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Psychology | Behavior Genetics - incl. option to publish open access

Behavior Genetics

Behavior Genetics

An International Journal Devoted to Research in the Inheritance of Behavior

Executive Editor: John K. Hewitt

ISSN: 0001-8244 (print version)
ISSN: 1573-3297 (electronic version)

Journal no. 10519

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Instructions for Authors

Behavior Genetics

General 

In general, Behavior Genetics follows the recommendations of Style Manual for Biological Journals, published by the American Institute of Biological Sciences, and it is suggested that contributors refer to this publication.

Manuscript Submission 

Inquiries regarding journal policy and other such general topics should be sent to the Executive Editor:
John K. Hewitt
Executive Editor, Behavior Genetics
Institute for Behavioral Genetics
447 UCB
University of Colorado
Boulder, CO 80309 USA
e−mail: John.Hewitt@colorado.edu
The online system offers easy straightforward log−in and submission; supports a wide range of submission file formats [Word, WordPerfect, RTF, TXT and LaTeX
for manuscripts; TIFF, GIF, PEG, EPS, PPT, and Postscript for figures (artwork)]; eliminates the need to submit manuscripts as hard−copy printouts, disks, and/or e−mail attachments; enables real−time tracking of manuscript status by author; and provides help should authors experience any submission difficulties (click on "Contact Us" from the toolbar).
Manuscripts, in English, should be submitted to the Executive Editors Office via the journals web−based online manuscript submission and peer−review system:

Copyright 

Submission is a representation that the manuscript has not been published previously and is not currently under consideration for publication elsewhere. A statement transferring copyright from the authors (or their employers, if they hold the copyright) to Springer Science+Business Media, LLC will be required before the manuscript can be accepted for publication. After a manuscript has been accepted the Authors will receive an electronic notification to transfer copyright of the article to Springer Science+Business Media, LLC. Such a written transfer of copyright, which previously was assumed to be implicit in the act of submitting a manuscript, is necessary under the U.S. Copyright Law in order for the publisher to carry through the dissemination of research results and reviews as widely and effectively as possible.

Manuscript Style 

  • All pages should be typed double−spaced and numbered (including pages containing the title, authors names and affiliation footnotes, abstract, acknowledgments, references, tables, and figure caption list).
  • A title page is to be provided and should include the title of the article, authors name (no degrees), authors affiliation, and suggested running head. The affiliation should comprise the department, institution (usually university or company), city, and state (or nation) and should be typed as a footnote to the authors name. The suggested running head should be less than 80 characters (including spaces) and should comprise the article title or an abbreviated version thereof. For office purposes, the title page should include the complete mailing address, telephone number, fax number and e−mail address of the one author designated to review proofs.
  • An abstract is to be provided, preferably no longer than 150 words.
  • A list of 5–6 key words is to be provided directly below the abstract. Key words should express the precise content of the manuscript, as they are used for indexing purpose.
  • Illustrations (photographs, drawings, diagrams, and charts) are to be numbered in one consecutive series of Arabic numerals. The captions for illustrations should be typed on a separate page. Photographs should be large glossy images, showing high contrast. Color art should be in the CYMK color space.
  • Tables should be numbered (with Roman numerals) and referred to by number in the text. Each table should be typed on a separate page. Center the title above the table, and type explanatory footnotes (indicated by superscript lowercase letters) below the table.
  • List references alphabetically at the end of the paper and refer to them in the text by name and year in parentheses. Where there are three or more authors, only the first author's name is given in the text, followed by et al. References should include titles of papers.
Reference Style
Journal article: Constantino JN, Todd RD (2000) Genetic structure of reciprocal social behavior. Am J Psychiatry 157(12):2043-2045
Book chapter: Neale MC (2009) Biometrical models in behavior genetics. In: Kim Y-K (ed) Handbook of Behavior Genetics. Springer, New York, pp 15-33
Complete book: Armitage P, Berry G , Matthews JNS (2002) Statistical methods in medical research, 4th edn. Blackwell Science, Oxford

Electronic Supplementary Materials 

Springer accepts electronic supplementary materials (animations, movies, audio, large original data, etc.) which will be published in the online version only. For detailed information about file formats, file size, etc., please check our ESM guidelines at

Page Charges 

The journal makes no page charges. Reprints are available to authors, and order forms are sent with proofs.

English Language Editing 

For editors and reviewers to accurately assess the work presented in your manuscript you need to ensure the English language is of sufficient quality to be understood. If you need help with writing in English you should consider:
  • Asking a colleague who is a native English speaker to review your manuscript for clarity.
  • Visiting the English language tutorial which covers the common mistakes when writing in English.
  • Using a professional language editing service where editors will improve the English to ensure that your meaning is clear and identify problems that require your review. Two such services are provided by our affiliates Nature Research Editing Service and American Journal Experts. Springer authors are entitled to a 10% discount on their first submission to either of these services, simply follow the links below.
Please note that the use of a language editing service is not a requirement for publication in this journal and does not imply or guarantee that the article will be selected for peer review or accepted.
If your manuscript is accepted it will be checked by our copyeditors for spelling and formal style before publication.

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为便于编辑和评审专家准确评估您稿件中陈述的研究工作,您需要确保您的英语语言质量足以令人理解。如果您需要英文写作方面的帮助,您可以考虑:
● 请一位以英语为母语的同事审核您的稿件是否表意清晰。
● 查看一些有关英语写作中常见语言错误的教程。
● 使用专业语言编辑服务,编辑人员会对英语进行润色,以确保您的意思表达清晰,并识别需要您复核的问题。我们的附属机构 Nature Research Editing Service 和合作伙伴 American Journal Experts 即可提供此类服务。
请注意,使用语言编辑服务并非在期刊上发表文章的必要条件,同时也并不意味或保证文章将被选中进行同行评议或被接受。
如果您的稿件被接受,在发表之前,我们的文字编辑会检查您的文稿拼写是否规范以及文体是否正式。

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エディターと査読者があなたの論文を正しく評価するには、使用されている英語の質が十分に高いことが必要とされます。英語での論文執筆に際してサポートが必要な場合には、次のオプションがあります:
・英語を母国語とする同僚に、原稿で使用されている英語が明確であるかをチェックしてもらう。
・英語で執筆する際のよくある間違いに関する英語のチュートリアルを参照する。
・プロの英文校正サービスを利用する。校正者が原稿の意味を明確にしたり、問題点を指摘し、英語の質を向上させます。Nature Research Editing Service とAmerican Journal Experts の2つは弊社と提携しているサービスです。Springer の著者は、いずれのサービスも初めて利用する際には10%の割引を受けることができます。以下のリンクを参照ください。
英文校正サービスの利用は、投稿先のジャーナルに掲載されるための条件ではないこと、また論文審査や受理を保証するものではないことに留意してください。
原稿が受理されると、出版前に弊社のコピーエディターがスペルと体裁のチェックを行います。

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영어 원고의 경우, 에디터 및 리뷰어들이 귀하의 원고에 실린 결과물을 정확하게 평가할 수 있도록, 그들이 충분히 이해할 수 있을 만한 수준으로 작성되어야 합니다. 만약 영작문과 관련하여 도움을 받기를 원하신다면 다음의 사항들을 고려하여 주십시오:
• 귀하의 원고의 표현을 명확히 해줄 영어 원어민 동료를 찾아서 리뷰를 의뢰합니다.
• 영어 튜토리얼 페이지에 방문하여 영어로 글을 쓸 때 자주하는 실수들을 확인합니다.
• 리뷰에 대비하여, 원고의 의미를 명확하게 해주고 리뷰에서 요구하는 문제점들을 식별해서 영문 수준을 향상시켜주는 전문 영문 교정 서비스를 이용합니다. Nature Research Editing Service와 American Journal Experts에서 저희와 협약을 통해 서비스를 제공하고 있습니다. Springer 저자들이 본 교정 서비스를 첫 논문 투고를 위해 사용하시는 경우 10%의 할인이 적용되며, 아래의 링크를 통하여 확인이 가능합니다.
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원고가 수락될 경우, 출판 전 저희측 편집자에 의해 원고의 철자 및 문체를 검수하는 과정을 거치게 됩니다.

Springer Open Choice 

Springer Open Choice. In addition to the normal publication process (whereby an article is submitted to the journal and access to that article is granted to customers who have purchased a subscription), Springer now provides an alternative publishing option: Springer Open Choice. A Springer Open Choice article receives all the benefits of a regular subscription−based article, but in addition is made available publicly through Springers online platform SpringerLink. To publish via Springer Open Choice, upon acceptance please visit the link below to complete the relevant order form and provide the required payment information. Payment must be received in full before publication or articles will publish as regular subscription−model articles. We regret that Springer Open Choice cannot be ordered for published articles.

Research Data Policy 

The journal encourages authors, where possible and applicable, to deposit data that support the findings of their research in a public repository. Authors and editors who do not have a preferred repository should consult Springer Nature’s list of repositories and research data policy.
General repositories - for all types of research data - such as figshare and Dryad may also be used.
Datasets that are assigned digital object identifiers (DOIs) by a data repository may be cited in the reference list. Data citations should include the minimum information recommended by DataCite: authors, title, publisher (repository name), identifier.
Springer Nature provides a research data policy support service for authors and editors, which can be contacted at researchdata@springernature.com.
This service provides advice on research data policy compliance and on finding research data repositories. It is independent of journal, book and conference proceedings editorial offices and does not advise on specific manuscripts.

Ethical Responsibilities of Authors 

This journal is committed to upholding the integrity of the scientific record. As a member of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) the journal will follow the COPE guidelines on how to deal with potential acts of misconduct.
Authors should refrain from misrepresenting research results which could damage the trust in the journal, the professionalism of scientific authorship, and ultimately the entire scientific endeavour. Maintaining integrity of the research and its presentation can be achieved by following the rules of good scientific practice, which include:
  • The manuscript has not been submitted to more than one journal for simultaneous consideration.
  • The manuscript has not been published previously (partly or in full), unless the new work concerns an expansion of previous work (please provide transparency on the re-use of material to avoid the hint of text-recycling (“self-plagiarism”)).
  • A single study is not split up into several parts to increase the quantity of submissions and submitted to various journals or to one journal over time (e.g. “salami-publishing”).
  • No data have been fabricated or manipulated (including images) to support your conclusions
  • No data, text, or theories by others are presented as if they were the author’s own (“plagiarism”). Proper acknowledgements to other works must be given (this includes material that is closely copied (near verbatim), summarized and/or paraphrased), quotation marks are used for verbatim copying of material, and permissions are secured for material that is copyrighted.
    Important note: the journal may use software to screen for plagiarism.
  • Consent to submit has been received explicitly from all co-authors, as well as from the responsible authorities - tacitly or explicitly - at the institute/organization where the work has been carried out, before the work is submitted.
  • Authors whose names appear on the submission have contributed sufficiently to the scientific work and therefore share collective responsibility and accountability for the results.
  • Authors are strongly advised to ensure the correct author group, corresponding author, and order of authors at submission. Changes of authorship or in the order of authors are not accepted after acceptance of a manuscript.
  • Adding and/or deleting authors at revision stage may be justifiably warranted. A letter must accompany the revised manuscript to explain the role of the added and/or deleted author(s). Further documentation may be required to support your request.
  • Requests for addition or removal of authors as a result of authorship disputes after acceptance are honored after formal notification by the institute or independent body and/or when there is agreement between all authors.
  • Upon request authors should be prepared to send relevant documentation or data in order to verify the validity of the results. This could be in the form of raw data, samples, records, etc. Sensitive information in the form of confidential proprietary data is excluded.
If there is a suspicion of misconduct, the journal will carry out an investigation following the COPE guidelines. If, after investigation, the allegation seems to raise valid concerns, the accused author will be contacted and given an opportunity to address the issue. If misconduct has been established beyond reasonable doubt, this may result in the Editor-in-Chief’s implementation of the following measures, including, but not limited to:
  • If the article is still under consideration, it may be rejected and returned to the author.
  • If the article has already been published online, depending on the nature and severity of the infraction, either an erratum will be placed with the article or in severe cases complete retraction of the article will occur. The reason must be given in the published erratum or retraction note. Please note that retraction means that the paper is maintained on the platform, watermarked "retracted" and explanation for the retraction is provided in a note linked to the watermarked article.
  • The author’s institution may be informed.

Compliance with Ethical Standards 

To ensure objectivity and transparency in research and to ensure that accepted principles of ethical and professional conduct have been followed, authors should include information regarding sources of funding, potential conflicts of interest (financial or non-financial), informed consent if the research involved human participants, and a statement on welfare of animals if the research involved animals.
Authors should include the following statements (if applicable) in a separate section entitled “Compliance with Ethical Standards” when submitting a paper:
  • Disclosure of potential conflicts of interest
  • Research involving Human Participants and/or Animals
  • Informed consent
Please note that standards could vary slightly per journal dependent on their peer review policies (i.e. single or double blind peer review) as well as per journal subject discipline. Before submitting your article check the instructions following this section carefully.
The corresponding author should be prepared to collect documentation of compliance with ethical standards and send if requested during peer review or after publication.
The Editors reserve the right to reject manuscripts that do not comply with the above-mentioned guidelines. The author will be held responsible for false statements or failure to fulfill the above-mentioned guidelines.

Disclosure of potential conflicts of interest 

Authors must disclose all relationships or interests that could have direct or potential influence or impart bias on the work. Although an author may not feel there is any conflict, disclosure of relationships and interests provides a more complete and transparent process, leading to an accurate and objective assessment of the work. Awareness of a real or perceived conflicts of interest is a perspective to which the readers are entitled. This is not meant to imply that a financial relationship with an organization that sponsored the research or compensation received for consultancy work is inappropriate. Examples of potential conflicts of interests that are directly or indirectly related to the research may include but are not limited to the following:
  • Research grants from funding agencies (please give the research funder and the grant number)
  • Honoraria for speaking at symposia
  • Financial support for attending symposia
  • Financial support for educational programs
  • Employment or consultation
  • Support from a project sponsor
  • Position on advisory board or board of directors or other type of management relationships
  • Multiple affiliations
  • Financial relationships, for example equity ownership or investment interest
  • Intellectual property rights (e.g. patents, copyrights and royalties from such rights)
  • Holdings of spouse and/or children that may have financial interest in the work
In addition, interests that go beyond financial interests and compensation (non-financial interests) that may be important to readers should be disclosed. These may include but are not limited to personal relationships or competing interests directly or indirectly tied to this research, or professional interests or personal beliefs that may influence your research.
The corresponding author collects the conflict of interest disclosure forms from all authors. In author collaborations where formal agreements for representation allow it, it is sufficient for the corresponding author to sign the disclosure form on behalf of all authors. Examples of forms can be found
The corresponding author will include a summary statement in the text of the manuscript in a separate section before the reference list, that reflects what is recorded in the potential conflict of interest disclosure form(s).
See below examples of disclosures:
Funding: This study was funded by X (grant number X).
Conflict of Interest: Author A has received research grants from Company A. Author B has received a speaker honorarium from Company X and owns stock in Company Y. Author C is a member of committee Z.
If no conflict exists, the authors should state:
Conflict of Interest: The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Research involving human participants and/or animals 

1) Statement of human rights

When reporting studies that involve human participants, authors should include a statement that the studies have been approved by the appropriate institutional and/or national research ethics committee and have been performed in accordance with the ethical standards as laid down in the 1964 Declaration of Helsinki and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.
If doubt exists whether the research was conducted in accordance with the 1964 Helsinki Declaration or comparable standards, the authors must explain the reasons for their approach, and demonstrate that the independent ethics committee or institutional review board explicitly approved the doubtful aspects of the study.
The following statements should be included in the text before the References section:
Ethical approval: “All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.”
For retrospective studies, please add the following sentence:
“For this type of study formal consent is not required.”

2) Statement on the welfare of animals

The welfare of animals used for research must be respected. When reporting experiments on animals, authors should indicate whether the international, national, and/or institutional guidelines for the care and use of animals have been followed, and that the studies have been approved by a research ethics committee at the institution or practice at which the studies were conducted (where such a committee exists).
For studies with animals, the following statement should be included in the text before the References section:
Ethical approval: “All applicable international, national, and/or institutional guidelines for the care and use of animals were followed.”
If applicable (where such a committee exists): “All procedures performed in studies involving animals were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institution or practice at which the studies were conducted.”
If articles do not contain studies with human participants or animals by any of the authors, please select one of the following statements:
“This article does not contain any studies with human participants performed by any of the authors.”
“This article does not contain any studies with animals performed by any of the authors.”
“This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.”

Informed consent 

All individuals have individual rights that are not to be infringed. Individual participants in studies have, for example, the right to decide what happens to the (identifiable) personal data gathered, to what they have said during a study or an interview, as well as to any photograph that was taken. Hence it is important that all participants gave their informed consent in writing prior to inclusion in the study. Identifying details (names, dates of birth, identity numbers and other information) of the participants that were studied should not be published in written descriptions, photographs, and genetic profiles unless the information is essential for scientific purposes and the participant (or parent or guardian if the participant is incapable) gave written informed consent for publication. Complete anonymity is difficult to achieve in some cases, and informed consent should be obtained if there is any doubt. For example, masking the eye region in photographs of participants is inadequate protection of anonymity. If identifying characteristics are altered to protect anonymity, such as in genetic profiles, authors should provide assurance that alterations do not distort scientific meaning.
The following statement should be included:
Informed consent: “Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.”
If identifying information about participants is available in the article, the following statement should be included:
“Additional informed consent was obtained from all individual participants for whom identifying information is included in this article.”

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  • Journal Citation Reports®
    2016 Impact Factor
  • 2.385
  • Aims and Scope

    Aims and Scope

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    Behavior Genetics - the leading journal concerned with the genetic analysis of complex traits - is published in cooperation with the Behavior Genetics Association. This timely journal disseminates the most current original research on the inheritance and evolution of behavioral characteristics in man and other species. Contributions from eminent international researchers focus on both the application of various genetic perspectives to the study of behavioral characteristics and the influence of behavioral differences on the genetic structure of populations.

    5 Year Impact Factor: 3.411 (2007)
    Section "Psychology, Multidisciplinary": Rank 15 out of 101

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