Publication review process

To approve papers as HCA publications, the HCA Publication Committee reviews submitted publications to check if they fit within HCA technical scope. This review by the HCA Publication Committee does not serve as peer review or ethics review.  Authors remain responsible for ensuring they adhere to all applicable local laws and regulations with respect to the collection, processing and sharing of samples and data.

The Review Process

We encourage you to submit your paper for inclusion within the Human Cell Atlas publications.  This can help your paper gain more visibility among the HCA community and recognizes the contribution of your research to HCA.

Any member of the HCA community can submit their preprint or their complete draft publication for review through this google form. NB, the committee will only review papers submitted with a link to a preprint or a complete draft.

Examples of papers in scope for HCA include, but are not limited to:

  • those that include a significant proportion of genomics reference data from healthy human cells and tissues, created using single cell sequencing and/or spatial genomics atlas technologies.
  • authors must submit their data and metadata to the HCA data repository and the HCA Cell Annotation Platform
  • we encourage you to submit your work to a preprint server.


To submit your paper for review please complete this form. Please ensure when sending your paper for review, that you have included a data availability statement, this can be either a reference to actual data or an explicit data release plan.


Three committee members will be assigned to each paper and each will vote if the publication should become part of the HCA. If there is no consensus among 3 assigned committee members, the paper will be brought to the entire committee for additional review, to be decided by majority vote.


Following notification of approval, the following statement should be included in the acknowledgement section of the paper:

This publication is part of the Human Cell Atlas –

Once the paper has been added to bioRXiv, please advise of the bioRXiv DOI to ensure the paper is listed under the bioRXiv HCA channel.


General publication enquiries should be directed to


HCA membership is open to the entire scientific community worldwide.

Any individual may become an HCA Member by registering and agreeing to abide by the ethical standards and principles of the HCA, described in the HCA white paper. An HCA member who additionally participates in an HCA project or serves as a member of an HCA group (as defined by the HCA Organizing Committee) will be designated as an HCA Collaborating Member.

Please register your interest in HCA membership here.

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