The British Herpetological Society

Instructions to Authors - The Herpetological Journal


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

•   Full length papers

•   Short Notes

•   Reviews and mini-reviews

•   Opinion pieces

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 Editor in Chief (Rachael Antwis; ) prior to submission.

Submissions via email will no longer be accepted; authors should submit their manuscripts via the online system at

Authors are asked to supply the names and email addresses of four potential reviewers in the “Comments to Editor” box on the online system.

Authors should read and adhere to the British Herpetological Society’s Ethical Policy and Guidelines, a full version of which can be found at 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.

Open Access Policy: The Herpetological 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.

Instructions to Authors:

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.

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, Main Text, Acknowledgements, References, Figure Legends.

Full papers should contain the following sections in the main text: Introduction, Methods, Results, Discussion. Authors are encouraged to make use of Supplementary Material if required.

Short Notes should be less than six manuscript pages and accompanied by a single data set, i.e. one table or one figure. The main text should be produced as continuous text, preceded by an abstract of no more than 150 words. Authors are encouraged to make use of Supplementary Material if required.

Reviews and Opinion Pieces should have the main text divided into sections as appropriate.

Papers should be written in British 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 2017. Please avoid using bold text, all caps or small caps for emphasis or for headings. If emphasis is required, use italics.

Tables should be provided in a separate Word file. Tables should be 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.

All Figures should be submitted as separate JPG or PDF files, with a minimum resolution of 300dpi and a maximum file size of 5MB. Graphs, line drawings and photographs should be numbered in sequence in arabic numerals, e.g. Figure 1. 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 included at the end of the main text.

References in the text should be given as in the following examples: "Smith (2017) stated –"; "- as observed by Smith & Jones (2017)." "- as previously observed (Smith, 2017; Jones, 2016; Smith & Jones, 2017)". For three or more authors, the first author's surname followed by "et al." should be used (Smith et al., 2015). 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. Authors should consult a recent edition of the Journal for general guidance.