Developmental Science

Cover image for Vol. 20 Issue 4

Edited By: Charles A. Nelson, Michelle de Haan, and Paul C. Quinn

Impact Factor: 4.604

ISI Journal Citation Reports © Ranking: 2016: 3/84 (Psychology Experimental); 4/70 (Psychology Developmental)

Online ISSN: 1467-7687

Author Guidelines

DESC Cope Logo

Journal scope

Developmental Science aims to represent the very best of contemporary scientific developmental psychology and developmental cognitive neuroscience, both in the presentation of theory and in reporting new data. Developmental Science includes: comparative and biological perspectives, connectionist and computational perspectives, and developmental disorders. Developmental Science publishes work that bridges levels of explanation, such as from brain development to cognitive or social change, or work that specifically attempts to elucidate mechanisms of developmental change at one level. Manuscripts judged to fall outside this remit may be rejected without full refereeing.

Developmental Science refers to ASAB/ASB ethical Guidelines for the Treatment of Animals in Behavioural Research and Teaching:

All papers published in Developmental Science are eligible for Panel A: Psychology, Psychiatry and Neurosience in the Research Excellence Framework (REF)

Types of article published in Developmental Science

Developmental Science publishes two types of manuscripts: (1) Short Reports (up to 4,000 words) that are succinct accounts of high impact scientific findings typically involving (but not limited to) a single empirical study or computational model, and (2) Papers (up to 8,000 words) that report on more extended empirical or modelling studies.

Some papers judged by the editorial team to present important theoretical issues in developmental science may be selected as Target Articles for peer commentary. These will be accompanied by at least one peer commentary of 1,000 words. Authors may wish to suggest names and addresses of individuals who might be invited to offer peer commentary, at the Editors' discretion. Authors wishing that their manuscripts be considered for peer commentary should flag this on submission.

In addition, papers will occasionally be selected as an Editors' Choice article. These will be nominated by the Editors and Action editors, principally from among the accepted Short Reports, and flagged as particularly newsworthy items. They may also be subject to extended publicity.

All manuscripts (whether Short Reports or Papers) will initially be assessed rapidly for relevance to the aims of the journal, breadth of interest and potential impact. Authors will receive a prompt decision as to whether their submission will be sent for peer review. This decision will be based on recommendations from members of the editorial board. Manuscripts selected for peer review will then be sent out to external readers for full review. Authors should choose the article type based on word count and perceived importance of the findings.

Speed of Peer Review

The rapid assessment, as described above, will usually take no more than one working week. The full peer review and initial response takes on average 40 days.

Manuscript Preparation

Word Count
Depends on type of paper, please see above. The word count does not include author names and affiliations, acknowledgments, figure captions and references. Abstracts should not exceed 250 words.

Human Subjects
For manuscripts reporting studies that involve human participants, a statement identifying the ethics committee that approved the study and confirmation that the study conforms to recognized standards is required, for example: Declaration of Helsinki; or US Federal Policy for the Protection of Human Subjects.

Images and information from individual participants will only be published where the authors have obtained the individual's free prior informed consent. Authors do not need to provide a copy of the consent form to the publisher; however, in signing the author license to publish, authors are required to confirm that consent has been obtained. Wiley has a standard patient consent form available for use.

The style of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, 6th edition, should be followed with respect to handling of references, footnotes, tables and figures, and abbreviations and symbols. Information about the APA guidelines can be found on their website at:

Pre-submission English-language editing
Authors for whom English is a second language may choose to have their manuscript professionally edited before submission to improve the English. A list of independent suppliers of editing services can be found at All services are paid for and arranged by the author, and use of one of these services does not guarantee acceptance or preference for publication.

References in Articles
There are several software packages available to help authors manage and format the references and footnotes in their journal article. We recommend the use of a software tool such as EndNote or Reference Manager for reference management and formatting.

EndNote reference styles can be searched for here:

Reference Manager reference styles can be searched for here:

Research Highlights
Authors are required to submit up to four 'Research Highlights' with their manuscripts. These are bulleted points outlining the key contributions to research the paper makes. The Research Highlights should be placed before the abstract. Each research highlight should not be longer than 25 words.

Preparation of electronic files

Manuscripts should be double-spaced throughout. Two versions of your manuscript should be prepared; one 'blinded' version, which should not contain any author identifying information (such as author names, contact details, or acknowledgments), and one full version. When saving the two versions, please indicate which is the blind version (e.g. by adding the word 'blind' to the file name). Please do not include any author names or identifying information as part of the file names. Once we receive your submission, the full (non-blinded version) will be hidden from the reviewers. Although all submitted files are checked, it is the responsibility of the authors to ensure that the blind version does not reveal identifying information.

Most common file types can be uploaded to the submission website (address below) where they are converted to html and pdf format. You will not be able to upload files with extension: .exe, .com, .vbs and .zip. However, please bear in mind that if your work is accepted, pdf files are not acceptable for final version text as they cannot be edited for typesetting by the publishers.

Each figure and table should be clearly identified and on a separate page. Landscape positioning, tints and complex shading should be avoided.

Again, most common file types can be uploaded to the submission website but for the final, accepted version PDF files or Tif files are preferable. The resolution should be 300 dpi for block drawings/photos; 600 dpi for line drawings. Word files can be used for simple diagrams such as graphs.

For more information on preparing electronic figures, please go to:

Permission from the copyright owner should be included for use of any figure previously published elsewhere. For more information on permissions and some suggested permissions request forms, please go to:

Guidelines for Cover Submission
If you would like to send suggestions for artwork related to your manuscript to be considered to appear on the cover of the journal, please follow these general guidelines.

Supporting Information
We can also publish supporting information. Supporting information must be important, ancillary information that is relevant to the parent article but which does not or cannot appear in the main article. Supporting Information can comprise additional tables, data sets, figures, movie files, audio clips, 3D structures, and other related nonessential multimedia files. This should be submitted during manuscript submission and designated as 'Supporting Information'. Supporting information will be published as submitted, and will not be corrected or checked for scientific content, typographical errors or functionality. Like the manuscript accompanying it, it should be original and not previously published. If previously published it must be submitted with the necessary permissions.

Authors preparing supporting information for publication should read the following guidelines carefully:

The editors would like to encourage authors to submit supporting information of a multimedia nature with their papers, where possible. For examples of this please see: multimedia example1 and multimedia example 2

Video Abstracts
From January 2012, authors whose papers are accepted for publication are encouraged to submit a 'Video Abstract' to accompany their article. Further information about how to produce a Video Abstract will be sent to authors after their paper is accepted.

Manuscript submission

Before submission please ensure that you have prepared your material according to the guidelines above and that you have current and accurate e-mail addresses for each author.

Manuscripts should be submitted to the following website:

Full submission instructions can be found on this website. A cover letter should be submitted with your manuscript and must include a statement that the data have not been published, and are not under consideration for publication elsewhere. It will be presumed that all listed authors of a manuscript have agreed to the listing and have seen and approved the manuscript.

Graphical Table of Contents
Development Science incorporates graphics and a small piece of text from journal articles into the online table of contents (which are distributed to readers who have signed up to Table of Contents (ToC) alerts). The extra graphic and text, in addition to being eye-catching, give the reader a much more immediate impression of what each article will cover.

For an example, see the following link:

To assist us in selecting a suitable graphic to accompany your article in the table of contents, you may like to specify one of your figures. You will be given the option to specify a figure during the submission process at the file upload stage.

An initiative started by CrossRef to help its members actively engage in efforts to prevent scholarly and professional plagiarism. The journal to which you are submitting your manuscript employs a plagiarism detection system. By submitting your manuscript to this journal you accept that your manuscript may be screened for plagiarism against previously published works.

The publication process

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

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

For more information on this policy and the Journal’s compliant self-archiving policy please visit:

Online Production tracking
Online production tracking is now available for your article through Wiley-Blackwell's Author Services.

Author Services 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. The author will receive an e-mail with a unique link that enables them to register and have their article automatically added to the system. Please ensure that a complete e-mail address is provided when submitting the manuscript. Visit for more details on online production tracking and for a wealth of resources including FAQs and tips on article preparation, submission and more.

Early View
Early View articles are complete full-text articles published online in advance of their publication in an 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.

Referrals to the Open Access Journal Brain and Behavior

Our publisher, Wiley-Blackwell, encourages us to refer papers containing good quality research that we are unable to accept in Developmental Science for potential publication in Wiley’s open access journal, Brain and Behavior. Authors may be offered the option of having the paper, along with any related peer reviews, automatically transferred for consideration by the Editor of Brain and Behavior. 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 Brain and Behavior 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. Brain and Behavior is a Wiley open access journal and article publication fees apply. For more information please go to

Developmental Science office contact details
Dr Thomas Gaston, Managing Editor
Bernadith Millamina, Editorial Assistant

Developmental Science Editorial Office, Wiley-Blackwell, John Wiley & Sons, 9600 Garsington Road, Oxford, UK, OX4 2DQ

Tel : +44 (0)1865 476292

Submission page: