Author guidelines

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Bioscientifica is committed to providing our authors with the support and resources they need to successfully publish their papers.
Visit the Bioscientifica author resource centre for advice.


Before submitting

Manuscript formatting

Article types

Supplementary data

Editorial policies



Submissions are assessed by the Editorial Board and are subject to external peer review using the single anonymous method whereby the identity of the reviewers and editors is not disclosed to the authors.
Papers are seen by editors prior to being sent to full peer review, and those that are not in the remit of the journal or that do not meet the standards of science required may be rejected without full review. The journal aims to have each paper that passes this triage stage reviewed by two independent peer reviewers.
The journal aims to return a decision on a peer-reviewed paper in ten days.

Before submitting

  • Scope – Please ensure your article meets the scope of the journal.
  • Approval – Ensure all authors have seen and approved the final version of the article prior to submission and are aware it is being submitted to Microbiota and Host.
  • Open access – Microbiota and Host articles are primarily published with a CC-BY licence. Authors needing alternative open-access licences must email the editorial office. Authors are responsible for ensuring any funder mandates are followed. For further details, please see the open-access policy.
  • Charges – Microbiota and Host is an open-access journal, and an article publishing charge is payable upon acceptance. Full details are available on the publication charges page. Until 31 December 2023 the article publishing charges will be waived for all new submissions.
  • Ethical compliance – All articles are required to meet the requirements outlined in the ethical policy. Ensure you have included all relevant ethical approval statements.
  • Reported data – Data accuracy is crucial. Authors are strongly encouraged to double-check all reported data for accuracy and to confirm that all units of measurement are correct and consistent.
  • Author list – All authors must be listed on the title page and entered on the ScholarOne Manuscripts submission in the correct order. Ensure all author email addresses provided are valid. Author information entered into ScholarOne Manuscripts will be used to generate PubMed listings for published papers.
  • Cover letter – This optional letter should introduce your paper and outline why your work is important and suitable for publication at this time.
  • English language – Non-native English speakers are encouraged to have their manuscript professionally edited before submission. See Bioscientifica’s recommended English language editing services. Manuscripts may be written in either UK or US English.

User account details



All submitting authors are required to link their ScholarOne account with their ORCID iD. The system will prompt the author to do this when creating the submission.

The journal also requests that all authors identified as ‘corresponding authors’ create and link an ORCID iD with their account on ScholarOne prior to article acceptance. We also encourage contributing authors to associate an ORCID iD with their ScholarOne account. Author ORCID iDs will be displayed on the published article.


Author email addresses

The journal requires that an institutional email address is associated with the account of both the submitting author and corresponding author; please edit the associated ScholarOne accounts to include this before pressing 'submit'. Alternatively please provide an explanation as to why this is not available to the Editorial Office by contacting
This policy has been adopted in order to verify the authenticity of article submissions and protect the integrity of Microbiota and Host.


Manuscript formatting

Microbiota and Host offers a flexible submission process for first time submissions wherein authors can submit in any recognisable manuscript format, but should be complete such that editors and peer reviewers may easily assess the scientific merit of the study.
Revisions, where invited, should follow the standard Microbiota and Host formatting outlined below, using the highlighter function to indicate changes, and should be accompanied by a full response letter to editor and reviewer comments.
Manuscripts should:
  • Be concise and clear.
  • Display the word count on the title page.
  • Use double line spacing throughout (including reference list and figure legends), and contain continuous line numbering down the left-side of each page.
  • Define all abbreviations when first mentioned.
  • Be submitted in the correct file type, ie main document in an editable Word format.
  • Be written in either UK or US English.
  • Contain a title page.
Accepted file types:
  • Please be aware that the combined size of your files should not exceed 40 MB.
  • For article text: txt, doc, docx, rtf. We are unable to accept pdf files for article text for revised manuscripts, but can do so for first submissions.
  • For figures: eps, tiff, jpg.

Article types


Research papers

Research paper submissions should be limited to 5000 words. We recommend a maximum of 60 references, with 3–6 figures, illustrations and tables.

1. Title page

Include a separate title page with:
  • Title (maximum 85 characters, including spaces)
  • All authors' names and full addresses
  • Corresponding author’s postal and email address
  • A short title (maximum 46 characters, including spaces)
  • A minimum of four keywords describing the manuscript
  • Word count of the full article, excluding references and figure legends

2. Abstract

The abstract should be no more than 250 words in length. Please divide up your abstract using the headings Objective (giving the context of the study), Methods, Results, Conclusions and Significance. Avoid abbreviations and references in this section.
The mandatory significance statement allows authors to share their perspective on the wider impact of their work, including where this work adds to existing knowledge in the field.

3. Graphical Abstract

Authors are encouraged to submit a graphical abstract with their manuscript. Graphical abstracts are peer-reviewed images which summarise the contents of the article in a concise, visual format. Graphical abstracts are not required, but are encouraged as they aid understanding and can be a useful device for sharing and promoting your research.
A graphical abstract should be submitted as a single file. The image should be original and created by the authors. Use of software such as BioRender is recommended. No element or part of the graphical abstract should be modified or adapted from copyrighted work. Do not include additional text within the image file. Do not use unnecessary white space or a heading ‘Graphical Abstract’ within the image file.
Image size: The image should be a minimum of 500 x 1300 pixels (height x width) or a square of 1200 pixels at a resolution of 300 dpi.
Font: Please use Arial, Helvetica or Courier in a font size of 8 pt.
Colour: Use of colour is encouraged. Colour figures should be in CMYK format.
File Type: tiff, jpg, eps or pdf

4. Introduction

The introduction should set the study in context by briefly reviewing relevant knowledge of the subject; follow this with a concise statement of the hypothesis and objectives of the study. The introduction should rarely exceed 3 pages of double-spaced text.

5. Materials and methods

Provide sufficient information for other workers to repeat the study. If well-established methods are used give a reference to the technique and provide full details of any modifications.
  • Include the source of chemicals, reagents and hormones and give the manufacturer’s name in parentheses. Studies of indeterminate mixtures of natural products will not be considered for publication.
  • Give the generic name, dose and route of administration for drugs.
  • If studies use undefined kits as a primary assay for redox-related changes, then these must be validated with other methods.
  • Specify the composition of buffers, solutions and culture media.
  • Use SI symbols, give concentrations in mol/L and define the term % as w/v or v/v for all solutions. For international units use IU (U should be used for enzyme activity).
  • Specify the type of equipment (microscopes/objective lenses, cameras, detectors) used to obtain images.
  • RT-PCR methods should broadly follow the MIQE guidelines, see and Bustin et al 2009 Clin Chem 55:611-622.
  • The EQUATOR network provides a database of reporting guidelines, aiming to improve the reliability of published health research literature by promoting transparent and accurate reporting. We ask authors to consider these guidelines whilst preparing their manuscript where relevant.
  • Specify any image acquisition software used, and give a description of specialised techniques requiring large amounts of processing, such as confocal, deconvolution, 3D reconstructions, or surface and volume rendering.

6. Results

The results should read as a narrative leading the reader through the experiments and investigations performed. Referencing and mention of others studies is permitted in the Results section where necessary or helpful.

7. Discussion

Should not simply re-state results, but should put them in the broader context and highlight the importance and novelty of the work.

8. Declaration of interest, Funding, Contributions and Acknowledgements


Declaration of interest
Actual or perceived conflicts of interest for all authors must be declared in full.
Please either (a) declare that there is no conflict of interest that could be perceived as prejudicing the impartiality of the research reported; or (b) fully declare any financial or other potential conflict of interest.

Conflicts of interest include, but are not limited to:
  • Employment and consultancies
  • Grants, fees and honoraria
  • Ownership of stock or shares
  • Royalties
  • Patents (pending and actual)
  • Board membership
Please detail all of the sources of funding relevant to the research reported in the following format:
This work was supported by the Medical Research Council (grant numbers xxxx, yyyy); the Wellcome Trust (grant number xxxx); and Tommy’s Baby charity (grant number xxxx).
Where research has not been funded please state the following:
This research did not receive any specific grant from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sector.
Author contribution statement (compulsory)
Please include a statement concisely specifying the contribution of each co-author. Use author initials to indicate contributions, for example:
AB conceived the study and wrote the paper. CD performed experiments and analysed data.
Please be as brief as possible.

9. References

All references cited in the text must be included in the reference list and vice versa. However, if a reference consists of only a web address do not include it in the reference list but cite it in the text, giving the date the page was accessed.
Unpublished work
Any unpublished work (personal communications, manuscripts in preparation and manuscripts submitted but not yet accepted for publication) must be referred to in the text and not listed in the references.
Give the full list of authors, including their initials. For example:
(A Stone, Y Li & MR Smith, unpublished observations)
(J Brown, personal communication)
Articles accepted for publication but not yet published may be listed as ‘in press’ in the reference list, using the current year as the publication year. If an ‘in press’ article is included in the Accepted Preprint service or a similar scheme, then the Digital Object Identifier (DOI) should be included; otherwise, provide a copy of the article as a supplementary file for reviewing purposes.
In the text
Cite references in the text using the authors’ names and publication year. Use et al. for articles with more than two authors. Where there are several citations, list them in chronological order.
In the reference list
List references in alphabetical order. Give articles by the same author in the order:
  • Single author
  • Two authors alphabetically according to the name of the second author
  • Three or more authors chronologically, with a, b and c etc for articles published in the same year, in the order in which they are cited in the text
List all authors in each reference in the reference list; do not use et al. in the reference list.
Reference in the following format:
See RH, Calvo D, Shi Y, Kawa H, Luke MP & Yuan Z 2001 Stimulation of p300-mediated transcription by the kinase MEKK1. Journal of Biological Chemistry 27616310–16317.
Harvey SS 1975 Hypnotics and sedatives. The barbiturates. In The Pharmacological Basis of Therapeutics, edn 5, pp 102–123. Eds LS Goodman & A Gilman. New York: Macmillan Publishing Co.
Please use Harvard style (Author, Year). Do not use an Endnote style which abbreviates the reference list in your submitted article.

10. Tables

Tables should be concise.
  • Number tables in the order they are cited in the text
  • Include a title – a single sentence at the head of the table that includes the name of the organism studied
  • Use footnotes to provide any additional explanatory material, cross-referenced to the column entries
  • Give a short heading for each column
  • Do not use internal horizontal or vertical lines, colour or shading
  • Explain all abbreviations used in the table in the footnotes.
Please note that the option to incorporate large tables in a final article is subject to editorial approval. If the tables are deemed too large for the final article, you will be asked to publish your tables as supplementary data.

11. Figures

The journal has produced digital image guidelines in order to clarify the standards expected by the journal. All submitted digital images must adhere to these guidelines.
  • Number figures in the order they are cited in the text
  • Include legends to all figures, giving the figure number, keys to any symbols used, the name of the organism studied, the names of any statistical tests used and the probability levels used for comparisons
  • Label figure sections as A, B etc in the top left-hand corner
  • Use Arial or a similar sans-serif font for text labels
  • Do not enclose figures in boxes
  • Indicate magnification by a scale bar in the bottom right-hand corner of the image and give the measurement in the legend
  • Use the preferred symbols of closed and open circles, squares and triangles. Ensure that symbols are large enough to be read clearly when the figure is reduced for publication
  • Use Courier or a similar non-proportional font for amino acid, DNA, RNA and PCR primer sequences and highlight sections of homology between sequences with grey shading.
There are no charges for colour figures.
File types and resolution
Microbiota and Host is committed to publishing high quality figures.
Eps or tiff files are preferred. Files should be exported in Illustrator-compatible format, avoiding PowerPoint or Word files:
  • Line images/graphs: eps, tiff, high-resolution pdf, AI (Adobe Illustrator).  Resolution at final published size: 1200 dpi.
  • Half-tone (greyscale) images: tiff, high-resolution pdf, jpg.  Resolution at final published size: 600 dpi.
  • Colour images: tiff, high-resolution pdf, jpg. eps or AI files can be used for graphical data and illustrations that don’t include photographs. Resolution at final published size: 300 dpi. Colour format: CMYK (not RGB).
Should a submitted manuscript raise concern in any way, the editors reserve the right to request any and all underlining data as supporting evidence, including full length, uncropped western blots. This is to ensure the scientific accuracy of the articles published in Microbiota and Host.


The format of review articles is more fluid but should include the following:

1. Title page

Include a separate title page with:
  • Title (maximum 85 characters, including spaces)
  • All authors' names and full addresses
  • Corresponding author’s postal and email address
  • Word count of the full article, excluding references and figure legends

2. Abstract

The abstract should be no more than 250 words in length. Avoid abbreviations and references in this section.

3. Text

  • Introduction
  • Sections (with headings and sub-headings)
  • Conclusions and/or future perspectives

4. Acknowledgements (optional)


5. References, Tables, Figures and relative legends: same instructions as for Research articles (see above)

Review submissions should be limited to 6000 words. Mini reviews of approximately 3000 words are acceptable. We recommend a maximum of 60 references for review articles, with 2–6 figures and tables. Original summary diagrams and illustrations of proposed models (in colour where appropriate) are encouraged, as is a graphical abstract. Line drawings may be redrawn. Boxes can be used to separate detailed explanations and background information from the main part of the text.
Systematic reviews and meta analyses must be registered with Prospero and should adhere to their inclusion criteria. The Prospero record should be cited in your submission, further information on how to do this can be found in the link given above.
If you would like to submit a review please email the editorial office with a brief outline (0.5–1 page) of your topic.

Systematic reviews and Meta-analyses

Preferably a protocol should be published in advance, and registered with PROSPERO. The Prospero record should be cited in your submission; further information on how to do this can be found here.

Authors are encouraged to follow the relevant reporting guidelines available at The EQUATOR network provides a database of reporting guidelines, aiming to improve the reliability of published health research literature by promoting transparent and accurate reporting.

Authors are encouraged to refer to the following checklists:
PRISMA reporting guidelines for systematic reviews of trials
PRISMA-DTA reporting guidelines for diagnostic test accuracy studies


Also, guidance for the performance of risk of bias assessment has been published:
RoB 2: A revised Cochrane risk-of-bias tool for randomized trials
ROBINS: Risk of bias tool for observational studies in interventions
COSMOS-E: guidance for systematic reviews in studies on etiology


Brief Communications

Brief Communications are concise, focused reports of original research, in any of basic, translational, pre-clinical or clinical research, which have at least some therapeutic relevance as per the scope. They can be sub-analyses or updates of previously published research, small studies and pilot studies. They should briefly summarise the results of original data. Observational studies in the pre-clinical and clinical setting are suitable for publication. Reviews and opinion pieces are not considered for publication under this category.
Brief Communications should not exceed 1500 words (not counting the author information, references or legend). Given the small maximum word count, they are not expected to contain detailed descriptions of methodological approaches used, nor extensive results or in-depth discussion, with results obtained using only one or two well-established methodologies.
Brief Communications should have a maximum of 20 references and up to three table or figures/graphs. An abstract is not required; nor are specific sections (Introduction, Methods, Results, Discussion) needed. Supplementary online content is allowed for brief additional and absolutely necessary methods, but not for any further results or discussion. Authors must meet all requirements regarding responsible conduct of research (e.g., appropriate IRB approval, data integrity, data retention). They should not be under consideration, submitted or published elsewhere in any form, in part or as whole.
Brief Communications are subject to peer review by an Associate Editor and at least one additional independent peer reviewer. The Editor-in-Chief will make the final decision on publication.


Commentaries are opinion articles that will examine novel concepts and findings introduced into the scientific record. They are typically no more than 2500 words in length, should have no more than eight references, and have no figures or tables.


All Editorials must be a maximum 1500 words (including references, legends and tables) and 10 references.

Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor have a flexible format and may be published on occasion, in order to comment on a paper published in Microbiota and Host. Letters to the Editor can be no longer than 1500 words, have no abstract, have no more than three references and have no more than one figure or table. Supplementary data is not allowed. Letters will be reviewed by the Editor-in-Chief and the Associate Editor who originally dealt with the paper in question.

Supplementary data

Supplementary data exceeding the bounds of the manuscript may be submitted for online publication, and should be submitted online via ScholarOne Manuscripts as a ‘Supplemental File for Review’ and referred to as supplementary data in the text:
(Supplementary Table 1)
(Supplementary Figures 1 and 2)
Supplementary information will be reviewed as part of the manuscript, evaluated for its importance and relevance and, if accepted, will be referenced in the text of the article, directing readers to the website.
Please note that supplementary data files need to be downloaded by readers and, as such, should be as small as practicably possible. Authors should consider uploading data to an appropriate repository in lieu in the occasion where file sizes are too large. Please see Research Data Editorial Policy for more information.

Editorial policies


Human studies


Human subjects

Authors must ensure research involving human subjects complies with the Declaration of Helsinki.
Authors must include a statement that consent has been obtained from each patient after full explanation of the purpose and nature of all procedures used. For research requiring ethics committee approval, please include a statement to this effect in the manuscript. Also indicate whether patient consent was obtained in line with the below policy. We will be unable to accept research papers without this statement.

Patient consent

Where possible, identifying information, including names, initials, or hospital numbers, should not be published in written descriptions, photographs, or pedigrees unless the information is essential for scientific purposes and the patient (or parent or guardian) gives written informed consent for publication. Any identifiable patient must be shown the manuscript to be published before being asked to give consent. Authors should disclose to these patients whether any potential identifiable material might be available online or in print after publication. Informed consent should be obtained if there is any doubt that anonymity can be maintained. We no longer publish pictures with black bands across the eyes without a signed consent form, because bands fail to mask someone’s identity effectively.
The patient (or parent or guardian) must give written informed consent for publication by signing our consent form. Signed consent forms should then be retained in the patient's clinical notes for future reference, and a copy should be made available for review by the Editor on request.
The manuscript reporting this patient's details should state that 'Written informed consent for publication of their clinical details and/or clinical images was obtained from the patient/parent/guardian/relative of the patient'.  If the patient is deceased the authors should seek permission from a relative and include a statement to this fact. If neither the patient or a relative can be traced, we can only publish if we are satisfied the information has been sufficiently anonymised, making it impossible to identify the patient with any certainty.
Permission is not required to publish the 'recordings' listed below, provided that, the recordings are effectively anonymised by the removal of any identifying marks, and patient details (i.e. patient name, date of birth, name of hospital) from images before submission:
  • Images taken from pathology slides
  • X-rays
  • Laparoscopic images
  • Images of internal organs
  • Ultrasound images
When such an image is accompanied by text that could reveal the patient's identity through clinical or personal detail, however, a signed consent form and declaration as listed above, will be required before publication.

Clinical trials

Papers reporting clinical trials will only be considered if the trials have been pre-registered according to the guidelines set out in The Lancet 364 (9438) 911-912.
Authors should also refer to the CONSORT 2010 Statement, and in particular the checklist within it, when preparing manuscripts detailing clinical trials.
Authors must state the clinical trial registration number within their article.

Animal studies

Experiments with animals must be performed in accordance with international, national and institutional requirements. Include a statement that investigations have been approved by the local ethical committee, along with the following:
  • Give the full binomial Latin names for all experimental animals other than common laboratory animals
  • State the breed or strain and source of animals, and give details of age, weight, sex and housing
  • Detail the procedures and anaesthetics used, including doses given
Articles will only be considered if the procedures used are clearly described and conformed with the international and national legal and ethical requirements, as well as the requirements outlined by the institution in which the work took place. A statement identifying the committee approving the study must also be included in the Methods section. 
Authors are encouraged to refer to the ARRIVE guidelines, and in particular the checklist within them, when preparing manuscripts detailing animal experiments.
Editors reserve the right to request further information on the exact procedures and ethical approval obtained as part of the review process. Papers may be rejected on ethical grounds should the editors feel the study does not adequately meet current international guidelines for humane research.

Experiments with genetically engineered mice

In inbred mice, genetic strain effects can have significant effects on phenotype. Because of this the following controls for experiments with genetically manipulated mice should be used: parental inbred strain, or wild-type littermates.

Cell lines

In general, studies that are based on observations performed in a single cell line will not be considered for publication if other lines of the same general lineage and characteristics are available. If at all possible, observations should be replicated in multiple cell lines.

Authentication of cell lines

We require that all cell lines are authenticated for correct origin. Specifically, the author should include the following information supporting the authentication of lines:
  • Source of cell lines. Gifts of cell lines from individuals will not be acceptable.
  • Please state what the method of authentication is. For example, ATCC uses STRS analysis.
  • State the passage number(s) of cell lines used for the experiments described in the submission. Unless the research is specifically about senescence, lines >35 passages would not be acceptable.

Nomenclature and abbreviations



Please give the Latin binomial nomenclature of microbiota at first mention in the text.

Where a microbial strain has been used, please use the culture collection accession number or the source of the strain.

Authors should follow the guidelines on nomenclature and classification of microbiota outlined by the following sources:


Genes and Proteins

Wherever possible, manuscripts must be prepared in accordance with approved gene nomenclature.
  • In gene and protein symbols, substitute Greek letters with the corresponding Roman letter, eg TGFBR2 not TGFβR2
  • Avoid hyphens unless they are part of the approved symbol, eg IGF1 not IGF-1
  • Please use Arabic rather than Roman numerals, eg BMPR2 not BMPRII
Follow species-specific formatting standards as follows:

Mice and rats

  • Gene symbols should be in italics with only the first letter capitalised, eg Sox2
  • Protein designations should be the same as the gene symbols except that all letters should be capitalised and in Roman (ie not italicised), eg SOX2
  • Please use symbols approved by the International Committee on Standardized Genetic Nomenclature for Mice and the Rat Genome and Nomenclature Committee, which can be queried at the MGI website.

Humans, non-human primates and domestic species

  • Gene symbols should be in italics with all letters capitalised, eg SOX2
  • Protein designations should be the same as the gene symbols but not italicised, eg SOX2
  • Please use symbols approved by the HUGO Gene Nomenclature Committee (HGNC).


  • Gene symbols should be in italics with all letters in lower case, eg sox2
  • Protein designations should be the same as the gene symbols but not italicised and with the first letter capitalised, eg Sox2
  • Please use symbols approved by the Zebrafish Nomenclature Committee (ZNC), which can be queried at the ZFIN website.

Digital image integrity

Recognizing that the inappropriate use of computer software for digital image analysis and processing can raise concerns, the journal has produced the following requirements for the representation of research data:
  • No specific feature within an image may be enhanced, obscured, moved, removed or introduced. The groupings of images from different parts of the same gel, or from different gels, fields or exposures must be made explicit by the arrangement of the figure (eg using dividing lines) and in the text of the figure legend.
  • Adjustments of brightness, contrast or colour balance are acceptable if and as long as they do not obscure or eliminate any information present in the original. Nonlinear adjustments (eg changes to gamma settings) must be disclosed in the figure legend. 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.

Statistical analysis

It is the author’s responsibility to document that the results are reproducible and that the differences found are not due to random variation. No absolute rules can be applied but, in general, quantitative data should be from no fewer than three replicate experiments. Appropriate statistical methods should be used to test the significance of differences in results. The term ‘significant’ should not be used unless statistical analysis was performed, and the probability value used to identify significance (eg P < 0.05) should be specified.
When several t-tests are employed, authors should be aware that nominal probability levels no longer apply. Accordingly, the multiple t-test, multiple range test or similar techniques to permit simultaneous comparisons should be employed. Also, in lieu of using several t-tests, it is often more appropriate to utilise an analysis of variance (ANOVA) to permit pooling of data, increase the number of degrees of freedom, and improve reliability of results. Authors should use appropriate nonparametric tests when the data depart substantially from a normal distribution.
In presenting results of linear regression analyses, it is desirable to show 95% confidence limits.
Bar charts are discouraged; scatter plots more faithfully describe the data being presented. When data points are fitted with lines, specify the method used for fitting (graphical, least squares, computer program). If differences in slopes and/or axis intercepts are claimed for plotted lines, these should be supported by statistical analysis.
Give sufficient details of the experimental design and analysis so that the reader can assess their adequacy and validity for testing the hypotheses of interest.
In particular:
  • Describe the numbers of experimental units used and the way in which they have been allocated to treatments
  • Justify the omission of any observations from the analysis
  • Describe methods of analysis precisely and state any necessary assumptions, as these may affect the conclusions that can be drawn from the experiment
Your article may be sent to the Statistical Advisor for comments.

Preprint repositories

A preprint is a version of the article prior to submission to the journal for peer review, and has not been copyedited or typeset.
Bioscientifica allows deposition of preprints to recognised repositories, such as medRxiv or bioRxiv, provided that Bioscientifica is informed of this at the time of submission and it does not infringe any subsequent copyright or licence agreement. Upon final publication, authors are required to add a link from the preprint to the published article (version of record).

Research data

To optimise the reuse of published research and data, we expect authors to comply with best practice in their field and available standards for the preparation, recording and sharing of data. Please see FAIRsharing for more information.
Please also consider following the FAIR Principles for guidelines on how to improve the findability, accessibility, interoperability and reuse of digital assets.


Authors are strongly encouraged to deposit data sets in appropriate public databases, such as GenBank or Gene Expression Omnibus (GEO). Authors should include the relevant database identifiers and accession numbers for deposited sequences within the manuscript using the following format: Database: xxxx, eg: GEO: GSE6364. Authors are also required to provide the URL for the sequence(s).
Please contact the editorial office if you have a query about relevant databases.

Licence and Copyright


Authors retain copyright of their articles and may choose to publish under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY); Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC); or Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND) licences. Please see Gold Open Access licenses for further information. Authors are permitted to copy and redistribute their work within the terms of their selected license. In the latter two cases authors also grant Bioscientifica Ltd commercial rights.


Editorial Process


Peer review

Submissions are assessed by the Editorial Board and are subject to external peer review using the single anonymous method whereby the identity of the reviewers and editors is not disclosed to the authors.
The Editor-in-Chief and the Editorial Board operate a rapid triage system. This workflow is in place to give authors a quick first decision in the event that there manuscript is not appropriate for the journal.



Authors are entitled to appeal against a rejection decision made by a journal. Appeals should be submitted to the journal email address. We must receive your valid appeal within four weeks of the original decision, otherwise it will not be considered. An appeal is considered to be an extension of the peer review process and so you should not submit your article to another publication whilst an appeal is ongoing.

To be considered, appeals must directly address the reason(s) given for the initial rejection decision. If reviewer reports were included with the decision letter, then these criticisms must be responded to in the appeal, however you should not prepare and submit a revised version of your article with the appeal. Appeals that are received late, do not address reviewers’ criticisms, are dismissive of the reviewer comments, or contain offensive language will not be considered.

Valid appeals will be sent to a member of the journal’s Editorial Board for consideration. Where possible, an independent member of the Editorial Board who was not connected to the original decision will oversee the appeal.

If successful, an appeal may result in the decision being rescinded and a continuation of the peer-review process. If the appeal is rejected, then the original rejection decision is upheld and no further consideration of that article is possible.


Privacy policy

Microbiota and Host’s privacy policy.
For further support, visit our Author Resource Centre