For Authors

Authors provide scientific content and are what make a journal exist in the first place. Together with our partner Oxford University Press (OUP) and thanks to the hard work of our editors, there are a series of initiatives which we do to make sure that authors have a smooth experience during the submission process, they get recognized for their contributions as well as that articles published in FEMS journals receive the attention they deserve.

Most importantly, as not-for-profit organisation we use income from our FEMS journals to fund grants, awards, events, and projects. Therefore, by publishing your research with our journals you invest in science and support the global microbiology community.

As an author, we welcome your involvement on the promotion of your article. Listed below is a series of initiatives that FEMS and OUP do to support authors. Full journal policies and Instruction to Authors for all journals can be seen on the FEMS journals Portal.


FEMS Webinars

Our hugely successful FEMS Webinar series was developed to offer scientists the opportunity to discuss recent results published in FEMS journals while being unable to travel at conferences during the COVID-19 outbreak. Topics of FEMS Webinars are often related to Thematic Issues in FEMS journals.

The first FEMS Webinar on the Sponge Microbiome was organized in collaboration with the journal FEMS Microbiology Ecology:

Check on the FEMS Webinar page for regular updates. Recording of FEMS Webinars are posted on our YouTube channel.

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Presentation of articles in the #FEMSmicroBlog

The #FEMSmicroBlog promotes articles by presenting results in a brief text without scientific jargon, so that everyone with an interest in the topic can immediately realize their relevance.

Additionally, the #FEMSmicroBlog aims at giving our authors and the community a voice. For example, during the COVID-19 outbreak we started a section dedicated to how researchers adapted to home confinement.

We have different sections in the #FEMSmicroBlog:

  • #FascinatingMicrobes, in which bloggers explain the science behind a paper and highlights the significance and broader context of a recent finding
  • #BehindThePaper, in which authors are interviewed to present the paper to different audiences and tell the personal or scientific story which led to the discovery
  • #QuarantineDiary, in which microbiologists tell us about the challenges and opportunities from a personal and professional (development) perspective during the COVID-19 pandemic
  • #MicrobiologyIsFun, in which scientist share funny story with us, or shine a light on the brighter side of microbiology
  • #TheCulturePlate, in which we give a voice to our network through personal accounts, views, opinions, and interviews
Illustrations for the #FEMSmicroBlog by Eliza Wolfson

Browse some blog entries:

Do you want to be a guest contributor?
The #FEMSmicroBlog welcomes external bloggers, writers and SciComm enthusiasts. Get in touch if you want to share your idea for a blog entry with us!

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Social media promotion by and for microbiologists

The Journal Social Media Editors (JSMEs) are a team of active microbiology researchers working to keep our community up to date about the latest articles and collections from the FEMS journals though the FEMS social media accounts. Each JSME is assigned to one of our journals, and they keep up-to-date with the papers in the latest journal issue.

Their role is to select the papers of most interest to our community and create social media posts on Facebook and Twitter to inform our followers about new research. The JSME team also organize around awareness days, online events, and we help them to develop and share their own science communication work. Learn more about JSMEs and other projects on the Volunteers Page.

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Journal awards for best article or best presentation

Article Awards

The FEMS journals and Oxford University Press recognise the best articles submitted to our journals, with each journal awarding a prize of €1,000 anually. The award also includes special marketing devoted to the winning articles to promote the author(s) research. All authors are automatically considered for the award upon submission of their papers. Browse all the winners of FEMS Article Awards (2017-present) here.

Poster & Oral Presentation Prizes

The FEMS journals award Poster & Oral Presentation Prizes to the best presenters at a range of microbiology events. Browse all winners of Poster & Oral Presentation Prizes (2017-present) including interviews here.

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Special and Thematic Issues

Articles are collected into Issues to ensure that the ‘right’ audience get to read them. These are organised into Thematic Issues of FEMS Titles, Virtual Thematic Issues with articles from different FEMS Journals or collected in light of special occasions, as well as Joint Special Issues with FEMS Member Societies or members of the Publication Network.

Browse Thematic Issues of FEMS journals below:

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Scooping protection

The Open Access journals FEMS Microbes and microLife have a scooping protection policy in place as a service for authors and to support reproducibility of science in general. Manuscript that are considered for publication in these FEMS journals will not be rejected if after submission another research group publishes the main findings (or part thereof) in a journal article or by posting in a preprint server.

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Format-free submissions

Formatting a manuscript can be time consuming and we are therefore minimizing the style requirements for submissions. Several of our journals no longer have strict word counts, and manuscripts can now be submitted to FEMS Microbes, FEMS Microbiology Ecology, FEMS Yeast Research, Pathogens and Disease and microLife without being formatted into the specific journal style.

Manuscripts can be submitted in any common file type that can be easily opened and read by others. A single PDF or Word file is acceptable.  After initial review, authors may be asked to resolve some journal style attention points.

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Free to publish and Open Access options

Authors can publish for free in our five hybrid journals FEMS Microbiology Ecology, FEMS Microbiology Letters, FEMS Microbiology Reviews, FEMS Yeast Research and Pathogens and Disease. These journals have no submission and publication charges when publishing under the standard licence.

Authors may also choose for the Open Access (OA) licence when publishing in these journals. The prices for OA for all FEMS journals, including our two fully OA journals FEMS Microbes and microLife, can be found on this page.

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Read and Publish agreements

Our publisher Oxford University Press has a growing number of Read and Publish agreements with institutions and consortia which provide funding for open access publishing. This means authors from participating institutions can publish open access, and the institution may pay the charge. Find out if your institution is participating.

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Developing Countries Initiative

Authors from developing countries are offered a full waiver on the open access charge when publishing in fully open access journals. This applies to countries and regions in the ‘Free access’ and ‘Reduced access’ lists in the Developing Countries initiative. Click here to view the lists of eligible countries and regions.

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Membership discount

The FEMS journals have a discounted rate for Open Access fees for all authors who are a member of a FEMS affiliated Society or the European Academy of Microbiology. You can get the discount by simply indicating your membership in the cover letter accompanying the submission. The discount is valid for all FEMS journals. The discounted prices are given here.

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Priority papers in Pathogens and Disease

Researchers with a manuscript that requires fast publication (e.g. reports on outbreaks, new treatments for an ongoing health emergency, findings significantly different from previously published high impact research) can choose to submit a Priority paper in Pathogens and Disease (limited to 3000 words and 3 figures).

The editorial board will quickly forward the manuscript to reviewers or reject it within 48 hours of submission and we guarantee a decision within 21 days. Before submission, it is advisable to make an enquiry to the editorial office ( to ascertain whether a paper would be suitable as a Priority paper.

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Consultative Peer Review in Pathogens and Disease

The aim of “Consultative Peer Review” is to provide clear and unequivocal feedback to authors to ensure a smooth revision process. The editor will solicit the opinion of at least two expert reviewers and will carefully summarize the key points of the reviewers’ comments before relaying the feedback to the authors.

See below an explanation video of Editor-in-Chief of Pathogens and Disease Willa Huston for Peer Review Week 2019:

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Featured Issue

Extracellular Vesicles

We are proud to announce the publication of the first Thematic Issue of papers from microLifeThis Thematic Issue titled Extracellular Vesicles features one research article and five short review articles. From exploring outer membrane vesicles as modulators of the innate immune response, to studying fungal extracellular vesicles, this collection brings together the latest high-quality research.

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