Journal of Evolutionary Biology

Cover image for Vol. 29 Issue 2

Edited By: Michael G. Ritchie

Impact Factor: 3.232

ISI Journal Citation Reports © Ranking: 2014: 20/46 (Evolutionary Biology); 38/145 (Ecology); 59/167 (Genetics & Heredity)

Online ISSN: 1420-9101

Author Guidelines

The Journal of Evolutionary Biology seeks to publish very good papers of broad interest to general evolutionary biologists. Papers that are of narrow interest, or are not original in scope are not suitable for JEB.

Publication charges
There are no page charges for the Journal of Evolutionary Biology. Colour figures are reproduced free of charge and authors are encouraged to make good use of colour wherever possible. There is a charge for open access publication of your article if you choose this (for details see 'Online Open', below).

Online submission and review
Full instructions for preparing and submitting manuscripts are provided at the submission site: All submissions should be online through this site.

Manuscript categories
Journal of Evolutionary Biology publishes ordinary Research Articles (typically 6-10 printed pages), Short Communications (typically 3-5 pages; results and discussion may be combined), and Review Articles. Review Articles are in depth examinations of areas, rather than short commentaries or opinion pieces (see recent examples); in rare cases, typically commissioned, reviews are published with commentaries as a Target Review. Manuscripts in all categories (except commentaries on Target Reviews) to include an abstract.

Submission and handling of manuscripts
Manuscripts are allocated to the Editor-in-Chief, Reviews Editor or one of the Deciding Editors by the Managing Editor. Manuscripts are typically reviewed by two reviewers; however, manuscripts can be declined without review by an editor if their contribution to the journal's goals is deemed to be marginal or if it seems unlikely that they would fare well in the review process. Due to increasing number of submissions, these immediate rejections are becoming more frequent.

Manuscripts for the Journal of Evolutionary Biology are submitted online through ScholarOne at Submission online enables the quickest possible review and online manuscript tracking. Manuscripts can be uploaded as a Word (.doc, .docx), Rich Text Format (.rtf) or LaTex document. LATEX SUBMISSIONS: Author must also (1) upload a PDF file of the entire manuscript for the reviewers, and (2) compress your LaTex files into a zip or tar file before uploading and select 'Not for review' when uploading the zip/tar file. Full upload instructions and support are available online from the submission site via the 'Get Help Now' button. You can also email for online Submission support.

All submitted manuscripts must be accompanied by a covering letter stating that the enclosed work is not under consideration for publication in another journal or book; that its submission for publication has been approved by all relevant authors and institutions; and that all persons entitled to authorship have been so named. Submitting authors should also assert that all authors have seen and agreed to the submitted version of the manuscript. The covering letter should give the word count of the full text, excluding abstract, references, tables and figure legends. Authors should always complete the preferred reviewers section when submitting manuscripts. Please identify a minimum of two members from the ‘Board of Reviewing Editors’ (not Deciding Editors) as potential reviewers. You are welcome to specify non-Board reviewers in addition, particularly if they are specialists in your subject area.

In order to expedite production, authors are required to submit their revised manuscripts online. It is in the interests both of the authors and of the journal that amended manuscripts are returned promptly. A revised paper will retain its original date of receipt only if it is received within 8 weeks of the date of return to the author. Revised papers submitted after this interval will be treated as a new submission. When resubmitting your manuscript please ensure you upload your response letter with your other files, so it will form part of the PDF. All final decisions will rest with the Editorial Office and authors will receive decision letters from the Editorial Office.

Artwork will be produced from electronic files if at all possible (see below). On request, authors should provide two sets of the original figures.

Online production tracking is now available for your article through Author Services.  This enables authors to track their article - once it has been accepted - through the production process to publication online and in print. Authors can check the status of their articles online and choose to receive automated e-mails at key stages of production so they do not need to contact the production editor to check on progress. Visit for more details on online production tracking and for a wealth of resources including FAQs and tips on article preparation, submission and more.

Referrals to the Open Access Journal "Ecology and Evolution"

This journal works together with Wiley’s Open Access Journal, Ecology and Evolution, to enable rapid publication of good quality research that is unable to be accepted for publication by our journal. Authors will be offered the option of having the paper, along with any related reviews, automatically transferred for consideration by the Editor of Ecology and Evolution. Authors will not need to reformat or rewrite their manuscript at this stage, and publication decisions will be made a short time after the transfer takes place. The Editor of Ecology and Evolution will accept submissions that report well-conducted research which reaches the standard acceptable for publication. Accepted papers can be published rapidly: typically within 15 days of acceptance. Ecology and Evolution is a Wiley Open Access journal and article publication fees apply. For more information please go to

Presentation of manuscripts
Manuscripts should be written in clear, concise, and grammatically correct English; manuscripts that are inadequately prepared will be returned to the authors. Manuscripts submitted by non-native English speakers must be thoroughly corrected by a native English speaker prior to submission. Manuscripts should be typewritten in double-spacing on one side of 297 mm x 210 mm (ll inch x 8.5 inch) white paper, with 2.5 cm (1 inch) margins on all sides. All pages should be numbered consecutively, and line numbers should be printed on each page to facilitate ease of reference for reviewers.

Length of the manuscripts: Manuscripts should not typically exceed 10 printed pages (including figures and tables). In general, allow 900 words per printed page and subtract 160 words for each figure and table.

Title page:
The title page should contain the article title, full name(s) of author(s), affiliation(s), a short running title (abbreviated form of title) less than 45 characters including spaces, and the name and complete mailing address, including telephone and fax numbers and e-mail address of the person to whom correspondence should be sent.

Abstract page: The abstract page should contain a short summary not exceeding 250 words and include at least 4 and up to 10 keywords.

Main text
The organization of the main text should be chosen to fit the work reported. All papers should begin with an introduction that describes why the work is important and end with a discussion of the significance of the results and their relation to other work. The following format is recommended for empirical studies:
(1) lntroduction. The introduction should summarise briefly the background and aims, and end with a very brief statement of what has been achieved by the work.
(2) Materials and methods. This section should contain sufficient detail so that all procedures can be repeated (in conjunction with cited references).
(3) Results. The Results section should present the experiments that support the conclusions to be drawn later in the Discussion. The Results Section should conform to a high standard of rigour. Extended lines of inference, arguments or speculations should not he placed in the Results.
(4) Discussion. The Discussion section should he separate from the Results section. It allows authors to propose their interpretation of the results, and to suggest what they might mean in a wider context. It should end with a clear statement of the main conclusions of the research, and a clear explanation of their importance and relevance.
(5) Acknowledgments. The acknowledgments (e.g. of financial support) should be brief.
(6) References. Citation to papers by up to two authors in the text should be in full, e.g. (Able & Charles, 1986). If the number of authors exceeds two, the first author plus et al. should be used (e.g. Frank et al., 1986). When different groups of authors with the same first author and date occur, they should be cited by using a,b,c, etc. after the date (e.g., James et al., 1986a,b). References should be listed in chronological order in the text, e.g. (Lowe et al., 1986; Able et al., 1997). At the end of the paper, references should be listed in alphabetical order. Names and initials of authors (up to six), year of publication, the full titles of papers, chapters and books, the abbreviated titles of journals (manuscripts with full journal titles will be returned to the author for revision), volumes and inclusive pagination should he provided. Do not include the doi (digital object identifier) if the journal article is already published within an issue, instead simply state the volume and page range. Do not include the total number of pages of single volume works (e.g. entire books or reports). Multi-authored works should list the first six authors followed by et al. Examples of reference style are given below:

Briggs, C.W. 2012. Plumage polymorphism and fitness in Swainson's hawks. J. Evol. Biol., in press.

Lynch, M. 1989. The gauge of speciation: on the frequencies of modes of speciation. In: Speciation and its Consequences (D. Otte & J.E. Endler, eds), pp. 527–553. Sinauer Associates, Sunderland, Massachusetts.

Ridley, M. 1996. Evolution, 2nd edn. Blackwell Science, Oxford.

Simon, C. 1992. Molecular systematics. In: Proceedings of First International Symposium on Molecular Techniques in Taxonomy (J.C. Avise, ed.), pp. 23–34. Denton, Texas, 4–6 November 1992. Springer, Berlin.

Smith, D.R., Crespi, B.J. & Bookstein, F.L. 1997. Fluctuating asymmetry in the honey bee, Apis mellifera: effects of ploidy and hybridization. J. Evol. Biol. 10: 551-574.

Werren, J.H., Richards, S., Desjardins, C.A., Niehuis, O., Gadau, J., Colbourne, J.K. et al. 2010. Functional and evolutionary insights from the genomes of three parasitoid Nasonia species. Science 327: 343-348.

Wiens, J.J., Sparreboom, M. & Arntzen, J.W. 2011. Crest evolution in newts: implications for reconstruction methods, sexual selection, phenotypic plasticity and the origin of novelties. J. Evol. Biol., doi: 10.1111/j.1420-9101.2011.02340.x.

References to a paper 'in press' are permissible provided that it has been accepted for publication (documentary evidence of acceptance must be provided). A reference to 'unpublished work' is rarely permissible and only with consent of the editor; it should be available from the cited authors on request, and the names of all persons involved should be cited (forename initial(s) followed by surname) in parentheses as 'unpublished data'; any person cited as the source of a 'personal communication' must have approved the reference; both of these types of citation are permitted in the text only, not in the list of references. The use of 'in preparation' or 'submitted for publication' is not permitted.

References to material available on the World Wide Web can be given, but only if the information is available on an official site and without charge to readers. Authors may provide electronic copies of the cited material for inclusion on the Journal of Evolutionary Biology Homepage at the discretion of the Editors. The format for citations is as follows:

Beckleheimer, J. 1994. How do you cite URLs in a bibliography? See

An EndNote style file is available (Click here). Right-click on the link and select 'save target as'. Navigate to your EndNote styles folder and save.

We have endeavoured to make this style file as comprehensive as possible, but complex or unusual reference types and variations in reference data quality in EndNote may result in missing information or formatting problems. If you have any comments or suggestions for improvement, please contact the journal Production Editor at:


Tables should he cited consecutively in the text and numbered with Arabic numerals (Table 1, Table 2, etc.). Each table should be titled and typed double-spaced on a separate sheet. Units must be clearly indicated for each of the entries in the table. Footnotes to tables should be identified by the symbols *, †, ‡, §, ¶  (in that order) and placed at the bottom of the table. No vertical rules should be used.

Figures should be cited consecutively in the text (e.g. Fig. 1, Fig. 2, etc.) and should be grouped together at the end of the paper or in a separate file(s). Legends should be grouped at the end of the paper. Line figures and combination figures should preferably be submitted in vector graphics format (e.g. either embedded as vector graphics in a Word document or saved separately in PDF or EPS format). If this is not possible, they should be saved separately as pixel-based graphics at 600 d.p.i. at the required print size, and they should be saved in tif (not jpg) format or embedded as such in Word. Note that vector graphics is the preferred format for line and combination figures because figure quality can then be maximized in the online PDF publication. Photographic figures should be saved at 300 d.p.i. in tif format, or jpg format with low compression. Figures should be drawn/submitted at their smallest practicable size to fit a single column (max. width 80 mm), two-thirds page width (max. width 110 mm), or a double column (max. width 166 mm). Over-sized figures will be reduced by the Production Editor. If figures are drawn larger than reproduction size, component parts such as symbols and text must be large enough to allow for the necessary reduction. For full instructions on preparing your figures, see our Electronic Artwork Information for Authors page.

Scientific names
Provide the Latin names of each species in full, together with the authority for its name, at first mention in the main text. If there are many species, cite a flora or checklist that may be consulted for authorities instead of listing them in the text. Do not give authorities for species cited from published references. Give priority to scientific names in the text (with colloquial names in parentheses if desired).

Units and symbols
Authors are requested to use the International System of Units (SI, Systme International d'UnitŽs) where possible for all measurements (see Quantities, Units and Symbols, 2nd edn., 1975, The Royal Society, London). Note that mathematical expressions should contain symbols, not abbreviations. If the paper contains many symbols, it is recommended that they should be defined as early in the text as possible, or within a subsection of the Materials and Methods section. In-line equations should be typed as text. The use of graphics programs and 'equation editors' should be avoided. Displayed equations will normally be re-keyed by the typesetter.

Web materials
Supporting Information can be published online at the Editors' discretion. This may include information on, for example, sampling locations, data underlying analyses or figures, additional analyses not presented in the manuscript, or relevant multimedia files (e.g. mating song audio clips). Supporting Information must be formatted and supplied by the author in a ready-to-publish form (wide line spacing and line numbering is therefore not required). Please label Supporting Information S1, S2, S3, etc., for example Appendix S1, Appendix S2, Figure S1, Movie S1. Please compose the Supporting Information section at the end of your article using shortened titles of the Supporting Information if the full titles are long (more than a short sentence). Full titles should be supplied with the Supporting Information itself and will be published online. Further guidelines for authors are available at:

Statistical results
In-line statistical results should be presented as the test-statistic followed by degrees of freedom as subscript(s) to the test-statistic (e.g. F1,12 = 1.74, P <=0.001. Depending on the details of the analyses, results reported may include parameter estimates, test-statistics, degrees of freedom significance levels and error/residual model information (e.g. error MS and d.f. in ANOVA or regression models). Since exact P-values can be useful for meta-analyses, we recommend that these are quoted even when non-significant, e.g. t 23 = 0.25, P = 0.34. However, non-significant tests (i.e. P > 0.05) should always be interpreted as such.

Cover image
Authors who have their paper accepted for publication are encouraged to submit a photograph(s) illustrating their work (please do not submit photographs until your paper has been accepted). These should be of publishable quality, both in terms of content and image quality. They should be approximately 300 d.p.i. when sized to 15 cm height (max.) by 21.2 cm width (fixed), and if saved in jpg format a low compression setting should be used. Please crop image to these stated dimensions if possible. Resolutions below about 200 d.p.i. will generally not be of high enough quality for publication.

You can email your images to the journal Production Editor at with a brief caption (20 to 40 words). This should include a photo credit. If photographs are not the author's, permission for use must have been obtained prior to submission. The photographer of the cover image that is chosen will be required to sign a release form.

Author material archive policy
Please note that unless specifically requested, Wiley-Blackwell will dispose of all hardcopy or electronic material submitted two months after publication. If you require the return of any material submitted, please inform the editorial office or production editor as soon as possible if you have not yet done so.

Authors will be sent an e-mail alerting them that their PDF proof is available for download. Instructions on annotating the proof using Acrobat's PDF annotation tools and uploading corrections to the Wiley Online Proofing server will be included. Authors should complete their proof review within 48 hours of receipt.

Free access to the final PDF offprint or your article will be available via Author Services only. Please therefore sign up for Author Services when your paper is accepted if you would like to access your article PDF offprint and enjoy the many other benefits that Author Service offers (see above). Paper offprints may also be purchased and should be ordered when you return your proof corrections by following the instructions supplied at the time.

Early View
The Journal of Evolutionary Biology is covered by Wiley-Blackwell's Early View service. Early View articles are complete full-text articles published online in advance of the publication in a printed issue. Articles are therefore available as soon as they are ready, rather than having to wait for the next scheduled print issue. Early View articles are complete and final. They have been fully reviewed, revised and edited for publication, and the authors' final corrections have been incorporated. Because they are in final form, no changes can be made after online publication. The nature of Early View articles means that they do not yet have volume, issue or page numbers, so Early View articles cannot be cited in the traditional way. They are therefore given a Digital Object Identifier (DOI), which allows the article to be cited and tracked before it is allocated to an issue. After print publication, the DOI remains valid and can continue to be used to cite and access the article.

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.

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:

Online Open
OnlineOpen is available to authors of primary research articles who wish to make their article available to non-subscribers on publication, or whose funding agency requires grantees to archive the final version of their article. With OnlineOpen, the author, the author's funding agency, or the author's institution pays a fee to ensure that the article is made available to non-subscribers upon publication via Wiley Online Library, as well as deposited in the funding agency's preferred archive. The charge for OnlineOpen publication is $3,000 (discounted to $1,500 for papers where the first or corresponding author is a current member of the European Society for Evolutionary Biology, For the full list of terms and conditions, see

Prior to acceptance there is no requirement to inform an Editorial Office that you intend to publish your paper OnlineOpen if you do not wish to. All OnlineOpen articles are treated in the same way as any other article. They go through the journal's standard peer-review process and will be accepted or rejected based on their own merit.

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

Free access in the Developing World
Free online access to this journal is available within institutions in the developing world through the HINARI initiative with the World Health Organization (WHO), the AGORA initiative with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the OARE Initiative (Online Access to Research in the Environment) with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).

Data sharing
The Journal of Evolutionary Biology requires, as a condition for publication, that data supporting the results in the paper should be archived in an appropriate public archive, such as GenBank, TreeBASE, Dryad, the Knowledge Network for Biocomplexity or other suitable long-term and stable public repositories. Data are important products of the scientific enterprise, and they should be preserved and usable for decades in the future. Authors may elect to have the data publicly available at time of publication, or, if the technology of the archive allows, may opt to embargo access to the data for a period up to a year after publication. Longer embargoes or exceptions to depositing data may be granted at the discretion of the Editor-in-Chief, especially for sensitive information such as human subject data or the location of endangered species. Requests for extended embargoes may require the written approval of the funding agency which supported the research. All accepted papers should provide accession numbers or DOI for data underlying the work that have been deposited, so that these can appear in the final accepted article.