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Instructions for Authors

Please note that the journal encourages authors to complete their copyright licence to publish form online


All material to be considered for publication in Cerebral Cortex must be submitted in electronic form via the journal's online submission system at ScholarOne Manuscripts. Once you have prepared your manuscript according to the instructions below, instructions on how to submit your manuscript online can be found by clicking here.


The journal publishes papers on the development, organization, plasticity, and function of the cerebral cortex, including the hippocampus as well as the thalamocortical relationship and cortico-subcortical interactions. The journal is multidisciplinary and welcomes studies that address major issues of general significance using modern neurobiological and neuropsychological techniques, including neuroanatomy, biochemistry, molecular neurobiology, electrophysiology, behavior, theoretical modeling, and brain imaging and/or electroencephalographic studies on developing and adult humans. In addition to research articles, the journal publishes special features and occasional special issues dedicated to well defined subjects. PLEASE NOTE:

  • Cerebral Cortex requires keywords to be supplied
  • Page charges (£31/US$60/€47/page) will be applied to all papers
  • Color figures: The cost of printing color figures is £350/US$600/€525 per figure. Authors should not submit color figures unless in agreement to pay. Black & white figures may not be substituted for color figures after a manuscript has been reviewed and accepted. Authors of accepted manuscripts containing color figures will be obligated to pay the color figure charges.


Cerebral Cortex accepts submissions online at ScholarOne Manuscripts.

For instructions on how to submit your manuscript online, please click here.

Submission Fees for Cerebral Cortex

There is a US$75 fee for all original and feature articles submitted to Cerebral Cortex. Submission fees are collected (to be paid via credit card) online when an article is submitted. After completing the submission process, you will be required to enter payment details. A printable receipt will be sent to you via email. Please note that all original and feature article submissions will incur the $75 charge, regardless of whether your paper is eventually accepted or not.

Editorial Assistant
Department of Neurobiology
Yale University School of Medicine
333 Cedar Street
SHM, C303
New Haven, CT 06510

Should you have any technical difficulties or if you have payment questions, please contact the Cerebral Cortex Editorial Office by emailing

Contact details

For any queries please contact the editorial office:


The Editor-in-Chief selects the most appropriate Reviewing Editor. Upon examining the manuscript the Reviewing Editor selects the most appropriate referees. We respect the author’s request to exclude some potential reviewers. We also take into consideration the author’s preferred referees but do not always accept the suggestions. We generally seek 2-3 reviews for each manuscript. In some cases we seek additional input to resolve a disparity in the referees' comments or to provide additional expertise in evaluating a manuscript.

Any one of a number of outcomes will result from the review process. A manuscript can be accepted as is (seldom the case), returned to the authors for minor revisions, returned to the authors for major revisions, or rejected. In some, but not all instances, we allow resubmission of rejected manuscripts. The resubmission will be treated as a NEW manuscript and will require another submission fee. A manuscript can be assigned the decision to Reject, but provide the option to resubmit, for example, when the revisions requested to make the manuscript potentially acceptable are so extensive that it is unclear that they can be accomplished. The decision letter to authors clearly indicates which of these outcomes applies to each manuscript. Manuscripts rejected without the option of resubmission will not be considered further. The final acceptance of papers depends not just on technical merit, but also on subjective ratings of the novelty, quality of the data and significance to the field. Because of these quality concerns, and page limitations, our current goal for acceptance is the top of 15-20% of submitted manuscripts. A small number of the submitted manuscripts may be returned without the usual two to three detailed reviews. The decision to triage a paper is made by Reviewing Editors, in consultation with the Associate Editors and/or leading experts in the field, who evaluate its novelty, degree of advance and/or significance and relevance to the field.

In essence, the Editorial Process at CEREBRAL CORTEX proceeds in two stages. In the first stage, the Reviewing Editor determines whether the manuscript is appropriate for the journal and should be sent out for review. In the second stage, the Reviewing Editor seeks informed and unbiased referees, ensures that reviews are returned in a timely fashion, evaluates the feedback from the referees, and comes to an initial decision on the manuscript. The submission fee helps to cover the costs of this process, but by no means covers it entirely. As such, the submission fee is not refundable. This holds for manuscripts that are accepted, rejected or triaged after Editorial Review.


At the point of submission, Cerebral Cortex's policy requires that each author reveal any financial interests or connections, direct or indirect, or other situations that might raise the question of bias in the work reported or the conclusions, implications, or opinions stated--including pertinent commercial or other sources of funding for the individual author(s) or for the associated department(s) or organization(s), personal relationships, or direct academic competition. When considering whether you should declare a conflicting interest or connection please consider the conflict of interest test: Is there any arrangement that would embarrass you or any of your co-authors if it was to emerge after publication and you had not declared it?

As an integral part of the online submission process, Corresponding authors are required to confirm whether they or their co-authors have any conflicts of interest to declare, and to provide details of these. If the Corresponding author is unable to confirm this information on behalf of all co-authors, the authors in question will then be required to submit a completed Conflict of Interest form to the Editorial Office. It is the Corresponding author’s responsibility to ensure that all authors adhere to this policy.

If the manuscript is published, Conflict of Interest information will be communicated in a statement in the published paper.


Details of all funding sources for the work in question should be given in a separate section entitled "Funding." This should appear before the "Acknowledgments" section.

The following rules should be followed:

  • The sentence should begin: "This work was supported by..."
  • The full official funding agency name should be given, i.e. "the National Cancer Institute at the National Institutes of Health" or simply "National Institutes of Health," not "NCI" (one of the 27 subinstitutions) or "NCI at NIH" (full RIN-approved list of UK funding agencies) .
  • Grant numbers should be complete and accurate and provided in parentheses as follows: "(grant number xxxxx)"
  • Multiple grant numbers should be separated by a comma as follows: "(grant numbers xxxx, yyyy)"
  • Agencies should be separated by a semi-colon (plus "and" before the last funding agency)
  • Where individuals need to be specified for certain sources of funding the following text should be added after the relevant agency or grant number "to [author initials]."

An example is given here: "This work was supported by the National Institutes of Health (P50 CA098252 and CA118790 to R.B.S.R.) and the Alcohol & Education Research Council (HFY GR667789)."

Oxford Journals will deposit all NIH-funded articles in PubMed Central. See for details. Authors must ensure that manuscripts are clearly indicated as NIH-funded using the guidelines above.

Crossref Funding Data Registry
In order to meet your funding requirements authors are required to name their funding sources, or state if there are none, during the submission process. For further information on this process or to find out more about the CHORUS initiative please click here.


Feature articles can range in length from 2- to 3-page commentaries to full-size review articles of 15--20 pages. Feature articles are meant to showcase new and exciting developments, to serve as a vehicle for addressing controversial issues (two opposing views can be presented in a "point-counterpoint" format), to present brief focused reviews on selected topics, or to introduce new technical developments in other fields that can benefit research on the cerebral cortex or bring forward new developments in the relationship between clinical and basic science.


Manuscripts must be in English, produced by a word processor in a .doc or .rtf format, and contain wide margins. They should be double-spaced throughout (including figure captions and references), with the sections assembled in the order listed below (EXCEPT for inclusion of the figures).

  • Title pages should include the title, the name(s) and institutional affiliation(s) of the author(s), the full address, telephone and facsimile numbers as well as the e-mail address of the corresponding author, and a brief running title
  • Abstracts should be no more than 200 words
  • Keywords (up to five) should be provided, in alphabetical order, and should characterize the scope of the paper, the principal materials, and main subject of work. (Keywords are important for your paper to be found through Internet searching, and therefore should be selected carefully and should not repeat words that appear in the title.)
  • Introduction (without a separate heading) should indicate the objectives, significance or hypothesis, when applicable, and a concise summary of the background of the study. Lengthy reviews of the status of the field are discouraged in research articles
  • Materials and Methods
  • Results
  • Discussion
  • Acknowledgments, including any grants, disclaimers or sources of support (along with the address of the corresponding author)
  • References used
  • Tables
  • Captions to figures
  • Figures in individual files and uploaded separately with simple names such as "Figure1," "Fig. 2," or "Figure3_color."
  • Supplementary Material must be separate from the main document file.

If you would like additional help with the quality of your written English, including grammar, spelling, and language usage, visit Oxford Journals Language Services. There will be a charge for this service.


Authors of papers that include genomic, proteomic, or other high-throughput data are required to submit their data to the NCBI gene expression and hybridization array data repository (GEO) or equivalent publicly accessible database and must provide the accession number. Access to the information in the database must be available at the time of submission.


Cerebral Cortex follows the name-year citation style from Scientific Style and Format: The CSE Manual for Authors, Editors, and Publishers (7th ed.) for style.

References should be cited in the text as "Experiments by Author (Author 1989) have demonstrated..." or " reported earlier (Author and Author 1985; Author 1985, 1986a, 1986b; Author et al. 1986)" and should be listed chronologically when multiple citations are grouped. In the list of references, works cited should be ordered alphabetically according to first author surname and chronologically where several papers by the same author are cited. In the list of references, journal articles should be listed as follows:

  • Author A, Author B. 1989. Title. Journal. 21:100-131.

Books should be listed as:

  • Author B. 1911. Title. City (XX): Publisher.

    The XX in parentheses should be replaced by the state abbreviation or country, if the city is outside the United States.


  • Author CD, Author EF. 1984. Title of the chapter. In: Author E, editor. Title of the book. 8th ed. City (XX): Publisher. p 1334-1360.

The titles of journals should be abbreviated in accordance with the Index Medicus or the Bibliographic Guide for Editors and Authors.


Because tables are expensive and difficult to set, only data essential in illustrating important points should be included. Tables should be created with the table function of a word processing program; spreadsheets are not acceptable. They should be typed double-spaced, each on a separate page, and numbered using Arabic numerals; do not use vertical rules and use only those horizontal rules absolutely necessary for clarity. Table titles should be concise. Explanatory material, notes on measurements and other general information that applies to the whole table should be included as the first, unnumbered footnote and not in the table title. Consult a recent issue for the journal's table style. Indicate the most appropriate position for the table in the margin of the manuscript.


Please be aware that the figure requirements for initial online submission (peer review) and for reproduction in the journal are now the same. Authors should now supply final high-resolution .tif or .eps files for reproduction in the journal at the time of submission. Figure legends should be typed separately from the figures and placed in the main text document. Additional information on preparing your figures for publication can be found here.

These should be submitted in the desired final printed size so that reduction can be avoided. The type area of a printed page is 240 (height) x 180 mm (width) and figures, including their legends, should not exceed this area. A single column is 86 mm wide; a double column is 180 mm wide. Ideally figures should fit either a single or a double column. Images should be of sufficiently high quality with respect to detail, contrast, and fineness of grain to withstand the inevitable loss of contrast and detail inherent in the printing process.

All supplementary figures and supplementary figure legends must be separate from the main document file.


The cost of printing color figures is £350/US$600/€525 per figure. Please submit figures in color only if you agree to the color charge. Black & white figures may not be substituted for color figures after a manuscript has been reviewed and accepted. Authors of accepted manuscripts containing color figures will be obligated to pay the color figure charges. Authors ordering offprints of articles that contain color figures will incur an additional charge for color reproduction. If you ticked the color charge approval box in ScholarOne Manuscripts, the online submission site for the journal, you will incur color figure charges. Orders from the UK will be subject to the current UK VAT charge. For orders from elsewhere in the EU, you or your institution should account for VAT by way of a reverse charge.  Please provide us with your or your institution’s VAT number.


Please provide these as clear sharp images, suitable for reproduction as submitted. No additional artwork, redrawing, or typesetting will be done. Faint and gray lines, shading, or stippling will be lost upon reproduction and should be avoided. Where various shadings are used within one figure please ensure that it is easy to differentiate between them. There should be sufficient white space between lines and dots to ensure the areas will not fill in and look gray. If stippling is used, this should be made up of clear black dots with visible white space between them. Ensure that the size of the lettering is in proportion with the overall dimensions of the figure.

Ideally, the figure should fit either single (86 mm) or double column width (180 mm).


At submission, figures must be saved in TIFF or EPS format at a resolution of at least 300 pixels per inch at the final printed size for color and grayscale figures and photographs, and 600-1200 pixels per inch for black and white line drawings. Although some other formats can be translated into TIFF format by the publisher, the conversion may alter the tones, resolution and contrast of the image. Digital color art should be submitted in CMYK rather than RGB format, as the printing process requires colors to be separated into CMYK and this conversion can alter the intensity and brightness of colors. Therefore authors should be satisfied with the colors in CMYK (both on screen and when printed) before submission. Please also keep in mind that colors can appear differently on different screens and printers. Failure to follow these guides could result in complications and delays.


All supplementary figures and supplementary figure legends must be separate from the main document file. Supporting material that is not essential for inclusion in the full text of the manuscript, but would nevertheless benefit the reader, can be made available by the publisher as online-only content, linked to the online manuscript. The material should not be essential to understanding the conclusions of the paper, but should contain data that is additional or complementary and directly relevant to the article content. Such information might include more detailed methods, extended data sets/data analysis, or additional figures (including color). All text and figures must be provided in suitable electronic formats (instructions for the preparation of Supplementary Material can be viewed here).

All material to be considered as Supplementary Material must be submitted at the same time as the main manuscript for peer review. It cannot be altered or replaced after the paper has been accepted for publication. Please indicate clearly the material intended as Supplementary Material upon submission. Also ensure that the Supplementary Material is referred to in the main manuscript where necessary.


When human subjects are used, manuscripts must be accompanied by a statement that the experiments were undertaken with the understanding and written consent of each subject. Authors should be aware of the Code of Ethics of the World Medical Association (Declaration of Helsinki), which has been printed in the British Medical Journal (July 18, 1964). When experimental animals are used, the methods section must clearly indicate that adequate measures were taken to minimize pain or discomfort. Experiments should be carried out in accordance with the guidelines published in the NIH Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals (NIH publication no. 86-23, revised 1987) or the European Communities Council Directive of November 24, 1986 (86/609/EEC).


If English is not your first language, you may wish to have your manuscript edited for language before submitting it. This is not a mandatory step, but may help to ensure that the academic content of your paper is fully understood by journal editors and reviewers. Language editing does not guarantee that your manuscript will be accepted for publication. There are many specialist language editing services available and you can find these easily by searching online. Authors are liable for all costs associated with such services. Please note that edited manuscripts will still need to undergo peer-review by the journal.


The page charge is $60 per published page. Orders from the UK will be subject to the current UK VAT charge. For orders from elsewhere in the EU, you or your institution should account for VAT by way of a reverse charge.  Please provide us with your or your institution’s VAT number.


If the purchase of offprints is required, a completed offprint order form must be returned with the proofs. Late orders submitted after the journal is in press are subject to increased prices.


For information about this journal's policy, please visit our Author Self-Archiving policy page.


Cerebral Cortex authors have the option to publish their paper under the Oxford Open initiative; whereby, for a charge, their paper will be made freely available online immediately upon publication. After your manuscript is accepted the corresponding author will be required to accept a mandatory licence to publish agreement. As part of the licensing process you will be asked to indicate whether or not you wish to pay for open access. If you do not select the open access option, your paper will be published with standard subscription-based access and you will not be charged.

Oxford Open articles are published under Creative Commons licences.

Authors publishing in Cerebral Cortex may use either the Creative Commons Attribution licence (CC BY) or the Creative Commons Non-Commercial license (CC BY-NC) for their articles.

RCUK/Wellcome Trust funded authors publishing in Cerebral Cortex may use the Creative Commons Attributive licence (CC BY) for their articles.

Please click here for more information about the Creative Commons licences.

You can pay Open Access charges using our Author Services site. This will enable you to pay online with a credit/debit card, or request an invoice by email or post. The open access charges applicable are as follows:

Charges for CC BY

• Regular charge: £2250 /$3650 / €2950
• Reduced Rate Developing country charge*: £1125 / $1825 / €1475
• Free Developing country charge*: £0 /$0 / €0

Charges for CC BY-NC:

• Regular charge: £2000/ $3200 / €2600
• Reduced Rate Developing country charge*: £1000 / $1600 / €1300
• List A Developing country charge*: £0 /$0 / €0

*Visit our developing countries page (click here for a list of qualifying countries).

Please note that these charges are in addition to any colour charges that may apply.

Orders from the UK will be subject to the current UK VAT charge. For orders from the rest of the European Union, OUP will assume that the service is provided for business purposes. Please provide a VAT number for yourself or your institution, and ensure you account for your own local VAT correctly.


Upon receipt of accepted manuscripts at Oxford Journals authors will be invited to complete an online copyright licence to publish form.

Please note that by submitting an article for publication you confirm that you are the corresponding/submitting author and that Oxford University Press ("OUP") may retain your email address for the purpose of communicating with you about the article. You agree to notify OUP immediately if your details change. If your article is accepted for publication OUP will contact you using the email address you have used in the registration process. Please note that OUP does not retain copies of rejected articles.

It is a condition of publication in Cerebral Cortex that authors grant an exclusive license to Oxford University Press. This ensures that requests from third parties to reproduce articles are handled efficiently and consistently and will also allow the article to be as widely disseminated as possible. In granting an exclusive license, authors may use their own material in other publications provided that Cerebral Cortex is acknowledged as the original place of publication and Oxford University Press is notified in writing and in advance.


Permission to reproduce copyright material, for print and online publication in perpetuity, must be cleared and if necessary paid for by the author; this includes applications and payments to DACS, ARS, and similar licensing agencies where appropriate. Evidence in writing that such permissions have been secured from the rights-holder must be made available to the editors. It is also the author's responsibility to include acknowledgments as stipulated by the particular institutions. Oxford Journals can offer information and documentation to assist authors in securing print and online permissions: please see the Guidelines for Authors section. Information on permissions contacts for a number of main galleries and museums can also be provided. Should you require copies of this, please contact the editorial office of the journal in question or the Oxford Journals Rights department.

Third-Party Content in Open Access papers. If you will be publishing your paper under an Open Access licence but it contains material for which you do not have Open Access re-use permissions, please state this clearly by supplying the following credit line alongside the material:

Title of content
Author, Original publication, year of original publication, by permission of [rights holder]

This image/content is not covered by the terms of the Creative Commons licence of this publication. For permission to reuse, please contact the rights holder.