Journal of Morphology

Cover image for Vol. 278 Issue 2

Edited By: J. Matthias Starck

Impact Factor: 1.521

ISI Journal Citation Reports © Ranking: 2015: 6/21 (Anatomy & Morphology)

Online ISSN: 1097-4687

Author Guidelines

NIH Public Access Mandate
For those interested in the Wiley-Blackwell policy on the NIH Public Access Mandate, please visit our policy statement.

Note to NIH Grantees. Pursuant to NIH mandate, Wiley-Blackwell will post the accepted version of contributions authored by NIH grant-holders to PubMed Central upon acceptance. This accepted version will be made publicly available 12 months after publication. For further information, see

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Publication Forms

Author Guidelines

Conflict of Interest
Publication Ethics
Manuscript Preparation
Title Page
Research Highlights
Graphical Abstract
Figure Legends
Figures Illustrations
Journal Cover Artwork
Supporting Information

The Journal of Morphology welcomes manuscripts from all areas of animal morphology. The Journal publishes original research papers and review articles. We prioritize manuscripts that report about functional, comparative or evolutionary morphology. Plain descriptive papers will be considered only when they report about important new and so far unknown organisms and their morphology. Submitted manuscripts generally should not exceed 35 pages. However, we maintain an open and flexible policy about paper article length; if your manuscript exceeds 35 pages please contact the editorial office prior to submission to obtain permission for submitting an overlength paper.

Search Engine Optimization for Your Paper
Consult our SEO Tips for Authors page in order to maximize online discoverability for your published research. Included are recommendations for making your title and abstract search engine-friendly, choosing appropriate keywords, and promoting your research through social media. Submission.

JMOR uses an online submission system for receiving, reviewing, and accepting manuscripts for publication, which enables authors to submit their manuscripts online to expedite the peer review process. The online system also enables authors to check the status of their manuscripts during the peer review process.

Use this link to submit your manuscript ( The corresponding author will be instructed to create a user account. Once the account has been created, manuscripts are to be submitted through the "Author Center". Follow all instructions and complete all required fields. Submit your manuscript and all Figures and Tables as separate files. After the manuscript has been successfully submitted, authors will see a confirmation screen with the manuscript number and receive an email reply from the JMOR editorial office acknowledging receipt of the manuscript. If that does not happen, please check your submission and/or contact the editorial office at

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 should either be all in one .doc or .docx file, or in separate .doc or .docx files
  • Number all pages in sequence beginning with the title page, placing the first author's surname and the page number in the upper right hand corner of each page.
  • Double space and use 12 point font size.

See the Miscellaneous section of this document for format restrictions/guidelines. JMOR uses a plagiarism detection system. By submitting your manuscript to us, you agree that your manuscript will be screened for plagiarism against previously published works.

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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.

Be sure to keep an electronic copy that is identical to the version that you submitted online. If you have any questions on the submission process please email the editorial office at

Manuscripts must be submitted in English (American style), and must be double-spaced with no less than 12 cpi font and 3-cm margins throughout. If you are not a native English speaker, we strongly recommend that you have your manuscript professionally edited before submission. Professional editing will help reviewers better assess your manuscript. Please see Wiley Author services for recommendations.

Conflict of interest.

JMOR requires all authors to disclose any potential sources of conflict of interest. Any interest or relationship, financial or otherwise, which 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 Acknowledgements section), and in the online submission system ALL pertinent commercial and other relationships.

Publication ethics.

The Journal of Morphology abides by Wiley's ethics guidelines and by the guidelines produced by the Committee on Publication Ethics. Please contact the editorial office with any questions on ethics or authorship. To avoid potential conflicts among authors, multiple-author papers should include a statement about the contribution by each individual author.


Reviewing. The Journal of Morphology practices a single blinded reviewing system. All suitable manuscripts are sent out to at least two expert reviewers. All reviewers receive a standardized questionnaire, and we ask our reviewers to return their evaluations within two weeks. While reviewers remain anonymous to the authors, the reviewers are committed to keeping all communications regarding the manuscript, its contents, and the review confidential. Again, we refer to COPE and its guidelines for reviewers. The Journal of Morphology protects the confidentiality of peer-review and does not allow the revealing of any details of manuscripts prior to publication, and does not allow the revealing of any details of manuscript reviews during or after the peer-review process.

Manuscript Preparation. Manuscripts should be divided into the major divisions given below in the order indicated.

Title Page.
The first page of the manuscript should include the complete title of the paper; the names of authors and their affiliations; a short title (not more than 40 characters including spaces); and name, postal address, E-mail address, and phone number of person to whom editorial correspondence, page proofs, and reprint requests should be sent.


The abstract must be a factual condensation of the entire work, including a statement of its purpose, a succinct statement of research design, a clear description of the most important results, and a concise presentation of the conclusions. Abstracts should not exceed 300 words. Three to six key words for use in indexing should be listed immediately below the abstract. The abstract and keywords are important to help interested colleagues find your research when using search engines. See our guidelines on optimizing your article for maximum discoverability with helpful suggestions about writing abstract and defining keywords.

Research Highlights are the most important findings and/or conclusions of the article (or review), stated concisely. Research Highlights will be displayed online immediately below the article's title (they will not appear in the printed version of the paper). Main Points should consist of 2 to 3 short sentences and should not exceed 250 characters (including spaces). These are required for all papers published in the journal, and must be submitted at the time of the manuscript submission in ScholarOne.

Graphical Abstract. The graphical abstract provides readers with a visual representation of the conclusions and an efficient way to appreciate the key finding and main message of the work. This feature is part of the online article format and will appear in the online Table of Contents of each issue of the journal but will not appear in the printed version of the paper. Please upload an illustration describing the context and significance of the findings for the broader journal readership to attract the attention of non-specialists. The image should be a single image not containing multiple panels. It is meant to represent one key aspect of the results. To prepare the image, select an image or graphic that is easy to read and as much as possible devoid of cluttering items, conveying clear, non-speculative, visual information about the biological context of the findings. Labels, while useful, must be kept to a minimum. The image should be provided in one of the following height and width configurations: 400 x 300 pixel, 300 x 400 pixel, or 400 x 400 pixel, and at a maximal resolution of 72 dpi. Please use Arial or Helvetica font with a size of 10–12 points; preferred file types are EPS and TIFF. The Graphical Abstract is mandatory for all papers published in the journal. When uploading, please designate the image as Graphical Abstract Image in ScholarOne Manuscripts. Please name the figure “graphical abstract image” and the text “graphical abstract text ”.

Text. The body of Research Articles must be organized into the following sections: Abstract, Introduction, Material and Methods, Results, Discussion, Author contributions and Acknowledgments. Science must be fully reproducible. Therefore, the Material and Methods section must include explicit statements about the species studied (including the taxonomic author), number of individual animals studied, sample sizes for each method / experiment used, as well as the dates and location of the study. We do not publish studies based on an inappropriate sample size. Origin of material, specimen numbers, and the depository of the material studied must be made explicit. The Materials and Methods section must also include a statement that all aspects of the research complied with protocols approved by the appropriate institutional animal care committee and adhered to the legal requirements of the country in which the research was conducted (protocol / permit numbers shall be given.) Journal of Morphology supports the Research Resource Identifiers (RRIDs) initiative. To obtain specific identifiers for your antibodies, model animal strains, etc. go to the Resource Identification Portal and obtain the RRID.

Data deposition policy: One of the key principles in scientific publishing is that any scientific study must be fully reproducible for anybody who is interested and has the abilities to do so. Therefore, all material must be disclosed and made accessible to the scientific community so that the study can be redone and tested. With the emerging new methods of data production, digital imaging and large image series (image stacks), new policies for securing accessibility to data must be developed. – Also, the general perception of science, scientific results and accessibility of scientific data for the broad public, changes rapidly and data sharing for the mutual benefit of everybody, data creators, researchers and the interested public, becomes an explicit ethical request. Therefore, we encourage our authors to deposit original data in a community-recognized data repository and providing an explicit link in their publication.


The Results section must include the essential values from all statistical tests cited to support statements regarding findings, in addition to summarizing key data using tables and figures where possible. Please do not duplicate data in text and tables. Measurements should be given in metric units and abbreviated according to the American Institute for Biological Sciences’ Style Manual for Biological Journals. Review Articles may deviate from this style of organization, but must include an Abstract, Introduction, Discussion, Author contributions and Acknowledgements.


List all sources in the reference list alphabetically by name. In text citations should follow the author-date method. This means that the author's last name and the year of publication for the source should appear in the text, for example, (Jones 1998), and a complete reference should appear in the reference list at the end of the paper.

References are styled according to the sixth edition of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association. A sample of the most common entries in reference lists appears below. Please note that for journal articles, issue numbers are not included unless each issue in the volume begins with page one.

Journal article:
Phelps, L. (1996). Discriminative validity of the WRAML with ADHD and LD children. Psychology in the Schools, 33, 5-12.

Book edition:
Bradley-Johnson, S. (1994). Psychoeducational assessment of students who are visually impaired or blind: Infancy through high school (2nd ed.). Austin, TEX: Pro-ed.

References should refer only to material listed within the text.


Tables should be titled and numbered in accordance with the order of their appearance; each table should be placed on a separate page. All tables must be cited in the text with approximate placement clearly defined.

Figure Legends.

A descriptive legend must be provided for each figure and must define all abbreviations used therein.

Figures/Illustrations. Each figure should be high-contrast on a separate page with the figure number clearly indicated. All color figures will be reproduced in full color in the online edition of the journal at no cost to authors. For the printed version free color figures are at the editor's discretion. Only figures in which color is necessary for communicating information are eligible for free printing. If authors wish to have other figures printed in color they are requested to pay the cost of reproducing color figures in print.

Journal Cover Artwork. Along with their manuscript, authors are welcome to submit an original photograph or other artwork that illustrates their research for possible use on the cover of the issue in which the article appears. This artwork is submitted with the understanding that it has not been published elsewhere, that the author has copyright, and that the author grants Wiley-Periodicals permission to publish the photo as a cover image, should it be chosen. Candidate images for journal covers may be submitted electronically as TIF files.


JMOR 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.

Additional Guidelines for Manuscript Preparation

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

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).


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

Copyright Transfer Agreement (CTA)
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:


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 may be purchased at

The Journal of Morphology provides free access to your article for 10 of your colleagues; each author of a paper may nominate up to 10 colleagues. This feature is retrospective—even articles already published offer this feature for free colleague access. Contact your production editor after acceptance for details.

Supporting Information.

Authors are encouraged to submit supporting information that could aid readers in understanding the authors' findings and where appropriate to ensure that the page limits are met. Supporting information for articles published in the Journal of Morphology will be available in the online version of the journal. This accompanying information may include (but is not limited to) figures, tables, video clips, large sections of movies (QuickTime or mpeg), data sets, program code, and electronic graphical files. Supporting information must be submitted at the time of peer review, although the reviewers and editors may also suggest that figures or table(s) be provided as supporting information during the review process. Each piece of supporting information should be referenced within the text. Supporting information should be numbered in order, but independently of figures in the main article, e.g. S- Figure 1 would indicate a figure that follows Figure 1 in the main text. Please note that supporting information is NOT edited by the publisher after final acceptance by the editors, and is posted online in the format in which it is supplied.

Self-Archiving Policy. Authors of articles published in Wiley journals are permitted to self-archive the submitted (preprint) version of the article at any time, and may self-archive the accepted (peer-reviewed) version after an embargo period. Please visit our Self-Archiving Policy page for details or refer to your Copyright Transfer Agreement.