Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior

Cover image for Vol. 107 Issue 1

Edited By: Amy Odum, Utah State University

Impact Factor: 2.171

ISI Journal Citation Reports © Ranking: 2015: 7/14 (Psychology Biological); 29/51 (Behavioral Sciences); 35/85 (Psychology Experimental)

Online ISSN: 1938-3711

Associated Title(s): Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis

Author Guidelines

The Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior (JEAB) is primarily for the original publication of experiments relevant to the behavior of individual organisms. Review articles and theoretical papers also are considered for publication. Manuscripts submitted to JEAB should conform to the style and organization described in the 2010 (6th) edition of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (hereafter, Publication Manual). Authors should not submit the same manuscript to more than one journal concurrently. The following comments supplement the Publication Manual.

Manuscripts should be submitted electronically in Word (.doc) format to the ScholarOne website: The first page of your document (before the title page) should be a cover letter that addresses the points raised on pp. 230-231 of the Publication Manual. In addition, submissions for the Translational Research section must clearly indicate in the cover letter how the research has innovatively translated basic research findings to improve the lives of individuals or society.

Authors should format the manuscript based on U.S. standard paper size (8.5 by 11 inches). Leave the right margins ragged rather than right-justified. Avoid using Word’s ‘‘Protect Document’’ function.

Tables should be included in the Word document, created as Word tables, and avoiding tabs, spaces, and extra returns for alignment. Keep title and footnotes separate from the table cells.

Abstracts should be 200 words or less. Do not use abbreviations unless they provide clarity, and avoid reference citations except when necessary to make an important point. Avoid uninformative sentences such as: Several possible explanations of the data were discussed.

Key Words for Indexing
List no more than seven key words in descending order of importance, with the only exception being that the response under study (e.g., key peck) should be next to last and the species of the subjects (e.g., pigeons, humans) listed last.

The Introduction (not labeled as such) should provide a succinct rationale for the study. That is, it should make clear what questions about principles are being addressed and why those questions might be interesting to answer. The Introduction should make contact with the relevant literature and identify gaps that the research is designed to fill.

The description of the method should enable an interested reader to comprehend what was done and to replicate the study.

Subjects. This section should describe the relevant characteristics of the subjects. Nonhuman animal subjects should be identified by genus, species, and strain or by the name and location of the supplier (stock designation). Provide relevant information about the number, age, weight, physiological condition, and the general treatment and handling of animals. Include information about the animals’ experimental histories and the manner of determining reduced weights. For human subjects, include information, as relevant, on such factors as gender, use of psychoactive drugs, clinical diagnosis, and measures of intellectual functioning for individuals likely to be outside the normal range. Indicate that the research was reviewed and approved in advance by the relevant oversight board.

Apparatus. Provide enough information to permit replication. Be sure to include information about the characteristics of the response (e.g., the force, in newtons, needed to activate the operandum) and the stimuli. Include pictures or diagrams of difficult-to-describe stimuli.

Procedure. This section should provide a well-organized description of what was done. It often helps to indicate briefly the rationale for the various conditions. For human subjects, include a verbatim copy of any instructions given.

This section should provide a coherent, organized, and objective description of the important effects of the independent variables (e.g., trends and functional relations). In light of JEAB’s purpose and tradition, it is important that the effects be shown to hold reliably at the level of the individual subjects. Usually, the most straightforward way to assess reliability is through direct replication—that is, by exposing each subject at least twice to the baseline and experimental conditions, allowing performance to stabilize under each. At issue is the degree to which the effects are, indeed, replicable under ostensibly similar conditions (see Sidman, 1960).

The Discussion should focus on how the data answer the questions raised in the Introduction and how they help clarify or extend principles.

The text should make adequate contact with relevant literature through references. Check each reference against the original source. Do not depend on other reference lists; they can be wrong. Double check for discrepancies between citations in the text and the reference list, including the year of publication. Also, be sure all references in the text appear on the list, and vice versa. Follow the guidelines in the Publication Manual for the format of citations and the reference list. References should include doi identification numbers.

Unpublished data from dissertations may be cited in the reference list, but it is not appropriate to appeal to other unpublished data, such as those presented at meetings, to support an argument; those kinds of data are not available in archival form for readers to examine. A contribution at a meeting that established a researcher’s priority in devising a procedure or introducing a concept, however, should be acknowledged in the text and referenced in a footnote instead of in the reference list.

Avoid other footnotes unless absolutely necessary for clarity. Where footnotes are deemed necessary, use the footnote function within Word.

Tables should be used sparingly because figures better show trends in a set of data. When the graphed results are in the form of relative response rates (i.e., ratios or proportions), however, a table must be included that shows the absolute response rates from which the relative measures were calculated. Such information enhances the journal’s archival character and permits readers to explore alternative conceptualizations and analyses. (Sometimes, it may be sufficient to give the absolute values of baseline performance in the text or in the relevant figure caption.)

Where a table is appropriate, the title and headings should make the contents intelligible without reference to the text. For complex tables, brief but detailed descriptions may be appropriate, to be presented as part of the table title.

Data in tables should be chosen for comprehensibility and rounded appropriately. For example, if 4,004 responses occurred in a session of 58 min, the rounded response rate of 69 responses per minute is preferable both to the original raw numbers and to the unrounded 69.03 responses per minute.

Figures and Figure Captions
Figures are especially effective for revealing trends and, appropriately, are often the focus of the Results section. It is important, therefore, that they be prepared carefully, with an eye toward effective design. Ideally, a figure should be complete and clear enough to be understood without the caption (see Iversen, 1988; Petroski, 1995, and also Tufte, 1983). The following points should be considered when preparing figures.

All figures should be submitted as separate files, e.g. Figure 1.eps, Figure 2.eps, Figure 3.tiff etc.

We suggest that line artwork (vector graphics) be supplied as Encapsulated PostScript files (.EPS). Halftones or photographic images should be supplied as Tagged Image Format files (.TIFF), with a resolution of at least 300 dpi at final size. Alternately, these may be saved as PDF files at 600 dots per inch (dpi) or better at final size. For combination figures, or artwork that contains both photographs and labeling, we recommend saving figures as .EPS files, or as PDF files with a resolution of 600 dpi or better at final size. Please do not send native file formats.

More detailed information on the submission of electronic artwork can be found at

Dimensions and proportions. Figures for JEAB should be prepared keeping in mind the dimensions and proportions of the journal’s page:
Height is 19.6 cm.
Single-column width is 7.0 cm.
Double-column width is 14.6 cm.
Proportions, width to height:
single column, 1:2.8
double column, 1:1.3

When preparing a full-page illustration, please consider that space must be allowed for the caption.
Use space efficiently; place legends in white space within the borders of the figure. (Symbols, curves, and cumulative-record markings should be appropriately labeled.) Do not identify symbols using labels and arrows.

Lettering. Avoid squat, heavy-lined, boldface type. Tall, narrow letters and numbers having thin lines reproduce well (e.g., Helvetica). Lettering will reproduce best if printed as uniformly sized, uncrowded capitals, but upper and lower cases may be used when needed to fit in the area available. The same font style should be used consistently on all figures.

Where possible to do so without obscuring the data presented, keep explanatory matter (subject identification, session number, and so on) within the body of the figure rather than above, below, or to one side.

Data points. Unfilled data points must be constructed of thin lines and must be large enough so that reduction will neither make different shapes indistinguishable nor fill in unfilled circles, triangles, and squares.

Axes and lines. Avoid heavy lines for axes because they may make thin-lined lettering and data points appear disproportionately light. Crop the vertical and horizontal axes, and do not frame the figure. Provide tic marks along both axes spaced sufficiently to avoid a crowded appearance but to permit a reasonably accurate reading of the x and y values of the data points.
Avoid heavy lines to represent theoretical functions or to connect data points. If different kinds of lines are used to connect data points, choose broken lines carefully; the spaces at the breaks must be open enough to be readily evident when reduced.

Reduction. Please submit figures in the actual size for publication in one-column or two column width so that reviewers and editors can judge their adequacy.

Identification of figures. Number all figures consecutively with arabic numerals in the order in which they appear in the manuscript, making certain that their placement is also indicated in the text.

Captions. Figure captions should be concise but complete enough that figures can be understood without reference to the text. One line of caption for a single-column figure will accommodate 53 characters and spaces; for a double-column figure, 111 characters and spaces.

The height of each line of caption is 0.3 cm. An additional 0.3 cm is needed between the bottom of a figure and its caption. In the published version of the paper, figures will be placed close to the corresponding passages in the text. Consequently, the text should not duplicate material in the captions.

Links. Ensure that web address links are working properly.

An article communicates new procedures and findings and therefore should be clear and concise. The impact and clarity of an article improve when short, direct statements replace long, indirect ones (Strunk & White, 1979).

Certain usages have become standard. Procedures and the resulting behavior are described as having occurred in the past. General principles, presumably true for all time, are discussed in the present tense. In current usage responses are reinforced rather than rewarded; also, stimuli control responses rather than organisms. If an author can justify violating a convention, the resulting usage should be consistent throughout the text.

Decimals are preferable to fractions (except where an approximation is intended).

Ordinarily, hyphens are used only when a compound term serves as a modifier and precedes its subject. (See the Publication Manual, pp. 97–100, for a complete discussion.) For example: a 20-s timeout, but a timeout of 20 s; the fixed-interval schedule, but a response at the end of the fixed interval. Schedule abbreviations do not take hyphenation: fixed-ratio, but FR, schedule. Some compound terms that are not usually hyphenated include: houselight, keylight, blackout, interresponse, interreinforcement, changeover, timeout.

Include units when specifying the values of schedules of reinforcement. Also, note the use of capital and lower case letters. For example, DRL 30 s; a multiple VI 3-min EXT schedule; the FI 10-min and the FR 33 components.

Technical terms necessary for precision but not familiar to most JEAB readers should be explained in the text. For example: In the presence of one stimulus, the SD, pecks were reinforced; in the presence of the other, the SD, pecks were not reinforced. Do not introduce unnecessary technical terms. In the Method section, for example, every response was reinforced is preferable to responses were continuously reinforced if no reference to this training procedure is needed later in the text. It may be useful to consult a glossary of technical terms, such as that by Catania (1991).

Do not use abbreviations in the title; they may be used sparingly in the abstract to improve clarity. Do not begin sentences with abbreviations (or numerals). Do not abbreviate experimenter as E, subject as S, number as N, or response as R. Do not introduce abbreviations unnecessarily. Space saving rarely justifies abbreviations, though abbreviations sometimes may be useful for conciseness, such as with common Latin phrases (i.e., e.g., etc.) used parenthetically, and with standard physical units (cc, dB, kg, ml, N, mA, s) when accompanied by numbers. The latter are not followed by periods except to avoid confusion, as in. for inch (see Publication Manual p. 109 for a listing of common abbreviations for units of measurement). The words Figure and Experiment, even when followed by a number, are not abbreviated in the text. Do not abbreviate terms for combinations of schedules (e.g., multiple, concurrent). A few technical abbreviations have become conventional; even these must be explained, however. For example:

• The tone was a conditional stimulus (CS).
• The shortest interresponse time (IRT) was 0.4 s.
• The pigeon’s pecks were reinforced according to a variable interval (VI) schedule.

Nonstandard abbreviations should be avoided, because even sophisticated readers must then memorize idiosyncratic definitions. For example, response-dependent procedure should not be abbreviated RD procedure; the punishment condition, the suppression condition, and the escape condition should not be coded as conditions A, B, C. Also, TO should not be used to abbreviate timeout. (For a fuller discussion of the use of abbreviations, see pp. 106–111 of the Publication Manual)

When using nonhuman subjects, the subject should be described by its species rather than its phylum. For example, ‘‘pigeon’’ should be used rather than ‘‘bird’’ when describing the former subjects.

The journal favors the standard international system of units (SI). For a fuller discussion, see the January 2004 issue of JEAB, p. 129.)

Treatment of Subjects
Research submitted for publication in JEAB will conform to the APA Ethical Principles of Psychologists ( Manuscripts suspected of violating these principles will require revision justifying the methods and techniques used. Reviewers are encouraged to comment on the appropriateness or inappropriateness of such features when they are encountered. See the March 1986 issue of JEAB for additional information.

Retaining and Sharing Data
Authors are expected to retain their original data for a period of at least 5 years from the time of publication and to comply promptly with requests for data sharing.

Catania, A. C. (1991). Glossary. In I. Iversen & K. A. Lattal (Eds.), Experimental analysis of behavior (Part 2, pp. G1–G44). Amsterdam: Elsevier.
Iversen, I. H. (1988). Tactics of graphic design: A review of Tufte’s The Visual Display of Quantitative Information. Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior, 49, 171–189.
Petroski, H. (1995). Soft graphics. American Scientist, 83, 17–20.
Publication manual of the American Psychological Association (6th ed.). (2010). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.
Sidman, M. (1960). Tactics of scientific research: Evaluating experimental data in psychology. New York: Basic Books.
Strunk, W., Jr., & White, E. B. (1979). The elements of style (3nd ed.). New York: Macmillan.
Tufte, E. R. (1983). The visual display of quantitative information. Cheshire, CT: Graphics Press.

Supporting Information can be a useful way for an author to include important but ancillary information with the online version of an article. Examples of Supporting Information include additional tables, data sets, figures, movie files, audio clips, 3D structures, and other related nonessential multimedia files. Supporting Information should be cited within the article text, and a descriptive legend should be included. It is published as supplied by the author, and a proof is not made available prior to publication; for these reasons, authors should provide any Supporting Information in the desired final format.

For further information on recommended file types and requirements for submission, please visit:

Copyright Transfer Agreement
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) or the Austrian Science Fund (FWF) you will be given the opportunity to publish your article under a CC-BY license supporting you in complying with your Funder requirements. For more information on this policy and the Journal’s compliant self-archiving policy please visit: