Submissions and publication policies


Call for Submissions for a Special Issue in Human Biology

The journal Human Biology is pleased to invite submissions to a new special issue, Indigenous Science.

This special issue will be guest edited by Assistant Professor Katrina Claw, University of Colorado, and Ms. Krystal Tsosie, Vanderbilt University. In addition to original research, we also welcome invited Reviews and Perspectives on timely topics written by leaders in interdisciplinary fields related to Indigenous science.

About this Research Topic

Indigenous peoples have multiple ways of knowing and traditional knowledge systems that are distinct from non-Indigenous Western perspectives. These onto-epistemologies are embedded in oral traditions, ceremonial practices, beliefs, and general knowledge of our ancestors and inhabitants of global lands for millennia.

However, Indigenous science or traditional ecological knowledge (TEK) is often overshadowed and minimized by modern Western science. The latter is often seen by the dominant society as being more “objective” whereas TEK might be viewed as anecdotal, imprecise, and valued only when in conjunction with largely non-Indigenous academic paradigms. This veneration of Western science has the effect of undermining the embodied and relational ways of knowing developed over countless generations, passed down by elders to the next generation, and rooted in centuries of observational and experiential learning.

The overarching goal of the proposed Special Issue is to present and elevate interdisciplinary research that incorporates Indigenous traditional approaches and worldviews in the sciences. These ways of knowing do not have to be antithetical; both are grounded in repeated empirical observations and making inferences based on predictions and patterned events. Indigenous knowledges (whether translatable or interoperable with Western perspectives) are widely varied and have contributed to Indigenous peoples’ understandings of the world. Syncretizing or integrating Indigenous and Western approaches diversifies and adds foundational knowledge and methods to diverse fields that can advance global understandings of health, medicine, ecology, anthropology, and biology at all intersections. Other outcomes include increasing the representation of Indigenous peoples in science and diversifying leaders and policy advocates in these fields.

By grounding research in Indigenous traditional knowledge, we will promote Indigenous science and scientists, researchers and scholars. Human Biology will highlight Indigenous Science with a special issue showcasing important interdisciplinary research. We encourage global Indigenous perspectives including voices from the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Mexico, and other groups around the world.

Submission types: The special issue will accept Research, Review, or Perspective manuscript submissions presenting outstanding contributions that apply Indigenous approaches and data to questions of importance, including (but not limited to) the areas of:

  • Health and Medicine
  • Ecology or Environmental Science
  • Anthropology
  • Biology
  • Genetics, Genomics, or Epigenetics
  • Traditional Ecological Knowledge
  • STEM representation
  • Science Education
  • Bioethics

Pre-submission: To ensure suitability of a manuscript for consideration, we request that authors submit a pre-submission inquiry using the following Google form. The inquiry should include a working title and abstract (topic overview, results, or conclusions up to 4000 characters) and any other details about the intended work. The editors will provide feedback on a rolling basis upon receipt of the inquiry email.
Inquiry Deadline: Friday, May 3, 2019

Final Manuscript Submission: Please review journal policiesprior to submitting your final manuscript for consideration. Submissions consist of two items only: a cover letter to the editors and a single file (PDF, MS Word, or RTF) both submitted through the Human Biology Digital Commons website. Indicate in your cover letter that you would like the manuscript to be considered for the Human Biology Special Issue on Indigenous Science. During the formal review process of the final submitted manuscripts, all articles will be reviewed by recognized Indigenous scholars; you may also suggest any potential reviewers.
Manuscript Deadline: Friday, August 2, 2019

Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Human Biology reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

Contact: You may email the editors at scienceindigenous@gmail.com. Technical issues and questions should be directed to julie.warheit@wayne.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.

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.