Editorial policies


1. Licencing and copyright

1.2 Licence to Publish

For all other journals published by the Society, the authors (or other copyright holder) will be required to assign to the Microbiology Society a Licence to Publish the accepted article, with the corresponding author signing on behalf of all authors. Copyright for the article will remain with the copyright holder. Full details about the licence and the rights associated with this can be found on the Licence to Publish form.

1.3 Open Access Licence to Publish

If you choose to publish your article with OpenMicrobiology (the Society’s immediate open access option), and subject to the requirements being met, the Society will make the Version of Record of your article freely available immediately upon publication under a Creative Commons licence.

Authors publishing with OpenMicrobiology in Microbiology, Journal of General Virology, Journal of Medical Microbiology, JMM Case Reports and International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology, will be required to sign a Creative Commons Attribution CC-BY licence.

For authors publishing in Microbial Genomics, the Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial licence (CC-BY-NC) is the default licence type, but where the funder requires it the author can select the Creative Commons Attribution CC-BY licence.

For further information on OpenMicrobiology, please refer to our Open Access policy. To download the Society’s Open Access Licence to Publish forms, please click here.

1.4 Reprints

For details on our Reprints policy, please click here.

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2. Open Access

Please refer to the Society's Open Access policy.

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3. Open Data

Microbial Genomics has a mandatory open data policy, which means that authors are required to submit supporting data, protocols and/or bioinformatics programmes and software to relevant depositories. Please refer to Microbial Genomics' open data policy for further information, including minimum data requirements.

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4. Availability of materials

4.1 Data archiving

All of our journals welcome deposition of supporting data.

Please refer to our Information for Authors for submission requirements.

4.2 Reagent sharing

The Microbiology Society asks authors to make reagents such as viruses, strains, plasmids and antibodies that are described in the article available for sharing with qualified investigators. If possible, relevant strains should be deposited in a public repository and the accession number (or similar) provided with the manuscript. Supply of such materials must conform to current local and national laws and regulations.

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5. Pre-print policy

A ‘preprint’ is a version of the scientific article that has not yet been submitted for peer review. This version has not been peer-reviewed, edited or typeset before being posted online.

The Society’s Licence to Publish requires that articles have not previously been published in part or in whole within a scientific journal, book or similar entity. Deposition of a preprint version on the author’s personal website, in an institutional repository, or in a recognised preprint archive (such as BioRxiv) is not viewed as prior publication, provided that:

  • The version posted has not been peer-reviewed, edited, or typeset.
  • Upon acceptance of their article for publication the author is still able to grant the Society an exclusive Licence to publish the article, or agree to the terms of the OpenMicrobiology agreement and pay the article processing charge (APC).

Authors should inform the journal at the time of submission if and where their article has been previously posted. Authors are required to provide a link to the final published article (known as the Version of Record) alongside the original preprint version.

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6. Post-print policy and archiving

6.1 Post-print policy

The ‘post-print’ is the accepted version of the author’s manuscript, which includes modifications to the article, based on referees’ suggestions, and has not been typeset, copyedited or proofed. Authors who do not choose immediate open access via the OpenMicrobiology option will sign a Licence to Publish agreement when their article is accepted. The terms of the Licence enable authors to:

  • retain the post-print for personal use;
  • deposit the post-print in an institutional or subject repository (e.g. bioRxiv), provided that public availability respects an embargo period following publication of the final version. The embargo period for all the Society’s journals is 12 months with the exception of Microbial Genomics, which is 6 months.

The Society considers acceptable all forms of non-commercial re-use of post-prints in such repositories, including non-commercial text and data mining.

As a condition of acceptance in the journal, authors should take the following actions when depositing their post-print in a repository:

  • include a standard archiving statement on the title page of the post-print;
  • include a link to the Version of Record of their article (the final version published in the journal).

The Society does not permit:

  • the posting of post-prints for commercial use or systematic distribution;
  • the posting of the final version of the published article (known as the Version of Record).

The Society constantly reviews its publishing policies to ensure these meet the needs of our authors, their institutions and funding bodies. A summary of the Society’s policies in relation to the requirements of the key funding bodies is available here.

6.1.1 Definitions

  • Commercial Use – Use for the purposes of monetary reward by means of sale, resale, loan, transfer, hire or other form of exploitation
  • Non-commercial Use – Use for the purpose of research, teaching or other related activity
  • Systematic Distribution - Any mechanism designed to aggregate or openly disseminate content published by the Society

6.2 Archiving

For information regarding archiving the accepted article, please see the Postprint policy above.

Articles published with OpenMicrobiology are deposited in PubMed Central*. For further details, please refer to the Society’s Open Access policy.

*This applies to all Society journals indexed by PubMed Central.

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