Cambridge Journal of Human Behaviour

For ALL details about the journal’s scope, direction, and reviewing process, please click the following buttons! See our expandable sections below this section, too!

The Cambridge Journal of Human Behaviour (CJHB) is a student-led, peer-reviewed, interdisciplinary, journal. The journal is open to any undergraduate, internationally and enjoys various contributions from anthropological, psychological, and biological perspectives concerning the journal’s central tenet: human behaviour. Namely, covering the mechanisms and forces behind behaviours, their enactment, and their varied consequences. The journal primarily seeks contributions from the fields of Biological and Social AnthropologyPsychological and Behavioural Sciences, and relevant topics within the Natural Sciences.

We hope to provide a platform and opportunity for cross-fertilisation and interdisciplinarity in which the varying methodological frontiers of disciplines may converge, overlap, bisect, or even jar.

Our focus is on human behaviour, however that may be taken and engaged with (for example, from a phylogenetic and/or ontogenetic account). Our aim is to traverse the “two cultures” that are often imagined as having a “gulf of immutable comprehension” (Snow, 1965) between them; viz. that of the social and natural sciences. Whilst we have decidedly delineated and recommended multiple disciplines to ground and analyse human behaviour, these heuristic distinctions—rather than empirical ones—should come to be understood as “utterly intertwined” (Sapolsky, 2018, p. 5).

By taking a broad definition of behaviour from the Cambridge dictionary as “the way that a person […] behaves in a particular situation or under particular conditions”, writing about human behaviour in this journal should seek to explain (aetiology, motivations, causality, etc.), contextualise (whether in a social environment or a molecular one, for example), and comment on (analyse multifaceted implications) how these behaviours come to be observed and understood. This is all with the necessary caveat of being bound within the epistemology and methodology of the author’s field of inquiry.

Submissions must include: a manuscript of up to 5000 words, maximum; a cover letter; and an abstract. Submissions will be sent to two reviewers who blindly review the author’s work, each sending an evaluation of “accept, minor revision, major revision, or reject” to an editor who sends the author a decision letter with comments (accompanying any reviewers’ comments) for further revisions. From there, authors (if not already accepted) will continue to revise and resubmit their manuscript with the same editor until it is finally passed on to the managing editor for final review. 

This rigorous peer-review format should encourage students to submit original, well-written, and coherent works that may be adapted from previous essay for supervisions (although manuscript titles must be original) or other article submissions, offering students an insight into academic publishing. For more, see the “submission guidelines” and “join the team” in the CJHB Handbook.

For consistency and preparation for more rigorous journals, the CJHB will follow the formatting of the Journal of Experimental Psychology in relation to submissions, referencing (APA 7th Edition), copyediting, and reviewing processes. CJHB is also committed to maintaining the highest standards of publication ethics in line with the University of Cambridge’s policies. All authors must read the submission guidelines before submitting a manuscript. All authors and reviewers should be familiar with the Journal’s Code of Ethics. By doing so, authors agree to follow our publication ethics, including our policies on plagiarism.

ISSN 2753-3506
Journal Type: Diamond Open Access
Review Type: Collaborative, double-blind
Reference Style: APA 7
Published by Cambridge Journal of Human Behaviour, Cambridge, United Kingdom

Check out our HANDBOOK or BELOW for more information!

Peer-Review Process

[The overall reviewing process shown above is simplified. Please note that the diagram does not indicate that associate editors may be in discussion with their managing editor and the appeal process has not been included].

CJHB reviewers are selected by the action editor [typically, the editor-in-chief or managing editor] to review a manuscript on the basis of their expertise in particular content areas of their field. The role of peer reviewer is to highlight unique, original manuscripts that fit within the scope of the journal [after the manuscript has been screened by the managing editor]. To aid the editor’s objectivity, two peer reviewers are selected to evaluate a manuscript. These reviewers should be able to provide fair reviews, free from conflict of interest, as well as submit the reviews on time. 

Whereas the managing editor holds final responsibility for a manuscript, the managing editor usually weighs reviewers’ inputs heavily. Authors can expect their manuscripts to be reviewed fairly, in a skilled, conscientious manner. The comments received should be constructive, respectful and specific. Reviewers must present a clear decision recommendation regarding publication, considering the quality of the manuscript, its contribution, and its appropriateness for the particular journal; support the recommendation with a detailed, comprehensive analysis of the quality and coherence of the study’s conceptual basis, methods, results, and interpretations; and offer specific constructive suggestions to authors.

Journal editors may request that reviewers evaluate manuscripts based on specific criteria, which may vary across journals or for non-empirical article types, such as commentaries or reviews [this is particularly poignant for the “hard” sciences in which students are not expected to carry out their own experiments or primary data collection].

The editor and reviewers scan the paper to gain an independent view of the work. This “quick read” provides a foundation for the more thorough reading that follows – it by no means determines the final decision, but does parallel how authors can expect many reviewers (and readers) to approach their papers.

First, the editor scans the paper from beginning to end for obvious flaws in the research substance and writing style. If problems show on the surface, a deeper reading is likely to uncover other matters needing attention.

After this initial examination of your manuscript, the editor and peer reviewers, will follow these general guidelines:

Read the abstract

Major problems in the abstract often reflect internal flaws.

The major goal in reading the abstract is to understand the subject matter.

  • Is it clearly defined, relevant, and supported by the methodology?
  • What is the sense of the research question, methodology, findings, and interpretations?

APA [and this journal’s] publication policy emphasises conclusion-oriented abstracts: What did the research find, and what do the findings mean?

Examine the full manuscript
  • How long is the Introduction [and Discussion, if applicable] section relative to other sections of the paper?
  • Does the paper adhere to [the] journal-specific guidelines?

These guidelines can be on the Submission Guidelines in this handbook.

Scan the paper’s headings
  • Are they well organised?
  • Does a clear structure emerge?

If not, the author has not achieved coherence

Scan the references
  • Are they in APA Style?

If not, the author is not using APA publication format.

Scan the tables and figures
  • Do they portray the information clearly?
  • Can they stand alone without captions?
  • Are they well constructed and in APA Style?

A “no” to any of these questions suggests problems in the author’s presentation of findings.

  • If the text contains a large number of statistics, could they be more appropriately put into tables or figures?

The associate editor drafting the decision letter should be synthesising the input from multiple reviewers into a cohesive list of improvements that should be made to the manuscript. Any comments from the reviewers will be appended to the official decision letter. 

These categories constitute the editorial actions that may be taken on a manuscript. 


The flaws that lead to this decision generally centre on substantive or methodological issues. A manuscript is usually rejected because it is outside the area of coverage of the journal; it contains serious flaws of design, methodology, analysis, or interpretation; or it is judged to make only a limited novel contribution to the journal.

Revise and resubmit [with minor or major revision feedback]

In most cases, manuscripts may have publication potential but are not yet ready for final publication. The study as presented may not merit acceptance as is but may warrant consideration after substantive revision (e.g., reorganising the conceptual structure, […] or modifying analyses).

The editor will give the author an invitation to revise and resubmit for another round of reviews (usually with the same reviewers). An editor cannot guarantee acceptance of a revised manuscript, but authors who respond flexibly and attend closely to suggested revisions enhance their chances for an acceptance.

Authors [are strongly advised to] include a detailed cover letter outlining their responses to the revisions. Authors may receive this decision multiple times prior to acceptance.


In very few cases, a manuscript may be accepted for publication on first reading, with only minor revisions required. More typically, acceptances follow the successful revision of a manuscript previously rejected with invitation to revise and submit.

Once a manuscript is accepted and appropriate paperwork has been obtained, it enters the production phase of publication. At this point, no further changes can be made by the author other than those suggested by the copyeditor [who is likely to be either the reviewers and/or the editor].

Guidelines for Effective Manuscript Evaluation (from Psychotherapy, 2010)

Peer review ethics: Six things every author should know (Johnson, Vaccaro, & Barnold, 2018)

Current Peer Review Trends and Standards (from Responsible Conduct of Research, 2008)

If your manuscript is rejected, and if you believe a pertinent point was overlooked or misunderstood by the reviewers, you may appeal the editorial decision by contacting the editor responsible for the manuscript.

The editor might then decide to send the appeal to the [associate] editor who handled the initial submission. If the author is still unhappy with the appeal results, they may request for the managing editor to give a final decision on the appeal.

The following section was directly taken and copied from the American Psychology Association’s page entitled “Journal of Experimental Psychology: General” (2022).

Prior to submission, please carefully read and follow the submission guidelines detailed below. Manuscripts that do not conform to the submission guidelines may be returned without review. 

IMPORTANT: By submitting a manuscript you agree to follow the procedures outlined below and to follow our publication ethics and agree to follow our plagiarism disclaimer. If manuscripts are found to breach these terms, they will be sent for review by the Editorial Board and reported to the relevant departments, respectively. Consequences may ensue for those who breach these rules. 

To submit to the editorial team, please submit manuscripts electronically via our website under the “SUBMIT” header item.

Prepare manuscripts according to the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association using the 7th edition. 

The file format should be either in Microsoft Word Format (.doc or .docx) or Portable Document Format (.pdf).

In a cover letter, [you may] provide the following information:

  • a brief paragraph summarising how the work might be of broad, general interest or appeal to more than one traditional area of [enquiry];
  • a list of 3-5 appropriate reviewers with no conflict of interest, explaining what their relevant expertise is and a list of non-preferred reviewers (no explanation is necessary but is welcomed)—please note that you will need to provide this information during the submission form, too;
  • a general positionality statement to provide transparency on the author’s attitude towards their manuscript’s topic (particularly if your manuscript contains sensitive material or might be affiliated with a particular sociopolitical movement, for example); and
  • ethical approval code(s) for any primary data that has been used.

On the first page of the manuscript, provide a word count [5000 maximum] for the text excluding title, references, author affiliations [department, university], acknowledgements, figures and figure legends, but including the abstract. If you have a web link to data or materials, please include it in your author note on the title page.

Graphs and tables should include error bars that are clearly labelled in the figure legend, and tables should also provide clearly labelled measures of variability (the use of confidence intervals is encouraged, and ranges may be more appropriate for small samples).

In addition to phone numbers, please supply email addresses for potential use by the editorial team.

Keep a copy of the manuscript as a guard against loss.

General correspondence may be directed to the editorial team by getting in contact with one of our editors or the editor-in-chief.

Masked reviews are optional. If you want a masked review, please indicate this in the email upon submission. You will still include authors’ names and affiliations on the title page, though reviewers will not have access to it. They will only see the main manuscript text and any supplemental file(s). Please be sure to also include this information in the cover letter.

Footnotes that identify the authors should also be removed from the manuscript and can be included in the cover letter. Authors should make every effort to see that the manuscript itself contains no clue to their identities.

If your manuscript was mask reviewed, please ensure that the final version for production includes a byline and full author note for typesetting.

Prepare manuscripts according to the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association using the 7th edition. Manuscripts may be copyedited for bias-free language (see Chapter 5 of the Publication Manual).

Review APA’s Journal Manuscript Preparation Guidelines before submitting your article.

Double-space all copy. Other formatting instructions, as well as instructions on preparing tables, figures, references, metrics, and abstracts, appear in the Manual. Additional guidance on APA Style is available on the APA Style website.

Below are additional instructions regarding the preparation of display equations, computer code, and tables.

Display equations

We strongly encourage you to use MathType (third-party software) or Equation Editor 3.0 (built into pre-2007 versions of Word) to construct your equations, rather than the equation support that is built into Word 2007 and Word 2010. Equations composed with the built-in Word 2007/Word 2010 equation support are converted to low-resolution graphics when they enter the production process and must be rekeyed by the typesetter, which may introduce errors.

To construct your equations with MathType or Equation Editor 3.0:

  • Go to the Text section of the Insert tab and select Object.
  • Select MathType or Equation Editor 3.0 in the drop-down menu.

If you have an equation that has already been produced using Microsoft Word 2007 or 2010 and you have access to the full version of MathType 6.5 or later, you can convert this equation to MathType by clicking on MathType Insert Equation. Copy the equation from Microsoft Word and paste it into the MathType box. Verify that your equation is correct, click File, and then click Update. Your equation has now been inserted into your Word file as a MathType Equation.

Use Equation Editor 3.0 or MathType only for equations or for formulas that cannot be produced as Word text using the Times or Symbol font.

Computer code

Because altering computer code in any way (e.g., indents, line spacing, line breaks, page breaks) during the typesetting process could alter its meaning, we treat computer code differently from the rest of your article in our production process. To that end, we request separate files for computer code.

If you would like to include code in the text of your published manuscript, please submit a separate file with your code exactly as you want it to appear, using Courier New font with a type size of 8 points. We will make an image of each segment of code in your article that exceeds 40 characters in length. (Shorter snippets of code that appear in text will be typeset in Courier New and run in with the rest of the text.) If an appendix contains a mix of code and explanatory text, please submit a file that contains the entire appendix, with the code keyed in 8-point Courier New.


Use Word’s insert table function when you create tables. Using spaces or tabs in your table will create problems when the table is typeset and may result in errors.

LaTex files

LaTex files (.tex) should be uploaded with all other files such as BibTeX Generated Bibliography File (.bbl) or Bibliography Document (.bib) together in a compressed ZIP file folder for the manuscript submission process. In addition, a Portable Document Format (.pdf) of the manuscript file must be uploaded for the peer-review process.

All manuscripts must include an abstract containing a maximum of 250 words typed on a separate page. After the abstract, please supply up to five keywords or brief phrases.

List references in alphabetical order. Each listed reference should be cited in text, and each text citation should be listed in the references section. APA 7th Edition.

Examples of basic reference formats:

Journal article

McCauley, S. M., & Christiansen, M. H. (2019). Language learning as language use: A cross-linguistic model of child language development. Psychological Review, 126(1), 1-51.

Authored book

Brown, L. S. (2018). Feminist therapy (2nd ed.). American Psychological Association.

Chapter in an edited book

Balsam, K. F., Martell, C. R., Jones, K. P., & Safren, S. A. (2019). Affirmative cognitive behaviour therapy with sexual and gender minority people. In G. Y. Iwamasa & P. A. Hays (Eds.), Culturally responsive cognitive behavior therapy: Practice and supervision (2nd ed., pp. 287-314). American Psychological Association.

Data set citation

Alegria, M., Jackson, J. S., Kessler, R. C., & Takeuchi, D. (2016). Collaborative Psychiatric Epidemiology Surveys (CPES), 2001-2003 [Data set]. Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research.

Software/Code citation

Viechtbauer, W. (2010). Conducting meta-analyses in R with the metafor package. Journal of Statistical Software, 36(3), 1-48.

All data, program code and other methods must be appropriately cited in the text and listed in the references section. Examples of the correct form are above.

Graphic files are welcomed if supplied as Tiff or EPS files. Multipanel figures (i.e., figures with parts labelled a, b, c, d, etc.) should be assembled into one file.

The minimum line weight for line art is 0.5 point for optimal printing.

For more information about acceptable resolutions, fonts, sizing, and other figure issues, please see the general guidelines.

When possible, please place symbol legends below the figure instead of to the side.

Manuscript review appeals is described here.

Plagiarism of any other work is strictly forbidden; please cite and reference appropriately. See our plagiarism section.

Any text or material published in any published article must not be subsequently used in any answer for any exam (Tripos or otherwise), here at the University of Cambridge. Given the journal being in the public domain, plagiarism of any sorts is not tolerated and exam answers may be subject to plagiarism checks with relevant departments. Our publication ethics should also be observed and enacted by all readers, authors, reviewers, and editors. Similarly, authors must not plagiarise any material that is not their own unpublished work; otherwise appropriate citations and referencing should be employed where necessary (please see references). 

As previously mentioned, undergraduate dissertations and projects may be submitted; however, only after they have been marked and the author has obtained approval from their respective supervisor(s).

CJHB is committed to ensuring the protection of dignity, rights, safety, and welfare of readers, authors, peer-reviewers, and editors. All manuscripts will undergo ethical scrutiny and any conflicts of interests between any authors, reviewers, and/or editors should be explicitly stated and will be appropriately addressed. Should readers feel a publication is in breach of our publication ethics, they are encouraged to visit our reporting page on the contact page on our website. Similarly, reviewers and editors should contact the relevant people on the Editorial Board. Importantly, all ethical scrutiny will be undertaken by the Editorial Board and appropriate responses and consequences will follow.

Any submitted manuscripts that are discriminatory or prejudiced of any nature including, for example, concerns surrounding race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender and gender reassignment, religion and belief, disability etc. and/or following antiquated paradigms such as social evolutionism will immediately be rejected. The journal is committed to ensuring that no promotion of discrimination of any legally protected characteristics, as found in the Equality Act, is found within the journal. This is in addition to the University of Cambridge’s Statement on Freedom of Speech.

The following sections are taken and modelled from Cambridge University Press’s guideline document, Publication Ethics: Academic Research (2021). Certain sentences and sections have been omitted or appropriately altered to account for the journal’s scope and range of practices. In turn, many of these guidelines are modelled on the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) which also offers interactive flowcharts of various concerns for readers, reviewers, or editors.

For concerns around post-publication and published articles, please see our important disclaimer: plagiarism

We uphold the same high standards as our University, and expect research published by the journal to abide by the principles within the University’s Research Integrity Statement. 

These principles cover: 

  • honesty in all aspects of research; 
  • scrupulous care, thoroughness and excellence in research practice; 
  • transparency and open communication; 
  • care and respect for all participants in and subjects of research; 
  • accountability both for one’s own research integrity and that of others when behaviour falls short of our standards.

It is a submission requirement to send, within the cover letter, an ethics approval code of any primary data that has been used, where applicable. 

Ethics board and ethics approval code needed when authors submit. Submission requirement. (Animal and human testing).

We do not tolerate abusive behaviour or correspondence towards our team and others involved in the publishing process. If anyone involved in this process engages in such behaviour we reserve the right to take action to protect others from this abuse. This may include, for example, withdrawal of a manuscript from consideration, or challenging clearly abusive peer review comments.

Peer review is critical to maintaining the standards of our publications. We:

  • provide appropriate systems, training, and support to facilitate rigorous, fair, and effective peer review for all our publications;
  • encourage our editors and peer reviewers to familiarise themselves with and act in accordance with relevant best practice guidelines on peer review. For journal editors and peer reviewers, please refer to COPE’s Ethical Guidelines for Peer Reviewers;
  • expect those who oversee the peer review process to be able to recognise warning signs of fraudulent or manipulated peer review, and to raise any concerns by emailing the editor-in-chief. People who oversee the peer review process may be contracted by us directly or by application process;
  • support our editors and peer reviewers in investigating and acting on any suspected cases of manipulated or fraudulent peer review;
  • protect the confidentiality of participants in the peer review process where anonymity is required. 

Where research data [or borrowed data] are collected or presented as images, modifying these images can sometimes misrepresent the results obtained or their significance. We recognise that there can be legitimate reasons for modifying images, but we expect authors to avoid modifying images where this leads to the falsification, fabrication, or misrepresentation of their results.