Instructions for Authors

Aims and scope

Baghdad Journal of Biochemistry and Applied Biological Sciences (BJ-BABS) is an international, English language, peer-reviewed scholarly publication in the area of biomedical sciences; published by the College of Medicine, Al-Nahrain University and is edited by an international group of eminent researchers. The BJ-BABS publishes original papers, reviews and short communications on, but not limited to:

  • Biochemistry (medical, clinical, analytical)
  • Biotechnology (medical, nanobiotechnology)
  • Complementary and alternative medicine
  • Endocrinology, diabetes and metabolism
  • Microbiology (medical, food)
  • Molecular and cell biology


Types of articles

BJ-BABS considers original research articles, review articles, and short communications for publication. Editorials by the editorial team and letters to the editor by other researchers about the articles published in previous issues of the journal are also can be published. The submitted manuscripts should be formatted according to their types:

Original (full-length) research articles

  • Abstract: Structured (Background and objective, Methods, Results, and Conclusions)
  • Manuscript’s structure: Introduction, Materials and methods, Results, Discussion, and Conclusions. Results and Discussion can be merged in one section.
  • Figures: Up to 10
  • Tables: Up to 10
  • References: Should not exceed 40
  • Highlights: Optional
  • Graphical abstracts: Mandatory
  • Word count (including all sub-headings but excluding abstract, figure/table legends and references): Should not exceed 3,500
  • The STROBE statement should be used when reporting observational studies (cohort, case-control, and cross-sectional studies), and STARD statement which consists of a 25-item should be used for diagnostic accuracy studies (download checklist’s template: STROBE, STARD). Uploading the checklist, along with the manuscript during submission, is necessary for accepting submissions


Review articles

Systematic reviews (with or without meta-analysis)

  • Abstract: Structured (Background and objective, Methods, Results, and Conclusions)
  • Manuscript’s structure: Introduction, Materials and methods, Results, Discussion, and Conclusions. Results and Discussion can be merged in one section.
  • Figures: Up to 10
  • Tables: Up to 10
  • References: Should not exceed 80
  • Highlights: Optional
  • Graphical abstracts: Mandatory
  • Word count (including all sub-headings but excluding abstract, figure/table legends and references): Should not exceed 5,000
  • Authors should prepare their manuscripts in accordance with PRISMA Compliant, and the checklist is necessary for accepting submissions (download: PRISMA checklist)


Narrative reviews

  • Abstract: Unstructured
  • Manuscript’s structure: Introduction, Main text, and Conclusions.
  • Figures: Unspecified
  • Tables: Unspecified
  • References: Should not exceed 150
  • Highlights: Mandatory
  • Graphical abstracts: Mandatory
  • Word count (including all sub-headings but excluding abstract, figure/table legends and references): Should not exceed 10,000


Short communications

  • Abstract: Structured (Background and objective, Methods, Results, and Conclusions)
  • Manuscript’s structure: Introduction, Materials and methods, Results and discussion, and Conclusions. Results and Discussion should be merged in one section.
  • Figures: Up to 5
  • Tables: Up to 5
  • References: Should not exceed 20
  • Highlights: Optional
  • Graphical abstracts: Mandatory
  • Word count (including all sub-headings but excluding abstract, figure/table legends and references): Should not exceed 1,500



  • Abstract: Not applicable
  • Manuscript’s structure: Unstructured
  • Figures: Unspecified
  • Tables: Unspecified
  • References: Should not exceed 15
  • Highlights: Not applicable
  • Graphical abstracts: Not applicable
  • Word count (including all sub-headings but excluding abstract, figure/table legends and references): Should not exceed 1,000


Letters to the editor

  • Abstract: Not applicable
  • Manuscript’s structure: Unstructured (should be a note or comment on a paper published in BJ-BABS). Opinions can also be considered.
  • Figures: Maximum 1
  • Tables: Maximum 1
  • References: Should not exceed 10
  • Highlights: Not applicable
  • Graphical abstracts: Not applicable
  • Word count (including all sub-headings but excluding abstract, figure/table legends and references): Should not exceed 500 characters


Submission checklist

You can use this list to carry out a final check of your submission before you send it to the journal for review. Please check the relevant section in this Guide for Authors for more details.


​​​​​​​Cover letter (you can find the template here)

When you submit your work to BJ-BABS, you should include a cover letter. This is a great opportunity to highlight to the editor what makes your research new and important. The cover letter should explain why your work is perfect for the journal and why it will be of interest to the journal’s readers. A well-written cover letter can help your paper reach the next stage of the process – being sent out for peer review. So it’s worth spending time thinking about how to write a cover letter to the journal editor, to make sure it’s going to be effective. In the cover letter, the corresponding author should confirm that the submission has not been previously published, nor is it before submitted for another journal for consideration (or an explanation has been provided in Comments to the Editor). Providing a list of three or more potential reviewers outside the author’s affiliation country is also encouraged. In addition to highlighting the importance and novelty of your work, the cover letter should include a declarations statements and acknowledgments, as follows:​​​​​​​


  • Authors’ contribution statement
  • Conflict of interests’ statement
  • Data availability statement
  • Funding resources
  • Institutional ethical approvals and consents


  • Personal acknowledgements should precede those of institutions or agencies only (not referees).
  • The funding agency (if any) which supported the work, must be clearly mentioned.


​​​​​​​Title page (you can find the template here)

  • Article’s full title: Should be concise, informative, and in lower case characters except the first letter.
  • Running head: No more than 50 characters.
  • Author names: Should be in the following format (Example: Mohammad A. Abdullah or Abdul-Lateef Mousa (if no middle name). Middle name should be abbreviated.
  • Order of Author names should be suffixed with number in superscript (Example: Mohammad A. Abdullah1 & Abdul-Lateef Mousa2). If the affiliation for all the authors is the same then of superscript is not needed.
  • Corresponding author’s name should be identified with a superscript asterisk * (Example: Mohammad A. Abdullah1,*).
  • E-mail and contact address of all authors should be present in the title page and should mention the email address of corresponding author. At least one author should provide his institutional email address.


​​​​​​​Blinded manuscript (you can find the template here)

  • According to the submission’s type, the blinded manuscript should be formatted in a Microsoft Office Word. The file of blinded manuscript should include (Full article’s title, abstract, keywords, body of the manuscript according to its type, abbreviations, and references). Five keywords relating to the concerned subject should be given in alphabetical order separated by semicolons. The manuscript’s lines should be numbered. Font’s recommended are Times New Roman and Arial, 12-point with spaces between lines of 1.5.
  • Heading and subheadings should be left indented lower case characters (except the first letter). All main headings should be numbered and in bold characters. Sub-headings should be in normal characters (not bold) and shall follow the number from main headings (Example: 1. Heading, 1.1. Sub Heading 1.2. Sub Heading etc.)



  • High quality figures should be provided (TIFF or JPEG), screenshots are not acceptable
  • Should not be used previously in any other published work without permissions
  • Figures should be numbered serially and should appear in text in order
  • Should be cited within the text
  • Should be placed in their exact places



Please submit tables as editable text and not as images. Tables should be placed next to the relevant text in the article. Number tables consecutively in accordance with their appearance in the text and place any table notes below the table body. Be sparing in the use of tables and ensure that the data presented in them do not duplicate results described elsewhere in the article. Please avoid using vertical rules and shading in table cells.


​​​​​​​Supplementary materials

Supplementary material such as applications, images and sound clips, can be published with your article to enhance it. Submitted supplementary items are published exactly as they are received (Excel or PowerPoint files will appear as such online). Please submit your material together with the article and supply a concise, descriptive caption for each supplementary file. If you wish to make changes to supplementary material during any stage of the process, please make sure to provide an updated file. Do not annotate any corrections on a previous version. Please switch off the “Track Changes” option in Microsoft Office files as these will appear in the published version.



Highlights help increase the discoverability of your article via search engines. They consist of a short collection of bullet points that capture the novel results of your research as well as new methods that were used during the study (if any). Highlights should be submitted in a separate editable file in the online submission system. Please use “Highlights” in the file name and include 3 to 5 bullet points (maximum 85 characters, including spaces, per bullet point).


​​​​​​​Graphical abstract

The graphical abstract is mandatory for all future submissions to BJ-BABS (except the Editorials and Letters to the Editor) as of March 2022; its use is encouraged as it draws more attention to the online article. The graphical abstract should summarize the contents of the article in a concise, pictorial form designed to capture the attention of a wide readership. Graphical abstracts should be submitted as a separate file in the online submission system. Preferred file types: TIFF, EPS, PDF or MS Office files. The Editorial Office Staff can assist in designing the abstracts.



  • Citations can be given in Harvard style, Vancouver style, or any other style at initial submission (i.e. no special format is needed).
  • References should be listed in the References section when the authors complete the submission process and the total number of references should not be exceeded (refer to articles’ types section).
  • References should not be numbered.
  • The year in references should be within parenthesis [e.g. (1981)].
  • Authors are responsible for accuracy of references.
  • References’ doi should be mentioned (if any).
  • Page number should be mentioned in the references.



Manuscripts can only be submitted online via the submission system at:


After submission (peer-review process)

The rigour of a peer review process ensures the quality of a research article. BJ-BABS employs a rigorous peer review system. All submitted manuscripts undergo a peer review process before publication. Only manuscripts of sufficient quality that meet the aims and scope of BJ-BABS will be reviewed.

All manuscripts are reviewed initially by the editors and only those papers that meet the standards of the journal, and fit within its aims and scope, are sent for outside review. Upon initial review, if the corresponding (associate) editor feels that a manuscript does not meet the required standards, the decision not to send for external review is final. Submissions that are rejected at this stage may not fit with the aims and scope of the journal, may not be sufficiently original, may contain serious methodological flaws, be unintelligible, or draw unwarranted conclusions from data presented.

If the editors decide that a submission be sent for external review, it will be sent to at least two reviewers, and normally three. All manuscripts are sent anonymously in order to ensure unbiased consideration by the referees. Any other indications of authorship are removed in order to ensure that publication is not dependent upon irrelevant factors such as race, gender, religion, ethnicity or political commitment.

Submissions are normally reviewed within 1 month of submission, although due to the rigorous double-blind peer review system this sometimes takes longer. Authors should expect a decision on a submission within 2 months. The Editor-in-Chief is responsible for making the final editorial decisions.


After acceptance

Proof correction

  • To ensure a fast publication process of the article, we kindly ask authors to provide us with their proof corrections within two days. Corresponding authors will receive an e-mail with an edited manuscript from the copyeditor, allowing annotation and correction of proofs. The authors can comment on figures/tables and answer questions from the Copy Editor. If preferred, you can still choose to annotate and upload your edits on the PDF version. All instructions for proofing will be given in the e-mail we send to authors, including alternative methods to the commenting on PDF.
  • We will do everything possible to get your article published quickly and accurately. Please use this proof only for checking the typesetting, editing, completeness and correctness of the text, tables and figures. Significant changes to the article as accepted for publication will only be considered at this stage with permission from the editor. It is important to ensure that all corrections are sent back to us in one communication. Please check carefully before replying, as inclusion of any subsequent corrections cannot be guaranteed. Proofreading is solely your responsibility.


​​​​​​​Author inquiries

You can track your submitted article by clicking here and signing in. You are also welcome to contact Author Support and for journal related information via [email protected], [email protected], or 00964-780-001-1009 (Raid J. Timimi, Ph.D.).


Editorial policies and general notes

Ethical consideration

BJ-BABS applied to be a member of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE). COPE’s flowcharts and guidelines are approached in confronting any ethical misbehavior. The Journal also follows the guidelines mentioned in the Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing and Publication of Scholarly Work in Medical Journals issued by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE).

  1. Human and animal rights: Studies that involve human beings or animals must adhere to the principles of the Declaration of Helsinki.
  1. Informed consent: All patients and participants in a research project should be thoroughly informed about the aims of the study and any possible side effects of the drugs and interventions. Written informed consent from the participants or their legal guardians is necessary for any such studies. BJ-BABS reserves the right to request the related documents. Articles that require informed consent should contain related statements in the methodology section.



Authors must make sure that all only contributors who have significantly contributed to the submission are listed as authors and, conversely, that all contributors who have significantly contributed to the submission are listed as authors. If persons other than authors were involved in important aspects of the research project and the preparation of the manuscript, their contribution should be acknowledged in a footnote or the Acknowledgments section.

Authors are expected to consider carefully the list and order of authors before submitting their manuscript and provide the definitive list of authors at the time of the original submission. Any addition, deletion or rearrangement of author names in the authorship list should be made only before the manuscript has been accepted and only if approved by the journal editor. To request such a change, the editor must receive the following from the corresponding author: (a) the reason for the change in author list and (b) written confirmation (e-mail, letter) from all authors that they agree with the addition, removal or rearrangement. In the case of addition or removal of authors, this includes confirmation from the author being added or removed.

Only in exceptional circumstances will the editor consider the addition, deletion or rearrangement of authors after the manuscript has been accepted. While the editor considers the request, publication of the manuscript will be suspended. If the manuscript has already been published in an online issue, any requests approved by the editor will result in a corrigendum.


​​​​​​​Conflict of interest

Authors should disclose in their manuscript any financial or other substantive conflict of interest that might have influenced the presented results or their interpretation. 



As of 2023, the authors retain the copyright of their manuscripts by submitting the works to this journal, and all open access articles are distributed under the terms of Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 4.0 International), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium or format, and to alter, transform, or build upon the material, including for commercial use, provided the original author is properly cited. For the content published before 2023, the authors retain the copyright of their manuscripts by submitting the works to the journal, and all open access articles were distributed under the terms of Creative Commons Attribution NonCommercial License (CC BY-NC 4.0 International), which permits use for any non-commercial purpose, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided that the original work is properly cited.



The views expressed in the published works do not express the views of the editors and editorial staff. The authors take legal and moral responsibility for the ideas expressed in the articles. Publisher shall have no liability in the event of issuance of any claims for damages. The Publisher will not be held legally responsible should there be any claims for compensation. Our editorial policy is consistent with the principles of editorial independence presented by the World Association of Medical Editors (WAME).


​​​​​​​Data fabrication/falsification

Falsification is the practice of omitting or altering research materials, data, or processes so that the results of the research are no longer accurately reflected. Fabrication is the practice of inventing data or results and reporting them in the research. Both of these misconducts are fraudulent and seriously alter the integrity of research. Therefore, articles must be written based on original data and use of falsified or fabricated data is strongly prohibited. In confronting cases with fabricated or falsified data COPE’s flowcharts and guidelines are followed. Researchers who perform randomized or controlled clinical trials are advised to keep their original data at hand. The Journal keeps the right to ask for raw data even after publication.



Image manipulation

BJB-ABS encourages authors to send their original images. All digital images in manuscripts accepted for publication will be checked for inappropriate manipulation. No specific feature within an image may be enhanced, obscured, moved, removed, or introduced. Adjustments of brightness, contrast, or color balance are acceptable as long as they are applied to the entire image and do not misrepresent any information present in the original, including the background. The editors will request the original data from the authors to compare the manipulated figures in cases suspected of inappropriate manipulation.



Fundamental errors in published works

When an author discovers a significant error or inaccuracy in his/her own published work, it is the author’s obligation to promptly notify the journal editor or publisher and cooperate with the editor to retract or correct the paper. By submitting a manuscript, the authors agree to abide by the BJ-BABS’s editorial policies.



Please write your text in good English (American or British usage is accepted, but not a mixture of these). Authors who feel their English language manuscript may require editing to eliminate possible grammatical or spelling errors and to conform to correct scientific English may wish to use the English Language Editing service available from certified publishers.


​​​​​​​Open access

BJ-BABS is an Open Access Journal. All articles can be downloaded free of charge under the CC BY 4.0 International License. The journal does not charge any fees at submission, reviewing, and production stages.



The submitted manuscripts are subject to a peer review process. The purpose of peer review is to assists the editorial board in making editorial decisions and through the editorial communication with the author it may also assist the author in improving the manuscript. This journal uses double-blind review, which means that both the reviewer and author identities are concealed from the reviewers, and vice versa, throughout the review process.

The choice of reviewers is at the editors’ discretion. The reviewers must be knowledgeable about the subject area of the manuscript; they must not be from the authors’ own institution and they should not have recent joint publications with any of the authors. All of the reviewers of a manuscript act independently and they are not aware of each other’s identities. If the decisions of the two reviewers are not the same (accept/reject), the editor may assign additional reviewers. During the review process, the editor may require authors to provide additional information (including raw data) if they are necessary for the evaluation of the scholarly merit of the manuscript. These materials shall be kept confidential and must not be used for personal gain.

The editorial team shall ensure reasonable quality control for the reviews. With respect to reviewers whose reviews are convincingly questioned by authors, special attention will be paid to ensure that the reviews are objective and high in academic standard. When there is any doubt with regard to the objectivity of the reviews or quality of the review, additional reviewers will be assigned.



Plagiarism, where someone assumes another’s ideas, words, or other creative expression as one’s own, is a clear violation of scientific ethics. Plagiarism may also involve a violation of copyright law, punishable by legal action.

Plagiarism includes the following:

  • Word for word, or almost word for word copying, or purposely paraphrasing portions of another author’s work without clearly indicating the source or marking the copied fragment (for example, using quotation marks);
  • Copying equations, figures or tables from someone else’s paper without properly citing the source and/or without permission from the original author or the copyright holder.

Please note that all submissions are thoroughly checked for plagiarism by turnitin. And, any manuscript that shows obvious signs of plagiarism will be automatically rejected. Acceptable similarity index is ≤20%, with no similarities of >5% with single reference. In case when plagiarism is discovered in a paper that has already been published by the journal, it will be retracted according to retraction policy.


​​​​​​​Procedures for dealing with unethical behavior

Anyone may inform the editors and/or editorial staff at any time of suspected unethical behavior or any type of misconduct by giving the necessary information/evidence to start an investigation.


  • Editor-in-Chief will consult with the editorial board on decisions regarding the initiation of an investigation.
  • During an investigation, any evidence should be treated as strictly confidential and only made available to those strictly involved in investigation.
  • The accused will always be given the chance to respond to any charges made against them.
  • If it is judged at the end of the investigation that misconduct has occurred, then it will be classified as either minor or serious.


Minor misconductMinor misconduct will be dealt directly with those involved without involving any other parties, e.g.:

  • Communicating to authors/reviewers whenever a minor issue involving misunderstanding or misapplication of academic standards has occurred.
  • A warning letter to an author or reviewer regarding minor misconduct.


Major misconduct: The Editor-in-Chief, in consultation with the editorial board, and, when appropriate, further consultation with a small group of experts should make any decision regarding the course of action to be taken using the evidence available. The possible outcomes are as follows (these can be used separately or jointly):

  • Publication of a formal announcement or editorial describing the misconduct.
  • Informing the author’s (or reviewer’s) head of department or employer of any misconduct by means of a formal letter.
  • The formal, announced retraction of publications from the journal in accordance with the Retraction Policy (see below).
  • A ban on submissions from an individual for a defined period.
  • Referring a case to a professional organization or legal authority for further investigation and action.


When dealing with unethical behavior, the editorial staff will rely on the guidelines and recommendations provided by the COPE.




Legal limitations of the publisher, copyright holder or author(s), infringements of professional ethical codes, such as multiple submissions, bogus claims of authorship, plagiarism, fraudulent use of data or any major misconduct require retraction of an article. Occasionally a retraction can be used to correct errors in submission or publication. The main reason for withdrawal or retraction is to correct the mistake while preserving the integrity of science; it is not to punish the author.

Standards for dealing with retractions have been developed by a number of library and scholarly bodies, and this practice has been adopted for article retraction by BJ-BABS in the electronic version of the retraction note, a link is made to the original article. In the electronic version of the original article, a link is made to the retraction note where it is clearly stated that the article has been retracted. The original article is retained unchanged, save for a watermark on the PDF indicating on each page that it is “retracted.”



The BJ-BABS allows authors to deposit pre-print in an institutional repository and non-commercial subject-based repositories or to publish it on author’s personal website (including social networking sites, such as ResearchGate,, etc.) and/or departmental website, at any time after acceptance for publication. Full bibliographic information (authors, article title, journal title, volume, issue, pages) about the original publication must be provided and a link must be made to the article’s DOI.

In addition to self-archiving policy of the BJ-BABS, all the published content is archived in IASJ (the Iraqi Academic Scientific Journals, national digital archive) and Portico (international digital archiving service), as of 2020.



The BJ-BABS is currently indexed in the below-listed databases, and aims to be indexed in other globally reputed databases such as DOAJ, SCOPUS, WOS, PubMed and PMC: