American Journal of Physical Anthropology

Cover image for Vol. 156 Issue 2

Editor-in-Chief: Peter T. Ellison

Impact Factor: 2.514

ISI Journal Citation Reports © Ranking: 2013: 5/82 (Anthropology); 28/46 (Evolutionary Biology)

Online ISSN: 1096-8644

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Author Guidelines

Note to NIH Grantees
Editor Contact Information
Online Submission
Categories of Submissions
General Instructions for Research Articles
Literature cited
Figures and figure legends
Literature cited
Text headings
Illustrations or Figures
3D Figures
Other Submissions
Additional Guidelines for Electronic Submission via the Manuscript Submission Website
Conflict of Interest
Human and Nonhuman Subjects Statement
Genetics Papers
Production Questions
Yearbook of Physical Anthropology

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Editor Contact Information:
Dr. Peter T. Ellison
Harvard University


AJPA uses iThenticate, a plagiarism detection system. By submitting your manuscript to us, you agree that your manuscript may be screened for plagiarism against previously published works. All submitted manuscripts must be original and must not have been published previously either in whole or in part, except in abstract form; manuscripts published previously in another language may not be submitted. Also, manuscripts submitted to us must not be under consideration by any other journal.

Online Submission

Authors are required to submit their manuscripts online. If you do not have online access, contact the editor at before submission.

To submit a manuscript online, first launch your web browser and go to

Check for an existing account. If you are submitting for the first time, and you do not have an existing account, create a new account. Follow all step-by-step instructions for doing so.

At the end of a successful submission, you will receive email confirmation that the manuscript has been received by the journal. If you do not receive the confirmation, then check your submission to ensure that you have clicked the final submit buttons. If you are concerned that your submission did not register, contact technical support by clicking the Get Help Now button or send an email message to or the Office of the Editor-in-Chief (

IMPORTANT: Text, figures and tables must be submitted as separate files to ensure that the submission is successful.

To avoid possible delay in processing your submission, your files must be submitted in the following formats:

*One .doc or docx file with text and citations

*Each figure in a separate file in .tif or .eps format

*Tables either all in one .doc or .docx file, or in separate .doc or .docx files

See the Miscellaneous section of this document for format restrictions/guidelines.

Do not mail paper copies of your manuscript to the Editor. Be sure to keep an electronic copy that is identical to the version that you submitted online.

Categories of Submissions

The American Journal of Physical Anthropology publishes submissions in six categories: Research Articles, Brief Communications, News and Views, Notes and Comments, Perspectives, and Book Reviews. The style format for each category is presented below (and see examples from recent issues of the journal).

Research Articles

General instructions. The manuscript should have a uniform style and be submitted exactly as it is to appear in print. It should consist of the following subdivisions in order, each prepared as a unit on separate pages or in separate files, as indicated in the “Online Submission” section:

  • Title page
  • Abstract
  • Text
  • Literature cited
  • Footnotes
  • Tables
  • Figure Legends
  • Figures

The manuscript, including literature cited, should be double-spaced using a 1" (2.5 cm) margin on all sides. Number the manuscript pages consecutively, beginning with the title page. Page limit: normally a maximum of 30 pages for text, including Literature Cited, excluding tables and figures.

  • 12 point font only.
  • Indent the first line of every paragraph.
  • Do not right-justify any text.
  • Do not divide words at the end of lines; if they are unfamiliar to the printer, they may be incorrectly hyphenated.
  • Do not begin sentences with abbreviations.
  • The word "Figure" is not abbreviated in the text, except when appearing in parentheses: (Fig. 2); (Figs. 4-6).
  • The spelling of non-technical terms should be that recommended in the current Webster's International Dictionary . Use American spellings (e.g., “behavior” not “behaviour”).
  • Always spell out numbers when they stand as the first word in a sentence or if the number is less than 10 (numbers 10 and greater should use Arabic numerals); do not follow numbers spelled out with abbreviations. Numbers indicating time, weight, and measurements are to be in Arabic numerals when followed by abbreviations (e.g., 2 mm; 1 sec; 3 ml).
  • Text to be italicized should be italicized and not underlined in the manuscript.

Title page. The title page must contain the following elements:

  • Title
  • Author's name (or names)
  • Institution from which the paper emanated, with city, state, and postal code
  • Number of text pages, plus bibliography, number of figures, tables, graphs, and charts
  • Abbreviated title (running headline) not to exceed 48 characters and spaces
  • Key words: Do not repeat terms used in the article title, and do not exceed 85 characters and spaces. Provide a minimum of three key words, and no more than five.
  • Name, address, telephone number, fax number, and email address of the person to whom the proof is to be sent. If you plan to be away while your article is in press, please inform the publisher
  • Grant sponsorship

Abstract. The abstract should consist of 250 words or fewer and within the manuscript itself, should follow the title page. When published, it will precede the introductory section of the text. The abstract should be written in complete sentences and should succinctly state the objectives, the design of the paper, materials and methods, and the principal observations and conclusions; it should be intelligible without reference to the rest of the paper. The abstract is not a brief introduction to the paper.

Literature cited. In the text, references to the literature should be cited by author's surname followed by year of publication. If there are multiple citations, present them chronologically:

. . . analysis by Ward (2001) reveal . . .
. . . studies by Corner and Richtsmeier (2004) reveal . . .
. . . studies by Little et al. (1993) reveal . . .
. . . an earlier report (Hutchinson, 1999) . . .
. . . earlier reports (Arriaza et al., 2000; Paoli et al., 2002; Ross, 2003) . . .

When references are made to more than one paper by the same author published in the same year, they should be designated in the text as (Benefit and McCrossin, 1993a,b) and in the Literature Cited as follows:

Benefit BR, McCrossin ML. 1993a. New Kenyapithecus postcrania and other primate fossils from Maboko Island, Kenya [abstract]. Am J Phys Anthropol Suppl 16:55–56.

Benefit BR, McCrossin ML. 1993b. On the lacrimal fossa of Cercopithecinae, with special reference to cladistic analysis of Old World monkey relationships. Folia Primatol 60:133–145.

The literature list must follow CBE style (refer to the CBE Style Manual , 6th edition, Cambridge University Press) and be arranged alphabetically, not chronologically, by author's or authors' surname(s) in the following style: Author's name (or names), year of publication, complete title, volume, and inclusive pages as follows:

Journal article
Trinkaus E, Churchill SE, Ruff CB. 1994. Postcranial robusticity in Homo . II: humeral bilateral asymmetry and bone plasticity. Am J Phys Anthropol 93:1–34.

Bogin B. 2001. The growth of humanity. New York: Wiley-Liss.

Book chapter
Gruner O. 1993. Identification of skulls: A historical review and practical applications. In: Iscan MY, Helmer RP, editors. Forensic analysis of the skull. New York: Wiley-Liss. p 29–45.

Abbreviations of journal titles should follow those used in Index Medicus, available via PubMed at

Footnotes. Footnotes to the text should be limited as much as possible and must be numbered consecutively. The corresponding reference numbers must be clearly indicated in the text. Additional references to the identical footnotes are to be numbered with the next following consecutive numbers:

2 Material used for this experiment was provided by . . .
3 See footnote 2.

Footnotes to a table should be typed directly beneath the table and numbered with superscripts (e.g., 1, 2, 3). They should not be numbered in sequence with the footnotes in the text. If superscript numbers could be mistaken for exponents, substitute superscript (e.g., a, b, c).

Tables. All tables must be cited in the text. Do not embed tables in the text. They should be numbered consecutively with Arabic numerals. Because tables are expensive to reproduce, they should be simple and uncomplicated, with as few vertical and horizontal rules as possible. Type double-spaced. Indicate in the margin where the tables are to appear in the text. Table titles should be complete but brief. Information other than that defining the data should be presented in footnotes, not in the table heading.

Figures and figure legends. All figures must be cited in the text. Do not embed figures in the text. Provide a separate list of figure legends. Figure legends are to be numbered consecutively as follows: Fig. 1. . . . , Fig. 2. . . . , and should follow the sequence of reference in the text. Type double-spaced. Each figure should be uploaded as a separate file. When uploading figures on Manuscript Central, please include the figure number in the Caption/Legend box, even though you have provided a separate list of figure legends. Abbreviations for all figures should be listed alphabetically and placed before the first figure mentioning them, such as:

CPCortical plate
SmIPrimary somatosensory cortex

Please reference relevant text pages in order to reduce the length of legends and avoid redundancy.

Measurements. The metric system should be used for all measurements. Temperatures should be expressed in degrees Celsius (centigrade). Metric abbreviations should be expressed in standard notation lower-case (e.g., mm) without periods.

Symbols. When preceded by a digit, the following symbols are to be used: % for percent; ° for degree.

Abbreviations. Use the following abbreviations for most common measurements of length, area, volume, and weight:


Km kilometer
m meter
cm centimeter
mm millimeter
μm micrometer (micron)
nm nanometer
pm picometer
Å Ångstrom unit (10 Å = 1 nm)


km 2 square kilometer
m 2 square meter
cm 2 square centimeter
mm 2 square millimeter
μm 2 square micrometer
nm 2 square nanometer
km 3 cubic kilometer
m 3 cubic meter
cm 3 cubic centimeter
mm 3 cubic millimeter
μm 3 cubic micrometer
nm 3 cubic nanometer


Kl kiloliter
liter spell out
ml milliliter
μl microliter
nl nanoliter
pl picoliter


kg kilogram
gm gram
mg milligram
μg microgram
ng nanogram
pg picogram

Text headings. Do not begin the body of the paper with the heading "Introduction." The first heading should follow the introduction. The journal uses a system of primary, secondary, and tertiary headings. All letters for primary headings are in caps (e.g., RESULTS). Only the first letter of the secondary heading and proper nouns are in caps (e.g., Complete set of morphological features). Only the first letter of tertiary headings is capitalized (e.g., Interphalangeal joint morphology. ). All headings are boldfaced. Primary and secondary headings are centered. Tertiary headings are italicized, end in a period, and are the beginning of the first line of the paragraph.

Illustrations or Figures

Reproduction of illustrations is costly. Authors should limit the number of figures to that which adequately presents the findings. See the Miscellaneous section for format restrictions.

Color illustrations. A limited number of color illustrations can be published free of charge to authors (maximum one page per paper), at the discretion of the Editor. Beyond this limit, color illustrations are available at a charge of $350/page to authors (effective with manuscripts accepted on or after June 9, 2009). Because the number of free color pages is limited, authors are urged to carefully consider and justify any proposed use of color among their illustrations. Online color versions of illustrations remain free. However, please note that any images printed in color online will be converted to black-and-white for the print version; i.e., the journal cannot accept two different figure versions. Therefore, authors should plan figures, particularly graphs, with this in mind, making sure that symbols and other elements are clearly distinguishable when printed in black-and-white. Please label each illustration with the figure number.

Numbering. Figures, including charts and graphs, must be numbered consecutively.

3D Figures.The AJPA accepts 3D interactive models or figures that can be embedded in PDFs. See for examples and for basic instructions. Authors are responsible for 3D image assembly. Each 3D image should be submitted in an individual PDF file, and for each 3D image the author must also provide a normal figure in TIF format. The TIF figure will appear in the print version and will also serve to activate the 3D functionality in the online version. Please indicate any 3D figures in your cover letter during the submission process to ensure appropriate handling.

Other Submissions

Brief Communications are short research contributions of fewer than 4,000 words. The style of presentation and format are the same as regular research articles. The Brief Communications report the outcome of a small, problem-based study (e.g., Reed et al. [2003] AJPA 121:112-116).

News and Views are short pieces, dealing with a range of topics of interest to the readership of the journal. They normally do not exceed 2000 words.

Perspectives address issues of broad interest in physical anthropology, presenting opinion on trends in specific research areas. Manuscripts are solicited by the Editor, but unsolicited ideas for submissions are encouraged. Perspectives are not review articles.

The Notes and Comments section is reserved for two categories of publication: (1) Technical Notes and (2) Letters to the Editor . Technical notes are short, methodological articles (e.g., Chen and Lam [1997] AJPA 103:557-560). Letters to the Editor are responses to previously published items from the journal. Items submitted for consideration under this heading should ordinarily not exceed 2000 words. They should be submitted in the form of a letter to the editor, with a title but no key words, abstract, or headings. Tables, figures, and literature cited should be minimized or avoided. An author whose article the letter writer is commenting on will be given an opportunity to read the letter and to respond. If the two letters are found acceptable following review, the reply is published with the letter, usually within the same issue of the journal.

Book Reviews are solicited by the Book Review Editor. Unsolicited reviews will not ordinarily be considered for publication. A book review should begin by stating the title, author(s), publisher, date, page count, price, and ISBN number of the work reviewed:

VISIONS OF CALIBAN: ON CHIMPANZEES AND PEOPLE. By Dale Peterson and Jane Goodall. Boston: Houghton Mifflin. 1993. 367 pp., $22.95 (cloth). ISBN 0-395-53760-6.

The review should include no other front matter (title, abstract, key words), headings, tables, or illustrations. Bibliographical citations should be avoided if possible. The reviewer's name and address should be placed at the end of the review. Submission of a book review does not guarantee its publication.


The Editor and Publisher reserve the right to return to the author for revision manuscripts and illustrations that are not in proper finished form.

If your paper is accepted, the author identified as the formal corresponding author for the paper will receive an email prompting them to login into Author Services; where via the Wiley Author Licensing Service (WALS) they will be able to complete the license agreement on behalf of all authors on the paper.

For authors signing the copyright transfer agreement

If the OnlineOpen option is not selected the corresponding author will be presented with the copyright transfer agreement (CTA) to sign. The terms and conditions of the CTA can be previewed in the samples associated with the Copyright FAQs below:

CTA Terms and Conditions

For authors choosing OnlineOpen

If the OnlineOpen option is selected the corresponding author will have a choice of the following Creative Commons License Open Access Agreements (OAA):

Creative Commons Attribution License OAA

Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License OAA

Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial -NoDerivs License OAA

To preview the terms and conditions of these open access agreements please visit the Copyright FAQs hosted on Wiley Author Services and visit

If you select the OnlineOpen option and your research is funded by The Wellcome Trust and members of the Research Councils UK (RCUK) you will be given the opportunity to publish your article under a CC-BY license supporting you in complying with Wellcome Trust and Research Councils UK requirements. For more information on this policy and the Journal’s compliant self-archiving policy please visit:

Proofs. A set of page and illustration proofs will be sent to the author via email from the publisher. All corrections should be clearly marked.

Reprints. Reprints may be purchased at is important to order initially a sufficient quantity of reprints, since the price is substantially higher if they are ordered after the paper has been published. Reprints of announcements and book reviews are available by special arrangement only.

Additional Guidelines for Electronic Submission via the Manuscript Submission Website

Text files, including tables, appendices and literature citations, must be in Microsoft Word or rtf format.

This journal now accepts Microsoft WORD 2010 Documents as well as older WORD Documents.

Software and format. The recommended format for all illustration files is TIFF or TIF. JPG and JPEG format will not be accepted. EPS (with preview) is acceptable but not recommended. Do not submit native application formats.

Resolution. Journal quality reproduction will require greyscale and color files at resolutions yielding approximately 300 ppi. Bitmapped line art should be submitted at resolutions yielding 600-1200 ppi. These resolutions refer to the output size of the file; if you anticipate that your images will be enlarged or reduced, resolutions should be adjusted accordingly.

File names. Illustration files should be given the 2- or 3-letter extension that identifies the file format used (i.e., .tif, .eps).

Conflict of Interest

The AJPA requires that all authors disclose any potential sources of conflict of interest. Any interest or relationship, financial or otherwise, that might be perceived as influencing an author’s objectivity is considered a potential source of conflict of interest. These must be disclosed when directly relevant or indirectly related to the work that the authors describe in their manuscript. Potential sources of conflict of interest include but are not limited to patent or stock ownership, membership of a company board of directors, membership of an advisory board or committee for a company, and consultancy for or receipt of speaker’s fees from a company. The existence of a conflict of interest does not preclude publication in this journal.

If the authors have no conflict of interest to declare, they must also state this at submission. It is the responsibility of the corresponding author to review this policy with all authors and to collectively list in the cover letter (if applicable) to the Editor-in-Chief, in the manuscript (in the footnotes, Conflict of Interest or Acknowledgments section), and in the online submission system ALL pertinent commercial and other relationships.

AJPA Human and Nonhuman Subjects Statement

Authors submitting manuscripts to the AJPA that report on the results of research on living human and nonhuman subjects in any context (e.g., laboratory or field) are expected to comply with all regulations, institutional or governmental, regarding the ethical treatment of research subjects. Compliance should be indicated in the Methods or Acknowledgements sections of the manuscript. The Editor reserves the right to request access to formal documentation. Authors are also expected to comply with the American Association of Physical Anthropologists Code of Ethics as it pertains to living human and nonhuman subjects (

Genetics Papers

Genetic research papers submitted to the AJPA should not be mere descriptions of marker frequency data from a particular location or locus, but should address testable hypotheses about population history, adaptation, or phylogeny. All genetic data being newly reported in the submitted manuscript should be submitted to appropriate public databases (see below) prior to publication, and accession numbers must be included in the published manuscript. Data for which there is not an appropriate public database should be submitted for review and publication in an online supplementary file linked to the article. Appropriate public databases include:

The Genome Database (GDB)
Protein Databank (PDB)
Allele Frequency Database (ALFRED)
Molecular Modeling Database (MMDB)
Entrez Genomes
Entrez Proteins
European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL)

Yearbook of Physical Anthropology

The Yearbook of Physical Anthropology is an annual supplement of the American Journal of Physical Anthropology, and both are publications of the American Association of Physical Anthropologists. The Yearbook provides broad but thorough coverage of developments within the discipline. Yearbook articles summarize and synthesize the state of the art in a particular subfield of physical anthropology and/or present new paradigms for addressing important issues of general interest in the field. In part, Yearbook articles serve as a literature review, but often go beyond this to provide new perspectives on a field, which may include the presentation of original data and analysis. Articles on the history of physical anthropology are also included. Most articles are solicited by the Editor and Editorial Board, although unsolicited articles are also welcome. Individuals wishing to submit an article should notify the Editor before submission. All manuscripts undergo external review before they are accepted. Suggestions for topics to include in future issues of the Yearbook are welcome, and may be made to the Editor or to any member of the Editorial Board.

Manuscripts submitted to the Yearbook must be written in English. The Yearbook follows the style guidelines set out in the above Author Guidelines for the American Journal of Physical Anthropology. The Yearbook does not use the American Journal of Physical Anthropology electronic submission system. Two copies of the manuscript and an electronic version should be sent to the Editor at the address below. Manuscripts may be submitted at any time of the year but must be received by early spring for publication in that year's issue of the Yearbook. Specific dates for an article will be worked out between the Editor and the author.

The right to reject or request revision of a manuscript is reserved by the Editor. Authors are responsible for reading and prompt correction of proofs and submission dates must be honored. Manuscripts should normally be no longer than around 60 pages. Requests for information should be directed to the Editor.

Department of Anthropology
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
Milwaukee, Wisconsin

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Production Editor

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