Guidelines for Authors and Commentators


Animal Sentience (ASent) is an interdisciplinary journal and welcomes submissions from all academic disciplines. Content should be clear and written in the most accessible language possible. In the interest of maximizing accessibility to commentators and readers from many different specialties, including lay-readers, authors should avoid technical jargon wherever possible. Authors who wish to make additional data available to their readers should indicate, in an explanatory note, where the data, syntax files, or software can be found. Data can also be stored as supplemental files alongside the article.

Who Can Submit?

Authors in any field may submit an original article to be considered for publication, provided that they own the copyright to the work or are authorized by the copyright owner to submit the material. (In general, authors own the copyright to their own original work except when they have agreed to transfer copyright to their employer.)

Commentaries on articles may be invited or freely submitted. All commentaries are subject to editorial review. Most commentaries are accepted, but some may have to be declined because they are abusive, unscholarly, or off-topic.

General Submission Rules

All submitted target articles are eligible for consideration, including updates of articles already published elsewhere but now soliciting Open Peer Commentary in Animal Sentience. Questions or concerns about the submission terms should be directed to Stevan Harnad at .

Commentaries may be either invited or freely submitted.

Repository Policy

Submitted Version – Once a manuscript is submitted, the author(s) should refrain from depositing it in a repository pending a decision from Animal Sentience.

Accepted Version (Author Accepted Manuscript) Authors should wait until the final version is posted on the journal website and can then deposit the posted version in any repository they choose (with appropriate acknowledgement to Animal Sentience) in addition to its storage in the WBI Studies Repository.

Published version (Version of Record) The final version can be published in any repository the author chooses but will also be available from the WBI Studies Repository.

Article Processing Charges

There are no article processing charges for submitted or accepted manuscripts.

Formatting Requirements

Please look at the journal to see how Articles and Commentaries appear. All manuscripts (whether Articles, Commentaries or authors’ Responses) should have a title, a short bio with photo including the author’s full contact information and institutional affiliation (email and website URL), an abstract of about 200 words for Articles (about 100 words for Commentaries), and a minimum of five keywords. Target article manuscripts should be single-spaced Cambria 12pt typeface. References should be formatted according to the latest edition of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association. ASent has no absolute word limits, but the preferred length is 5000 to 10,000 words for Target Articles and 500 to 1000 words for Commentaries.

Authors should provide numbered headings and subheadings to facilitate cross-reference by commentators.

All Articles should be accompanied by a cover letter with (1) your rationale for soliciting open peer Commentary on your Article and (2) a multi-disciplinary list of potential commentators, with their emails and website URLs.

Authors should upload their manuscripts in .doc, .docm or .docx format.

Figures and Tables

Tables should be numbered consecutively and should appear in the body of the text, not at the end of the paper. Figures must be supplied as TIFF, EPS, JPEG, or GIF files and should appear in the body of the text, not at the end of the paper. Every figure and table should have a caption. Strive for clarity and ease of interpretation in tables, and especially in figures; what appears self-explanatory to you might not appear so to the reader. Endnotes and appendices should be grouped together at the end of the paper, and, ideally, locally linked within the text to facilitate access for both the referee and the reader. Any acknowledgments should be placed at the end of the paper.

Citations and References

Bibliographic citations in the text must include the author’s last name and the date of publication, and, in the case of quotations, should include page references. Complete bibliographic information for each citation should be included in the list of references, along with a link to any existing URLs.

References should be in alphabetical order in the style of the following examples. Do not abbreviate journal titles.


Elwood, R. W. (2011). Pain and suffering in invertebrates? ILAR Journal, 175-184. doi:10.1093/ilar.52.2175

Matheson, S. M., Asher, L., & Bateson, M. (2008). Larger, enriched cages are associated with ‘optimistic’ response biases in captive European starlings (Sturnus vulgaris). Applied Animal Behaviour Science, 109, 374–383. doi:10.1016/j.applanim.2007.03.007

Salwiczek, L. H., Prétôt, L., Demarta, L., Proctor, D., Essler, J., Pinto, A. I., & Bshary, R. (2012). Adult Cleaner Wrasse outperform Capuchin Monkeys, chimpanzees and orang-utans in a complex foraging task derived from cleaner - client reef fish cooperation. Plos ONE, 7, 1-9. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0049068

Braithwaite, V. (2010). Do fish feel pain? New York, NY: Oxford University Press.

Authors should also ensure that submissions have been proofread by a native English speaker before submission, as this greatly improves the chances of an Article passing the refereeing stage.

Peer Review Process

Animal Sentience is a journal consisting of “target” articles and “open peer commentary” articles. Target article submissions are first refereed through classical peer review. If accepted for publication, the target article is then accorded open peer commentary. Peer commentary articles are subject to editorial review.

All target articles are refereed by 4-6 peers selected by the Editor for their expertise in the subject matter. The criteria are not only scientific soundness but sufficient importance to warrant according them Open Peer Commentary if accepted for publication.

Once the referee reports are received, the Editor -- in consultation with the editorial board when necessary -- integrates the critique and recommendations in the referee reports, and specifies in a disposition letter what revisions are needed (if the referees judge the paper potentially acceptable for publication) and whether the revision will be re-refereed or just editorially reviewed.

All commentaries are editorially reviewed for relevance and soundness (and sent to 1-2 experts for refereeing if there is any uncertainty about soundness).

Open Peer Commentary

After peer review and acceptance for publication, all Articles will be accorded Open Peer Commentary. The peer commentators are either invited by the editors or can submit a Commentary directly. A Peer Commentary is a mini-article (about 1000 words) with a title, abstract (100 words) and bio. It is subject to editorial review prior to acceptance. Commentaries should be in Calibri 12pt typeface and should be submit using the Commentary Formatting Template.

Author Response to Commentaries

Authors’ Responses to Commentaries resemble Commentaries in format (author, title, abstract, keywords, bio, email, URL). Authors have a choice between (1) responding jointly to multiple Commentaries, in which case the Response, like the Article and each Commentary, should have a title and abstract; or (2) providing a shorter Response to each individual Commentary, which will in that case be appended at the end of the text of each Commentary.

The preferred length for an ASent Author Response to multiple Commentaries is 3,000-5,000 words; normally it should not exceed half the length of the target Article. Commentaries and Responses should have a distinctive and representative (keyword-indexable) title and an abstract summarizing their content as specifically as possible (about 100 words for Commentaries, 200 words for Responses).

Papers Previously Published Elsewhere

Important papers that have already been published elsewhere but are judged especially appropriate for Open Peer Commentary in ASent will occasionally be invited by the editors. Authors can also propose updated versions of previously published papers for re-publication with the agreement of the previous publisher.

Multiple Book Reviews

The service of Open Peer Commentary will be primarily devoted to original, unpublished manuscripts written specifically for treatment by ASent. However, recently published books with contents meeting the standards noted above may also be eligible for Commentary. In these instances, the author should provide a comprehensive, Article-length Précis for publication with the Commentaries and the author’s Response. The Précis has the same format as an Article.

Public Commentary

All published Articles and Commentaries will be available to anyone with online access, and anyone may submit a Commentary. All Commentaries will be reviewed by the editors prior to publication with an effort to publish the reviewed Commentaries within seven days of acceptance. There is no guarantee that a submission will be accepted for publication. Editors may require revisions as a condition for acceptance.

Copyright & Creative Commons

Animal Sentience is an Open Access journal. The default copyright for all target articles and commentary articles is CC-BY, which means that the text can be re-used and re-published as long as the author(s) and the original locus of publication are explicitly cited when re-publishing. Under special circumstances the author may instead request to adopt CC-BY-NC, which requires the citation system as for CC-BY but allows only non-commercial re-use and re-publication.