Submissions and publication policies


Call for Submissions

Sparking discussion across multiple academic fields including archaeology, bioethics, paleogenomics, and museum studies, Alpaslan-Roodenberg and colleagues recently proposed global ethical guidelines for the DNA analysis of human remains. At a time when the ethics of the analysis of human remains is widely debated, Human Biology aims to facilitate the discussion by providing a forum for responses to Alpaslan- Roodenberg et al. 2021.

We invite you to submit an article response to the article Ethics of DNA Research on Human Remains: Five Globally Applicable Guidelines. Responses could expand on the guidelines provided, express concerns or provide counterpoints, or discuss additional topics related to the DNA analysis of human remains.

Manuscripts can be submitted here. Manuscript submission deadline: March 31, 2022.

Inquiries and questions can be sent to Ripan S. Malhi at malhi@illinois.edu


Submissions should consist of two items only:

  1. A cover letter to the editors and
  2. a single file (PDF, MS Word, or RTF) both submitted through the Human Biology Digital Commons website
The manuscript file must include a title page, an abstract, a list of key words, a running title, the full text of the article, the reference section, and the tables and figures and corresponding captions. All the text should be double spaced. A Microsoft Word document will be required for the final revised manuscript.

Style Notes


Authors should submit their revised manuscript as a Microsoft Word document. The manuscript should be double spaced throughout, including the author affiliations, the Literature Cited, the figure captions, and the tables. The article should follow the style of Human Biology and should be written concisely.

The manuscript should be organized as follows. The first page should be a title page, including the title of the paper, authors’ names, complete authors’ affiliations, and key words.

The second page should contain the abstract of the paper (500 words maximum). The abstract should give a summary of the article and not be merely descriptive of it. For example, state the results and the conclusions; do not use such phrases as “The results are discussed in terms of epidemiology.” The prereview made by the editors is based solely on the abstract and title; therefore the abstract should be exhaustive and informative.

On the third page of the manuscript you should start the actual text. The text should contain the following sections: an introduction (untitled) outlining the background of your topic and stating your purpose in writing the present article; the materials and methods (the study population, statistical methods, measurement methods, etc.); the results; and a discussion, followed by a perspectives section, if needed. After the main text of your article, you should include a complete list of Literature Cited. In the text, you should cite references by author and date. In the Literature Cited section references should be in alphabetical order by author. The Literature Cited should include all references cited in the text, figure captions, and tables. Please do not pad your list with papers you do not cite. Following the Literature Cited section are the tables and the figure captions.


Each reference in the Literature Cited section should be complete. For journal articles this means that you should include the names of the first three authors (and then “et al.” to indicate more than three authors), date, title of article, journal title (abbreviated according to Index Medicus, or spelled out completely if the journal is not listed in the Index), volume number, and inclusive page numbers.

Example: Smith, J. 2008. Distribution of haplogroups in Indian populations. Hum. Biol. 90:115.

For chapters in a book you must list the names of the first three authors, date, title of chapter, title of book, editors of book, publisher and its location (city and state if in the United States; city and country otherwise), volume number if necessary, and inclusive page numbers.

Example : Jones, M. 2008. Overview. In Distribution of Haplogroups in India, J. Smith and N. Brown, eds. Detroit, MI: Wayne State University Press, 122.

If you are referencing an entire book, include the names of the first three authors (or editors), date, title, and publisher and its location.

Example : Smith, J., and N. Brown, eds. Distribution of Haplogroups in India. Detroit, MI: Wayne State University Press.

Other types of references (technical reports, dissertations, etc.) should always include as much information as possible: the names of the first three authors (sometimes the author might be a corporation or an organization), date, title, publishing organization and its location, number of report, name of university and its location, series designation, etc. Articles appearing in conference proceedings should be treated as chapters in a book; that is, you should list the names of the first three authors, date, title of article, title of conference proceedings book (not the name of the conference, where it was held, and on what date), editors of the proceedings, publisher (probably the organization that sponsored the conference) and its location, and volume and page numbers.


You should place the tables after the Literature Cited section. Each table should be placed on a separate page, double-spaced, in Human Biology style. Use the table function in Word if at all possible (if you cannot use the table function, then use tabs between entries to make the columns; do not insert a series of spaces). Do not use vertical or slant rules. Keep in mind that the table should not contain more columns of data than will fit on a printed page turned sideways. The tables should be numbered sequentially in the order they are to appear. Make sure that each table is cited in the text in sequential order. Each column should have a heading, and all units should be clearly marked (%, cm, etc.).

Figures and Figure Captions

After the tables should be a list of figure captions. Because the figure captions are typeset, they should not be part of the actual illustrations. They should be placed on a separate page as you would the text, that is, double-spaced. You do not have to use a separate page for each caption. All illustrations should be numbered sequentially. Keys and other internal matter should be lettered on the figure, or if possible, included in the figure caption.

Photographs should be supplied as high-resolution TIF or JPG files. Resolution should be approximately 300 dpi at actual printed size (i.e., the size when printed in the journal).

The ideal format for figures, charts, and graphs is a "vector" format (i.e., Adobe Illustrator .AI or .EPS files, or a vector .PDF file), as this allows the most flexibility for re-sizing as required for the journal, and the best possible quality when printing. If a vector format is not available, then please send a high-resolution TIF or JPG. Please make sure that legends, axis labels, and other text elements are of sufficient size to be readable when re-sized to fit the journal layout.

In addition, authors should be aware that they could be charged $50 per color figure if the editors determine that the color is necessary for the print version of the journal. In order to avoid being charged, authors should create grayscale or black and white versions of all color figures for the print journal. All figures will appear in color for the online version of the journal.

Reviewed Books

Books produced by North American and international publishers should be sent for review to Ripan Malhi, Department of Anthropology, 607 S Matthews Ave., M/C 148, Urbana, IL 61801.


It is the style of Human Biology to use the Human Gene Mapping Workshop nomenclature for genetic systems. This nomenclature system and its terminology are explained by Shows et al. in their article “Guidelines for Human Gene Nomenclature: An International System for Human Gene Nomenclature (ISGN, 1987)” [Cytogenet. Cell Genet. 46:1128 (1987)]. In addition, the abbreviations for specific alleles, enzymes, markers, etc. are given by McAlpine et al. [“Report of the Nomenclature Committee and the 1989 Catalog of Mapped Genes,” Cytogenet. Cell Genet. 51:1366 (1989)]. It is also the style of the journal to use metric units. In addition, symbols, diacritical marks, and other unusual characters should be clearly marked on the manuscript. Also be sure to distinguish between the number “1,” the letter “l,” and the letter “I” if you are using a sans serif typeface.