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Journal policies

  1. Scope of the journal
  2. Editorial policy
  3. Publication ethics
  4. Availability of materials
  5. Clinical trials
  6. Peer review process
  7. Press embargos
  8. Self-archiving policy
  9. Drug disclaimer
  10. Material disclaimer

Scope of the journal

Pathogens and Disease (PAD) aims to publish outstanding primary Research Articles, Short Communications and MiniReviews reporting on hypothesis- or discovery-driven studies relating to pathogens (eukaryotes, prokaryotes and viruses that infect humans and animals), the host pathogen interaction, the host response to infection and their molecular, cellular, microbial and environmental correlates. Commentaries and Perspectives on matters related to articles published in Pathogens and Disease or on topics of interest in infectious disease research are also welcome. Studies corresponding broadly to the fields of molecular pathogenesis, cellular microbiology, innate and adaptive immunobiology and studies of the systems biology (‘omics) of pathogens are welcome. Clinical studies (excluding clinical trials but including case reports), and modelling studies (from in situ to in silico) that leverage or are relevant to the aforementioned fields will also be considered. Experimental translational applications in vaccine research, therapeutics, probiotics, pathogen typing or diagnostics are also welcome.

Articles will be assigned to one of several subsections based on the dominant approach/topic of the study. These will include but are not limited to the broad areas of:


Molecular Effectors of Pathogenesis (e.g., regulation, structure/function of effectors, host response factors)
Molecular Pathogenesis (molecular and genetic correlates of pathogenesis involving a single pathogen)
Cellular Pathogenesis (cellular correlates of pathogenesis involving a single pathogen)
Microbial Communities in Infection and Disease (e.g., role of biofilms and microbiota in infection, co-infections)
Host Responses to Infection (e.g., signalling, innate response, inflammation, immunopathology)

OneHealth (e.g., studies that document environmental, veterinary and/or community correlates of human infection and disease; emergence of microbial antibiotic resistance in humans and animals)
'Omics and Systems Biology (e.g., comparative pathogenomics, pathogen and host transcriptomics, proteomics, lipidomics, glycomics, metabolomics, immunomics, etc. and modelling thereof)

Shortomics (short communications in ‘omics reporting on the “low hanging fruits” from large ‘omic datasets). Shortomics articles are reviewed at editorial level; the Shortomics guidelines are here.
Translational Research (e.g., experimental immunity to infection/disease in animal or other models, identification of host/pathogen targets for drug screening, susceptibility/resistance to experimental drugs, including probiotics, identification of host/pathogen biomarkers of infection or disease)


Appropriate experts will referee the papers.

Editorial policy

Members of the Editorial Board and other appropriate experts will referee the papers. Editors handling papers will independently make decisions on acceptance, revision or rejection based on the referees’ reports. Authors who feel that there are substantial grounds for disagreement with an Editor’s decision should contact the Chief Editor, whose decision will be final. Authors who wish to withdraw their manuscript (at any stage of the process) should contact their Editor.

Publication ethics

Authors should observe high standards with respect to publication ethics as set out by the Commission on Publication Ethics (COPE). Any cases of ethical misconduct are treated very seriously and will be dealt with in accordance with the COPE guidelines. Further information about OUP’s ethical policies is available here.

Authorship

All authors listed on the manuscript should have contributed significantly to the experimental design, its implementation, or analysis and interpretation of the data. All authors should have been involved in the writing of the manuscript at draft and any revision stages, and have read and approved the final version. Anyone who made major contributions to the writing of the manuscript should be listed as an author (e.g. 'ghost writing' is prohibited by the Journal) provided that the number of authors remains within the limit set by the journal (please see manuscript preparation instructions for details). Any other individuals who made less substantive contributions to the experiment or the writing of the manuscript should be listed in the Acknowledgement section. Any change in authorship (including author order) after the initial manuscript submission must be approved in writing by all authors.

FEMS Pathogens and Disease expects that all authors will conform to the National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity (NSABB) guidelines for Dual Use Life Sciences Research.

Authorship and 'Umbrella' groups

Many large collaborative studies are organized under a group name which represents all the participants. All articles must have at least one named individual as author. Authors who wish to acknowledge the umbrella group from which the data originate should first list the author(s) of the article and follow this with 'on behalf of the GROUP NAME'. If necessary the names of the participants may be listed in the Acknowledgements section.

Originality

By submitting your manuscript to the journal it is understood that this it is an original manuscript and is unpublished work and is not under consideration elsewhere. Re-use of text, data, figures, or images without appropriate acknowledgment or permission is considered plagiarism, as is the paraphrasing of text, concepts, and ideas. All allegations of plagiarism are investigated thoroughly and in accordance with COPE guidelines detailed here. The FEMS journals systematically run submitted papers through plagiarism-detection software to identify possible cases.

Conflict of interest

At the point of submission, each author should reveal any financial interests or connections, direct or indirect, or other situations that might raise the question of bias in the work reported or the conclusions, implications, or opinions stated – including pertinent commercial or other sources of funding for the individual author(s) or for the associated department(s) or organization(s), personal relationships, or direct academic competition. When considering whether you should declare a conflicting interest or connection please consider the conflict of interest test: Is there any arrangement that would embarrass you or any of your co-authors if it was to emerge after publication and you had not declared it?

As part of the online submission process, corresponding authors are required to confirm whether they or their co-authors have any conflicts of interest to declare, and in the case of an existing conflict of interest that this is fully declared.

Authors should also include a Conflict of Interest statement in their submitted manuscript.

If the manuscript is published, Conflict of Interest information, including if none was declared, will be communicated in a statement in the published paper.

Availability of materials

It is expected that new and variant organisms, viruses and vectors described in FEMS journals will be made available, under written request and for their own use, to all qualified members of the scientific community. If delays in strain or vector distribution are anticipated or if they are available from sources other than the authors, this should be indicated. The Editors strongly encourage authors to deposit important strains in publicly accessible culture collections and to refer to the collections and strain numbers in the text. In the case of materials that have been distributed by individuals, authors should indicate the laboratory strain designations and name and address of the donor as well as the original culture collection identification number, if any. Authors should also ensure that permission has been granted by the donor for use of such materials for the research reported in the article. Similar requirements apply to large datasets, such as genome sequences and other ‘omic datasets.

Animal experiments

When reporting animal experiments authors should indicate whether the institution’s, national research council’s, or any other law on the care and use of laboratory animals was followed.

Human subjects

When reporting on human subjects, authors should indicate whether the procedures followed were in accordance with the ethical standards of the Helsinki Declaration (1964, amended most recently in 2008) of the World Medical Association. Manuscripts should include a statement that the patient’s written consent was obtained and any information, including illustrations, should be as anonymized as far as possible. Authors should indicate that the design of the work has been approved by local ethical committees or that it conforms to standards currently applied in the country of origin. The name of the authorizing body should be stated in the paper.

Clinical trials

Registering clinical trials

In accordance with the Clinical Trial Registration Statement from the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) all clinical trials published in the journal must be registered in a public trials registry at or before the onset of participant enrolment. For any clinical trials commencing prior to 2008, retrospective registration will be accepted.

The registry must be accessible to the public at no charge, searchable, open to all prospective registrants, managed by a not-for-profit organization, and include all the necessary information as specified by theICMJE. A list of recommended registries can be found on the ICMJE website. Results posted in the same clinical trials registry in which the primary registration resides will not be considered prior publication if they are presented in the form of a brief abstract (<500 words or less) or a table.

Authors are requested to provide the exact URL and unique identification number for the trial registration at the time of submission. This information will be published in the article and we ask that you include the URL and identification number on the title page of your manuscript.

Reporting clinical trials

Clinical trials should comply with the Consolidated Standards of Reporting Trials Statement (CONSORT), which is available here. Authors reporting on randomized clinical trials (RCT) should consult the CONSORT checklist when preparing their manuscripts. All RCT data will be evaluated in accordance with the rules and checklist of the CONSORT statement.

Other types of studies should follow guidelines where available. These include STARD (Standards for the Reporting of Diagnostic accuracy studies), STROBE (Strengthening the reporting of observational studies in epidemiology), PRISMA (Transparent Reporting of Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses) and MOOSE (Meta-analyses of observational studies). For further information on good reporting of health research studies please go to the EQUATOR network.

Peer review process

All submissions to the journal are initially reviewed by the Editor and his Associates. At this stage manuscripts may be rejected without peer review if it is felt that they are not of high enough priority or not relevant to the journal. This fast rejection process means that authors are given a quick decision and do not need to wait for the review process. Manuscripts that are not instantly rejected are sent out for peer review, usually to two independent reviewers. Based on the feedback from these reviewers and the Editors’ judgment a decision is given on the manuscript.

Manuscripts may also be sent out for statistical review.

The average time from submission to first decision is 35 days.

Press embargos

Occasionally the journal will issue press releases for some of its articles. Authors submitting to the journal are expected to respect any press embargos set for their manuscript.

Self-archiving policy

For information about this journal's policy, please visit our Author Self-Archiving policy page.

Drug disclaimer

The mention of trade names, commercial products or organizations, and the inclusion of advertisements in FEMS Pathogens and Disease does not imply endorsement by the Society, the Editors, the Editorial board, Oxford University Press or the organization to which the authors are affiliated. The Editors and publishers have taken all reasonable precautions to verify drug names and doses, the results of experimental work and clinical findings published in FEMS Pathogens and Disease. The ultimate responsibility for the use and dosage of drugs mentioned in FEMS Pathogens and Disease and in the interpretation of published material lies with the medical practitioner, and the Editors and publishers cannot accept liability for damages arising from any errors or omissions in FEMS Pathogens and Disease. Please inform the Editors of any errors.

Material disclaimer

The opinions expressed in FEMS Pathogens and Disease are those of the authors and contributors, and do not necessarily reflect those of the Society the Editors, the Editorial board, Oxford University Press or the organization to which the authors are affiliated. 

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