Aims and Scope

Animal Behavior and Cognition (Print ISSN: 2372-5052 Online ISSN: 2372-4323) publishes original empirical research, replication reports, target review articles, opposing viewpoints, brief reports, and theoretical reviews on all aspects of animal behavior and cognition. All articles undergo peer review and editorial review. The journal is multi-disciplinary, and so welcomes submissions from those studying animal behavior, behavioral ecology, ethology, cognitive science, and comparative psychology.

Topics of interest:

Animal Behavior and Cognition offers readers open access to recent important research on all aspects of behavior and cognition assessed in a comparative perspective. For authors, the journal offers no publication fees, rigorous peer-review, rapid turnaround on decisions for submissions, and the chance to provide free access to their research and broader contributions to this field. Articles are indexed in Google Scholar.

Call for Submissions

We are currently looking for high quality original research reports, brief reports, replication reports, target reviews, and opposing viewpoints for the journal. Please see "Author Guidelines" for further details on each of these manuscript types.


This year is the 40-year anniversary of the extremely influential paper by Seyfarth, Cheney and Marler (1980): Vervet monkey alarm calls: Semantic communication in a free-ranging primate. Given the untimely and devastating passing of Dorothy last year, and the anniversary of this seminal publication, we are organizing a special issue of Animal Behavior and Cognition for publication in May, 2020. We hope this issue will serve in part as an "updating" of where we stood then and where we stand now - 40 years on from that publication, but also as an outlet for researchers to disseminate work that was inspired by that line of research.

The timeline for the process is as follows:

Submission deadline is Nov. 1, 2019
Reviews returned to authors by Jan. 1, 2020
Re-submission due by March 1, 2020
Online publication of accepted articles May, 2020

Folk Physics

This year is the 20-year anniversary of the extremely influential (sometimes controversial) book by Daniel Povinelli (2000): Folk Physics for Apes: The Chimpanzee's theory of how the world works. In the time since the book was published, researchers have had strong opinions about the lasting legacy of these research findings and research on causal reasoning and tool use has extended to many other species. Animal Behavior and Cognition is currently recruiting papers for a special issue on Folk Physics to be published in August, 2020 that would serve in part as an "updating" of where we stood then and where we stand now.

The timeline for the process is as follows:

Submission deadline is Jan. 31, 2020
Reviews returned to authors by March 31, 2020
Re-submission due by May 30, 2020
Online publication of accepted articles Aug. 2020

Submissions can be empirical papers, reviews or commentaries. Making one or two strong points about how you feel this field now looks and what now needs to be done going forward could make a great contribution as a shorter commentary (i.e., something along the lines of a Behavioral and Brain Sciences commentary article). Or, highlighting new research that your lab has done since that 2000 publication is perfectly in line with the goal of the special issue Papers will be peer reviewed.

Call for Contributions to a Special Issue: The value and status of replications in animal behaviour research

Replications are widely considered an essential tool to evaluate scientific claims. Recent efforts in psychology and related fields have highlighted the poor replicability of many research findings and well-known effects and question the lack of incentives for researchers to replicate former studies. These efforts have led to a large-scale movement within psychology with the aim to both study and address these issues. A similar development has not happened in animal behaviour science, although related concepts and issues are being considered and discussed by different researchers. To provide a more organised and coherent framework for discussions on this topic as well as bring together researchers and thoughts from different disciplines related to animal behaviour, we are organising a special issue of Animal Behavior and Cognition (anticipated publication in May 2021). Submissions can be reviews, historical perspectives, commentaries, simulation studies and empirical papers. Regarding the latter, the special issue also offers the opportunity to publish close replication studies - we thus especially want to emphasize submission of replication attempts that did or did not confirm the original results. Animal Behaviour Scientists, open your file drawers!

Special Guest Editors for the Special Issue:
Katharina Brecht (University of Tübingen)
Hannah Fraser (University of Melbourne)
Edward Legg
Christian Nawroth (Institute of Behavioural Physiology, Leibniz Institute for Farm Animal Biology, Dummerstorf)
Ljerka Ostojić (Institute for Globally Distributed Open Research and Education - IGDORE)

Submission deadline: June 1, 2020
Reviews returned to authors: Sept. 1, 2020
Re-submission deadline: Dec. 1, 2020
Anticipated Publication: May 1, 2021

Please send questions to

Call for Proposals for Special Issues

We are soliciting proposals for special issues reflecting any of the general topic areas covered in our aims and scope. Special guest editors would be responsible for recruiting 6-10 articles that may fit within any of the accepted categories of animal behavior and cognition. Please note these special issues can consist of empirical reports of new data, broader summaries of research areas, theoretical debates, or a combination of those perspectives. Guest editors will be responsible for the peer review process with final acceptance dependent on approval by the editors-in-chief. Please email us with proposals (e.g., a working title and tentative list of authors and article titles/topics) at