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About Retrovirology

This page includes information about the aims and scope of Retrovirology, editorial policies, open access and article-processing charges, the peer review process and other information. For details of how to prepare and submit a manuscript through the online submission system, please see the instructions for authors.

Aims & scope

Retrovirology is an open access, online journal that publishes stringently peer-reviewed, high-impact articles on basic retrovirus research.

Retroviruses are pleiotropically found in animals. Well-described examples include avian, murine and primate retroviruses. Two human retroviruses are especially important pathogens. These are the human immunodeficiency virus, HIV, and the human T-cell leukemia virus, HTLV. HIV causes AIDS while HTLV-I is the etiological agent for adult T-cell leukemia. There is a large amount of basic research being conducted on HIV and HTLV-I spanning gene expression, virus structure-assembly, integration, replication, and pathogenesis. Retrovirology intends to cover these areas of human and animal retrovirus research.

In any given issue of an extant print virology journal, research papers on retroviruses, especially primate retroviruses, make up the largest subcategory of manuscripts. Retroviruses are responsible for many kinds of medically important pathologies including immunodeficiencies and cancers. Hence, there is a large publication demand and a significant research interest for an open access journal, which emphasizes basic retrovirus research. The open access format is ideally suited for communicating cutting edge information to a large audience quickly.

Retrovirology only considers review articles which have been invited by our Reviews Editor. If you have a suggestion for a topic which you feel should be covered, please do contact us via

Open access

All articles published by Retrovirology are made freely and permanently accessible online immediately upon publication, without subscription charges or registration barriers. Further information about open access can be found here.

Authors of articles published in Retrovirology are the copyright holders of their articles and have granted to any third party, in advance and in perpetuity, the right to use, reproduce or disseminate the article, according to the BioMed Central copyright and license agreement.

For authors who are US government employees or are prevented from being copyright holders for similar reasons, BioMed Central can accommodate non-standard copyright lines. Please contact us if further information is needed.

Article-processing charges

Open access publishing is not without costs. Retrovirology therefore levies an article-processing charge of £1445/$2260/€1840 for each article accepted for publication. If the corresponding author's institution is a Member, the cost of the article-processing charge is covered by the membership, and no further charge is payable. In the case of authors whose institutions are Supporter Members, however, a discounted article-processing charge is payable by the author. We routinely waive charges for authors from low-income countries. For other countries, article-processing charge waivers or discounts are granted on a case-by-case basis to authors with insufficient funds. Authors can request a waiver or discount during the submission process. For further details, see our article-processing charge page.

Indexing services

All articles published in Retrovirology are included in PubMed, the most widely used biomedical bibliographic database service, which is run by the US National Library of Medicine. Other bibliographic databases that index articles published in Retrovirology include:

  • Biological Abstracts
  • CABI
  • CAS
  • Citebase
  • Current contents
  • DOAJ
  • Embase
  • EmBiology
  • Global Health
  • Google Scholar
  • OAIster
  • PubMed
  • PubMed Central
  • Science Citation Index
  • Science Citation Index Expanded
  • SCImago
  • Scopus
  • Zetoc

The full text of all research articles is deposited in PubMed Central, the US National Library of Medicine's full-text repository of life science literature, and other digital archives including e-Depot (The Netherlands).

The full text of all research articles published by BioMed Central is also available on SpringerLink.

Retrovirology is tracked by Thomson Reuters (ISI) and has an Impact Factor of 4.19.

Publication and peer review process

Content overview

Retrovirology considers the following types of articles:

  • Commentaries: short, focused and opinionated articles on any subject within the journal's scope. These articles are usually related to a contemporary issue, such as recent research findings. They focus on specific issues and are about 800 words.
  • Correspondences: can take the form of a substantial re-analysis of a previously published article, a brief report of research findings or an article that may not be ‘standard research’ but is of general interest to the broad readership of Retrovirology.
  • Hypotheses: short articles presenting an untested original hypothesis backed solely by previously published results rather than any new evidence. They should outline significant progress in thinking that would also be testable, and be about 1500 words.
  • Research: reports of data from original research.
  • Short reports: brief reports of data from original research, usually about 1500 words.
  • Viewpoints: specially commissioned by the Editor-in-Chief to highlight recent developments in retrovirology.

Retrovirology only considers review articles which have been invited by our Reviews Editor. If you have a suggestion for a topic which you feel should be covered, please do contact us via

Peer review policies

A manuscript submitted to Retrovirology will be evaluated by the Editor-in-Chief, who may decline it or assign it to an Associate Editor for review. The Associate Editor then recruits one or more of the Editorial Board to give comments, and based on these s/he will reject, accept or request revisions of the manuscript. The Associate Editor can call upon an outside expert should s/he feel the need. It is expected that the review period will not exceed three weeks. Based on the reviews, the Associate Editor will make a recommendation to the Editor-in-Chief for rejection, revision or acceptance. Rejected works are permitted one additional round of re-submission. If the resubmitted work is declined again the decision is final.

Authors will be able to check the progress of their manuscript through the submission system at any time by logging into My Retrovirology, a personalized section of the site.


High-quality, bound reprints can be purchased for all articles published. Please see our reprints website for further information about ordering reprints.


Retrovirology will consider supplements based on proceedings (full articles or meeting abstracts), reviews or research. All articles submitted for publication in supplements are subject to peer review. Published supplements are fully searchable and freely accessible online and can also be produced in print. All full length articles (proceedings, reviews or research articles) are indexed by PubMed. PubMed displays the title of the supplement only in the case of meeting abstract collections. For further information, please contact us.

Editorial policies

All manuscripts submitted to Retrovirology should adhere to BioMed Central's editorial policies.

Citing articles in Retrovirology

Articles in Retrovirology should be cited in the same way as articles in a traditional journal. Because articles are not printed, they do not have page numbers; instead, they are given a unique article number.

Article citations follow this format:

Authors: Title. Retrovirology [year], [volume number]:[article number].

e.g. Roberts LD, Hassall DG, Winegar DA, Haselden JN, Nicholls AW, Griffin JL: Increased hepatic oxidative metabolism distinguishes the action of Peroxisome Proliferator-Activated Receptor delta from Peroxisome Proliferator-Activated Receptor gamma in the Ob/Ob mouse. Retrovirology 2009, 1:115.

refers to article 115 from Volume 1 of the journal.

Why publish your article in Retrovirology?

High visibility

Retrovirology's open access policy allows maximum visibility of articles published in the journal as they are available to a wide, global audience. Articles that have been especially highly accessed are highlighted with a 'Highly accessed' graphic, which appears on the journal's contents pages and search results.

Speed of publication

Retrovirology offers a fast publication schedule whilst maintaining rigorous peer review; all articles must be submitted online, and peer review is managed fully electronically (articles are distributed in PDF form, which is automatically generated from the submitted files). Articles will be published with their final citation after acceptance, in both fully browsable web form, and as a formatted PDF; the article will then be available through Retrovirology, BioMed Central and PubMed Central and will also be included in PubMed.


Online publication in Retrovirology gives authors the opportunity to publish large datasets, large numbers of color illustrations and moving pictures, to display data in a form that can be read directly by other software packages so as to allow readers to manipulate the data for themselves, and to create all relevant links (for example, to PubMed, to sequence and other databases, and to other articles).

Promotion and press coverage

Articles published in Retrovirology are included in article alerts and regular email updates. Some may be included in abstract books mailed to academics and are highlighted on Retrovirology's pages and on the BioMed Central homepage.

In addition, articles published in Retrovirology may be promoted by press releases to the general or scientific press. These activities increase the exposure and number of accesses for articles published in Retrovirology. A list of articles recently press-released by journals published by BioMed Central is available here.

Authors of articles published in Retrovirology retain the copyright of their articles and are free to reproduce and disseminate their work (for further details, see the BioMed Central copyright policy and license agreement).

For further information about the advantages of publishing in a journal from BioMed Central, please click here.