Child Development invites for consideration manuscripts that are neither identical to nor substantially similar to work published or under review elsewhere.  Editors retain the right to reject manuscripts that do not meet established ethical standards for research or dissemination.

  1. Types of Manuscripts
  2. Formatting Requirements
  3. Additional Requirements
  4. Manuscript Submission and Review Process
  5. Accepted Manuscript and Publication Information


Types of Manuscripts (back to top)

Child Development considers manuscripts in the formats described below. Inquiries concerning alternative formats should be addressed to the Editor prior to submission. All submissions are expected to be no more than 40 manuscript pages, including tables, references, and figures (but excluding appendices). If the submission is more than 40 pages, it will be returned to the author for shortening prior to editorial review.

Empirical Articles comprise the major portion of the journal. To be accepted, empirical articles must be judged as being high in scientific quality, contributing to the empirical base of child development, and having important theoretical, practical, or interdisciplinary implications. Reports of multiple studies, methods, or settings are encouraged, but single-study reports are also considered. Empirical Articles will thus vary considerably in length, but should be no longer than 40 manuscript pages; text and graphics should be as concise as material permits. All modes of empirical research are welcome.

Empirical Reports are reserved for short, cutting-edge empirical papers that are no longer than 4,000 words in length (including body text, tables, appendices, etc. but excluding references), which advance research and knowledge in an area through noteworthy findings and/or new methods.

Reviews focus on past empirical and/or conceptual and theoretical work. They are expected to synthesize, analyze, and/or critically evaluate a topic or issue relevant to child development, should appeal to a broad audience, and may be followed by a small number of solicited commentaries.

Special Section is a format in which papers on a focal topic, written by different authors, are published simultaneously. In some cases, calls for submissions on particular topics will be disseminated through the SRCD (via e-mail or SRCD publications), and submissions will undergo normal editorial review. In some cases, a submitted manuscript (e.g., an Empirical Article) may be selected as a lead article for this format, with invited commentaries providing additional perspectives. The editors also welcome suggestions from readers for topics for this format.

Formatting Requirements (back to top)

The following points are requested of all papers submitted to Child Development and are required for any paper ultimately accepted for publication. Failure to comply with these requirements may lead to delays in processing, review, or publication. Failure to comply may also lead to the manuscript being returned to you for revision.

Format and Style

Child Development requires that all documents be submitted as Word files (.doc or .docx; exceptions may be made by contacting the Editorial Office).

In addition, all manuscripts must align with APA Style rules including:

  • Double-spacing throughout (abstract, body text, references)
  • Using 12-point, Times New Roman font
  • Having 1-inch margins

Page Limits

40 pages for Empirical Articles and Reviews, inclusive of everything, including a reference list that is no longer than 8 pages

4,000 words for Empirical Reports, excluding title page, abstract, and references, but inclusive of body text, tables, figures, and appendices

Manuscript Structure

Empirical Articles and Reports must have the following major sections (other article types may vary):

  • Introduction (but not labeled as such)
  • Method
  • Results
  • Discussion
  • References
  • Tables and Figures

The Method section must include participant demographic information, such as sex, SES, race or ethnicity, recruitment method, etc.


  • Must be 120 words or fewer
  • Include participants' numerical age
  • Include total number of participants (Ns)
  • Must be written in the third person, not first person


  • Do not exceed 8 pages
  • Are cited both in the body text and on the reference list
  • Are listed in alphabetical order by authors' surname
  • Include the DOI # when available


Color figures publish online for free, but there is a $325 cost to print in color.   More technical information on images (accepted file types, image quality, etc.) is available at Wiley-Blackwell Author Services.

Footnotes and Endnotes

Child Development does NOT publish footnotes or endnotes of any kind.  All such notes must be incorporated into the body text.


Child Development uses a double-blind reviewing procedure.  Please ensure any information that might identify authors is either removed or sufficiently masked.

Information such as the author list, affiliations, acknowledgements, etc. should be removed from the main manuscript file and uploaded as a separate Title Page file during submission.

In-text references to any work by the authors should be referred to in the third person to mask the authors' identities (for example: "We have shown in previous work that children...(Martin 2011)" should instead be written as "It has been shown in previous work that children...(Martin 2011)").

APA Style Reminders

Child Development follows the Sixth Edition of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (APA).

The following are reminders of oft-forgotten points of APA style.  However, ultimately it is the author's responsibility to comply with APA regulations.   Failure to follow APA rules may lead to delays in the production process and the publication of your manuscript.

Avoid sexist language; use plural phrases such as "children and their toys" rather than "a child and his toy." Refrain from referring to children with "it."

Please keep figures as clear and simple as possible. For example, do not use a three-dimensional bar graph unless you are presenting data along three dimensions. Be sure that labels are large enough to be visible when the figure is reduced in size. Remember to provide figure numbers and captions separately, not on the figure itself.

"Relationship" vs. "Relation"
These are not interchangeable. "Relationship" is used to describe a social bond, such as between a mother and a child, a teacher and a child, etc. "Relation" is used to describe non-animate associations, including those between variables.

Uses of Slash (/)
Uses of slash in the abstract and body text must be avoided. Examples include "and/or," his/her," etc. "His/her" can (and should) be written as "his or her." Slashes may be used in references, tables, and figures. Slashes may also be used when citing previously written material, such as including in the paper a test question that was used with participants.

Note: Online Supplementary Materials

Child Development is able to host supplementary materials to articles published in the journal on its Wiley Online Library website. The current editorial team has been encouraging authors to take advantage of this resource as a way to cut the amount of material included in print articles and to provide additional information to interested readers. As such, we are urging authors to look critically at their manuscripts to find information that could potentially be moved online. Examples of such materials include extra tables, figures, or appendices; test questions or other test materials; videos of experiments taking place; or additional data sets from meta-analyses. For Wiley's guidelines for online supporting materials please see

Additional Requirements (back to top)

Sociocultural Policy

In keeping with SRCD’s stated goal of increasing global participation and awareness, Child Development announces a new sociocultural policy intended to increase the scope and breadth of sample information included in published articles. While CD previously required the reporting of participant ages, gender and race/ethnicity, further relevant information such as participants’ socioeconomic status, language, family characteristics, specific location information, etc. will now be required. The inclusion of this information is aimed at providing greater clarity regarding sample characteristics, specifically in the context of the research questions posed in the article. Click here for the full policy requirements and examples.

Methodological Recommendations

In an effort to further Child Development’s tradition of publishing rigorous research, we announce new methodological recommendations for authors designed to support the production of accessible and reproducible, high-quality research without excluding innovative hypothesis-generating inquiry. To satisfy these recommendations, we ask that authors address sample recruitment and selection, data collection and coding, descriptive statistical information, and model misspecification in the body of their manuscripts or as online supplements. Click here to view the full descriptions of the recommendations and further information.

Manuscript Submission and Review Process (back to top)

Manuscripts should be submitted online at

Full instructions and support are available on the site and a user ID and password can be obtained on the first visit. If for some reason you cannot submit online, please contact the Editorial Office by telephone (202-805-2368) or by e-mail (

Cover letter

Please include a cover letter that contains the name(s) and affiliation(s) of the author(s), and the street address, telephone, fax, and electronic mail address of the corresponding author. Please also provide details about other published or submitted papers having substantial overlap (including data sets) with the new Child Development submission to enable editors to judge whether the new submission is sufficiently distinct from other work.

Corresponding Author Responsibilities

A corresponding author's submission to Child Development implies that all coauthors have agreed to the content and form of the manuscript and that the ethical standards of the SRCD have been followed (see the SRCD website or pp. 283–284 of the 2000 SRCD Directory). Any financial interest or conflict of interest must be explained to the Editor in the cover letter. The corresponding author is responsible for informing all coauthors, in a timely manner, of manuscript submission, editorial decisions, reviews, and revisions.

Manuscript Review

Child Development conducts a double-blind review process. Each manuscript is handled by the Editor or an Associate Editor who consults with one or more Consulting Editors and/or ad hoc reviewers who have relevant expertise. To ensure blind review, cover sheets are removed before review; authors should avoid including any other information about identity or affiliation in submissions. Copies of the submission and associated correspondence are retained in the SRCD archives.

Associate Editors review each assigned submission and invite 2-4 reviewers who have pertinent areas of expertise. Authors are encouraged to recommend possible reviewers during the submission process, but this is neither required nor are the editors required to abide by the recommendations.

Once the Associate Editor receives the requested number of reviews they will make an editorial decision based on the reviews and reviewer recommendations. The Associate Editor’s decision letter, and accompanying reviews, are blinded and processed by the Editorial Office staff. These materials are then sent to the authors and all reviewers who contributed to the review process.

Child Development strives to deliver decisions within 60 days of submission. However, given the nature of the review process turnaround times may vary. If you have any questions about your submission, please inquire at or call (202) 805-2368.

Conflicts of Interest and the Review Process

Child Development takes conflicts of interest (COIs) very seriously. COIs arise when scholars are asked to review papers of which their opinions could be biased. In order to avoid any COIs in the manuscript review process, we ask that authors NOT recommend as a reviewer any person who:

  • Is a close personal friend of any of the authors
  • Works in the same department or school as any of the authors
  • Has recently collaborated with any of the authors on projects or publications (this includes members of the authors' dissertation committees)
  • Was a recent Ph.D. student advised by any of the authors
  • Has any other relationship with the authors that could bias their opinion of the submitted manuscript

We also ask that anyone invited to review a manuscript inform the Editorial Office if they believe they have a conflict of interest. If you have any questions about potential COIs, please contact the Editorial Office (

Accepted Manuscript and Publication Information (back to top)

Publication Process (click here for full Accepted Manuscript Requirements)

When a manuscript is accepted, authors will be asked to send a final version and accompanying materials via email to the Editorial Office ( These materials include:

  • A final version of the manuscript that follows all requirements listed in the Publication Checklist.
  • A 300-500 word layperson summary for public dissemination purposes.
  • Signed Full Disclosure of Interest forms from all authors.
  • A completed Color Charge Form for figures to be printed in color, if applicable (color figures publish online for free).

All forms are provided to authors upon acceptance.

Once the above materials have been received the paper will be scheduled to be sent to our publisher Wiley-Blackwell for typesetting and proofing. It will then publish online to W-B’s Early View system, with print publication to follow (articles for special sections and issues typically do not publish to Early View).

Note to NIH Grantees

Pursuant to NIH mandate, the SRCD through Wiley-Blackwell will post the accepted version of contributions authored by NIH grantholders to PubMed Central upon acceptance. This accepted version will be made publicly available 12 months after publication. For further information, see

Click here for media embargo information.

iThenticate Notification

Powered by Turnitin’s text comparison tool iThenticate, CrossRef’s Similarity Check enables the SRCD editorial office to assess the originality of all submitted manuscripts. iThenticate finds and reports overlaps in text through the use of text-searching algorithms, checking a document against an extensive database of published scholarly writing. Its reports highlight material that matches documents in the iThenticate database and their percentage of similarity. The reports allow editors to judge the appropriateness of any substantial overlap between documents, which can range from authors using identical language across manuscripts to report precise details of methods to more concerning cases of recycling text.

For more information, please see the Committee on Publication Ethics' Text Recycling Guidelines:

English Language Editing Services

This list of language editing services is not exhaustive, and SRCD does not endorse – and is not responsible for the quality of -- any product or service mentioned here.