Guidelines for Authors

Aims and scope of the journal

Genetic Resources is an open access journal disseminating global knowledge and tools used by the community of practitioners of plant, animal and forest genetic resources involved in monitoring, collecting, maintaining, conserving, characterizing and using genetic resources for food, agriculture and forestry. Genetic Resources publishes original research as well as methods, strategies, guidelines, case studies or reviews on a variety of topics of interest on the present and future use of genetic resources. These may include the documentation, conservation, management, assessment, characterization and evaluation of genetic resources and their link to broader biodiversity, socioeconomic practices, policy guidelines or similar, serving stakeholders within and across sectors. Occasionally, Genetic Resources publishes special issues with a focus on selected topics of interest for the genetic resources community. The journal welcomes contributions from all world regions. Genetic Resources is inspired by the no longer existing Plant Genetic Resources Newsletter and Animal Genetic Resources journal and aims to fill the gap created by their discontinuation. 

For more information, see About the Journal.

Types of articles accepted

  • Original Articles:

Submissions for this section should represent original work on any aspect of genetic resources covered within the scope of the journal. These may include for example research articles on characterization or evaluation of genetic resources, reports on surveys or case studies of germplasm, germplasm collection missions, germplasm conservation or management or on the development of new methods or tools.

Articles should be concise (maximum 10,000 words including abstract and references) and should only contain informative illustrations and tables in the main body text. Additional data not essential for the main conclusions of the article may be provided as supplemental material.

Articles are peer-reviewed by at least two external referees. 

  • Reviews:

Authors who wish to submit a review to Genetic Resources should contact the managing editor ( with their proposal. 

Reviews will be peer-reviewed by at least one external referee. 

  • Short Communications:

Genetic Resources publishes other forms of reports such as discussion papers, critical reviews, proposals for guidelines, standards or agreements for the use of genetic resources, or other papers discussing current issues within genetic resources. Suggestions for book reviews should be directed to the managing editor (

Short communications should be no longer than 5.000 words including references and abstract. Items in this section will be evaluated by the editorial board and peer-reviewed by at least one external referee if necessary.

General Guidelines:

Conflicts of interest: Authors must disclose relevant competing interests, both financial and personal.
Ownership: Authors must declare that the submitted work is their own and that copyright has not been breached in seeking its publication.
Originality: Authors should declare that the submitted work has not previously been published, and is not being considered for publication elsewhere.
Preprints: Articles that have been made available as preprints online should be indicated as such, including the link to the preprint archive.
Data availability: Authors should strive to make all data described in the manuscript publicly available via public repositories and accessible through a permanent link or Digital Object Identifier (DOI). Datasets with a file size below 5 MB may be included in the submission as supplemental material. If data from national or organization owned databases is the basis for the study, this should be mentioned in the text. Authors must declare that they have permission to use material and data from elsewhere.
Criteria for authorship: All authors should have contributed substantially to the study design, execution, data analysis and interpretation, drafting, revision or final approval of the submitted manuscript. Other contributions to the presented research, including financial support, should be duly acknowledged in the Acknowledgements section of the manuscript.

Manuscript requirements and style

Manuscripts must be submitted in English language of sufficient quality to be understood by editors and reviewers so that they can accurately assess the work presented. We recommend that authors consider language-editing by a native english speaker prior to submission, as the journal cannot provide copyediting services. 

Authors should use correct and established scientific nomenclature where possible, including species names and units of measurements. Abbreviations should be defined upon first use in the text.

Manuscripts for submission should be prepared in OpenOffice (.odt) or Microsoft Word (.doc or .docx) file format, using a standard font. Page and row numbers should be included, and continuous row numbering should be used.

Submissions should include the following items:

  • Title page
  • Main manuscript (including Figures)
  • Supplemental Material 
  • Cover image (optional)

Title page:

Author information: names, affiliations and contact details of all authors, statement of their individual contribution to the manuscript.

Title: it should be descriptive and concise with a maximum of 250 characters; do not use jargon or abbreviations; provide also a short running title (100 characters) for your manuscript.

Keywords: provide up to five keywords that will facilitate searchability of the article. 

Abstract: provide an abstract of 150250 words for original articles and reviews. Short communications may include an abstract of up to 150 words. If no abstract is provided, this should be indicated during the submission process. Do not include acronyms or references. 
Authors may provide translations of abstracts in languages other than English as supplemental material in separate files. It is the responsibility of the authors to ensure correct translation, as supplemental material is not edited by the journal.

Main manuscript:

Manuscripts of original articles and reviews should be structured into the following sections, as relevant:

  • Introduction/background
  • Materials and methods
  • Results
  • Discussion
  • Conclusion (where appropriate)
  • Acknowledgements
  • References 

Short communications may follow this general outline, if applicable, but can also be more flexible in their structure.

Begin each section with the appropriate section heading and use subheadings as appropriate.

The introduction section should provide the reader with the necessary background and motivation for the reported study.

The materials and methods section should provide sufficient information to allow others to repeat the reported work. It should contain detailed descriptions of the experimental design, sampling procedures, protocols and statistics used as well as information on equipment or reagents (manufacturer, supplier, lot number, software version etc), providing full citations as appropriate.

In the results section authors should explain the results supported by the data (supplied as Figures, Tables or Supplemental material) concisely and without interpretation. Figures and tables should be embedded in the text and referred to as (Figure 1) or (Table 1), respectively. Figures should have a minimal resolution of 300 dpi. Figures and tables and their legends should be self-explanatory.

In the discussion section authors should focus on aspects supported by the data of the reported study, interpreting the results in relation to previous research and discussing implications of these results and interpretations. Results that do not support previous findings or are counterintuitive may be highlighted, comparisons to other systems included, new questions posed and possible hypotheses suggested. The results and discussion sections may be combined if appropriate.

In the optional conclusion section the main conclusions of the research should be clearly stated and their importance and relevance explained.

The acknowledgements section should include sources of financial support as well as contributions of colleagues or institutes that are not included as authors.

The references section should be included after the last section of the main body text. Each reference should be in a new line and following the style as outlined below.

We encourage authors to take advantage of online resources for academic writing and mentoring services such as AuthorAid to improve their manuscript. 


References in the bibliography should be double-checked against the citations in the text for completeness before submission. Only published work (or accepted to be published) should be cited. 

Citations in the text should be written as (Author last name, year), or Author last name (year), for example (Sack, 1997) or Sack (1997); Two authors should be separated by “and”: (Pellegrini and Balatti, 2016). If there are more than two authors, use “et al.” after the first author, for example (Bosso et al. 2016). Add a lowercase letter to the year if there are several references by the same first author in this year. If citing more than one reference, order them chronologically, with the oldest reference first, and separate them by a semicolon, for example (Sack, 1997; Bosso et al. 2016).

References in the bibliography should be listed in alphabetical order. If there is more than one reference by the same author(s), these should be listed chronologically. Provide DOIs, Pubmed IDs or other permanent links for references wherever possible. 

Please use the following style for the reference list:

  • Articles:

    Sack, F. D. (1997). Plastids and gravitropic sensing. Planta203, S63–S68. doi: 10.1007/PL00008116

    Pellegrini, P. A., Balatti, G. E. (2016). Noah’s arks in the XXI century. A typology of seed banks Conserv. 25, 2753. doi: 10.1007/s10531-016-1201-z

    Bosso, L., Di Febbraro, M., Cristinzio, G., Zoina, A., Russo, D. (2016). Shedding light on the effects of climate change on the potential distribution of Xylella fastidiosa in the Mediterranean basin. Biol. Invasions 18, 1759–1768. doi: 10.1007/s10530-016-1118-1

  • Paper within conference proceedings:

    Avendaño, S., Watson, K. A., and Kranis, A. (2010). “Genomics in poultry breeding—from utopias to deliverables,” in Proceedings of the 9th World Congress on Genetics Applied to Livestock Production (WCGALP), Leipzig.

    Kress WJ, Specht CD (2005) Between Cancer and Capricorn: phylogeny, evolution, and ecology of the tropical Zingiberales. In: Friis I, Balslev H (Eds) Proceedings of a symposium on plant diversity and complexity patterns – local, regional and global dimensions. Biologiske Skrifter, The Royal Danish Academy of Sciences and Letters, Copenhagen, 459-478.

  • Article or chapter in a Book:

    Esmenjaud, D., and Dirlewanger, E. (2007). “Plum,” in Genome Mapping and Molecular Breeding. Fruits & Nuts, ed. C. R. Kole (Heidelberg: Springer), 119–136.

  • Books:

    Rubatzky, V. E., Quiros, C. F., Simon, P. W. (1999). Carrot and related vegetables Umbeliferae (United Kingdom: CABI Publishing), 304 p.

  • PhD thesis:

    Thomasen, J. R. (2013). Genomic Selection in Small Dairy Cattle Populations. Ph.D. thesis, Aarhus University, Aarhus.

  • Patent:

    Berg, J. J., Deneer, R. H. M. (2012). inventors; Rijk Zwaan Zaadteelt en Zaadhandel BV, assignee. New celery morphology. European Patent EP2654409A1

  • Data:

    Perdiguero P, Venturas M, Cervera MT, Gil L, Collada C. Data from: Massive sequencing of Ulms minor's transcriptome provides new molecular tools for a genus under the constant threat of Dutch elm disease. Dryad Digital Repository. (2015)

Supplemental Material:

Authors may include supplementary information which cannot be included in the original article (e.g. large data tables, videos etc.). These files can be uploaded during the submission process and will be made available without further editing. The size of supplemental material files should not exceed 5 MB, larger data should be deposited in an online repository and a link or DOI provided in the references.  

Cover image (optional):

Authors are invited to provide an image that can be used as a thumbnail for the article on the journal website.


When resubmitting a previously reviewed manuscript, the authors should include a detailed response to the referees’ comments and provide a summary of the modifications made to the manuscript.

Review and decision policy

Genetic Resources is a peer-reviewed journal. Each new submission is initially reviewed for completeness, language, style and fit with the journal scope by a member of the editorial board (Handling Editor) who may reject it or recommend to send it for external review. If rejecting a submission, Handling Editors will provide submitters with detailed reasons for their decision as well as options for improvements or alternative publishing options, if appropriate. Submissions from members of the editorial board will be handled by a different editor and undergo the same rigorous review process as other submissions. 

The journal uses a double blind-review scheme, which means that neither the identity of the reviewers is not revealed nor that of the authors. However, reviewers may choose to make their review publicly available, in order to enhance transparency of the review process. At least two reports by external reviewers are required for full length research articles, and one for short reports or other grey literature. For more information see our Guidelines for Reviewers. The Handling Editor takes the final decision about acceptance based on the recommendations of external reviewers and other editors if appropriate. 

Genetic Resources makes an effort to process all submissions until a final decision within 12 weeks. The Authors are informed of the decision of the Handling Editor and receive the comments of the external reviewers.

If the manuscript is accepted, the Authors will typically be invited to make minor changes to correct editorial or formatting errors and have the possibility to review the final proof before publication.

If the authors are invited to resubmit a revised version of their manuscript, they should do so within four weeks of notification, responding to the referees’ comments and requests and summarizing the changes made. The editor may decide on acceptance of this revised manuscript with or without contacting the original reviewers, depending on the nature of the revisions made.

If a manuscript is rejected and the Authors wish to resubmit it to Genetic Resources, they should do so within six months of notification, in order to be considered a revision of the original manuscript. Authors should provide detailed responses to the referees’ comments and requests and provide a summary of the additional data presented and changes made to the manuscript. Resubmissions will be sent out for another round of revisions, preferably to the same referees as the original manuscript.

If authors wish to appeal a rejection of their manuscript, they may do so by providing their reasoning and responses to referees’ comments. Appeals will be reviewed by a different Handling Editor alongside the original submission and referees’ comments and a final decision on acceptance or rejection will be made.

After Acceptance:

If your article has been accepted for publication in Genetic Resources, the corresponding author will be asked to correct editorial or formatting errors in the word version of the article in line with the journal style guide. 

The corresponding author will receive a final pdf proof of the accepted article and all authors are requested to review the manuscript carefully and to check the completeness and correctness of the edited text, figures and tables. Significant changes to the manuscript at this stage need to be approved by the editor. In order to facilitate rapid publication, reviewed proofs need to be returned to the editorial office within 48 hours.

Copyright and licensing notice 

Authors retain copyright of the articles published in Genetic Resources and grant the journal right of first publication with open access. All articles published in Genetic Resource are licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0) that allows others to download, share and adapt the work for commercial and non-commercial purposes as long as proper attribution to the original article is given. Genetic Resources permits and encourages authors to post items submitted to the journal (including the publisher's final layout) on personal websites or institutional repositories after acceptance and/or publication, while providing bibliographic details that credit their publication in Genetic Resources.

Open Access

There are no publication fees for authors to publish in Genetic Resources. Genetic Resources is published as an open access journal available online only. The published articles (full texts) are available for searching, viewing or downloading at no cost.

Contact information:

All correspondence about submitted manuscripts should happen within the online submission system and its messaging function. General inquiries can be made directly to the editorial office by email to