Editorial Policy and Workflow

Editorial and Production Workflow

Editorial and production workflow overview


Upon submission, authors are given the option to publish a preprint of their manuscript in the Beilstein Archives. Our journal staff evaluates all submissions for plagiarism and scientific quality, and in some cases, may ask the authors to revise their manuscript before it can be published as a preprint or passed on to an editor. The editor will decide to send the manuscript for peer review or reject without review (desk reject).

After peer review, the manuscript is sent back to the authors, together with reports from the referees and the journal staff. After reviewing the revised manuscript, the editor may decide to send the manuscript for further review, reject the manuscript, or request that our journal staff performs the formatting of the manuscript according to the journal style. If no further issues are found, the editor will then formally accept the manuscript, whereby all authors are notified.

Subsequently, the journal staff prepares the article for publication by performing technical copyediting, layout of the PDF and HTML versions, and producing the XML version of the accepted article. Before the final publication of the article, the authors are requested to perform the final proofreading. Upon publication, a DOI is assigned to the article and the article is permanently archived and indexed by various services in the days and weeks that follow.


Editorial Policies

1. Peer Review

Each submitted manuscript that passes editorial control performed by our journal staff is assigned to one of our editors (associate editors or guest editors of thematic issues) whose field of expertise corresponds best to the subject area of the submitted work. The assigned editor performs the assessment of the submitted work in terms of scientific soundness, quality, originality, novelty, and importance. If substantial issues are identified with respect to one or more of the mentioned criteria, the editor may decide to reject the manuscript without peer review (desk reject). All manuscripts fulfilling the mentioned criteria are sent for single-blind peer review, meaning that the names and affiliations of the authors are known to the referees, whereas the referees remain anonymous. The editor selects and invites independent referees considering their area of expertise, past publication history, likeliness to respond, or based on the specific recommendation by the authors or other referees. Certain experts can be excluded as referees from the peer-review process if conflicts of interest have been identified by the editor. Authors may also request that a certain person should not be consulted for the review process. We respect such requests unless the individual opinion of such a referee is vital for assessing the manuscript. If referees consider themselves unsuitable to perform the evaluation of a manuscript, they are invited to suggest competent alternative referees. For more information regarding the peer-review process, please see the Instructions for Referees webpage.

2. Prior Publication Policy

Work that has been previously published or is under consideration for publication in another journal will not be considered. Manuscripts with only minor contributions to the existing literature are not acceptable either, even if the sources are properly cited. For all article types, the majority of the submitted material must not have been published elsewhere. Notably, this is also true for submissions that aim at expanding or providing background information on an earlier publication.

a. Preprint Policy

Preprint publication is allowed and highly encouraged.

Authors submitting to the Beilstein Journal of Organic Chemistry are given the option to publish a preprint version of their manuscript in the Beilstein Archives (Full Research Papers and Letters only). The submitting author must provide an ORCID iD to publish a preprint. We also enable and highly encourage all co-authors to link their ORCID iD to their manuscripts. All ORCID iDs received before publication will be included.

Any manuscripts that have been previously posted on other noncommercial preprint servers (e.g., arXiv, bioRxiv, ChemRxiv) or the author’s university repository will be considered for publication in the Beilstein Journal of Organic Chemistry (but not in the Beilstein Archives, please see Preprint Policy for more information).

b. Theses and Conference Contributions

The Beilstein Journal of Organic Chemistry will also consider work that has been previously published in the form of or as part of a thesis work, a doctoral dissertation, as well as a conference abstract or poster. However, work that has been published as a conference paper/proceedings article might be considered as a redundant publication, depending on the fraction of novel and original material contained in the submitted manuscript.

3. Scientific Integrity and Plagiarism Policy

Along with the high scientific quality of articles published in the Beilstein Journal of Organic Chemistry, we are committed to ensuring that all our publications conform to the highest ethical standards of scholarly publishing.

Regarding publishing ethics guidelines, with few exceptions, the journal staff of the Beilstein Journal of Organic Chemistry follows the guidelines defined by the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE), which are also recommended to the editors.

All submitted manuscripts are checked for textual plagiarism and correct attribution of copyrighted material by our journal staff prior to assigning them to the editor for subsequent peer review. Further quality assurance is gained via the peer-review process, during which the editors and referees assess the scientific soundness of the submitted work, thereby potentially uncovering ethical concerns.

Ethical issues that can be categorized as scientific misconduct include, but are not limited to the following: data fabrication, falsification, inappropriate image processing, textual and data/content plagiarism or self-plagiarism, and citation manipulation.

The Beilstein Journal of Organic Chemistry takes all cases of plagiarism, self-plagiarism, or any other scientific misconduct very seriously. Any severe incident will result in rejection or retraction of an article. The Beilstein Journal of Organic Chemistry withholds the right to impose further penalties, such as a publication ban for a period of two years.

a. Plagiarism and Self-Plagiarism

The Beilstein Journal of Organic Chemistry only considers manuscripts that are original work of the submitting authors and have not been published or submitted elsewhere in any other form or language. In order to check for duplicate or redundant publications, textual plagiarism, and self-plagiarism, all manuscripts submitted to the Beilstein Journal of Organic Chemistry are screened using the text comparison software iThenticate.

Plagiarism is defined as taking over the ideas, creative work, or written words of others without proper acknowledgment, that is, claiming them as one’s own, even if this occurs in relatively small amounts. Reusing in whole or in part one’s own previously published work (ideas, text, data, etc.) without citing the original source is self-plagiarism.

Plagiarism and self-plagiarism include representing data, results, or figures (e.g., images, graphs, etc.) from other sources without providing a proper citation.

Examples of textual plagiarism include, but are not limited to the following cases:

  • Verbatim copying of text without enclosing the copied text in quotation marks (or using block indention) and/or without citing the source.
  • Almost-verbatim copying or superficial paraphrasing of text from one or more sources (“patchwriting”) whether or not the sources are cited. This includes slight modifications of the original text, such as changing, inserting and/or deleting some words, rearranging the word order, or changing the grammar or tense of a sentence.
  • Substantial paraphrasing or summarizing from one or more sources without acknowledgement.
  • Hiding of plagiarized sources by not providing the citation in the respective context.

b. Image Manipulation

Image processing is considered as inappropriate image manipulation if it involves removal, addition, movement, covering, masking, enlargement or shrinkage, enhancement or obscuring of selected parts or features of an image. Contrary to the aforementioned, all types of image processing deemed necessary and performed as part of the study must be explicitly disclosed in the Experimental section of the submitted manuscript or in the Supporting Information section. Furthermore, appropriate image processing, such as enlargement of selected areas for visualization purposes, must be unequivocally identified as such and explicitly stated in relevant parts of the manuscript (e.g., figure labels or captions). These guidelines apply to experimentally acquired images, such as micrographs, as well as to graphs representing experimental or numerical results, such as spectra, diffractograms, or fitted numerical curves.

c. Citation Manipulation

Authors are requested to limit the reference list to the most important or most recent references relating to a specific topic. If a list of references contains an unjustifiably high number of references to the work of a certain author or to articles published in a certain journal, this can be considered as an attempt to manipulate citations. Authors, editors and referees should all be aware of and committed to identifying and preventing the occurrence of citation manipulation in the works they submit as authors, manage as editors, and review as referees, respectively.

d. Correct Use of Copyrighted Material

Importantly, in order to include any copyrighted material (text, figures, images, tables, etc.) in the submitted work, the authors should exactly comply with the requirements from the respective copyright owner. Authors are responsible for obtaining all required permissions from the respective third-party copyright owner(s) for the use or reuse of third-party material and must provide those during the manuscript submission or during revision at the latest.

The authors must clearly mark the copyrighted material as such by adding an explicit acknowledgement in the part of the manuscript where it is used. This credit line is usually given in the caption of a figure, scheme or table. It typically includes a reference to the source of the copyrighted material and a copyright notice. Detailed guidelines on the correct use and acknowledgement of copyrighted material are provided in the Instructions for Authors.

4. Appeals

Authors have the right to appeal to the managing editor and/or to the editor who handled their manuscript if they regard a decision to reject the manuscript as unfair or unjust. The editors will consult with the editor-in-chief as needed. If such a manuscript is resubmitted at a later date, the authors must explain in detail in the cover letter which improvements have been made and why the editor should initiate a further peer review.

5. Corrections, Retractions and Concerns

It is our policy not to unnecessarily amend, alter or remove published scientific records without just cause, in line with the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) guidelines.

The corresponding author is requested to contact the managing editor about any substantial error occurring in a published article. Corrections to articles will be published if these are evaluated by the managing editor to affect the interpretation of the work. All authors of the original publication must approve any desired amendment or correction.

Anyone may notify the managing editor about suspected errors in published articles or allegations of scientific misconduct (plagiarism, self-plagiarism, data integrity, etc.). The managing editor will initiate an investigation as recommended by COPE.

Depending on the severity of the claim and the amount of evidence based on which the claim of errors or misconduct are made, the managing editor might undertake the following: contact the authors of the respective article and request clarification and/or additional information and/or raw data; contact the responsible editor and referees; invite additional experts.

Based on the evidence collected and the judgement by experts, the managing editor, in consultation with the editor-in-chief, may decide to publish a correction, a retraction, or take no action. If the key findings and conclusions reported in the affected article remain valid and all errors or concerns can be sufficiently resolved by means of publishing a correction, a correction may be deemed appropriate. Otherwise, the editors might consider retracting the article. Besides scientific misconduct, the following issues may also lead to article retraction: conflicts regarding authorship, occurrence of peer-review manipulation, conflicts of interest undisclosed by the authors at the time of peer review, and legal issues.

6. Roles and Responsibilities of the Authors, Referees and Editors

a. Authors

Authorship Requirements

All persons listed as manuscript authors must fulfill all of the following requirements: they have made substantial contributions to the submitted work, they have significantly participated in the writing and/or revising of the manuscript, and they have read and approved the submitted manuscript version and agreed to be listed as authors.

Those who do not fulfill all three of these criteria, and yet have contributed to the work, should be acknowledged with their permission as contributors in the Acknowledgements section of the submitted manuscript. The submitting author is required to provide a valid and current email address for all authors of the manuscript. All authors are notified when a manuscript has been successfully submitted, accepted, published, or rejected, or if the submitting author has requested a preprint.

Any authorship changes requested after the manuscript submission but prior to publication must be appropriately justified and agreed upon by all listed authors, including those authors who have been newly added and those who have been removed from the initial list of authors.

Submitting Author and Corresponding Author

The submitting author is the person who submits the manuscript to the Beilstein Journal of Organic Chemistry. They are responsible for responding to all requests of the editor and journal staff from submission to article publication. The submitting author may or may not be the same person who assumes the role of the corresponding author after the publication of the article.

The corresponding author is responsible for the article after publication and may be contacted should a reader have any questions. The corresponding author is marked accordingly and their email address is given in the published article.

b. Referees

Referee Commitment

In order to ensure a scientifically based, objective, and timely assessment of the manuscript, the referee accepting an invitation to review should fulfill the following criteria:

  • the manuscript is within their area of expertise, and
  • they must be aware of and declare any personal, professional or financial competing interests that might interfere with their objective assessment of the manuscript, and
  • they are able to provide their review report on the manuscript by a specified deadline (usually within 14 days).

Referee Responsibilities

Importantly, by accepting the invitation to review a manuscript, the referee consents to all of the following:

  • They have no conflicts of interest that significantly impair their objectivity of reviewing the work.
  • They undertake to treat all manuscript and peer-review-related data as confidential material that must not be disclosed or cited elsewhere or redistributed by the referee without permission of the editor and authors.
  • According to the single-blind peer-review model adopted by the Beilstein Journal of Organic Chemistry, the referee agrees to remain anonymous and does not communicate directly with the manuscript authors. If a referee wishes to reveal their identity, this must be first discussed with the editor or made clear that they are purposely choosing to reveal their identity in the referee report.

For more details regarding the review procedure and the referee’s responsibilities, please see the Instructions for Referees webpage.

c. Editors

All members of the Editorial Board of the Beilstein Journal of Organic Chemistry have a solid publication record and contribute to the development of the journal and the publishing process in the following ways:

  • All members are responsible for the establishment of high publishing standards and are involved in setting goals and establishing policies for the further development of the Beilstein Journal of Organic Chemistry.
  • Associate editors participate in the conception of thematic priorities and new areas of focus within the scope of the Beilstein Journal of Organic Chemistry.

With regard to the peer-review process, the associate and guest editors of the Beilstein Journal of Organic Chemistry are aware of and committed to fulfilling the following criteria and processes:

  • They agree to only handle manuscripts that fall within their field of expertise or knowledge.
  • They provide their academic expertise and network in managing the peer-review process, which involves inviting expert referees, assessing the scientific quality of manuscripts and fit to the journal scope, making decisions on manuscripts based on the referee reports and their own experience, and communicating their recommendations to the authors. This is aimed at the improvement of the submitted work towards final publication (or alternatively, rejection).
  • They are aware of and declare any competing interests, such as financial, personal or professional relationships that might interfere with the objectivity of their own decision making regarding acceptance or rejection of a manuscript.
  • They strive, to the best of their knowledge, to avoid any potential competing interests between all participants involved in the peer-review process. For example, editors take into account the name and affiliation of manuscript authors when inviting referees.
  • They should evaluate the manuscripts based only on their scientific merit. Other factors, such as gender, religious beliefs, ethnic or national origin, sexual orientation, citizenship, or political orientation of the authors must not interfere with their evaluation of the submitted work. 

7. Data Policy

a. Definition of Data

Research data can be defined as materials or pieces of information that were either generated (primary data), reused, or analyzed by the authors (secondary data) during the process of conceptualizing and writing a scientific article. Research data can be either raw (unprocessed) or processed and includes, but is not limited to, spectra, images, blots, gels, tables, codes, software, algorithms, maps, sequences, specimens, and cultivars.

b. Data Availability and Data Availability Statement

Information and data in the main manuscript, together with supplementary material as supporting information files, should describe the scientific methods used in the work in sufficient detail to allow understanding and replication of the work by others.

In line with open science principles, ideally all research data should be findable, accessible, interoperable, and reusable (FAIR principles). Authors submitting to the Beilstein Journal of Organic Chemistry are encouraged to make all data that has led to the results represented in the work freely available. While it is possible to include the data as supporting information, we also recommend depositing it in publicly accessible repositories. This is to aid data accessibility and preservation and to allow others to verify and build upon the work.

During submission to the Beilstein Journal of Organic Chemistry, authors are obliged to provide a data availability statement (DAS) for all article types. The DAS should contain information about where data associated with a given manuscript can be found and accessed. In the submission wizard, the authors may utilize a selection of suggested standard templates or draft a customized DAS, which will be added into a section called “Data Availability Statement” upon publication of the article. (For detailed instructions, please refer to section 7.3 Data Deposition on the Instructions for Authors page). A semi-automated tool has been integrated into the Beilstein Publishing System whereby any DOI that has been provided in the DAS will be part of the article metadata registered via Crossref. This data sharing policy does not make data sharing obligatory but rather encourages the authors to make their data openly available to the community. In addition, this policy does not require public sharing of sensitive data, such as data conflicting with ethical norms, privacy, or legal obligations. In case of doubt, the authors should verify whether there are any concerns prior to sharing potentially sensitive datasets. It is important to emphasize that neither the statements nor the deposited data can be changed or amended after publication.

Irrespective of the public availability of the data underlying a study, authors are obliged to provide all original data that has led to the results represented in the submitted work if this is deemed necessary and requested by the editor or the journal staff for the assessment of the work.

c. Data Citation

When depositing data, software, or code associated with the submitted work in publicly accessible repositories or databases, the authors should provide the corresponding DOI as part of the DAS during manuscript submission. If a DOI cannot be provided, a URL might be given instead. However, the authors are strongly encouraged to use repositories or databases that issue DOIs. Additionally, the shared data or datasets could be acknowledged within the manuscript and cited in the References section. (Please see the section 5.13 of Instructions for Authors for the appropriate reference style). Accordingly, the cited data must be made publicly available no later than upon publication of the article.

8. Funding Disclosure

If a funder requires the funding information to be reported, then the authors must provide this information using the funding data lookup tool provided during the revision step. In addition, this information should be included in the Funding section within the main manuscript. The Beilstein Journal of Organic Chemistry delivers the provided funding information to Crossref and PubMed Central as part of the published article metadata, thus fulfilling funder reporting requirements.

9. Copyright License

The authors retain copyright of their articles. All articles published in the Beilstein Journal of Organic Chemistry are published under a Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. More information can be found on our Copyright & License webpage.

10. Manuscript Submission

When submitting an article to the Beilstein Journal of Organic Chemistry to be published open access, authors are not charged any publication fee. All publication costs for the journal are completely covered by the Beilstein-Institut. The Beilstein Journals do not limit the number of articles to be published or have a maximum acceptance rate threshold. Authors are required to submit manuscripts via the Beilstein Publishing System. The Beilstein Journal of Organic Chemistry does not accept manuscripts submitted by email.

11. Competing Interests Policy

A competing interest exists when an individual (or the individual’s institution) has financial, personal, or professional relationships with other persons or institutions that could unduly bias their actions or judgements. Competing interests may arise from such relationships, irrespective of whether the judgement is actually or potentially affected.
All participants, including authors, editors, and referees, are responsible for recognizing and disclosing all relationships during all stages of the scholarly publication process that could be viewed as presenting potential conflicts of interest.

a. Authors

During the submission process, the submitting author will be required to provide a statement, on behalf of all authors, declaring the existence of competing interests with respect to their work in the Competing Interests section. The submitting author is responsible for disclosing all competing interests that could have interfered or could be perceived as interfering with the objective data presentation and interpretation of their scientific work. Moreover, authors must disclose any potential competing interests they are aware of that might influence the evaluation and objective assessment of their manuscript by the referees and/or the editor.
Authors may provide editors with the names of persons they feel should not be asked to review the manuscript because of potential competing interests. When possible, authors should explain such concerns to facilitate the editor’s decision making whether or not to honor such requests.
Any relevant information regarding financial support of the work presented in the manuscript must be included in the Funding section of the published article. In the Acknowledgments section, the authors should provide all relevant information about individuals who donated reagents and materials or provided access to certain equipment for the accomplishment of the work.

b. Referees

Referees are asked to disclose any competing interests upon submission of their review report. All referees must declare any relationships that might be viewed as biasing their objectivity, such as but not limited to, recent collaborations with manuscript author(s). Referees who anticipate that the necessary objectivity for reviewing the manuscript would be seriously impaired should exclude themselves from the peer review of the manuscript.

c. Editors

Editors should be committed to an objective and fair evaluation of the submitted work. They must always take into consideration the competing interests disclosed by the authors and by the referees as well as be aware of any of their own competing interests during the assessment of a manuscript. The selection of referees with obvious competing interests is to be avoided (e.g., same institution/affiliation as any of the authors, recent collaboration/co-authorship).

d. Examples of Potential Competing Interests

Personal or Professional Competing Interests

  • A close relationship with, or a strong antipathy to, a person whose interests may be affected by the publication of the manuscript.
  • An academic connection to (e.g., same institution/affiliation, recent collaboration/co-authorship) or rivalry with a person whose interests may be biased by the publication of the manuscript.
  • A professional relationship with an organization whose interests may be affected by the publication of the manuscript.
  • Political or religious commitments that may influence objective presentations or conclusions.

Financial Competing Interests

  • Recent (within the past five years), current, or anticipated research support or employment by an organization that may in any way gain or lose financially from the publication of the manuscript. This includes salaries, funds, honoraria, equipment, reimbursements, gifts and donations, paid membership in an organization, and other expenses.
  • Stock or shareholding in a company that may in any way gain or lose financially from the publication of the manuscript.
  • Fees for consulting, expert testimony, membership of advisory boards, speaking, organizing education, or other forms of remuneration from an organization that may financially benefit or suffer from the publication of the manuscript.
  • Patents or patent applications that are owned by or licensed to organizations that may in any way gain or lose financially from the publication of the manuscript.

Other Beilstein-Institut Open Science Activities