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Instructions for contributors

Journal aims and scope

Personality Neuroscience is a fully Open Access journal that publishes papers in the neuroscience of personality (including cognitive abilities, emotionality, and other individual differences) concerned with understanding causal bases. Empirical papers focussed on the interface between personality and neuroscience are encouraged using any approach (e.g., experimental, longitudinal, genetic, genomic, gene expression, and epigenetic). Cross-sectional and largely correlational studies are considered only if they are highly robust, well-powered, and innovative. Methodologies include, but are not limited to, neuroimaging, transcranial stimulation, genetics, pharmacological manipulation, evolutionary theory and statistical/psychometric modelling, as well as newly emerging approaches. Developmental and clinical applications, including patient data, are welcomed, as are studies linking systematic individual differences in neural systems to individual differences in important life outcomes. Non-human primate and animal studies may be submitted as the value of translational research is recognised. Studies that seek to integrate different areas of research are especially encouraged (e.g., personality and decision science). In addition to Empirical Papers, Personality Neuroscience publishes Review Papers, typically entailing systematic reviews, but all innovative papers reporting new theory or methodology are considered. Short Communications are also welcomed, as are Letters. All submissions are evaluated in terms of their contribution to advance the field of Personality Neuroscience.

Personality Neuroscience aims to be the primary outlet for publications on the neuroscience of individual differences in all its various guises. This includes the interplay of neural systems and environmental processes – the journal seeks to encourage a greater integration of these two, often separated, perspectives (e.g., gene by environment effects on personality). Through its focus on the equal importance of personality and neuroscience, Personality Neuroscience aims to enable the work of personality neuroscientists who no longer have to trade-off one side of this coin for the other in the search for a suitable publication outlet.

Submitting your manuscript

Before submitting your manuscript, please ensure that you carefully read and adhere to all the guidelines and instructions to authors provided below. Manuscripts not conforming to these guidelines may be returned. Submission of an article implies that the work described has not been published previously, and that it is not currently being considered by another journal. Authors must also confirm that each author has seen and approved the contents of the submitted manuscript.

All material to be considered for publication should be submitted to the Editorial Office at personalityneuroscience@cambridge.org.

Peer review policy: Personality Neuroscience uses a double blind review process, with each paper being peer reviewed by 2-3 reviewers. After an editorial decision is made, an email containing the comments from the reviewers and the editor will be sent to the author.

Acceptable file types: Only electronic files conforming to the journal's guidelines will be accepted. Preferred formats for the text and tables of your manuscript are Word DOC, RTF, and XLS. Please also refer to additional guidelines on submitting artwork below.

Article types: Manuscript types published by Personality Neuroscience include Empirical Papers, Review Papers, Short Communications, and Letters, as stipulated in the Aims and Scope. Each is described below in the Manuscript Preparation section.

Artwork, figures and other graphics:  All figures and tables should be supplied in separate files.  Resolution: halftone images must be saved at 300 dpi at approximately the final size. Line drawings should be saved at 1000 dpi, or 1200 dpi if very fine line weights have been used. Combination figures must be saved at a minimum of 600 dpi. Cambridge recommends that only TIFF, EPS, or PDF formats are used for electronic artwork. For more detailed guidance on the preparation of illustrations, pictures and graphs in electronic format please see the 

Cambridge Journals Artwork Guide.

Manuscript preparation

Language: Cambridge recommends that authors have their manuscripts checked by an English language native speaker before submission; this will ensure that submissions are judged at peer review exclusively on academic merit. Cambridge University Press partners with American Journal Experts to provide a high quality service to authors. More information can be found here. Use of this service is entirely voluntary and does not guarantee acceptance, nor does its use require authors to later submit to a Cambridge journal.

Papers can be submitted in either American or British English.

Authorship: Although discretion is allowed, authors should fulfil the criteria set out by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors 

(http://www.icmje.org). The ICMJE recommends that authorship be based on the following 4 criteria:

  • Substantial contributions to the conception or design of the work; or the acquisition, analysis, or interpretation of data for the work; AND
  • Drafting the work or revising it critically for important intellectual content; AND
  • Final approval of the version to be published; AND
  • Agreement to be accountable for all aspects of the work in ensuring that questions related to the accuracy or integrity of any part of the work are appropriately investigated and resolved.


The contribution of individuals who were involved in the study, but do not meet these criteria should be acknowledged in the Acknowledgments section. Addition of authors post acceptance is not guaranteed and will be at the discretion of the Editor.

Author contact details: Provide full contact details for the corresponding author including email and mailing address. Full author names and academic affiliations are required for all co-authors. Please also state your ORCID ID.

Title page:

  • The title page must include:
  • The title of the article, which should be concise but informative
  • Initials and last name of author (or appropriate style)
  • Name of department(s) and institution(s) to which the work should be attributed
  • Name, mailing address and email address of author responsible for correspondence about the manuscript
  • A shortened version of the title consisting of no less than 45 characters (including spaces)
  • Grant support received by the authors of the article


Abstract and Keywords: Each paper must contain an abstract of no more than 250 words, and should be a continuous paragraph including the aim, materials and methods used in the paper, results, and conclusions.

Keywords: Each manuscript should be accompanied by 3-5 relevant keywords.

Subheadings: Up to three levels of headings are allowed.  Please indicate what level each heading should be.

Acknowledgements: Any acknowledgements should appear first at the end of your article prior to your Conflicts of Interest declaration, any footnotes, and your References.

Conflicts of Interest: Your manuscript must include a statement reporting any conflicts of interest. This statement should be placed at the end of the text of the manuscript before the References are listed.  Please download and complete the disclosure form of the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE), generate the disclosure statement, and insert this into your manuscript. Where no known conflicts of interest exist, please include the following statement: “[Author] has nothing to disclose.” Please submit the completed ICMJE form along with your manuscript.

Supplementary Material: If the author has material that may be useful to the reader, but not essential to understanding the article, this can be supplied as supplementary material. Supplementary materials are peer reviewed but will not be copyedited or typeset, so they should be supplied exactly as they are to appear online – care should be taken to make them as comprehensible as possible. The supplementary material should be supplied as a separate file, and should be referenced in the article. Types of supplementary material include, but are not limited to, images, videos, podcasts, and slideshows. A statement should be added after the Conflicts of Interest statement to read:


“Supplementary Material

For supplementary material accompanying this paper, visit cambridge.org/PEN.


The link will be replaced by your article’s DOI during the production process.

References, notes, and in-text citations: The journal follows the current version of the American Psychological Association (APA) style for both references and in-text citations. More information can be found at http://www.apastyle.org and on their blog (http://blog.apastyle.org/). References should include a DOI whenever possible.

Article types

There are two main paper types accepted. Empirical Papers report original studies, while Review Papers entail systematic reviews, especially meta-analyses. We invite papers focussing on theoretical, methodological, and applied issues. We also welcome Short Communications and Letters, which would need to be on a topic of high importance requiring rapid dissemination. The Journal will consider special issues and invited proposals. Authors should contact the Editor if they think their submission may fall outside these categories.

Permissions: Authors are responsible for obtaining permission from copyright holders for reproducing any illustrations, tables, figures, or lengthy quotations previously published elsewhere. A copy of the paperwork granting permission should be provided to the Cambridge production editor. You may be asked to pay a permissions fee by the copyright holder; any permissions fees must be paid for by the author. For an example of a permissions request form please see the 

Cambridge Journals Artwork Guide.

After acceptance

First proofs: First proofs will be emailed to the corresponding author after acceptance. Contributors should ensure that they are available to check their first proofs and answer any queries that have arisen during copyediting and typesetting.

Supplying corrections: Authors should mark up the corrections to their article by electronically annotating the pdf. Full details on where to send corrections will be given in the first proof email. Please note that it is the author’s responsibility to check the proof carefully; errors not found may appear in the published article. Authors will receive a link to the PDF of their final article, along with a shareable link.

For more details on the Cambridge production process see the comprehensive set of FAQs

Open Access

All articles published by Personality Neuroscience are made freely and permanently accessible online immediately upon publication under an Open Access Creative Commons license. Authors must complete and return a licence to publish form once their article has been accepted for publication.

Please check each article for the specific Creative Commons license used and a summary of the terms that apply.

For more information about Open Access at Cambridge University Press, see our Cambridge Open pages.

Article Processing Charges (APCs): To help ensure the long-term sustainability of Personality Neuroscience we ask any scholar with access to Open Access funding, through their institution or funding body, to pay an Article Processing Charge. This is of particular relevance to those scholars funded by the Wellcome Trust, RCUK, and other funding bodies that have made funding available in support of Open Access publishing of this kind. Such payments will also assist in the continued support of waivers for authors from developing regions in the coming years. However, it should be reiterated that the payment of APCs will not be mandatory for submissions made in 2017-2018. 

To ensure availability of funding has no bearing on editorial decisions, the Editors of Personality Neuroscience are never involved in correspondence with authors on payment of publication charges.

Copyright and licensing:

Articles will be published under a Creative Commons Attribution licence (CC-BY) 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 creativecommons.org/licenses  

Transparency and Openness Promotion (TOP) Guidelines

The following standards are based on those proposed by the Center for Open Science (COS). For questions on compliance, please contact the editorial office.

Citation Standards: All data, program code and other methods should be appropriately cited. Such materials should be recognized as original intellectual contributions and afforded recognition through citation.

1. All data sets and program code used in a publication should be cited in the text and listed in the reference section.

2. References for data sets and program code should include a persistent identifier, such as a Digital Object Identifier (DOI). Persistent identifiers ensure future access to unique published digital objects, such as a text or data set. Persistent identifiers are assigned to data sets by digital archives, such as institutional repositories and partners in the Data Preservation Alliance for the Social Sciences (Data­PASS).

3. Data set citation example:

a. Campbell, Angus, and Robert L. Kahn. American National Election Study,

i. 1948. ICPSR07218­v3. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter­university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 1999. http://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR07218.v3


Data, Analytic Methods (Code), and Research Materials Transparency: The policy of Personality Neuroscience is to publish papers where authors indicate whether the data, methods used in the analysis, and materials used to conduct the research will be made available to any researcher for purposes of reproducing the results or replicating the procedure.

1.  Authors must, in acknowledgments or the first footnote, indicate if they will or will not make their data, analytic methods, and study materials available to other researchers.

2.  If an author agrees to make materials available, the author must specify where that material will be available.

Replication: The policy of Personality Neuroscience is to encourage submission of replication studies, particularly of research published in this journal.

Other information

Ethical Standards: Personality Neuroscience adheres to the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) guidelines on research and publications ethics.

Where research involves human and/or animal experimentation, the following statements should be included (as applicable) in the Methods section: “The authors assert that all procedures contributing to this work comply with the ethical standards of the relevant national and institutional committees on human experimentation and with the Helsinki Declaration of  1975, as revised in 2008.” and “The authors assert that all procedures contributing to this work comply with the ethical standards of the relevant national and institutional guides on the care and use of laboratory animals.” Articles reporting randomised trials must conform to the standards set by the Consolidated Standards of Reporting Trials (CONSORT) consortium.

Personality Neuroscience and Cambridge University Press take issues of copyright infringement, plagiarism, or other breaches of best practice in publication very seriously. We seek to protect the rights of our authors and we always investigate claims of plagiarism or misuse of articles published in the journal. Equally, we seek to protect the reputation of the journal against malpractice. Submitted articles may be checked using duplication-checking software. Where an article is found to have plagiarised other work or included third-party copyright material without permission or with insufficient acknowledgement, or where authorship of the article is contested, we reserve the right to take action including, but not limited to: publishing an erratum or corrigendum (correction); retracting the article (removing it from the journal); taking up the matter with the head of department or dean of the author’s institution and/or relevant academic bodies or societies; banning the author from publication in the journal, or appropriate legal action.

Clinical trials: As a condition of consideration for publication, registration of clinical trials in a public trials registry is required. A clinical trial is defined by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (in accordance with the definition of the World Health Organisation) as any research project that prospectively assigns human participants or groups of humans to one or more health-related interventions to evaluate the effects on health outcomes. Registration information must be provided at the time of submission, including the trial registry name, registration identification number, and the URL for the registry.

Continuous publication: Personality Neuroscience benefits from a continuous publication format. Completed articles are assigned an e-number and are published in an open volume, closed at the end of each year. Once an article has been published online, it is considered to be in its final format and no changes can be made.

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)


Further information: Any correspondence, queries or additional requests for information on the manuscript submission process should be sent to the editorial office as follows: personalityneuroscience@cambridge.org

(Last Updated May 2017)