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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Information for Authors

Frontiers of Biogeography.

  1. Sections
  2. Manuscript preparation and submission
  3. Additional information

A. Sections

Unsolicited submission are welcomed for all sections, but we are also happy to answer prior enquiries while manuscripts are in preparation. All such enquiries should be sent to the editorial office (email:

Research Articles

Manuscripts presenting original scientific research. All manuscripts should be written concisely and must distinguish introduction, methods, results, and discussion sections, unless clearly justified otherwise. Peer review.

Research Letters

Concise manuscripts presenting original scientific research that is of particular note and most effectively communicated in a short, punchy format. Structure should follow Research Articles. Peer review.


Detailed, in-depth treatments of a topic, either original research or comprehensive review and synthesis. Monographs should aim to substantially advance biogeography by integrating across fields and complex data sets, or by providing comprehensive historical, technical or conceptual syntheses of important topics in biogeography. When reporting original research, structure should follow Research Articles. Peer review.

Opinions, Perspectives and Reviews

Surveys of the discipline, supported by the literature, expressed in one of the following four forms. All subject to standard peer review.

– Opinion

Papers that question current lines of research, theories, methodologies or ‘schools of thought’. Opinion pieces must be of general interest to biogeographers and may take the form of responses to, or critiques of, specific published papers (including opinion papers) or established opinions. This forum should foster candid but civil discussion that is somewhat less constrained than perspectives or reviews. Peer review will assess support for the opinion in the literature or subfield of the literature, but will not reject a manuscript on the grounds of contrary opinion unless evinced by overwhelming published data and/or theory.

– Perspective

The viewpoints of established researchers on broad areas of biogeographical research, where the researchers intend to significantly advance an approach, concept or other important facet, by stating their perspective formed from a review of current evidence. Thus perspectives are better substantiated by a body of published evidence than opinions, and stated in a milder way, but still potentially representing a minority view or one that has fallen from favour for insufficient reasons. Peer review will substantiate that the perspective is internally consistent and not strongly contradicted by available evidence.

– Review

A summary of any biogeographical topic, reflecting the balance of evidence in the published literature. Reviews often will provide up-to-date general knowledge on a topic, enabling researchers to follow advances in areas outside their immediate research focus, and providing students, technicians and non-specialists in general with a rigorous introduction to these subjects. Reviews also may synthesize the contributions of classic authors, particularly bringing their lesser-known works into focus, or review the origins and growth of current research. Peer review.

– Synopsis (minireview)

A reasoned synthesis of the novel contribution made by doctoral research. Synopses will be engaging and authoritative reviews of the field based on the new information provided by the dissertation / thesis, and should draw together the individual chapters into a whole, fresh, viewpoint. A thesis synopsis should not be a simple summary of thesis chapters or list of abstracts from thesis papers, but rather will represent the thesis as a conceptually homogeneous body of work that represents more than the sum of its parts. The synopsis should normally be submitted within six months of graduation from the PhD-granting institution, and should clearly cite chapters already published and those yet to be published at the time of submission to Frontiers. The thesis itself must be cited. An embargo for the publication of the synopsis will be granted upon request if one or several chapters have not yet been accepted for publication by the time of the final acceptance of the manuscript. Peer review.

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News and update

A digest of the most recent advances in biogeography, including short, easy-to-read summaries of the current state of the art and longer commentaries with more technical content. Four types of contributions will be published in this section.

– News

Recent news covering any topic related to biogeography. Avoid jargon and explain necessary technical terms. Editorial review.

– Commentary

Articles highlighting papers in press or recently published, special issues, the significance of recent research and/or discussing recent findings. Longer texts shall discuss how the highlighted research fits with the body of knowledge in its specific area of research, and its general implications. Written in easy-to-read language. If you wish to write a commentary, please send a proposal to the Editor-in-Chief via the editorial office (email: no later than three months after the highlighted research has been published in print. This is to avoid multiple submissions on the same material. Editorial/Peer review.

– Workshop/symposium summary

Highlights of recent workshops, symposia or meetings that advance biogeography by breaking new ground in the study of a particular question, taxon, or region. The focus should be on discussing and/or summarizing the new advances, rather than on simply reporting what happened. Proposals should be sent via e-mail to the editorial office no later than one month after the meeting was held. Editorial/peer review.

– Book review

Reviews of recently published books (typically less than one year old) on biogeography or of particular interest to biogeographers. There is also a ‘Noted with Interest’ section providing brief details of other new books. Anyone may suggest books for review by contacting the editorial office. We welcome offers to review books, provided there is no conflict of interest involved. Reviews should be in an essay style, expressing an opinion about the value of the book, its focus and breadth, setting it in the context of recent developments within the field of study. Reviews of textbooks should consider their utility as resources for teaching and learning. Avoid describing the book chapter-by-chapter or listing typographical errors. Authors should suggest a short title for the review, followed by the title of the book(s), the authors/editors, publisher, publication date, price, ebk/hbk/pbk, pages, ISBN and website (where available). Figures or tables will not ordinarily be included. Authors of reviews must verify that they have not offered (and will not offer) a review of the same book to another journal, and must declare any potential conflict of interest that might interfere with their objectivity. Editorial review; peer review in some circumstances.

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Announcements, highlights and promotion of new resources available for generation or analysis of biogeographical data, or for the application of biogeographical knowledge. In addition to the toolbox and data categories (below), all other kinds of resources also will be considered (e.g. web-based resources, databases). Texts longer than regular size (see below) should be agreed in advance. A permanent link to the resource should be included. Peer review.

– Toolbox

Descriptions of new software (preferably freeware), packages in R and new analyses or analytical frameworks. Texts should describe the application, its use, and when necessary illustrate its operation with worked examples.

– Data

Descriptions of large datasets of significance for biogeographical research. Papers should (a) completely describe the rationale for collection or compilation of the data, the origin of the data and the methods used to gather and unify them, (b) state which data are the original intellectual property of the authors and/or properly acknowledge and describe the sources of these data, and (c) make the data publicly and freely accessible by deposition with a stable provider (e.g. DataONE, Dryad, Frontiers of Biogeography online supplementary documentation, PURL).

– Biogeography compendium

Biogeography compendium articles provide short updates on key biogeographical topics. Articles are intended for teaching biogeography at the graduate/postgraduate level, but can also provide technicians, non-specialists or researchers from other areas with an overview of the current state of the topic. Boxes and/or quotations of empirical and/or experimental examples are encouraged, as well as well-designed figures illustrating the main concepts. A biogeography compendium should preferably be accompanied online by one or several powerpoint slides and/or high-quality images that can be used for teaching or other presentations. Other effective or imaginative use of online media is welcome. Peer review.

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Specifically intended to facilitate the gathering and application of biogeographic knowledge relevant to current and future affairs, Agora aims to be a meeting place for a rich dialogue among all people with interests in any aspect of biogeography, including education, practice and research. Therefore, several kinds of articles will be accepted for this section, including digests where research in biogeography is explained in an easy way for those of us who are not research scientists, and articles on how to teach, communicate or apply biogeographical knowledge. Examples include advice from journal editors on publishing research in biogeography, librarians on publishing trends, active scientists on how to prepare successful manuscripts, policy-makers on data/knowledge gaps, filmmakers, newspaper editors or bloggers on public communication, etc. Other possibilities are papers on how biogeography is taught in different countries, or different institutions, and also on new experiences, or new educational tools. Papers in this section should avoid technical jargon and use clear and current examples to illustrate concepts. Periodical series of interviews may be constructed around a common theme (e.g. teaching biogeography). Editorial review.


Interviews with, or biographies of, scientists whose work has greatly advanced the field of biogeography, for example as indicated by awards, election to special office, and other recognition. Periodical series of interviews may be constructed around a common theme (e.g. conservation biogeography), to convey the viewpoints of biogeographers, other scientists and stakeholders on how biogeography research does and should contribute to current affairs. Proposals for interviewees and/or thematic series, and expressions of interest by guest interviewers are encouraged. Editorial review.

Obituaries summarizing the biography and contributions of recently deceased biogeographers.


Digests or highlights of issue contents related to current affairs in biogeography. Usually commissioned and written by the editorial board or International Biogeography Society (IBS) officers, but proposals of topics warranting editorial comment will be considered.


Essays or letters on matters arising in biogeography, typically responses to previous articles in this or another biogeographical journal. Peer review.


Announcements and/or advertisements on any matter (e.g. jobs, conferences, forthcoming books) of interest for members of the IBS, including IBS officer communications with the society and communication among all IBS members. The fee structure for advertisements is described at the bottom of this document. Enquiries should be directed to the editorial office at

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B. Manuscript preparation and submission

When preparing a manuscript for Frontiers of Biogeography, please identify the type of article you intend to submit. Follow the instructions on manuscript length and format provided below, by manuscript type.

Include alongside your manuscript, a cover note briefly outlining the suitability of the article for the journal, and its novelty/value to the field. Include in this cover note suggestions (including emails and/or address) for at least two suitable expert and independent peer reviewers (avoiding conflicted individuals) and any non-preferred reviewers. If the paper is submitted under the fast track route, this is the place to include any prior reviews and responses you wish to have considered.

We encourage authors to include an Acknowledgements section within their article and also to identify any conflicts of interest in this section.

In addition, authors are welcome to include a brief Author contributions statement immediately after the Acknowledgements, indicating the roles of each author in the most concise form they see fit.

In addition, authors are welcome to include their Orcid numbers alongside their affiliation details.

Use SI units, avoid over-use of abbreviations and define all uncommon abbreviations within the text. Please keep the text clear and concise, avoiding long, complex sentences and long verbal constructions. Aim to write in an active manner (e.g. prefer “presenting results should be lively, not boring” to “presentation of results should be associated with liveliness rather than with boredom”) and to use the active voice (e.g. “we tested the relationship” not “the relationship was tested”).

Manuscripts should be submitted in MS Word or other compatible formats. Line numbers must be provided. Figures and tables should be numbered in order of appearance in the text, preferably with the captions embedded within the main text, in the position desired in the final publication. The display items should be cited as, e.g., “Table 1”, “Fig. 2”; number figures and tables as 1, 2, etc. and panels within figures as a, b, etc. Provide concise but informative captions for figures and tables, which allow the illustration to be understandable without reference to the main text. Before submission, please make sure that all figures are complete, and need no additional editing. Figures can be embedded in
the text file, or provided as separate files. If providing as separate files .JPEG, .TIFF and .PNG formats are preferred. Colour figures and pictures are welcome and incur no charge.

In addition to including Figures with the submitted manuscript file, "Supplementary Material" can also be included within the main file on first submission if not taking up much space. Otherwise it should be provided as a separate file or files. Supplementary materials should be numbered S1, S2, etc. and a list with such numbering and short titles should be provided below the acknowledgments/author contributions/data accessibility statement.

Articles of the first four categories below include, in addition to an abstract, a 'Highlights' box of around 5 bullet points, at least one of which should be concerned with the wider significance of the article. This should complement rather than just repeat phrases from the Abstract. Please include your list of Highlights after the Abstract and before the keywords.

Manuscript length and format

Both American and UK English will be accepted provided that the chosen language is used consistently within the article. We prefer the active to the passive voice. The title should be concise and informative, and should be preceded by the article type (e.g. “Opinion: Title …”). Length guidelines for all article types may be relaxed by agreement with the Editor-in-Chief.

  • Research articles: typically 5,000–7,000 words, including an abstract of no more than 300 words, plus references and up to eight display items (i.e. figures, tables and/or boxes). Provide 6–10 keywords and a running title of no more than 50 characters. Name(s) and affiliation(s) of the author(s) should be provided at the beginning of the text, and must include department, institution, country and postal address, plus e-mail and a URL for at least one of the authors.
  • Research letters: typically 3,000–4,000 words, including an abstract of no more than 200 words, plus references and up to four display items. Keywords, running title, name(s) and affiliation(s) as for research articles (above).
  • Monographs: typically exceed 6,000 words, and the author should include in the cover letter a justification for the actual length of the manuscript. This justification should be based on the demands for a comprehensive presentation of the relevant topics, data, analyses and discussion of results within the greater context of the foundations and frontiers of biogeography. The abstract should not exceed 300 words, while the references may number up to ~100–200 citations. Keywords, running title, name(s) and affiliation(s) as for research articles (above).
  • Perspectives, reviews and biogeography compendium: ~8,000 words maximum, including an abstract of no more than 200 words, plus references and six figures/tables/boxes (eight in the case of biogeography compendium). Keywords, running title, name(s) and affiliation(s) as for research articles (above).
  • Opinions, toolbox, data and synopses: ~5,000 words maximum, including a short abstract (up to 150 words), plus references and four figures/tables. Provide 5–8 keywords. Running title, name(s) and affiliation(s) as for research articles (above).
  • News, commentaries, book reviews, workshop/symposium summaries, biographies and obituaries: ~4,000 words maximum; news and commentaries or summaries of a single article should be <1,000 words, and <1,400 words for two articles; include a display item if possible. The symposium or book details should be provided after the title when applicable. Name(s) and affiliation(s) of the author(s) should be provided at the end of the text, before the reference list; affiliations should include department, institution, country, plus e-mail and a URL for at least one of the authors, but not full postal address. One figure, table or box can be an asset. Pictures are welcome for biographies and obituaries.
  • Agora and interviews: ~3,500 words maximum, including an abstract of no more than 200 words for agora texts, and a short introduction to the interviewee for interviews. A picture of the interviewee should be provided in the case of interviews.
  • Correspondences are usually no more than 1,000 words unless otherwise solicited. Single narrative text without subsections. Up to 1 display item, 10 references.


Citations within the text should provide the author's name and the year of publication, as in this example: “this is likely (Heaney and Lomolino 2009) but Koch (2010) argued that it is not always true”. When referring to past works the past tense should be used as a standard. Works by three or more authors should be cited using “et al.” and avoiding italics: (Roy et al. 2004). Papers by the same author and year should be cited as a, b, c, etc. after the year of publication: (Iverson and Prasad 1998a,b). When citing a list of references, place them in date order and alphabetically when within a year, separated by commas, as follows: (Elton 1927, Iverson and Prasad 1998b, Roy et al. 2004, Vrba and DeGusta 2004, Soberón and Peterson 2005, Davies et al. 2008, Heaney and Lomolino 2009). In general, citations should reflect the frequency, importance, and relevance of the available literature. Unpublished data and works either in preparation or not yet accepted for publication may be cited only within the text, but not in the reference list, using all authors’ names and initials (or three authors plus ‘et al.’ if 5 or more authors), as follows: (J.A.F. Diniz-Filho, P. De Marco Jr and L.M. Bini unpublished). Personal communications may be quoted in the text, with permission from the colleague, and should be cited as follows: (J. Soberón, University of Kansas, personal communication). Webpages should be cited as footnotes including their full URL and date of access, except when the resource they host can be cited as a book or article (e.g. a data paper), as follows: “Taxonomic identifications follow Schoolmeesters (2010) and the most recent updates in the Scarabaeinae lifedesk1.” Footnote: “1., last accessed 30/12/2011.” Different URLs can be included in the same footnote. Footnotes should be numbered by first appearance in the text, and their use for anything other than websites limited.

The reference list should be sorted alphabetically by first author, then by number of authors (one, two, three or more), and then chronologically within each one of these three categories. Multi-authored works with more than 10 authors should list only the first three authors followed by et al. Titles of journals should be given in full. References should be formatted following the examples below:

Davies, T.J., Fritz, S.A., Grenyer, R., et al. (2008) Phylogenetic trees and the future of mammalian biodiversity. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA, 105, 11556–11563.

Elton, C.S. (1927) Animal ecology. Sidwick and Jackson, London.

Roy, K., Jablonski, D. & Valentine, J.W. (2004) Beyond species richness: biogeographic patterns and biodiversity dynamics using other metrics of diversity. In: Frontiers of biogeography – New directions in the geography of nature (ed. by M.V. Lomolino and L.R. Heaney), pp. 151–170. Sinauer Associates, Inc., Sunderland, MA.

Schoolmeesters, P. (2010) Scarabs: World Scarabaeidae database (version Jul 2010). In Species 2000 & ITIS Catalogue of Life 2011 Annual Checklist. (ed. by F.A. Bisby, Y.R. Roskov, T. Orrell, D. Nicolson, L. Paglinawan, N. Bailly, P.M. Kirk, T. Bourgoin, G. Baillargeon and D. Ouvrard). Species 2000, Reading, UK. Digital resource available at

Soberón, J. & Peterson, A.T. (2005) Interpretation of models of fundamental ecological niches and species' distribution areas. Biodiversity Informatics, 2, 1–10.

Articles that are not yet in final copy should be cited in one of the following three ways in submitted manuscripts. Articles that are accepted and available online from the publisher as a pre-print should be cited as above but providing the DOI as opposed to volume and page numbers. Articles that are accepted but not yet available online from the publisher as a pre-print should be cited as above but substituting “in press” for the year. Articles that are submitted but not yet accepted may be cited as above on submission to Frontiers, but substituting “submitted” for the year. All such references will need to be updated to the appropriate format during editing of galley proofs. Any work that is not accepted at the time your study enters the galley proofs stage at Frontiers must then be referred to only in the body of the text as unpublished material, as described above.

An EndNote style file is available at


Illustrations, such as graphs, preferably should be in vector format, or minimum 600 dpi. Pictures or raster images may be sent as tiff or jpeg formats, and preferably at 400 dpi or higher resolution. All figures should be explained fully in the accompanying caption (with legend if needed).

Special characters and Latin words

Species binomials must be italicized and the first occurrence should be accompanied by the taxonomic authority. Latin phrases, such as in situ, should be italicized, except for ‘et al.’ in citations and references.

Acknowledgements and author contributions

Important contributions of non-authors should be acknowledged, as well as funding sources and relevant permit numbers. For multi-authored works, the contributions of each author to project design, execution and manuscript preparation should be listed, as a separate paragraph, following the acknowledgements.

In addition, whenever applicable, please include a Data Accessibility Statement right after the Author Contributions or the Acknowledgments when the former is missing.

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C. Additional information


Frontiers of Biogeography accepts advertisements of jobs, books, meetings, and any other matter pertinent to its readership. Fees to institutions or non-IBS members are 50 USD per quarter page (~150 words); members may advertise lab-specific matters at no cost. Advertisements also are posted at no additional cost in abbreviated form on IBS’s facebook and news page.

Data access

We encourage, but do not require (except in the case of Data articles), authors to make novel datasets publicly and freely accessible, for example as online supplementary documentation or by deposition in a permanent open institutional or public repository such DataONE.

Publication fees and waivers

Frontiers of Biogeography is an online Open Access journal. The costs of the journal are currently met by a combination of subsidy from the International Biogeography Society and by author page charges. Ability to pay has no bearing on acceptance for publication. Most article types attract page charges of 300 USD (non-IBS members) or 150 USD (IBS members). Commentaries, workshop/symposium summaries and thesis abstracts attract page charges of 100 USD (non-IBS) but are free for IBS members. There are no charges for submitting an article.

Following acceptance of an article for publication, the corresponding author will be sent an invoice for the relevant sum. Our policy is, in effect, a pay if you can model. Those who have access to funds to offset publication page charges are requested to pay and those who do not can decline by sending an email in response to the invoice, sent to the Editorial Office. This policy is in effect until further notice.

Best practices

Frontiers of Biogeography aims to implement the principles of publishing ethics for authors, editors, and journals embodied in guidelines from the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) and the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE).

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