Editorial Policies

Focus and Scope

Genomics and Computational Biology serves the scientific community as a platform for the maximum dissemination of articles aiming to understand all aspects of genome biology and using computational methods to achieve this. We aim to cover the wide range of computer-based tools and methods which are currently being used to advance the field of genome biology. In order to ensure quality, articles pass through a rigorous peer-review.

Topics within the scope of Genomics and Computational Biology include but are not limited to:

  • Functional genomics, including transcriptome, epigenome, proteome and metabolome analysis
  • Structural biology
  • Systems biology
  • Comparative genomics
  • Medical genomics, including population genetics, association studies, rare variants, parent-of-origin analysis, QTL mapping
  • Studies aiming to understand the mechanism of disease pathogenesis and its relationship to genetic factors
  • Biological text and data mining
  • Design, management and linking of biological databases
  • Mathematical modelling and simulation
  • Bioinformatic tools and methods

Genomics and Computational Biology publishes original Research Articles and has the following Special Sections (or article types; see Section Policies): Resource, Analytical Workflow and Review articles. With the exception of Reviews, papers on the Special Sections focus on applicability and provide practical examples aiming to support future users.

The journal aims to bring together the knowledge and expertise of biologists and computational scientists or theorists. In order to bridge the gap between these communities, we encourage the submission of Reviews and Analytical Workflow articles written for a broad audience or for another community. Computational scientists or theorists may take this opportunity to explain to biologists key concepts in their fields, and biologists may highlight essential aspects and remaining challenges in genome biology.

It is journal policy to publish scientifically sound articles providing a significant contribution to the field and to put less emphasis on interest levels. Thus, editorial decision regarding acceptance of articles will be based on the paper quality only, as assessed by the reviewers.

Genomics and Computational Biology is committed to supporting research from young scientists and from scientists based in low-income countries (see article processing charges).

 

Section Policies

Research Articles

Research Articles present research works using computational biology methods to gain new insight into genome biology. They provide a novel and original contribution to the field. Paper acceptance depends more on scientific quality than on general interest levels.

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Reviews

Reviews provide an accurate and balanced overview of the "state of the art" and future developments on topics related to the use of bioinformatic/computational tools in genome biology. Review articles should be important for researchers in the field and could also target researchers from other areas.

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Resources

Resources articles describe new software, databases or on-line tools performing tasks related to the field and useful to the scientific community. Authors should provide concrete examples making use of the tool for a specific task and comparing its performance with respect to previous related tools. Resources should be freely available and provide example datasets and enough methodological details, including the algorithms used, dependencies with commercial platforms, etc.

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Analytical Workflows

Analytical Workflows articles describe in depth the steps, methods and tools required to solve a complex analytical problem. The article should provide a conceptual description, enough methodological details to understand and reproduce the workflow, critical decision points, etc. A real example with a freely available dataset should be provided to aid users. Software or programs used within the implementation of the Analytical Workflow should be freely available when possible. Articles targeting an audience of non-specialists are welcome.

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Short Communications

Short Communications are articles limited to 2500 words and could be written as Research Articles, Resources or Analytical Workflows.

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Peer Review Process

Genomics and Computational Biology applies a peer-review process in order to ensure the quality of the published material. Upon submission articles are assigned to a member of our editorial board who then assigns the article to a minimum of two qualified peer-reviewers. Upon receipt of the assessments made by the peer reviewers, the editor takes the responsibility of accepting, rejecting or asking for a revised version of the manuscript. Article evaluation by peer reviewers is based on the following criteria:

  • The article is scientifically sound. Analysis and methods follow high scientific standards and are explained with sufficient detail. Data is appropriately presented and the results support the conclusions.
  • Biological relevance. Articles provide biological insight or have the potential to establish meaningful biological relationships.
  • The work has not been previously published.
  • Is written in correct English. Articles are not copy-edited by the journal prior to publication. The text must be written in a clear and understandable language. Editors may suggest the use of professional writers when required. Papers lacking the required language standards may be rejected.
  • Ethical assessment. Animal and human studies fulfil the required ethical requirements and conflicts of interest are properly acknowledged (see journal policies).
  • Open access. The tools, resources and datasets described are freely available and a complete URL or a repository address is provided. Please see Distribution of materials and data.
  • It is journal policy to publish scientifically sound articles providing a significant contribution to the field and to put less emphasis on subjective interest levels. Editorial decision regarding acceptance of articles will be based on the paper quality only, as assessed by the peer reviewers.

 

Open Access Policy

This journal provides immediate open access to its content on the principle that making research freely available to the public supports a greater global exchange of knowledge. Upon submission of an article, its authors are asked to indicate their agreement to abide by an open access Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY 4.0) license. Under these terms, the authors own the copyright of their work. Additionally, authors allow anyone to copy, distribute, reuse and modify their work for any purpose, given that the source and original authors are acknowledged. No permission from the authors or the publishers is required. Click here to read the human readable summary or the full license legal code.

 

Special Issues

Special Issues are collections of full-length scientific articles covering complementary aspects of a scientific topic. The aim is to allow groups of researchers with common interests to work together and show their work to the scientific community in order to achieve maximum visibility.

How can I create a Special Issue?

Special issues can be created with different degrees of involvement from your side. There are 2 options: (1) you act as “full editor” and coordinate the scientific content, communication with authors and peer review process; (2) you frame the scientific content and invite authors while the staff of Genomics and Computational Biology handles further communications with authors and the peer review process.

You will need to send a proposal to the Editor-in-chief (Fontaine@GenomicsComputBiol.org) with the following information:

  • Special Issue editor. Each Special Issue will have its own external guest editor who will be responsible for the issue. This can be co-hosted by various researchers. We encourage early-stage researchers to co-host together with a senior scientist to increase their visibility. Special issue editors are expected to be objective and must provide a conflict of interest declaration. Please indicate which of the 2 options described above are of your interest.
  • Title. A short title describing the focus should be provided.
  • Description. A short overview (no more than 500 words) describing the content of the proposed issue should be given. If the articles originate from meeting proceedings, please indicate the name of the meeting, location and date, web address and program.
  • Contributors. A list of contributors and their corresponding topics should be provided. Please aim to cover diverse and complementary aspects of the subject under consideration. Authors should be contacted by the Special Issue editor prior to the submission of the proposal.

Upon proposal acceptance, articles will be submitted in accordance to the instructions for authors and journal policies. The cover letter of each article should indicate that the article belongs to a Special Issue and include its title. All articles published in Special Issues will be treated as regular papers in the journal regarding open access and peer review policies, indexing, on-line archiving and distribution.

The peer-review process will be organized in accordance with the journal’s guidelines. In any case, the Editor-in-Chief of Genomics and Computational Biology retains the right to ask for modifications or to reject articles that do not fulfil the standards of the journal.

Article processing charges are negotiable and will depend on the services provided by the journal.

 

Distribution of materials and data

Article publication in the journal requires that authors agree with making freely available all raw data and readily reproducible materials requested by other scientists wishing to use them for non-commercial purposes. We strongly encourage authors to make the data available through on-line repositories when appropriate.

For studies involving human subjects, data handling must ensure the anonymity of the participants. If limitations on data sharing apply to the human data, authors must provide instructions regarding the process required for other investigators to access the data.

 

Authorship

Genomics and Computational Biology ascribes to the authorship guidelines defined by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors. Thus, authors must fulfil all the following criteria:

  • Substantial contributions to the design of the work or the acquisition, analysis, or interpretation of data
  • Drafting the work or revising it critically for important intellectual content
  • Final approval of the version to be published
  • Agreed 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.
A maximum of 2 first joint and 2 last joint authors is allowed.

 

Conflicts of interest

All authors, reviewers and editors must declare potential conflicts of interest. These arise when authors, reviewers, or editors have interests that are not fully apparent and that may influence their judgements on what is published.

For authors, a declaration of conflicts of interest must be done in a specific section of the manuscript. If there are no conflicts of interest, authors should write the following statement:

  • The author(s) declare(s) no conflicts of interest.

Examples of conflict of interest include but are not limited to:

  • A founding body or a company influenced the design, implementation, analysis, interpretation, writing or decision to publish the current manuscript.
  • Authors receive financial support of some type or hold shares from an organization which may have financial gain or loss from the publication of the article.
  • A reviewer has been involved in a close scientific or personal relationship with one or more authors in the last 2 years.

 

Duplicate publication and Plagiarism

Articles submitted to Genomics and Computational Biology must not be under consideration for publication in other journals. Additionally, submitted articles must be an original work. Copying or slightly modifying text, ideas, figures or data from other sources, including the reuse of text from previous publications or publications in a different language, is considered plagiarism and is not allowed.

Self-plagiarism: The re-use of complete or minimally modified sections from previous own publications is considered self-plagiarism and is not allowed. Manuscripts originating from academic meeting proceedings must be a substantially expanded version. A manuscript submitted to GCB that incorporates minimal or no revisions over a prior proceedings or a previously published related paper may not be considered for publication. If a manuscript (or part of it) was previously published, this information must be disclosed in the “cover letter to the editor” upon article submission to GCB. Authors should also reference or acknowledge prior proceedings or related papers within the submitted journal article.

Manuscripts posted on a preprint or an institutional repository are not considered as previously published and can be considered for peer review.

Any suspected case of duplicate publication or plagiarism may lead to paper rejection and the journal editor may consider taking further actions.

 

Animal research

Studies using vertebrates or higher invertebrates (molluscs and arthropods) must be performed according to the relevant national and institutional guidelines. A statement indicating the name of the relevant institutional committee which approved the study protocol must be included in the methods section.

Authors are encouraged to follow the ARRIVE guidelines (Animal Research: Reporting of In Vivo Experiments) for all studies reporting animal data.

 

Human research

All human studies must have been conducted under the principles of the Declaration of Helsinki and must indicate in the methods section that the study was approved by the corresponding institutional review board. A statement indicating that all subjects or their legal guardians signed an informed consent form must also be included.

Photographs allowing the identification of human subjects will not be published in the journal, unless strictly necessary. In this case a signed informed consent form stating that subjects understand that their identity will be made public must be sent to the editorial office.

 

Article Processing Charge

Under the GCB open access model all published articles are freely available and the journal costs are covered by the article processing charges (APCs) payed by authors. Article processing charges are applied only to accepted articles before publication.

Special Article Processing Charge (new manuscripts submitted in February or March 2017): 500.00 (EUR)

Standard Article Processing Charge: 800.00 (EUR)

Waiver Policy: GCB has a small budget for waiving publication charges under the following circumstances:

  • Special issues: article processing charges are negotiable and will depend on the services provided by the journal.

  • Special issue Challenges in Computational Biology 2016: 0 EUR.
    Special issue IWBBIO 2016: 400 EUR.
    Special issue IWBBIO 2015: 700 EUR.

  • Young scientist waiver: the journal is committed to the publication of articles from young scientists. Thus, we offer a 20% reduced charge for articles where the last or the corresponding author appears in this position for the first time in a scientific publication.
  • Loyalty waiver: once an author publishes a paper in Genomics and Computational Biology, any subsequent paper accepted for publication in the journal during the following 12 months will be processed with a 50% reduced charge. Please note that: i) the date of acceptance of both papers has to be within 12 months of each other; and ii) the corresponding author has to be the same in both papers.
  • Low income countries: Genomics and Computational Biology is committed to the maximum dissemination of research findings and to promoting equal opportunities in science. Thus, articles where the last author is based on a low-income country are eligible for a 50% reduced charge.
  • Genuine financial hardship: charges can be negotiated in the exceptional case that financial difficulties will prevent from article publication.

After an article has been accepted for publication, authors can declare their interest in a reduced publication charge and justify the reason for the fee waiver. The reduced fees are not cumulative and in any case the maximum discount is 50%.

 

Manuscript-related inquiries

For questions regarding any conflict arising during the publication process, including queries regarding appeal against editorial decision, manuscript status and publication fees, please send an email to support@GenomicsComputBiol.org.