Submission Guidelines

 

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Abridged structure
  • Original Research Article
  • Review articles
  • Case studies
  • Nomenclatural changes
  • New Distribution Records
  • Checklists
  • News and views
  • Short communications
  • Cover Letter
Full structure
  • Original Research Article
  • Taxonomic Treatments

Overview

The author guidelines include information about the types of articles received for publication and preparing a manuscript for submission. Other relevant information about the journal's policies and the reviewing process can be found under the about section. The compulsory cover letter form part of a submission and is on the first page of the manuscript. It should always be presented in English. See full structure of cover letter below. After the cover letter the manuscript body starts. Manuscripts dealing with protected areas, we suggest that manuscripts dealing specifically with biodiversity in protected areas be submitted to Koedoe, African Protected Area Biodiversity and Science at www.koedoe.co.za.

 

 

Original Research Article


An original article provides an overview of innovative research in a particular field within or related to the focus and scope of the journal, presented according to a clear and well-structured format.

 

Word limit

6000 words (excluding the structured abstract and references)

Structured abstract

250 words to cover a Background, Objectives, Method, Results and Conclusion

References

60 or less

Tables/Figures

no more than 7 Tables/Figure

Ethical statement

should be included in the manuscript

Collecting permits

should be included in the manuscript

 

Review articles


Review articles provide a comprehensive summary of research on a certain topic, and a perspective on the state of the field and where it is heading. These articles are often meta-analyses comparing and combining findings of previously published studies.

 

Word limit

6000 words (excluding the unstructured abstract and references)

Unstructured abstract

250 words to cover a Background, Objectives, Method, Results and Conclusion

References

60 or less

Tables/Figures

data in the text should not be repeated extensively in tables or figures

Ethical statement

should be included in the manuscript

Collecting permits

should be included in the manuscript

 

Case studies


Strategies or innovative case studies in any field of work aligned with the scope of the journal

 

Word limit

1000-1400 words (excluding the unstructured abstract and references)

Unstructured abstract

250 words to cover a Background, Objectives, Method, Results and Conclusion

References

60 or less

Tables/Figures

data in the text should not be repeated extensively in tables or figures

Ethical statement

should be included in the manuscript

Collecting permits

should be included in the manuscript

 

Nomenclatural changes


Brief notes on nomenclatural changes where these do not include new or revised taxon descriptions will be consolidated and published as a single short communication and referenced with all authors listed alphabetically, but each contributing author will be credited in the text with their specific section. Nomenclatural changes that form part of a larger taxonomic study that includes new findings or interpretations could be published as either a full research article or as a short communication.

 

Word limit

1400-2500 words (excluding the structured abstract and references)

Structured abstract

250 words to cover a Background, Objectives, Method, Results and Conclusion

References

20 or less

Tables/Figures

data in the text should not be repeated extensively in tables or figures

 

New Distribution Records


New distribution records that significantly amplify the known range of a species, or records of rare species for which only limited information is available, will be considered.

 

Word limit

1600 words (excluding the structured abstract and references)

Structured abstract

250 words to cover a Background, Objectives, Method, Results and Conclusion

References

20 or less

Tables/Figures

no more than 5 Tables/Figure

 

Checklists


Either national or regional checklist that include taxonomic information such as author citation, synonyms, type information. Checklists for local scale areas may be considered if these include analyses and interpretation of the diversity. In cases where the checklists include more than 20 taxa it may be necessary to only publish the full list in the online version of the journal as an appendix.

 

Word limit

1000 words (excluding the unstructured abstract and references)

Unstructured abstract

250 words to cover a Background, Objectives, Method, Results and Conclusion

References

10 or less

Tables/Figures

data in the text should not be repeated extensively in tables or figures

 

News and views


These are concise reports or opinion pieces on events, or on publications that have policy or decision-making impacts (eg. release of new legislation or regulations or national or regional assessments of species or ecosystems) or newsworthy happenings. News and views contributions will not be peer reviewed but will be checked by the Editor-in-Chief and will clearly indicate that they were not peer reviewed.

 

Word limit

1000 words (excluding the references)

References

10 or less

Tables/Figures

data in the text should not be repeated extensively in tables or figures

 

Short communications


Short Communications is short articles addressing new ideas and controversial opinions. It should be a high-quality, hypothesis-driven, self-contained piece of original research and/or the proposal of a new theory or concept based on existing research.

 

Word limit

2000 words (excluding the unstructured abstract and references)

Unstructured abstract

100 words to cover a Background, Objectives, Method, Results and Conclusion

References

30 or less

Tables/Figures

no more than 6 Tables/Figure

Ethical statement

should be included in the manuscript

Collecting permits

should be included in the manuscript

 

Cover Letter


The format of the compulsory cover letter forms part of your submission. It is located on the first page of your manuscript and should always be presented in English. You should provide the following elements:

  1. Full title: Specific, descriptive, concise, and comprehensible to readers outside the field, max 95 characters (including spaces).
  2. Tweet for the journal Twitter profile: This will be used on the journal Twitter profile to promote your published article. Max 101 characters (including spaces). If you have a Twitter profile, please provide us your Twitter @ name. We will tag you to the Tweet
  3. Full author details: The title(s), full name(s), position(s), affiliation(s) and contact details (postal address, email, telephone, highest academic degree, Open Researcher and Contributor Identification (ORCID) and cell phone number) of each author.
  4. Corresponding author: Identify to whom all correspondence should be addressed.
  5. Authors’ contributions: Briefly summarise the nature of the contribution made by each of the authors listed.
  6. Disclaimer: A statement that the views expressed in the submitted article are his or her own and not an official position of the institution or funder.
  7. Source(s) of support: These include grants, equipment, drugs, and/or other support that facilitated conduct of the work described in the article or the writing of the article itself.
  8. Summary: Lastly, a list containing the number of words, pages, tables, figures and/or other supplementary material should accompany the submission.

Anyone that has made a significant contribution to the research and the paper must be listed as an author in your cover letter. Contributions that fall short of meeting the criteria as stipulated in our policy should rather be mentioned in the ‘Acknowledgements’ section of the manuscript. Read our authorship guidelines and author contribution statement policies.

 

 

Original Research Article full structure


Title: The article’s full title should contain a maximum of 95 characters (including spaces).

 

Abstract: The abstract, written in English, should be no longer than 250 words and must be written in the past tense. The abstract should give a succinct account of the objectives, methods, results and significance of the matter. The structured abstract for an Original Research article should consist of five paragraphs labelled Background, Objectives, Method, Results and Conclusion.

  • Background: Why do we care about the problem?  State the context and purpose of the study. (What practical, scientific or theoretical gap is your research filling?)
  • Objectives: What problem are you trying to solve? What is the scope of your work (e.g. is it a generalised approach or for a specific situation)? Be careful not to use too much jargon.
  • Method: How did you go about solving or making progress on the problem? State how the study was performed and which statistical tests were used. (What did you actually do to get the results?) Clearly express the basic design of the study; name or briefly describe the basic methodology used without going into excessive detail. Be sure to indicate the key techniques used.
  • Results: What is the answer? Present the main findings (that is, as a result of completing the procedure or study, state what  you have learnt, invented or created). Identify trends, relative change or differences on answers to questions.
  • Conclusion: What are the implications of your answer? Briefly summarise any potential implications. (What are the larger implications of your findings, especially for the problem or gap identified in your motivation?)

Do not cite references and do not use abbreviations excessively in the abstract.

 

Introduction: The introduction must contain your argument for the social and scientific value of the study, as well as the aim and objectives:

  • Social value: The first part of the introduction should make a clear and logical argument for the importance or relevance of the study. Your argument should be supported by use of evidence from the literature.
  • Scientific value: The second part of the introduction should make a clear and logical argument for the originality of the study. This should include a summary of what is already known about the research question or specific topic, and should clarify the knowledge gap that this study will address. Your argument should be supported by use of evidence from the literature.
  • Conceptual framework: In some research articles it will also be important to describe the underlying theoretical basis for the research and how these theories are linked together in a conceptual framework. The theoretical evidence used to construct the conceptual framework should be referenced from the literature.
  • Aim and objectives: The introduction should conclude with a clear summary of the aim and objectives of this study.

Research methods and design: This must address the following:

  • Study design: An outline of the type of study design.
  • Setting: A description of the setting for the study; for example, the type of community from which the participants came or the nature of the health system and services in which the study is conducted.
  • Study population and sampling strategy: Describe the study population and any inclusion or exclusion criteria. Describe the intended sample size and your sample size calculation or justification. Describe the sampling strategy used. Describe in practical terms how this was implemented.
  • Intervention (if appropriate): If there were intervention and comparison groups, describe the intervention in detail and what happened to the comparison groups.
  • Data collection: Define the data collection tools that were used and their validity. Describe in practical terms how data were collected and any key issues involved, e.g. language barriers.
  • Data analysis: Describe how data were captured, checked and cleaned. Describe the analysis process, for example, the statistical tests used orsteps followed in qualitative data analysis.
  • Ethical considerations: Approval must have been obtained for all studies from the author's institution or other relevant ethics committee and the institution’s name and permit numbers should be stated here.

Results: Present the results of your study in a logical sequence that addresses the aim and objectives of your study. Use tables and figures as required to present your findings. Use quotations as required to establish your interpretation of qualitative data. All units should conform to the SI convention and be abbreviated accordingly. Metric units and their international symbols are used throughout, as is the decimal point (not the decimal comma).

 

Discussion: The discussion section should address the following four elements:

  • Key findings: Summarise the key findings without reiterating details of the results.
  • Discussion of key findings: Explain how the key findings relate to previous research or to existing knowledge, practice or policy.
  • Strengths and limitations: Describe the strengths and limitations of your methods and what the reader should take into account when interpreting your results.
  • Implications or recommendations: State the implications of your study or recommendations for future research (questions that remain unanswered), policy or practice. Make sure that the recommendations flow directly from your findings.

Conclusion: Provide a brief conclusion that summarises the results and their meaning or significance in relation to each objective of the study.

 

Acknowledgements: Those who contributed to the work but do not meet our authorship criteria should be listed in the Acknowledgments with a description of the contribution. Authors are responsible for ensuring that anyone named in the Acknowledgments agrees to be named.

Also provide the following, each under their own heading:

  • Competing interests: This section should list specific competing interests associated with any of the authors. If authors declare that no competing interests exist, the article will include a statement to this effect: The authors declare that they have no financial or personal relationship(s) that may have inappropriately influenced them in writing this article. Read our policy on competing interests.
  • Author contributions:  All authors must meet the criteria for authorship as outlined in the authorship policy and author contribution statement policies.
  • Funding: Provide information on funding if relevant
  • Disclaimer: A statement that the views expressed in the submitted article are his or her own and not an official position of the institution or funder.

References: Authors should provide direct references to original research sources whenever possible. References should not be used by authors, editors, or peer reviewers to promote self-interests. Refer to the journal referencing style downloadable on our Formatting Requirements page.

 

 

Taxonomic Treatments


This section serves as a guide to explain and standardise the presentation of taxonomy in research articles and short communications. More details of rules that must be adhered to can be obtained from:

The following sequence and format must be followed for taxonomic treatments: 

  • Current name (the name under which the taxon should be known following all relevant rules of nomenclature) (bold,  italicised), author citation (not italicised), author/s of paper in which current name first published (if different from original author) in name of the journal / publication written out in full (not italicised), volume: page number /range (date of publication), figure(s). Basionym (the name on which the current name is based if published in a different genus or rank) (italicised), author of basionym plus name of journal in which protologue was published if, and only if, the current name is a new combination or rank: page of publication of basionym; date of publication.
  • Other published combinations derived from the basionym, in chronological order.
  • Type locality: as provided in the original description in inverted commas, with modern equivalents provided in square brackets. Type specimen/s:  date of collection, collector and collection number (where available) (italics), institution code (using global acronym), catalogue number (where available), status (holotype, isotype / syntype, lectotype). If specimen was examined, this is indicated by a ‘!’ after the specimen status.
  • Additional references if required, in chronological order, with  author: page (year of publication), figure number/s reflected (eg. Boris et al.: 14 (1966); Boris: 89 (1967), fig. 9.).
  • List of additional synonyms in chronological order, arranged in groups of nomenclatural synonyms (i.e. homotypic synonyms followed by heterotypic synonyms [based on a different type],  arranged chronologically), with references cited as author, page (year of publication), and figure number/s listed in chronological order.
  • Identification of illegitimate names in the nomenclatural component must be accompanied by an appropriate indication of the reason for their illegitimacy. The type details for each heterotypic synonym should be included (institution code followed by catalogue number where available and type status), and those specimens examined by the author/s must be indicated by an exclamation mark. The full reference for citations must be included in the Reference list. Examples:
    • Eremiolirion amboense (Schinz) J.C. Manning & C.A. Mannheimer in Bothalia 35: 117 (2005), fig. 4. Type: South West Africa [Namibia], Amboland [Ovamboland], Ongangua [Ondongwa], without date, Ruatanen 344 (Z, holo.!).
    • Walleria gracilis (Salisb.) S. Carter in Kew Bulletin 16: 189 (1962). Androsyne gracilis Salsb.: 61 (1866). Type: South Africa, Western Cape, William Marsden [BM, holo!; drawing in Salisbury mss.8: 818 (BM)].
    • Walleria armata Scltr. & K. Kruase in Krause: 235 (1921). Type: South Africa, [Western Cape, near Klawer], [Farm] Windhoek, 8 July 1896, R. Schlechter 8074 (B, holo. [not seen]; BM!, BR!, COI!, GRA!, K, MO!, PRE!, S!. iso.).
    • Plagiotaphrus improvisus (Attems 1934): Hoffman  in Revue de Zooogie et de Botanique Africaines, 83 (3–4): 209 (1971), fig. 2. Megaskamma improvisa: Attems: 16: 13 (1934), figs 14–17. Type: Angola, near Cuanza river, Biė District, Jan. 1932, F. Haas (SMF 1694, holo. [not seen] 1 male).
    • Drimia karooica (Oberm.) J.C.Manning & Goldblatt, comb. nov. Rhadamanthus karroicus Oberm. in Bothalia 13: 138 (1980).  
  • Lectotypes or neotypes should be chosen where possible for current names without a holotype. It is not necessary to lectotypify synonyms. When a lectotype or neotype are newly chosen, this should be indicated by using the phrase 'designated here'. If reference is made to a previously selected lectotype or neotype, the name of the designating author and the literature reference should be given. In cases where no type was cited, and none has subsequently been nominated, this may be stated as 'not designated'.

Description of new taxa: All newly described taxa and newly proposed synonyms and new combinations should be explicitly designated as such, e.g. fam. nov., trib. nov., gen. nov., sp. nov., nom. nudem., syn. nov., comb. nov.

Name (bold, not italicised) Authority, sp. nov.

TYPE/S: (holotype followed by paratype/s) COUNTRY (upper case), province (bold), locality as given by original collector, modern equivalent of collecting locality in square brackets (if relevant), geographic co-ordinates if the geographic co-ordinates were not provided on the specimen label or provided by the collector, and were identified by the author using a gazeteer or Google Earth, this must be indicated by including the co-ordinates in []), altitude, habitat or other available, relevant collecting details, date of collection, collector’s name, collector’s number (if available), (institution where specimen is housed (using global acronyms for these), catalogue number (if available), number of specimens by male and female (where relevant). Examples:

  • Lasiosiphon rigidus J.C. Manning & Boatwr., sp. nov.

TYPES: SOUTH AFRICA, Northern Cape: Tankwa [Tangua] Karoo National Park, SW foot of Leeuberg, along drainage lines, [32°18,2’S / 20°0.3’E, 414 masl], 20 June 2012, Manning 3363 (NBG, holo.; MO, PRE, iso.).

  • Doratogonus microsetus  Hamer, sp. nov.

TYPES: SOUTH AFRICA, Mpumalanga: Wakkerstroom, 27.36670°S / 30.01670° E, 20 Dec, 2000, D. Forbes (NMSA 21786, 1 male holo.; NMSA 21787, 2 males, 1 females,  para.).


Abridged structure for taxonomic treatments:

  • Description (with third-level headings if required, and according to diagnostic characters for the particular taxon)
  • Distribution and habitat
  • Ecology
  • Etymology
  • Local name/s
  • Uses / economic value
  • Diagnosis and relationships
  • Conservation status – comment on whether included in existing Red Lists, or whether the species would potentially qualify as threatened and describe current and potential threats.
  • Other material examined – country (upper case), province (bold), locality as given by original collector, modern equivalent of collecting locality in square brackets (if relevant), co-ordinates (degrees, minutes decimal), approximate altitude, date of collection, collector’s name, institution where specimen is housed (using international acronym or code for these), catalogue number, number of specimens by male and female (where relevant).
  • List of specimens can be arranged either alphabetically by country, and within countries, by province, and within provinces,  by town name, then alphabetically by repository abbreviation, and then by catalogue or collector number from lowest to highest, or geographically following a published system (e.g. degree and quarter-degree system). The approach used for ordering lists of specimens must be stated in the Materials & Methods section. 
  • Herbarium acronyms follow Index Herbariorum (Thiers, B. [continuously updated]. Index Herbariorum: A global directory of public herbaria and associated staff. New York Botanical Garden's Virtual Herbarium. https://sweetgum.nybg.org/ih/). The accepted acronyms for other institutions can be obtained from the Global Registry of Biorepositories (GRBio) (https://grbio.org).
  • Original type locality information in a foreign language or using archaic/outdated place names should be indicated using inverted comas, with any relevant corrections for modern usage, including conversions to metric units, added in square brackets.
  • The date of collection is to be presented as day, month of the year (abbreviated as Jan., Feb., Mar., Apr., May, June, July, Aug., Sept., Oct., Nov., Dec.), and year in full.
  • Geographic co-ordinates must be presented as taken from a GPS, or from an online gazeteer or georeferencer in degrees, decimal minutes (DDM). Records must also indicate the hemisphere (E or W and N or S, and the estimated / approximate altitude. If the geographic co-ordinates and approximate altitude were not provided on the specimen label or provided by the collector, and were identified by the author, this must be indicated by including the co-ordinates in [].
  • For species that may be threatened by over-collecting, the co-ordinates can be degraded to reflect only the degrees and minutes, or the degree or quarter degree grid reference can be stated. In the case of old specimens where the exact locality is unknown the degree and minutes or equivalent, or the degree or quarter degree grid square can be provided. Examples:
    • SOUTH AFRICA. Western Cape: Near Eendekuil, western foot of Piekenierskloof Pass, [32°37.136’S / 18°57.525’E 476masl], 28 Aug. 2009, Magee, Boatwright, Manning and Goldblatt 161 (NBG, PRE, K, BOL); roadside near Gouda, [33°37.136’S / 19°2.044’E, 85masl], 09 Sept. 1951, Esterhuysen 18840 (BOL [3 sheets], K, PRE).Tulbagh, 33°17.126’S / 19°8.257”E, 162masl, Sept. 1919, Bolus 16734 (BOL).
    • SOUTH AFRICA: KwaZulu-Natal: Nkandhla Forest, in forest along dirt road, 28º43’38.592”S / 31º07’58.281”E, 1121 masl, 19 Nov, 2001, A. Armstrong & H. Murray(NMSA 21970 [1 male, 1 female]).

Language for these sections must be as concise as possible, using principles instead of verbs.


Identification keys: Dichotomous keys must use sequential numbering, with the two parts of the couplet numbered 1A., 1B.; 2A., 2B. etc.


Illustrations for taxonomic works: Descriptions of new plant species should include a photograph of the holotype specimen, unless there is a good reason for not providing this. For all taxa, descriptions of new species and taxonomic revisions should include annotated illustrations that clearly show and indicate diagnostic characters.

 

 

Formatting requirements

Checklist

Please review the checklist below to prepare your manuscript. This will help to make sure your submission is complete and gets handled as quickly as possible.

  • CHECK 1: Make sure your manuscript is the right fit for the journal by reviewing the journal information .
  • CHECK 2: Read the publication fees.
  • CHECK 3: Review if the journal publishes the type of article that you wish to submit. Read the types of articles published.
  • CHECK 4: You must be comfortable with publishing in an open access journal. Read our copyrights and licensing policy.
  • CHECK 5: The entire manuscript must be neatly prepared, spell-checked, and adhere to the formatting requirements stipulated in our submission guidelines.
  • CHECK 6: Prepare the cover letter and licensing forms as required on the submissions guidelines.
  • CHECK 7: Read our publication policies, privacy policy and terms of use.
  • CHECK 8: We recommend authors to have ORCID iDs, which can only be assigned by the ORCID Registry. ORCID (Open Researcher and Contributor ID) is a nonproprietary alphanumeric code to uniquely identify scientific and other academic authors and contributors. You must conform to their standards for expressing ORCID iDs, and will have the opportunity to include the full URL (e.g. https://orcid.org/0000-0002-1825-0097) during the submission process, that will link to your name when the manuscript is published.

Licencing forms