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Social Sciences | BioSocieties - A Palgrave journal

Palgrave Macmillan UK


Editor: N. Rose; I. Singh; C. Waldby

ISSN: 1745-8552 (print version)
ISSN: 1745-8560 (electronic version)

Journal no. 41292

Palgrave Macmillan UK

Editorial Policy 

BioSocieties is an innovative journal in the social sciences, dedicated to advancing analytic understanding of the social, ethical, legal, economic, public and policy aspects of current and emerging developments in the life sciences. Its cross-disciplinary analyses of genomics, neuroscience, psychopharmacology, biomedical and reproductive technologies, and biosecurity will become essential reading for all those in the life science community concerned with the social implications of their work.
BioSocieties publishes scholarship across the social science disciplines, and represents a lively and balanced array of perspectives on controversial issues. In its inaugural year BioSocieties demonstrated the constructive potential of interdisciplinary dialogue and debate across the social and natural sciences. We are becoming the journal of choice not only for social scientists, but also for life scientists interested in the larger social, ethical and policy implications of their work. The journal is international in scope, spanning research and developments in all corners of the globe.
BioSocieties appears quarterly, with occasional themed issues that highlight some of the critical questions and problematics of modern biotechnologies. Articles, response pieces, interviews, book reviews, and self-standing editorial pieces by social and life scientists form a regular part of the journal.

Submitting a manuscript 

BioSocieties is a refereed journal; all manuscripts must consist of original material and are reviewed with the explicit understanding that their essential substance will not be submitted for review elsewhere until the editors have made a final decision regarding publication. Articles that describe the results of studies involving human subjects must give evidence that such studies have been subjected to appropriate ethical review.
The editors of BioSocieties are committed to publishing articles that are accessible and relevant to readers across a diverse set of social science and life science disciplines. All authors are therefore strongly encouraged to submit manuscripts which are free of jargon, and which fully explicate potentially unfamiliar disciplinary theories and concepts.
If the submitted work has been previously available as a conference or white paper, either on a public website or on an author's repository, this must be declared immediately upon submission. We will check that the submitted work has been developed from the version currently available via our CrossCheck software, to consider it for review and formal publication. If published, the BioSocieties paper will be subject to copyright and must be mutually linked to the draft publication available online.
We welcome short questions or inquiries about the appropriateness of manuscripts for journal. Please send inquiries to the Editors via the editorial office.
Authors should submit papers electronically as MS Word files via the journal's electronic submission system. Please read the instructions given below carefully before commencing your submission. The submission system is designed to be self-explanatory. Authors should submit a minimum of two files (author information file and article file).
Manuscripts should not exceed 10,000 words (including footnotes, but excluding references) and should be double-spaced and typed in Times New Roman, 12 point font. Please include consecutive page numbers on all pages, and arrange the files as follows:
1.Author Information File:
◦the title of the article
◦the names and affiliations for all authors
◦full contact details (including email, postal address and phone and fax numbers) for the corresponding author
◦short biographies for each author (50 words maximum each) which will appear at the end of the paper
◦Word count (including footnotes, but excluding references)
◦A note to confirm that the manuscript is comprised of original material that is not under review elsewhere, and that the study(ies) on which the research is based has been subject to appropriate ethical review. Authors must also note whether they have any competing interests – intellectual or financial – in the research detailed in the manuscript.
2.Article File:
◦the title of the article
◦a summary or abstract of not more than 200 words. This should be self-contained and understandable by the general reader outside the context of the full paper.
◦3-6 keywords/phrases
◦Main text, acknowledgements, references, appendix, table/figure captions, tables and figures.
NOTE: BioSocieties adheres to a strict policy of double-blind peer review, in which the identity of the authors is, as much as possible, kept from reviewers, so as to facilitate a fair and un-biased review process. Therefore, the main article file should not include any information that could identify the authors or collaborators. In addition to stating the names, affiliations and biographies of authors only in a separate author information file, we ask authors to pay particular attention to all tables (and captions), figures (and captions), and in-text citations, for information which might identify the authors.
For example, please do not use “As I have argued before (Phillips, 2010)…” Instead use “As I have argued before (xxxx, YEAR)…”
Manuscripts containing information that might identify authors may be returned for correction prior to sending for review.
3.Figures and Tables
◦Tables and figures should not be embedded within the main text but must be referred to at the appropriate point in the text. They can be uploaded in the same main article file (at the end of the file as noted above) or as separate files.
◦Tables and graphs should be provided in editable format in Word and/or Excel.


Keep textual notes to a minimum, indicate them with superscript numbers, and provide the note text as a list at the end of the article before the references. Please do not use footnotes.
Style Guidelines - Quote Marks and Italics
Our policy for the use of quote marks and italics is as follows:
•Double quote marks (“ ...”) are to be used for direct quotations (from articles/ interviews etc), chapter titles and article names.
•Single quote marks (‘...’) are for ‘scare’ quotes (for example to draw attention to an unusual or arguably inaccurate use of a word or phrase) and for when quoting within direct quotations only.
•Long quotations should be indented and without quotation marks.
•Italics are for use for emphasis, book names, journal titles and newspapers only.
References in the text
The whole citation should follow the Harvard style, enclosed within parentheses (author surname, year) if not a natural part of the surrounding sentence; the year should be enclosed within parentheses if the names do form a natural part of the surrounding sentence. Citations of works by two authors should have ‘and’ (not an ampersand) between the names. Citations of works by three or more authors should have the first author followed by et al in italics with no trailing stop.
Publications by the same author(s) in the same year should be identified with a, b, c (e.g. 2008a, 2008b) closed up to the year.
Personal communications should be listed as such where they are cited in the text, and not listed in the references.
Since Paterson (1983) has shown that… This is in results attained later (Kramer, 1984). Results have been reported (Don Graham, 1989, personal communication).
Articles not yet published should show ‘forthcoming’ in place of the year (in both the reference and the citation). ‘In press’ should be used in place of the volume, issue and page range details.
Sharp Parker, A.M. (forthcoming) Cyberterrorism: An examination of the preparedness of the North Carolina local law enforcement. Security Journal, in press.
References are placed in alphabetical order of authors. Users of Endnote referencing software can download an Endnote style file at the link below. Examples of correct forms of references for alphabetical style:
Slovic, P. (2000) The Perception of Risk. London: Earthscan Publications.
Edited volume
Nye Jr, J.S., Zelikow, P.D. and King D.C. (eds.) (1997) Why People Don’t Trust Government. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
Chapter in book
Flora, P. and Alber, J. (1981) Modernization, democratization, and the development of the welfare state. In: P. Flora and A.J. Heidenheimer (eds.) The Development of Welfare States in Europe and America. New Brunswick and London: Transaction Books, pp. 17–34.
Article in journal
Thompson, K., Griffith, E. and Leaf, P. (1990) A historical review of the Madison model of community care. Hospital and Community Psychiatry 41(6): 21–35.
Article in newspaper
Webster, B. (2008) Record bonus for Network Rail chief, despite Christmas chaos. The Times, 6 June: p1.
Newspaper or magazine article (without a named author)
Economist (2005) The mountain man and the surgeon. 24 December, pp. 24–26.
Article online
Wilson, D. (2010) Creating the ‘ethics industry’: Mary Warnock, in vitro fertilization and the history of bioethics in Britain, BioSocieties advance online publication, November 29, 2010; doi:10.1057/biosoc.2010.26
Other online resource
Green Party. (2005) Greens call for attack on asylum ‘push factors’. Green Party report, 4 March, http://www.greenparty.org.uk/index.php?nav=new&n=1838, accessed 9 March 2005.
Conference proceedings
Sapin, A. (ed.) (1985) Health and the Environment. Proceedings of the Conference on Biological Monitoring Methods for Industrial Chemicals; 30–31 March 1984, Chicago, IL. Chicago: American Toxological Association.
Conference paper
Harley, N.H. (1981) Radon risk models. In: A.R. Knight and B. Harrad, (eds.) Indoor Air and Human Health. Proceedings of the Seventh Life Sciences Symposium; 29–31 October, Knoxville, TN. Amsterdam: Elsevier, pp.69–78.
Papers/talks presented at a conference but not published
Martin, S. (2003) An exploration of factors which have an impact on the vocal performance and vocal effectiveness of newly qualified teachers and lecturers. Paper presented at the Pan European Voice Conference; 31 August, Graz, Austria.
Young, W.R. (1981) Effects of different tree species on soil properties in central New York. MSc thesis, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY.
Research papers/reports/working papers
Bloom., G. et al (2005) Poverty Reduction During Democratic Transition: The Malawi Social Action Fund 1996-2001. Brighton, UK: Institute of Development Studies. IDS Research Report no. 56.
Bond, S. A., Hwang, S., Lin, Z. and Vandell, K. (2005) Marketing Period Risk in a Portfolio Context: Theory and Empirical Estimates from the UK Commercial Real Estate Market. Cambridge, UK: Department of Land Economy, University of Cambridge (mimeo).
Blair, A. (2003) Britain in the World. Speech to FCO Leadership Conference. London, 7 January.

Photographs, figures and graphics 

Photographs and illustrations supporting papers should be submitted where appropriate. Figures should be submitted electronically as TIFF or JPEG files at a minimum resolution of 300 dpi and preferably in black and white.
The journal is printed in black-and-white. Therefore, we prefer that you supply your figures in greyscale. Figures supplied in colour will be converted to greyscale for print unless the author confirms they will cover the cost of printing in colour (costs available from the production/editorial office). You may however request for any/all figures to be shown in colour in the HTML (web) version of your article, but bear in mind that the PDF/print version will still be black-and-white, so please make sure that colour is not critical to understanding any figures; and do not describe elements of the figure in terms of their colours. For example line graphs with several data series can usually be represented adequately in black-and-white by using different line styles and/or different shaped nodes.

Ethics Policy 

This journal is a member of the Committee on Publication Ethics. We expect all prospective authors to read and understand our Ethics Policy before submitting any manuscript to this journal. This policy details the responsibilities of all authors, editors and reviewers working with and for Palgrave Macmillan Journals as well as our own ethical responsibilities. This includes, but is not limited to, plagiarism, falsification of data, misuse of third party material, fabrication of results and fraudulent authorship. Please note that submitted manuscripts may be subject to checks using the iThenticate service, in conjunction with CrossCheck, in order to detect instances of overlapping and similar text. The iThenticate software checks submissions against millions of published research papers, documents on the web, and other relevant sources. If plagiarism or misconduct is found, consequences are detailed in the policy.

Open Access & Self Archiving 

Self-archiving (green open access)

Authors of accepted articles are encouraged to submit the author's version of the accepted paper (the unedited manuscript) to a repository to be made openly available after the self-archiving embargo period has elapsed.

Publishing open access (gold open access)

Upon acceptance, authors can indicate whether they wish to pay an optional article processing charge (APC) for their article to be made open access online immediately upon publication. By paying this charge authors are also permitted to post the final, published PDF of their article on a website, institutional repository or other free public server, immediately on publication.
Open access articles are published under Creative Commons licenses, which allow authors to retain copyright to their work while making it open to readers.
If authors opt to publish via the open access route then the corresponding author must complete and sign the Article Processing Charge (APC) payment form and an open access License to Publish (LTP) form on behalf of all authors, and return these to the Publisher. These forms will be provided upon acceptance of the article. Failure to promptly return forms will result in delay of publication.
With regard to payment, please note that usual credit terms are 30 days from receipt of invoice. Failure to pay your invoice within the stated credit term may result in the Open Access status of the paper being rescinded, with the paper being placed behind the paywall. You may also be subject to such penalties as restrictions on your ability to publish with Palgrave Macmillan in the future, involvement of a third party debt collection agency and legal proceedings.

Compliance with open access mandates

Palgrave Macmillan's publishing policies ensure that authors can comply with the public access requirements of many major funding bodies worldwide. Authors may need to take specific actions to achieve compliance with funder and institutional open access mandates.

Copyright and Permissions 

Reproducing copyrighted material in articles – clearing permissions

The author bears the responsibility for checking whether material submitted is subject to copyright or ownership rights, e.g. figures, tables, photographs, illustrations, trade literature and data. The author will need to obtain permission to reproduce any such items, and include these permissions with their final submission. Where use is so restricted, the Editor/editorial office and Publisher must be informed with the final submission of the material. Please see further guidance on the use of 3rd party materials below. Please add any necessary acknowledgments to the typescript, preferably in the form of an Acknowledgments section at the end of the paper. Credit the source and copyright of photographs, figures, illustrations etc. in the accompanying captions.


It is our policy to ask all contributors to transfer the copyright in their contribution to the journal owner. There are two broad reasons for this:
•ownership of copyright by the journal owner facilitates international protection against infringement of copyright, libel or plagiarism;
•it also ensures that requests by third parties to reprint or reproduce a contribution, or part of it, in either print or electronic form, are handled efficiently in accordance with our general policy which encourages dissemination of knowledge within the framework of copyright.
As an author and contributor you retain many rights. These are detailed at the link below. The journal mandates the Copyright Clearance Center in the USA and the Copyright Licensing Agency in the UK to offer centralized licensing arrangements for photocopying in their respective territories.


Proofs are received as PDF attachments to an email to only the first (or nominated) author of a multi-authored article. Please check and correct your proofs within the time period indicated and return your proofs as directed. Please make no revisions to the final, edited text, except where the copy editor has requested clarification.

Offprints and PDFs 

Authors will be given the opportunity to purchase hardcopy offprints of their paper once typesetting has been finalised.
Corresponding authors will receive a PDF of their article. This PDF offprint is provided for personal use. It is the responsibility of the corresponding author to pass the PDF offprint onto co-authors (if relevant) and ensure that they are aware of the conditions pertaining to its use.
The PDF must not be placed on a publicly-available website for general viewing, or otherwise distributed without seeking our permission, as this would contravene our copyright policy and potentially damage the journal’s circulation. Please visit the link below to see our latest copyright policy.

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For authors and editors

  • Journal Citation Reports®
    2016 Impact Factor
  • 2.162
  • Aims and Scope

    Aims and Scope


    BioSocieties is committed to the scholarly exploration of the crucial social, ethical and policy implications of developments in the life sciences and biomedicine. These developments are increasing our ability to control our own biology; enabling us to create novel life forms; changing our ideas of ‘normality’ and ‘abnormality’; transforming our understanding of personal identity, family relations, ancestry and ‘race’; altering our social and personal expectations and responsibilities; reshaping global economic opportunities and inequalities; creating new global security challenges; and generating new social, ethical, legal and regulatory dilemmas. To address these dilemmas requires us to break out from narrow disciplinary boundaries within the social sciences and humanities, and between these disciplines and the natural sciences, and to develop new ways of thinking about the relations between biology and sociality and between the life sciences and society.

    BioSocieties provides a crucial forum where the most rigorous social research and critical analysis of these issues can intersect with the work of leading scientists, social researchers, clinicians, regulators and other stakeholders. BioSocieties defines the key intellectual issues at the science-society interface, and offers pathways to the resolution of the critical local, national and global socio-political challenges that arise from scientific and biomedical advances.

    As the first journal of its kind, BioSocieties publishes scholarship across the social science disciplines, and represents a lively and balanced array of perspectives on controversial issues. In its inaugural year BioSocieties demonstrated the constructive potential of interdisciplinary dialogue and debate across the social and natural sciences. We are becoming the journal of choice not only for social scientists, but also for life scientists interested in the larger social, ethical and policy implications of their work. The journal is international in scope, spanning research and developments in all corners of the globe.

    BioSocieties is published quarterly, with occasional themed issues that highlight some of the critical questions and problematics of modern biotechnologies. Articles, response pieces, book reviews, and self-standing editorial pieces by social and life scientists form a regular part of the journal.

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