Editorial Policies

Focus and Scope

‘Paleopathology’ can be defined as the study (logos) of ancient (paleo) suffering (pathos) in both humans (including hominids) and animals. It is a discipline that aims to trace the origin, evolution, and history of disease back over long periods of time, through the study of skeletal and soft-tissue remains, as interpreted in conjunction with contemporary descriptions or representations of disease from documentary and iconographic data, where available. The Journal of Paleopathology is a forum for the publication of articles based upon the study of physical remains —including osseous, dental, preserved soft tissue, and fossilized material— from direct observation to molecular, serological, histological, and radiographic studies, as well as through ancient written sources and iconographic data.

The Journal of Paleopathology is aimed principally toward anyone with a professional interest in the study of human and animal bones. This includes archaeologists, anthropologists, paleopathologists, human and animal bone specialists, and medical historians. We also hope to attract and encourage students and others for whom this field is of serious, but peripheral, interest.

Types of articles:

  • Research Articles: Articles that considered patterns and prevalence rates of a disease within a population and/or those that compare populations, or articles where methodological procedures (e.g., biomolecular or histological analysis) are the focus of the study.
  • Case Studies: Usually brief descriptions or analyses of exceptional or unusual cases, or of a small series of cases.
  • Review Articles: Articles that summarize the current state of understanding on a topic or issue of broad relevance to paleopathology.
  • Media Reviews: Reviews of periodicals, books or other media related to paleopathology. This type of review will normally be solicited by the Editor.
  • Editorials or Invited Commentaries: Commentaries that can deal with a range of topics of interest to the readership of the journal. These commentaries are by invitation from the Editor.

The Journal of Paleopathology will consider supplements based on proceedings (full articles and meetings abstracts), reviews, or research. All manuscripts submitted for publication in supplements are subject to peer review. Published supplements are fully searchable and freely accessible online, and can also be produced in print. For further information, please contact us.

Any submitted manuscript has to follow the safeguarding principles of Good Scientific Practice. Research involving human and animal subjects must have been approved by the Author's institutional review board. In the Methods section, Authors must include a brief statement that identifies the institutional and/or licensing committee that approved the experiments. For experiments involving living human subjects, Authors must also include a statement confirming that informed consent was obtained from all of the subjects. All experiments involving human subjects must have been conducted according to the principles expressed by the World Medical Association and the Declaration of Helsinki.


Section Policies


Peer Review Process

A manuscript submitted to the Journal of Paleopathology will be evaluated initially by the Editor, who can decline it, or choose to assign it to appropriate Reviewers from the Editorial Board or from outside, or to a Section Editor for review. The Section Editor will recruit at least two members of the Editorial Board to give comments, and can call upon outside experts should s/he feel the need.

Based on these reviews, a recommendation will be made for rejection, revision, or acceptance; the final decision lies with the Editor. It is expected that the review period will not exceed four weeks from the date of receipt of the manuscript.

Authors will be able to check the progress of their manuscript through the online submission system at any time, by logging into the journal web site.

Each submitted manuscript is evaluated on the following basis:

  • the originality of its contribution to the field;
  • the soundness of its theory and methodology, given the topic;
  • the coherence of its analysis;
  • its ability to communicate to readers (grammar and style).
Original Research Articles, Case Studies and Review Articles are subjected to full peer review. Media Reviews, Editorials and Invited Commentaries are not peer reviewed.


Publication Frequency

The Journal of Paleopathology is published as three issues per year. The electronic and print publications are issued simultaneous.