Peer-review policy

Peer-review is the system used to assess the quality of a manuscript before it is published. Independent researchers in the relevant research area assess submitted manuscripts for originality, validity and significance to help editors determine whether the manuscript should be published in their journal. You can read more about the peer-review process here.

Biotechnology for Biofuels operates a single-blind peer-review system, where the reviewers are aware of the names and affiliations of the authors, but the reviewer reports provided to authors are anonymous.

The benefit of single-blind peer review is that it is the traditional model of peer review that many reviewers are comfortable with, and it facilitates a dispassionate critique of a manuscript.

Submitted manuscripts will generally be reviewed by two or more experts who will be asked to evaluate whether the manuscript is scientifically sound and coherent, whether it duplicates already published work, and whether or not the manuscript is sufficiently clear for publication. The Editors will reach a decision based on these reports and, where necessary, they will consult with members of the Editorial Board.

Reviews will be rapid and the suitability of a manuscript for publication will be assessed on the following criteria:

  • Is the manuscript’s scope appropriate for Biotechnology for Biofuels? Will this paper be of interest to others in the field, either broadly or to those working on a closely related topic?
  • Does the manuscript communicate findings of sufficient significance (e.g., in quality or impact) to merit publication in Biotechnology for Biofuels?
  • If the research has been covered previously, does the work contain appropriate use and citation of a priori knowledge? Authors who are building upon their own published work should minimize self-citation, whilst making it clear how their submitted work extends previous findings.
  • Are experimental or analytical methods and approaches technically sound and are they adequately described? For example, have suitable controls been included and/or have sufficient replicates been run?
  • Are conclusions appropriately supported by presented data or analyses? For example, does the manuscript avoid over-interpreting the significance of presented results?
  • Is clarity of language sufficient to warrant review of manuscript as submitted? Manuscripts requiring extensive language editing, but otherwise meeting scientific criteria, may be returned to authors as an “open reject” for being insufficiently prepared, with encouragement to resubmit once re-written to strengthen exposition clarity.

Overseen by the Editors-in-Chief, Michael Himmel, James du Preez, Debra Mohnen and Charles Wyman, Biotechnology for Biofuels is supported by an expert panel of Section and Associate Editors, who are responsible for peer-review and editorial decision making.