Editorial Policies

Focus and Scope

This electronic journal focuses on the emerging field of biodiversity informatics--the creation, integration, analysis, and understanding of information regarding biological diversity. The journal encourages submissions in any area of the biodiversity informatics enterprise. We distinguish between two types of submissions; full manuscripts and application notes. Application notes are shorter papers (typically not exceeding ten manuscript pages) that announce and describe a new biodiversity informatics application. Full manuscripts may still include details on any particular biodiversity informatics tool, but the scope of the paper should be larger than that single application. Full manuscipts should include more details about shared development challenges and solutions for the whole community, and how the work fits in with broad development or research questions of importance to the biodiversity research or biodiversity tool development community.

POTENTIAL AUTHORS SHOULD NOTE: When users register with the journal three check boxes are available towards the end of the form that allow a user to select potential roles: choices are "Reader," "Author," and "Reviewer"--anyone considering contributing to the journal should select all three. Once a user is registered, however, apparently only managers can alter their roles(!). This seems to be a (minor) flaw / oversight in the software, and may--for the moment--require that readers who wish to become authors have to re-register using a different username and email, and checking the 'author' box.


Section Policies

Book/Media Reviews

Checked Open Submissions Checked Indexed Checked Peer Reviewed


Checked Open Submissions Checked Indexed Checked Peer Reviewed

Biodiversity Diagnoses

These contributions represent overviews and assessments of the state of knowledge of particular taxonomic groups in particular regions. They are designed to be flexible in scope and detail, to respond to variability in amounts and quality of data available.

Checked Open Submissions Checked Indexed Checked Peer Reviewed

Biodiversity Informatics Training Modules

These modules are the portal to an online curriculum of subjects in biodiversity informatics. Each is peer-reviewed, and thereby has some degree of reliability in terms of authoritative summary of a sub-field of biodiversity informatics.

Checked Open Submissions Checked Indexed Checked Peer Reviewed

Peer Review Process

BI typically seeks two peer reviews per manuscript submission. In cases of conflict between those two reviews, a third opinion or that of one of the editors may be sought. In some cases, the editors may decide to return manuscripts to authors prior to review with preliminary comments designed to improve the manuscript's chances of eventual acceptance. Each manuscript is inspected for non-original text and other unethical practices via a variety of means.


Publication Frequency

BI will be published continuously, with papers appearing as they are ready throughout the year.


Open Access Policy

This journal provides open access to all of it content on the principle that making research freely available to the public supports a greater global exchange of knowledge. Such access is associated with increased readership and increased citation of an author's work. For more information on this approach, see the Public Knowledge Project, which has designed this system to improve the scholarly and public quality of research, and which freely distributes the journal system as well as other software to support the open access publishing of scholarly resources.

Biodiversity Informatics provides immediate open access to its content on the principle that making research freely available to the public supports a greater global exchange of knowledge. Authors will never be charged to submit or publish a manuscript through Biodiversity Informatics and all articles will be published under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial license.




Biodiversity Informatics is archived in Portico (www.portico.org) and at the University of Kansas


Publication Ethics and Malpractice Statement

The journal Biodiversity Informatics expects all persons involved in the publication process (author, journal editor, peer reviewer, publisher) to follow standards and norms of expected ethical behavior. These statements are based on COPE’s Best Practice Guidelines for Journal Editors (see http://publicationethics.org/resources/guidelines for various resources), and follow the template (roughly at least) of the National Journal of Community Medicine (http://www.njcmindia.org/home/about/22).

Publication Decisions: The editor decides which of the manuscripts submitted will be published. The editor will follow the journal’s stated policies, constrained by the relevant legal requirements regarding libel, copyright infringement, and plagiarism. The editor may confer with other editors or peer-reviewers in making these decisions.

Fair Play: The editor’s decisions regarding publication of manuscripts will be based on their intellectual content, without regard to race, gender, sexual orientation, religious belief, ethnic origin, citizenship, or political philosophy of the authors.

Confidentiality: The editor will not disclose any information about manuscripts submitted to any other parties, save for the corresponding author, reviewers and potential reviewers, and other editors.

Disclosure and Conflicts of Interest: Unpublished materials in submitted manuscripts will not be used in the editor's own research without the express written consent of the author.


Contribution to Editorial Decisions:  Peer review assists the editor in editorial decisions; through the editor, review may also assist the author in improving manuscripts.

Expertise and Promptness: Potential referees who do not feel qualified to evaluate a manuscript, or who will not be able to provide reviews within reasonable periods of time should advise the editor and excuse him/herself from the review process.

Confidentiality: Manuscripts received for review will be treated as confidential, and cannot be shared with others without editorial authorization.

Standards of Objectivity: Reviews should be objective, and with appropriate supporting information and argument. Ad hominem comments should be avoided at all costs.

Acknowledgement of Sources: Reviewers should identify relevant published work not cited by the authors, and should provide sufficient reference that the authors can find such previous work. Reviewers should make known to the editor any substantive overlap between a manuscript under consideration and other work of which they have personal knowledge.

Disclosure and Conflict of Interest:  Information and ideas disclosed to peer reviewers is confidential and cannot be used for personal advantage. Reviewers should not review manuscripts in any case in which they have real or apparent conflicts of interest of any sort (competition, collaboration, personal relationships, institutional connections) with any of the authors, companies, or institutions connected to the manuscript.


Reporting Standards: Authors should present careful accounting of work performed, together with objective discussion of significance of results. A paper should present data and methods in sufficient detail so that others can replicate the work. Fraudulent or known-inaccurate statements constitute unethical behavior and are unacceptable.

Data Access and Retention: Authors may be asked to provide access to relevant raw data used in development of a paper for the review process. Authors should be prepared to provide access to such data (consistent with the ALPSP-STM Statement on Data and Databases) as practical, and should retain such data for a reasonable time after publication. Whenever possible, authors should deposit such data in openly accessible repositories.

Originality and Plagiarism: The authors attest that the work submitted to the journal is original. Any use of work or words of others must be appropriately cited or quoted.

Multiple, Redundant, or Concurrent Publication: Authors should not publish manuscripts describing essentially the same research in multiple primary publications. Concurrent submissions of the same manuscript to multiple journals is unethical behavior and is unacceptable.

Authorship: Authorship should be limited to persons who have made a significant intellectual contributions specifically to the paper in question. These contributions may be to the conception, design, execution, or interpretation of the study. All who have made such contributions should be listed as co-authors. Others who participated in aspects of the research should be acknowledged appropriately. The corresponding author must ensure that all co-authors have seen and approved the final manuscript version and have agreed to its submission for publication.

Hazards and Human or Animal Subjects: Any work involving any hazardous materials or procedures, or that involves direct interaction with individual humans or other vertebrate animals must follow accepted norms for such work.

Disclosure and Conflicts of Interest: Authors must disclose any financial interests or other substantive conflicts of interest that might be construed as potentially influencing their results or interpretation of their manuscript. All sources of financial support for the research must be disclosed.

Errors in Published Works: Authors who discover significant errors or inaccuracies in the published work must notify the journal editor immediately, and cooperate with the editor to retract or correct the paper.