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As part of the submission process, authors are required to check off their submission's compliance with all of the following items, and submissions may be returned to authors that do not adhere to these guidelines.

  • The submission has not been previously published nor is it before another journal for consideration; or an explanation has been provided in Comments to the Editor.
  • The submission file is in Microsoft Word, RTF, or PDF document file format.
  • All URL addresses in the text (e.g., http://pkp.sfu.ca) are activated and ready to click.
  • The text is single-spaced; uses a 12-point font; employs italics, rather than underlining (except with URL addresses); with figures and tables placed at the end of the manuscript on separate pages.
  • The text meets this journal's formatting requirements outlined in the Author Guidelines on the Submissions page. Submissions departing from the journal's formatting styles will be returned to the authors prior to peer review, for appropriate formatting.
  • DECLARATION OF CONFLICT OF INTEREST: After the Acknowledgments, authors must include an explicit statement of any possible competing interests related to the topic of the paper. If the author has no such conflicts of interest, the author should include the following statement. "Competing Interests: The authors have declared that no competing interests exist."


Biodiversity Informatics publishes articles in all areas related to information regarding biodiversity: creation of electronic data sets, and their management, integration, analysis, interpretation, and understanding. We welcome manuscripts presenting significant and original results that extend our understanding of biodiversity informatics.

Papers follow several formats:

  1. ARTICLES: Regular articles report either important additions to biodiversity informatics, or careful empirical studies that bear on significant questions in the field. They should include an abstract that summarizes the results and their implications. Demonstrating well-established phenomena in another taxon or context may fall short of being acceptable. Similarly, papers that simply apply existing models are less likely to be accepted than those that materially extend our understanding or provide practical applications.
  2. TRAINING MODULES: Training modules present and describe didactic materials that are available to the community, such as online courses, training materials, etc.
  3. BIODIVERSITY DIAGNOSES: Biodiversity diagnoses present analyses of completeness of biodiversity information for taxa or across regions.
  4. BOOK/MEDIA REVIEWS: Reviews evaluate recently published books or monographs and set the reviewed work in the context of the field. Book Reviews are normally solicited, but aspiring reviewers may propose writing a review to the Editors. 
  5. SOFTWARE AND PROTOCOLS: These contributions present new free and open source programs, toolboxes, libraries, packages, protocols, or other forms of software to perform analyses in the field of biodiversity informatics.

GUIDELINES FOR MANUSCRIPT PREPARATION Manuscripts follow The Chicago Manual of Style, the CBE Style Manual, and the style and format of recent articles published in the journal Evolution, save that web links or URLs should be placed in footnotes. The names of journals in the Literature Cited section must be abbreviated according to BIOSIS. Do not hyphenate words at the right margin or justify the right margin. Footnotes to text should be avoided; they can usually be included in the text (parenthetically if necessary). All tables (including appendices) must be double spaced. Do not separate tables from their footnotes. Mathematical expressions must be clearly typed; leave two blank lines before and after each equation. Illustrations, when published, will be reduced to a maximum of 88 mm (single column) or 180 mm in width and 230 mm in length; calculate line thickness and symbol sizes accordingly. Figure legends must be double spaced. Figures and tables should be presented each on a separate page at the end of the manuscript, and not embedded in the manuscript.

SPECIAL GUIDELINES FOR BIODIVERSITY INFORMATICS TRAINING MODULES: We are trying out a new idea … peer-reviewed teaching modules that treat different aspects of the new field of biodiversity informatics. The idea is to provide diverse learning materials for colleagues around the world who might benefit from hearing authoritative lectures from experts in aspects of the field.

Here are some relevant links about the project:

  1. The main project page is located at http://biodiversity-informatics-training.org.
  2. Publicity/announcements are handled through a Facebook page, at http://www.facebook.com/groups/BiodiversityInformatics/.
  3. The modules are published in the journal Biodiversity Informatics, located at https://journals.ku.edu/jbi.
  4. An example of a training module (the first one to be ‘published’) can be seen at https://journals.ku.edu/index.php/jbi/article/view/4300.

The teaching modules are quite simple. As you can see in the link (#4 above), they consist of four elements:

  1. Abstract – keep it relatively short, just outlining the set of topics.
  2. Links to YouTube videos of your lecture (see excellent guidelines at http://support.google.com/youtube/bin/static.py?hl=en&guide=1728585&page=guide.cs). You are welcome to develop and post these videos yourself, or we can help out, as we have the protocols pretty much in hand. If you develop and post your own videos, be sure to choose the “Creative Commons License” option for posting, as that option retains the copyright for you.
  3. Reading materials (best supplied as a permanent URL … perhaps to an object in an institutional repository; if you are without ideas as to how to achieve this, we can help)
  4. Practice materials or sample data or worked examples (whatever is appropriate to the particular topic) In sum, preparation of these teaching modules is not a huge task, other than the process of accumulating and synthesizing the expertise with which to free brave enough to give the lecture in the first place. We (i.e., the BITC project personnel, or the Biodiversity Informatics editorial group) are very willing to help with any questions or complications. Please contact Town Peterson (town@ku.edu), if you have any remaining questions or doubts about this project.

SPECIAL GUIDELINES FOR SOFTWARE AND PROTOCOLS SUBMISSIONS: This section presents new free and open source programs, toolboxes, libraries, packages, protocols, or other forms of software or analysis workflows to perform analyses in the field of biodiversity informatics. This type of submission should use the following structure to the extent possible: Title,  Abstract, Keywords, Introduction, Software tool description, Example application, Discussion, Literature Cited. Before submitting your manuscript on software tools check the following list:

  1. The software presented is free and open source.
  2. Permanent links to the source code and to where issues can be reported are included.
  3. One or more clear examples of how to use the tools is presented.
  4. A complete guide to install/obtain the tools and reproduce all examples and figures is included.
  5. All data used in examples are openly available
  6. All main tools are properly documented.

We encourage authors interested in submitting this type of contributions to check other recommendations on how to prepare a manuscript describing scientific software (e.g., Romano and Moore 2020; https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pcbi.1008390).

SUBMISSION INSTRUCTIONS: Manuscripts must be in English, Spanish, or Portuguese. Manuscripts are submitted online via the Biodiversity Informatics website.

REVIEW: After a paper has been reviewed by the Editors and outside reviewers, the Editor will decide whether to accept or reject it. Acceptance is based on the quality of the work and writing and significance of the article to our understanding of evolution. Each paper must stand on its own merits and be a substantial contribution to the field. Authors of accepted papers will be asked to send an electronic version (Microsoft Word or Rich Text Format) of the accepted manuscript to the BI website for editing and publication.

STATEMENT ON AUTHORSHIP: Authorship of a paper carries with it responsibility as well as credit. All those whose names appear as authors should have played a significant role in designing or carrying out the research, writing the manuscript, or providing extensive guidance to the execution of the project. They should be able to present and defend the work in a public forum. Honorary authorship is to be avoided. All authors must be in agreement on both the submission and full content of any article carrying their name. Any violation of these conditions represents academic misconduct and will be dealt with accordingly.

ORIGINALITY:  By submitting papers to Biodiversity Informatics, 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.

PLAGIARISM:  By submitting articles to Biodiversity Informatics, the authors attest the following:

  • No part of manuscript is plagiarized from other sources
  • Proper reference is provided for all content extracted from other sources
  • Strong action will be taken against cases of plagiarism

All papers submitted have to pass through an initial screening, and will be checked through the Advanced Plagiarism Dectection Software (CrossCheck by iThenticate).

CHARGES FOR PUBLICATION: Biodiversity Informatics is founded on the principle of free and open access to information, in this case information about biodiversity informatics. Hence, no page charges are requested.

COPYRIGHT: Copyright for articles published in this journal is retained by the authors, with first publication rights granted to the journal. All articles are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial license.