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Journal of Causal Inference

Ed. by Imai, Kosuke / Pearl, Judea / Petersen, Maya Liv / Sekhon, Jasjeet / van der Laan, Mark J.

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    Vol. 4 Iss. 1: Predicting Is Not Explaining: Targeted Learning of the Dative Alternation by Antoine Chambaz and Guillaume Desagulier

    Aims and Scope

    Journal of Causal Inference (JCI) publishes papers on theoretical and applied causal research across the range of academic disciplines that use quantitative tools to study causality.

    The past two decades have seen causal inference emerge as a unified field with a solid theoretical foundation, useful in many of the empirical and behavioral sciences. Journal of Causal Inference aims to provide a common venue for researchers working on causal inference in biostatistics and epidemiology, economics, political science and public policy, cognitive science and formal logic, and any field that aims to understand causality. The journal serves as a forum for this growing community to develop a shared language and study the commonalities and distinct strengths of their various disciplines' methods for causal analysis.

    Existing discipline-specific journals tend to bury causal analysis in the language and methods of traditional statistical methodologies, creating the inaccurate impression that causal questions can be handled by routine methods of regression or simultaneous equations, glossing over the special precautions demanded by causal analysis. In contrast, JCI highlights both the uniqueness and interdisciplinary nature of causal research.


    Journal of Causal Inference encourages submission of applied and theoretical work from across the range of rigorous causal paradigms. Research articles may focus on advances in one or more of the following steps of causal inference: research design, causal model and target parameter specification, identifiability, statistical estimation, or sensitivity analysis/interpretation. The journal also provides a venue for quantitative statistical papers that include a full formal elaboration of causal methods in applied data analyses beyond the abbreviated format typical in many applied journals.
    In addition to significant original research articles, JCI also welcomes submissions that synthesize and assess cross-disciplinary methodological research, as well as submissions that discuss the history of the causal inference field and its philosophical underpinnings. Areas of emerging consensus and ongoing controversy are highlighted in editorials and invited commentaries. The journal further encourages submission of unsolicited short communications on topics that aim to stimulate public debate and bring unorthodox perspectives to open questions.


    Submission of Manuscripts

    Instructions for Authors

    This document provides authors with details on policy, copyediting, formatting, and layout requirements pertaining to manuscript submission to this journal. All manuscripts must have correct formatting to be considered for publication. 
    The manuscript submission and review process is handled through ScholarOne Manuscripts. All manuscripts should be submitted to


    Unpublished material: Submission of a manuscript implies that the work described is not copyrighted, published or submitted elsewhere, except in abstract form. The corresponding author should ensure that all authors approve the manuscript before its submission.

    Ethical conduct of research: The authors must describe and confirm safeguards to meet ethical standards when applicable.

    Conflict of interest: When authors submit a manuscript, they are responsible for recognizing and disclosing financial and/or other conflicts of interest that might bias their work and/or could inappropriately influence his/her judgment. If no specified acknowledgement is given, the Publishers assume that no conflict of interest exists.

    Copyright: Manuscripts are accepted on condition of transfer of copyright (for U.S. government employees: to the extent transferable) to the Journal of Causal Inference.  Once the manuscript is accepted, it may not be published elsewhere without the consent of the copyright holders.

    The ScholarOne system has been designed to improve the scholarly publication process for authors. Among the many improvements we offer over traditional journals, the most significant is that we have dramatically shortened the period between the initial submission and the final publication of a peer-reviewed article. Much of this time savings is due to the innovative use of electronic publication. These innovations, however, require certain changes in the way authors need to prepare accepted manuscripts for electronic publication.

    De Gruyter does provide a light copyedit of manuscripts for this journal, but authors remain responsible for being their own copyeditors.

    All manuscripts must be written in clear and concise English.  If you have reasons to doubt your proficiency with respect to spelling, grammar, etc. (e.g., because English is not your native language), then you may wish to employ—at your expense—the services of a professional language editor.
    Please get in touch with the Language Editors directly to discuss details.
    • Alexandra Griswold
    Areas of expertise: public policy, political science, education, economics, social sciences, humanities, ethics
    • Cyndy Brown
    Areas of expertise: political science, social sciences, humanities, ethics
    • Donna Reeder
    Reeder Literary Services
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    • Jane Cotnoir
    Areas of expertise: Local government management, international crime and terrorism, emergency/disaster management, humanities, social science
    • Patience Kramer
    Areas of expertise: Health and Medicine (CAM and drug policy and analysis), Economics and Business (with a focus on marketing)
    • Steve Peter
    Areas of expertise: LaTeX, Linguistics, economics, mathematics
    • Manuscripts should be submitted as Word, docx, rtf, or LaTex files
    • If your manuscript contains special characters, equations, etc. please make sure to also supply a PDF version as a reference file.  This will be used to ensure any formatting issues introduced during the submission process can be corrected accurately.
    • Write your article in English
    • Use the following document structure:
    1. Introduction (titling this section is optional)
    2. Subsequent sections which include tables, references to figures and figure captions.
    3. Appendices (if any).
    4. References - Include a proper bibliography following the guidelines in the References section below.
    5.  Please supply figures in separate files, not embedded in the text.  Please see the “Tables, Figures, and Graphs” section below for more detailed instructions regarding figure submission.

    • Book reviews must start with the citation of the book at the top of the first page.

    For authors working with LaTeX files, please see the related files and documentation at, including a template for author use and instructions for working with the files.

    LaTeX files should be placed into a .zip file and uploaded as Source Code, with the PDF of the manuscript uploaded as the Main Document.

    IMPORTANT: ScholarOne will sometimes not accept PDFs generated directly from LaTeX files.  If you encounter this error, please ignore the “wait 20 minutes” message and take the following steps:

    1) Open the PDF version of the manuscript
    2) File>Save As>PDF
    3) Ensure the File Type is Adobe PDF
    4) Upload the new version of the PDF to ScholarOne

    If these errors persist, please contact and someone will assist you as soon as possible.

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    • Set the font color to black for the majority of the text. De Gruyter encourages authors to take advantage of the ability to use color in the production of figures, maps, images, and graphs. However, you need to appreciate that this will cause some of your readers problems when they print the document on a black and white printer. For this reason, you are advised to avoid the use of colors in situations where their translation to black and white would render the material illegible or incomprehensible.

    • To indicate text you wish to emphasize, use italics rather than underlining. The use of color to emphasize text is discouraged.
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    The use of special symbols, abbreviations, and acronyms is permitted so long as they are defined upon first mention in the article.

    Headings (e.g., title of sections) should be distinguished from the main body text:
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    • Footnotes must appear at the bottom of the page on which they are referenced rather than at the end of the paper.
    • Excessively long footnotes are better handled in an appendix.

    • General requirements: All illustrations must be of reproduction-ready quality and in EPS, TIF, or JPG format. They will be reduced in size to fit, whenever possible, the width of a single column. Lettering of all figures within the article should be uniform in style (preferably a sans serif typeface like Helvetica) and of sufficient size (ca. 8 pt.).Uppercase letters A, B, C, etc. should be used to identify parts of multi-part figures. Cite all figures in the text in numerical order. Indicate the approximate placement of each figure. Do not embed figures within the text body of the manuscript; submit figures in separate files. Only figures (graphs, line drawings, photographs, etc) should be labeled as ‘figures’, not tables or equations.

    • Halftone figures (grayscale and color) should have a minimum resolution of 300 dpi and be of good contrast. Authors are welcome to submit color illustrations. We are pleased to offer both Print and Online publication of color figures free of charge.

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    • Figure legends: Provide a short descriptive title and a legend to make each figure self-explanatory on separate pages. Explain all symbols used in the figures. Remember to use the same abbreviations as in the text body.
    • Permissions: It is the authors’ responsibility to obtain permission to reproduce original or modified material that has been previously published.  Any permissions fees are the responsibility of the author(s).
    • Offprints: The electronic files of typeset articles in Adobe Acrobat PDF format are provided free of charge; corresponding authors receive notification that their article has been published online. Paper offprints can be ordered in addition; an offprint order form will accompany the page proofs and should be completed and returned with the corrected proofs immediately.
    • Please do not embed figures in the text. Instead, they should be referenced in the text and submitted in separate files.
    • Number tables consecutively using Arabic numerals. Tables should appear in the document near where they are referenced in the text. Provide a short descriptive title, column headings, and (if necessary) footnotes to make each table self-explanatory. Refer to tables in the text as Table 1, 2 etc. Use Table 1, etc. in the table legends.
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    • When proofing your document, pay particular attention to the rendering of the mathematics, especially symbols and notation drawn from other-than-standard fonts.


    Please use the Chicago Manual of Style author-date system for parenthetical citation in the text and the related reference list entry. For more specific details please visit: and click on the Author-Date tab.

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    Editorial Information


    Kosuke Imai
    Princeton University

    Judea Pearl
    University of California
    Los Angeles

    Maya Petersen
    University of California
    Berkeley School of Public Health

    Jasjeet Sekhon
    University of California

    Mark van der Laan
    University of California
    Berkeley School of Public Health

    Editorial Board

    Alberto Abadie
    Harvard University

    Jaap H. Abbring
    Tilburg University

    Peter Aronow
    Yale University

    Kenneth Bollen
    University of North Carolina

    Matias D. Cattaneo
    University of Michigan

    Antoine Chambaz
    Université Paris Ouest Nanterre

    Philip Dawid
    University of Cambridge

    Felix Elwert
    University of Wisconsin-Madison

    Bryan S. Graham
    University of California - Berkeley and National Bureau of Economic Research

    Donald Green
    Columbia University

    Sander Greenland
    University of California
    Los Angeles

    Jens Hainmueller
    Stanford University

    Joseph Halpern
    Cornell University

    James Heckman
    University of Chicago

    Miguel Hernan
    Harvard School of Public Health

    Jennifer Hill
    New York University

    Christopher Hitchcock
    California Institute of Technology

    Marshall Joffe
    University of Pennsylvania

    Luke Keele
    Penn State University

    Manabu Kuroki
    The Institute of Statistical Mathematics

    Edward Miguel
    University of California

    Michael Oakes
    University of Minnesota School of Public Health

    Thomas Richardson
    University of Washington

    Ed Rigdon
    Georgia State University

    James Robins
    Harvard School of Public Health

    Michael Rosenblum
    Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

    Andrea Rotnitsky
    Harvard School of Public Health

    Sherri Rose
    Harvard Medical School

    Ilya Shpitser
    University of Southampton

    Dylan Small
    The Wharton School
    University of Pennsylvania

    Michael Sobel
    Columbia University

    Peter Sprites
    Carnegie Mellon University

    Elizabeth Stuart
    Johns Hopkins University

    Eric Tchetgen Tchetgen
    Harvard School of Public Health

    Jin Tian
    Iowa State University

    Tyler vanderWeele
    Harvard School of Public Health

    Stijn Vansteelandt
    Ghent University
    Belgium and London School of Public Health

    Ed Vytlacil
    Yale University

    Steven West
    Arizona State University

    Christopher Winship
    Harvard University

    Teppei Yamamoto
    Massachusetts Institute of Technology

    Comments (8)

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    • Is anyone at De Gruyter actually reading these comments? The spam here has been sitting for months, and the fact that no-one has cleared it out does not give a favourable impression.

      posted by: Richard Kennaway on 2012-08-25 12:02 PM (Europe/Berlin)

    • Hello, Of course we are reading all comments we receive on De Gruyter Online and we are always very happy to get your feedback. As for your question regarding spam comments: We have formulated house rules for the communication on De Gruyter Online that you can find at As long as a comment does not contradict any of these rules, we do not delete the published content since we would like to encourage all users to provide feedback at all times and to enter into lively exchange with other users on academic themes.

      posted by: De Gruyter Online on 2012-08-27 10:44 AM (Europe/Berlin)

    • Where can I see and download previous volumes of the Journal of Causal Inference? The webpage is very confusing.

      posted by: Ivan Diaz on 2012-11-09 03:36 AM (Europe/Berlin)

    • Hello, thank you for your interest! This journal is actually not published yet. The first volume will be available in 2013. We are very sorry for the confusing comments above. They refer to another journal and are displayed by mistake. We are already working on the problem.

      posted by: De Gruyter Online on 2012-11-09 02:55 PM (Europe/Berlin)

    • I am trying to find an article that is "in press" here - when will the articles be published?

      posted by: Kathleen Liu on 2013-05-26 11:52 PM (Europe/Berlin)

    • Hello - Thanks for your interest. The articles will be published in mid-June.

      posted by: De Gruyter Online on 2013-05-28 05:44 PM (Europe/Berlin)

    • Does the Journal of Causal Inference accept prior or post distribution of a submitted artcle (or at least of a draft) on an e-print server like arXiv ? If so, which of the non-esclusive Creative Commons licenses available from arXiv is better to choose? Thanks for Your help

      posted by: massimo on 2016-03-04 10:48 PM (Europe/Berlin)

    • Dear Massimo, Thanks for your interest. We have forwarded your question to the editors. They will contact you directly via email.

      posted by: De Gruyter Online on 2016-03-07 05:48 PM (Europe/Berlin)