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Instructions to Authors

New Policy for Rapid Online Publication – Journal of Heredity now publishes accepted manuscripts and corrected proofs on its advance access page. See the section below on 'Advance Access Publication' for more information.


The Journal features primary research on organismal genetics in the following subject areas:

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

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 novelty. We do not publish human genetic or clinical research.


Original Articles: Reports on important original research relevant to the scope of Journal of Heredity. There is no page limit, but published articles of 10 pages or fewer are free of page charges for all authors. A 10-page article is about 7500 total words, plus 6-8 tables and figures combined.

Brief Communications: Short communications on current research, important preliminary findings or new techniques. 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 5000 words and contain no more than 4 tables and figures combined.

Computer Notes: Short communications on new computer programs and applications.

Letters: Journal of Heredity encourages open debate on the interpretation of results published in the journal and welcomes Letters to the Editor briefly summarizing observations and concerns. Our editorial procedure is to forward such letters to the authors and allow them the final right to reply. If they accept and reply in a timely fashion (usually within 2 weeks), we publish the Letter and Response together online and in print in the next issue. A Letter to the Editor is not intended as a primary research article, and should not exceed 2500 words.

Reviews, Perspectives and Symposium articles are usually by invitation. Authors interested in providing a review or perspective should contact the editor.


Journal of Heredity has a streamlined process designed to avoid unnecessary work. Please submit your manuscript to the journal’s online submission system. Instructions on how to use the online system can be found here . To contact the editorial office, please email agajoh@oregonstate.edu.

Manuscripts can be submitted in any common document format that can be easily opened and read by others. A single PDF file is usually reliable. A basic formatting guide is given below.


When formatting your submission it is helpful to ask: Would I enjoy reading and reviewing a manuscript formatted in this way? Some reviewers find it easier to assess manuscripts that use double line spacing.

Title page

The title page should contain 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 250 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. 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.

Data Availability

Our Data Availability Policy can be found here. In compliance with this policy, include a Data Availability section after Funding and Acknowledgments, similar to the example shown below. We will pay the cost to deposit data in Dryad for all published articles. If your manuscript is accepted, you will receive a link to deposit your data in Dryad (if appropriate), and your specific Dryad doi will be included in your published article. Where datasets already have a doi, please cite the data in the text and place the citation in the References section.


Data Availability

We have deposited the primary data underlying these analyses as follows:

- Sampling locations, morphological data and microsatellite genotypes: Dryad 

- DNA sequences: Genbank accessions F234391-F234402; NCBI SRA: SRX0110215

- Final DNA sequence assembly uploaded as online Supplementary Material

Tables and Figure

Tables and figures can be placed wherever the authors think is best, but should be large enough to be readable.
Define all symbols and abbreviations used in legends and captions. Legends and captions must be ‘stand alone’ – interpretable without reference to the manuscript text. Footnotes can be added to tables if needed. Try to avoid overcrowding in tables and unnecessary clutter in figures.


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, a distance scale, and names of relevant geographic features, including country names and bodies of water.


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, as required by several funding agencies:
• 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 http://www.oxfordjournals.org/for_authors/repositories.html 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 .

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 .


An 'Acknowledgments' section may follow the Funding Section. Do not list the funding agencies here. Include here details of any collection permits or ethics protocols relevant to your research.


References and citations can be formatted in any readable style at submission, although authors are responsible for their accuracy.

Supplementary Material

Please include at submission all files containing supplementary material.

Upon revision, manuscript text and tables should be submitted in an editable file format (i.e., not PDF) and figures should be submitted as separate, high-resolution, files. Figures may be in PDF or a graphic format.


Supplementary material that is not essential for inclusion in the main text of the manuscript, but would nevertheless benefit the reader, will be placed online by the journal and linked to the manuscript. The material should not be essential to comprehension of the article, but should be relevant to article content. Supporting material might include more detailed methods, extended data sets/data analysis, or additional figures.

We strongly encourage authors to deposit data in a public repository such as Dryad that assigns a permanent URL(doi) or accession number, rather than uploading datasets as supplementary data.

Supporting material cannot be altered or replaced after the paper has been accepted, and will not be edited. Please ensure that supplementary data is referred to in the main manuscript where necessary, for example as '(see Supplementary material)' or '(see Supplementary Figure 1)'. Include a File name as a header on the SupMat pages (not in the main text): Author 1_SupMat_description (e.g., _table, _figure)
, followed by the article’s Running Title and JHered. Include any captions on the SupMat, not in the main document.


Journal of Heredity Advance Access is the journal's system for the rapid online publication of articles ahead of the printed issue. Manuscripts are published online as soon as possible after they have been accepted. Beginning January 2016, accepted manuscripts are published online before copyediting and formatting have been carried out. This version is indicated by the text "Accepted Manuscript" below the article details on our Advance Access page. A second version, which has been copyedited, typeset, and author-corrected, is then also published online ahead of print; this version is indicated by the text "Corrected Proof" and the previous version is removed. Appearance of the accepted manuscript in Advance Access constitutes official publication, and the Advance Access version can be cited by a unique DOI(digital object identifier).


If your first language is not English, to ensure that the academic content of your paper is fully understood by journal editors and reviewers is optional. Language editing does not guarantee that your manuscript will be accepted for publication. For further information on this service, please click here . Several specialist language editing companies offer similar services and you can also use any of these. Authors are liable for all costs associated with such services.


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 $2,000, 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.


No correction to a paper already published will be carried out without an erratum or corrigendum (as applicable), this applies to papers on Advance Access and published within an issue. This means that any change carried out to a paper already published online will have a corresponding erratum or corrigendum published with its own separate DOI. Whether on Advance Access or in an issue, if an erratum or corrigendum is published, the online version of the original paper will also be corrected online and the correction notice will mention this. Corrections will only be made if the publication record is seriously affected by the academic accuracy of published information.
Authors' corrections to Supplementary Data are made only in exceptional circumstances (for example major errors that compromise the conclusion of the study). Because the Supplementary Data is part of the original paper and hence the published record, the information cannot be updated if new data have become available or interpretations have changed.

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