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Submission Preparation Checklist

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 general layout, text, figures and tables, references, literature cited, and supplemental materials adhere to the stylistic and bibliographic requirements outlined in the Author Guidelines.

Author Guidelines

Format—The Bulletin uses the format described below. We suggest authors consult recent numbers (2017 and forward) of the Bulletin if there are questions about format and style. All taxonomic papers must adhere to the most recent rules established by the appropriate international code of systematic nomenclature.

Manuscripts must initially be submitted to the editor in electronic form either as email attachments, or by a cloud-based file transfer program. The text, appendices, tables, and figure captions must all be on a single file in Microsoft Word format.  The name of the file must end with one of the standard Word extensions (.doc or .docx). For review purposes, combine all figures onto a single pdf file, one figure per page. The resolution of figures in the submitted pdf need not be as great as those required for the final published version (see below), but must be sufficient to show the editors and reviewers the features described in the text and figure captions. Each page must include the figure number (e.g., Fig. 3 or Figure 3) in addition to the image. A cover letter must contain the names and email addresses of three or more suggested reviewers and any other information the author(s) wish to provide the editorial committee. If on-line supplemental materials are to be included in the published version of the work, copies of these must also be provided for the reviewers as digital files in the most appropriate, widely available format (as text, images, audio, video, etc.).

Specific instructions follow for formatting general layout, text, figures and tables, references, literature cited, and supplemental materials in the submitted manuscript:

  • The manuscript must be formatted for pages measuring 8½ inches (21.59 cm) by 11 inches (27.94 cm).
  • All margins should be at least 1-inch (25 mm) wide and the right margin is not justified. Text in the submitted manuscript should not be divided into two or more columns (except in tables).
  • Except as noted below, use Times New Roman font and 12-point-size for all text, including table and figure captions, appendices, and reference citations. If necessary to fit within margins, text in tables can be at 8-, 9-, or 10-point size. All text is doubled spaced throughout the manuscript, including table and figure captions. Text in tables may be single spaced.
  • Page numbers must be inserted at the top right of all pages. If supplemental materials are included, their pages should be numbered separately, starting with S1, then S2, and so on.
  • Figures and tables must be numbered consecutively as they are cited in the text. Each figure and table must be specifically identified and cited at least once in the text, or in the caption of a different table or figure.
  • Measurements should be in metric units. In cases when English or local equivalent units are needed, they can appear in parentheses after the metric value, e.g., 3.3 cm (1.3 inches). When calculating English measurement values, do not inflate apparent level of accuracy of the measurement.  Thus a measurement of 47.5 mm (accurate to nearest 0.1 mm) should be reported as equivalent to 1.9 inches, and not to 1.870079 inches.
  • Standard spelling is American English. Each sentence should be followed by a single blank space. In lists of three or more items, separate them by commas and a comma should precede the word “and” or “or”. For example, “red, white, and blue…”

In most cases the parts of the submitted manuscript should be as follows:

a. Title Page – A separate page with the title, name(s) and complete mailing address(es) of author(s). E-mail address(es) should be set off in brackets (e.g., <[email protected]>). Numeric footnotes linking authors’ names and addresses should be in superscript. Title of the paper and names of authors should be  all uppercase and centered. In cases of more than one author, the first or senior author will be assumed to be the corresponding author unless indicated otherwise.

b. Abstract – A separate page with 500 words or less summarizing the results of the paper. A list of five to seven key words or short phrases should follow the abstract. All new taxonomic names must be listed in the abstract, with n. sp., n. gen., or other appropriate abbreviation following the name.

c. Body – Start the body of text on a separate page from the abstract. Indent the first line of each paragraph by the same distance, between 0.3 and 0.5 inches. The first mention in the text of a binomial species name or trinomial subspecies name may include the taxonomic authority and the year of publication [e.g., Tapirus veroensis Sellards, 1918, or Notogillia wetherbyi (Dall, 1865) with author name and date in parentheses if species was originally described in a different genus]. This is especially encouraged in fields of study which traditionally use the author and publication date after species and subspecies, such as malacology, entomology, or invertebrate paleontology. A reference need not be included in the literature cited section when author and date are given only as authority for a taxonomic name.

Use an en dash (–) and not a hyphen (-), to separate ranges of numbers, including page numbers in the literature cited.

In all works, the full generic name and species epithet must be written out the first time the name appears in the text. The generic name may be abbreviated in the remainder of the text as follows: N. wetherbyi. In cases when there are multiple generic names starting with the same letter, two or three letter abbreviations can be used to avoid ambiguity. In addition, the first use of a new taxonomic name should be in bold, and, if the name is a genus, species, or subspecies, in italics (e.g., Sphaerodactylus fantasticus ligniservulus, n. ssp.). Formal names of genera, subgenera, species, and subspecies must be in italics (not underlined). The word “Figure” is spelled out when used as part of a sentence, but abbreviated to “Fig.” or “Figs.” when used within parentheses (e.g., Figs. 1–2 or Fig. 3C).

References in the text should give the surname of the author(s) followed by the year of publication, separated with a comma: for one author (Smith, 1999), for two authors (Schultz and Whitacre, 1999), and for more than two (Britt et al., 1999). When a literature citation is used as part of a sentence, use the following format: “Schultz and Whitacre (1999) stated that…” Use the letters a, b, c, etc. to distinguish publications of the same date by the same author(s). If several publications of the same author(s) are cited, the names of the author(s) are not repeated and commas separate the dates of publication (King and Brown, 2002, 2004a, 2004b). If different authors are cited, they should be separated by semi-colons (Brown, 2002; Clench and Madhen, 2003, 2009) and listed in chronologic order. For a reference to a specific page or pages in a published work, use the form (Smith, 1998:3–4) with no space between the colon and page number(s). For reference to a specific figure, table, or appendix in a published work, use the format (Jones, 1990:fig. 2; Jones et al., 1995:table 3).

  • Primary headings are to be centered on page and set in all caps, not in bold or italics (MATERIALS AND METHODS).
  • Secondary headings are left justified and set in large and small caps, not in bold or italics (VERTEBRAL OSTEOLOGY). If necessary, secondary subheadings are to be left justified, and formatted as the first words in the paragraph that follows, but set off in italics and followed with a period (e.g. GEOGRAPHYThe Great Hungarian Plain.).
  • Tertiary headings should normally only be used in systematic descriptions, for sections such as referred specimens, type locality, and diagnosis. They should appear in the same font as the paragraph that follows, with only the first letter of nouns and adjectives capitalized, indented the same distance as the first lines of other paragraphs, and followed with a period and a 2-em dash. For example,Type Locality.—Gainesville, 3.7 km SW of…

Explanations for abbreviations and acronyms used in the text should be placed in the MATERIALS AND METHODS section, in either paragraph or tabular format. Abbreviations for standard metric measurements (e.g., mm, kg) do not need an explanation and are not followed by a period symbol. Definitions for abbreviations used only in a table or figure can be in its caption.

Acknowledgments are located between the main text and the Literature Cited section.

d. Literature Cited – Start this section on a new page with a primary heading of LITERATURE CITED. Authors’ names that are repeated in subsequent cited publications must be listed in full and are not indicated by a line or series of dashes. Only papers cited in the text are listed in the Literature Cited section. All authors’ last names must be given in full. Initials are used for first and middle names. Book titles and names of journals and publishers are not italicized and fully spelled out (not abbreviated). Non-English titles and names should be listed in the original language if it uses the Roman alphabet and should not be translated; transliterate using standard methods titles and names in non-Roman alphabets such as Russian or Chinese. If identical articles are available in printed and on-line form, cite the printed version, although inclusion of a working hyperlink to a publicly available copy of the publication is encouraged if available.

If references are cited in supplemental materials that are not used in the main text, full citations to them should appear in a Supplemental Literature Cited section using the same format as the primary Literature Cited section.

Articles from Printed Periodicals:

Brückner, A., D. Janussen, and S. Schneider. 2003. Eine neue Poriferen-Fauna aus dem Septarienton (Oligozän, Rupelium) von Bad Freienwalde (NE-Deutschland) und der erste fossil erhaltene Vertreter der nicht-rigiden Hexactinelliden-Gattung Asconema. Paläontologische Zeitschrift 77(2):263–280.

Eisenberg, J. F., and J. R. Polisar. 1999. The mammal species of north-central Venezuela. Bulletin of the Florida Museum of Natural History 42(3):115–160.

Sun, G. Y., Y. Y. Zhu, J. G. Chen, and Z. L. Zhou. 1994. Growth and feeding habits of Japanese sea-bass, Lateolabrax japonicus, in the Yangtze River estuary. Journal of Fisheries of China 18:183–189. [in Chinese]

Article from Online Periodical with DOI:

Haskell D. G., J. P. Evans, and N. W. Pelkey. 2006. Depauperate avifauna in plantations compared to forests and exurban areas. PLoS ONE 1(1):e63. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0000063

Article from Online Periodical without DOI:

Polcyn, M. J., L. J. Jacobs, and A. Haber. 2005. A morphological model and CT assessment of the skull of Pachyrhachis problematicus (Squamata, Serpentes), a 98 million year old snake with legs from the Middle East. Palaeontologia Electronica 8(1):24p. Retrieved from on January 15, 2014.


Thomas, P. A., and J. R. Packham. 2007. Ecology of Woodlands and Forests. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 542 p.

Individual Article in an Edited Volume:

Gardner, A. L. 1993. Didelphimorpha. Pp. 15–24 in D. Wilson and D. M. Reeder, eds. Mammal Species of the World. Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington, D.C.


Bramble, D. M. 1971. Functional morphology, evolution, and paleoecology of gopher tortoises. Ph. D. dissertation. University of California, Berkeley. 341 p.

Technical Report:

Quitmyer, I. R.. 2002. Faunal analysis of Remnant Mound column samples. Pp. 158–196 in M. Schwadron, ed. Archaeological Investigation of De Soto National Memorial. SEAC Technical Reports No. 8, National Park Service Publication Series, National Park Service, Southeast Archaeological Center, Tallahassee, Florida, 300 p.

Citations are listed in alphabetical order by the name of the first author, then by the names of other authors (if any), and then by date. For example, a citation by Smith, J. L. is placed before those by Smith, S. R., and Smith, J. L. (1999) precedes Smith, J. L. (2003). It is the author’s responsibility to make sure listed dates and page numbers are correct.

“In press” citations can be made in the text only if they have been formally accepted by the editor of the journal or volume in which they will be published. Manuscripts “under review” or “in preparation” cannot be cited; use personal communication instead (e.g., R. G. Smith pers. comm.). Published abstracts can be cited.

e. Appendices – If used, appendices should be placed after the Literature Cited section, and each one started on a new page. Appendices can be in text or table format. They must be cited at least once in the text. If more than one appendix is used, they should be distinguished by consecutive Arabic numerals (Appendix 1, Appendix 2, etc.).

f. Tables – Each table starts on a separate page and tables are numbered with Arabic numerals. Each table has a brief caption placed at the top of the table. Avoid vertical lines or rules in the tables. Text size in table is 10 or 12 point. Extend large tables onto additional pages when necessary rather than shrinking font size below 10 point.

g. Figure Captions – Captions should be placed on separate page(s), following the tables. Figures are identified with Arabic numerals. Individual components of a multi-part figure are identified with capital letters (A, B, C, etc.). Abbreviations used in figures should be defined in the captions of the first figure in which they occur. Their use in later figures can be satisfied by referring to the figure in which they first appeared. For example, in the caption of Figure 7, there may be the line “Abbreviations as in Figure 5” which then refers the reader to where the abbreviations are defined.

h. Figures – All graphic images, illustrations, photographs, and half-tones are referred to as figures. Following acceptance for publication, figures must be supplied as TIFF, high resolution JPEG, or PhotoShop formatted files at 300 dots per inch (dpi) or higher resolution. It is suggested that graphics or line art with fine lines or where detail is desired should be created and saved at very high resolutions, e.g., 1200 dpi. Each figure should be supplied as its own digital file.

A scale bar must be in figures if size is important. If the background of a photograph is not desired, the background should be masked or made transparent, especially those of specimens. A white background is preferred, except in the case of extremely light-colored specimens, when a black background should be used.

Graphics and line art can be formatted as either black, shades of gray, or different colors on a white background. All text in the image must be in Arial or a similar sans serif font in medium weight (bold for small type that prints white on a black background or black on a white background). Lettering must be not less than 2 mm high in the figure at published scale.

All figures should be submitted at publication size in either one column (3.3 inches or 8.25 cm) or full page (7 inches or 17.75 cm) width. Maximum height possible is 9 inches (22.86 cm). Figures that are too wide for a single column and not wide enough for two columns must be resized, so that page space is used efficiently. If needed, larger figures can be included as supplemental materials.

i. Supplemental Materials – Supplemental materials may include, but are not limited to, video or audio files, description of detailed laboratory methods, extensive lists of specimens or descriptions of character states, and additional figures. Authors are strongly encouraged to use this option.

Proofs – Page proofs will be sent to the first or corresponding author to check for errors and must be returned to the managing editor within 5 working days.

Costs – To cover expenses of text processing and long-term digital storage of files, the author or authors of a publication who are Florida Museum of Natural History faculty, staff, research associates, or affiliated graduate students are required to pay $150 at the time the paper is accepted. The author or authors of a paper without affiliation with the Florida Museum of Natural History must pay $300. Papers in excess of 100 pages or those that require greater than 25 Mb of storage space (including supplemental materials) will require additional costs that will be determined on a case-by-case basis.

Reprints – The author(s) will receive a high resolution PDF file of the article. They can either distribute this file via email or the Internet, or use it to produce printed copies of the paper and distribute them to colleagues at their expense. The Florida Museum will not produce any printed copies of the article.


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