Zootaxa - Instructions for authors submitting manuscripts on amphibians

This page is maintained by Zootaxa amphibian senior editor Miguel Vences
and is not an official webpage of Zootaxa or Magnolia Press

Please submit your manuscripts to the following email addresses, and follow the instructions below:

Centrolenidae, Hemiphractidae: Dr. Santiago Castroviejo (zootaxa.treefrogs@gmail.com)

Hylidae: Dr. Victor G. D. Orrico (zootaxa.hylids@gmail.com)

Terrarana: Brachycephalidae, Craugastoridae, Eleutherodactylidae, Strabomantidae: Mauricio Rivera-Correa (zootaxa.terrarana@gmail.com)

Leptodactylidae, Alsodidae, Ceratophryidae, Hylodidae, Odontophrynidae, Telmatobiidae: Dr. Diego Baldo (diegobaldo@gmail.com)

Dendrobatidae, Aromobatidae: Dr. Evan Twomey (zootaxa.dendrobatidae@gmail.com)

African frogs: Dr. David C. Blackburn (dblackburn@flmnh.ufl.edu)

Oceanian frogs (Australia, New Zealand, neighbouring islands in the Pacific Ocean and New Guinea): Dr. Jodi Rowley (jodi.rowley@gmail.com)

South-East Asian frogs: Dr. Evan Quah and Dr. Chan Kinn Onn (zootaxa.asianfrogs2@gmail.com)

Caecilians: Dr. David Gower (zootaxa.caecilians@gmail.com)

Anuran call descriptions: Dr. Priscilla Gambale (zootaxa.bioacoustics@gmail.com)

Tadpole descriptions: Dr. Florencia Vera Candioti (florivc@gmail.com)

Amphibian groups and topics not covered by the other editors: Dr. Miguel Vences (zootaxa.amphibians@gmail.com)


Go to homepage of Zootaxa at Magnolia Press


Scope of the journal and amphibian papers that can be accepted for publication.

Since its founding in 2001, Zootaxa has experienced an enormous growth in numbers of papers published and numbers of journal pages per year (Zhang 2006: The making of a mega-journal in taxonomy. Zootaxa 1385: 67–68.) The main focus of the journal is to publish significant contributions to the field of taxonomy. Molecular phylogenetic papers fall within the scope of the journal if they contribute to solve taxonomic questions. In general, monographic accounts, revisions and exhaustive taxonomic inventories are especially welcome.

However, Zootaxa also receives a large amount of shorter descriptive papers. These are usually of a less general interest but still constitute important additions to taxonomic knowledge. In batrachology, this mostly refers to descriptions of tadpoles, advertisement calls, redescriptions of types, and new proposals of species-level synonymies. Several other herpetological journals refuse to publish such short accounts although they can contribute important pieces of knowledge and foster taxonomic progress.

In order to remain able to manage the large amount of submissions of amphibian manuscripts to Zootaxa, and to avoid the loss of a large number of blank pages in the printed Zootaxa issues, the division into full papers and notes will be applied as follows:

- Descriptions of new taxa, revisions and monographs constitute full papers that will usually be reviewed by 1-3 peers and by the section editor. Descriptions of tadpoles, calls, or osteology of known species will qualify as full paper if descriptions of at least three species are included in the manuscript, or if including exhaustive and new identification keys.

- Short descriptive notes on tadpoles, calls, osteology, and other features, referring to single species, will be considered as Notes and should be formatted and submitted in the Zootaxa format of Correspondence. Such a Note should include a few introductory sentences pointing out materials and methods if necessary, the descriptive account, and a few sentences of discussion, without abstract, keywords, or subheadings. The maximum length is 5500 characters including spaces, plus one illustration or table. Tables and illustrations should be formatted so that they occupy the whole width of the Zootaxa layout but their height is at most one/third of a page. See an example paper here

- Manuscripts on distribution range extensions or occurrence checklists are not usually published. Decisions will be made on a case-by-case basis, depending on the importance of the observation for taxonomy. For instance, range extension papers and checklists that provide new information on genetic variation, morphological variation, characters useful for diagnosis, or taxonomic status of a species, may be acceptable. For such studies, emphasize the description and illustration of characters. In general, large tables with genetic distances are not required as their information can usually be easily summarized in a few lines of text. Usually, range extensions will be published as Correspondence, even if their length exceeds the guidelines stipulated in the previous paragraphs.

Zootaxa editors follow a pluralistic approach and will decide on the suitability of manuscripts for the journal on a case-by-case basis. However, in general, for amphibian taxonomy manuscripts we encourage to follow the following guidelines:

- Pay particular attention to your Diagnosis and Comparisons section. Make sure that you give, in the diagnosis, good arguments why you assign your (new) species to a particular genus. Ideally this will be based on a set of unique synapomorphies or a diagnostic comparison of characters for a certain genus. If you have molecular data, you can also refer to these if morphological characters are ambiguous. In very heterogenous and poorly-defined genera, you might refer to general phenetic similarities but then have to provide a broader perspective on the generic classification in introduction and/or discuission.

- Make sure that the diagnosis and Comparisons sections provide a complete set of characters that distinguish the species in question from all other species in the genus, as far as possible. Use well-defined and distinct character without overlap of measurements. We particularly encourage the use of integrative approaches in which morphological, bioacoustic and/or molecular data are used. Species descriptions that provide evidence of full congruence among such independent character sets in diagnosing species will usually be processed and accepted very fast while manuscripts with poor diagnoses might undergo various often time-consuming rounds of review.

- We discourage manuscripts that describe single species on the basis of historical specimens only. At least, some kind of biological information (colour in life, habitat, reproduction) should be attached to newly described species. However, in the context of comprehensive revisions of entire groups of taxa with numerous new data on all involved taxa, also such descriptions on the basis of historical specimens only are fully acceptable.


Data availability

Zootaxa does not regularly publish online supplements. Although such materials can be included and published, we encourage authors to submit their original data to dedicated repositories (e.g., figshare.com which is free of charges) and the DOI accession number of the data sets provided in the manuscript. This especially includes tables with original measurements, alignments, and additional figures. DNA sequences must be submitted to one of the dedicated nucleotide sequence repositories and accession numbers provided in the manuscript upon publication. We are working on additional recommendations and susggestions for taxonomic data repositories.

Manuscript submission

Manuscripts should be submitted by email (as email attachments) to the corresponding section editors (see on top of the page for email addresses). Different formats should be followed depending on whether you are submitting a new manuscript for consideration, a manuscript that is re-submitted after major revision, or a manuscript that is re-submitted after having been accepted pending minor revision.

1. New manuscripts should be submitted in the form of two files only: one file in RTF or Word format that includes the text and all tables (but no figures), and a second file in PDF format that includes text+tables+figures (figures at the end of the document). If possible, please apply continuous line numbering to the text in both files. Do not send Tables or figures as separate files. Please apply logical file names to the files, starting with your name, then a brief title, and the year of submission. Do not use blanc spaces in file names but underscores. For example, you could submit a manuscript with two files named:

"Boulenger_New_species_of_Rana_2007.doc", and


When submitting a new manuscript, make sure that you suggest three potential referees with their email-addresses.

2. Manuscripts that are resubmitted after major revision should be sent similar to new submissions (see above). Again, send just one RTF or Word file with text+tables, and one PDF file with text+tables+figures. In addition please add one additional file in which you explain in detail how you have revised the manuscript. The easiest way to do this is to copy the comments of the reviewers into a text document, and provide a detailed answer to each of these comments.

3. In the case of manuscripts that are re-submitted after minor revision, please send (1) a RTF or Word file with text + tables, (2) each figure in a separate file in TIFF or JPEG format, and (3) a separate file where you explain in detail how you have revised the manuscript (see above).

The figures should be in adequate resolution for printing (at least 300 dpi in original printing size). If the figures are not in colour, make sure that they are in the correct colour mode (halftone/grayscale, not RGB or CMYK). We prefer receiving TIFF format files, but if these are too large for being sent, JPEG format is acceptable as well (but make sure they are in adequate resolution and with low compression). In the case of plates with several single figures (e.g., labeled as a, b, c), please make sure you compose these yourself into one single plate with the relevant labelling, and send them as one single file. Colour photos should be combined as much as possible into such plates (see below for more information). Do NOT compose plates in Word or other text editing files but rather use an adequate layout software.

Again, in the final resubmissions, make sure you label each file adequately. Please do not send files just labeled as "Fig1.tif", but add your name and short title of manuscript in each case, e.g., "Boulenger_New_species_of_Rana_2007_Fig1.tif", etc. Use underscores, not spaces or periods in file names. If you have many figures, and thus many separate files, you may consider to sent them in one compressed folder (ZIP or RAR archive).

Before sending final re-submissions, make sure you have once more carefully checked the style and format of the manuscript (see below). Cross-check the references and the citations in the text (is each cited reference in the reference list, and is each reference cited at least once in the text?). Are the references all exactly in the correct format for Zootaxa?

If you are not a native English speaker, reviewers and/or editor may remark that the style and grammar of the manuscript is in need of revision. We will help with minor corrections, but if major corrections are necessary, we will request that authors search themselves the assistance of native-speaking colleagues to revise the manuscript.

Manuscript files up to 5 MB can usually be sent directly by email. For submitting large manuscripts, please use a bulk transfer utility such as www.yousendit.com.


Format and style of manuscripts

Please consult the Information for Authors: www.mapress.com/zootaxa/author.html. If possible, use the common font Times New Roman for the main text and use as little formatting as possible (use only bold and italics where necessary; and indent the paragraphs from the second of each section). Special symbols (e.g. male or female sign) should be avoided because they are likely to be altered when files are converted. You are recommended to code males as m# and females as f#. We can replace them easily.

Please provide, on a title page of the manuscript file, the following information when submitting the final files to enable us to typeset and index your paper:

a) name of corresponding author and email;

b) family names of authors and preferred short running title (<60 alphabets);

c) number of plates and cited references; and

d) high taxon (as in Zootaxa sections) and number of new taxa described in the paper.

Specific points to note:

A) Text of the manuscript. Please save the file containing the text and tables as a ms word or RTF file. Do not double space or use footer/header. Captions of plates/figures should be inserted where you want your figures to be inserted, or listed at the end of the manuscript.

B) Tables. Please use the table function in your word processor to build tables so that the cells can be easily re-sized to fit the page by the typesetters. Never use the Tab key to type tables, nor use space bar to adjust space. If you did that, please correct them.

C) Figures. Please note that the journal has a matter size of 25 cm x 17 cm (printable area of the main text and plates) and is printed on A4 paper. If the final size of your plates is greater than this, please crop extra white areas around plates or reduce it to this size; this will reduce file size. Plates containing only black&white lines/dots are line art works and should be scanned as such (i.e. 1 bit, monochrome line art) at 600 dpi (maximum 1200 dpi). They should be saved in tiff file and LZW compression is recommended to be used to reduce file size for easy sub-mission by e-mail. Plates containing greyscale drawings and photographs should be scanned at 300 dpi (minimum) and saved in TIFF (use LZW compression) or jpeg at the highest quality. Please do not modify photographs in the jpeg files; the print quality would be severely altered if you did that. You can modify files in the TIFF file and when completed, convert to high quality jpeg for submission. If you have colour figures, it is best to group them together in plates, which will save cost.

D) Reference list. This must be formatted using Zootaxa style (see below for examples of main types of papers): Please note that

(1) journal titles must be written in full (not abbreviated);

(2) journal titles and volume numbers are followed by a “,”;

(3) page ranges are connected by a “n dash”, not a hyphen “-”, which is used to connect two words. For websites, it is important to include the last date when you see that site, as it can be moved or deleted from that address in the future.