1.0 Scope and Standards
Integrative Biology provides a venue for research that affords new insights into biological and biophysical questions, from the nano to the macroscale, through the application of quantitative technologies and novel enabling tools.
Articles in Integrative Biology focus on three principles:
- Insight: What contribution does the paper make to the biological mechanism/process/phenomena examined?
- Innovation: What is the innovative aspect of the technology that enables the biological insight?
- Integration: How does the paper demonstrate the benefit of integrating technology and biology?
Integrative Biology publishes original biological research based on innovative experimental and theoretical methodologies that answer biological questions. Such research is typically multi- or inter-disciplinary, calling upon expertise and technologies from the physical sciences, engineering, computation, imaging and mathematics to address critical questions in biological systems.
Integrative Biology is a multi- and inter-disciplinary journal for research using experimental or computational quantitative technologies to characterise biological systems at the molecular, cellular, tissue and population levels. The journal particularly welcomes submissions that contribute to quantitative understanding of how component properties at one level in the dimensional scale (nano to macro) determine system behaviour at a higher level of complexity. Studies of synthetic systems, whether used to elucidate fundamental principles of biological function or as the basis for novel applications are also of interest.
Integrative Biology welcomes primary research papers (including fundamental and theoretical papers), critical, tutorial and frontier reviews, technical innovations and perspective opinion pieces. Manuscripts should be written such that they are accessible to scientists in disciplines associated with the journal. The authors should highlight the significance of their work in relation to Insight, Innovation and Integration and the likely impact of the biological insights for the relevant scientific communities.
Authors must provide an Insight Statement of fewer than 120 words to explain the relevance of their work in terms of Biological Insight, Technological Innovation and the benefit of Integration. The statement should be written to be understood by a wide range of scientists working in the broad and diverse multidisciplinary areas that Integrative Biology addresses. There should be no references in this section. Submitted papers will not be reviewed without this statement.
2.0 Article types
2.1 Full Papers
All articles must address the following assessment criteria:
- Insight: What contribution does the paper make to our insight on the biological mechanism/process/phenomena explored?
- Innovation: To what extent does the technology used enable the biological insight?
- Integration: To what extent does the paper demonstrate integration of technology and biology?
An 'Insight Box' describing how the work described addresses these criteria (less than 120 words) must be provided on submission. Papers cannot be reviewed without this statement. Although there is no page limit for Full Papers, appropriateness of length to content of new science will be taken into consideration by reviewers.
These must also meet the Insight, Innovation and Integration criteria described above but may be articles providing a personal view of part of one discipline associated with Integrative Biology (its present state, where it may be leading, etc.) or a philosophical look at a topic of relevance. Alternatively, Perspectives may be historical articles covering a particular subject area or the development of particular case studies, legislation, technologies, methodologies or other subjects within the scope of Integrative Biology. An 'Insight Box' should be provided on submission (less than 120 words).
2.3 Critical and Tutorial Reviews
These must be a critical evaluation of the existing state of knowledge on a particular aspect of the scope; the papers discussed should not only be critically assessed but also in terms of the Insight, Innovation and Integration they introduce. In addition, we are looking for reviews that challenge the views of other authors in the area in question and offer an alternative or more challenging view that can help stimulate further studies and research. Simple literature surveys will not be accepted for publication. Potential review writers should contact the Editor before embarking on their work, wherever possible. An 'Insight Box' should be provided on submission (less than 120 words).
2.4 Frontier Reviews
These are smaller, more focused versions of the Critical and Tutorial reviews described above and hence should address all the same criteria in a well-defined, specific topic area reviewing work no more than 24-36 months old. Frontier Reviews should cover only the most interesting/significant developments in that specific subject area. They may also cover processes/mechanisms/techniques/technologies that are too new for a full review or may address a subset of any of these aspects or a given area of research. The review should be highly critical and selective in referencing published work. One or two paragraphs of speculation about possible future developments may also be appropriate in the conclusion section. Frontier Reviews should be brief, four journal pages are recommended (ca. ten double spaced, typed, A4 pages) and should contain no more than two or three tables and a minimal number of figures. An 'Insight Box' should be provided on submission (less than 120 words).
2.5 Technical Innovations
While we expect full papers in Integrative Biology to present evidence of new biological insights, Technical Innovations provide a venue for new methods that may not yet have revealed new insights, but that clearly have the potential to do so, and thus are of strong interest to the biomedical research community. Therefore Technical Innovations must provide a sound utility of the technology in the biological world and have clear potential to enable new insights and impact biology research. Thus, these articles are additional submissions that demonstrate significant potential towards building the bridge between technology and biology - technology or methods that clearly provide new functions that address a significant current challenge or obstacle to elucidating new biological insights! Technical Innovations will be judged on the potential of the method to allow biological insights rather than direct insights. The article should also include extensive biological validation of the method that has not been published elsewhere. The 'Insight Box' for these articles should describe how the work presented addresses these criteria (less than 120 words).