Journal Policies

Meat and Muscle Biology's policies are also available in the Policies, Style Guide, and Instructions for Authors document.

Publication Ethics

MMB is committed to meet the highest ethical standards throughout its review and publication process. MMB follows rigorous review guidelines and the review and editorial processes adhere to the Core Practices developed by the Committee on Publishing Ethics (COPE). MMB uses a plagiarism check software for the initial screening process to ensure the integrity of research. MMB is not published for profit and its editorial decisions are not influenced by outside interests.

Animal Care and Use of Human Subjects in Research

If live animals are used in the research, then submission of the manuscript signifies that the research has followed established standards for humane care and use of animals. The standard which was followed and a statement of the approval or waiver by the appropriate authorities or Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) must be submitted with the manuscript.  Research involving humans as subjects should clearly describe the reason for and extent to which human participation was necessary for the research. As required by law or the institution policies, the agency or institutional review board (IRB) approvals for human subject use should be described. If institutional review boards or committees do not exist, then authors must make sure that the research has followed the 2013 revised Declaration of Helsinki. Documentation of the IACUC and/or IRB status must be made available upon request. The statements of compliance should preferably be at the beginning of the Methods and Materials section rather than in the Acknowledgements section of the manuscript.

Conflicts of Interest

The integrity and credibility of published articles is partially based on the transparency of relationships surrounding all aspects of the research and its publication. Authors, reviewers, editors, and agents of AMSA are required to disclose possible conflict of interest situations, actual or perceived, that may affect or appear to affect the objectivity, impartiality, and overall integrity of the peer review process and publication of research. Conflicts of interest may be from employment; financial benefit; personal, social, or professional relationships; or other situations. Disclosure of potential or real conflicts of interest are required, but do not necessarily exclude a paper from consideration for publication. Failure to disclose actual or perceived conflicts of interest in the manuscript when submitted may result in rejection of the manuscript or retraction of a published paper from the journal.

Author conflicts of interest

Conflict of interest situations that authors should report are those concerning financial interests in the outcome of the research. It is not possible to anticipate or describe every potential conflict of interest, authors should communicate to the Editor-in-Chief at the time of manuscript submission of known or perceived conflicts of interest, including those with any potential reviewer or editor.

  1. a financial interest in the outcome of the research or a relationship that might affect judgment of the data or results by the author, close family member of the author, or professional associate (as defined by National Institutes of Health)
  2. service as an employee, officer, director, owner, member, or trustee of an organization with a financial interest in the outcome of the research or as a consultant, advisor, expert witness, or advocate on behalf of an entity with a financial interest in the outcome
  3. support of the research, including grants, contracts, subcontracts, fellowships, consulting agreements, gifts, services, or other nonfinancial benefits with a company or organization having a financial interest in the outcome
  4. employment, rights to patent applications, patents, sales, licensing, or royalty agreements or memoranda of understanding; service on advisory boards, speaker or review panels; or ownership of stock or shares in a company or organization that might gain or lose financially based upon the outcome

Reviewer and editor conflicts of interest

Peer manuscript reviewers and editors are expected to provide independent and impartial reviews and decisions on manuscripts and so are bound by the same conflicts of interest ethical concerns as for authors. Additionally, reviewers and editors will have a conflict of interest if they have financial or personal interests directly with the author(s) that might affect or might be perceived to affect the impartiality of manuscript review and decisions. Potential conflicts include, but are not limited to,

  1. collaborations, research grants, contracts, subcontracts, or consulting directly with any of the authors or other investigators or key personnel on the research in the manuscript
  2. serving as an advisor or advisee to author(s) on the current manuscript
  3. employment (current, pending, or prospective) at the author(s) institution or company that could be affected by the peer review process or manuscript decision.

Reviewers are obligated to indicate if they have a vested interest in the publication of a manuscript that would compromise their ability to serve as an impartial reviewer. Reviewers who feel unable to give an independent and unbiased review when invited or during the course of their review should contact MMB so they can be removed from the review assignment. Potential reviewers or editors with actual or perceived conflicts of interest will not be involved in the manuscript decision process. Editors who are authors or coauthors on manuscripts will be excluded from the decision processes, but will have the usual author or coauthor access to manuscript information.

Expectations of Authors and Manuscripts

Authors are expected to adhere to scientific methods in conducting, evaluating, and reporting research in manuscripts submitted to MMB. Each manuscript must contain a clear description of the conduct or protocol for the experiment, including the experimental conditions, experimental design, experimental units, number of observations, and the method and statistical model by which the data were statistically analyzed.

Eligibility of Authors

Membership in the American Meat Science Association is not required for publishing in MMB. Members, however, do receive a discount on publication charges. Authors who wish to join AMSA to receive this discount should do so before the paper is accepted for publication. Membership information is available on the AMSA website.

Authorship and Author Contributions

The authorship criteria should be clearly defined and agreed upon by all contributors before the work begins. The corresponding author bears responsibility for ensuring that all authors meet the authorship criteria based on the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) guidelines. To be considered an author, individuals must have made significant contributions to the conception, design, acquisition, analysis, or interpretation of data, contributed to drafting or revising the work, provided final approval of the version to be published, agreed to be accountable for all aspects of the work, and agreed to be named on the author list. Individuals who do not meet these criteria may be acknowledged in the publication, but they should not be listed as authors. Funding sources, research group supervisors, administrative support, and proofreaders may be acknowledged but not named as authors. It may be advisable for authors to obtain written permission from those being acknowledged, as their inclusion in the publication may be perceived as an endorsement.

Authors should carefully consider the authorship list and order before submitting their manuscript and provide the final authorship list at the time of submission. Any changes to the authorship list, such as additions, deletions, or rearrangements, must be made before manuscript acceptance and with approval from the journal Editor. The corresponding author must explain the reason for the change and obtain written confirmation (via email) from all authors indicating their agreement to the change. If an author is added or removed, their confirmation must also be obtained.

Artificial Intelligence (AI)

For the writing process, text solely generated from artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, or similar algorithmic tools cannot be used in papers published in MMB. Also, AI and AI-assisted technologies should not be listed as an author. Authors should only use these technologies to improve readability and language, such as checking grammar and/or spelling errors. A violation of this policy constitutes scientific misconduct.

Publication Charges

Publication charges are $1,000 for a research paper of 12 typeset pages or less, which is payable at the time a manuscript has been accepted for publication. AMSA members will receive the discounted rate of $850 on publication charges when papers have been accepted and membership has been verified. Publication charges for the Short Communications are $300 and $450 for AMSA members and non-members, respectively. MMB has a flexible pricing structure for countries that may need assistance with the cost of publication ($400 for upper middle-income countries and $0 for lower income and lower middle-income countries) based on World Bank classifications. No papers will be listed in the MMB table of contents or will be available on the MMB website until the publication charge has been received. Invited review papers will not incur page charges while unsolicited review papers will have the same page charges as for research papers, but may be up to 20 typeset pages without additional charges. Research pages longer than 12 typeset pages or unsolicited review papers longer than 20 typeset pages will have additional publication charges at the rate of $200 per page regardless of author membership in AMSA.

Copyright Agreement

Authors must agree to the Copyright Notice for each manuscript when it is submitted through the Iowa State University Digital Press website. Meat and Muscle Biology provides immediate open access to its articles. Author(s) retain copyright in their work and articles are published under a Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY 4.0) license, which allows readers to copy, share, and adapt the article so long as the original article in Meat and Muscle Biology is cited. Material produced by authors on official duty as U.S. government employees is considered to be in the public domain, which will be indicated on the published paper.

Authors of MMB manuscripts who are including materials, often tables or figures, from other copyrighted sources must obtain permission to use these materials from the copyright holder and submit the evidence that this permission has been obtained from the copyright holder when the manuscript is submitted to MMB. Acknowledgement of the use of this material and credit for the source of the material must be included in the manuscript.

No Prior Publication or Simultaneous Submission

Papers submitted to MMB should be original reports of research unless it is a review or issue paper invited or accepted for submission. It is expected that the work has not been previously published in a scientific journal and is not being considered for publication in another scientific journal. Authors must disclose at the time of submission if portions of the paper have been submitted or published elsewhere and to submit copies of the relevant prior publications when the manuscript is submitted. The determination of whether a technical paper such as a Cattlemen’s Day Report or Swine Day publication is a prior scientific publication will be decided for each case, but in general, prior publication is considered if substantial portions of the manuscript sections have been published in the technical media.

Review or issue papers can be submitted if invited by the MMB Editor-in-Chief on a specific topic or as unsolicited review papers on pertinent topics. The Editor-in-Chief will determine the appropriateness and importance of unsolicited manuscripts for peer review. Review papers should provide a synthesis of existing knowledge and give new insights or concepts not previously presented in the literature. They are not exhaustive reviews of the literature, but provide enough literature review to give the reader a sound basis for understanding and interpreting the topic. Review papers are on important subjects needing a scholarly perspective, give balanced coverage of the entire spectrum of the topic, and adds a perspective to the subject not previously available to scientists. Invited issue papers serve the purpose to stimulate discussion and examination of current views on a topic and might be controversial, but should not be confrontational. Authors should contact the MMB Editor-in-Chief before writing and submitting unsolicited issue papers.

General Manuscript Handling Procedures

Authors must complete the Manuscript Submission and Copyright Release form for each manuscript that is submitted. Receipt of manuscripts will be acknowledged by email to the corresponding author and to each co-author. The corresponding author verifies that the other authors have reviewed the manuscript before its submission and that each contributed to the research or report being submitted. The cover letter or title page should give the corresponding author’s current telephone number and email address for use during review and production. After initial confirmation to all authors that the manuscript has been received, then all other correspondence will be only with the corresponding author via the contact information provided upon submission.

Manuscripts are assigned a manuscript number, reviewed for conformity to the MMB desired format, and assigned to an associate editor. The associate editor invites two or more scientists knowledgeable on the research in the manuscript to provide objective peer reviews of the originality, appropriateness of methods, and validity of the results and conclusions. A manuscript may be rejected before it is sent for review because it does not fall within the scope of MMB, does not conform to acceptable scientific standards, or does not follow MMB style guidelines.

The manuscript number assigned by the submission site must be given in all subsequent communications. Authors will be informed as the manuscript moves through the various steps involved in review, review/acceptance/rejection, and publication. Manuscripts accepted for publication are edited for language, grammar and style and prepared for publication by professional editorial staff for MMB. Manuscript proofs are sent in electronic format to authors with instructions for proofreading. Proofs must be returned to the editorial office within 5 days of receipt. After any necessary corrections are made, the journal article is posted to the MMB website, usually within two weeks after return of the corrections.

All papers are given an anonymous review where the names of reviewers are not revealed to the authors of the papers or to the other reviewers. The contact information of authors is entered when a manuscript is submitted in the online manuscript submission system so that editors and technical staff can contact authors about the status of the paper.

Manuscripts may be rejected and not published for several reasons. MMB has high scientific standards and does not accept works that are incomplete, poorly described, poorly designed, lack adequate statistical procedures, lack evidence to support conclusions, lack contributions to science or meat and muscle biology knowledge, or do not advance information in the field of meat and muscle biology science. Papers that are not deemed to fit the journal scope will also be rejected and alternative scientific publication venues will be recommended. Manuscripts that do not follow the guidelines in this Policy, Style Guide, and Instructions for Authors; are not written in clear, concise, organized, and coherent manners; or that have excessive grammar and language difficulties may be rejected before or after being subjected to peer review. Authors are responsible for the contents of manuscripts. Authors who are not proficient in English language and/or scientific writing are urged to have an editing service review the manuscript before it is submitted.

Authors are urged to discuss difficulties with manuscripts with the Editor-in-Chief. Decisions can be appealed with a committee of Editorial Board members consulted to advise the Editor-in-Chief on the disposition of the manuscript. Appeal decisions of the Editor-in-Chief to publish or reject manuscripts are final.

Post-publication Correction and Retractions

Authors, editors, and/or readers may identify errors in published articles. Errors can range from minor typographical errors to more significant issues such as incorrect data, conclusions, or references. If an error is identified in an article published in Meat and Muscle Biology, the author(s) should contact the Editor-in-chief to ensure that errors and misconduct are addressed promptly and transparently. The editor-in-chief will review the error and determine whether it requires a correction or an erratum with editorial staff from the publisher to ensure any necessary changes are made in accordance with guidance from the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE). Corrections can take different forms, such as an erratum, corrigendum, or addendum. An erratum is used to correct a significant error that affects the scientific integrity of the article, such as incorrect data, results, or conclusions. A corrigendum is used for minor errors, such as typographical errors, incorrect author names, or incorrect affiliations. An addendum is used to add information that was not included in the original article. Corrections will be made as soon as possible after the error is identified, but the timeline for correction may vary depending on the severity of the error. Corrections will be clearly labeled and published in the same format and location as the original article.

Procedure for retractions

Retractions are used when there are serious issues with the scientific integrity of an article, such as data falsification, plagiarism, ethical violations, or other forms of misconduct. Retractions are typically initiated by the authors, the editors, or the publisher. The process may involve an investigation by an editorial board or an ethical review board to determine the validity of the claims of misconduct. The decision to issue a retraction for an article will be made in accordance with the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) guidelines. A retraction notice should be published in the same format and location as the original article, clearly stating the reasons for the retraction and providing a link to the corrected or retracted article. The notice should also be disseminated to relevant indexing services, databases, and search engines. Additionally, the lead institution in the published work will be notified of the retraction. Retractions should be made as soon as possible after the issue is identified. The timeline for retraction may vary depending on the severity of the issue and the editorial policies of the journal.

Allegations of Research Misconduct and Publication Malpractice

The editors, reviewers, and publishers will take reasonable precautions to identify and prevent the publication of manuscripts, in which research misconduct and publishing malpractice are suspected. The journal expects the authors to follow highest standards in conduct of research and publication ethics. Research misconduct and publishing malpractice include, but are not limited to, intentional falsification and/or fabrication of research data; plagiarism, including self-plagiarism (i.e., reusing the authors’ own previous publications without any proper citation); and misappropriation of work. The allegations of misconduct and malpractice will be considered serious and dealt according to the COPE guidelines. The submitted manuscripts containing any misconduct and/or malpractice will be rejected immediately. When a published article is found to have any misconduct and/or malpractice, it will be retracted and the retraction will be linked to the original article.

Complaints and Appeals

Any complaints and/or appeals on editorial decisions should be sent directly to the editor-in-chief within 30 days of the date of decision communication, if the authors believes that the decision was biased or erroneous. A letter detailing the grounds for the complaint and/or appeal should be sent to the editor-in-chief. The complaints and appeals will be processed according to COPE guidelines.

Data Sharing and Reproducibility

Authors publishing in Meat and Muscle Biology agree to share their data and other materials that support their analyses or results of the work upon reasonable request. Authors will make the determination about what is a reasonable request and may choose to not share data when doing so would not be ethically correct, would violate the privacy or protection of human subjects, would violate funding agreement, would violate governmental regulations, or would jeopardize privacy or security.