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Instructions for authors

Genetics Research

Genetics Research is a key forum for original research on all aspects of human and animal genetics, reporting key findings on genomes, genes, mutations and molecular interactions, extending out to developmental, evolutionary, and population genetics as well as ethical, legal and social aspects. Our aim is to lead to a better understanding of genetic processes in health and disease. The journal focuses on the use of new technologies, such as next generation sequencing together with bioinformatics analysis, to produce increasingly detailed views of how genes function in tissues and how these genes perform, individually or collectively, in normal development and disease aetiology. The journal publishes original work, review articles, short papers, computational studies, and novel methods and techniques in research covering humans and well-established genetic organisms. Key subject areas include medical genetics, genomics, human evolutionary and population genetics, bioinformatics, genetics of complex traits, molecular and developmental genetics, Evo-Devo, quantitative and statistical genetics, behavioural genetics and environmental genetics. The breadth and quality of research make the journal an invaluable resource for medical geneticists, molecular biologists, bioinformaticians and researchers involved in genetic basis of diseases, evolutionary and developmental studies.

Open Access

All articles published by Genetics Research from 2019 onwards are Open Access: freely and permanently accessible online, immediately upon publication, under licensing that allows anyone to redistribute, re-use and adapt the content as long as they provide attribution. For more information including license types and APC costs please read here.

The Editors welcome original, creative, high-quality contributions suitable for the journal’s international readership. 

Peer Review

Cambridge University Press is committed to peer-review integrity and upholding the highest standards of review. Once your paper has been assessed for suitability by the Editor-in-Chief, it will then be single blind peer reviewed by independent, anonymous expert referees. If you’d like to learn more about reviewing papers, here are some introductory resources for peer reviewers on Cambridge Core.

Articles rejected by another journal

This journal also accepts submission of manuscripts already reviewed and rejected by another journal. When submitting your manuscript to Genetics Research, please state which journal the paper was submitted to, and provide the previous reviewer’s comments with your point-by-point rebuttal in your cover letter. At this stage the manuscript does not need to be reformatted to Genetics Research. The Editor in Chief or one of the Deputy Editors will make a judgement on whether further reviews are needed. Depending on quality of the reviews and the authors’ rebuttal, the manuscript may not require further reviews or even any further changes, allowing for very rapid publication.

Categories of paper

Article Type



Research Papers

There is no strict word limit, however, papers should be as concise as clarity permits and in general we would expect articles not to exceed 5,000 words not counting title, abstract, text boxes, figures, tables and references.  They should include an abstract of up to 250 words, accompanied by 4–5 keywords.

This category is intended for full-scale research studies that fit within the journal’s scope.

Short Papers


This category is designed for concisely written research reports (1000 words) for which rapid publication is considered desirable. Papers in this category should include an abstract of no more than 100 words, and 4–5 keywords.

Short Papers will follow a streamlined schedule and will normally be published within three months of submission. To meet this schedule, authors will be required to make revisions with minimal delay.

Review Papers


Review Papers must contain a brief abstract of no more than 100 words and 4–5 keywords. The use of figures and diagrams is encouraged. The article can have a maximum of 60 references. Eight references can be highlighted with a one-sentence description that indicates why the citation is of particular importance. Abbreviations should be kept to a minimum and special terminology or concepts should be explained in a glossary, limited to 12 entries of no more than 20 words each. Ancillary information can be provided in text boxes. Each text box is limited to 250 words and each article can contain no more than three text boxes. Review articles are limited to 3000 words in the text, not counting title, abstract, text boxes, figures, tables and references.

Review articles should provide concise information and delineate future trends in areas of broad interest to geneticists. Rather than providing exhaustive encyclopedic summaries, critical scholarly reviews should summarise and evaluate up-to-date research. You are encouraged to focus on a historic description of the main conceptual and technological advances that have shaped the field, define emergent questions of current interest to the field and outline future directions that are likely to lead to major, possibly transformative advances. While providing a balanced review, you are encouraged to express your own viewpoint, opinions and critical assessments. Review Papers will be invited by the Editor, although potential authors may suggest a topic via email to geneticsresearch@cambridge.orgReview Papers will be subjected to the standard peer-review process.

Case ReportsThese are limited to 2500 words in the text, not counting title, abstract, text boxes, figures, tables and references.We want to publish cases with valuable clinical lessons. Common cases that present a diagnostic, ethical or management challenge, or that highlight aspects of genetic mechanisms. Studies must include a detailed patient description. Cases with n =1 must include strong molecular data validating novel variants. All variants must be made publicly available and have high pathogenicity score, CADD score ≥ 15. Do not forget to anonymize the patient and submit their consent. Case reports will have a 50% discount on the APC.

Perspectives/ Hypothesis/Hot Topics


These are limited to 1500 words in the text, not counting title, abstract, text boxes, figures, tables and references. They could take a “debate” format with opposing articles from two different authors arguing for and against (maximum 2000 words, 1000 words for each article).

These articles should focus on one specific question that may be unproven, possibly controversial and likely to encourage debate. You are strongly encouraged to express your own viewpoint, opinions and critical assessments. An example might be taken from a pitch for a grant submission or a specific question currently challenging researchers in a particular field.

Letters to the Editor


Correspondence submissions must be no longer than 500 words.

If the Correspondence is written in response to a Genetics Research article, it must be submitted within 3 months of online publication. The Editor-in-Chief may invite the article's authors to write a reply.


The policy of Genetics Research is that authors (or in some cases their employers) retain copyright and grant Cambridge University Press a non-exclusive licence to publish their work. Authors must complete and return an author publishing agreement form as soon as their article has been accepted for publication; the journal is unable to publish the article without this. Please download the appropriate publishing agreement here.

For open access articles, the form also sets out the Creative Commons licence under which the article is made available to end users: a fundamental principle of open access is that content should not simply be accessible but should also be freely re-usable. Articles will be published under a Creative Commons Attribution license (CC-BY) by default. This means that the article is freely available to read, copy and redistribute, and can also be adapted (users can “remix, transform, and build upon” the work) for any commercial or non-commercial purpose, as long as proper attribution is given. Authors can, in the publishing agreement form, choose a different kind of Creative Commons license (including those prohibiting non-commercial and derivative use) if they prefer.

Online submission

All manuscripts should be submitted online at After submitting your manuscript, you will receive an email acknowledging receipt of the manuscript and providing the manuscript reference number. You should quote the reference number of your manuscript in all correspondence relating to your manuscript.

Please ensure that your manuscript is uploaded in the correct file formats and using the correct journal styles. 

You should particularly note the following instructions:

o The uploaded manuscript must be saved as a DOC file (not DOCX), an RTF file, or LaTeX and style files.

o o Tables must be inserted at the end of the main document, not supplied as separate files.

o All files should be named in a logical way (e.g. [firstauthorsurname]Fig1.tif).

o A cover letter must be supplied at initial submission. This can be uploaded as a separate file.

The cover letter must contain:

  • the corresponding author’s complete contact details (including email address)
  • the category in which your manuscript is being submitted
  • details of any third-party copyrighted material
  • details of any conflicts of interest
  • details of any online Supplementary Material.
  • If the paper has already been reviewed and rejected by another journal, please add previous reviewers’ comments. See section on peer review for more information.

 o When submitting your revised manuscript, please upload a full new set of files, not just those files that you have revised. Please also ensure that all file formats match those specified above.


Genetics Research now requires that all corresponding authors identify themselves using ORCID when submitting a manuscript to the journal. Joining ORCID is fast, free and you do not need to have a current affiliation. ORCID provides a unique identifier for researchers and, through integration in key research workflows such as publication and grant applications, provides the following benefits:

  • Discoverability: ORCID increases the discoverability of your publications, by enabling smarter publisher systems and by helping readers to reliably find work that you’ve authored.
  • Convenience: As more organisations use ORCID, providing your ID or using it to register for services will automatically link activities to your ORCID profile, and will save you re-keying information multiple times.
  • Keeping track: Your ORCID profile is a neat place to record and display (if you choose) validated information about your research activities.

If you don’t already have an ID, you’ll need to create one if you decide to submit a manuscript to Genetics Research. You can register for one directly from your user account on ScholarOne or Editorial Manager or via If you already have an ID, please use this when submitting by linking it to your ScholarOne user account. Simply log in to your account using your normal username and password. Edit your account by clicking on your name at the top right of the screen and from the dropdown menu, select 'E-Mail / Name'. Follow the instructions at the top of the screen to update your account.

For more information on ORCID please visit:

Manuscript preparation and style

All contributions must be written in English. Papers should be as concise as clarity permits, and figures should be restricted to the minimum number required for a clear explanation. Your article should be typed in the same font throughout, no smaller than 12 point, with double-line spacing. You should ensure that text, figures, tables, citations and references adhere to the journal styles described in this document.

The Title Page should contain the full title of the paper, the category under which the manuscript is submitted, the full names and affiliations of all authors, a short title for the running headlines (limited to 50 characters), and an email address for the corresponding author. The title should be an accurate representation of the content of the paper, it should identify the organism (where applicable), and it should not contain abbreviations, technical jargon or esoteric terms. Use an initial capital only in the title, except for proper nouns.

The abstract must not exceed 250 words, but it must provide the reader with a self-contained summary of the paper. It should include a brief introduction to the paper, the method, the key findings and the conclusions. A list of 4–5 keywords for indexing should follow the abstract (not words that are used in your article’s title).

The Body of the Manuscript should be broken into sections, such as the Introduction, Material and Methods, Results, Discussion, Acknowledgements, Declaration of Interest, Appendix, References. Please ensure that all headings conform to journal style:

o Main headings: typed in bold with an initial capital only and (except Abstract, Acknowledgements, Declaration of Interest section, References and Appendices) numbered consecutively: ‘Abstract’, ‘1. Introduction’, ‘2. Materials and methods’.

o Subheadings: typed in lower-case italic (except for those words and symbols which would be italicized in the text) and numbered (i), (ii), etc., within each main heading, e.g. ‘(i) Tests for Drosophila feeding’.

o Sub-subheadings: typed in lower-case italic (except for those words and symbols which would be italicized in the text) and labelled (a), (b), etc., within each subheading, e.g. ‘(a) Genome scans’.

You should identify within the text where figures and tables should be inserted.

The Appendices can be used to describe any additional material. You should use a main heading in the style ‘Appendix A: A non-spatial deterministic model’. Refer to appendices B, C etc. when there is more than one appendix. Figures, tables and equations in the appendix should be numbered in the style Figure A1, A2, Table A1, A2, Equation A1, A2 etc.


You can find further information about how to prepare your figures at the following link:

All figure files must be saved as TIFs, at final size and at appropriate resolution (1000–1200 dpi for line drawings, 300 dpi for photographs and halftone images, and at least 600dpi for combination figures). Other file formats or figures ‘pasted’ into Word files are not accepted. Colour figures should be saved in CMYK (not RGB). Colour figures are published free of charge in Genetics Research. Please refer to the Cambridge Journals Artwork Guide for further information about figure specifications.

If your figures are too large to upload to the submission site easily, you should compress your files before uploading or break your figures into two or more smaller figures. When you save your figure as a TIF, you will receive the option of ‘Image Compression’. If you wish to compress your figure, please select the ‘LZW’ option. This setting should substantially reduce the size of the file, making it easier to upload.

Design your figures with the journal’s page format in mind, making best use of page space. Do not include the figure number (e.g. Figure 1) within the figure. However, in figures that are made up of multiple parts, you must include labels in lower-case italic font for each part of the figure: (a), (b), (c) etc. Each part should be explained or described in the figure caption.

Use a 9pt sans-serif font, such as Arial, for labelling figures. Labels on graph axes must have an initial capital and they should run along the graph axes, not perpendicular to the axes. You may need to include a legend, e.g. a key, within the figure.

Figure captions should be inserted at the end of the main text file, not typed within the figure. Use the following style: ‘Fig. 1. QTL profiles for (a) birth weight, (b) jaw length, and (c) hind leg.’ If your figure contains third-party copyrighted material, you should include a credit in your figure caption.


Tables should be placed in the main manuscript file at the end of the document, not within the main text. Each table should be placed on a separate page and its approximate position in the text must be indicated in the typescript. Tables must be supplied in a modifiable format, not as graphics. Large tables or additional tables could be submitted as online-only Supplementary Material.

Your tables should be designed, whenever possible, to be printed in the normal orientation of the text. Place a double rule at the top and at the foot of the table, and place a single rule below the column headings. Within the body of the table, the data should be grouped so as to make the use of rules unnecessary (do not use horizontal and vertical lines within the body of the table). Do not use any background shading. Use an initial capital in column headings and row headings.

Type the table number and a short title at the top of the table, and place all the notes at the foot of the table. Use the following style for the title of the table: ‘Table 1. Maternal effects of heterozygous mutation of piwi in the germline (a) RT-PCR of Sample A (b) RT-PCR of Sample B’.

Footnotes should be placed beneath the table, written in roman font. Table footnotes should ordinarily employ the symbols *, †, ‡, §, ||, ¶, **, etc., in that order.


Equations should be typed within the manuscript in an editable format, aligned left, and each equation should be numbered.

x + y = z a, (1)

x2 + ty = abz – aß (2)

Ensure that you type mathematical symbols, not letters. For example, you should type a multiplication sign, not the letter ‘x’, and you should type a minus sign, not a hyphen. Mathematical symbols should generally be in italic and matrices in bold. The author must assume responsibility for the accuracy of complex mathematical formulae submitted. You must use the correct fonts for all Greek, Hebrew and script letters. If your chosen font uses one symbol for both the numeral ‘1’ and the letter ‘el’, please make clear which is intended in your formulae.


You should cite all figures, tables and Supplementary files within the text. Figures/tables/equations should be numbered sequentially as they appear in the text. Parts of figures should be written in lower-case italic, e.g. ‘Figure 7 b’.

Use the whole word at the start of a sentence, e.g. ‘Figure 3’, ‘Table 4’, ‘Equation 6’. In the middle of a sentence, use ‘Fig. 1’, ‘(Fig. 2 a)’, ‘Figs. 1 and 3’, ‘Figs. 1 a and b’, ‘Figs. 2–5’, ‘(Figs. 3 b and 4)’, ‘Table 2’, ‘Tables 2 and 3’, ‘Tables 2–5’, (Tables 4 and 5), ‘eqn (6)’, ‘eqn (5a–c)’ and ‘eqns (3) and (6)’.

For citations of papers, use ‘&’ for two authors and ‘et al.’ for three or more authors. Use a, b etc. (italic) as defined by the alphabetical order in the Reference list if citing more than one paper by the same author. Arrange chronologically by year of publication in the citation. For example, ‘(Hoy, 1994 a; Crampton & Bones, 1996; Hu et al., 1996; Loxdale & Lushai, 1998, 1999 b)’. Use the styles ‘Zhang & Hewitt (1997)’ and ‘Harry et al. (1998)’ at the start of a sentence. Otherwise use ‘(Taylor & Davies, 1989)’ or ‘(Hu et al., 1996)’.

If your paper has online Supplementary Material, refer to ‘online Supplementary Material at’ within the text of your article.

Unpublished material should be cited within the text as a ‘personal communication’.


Whenever possible, employ standardized nomenclature. Refer to the following publication:

Dunnen, J. T., Dalgleish, R. , Maglott, D. R., Hart, R. K., Greenblatt,
M. S., McGowan‐Jordan, J. , Roux, A. , Smith, T. , Antonarakis, S. E.
and Taschner, P. E. (2016), HGVS Recommendations for the Description of
Sequence Variants: 2016 Update. Human Mutation, 37: 564-569. doi:10.1002/humu.22981.

Gene abbreviations should generally be typed in italic. Note that ‘+’ as the symbol for a wild-type allele should not be italicized. 


Use the main heading ‘References’.

The Style used is Chicago.

Supplementary Material

The online platform gives authors the opportunity to include material that it would be impossible or impractical to include in a printed version, for example, extensive datasets, complex mathematical calculations, 3D structures/images or video files. You must upload Supplementary Material at the same time that you submit your manuscript, and you must give details in your cover letter of all supplementary files uploaded. If accepted, this material will be placed in the Cambridge University Press Supplementary Material data archive, and it will be accessible online. Authors should ensure that they mention within their article that Supplementary Material is available on the Cambridge Core Online website.

At the head of the first page of your Supplementary Material file, type ‘Genetics Research’, the article title, the names of the authors, and then the relevant inclusions. Please note that (unlike figures included in the printed article) captions or legends should be included for all figures and tables in Supplementary Material. You should number figures or tables with the prefix ‘S’, e.g. Supplementary Figure S1, Supplementary Table S1.

Although Supplementary Material is peer reviewed, it is not copyedited or typeset and it is loaded onto the journal’s website exactly as supplied. You should check your Supplementary Material carefully to ensure that it adheres to journal styles. Corrections cannot be made to the Supplementary Material after acceptance of the manuscript. Please bear this in mind when deciding what content to include as Supplementary Material.

Ethical and regulatory guidelines

Papers describing animal experiments must indicate that the research was approved by a Review Committee, or clearly state that the experiments were performed in accordance with accepted guidelines such as ‘Guiding principles in the care and use of animals’ (DHEW Publications, NIH, 80-23) or the Helsinki Declaration guidelines

Required Statements

The five sections below must be included. These statements should be included at the end of the manuscript, before the References section.


You may acknowledge individuals or organisations that provided advice, support (non-financial). Formal financial support and funding should be listed in the Financial Support section (see below).

Author Contributions

A short statement should be provided indicating how each author contributed to the work. For example: AB and CD conceived and designed the study. CD and EF conducted data gathering. GH performed statistical analyses. AB, EF and GH wrote the article.

Financial Support

Please provide details of the sources of financial support for all authors, including grant numbers. For example, "This work was supported by the National Science Foundation (grant number XXXXXXX)". Multiple grant numbers should be separated by a comma and space, and where research was funded by more than one agency the different agencies should be separated by a semi-colon, with 'and' before the final funder. Grants held by different authors should be identified as belonging to individual authors by the authors' initials. For example, "This work was supported by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (A.B., grant numbers XXXX, YYYY), (C.D., grant number ZZZZ); the Natural Environment Research Council (E.F., grant number FFFF); and the Australian Research Council (A.B., grant number GGGG), (E.F., grant number HHHH)".

Where no specific funding has been provided for research, please provide the following statement: "This research received no specific grant from any funding agency, commercial or not-for-profit sectors."

Conflicts of Interest declarations in manuscripts

• Authors should include a Conflicts of Interest declaration in their manuscript. If authors do
not include this, their submission will not proceed to peer review.
• Conflicts of Interest are situations that could be perceived to exert an undue influence on an
author’s presentation of their work. They may include, but are not limited to, financial,
professional, contractual or personal relationships or situations.
• Conflicts of Interest do not necessarily mean that an author’s work has been compromised.
Authors should declare any real or perceived Conflicts of Interest in order to be transparent
about the context of their work.
• If the manuscript has multiple authors, the author submitting the manuscript must include
Conflicts of Interest declarations relevant to all contributing authors.
• Example wording for a Conflicts of Interest declaration is as follows: “Conflicts of Interest:
Author A is employed at company B. Author C owns shares in company D, is on the Board of
company E and is a member of organisation F. Author G has received grants from company
H.” If no Conflicts of Interest exist, the declaration should state “Conflicts of Interest: Author
A and Author B declare none”.

Publication Ethics

The Journal adheres to the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) guidelines on research and publications ethics. Please visit here for more information on our ethical guidelines.

We take issues of copyright infringement, plagiarism, or other breaches of best practice in publication very seriously.  Text taken directly or closely paraphrased from earlier published work that has not been acknowledged or referenced will be considered plagiarism.  Submitted manuscripts in which such text is identified will be withdrawn from the editorial process. If a concern is raised about possible plagiarism in an article submitted to or published in the journal, this will be investigated fully and dealt with in accordance with the COPE guidelines. If needed the manuscript can be processed by iThenticate.

Deposition of sequences

Manuscripts will only be accepted for publication in Genetics Research on the understanding that protein and nucleic acid sequence data are deposited in a suitable public database. The corresponding accession numbers must be included in the paper. Authors must be willing to distribute freely, for academic research, any new strains, clones or antibodies that they describe. Papers describing protein or nucleic acid sequences should indicate in which public databases the sequences have been deposited.

Cambridge Language Editing Service

We suggest that authors whose first language is not English have their manuscripts checked by a native English speaker before submission. This is optional, but will help to ensure that any submissions that reach peer review can be judged exclusively on academic merit. We offer a Cambridge service which you can find out more about here, and suggest that authors contact as appropriate. Please note that use of language editing services is voluntary, and at the author’s own expense. Use of these services does not guarantee that the manuscript will be accepted for publication, nor does it restrict the author to submitting to a Cambridge-published journal.

Digital Preservation Policy

Cambridge University Press publications are deposited in the following digital archives to guarantee long-term digital preservation:

  • CLOCKSS (journals) 
  • Portico (journals and books)

Last updated 2 January 2020