Journal of Genetic Genealogy

Enriching our world
through citizen science.

1 Journal of Genetic Genealogy An independent online journal that publishes original work involving genealogical applications of genetic test results.
2 News for and by a world-wide community JoGG accepts submissions in the form of Brief Communications, Scientific Reports, Case Studies, Review Articles and Letters to the Editor.
3 Y-DNA Testing of the Fox Paper Trail >Simply dummy text of the printing and typesetting industry. it has been the industry's standard dummy text ever since the 1500s, when an unknown printer took a galley of type and scrambled it to make a type specimen book. It has survived not only five centuries, but also the leap into electronic typesetting, remaining essentially unchanged.

Instructions for Authors

JoGG accepts submissions in the form of Brief Communications, Scientific Reports, Case Studies, and Review Articles. Letters to the Editor are also heartily welcomed. Authors are invited to communicate with the Editor prior to writing an article for feedback on its appropriateness for publication in JoGG. Please adhere to the guidelines below when submitting a manuscript.

A submitted manuscript must be essentially unique, i.e., it must present information not published (or to be published later) elsewhere in substantially the same form in English or any other language. However, previously published data that is analyzed in a new or different way may be appropriate for inclusion in JoGG. Material is published in the Journal pursuant to a Creative Commons license ( and can be shared under those terms. Complete pdfs of articles can be redistributed freely as “reprints”, and portions of a paper may be reproduced with proper attribution.

Each submission should be emailed as an attachment to Leah Larkin, Editor, at jogg (at) by the corresponding author. The body of the email constitutes a cover letter (see below). A return email will acknowledge receipt, and that date will be considered the date of submission to JoGG. The author(s) will be asked to sign a publication agreement, which, among other things, confirms that the author retains the copyright for the article. The review process will begin immediately, and authors will receive information on the paper’s status as soon as it is available. "Early Edition" pre-prints of accepted articles will appear online as soon as the review process is complete.

The Editor or an Associate Editor (hereafter, editor) will evaluate each new submission. Those considered appropriate will be assigned to an editor, who will shepherd the manuscript through the review process. The editor will solicit two or more peer reviews, outline any revisions necessary, and make a final decision regarding publication. Authors may request a specific editor and are encouraged to suggest appropriate peer reviewers (with their contact information), with the understanding that these decisions are ultimately made by the Board.

The peer review process often yields many suggestions for improvement from the reviewers and the editor, and revisions to the manuscript are often necessary. Authors should not submit an article for review unless they are prepared to address in good faith these comments. Authors are not required to accept every reviewer recommendation, but explanations are required when recommendations are declined. The Editor will decide whether the responses by the author have adequately addressed each suggestion and retains the right to refuse publication if one or more of the responses are deemed inadequate. The revised form of the manuscript should be as close to the final form as possible. The final version will be converted to pdf format and will be sent back to the author for approval as “page proofs.”

Reviewers involved in the peer review process will be anonymous. However, all reviewers will be acknowledged as a group in the closing issue of each year, if they so wish.

Manuscript Types

Brief Communications are short presentations (1500 words or fewer in the body of the manuscript) of new findings. The abstract should be no more than 150 words, and the body is not divided by headings. Up to two figures and tables are allowed.

Scientific Reports are full-length research articles that present important new discoveries in genetic genealogy. There is no word limit, but readability is important. Reports include an Abstract (300 words or fewer), Introduction, Methods, Results, Discussion (or a combined Results and Discussion), Acknowledgments, Conflicts of Interest, and References. Up to two levels of subheadings may be used in the Methods, Results, and Discussion.

Case Studies are welcomed if they illustrate an unusual success story, present a new method of analysis, or would otherwise be of general interest to the genealogical community. Individual surname studies generally fall into this category. Case Studies are subject to the same general guidelines as Scientific Reports, except that the names of the headings are at the discretion of the author.

Reviews on topics relevant to the journal’s scope are welcomed. They will receive the same peer review as articles. Please communicate with the Editor if you wish to write a review for JoGG.

Letters to the Editor should concern articles or reviews appearing in JoGG, a topic of current importance to the genetic genealogy/anthropology community, or short news items of interest to JoGG's readers. Letters should contain 500 or fewer words, excluding the reference list (7 references maximum), one figure or table, and the submitter’s full name and email address. A Letter responding to an article previously published in JoGG will be peer reviewed and also sent to the corresponding author of the referenced paper, whose response may be published along with the Letter. References to the work of others must be properly cited.

Editorials express opinions relevant to the genetic genealogy community. They are usually requested by members of the Editorial Board, but an author may submit an unsolicited editorial which may or may not receive outside review. Editorials are typically about 1000 words (excluding references) and may contain one figure or table.

Columns are regular features solicited by Editorial Board and written by designated individuals.

Book Reviews will generally be requested by members of the Editorial Board, but if you would like to review a book for JoGG, please communicate with the Editor. If you would like a book to be considered for review, please send two complimentary copies to the Editor along with a cover letter. The copies cannot be returned and do not guarantee that a review will be considered, written, or published.

Notices Brief notices of meetings of particular interest to JoGG readers are welcomed.

Manuscript Formatting and Organization

Manuscripts should be in Microsoft Word format, double spaced, in the following order, with each item starting on a new page: Title Page, Abstract, body of the manuscript, Supplementary Information, Acknowledgments, Conflicts of Interest, References, Tables (one per page), and Figures (one per page). The pages should be numbered consecutively, starting with the title page.

Write in English, using standard language that is free of colloquial words or phrases. Informal “shortening” of terms is discouraged—use the term “modal haplotypes” rather than “modals.” Spelling may follow British or American English conventions, but not a mixture of both. Define all abbreviations (except those listed below) the first time they are used in the text and again in each table and figure.

JoGG addresses an international audience. Religio- or ethno-centric terminology should be avoided except where necessary to describe populations under study. Where ambiguity exists, dates should be specified as CE or BCE (“common era” or “before common era”), except when quoting, where the original source should be followed exactly. BCE follows the year (e.g., the year 175 BCE), while CE precedes it (e.g., the year CE 1492). Use metric units (except when quoting or where necessary to avoid confusion); quantities in other units may be included in parentheses.

When referring to clade or haplogroup names, the binary polymorphism that defines the clade (e.g., J-M67) is preferred over the hierarchical form (e.g., J2a1b), because the latter will often change with new discoveries, whereas the former will not. Up to three letters of the hierarchical form may be used with the binary polymorphism at the author's discretion (e.g., J2a-M67). When citing or quoting from articles that used an obsolete hierarchical name, the older name may be mentioned as being used at the time, but the current name should be the primary one used. Hierarchical names should generally follow those on the ISOGG web site (, and the year or version of the ISOGG site should be stated.

Cover Letter The body of the email to which the manuscript is attached will serve as a cover letter. The first paragraph should state the title of the manuscript, the type of submission (e.g., Research Article), and the subject area (e.g., Y-STRs, Y-SNPs, mtDNA, autosomal DNA, etc.). The next paragraph should summarize the key points of the article and explain why it is suitable for publication in JoGG. The third paragraph should state who financed all or part of study and describe any conflicts of interest, such as business relationships with a genetic testing company. Finally, the cover letter must state that the article is not under consideration by any other journal and that all authors (if more than one) agree to the submission to JoGG. You may also request a specific editor and/or suggest appropriate peer reviewers (with their contact information) in the cover letter. All authors must be carbon copied on the email.

Title Page The first page of the manuscript file states the general subject area (see Cover Letter, above), title (150 characters or fewer; full names, affiliations, and postal addresses of all authors; and complete contact information (mailing address, email address, phone number) of the corresponding author. The Conflicts of Interest statement (see below) appears here, as well as in the body of the manuscript. Also provide a short title (10 words or fewer) to be used as a running head at the tops of pages and a list of 3–10 key words for indexing. The title page is the first numbered page.

Abstract The Abstract is a single paragraph (300 words or fewer; 150 words or fewer for Brief Communications) that conveys the study's importance to the genetic genealogical community. It should include brief statements on purpose, methodology, subjects, findings and conclusions. Do not use citations or undefined abbreviations (with the exception of those listed below). The Abstract is generally written last, after the rest of the article has been drafted.

Body of the Manuscript Scientific Reports begin with an Introduction section that briefly describes the rationale for the study and summarizes previous work on the subject. The Methods must provide enough detail to enable a similarly trained colleague to repeat the study. Describe new methods in full, while citing protocols that have been previously published. The Results should describe all of the data or analytical results used as evidence for the study's conclusions. The Methods and Results are written in the past tense. The Discussion should interpret the results to justify the major conclusions of the study. Those conclusions should be placed in the larger context of the field and should lead to suggestions for future work to advance genetic genealogy. The Discussion should also address any weaknesses in the study and how they might have affected the interpretation. The Results and Discussion may be combined into a single section. Subheadings are allowed in all sections but the Introduction.

Brief communications follow a similar organization but without headings and subheadings. Case Studies and Reviews should begin with an Introduction; subsequent sections are labeled at the discretion of the author(s).

Supplementary information list any supporting documents, such as data files, step-by-step methods, or links to software, here.

Acknowledgments Use this section to thank non-authors for their contributions to the project. Authors are responsible for ensuring that each person listed has agreed to have their name published. Funding sources and grant numbers, if applicable, are also listed here.

Conflicts of Interest Any financial or personal relationship that might be perceived to influence the presentation or interpretation of the results must be disclosed here and on the Title Page. Potential conflicts include, but are not limited to: employment, consulting fees, or business referrals; stock ownership; service on an advisory committee or board of directors; and close family relationships, such as a partner or parent/child.

References Sources are cited in the text using the author–year system. Full citations are listed alphabetically, by the first author's surname, under the heading References at the end of the article. The authors are responsible for ensuring that all citations are correct. Some examples are provided below for when the author's name is and is not part of the sentence.

Source In-text citation Full citation in References


Cavalli-Sforza et al. (1994, p. 167) concluded that ...
(Cavali-Sforza, et al., 1994, p. 167)
Cavalli-Sforza LL, Menozzi P, Piazza A (1994) The history and geography of human genes. Princeton Univ. Press, Princeton NJ.

Journal article

Jobling and Tyler-Smith (2000)
(Jobling & Tyler-Smith, 2000)
Jobling MA, Tyler-Smith C (2000) New uses for new haplotypes: the human Y chromosome, disease and selection. Trend Genet, 6:356-362.

Electronic database

Empop (2016)
(Empop, 2016)
Note: Year as in full citation
Empop mtDNA database,, accessed 2 Apr 2016.
Note: Date when the database was accessed.

Tables Present tables, one per page, here. Tables may be single- or double-spaced in a font size that is large enough to read easily. Tables are numbered in the order of appearance in the text with an Arabic numeral, followed by a brief title (15 words or less) in bold, e.g., Table 1. Sample sizes for each category. A more detailed description, in plain text, is optional. Do not use vertical lines within the table and use horizontal lines sparingly. Provide units of measurement, and define all abbreviations in footnotes.

Figure Legends and Figures Figures are numbered with Arabic numerals in the order in which they appear in the manuscript. Each has a brief title (15 words or less) in bold, followed by a more detailed description, e.g., Figure 2. Phylogeny of Y chromosome haplogroups. Figures can be embedded in the manuscript file or sent as separate attachments. If included, present them one per page with the figure above its legend. If the figures are sent separately, list all of the figure legends, in order, at this point in the manuscript file. If any part of a figure has been published elsewhere, permission to use it should be obtained from the original author and publisher.

Abbreviations Define all abbreviations in parentheses, e.g., single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP), the first time they are used in the abstract, again in the text, and in the tables and figure legends, then use the abbreviation consistently thereafter. Do not define abbreviations unless they are used at least three times in the text.

Standard abbreviations that do not require definition include: