Instructions for Authors

Surname DNA Journal is a peer-reviewed, online journal devoted to genetic genealogy and learning about mankind by combining traditional genealogy with DNA testing.

If you would like to publish your own, original research on, please send a copy of your manuscript in MS Word or similar format to for a preliminary review.  If your manuscript file to too large to email, you can forward it via 3rd party services like DropBox or contact the editor for a file upload link. is also glad to host informative but less technical accounts of genetic genealogy as narratives, monologs, and general news updates. If you have a story about your own family, contact our Story Editor to have it posted.

Suggested Writing Topics

  • DNA Sample Collection from Ancestral Geographies to Trace Dispersal Patterns
  • DNA Sampling of Famous Families / Lineages
  • Solving Historical Mysteries Through the Use of Genetic Genealogy Research
  • New Analytical Techniques in Genetic Genealogy

Journal Editorial Guidelines

  1. Submission of a manuscript to Surname DNA Journal implies that all listed authors contributed substantially to the work, and that the work is an original contribution.
  2. Authors should do their own review and drafting process so that the manuscript submitted for review to Surname DNA Journal is their best work.  Once your paper is submitted for review, please refrain from trying to redraft or edit the work while it is in the peer review process as such changes may confuse and discourage reviewers from doing their best work.
  3. Research should contribute to the field of genetic genealogy and our understanding of surnames.
  4. A scientific writing approach should be used which generally involves these elements:  Hypothesis, Experiment, Data, Analysis, Conclusions.  An alternate structure is: Introduction, Methods, Results, Discussion.  Two guides for scientific writing which you might want to review come from UCLA and the University of North Carolina.
  5. Your manuscript will be peer-reviewed by other genetic genealogists who may offer suggestions for improvement and constructive criticism.  It is up to the author how to respond and adapt the manuscript based on the review comments.  The ultimate decision on whether Surname DNA Journal will publish the manuscript is up to our editors who will give careful consideration both to the reviewer’s comments and the author’s response to those comments.
  6. Authors may use any common citation style (e.g., AMA style, APA style) in the Reference section, as long as the same style is used consistently with all information necessary to locate cited material included.  If at all possible, an Internet hyperlink to the Reference should be included.  Further, all References listed should be used and cited in the Article at least once.
  7. In preparing manuscripts, authors should focus on the scientific and grammatical quality of their written content, calculations, and figures – not on the format of the text or layout.  Surname DNA Journal uses the Annotum platform for WordPress which requires unformatted text in order to provide inexpensive and rapid publication workflow.  As the Annotum platform has a steep learning curve, our staff are glad to convert your text-based manuscript into the Annotum platform for you at no charge.
  8. The intent of using the Annotum platform is for Reviews and Publication to be performed very quickly.  Both editors, reviewers, and authors must work briskly and respect deadlines so as to achieve our goal of publication for approved manuscripts within three (3) weeks of submission.
  9. Authors may retain the Copyright for their work but must agree to the Terms of Service as publisher.  Authors must also agree not to publish their paper anywhere else for at least 90 days from publication on Surname DNA Journal.
  10. has an advertising-supported business model.  There are no subscription or publishing fees for authors.  Hyperlinks and advertisements may appear on the same page as your article.
  11. If a manuscript constitutes primary publication of results from a study involving human subjects (as most genetic genealogy research does), authors must affirm that it was done in accordance with ethical standards and must make strict provision that the subjects’ privacy be well protected. In particular, the disclosure of subjects first names and exact addresses is prohibited.

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