Instructions for Authors

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Purpose and Types of Accepted Contributions

Philosophy & Theory in Biology (P&TB) is a peer-reviewed open-access online journal that aims to bring together philosophers of science and theoretically inclined biologists in order to interact across disciplinary boundaries. The goal of this interaction is to foster a broader conception of what it means to do "theory" in science and philosophically analyze the sciences. This, in turn, will benefit both research communities as they engage in ongoing scholarship.

There are no strict limits imposed on the length for submitted papers, but we do suggest that authors aim for standard reading lengths (e.g., 8,000-10,000 words for a regular article or 3,000-4,000 words for an essay review). We do not expect to publish book-length entries. We accept four kinds of submissions:

  1. Scholarly papers on a specific aspect of philosophy of biology or theoretical biology;
  2. In-depth "trend" review papers on topics of current interest within the areas covered by the journal;
  3. An extended (essay style) review of a book or books pertinent to the journal.


Manuscripts need to be submitted via email attachment to The email itself will serve as cover letter and has to include the authors' contact information. Manuscripts can be submitted in the following word processing formats: doc, rtf, Pages. Please do not send pdf files, because they cannot be edited. Figures, when necessary, can be embedded in the manuscript or submitted separately as jpeg or tiff files.


The manuscript must be single-spaced, using a moderate font size (we recommend Times New Roman, 12 point), and have generous margins (1 inch / 2.5 cm or greater). The title page must include keywords and a short abstract (~150-300 words), but no identifying information about the authors must be present anywhere in the manuscript, since we use a double blind review process. This also means that self-citations throughout the manuscript have to be in the third person or, if appropriate, removed with the note 'suppressed for review.'

Endnotes (but not footnotes!) are allowed. However, please do not use superscripting; rather, identify notes in normal font surrounded by parentheses, like this: "So and So said this (3)." This is because of technical reasons when formatting paper galleys.

Please do not use double spaces after a period, and make sure each new paragraph starts with a small indent (1/4 of an inch recommended). Moreover, use italics sparingly, and not, as we just did, to emphasize a point (your writing style should not need that, and it complicates galley proofing unnecessarily).


In-text references will mention author and year, separated by a space and included in parentheses:

(Darwin 1859)

or (Darwin 1859: 25-29) (Earl and Deem 2004) (Laland et al. 2005)

References at the end of the paper must be headed by “Literature Cited” and adhere to the following format (notice the absence of italics and boldface):

Journal Articles:

Peck, SL. 2004. Simulation as experiment: A philosophical reassessment for biological modeling. Trends in Ecology and Evolution 19 (10): 530-534.


Sterelny, K and PE Griffiths. 1999. Sex and Death: An Introduction to Philosophy of Biology. University of Chicago Press.

Book Chapters:

Westphal, KR. 2006. Science and the philosophers. In Science — A Challenge to Philosophy? Ed. by HJ Pihlstrom, S Vilkko, and R Koskinen. Bern, Switzerland: Peter Lang.

Web Sources:

Ereshefsky, M. Species. Last updated on 12 June 2007.


The intellectual copyright for accepted papers is retained by the authors, although P&TB reserves the right to republish papers in whatever format or venue it deems appropriate.

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