Skip to main content
Open Access Publications from the University of California

Frontiers of Biogeography

Frontiers of Biogeography bannerUC Merced

Information for Authors

Frontiers of Biogeography

  1. Sections
    • Research Articles
    • Reviews
    • Perspectives
    • Correspondence
    • Book Reviews
  2. Manuscript preparation and submission
    • Cover Letter
    • File types and display items
    • Manuscript elements required/optional
    • References
  3. Additional information
    • Data accessibility
    • Publication fees and waivers
    • Best practices

1. Sections

We are happy to answer prior enquiries while manuscripts are in preparation. Such enquiries may be sent to the editorial office (email: or to members of the editorial board. The editors may commission invited Editorials and Profiles from time to time. As our emphasis is on flexibility of formats, articles may be published under additional straplines where this is thought to provide a more appropriate guide for readers.

All of the following article types are accepted for publication based on a standard independent peer review process, although the editors reserve the right to reject submissions without review.

Research Articles

Manuscripts presenting original scientific research. All manuscripts should be written concisely and should distinguish introduction, methods, results, and discussion sections, unless clearly justified otherwise. For simplicity, we no longer distinguish between shorter letters, fuller length articles and monographs. For guidance, most Research Articles are of 5,000 to 7,000 words in the main text. Shorter papers are welcome of course, while longer papers (of monographic length) must justify their size e.g. by providing substantial advances and integration across fields and complex data sets.

In addition to regular analytical papers, Frontiers of Biogeography welcomes papers that provide new resources, toolboxes or data sets, i.e. papers providing new methods, software, code, databases. We also encourage efforts by authors to make their data publicly and freely accessible by deposition with a stable provider (e.g. DataONE, Dryad, Frontiers of Biogeography online supplementary documentation, PURL).


Mini-reviews, full length reviews, and syntheses, should provide up-to-date assessments of advances in specific areas of biogeography. Tightly focused mini-reviews derived from doctoral theses may be considered but should provide a useful horizon scan of an area of the literature rather than being duplicative of separately published chapters from the thesis. While we may also consider retrospective treatments of classic contributions to the field, pre-submission enquiries should be made to the editors during article preparation to avoid disappointment. Submissions to the Review section should ordinarily not exceed 8,000 words in the main text.


The perspective heading encourages submissions that present an evidence-based argument of general interest to the readership, permitting the advancement of theory, the promotion or critique of an approach, etc. Perspectives may be quite short, or of comparable size to most Research Articles.


Essays or letters on matters arising in biogeography, typically responses to previous articles in this or another biogeographical journal. Correspondence submissions should not exceed 2000 words of text.

Book reviews

Reviews of recently published books (typically less than one year old) on biogeography or of particular interest to biogeographers. 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 are not ordinarily to 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. Book reviews are subject to an editorial review process prior to a decision on acceptance.

(Return to top of page)

2. Manuscript preparation and submission

The Cover Letter:

Include alongside your manuscript, a cover note briefly outlining the suitabilty of the article for the journal, and its novelty/value to the field. You are encouraged to identify a suitable handling editor and to suggest up to five expert and independent (non-conflicted) reviewers. You may also identify conflicted reviewers (e.g. former students, supervisors, close collaborators), who should not be asked to review the paper.

File types and display items:

Manuscripts should be submitted in MS Word, RTF, 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, c, 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 (which we prefer for first submission), or provided as separate files. If providing as separate files .JPEG, .TIFF and .PNG formats are preferred. There is no charge for colour figures.

Manuscript elements required/optional

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 following is organized in order of appearance in your article.

Title page:

  • Strapline: identify the article type in the first line of your submission. Follow the instructions on manuscript length provided above for each article type.
  • Titles should be given as line 2 and should be concise and informative.
  • A running title should be given as line 3, of up to 50 characters.
  • Name(s) [given name, middle initial(s), surname] and affiliation(s) of the author(s) should be provided next, and must include department, institution, city and country, plus e-mail for the corresponding author
  • Orcid id's for all authors should be provided if available

Abstract page:

  • Abstracts: Abstracts of no more than 300 words should be included with all our regular article types, with the exception of Correspondence and Book Reviews. Abstracts should not include references to the literature.
  • Highlights: With the exception of very short papers (e.g. Correspondence), in addition to an abstract, include 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.
  • Keywords: Provide 6-10 keywords

Main text:

  • Organisational guidelines and length limits for the main text of each article type are indicated in the Section descriptions above.
  • Use SI units, avoid over-use of abbreviations and define all uncommon abbreviations within the text.
  • 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
  • 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 "presentations 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").

End sections:

  • Acknowledgements: At a minimum, authors should acknowledge any relevant permit numbers, grant numbers, funding sources, and potential sources of conflict of interest.
  • Authors are also encouraged 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.
  • Whenever applicable, please include a Data Accessibility Statement right after the Author Contributions or the Acknowledgements when the former is missing.
  • Supplementary Material: see the detailed section on supplementary material format below.
  • References: see the detailed section on reference style below.

Illustrative material:

  • Illustrative material: These should be classed as Figures (graphs, photos, maps, etc), Tables, or Boxes. The amount of such material should be proportionate and if deemed excessive, authors may be asked to move some material to Supplementary Materials, or exclude altogether.
  • Figure file formats: 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 preferable at 400 dpi or higher resolution.
  • All Figures (and Tables) should be explained fully in the accompanying caption (with legend if needed), including, e.g. the study area, study organism, 'n' value, test statistic used, etc.

Supplementary material:

  • Important additional information, data, metadata, graphs, etc. may be included as Supplementary Material. All such material must be cited within the paper, and short titles for each element should be included at the end of the text in a 'Supplementary Material' section, immediately prior to the references in the following format:

The following materials are available as part of the online article at

Figure S1. [insert one-sentence description of figure]

Table S1. [insert one-sentence description of table]

Appendix S1. [insert one-sentence description of file]

  • It is recommended that the supplementary material file(s) includes at the start of each file, the journal name, the article title, the author name(s), plus the full legends of any figures, tables, contained within.
  • Use a simple numbering system for your supplementary material, using the letter S to designate components, e.g. Appendix S1, Appendix S2, Figure S1, Table S1, etc. Number elements sequentially, as in the main text. Bundle supplementary material into as small a number of additional files as possible, i.e. where practical, put all elements into one file.
  • On first submission, where practical to do so and not leading to excessive file size, please include your supplementary material within the main text file.


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. All references with a DOI should include the full URL link in the form at the end of the reference. 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.

Ratnasingham, S. & Heber, P.D.N. (2013) A DNA-based registry for all animal species: the Barcode Index Number (BIN) system. PLoS One, 8, e66213.

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. Available at

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

Whittaker, R.J. & Fernández-Palacios, J.M. (2007) Island biogeography: ecology, evolution, and conservation, 2nd edn. Oxford University Press, Oxford.

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, providing the DOI, but without the 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. See below for examples:

Åkesson, C.M., McMichael, C.N.H., Raczka, M.F., Huisman, S.N., Palmeira, M., Vogel, J.,Neill, D., Veizaj, J. & Bush, M.B. (2020) Long-term ecological legacies in western Amazonia. Journal of Ecology.

Åkesson, C.M., McMichael, C.N.H., Raczka, M.F., Huisman, S.N., Palmeira, M., Vogel, J.,Neill, D., Veizaj, J. & Bush, M.B. (in press) Long-term ecological legacies in western Amazonia. Journal of Ecology.

Åkesson, C.M., McMichael, C.N.H., Raczka, M.F., Huisman, S.N., Palmeira, M., Vogel, J.,Neill, D., Veizaj, J. & Bush, M.B. (submitted) Long-term ecological legacies in western Amazonia. Journal of Ecology.

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 is available for download at Frontiers of Biogeography Endnote File.

(Return to top of page)

3. Additional information

Data accessibility

Frontiers of Biogeography aims to align with emerging community standards within biogeography on novel data and code deposition, including the use of appropriate public repositories, such as DataOne, Dryad, TreeBASE, NERC data centre, GenBank, Frontiers of Biogeography online supplementary documentation, PURL, figshare or another archive of the author's choice that provides comparable access and guarantee of preservation. Where relevant therefore, authors should provide a data availability statement, including a link to any external repository used. Where authors feel that they have legitimate reasons for being unable to comply with requests to archive data in concert with article acceptance, a case may be made to the editors.

Publication fees and waivers

Frontiers of Biogeography is an online gold 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. Charges per article are currently 300 USD (non-IBS members) or 150 USD (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 follows 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) as indicated in the Policies page.

(Return to top of page)