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Human Development



About the Journal

Aims and Scope

Distinguished by its international recognition since 1958, Human Development publishes theoretical and metatheoretical contributions to the study of psychological development, including conceptually, historically, and methodologically oriented integrative reviews of lines of developmental research. Contributions serve to raise theoretical issues, flesh out interesting and potentially powerful ideas, and conceptually differentiate key constructs within developmental science. Contributions come primarily from developmental psychology but are welcome from other relevant disciplines. Descriptions of empirical evidence to support theoretical arguments or help integrate issues of theory, methods, and evidence (especially across disciplines) are also welcome but only insofar as they are employed for strictly illustrative purposes in the service of a conceptual contribution to the field.

Article Types


Human Development welcomes theoretical and conceptual articles that include consideration of how empirical investigation might inform the theoretical issues being debated. Contributions are welcomed from varied disciplines, including developmental psychology, neuroscience, evolutionary psychology, anthropology, biology, education, history, philosophy, and sociology. Descriptions of research evidence and empirical observations that support theoretical arguments or integrate issues of theory, methods, and evidence (especially across disciplines) are also welcomed. We especially encourage reflective papers that help the field of developmental psychology to integrate theoretical issues and methodological issues, with empirical illustrations of new directions.

Consideration for publication is based on originality, novelty, and sufficient contribution to developmental theory.

Our upper limit for research articles is 9000-10000 words. References should not exceed 10 pages (double-spaced). These articles should contain a 150-word abstract.

A downloadable template is available below.


Article (DOCX, 36 KB)

Book Review

Work consisting of critical analyses of books or other monographic works related to the scope of the journal. The review should provide a discussion on the theme and content of the book and should go beyond an uncritical summary of each chapter.

A downloadable template is available below.


Book Reviews (DOCX, 29 KB)

Book reviews are solicited from top scholars in the field by the editor-in-chief. The article title includes the book name, author and book information followed by the name and affiliation of the reviewer. The review then follows. They should be about 1000 words with a maximum of 4 references. If you have a suggestion for a book that Human Development should review, please email the editor-in-chief, Dr. Susan Rivera.


Commentaries draw attention to a jointly published article, discussing the context or implications of the article and highlighting points of wider relevance to the field. Commentaries are presented from the author’s perspective and do not include original data. Commentaries are invited by the Editors and relate to an article in the same issue.
A downloadable template is available below. 

Commentary (DOCX, 33 KB)

Commentaries draw attention to a previously published article, highlighting points of wider relevance to the field. Commentaries do not include original data and are presented from the author’s perspective.


Editorials provide a viewpoint on specific articles or on general subjects directly relevant to the journal. Editorials are written by an editor or other member of the journal.

A downloadable template is available below.


Editorial (DOCX, 33 KB)

A short discussion article related to a relevant issue in developmental psychology. The Editor’s Corner is a feature of Human Development designed to introduce readers to issues of controversy, or new ways of looking at issues in development.  Editor’s Corner articles lead off each issue. The articles have proven to be highly popular with our readership as they capture concerns that are generally not included within the pages of professional journals. The articles are roughly 600-1000 words (about six to ten paragraphs) and can include a few references.


Letters may explore subjects related to matters discussed in the journal, providing the author’s perspective on a subject. Letters may discuss a recently published article and may lend support or constructively critique the article in line with the author’s experience. The editors reserve the right to share such letters to the authors of the article concerned prior to publication in order to permit response, ideally in the same issue of the journal. Letters should not include original data.

A downloadable template is available below.


Letter (DOCX, 29 KB)

No abstract is required. Letters should not exceed 1,000 words and 10 references and may contain one figure or table.

Contact Information

Should you have any problems with your submission, please contact the editorial office:

Editorial Office 'Human Development'
Center for Mind and Brain;
267 Cousteau Place
Davis, CA 95618 (USA)

Editorial and Journal Policies

Getting Started

When preparing a manuscript, it is important to review the editorial policies. For full details, please visit the Publication Ethics and Editorial Policies page. Karger Publishers is a member of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE). Karger journals aim to adhere to the COPE Code of Conduct and Best Practice Guidelines.

The presentation of manuscripts should follow the Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts Submitted to Biomedical Journals from the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE). We recommend preparing the manuscript using the dedicated article template for the manuscript type.

Only papers written in English are considered. The articles should be comprehensible to a reader who is fluent in English and should be edited prior to submission to ensure that standard English grammar and usage are observed. Use of a professional language editing service prior to submission can help avoid delays with the review process.

Karger recommends the use of original images and materials whenever possible. If a submitted manuscript contains third-party copyright material(s), it is the authors’ sole responsibility to obtain permission from the relevant copyright holder for reusing the material(s), including any associated licensing fee. The copyright and usage information needs to be checked carefully to avoid copyright infringement. The author(s) is and will remain personally liable for any copyright infringements.

Most publishers offer a quick and easy way to clear permissions for their content via the built-in website application RightsLink or via Another widely used licensing tool is PLSClear. Please check the publishers’ websites for the available options and user instructions.

The authors agree that their name, affiliation with their institution and contact details will be available to third parties after the article has been published. Those third parties may be placed within or outside of the European Economic Area.

Research and Publication Ethics

When preparing a manuscript, it is important to review the editorial policies, including those on research ethics, consent, conflict of interest, data sharing and citation, text reuse and plagiarism, reproducibility and more. For full details, please visit the Publication Ethics and Editorial Policies page.

Karger Publishers is a member of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE). Karger journals aim to adhere to the COPE Code of Conduct and Best Practice Guidelines. Our policies on reporting and investigation of suspected misconduct in manuscripts and articles and how we handle potential errors in published articles can be found on the Publication Ethics and Editorial Policies page. Concerns regarding a manuscript in review or a published article should be raised to the Research Integrity and Publication Ethics team at .


All submitted manuscripts must contain a statements section after the main body of the text, but before the reference list. A summary of the required information is given below, for full details please refer to the article templates and visit the Publication Ethics and Editorial Policies page.

Statement of Ethics

The Statement of Ethics must provide detail about the ethical approval process for the study reported in the manuscript, including the name and affiliation of the committee who approved the study and the decision reference number. For studies involving human participants, information must be provided about the consent provided to participate in the study. If information is included in the submission that may identify and individual or groups of individuals, specific consent to publish this information must be obtained and reported in the Statement of Ethics.

For complete information on our policies on Studies Involving Human Subjects, Identifiable Materials or Data or Studies Involving Animals, please see here.

Conflict of Interest Statement

Authors are required to disclose any relationship that could be perceived as a conflict of interest in the Conflict of Interest Statement. All forms of support and financial involvement which took place in the previous three years should be listed, regardless of their potential relevance to the paper. Nonfinancial relationships that may potentially influence the writing of the manuscript should also be declared. If there is no potential conflict of interest to report, please state this.

For complete information on our Conflict of Interest policy, please see here.

Funding Sources

Authors must give full details about the funding of any research relevant to their study, including sponsor names, written in full providing any associated grant numbers, and explanation of the roles of these funders in the study design, execution and analysis, and manuscript conception, planning, writing and decision to publish. If the sponsor or funder had no role in any of the above or if no funding was received for the study, please state this.

For complete information on our Funding Sources policy, please see here.

Author Contributions

In the Author Contribution statement, a short statement detailing the contributions of each person named as an author should be included. The CRediT taxonomy is a useful framework for preparing this section. Contributors to the submission who do not fulfil the ICMJE Criteria for Authorship should be credited, with their consent, in the Acknowledgement section.

For complete information on our Authorship and Contributorship policy, please see here.

Data Availability Statement

Authors are required to provide a Data Availability Statement that details whether data are publicly available and where the data supporting their study can be accessed. The journal’s data sharing policy strongly encourages authors to make all datasets on which the conclusions of the paper rely available to editors, reviewers and readers without unnecessary restriction wherever possible. In cases where research data are not publicly available on legal or ethical grounds, this should be clearly stated along with any conditions for accessing the data.

For complete information about our Data Sharing policy, please see here.

Further Conditions

Articles should be submitted according to APA (7th edition) formatting

Early View

Accepted papers are published online in the unedited, original manuscript version within a few days of acceptance, subject to the authors accepting and confirming applicable conditions of publication, including publication charges. The Early View version will be replaced by the version of record once available. 

Peer Review

Peer Review Policy

All Karger journals employ a rigorous peer-review process to confirm the validity and ensure scientific accuracy of published articles. Independent researchers with relevant expertise assess submitted manuscripts to help journal editors determine whether a manuscript should be published in their journal. All articles, except for Editorials and some Correspondence articles, are externally peer reviewed, typically by at least two individuals with expertise in the manuscript content area and/or research methods, before a final decision is made about acceptance for publication.

Peer Review Type and Process

Human Development uses a single-blind peer review system where reviewers know the names of the authors, but the authors do not know who reviewed their manuscript. For full details, including information about peer review policies and appeals process, please visit the Peer review – Karger Publishers page.

Article Preparation


  • The preferred word processing program for manuscripts is Microsoft Word. Page and line numbering should be activated, and the level of subheadings should be indicated clearly.
  • Footnotes should be avoided. When essential, they should be numbered consecutively and appear at the foot of the appropriate page.
  • Abbreviations (with the exception of those clearly well established in the field) should be explained when they are first used both in the abstract and in the main text.
  • Units of measurement should be expressed in SI units wherever possible.
  • Generic names of drugs (first letter: lowercase) should be used whenever possible. Registered trade names (first letter: uppercase) should be marked with the superscript registration symbol ® or ™ when they are first mentioned.
  • The manuscript text, tables and figures must be submitted in separate files. Figure legends should be included at the end of manuscript text, not in the figure file. Table headers should be included above or below the table in the table file.


For full technical specifications, including those regarding tables, figures, and illustrations, please refer to Karger’s Technical Instructions to Publish a Paper.

Further Formatting Instructions

Plain Language Summary

A plain language summary may be submitted for Research Articles and Review Articles. The summary should not exceed 250 words and be written in plain English avoiding the use of technical language. If a technical term must be used, then authors must explain it the first time that it is used. The summary must be distinct from the abstract and provide readers with an easy-to-understand description of the manuscript. Authors should avoid the use of personal opinions and/or speculation on the results of the manuscript. No page charges will be incurred by the inclusion of the plain language summary. Use neither bibliographic references nor references to figures or tables in the summary.

Plain Language Summary Template (DOCX, 20.59 KB)


Manuscript Arrangement

Title Page

The first page should contain a short and concise title plus a running head of no more than 80 characters. Abbreviations should be avoided.

Below the title, list all the authors’ names as outlined in the article sample, which can be downloaded under Article Types. Each listed author must have an affiliation, which comprises the department, university, or organization and its location, city, state/province (if applicable), and country.

Corresponding author information: Please supply the first and last name as well as an e-mail address at the bottom of the title page.

Keywords relevant to the article should be listed below the corresponding author information.


Please refer to the Article Types section of the Guidelines for Authors for information on the relevant article structure, including maximum word counts and downloadable samples.


In-Text Citation

References in the text should be made up of the author(s)’s name(s) (up to 2 authors) followed by the year of publication. When there are more than 2 authors, the first author’s name and ‘et al.’ should be used. When references are made to more than 1 text by the same author, published in the same year, they should be designated as a, b, c, etc. In-text citations should always be ordered alphabetically, e.g., (Jurkevitch, 2006; Rendulic et al., 2004).

Citation in the text:

  • uthors’ names in alphabetical order (Ames, 2006; Burns, 1965; Cahill, 1997)
  • 2 authors in the sentence (Miller and Smith, 2004)
  • 2 authorsin parentheses (Miller and Smith, 2004)
  • 3 or more authors in the sentence (Miller et al., 2005)
  • 3 or more authors in parentheses (Miller et al., 2005)


Reference List

The reference list should be arranged alphabetically, then chronologically. Material submitted for publication but not yet accepted should be labelled as ‘unpublished’ and may not be included in the reference list. Other pre-published or related materials with a DOI, e.g. preprint manuscripts, datasets, and code, may be included. Please use the APA style, 7th edition, for your reference list and in-text citations. In the reference list, journal articles should be listed with their DOIs at the end of the reference.

In parentheses, the references are cited with the author names and the year (Forsten, 1990; Hamilton & Fenzel, 1988; Torney-Purta et al., 1999). (Use “&” instead of “and” for references in parentheses.)

Citation in the reference list: A reference entry may contain up to 20 authors. If there are more than 20, list the first 19 authors, followed by an ellipsis (. . .) and the last author’s name.
Miller, T. C., Brown, M. J., Wilson, G. L., Evans, B. B., Kelly, R. S., Turner, S. T., Lewis, F., Nelson, T. P., Cox, G., Harris, H. L., Martin, P., Gonzalez, W. L., Hughes, W., Carter, D., Campbell, C., Baker, A. B., Flores, T., Gray, W. E., Green, G., ... Lee, L. H.

Reference Management Software

If you are using reference management software, we recommend using the APA 7th Edition referencing style.


Articles published in journals: Sawant, K. V., Xu, R., Cox, R., Hawkins, H., Sbrana, E., Garofalo, R. P., & Rajarathnam, K. (2015). Chemokine CXCL1-mediated neutrophil trafficking in the lung: Role of CXCR2 activation. Journal of Innate Immunity, 7(6), 647–658. Journal names should be written out.

Articles published only with DOI number: Chen, C., & Hu, Z. (n.d.). ApoE polymorphisms and the risk of different subtypes of stroke in the Chinese population: A comprehensive meta-analysis. Cerebrovascular Diseases.

Monographs: Matthews, D. E., & Farewell, V. T. (2015). Using and understanding medical statistics (5th ed., rev.). Karger.

Edited Books: Cohen, S. R., & Gardner, T. W. (2016). Diabetic retinopathy and diabetic macular edema. In Q. D. Nguyen, E. B. Rodrigues, M. E. Farah, W. F. Mieler, & D. V. Do (Eds.), Developments in Ophthalmology: Vol. 55. Retinal pharmacotherapeutics (pp. 137–146). Karger.

Websites: Karger Publishers. (n.d.). Transforming Vesalius: The 16th-century scientific revolution brought to life for the 21st century.

Author Services

Karger Publishers offer a range of services to assist authors with the preparation of their manuscript, including discounts for language editing services offered by third parties.

More information is available on the Author Resources section of the Karger homepage.

When submitting a manuscript, authors can add their ORCID number to their Karger account to ensure that their paper is accredited to them correctly.

Cost of Publication

Page Charges/Article Processing Charges

Page charges are not levied in this journal.

Karger has established Transformative Agreements with many consortia and institutions that include full or partial coverage of the Article Processing Charges (APCs) and/or the Author’s Choice Open Access publication fees. Authors affiliated with those institutions can publish Open Access in all Karger journals and comply with Open Access mandates without incurring any additional costs or with reduced APCs. Find out here whether your Open Access charges are covered by an agreement.

Online Supplementary Material

We strongly encourage authors to make all the datasets on which the conclusions of the manuscript are based available. Online supplementary material is hosted for free with a published article. For ease of reader access, we strongly recommend that files be less than 10 MB. Authors wishing to associate larger amounts of supplementary material with their article should deposit their data in an appropriate public data repository.

Illustration Charges

In print, there is no charge for figures appearing in grayscale. In print, color illustrations are charged to the author at CHF 960.00 / USD 1,060.00 / EUR 960.00 per page. In the online version there is no charge for illustrations appearing in grayscale or in color.

Author's Choice

Karger Publisher’s Author’s Choice™ service broadens the reach of your article and gives all users worldwide free and full access for reading, downloading, and printing at The option is available for a one-time fee, which is a permissible cost in grant allocation. More information can be found at For a fee of CHF 3,450.00 / USD 3,850.00 / EUR 3,600.00, the final, published version of the article may be posted at any time and in any repository or on other websites, in accordance with the relevant Creative Commons license as well as the current Karger self-archiving policy for Open Access articles. Karger supplies all articles to PubMed Central for indexing.

After Acceptance and Sharing Policies

Copyediting and Proofs

Manuscripts accepted for publication by Karger Publishers will undergo basic proofreading to check for obvious spelling and grammar mistakes. If you would prefer a more in-depth language editing service to improve clarity and style, please consult a service provider prior to submission. Please note that the use of a language editing service before submission is not a requirement for publication in the journal and does not guarantee that the manuscript will be considered for peer review or accepted.

Karger Publishers’ house style is based on internationally recognized standard manuals, including The Chicago Manual of Style.

Proof Central

An email containing a link to access the proofs will be sent to the contact author. The authors should check the document and respond to any questions that have been raised during copyediting within 48 hours. A provisional PDF can be viewed for an impression of the final layout of the manuscript.

Corrections to the text and tables should be made directly in the template. Changes to figures are discouraged but can be indicated with comments. Final layout and typesetting take place at a later stage.

Alterations made to proofs, other than the correction of errors introduced during production, are subject to review and may require editorial approval which could delay the publication of your manuscript

Please note that the revised proofs are not sent to the authors prior to typesetting and online publication unless there are exceptional circumstances. The article layout will be created according to the Karger standard.

DOI Number

A DOI number will be available as a unique identifier on the title page of each article. DOIs are useful for identifying and citing articles published online without volume or issue information (for more information, see

Online First Publication

All articles are published electronically ahead of print with a DOI number and are supplemented later with the definite reference to the printed version. The articles become available immediately after the authors’ approval to print.

Licenses and Copyright

At acceptance, the authors will transfer all rights, title, and interest, including the right to claim copyright throughout the world, related to the article, to S. Karger AG.

Please note that metadata – essentially, data tags about article information such as authors and keywords that helps make articles discoverable by, for example, search engines – is governed by a separate policy. Refer to the FAQ on our Open Access web pages for details.

Archiving and Self-Archiving

All articles are archived in Portico. Articles may also be archived in PubMed Central if the journal is indexed there. Karger supports Green Open Access and permits authors to archive their Author's Accepted Manuscript (AAM, i.e., accepted manuscripts after peer review but before production; also referred to as a postprint) on their personal home page or institution’s repository, provided that these are not used for commercial purposes, are linked to the publisher’s version, and acknowledge the publisher’s copyright. Preprints may be shared without restriction. 

In addition, authors may post their accepted manuscripts in public Open Access repositories and scientific networks no earlier than 12 months following publication of the final version of their article. The posted manuscripts must:

1. Be used for noncommercial purposes only

2. Be linked to the final version on and include the following statement:

"This is the peer-reviewed but unedited manuscript version of the following article: [insert full citation, e.g., Cytogenet Genome Res 2014;142:227–238 (DOI: 10.1159/000361001)]. The final, published version is available at[insert DOI number]."


It is the authors’ responsibility to fulfill these requirements.

For papers published online first with a DOI number only, full citation details must be added as soon as the paper is published in its final version. This is important to ensure that citations can be credited to the article.

To facilitate compliance with Coalition S/Plan S Open Access mandates, Karger permits authors, independently and without Karger`s action, to upload a copy of their Author Accepted Manuscripts (AAM), applying a CC BY license, to a repository designated by their Plan S funders. However, when an article is published as Open Access, the Version of Record should be archived instead of the AAM. The AAM may be made freely available in the archive upon the official, final publication of the article (Version of Record or VOR, i.e. the post-production, final article version). Manuscripts to be archived in PubMed Central (PMC) due to NIH funding requirements or that have been published Open Access under Author’s Choice™ will be submitted by Karger on the authors’ behalf, as outlined under Funding Organizations.

Articles published as Open Access under Author’s Choice may be shared freely on any repository or website. Re-posted Open Access articles must follow the terms of the relevant Creative Commons license. To ensure citations are credited to the Version of Record, Karger encourages authors to link to the published article on and include the following statement: "The Version of Record of this article is available at[insert DOI number](e.g."

Karger policies on Open Access, licensing and self-archiving can also be found at Sherpa Romeo.

Funding Organizations

If the authors are affiliated with an organization that has an Open Access agreement with Karger, the authors are prompted during submission to select from a list of these organizations. By choosing one of the listed organizations, eligibility can then be assessed.

NIH-Funded Research

The US National Institutes of Health (NIH) Public Access Policy mandates that AAMs must be archived in its digital database PubMed Central (PMC) within 12 months of the official publication date. As a service to authors, Karger Publishers submits the accepted, unedited version of NIH-funded manuscripts to PMC upon publication, where it is made available after a 12-month embargo period. Where the authors have chosen to make their paper freely available under Karger’s Author’s Choice™ service, this embargo does not apply.

Plan S

Karger approves authors, independently and without Karger`s action, to make their AAMs openly available in PMC or another repository under a CC BY license upon publication of the Version of Record (VOR, i.e post-production, final article version). However, when an article is published as Open Access, the Version of Record should be archived instead of the AAM. Some Coalition S funders, such as Wellcome Trust, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and FWF, designate PMC as the repository in which to make the Author’s Accepted Manuscript (AAM) openly available. For papers made Open Access via Author's Choice, Karger will deposit the article in PMC on the author’s behalf with a CC BY license. Authors should refer to their funders’ policies for details. Authors should check their funders’ requirements about how to declare their funding and any associated mandates within their manuscript.

Karger publishes some journals under the Transformative Journals model, compliant with Plan S. Find more information about Transformative Journals on the Karger website.

Other Funding Sources

Karger Publishers also complies with other funders’ requirements for submission to PMC. In some cases, doing so requires that authors select Author’s Choice™, which is generally reimbursed by the funder or is a permissible cost in the grant. Authors should include information on their grants in the Funding Sources section of their papers.

More information on funding sources can be found on the Karger website


Cover Letter

In your cover letter, please describe the gap in knowledge that this manuscript addresses, and discuss the implications, significance and novelty of your research for the Editor. Furthermore, please emphasize the unique and important contributions that your manuscript makes to our understanding of the field. If your submission is part of a special issue of the journal, please refer to the specific name of the special issue in your cover letter and specify who invited the submission where appropriate.

Manuscript Submission

Manuscripts should be submitted online via the Human Development submission and peer review system by the manuscript’s corresponding author. The corresponding (submitting) author will automatically be the contact person for the manuscript for the peer review and production process. For fee payment and license signing, the contact author will be the first listed corresponding author.

The corresponding (submitting) author is solely responsible for managing all communication between the journal and all co-authors and acts on behalf of all listed authors. This ensures that all correspondence reaches a unique contact and thereby secures swift communication in particular throughout the submission, peer review and production process. Articles can be published with more than one corresponding author (usually limited to three), but only the submitting author can be accommodated during the submission, peer review and production process.

The corresponding (submitting) author’s specific responsibilities include:

  • Ensuring all the listed authors have approved the manuscript submission to the journal and agreed to all of the content including the author list, including the Submission Declaration
  • Handling the revision(s) and re-submission(s) of the manuscript until acceptance
  • After acceptance, manuscript proof reading and approving the final proof
  • Acting as the point of contact for queries about the published article. It is their responsibility to inform all co-authors of any matters arising in relation to the published article including questions relating to publication ethics, availability of data, materials, etc.


Where there are multiple corresponding authors, the first listed corresponding author’s specific responsibilities include:

  • Upon acceptance, ensuring that all listed authors agree to the license agreement
  • Arranging for payment of Page Charges/Article Processing Charges where required. The affiliation of the corresponding author will be used to determine eligibility for discounted or waived charges including discounted or waived APCs under read and publish/offsetting/OA agreements


Please note that the author names entered into the manuscript submission and peer review system should be identical to the information presented on the title page of the manuscript, including the sequence of authorship. The author names submitted should reflect the official publication names. It is the submitting (corresponding) author’s responsibility to ensure the accuracy of all content in the proof, including the names of co-authors, addresses and affiliations.

Before submission, please read the Submission Guidelines in full for specific requirements for manuscript preparation.

Submission Declaration

The submitting author will submit, on behalf of all authors, their manuscript for potential publication after full peer-review. All co-authors will confirm that the submitting author has authority to act on their behalf via the verification link sent out to all authors upon completion of the submission. Please refer to the Submission Declaration PDF for details.

Submission Declaration (PDF, 89 KB)

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