About the Journal

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Focus and Scope

BIOLINGUISTICS is a peer-reviewed journal exploring theoretical linguistics that takes the biological foundations of human language seriously. The Advisory Board and the Editorial Board are made up of leading scholars from all continents in the fields of theoretical linguistics, language acquisition, language change, theoretical biology, genetics, philosophy of mind, and cognitive psychology.

BIOLINGUISTICS seeks to disseminate research globally to theoretically minded linguists, linguistically minded biologists, cognitive scientists in general, and anyone else with an interest in the scientific study of language. The journal is concerned with the exploration of issues related to theory formation within the biolinguistic program of generative grammar as well as results drawn from experimental studies in psycho- and neurolinguistics or cognition at large.

BIOLINGUISTICS is conceived as an interactive online journal, not an electronic version of a traditional print publication. With volume 7 (2013), the journal publishes accepted material as soon as it is ready for publication.

BIOLINGUISTICS considers only original manuscripts and does not review articles that have been published or are under consideration for publication elsewhere. From 2019 onwards, we also accept Registered Reports in addition to regular articles.

BIOLINGUISTICS has its own ISSN (1450-3417) and is abstracted and indexed in the usual places:

Article Types

BIOLINGUISTICS currently publishes articles of the following types:

  • Article: Regular articles reporting original empirical research (including replications) or detailing theoretical advances. All submissions undergo double-blind peer-review.
  • Registered Report: Articles reporting original empirical research (including replications) in accordance with our guidelines for Registered Reports. All submissions undergo double-blind peer-review twice, once prior to in-principle acceptance and a second time after the study has been carried out.
  • Brief: Brief reports of original research or theoretical developments, focusing on a single aspect of a subject matter. All submissions undergo double-blind peer-review.
  • Review: Reviews of books and other relevant media. Submissions are peer-reviewed.
  • Forum: Opinion pieces of varying length, discussing original research, theoretical developments, or other relevant issues, published in BIOLINGUISTICS or elsewhere. Submissions are reviewed by members of the Editorial Board or Advisory Board. In addition, they may be sent for external review at the discretion of the Editor-in-Chief.

Peer Review Process

Every submission to BIOLINGUISTICS will be screened for relevance and topicality by the Editor-in-Chief, before it is being passed on to an Associate Editor who will handle the submission throughout the peer-review process.

Schematic of peer-review process at BIOLINGUISTICS.
Submissions deemed suitable for review will be sent to at least two external peer-reviewers. In addition, the handling Associate Editor or the Editor-in-Chief may decide to sent the manuscript to a suitable member of the Editorial Board or Advisory Board for further evaluation. This entire process always adheres to the principle of double blind peer-review. The handling Associate Editor will consult with the Editor-in-Chief to reach a decision on the manuscript on grounds of the external reviews and, if applicable, the additional review from a member of the Editorial Board or Advisory Board.

Peer reviews can be expected within 6-8 weeks of submission.

Conflict of Interest Policy

The following policy applies to everyone contributing to BIOLINGUISTICS in one way or another, be it by submitting their work to the journal, reviewing a manuscript, or handling a submission as an editor.


  • Must ensure that their work is original and written by them.
  • Are required to state that their work has no previously been published in or submitted to another journal.
  • Must ensure that material taken from other sources is clearly identified as such and properly referenced.
  • My only submit work that does not infringe on the copyright and intellectual property rights of others in any way.
  • Make sure that their data is true and not manipulated, as well as that it is their own and not owned by others (or that they have permission to use it).
  • All sources of funding for the research reported in the submission, including supply of equipment or materials, or any other support should be disclosed in the manuscript. In case of acceptance, this information will be part of the online publication metadata and will may be listed in an article’s numberless footnote on the first page alongside other acknowledgements.
  • If there are no conflicts, then the metadata manuscript should include a statement certifying this.
  • It is the corresponding author’s responsibility to ensure that each of their co-authors is aware of this policy.
  • If a previously unrecognized conflict of interest is discovered after publication, authors are expected to submit a correction which will be published as a corrigendum in the Forum section of the journal’s current issue.
  • Are required to adhere to the ethics guidelines of their respective (sub-)discipline as well as the Informed Consent as well as Human and Animal Rights policies implemented at BIOLINGUISTICS.


  • Must maintain the confidentiality of the review process.
  • Must ensure that they conduct themselves fairly and impartially, despite that fact that they may belong to a different school of thought than the authors of the manuscript under conversation. When a reviewer is in doubt as to whether their evaluation of the manuscript is conducted in a fair and impartial manner they should contact the handling Associate Editor to resolve the issue.
  • Reviewers should disclose all possible conflicts of interest to the Associate Editor handling the manuscript. Possible conflicts of interest can may be financial or non-financial in nature, as well as related to direct competitive or collaborative relationships with the authors or their organizations.
  • The review process at BIOLINGUISTICS is double-blind. Yet, if a reviewer were to recognize or guess the identity of the author of a manuscript due to its content despite removal of the author-related information, having been removed this should be disclosed to the Associate Editor handling the submission in order to determine whether a conflict of interest pertains.


  • All editors required to maintain and promote consistent ethical policies for the journal and are responsible for overseeing and enacting said policies in they work in a fair an consistent manner.
  • Associate Editors should disclose to the Editor-in-Chief any conflicts of interest before accepting to handle a submission. Possible conflicts of interest can may be financial or non-financial in nature, as well as related to direct competitive or collaborative relationships with the authors or their organizations.
  • If the Associate Editor thinks that such a possible conflict of interest may affect the objective evaluation of the manuscript, they should decline handling the submission. If in doubt, the Associate Editor is encouraged to consult with the Editor-in-Chief.
  • An Associate Editor should avoid sending a manuscript to reviewers who have known conflicts of interest that could interfere with objective evaluation of the manuscript.
  • Submissions to BIOLINGUISTICS by an Associate Editor are handled in such a way so that the details of the review process other than those usually accessible to authors are not disclosed to them.

Human and Animal Rights

All research submitted to BIOLINGUISTICS must have been carried out within an appropriate ethical framework and should comply with institutional, national, or and international guides if such have been issued. Experimental studies submitted to BIOLINGUISTICS involving human or animal subjects are required to have been evaluated and approved by an independent ethics committee (or similar equivalent review board). This requirement does not apply to studies using traditional linguistic techniques for data collection such as, for example, elicitation of responses by native speakers of a language, unless otherwise required by regulations at the authors’ institution and/or local legal regulations.

A manuscript may be rejected on ethical grounds if the handling Associate Editor and/or the Editor-in-Chief have reason to doubt that the research was carried out within an appropriate ethical framework despite having been approved by an independent ethics committee.

Publication Frequency

Volume 1 (2007) was a single issue published on December 3, 2007. From 2008, the journal BIOLINGUISTICS aimed to publish four issues of similar length per calendar year. Occasionally, but no more than once per volume, a double issue was published, typically as a special issue commissioned to guest editors.

Since 2013, BIOLINGUISTICS has published accepted material as soon as a fully formatted version has been accepted. All articles, briefs, registered reports, reviews, and forum pieces will become available online immediately when accepted and collected in a single volume per year.

Open Access Policy

BIOLINGUISTICS is a platinum open access journal: Anyone can read everything published for free, without the need to subscribe, and there are no article processing charges (APCs) or submission fees.


While BIOLINGUISTICS is a platinum open access journal: everything is available freely and immediately to anyone interested, without any article processing charges for authors. Yet, publishing a journal requires a lot of work and infrastructure. All these costs associated with publishing are covered by the benevolence of others, such as through volunteer work, donations, subsidies, grants, etc.

BIOLINGUISTICS is not funded or substantially supported by any organization. If you want to donate, please get in touch with the Editor-in-Chief. All help is appreciated.