Recommended Nomenclature Instructions to Authors

Below is the information we would suggest you include in the “Instructions to Authors” section of your journal:

Authors should use approved gene nomenclature where this is available.

For human genes, please use symbols approved by the HUGO Gene Nomenclature Committee (HGNC). HGNC nomenclature can be queried at http://www.genenames.org/tools/multi-symbol-checker. Approved human gene symbols should be obtained, prior to submission of your manuscript, from the HGNC via their website request form or by contacting:

HUGO Gene Nomenclature Committee (HGNC)
European Bioinformatics Institute (EMBL-EBI),
Wellcome Genome Campus,
Hinxton,
Cambridgeshire
CB10 1SD,
United Kingdom
e-mail: hgnc@genenames.org.

For genes in non-human vertebrates, please use symbols approved by the relevant species specific nomenclature committee (listed below) or the Vertebrate Gene Nomenclature Committee (VGNC). A list of the species the VGNC currently approves nomenclature for can be found within the Species list page labeled as “Full gene set”, and approved nomenclature can be queried at vertebrate.genenames.org. Authors proposing novel gene nomenclature are encouraged to contact the relevant nomenclature committee or the VGNC prior to publication. Please note that wherever possible orthologs of human genes should follow that of the human ortholog. The VGNC can be contacted via their website request form, via the email address vgnc@genenames.org or by contacting the VGNC at the address listed above.

Please note that all prepublication data will be treated confidentially if requested.


The species listed below all have gene nomenclature committees. Please use the nomenclature they have approved by searching for gene symbols at the following links:

Mouse: http://www.informatics.jax.org
Rat: http://rgd.mcw.edu
Chicken: http://birdgenenames.org/cgnc/
Xenopus: http://www.xenbase.org
Zebrafish: http://zfin.org
Drosophila: http://flybase.org
C. elegans: http://www.wormbase.org
Arabidopsis: http://www.arabidopsis.org
Yeast: http://www.yeastgenome.org

The following paragraph of background information can be included where desired:

The HUGO Gene Nomenclature Committee (HGNC) is responsible for approving and implementing unique human gene symbols and names, and works closely with other nomenclature groups and model organism databases. Considerable efforts are made to approve symbols acceptable to workers in the field, but sometimes it is not possible to use exactly what has previously appeared in the literature. In such cases the previously used symbols are listed as synonyms for the approved nomenclature in the HGNC database and NCBI Gene, to allow retrieval of all the information available for each gene.