Submission guidelines

Instructions for Authors

General Information for Learning & Behavior

Learning & Behavior presents experimental and theoretical contributions and critical reviews concerning fundamental processes of learning and behavior in nonhuman and human animals. Topics covered include sensation, perception, conditioning, learning, attention, memory, motivation, emotion, development, social behavior, and comparative investigations.

How to Submit

Manuscripts are to be submitted electronically via ScholarOne:

If you have not submitted via the ScholarOne submission system before, then you will first be asked to create an account. Otherwise you can use your existing account.

http://mc.manuscriptcentral.com/lb

Affirmations at the Time of Submission

(a) if the manuscript includes any copyrighted material the author understands that if the manuscript is accepted for publication s/he will be responsible for obtaining written permission to use that material;

(b) if any of the authors has a potential conflict of interest pertaining to the manuscript that conflict has been disclosed in a message to the Editor;

(c) the author(s) understand(s) that before a manuscript can be published in a Learning & Behavior the copyright to that manuscript must be transferred to the Psychonomic Society (see http://www.psychonomic.org/psp/access.html for details). This does not include open access articles published in the journal, which are published under a difference license. Please see Open Access Publishing for more information;

(d) The corresponding author is familiar with the Psychonomic Society’s Statistical Guidelines. Please see tab “Statistical Guidelines” below.

Declarations

All manuscripts must contain the following sections under the heading 'Declarations'.

If any of the sections are not relevant to your manuscript, please include the heading and write 'Not applicable' for that section.

To be used for life science journals + articles with biological applications

  • Funding (information that explains whether and by whom the research was supported)
  • Conflicts of interest/Competing interests (include appropriate disclosures)
  • Ethics approval (include appropriate approvals or waivers)
  • Consent to participate (include appropriate statements)
  • Consent for publication (include appropriate statements)
  • Availability of data and materials (data transparency)
  • Code availability (software application or custom code)
  • Authors' contributions (optional: please review the submission guidelines from the journal whether statements are mandatory)

Please see the relevant sections in the submission guidelines for further information as well as various examples of wording. Please revise/customize the sample statements according to your own needs.

Open Practices

Since its inception, the core mission of the Psychonomic Society has been to foster the science of cognition through the advancement and communication of basic research in experimental psychology and allied sciences. To promote replicable research practices, the policy of the Psychonomic Society is to publish papers in which authors follow standards for disclosing all important aspects of the research design and data analysis. The Society does not enforce any single reporting standard, but authors are encouraged to review and adopt guidelines described, for example, by the American Psychological Association (APA).

In 2017, the Society signed on to the Open Science Initiative’s Level 1 Transparency and Openness Guidelines. All authors are required to respond to the questions below, and in addition, all submitted manuscripts must include an Open Practices Statement immediately prior to the References section of the paper. The statement must specify (1) whether data and/or materials are available, and if so, where (as per Level 1 TOP guidelines, URLs are required to have a persistent identifier); and (2) whether any experiments were preregistered, and if so, which.

The following are examples of appropriate Open Practices Statements:

The data and materials for all experiments are available at (url for the site hosting the data and materials) and Experiment 1 was preregistered (url for the preregistration).

None of the data or materials for the experiments reported here is available, and none of the experiments was preregistered.

Statistical Guidelines

The Psychonomic Society’s Publications Committee and Ethics Committee and the Editors-in-Chief of the Society’s seven journals worked together (with input from others) to create these guidelines on statistical issues. These guidelines focus on the analysis and reporting of quantitative data. Many of the issues described below pertain to vulnerabilities in null hypothesis significance testing (NHST), in which the central question is whether or not experimental measures differ from what would be expected due to chance. Below we emphasize some steps that researchers using NHST can take to avoid exacerbating those vulnerabilities. Many of the guidelines are long-standing norms about how to conduct experimental research in psychology. Nevertheless, researchers may benefit from being reminded of some of the ways that poor experimental procedure and analysis can compromise research conclusions. Authors are asked to consider the following issues for each manuscript submitted for publication in a Psychonomic Society journal. Some of these issues are specific to NHST, but many of them apply to other approaches as well.

1. It is important to address the issue of statistical power. Statistical power refers to the sensitivity of a test to detect hypothetical true effects. Studies with low statistical power often produce ambiguous results. Thus it is highly desirable to have ample statistical power for effects that would be of interest to others and to report a priori power at several effect sizes (not post hoc power) for tests of your main hypotheses. Best practice is to determine what effects would be interesting (e.g., those that one would consider non-negligible, useful, or theoretically meaningful) and then to test a sufficient number of participants to attain adequate power to detect an effect of that size. There is no hard-and-fast rule specifying “adequate” power, and Editors may judge that other considerations (e.g., novelty, difficulty) justify a low-powered design. If there is no smallest effect size of interest for an a priori power analysis, then authors can report the effect size at which the design and test have 50% power. Alternatively an analysis might focus on estimation of an effect size rather than on a hypothesis test. In any case, the Method section should make clear what criteria were used to determine the sample size. The main points here are to (a) do what you reasonably can to design an experiment that allows a sensitive test and (b) explain how the number of participants was determined.

2. Multiple NHST tests inflate null-hypothesis rejection rates. Tests of statistical significance (e.g., t-tests, analyses of variance) should not be used repeatedly on different subsets of the same data set (e.g., on varying numbers of participants in a study) without statistical correction, because the Type I error rate increases across multiple tests.

A. One concern is the practice of testing a small sample of participants and then analyzing the data and deciding what to do next depending on whether the predicted effect (a) is statistically significant (stop and publish!), (b) clearly is not being obtained (stop, tweak, and start a new experiment), or (c) looks like it might become significant if more participants are added to the sample (test more participants, then reanalyze; repeat as needed). If this “optional stopping rule” has been followed without appropriate corrections, then report that fact and acknowledge that the Type I error rate is inflated by the multiple tests. Depending on the views of the Editor and reviewers, having used this stopping rule may not preclude publication, but unless appropriate corrections to the Type I error rate are made it will lessen confidence in the reported results. Note that Bayesian data analysis methods are less sensitive to problems related to optional stopping than NHST methods; see Rouder (2014) for a discussion and pointers to other literature.

B. It is problematic to analyze data and then drop some participants or some observations, re-run the analyses, and then report only the last set of analyses. If participants or observations were eliminated, then explicitly indicate why, when, and how this was done and either (a) report or synopsize the results of analyses that include all of the observations or (b) explain why such analyses would not be appropriate.

C. Covariate analyses should either be planned in advance (and in that case would benefit from preregistration) or be described as exploratory. It is inappropriate to analyze data without a covariate, then re-analyze those same data with a covariate and report only the latter analysis as confirmation of an idea. It may be appropriate to conduct multiple analyses in exploratory research, but it is important to report those analyses as exploratory and to acknowledge possible inflations of the Type I error rate.

D. If multiple dependent variables (DVs) are individually analyzed with NHST, the probability that at least one of them will be “significant” by chance alone grows with the number of DVs. Therefore it is important to inform readers of all of the DVs collected that are relevant to the study. For example, if accuracy, latency, and confidence were measured, but the paper focuses on the accuracy data, then report the existence of the other measures and (if possible) adjust the analyses as appropriate. Similarly, if several different measures were used to tap a construct, then it is important to report the existence of all of those indices, not just the ones that yielded significant effects (although it may be reasonable to present a rationale for why discounting or not reporting detailed results for some of the measures is justified). There is no need to report measures that were available to you (e.g., via a participant pool data base) but that are irrelevant to the study. The selection of variables would again benefit from preregistration; see the Psychonomic Society’s recent digital event on this issue: https://featuredcontent.psychonomic.org/4527-2/.

3. Rich descriptions of the data help reviewers, the Editor, and other readers understand your findings. Thus it is important to report appropriate measures of variability around means and around effects (e.g., confidence intervals or Baysesian credible intervals), and ideally plot the raw data or descriptions of the data (e.g., violin plots, box plots, scatterplots).

4. Cherry picking experiments, conditions, DVs, or observations can be misleading. Give readers the information they need to gain an accurate impression of the reliability and size of the effect in question.

A. Conducting multiple experiments with the same basic procedure and then reporting only the subset of those studies that yielded significant results (and putting the other experiments in an unpublished “file drawer”) can give a misleading impression of the size and replicability of an effect. If several experiments testing the same hypothesis with the same or very similar methods have been conducted and have varied in the pattern of significant and null effects obtained (as would be expected, if only due to chance), then you should report both the significant and the non-significant findings. Reporting the non-significant findings can actually strengthen evidence for the existence of an effect when meta-analytical techniques pool effect sizes across experiments. It is not generally necessary to report results from exploratory pilot experiments (although their existence might be mentioned), such as when pilot experiments were used to estimate effect size, provided the final experiment is sufficiently informative. In contrast, it is not appropriate to run multiple low-powered pilot experiments on a given topic and then report only the experiments that reject the null hypothesis.

B. Deciding whether or not to report data from experimental conditions post hoc, contingent on the outcome of NHST, inflates the Type I error rate. Therefore, please inform readers of all of the conditions tested in the study. If, for example, 2nd, 4th, and 6th graders were tested in a study of memory development then it is appropriate to report on all three of those groups, even if one of them yielded discrepant data. This holds even if there are reasons to believe that some data should be discounted (e.g., due to a confound, a ceiling or floor effect in one condition, etc.). Here again, anomalous results do not necessarily preclude publication (after all, even ideal procedures yield anomalous results sometimes by chance). Failing to report the existence of a condition that did not yield the expected data can be misleading.

C. Deciding to drop participants or observations post hoc contingent on the outcome of NHST inflates the Type I error rate. Best practice is to set inclusion/exclusion criteria in advance (and pre-register where appropriate) and stick to them, but if that is not done then whatever procedure was followed should be reported.

5. Be careful about using null results to infer “boundary conditions” for an effect. A single experiment that does not reject the null hypothesis may provide only weak evidence for the absence of an effect. Too much faith in the outcome of a single experiment can lead to hypothesizing after the results are known (HARKing), which can lead to theoretical ideas being defined by noise in experimental results. Unless the experimental evidence for a boundary condition is strong, it may be more appropriate to consider a non-significant experimental finding as a Type II error. Such errors occur at a rate that reflects experimental power (e.g., if power is .80, then 20% of exact replications would be expected to fail to reject the null). Bayesian tests may provide stronger evidence for the null hypothesis than is possible through frequentist statistics.

6. Authors should use statistical methods that best describe and convey the properties of their data. The Psychonomic Society does not require authors to use any particular data analysis method. The following sections highlight some important considerations.

A. Statistically significant findings are not a prerequisite for publication in Psychonomic Society journals. Indeed, too many significant findings relative to experimental power can indicate bias. Sometimes strong evidence for null or negligible effects can be deeply informative for theorizing and for identifying boundary conditions of an effect.

B. In many scientific investigations the goal of an experiment is to measure the magnitude of an effect with some degree of precision. In such a situation stronger scientific arguments may be available through confidence or credible intervals (of parameter values or of standardized effect sizes). Moreover, some of the bias issues described above can be avoided by designing experiments to measure effects to a desired degree of precision (range of confidence interval). Confidence intervals must be interpreted with care, see the Psychonomic Society’s digital event on this issue: https://featuredcontent.psychonomic.org/confidence-intervals-digital-event-december-2015/.

C. The Psychonomic Society encourages the use of data analysis methods other than NHST when appropriate. For example, Bayesian data analysis methods avoid some of the problems described above. They can be used instead of traditional NHST methods for both hypothesis testing and estimation. The Psychonomic Society’s recent digital event on Bayesian methods may be helpful here: https://featuredcontent.psychonomic.org/bayesinpsych-a-digital-event-on-the-role-of-bayesian-statistics-and-modelling-in-psychology/.

Last Word

Ultimately, journal Editors work with reviewers and authors to promote good scientific practice in publications in Psychonomic Society journals. A publication decision on any specific manuscript depends on much more than the above guidelines, and individual Editors and reviewers may stress some points more than others. Nonetheless, all else being equal submissions that comply with these guidelines will be better science and be more likely to be published than submissions that deviate from them.

Resources

There are many excellent sources for information on statistical issues. Listed below are some that the 2019 Publications Committee and Editors recommend.

• Confidence Intervals

o Masson, M. J., & Loftus, G. R. (2003). Using confidence intervals for graphically based data interpretation. Canadian Journal of Experimental Psychology/Revue Canadienne de Psychologie Expérimentale, 57, 203-220. doi:10.1037/h0087426

o Morey, R. D., Hoekstra, R., Rouder, J. N., Lee, M. D., & Wagenmakers, E. J. (2016). The fallacy of placing confidence in confidence intervals. Psychonomic bulletin & review, 23, 103-123.

• Effect Size Estimates

o Ellis, P. D. (2010). The essential guide to effect sizes: Statistical power, meta-analysis and the interpretation of research results. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-14246-5.

o Fritz, C. O., Morris, P. E., & Richler, J. J. (2011). Effect size estimates: Current use, calculations and interpretation. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 141, 2-18.

o Grissom, R. J., & Kim, J. J. (2012). Effect sizes for research: Univariate and multivariate applications (2nd ed.). New York, NY US: Routledge/Taylor & Francis Group

• Meta-analysis

o Cumming, G. (2012). Understanding the new statistics: Effect sizes, confidence intervals, and meta-analysis. New York, NY US: Routledge/Taylor & Francis Group.

o Littell, J. H., Corcoran, J., & Pillai, V. (2008). Systematic reviews and meta-analysis. New York: Oxford University Press.

• Bayesian Data Analysis

o Kruschke, J. K. (2011). Doing Bayesian data analysis: A tutorial with R and BUGS. San Diego, CA US: Elsevier Academic Press.

o Kruschke, J. K. (2013). Bayesian estimation supersedes the t test. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 144(2), 573-603.

o McElreath, R. (2015). Statistical rethinking: A Bayesian course with examples in R and Stan. Chapman and Hall/CRC.

o Rouder, J. N. (2014). Optional stopping: No problem for Bayesians. Psychonomic bulletin & review, 21, 301-308.

• Power Analysis

o Faul, F., Erdfelder, E., Lang, A., & Buchner, A. (2007). G*Power 3: A flexible statistical power analysis program for the social, behavioral, and biomedical sciences. Behavior Research Methods, 39(2), 175-191. (See http://www.psycho.uni-duesseldorf.de/abteilungen/aap/gpower3/)

Manuscript Style

Manuscripts are to adhere to the conventions described in the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (6th ed.). See www.apastyle.org/ for information on APA style, or type “APA style” into a search engine to find numerous online sources of information about APA style. Here we highlight only the most fundamental aspects of that style.

  • Layout: All manuscripts are to be double spaced and have 1” margins with page numbers in the upper right corner of each page.

    Title Page: The title page must include the authors’ names and affiliations and the corresponding author’s address, telephone number, and e-mail address.

    Abstract: There must be an abstract of no more than 250 words.

    Sections: Manuscript should be divided into sections (and perhaps subsections) appropriate for their content (e.g., introduction/background, Method, Results, etc.), as per APA style.

    Acknowledgments: The Author Note should include sources of financial support and any possible conflicts of interest. If desirable, contributions of different authors may be briefly described here. Reviewers and the Editor should not be thanked in the Author Note.

    Figures and Tables: Figures and tables are to be designed as per APA style.

    Location of Figures, Tables, and Footnotes: In submitted manuscripts, figures and tables can be embedded in the body of the text and footnotes can be placed at the bottom of the page on which the footnoted material is referenced. Note that this is a departure from APA style; if you prefer you can submit the manuscript with the figures, tables, and footnotes at the end, but it is slightly easier for reviewers if these elements appear near the text that refers to them. When a paper is accepted, in the final version that the author submits for production each figure and table must be on a separate page near the end of the manuscript and all footnotes must be listed on a footnote page, as per the APA Publication Manual.

    Citations and References: These should conform to APA style.

Acknowledgments and Funding Information

Acknowledgments of people, grants, funds, etc. should be placed in a separate section on the Title page. The names of funding organizations should be written in full. In addition, please provide the funding information in a separate step of the submission process in the peer review system. Funder names should preferably be selected from the standardized list you will see during submission. If the funding institution you need is not listed, it can be entered as free text. Funding information will be published as searchable metadata for the accepted article, whereas acknowledgements are published within the paper.

Color Figures

Authors are encouraged to use color in figures if they believe that doing so improves the clarity of those figures. With the approval of the Editor, color can be used in the online version of the journal at no cost to authors. Moreover, as of 2011, the Editor has a limited budget for printing hard copy articles with color figures at no expense to authors. The Editor makes the final decision as to whether or not an article will be printed in hard copy with color: The greater the scientific value of using color the more likely an Editor will approve its use. Also, authors can pay for printed production of their articles with color figures; the current fee is $1,100 per article (regardless of the number of color figures).

Whether used only online or both in print and online, color figures should (insofar as is possible) be designed such that grayscale versions are interpretable. This is important because readers may wish to print or photocopy articles in grayscale.

Research Data Policy

A submission to the journal implies that materials described in the manuscript, including all relevant raw data, will be freely available to any researcher wishing to use them for non-commercial purposes, without breaching participant confidentiality.

Data availability

All original research must include a data availability statement. Data availability statements should include information on where data supporting the results reported in the article can be found, if applicable. Statements should include, where applicable, hyperlinks to publicly archived datasets analysed or generated during the study. For the purposes of the data availability statement, “data” is defined as the minimal dataset that would be necessary to interpret, replicate and build upon the findings reported in the article. When it is not possible to share research data publicly, for instance when individual privacy could be compromised, data availability should still be stated in the manuscript along with any conditions for access. Data availability statements can take one of the following forms (or a combination of more than one if required for multiple datasets):

1. The datasets generated during and/or analysed during the current study are available in the [NAME] repository, [PERSISTENT WEB LINK TO DATASETS]

2. The datasets generated during and/or analysed during the current study are available from the corresponding author on reasonable request.

3. All data generated or analysed during this study are included in this published article [and its supplementary information files].

4. The datasets generated during and/or analysed during the current study are not publicly available due [REASON(S) WHY DATA ARE NOT PUBLIC] but are available from the corresponding author on reasonable request.].

5. Data sharing not applicable to this article as no datasets were generated or analysed during the current study.

6. The data that support the findings of this study are available from [THIRD PARTY NAME] but restrictions apply to the availability of these data, which were used under licence for the current study, and so are not publicly available. Data are however available from the authors upon reasonable request and with permission of [THIRD PARTY NAME].

More templates for data availability statements, including examples of openly available and restricted access datasets, are available here:

Data availability statements

Data repositories

This journal strongly encourages that all datasets on which the conclusions of the paper rely are available to readers. We encourage authors to ensure that their datasets are either deposited in publicly available repositories (where available and appropriate) or presented in the main manuscript or additional supporting files whenever possible. Please see Springer Nature’s information on recommended repositories.

List of Repositories

General repositories - for all types of research data - such as figshare and Dryad may be used where appropriate.

Data citation

The journal also requires that authors cite any publicly available data on which the conclusions of the paper rely. Data citations should include a persistent identifier (such as a DOI), should be included in the reference list using the minimum information recommended by DataCite, and follow journal style. Dataset identifiers including DOIs should be expressed as full URLs.

Research data and peer review

Peer reviewers are encouraged to check the manuscript’s Data availability statement, where applicable. They should consider if the authors have complied with the journal’s policy on the availability of research data, and whether reasonable effort has been made to make the data that support the findings of the study available for replication or reuse by other researchers. Peer reviewers are entitled to request access to underlying data (and code) when needed for them to perform their evaluation of a manuscript.

Research data helpdesk

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.

Helpdesk

For more information:

http://www.springernature.com/gp/group/data-policy/faq

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.

English language tutorial

Nature Research Editing Service

American Journal Experts

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.

.

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。

教程

Nature Research Editing Service

American Journal Experts

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。

.

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。

英語のチュートリアル

Nature Research Editing Service

American Journal Experts

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。

.

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.

영어 튜토리얼 페이지

Nature Research Editing Service

American Journal Experts

영문 교정 서비스는 게재를 위한 요구사항은 아니며, 해당 서비스의 이용이 피어 리뷰에 논문이 선택되거나 게재가 수락되는 것을 의미하거나 보장하지 않습니다.

원고가 수락될 경우, 출판 전 저희측 편집자에 의해 원고의 철자 및 문체를 검수하는 과정을 거치게 됩니다.

Author tools to prepare your article

For your convenience, Springer has developed macros and templates to help you prepare your article. For information about the preferred format for this journal please refer to the Instructions for Authors.

Word template

The document template provides predefined style formats for all the types of content that are part of an article. It can be used with Word 2000 and higher.

Word template (Download zip, 158 kB)

LaTeX macro package

The LaTex2e macro package supports various journal layouts. For information about which layout option to use, please refer to the section "Text" on the right.

LaTeX macro package (Download zip, 188 kB)

Conflicts of Interest / Competing Interests

Authors are requested to disclose interests that are directly or indirectly related to the work submitted for publication. Interests within the last 3 years of beginning the work (conducting the research and preparing the work for submission) should be reported. Interests outside the 3-year time frame must be disclosed if they could reasonably be perceived as influencing the submitted work. Disclosure of interests provides a complete and transparent process and helps readers form their own judgments of potential bias. 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.

Interests that should be considered and disclosed but are not limited to the following:

Funding: Research grants from funding agencies (please give the research funder and the grant number) and/or research support (including salaries, equipment, supplies, reimbursement for attending symposia, and other expenses) by organizations that may gain or lose financially through publication of this manuscript.

Employment: Recent (while engaged in the research project), present or anticipated employment by any organization that may gain or lose financially through publication of this manuscript. This includes multiple affiliations (if applicable).

Financial interests: Stocks or shares in companies (including holdings of spouse and/or children) that may gain or lose financially through publication of this manuscript; consultation fees or other forms of remuneration from organizations that may gain or lose financially; patents or patent applications whose value may be affected by publication of this manuscript.

It is difficult to specify a threshold at which a financial interest becomes significant, any such figure is necessarily arbitrary, so one possible practical guideline is the following: "Any undeclared financial interest that could embarrass the author were it to become publicly known after the work was published."

Non-financial interests: In addition, authors are requested to disclose interests that go beyond financial interests that could impart bias on the work submitted for publication such as professional interests, personal relationships or personal beliefs (amongst others). Examples include, but are not limited to: position on editorial board, advisory board or board of directors or other type of management relationships; writing and/or consulting for educational purposes; expert witness; mentoring relations; and so forth.

Primary research articles require a disclosure statement. Review articles present an expert synthesis of evidence and may be treated as an authoritative work on a subject. Review articles therefore require a disclosure statement.Other article types such as editorials, book reviews, comments (amongst others) may, dependent on their content, require a disclosure statement. If you are unclear whether your article type requires a disclosure statement, please contact the Editor-in-Chief.

Please note that, in addition to the above requirements, funding information (given that funding is a potential conflict of interest (as mentioned above)) needs to be disclosed upon submission of the manuscript in the peer review system. This information will automatically be added to the Record of CrossMark, however it is not added to the manuscript itself. Under ‘summary of requirements’ (see below) funding information should be included in the ‘Declarations’ section.

Summary of requirements

The above should be summarized in a statement and placed in a ‘Declarations’ section before the reference list under a heading of ‘Funding’ and/or ‘Conflicts of interests’/’Competing interests’. Other declarations include Ethics approval, Consent, Data, Material and/or Code availability and Authors’ contribution statements.

Please see the various examples of wording below and revise/customize the sample statements according to your own needs.

When all authors have the same (or no) conflicts and/or funding it is sufficient to use one blanket statement.

Examples of statements to be used when funding has been received:

  • Partial financial support was received from [...]
  • The research leading to these results received funding from […] under Grant Agreement No[…].
  • This study was funded by […]
  • This work was supported by […] (Grant numbers […] and […]

Examples of statements to be used when there is no funding:

  • The authors did not receive support from any organization for the submitted work.
  • No funding was received to assist with the preparation of this manuscript.
  • No funding was received for conducting this study.
  • No funds, grants, or other support was received.

Examples of statements to be used when there are interests to declare:

  • Financial interests: Author A has received research support from Company A. Author B has received a speaker honorarium from Company Wand owns stock in Company X. Author C is consultant to company Y.

    Non-financial interests: Author C is an unpaid member of committee Z.

  • Financial interests: The authors declare they have no financial interests.

    Non-financial interests: Author A is on the board of directors of Y and receives no compensation as member of the board of directors.

  • Financial interests: Author A received a speaking fee from Y for Z. Author B receives a salary from association X. X where s/he is the Executive Director.

    Non-financial interests: none.

  • Financial interests: Author A and B declare they have no financial interests. Author C has received speaker and consultant honoraria from Company M and Company N. Dr. C has received speaker honorarium and research funding from Company M and Company O. Author D has received travel support from Company O.

    Non-financial interests: Author D has served on advisory boards for Company M, Company N and Company O.

Examples of statements to be used when authors have nothing to declare:

  • The authors have no relevant financial or non-financial interests to disclose.
  • The authors have no conflicts of interest to declare that are relevant to the content of this article.
  • All authors certify that they have no affiliations with or involvement in any organization or entity with any financial interest or non-financial interest in the subject matter or materials discussed in this manuscript.
  • The authors have no financial or proprietary interests in any material discussed in this article.

Authors are responsible for correctness of the statements provided in the manuscript. See also Authorship Principles. The Editor-in-Chief reserves the right to reject submissions that do not meet the guidelines described in this section.

Research involving human participants, their data or biological material

Ethics approval

When reporting a study that involved human participants, their data or biological material, authors should include a statement that confirms that the study was approved (or granted exemption) by the appropriate institutional and/or national research ethics committee (including the name of the ethics committee) and certify that the study was 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 an independent ethics committee or institutional review board explicitly approved the doubtful aspects of the study. If a study was granted exemption from requiring ethics approval, this should also be detailed in the manuscript (including the reasons for the exemption).

Retrospective ethics approval

If a study has not been granted ethics committee approval prior to commencing, retrospective ethics approval usually cannot be obtained and it may not be possible to consider the manuscript for peer review. The decision on whether to proceed to peer review in such cases is at the Editor's discretion.

Ethics approval for retrospective studies

Although retrospective studies are conducted on already available data or biological material (for which formal consent may not be needed or is difficult to obtain) ethics approval may be required dependent on the law and the national ethical guidelines of a country. Authors should check with their institution to make sure they are complying with the specific requirements of their country.

Ethics approval for case studies

Case reports require ethics approval. Most institutions will have specific policies on this subject. Authors should check with their institution to make sure they are complying with the specific requirements of their institution and seek ethics approval where needed. Authors should be aware to secure informed consent from the individual (or parent or guardian if the participant is a minor or incapable) See also section on Informed Consent.

Cell lines

If human cells are used, authors must declare in the manuscript: what cell lines were used by describing the source of the cell line, including when and from where it was obtained, whether the cell line has recently been authenticated and by what method. If cells were bought from a life science company the following need to be given in the manuscript: name of company (that provided the cells), cell type, number of cell line, and batch of cells.

It is recommended that authors check the NCBI database for misidentification and contamination of human cell lines. This step will alert authors to possible problems with the cell line and may save considerable time and effort.

Further information is available from the International Cell Line Authentication Committee (ICLAC).

Authors should include a statement that confirms that an institutional or independent ethics committee (including the name of the ethics committee) approved the study and that informed consent was obtained from the donor or next of kin.

Research Resource Identifiers (RRID)

Research Resource Identifiers (RRID) are persistent unique identifiers (effectively similar to a DOI) for research resources. This journal encourages authors to adopt RRIDs when reporting key biological resources (antibodies, cell lines, model organisms and tools) in their manuscripts.

Examples:

Organism: Filip1tm1a(KOMP)Wtsi RRID:MMRRC_055641-UCD

Cell Line: RST307 cell line RRID:CVCL_C321

Antibody: Luciferase antibody DSHB Cat# LUC-3, RRID:AB_2722109

Plasmid: mRuby3 plasmid RRID:Addgene_104005

Software: ImageJ Version 1.2.4 RRID:SCR_003070

RRIDs are provided by the Resource Identification Portal. Many commonly used research resources already have designated RRIDs. The portal also provides authors links so that they can quickly register a new resource and obtain an RRID.

Clinical Trial Registration

The World Health Organization (WHO) definition of a clinical trial is "any research study that prospectively assigns human participants or groups of humans to one or more health-related interventions to evaluate the effects on health outcomes". The WHO defines health interventions as “A health intervention is an act performed for, with or on behalf of a person or population whose purpose is to assess, improve, maintain, promote or modify health, functioning or health conditions” and a health-related outcome is generally defined as a change in the health of a person or population as a result of an intervention.

To ensure the integrity of the reporting of patient-centered trials, authors must register prospective clinical trials (phase II to IV trials) in suitable publicly available repositories. For example www.clinicaltrials.gov or any of the primary registries that participate in the WHO International Clinical Trials Registry Platform.

The trial registration number (TRN) and date of registration should be included as the last line of the manuscript abstract.

For clinical trials that have not been registered prospectively, authors are encouraged to register retrospectively to ensure the complete publication of all results. The trial registration number (TRN), date of registration and the words 'retrospectively registered’ should be included as the last line of the manuscript abstract.

Standards of reporting

Springer Nature advocates complete and transparent reporting of biomedical and biological research and research with biological applications. Authors are recommended to adhere to the minimum reporting guidelines hosted by the EQUATOR Network when preparing their manuscript.

Exact requirements may vary depending on the journal; please refer to the journal’s Instructions for Authors.

Checklists are available for a number of study designs, including:

Randomised trials (CONSORT) and Study protocols (SPIRIT)

Observational studies (STROBE)

Systematic reviews and meta-analyses (PRISMA) and protocols (Prisma-P)

Diagnostic/prognostic studies (STARD) and (TRIPOD)

Case reports (CARE)

Clinical practice guidelines (AGREE) and (RIGHT)

Qualitative research (SRQR) and (COREQ)

Animal pre-clinical studies (ARRIVE)

Quality improvement studies (SQUIRE)

Economic evaluations (CHEERS)

Summary of requirements

The above should be summarized in a statement and placed in a ‘Declarations’ section before the reference list under a heading of ‘Ethics approval’.

Examples of statements to be used when ethics approval has been obtained:

• 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. The study was approved by the Bioethics Committee of the Medical University of A (No. ...).

• This study was performed in line with the principles of the Declaration of Helsinki. Approval was granted by the Ethics Committee of University B (Date.../No. ...).

• Approval was obtained from the ethics committee of University C. The procedures used in this study adhere to the tenets of the Declaration of Helsinki.

• The questionnaire and methodology for this study was approved by the Human Research Ethics committee of the University of D (Ethics approval number: ...).

Examples of statements to be used for a retrospective study:

• Ethical approval was waived by the local Ethics Committee of University A in view of the retrospective nature of the study and all the procedures being performed were part of the routine care.

• This research study was conducted retrospectively from data obtained for clinical purposes. We consulted extensively with the IRB of XYZ who determined that our study did not need ethical approval. An IRB official waiver of ethical approval was granted from the IRB of XYZ.

• This retrospective chart review study involving human participants was in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki Declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards. The Human Investigation Committee (IRB) of University B approved this study.

Examples of stetements to be used when no ethical approval is required/exemption granted:

• This is an observational study. The XYZ Research Ethics Committee has confirmed that no ethical approval is required.

• The data reproduced from Article X utilized human tissue that was procured via our Biobank AB, which provides de-identified samples. This study was reviewed and deemed exempt by our XYZ Institutional Review Board. The BioBank protocols are in accordance with the ethical standards of our institution and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Authors are responsible for correctness of the statements provided in the manuscript. See also Authorship Principles. The Editor-in-Chief reserves the right to reject submissions that do not meet the guidelines described in this section.

Research involving animals, their data or biological material

Research involving animals and their data or biological material

The welfare of animals (vertebrate and higher invertebrate) used for research, education and testing must be respected. Authors should supply detailed information on the ethical treatment of their animals in their submission. For that purpose they may use the ARRIVE checklist which is designed to be used when submitting manuscripts describing animal research.

For studies involving client-owned animals, authors must also document informed consent from the client or owner and adherence to a high standard (best practice) of veterinary care.

Authors are recommended to comply with:

• The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Policy Statement on Research Involving Species at Risk of Extinction and consult the IUCN red list index of threatened species.

Convention on the Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora

When reporting results authors should indicate:

• … that the studies have been approved by a research ethics committee at the institution or practice at which the studies were conducted. Please provide the name of ethics committee and relevant permit number;

• … whether the legal requirements or guidelines in the country and/or state or province for the care and use of animals have been followed.

Researchers from countries without any legal requirements or guidelines voluntarily should refer to the following sites for guidance:

The Basel Declaration describes fundamental principles of using animals in biomedical research

The International Council for Laboratory Animal Science (ICLAS) provides ethical guidelines for researchers as well as editors and reviewers

– The Association for the study of Animal Behaviour describes ethical guidelines for the treatment of animals in research and teaching

– The International Association of Veterinary Editors’ Consensus Author Guidelines on Animal Ethics provide guidelines for authors on animal ethics and welfare

Researchers may wish to consult the most recent (ethical) guidelines available from relevant taxon-oriented professional societies.

If a study was granted exemption or did not require ethics approval, this should also be detailed in the manuscript.

Summary of requirements

The above should be summarized in a statement and placed in a ‘Declarations’ section before the reference list under a heading of ‘Ethics approval’.

Examples of statements to be used when ethics approval has been obtained:

• All procedures involving animals were in compliance with the European Community Council Directive of 24 November 1986, and ethical approval was granted by the Kocaeli University Ethics Committee (No. 29 12 2014, Kocaeli, Turkey).

• All procedures performed in the study were in accordance with the ARVO Statement for Use of Animals in Ophthalmic Vision and Research. The ethical principles established by the National Institutes of Health Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals (NIH Publications No. 8523, revised 2011) were followed. The research protocol was approved by the Ethics Committee on Animal Use (Protocol No. 06174/14) of FCAV/Unesp, Jaboticabal.

• This study involved a questionnaire-based survey of farmers as well as blood sampling from their animals. The study protocol was assessed and approved by Haramaya University, research and extension office. Participants provided their verbal informed consent for animal blood sampling as well as for the related survey questions. Collection of blood samples was carried out by veterinarians adhering to the regulations and guidelines on animal husbandry and welfare.

• All brown bear captures and handling were approved by the Ethical Committee on Animal Experiments, Uppsala, Sweden (Application C18/15) and the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency in compliance with Swedish laws and regulations.

• The ethics governing the use and conduct of experiments on animals were strictly observed, and the experimental protocol was approved by the University of Maiduguri Senate committee on Medical Research ethics. Proper permit and consent were obtained from the Maiduguri abattoir management, before the faecal samples of the cattle and camels slaughtered in this abattoir were used for this experiment.

Examples of statements to be used when no ethical approval is required/exemption granted:

• No approval of research ethics committees was required to accomplish the goals of this study because experimental work was conducted with an unregulated invertebrate species.

• As the trappings of small mammals were conducted as part of regular pest control measures in accordance with the NATO Standardized Agreement 2048 "Deployment Pest and Vector Surveillance and Control ", no approval by an ethics committee was required.

• All experiments have been conducted as per the guidelines of the Institutional Animal Ethics Committee, Department of Zoology, Utkal University, Bhubaneswar, Odisha, India. However, the insect species used in this study is reared for commercial production of raw silk materials, as a part of agro-based industry. Therefore, use of this animal in research does not require ethical clearance. We have obtained permission from the office of Research officer sericulture, Baripada, Orissa, India for the provision of infrastructure and support for rearing of silkworm both in indoor and outdoor conditions related to our study to promote sericulture practices.

Authors are responsible for correctness of the statements provided in the manuscript. See also Authorship Principles. The Editor-in-Chief reserves the right to reject submissions that do not meet the guidelines described in this section.

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. This is especially true concerning images of vulnerable people (e.g. minors, patients, refugees, etc) or the use of images in sensitive contexts. In many instances authors will need to secure written consent before including images.

Identifying details (names, dates of birth, identity numbers, biometrical characteristics (such as facial features, fingerprint, writing style, voice pattern, DNA or other distinguishing characteristic) 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 scholarly purposes and the participant (or parent/guardian if the participant is a minor or incapable or legal representative) gave written informed consent for publication. Complete anonymity is difficult to achieve in some cases. Detailed descriptions of individual participants, whether of their whole bodies or of body sections, may lead to disclosure of their identity. Under certain circumstances consent is not required as long as information is anonymized and the submission does not include images that may identify the person.

Informed consent for publication 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 meaning.

Exceptions where it is not necessary to obtain consent:

• Images such as x rays, laparoscopic images, ultrasound images, brain scans, pathology slides unless there is a concern about identifying information in which case, authors should ensure that consent is obtained.

• Reuse of images: If images are being reused from prior publications, the Publisher will assume that the prior publication obtained the relevant information regarding consent. Authors should provide the appropriate attribution for republished images.

Consent and already available data and/or biologic material

Regardless of whether material is collected from living or dead patients, they (family or guardian if the deceased has not made a pre-mortem decision) must have given prior written consent. The aspect of confidentiality as well as any wishes from the deceased should be respected.

Data protection, confidentiality and privacy

When biological material is donated for or data is generated as part of a research project authors should ensure, as part of the informed consent procedure, that the participants are made aware what kind of (personal) data will be processed, how it will be used and for what purpose. In case of data acquired via a biobank/biorepository, it is possible they apply a broad consent which allows research participants to consent to a broad range of uses of their data and samples which is regarded by research ethics committees as specific enough to be considered “informed”. However, authors should always check the specific biobank/biorepository policies or any other type of data provider policies (in case of non-bio research) to be sure that this is the case.

Consent to Participate

For all research involving human subjects, freely-given, informed consent to participate in the study must be obtained from participants (or their parent or legal guardian in the case of children under 16) and a statement to this effect should appear in the manuscript. In the case of articles describing human transplantation studies, authors must include a statement declaring that no organs/tissues were obtained from prisoners and must also name the institution(s)/clinic(s)/department(s) via which organs/tissues were obtained. For manuscripts reporting studies involving vulnerable groups where there is the potential for coercion or where consent may not have been fully informed, extra care will be taken by the editor and may be referred to the Springer Nature Research Integrity Group.

Consent to Publish

Individuals may consent to participate in a study, but object to having their data published in a journal article. Authors should make sure to also seek consent from individuals to publish their data prior to submitting their paper to a journal. This is in particular applicable to case studies. A consent to publish form can be found

here. (Download docx, 36 kB)

Summary of requirements

The above should be summarized in a statement and placed in a ‘Declarations’ section before the reference list under a heading of ‘Consent to participate’ and/or ‘Consent to publish’. Other declarations include Funding, Conflicts of interest/competing interests, Ethics approval, Consent, Data and/or Code availability and Authors’ contribution statements.

Please see the various examples of wording below and revise/customize the sample statements according to your own needs.

Sample statements for "Consent to participate":

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.

Informed consent was obtained from legal guardians.

Written informed consent was obtained from the parents.

Verbal informed consent was obtained prior tothe interview.

Sample statements for “Consent to publish”:

The authors affirm that human research participants provided informed consent for publication of the images in Figure(s) 1a, 1b and 1c.

The participant has consented to the submission of the case report to the journal.

Patients signed informed consent regarding publishing their data and photographs.

Sample statements if identifying information about participants is available in the article:

Additional informed consent was obtained from all individual participants for whom identifying information is included in this article.

Authors are responsible for correctness of the statements provided in the manuscript. See also Authorship Principles. The Editor-in-Chief reserves the right to reject submissions that do not meet the guidelines described in this section.

Images will be removed from publication if authors have not obtained informed consent or the paper may be removed and replaced with a notice explaining the reason for removal.

Other Questions

Jonathon Crystal

Professor, Psychological and Brain Sciences

Indiana University-Bloomington

107 S. Indiana Avenue

Bloomington, IN

47405-7000

jcrystal@indiana.edu

Open access publishing

Learning & Behavior publishes open access articles. Authors of open access articles published in this journal retain the copyright of their articles and are free to reproduce and disseminate their work.

Visit our Open access publishing page to learn more.