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Author Guidelines

Manuscript types

The two main types of submissions are “Full communication” (a full length article up to 60 thousand characters with multiple illustrative items, up to 6 figures and 4 tables) and “Brief communication” (short notes of important findings up to 15 thousand characters with 1−2 display items at maximum).
“Review communications” should represent a comprehensive review of current literature of topical and broad interest, and may include perspectives section. As a rule we invite specialists in rapidly developing fields to write a review for us, but unsolicited contributions will be also considered. Please, consult to an editorial board member prior to submission. “Hypotheses” is usually a brief paper, which describes a substantial jump in thinking that is testable but not so easily that readers will wonder why you have not already test it. However, suggestions how to test your hypothesis in principle should be included. For best examples you may consult “Hypotheses” section of Lancet journal. If you cannot express your idea briefly, it is not a hypothesis. Otherwise, a longer paper may include a detailed analysis of existing hypotheses with arguments pro and contra, or review of existing facts with their critical and detailed evaluations to build or to destroy a theory. In this case it should be better considered for the section “Theoretical Communications”.
“Communications arising” highlight one or several research papers published in a recent issue of Biological Communications or another journal, placing the results in context for the journal’s broad readership or rise concerns, support from new evidence or scientific discussion of the published matters. Communications arising are 1,000 words in length with no more than 10 references and one display item.

Manuscript submission

The structure of the manuscript should be standard, widely accepted in scientific literature (but note possible differences for paleontological or review papers). If the manuscript was previously submitted to another journal, but not accepted, we encourage the authors to notice this fact and the journal title in the cover letter and supply us with the corresponding reviews and decision letter from the editor of that journal.
The main text should be in Word format with the lines and pages numbered throughout the manuscript.
All figures and tables should be placed at the end of the manuscript file. Figures and tables should be numbered and should have brief descriptive titles. Legends and footnotes should be placed below the figure or table.

Figures must also be submitted as the separate files with high resolution (300 dpi minimum) and in one of the following formats: JPG or TIF (preferable) with a RGB/grayscale (100 × 100 mm minimum). Dashed figures (drawings, graphs, charts, diagrams) should be submitted in a black-and-white AI, EPS or CDR format; legends in figures should be 9-point Arial or Symbol.

All presented data, results, and illustrations must be in accordance with our Ethical guidelines for authors.

Title page must include: Title, complete names of the author and co-authors with the title of the position held by the author, institutional affiliation and contact information (e-mail addresses). ORCID ID of all authors should be provided for correct analysis of the journal citation metrics. Funding information should be given also at the title page, not in the “Acknowledgments” section of the manuscript. This should be followed by the statement: “The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.” Abstract from 100 to 150 words long for all types of manuscripts and up to 10 keywords should be provided on a separate page.

Formulas and equations should be submitted in a regular MS Word plug-in, via MathType, or in the Equation Editor in OpenOffice Math. Footnotes are not recommended.

A cover letter including list of at least five potential reviewers (names, affiliations, and e-mail addresses) should be uploaded in the Submission system as the separate file (Word or Pdf formats are acceptable).

Human or animal subjects and/or tissue or field sampling: In all cases, Methods sections describing research using human or animal subjects and/or tissue or field sampling must include all required ethics statements and research protocols described in details.

Our requirements for studies containing human subjects are: (1) the approval by relevant ethics committee(s) must be obtained prior research. The ethics committee that approved the study, the resolution number and date of the approval must be clearly indicated in the article; (2) the authors must confirm and clearly indicate in the article that their study was performed according to the principles of The Code of Ethics of the World Medical Association (Declaration of Helsinki); (3) the informed consent must be obtained from all individual participants (patients or volunteers) of the study and documented in the paper. All submitted manuscripts are checked for documented evidence of the patient's consent to publication and any potentially deanonymizing information. Material containing personal information about a patient without their consent will not be considered for peer review process and publication. The scanned copies of consent should not be provided to the journal during submission but documented evidence that such consents have been obtained must be provided to Publisher upon request.

Our requirements for studies containing animal subjects are: (1) the approval by relevant ethics committee(s) must be obtained prior research. The ethics committee that approved the study, the approval number and date of the approval must be clearly indicated in the article; (2) all animal experiments should comply with the ARRIVE guidelines and other regulating standards that must be clearly indicated in the text; (3) the authors must provide detailed information on the animal welfare including diet, housing, methods of anesthesia and sacrifice if appropriate.

Our requirements for studies containing cell lines are: (1) origins and sources of all cell lines used in the study should be clearly indicated; (2) in case of de novo obtained cell lines the approval by relevant ethics committee(s) and consent from the donor (for human cell line) must be obtained prior research. The ethics committee that approved the study, the approval number and date of the approval must be clearly indicated in the article. The scanned copies of consent forms should not be provided to the journal during submission but documented evidence that such consents have been obtained must be provided to Publisher upon request.

Data sharing policy: We require authors to make all data necessary to replicate their research findings publicly available without restriction at the time of publication. When specific legal or ethical restrictions prohibit public sharing of a data set, authors must indicate how others may obtain access to the data. Attaching large datasets to the supplementary section is strongly discouraged, with data availability through the third-party data repositories suggested as the preferred option. For the following types of data set submission to a public repository is mandatory: protein sequences, DNA and RNA sequences, DNA and RNA sequencing data, genetic polymorphism data, macromolecular structure, gene expression data, proteomics data. Data repository names and respective accession numbers must be provided in the paper. A list of approved and recommended data repositories can be found at “Data Repository Guidance”. All published manuscripts reporting original research must include a data availability statement.

Conflict of interest: In order to avoid unfair actions during publication, any conflict of interest of all participants in the editorial process must be eliminated. Biological Communications follows the guidelines designed by the international Committee on Publication Ethics (СОРЕ). The authors should clearly indicate in the “Competing interests” section all possible conflicts of interests: financial, non-financial, personal, and professional that occurred within 5 years of starting the research. If there is no conflict of interest, the phrase “The authors have declared that no competing interests exist” must be incorporated in the corresponding section.

Supplementary information: Biological Communications publishes additional data that are not included in the main text of the article as an electronic supplement which can be accessed via hyperlinks in the “Supplementary information” section. Supplementary files are published as submitted by the authors, and are not copy-edited.

References: The recommended number of references is 30 for Brief Communications, 50−100 for Full Communications, and may include 200 items for Review and Theoretical Communications, but in no case may exceed 300 since they otherwise can not be all displayed at the article page as metadata. Exceptions should be discussed with the Editor-in-Chief prior to submission and well reasoned.
References should be prepared according to the Biological Communications house style, preferably using EndNote (EndNote Style for Biological Communications) or Zotero (Zotero Style for Biological Communications) to avoid mistakes in layout and formatting. This means in text citations should follow the date-author method whereby last names of up to four authors (if more, then abbreviated: et al.) and the year of publication for the source should appear in the text, for example, (Lotharius and Brundin, 2002; Bradley-Johnson, 1994; Braak, et al. 2003; Watanabe, Nishiushi, Kulichikhin, and Nakazono, 2013). The complete reference list should appear alphabetically by name at the end of the paper. The full source name should be provided. A sample of the most common entries in reference lists appears below. We recommend that a full DOI link is provided for all references where available.

Braak, H., Del Tredici, K., Rub, U., de Vos, R. A., Jansen Steur, E. N., and Braak, E. 2003. Staging of brain pathology related to sporadic Parkinson's disease. Neurobiology of Aging 24(2):197−211.

Bradley-Johnson, S. 1994. Psychoeducational assessment of students who are visually impaired or blind: Infancy through high school (2nd ed.). Austin, TX: Pro-ed.

Lotharius, J. and Brundin, P. 2002. Pathogenesis of Parkinson's disease: Dopamine, vesicles and alpha-synuclein. Nature Reviews Neuroscience 3(12):932−942.

Watanabe, K., Nishiuchi, S., Kulichikhin, K., and Nakazono, M. 2013. Does suberin accumulation in plant roots contribute to waterlogging tolerance? Frontiers in Plant Science 4:178.

Citations that use Roman script marked with diacritics should employ standard use Unicode encoding. Titles in Cyrillic should be translated into English as in the following examples:

Averianov, A. O. and Skutschas, P. P. 2000. A vertebrate assemblage from the Early Cretaceous of Transbaikalia (locality Mogoito); pp. 357−358 in A. V. Komarov (ed.), Materials of the Regional Conference of the Geologists of Siberia, Far East and North East of Russia. GalaPress, Tomsk. (In Russian)

Ivanov, B. A. 1940. On the age of the carboniferous deposits of Transbaikalia. Sovetskaya Geologiya 11:45−54. (In Russian)

Nesov, L. A. 1995. Dinosaurs of Northern Eurasia: New Data about Assemblages, Ecology and Paleobiogeography. 156 pp. Izdatelstvo Sankt-Peterburgskogo Universiteta, Saint Petersburg. (In Russian)

For further formatting examples, please, consult to the latest issue of Biological Communications as the rules may be subject to change.

License Agreement

1. Subject Matter of the Agreement

1.1. The Author(s) grant to The Federal State Budgetary Educational Institution of Higher Education “St. Petersburg State University”, hereinafter referred to as the “Licensee” the exclusive right, on the basis of an exclusive license, to use the results of intellectual activity in the form of the research article hereinafter referred to as the “Work”, including illustrations, reference materials, and bibliographic materials, subject to the terms hereof and for the duration of this Agreement.

1.2. By granting to the Licensee the right to use the Work on the basis of an exclusive license, the Author(s) agree not to grant licenses to other persons.

1.3. Under the terms of this Agreement, the right to use the Work is granted by the Author(s) on a free-of-charge basis.

2. Rights Granted under the Agreement

2.1. The Author(s) grant to the Licensee the right to use the Work in all and any ways set forth in Paragraph 2, Article 1270 of the Civil Code of the Russian Federation, including but not limited to:

2.1.1. the right to reproduce the Work, i.e. to produce one or more copies of the Work or part thereof in any material form via any media of any format, including publication, duplication, reproduction or any other forms of copying of the Work in whole or in part, without limitation as to the number of copies, including reproduction via electronic media, in the databases of the Licensee, and as a part of the printed periodical publication — a journal of science and theory “Biological Communications” (hereinafter — the Journal), published by the Licensee;

2.1.2. the right to distribute the Work by sale or other disposition of the original or copies of the Work, including distribution of the Work as a part of the Journal and/or databases of the Licensee;

2.1.3. the right to make the Work available to the public in such a way that any person could have access to the Work from any place and at any time (available to the public), including access via Internet;

2.1.4. the right for public display and demonstration of the Work for information, promotional and other purposes;

2.1.5. the right to translate the Work into any foreign language;

2.1.6. the right to prepare the presentation form of the Work for its usage with computer systems and programmes (databases), publication and dissemination in a computer-readable format and incorporation into automatic search systems (databases), and also to introduce modifications in the Work without changing its meaning or otherwise materially altering it.

2.2. The Author(s) transfer to the Licensee the rights to use the Work specified in Section 2.1 of this Agreement for use without any territorial restrictions and in any language of the world for the duration of the exclusive license to the Work, starting from the date of the decision made by the Editorial Board to approve the Work for publication. The date of the decision by the Editorial Board to accept the Work for publication is the date when a corresponding protocol is signed by the Editorial Board.

2.3. The Author(s) grant to the Licensee the right to handle their personal data: full name; date of birth; education; place of work and job title; contact information, including correspondence address; information on any published works of literature, science, and art; other information provided by the Author(s) to the Licensee while performing this Agreement. The personal data is provided by the Author(s) to the Licensee for the purpose of fulfilling their obligations under this Agreement via automated and non-automated means of data processing, including collection, systematization, accumulation, storage, updating, modification, retrieval, use, transfer (distribution, submission, access), removal, and destruction of personal data.

3. Rights and Obligations of the Parties

3.1. The Author(s) guarantee that

3.1.1. they are the holder of the exclusive right to the Work and have the right to sign this Agreement;

3.1.2. the Work has not been submitted to anyone else for publication or any other use; there are no other persons who possess any and all rights to the Work; granting to the Licensee the right to use the Work will not violate the rights and legitimate interests of third parties;

3.1.3. the Work includes all the references to the authors and/or publications (materials) cited in the Work in accordance with the legislation of the Russian Federation;

3.1.4. the Author(s) have obtained all the necessary permissions to use in their Work results of intellectual activity that do not belong to the Author(s), facts and other third-party content;

3.1.5. the Work does not contain materials prohibited for publication in accordance with the legislation of the Russian Federation, and publication and distribution of the Work will not result in disclosure of secret (confidential) information.

3.2. The Author(s) undertake:

3.2.1. To submit the manuscript in accordance with the specified requirements and conditions for materials submitted to the Journal for publication, as posted on the website of the Licensee at The Author(s) submit the manuscript electronically the Work via Open Journal System at the web site of the journal or by e-mail to in format in accordance to rules for authors.

3.2.2. To cooperate with the Editorial Board, namely: to edit the text of the Work in accordance with the instructions provided by the reviewers, editors, or the managing editor of the Journal within the time limits specified by the Editorial Board, or submit a reasoned response.

3.2.3. To read and satisfy themselves as to the quality of the prepress work and agree on the layout of the Work within five (5) calendar days following its receipt from the Licensee. If there is no response from the Author(s) within the specified period, the Licensee may consider the layout of the Work ready for publication. To agree on the prepress proofs of the Work within five (5) calendar days following the receipt of the corresponding request from the Licensee.

3.3. The Licensee guarantees:

3.3.1. The right of integrity of the Work and protection from any distortion, as well as compliance with the copyright and the Author(s)’ right to a name.

3.4. The Licensee undertakes:

3.4.1. To provide the reviewing of the Work;

3.4.2. If the Editorial Board, following the results of the review, makes a decision to approve the Work for publication, to publish the Work in the Journal. The publication date is determined by the Licensee alone.

3.4.3. To provide academic, literary, artistic and technical editing of the Work, processing of artwork and illustrations, preparation of a paper and electronic layout.

3.4.4. Not to introduce any changes in the title of the Work or in the names of the Authors without the Author(s)’ consent.

3.4.5. To obtain agreement from the Author(s) for any editorial changes or modifications and to submit to the Author(s) the proofs and the layout before publication.

3.5. The Licensee has the right:

3.5.1. In case of any authorized subsequent use by other persons of the Journal and/or the Work (including any of its separate parts, fragments), to demand that other persons include references to the Journal, the Licensee, the Author(s) or other copyright holders, the name of the Work, the issue number of the Journal and the year of publication as indicated in the Journal.

3.5.2. To publish preliminary and/or promotional information about the upcoming publication of the Work in the media and other information sources.

3.5.3. To establish rules (conditions) for acceptance and publication of materials in the Journal. The Editorial Board has the exclusive right to select and/or reject the materials submitted by the Author(s) for publication. The manuscript of the Work (the physical medium) is submitted by the Author(s) for publication in accordance with the terms of this Agreement and shall not be returned. The Licensee (the Editorial Board) has the right not to enter into correspondence with the Author(s) of the Work concerning the rejection of the Work by the Editorial Board of the Journal.

3.5.4. During the term of this Agreement, to grant third parties the right to use the Work within the rights and ways of using specified herein, including but not limited to the use of the Work in databases of third parties and printed periodicals published by third parties.

3.5.5. To reject the publication of Author(s)’ Work in the following cases: If the Author(s) fail to submit the manuscript of the Work, other materials required by the Licensee in order to fulfil the obligations hereunder, through the fault of the Author(s) within the specified timeframe or within the timeframe set for revision of the Work following the review, or if the Author(s) fail to comply with any other obligations specified in the terms of this Agreement. If the manuscript is rejected by the Editorial Board of the Journal. In accordance with the provisions of this section, the rejection to publish the Work of the Author(s) by the Licensee represents a unilateral repudiation by the Licensee of obligations under this Agreement. In this case the Licensee shall send a notice to the Author(s) concerning the unilateral repudiation of obligations under this Agreement, specifying the time period for termination of obligations of the Parties hereunder.

4. Other Terms of the Agreement

4.1. This Agreement shall enter into force upon its signing by the Parties and shall remain in force and effect until full discharge of obligations undertaken by the Parties subject to the time schedules specified in Section 2.2 of this Agreement.

4.2. If a claim is made against the Licensee in connection with infringement of exclusive rights to intellectual property owned by third parties relating to the creation of the Work or the conclusion by the Author(s) of this Agreement, the Author(s) shall, immediately after receiving the notice from the Licensee, take measures to resolve any disputes with the third parties; take all possible actions to indemnify and hold harmless the Licensee from any claim thereof; reimburse legal costs, charges and expenses incurred by the Licensee in connection with application of injunctive relief and execution of the court decision, and the amounts paid to a third party for infringement of exclusive rights to intellectual property owned by third parties, as well as any other losses incurred by the Licensee in connection with the non-compliance of the Author(s) with the guarantees provided by them under this Agreement.

4.3. The parties agree and consent to the reproduction of the text of this Agreement and signatures of the Parties to this Agreement and other documents related to its conclusion and execution by means of mechanical, electronic and any other copying of the handwritten signature and the text of the Agreement, which would have the same legal force as the actual handwritten signature of the Party and the original document. Facsimile, electronic copies of the documents are valid and shall have equal legal force with the original.

4.4. The Parties agreed that the correspondence of the Parties in connection with the execution of this Agreement by the Author(s) shall be done by Pavel Skutschas. The Author(s) approve, do not mind and would not object to the fact that information received by Licensee from Pavel Skutschas is approved and agreed by all the Authors. The Parties agreed the following details for communicating with the Author(s): Address: Department of Vertebrate Zoology, Universitetskaya nab., 7/9, Saint Petersburg State University, 199034 Saint Petersburg, Russia. Telephone, Fax: +7 (812) 328-96-89, e-mail:

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6.2. This Agreement can be terminated at any time by mutual consent of the Parties subject to signing by the Parties of a corresponding termination agreement.

6.3. Any changes or additions to this Agreement shall enter into force only if they are made in writing and signed by both Parties to this Agreement.

6.4. In all other respects not specified by this Agreement, the Parties agree to be bound by the legislation of the Russian Federation.


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