All submissions are initially assessed by an Editor, who decides whether or not the article is suitable for peer review. Submissions considered suitable for peer review are assigned to one or more independent experts, who assess the article for clarity, validity, and sound methodology.
The journal operates a double-blind peer review process, meaning that authors and reviewers remain anonymous for the review process. The review period is expected to take around four to six weeks, although this can vary depending on reviewer availability. Reviewers are asked to provide formative feedback, even if an article is not deemed suitable for publication in the journal.
Based on the reviewer report(s), the editor will make a recommendation for rejection, minor or major revisions, or acceptance. If revisions by the author are required, the revised manuscript is generally evaluated by the original reviewer(s) to determine whether issues raised by the reviewer have been satisfactorily addressed. If the original reviewer is not available, a new report may be requested. Overall editorial responsibility rests with the journal’s Editor-in-Chief, who is supported by an expert, international Editorial Board.
Members of the editorial team and board are permitted to submit their own papers to the journal. In cases where an author is associated with the journal, they will be removed from all editorial tasks related to that paper and another member of the team will be assigned responsibility for overseeing peer review. Submissions from members of the editorial team or board will be strictly held to all relevant editorial policies.
The journal welcomes submissions of papers that have been loaded onto preprint servers or have been presented at conferences. These formats will not be deemed prior publication. The journal accepts papers that have been published within formal conference proceedings, provided that the paper provides substantially more data, analysis and/or discussion than the original conference paper. However, authors must retain copyright to such postings. Authors are encouraged to provide a link to any prior posting in the final published version
While the journal allows authors to deposit draft versions of their paper into a suitable preprint server, some conditions apply:
- The author must retain copyright to the preprint and developed works from it
- The author must declare that a preprint is available within the cover letter presented during submission. This must include a link to the location of the preprint.
- Having a preprint publicly available means that the journal cannot guarantee the anonymity of the author during the review process, even if they anonymise the submitted files.
- If the paper is accepted for publication, the authors must update the information associated with the preprint version to show that a final version has been published in the journal, including the DOI linking directly to the publication.
The journal recommends that all contributing authors submitting a paper register an account with Open Researcher and Contributor Identifier (ORCID). Registration provides a unique digital identifier for the account that enables accurate attribution and improves the discoverability of published papers. The journal encourages all corresponding authors and co-authors to include an ORCID within their submitting author data. ORCID numbers will be published alongside the submitted paper, should it be accepted.
All listed co-authors must satisfy all four criteria for authorship developed by ICMJE. Any contributor that meets fewer than all four of these criteria must not be listed as an author. Instead, their contribution should be described in the "Acknowledgements" section of the manuscript. All co-authors must have approved the final version of the manuscript prior to submission and must agree to be listed as a co-author.
Competing Interests, Funding and Ethics
To ensure transparency, all authors, reviewers and editors are required to declare any interests that could compromise, conflict or influence the validity of the publication. Competing interests should generally be declared to cover at least the previous 5 years.
Authors should include a competing interests section at the end of the manuscript, immediately before the reference list. If there are no competing interests, the following statement should be included: “The authors declare that they have no competing interests.”
Reviewers should declare any competing interests at the time of accepting the review request.
Auhors are required to specify funding sources and detail requirements for ethical research in the submitted manuscript, ensuring that ethical approval (including approval numbers) and consent statements are detailed within the manuscript (see Author Guidelines). The identity of the research subject(s) should be anonymised whenever possible. For research involving human subjects, informed consent to participate in the study must be obtained from participants (or their legal guardian) and added to this statement. If a study involving human subjects/tissue/data was exempt from requiring ethical approval, a confirmation statement from the relevant body should be included within the submission.
All journal articles are automatically screened for plagiarism by iThenticate. This system compares incoming submissions to a large database of academic content, and alerts editors to any possible issues.
Corrections and Retractions
Global Biosecurity will handle different types of error in accordance with guidelines from the Committee on Publication Ethics. All articles have their proofs checked prior to publication by the author/editor, which should ensure that content errors are not present. Please contact the journal if you believe an article needs correcting.
Post-publication changes to the publication are not permitted unless in exceptional circumstances. If an error is discovered in a published article then the publisher will assess whether an amendment, correction paper or retraction is required.
For very minor content or metadata issues, Global Biosecurity may directly amend the article (both PDF and HTML) if the error is reported very soon after publication (normally <72h) and the publication has not yet been sent out for indexing. Corrections relating to the scientific content or major metadata issues (such as a change in authorship) will require a formal correction to be published. Should any amendment be made to the original article, then a note may also be added to the publication to alert readers to this fact.
Where an error affects the data being presented, the arguments being made, or the conclusions of an article (but not the validity of the findings), or contains incorrect information about the article metadata (author list, title, editor, etc.), a correction article will be posted. Correction articles are used to formally correct the scientific record and to ensure errors in metadata are properly highlighted. Correction articles will appear as an article in the journal’s table of contents and will be delivered to indexes . The original article will contain a note that links to the correction to alert readers. The wording of the note will be drafted by the editor/author(s) and be approved by both the editor(s) and author(s).
Global Biosecurity, in accordance with guidance from the Committee on Publication Ethics’, will issue a retraction in the following circumstances:
- Editors have clear evidence that the article’s findings are unreliable, either as a result of misconduct (e.g. data fabrication) or honest error (e.g. miscalculation or experimental error)
- The findings have previously been published elsewhere without proper crossreferencing, permission or justification
- Article publication constitutes plagiarism
- The article reports unethical research
Retraction articles will be drafted and posted in the same way as correction articles and with the editors’ approval. The original article will remain but readers will be alerted to the retraction via a note at the top of the article.
Misconduct and Complaints
Allegations of misconduct will be taken with utmost seriousness, regardless of whether those involved are internal or external to the journal, or whether the submission in question is pre- or post-publication. If an allegation of misconduct is made to the journal, it must be immediately passed on to the publisher, who will follow guidelines from the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) on how to address the nature of the problem. Should the matter involve allegations against a member of the journal or publishing team, an independent and objective individual(s) may be sought to lead the investigation. Where misconduct is proven or strongly suspected, the journal has an obligation to report the issue to the author's institution, who may conduct their own investigation. This applies to both research misconduct (e.g. completing research without ethical approval and consent, fabricating or falsifying data etc) and publication misconduct (e.g. manipulating the peer review process, plagiarism etc). Should an investigation conclude that misconduct or misinformation has occurred then the author, along with their institution will be notified. Should the publication record need to be corrected, the journal's correction policy will be followed.
Should an author wish to lodge a complaint against an editorial decision or the editorial process in general they should first approach the Editor-in-Chief of the journal, explaining their complaint and ask for a reasoned response. Should this not be forthcoming or adequate, the author should raise the matter with the publisher, who will investigate the nature of the complaint and act as arbiter on whether the complaint should be upheld and investigated further. This will follow guidelines set out by COPE.