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Instructions for contributors

Genetics Research

Genetics Research is a key forum for original research on all aspects of human and animal genetics, reporting key findings on genes, mutations and molecular interactions leading to a better understanding of human disease. The journal focuses on the use of new technologies, such as massive parallel 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 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 (such as the mouse and rat). 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, animal breeders, and researchers involved in genetic basis of diseases, evolutionary and developmental studies.

Open Access

All articles published by Genetics Research 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.

Copyright and licensing

Genetics Research authors retain copyright over their work. They must complete and return a licence to publish form once their article has been accepted for publication. 

Authors must complete and return a licence to publish form once their article has been accepted for publication.

Articles will be published under a Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) licence as standard, but authors may elect to publish under the following alternative licences:

  • CC-BY-NC-SA (Attribution - Non-Commercial - Share Alike)
  • CC-BY-NC-ND (Attribution - Non-Commercial - No Derivatives)

For information on what each licence allows, please visit

For more information about OA, see Cambridge University Press’s open access policies pages.

Article processing charges

Open access publishing in Genetics Research is funded through levying an article processing charge (APC) on each individual author's institution or funding body.

An APC of £1,870 / $2,980 will apply to all accepted papers, with a waiver scheme for eligible countries - see waiver policy below for more details. The decision whether to accept a paper for publication will rest solely with the Editors, and without reference to the funding situation of the authors.

Please note: APC collection is managed by RightsLink, who will contact authors following acceptance of their paper.

Categories of paper

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

Research Papers

This category is intended for full-scale research studies that fit within the journal’s scope. There is no page limit, however, papers should be as concise as clarity permits. They should include an abstract of up to 250 words, accompanied by 4–5 keywords.

Short Papers

This category is designed for concisely written research reports 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 articles should provide concise information and dilineate 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 an historic discription 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 Reviews Editor, although potential authors may suggest a topic via email to geneticsresearch@cambridge.orgReview Papers will be subjected to the standard peer-review process. 

Structure of your Review Paper

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. 

Invitation to submit a proposal

The Reviews Editor will use the journal's online submission system Editorial Manager to send you an email inviting you to submit a proposal for a review article.

The email will contain the deadline for your response to the invitation, the submission deadline for your review article, and a target publication date. You should carefully consider all these dates and, if you do not feel that you can meet these deadlines, you must raise this with the Reviews Editor before accepting the invitation. By accepting an invitation to submit a proposal, you are agreeing to all the specified deadlines.

Preparation of your proposal

Your proposal must contain:

  • The proposed title of your review article
  • A draft summary of no more than 100 words
  • A list of 4-5 keywords
  • A list of headings
  • A paragraph giving some broad background about the subject area and explaining why this is a suitable topic for review
  • A brief description of the focus of your review article
  • A list of 10-15 key references that you will be citing in the review article

Please ensure that you submit your proposal to the Reviews Editor before the agreed deadline.

Evaluation of your proposal

After you have submitted your proposal, the Reviews Editor will evaluate it. 

If the Reviews Editor deems your proposal to be of sufficiently broad interest within the scope of the journal, they may ask you to make some adjustments to your proposal to fit the journal's requirements.

If your proposal is accepted, you should follow the agreed proposal when you write your article.

Submission of your Review Paper

You must submit your review article using the online submission system Editorial Manager before the submission deadline.

The Reviews Editor will evaluate the manuscript and will manage your paper through peer review.

If your paper is accepted, it will pass through the usual production process and it will be initially be published in FirstView.

Book Reviews

Book Reviews are published on selected books that fall within the journal’s scope, on topics that the Book Review Editor considers to be of general interest to readers of Genetics Research. Book Reviews are published by the invitation of the Book Review Editor and should not be submitted independently.

Originality and copyright

To be published in Genetics Research, a manuscript cannot have been published previously, nor can it be under review for publication elsewhere. Papers with multiple authors are reviewed in the assumption that all authors have contributed materially to the research report, have approved the submitted manuscript and concur with its submission to Genetics Research. Authors of papers published in the journal assign copyright to Cambridge University Press, with certain rights reserved by the author. Before your manuscript can be accepted for publication in the journal, the corresponding author must send the signed Transfer of Copyright form to the following address:

Genetics Research

Journals Production

Cambridge University Press

Shaftesbury Road



If you plan to include material that has been published elsewhere and/or is under copyright of a third party, it is the authors’ responsibility to obtain permission to re-use or reproduce this material in the paper and to include necessary credits in the paper. When you submit your manuscript, please upload signed copies of any permission agreements. For further details about how to obtain written permission to use copyrighted material, please refer to the Cambridge Journals Artwork Guide.

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 All figures must be uploaded in TIF format as separate files, and saved at final size and at appropriate resolution. Colour figures must be saved as CMYK (not RGB).

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: o the corresponding author’s complete contact details (including email address)

o the category in which your manuscript is being submitted

o details of any third-party copyrighted material

o details of any conflicts of interest

o details of any online Supplementary Material.

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.

You will be given the opportunity during submission to suggest preferred and non-preferred referees, although your suggested referees will not necessarily be used.


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 Acknowledgements should list sources of financial support (including grant numbers) for all authors, credits for permission given for reproduction of third-party material, and any other acknowledgements. Multiple grant numbers should be separated by a comma and a space. 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 Wellcome Trust (A.B., grant numbers XXXX, YYYY), (C.D., grant number ZZZZ); the Natural Environment Research Council (E.F., grant number FFFF); and the National Institutes of Health (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.’

In the Declaration of Interest section, you must report any potential conflicts of interest. Conflict of interest exists when an author has interests that might inappropriately influence his or her judgement, even if that judgement is not influenced. Authors must disclose potentially conflicting interests so that others can make judgements about such effects. Such disclosure will not preclude publication, but it is necessary because of the potential of negative or positive bias. At the time of submission, authors should disclose any arrangements or connections they may have that are pertinent to the manuscript (financial or non-financial) and that may be perceived as potentially biasing their paper. Conflicts may include employment, consultancies, stock ownership, funding sources for the reported study, personal or family financial interest in a method/product or a competing method/product. This list of potential conflicts is not all inclusive, and it is the responsibility of each author to ensure that all of their ‘potential conflicts’ are reported. It is the corresponding author’s ethical responsibility to explicitly check with each of his/her co-authors to ensure that any real or apparent conflict of interest is appropriately disclosed. Authors should err on the side of full disclosure and if, authors are uncertain about what constitutes a relevant conflict, they should contact the editorial office ( If there are no conflicts of interest, the section heading should be entered followed by ‘None.’.

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’.


Use the main heading ‘References’. Arrange alphabetically, with space between author initials, and use ‘&’ for last author. All words should be spelled out in full. The article name should have an initial capital for the first word, and use lower case for all other words that are not proper nouns.


Beaudoin, N., Serizet, C., Gosti, F. & Giraudat, J. Jr (2000 a). Interactions between abscisic acid. Plant Cell 12, 1103–1116.

Oliver, T. R., Feingold, E., Yu, K., Cheung, V., Tinker, S., Yadav-Shah, M., Masse, N. & Sherman, S. L. (2008). New insight into human nondisjunction of chromosome 21 in oocyte. PloS Genetics 4, e1000033.


Jeffreys, H. (1961). Theory of Probability, 3rd edn. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.

Goffinet, B. & Mangin, B. (1998). Testing of goodness of fit. In Biostatistical Analysis, p. 50. Rahway, NJ: Prentice-Hall.

Hoffman, A. A. (2000). Laboratory and field heritabilities. In Genetic Variation in the Wild (ed. T. A. Mousseau, B. Sinervo & J. A. Endler), pp. 200–218. New York: Oxford University Press.

Online publications

If a paper is published online, please list the article’s doi in the reference list. 

Koga, A., Sasaki, S., Naruse, K., Shimada, A. & Sakaizumi, M. (2010). Occurrence of a short variant of the Tol2 transposable element in natural populations of the medaka fish. Genetics Research, published online 7 December 2010. doi: 10.1017/S0016672310000479.

References to websites should state the date that the website was accessed, as well as the URL.

Weisstein, E. W. (2005). Euler–Lagrange differential equation. Available at (accessed 10 April 2006).

PhD thesis

Yekutieli, D. (2001). Theoretical results needed for applying the false discovery rate in statistical problems. PhD thesis, Department of Statistics and Operations Research, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv, Israel.


Whenever possible, employ standardized nomenclature. Refer to the following publications for guidance: Novick, R. P. et al. (Bacteriological Reviews 40, pp. 168–189, 1976) for plasmids, and O'Brien (Ed.), Genetic Maps 6, Cold Spring Harbor 1993, for recent information on most species and recent gene lists. Gene abbreviations should generally be typed in italic. Note that ‘+’ as the symbol for a wild-type allele should not be italicized.

General styles

o ‘Hard’ page or section breaks must be used – do not use ‘enter’ in order to start a new page.

o Please do not use the automatic ‘bulleted list’ word-processing facility. You should type your list manually: (i), (ii), (iii)...; (a), (b), (c)...; (1), (2), (3).

o Use the SI system of units.

o Use single quotes (‘ ’) not double quotes (" ") throughout the paper.

o Use prime symbols, not apostrophes, for minutes and seconds.

o Ensure that for degree symbols and in latitude/longitude labels you use the degree symbol (not letter oh or zero).

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

Publication Ethics

Please visit here for more information on our ethical guidelines.

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, and polymorphism data is deposited in HGBASE. 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.

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.