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Information for Authors



The Journal features primary research in the following subject areas:

  • Genomics and gene mapping
  • Gene action, regulation and transmission
  • Bioinformatics and computational genetics
  • Molecular adaptation and selection
  • Reproductive strategies and kinship analysis
  • Quantitative genetics and Mendelian inheritance
  • Molecular systematics and phylogenetics
  • Population structure and phylogeography
  • Conservation genetics and biodiversity

To be accepted for publication, a manuscript must make a significant contribution to one or more of these subject areas and be of general interest to the members of the American Genetic Association. We discourage papers that are primarily descriptive and are relevant only to the taxon being studied. Primer notes are given low priority unless they are of particular interest or novelity.

The Journal publishes
(1) Articles: important original research
(2) Brief Communications: short communications on current research, important preliminary findings or new techniques
(3) Computer Notes: short communications on new computer programs and applications
(4) Letters: responses to papers previously published in Journal of Heredity

The Journal also publishes, by invitation, Book Reviews, Perspectives and Symposium Articles


Please read and follow these instructions carefully, doing so will ensure that the publication of your manuscript is as rapid and efficient as possible. Manuscripts that do not include the required information will be returned to the authors for corrections before review.

Language editing pre-submission

OUP offers pre-submission language editing through Oxford Language Editing, a service for researchers all over the world. Language editing, particularly if English is not your first language, can be used to ensure that the academic content of your paper is fully understood by the journal editors and reviewers. Visit to find out more about the freelance editors available and the different services offered. Please note that edited manuscripts will still need to undergo peer-review by the journal.


Prepare manuscripts using a Word processing program, saved as a .docx (Word) or .rtf (rich-text format) file, and typed, double-spaced, with 1-inch margins on 8 1/2-by-11-inch paper. There is no page limit, but published articles or 8 pages or less will be free of page charges for all authors. An 8-page article is the equivalent of about 12 manuscript pages, or 4,000 words, for the main text (Introduction, Methods, Results and Discussion), plus the Abstract, Funding, 4-6 tables and figures combined, and 40-50 references (total 6,000 words). Members of the American Genetic Association will continue to receive 10 free published pages. Brief Communications are narrower in scope than articles, but must still be novel, important and of general interest. We recommend that they do not exceed 10 pages of text and contain no more than 4 tables and figures combined.

Use metric units where applicable. Arrange consecutively numbered pages in the following order:

  • title page
  • abstract with 3-6 keywords
  • text
  • funding
  • acknowledgments (if desired)
  • references
  • figure and table legends
  • figures and tables (separate files)

Title page

The title page (page 1) contains the title of the article; all authors' complete first and last name(s) and affiliation(s) with complete addresses; e-mail addresses; and a running title. The title should concisely state the subject of the paper and the organism to which it relates, including common name, in no more than 75 characters. A subtitle can be used when greater length is unavoidable.


An abstract is required. Abstracts consist of one paragraph of no more than 200 words that is complete without reference to the text. Include total sample sizes and the important effect sizes found in your analyses. Do not use acronyms and complex abbreviations, or refer to literature, figures, and tables. Below the abstract, provide 3-6 keywords or short phrases that will assist in cross-indexing your article. Do not include words from the Title as keywords.


The text should be readable, clear, and concise. First-person active voice is preferable to the impersonal passive voice. Authors are referred to the CSE Manual for Authors, Editors, and Publishers: Scientific Style and Format (7th ed.). Authors should also refer to recent articles in Journal of Heredity for general formatting. Use standard nomenclature for organisms for which formal rules have been established and published. Unfamiliar or new terms, as well as abbreviations, acronyms, and symbols, should be defined at first mention. Do not use italics for emphasis. Do not use footnotes; include descriptive material parenthetically in the text. All tables and figures must be referred to in the text.

Include a statement in your Methods section acknowledging compliance with the JDAP, similar to the following: "In fulfillment of data archiving guidelines (Baker 2013), we have deposited the primary data underlying these analyses with Dryad.” If your manuscript is accepted, you will receive a link to Dryad specific to your article. If you plan to use another data repository, including GenBank, or if data archiving is not relevant to your manuscript, state that here.

reference: Baker CS. 2013. Journal of Heredity Adopts Joint Data Archiving Policy. J Hered 104:1. doi: 10.1093/jhered/ess137


Detail all funding sources for the work in question in a separate Funding section following the Discussion. A separate page is not necessary. Follow these rules:

  • Begin the sentence: ‘This work was supported by …’
  • Give the full official funding agency name, i.e. ‘the National Cancer Institute at the National Institutes of Health’ or simply 'National Institutes of Health' not ‘NCI' (one of the 27 sub-institutions) or 'NCI at NIH’. Include complete and accurate grant numbers in brackets: ‘(grant number ABX CDXXXXXX)’
  • Separate multiple grant numbers by a comma: ‘(grant numbers ABX CDXXXXXX, EFX GHXXXXXX)’
  • Separate agencies by a semi-colon (plus ‘and’ before the last funding agency)
  • Where individuals need to be specified for certain sources of funding, add the following text 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 (hfygr667789).’

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. A full list of RIN-approved UK funding agencies may be found here.


An 'Acknowledgments' section may follow the Funding Section. Do not list the funding agencies here.


Type References alphabetically on a separate page, double-spaced and unnumbered. Refer to them in the text by the name(s) of the first author(s) and the year of publication in parentheses, e.g., (Able and Baker 1987b). Use the first author’s name and ‘‘et al.’’ when there are more than two authors. The order for references within parentheses in the text should be chronological. For works by the same author(s) in the same year, append a lowercase a, b, c, etc., to the year of publication. The reference list should contain all authors’ names for up to 10 authors and conform to the following styles:

  • Journal article
    Author AB, Author CD, Author EF. 1984. Title of article. J Hered. 60:128-132.
  • Paper in a conference proceeding(s)
    Author AB, Author IJ, Author KL. 1985. Title of conference paper. In: Able ST, editor. Title of Symposium or Conference: subtitle; 2006 Jan 1-3, location of conference. City of publisher: Publisher. p. 100-112.
  • Book
    Author GH, Author IJ. 1985a. Title of book. Rye (NY): Publisher's Name.
  • Chapter in a book
    Author GH, Author IJ. 1985b. Title of a chapter: a subtitle. In: Able MN, Baker OP, editors. Title of book, 2nd ed. Philadelphia: Publisher's Name; p. 200-235.
  • Thesis or dissertation
    Author MN. 1985. Title of thesis or dissertation [content designator]. Berkeley(CA): Name of University. 235 p.
  • Internet sources
    Author CH. Date of publication. Title. [cited 2005 May 31]. Available from:

Include only published references or references accepted for publication in the reference list; incorporate personal communications, unpublished data, manuscripts in preparation, etc., in the text in parentheses and include the initials and surname of the source, e.g., (OP Able, personal communication). When citing Internet sources, provide a complete URL address and the date on which the page was accessed or updated. Authors are responsible for the accuracy of their references.

Tables and figures

Type table legends and figure captions together on a separate page. Define all symbols and abbreviations used in legends and captions. Legends and captions must be ‘stand alone’ – interpretable without reference to the manuscript text.

To conserve space, tables and figures will be reduced in size when possible. Please ensure that all fonts used are large enough to be legible when reduced.

Reviewers cannot view original files, only the PDF created by the online system. Therefore, make sure all figures and tables (including SupMat) are correctly transposed to the PDF before final submission. Contact the Managing Editor if you have problems.


Journal of Heredity includes the Flexible Color Option. All figures submitted in color will be published in color online at no cost. Authors may choose to also publish their figures in color in the print journal for $600 per figure – you will be asked to approve this cost in an e-mail after your article is accepted, and will be issued an invoice at the time of publication.

If you opt to publish figures in color online with black and white in print, each figure and its caption must be interpretable in grayscale. Avoid referring to color names in the caption, and include graphic elements in the figure for clarity (e.g., sample sets shown as red diamonds, green circles, blue triangles; graph bars shown as yellow hashed, green vertically striped, pink horizontally striped). View the figure in grayscale before submission to ensure it is legible.

For maps, include geographic coordinates and names of relevant geographic features, including country names.
Figures must be supplied at a suitable size for printing with the following resolutions: 600 dots per inch (dpi) for line drawings; 300 dpi for halftones and color; 600 dpi for combinations. Low resolution figures will delay publication of your article. We prefer TIFF or PDF files – if these are very large, you may include DOC/DOCX, PPT/PPTX, or JPEG files in your initial submission. Note in your cover letter that you will submit the final files upon acceptance of your manuscript.


Submit all material to be considered for publication in the Journal of Heredity electronically via the journal's online submission system. Full instructions for online submission can be found at

Please ensure that all authors read and understand the submission instructions and fully answer all questions in the online form.

Contact the Managing Editor at with any queries.

Publication Costs

The Journal of Heredity will waive page charges of one 8-page article per volume (about 20-25 manuscript pages) for all authors. Additional pages will be charged at $60/page. Authors who are current American Genetic Association members at the time they receive their article proofs will receive 10 free pages. Cost of individual membership is currently $75 ($25 for emeritus and student members). Authors who wish to join the Association can do so here:

Page charges for first 8 published pages (first 10 pages for AGA members)

Additional pages
$60 per page

Color figures in print and online
$600 per figure

Color figures online only

Open access (optional)
$1800 if your institution has a subscription to the Journal of Heredity.
$3000 if your institution does not have a subscription (you can test this using the link contained within the copyright assignment form)


Submit all material to be considered as Supplementary Material (SupMat) online at the same time as the main manuscript. Ensure that the SupMat is referred to in the main manuscript at an appropriate point in the text. Use this file name format for all SupMat:

File name: Author 1_SupMat_description (e.g., _table, _figure, _image)

Include the File name as a header for each SupMat table, figure, etc, followed by the article’s Running Title and JHered. SupMat will be available online only and will not be copyedited, so ensure that it is clearly and succinctly presented, and that the style conforms with the rest of the paper. Also ensure that the presentation will work on any Internet browser. Do not use more than 5 files for the supplementary material unit, or more than 2 MB per file.

In addition to, or instead of, providing SupMat, authors are required to submit data underlying their accepted manuscript to a data repository such as Dryad, at no cost to the author (see DATA ARCHIVING POLICY). A link for depositing to Dryad will be provided in the acceptance letter from the Editor.


The primary data underlying the conclusions of an article are critical to the verifiability and transparency of the scientific enterprise, and should be preserved in usable form for decades in the future. For this reason, Journal of Heredity has adopted the Joint Data Archiving Policy (JDAP)(See Editorial, J Hered (2013) 104 (1):1. doi: 10.1093/jhered/ess137). The public archiving of all primary data is a requirement of publication in Journal of Heredity. For data other than nucleotide and protein sequences submitted to GenBank, suitable archives include Dryad, TreeBASE or the Knowledge Network for Biocomplexity. For accepted articles, JHered covers the cost to archive the data in Dryad.

Authors may elect to have the data publicly available at time of publication, or may opt to embargo access to the data for a period up to a year after publication. Exceptions may be granted at the discretion of the Editor, especially for sensitive information, such as the location of endangered species.

In adopting the JDAP, the AGA also recognizes the investment of individual researchers in generating and curating large datasets, and the right of ‘first use’ by the data providers. Consequently, we recommend that the investment of data providers be respected in secondary analyses or meta-analyses in a gracious collaborative spirit.

See Text section for further details on how to state compliance with the JDAP in your manuscript.

Include a statement in your Methods section acknowledging compliance with the JDAP, similar to the following: "In fulfillment of data archiving guidelines (Baker 2013), we have deposited the primary data underlying these analyses with Dryad.” If your manuscript is accepted, you will receive a link to Dryad specific to your article.

reference: Baker CS. 2013. Journal of Heredity Adopts Joint Data Archiving Policy. J Hered 104:1. doi: 10.1093/jhered/ess137


It is a condition of publication that authors assign exclusive copyright to the AGA. In assigning copyright, authors may use their own material in other publications, provided that the Journal is acknowledged as the original place of publication, and both the editor and Oxford University Press are notified in writing and in advance.

Upon receipt of accepted manuscripts at Oxford Journals authors, will be invited to complete an online copyright license 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.

Work submitted for publication must be original, previously unpublished, and not under consideration for publication elsewhere. If previously published figures, tables or parts of text are to be included, the copyright-holder’s permission must have been obtained prior to submission.


Oxford University Press requires declaration of any conflict of interest upon submission online. If the manuscript is published, conflict of interest information will be communicated in a statement in the published paper.


All manuscripts will undergo some editorial modification so it is important to check proofs carefully. PDF page proofs will be sent to the corresponding author for checking via email. To avoid delays in publication, proofs should be checked and returned within 48 hours to the Production Editor. Extensive changes to the text may be charged to the author.


The American Genetic Association will waive page charges of one 10-page article per volume (about 20-25 manuscript pages) for all authors.
Pages in excess of the waiver will be charged $60 per published page. If research funds are not available to meet publication or membership costs, the author should request a waiver from the editor once the paper is accepted for publication, specifying the reasons for lack of funds. Color figures that are typeset in color for the print edition will be charged $600 each. Cost of color figures cannot be waived. No paper will be rejected because of the lack of funds, but publication may be delayed if charges are not paid. Authors will receive a form with their page proofs showing the page charge and reprint prices.


In addition to an AGA membership form, an offprint order form will accompany the proofs. Authors may purchase print and/or electronic offprints and journal copies at a discount (50%) using this form. Please see offprint forms for complete ordering and pricing information.


Journal of Heredity authors have the option, at an additional charge, to make their paper freely available online immediately upon publication, under the Oxford Open initiative. After the manuscript is accepted, as part of the mandatory copyright form required of all corresponding authors, authors will be asked to indicate whether or not they wish to pay to have the paper made freely available immediately. If the Open Access option is not selected, the paper will be published with standard subscription-based access and no charges will be incurred by the author.

Oxford Open articles are published under Creative Commons licences. Authors publishing in the Journal of Heredity can use the following Creative Commons licences for their articles:
•Creative Commons Attribution licence (CC-BY)
•Creative Commons Non-Commercial licence (CC-BY-NC)

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:

Regular charge - £1750/ $2800 / €2275
List B Developing country charge* - £875 / $1400 / €1138
List A Developing country charge* - £0 /$0 / €0
*Visit our Developing Countries page for a list of qualifying countries

Please note that these charges are in addition to any colour/page 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.


A full-color illustration is featured on the cover of each issue, the cost of which is borne by the journal. Authors whose photo is used on the cover receive a complimentary PDF of the typeset cover for printing and distribution, and 3 hard-copy covers. The cover is available to any contributor whose manuscript is accepted for publication, providing the photographic material is of high quality. For electronic submission of potential cover images, please send the image at 350 dpi CMYK as both a .jpg and a .tif or .eps file to the editorial office; the .jpg will be used for evaluation only. Please look at recent Journal issues for examples of cover images.


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 acknowledgements 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.


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


The Stephen J. O'Brien Award for the best student paper published in the Journal of Heredity the previous year is awarded at the annual meeting of the AGA and includes a cash prize of $1,500, a travel award to the AGA symposium, and a 1-yr subscription to Journal of Heredity. The award honors Dr. O'Brien's many years of service as Chief Editor of the Journal of Heredity. Papers are eligible for the award if the first author was a registered student at the time of manuscript submission. Please tick the appropriate box on the online submission form if your manuscript is eligible.