Guide for Authors

  • Guide for Authors

    Brain and Language publishes original research articles on the neuroscience of language. Each contribution will be relevant to human language and to any aspect of the brain or brain function. Articles from many scientific disciplines will fit into this framework, and it is expected that many of these will be interdisciplinary articles that span several disciplines. It all cases, it is expected that the highest standards of research methodology will be achieved, and at the discretion of the Editorial Board, papers will be subject to secondary methodological review.

    Manuscripts of three types are solicited:

    Short communications: These are succinct articles typically reporting a single important experimental finding. Such articles usually contain fewer than 6 published pages, or fewer than 5,000 words (including figure legends and references). Typically such articles include Introduction (including a brief statement of methods), Results, and Discussion, followed by a short section on Methods that will appear at the end of the manuscript. Methods already published should be cited and not restated. Short communications may have up to 3 Figures/Tables that take up at most 1 full journal page. Such articles will earn rapid review and decision, and will have priority for rapid publication.

    Regular articles: These are regular articles typically reporting significant experimental findings. Typical articles occupy between 6 and 12 pages in the journal, or fewer than 10,000 words (including figure legends and references), but can be longer with submission of a cover letter justifying the need for additional length and permission of the Editor. Regular articles may have up to 6 Figures/Tables that take up at most 2 full journal pages.

    Review articles: These are longer articles that critically review a topic of importance to the readership of Brain and Language. Such articles are typically 15 pages or longer, and contain extensive references to the literature.

    Supplementary Materials
    Supplementary material including audio tracks, movies, figures, and tables that the authors wish to have associated with the online publication should be submitted with the manuscript and marked as supplementary materials. Especially encouraged are stimulus materials and brain images.

    The references should include only articles that are published or in press, and should not include meeting abstracts. The APA format of references should be followed, but listing all author names. Examples follow:

    Journal Article
    Skipper, J.I., Goldin-Meadow, S., Nusbaum, H.C., & Small, S.L. (2007). Speech-associated gestures, Broca's area, and the human mirror system. Brain and Language, 101(3), 260-277.

    Book Article
    Dick, F., Dronkers, N., Pizzamiglio, L., Saygin, A.P., Small, S.L., & Wilson, S. (2005). Language and the Brain. In Tomasello, M. & Slobin, D. (Eds.), Beyond Nature-Nurture: Essays in Honor of Elizabeth Bates (pp. 237-260). New Jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

    Schmahmann, J.D., & Pandya, D.N. (2006). Fiber Pathways of the Brain. Oxford, England: Oxford University Press.

    Submission of Manuscripts
    Submission to this journal proceeds totally online at You will be guided stepwise through the creation and uploading of the various files. Authors should upload the source files of their articles in the preferred format of Microsoft (MS) Word, RTF, WordPerfect, or LaTeX for text and TIFF or EPS for figures. The system automatically converts source files to a single Adobe Acrobat PDF version of the article, which is used in the peer-review process. Please note that even though manuscript source files are converted to PDF at submission for the review process, these source files are needed for further processing after acceptance. All correspondence, including notification of the Editor¿s decision and requests for revision, takes place by e-mail and via the author¿s homepage, removing the need for a hard-copy paper trail.

    There are no submission fees or page charges.

    Only original papers will be considered. Manuscripts are accepted for review with the understanding that the same work has not been published, that it is not under consideration for publication elsewhere, and that its submission for publication has been approved by all of the listed authors and by the institutions where the work was carried out. If human subjects were involved in the research, authors must note in their letter of submittal that the research was conducted using appropriate ethical guidelines. Any person cited as a source of personal communication must have given her or his approval of such citation. Written authorization may be required at the Editor's discretion.

    Articles and any other material published in Brain and Language represent the opinions of the author(s) and should not be construed to reflect opinions of the Editor(s) and the Publisher.

    Manuscripts will be evaluated by one member of a group of Senior Consulting Editors, who will decide if the manuscript should be sent out for full peer review. If such peer review is deemed appropriate, an Action Editor, who will be either the Editor-in-Chief or a member of the Editorial Board, will invite at least two and no more than four reviewers to provide detailed critiques, priority scores, and recommendations. Based on this information, the Action Editor will decide whether the article should be accepted immediately, recommended for revision, or rejected. Rejected articles may not be resubmitted to Brain and Language.

    Upon acceptance of an article, authors will be asked to sign a Journal Publishing Agreement (for more information on this and copyright see Acceptance of the agreement will ensure the widest possible dissemination of information. An e-mail (or letter) will be sent to the corresponding author confirming receipt of the manuscript together with a Journal Publishing Agreement form or a link to the online version of this agreement.

    Subscribers may reproduce tables of contents or prepare lists of articles including abstracts for internal circulation within their institutions. Permission of the Publisher is required for resale or distribution outside the institution and for all other derivative works, including compilations and translations (please consult

    If excerpts from other copyrighted works are included, the author(s) must obtain written permission from the copyright owners and credit the source(s) in the article. Elsevier has preprinted forms for use by authors in these cases: please consult

    Funding Body Agreements and Policies
    Elsevier has established agreements and developed policies to allow authors whose articles appear in journals published by Elsevier, to comply with potential manuscript archiving requirements as specified as conditions of their grant awards. To learn more about existing agreements and policies please visit

    Authors' rights
    As an author you (or your employer or institution) retain certain rights; for details you are referred to:

    Preparation of Manuscript
    Language data may be given in English when clearly identifiable; otherwise, they should be transcribed into the phonetic alphabet of the International Phonetic Association (IPA).

    Manuscripts must be written in clear, concise, grammatical English and must be double-spaced throughout. Pages should be numbered consecutively and organized as follows:

    The title page (p. 1) should contain the article title, authors' names and complete affiliations, footnotes to the title, and the address for manuscript correspondence (including e-mail address and telephone and fax numbers).

    The abstract (p. 2) must be a single paragraph that summarizes the main findings of the paper in less than 250 words. After the abstract a list of up to 10 keywords that will be useful for indexing or searching should be included.

    Please follow the instructions regarding article type above for organizing the manuscript.

    Acknowledgments. Place acknowledgments before the references, in a separate section, and not as a footnote on the title page.

    Submission items include the following and should be uploaded as separate files:

    • Cover letter
    • Statement of significance to the neuroscience of language: 50 words
    • A list of six suggested reviewers with names, affiliations, and e-mail addresses, along with the names of any individuals who would have a conflict of interest and a brief explanation
    • Abstract: 250 words. Please do not include references in the abstract.
    • Manuscript
    • Word count (including figure legends and references) (space provided online; no need to upload as a document)
    • Tables and figures
    • Supplementary materials (optional)


    Please ensure that every reference cited in the text is also present in the reference list (and vice versa). The references should include only articles that are published or in press, and should not include meeting abstracts. The APA format of references should be followed, but listing all author names. You are referred to the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, Fifth Edition, ISBN 1-55798-790-4. References should be arranged first alphabetically and then further sorted chronologically if necessary. More than one reference from the same author(s) in thesame year must be identified by the letters “a”, “b”, “c”, etc., placed after the year of publication. Please use the following style:

    Journal Article
    Buccino, G., Binkofski, F., & Riggio, L. (2004). The mirror neuron system and action recognition. Brain and Language, 89, 370-376.

    Schmahmann, J. D., & Pandya, D. N. (2006). Fiber pathways of the brain. Oxford, England: Oxford University Press.

    Chapter in an Edited Book
    Dick, F., Dronkers, N., Pizzamiglio, L., Saygin, A. P., Small, S. L., & Wilson, S. (2005). Language and the brain. In M. Tomasello & D. Slobin (Eds.), Beyond nature-nurture: Essays in honor of Elizabeth Bates (pp. 237-260). New Jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

    Web References
    As a minimum, the full URL should be given. Any further information, if known (DOI, author names, dates, reference to a source publication, etc.), should also be given.

    Color Illustrations
    There is no charge for color figures that are necessary to the maximal understanding and impact of the article (e.g., functional brain images), as determined by the Publishing Editor at Elsevier and the Action Editor for that manuscript. For other color figures (e.g., line graphs), Elsevier will ensure, at no additional charge, that these will appear in color on the Web (e.g., ScienceDirect and other sites). You will receive information regarding the costs from Elsevier after receipt of your accepted article. Please make sure that artwork files are in an acceptable format (TIFF, EPS or MS Office files) and with the correct resolution. For further information on the preparation of electronic artwork, please see

    Preparation of supplementary data.
    Supplementary files offer the author additional possibilities to publish supporting applications, movies, animation sequences, high-resolution images, background datasets, sound clips and more. Supplementary files supplied will be published online alongside the electronic version of your article in Elsevier Web products, including ScienceDirect: To ensure that your submitted material is directly usable, please provide data in one of our recommended file formats. Authors should submit the material in electronic format together with the article and supply a concise and descriptive caption for each file. For more detailed instructions, please visit our artwork instruction pages at

    One set of page proofs in PDF format will be sent by e-mail to the corresponding author.

    Please use this proof only for checking the typesetting, editing, and completeness and correctness of the text, tables, and figures. Significant changes to the article as accepted for publication will only be considered at this stage with permission from the Editor. We will do everything possible to publish your article quickly and accurately. Therefore, it is important to ensure that all of your corrections are sent back to us in one communication: please check carefully before replying, as inclusion of any subsequent corrections cannot be guaranteed. Proofreading is solely your responsibility. Note that Elsevier may proceed with the publication of your article if no response is received.

    Electronic offprints (e-offprints)
    The corresponding author, at no cost, will be provided with a PDF file of the article via e-mail or, alternatively, free paper offprints. The PDF file is a watermarked version of the published article and includes a cover sheet with the journal cover image and a disclaimer outlining the terms and conditions of use.

    For any further information please contact the Author Support Department at


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