The use of approved nomenclature in publications ensures that relevant papers can be retrieved using the unique approved symbol as a search term. Additionally, approved symbols are used by major biological databases including Ensembl, NCBI Gene, MGI (the Mouse database), OMIM and UniProt. Therefore the use of approved symbols allows efficient cross-referencing between publications and databases.

All authors should be aware of the benefits of using approved symbols. This can easily be achieved if journals include guidance on gene nomenclature usage in their “Instructions to authors”. It is also extremely useful if journals require that authors contact us prior to publication to discuss new gene symbols; this will prevent inappropriate or non-unique gene symbols from entering the public domain.

We encourage all biological journals to incorporate our Recommended Nomenclature Instructions to Authors into their “Instructions to authors”.

Many journals already support our work; we use a star rating to highlight them in the list below:

The journal includes nomenclature guidance in the “Instructions to Authors” section.

The journal includes nomenclature guidance in the “Instructions to Authors” section AND insists on pre-publication agreement and use of approved names and symbols. We handle all enquiries confidentially and unpublished information is never disclosed without explicit permission from the submitters. If your journal meets these conditions please email us ( and we will update this page accordingly.

Multi-journal sites