Seq data: Gene Expression Omnibus GSE46748 (
  • Protein interaction AP-MS data: PRIDE PXD000208 (
  • Imaging dataset: Image Data Resource
  • Modeling computer scripts: GitHub (
  • [data type]: [name of the resource] [accession number/identifier/doi] ([URL or])

Supported acronyms for databases (see also

Full name Acronym URL
BioImage Archive BIA
Database of Genotypes and Phenotypes dbGAP
Database of single nucleotide polymorphisms dbSNP
Electron Microscopy Data Bank EMDB
European Genome-phenome Archive EGA
European Nucleotide Archive ENA
Gene Expression Omnibus GEO
Image Data Resource IDR https://idr.openmicroscopy.or/
Molecular Interaction Database IntAct
Protein Data Bank PDB
Proteomics Identification database PRIDE
Reference Sequence Database RefSeq
Sequence Read Archive SRA

References and Citations

As a matter of policy, the journal requires the citation of primary literature (over review articles) and, when appropriate, of data (see section on Data citation below). The reference list at the journal is not subject to length restriction: within reason, all relevant citations should be included. Authors are responsible for the accuracy of the references and for ensuring that the related literature is accurately and comprehensively discussed and cited. Review articles should only be cited for general background information, or the proposal of certain concepts or similar purposes. Primary research articles should preferentially be referenced to introduce the question being addressed or to support the conclusions and interpretations of the results.

Only articles that have been published or that are accepted for publication at a named publication should be cited in the reference list. Papers accepted for publication must be cited with the corresponding author’s permission and should include title and all author names (or initials if any of the authors are co-authors of the present contribution), as well as either the DOI, if available, or the term ‘in press’. In the text of the manuscript, a reference should be cited by author and year of publication; no more than two authors may be cited per reference; ‘et al’ should be used if there are more than two authors (i.e. Smith & Jones, 2003; Smith et al, 2000). In the reference list, citations should be listed in alphabetical order and then chronologically, with the authors’ surnames and initials inverted; where there are more than 10 authors on a paper, 10 will be listed, followed by ‘et al.’. Publications by the same author(s) in the same year should be identified with a, b, c after the year of publication. The name of each journal should be abbreviated according to Index Medicus and italicized. References should therefore be listed as follows:

Research articles:

  • Akhmedkhanov A, Toniolo P, Zeleniuch-Jacquotte A, Koenig KL, Shore RE (2002) Aspirin and lung cancer in women. Br J Cancer 87: 49-53
  • Roehner N, Beal J, Clancy K, Bartley B, Misirli G, Grünberg R, Oberortner E, Pocock M, Bissell M, Madsen C et al (2016Sharing structure and function in biological design with SBOL 2.0ACS Synth Biol 5: 498506

Book chapters and books can be cited in the following way:

  • Price SR, Oubridge C, Varani G, Nagai K (1998) Preparation of RNA-protein complexes for X-ray crystallography and NMR. In RNA-Protein Interaction: Practical Approach, Smith C (ed) pp 37-74. Oxford: Oxford University Press
  • Sambrook J, Fritsch E & Maniatis T (1989) Molecular Cloning: A Laboratory Manual. Cold Spring Harbor Press, Cold Spring Harbor, New York, USA

Citations to manuscripts posted on recognized preprint servers can be cited the following way:

  • In-text citation: (preprint: NAME1 et al, YEAR)
  • Author NAME1, Author NAME2, (YEAR) article title. bioRxiv doi: 1234/002.dfj123 [PREPRINT]

Data citation

We encourage authors to include datasets obtained from public resources in the reference list in the form of data citations. Please note that a “dataset” in this context represents primary experimental data and not reference gene or protein sequences at public data banks such as Genbank, Ensembl or UniProt. The original publication (article) that reported the respective dataset should additionally be included as a regular reference.

Data references should include authors, when possible, the year, the full name of the database where the data is available, the accession number or DOI and, importantly, a resolvable link that points directly to the dataset. The resolvable link can be in the form of either a plain URL, a DOI or an construct. Each data reference should be labeled with the tag “[DATASET]” at the end to distinguish it from the other references. Example:


Hörnberg E, Ylitalo EB, Crnalic S, Antti H, Stattin P, Widmark A, Bergh A, Wikström P (2011) Gene Expression Omnibus GSE29650 ( [DATASET]

Hörnberg E, Ylitalo EB, Crnalic S, Antti H, Stattin P, Widmark A, Bergh A, Wikström P (2011) Expression of androgen receptor splice variants in prostate cancer bone metastases is associated with castration-resistance and short survival. PLoS One 6: e19059

In the main text, these datasets should be cited with the prefix “Data ref:” to distinguish them from the reference to the original article that reported the dataset. Example:

“…were grouped based on the relative levels of AR‐Vs expressed, mainly AR‐V7 (Hörnberg et al, 2011; Data ref: Hörnberg et al, 2011).”

Datasets for which the authors are unknown should be included at the end of the reference list in the form: [dataset title] [year] [database name and accession number] [resolvable link to the dataset] followed by the tag “[DATASET]” at the end. Example:

Genetic variation in Kuusamo (2015) European Genome-Phenome Archive EGAS00001000020 ( [DATASET]

In the main text these datasets should be cited using the name of the database, its accession number and the year. Example:

“… 402 genomes from the Kuusamo Project (Data ref: European Genome-phenome Archive EGAS00001000020, 2015) …”

In studies that make use of many (i.e. more than approx. 20) pre-existing datasets, it might not be practical or feasible to cite them individually. In this case, it is therefore acceptable to provide a separate data reference list in the form of an Expanded View Table which should be called out from Materials & Methods.


Tables should be provided in .doc or .xls format and need to be editable (no image files). They can be included at the bottom of the main manuscript file or be sent as separate files. Tables should be numbered consecutively with Arabic numerals (1, 2, 3, 4). Journal style does not allow background shading or colored font, please use asterisks or alike symbols for highlighting. Tables should be self-explanatory and include a brief descriptive title. Footnotes to tables indicated by lower-case superscript letters are acceptable, but they should not include extensive experimental detail.

Conventions and Abbreviations

In general, the journal follows conventions given in Scientific Style and Format: The CBE Manual for Authors, Editors and Publishers (1994) Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK, 6th edn. Please follow Chemical Abstracts and its indexes for chemical names. For guidance in the use of biochemical terminology follow the recommendations issued by the IUPAC-IUBMB Joint Commission on Biochemical Nomenclature. In general, genes and genotypes should be indicated in italics; proteins and phenotypes should not be italicized.

Authors should use approved gene and gene product nomenclature and apply the italicization and capitalization formatting as appropriate for each organism’s standard nomenclature. Please consult the appropriate nomenclature databases for correct gene names and symbols. Some useful general resources are: Entrez Gene (; UniProt (

Try to restrict the use of abbreviations to SI symbols (standard units of measurements) and those recommended by the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC). Abbreviations should be defined in brackets after their first mention in the text, not in a list of abbreviations. SI symbols and symbols of chemical elements may be used without definition in the body of the paper. Abbreviations of standard biochemical compounds, e.g. ATP, DNA, nucleotides in nucleic acids, and amino acids in proteins, need not be defined.


Figure Legends

Figure legends should contain sufficient information to allow the reader to follow the data presented without referring back to the text, but should not be redundant with the Results section. Each figure must contain a heading. All symbols and abbreviations used in the figure must be defined, unless they are common abbreviations or have already been defined in the text. Experimental details should, where possible, be given in the Materials and Methods section, and not repeated in the figure legends. Figure legends should be formatted such that each panel, or group of panels, has its own entry with the panel letter (or range) on the left and the description on the right, the panels should be described in sequential order in the legend. Details on the statistical analysis and the number of replicates should be indicated for each panel where appropriate (see Statistics section below).

Figure 1 - Generation of hiPSCs from a patient with type-2 long-QT syndrome.

A Bright-field images of neurospheres obtained from SVZ neural stem cells of P15 control and hGFAP-SDHD mouse brains. Scale bars: 500 μm.

B, C Neurosphere (NS) forming efficiency (B) and core diameter (C) in cultures grown from SVZ of P15 control and hGFAP-SDHD mice (n = 6 cultures/mice for each genotype).

D Quantitative RT–PCR detection of SdhD expression levels in SVZ neurospheres of wild-type (flox/+) and mutant (flox/-, and flox/- cre) mice (n = 4 mice for each group).

Data information: In (B–D), data are presented as mean ± SEM. *P≤0.05 (Student's t-test).

Figure Formatting

Figures and Expanded View figures should be presented in the order they are mentioned in the text. Figures use the numbering system Fig 1, while Expanded View figures use the system Fig EV1. The figure count in each is separate, such that there will be both a Fig 1 and a Fig EV1 (and so on) in a manuscript.

The final size of figures will be between 87 mm and 180 mm wide on the printed page. Please bear this in mind when submitting your manuscript for review and allow for sufficient resolution at a suitable size. For help preparing figures, please download our figure guide PDF.

Figures divided into parts should be labelled with an upper-case, bold letter (Helvetica Font). Figures with several parts should also be in proportion, with consistently sized lettering so that the whole figure can be reduced by the same amount to the smallest size at which the essential details are visible. Use Courier font for sequence data and Symbol font for any symbols.

All lettering should be done using standard fonts (Helvetica, Times, Symbol, Courier) and retained in a separate layer (if possible) so that the production team can adapt any labels to the journal’s style if necessary. All fonts used for labelling the figures should also be embedded in the final files if the software package offers this option.

Scale bars, rather than magnification factors, should be used, with the length of the bar defined in the legend rather than on the bar itself. In general, visual cues on the figure itself are preferred rather than verbal explanations (for example, ‘broken line’ or ‘filled black triangles’) in the legend.

When preparing figures of microscopy images, please note that we strongly encourage the use of colours that are suitable for colour-blind readers: for example, the use of magenta/green is preferred over red/green for 2-channel images.

For publication, we require TIFF, PDF or EPS files in PC or Macintosh format, preferably from PhotoShop or Illustrator software. We cannot accept Freehand, Canvas, CorelDRAW or MacDrawPro files. These files must be converted to postscript (eps) format. For any figures submitted in Photoshop or TIF(F) format we require layered files to be sent whereby all text, arrows or additional attributes are placed on individual layers within the file. For line art/charts/graphs we prefer to work with Adobe Illustrator AI, EPS or high-resolution PDF files. We can also accept high-resolution PDF files.

Colour artwork can be submitted in RGB or CMYK colour mode. Non-vector graphics should be preserved at high resolution: 300 ppi (pixels per inch) minimum at actual print size for greyscale or colour halftone images, and 600 ppi minimum for artwork containing fine details like lines and text. Combinations of monochrome line art (e.g. charts and diagrams) and greyscale/photographs should allow for a resolution of 600 ppi at the actual final print size.

An illustrated overview of the guidelines, explanations and tips regarding the preparation of artwork is available for download in this document [pdf].

The journal does not have colour charges for figures, and the authors are therefore welcome to submit full colour figures.

Figure/Data Presentation

Figures must accurately reflect the results of the experiments. Appropriate controls, markers and scale bars should be included in all panels. Statistical tests must be clearly defined and appropriate to the data.

Source Data
EMBO Press strongly believes in the added value of providing source data and we ask authors to upload the source data that were used to generate figures. Source data files will be directly linked to the relevant figures so that readers can download the associated source data for the purpose of detailed inspection, re-analysis or integration with other data. Replicate data can also be provided as source data.

Following manuscript acceptance, figure panels undergo annotation by SourceData curators to include experimental metadata. Authors have the opportunity to validate this curation. Authors are also invited to add author contributions at the figure panel level. The annotated metadata, along with source data files, will be deposited in BioStudies for long-term archiving, receiving a unique accession number for citation purposes. Additional details are available in the author contribution section.

The EMBO Press source data initiative also complies with the most recent directives from the NIH and the ERC in terms of data management and sharing (links to the official NIH and ERC documents here, here and here.

Image Processing
Images submitted with a manuscript for review should be minimally processed (for instance, to add arrows to a micrograph). Authors should retain their unprocessed data and metadata files, as editors may request them to aid in manuscript evaluation. If unprocessed data are unavailable, manuscript evaluation may be stalled until the issue is resolved.

A certain degree of image processing is acceptable for publication (and for some experiments, fields and techniques is unavoidable), but the final image must correctly represent the original data and conform to community standards. The guidelines below will aid in accurate data presentation at the image processing level; authors must also take care to exercise prudence during data acquisition, where misrepresentation must equally be avoided. Where appropriate, manuscripts should include further Methods as part of the Expanded View that describe for each figure the pertinent instrument settings, acquisition conditions and processing changes.

Authors should list all image acquisition tools and image processing software packages used. Authors should document key image-gathering settings and processing manipulations in the Methods.

Images gathered at different times or from different locations should not be combined into a single image, unless it is stated that the resultant image is a product of time-averaged data or a time-lapse sequence. If juxtaposing images is essential, the borders should be clearly demarcated in the figure and described in the legend.

The use of touch-up tools, such as cloning and healing tools in Photoshop, or any feature that deliberately obscures manipulations, is to be avoided.

Processing (such as changing brightness and contrast) is appropriate only when it is applied equally across the entire image and is applied equally to controls. Contrast should not be adjusted so that data disappear. Excessive manipulations, such as processing to emphasize one region in the image at the expense of others (for example, through the use of a biased choice of threshold settings), is inappropriate, as is emphasizing experimental data relative to the control.

When submitting revised final figures upon conditional acceptance, authors may be asked to submit original, minimally processed images.

Electrophoretic gels and blots
Positive and negative controls, as well as molecular size markers, should be included on each gel and blot. For previously characterized antibodies, a citation must be provided. For antibodies less well characterized in the system under study, a detailed characterization that demonstrates not only the specificity of the antibody, but also the range of reactivity of the reagent in the assay, should be published as part of the Expanded View. The display of cropped gels and blots in the main paper is permitted if it improves the clarity and conciseness of the presentation. Cropped gels in the paper must retain all important bands, and space (several band-widths) should be retained above and below the relevant band(s). Vertically sliced images that juxtapose lanes that were non-adjacent in the gel must have a clear separation or a black line delineating the boundary between the gels. Quantitative comparisons between samples on different gels/blots are discouraged; if this is unavoidable, the figure legend must state that the samples derive from the same experiment and that gels/blots were processed in parallel. Loading controls must be run on the same blot. High-contrast gels and blots are discouraged, as overexposure may mask additional bands. Authors should strive for exposures with gray backgrounds. Multiple exposures should be presented in the Expanded View information if high contrast is unavoidable. Immunoblots should be surrounded by a black line to indicate the borders of the blot, if the background is faint. For quantitative comparisons, appropriate reagents, controls and imaging methods with linear signal ranges should be used.

Authors should be prepared to supply the editors with original data on request, at the resolution collected, from which their images were generated. Cells from multiple fields should not be juxtaposed in a single field; instead multiple supporting fields of cells should be shown as part of the Expanded View. Specific guidelines: Adjustments should be applied to the entire image. Threshold manipulation, expansion or contraction of signal ranges and the altering of high signals should be avoided. If ‘Pseudo-colouring’ and nonlinear adjustment (for example ‘gamma changes’) are used, this must be disclosed. Adjustments of individual colour channels are sometimes necessary on ‘merged’ images, but this should be noted in the figure legend. We encourage inclusion of the following with the final revised version of the manuscript for publication: In the Methods, specify the type of equipment (microscopes/objective lenses, cameras, detectors, filter model and batch number) and acquisition software used. Although we appreciate that there is some variation between instruments, equipment settings for critical measurements should also be listed. A further Methods section as part of the Expanded View (or part of a larger Methods section) titled ‘equipment and settings’ should list for each image: acquisition information, including time and space resolution data (xyzt and pixel dimensions); image bit depth; experimental conditions such as temperature and imaging medium; and fluorochromes (excitation and emission wavelengths or ranges, filters, dichroic beamsplitters, if any). The display lookup table (LUT) and the quantitative map between the LUT and the bitmap should be provided, especially when rainbow pseudocolor is used. If the LUT is linear and covers the full range of the data, that should be stated. Processing software should be named and manipulations indicated (such as type of deconvolution, three-dimensional reconstructions, surface and volume rendering, ‘gamma changes’, filtering, thresholding and projection). Authors should state the measured resolution at which an image was acquired and any downstream processing or averaging that enhances the resolution of the image.

Statistical analysis
The description of all reported data that includes statistical testing must state the name of the statistical test used to generate error bars and P values, the number (n) of independent experiments underlying each data point (not replicate measures of one sample), and the actual P value for each test (not merely 'significant' or 'P < 0.05'). Discussion of statistical methodology can be reported in the materials and methods section, but figure legends should contain a basic description of n, P and the test applied.

Descriptive statistics should include a clearly labelled measure of centre (such as the mean or the median), and a clearly labelled measure of variability (such as standard deviation or range). Ranges are more appropriate than standard deviations or standard errors for small data sets. Standard error or confidence interval is appropriate to compare data to a control. Graphs must include clearly labelled error bars for cases where more than two independent experiments have been performed (error bars for replicate samples are less useful). Authors must state whether a number that follows the ± sign is a standard error (s.e.m.) or a standard deviation (s.d.) Authors must justify the use of a particular test and explain whether their data conform to the assumptions of the tests. In particular:

  • When using statistical methods based on the normal distribution authors should explain how they tested their data for normality. If the data do not meet the assumptions of the test, then a non-parametric alternative should be used.
  • When making multiple statistical comparisons on a single data set, authors should explain how they adjusted the alpha level to avoid an inflated Type I error rate, or they should select statistical tests appropriate for multiple groups.
  • For each experiment, the number of both technical and biological replicates should be clearly stated. Biological replicates are derived from independent experiments using separately obtained biological samples, while technical replicates are created by repeated measurements on the same biological sample. In general, technical replicates should be averaged before any statistical inference tests are performed.
  • In cases where n is small, appropriate statistical tests should be employed and justified in the text.

Since for complex biological experiments the number of independent repeats of a measurement often has to be limited for practical reasons, statistical measures with a very small n are commonplace. However, statistical measures applied to too small a sample size are not significant and they can suggest a false level of significance. We recommend that the actual individual data from each experiment should be plotted if n < 5, alongside an error bar. In cases where n is small, a justification for the use of the statistical test employed has to be provided. Presenting a single ‘typical result’ of n experiments is sometimes unavoidable, but should be accompanied by an indication of the variability of data between independent experiments. If n is not based on independent experiments (that is, n merely represents replicates of a measurement), statistics may still be useful, but a detailed description of the repeated measurement is required.

For more information on the appropriate use of standard deviation, standard error, and confidence intervals please refer to Sullivan et al (2016)American Statistical Association guidelines (2016)Motulsky (2014), and Cumming et al (2007).

Expanded View (replacing Supplementary Information)


Please follow the guidelines below when submitting a revision.

EMBO Press journals encourage the inclusion of extra figures in the HTML version of the main manuscript. These figures are presented in an expandable format inline in the main text so that readers who are interested can access them directly as they read in the context of the article. They are also provided for download in a separate PDF to accompany the Article PDF.

Figures appropriate for the Expanded View format are those of particular value to specialist readers, but which are not essential to follow the main thread of the paper for the general reader. Previously, important data would have been difficult to find and access as Supplementary Information. EMBO Press strongly encourages authors to select a limited number (typically 5) of supplementary figures for inclusion in the article proper as Expanded View figures in order to improve their accessibility, visibility and utility. Any extra figures that are not promoted to the Expanded View should be included in a 'traditional' supplementary PDF (along with supplementary text and tables) now called the Appendix.

We intend that by promoting only the essential elements of the supplementary information to be fully integrated in the main manuscript, authors and journals can reduce the often excessive amounts of information that is largely hidden in supplementary information sections. Note that it is explicit policy at all four EMBO Press journals to only include data directly relevant to the scientific claims of the paper.

Our editors will be happy to help you to decide which figures to promote to the Expanded View, or to explain about the Expanded View in more detail. There is no extra typesetting cost for figures that you choose promote in this way. However, please keep in mind the limit of 5 extra figures, unless agreed otherwise with the editor.

Your paper will now include 4 levels of information designed to add more structure and more flexibility to read or browse:

LEVEL 1 (Main manuscript and figures)

Main manuscript text, main figures and simple tables (Figures nomenclature: Figure 1, Table 1 etc.)
UPLOAD using file types: Manuscript File (including main text and tables), Figure File (as separate image files).

LEVEL 2 (Expanded View)

Expanded View figures (Expanded View figure nomenclature: Figure EV1)
[These figures will be displayed in the main HTML of the paper in a collapsible format. They will also be collected by the publisher into a single PDF and made available for download]
UPLOAD as separate image files using the file type Figure File (as for Main Figures, but note the different nomenclature when naming your Expanded View figures in the system).

Expanded View large tables and files (nomenclature: Table EV1, Dataset EV1 etc.)
[These extra files will be collected at the end of the manuscript in the Expanded View section]
UPLOAD as separate files (.txt, .xls., .ZIP etc.) using the file type Expanded View File.

LEVEL 3 (Appendix PDF)

Appendix PDF: Extra figures not promoted to the Expanded View, simple Tables not provided as separate Excel files and extra text (e.g. extra methods) provided in a single PDF(nomenclature to name and refer to Appendix items in the main text: Appendix Figure S1, Appendix Table S1, Appendix Supplementary Methods)
Please use this format for figures/tables/text beyond the limitations set of the main manuscript (level 1) and Expanded View (level 2). The Appendix should begin with a short table of contents.
[The Appendix will be provided at the end of the manuscript as PDF]
UPLOAD as a single PDF using the file type Expanded View File

LEVEL 4 (Source Data)

Source Data for main figures: Source Data should be uploaded using the Source Data file type to link source data underlying regular figures (level 1) or Expanded View figures (level 2) to the relevant figures. Source Data can include minimally processed version of data presented in figures, numerical data underlying plots or charts, as well as replicates.
UPLOAD as single files using the file type Source Data

Source Data for Expanded View and Appendix figures: We cannot currently link Source Data to Expanded View Figures (level 2) and Appendix files (level 3) for technical reasons. It should therefore be uploaded using the Expanded View File filetype in a single ZIP file containing all the Source Data for Expanded View and Appendix content.
UPLOAD as a single ZIP file containing multiple folders/files relating to individual Expanded View items using the file type Expanded View File

To take advantage of the Expanded View

Authors will need to:

1. Select from their current Supplementary Information up to 5 figures for inclusion in the Expanded View.
2. Provide these figures as separate figure files (as for main figures in EPS, TIFF format etc.) using the file type Figure File in our manuscript submission system.
3. Include the legends for these figures in the main manuscript document file in a section called Expanded View Figure Legends after the main Figure Legends section.
4. Use the nomenclature Figure EV1 (and so on) for the figure legends and making reference to the figures in the text. The figures should be included in numerical sequential order (note that the EV sequence is separate from the sequence for regular figures).

For the figures that are not promoted to Expanded View format, and for supplementary text and tables, we ask authors to provide a single PDF file titled Appendix, containing:

1. A table of contents on the first page
2. Supplementary figures, text and simple tables and their legends (i.e. traditional Supplementary Information)
3. Use the nomenclature Appendix Figure S1, Appendix Table S1, Appendix Supplementary Methods etc. to ensure readers are not confused between Appendix figures and Expanded View figures
4. Reference these items in the manuscript text as: Appendix Figure S1, Appendix Table S1, Appendix Supplementary Methods
5. The Appendix PDF should be uploaded using the file type Expanded View File in our manuscript submission system.

For complex tables (more than 5 columns or 20 rows), datasets, computer code and so on, authors are asked to supply individual ZIP files using the nomenclature: Dataset EV1, Table EV1 and so on. Each ZIP file should contain the data file (movie, excel file, computer code) AND a separate plain text README file with item title and description. Submit these using the file type Expanded View File in our manuscript submission system.

Source data for Expanded View figures, Appendix content and individual files should be provided in a single ZIP file called Source Data for Expanded View and Appendix. Within the ZIP file, the Source Data should be included in individual folders pertaining to the figure/table that the Source Data is for. Submit this using the file type Expanded View File in our manuscript submission system.

File naming conventions

Files should be named based on manuscript number, file type and sequence position as in the following examples. Your Manuscript ID can be seen at the top of the page when you begin submission.


Unpublished Data

The journal does not permit citation of “Data not shown”. All data referred to in the paper should be displayed in the main or Expanded View figures. “Unpublished observations” may be referred to in exceptional cases, where these are data peripheral to the major message of the paper and are intended to form part of a future or separate study, the names of the persons that reported the observation should be listed in brackets. Personal communications (Author name(s), personal communications) must be authorised in writing by those involved, and the authorisation sent to the editorial office at time of submission. Care should be taken that embargo policies are not contravened. References to manuscripts in preparation or submitted, but not yet accepted, should be cited in the text as (Author names(s), in preparation), and should not be included in the list of references. Copies of such manuscripts should be enclosed at submission for reviewing purposes where relevant, as should manuscripts in press, which should be cited in the reference list (see above)

Data deposition

Large-scale datasets, sequences, atomic coordinates and computational models should be deposited in one of the relevant public databases prior to submission (provided private access is available at the database) to enable referees to consider this data as part of the peer review process. Accession codes should be included in a “Data Availability” section at the end of Materials & Methods (suggested wording: “The [protein interaction | microarray | mass spectrometry ] data from this publication have been deposited to the [name of the database] database [URL] and assigned the identifier [accession | permalink | hashtag ]).” Where applicable, please include username and password details in the manuscript file for confidential access by peer-reviewers.

Data for which no suitable public database exists should be deposited in a database for unstructured data (for example: BioStudiesDryadZenodoFigshare) or included as dataset files in the Expanded View section of the manuscript, if the file size allows this. In cases where data can not be confidentially deposited in a public database, please contact the editorial office for advice on how to make these data available for refereeing purposes. See also the Guide for Source Data Submission.

Summary table of data repositories recommended by EMBO press:

Data types Repositories Standards (via FAIRsharing*)
Functional genomics ArrayExpressGEO MIAMEMINSEQE
Mass spectrometry proteomics PridePeptideAtlas MIAPE
Molecular interactions IMEx MIMIx
Metabolomics MetabolightMetabolomics Workbench MTBLS, MW
Sequences GenBankEuropean Nucleotide ArchiveDDBJ GenBank, ENA
Flow Cytometry FlowRepository MIFlowCyt
Imaging Image Data Resource, BioImage Archive IDR, BIA
Structure data PDBNDBEMDB
Genotypic and phenotypic data dbGAPEGAdbSNP
Computational models, code BioModelsJJWSZenodo Combine
Unstructured data BioStudiesDryadZenodoFigshare

*We provide links to standards via the FAIRsharing platform (, which provides access to additional related resources and further information on standards in biology.

Functional genomics data

Microarray and sequencing-based functional genomics data should be deposited in the ArrayExpress or GEO databases in compliance to the MIAME standards and the MINSEQE draft proposal.

Proteomics, metabolomics and molecular interactions

Mass spectrometry datasets should be deposited in a machine-readable format (e.g. mzML if possible) in one of the major public database, for example Pride or PeptideAtlas and authors should follow the MIAPE recommendations.

Molecular interaction data should be deposited with a member of the International Molecular Exchange Consortium (IMEx) prior to submission of the manuscript. Authors should follow the MIMIx recommendations.

Metabolomics data should be deposited following the recommendations of the Metabolomics Standards Initiative (MSI) in a recognised repository such as MetaboLights.

Flow cytometry data

Data from FACS analysis should be deposited in and annotated, as far as possible, using the MIFlowCyt standard.


High-content screens and large-scale imaging data should be deposited in the Image Data Resource (IDR) database. Descriptive metadata should follow the recommendation provided by IDR (template files at Other imaging data should be deposited in the BioImage Archive.

Sequence data

Nucleotide sequence data should be submitted to an International Nucleotide Sequence Database Collaboration member: GenBankEuropean Nucleotide Archive or DDBJ.

Computational models

Computational models should be provided in a machine-readable form at submission stage to allow reviewers to reproduce the analysis and simulations performed in the study. When possible, standardize format (SBML, CellML) should be used instead of scripts (e.g. MATLAB). Authors are strongly encouraged to follow the set of guidelines provided by Combine and deposit their model in a public database such as Biomodels or JWS Online. We recommend depositing computer code in Zenodo (see also how code shared on GitHub can be archived on Zenodo

Structural biology data

The journal accepts and follows the recommendations of the International Union of Crystallography (IUCr), with regard to the deposition and release of macromolecular structural data. These guidelines are set out by the IUCr Commission on Biological Macromolecules (Acta Crystallographica (2000), D56, 2). In summary, they state that all publications must be accompanied by deposition of both the atomic coordinates and the structure-factor amplitudes in the appropriate database (PDB or NDB). In the case of low-resolution structures for which only a chain trace is reported, a set of C alpha positions and structure-factor amplitudes may be sufficient.

For NMR structures, data deposited should include resonance assignments, and all restraints used in structure determination (NOEs, spin-spin coupling constants, amide exchange rates, etc) and the derived atomic coordinates for both an individual structure and for a family of acceptable structures.

Structures of biological macromolecules solved by electron microscopy must be submitted to the EMDB database (see Lawson et al. (2011) Nucleic Acids Res. 39: D456-D464).

Human clinical and genomic datasets

The journal encourages authors to provide access to genotype and clinical data with as few restrictions as possible while respecting ethical obligations to the patients and relevant medical and legal issues. If compatible with the individual consent agreement used in the study, such data should be deposited in one of the major public access-controlled repositories such as dbGAP or EGA. Simple genetic polymorphisms should be submitted to dbSNP.


News & Views

News & Views articles are commissioned and should not be submitted without an invitation from the Editorial Office. These articles should focus on one or more original articles that are of fundamental relevance to a general readership, and which are due for publication in the same issue of the journal and/or cognate journals.

News & Views articles contextualize and underscore the significance of original articles and may be extensively edited in-house.

Submitted manuscripts should be in the form a short essay. Referencing guidelines are the same as for research articles.

The total character count for a News & Views, including spaces, figure legend and references, should not exceed 9,000 characters and the exact character count should be stated on the front page of the manuscript. The report can feature a maximum of one figure, and the authors are asked to make use of this element to maximize the accessibility of the piece for a general readership. The total length of the report when printed may not exceed two pages. Please bear in mind this limit when preparing the figure and any accompanying table. All figures and tables will be redrawn by our professional in-house graphics team, so please feel free to submit rough or hand-drawn sketches in consultation with the editor.

Please note that Acknowledgments and Expanded View content are not permitted for this article type.


Review articles aim to provide accessible, authoritative overviews of a field or topic. Reviews should communicate a sense of enthusiasm, weaving background information with the latest advances, and placing both of these elements in the context of the rest of the field. Review articles should cover an aspect of molecular biology that is topical and constitutes a novel analysis of the field at the time of submission. The journal publishes Reviews that balance interest for the general reader with usefulness for specialists. When commissioning or assessing Reviews, the editors focus on articles that report the latest developments and newest insights in a given field and set them in a wider context.

There are no hard length restrictions on reviews. Subtitles can be used to divide the review into appropriate sections. Referencing guidelines are the same as for research articles.


These articles should both inform and, where appropriate, entertain the reader, but should also be grounded in documented facts or findings. Information should be presented in a historically accurate, objective and authoritative manner. Inferences or assertions that are the opinion of the writer rather than constituting a widely accepted view are permitted, provided this is made clear. The style of these articles may therefore be more similar to a science magazine or even a general newspaper article, rather than a scientific paper or review.

All comments are subject to editorial review and may be rejected if they are deemed to be outside the scope of the journal, of insufficient general interest, biased, misleading, libelous or if it involves a conflict of interest that would significantly undermine the credibility of the article. Submissions that are accepted in principle will be edited in-house. We aim to work with the author(s) to ensure that the final version of any article is both correct and interesting to a broad readership. All changes must be approved by the author(s) to ensure that the edited article accurately represents the facts and their viewpoint, but must also conform to the journal's editorial standards. Articles are not peer-reviewed, although editors may ask members of the Advisory Editorial Board for advice and guidance.

Comments should fit on under 4 typeset pages of the journal. References should be limited to 10, and should follow the style outlined above. A single illustrative figure is encouraged. Please note that primary data are not permitted for this article type. The total word count, including affiliation and references, may not exceed 2,500 words.


The journal welcomes articles that report on new methods of broad relevance and application. Methods papers should represent a clear advance over existing methodologies and include data that function as a proof of principle for the method presented, but do not have to present conceptually new biological insight. Methods papers require a structured methods section; see also this editorial. Methods papers require a protocols version of the method to aid replicability. We recommend posting protocols to a platform dedicated to structured protocols like or any similar platform that does not represent a secondary formal peer reviewed publication. Methods papers follow the same format guidelines as research articles.


Resource papers are based on broadly relevant, relatively descriptive datasets (e.g., screens, systems-wide ‘omics’ data, or computational modeling) of immediate value and broad utility to the readership of the journal. Resources follow the same format guidelines as research articles and must also include a structured methods section.


Presubmission Enquiries

The EMBO Press journals provide a rapid and informed assessment by expert scientific editors (on average, within 4 days). We therefore encourage submission of a full manuscript including all the data and methods. If you nonetheless prefer to submit a presubmission enquiry to gauge whether a manuscript in preparation is likely to be of interest to the journal, you may do so via the journal’s online submission system or book a consultation session with an editor. A presubmission enquiry should include a title and abstract and we encourage a cover letter to delineate the scope and limitations of the study. The journal does not consider in detail full paper submissions or preprint links in the presubmission modality.

If you have already prepared a manuscript, you should submit this via our online system as a research article. Full manuscript submissions must not be under consideration at another journal. We encourage preprint posting before or alongside manuscript submission.

How to Submit

Please note: You do not need to reformat your manuscript at first submission

We use an online manuscript submission and tracking system: In order to submit, you must have registered for an account (on any of the four EMBO Press journals). Note that registration requires an institutional email address for corresponding authors, and ORCIDs are encouraged.  Please follow the prompts within the manuscript system for any additional required information. Please note that submissions by email will not be considered. 

For original submissions, please upload a cover letter and a manuscript file (including figures and figure legends) in Word, PDF or LaTex formate. Alternatively, individual figure files can be uploaded separately, but please note that this can be more time-consuming than a PDF submission. You may also submit all of these files within a single ZIP file. The system will expand it for you. Additional Expanded View files can also be uploaded when applicable (please refer to the section ‘Expanded View’ above).

Once you have submitted your files and the conversion is in progress, it can take up to 30 minutes before the PDF, created in the conversion process, is ready for approval. Please contact the editorial office if the conversion engine takes longer than this. It is important to check the quality of the figures in the converted PDF before approving the submission. You can also upload your own PDF for each file if this is faster and/or provides the quality you require. Please remember that your manuscript will not be submitted until you have approved the converted or uploaded PDF files.

To avoid any unnecessary delays, please refer to the most current electronic formatting guidelines when preparing your manuscript for submission. Authors using computer systems with non-Western type encoding are strongly encouraged to eliminate all occurrences of non-standard fonts in both the manuscript and the figures. We suggest using only the fonts Times, Symbol, Courier and Helvetica.

We will acknowledge receipt of a submitted manuscript to all authors by e-mail. All further correspondence will be to the corresponding author only. If you do not receive an acknowledgement e-mail within a few days of submission, please check your email's spam folder and then contact the editorial office.

Manuscript Status

You can check the status of your manuscript at any time in the review process by:

    1. Accessing the system with your password or link sent to you in the acknowledgement e-mail.
    2. Clicking on the link represented by your manuscript tracking number and abbreviated title.
    3. Clicking on the “Check Status” link at the bottom of the displayed page.

This procedure will display tracking information about where your manuscript is in the submission/peer review process.

Please feel free to contact the editorial office with status queries.

Submission of Revisions

When a manuscript is returned to authors for revision, the revised version should be submitted within three months of the authors’ receipt of the referee reports, unless another date is specified in the decision letter. Please contact the editor by the deadline in cases where extra time is required for revision. Additional time may be granted upon request at the Editors’ discretion, assuming the conceptual advance of the study stands (with regard to the current literature). As a matter of policy, we do not consider any competing manuscripts published during the specified revision period as negatively impacting on the conceptual advance presented by your study. However, we request that you contact the editor as soon as possible upon publication of any related work, to discuss how to proceed. Only a single round of revision is generally permitted. The initial decision letter on the original version of the manuscript provides a URL that should be used for submission of revised manuscripts. Please do not upload revisions as new submissions.

Revisions should be accompanied by a point-by-point response to the referees’ comments and editorial decision letter, in PDF or Word format. To facilitate the re-evaluation, we encourage authors to intercalate their response with the referee comments.

Revisions must also be accompanied by a completed author checklist. Right click to download and complete the author checklist here. Please note that the author checklist will be included in the transparent process.

At this stage, you must also conform for our formatting guidelines, and the following items are mandatorily required when submitting a revision:

    1. The manuscript text in LaTeX, RTF or MS Word format.
    2. A letter with a detailed description of the changes made in response to the referees.
    3. Three to four 'bullet points' highlighting the main findings of your study
    4. A short 'blurb' text summarizing in two sentences the study (max. 250 characters). Bullet points and standfirst text should be submitted as a separate manuscript file in LaTeX, RTF or MS Word format.
    5. A "synopsis image", which can be used as a "visual title" for the synopsis section of your paper. The image should be PNG or JPG format with pixel dimensions of 550 x 300-600 (width x height).
    6. The latter three are for the paper's synopsis, which ensures the paper is more visible and browsable by a wide readership - this text is also used in condensed form on the electronic Table of Contents to complement the titles of papers.


Before acceptance and transfer to our publishers, manuscripts will be checked for appropriate formatting and image processing, and for plagiarism. We cannot proceed to acceptance until data are available in public databases when required; see above for details.

Speed of publication

The journal aims for rapid publication of papers, usually within 15 to 20 working days. Please help the Editors and publisher avoid delays by providing current e-mail address(es) and telephone numbers at which the author(s) can be contacted.

The journal offers a fast-track (10 working day) publication route for manuscripts under competition. Please notify the editor as soon as possible in such circumstances.

Article Proofs & License Agreement

The corresponding author will be sent an e-mail with a link to access and annotate their proof. It is the authors’ responsibility to check that the final proof is accurate. In the interests of speed, corrections should be submitted within 24 hours. If you have any trouble submitting corrections through the system, please contact the production office immediately. Essential changes of an extensive nature may be made only by insertion of a ‘Note added in proof’, and only with the approval of the Editors. A charge will be made to authors who insist on extensive amendment within the text at the page proof stage. Excessive alterations may delay publication of the article.

The corresponding author will also receive instructions by email for completing the relevant license forms. Processing of an accepted manuscript for publication can only proceed once the funding and payment details have been provided via the system and the licence to publish has been signed.

Press Embargo

When discussing unpublished data (including data in accepted papers not yet published) with the press, authors should take care not to break the journal embargo policy (see abovefor details)


Open Access publishing is supported by article processing charges (APCs), payable by authors, their institutions, or funders. The APC price is determined by an article's date of acceptance for publication. 

For Research Articles/Resource/Methods and certain Reviews*, the charge is 6,490 EUR / 6,890 USD / 5,590 GBP (+VAT, where applicable). For certain Comments* the charge is 2,000 EUR / 2,090 USD / 1,690 GBP (+VAT, where applicable). No additional charges apply, and all other article types are exempt from charges.

* APC Charges will be waived for all editor-commissioned Review or Comment articles where the authors are not covered by an OA agreement from their institution or funder.

For Research Articles/Resources submitted before 1 September 2023, the following applies:

  • Non open access: 195 Euros per typeset page plus tax (where applicable). The charge excludes all pages from the Acknowledgements section to the end of the article and only a maximum of three typeset pages of Materials and Methods are included in the charge.
  • Open Access: A fee of 5,900 EUR / 6,540 USD / 5,310 GBP (+VAT, where applicable).
  • All other article types are exempt from this charge.

Open Access Agreements: EMBO Press journals are included in many publishing agreements that may cover the costs of publishing Open Access. Click here for a list of current agreements and to determine eligibility criteria.

Waivers and Charge Reductions: Please note that you may be eligible for a discounted APC which should be requested when submitting your manuscript via the online manuscipt system. EMBO Press is committed not to preclude publication of an article based on a documented inability to pay.

EMBO Programme Support for Publication Charges

  • Increasing participation in the EMBO Programmes across Europe: Until the end of 2024, researchers in Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Poland, Slovenia, and Turkey can publish Open Access in any of the EMBO Press journals at no cost for corresponding authors based in the participating countries, and who are not entitled to be covered by a transformational agreement. Read about the EMBO Programme Support scheme.
  • Support for authors in India: EMBO will cover the APC of manuscripts accepted in 2024 for corresponding authors based in India provided that they do not have other forms of publication support or alternative funding available. Eligible scientists will be asked to sign a declaration regarding lack of publishing funds and will be reimbursed for pre-paid charges. Please contact [email protected] for additional information about this initiative.

Cover Charges

We feature journal covers based on the research presented in a paper selected by the journal editors. Charges cover design and production costs. Two options are available (effective 1 January 2024):

  1. Authors provide a high-resolution 2555 pixels (w) x 3370 pixels (h) image as a maximum-quality TIFF or RGB JPEG file. We will provide digital final files and three poster printouts. There is no charge for this option.
  2. Our expert graphics designers can create a custom designed cover (see this example) in consultation with you. The charge for a custom design is €2,500, which includes the production costs and three poster printouts.

Open Access

The journal transitioned to fully Open Access on 1 January 2024. Any content that was published non-Open Access prior to this date is freely available on the journal website, and reuse rights of the original license are retained for these articles.

The journal's articles are freely accessible to all via the Internet and are also deposited immediately upon publication, without embargo, to the Open Access repository PubMed Central. Copyright on any article published by the journal is retained by the author(s).

The journal publishes articles under the Creative Commons Attribution CC BY 4.0 License. This license permits users to access, download, copy, display and redistribute the journal's articles, as well as adapt, translate, text- and data-mine the content subject to the following conditions:

  • The authors' moral rights are not compromised. These rights include the right of "paternity" (also known as "attribution" - the right for the author to be identified as such) and "integrity" (the right for the author not to have the work altered in such a way that the author's reputation or integrity may be impugned).
  • If article content is copied, downloaded or otherwise reused, a link to the appropriate bibliographic citation (authors, journal, article title, volume, issue, page numbers, DOI and the link to the definitive published version) should be maintained. Copyright notices and disclaimers must not be deleted.
  • Where content in the article is identified as belonging to a third party, it is the obligation of the user to ensure that any reuse complies with the copyright policies of the owner of that content.

Please note that any file labeled “Source Data”, “Dataset” or “Resource” is released under a Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal Licence. This waiver removes legal barriers to the re-use and mining of research data. According to standard scholarly practice, it is recommended to provide appropriate citation and attribution whenever technically possible.

Digital Object Identifier

EMBO Press and its publishers assign a unique digital object identifier (DOI) to every article it publishes. The DOI initiative is an international effort for electronic content identification and is guided by the International DOI Foundation, composed primarily of academic publishers and societies. The DOI appears on the title page of the article. It is assigned after the article has been accepted for publication and persists throughout the lifetime of the article. It is important to include the article’s DOI in the reference, as volume and page information is not always available for articles published online.


If you need additional help, you can click on the help signs (icon) spread throughout the system. A help dialogue will pop up with context sensitive help. Should further assistance be required, then please contact MTS help. For questions regarding our policies and guidelines, please contact The EMBO Journal editorial office ([email protected]).