Submit manuscripts electronically and directly to the Editors at firstname.lastname@example.org. Authors may request one or the other Editor to serve as the contact and Action Editor for the paper.
Authors should suggest at least three names (with an email address) of potential reviewers in that email; however the Editor reserves the right to choose reviewers other than those suggested.
The type of submission (see below) should be clearly stated in the email submission.
We welcome submissions in the following formats:
1. Original Research Reports: Manuscripts that report original research that has not been published elsewhere. Research could be observational or experimental, and could be conducted in laboratory, zoo, or natural settings. These submissions are evaluated through formal peer-review, and authors are requested to provide names of at least three qualified referees. The expected decision time for Original Research Reports is 6-8 weeks
2. Replication Reports: Manuscripts that report attempts (successful or unsuccessful) to replicate findings that have been published in a peer-reviewed journal. We strongly encourage authors of replication attempts to pre-register their replication efforts (see next section), so that the editors and reviewers can give guidance about the value of the replication attempt. Any submitted replication manuscript will undergo peer-review, including an effort to solicit a review from one or more of the authors of the paper that was the focus of the replication. For Replication Reports, it is expected that authors may limit the length of the background and introductory material given that the key focus is about replication. However, extensive details about the methods of the replication will be expected. The expected decision time for Replication Reports is 6-8 weeks.
3. Target Review Articles: Manuscripts that integrate and review the literature on a specific aspect of animal behavior and cognition. These review articles can be focused on empirical aspects of animal behavior and cognition or can be offered as theoretical perspectives or perspectives on practical and ethical issues regarding animal behavior and cognition. Authors of such submissions will typically have made significant contributions to the topic of concern. These submissions will undergo peer-review. At the discretion of the editors and editorial board, and in consultation with the author(s) of the target review, commentaries may be solicited from the readership of AB&C. These commentaries (and a response to commentaries from the authors) will take a form similar to that of Behavioral and Brain Sciences articles. Potential authors are strongly encouraged to contact the editors about their proposed topic before submission of a Target Review. Authors are encouraged to suggest the names of potential commentators. The expected decision time for Target Review Articles is 6-8 weeks. Commentary solicitation after acceptance of a Target Review is 4 weeks, and review time for those commentaries is 4 weeks. The original authors then are given up to 8 weeks to provide their response to the commentaries.
4. Opposing Viewpoints: Jointly submitted manuscripts that allow two authors (or sets of authors) to debate a focal aspect of animal behavior and cognition or broader issue related to this field of study. This format is for pre-arranged debates by individuals (or teams) with expertise in the topic area under debate. Unlike traditional opinion articles that are submitted and might then lead to a response (e.g., from the authors of the target article that was discussed), Opposing Viewpoints are published as separate articles in the same issue but are conceived and written concurrently rather than sequentially. Ideally, the authors of each article would be in communication with each other about the focus of their viewpoints to generate a reading experience like that of some of the major media news outlets that use this kind of format in their op ed sections. These commentaries each should be less than 2,000 words of text (not counting references) and up to 2 figures or tables. Each contribution will undergo peer-review and cross-review by the two authors or teams of authors. The expected decision time for Opposing Viewpoints is 4 weeks.
5. Brief Reports: Manuscripts of fewer than 5,000 words including tables, figures, and references, that report intriguing methods or findings. This format allows for abbreviated introductory material and is suited for empirical reports for which minimal background information is required, whereas a focus on methods and results is emphasized. Potential authors are strongly encouraged to contact the editors about their proposed Brief Report before submission to avoid a subsequent decision by the editors to classify the submission as an Original Research Report. Guidance can be provided as to which format best suits a specific submission that is being prepared. The expected decision time for Brief Reports is 4 weeks.
The Pre-Registered Empirical Report
The general format for a Pre-Registered Empirical Report is submission of a strong empirical proposal that outlines the relevant background, rationale for the study, and detailed methodology, including clear hypotheses, so that editors and reviewers can assess the likelihood that knowing the results of such a study is important, no matter how well those results fit the authors’ hypotheses and the previous literature. Authors submit these proposed studies for peer review just like with any other article type, and, if accepted as a preregistered report, publication is guaranteed assuming the criteria listed below are met. Even in cases of deviation (see below) the report could still be published, but with additional peer review.
The idea behind this approach is to inform authors before the time-consuming and costly data collection phase as to whether their general approach is viewed as informative and valuable. This format may be appealing for those developing a new approach within their laboratory or for advanced graduate students who are looking for an outlet for their thesis or dissertation research and who can benefit from having their approach externally reviewed as part of that process. The format also is especially conducive to replication efforts (see section below). In all cases, the nature of its format necessarily will lead to higher rejection rates of proposed studies if they are seen as valuable only if a specific outcome is obtained or if too little detail is provided. However, those papers that are accepted allow authors to proceed as outlined in their papers with the knowledge that the results will be disseminated.
Criteria for Acceptance:
-Appropriate statistical analysis and reporting of data in a clear manner that allows for replication.
-Compliance to proposed methodology. Deviating from the proposed methods may cause the paper to have to be reviewed again after data collection. The authors’ cover letter must report any significant deviations from the accepted protocol and subject population.
-Balanced consideration of alternative hypotheses in the Implications section. This section replaces the more traditional long Discussion section by allowing for implications to be outlined in the Introduction of the paper. In this way, after acceptance of a pre-registered report, the authors simply collect the data and then outline in a brief Conclusion section what implications are supported by those data.
-Adequate sample size and power to detect effects. However, papers with small numbers of subjects are appropriate where the authors intend to report individual performances (as in cases where only a single or small number of subjects would be available for testing but that species is understudied) and will outline the implications of consistent performance across those small numbers or implications of large individual differences.
-The methods must be adequate as described – additional details may be requested but papers will be rejected if substantial revisions to the methodology would be required. The editors and reviewers are not responsible for modifying the design of the study significantly to make it publishable.
-Although not a requirement for review, it is highly recommended that authors provide a video file or other visual aid that can demonstrate the technique that will be used. This is particularly true for behavioral or observational studies where researchers interact with a species in a way that could be videoed and would allow a reviewer to see how trials/task/manipulations would be presented. If the methods involve computerized tasks, screen shots of those tasks are recommended. For any stimuli that might be used, photographs or other visual aids in evaluating those stimuli are recommended. In general, any visual aids that would allow the reviewers to evaluate the proposed experimental approach are recommended.
Additional Criteria for Accepted Pre-Registered Reports -Upon final submission of the article (after data collection and analyses), a clear Conclusion section must indicate how the results match or do not match the implications outlined in the earlier section of the paper. As noted earlier, this is a new formatting style for this submission type, where the Introduction to the paper should be sufficiently detailed and include implications of the different possible outcomes from data collection. This section will be reviewed by the Action Editor who may also enlist one of the original reviewers for this in rare cases.
-The reviewers and editors must agree formally not to conduct studies based on proposals that were reviewed, prior to final publication of the studies. They also must agree not to discuss with anyone the pre-registered report, so that the ideas are not given to other researchers or students. They must do this in writing, when they confirm willingness to act as an editor or reviewer for a pre-registration manuscript. This embargo will last for a period of three years from the date at which the pre-registered report is submitted for evaluation. In special circumstances, such as ongoing but delayed data collection, the authors can negotiate with the editor(s) to extend that embargo, on a case by case basis.
-Authors must agree in writing to submit their data and full reports for publication once those data are collected if the proposal was previously accepted for publication at Animal Behavior and Cognition. Authors are not obligated to submit follow-up studies to the proposed and accepted methods, but they are obligated to provide the data and analyses that were proposed at the time of acceptance. Failure to do this, with submission of those data to another outlet, could lead to the editor(s) and/or editorial board filing a formal protest with the editor or publisher of that other outlet.
Pre-Registered Replication Articles
Pre-registered Replication Articles are a specific case of the Pre-registered Report outlined above. Their submission and evaluation process is identical to that for a Pre-registered Report except that the initial review stage would focus on the value and feasibility of such a replication attempt. Replication articles are expected to be much shorter than Research Articles, especially in their Introduction section. Here, authors should focus only briefly on the main implications of the original effect and instead focus on a justification for the replication effort, and on the implications for successful or failed attempts to replicate. As with other pre-registered reports, reviewers will be asked to comment on the research question (or, in this case, on the value of the attempt to replicate the original report), the suitability of the proposed replication methods and proposed statistical analyses, and on the authors’ outline for what successful or unsuccessful replication means in terms of implications for this research area. The editorial board will attempt to solicit one of the authors of the original paper that prompted the replication effort, althoug\h other reviewers also will assess the value of the proposed replication attempt.
All manuscripts must include:
Prepare manuscripts as Word documents (doc or docx) or PDF files according to the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (6th edition). If accepted, papers will need to be submitted in Word format at that time for processing for publication.
The title page, abstract, references, appendices, tables, and figures each should on separate pages. Each table or figure should have its own page, and tables and figures should not be embedded within the text, but should be provided at the end of the document as per APA style. Captions for tables and figures can be included on the same page as the table or figure that the caption describes. If the manuscript is accepted, original files used to create the figures should be submitted.
Double-space all text. All margins should be at least 1 inch (2.54 cm).
References must be cited both in text and in the reference list. Journal titles should be spelled out completely. Citations and references should be given in APA style.
When reporting statistics, authors should report estimates of effect size and confidence intervals where appropriate. Please use Word's Insert Table function when you create tables.
Authors must be aware of, and adhere to, all laws, treaties and regulations currently applying to their work, experimental work must comply with the standards and procedures laid down by relevant national and international legislation. Research on animals should conform to relevant guidelines (e.g. the Guidelines for the Treatment of Animals in Behavioural Research and Teaching published by the Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour; see asab.nottingham.ac.uk/downloads/guidelines2006.pdf). Any experimentation in which animals are subjected to painful or harmful conditions must be justified, and a statement as to an Animal Ethics Committee’s approval should be included in the cover letter that accompanies the submission. Authors must demonstrate in their papers that the knowledge gained was of sufficient value to warrant such treatment. Questionable manuscripts where the Editors believe the animals were subjected to significant pain, distress or harm will not be published in the journal. Research on human subjects also should include a statement in the cover letter that all guidelines were followed in conduct of the research and that the research was approved by an Institutional Review Board.
All co-authors of a paper should have made significant scientific contributions to the work reported, and should share responsibility and accountability for the results. The submitting author should have sent each living co-author a final draft copy of the manuscript and should have obtained the co-author’s assent to co-authorship.
Authors must declare details of any potential conflict of interest. A conflict of interest exists when professional judgement concerning a primary interest (such as animal welfare or the validity of research) may be influenced by secondary interests (personal matters such as financial gain, personal relationships or professional rivalry). Unless explicitly stated in the cover letter with submission, it is assumed the authors have declared that no conflicts of interest exist.
All submissions are subject to peer review. If a revision is requested, the corresponding author should submit the revised manuscript within two months unless there are special reasons for a delay, agreed in advance with the Editor. Papers not received within two months may be treated as new submissions and sent for further evaluation by new referees. Each revision should be accompanied by a detailed response to reviewers indicating how the reviewers’ comments have been addressed directly within the manuscript, or an explanation as to why the comment could not be addressed. Revised manuscripts should use track changes to highlight the modified text.
The corresponding author will receive an email when proofs are ready. The corresponding author must provide a reliable email address and inform the Managing Editor of any extended period when the email address is not effective. Instructions for returning the proofs will be sent with the proof. The Editors reserve the right to correct the proof themselves, using the accepted version of the typescript, if the author’s corrections are overdue and the journal would otherwise be delayed.
All published papers are freely available on the Animal Behavior and Cognition website. Corresponding authors will receive a PDF offprint of their article that is identical to that presented on the site, and they can use that offprint for distribution to students, colleagues, and anyone else provided that offprint is not used for re-sale or financial gain by the authors or those who access the offprint.