In order to participate in the contest, you must be the owner of the copyright of the files submitted. In cases in which images utilise or contain copyrighted materials of others, it is mandatory to obtain a signed letter of permission from the copyright owners, which must be sent to as a scanned PDF attachment, or by fax to +49 6221 8891 200, before the submission deadline.

In view of a possible publication of the contribution by EMBO, the participants of the Cover Contest must grant EMBO a non-exclusive licence to publish, reproduce, distribute, display and store the contributions in all forms, formats and media all over the world, according to the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported Licence (for detailed information please visit

It is important to note that with this Creative Commons licence, ownership of the copyright remains with you, the participant, but other parties (in this case only EMBO) are allowed to copy and distribute the work, provided they give credit to you. Remaining the full owner of copyright, you will be free to distribute and publish your images (as well as the resulting cover files EMBO might produce from them), provided that when reproducing the contributions or derivative works, you acknowledge first and reference publication in The EMBO Journal.

Notably, EMBO will only use your image in the context of publishing a cover page for The EMBO Journal, together with the corresponding derivative files for online publication. If any of your images are considered for any other kind of public display or publication, we will ask for your separate permission in each individual case.

Guidelines (2014)

You may submit up to 10 images to the cover contest. However, please submit only pictures which you really feel are likely candidates for an EMBO Journal cover. The jury reserves the right to make a representative preselection if several images of very similar content are submitted by the same individual. Browse the cover gallery in our archive to get some idea of images previously selected by the contest jury.

The EMBO Journal cover layout has no frames or banners around images, i.e. the image fills the whole cover, and therefore portrait orientation is preferable to landscape format.


Only electronic image files can be considered. The following file formats may be submitted (in decreasing order of preference): LZW-compressed TIFF > non-compressed TIFF > Adobe Photoshop > high-quality JPEG. Please note that the submission form may not correctly display thumbnails for certain file types, even if upload was successful. We will get in contact with you in due course if we encounter any problems with your files.


An EMBO Journal front cover needs to have at least 2,500 x 3,300 pixels, or roughly 8 megapixels, for full-size print production. Photos or scans made at a lower pixel count may still be suitable under certain circumstances (e.g., 1,024 x 1,024 pixel images made with digital microscopes).

Adobe Photoshop and other software allow you to artificially increase the number of pixels in an image through interpolation of the missing pixels. This process, however, tends to introduce artifacts that may cause difficulties during print production. Interpolation obviously also does not increase the information content of an image, so please do not choose this option. Should the original picture be smaller than 2,500 x 3,300 pixels, please simply submit the original file.

As a rule, you should always submit the largest original file available. Feel free to crop the image in the way you find the most appealing but please do not rescale the image in any way.

Most pictures taken by digital cameras, image scanners and light microscopes are in RGB colour mode, and we ask you to please provide them as such. Artwork in grayscale mode should not be converted to RGB before submission.


Each image submitted to the contest should be accompanied by a suggestion for a cover legend. Ideally, this would be a three-sentence text containing a suggested title for the picture (if applicable), a brief description of the content of the image, and one sentence about yourself and your interests. A link to your web homepage may also be provided in the legend.


Please adhere to the following naming convention when submitting your image files:


e.g.: m-a-smith-04987.tif, r-jones-14502.jpg, a-barnes-80744.psd



Submission will be open until 2 pm (Central European Time) on Friday, 20 December 2013.

The two winners of the Best Scientific Cover and Best Non-Scientific Cover will be selected on 20 January 2014 and promptly informed by email. All other participants will receive an email with their results as soon as possible thereafter. Please allow us some time for this, as we would like to send individual emails to everybody (and we hope there will be hundreds to send).


Only entries submitted through the EMBO Applications Website can be considered for the contest. You may submit up to 10 images. Please note that you will have to confirm your uploads by clicking on either the “Save Progress” or the “Submit” button after uploading your files. You can return to your saved form anytime between initial registration and the contest deadline. Once you tick the “Form complete” box, however, you will no longer be able to modify your submission.

Please be aware that our submission website uses current standard web technologies (like Javascript, Flash, CSS, cookies) that will require a fairly modern web browser. We recommend the free browsers Firefox version 3 (or higher) and Safari. If you encounter problems, please first try submitting from a different computer and through a different web browser. If your problems persist, send us an email with a detailed description of the operating system and browser you are using, plus a summary of what exactly your problem is.


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