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Article types


Templates for all article types can be found on our Prepare an article page. All our publications have a format-free submission policy for new manuscripts and therefore these templates are not mandatory on initial submission. 

Articles published in all journals

Article types described below are published in all Microbiology Society journals and the Access Microbiology open research platform. The word and reference counts in the table are indicative, but not restrictive.

The study, results, and interpretations of original research. For the five journals, re-analysis of published data is considered provided that novel insights are produced. For Access Microbiology, novel insights are not required. 

3000–7000 words. 

Free to read 36 months after publication if not published as Open Access.

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An alternative to the Research Article for describing smaller pieces of work. For the five journals, it is suitable for reporting completed work, not preliminary findings. For Access Microbiology, authors may use this for reporting preliminary findings, replication studies, null or negative data, and many other research outputs. 

1000–3000 words. 

Free to read 36 months after publication if not published as Open Access.

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Usually commissioned, Reviews provide a subject overview suitable for a wide audience. The text should not give undue emphasis to the authors’ work and should present controversial areas of the topic in a clear and objective way. If you are interested in writing a review, please contact the Reviews Editor or Editor-in-Chief of each journal or platform. 

5000–10,000 words, structured as agreed with the Reviews Editor or Editors-in-Chief.

Free to read for 30 days after publication if not published as Open Access.

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Usually commissioned, Insight Reviews are an alternative to the Review for smaller, niche topics or for providing updates to earlier Reviews. 

1000–3000 words, structured as agreed with the Reviews Editor or Editors-in-Chief. 

Free to read for 30 days after publication if not published as Open Access.

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A venue for describing novel procedures, methodologies, and techniques. 

1000–3000 words. 

Free to read 36 months after publication if not published as Open Access.

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A means for readers to respond to recently published articles. Where the original article was published as Open Access, the letter will also be Open Access.

Authors of the original article are contacted to ofer the option of responding to the Letter by publishing a Reply.

500–1500 words. 

Free to read 36 months after publication if not published as Open Access.

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Usually commissioned, Personal Views are opinion pieces exploring matters of interest to the community. 

500–1500 words. 

Free to read for 30 days after publication if not published as Open Access.

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Communications from the Editors-in-Chief and Editorial Boards of the journals. These articles do not always undergo full peer review. 

Structured as agreed with the Editor.

Free to read for 30 days after publication if not published as Open Access.

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Specialist article types

Our journals and the open research platform also publish a range of specialist article types. These are detailed below, along with which journal(s) or open research platform publishes them.

Published in Microbial Genomics.

For highlighting research that is recognised as a significant resource with potential long-term impact. Focused on accurate descriptions of the data and samples, with emphasis on significance and accessibility. 

3000–7000 words, approx. 50–100 references. 

Published as Open Access.

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Published in Access Microbiology

Case Reports or Case Series describe interesting diagnoses, investigation and treatment of infectious diseases in humans or animals. We recommend authors follow the CARE guidelines and recommended structure when preparing their Case Report or Case Series. 

1000–3000 words, approx. 50 references. 

Published as Open Access.

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Published in Access Microbiology

While it is often preferable for a dataset to be cited in the directly proceeding Research Article from a recognised data repository, there are circumstances where researchers may wish to establish a published record of a dataset before they, or indeed other researchers, have used it in a research context. In this circumstance, they may publish a Data Note.

This Note must include an introduction to the reasoning behind the collection of the data, a description of the dataset and cite the DOI or accession number(s) where the data can be accessed – in line with our Open Data policy. These Notes do not require results or conclusions, but authors should include a discussion section where they postulate potential uses or analyses that may be conducted. 

Published as Open Access.

Published in Journal of General Virology

Commissioned, written by the International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses (ICTV) study groups, these are concise, review-style articles providing overviews of the classification, structure, and properties of viruses. 

500–1500 words, approx. 5–10 references.

Published as Open Access.

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Published in Microbiology. 

Commissioned, these are concise, review-style articles providing overviews of the classification, structure, and properties of microbes. 

500–1500 words, approx. 5–10 references.  

Free to read for 30 days after publication if not published as Open Access.

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Published in Microbiology. 

Summary article of a Prize Lecture presented at the Society’s Annual Conference. 

Free to read for 30 days after publication.

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Published in Microbial Genomics

Descriptions of basic epidemiology with a genomics approach taken; results and an ‘Outcome’ box summarising the take-home points arising from the investigation. Analysis methods must be fully documented, including all parameters and reference sequences used.

3000–7000 words, approx. 20–50 references. 

Published as Open Access.

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Published in Access Microbiology

Describes a method, tool, or practice of microbiology teaching or outreach activity. 

1000–3000 words. 

Published as Open Access.

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Published in International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology

When strict adherence to the Rules of bacteriological nomenclature would produce chaos, or would not result in nomenclatural stability, exceptions to the Rules may be requested of the Judicial Commission of the ICSP. Requests for an Opinion must be accompanied by a fully documented statement of the relevant facts. When challenging a Request for an Opinion, authors must state the basis of the challenge and support it by a documented statement of the relevant facts. Straightforward differences in taxonomic opinion are not generally considered as Requests for an Opinion. 

1000–3000 words. 

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Free to read indefinitely if not published as Open Access.

Published in Access Microbiology.

Software articles should describe a tool or application of relevance to microbiologists, and which is a significant advance over any previous or existing software. The software must be open source at the point of submission, with a citable DOI within the main text of the manuscript, in line with the Open data policy. We recommend GitHub’s Zenodo or Figshare integration to generate this DOI, or authors may deposit it in our journal Figshare portal by requesting that they would like this during the submission process and our staff will contact you after submission. 

The software must be accessible for the reviewers in such a way as to not impinge their anonymity if they so prefer. 

The article should include an introduction, detailing the scope of the software, a description of its development and accessibility and how it advances the field of science and/or improves significantly on existing offerings. Potential applications for the software may be described in a Discussion section.

500–1500 words. Published as Open Access.

Published in Access Microbiology

A study protocol is a description of a planned or ongoing research study. It is not equivalent to a Lab Protocol or similar which is the technique by which certain research activities are conducted.

A protocol for a study that requires ethical approval should have already received that approval by submission of the article. We strongly recommend clinical studies are registered with a registry approved by the World Health Organisation.
 
The protocol must include a title and abstract; it should include an introduction which details the rationale for the study and the context in which it will/is being conducted – authors may wish to highlight the inherent strengths and weaknesses of the study in this section. The study design should be detailed in a Methods section, and the null hypothesis for the study – if available – should be provided. No results or discussion are expected in a Study Protocol paper. 

Published as Open Access.

Published in International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology

Used for the description of novel taxa, Taxonomic Descriptions are reviewed to the same standard as full articles. An article by Pitt et al. 2018 outlining a standardised format for the description of a novel species of an established genus is also freely available. For guidance please refer to the scope

2000–4000 words, approx. 70 references. 

Free to read 36 months after publication if not published as Open Access.

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Published in International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology

Material or proposals in advance of formal discussion at a meeting of the ICSP, to raise awareness of the item. May also describe items of importance to systematics arising from publications in journals other than the International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology, from the ICSP, or from individual scientists. 

1000–3000 words, approx. 50 references. 

Free to read 36 months after publication if not published as Open Access.

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