A Royal Society journal publishing short high-quality articles from across the biological sciences.
Aims and Scope
Previously a supplement to Proceedings B, and launched as an independent journal in 2005, Biology Letters is a primarily online, peer-reviewed journal that publishes short, high-quality articles, reviews and opinion pieces from across the biological sciences. The scope of Biology Letters is vast - publishing high-quality research in any area of the biological sciences. However, we have particular strengths in the biology, evolution and ecology of whole organisms. We also publish in other areas of biology, such as molecular ecology and evolution, environmental science, and phylogenetics.
Articles submitted to Biology Letters benefit from its broad scope and readership, dedicated media promotion and we aim for a turnaround time of within 4 weeks to first decision.
The journal is particularly suited to research that requires high visibility due to its novel findings.
Selection Publishing Criteria
The criteria for acceptance are: scientific excellence, work of outstanding quality and international importance, originality and interest across disciplines within biology. To be acceptable for publication a paper should represent a significant advance in its field, rather than something incremental.
All manuscripts are assessed by a member of the editorial board, who advises the Handling Editor on the suitability of the manuscript for Biology Letters. Many good papers are rejected before peer review on the grounds that they are insufficiently novel, due to high competition for space.
The Handling Editors and Editor-in-Chief are responsible for all final editorial decisions and make these decisions based on the reports received from the referees and board members.
Biology Letters publishes under a continuous publications model, meaning that articles are published as they are ready, with issues opening at the beginning and closing at the end of each calendar month. Along with all Royal Society journals, we are committed to archiving and providing perpetual access.
Although the printed version of Biology Letters is limited to 2500 words, there is the facility for Electronic Supplementary Material (ESM). Contents of the ESM might include details of methods, derivations of equations, large tables of data, DNA sequences and computer programs. However, the printed version must include enough detail to satisfy most non-specialist readers. Supplementary data up to 10Mb is placed on the Society's website free of charge. Larger datasets must be deposited in recognised public domain databases by the author.
Conditions of Publication
Articles must not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere. The main findings of the article should not have been reported in the mass media. Like many journals Biology Letters employs a strict embargo policy where the reporting of a scientific article by the media is embargoed until a specific time. The Editor has final authority in all matters relating to publication.
Please also refer to our Publishing Ethics Policy.
Biology Letters has an international editorial board with expertise across the biological sciences. See who is currently on the board.Top
Abstracting and Indexing
Biology Letters is indexed in PubMed, PubMed Central, ISI, Scopus and Google Scholar, as well as many other indexes.Top
Biology Letters publishes on a continuous publication model, further information can be found here.Top