Instructions for Authors

Manuscript Submission

Authors are encouraged to submit manuscripts online via The Quarterly Review of Biology Editorial Manager system at Detailed instructions are available below. If you do not have access to the Web, please send one hard copy of your manuscript and a CD-R containing all relevant electronic files to the editorial office. It is no longer necessary to submit a hard copy in addition to an electronic submission.

Statement of Policy

The review articles published by The Quarterly Review of Biology are intended primarily for the informed general biologist. Manuscripts should both present a summary and a critical evaluation of significant investigations and provide suggestions for further research. Theoretical papers should clearly identify the focus of study, review the relevant literature, and develop approaches to new levels of understanding.

Open Access Policy

The Quarterly Review of Biology authors have the option to make their accepted paper freely available online immediately upon publication. The fee for Open Access is $2,500. Contact for more information.


UK authors should note that this option cannot be used to comply with RCUK regulations for gold OA, as the University of Chicago Press requires permission for commercial reuse. UCP does comply with the RCUK regulations for green OA.

"Green" Open Access

The University of Chicago Press supports Green Open Access for all articles, as defined by the RCUK Open Access Policy, under the Press’s Guidelines for Journal Authors’ Rights.

Formatting Electronic Files

Please adhere to the requirements below when submitting a new or revised manuscript via Editorial Manager. The system relies on automated processing to create a PDF file from your submission. If you do not follow these instructions, your submission cannot be processed and will not be received by the journal office.

Acceptable Formats

  • Microsoft Word (.doc)(any recent version)
  • PDF (.pdf)
  • Rich Text Format (.rtf)

File Contents

Word documents should be submitted as a single file. Authors should submit figures as separate files, in TIFF (.tif) or EPS (.eps) (not GIF [.gif] or JPEG [.jpg]) format.

Please note that authors of accepted manuscripts may be required to submit high-resolution hard copies of all figures during production, as not all digital art files are usable.

  • In addition to the main manuscript file, submit your cover letter as a separate file in the same format as your main file. If you used any revision or editorial tracking tools in your word-processing program, be sure the final version of your manuscript does not contain tracked changes.

Revised and Final Versions of Manuscripts

If you are submitting a revised manuscript, please indicate in your cover letter file how you have responded to each point raised by the reviewers and editors. When submitting a revised manuscript with figures, include all figures, even if they have not changed since the previous version. The final version of your manuscript must be submitted in Word (doc.), because your keystrokes will be used in publication; a PDF does not contain usable character data and is thus not adequate. For both revised and final versions of manuscripts, please observe the same formatting instructions outlined above.

General Specifications

A manuscript should be written in concise and sufficiently nontechnical language to be intelligible both to general biologists and to specialists in other fields. Interpretive diagrams are desirable.

An article must be accompanied by a brief abstract that summarizes the principal conclusions of the paper. In most matters of style, conformity to the guidelines in The Chicago Manual of Style, 16th edition, published by The University of Chicago Press, is recommended.

Recent issues of the QRB should be used as a model for style with respect to (1) section headings in the text, (2) literature citations in the text, and (3) list of references.   A detailed set of instructions may be requested from the editorial office. Manuscript lines should be double spaced and numbered consecutively throughout the article. Footnotes to textual material are not permitted. Authors should provide electronic copies of all quotations, including page numbers.

Authors who acknowledge assistance by a funding agency will be expected to meet charges of $40 per journal page for each of the first 20 journal pages. Authors not supported by funding agencies and authors of invited articles are eligible for 20 free journal pages. All authors are charged $80 for each page above 20. For online-only appendix and table material, authors are eligible for 6 free double-spaced manuscript pages, but authors with funding will be charged $20 for every 3 manuscript pages in excess of 6.

Reference citations should be limited to those essential for documenting specific statements. Journal titles used in the references section should not be abbreviated. Each entry should give the full title and inclusive page numbers of the article cited. Formats and examples of various types of references are provided:


Reference form:

Author.  Year.  Title.  Edition.  (and/or Volume Number).  City (Include state or country abbreviation only if needed for clarification.):  Publisher. 

Editor's name, editor.  Year.  Title.  Edition.  (and/or Volume Number).  City (Include state or country abbreviation only if needed for clarification.):  Publisher.


Sokal R. R., Rohlf F. J. 1981. Biometry: The Principles and Practice of Statistics in Biological Research. Second Edition. New York: Freeman.

Cheney D. L., Seyfarth R. M. 1990. How Monkeys See the World: Inside the Mind of Another Species. Chicago (IL): University of Chicago Press.

Articles or Chapters in Collections or Books

Reference form:

Author.  Year.  Title of article or chapter.  Pages of article or chapter in Title of Book, Edition (and/or Volume Number), by/edited by Name(s).  City (Include state or country abbreviation only if needed for clarification.): Publisher.


Haack S. 1998. Between the Scylla of scientism and the Charybdis of apriorism. Pages 49–63 in The Philosophy of P. F. Strawson, edited by L. E. Hahn. Chicago (IL): Open Court.

Fletcher D. J. C. 1986. Triple action of queen pheromones in the regulation of reproduction in fire ant (Solenopsis invicta) colonies. Pages 305–316 in Advances in Invertebrate Reproduction 4, edited by M. Porchet et al. London (UK): Elsevier Academic.

Journal Articles

Reference form:

Author.  Year.  Full article title.  Full Journal Title Volume:Inclusive Pages.


Martinson B. C., Anderson M. S., de Vries R. 2005. Scientists behaving badly. Nature 435:737–738.

Ostrom J. H. 1979. Bird flight: how did it begin? American Scientist 67(1):46–5 6.

Magazines and Newspapers

Reference form:

Author. Year. Article title. Magazine or Newspaper Title Date and Month:Pages of article, or Volume(Issue):Pages of article.


Morin R. 1995. An army from academe tries to straighten out The Bell Curve. Washington Post 16 January:A3.

Kessler D A, Feiden K L. 1995. Faster evaluation of vital drugs. Scientific American 272(March):48–54.

Electronic Sources

Reference form:

Author.  Date/Year.  Title.  City (State): Publisher.  Website Address.  (Accession date).


Interlandi J. 22 October 2006. An unwelcome discovery. New York Times Magazine.
22sciencefraud.html?ex="1178337600&en=040181190c9997e9&ei=5070." (Accessed 3 May 2007).

Gleick P H. 6 November 2001. Where’s Waldo? A Review of The Skeptical Environmentalist.
gleick_review.html. (Accessed 1 May 2002).

Website addresses are not italicized. If the actual date that the article was published online is available, include it. If it is not available, include only the year. "City (State): Publisher” may be omitted if the information is not known.

Online Submission Instructions

Please have the following items readily available before beginning the online submission process:

  • Manuscript in an acceptable format as described above
  • Cover letter as a separate file
  • Information from title page (to be typed into the peer review database): title, short title, list of authors and affiliations, and contact information for the corresponding author
  • Abstract of the manuscript (to be copied and pasted into a field in Editorial Manager)

Go to the QRB Editorial Manager system at to submit your manuscript. If you do not have access to the Web, please send one hard copy of your manuscript and a CD-R containing all relevant electronic files to the editorial office. It is no longer necessary to submit a hard copy in addition to an electronic submission.