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Journal Policies

Peer Review
Open Access
Publication Ethics
Data Policy
Permission to Reproduce Figures and Extracts
Material Disclaimer
Manuscript Preparation Instructions


All submissions to the journal are initially reviewed by one of the Editors. Manuscripts may be rejected without peer review at this stage if it is felt that they are not of high enough priority or not relevant to the journal. Otherwise manuscripts 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. The average time from submission to first decision is 6 weeks. If a paper is not acceptable in its present form, we will pass on suggestions for revisions to the author.

Virus Evolution warmly welcomes molecular epidemiology submissions that contain new genetic or phenotypic data. Manuscripts will be considered suitable for peer-review if they contain novel and substantial results and address epidemiological, ecological, viroogical, genetic or evolutionary questions. Manuscripts whose sole purpose is to report new virus gene sequences will not be considered suitable.

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All content published in Virus Evolution is made freely available online under an Open Access model. After a manuscript is accepted for publication, the corresponding author must accept a mandatory license to publish agreement. Authors can use the Creative Common Attribution license (CC-BY) and Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial license (CC-BY-NC) for their articles. Please click here for more information about Creative Commons licences.

We are pleased to announce that Article Publication Charges for 2016 have been waived.

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Authors should observe high standards with respect to publication ethics as set out by the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE). Falsification or fabrication of data, plagiarism, including duplicate publication of the authors’ own work without proper citation, and misappropriation of the work are all unacceptable. Any cases of ethical misconduct will be treated seriously and will be dealt with in accordance with the COPE guidelines.

Ethics Statement

Any study using human subjects or materials that requires ethical approval should state the relevant Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval or relevant Institutional Animal Care approval. Please also list other relevant ethics approvals.


All authors should have made a substantial contribution to the work, and have read and approved the submitted and final versions. Anyone who made major contributions to the study should be listed as an author (“ghost writing” is prohibited by the Journal). Other individuals who made less substantive contributions to the study or the writing of the manuscript can be listed in the acknowledgement section. Change in authorship (including author order) after initial manuscript submission must be approved by all authors.

'Umbrella' groups

Some 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, names of participants may be listed in the Acknowledgements section.


By submitting your manuscript it is understood that it is an original manuscript and is unpublished work and is not under consideration elsewhere. Plagiarism, including duplicate publication of the author’s own work, in whole or in part without proper citation is not tolerated. Submitted manuscripts may be checked for originality using anti-plagiarism software.

Conflicts of interest

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 this 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?

Statement of informed consent

Patients have a right to privacy that should not be infringed without informed consent. Identifying information, including patients' names, initials, or hospital numbers, should not be published in written descriptions, photographs, and pedigrees unless the information is essential for scientific purposes and the patient (or parent or guardian) gives written informed consent for publication. Informed consent for this purpose requires that a patient who is identifiable be shown the manuscript to be published. Authors should identify individuals who provide writing assistance and disclose the funding source for this assistance. Identifying details should be omitted if they are not essential. Complete anonymity is difficult to achieve, however, and informed consent should be obtained if there is any doubt. For example, masking the eye region in photographs of patients is inadequate protection of anonymity. If identifying characteristics are altered to protect anonymity, such as in genetic pedigrees, authors should provide assurance that alterations do not distort scientific meaning and editors should so note.

Use of GenBank Data

Virus Evolution considers it correct research practice when using unpublished but publically available data for authors, wherever practically reasonable, to contact and discuss data use with those who have generated the sequences

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We strongly encourage authors to make the data underlying their published research freely available to others, wherever legally and ethically possible. We request that authors make the availability and location of their data clear in a data availability statement after the Acknowledgements section of their article. Please see Instructions to Authors.

If your paper reports new sequence data then that data must be submitted to an open database such as GenBank, or similar. Accession numbers must be provided in the manuscript as a condition of acceptance.

Where specialised, subject-specific public repositories are available, we encourage authors to deposit their data in these. See biosharing.org for a curated list of databases in the life sciences. Where it is not possible to upload data to a public repository, authors may also upload datasets as Supplementary Material with their paper for publication. 

Where none of these options are feasible, authors are required to make data their available upon reasonable request for the purposes of verification.

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Virus Evolution supports ORCID in creating unique identifiers for researchers. We believe that major advances in digital technology will come from linked open data and that linking the correct scientist with the correct output is part of that process. We strongly encourage authors to register for ORCID, and provide us with their identifier so that we can link to it. You can sign up through ScholarOne during submission, or at ORCID.org. Visit here for more information.

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In order to reproduce any third party material, including tables, figures, or images, in an article authors must obtain permission from the copyright holder and comply with with any requirements the copyright holder may have pertaining to this reuse. When seeking to reproduce any kind of third party material authors should request the following:

• non-exclusive rights to reproduce the material in the specified article and journal;

• electronic rights, preferably for use in any form or medium;

• the right to use the material for the life of the work; and

• world-wide English-language rights.

Further guidelines on clearing permissions can be found here.

Third-Party Content in Open Access papers

If you will be publishing your paper under an Open Access licence but it contains material for which you do not have Open Access re-use permissions, please state this clearly by supplying the following credit line alongside the material:

Title of content

Author, Original publication, year of original publication, by permission of [rights holder]

This image/content is not covered by the terms of the Creative Commons licence of this publication. For permission to reuse, please contact the rights holder.


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The opinions expressed in Virus Evolution are those of the authors and contributors, and do not necessarily reflect those of the editors, the editorial board, Oxford University Press or the organization to which the authors are affiliated.

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