Author Guidelines

For the Journal's Aim and Scope Click here

Articles submitted to Journal of Anatomy are done so on the following conditions: that the work described has not been published previously (except in the form of an abstract or as part of a published lecture or academic thesis), that it is not under consideration for publication elsewhere, that its publication is approved by all authors and tacitly or explicitly by the responsible authorities where the work was carried out, and that, if accepted, it will not be published elsewhere including electronically in the same form, in English or in any other language, without the written consent of the copyright-holder. There are no page charges, and charges are not made for colour, if, in the Editors’ opinion it is essential. In all other cases costs must be borne by the author. The Editors-in-Chief of Journal of Anatomy endorse the ARRIVE guidelines for reporting experiments (, and expect authors to refer to these guidelines before submission of a manuscript. More information about reporting guidelines can be found at:


NIH-funded authors and Journal of Anatomy

The NIH mandates grantees to deposit their peer-reviewed author manuscripts in PubMed Central, to be made publicly available within 12 months of publication. The NIH mandate applies to all articles based on research that has been wholly or partially funded by the NIH and that are accepted for publication on or after April 7, 2008. In order to help authors comply with the NIH mandate, for papers accepted for publication in Journal of Anatomy, Wiley will post the accepted manuscript (incorporating all amendments made during peer review, but prior to the publisher's copy-editing and typesetting) of articles by NIH grant-holders to PubMed Central at the point of acceptance by the journal. This version will then be made publicly available in PubMed Central 12 months after publication. Following the deposit Wiley Blackwell authors will receive further communications from the NIH with respect to the submission. For further information, see here.

If authors wish to make their final published article openly accessible and without a 12 month embargo, they can choose to publish via the Hybrid Open Access service. Wellcome and HHMI grantees can find out further information here.



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.



The majority of manuscripts published in Journal of Anatomy are Original Articles. There are no limits regarding the word count or number of display figures for Original Articles, but authors are encouraged to write in a concise manner. Authors are discouraged from submitting papers longer than 70 manuscript pages (including figures and tables). The Editors will also consider shorter manuscripts for publication as Brief Communications. These papers are normally shorter than 15 manuscript pages and contain no more than three display figures. In addition, the Editors will consider manuscripts reporting on methodological developments, for publication as Methods papers (either as full length manuscripts or as Brief Communications).

Review articles are normally commissioned by the Editors, but we welcome pre-submission enquiries (prospective authors are encouraged to email a copy of the proposed title and abstract to [email protected]). Similarly, Historical Perspective and Educational Perspective manuscripts are normally commissioned by the Editors, but again we welcome pre-submission enquiries (prospective authors are encouraged to email a copy of the proposed title and abstract to [email protected]).

For all manuscripts, during the online submission process, authors will be asked to choose a subject area (these are only used to assist with the allocation of appropriate editors and reviewers) that best represents their paper, from the following:


Cell biology and tissue architecture
Comparative functional morphology
Developmental biology
Evolutionary developmental biology
Evolutionary morphology
Integrative vertebrate paleontology
Methodological innovations in anatomical research
Musculoskeletal system
Neuroanatomy and neurodegeneration
Significant advances in anatomy education


There is an additional category, ‘Symposium papers’, but this should only be used where an author has been specifically invited by one of the Editors in Chief or by a Guest Editor to submit a paper to a forthcoming special symposium issue.



Submission of a manuscript to Journal of Anatomy implies that it reports unpublished work and that it is not under consideration for publication elsewhere. If previously published tables, illustrations or more than 200 words of text are to be included in the manuscript, then the copyright holder's permission must be obtained. Copies of permission letters should be included with the manuscript.

Manuscripts should be submitted online at Full upload instructions and support are available online from the submission site via the Get Help Now button.

Manuscripts can be uploaded as a Word document (.doc or .docx), or as a Rich Text Format document (.rtf). If submitting to Manuscript Central using LaTeX please upload a PDF file of the manuscript for the reviewers. Note that upon acceptance we will require your TeX/LaTeX source files to edit and typeset the article. Figures for review should be uploaded separately as GIF (.gif), JPEG (.jpg), TIFF (.tif), or EPS (.eps). On acceptance, you will be required to provide HIGH RESOLUTION GRAPHICS FILES (note that GIF (.gif), JPEG (.jpg), and PNG (.png) files are not acceptable for publication).

Please submit a covering letter addressed to the Editors when prompted online. The covering letter should state the importance and anatomical relevance of the study. Authors will also be asked to provide the names of one or more preferred referees (who have no personal or professional connection with the study or the authors), although the Editors are not obliged to use these.



Due to space restrictions and to the volume of high quality papers submitted, the Editors reserve the right to return immediately those papers that are unlikely to be competitive for space in the journal and/or those that do not conform to the general editorial philosophy and standards of Journal of Anatomy. Wherever possible, such editorial decisions will be processed within a week of submission. Manuscripts selected for external peer review will normally be reviewed within four weeks of submission.

The acceptance criteria for all papers are the quality and originality of the research and its significance to journal readership. Please note, manuscripts are single-blind peer reviewed: the identity of the reviewer is anonymous (unless the reviewer does not wish to be), but the author name and affiliation is on the paper.




Authors should refer to recently published manuscripts for an overall guide to Journal style (available at

Text should be divided into the following sections and appear in the order:


(1) title page (with short running page heading, title, authors names and affiliations);
(2) abstract (no longer than 500 words, in a single paragraph, not divided into sections with headings);
(3) keywords;
(4) main body: introduction, methods, results, discussion (this may be combined with the results section) and conclusions if desired;
(5) acknowledgements;
(6) author contributions (see below);
(7) references;
(8) supplementary material (if any);
(9) tables; and
(10) figure legends.


Please avoid the use of footnotes, and number the pages using the page numbering feature of the word processing software.

Authorities for the Latin binomial of every organism are not used in the title or summary, and only on the first mention in the main body of the text. Gene names and loci should be in italic text and protein names should use in roman text.

Virus nomenclature (and acronyms) should follow the guidelines of the International Committee on the Taxonomy of Viruses (ICTV). The current report is: van Regenmortel MHV, Fauquet CM, Bishop DHL (Eds) (2001) Virus Taxonomy: Seventh Report of the International Committee on Taxonomy Viruses. San Diego: Academic Press. Authors are also advised to check the ITCV website for the latest information.

Chemical nomenclature should follow the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) definitive rules for nomenclature.

Industrial products should be referred to by their common names (ISO Publications 1831, 2474, etc.). In the absence of a common name, use the full name or a defined abbreviation, in preference to a trade name. At first mention, trade names should be capitalised.

Statistics: Calculations and the validity of deductions made from them should be checked and validated by a statistician.

Symbols, units and abbreviations should be expressed as Système International (SI) units, as given in: Baron DN (Ed) (1994) Units and Abbreviations: a guide for medical authors and editors. London: Royal Society of Medicine Press. In exceptional circumstances, others may be used, provided they are consistent. Apply to the Editorial Office for advice.


Artificial Intelligence Generated Content (AIGC) tools—such as ChatGPT and others based on large language models (LLMs)—cannot be considered capable of initiating an original piece of research without direction by human authors. They also cannot be accountable for a published work or for research design, which is a generally held requirement of authorship, nor do they have legal standing or the ability to hold or assign copyright. Therefore—in accordance with COPE’s position statement on AI tools—these tools cannot fulfill the role of, nor be listed as, an author of an article. If an author has used this kind of tool to develop any portion of a manuscript, its use must be described, transparently and in detail, in the Methods or Acknowledgements section. The author is fully responsible for the accuracy of any information provided by the tool and for correctly referencing any supporting work on which that information depends. Tools that are used to improve spelling, grammar, and general editing are not included in the scope of these guidelines. The final decision about whether use of an AIGC tool is appropriate or permissible in the circumstances of a submitted manuscript or a published article lies with the journal’s editor or other party responsible for the publication’s editorial policy.



Journal of Anatomy recommends that authors submit a short description of all contributions to their manuscript. Each author’s contribution should be described in brief, to appear immediately before the references. Authorship credit might include contributions to concept/design, acquisition of data, data analysis/interpretation, drafting of the manuscript, critical revision of the manuscript and approval of the article. Contributors who do not qualify as authors can also be listed and their particular contribution described. Further information on authorship and contributorship may be found here.



References in the text should be inserted in parentheses in full for single and dual authored papers, but using the first author and et al. for multiple authored papers. Reference to personal communications, unedited and un-refereed work, and work that is unpublished should be minimal and should appear in the text only. It is the author’s responsibility to obtain permission from colleagues to include their work as a personal communication.

References in the list should follow the Harvard system. Over 6 authors will be abbreviated to 3 authors et al. Refer to a recent copy of the journal for examples.

We recommend the use of a tool such as EndNote or Reference Manager for reference management and formatting.



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:



Numerical results should be presented either as tables or figures, but not both. The Journal welcomes colour figures and plates, when information would be lost if reproduced in black and white.

Tables: Tables should be typed on separate pages, as an integral part the text file. They should have a brief descriptive title and be self-explanatory. Units should appear in parentheses in the column headings, not in the body of the table. Repeated words or numerals on successive lines should be written in full. Footnotes should be minimal. When the precision of data is expressed as standard error (se) or standard errors of differences (sed) the degrees of freedom (df) should be given.

Electronic Artwork: Journal of Anatomy only accepts submission of electronic artwork. The journal accepts the following formats only: (1) GRAPHS, CHARTS and MAPS as Encapsulated Postscript Format (.eps). The best results are obtained with software applications that can output EPS format (Systat SigmaPlot; Adobe Illustrator; CorelDraw; Deneba Canvas; Macromedia Freehand); and

(2) PHOTOGRAPHS in Tagged Image File Format (.tif). TIFF files should be supplied at a minimum resolution of 300 dpi (dots per inch) at the final size at which they are to appear in the journal. TIFF and EPS formats are the industry standard for archiving and print and online publication.

Detailed information on digital illustration standards is available at this webpage.

Please note that file formats other than EPS and TIF will be automatically rejected by the online submission website.

Colour files should be in RGB format. Labelling should be in 10pt sans serif style font. Figure sections should be designated with lower case letters. Magnification bars should be given on electron and light micrographs.

Legends: Table and figure legends should be included within the text file and contain sufficient information to be understood without reference to the text. Each should begin with a short title for the figure. All symbols and abbreviations should be explained within the legend.

Illustrated abstract: Journal of Anatomy publishes graphical abstracts for each article, displayed online in graphical form with a brief abstract. During submission, please nominate an existing image from within the article for use as the illustrated abstract. Your short abstract should consist of 2-3 sentences (max 500 characters with spaces) summarising the key findings presented in the paper.

Cover images: Electronic artwork of high quality suitable for the cover of Journal of Anatomy are welcomed. They should be sent to the Editorial Office ([email protected]) and be accompanied by a relevant caption. It is preferred that images should be related to submitted papers. Contributors are required to grant exclusive publishing rights to the Society. It is the Publisher's policy not to publish items without signed copyright transfer agreement.


Resource Identification Initiative

The journal supports the Resource Identification Initiative, which aims to promote research resource identification, discovery, and reuse. This initiative, led by the Neuroscience Information Framework and the Oregon Health & Science University Library, provides unique identifiers for antibodies, model organisms, cell lines, and tools including software and databases. These IDs, called Research Resource Identifiers (RRIDs), are machine-readable and can be used to search for all papers where a particular resource was used and to increase access to critical data to help researchers identify suitable reagents and tools.

Authors are asked to use RRIDs to cite the resources used in their research where applicable in the text, similar to a regular citation or Genbank Accession number. For antibodies, authors should include in the citation the vendor, catalogue number, and RRID both in the text upon first mention in the Methods section. For software tools and databases, please provide the name of the resource followed by the resource website, if available, and the RRID. For model organisms, the RRID alone is sufficient.

Additionally, authors must include the RIIDs in the list of keywords associated with the manuscript.

To Obtain Research Resource Identifiers (RRIDs):

    • 1) Use the Resource Identification Portal, created by the Resource Identification Initiative Working Group.
    • 2) Search for the research resource (please see the section titled “Search Features and Tips” for more information).
    • 3) Click on the “Cite This” button to obtain the citation and insert the citation into the manuscript text.

If there is a resource that is not found within the Portal, authors are asked to register the resource with the appropriate resource authority. Information on how to do this is provided in the “Resource Citation Guidelines” section of the Portal.

If any difficulties in obtaining identifiers arise, please contact [email protected] for assistance.

Example Citations:

Antibodies: "Wnt3 was localized using a rabbit polyclonal antibody C64F2 against Wnt3 (Cell Signaling Technology, Cat# 2721S, RRID: AB_2215411)"

Model Organisms: "Experiments were conducted in c. elegans strain SP304 (RRID:CGC_SP304)"

Cell lines: "Experiments were conducted in PC12 CLS cells (CLS Cat# 500311/p701_PC-12, RRID:CVCL_0481)"

Tools, Software, and Databases: "Image analysis was conducted with CellProfiler Image Analysis Software, V2.0 (, RRID:nif-0000-00280)"



Authors must obtain permission to reproduce any copyright material, and include an acknowledgement of the source in their Article. Authors should be aware that the unreferenced use of the published and unpublished ideas, writing or illustrations of others, from whatever source (including research grant applications), or submission of a complete paper under 'new' authorship in the same or a different language, constitutes plagiarism.



Manuscripts are accepted on the understanding that they will not be published elsewhere in any form, without the prior consent of the Society. Your material will not be passed to the Publisher without receipt of:

1. covering letter documenting any revisions required by the editor;
2. signed copyright transfer agreement;
3. completed accepted artwork checklist - documenting the graphic files supplied in accordance with industry standards; and
5. Any potential or perceived conflict of interest must be declared in the Acknowledgements section of the manuscript. If no conflict exists, please add a sentence to this effect in the Acknowledgements section.



Authors will be required to assign copyright to the Anatomical Society. 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 Hybrid Open Access 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 Hybrid Open Access:

Hybrid Open Access is available to authors of articles who wish to make their article open access. With Hybrid Open Access the author, their funding agency, or institution pays a fee (APC) to ensure that the article is made available to non-subscribers upon publication via Wiley Online Library, as well as deposited in PubMed Central and PMC mirror sites. In addition to publication online via Wiley Online Library, authors of Hybrid Open Access articles are permitted to post the final, published PDF of their article on a website, institutional repository, or other free public server, immediately on publication. For more information on this journal’s APCs, please see the Open Access page.

If you want your article to be open access please choose the appropriate licence agreement when you log in to Wiley’s Author Services system. Click on ‘Make my article Hybrid Open Access’ and choose the appropriate license by clicking on ‘Sign license agreement now’ when you log in to Wiley’s Author Services system.

For the full list of terms and conditions, see

If the Hybrid Open Access 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 Hybrid Open Access option and your research is funded by The Wellcome Trust and members of the Research Councils UK (RCUK) or the Austrian Science Fund (FAF) 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:

ARE YOUR OPEN ACCESS FEES COVERED BY YOUR FUNDER OR INSTITUTION? You can check our eligibility tracker here.


Online production tracking is now available for your article through Wiley Blackwell 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 Wiley Blackwell Author Services for more details on online production tracking and for a wealth of resources including FAQs and tips on article preparation, submission and more.



Authors will receive an e-mail notification with a link and instructions for accessing HTML page proofs online. Page proofs should be carefully proofread for any copyediting or typesetting errors. Online guidelines are provided within the system. No special software is required, all common browsers are supported. Authors should also make sure that any renumbered tables, figures, or references match text citations and that figure legends correspond with text citations and actual figures. Proofs must be returned within 48 hours of receipt of the email. Return of proofs via e-mail is possible in the event that the online system cannot be used or accessed.



Free access to the final PDF offprint of your article will be available via author services only. Please therefore sign up for author services if you would like to access your article PDF offprint and enjoy the many other benefits the service offers. Additional paper offprints may be ordered online. Please click on the following link fill in the necessary details and ensure that you type information in all of the required fields:



Please note that unless specifically requested, Wiley Blackwell Publishing 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.



This journal will consider for review articles previously available as preprints on non-commercial servers such as ArXiv, bioRxiv, psyArXiv, SocArXiv, engrXiv, etc. Authors may also post the submitted version of their manuscript to non-commercial servers at any time. Authors are requested to update any pre-publication versions with a link to the final published article.



Open Research initiatives. Recognizing the importance of research transparency and data sharing to cumulative research, Journal of Anatomy encourages the following Open Research practices.

Sharing of data, materials, research instruments and their accessibility. Journal of Anatomy encourages authors to share the data, materials, research instruments, and other artifacts supporting the results in their study by archiving them in an appropriate public repository. Qualifying public, open-access repositories are committed to preserving data, materials, and/or registered analysis plans and keeping them publicly accessible via the web into perpetuity.

Examples include the Open Science Framework (OSF) and the various Dataverse networks. Hundreds of other qualifying data/materials repositories are listed at the Registry of Research Data Repositories ( Personal websites and most departmental websites do not qualify as repositories.

Open Research Badges. In partnership with the non-profit Center for Open Science (COS), Journal of Anatomy offers all submitting authors access to the following three Open Research Badges— Open Materials, Open Data, and Preregistered Research Designs. We also award all qualifying authors Open Research Badges recognizing their contributions to the Open Research movement. The Open Research practices and associated award badges, as implemented by the Center for Open Science and supported by Journal of Anatomy, are the following:

The Open Materials Badge recognizes researchers who share their research instruments and materials in a publicly-accessible format, providing sufficient information for researchers to reproduce procedures and analyses of published research studies. For the field of Anatomy & Physiology research, authors are strongly encouraged to utilize an appropriate open and free access depository, such as an institutional one.

The Open Data Badge recognizes researchers who make their data publicly available, providing sufficient description of the data to allow researchers to reproduce research findings of published research studies. An example of a qualifying public, open-access database for data sharing is the Open Science Framework repository. Numerous other data-sharing repositories are available through various Dataverse networks (e.g., and hundreds of other databases available through the Registry of Research Data Repositories ( There are, of course, circumstances in which it is not possible or advisable to share data publicly. For example, there are cases in which sharing participant data could violate confidentiality. In these cases, the authors may provide an explanation of such circumstances in the Alternative Note section of the disclosure form. The information the authors provide will be included in the article’s Open Research note.

The Preregistered Badge recognizes researchers who preregister their research plans (research design and data analysis plan) prior to engaging in research and who closely follow the preregistered design and data analysis plan in reporting their research findings. The criteria for earning this badge thus include a date-stamped registration of a study plan in such venues as the Open Science Framework ( or Clinical Trials ( and a close correspondence between the preregistered and the implemented data collection and analysis plans.

Authors will have an opportunity at the time of manuscript submission and at the time of acceptance to inform themselves of this initiative and to determine whether they wish to participate. Applying and qualifying for Open Research Badges is not a requirement for publishing with Journal of Anatomy, but these badges are further incentive for authors to participate in the Open Research movement and thus to increase the visibility and transparency of their research.

More information about the Open Research Badges is available from the Open Science Framework wiki.



Journal of Anatomy recognizes the many benefits of archiving research data. Journal of Anatomy expects that data supporting the results in the paper will be archived in an appropriate public repository. Authors are required to provide a data availability statement to describe the availability, or the absence of shared data. When data have been shared, authors are required to include in their data availability statement a link to the repository they have used, and to cite the data they have shared. Whenever possible the scripts and other artefacts used to generate the analyses presented in the paper should also be publicly archived. If sharing data compromises ethical standards or legal requirements then authors are not expected to share it. See the Standard Templates for Author Use section below to select an appropriate data availability statement for your dataset.

Any fossil specimen that is described or illustrated in a manuscript intended for publication must be formally accessioned into a permanent, accessible repository, where the specimen will be available for study by the scientific community. Long-term loans from private individuals or private organizations to repositories generally are not sufficient to ensure long-term access to fossils or reproducibility of results.



By submitting a manuscript to or reviewing for this publication, your name, email address, and affiliation, and other contact details the publication might require, will be used for the regular operations of the publication, including, when necessary, sharing with the publisher (Wiley) and partners for production and publication. The publication and the publisher recognize the importance of protecting the personal information collected from users in the operation of these services, and have practices in place to ensure that steps are taken to maintain the security, integrity, and privacy of the personal data collected and processed. You can learn more at

Refer and Transfer Program 

Wiley believes that no valuable research should go unshared. This journal participates in Wiley’s Refer & Transfer program. If your manuscript is not accepted, you may receive a recommendation to transfer your manuscript to another suitable Wiley journal, either through a referral from the journal’s editor or through our Transfer Desk Assistant. 

Last updated: 11th October 2019