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As part of the submission process, authors are required to check off their submission's compliance with all of the following items, and submissions may be returned to authors that do not adhere to these guidelines.

  • The article falls within the scope of the journal as described on its homepage.
  • The submission has not been previously published, nor it is before another journal for consideration (or an explanation has been provided in Comments to the Editor).
  • The submission file is in OpenOffice, Microsoft Word, RTF, or PDF document file format.

  • The manuscript is formatted in accordance with the Author Guidelines, which are found in About the Journal.
  • This journal charges a publication fee for publication. I confirm that I will pay the amount due if my manuscript is accepted for publication and prior to it appearing on-line. I also understand that I have the possibility to ask for a waiving this fee.

To submit a new paper to our journal:

  1. Register as an Author; we encourage you to register also as a Reader and a Reviewer at the same time;
  2. Download and follow the Guidelines for Authors;
  3. Read our Editorial Policies and our Competing Interest policies.

To submit a revised version:

  1. Log in;
  2. Click on your role as Author;
  3. Click on IN REVIEW: REVISIONS REQUIRED or RESUBMIT FOR REVIEW on the page displayed (under the heading ‘Status’, near the manuscript title);
  4. Under the heading EDITOR DECISION, upload your revised paper as AUTHOR VERSION using Browse and Upload buttons;
  5. Use the NOTIFY EDITOR e-mail button to inform the Editors that the revised version has been submitted.

Instructions to Authors


Containing original research or reviews, 3,000-5,000 words of text, up to 50 references and no more than eight embedded items in total (tables and figures). Authors are encouraged to provide a separate Supplementary Information file containing materials that cannot be included in the Article, but are fundamental to the conclusions of the paper. These will also be subjected to peer review.


Shorter communications of original research, text of 1,500-2,500 words, up to 30 references and no more than five embedded items (tables and figures). Authors are encouraged to provide a separate Supplementary Information file containing materials that cannot be included in the Communiqué, but are central to the conclusions of the paper. These will also be subjected to peer review.


Readers are invited to comment on research published in the journal in the form of a letter to the editor offering fair and reasonable technical criticism of a published Article or Communiqué. Letters are limited to 800 words of text, 10 references, and up to two embedded items (tables and figures). All Letters will be subject to peer review. Moreover, a copy will be provided to the author(s) of the original article for a response. Responses will also be subject to peer review, follow the same format as Letters and normally be published as companion articles to Letters.

Invited Reviews

These are articles invited (solicited) from time to time by the Editor-in-Chief. They will normally be review articles on a selected topic, with the number of words, references and embedded articles open to negotiation between the author(s) and Editor-in-Chief (i.e. the normal strict limits do not apply). Authors may provide a separate Supplementary Information file if desired, which would also be subjected to peer review.


Manuscript Preparation

Manuscripts must be written in English. The first page of the manuscript should contain: (a) the title of the manuscript; (b) the full name and institutional affiliation of each author; (c) the e-mail address for the corresponding author; (d) the abstract for the article, comprising no more than 300 words; (e) a running title of no more than 50 characters; and (f) three to five key words. The article itself should commence on page 2 of the manuscript. All manuscripts should be formatted as double-spaced documents, using a standard font (such as Times, Times New Roman, Arial or Helvetica) in 12-point and with reasonable margins. Text alignment should preferably be justified. Manuscript has to display continuous line numbers. Articles should employ italics for taxonomic designations or other names (where appropriate) rather than underlining. Short quotations should be included in text and indicated with inverted commas (“quote”) and page number(s) after the quote (e.g. p. 212 or pp. 212-213). For longer quotations, authors may, if they prefer, present quoted text as a separate indented paragraph enclosed by inverted commas with page number(s) following the quote. All illustrations, figures and tables should be placed after the reference list, with a separate list of captions for the figures provided. Table headings should be placed above tables. In-text referencing should be numbered, sequentially ordered as they appear in the text, tables, boxes, figure legends, etc. When cited in the text, reference numbers should be italicised and listed in superscript. Only articles that have been published or have been submitted to a named journal should be included. Authors should not include papers that are in preparation. All authors should be included in reference lists unless there are more than two, whereby first author should be given, followed by ‘et al.’

Authors are kindly requested to provide a list of up to five potential reviewers (name, email address, institution) who would be qualified to review their work. These details can be inserted in the appropriate field (Suggested reviewers and Comments to the Editor) in the first step of the Submission Procedure. 

Reference list should contain numbered references, placed in order of their appearance in the manuscript, and presented as follows, with abbreviated journal names in italics, volume number in bold

Journal articles
1. J. Chen. Discovery of a seven million year old hominin near Baoshan, Yunnan Province, China. J. Prof. Archaeol. 36, 1-22 (2001). 
2. D. Smith, et al. Discovery of another seven million year old hominin near Baoshan, Yunnan Province, China. J. Prol. Palaeontol. 12, 8-18 (2003).

3. J. Chen. Human Evolution in Yunnan. Sydney, Anthropological Publishing Inc (2009).

Book Chapters
4. J. Chen et al. An account of the discovery of two new seven million year old hominins from Yunnan Province, China. In: M. Yang, D. Jones and J. Bing (Eds.), Chinese Palaeoanthropology in the New Millennium, pp. 12-22. Singapore, Freedom Science Press (2007).

Mathematical formulae must be carefully typed, possibly using the equation editor of Microsoft Word; when a paper contains several equations they should be identified with a number in parentheses (e.g. Eq. 1). Please note that each accepted paper will undergo technical and scientific copyediting before publication.

Tables are numbered consecutively in Arabic numbers without “no.” before the number. References should be made in the text to each table. The desired style of presentation can be found in published articles. Titles of tables should be descriptive enough to be able to stand alone. Do not present the same data in tabular and graphic form.

Figures are numbered consecutively in Arabic numbers. References should be made in the text to each figure. Each figure should have a caption. The term “figure” is used also for graphs and photos.
Symbols and abbreviations used in figures can be defined in the figure caption or note or within the figure itself. Please avoid the use of bold face or greater size for the characters.

Please remember that in order to promote good management of the space available images must take up the least space possible without compromising clarity. The figures must be submitted as .tif or .jpg files, with the following digital resolution:

1. Color (saved as CMYK): minimum 300 dpi

2. Black and white/grays: minimum 600 dpi

Lettering of figures must be clearly labelled.


Peer review policy

All manuscripts submitted to our journal are critically assessed by external and/or in-house experts in accordance with the principles of peer review (http://www.icmje.org/#peer), which is fundamental to the scientific publication process and the dissemination of sound science. Each paper is first assigned by the Editors to an appropriate Associate Editor who has knowledge of the field discussed in the manuscript. The first step of manuscript selection takes place entirely in-house and has two major objectives: i) to establish the article’s appropriateness for our journals’ readership; ii) to define the manuscript’s priority ranking relative to other manuscripts under consideration, since the number of papers that the journal receives is much greater than it can publish. If a manuscript does not receive a sufficiently high priority score to warrant publication, the editors will proceed to a quick rejection. The remaining articles are reviewed by at least two different external referees (second step or classical peer review).

Authorship: All persons designated as authors should qualify for authorship according to the CSE' criteria (http://www.councilscienceeditors.org/i4a/pages/index.cfm? pageid=3355) Each author should have participated sufficiently in the work to take public responsibility for the content. Authorship credit should be based only on substantial contributions to (a) conception and design, or analysis and interpretation of data; and to (b) drafting the article or revising it critically for important intellectual content; and on (c) final approval of the version to be published. These three conditions must all be met. Participation solely in the acquisition of funding or the collection of data does not justify authorship. General supervision of the research group is not sufficient for authorship. Any part of an article critical to its main conclusions must be the responsibility of at least one author. Authors should provide a brief description of their individual contributions.