Animal Sentience: An Interdisciplinary Journal on Animal Feeling

Author Guidelines


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 for readers from diverse backgrounds, including lay-readers, authors should avoid technical jargon whenever practical (e.g., replacing “affective states” with “emotions”). 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.

All manuscripts (whether articles or commentaries) must contain a title page with the author’s full contact information and institutional affiliation (including email and website URL), an abstract of 200 words or less (for articles; 50-100 words for commentaries), and a minimum of five keywords. Manuscripts should be single-spaced and formatted according to the latest edition of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association. There is no absolute word limit, but we will favor manuscripts of 5,000 words or less (for articles; 1000 words or less for commentaries). Authors must also 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 (if accepted) 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 separate TIFF, EPS, JPEG, or GIF files. 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 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.

Open Peer Commentary

After peer review and acceptance for publication, all articles will be accorded open peer commentary phase. The target article will be made available to peer-commentators, who have either been invited by the editors or have expressed interest in providing a commentary. Peer commentaries will be subject to an editorial review. To be eligible for publication, a target article should not only meet the standards of a scholarly journal in terms of conceptual rigor, empirical grounding, and clarity of style, but it should also include an explicit 500-word rationale for soliciting Commentary and a multidisciplinary list of suggested commentators—including the e-mail addresses and website URLs of the commentators.

Author Response to Commentaries

Article authors should follow the Commentary Response Instructions. They have a choice between responding jointly to multiple commentaries, in which the responses, like the article and commentaries, must have a title and abstract; or authors can choose to do a shorter response on individual commentaries, which will in that case be appended at the end of the text of the commentary.

Papers Previously Published Elsewhere

Important papers that have already been published elsewhere but are judged especially appropriate for open peer commentary in Animal Sentience 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.

Public Commentary

All published articles and commentaries will be available to anyone with online access, and anyone may submit comments. All comments will be reviewed by the editors prior to publication, with efforts made to publish the reviewed comments within seven days. There is no guarantee that any comment will be accepted for publication. Editors may require revisions as a condition for acceptance for publication.

The preferred length for an ASent Response is 3,000-5,000 words, but it should not exceed half the length of the target article. Commentators should supply a distinctive and representative (keyword-indexable) title and an abstract of approximately 150 words summarizing as specifically as possible the content of their contribution.