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Submission Guidelines

All submissions should be made via the Neurobiology of Language online submission system.

Before Submitting

  • Neurobiology of Language does not consider manuscripts that are published or that are currently under consideration elsewhere. The following are not considered prior publication: preprints in bioRxiv, ArXiv, Open Science Framework, conference abstracts, theses, and poster presentations.
  • Neurobiology of Language uses a double-anonymized review process. Please make sure you that your manuscript complies with anonymity requirements (see Double-anonymized review process guidelines).
  • On first submission, no specific format is required of manuscripts. The online submission system accepts a wide range of file formats, including video and audio files. The following file formats will be automatically converted into a single PDF for easy processing: Word (.doc, .docx) and LaTeX.
  • A brief cover letter that summarizes your article’s significance and fit with the journal’s Aims and Scope is required on first submission.
  • The abstract word limit is 250 words, and titles should be no more than 350 characters in length. Please provide a short title (no more than 70 characters) as well.
  • Be prepared to provide a list of up to 6 keywords.
  • You will be asked to choose from a list the topic(s) that best characterize the work described in your manuscript.
  • Be prepared to identify a potential editor and reviewers who would be well qualified to referee your work and who would not have a conflict of interest. These will be used by the Senior Editors to understand how you contextualize your work and may (or may not) be used to choose referees.
  • Confirm that the submitted version of the manuscript has been approved by all co-authors. You will be asked to provide their names, affiliations, email addresses and funding information.
  • Be ready to declare any conflict of interest for yourself and all co-authors. Financial relationships and academic relationships are the two most common types of conflicts. Members of the same institution, mentors and mentees, and recent collaborators (currently working on publications or have published together in the past three years) should not review each other’s work. Having a good collegial relationship is part of the scientific enterprise and does not disqualify a referee.
  • If your manuscript involved experiments on live vertebrates and/or higher invertebrates, you will be asked to name the institutional committee that approved the experiments.
  • Be prepared to accurately describe your funding sources.
  • Make sure all authors understand and agree that your article will be published under a Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license, which allows free and unlimited reuse of articles without permission or fees.
  • Be sure all authors of reprinted figures or text agree that your article will be published under a Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license, which allows free and unlimited reuse of articles without permission or fees.
  • Neurobiology of Language does not charge a submission fee.
  • Any use of AI tools in generating the text must be clearly explained within the text and in the submission cover letter.

First Submission

Manuscripts submitted to Neurobiology of Language for the first time do not need to follow any specific format - this includes references, as long as a citation style is used consistently across the manuscript. Although no specific formatting is required, the text in the manuscript should be easily legible and properly spaced; figures and tables should be labeled/numbered, properly sized and preferably placed close to where they are referenced in the text; figures should be presented in a suitable resolution, with their corresponding legends placed on the same page; all manuscript pages should be numbered consecutively. To comply with double-anonymized review requirements, author identifying information should be limited to the title page.

Title page requirement:

The title page should be submitted separately and include the following information:

  1. Manuscript title
  2. Abbreviated title
  3. List of all Author Names and Affiliations in order as they would appear in the published article
  4. Name of individual to whom Correspondence should be addressed (include email address)
  5. Acknowledgements
  6. Conflict of Interest:
    • No (State ‘Authors report no conflict of interest’)
    • Yes (Please explain)
  7. Funding sources

Double-anonymized review process

NoL uses a double-anonymized review process, which means the identities of both the authors and reviewers are concealed – to the extent possible -- throughout the review process. To facilitate this, authors should ensure their manuscripts are prepared in a way that does not reveal their identity. Here are some guidelines when submitting your paper:

  • Remove author names and contact information from the manuscript. See Title page for more information.
  • Avoid using the first or third person to refer to personal work. For example, replace any phrases like "as we have shown before" with "as previously shown (Anonymous, 2007)."
  • Make sure that the materials and methods section does not refer to personal work. Do not include statements such as "using the method described in (XXX, 2007)." See Materials and Methods for more information.
  • Make sure that text, tables, and figures do not contain any affiliation-related identifier. For example, "participants gave written informed consent following the guidelines of the Institutional Review Board at XXX, which approved the study"
  • Remove personal communications, self-citations, citations to unpublished work, and links to preprints of the manuscript.
  • Do not eliminate essential self-references or other references, but limit self-references only to papers that are relevant for those reviewing the submitted paper.
  • Eliminate references to funding sources.

Complying with anonymity is the responsibility of the authors. If it is found to be compromised, the manuscript will be pulled from review and sent back to the authors to make the necessary revisions to ensure author anonymity and sent to a different handling editor.

Peer Review Taxonomy

Identity Transparency: Double anonymized
Reviewer interacts with: Senior (handling) Editor
Review Information published: None


Regardless of the file format on the first submission and revised version, once authors receive an email indicating the manuscript has been accepted for publication, they will be required to submit the final version of the manuscript using the format and style of the American Psychological Association (APA) as specified in the APA Publication Manual.

Files must be provided in Word or LaTeX.

Word submission requirements:

  • Single-column
  • Standard 12 pt. serif font (e.g., Times)
  • Text, references, and figure legends all double spaced
  • Equations in Math Type (not images)

LaTeX submission requirements:

  • Use the APA 7 style LaTeX Template found here which uses the apa7 package found here:
  • Provide all elements of the TeX package
  • Include a compiled PDF version in the MS. setting format

Figure requirements: Figures may appear inline in the final version of the manuscript, but please also supply them as separate files. The MIT Press prefers that all non-photographic figures be supplied as vector-based PDFs if possible. Figure labels and lettering should be legible once figures are reproduced at their publication sizes (no larger than 7x10 inches). Separate panels should be labeled clearly and fully referred to in the figure legend. Authors are strongly encouraged to design their figures so that they reproduce well in the final pdf layout. For photo-based figures, appropriate formats include EPS, JPG, and TIFF. High-resolution (300 dpi) figures are desirable, and individual figure files should be no larger than 10Mb.

Table requirements: Tables should appear inline and be formatted as tables, not tab or comma delimited text.

Style and Formatting

Manuscripts should be formatted in APA style 7th Edition. Research articles should generally be arranged as follows:

  • Title/Authors/Affiliations/Contact Information/Keywords
  • Abstract
  • Introduction
  • Materials and Methods
  • Results
  • Discussion
  • Data and Code Availability Statements
  • Acknowledgements
  • References

We would be happy to accept abstracts in other languages. Please upload as a separate file as part of your final submission. The non-English abstract will be published online alongside the original one in English.

Supplementary Materials can be supplied, if necessary. Submitted supplementary items are converted into PDF documents and published as they are received (not formatted). Please submit your material together with the article and provide a concise caption for each supplementary file. Please make sure to provide an updated file if you make changes after revision. Please switch off the 'Track Changes' and comments option in Microsoft Office files as these will appear in the published version.

Footnotes, endnotes, and appendices are not permitted. All articles require a statement of competing interests before publication, made by the corresponding author on behalf of all co-authors. The dates the manuscript was received, accepted and published will be recorded on each article’s cover page.

Technical Terms

Articles are encouraged to provide a list of Conceptual or Technical Terms which is uploaded as a separate document (pdf) along with their manuscript. This list should comprise up to 10 key terms that are mentioned in the article and whose usage and definition may not be familiar across the broad readership of the journal. Authors should provide brief (20 words or less) definitions for each of these terms, avoiding in these definitions the use of jargon, or highly technical or specialized language.

Here are some examples of Technical Terms:

  • Phenotypes are observable traits that result from interactions between genes and the environment.
  • Morphemes are the minimal units of words that have a meaning and cannot be subdivided further.
  • Susceptibility-induced off-resonance field refers to the difference between an initially homogeneous magnetic field and the actual field when an object is placed in it.
  • The Terms will appear in the left margin of the article at or near their first mention in the text.


Article Types

NoL currently accepts the following article types:

Research Articles

Novel Research: Reports on original studies that expand knowledge in areas of importance for the neurobiology of language.

Replications and Failures to Replicate: Research papers from authors who replicated or were unable to replicate someone else’s work of significance despite using the same methodology and experimental conditions (explaining differences in effect sizes or failures to replicate are encouraged but not mandatory). There are many reasons why something cannot be exactly replicated because it is impossible to control all parameters. The Methods section needs to include the details and not just the reference to another paper.

Negative Results: Research papers from authors who tried to test important hypotheses but did not get the outcome they expected. These manuscripts must include testing the hypothesis by multiple experimental approaches, rigorously reproducing the experimental models of others that authors claim to refute, and meticulous use of both positive and negative controls. For particularly risky but important questions, it is desirable to register a study in advance.


Reviews describe and synthesize conceptual advances and/or critically appraise a field or topic of importance for the neurobiology of language, and highlight future directions. They are peer-reviewed articles and follow the same guidelines as research papers. No word or reference limit. It is preferred that potential review articles be discussed in advance with the Editors.


Editorials are occasionally published to update the readership on developments in the field or important news regarding the journal. Editorials can only be submitted by the Editor and must be invited or commissioned.

Registered Reports

Registered Reports are a specific form of research article in which the methods and proposed analyses are pre-registered and reviewed prior to research being conducted. If the suggested protocols meet the highest quality standards, they are provisionally accepted for publication before the onset of data collection. This format is designed to eliminate the bias against publishing negative results, while also allowing the flexibility to conduct additional exploratory (unregistered) analyses and report unexpected findings.

Click here for more on Registered Reports.

Click here for Reviewer Instructions.


No Submission Fee

Open Access and Article Processing Charges

Please click here for information on open access and article processing charges in Neurobiology of Language.

Publication Fees

Neurobiology of Language is an open access, online-only journal. This gold OA journal charges an APC (Article Processing Charge) of $850 per article for members of the Society for the Neurobiology of Language and $1,150 per article for non-members which will be billed upon acceptance of the manuscript. Some articles (e.g. editorials) may be exempt from the APC, subject to prior arrangement with the Editors-in-Chief. Authors who are unable to pay may apply for a fee waiver; waivers will be granted on a case-by-case basis.

Indexing and Archiving

Please click here for information on indexing and archiving.

Impact Measures

Neurobiology of Language provides data on article access and impact for each published manuscript. Data provided include: download counts from the site; citation counts provided by CrossRef; and attention scores provided by Altmetric, which tracks attention to the article by news outlets, blogs, social media, online reference managers, etc.

Accessibility of Data and Other Material

Neurobiology of Language requires authors of Research articles to openly share all data and other materials that are essential for reproducing the article’s key findings and conclusions, and for building on the published work. Data and tools should be hosted at a public repository (see some recommendations below). Authors will be queried about sharing of data and other materials on first submission.

Data and code availability statements

All papers must include a statement regarding the availability of all data used in the study. Newly acquired data or metadata should be made openly available through one of the recommended open repositories, preferably at the time of submission. If data cannot be made openly available, a reason must be provided (for example, due to ethics or privacy issues, or institutional restrictions).

A statement regarding the availability of code and/or software used in the study is also required. If third party code or toolbox was used in the analysis, please state the exact version, and cite the source and/or papers related to the code or toolbox appropriately. New code developed and/or used for data analysis should be made available through an open repository, preferably at the time of submission.

A persistent URL or identifier (DOI) should be provided upon submission for data and code hosted at a repository. Any links to data and/or code with author-identifying information included in the manuscript should be anonymized or (if anonymizing is not possible) redacted for reviewing.  

NOL Recommended repositories:

OpenNeuro (

NeuroVault  (


GitHub (

figshare (

ModelDB (

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