Aims and scope

Systems biology is an integrative discipline that seeks to explain the properties and behaviour of complex biological systems in terms of their components and their interactions.
Molecular Systems Biology is a peer-reviewed author-pays online journal that publishes high-quality research in the fields of systems biology, synthetic biology and systems medicine.
The Editors select manuscripts based on their novelty and wide biological significance. Although the primary emphasis of the journal is on molecular components and their interactions, systems studies at the organ level may also be considered. Works describing large-scale datasets will be judged, in part, by the extent to which these datasets are integrated both with each other and with computational models, with the ultimate aim to better understand the dynamic and complex nature of living systems. Reports of new experimental methods will also be considered in the context of this policy.
Topics falling within the scope of the journal include, but are not limited to:
  • integrative genome-scale biology 
  • quantitative biology
  • computational biology 
  • metabolic and regulatory networks 
  • evolution of genomes and biological networks
  • clinical and translational systems biology 
  • synthetic biology and genome-scale biological engineering
Molecular Systems Biology publishes research articles as full-length Articles or short Reports. The journal publishes also Reviews, Perspectives, News & Views, Correspondences and Editorials.

Transparent Editorial Process

Molecular Systems Biology has a fair and transparent process to rapidly publish important science.

Transparent Review

  • No confidential referee remarks
  • Published anonymous referee reports and editorial correspondence
  • Editors respect requests to exclude specific referees
  • Editors justify editorial decisions in detail and specify what is required for a revision

Flexible Formatting

  • No journal-specific formatting required at submission; manuscripts are assessed for science, not for style

Scooping Protection

  • Similar findings that are published by others during review or revision are not a criterion for rejection
  • In exceptional circumstances, editors may consider manuscripts that have just been scooped

Cross-Referee Commenting

  • Referees are invited to comment on each other's reports before the editor makes a decision, ensuring a balanced review process

Single Round

  • Papers rarely undergo more than one major round of revision
  • Referees are asked to focus on essential revisions and to consider the feasibility of experiments they suggest
  • Revisions are invited only if they are possible in a realistic time frame
  • Editors ensure that referees do not raise new non-essential points upon revision
  • More than 90% of invited revisions are published at Molecular System Biology

Fast Process

  • Editorial decisions are returned within a week and referee comments in less than a month
  • After acceptance, we can publish fully edited papers within 10 days

Approachable Editors

  • Authors can discuss manuscripts with editors at any stage in the process, including during revision and following rejection. Editors may invite author feedback on referee reports before reaching a decision

Informed Evaluation

  • Scientific editors undertake a comprehensive evaluation of each manuscript. Editorial board members advise rapidly on manuscripts

Source Data

  • Authors are encouraged to publish the unprocessed source data underlying graphs, gels and micrographs alongside the figures to promote data transparency and reuse
  • Supplementary information is restricted to essential data supporting key claims in the main paper. Structured datasets, models and detailed protocols are also permitted

Manuscript Transfers

  • Authors can elect to transfer manuscripts with referee reports between the EMBO publications. Editors prioritize transfers and base decisions on the available information, ensuring exceptional manuscripts can be published without delay


Impact Factor (2014): 10.9 (Thomson Reuters)
5-year Impact Factor (2014): 12.0 (Thomson Reuters)
Immediacy Index (2014): 1.4 (Thomson Reuters)
SJR (2014): 8.6 (JournalM3trics)
SNIP (2014): 3.2 (JournalM3trics)
h5 (2010-2014): 73 (Google Scholar)
Eigenfactor (2013): 0.04 (
Article Influence (2013): 5.9 (

Open Access

Molecular Systems Biology levies an Article Processing Charge (APC) of 3,300 EUROS (4,200 USD/GBP 2,750) for each Research Article or Report accepted for publication. There are no additional costs (such as page charges or submission charges).

No charges apply for Reviews, News & Views, Perspectives, Commentaries and Correspondences.

At revision stage, authors are prompted by the system to fill in their funding and payment details.

We will automatically waive or discount charges for corresponding authors working in countries covered by the Research4Life Initiative (see the Wiley Open Access Waiver Country List). In exceptional circumstances charges may be reduced for authors who can provide evidence that they are unable to pay the fees.

Upon acceptance, the corresponding author will receive instructions by email for completing the relevant license forms.

Processing of an accepted manuscript for publication can only proceed once the funding and payment details have been provided via the system and the licence to publish has been returned.

Authors who receive funding from an agency or institution with a Wiley Open Access Account do not pay directly - the charge is paid by the institution or funder. Authors whose institutions have paid the Wiley Open Access partner fee are eligible for a discount on the publication charge - on acceptance a discounted fee is payable by the author. Please see additional details on the online payment page when you submit your revised manuscript.

Molecular Systems Biology articles are freely accessible to all via the Internet and are also deposited immediately upon publication, without embargo, to the Open Access repository PubMed Central.

Copyright on any article published by Molecular Systems Biology is retained by the author(s).

Molecular Systems Biology articles are published under the Creative Commons Attribution CC BY 4.0 License. This license permits users to access, download, copy, display and redistribute Molecular Systems Biology articles, as well as adapt, translate, text- and data-mine the content subject to the following conditions:

  • The authors' moral rights are not compromised. These rights include the right of "paternity" (also known as "attribution" - the right for the author to be identified as such) and "integrity" (the right for the author not to have the work altered in such a way that the author's reputation or integrity may be impugned).
  • If article content is copied, downloaded or otherwise reused, a link to the appropriate bibliographic citation (authors, journal, article title, volume, issue, page numbers, DOI and the link to the definitive published version) should be maintained. Copyright notices and disclaimers must not be deleted.
  • Where content in the article is identified as belonging to a third party, it is the obligation of the user to ensure that any reuse complies with the copyright policies of the owner of that content.

Please note that any file labeled “Source Data”, “Dataset” or “Resource” is released under a Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal Licence. This waiver removes legal barriers to the re-use and mining of research data. According to standard scholarly practice, it is recommended to provide appropriate citation and attribution whenever technically possible.


Submit to Molecular Systems Biology here.