Autism Research

Cover image for Vol. 9 Issue 12

Edited By: David G. Amaral, Ph.D

Online ISSN: 1939-3806

Author Guidelines


AUTISM RESEARCH welcomes the submission of your manuscript. Please follow these instructions carefully. Failure to do so will delay the processing of your manuscript. Submitted papers that do not conform to the descriptions below of types of manuscripts will be returned to the communicating author.


AUTISM RESEARCH will cover research related to Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and closely related neurodevelopmental disorders. The Journal focuses on basic genetic, neurobiological and psychological mechanisms and how these influence developmental processes in ASD. The Journal encourages the submission of research articles that take a developmental approach to the biology and psychology of autism, with a particular emphasis on identifying underlying mechanisms and integrating across different levels of analysis. Individuals included in research studies can span the full spectrum of ASD, including the broader phenotype, and there are no restrictions on study participants in terms of age or intellectual ability. The Journal also encourages papers reporting work on animals or cell or other model systems that are directly relevant to a greater understanding of ASD. The journal will also publish reports of carefully conducted clinical trials of treatments for the core symptoms or one of the common co-morbid symptoms of ASD. Papers reporting clinical trials will be judged, in part, on whether there is an empirical justification for using the treatment that is reported.

It is increasingly clear that autism spectrum disorder (ASD) has an incredibly complex genetic architecture. Beyond genetics, there are myriad environmental factors that may contribute to the etiology(ies) of ASD. And more and more evidence indicates that both the biological and behavioral characteristics of ASD may be different in males and females. This leads to the inevitable conclusion that there will be multiple etiologies of ASD with different patterns of biological and behavioral features. One way to cope with this heterogeneity is to insure that studies have adequate sample size. An adequate sample size may very depending on the type of research that is conducted. However, Autism Research encourages the submission of research utilizing larger sample sizes. When studies with modest samples are submitted, due to paradigm or other constraints, the journal encourages authors to discuss the research constraints that led to the smaller sample. The journal also requests that authors briefly, but explicitly, discuss how the smaller sample size may limit the interpretation of research results as reliable estimates of the characteristics of the population of people affected by ASD. Finally, authors are requested to describe whether the mixture of males and females in their study are based on convenience or on thoughtful scientific design. Reviewers will be instructed to take this issue into consideration when they judge the priority of a paper for publication.


**Please Note: Word Limits Do Not Include Abstracts and References, Only the Main Body of the Text**

Research Article . Submissions of original research articles of broad interest and potential for high impact are encouraged. The text of these articles should include an Abstract, Introduction, Methods, Results and a Discussion. Research articles should be a maximum of 5,000 words in length. If there are extenuating circumstances that would require an author to extend the length of an article, please contact the editorial office with specific details and rationale for the Editor-in-Chief’s consideration.

Short Reports. These are research articles that report a well-conducted preliminary study or a novel finding of high potential impact. Typically these articles should not exceed 2,000 words. The text of these manuscripts should be organized appropriately.

Review. Review articles are generally invited. However, authors are encouraged to contact the Editor-in-Chief if they are interested in preparing a review on a timely topic that has not recently been covered by the journal. Reviews are of two types: Comprehensive reviews of up to 8,000 words and "101" type reviews that are generally on the order of 2500 words. The "101" type reviews provide a succinct summary of a topic or technique to educate the readership of Autism Research and INSAR. Authors interested in developing a Review Article of either type should contact the Editor-In-Chief for more information concerning manuscript preparation.

Commentary: These are short articles (1500 - 3,000 words in length) that are intended to 1) draw attention to developments or needs in a specific area of research, 2) bring together observations that point the field in a new direction, 3) give the authors’ personal views on a controversial topic, or 4) direct well-reasoned and substantive criticism of some widely held theoretical view or widely used technique or practice. Commentaries may also provide an historical perspective on an area of autism research. Authors should make their Commentary understandable to a broad readership. Potential authors are invited to submit a letter of interest to the Editor-in-Chief indicating the topic of a potential Commentary. The letter should also contain an outline of the contents and a brief statement on why it is a good time to review the topic in question. Commentaries will not be accepted for editorial processing unless pre-approved for submission.


Authors should carefully review and implement these instructions. Manuscripts will be returned that do not substantially conform to specifications. If questions remain, authors may contact the Editorial Receiving Office for guidance ( When necessary, the editorial staff can refer unanswered questions to the Editor-in-Chief or Associate Editors. Electronic mail is preferred for editorial correspondence. Authors who submit to the Journal may also be asked to make themselves available for an interview should the editorial team wish to highlight the author’s work in a podcast.

Submission policy: Manuscripts should be submitted solely to AUTISM RESEARCH and may not have been published, or be under consideration for publication, in any substantial form in another periodical—professional or lay. If there is a related paper under consideration at another journal, a copy of that paper should be submitted with the primary manuscript as supporting information.

Ethical compliance: If applicable, the editorial office should receive assurance that work performed on human and animal subjects complies with standards established by an appropriate ethics review committee (IRB or IACUC in the United States) and the granting agency. If the manuscript includes data or description of humans, the authors must provide either of these two assurances: (1) a statement in the manuscript that the research was prospectively reviewed and approved by a duly constituted ethics committee or (2) a statement in the cover letter to the editor that the manuscript is a retrospective case report that does not require ethics committee approval at that institution. Any other situations not covered by these two scenarios should be discussed with the Editor-in-Chief. Similar assurances should be provided in the manuscript that institutional approval has been obtained for any animal research that is reported.

Conflict of Interest Disclosure: AUTISM RESEARCH 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 on a company board of directors, membership on 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 within the submitted manuscript.

It is the responsibility of the corresponding author to review this policy with all authors and to collectively list in the cover letter to the Editor-in-Chief, in the manuscript (under the Acknowledgment section), and in the online submission system ALL pertinent commercial and other relationships.


Cover letter: Authors must submit a cover letter, in a separate file, stating that all contributors have read and approved the submission to AUTISM RESEARCH.
All submissions are required to be made online at the AUTISM RESEARCH Manuscript Central site ( ). If you are submitting for the first time, and you do not have an existing account, create a new account. You will be asked to assign keywords to your profile. Returning users should check for an existing account.

Once you are logged onto the site, submission should be made via the Author Center page. Submit your manuscript and all figures as separate files. You do not need to mail any paper copies of your manuscript. You will be required to submit suggested reviewers, however, the editorial office reserves the right to not use these suggested reviewers. At the end of a successful submission, a confirmation screen with manuscript number will appear and you will receive an e-mail confirming that the manuscript has been received by the journal. If you do not receive this mail, please check your submission and/or contact tech support at E-mail:

AUTISM RESEARCH welcomes submissions from the international autism research community. However, only manuscripts written in acceptable English will be considered. If the author does not have English-writing skills equivalent to that of a native English speaker, the manuscript should be appropriately edited prior to submission to avoid rejection based on unacceptable writing. For help with language editing, please visit Wiley's English Editing services:

Manuscripts should be as concise as possible, and all authors must approve submitted manuscripts. Manuscripts must be original and must not have been published previously either in whole or in part, except in abstract form, and must not be under consideration by any other journal. Manuscripts should include all relevant detail concerning subjects and procedures (e.g. medication status of participants). When there is doubt, authors should err on the side of completeness.

Revisions : We strive for speedy review and rapid publication of accepted papers. To be considered as a revised manuscript rather than as a new manuscript requiring full review, manuscripts requiring revisions must be resubmitted within sixty days (for minor revisions) and ninety days (for major revisions) of the decision date. If an author anticipates the need for a longer period of time, please contact the Editor-in-Chief.


The manuscript should have uniform style and be submitted exactly as the author wishes it to appear in print. It should be as concise as possible without omitting relevant results. All manuscript text in each of the sections described below must be double spaced.

The manuscrit should be subdivided into the following sequence with each section beginning on a new page:

Title page : The first page of the manuscript should include:

Title of paper

Full name of author(s)

Institutional affiliation and complete address of all authors

Running title not to exceed 45 letters and spaces

Number of text pages

Number of tables

Number of Figures

Telephone and facsimile numbers and e-mail address of the corresponding author

Individual and address to whom correspondence concerning manuscript should be sent

All grant information in the following format: Grant sponsor ________; Grant number: _________.

Lay Abstract : Submit a brief (max 250 words) description of the paper that is understandable by the general public and which avoids technical jargon. This abstract will appear on the publicly accessible part of the Society’s website.

Scientific Abstract : Submit an abstract of 250 words or less. The abstract must be written in complete sentences. It should concisely state the questions addressed, the methods used, the main results and their significance.

Key Words:

Append three to eight key words at the end of the abstract for the purposes of citing your work by the secondary services.

Text : This material should be divided into sections appropriate for the type of manuscript being submitted.

Abbreviation and Units

Use standard abbreviations. Spell out all nonstandard abbreviations the first time used. Abbreviations are contained in the current edition of the CBE style manual (sixth edition, 1994, Council of Biology Editors, Inc. Suite 230 N. Michigan Ave., Chicago, IL 60601). Spelling reference is to the current edition of Webster's International Dictionary. In items of human gene nomenclature, this journal adheres to the principles specified in HUGO’s HGNC guidelines where appropriate.

Figures and Legends

At acceptance of the manuscript, the authors must submit the final revised version of an accepted manuscript (text, tables, and illustrations) online. Text files must be submitted as .doc or .rtf files. Tables must be submitted as .doc or .rtf files (which can be embedded in the text file) or as separate .xls files. Figures must be submitted as .tif or .eps files. Do not submit PDFs, jpegs, or PowerPoint files. Please select LWZ compression (an option in the "save" process of programs such as Photoshop) when saving your figures. This is a lossless compression routine that reduces the size of figures without compromising their quality.

Figures should be submitted as electronic images to fit either one (55 mm, 2 3/16”, 13 picas), two (115 mm, 4 1/2”, 27 picas), or three (175 mm, 6 7/8”, 41 picas) columns. The length of an illustration cannot exceed 227 mm (9”). Journal quality reproduction requires grey scale and color files at resolutions of 300 dpi. Bitmapped line art should be submitted at resolutions of 600-1200 dpi.

Helvetica typeface is preferred for lettering of illustrations. All letters, numbers and symbols must be at least 2 mm high. Courier typeface should be used for sequence figures. Number figures in one consecutive series with Arabic numerals, and key them into the text. Submit a brief descriptive legend with each illustration, and do not repeat results in figure legends. Legends for each figure should not exceed 200 words. Abbreviations used in figures and legends must match exactly those used in the text.

Color Figures

Color figures, when deemed necessary, are always published online free of charge.


Each table must have a self-explanatory title, be numbered in order of appearance with Arabic numerals and be cited at an appropriate point in the text. Tables should present comparisons of data that are too cumbersome to describe in the text; they should not merely repeat text information.

Supplementary Online Material

Authors are invited to submit supplementary material for their articles to be posted on Wiley Online Library. Supplementary material may include, but is not limited to, video clips, large sections of tabular data, program code, or electronic graphical files that are otherwise not suitable for print media. Supplementary material must be submitted at the time of peer review.

1. For supplementary data other than simple image files, the data and the README file should be archived together using one of the popular archive protocols such as ZIP, TAR, GZIP, or SIT. If you have more than one piece of supplementary material, you should submit a separate archive for each, with an accompanying README file. However, if it is intended that the multiple files be downloaded as a single unit by the end user, submit one archive and one README file.

2. Data file types. There are no restrictions on file types of the data that you submit. Please keep in mind, however, that the more universal the file type the more accessible it is to the community. The use of popular compression protocols is highly encouraged. If your material is presented in PostScript format, it will be converted to an Adobe Acrobat PDF file.

3. Publication and Access. Supplementary material for published articles will be made available. The availability of this material should be indicated in the text of the article where appropriate.


Movies should be submitted online in the following formats: QuickTime 7.0 or higher, .mpeg or .avi files. All movies should be submitted at the desired reproduction size and length. To avoid excessive delays in downloading the files, movies should be no more than 6MB in size, and run between 30–60 seconds in length. Authors are encouraged to use QuickTime's "compress" option when preparing files to help control file size. Additionally, cropping frames and image sizes can significantly reduce file sizes. Files submitted can be looped to play more than once, provided file size does not become excessive. Authors will be notified if problems exist with videos as submitted, and will be asked to modify them. No editing will be done to the videos at the editorial office—all changes are the responsibility of the author.

Linking to Databases

Authors may submit genetic and protein database information with their manuscript for the databases listed below and a hypertext link will appear in the online version of the article.

The Genome Database (GDB)

Protein Databank (PDB)

Online Mendelian Inheritance in Man (OMIM)

Molecular Modeling Database (MMDB)

Entrez Genomes

Entrez Proteins

European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL)



To create hypertext links authors must supply the gene name as it appears in the article, the database where the record appears, and the database specific identification number or name. It is the responsibility of the author(s) to ensure that the database information that is provided with the manuscript is correct and up to date. The publisher will not submit new information to the databases. Incorrect information will result in the omission of hypertext links in the article. For those articles containing gene and protein sequence information with a corresponding database record (see list of databases above) hyperlinked database queries will be added to the online version for the full text HTML.


Reference should be made only to articles that are published or in press. Unpublished results and personal communications should be cited parenthetically in the text, not in the reference list. Authors are responsible for the accuracy of the references. References in the text should be made by author’s name followed by the year of publication, arranged chronologically, then alphabetically. When there are more than two authors, use the first author’s name and et al.

When references are made to more than one paper by the same author, published in the same year, designate them as a, b, c, etc. In the final list, arrange references alphabetically listing the first six authors, followed by et. al. where applicable, then year of publication. Spell out journal names in roman style, following these examples:

For Journals : Pinter, R., Hogge, W.A., & McPherson, E. (2004). Infant with severe penicillamine embryopathy born to a woman with Wilson disease. American Journal of Medical Genetics, Part A, 128A, 294–298.

Books: Reece, R.J. (2004). Analysis of genes and genomes. New York: Wiley-Liss. 469 p.

Chapter in Book: Hunter, A.G.W. (2005). Down syndrome. In: Cassidy, S.B., Allanson, J.E., editors. Management of genetic syndromes, 2e. New York: Wiley-Liss, pp 191–210.

Web Citation : U.S. Census Bureau. (2004). America's families and living arrangements: 2003 (Table C3). Retrieved November 24, 2004, from

Proofs and Reprints
No published material may be reproduced or published elsewhere without the written permission of the Publisher and the author. The journal will not be responsible for the loss of manuscripts at any time. All statements in, or omissions from, published manuscripts are the responsibility of the authors, who will assist the editorial office by reviewing proofs before publication.

Reprints: Reprints may be purchased at

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 Assignment:
If the OnlineOpen option is not selected, the corresponding author will be presented with the Copyright Transfer Agreement (CTA) to sign. Please do not complete this PDF until you are prompted to login into Author Services as described above. The terms and conditions of the CTA can be previewed here: CTA Terms and Conditions.

Note to Contributors on Deposit of Accepted Version
Funder arrangements

Certain funders, including the NIH, members of the Research Councils UK (RCUK) and Wellcome Trust require deposit of the Accepted Version in a repository after an embargo period. Details of funding arrangements are set out at the following website: Please contact the Journal production editor if you have additional funding requirements.

Wiley has arrangements with certain academic institutions to permit the deposit of the Accepted Version in the institutional repository after an embargo period. Details of such arrangements are set out at the following website:

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

Page Charges
There are no page charges for publication in AUTISM RESEARCH .

Software and Format
Microsoft Word 2007 (or later) is preferred, although manuscripts prepared with any other microcomputer word processor are acceptable. Please keep in mind that AUTISM RESEARCH does not accept Microsoft Word 2007 documents. Refrain from complex formatting; the Publisher will style your manuscript according to the Journal design specifications. Do not use desktop publishing software such as Aldus PageMaker or Quark XPress. If you prepared your manuscript with one of these programs, export the text to a word processing format. Please make sure your word processing program's "fast save" feature is turned off. Please do not deliver files that contain hidden text: for example, do not use your word processor's automated features to create footnotes or reference lists.

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 .


For further help in understanding and clarification on any of the issues discussed in the "Instructions to Authors" please contact the editorial receiving office of AUTISM RESEARCH :

Editorial Receiving Office
111 River Street MS 8-02
Hoboken, NJ 07030
P: 201-748-6484
F: 201-748-5931

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

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