The British Herpetological Society

Instructions to Authors - The Herpetological Journal

Instructions to Authors - The Herpetological Journal

1) The Herpetological Journal publishes a range of features concerned with reptile and amphibian biology. These include:

•   Full Papers (no length limit)

•   Reviews and Mini-reviews

•   Short Notes

•   Controversies, under Forum (details available from the Editor).

Faunistic lists, letters and results of general surveys are not published unless they shed light on herpetological problems of wider significance. Authors should bear in mind that the Herpetological Journal is read by a wide range of herpetologists from different scientific disciplines. The work should therefore appeal to a general herpetological audience and have a solid grounding in natural history. General enquiries on suitability can be made to the Scientific Editor prior to submission.

2) All submissions are liable to assessment by the editorial board for ethical considerations, and publication may be refused on the recommendation of this committee. Contributors may therefore need to justify killing or the use of other animal procedures, if these have been involved in the execution of work. Likewise, work that has involved the collection of endangered species or disturbance to their habitat(s) will require full justification.

3) All submissions and illustrations should initially be sent by e-mail to the Scientific Editor (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) as a single MS Word or PDF document, with a final size of 2 MB or less, containing the text and figures. At this stage, figures do not need to be at high resolution as long as the information contained in them can be clearly seen by the reviewers. If submission by e-mail is not possible, please contact the Scientific Editor for advice. All papers will be subject to peer review by at least two referees. Authors are asked to suggest the names of up to three suitable reviewers for their manuscript on submission, although the Editor reserves the right to use alternative referees. Papers will be judged on the basis of the reports supplied by referees, scientific rigour and the degree of general interest in the subject matter. The Editor's decision will be final.

4) Authors should consult a recent edition of the Journal for general guidance. Papers should be concise with the minimum number of tables and illustrations. Submitted manuscripts should be double spaced with wide margins all round. The usual rules of zoological nomenclature apply.

5) For all papers, the title page should contain only the following:

•   Title of paper; name(s) and brief addresses of the author(s)

•   A running title of eight words or less

•   Up to six key words

•   The name, full address and email of the corresponding author.

The text of the paper should begin on page 2 and be produced in the following order: Abstract, Text, Acknowledgements, References, Appendices. Full papers and reviews should have the main text divided into sections as appropriate. Footnotes are not permitted. Short Notes (generally less than six manuscript pages and accompanied by a single data set, i.e. one table or one figure) should be produced as continuous text, preceded by an abstract of no more than 100 words.

6) Papers should be written in UK English (including figure labels) and spelling should be that of the Oxford English Dictionary. Times and dates should conform to the following formats: for time of day use 0900, 1000 etc; for dates: 7 July 2008. Please avoid using bold text, all caps or small caps for emphasis or for headings. If emphasis is required, use italics.

7) Tables are numbered in arabic numerals, e.g. Table 1; they should be as simple as possible and typed double-spaced on separate sheets with a title/short explanatory paragraph above the table. Horizontal and vertical lines should be avoided, as should tables that split over more than one page or that need to be set in landscape format.

8) Line drawings and photographs are numbered in sequence in arabic numerals, e.g. Fig. 1. Colour photographs can only be included at cost to the author (contact the Managing Editor for a quotation). If an illustration has more than one part, each should be identified as (a), (b), etc. A metric scale must be inserted in micrographs etc. Legends for illustrations should be typed on a separate sheet.

9) References in the text should be given as in the following examples: "Smith (1964) stated –"; "- as observed by Smith & Jones (1963)." "- as previously observed (Smith, 1963; Jones, 1964; Smith & Jones, 1965)". For three or more authors, the first author's surname followed by "et al." should be used (Smith et al., 1972). In the list of references, the full title of the journal should be given. Articles "submitted" or "in prep." may not be cited in the text or references. The following examples illustrate the style and presentation used by the Journal:

10) The Journal is typeset direct from the author's electronic text, so final acceptance of a paper will depend upon the production by the author of PC-compatible computer file(s) ready for the press. At this stage, figures should be supplied separately as high-quality files and NOT embedded in the text file. Preferred file format for text is MS Word, with figures supplied as MS Excel, Bitmap, TIFF, Windows Metafiles (.wmf, .emf) or JPEG files. Authors should note that figures are normally reduced to a single column width and should bear this in mind when drawing figures, e.g. ensuring that font sizes will be legible once reduced. Minimum resolution required is 1800 pixels wide for reproduction at single column width and 3600 pixels wide for reproduction at two-column width.

11) Proofs are prepared as PDF files and corrections should be returned to the Managing Editor by return of e-mail. Alterations should be kept to the correction of errors; more extensive alterations will be charged to the author.

12) A PDF file of the paper is provided free of charge. Note that paper reprints are no longer supplied.

13) Open access: The Journal supports "green" open access as outlined by the Research Councils UK, to facilitate deposition of articles e.g. at institutional repositories. The Herpetological Journal also offers the option of "gold" open access for individual articles (free of charge for members of the British Herpetological Society, and at an article processing charge of £97 for non-members).


It is a fundamental condition that submitted manuscripts have not been published and will not be simultaneously submitted or published elsewhere. By submitting a manuscript, the authors agree that the copyright for their article is transferred to the publisher if and when the article is accepted for publication. The copyright covers the exclusive rights to reproduce and distribute the article, including reprints and photographic reproductions. Permission for any such activities must be sought in advance from the Editors.

(Revised May 2017)