Maintaining impact in 2013

Following last month’s publication of the 2012 Journal Citation Reports (Thomson Reuters), the Impact Factor for Biotechnology for Biofuels is 5.55, maintaining the journal’s position as the highest impact journal that fully focuses upon biofuels research. Biotechnology for Biofuels has grown rapidly over the past year, publishing top quality research on a broad range of topics, including plant feedstock development, pretreatment, bioconversion, bio-based chemical production, algal biofuels and techno-economics.

Overseen by the Editors-in-Chief, Michael Himmel, James du Preez, Debra Mohnen and Charles Wyman, Biotechnology for Biofuels is supported by an expert panel of Associate Editors, who are responsible for peer-review and editorial decision making for the journal. After our board meeting in April, we drafted a set of values for Associate Editors and reviewers to use in assessment of submissions. These criteria can now be found as part of the journal’s Criteria for Publication listed on the journal website. We will also shortly be introducing this checklist to reviewers, asking them to comment on how well manuscripts meet each of the criteria, when submitting their online report to the journal.

The suitability of a manuscript for publication in the journal will be assessed on the following criteria:

  1. Is the manuscript’s scope appropriate for Biotechnology for Biofuels? Will this paper be of interest to others in the field, either broadly or to those working on a closely related topic?
  2. Does the manuscript communicate findings of sufficient significance (e.g., in quality or impact) to merit publication in Biotechnology for Biofuels?
  3. If the research has been covered previously, does the work contain appropriate use and citation of a priori knowledge? Authors who are building upon their own published work should minimize self-citation, whilst making it clear how their submitted work extends previous findings.
  4. Are experimental or analytical methods and approaches technically sound and are they adequately described? For example, have suitable controls been included and/or have sufficient replicates been run?
  5. Are conclusions appropriately supported by presented data or analyses? For example, does the manuscript avoid over-interpreting the significance of presented results?
  6. Is clarity of language sufficient to warrant review of manuscript as submitted? Manuscripts requiring extensive language editing, but otherwise meeting scientific criteria, may be returned to authors as an “open reject” for being insufficiently prepared, with encouragement to resubmit once re-written to strengthen exposition clarity.

We very much welcome any feedback you may have on the journal progress and these new criteria. Please do add your comments to this blog post, or contact

Helen Whitaker

Journal Development Manager at BioMed Central
Helen is part of the Biological Sciences publishing team at BioMed Central. She obtained her PhD in molecular ecology from the University of Glasgow, UK. Her post-doctoral studies in aquaculture genetics took her from Scotland to South Africa, before joining BMC in 2008.

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