Author Guidelines

I. Editorial Policy

Perspectives in Biology and Medicine is an interdisciplinary journal published by the Johns Hopkins University Press. Our readers include scientists, physicians, students, and scholars in many disciplines who are interested in the intersections of biology and medicine. We publish essays that place biological and medical topics within broad scientific, social, or humanistic contexts. We also publish short articles and book reviews. Although some of our essays are invited, we welcome voluntary contributions.

All essays should be preceded by an abstract of up to 200 words. Most of the essays we publish are in the range of 4,000 to 7,000 words. We encourage authors to use a personal writing style that preserves the humanity, excitement, and color of the biological and medical sciences. All essays are subject to peer review before publication, and all manuscripts should be submitted according to The Chicago Manual of Style, 16th ed. (Univ. of Chicago Press). For questions about editorial policy or the content of prospective submissions, please contact Dr. Martha Montello, Editor, at

Critical Assessments is a regular special section of Perspectives in Biology and Medicine. Where many journals publish reviews on the assets and liabilities of newly published books, the Critical Assessments section of Perspectives in Biology and Medicine aims for robust, engaging essays, written in an informal style about important new books, and also about important new articles. Books are a typical means of publishing scholarship in bioethics and the medical humanities; scholarship and research in the biological sciences and medicine are most often published in refereed articles. We expand the range of typical review essays to include both books and clusters of articles that are thematically related. We ask our authors to integrate new and noteworthy books and articles within a field of research or a trend or development in thinking. We hope our authors will use their essays as an occasion to speak their minds, with descriptions, comments, and analyses of questions and issues they believe deserve broader attention. Essays that attend to two or more books, or two or more articles, are especially welcome. We believe these essays fill a substantial gap in the scholarship of many fields in biology and medicine, such as genetics, neurobiology, and evolution, as well as bioethics, history, philosophy, medical education, and clinical practice. Essays in the New York Review of Books or Times Literary Supplement provide examples of the approach we encourage in our authors. Critical Assessments for Perspectives in Biology and Medicine are indexed as peer-reviewed publications. Essays in this section can range from 3,000- 7,000 words. Submissions should be titled with something other than “Review of…” and should include an abstract of no more than 200 words.

II. Preparation of Manuscripts

Manuscripts must be submitted in digital format as Word (.doc) files, via the ScholarOne system at Text should be in Times Roman font and double-spaced throughout. Tables and illustrations will be accepted when necessary for the presentation of ideas and should be submitted as separate digital images (high-quality .jpeg, .tiff, or .eps files), not as PowerPoint slides; specific submission details are available on ScholarOne.

Footnotes are not encouraged, but if required, they should be numbered consecutively within the text and should appear at the end of the document. Authors should use the minimum number of references consistent with good scholarship and should cite them according to Chicago Manual author-date format, using “et al.” for references with four or more authors and Medline abbreviations for journal titles.

Citations should be given as (Author Year); multiple citations should be listed in alphabetical rather than

chronological order and separated by semicolons (Faria, Fredrikson, and Furmark 2008; Moerman 2002).

Journal references should include, in order, author(s), year, title, journal title (abbreviated according to Medline, without periods), volume, issue (if available), and inclusive pagination:

Dharamsi, Shafik, Anita Ho, Salvatore Spadafora, and Robert Woollard. 2011. “The Physician as Health Advocate: Translating the Quest for Social Responsibility into Medical Education and Practice.” Acad Med 86 (9): 1108–13.

Faria,Vanda, Mats Fredrikson, and Tomas Furmark. 2008. “Imaging the Placebo Response: A Neuro-Functional Review.” Eur Neuropsychopharmacol 18: 473–85.

Book references should include author(s), year, chapter title, book title, edition, editor(s), inclusive page numbers, place of publication, and publisher:

Childress, James F. 1997. “The Normative Principles of Medical Ethics.” In Medical Ethics, ed. Robert M. Veatch, 29–56. Sudbury, MA: Jones and Bartlett.

Moerman, Daniel E. 2002. Meaning, Medicine and the “Placebo Effect.” Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Trevathan, Wenda R., E. O. Smith, and James McKenna, eds. 2008. Evolutionary Medicine and Health: New Perspectives. New York: Oxford University Press.

Internet references should provide full URL:

International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE). 2005. Clinical Trial Registration: A Statement from the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors.

Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues. 2010. New Directions: The Ethics of Synthetic Biology and Emerging Technologies.

When an abbreviation is peculiar to any field of biology or medicine, the complete word(s) should be used at first mention in the text, followed by the abbreviation in parentheses. The abbreviation alone may be used thereafter. Text to appear in italics should be in roman, underlined, in manuscript.

For questions regarding manuscript formatting, contact Solveig Robinson, Managing Editor, at

III. Manuscript Acceptance Policy

While it is our policy to require the assignment of copyright for most essays, we do not usually request assignment of copyright for other contributions. Although the copyright to such a contribution may remain with the author, it is understood that, in return for publication, the journal has the nonexclusive right to publish the contribution and the continuing right, without limit, to include the contribution as part of any reprinting of the issue and/or volume of the journal in which the contribution first appeared by any means and in any format, including computer-assisted storage and readout, in which the issue and/or volume may be reproduced by the publisher or by its licensed agencies.

Offprint purchase information will be sent after manuscripts are accepted.