Bionomina  ISSN 1179-7649 (print);   ISSN 1179-7657 (online)  

International Journal of Biological Nomenclature & Terminology

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Information for authors

·   Research articles

·   Correspondences

·   Special issues

·   Page charge and colour plates

·   Open access

·   Reprints

·   Interactive links

Aim and scope

Bionomina (International Journal of Biological Nomenclature & Terminology) is a peer-reviewed journal for rapid publication of high quality papers on any aspect of biological nomenclature and terminology. Bionomina considers all types of papers on these questions, including: (1) historical, descriptive and critical papers regarding practices and traditions; (2) epistemological analyses about the different approaches to terminology, philosophies of the naming process, and the use and role of particular scientific concepts; (3) contributions to our open forum for confronting different opinions; (4) papers seeking a balance between prescriptive and normative goals and descriptive, informative and clarifying aims, i.e., providing a precise and concise lexical starting point; and (5) in cases where consensus emerges (possibly as a result of meetings), recommendations to the international community of biologists. Open access publishing option is strongly encouraged for authors with research grants and other funds. For those without grants or funds, all accepted manuscripts will be published but access is secured for subscribers only. All manuscripts will be subjected to peer review before acceptance. Bionomina aims to publish each paper within one month after the acceptance by Editors.

Based on length, two categories of papers are considered: Articles and Correspondence.

Research articles

Articles are significant papers of four or more printed pages reporting original research. Papers between 4 and 59 printed pages are published in multi-paper issues of 60, 64 or 68 pages. Monographs (60 or more pages) are individually issued and bound, with ISBNs.

Bionomina encourages large comprehensive review works. There is no upper limit on the length of manuscripts, although authors are advised to break monographs of over 1000 pages into multi-volume contributions simply because books over 1000 pages are difficult to bind and too heavy to hold.

Short papers of 4 or 5 pages accepted for publication may be shortened for publication in the Correspondence section.


This section publishes high quality and important short manuscripts of 1 to 4 pages of six main categories:

(1) editorials;

(2) opinions and views on current issues of interest to biologists; comments on, additions or corrections to papers previously published in Bionomina;

(3) biographical and bibliographical papers dealing with biologists involved in the fields covered by the journal;

(4) nomenclatural notes;

(5) book reviews meant to introduce readers to new or rare books dealing with biological terminology or nomenclature (interested authors or publishers should write to the Chief Editor or to Subject Editors before submitting books for review; Editors then prepare the book review or invite colleagues to prepare the review; unsolicited reviews have no guarantee to be published);

(6) short papers converted from manuscripts submitted as articles but which are too short for the Articles section.

Except editorials, these short contributions should have no more than 20 references and their total length should not exceed four printed pages. They should include neither an abstract nor a list of key words. Major headings (Introduction, Material and methods, etc.) should not be used. A typical correspondence should consist of: (1) a short and concise title; (2) author name and address (including e-mail address); (3) a series of paragraphs of the main text; and (4) a list of references if any. For correspondence of 3 or 4 pages, the first or last paragraph may be a summary.

Comments on published papers are intended for scholarly exchange of different views or interpretations of published data and should not contain personal attack; authors of concerned papers may be invited to reply to comments on their papers.

Manuscripts submitted in this section, once accepted, are usually published in the very next issue of the journal.

Special issues

Special issues composed of collected papers within the scope of the journal will occasionally be published. They may result from a meeting or from the initiative of guest Editors. Guest Editors should send the proposal to the Chief Editor for approval and instructions. Although guest Editors for special issues are responsible for organizing the peer review of papers collected within these issues, they must follow Bionomina’s style, standards and peer review procedures. If any papers by the guest Editors are to be included in the special issue, they must be handled by other Editors or Referees. Special issues must be 60 or more pages. Normally, funding is required to offset part of the production cost. Author payment for open access is strongly encouraged. Reprints can be ordered for the entire issue or for individual papers.

Preparation of manuscripts


Authors are encouraged to pay attention to the guidelines below when preparing their manuscripts for submission to Bionomina. The closer a manuscript will be to the editorial standards of Bionomina, the quicker it will be processed and published, once accepted. Format problems, for example in the references, may delay considerably and uselessly the publication of an accepted paper, which is detrimental both to the authors and to the journal.

All papers must be in English. Authors whose native language is not English are encouraged to have their manuscripts read by a native English-speaking colleague before submission. Scientific names of taxa (nomina) following the traditional Codes of nomenclature should be written according to the usual format (e.g., italics for specific epithets and generic substantives). In zoology, all nomina must be provided with their authors and dates when first mentioned, but not on subsequent mentions; author and date should be separated by a comma (Rana temporaria Linnaeus, 1758), to distinguish nomenclatural authorship from citation of reference (Linnaeus 1758). In botany and other fields with regulated nomenclatures, they should be written according to the rules of the respective Codes. Full references to the original descriptions of these taxa should preferably be provided in the reference list. Nomina following alternative rules should be written in a different manner, pointing to the fact that they do not comply with the rules of the relevant Code. The metric system should be used. Abbreviations should not bear “s” in the plural (e.g., “ed.”, not “eds.”, “fig.”, not “figs.”). If possible, use the common font New Times Roman and use as little formatting as possible. Use only bold, italics and Small capitals where necessary. Do not indent paragraphs or titles. Special symbols (e.g., male or female sign) should be avoided because they are likely to be altered when files are read on different machines (Mac versus PC with different language systems). They can be coded (e.g., m# and f# for male and female), which can be replaced during page setting. The style of each author is generally respected but it must comply with the following general guidelines.


The title should be concise and informative. In papers dealing with taxa, the higher taxa containing them should be indicated in parentheses: e.g., “Notes on the nomenclature of the genus A-us (class or order, family)”.


The name(s) of all author(s) of the paper should be given, typed in the lower case (except initial) for first names and in small capitals (except initial) for surnames (e.g. Adam Smith, Brian Smith & Carol Smith). First names can be placed after the surname if this is the tradition in the country of the author, as the use of different cases allows to distinguish them (e.g., Adam Smith & Liu Mangven). The address of each author should be given in italics, each starting a separate line. If available, the e-mail address of each author should be provided after the address, between < > signs.


The abstract should be concise and informative. Any new terms, new nomina, new combinations or new synonyms proposed in the paper should be mentioned. Abstracts in other languages may also be included in addition to the English abstract. The abstract should be followed by a list of key words that are not present in the title. Abstract and key works are not to be used in Correspondence.

Hierarchy of subtitles

A hierarchy of subtitles can be used in a paper, with a maximum of four levels. The different levels are not numbered but are presented following the following typographical conventions:

First level

Second level

Third level

Fourth level

For papers with more than ten subtitles, it is recommended to provide a Table of contents that will appear on the first page of the paper, before the abstract.

Main text

There are no space limitations in Bionomina. The length of a paper should be appropriate for its content, i.e., neither too long nor too short.

The arrangement of the main text varies with different types of papers (a historical survey, an epistemological analysis, a contribution to a debate, etc.), but should usually start with an introduction and end with a list of references.


Citation in text

References should be cited in the text as Smith (1999), Smith & Liu (2001) or Smith et al. (2001) for 3 or more authors or editors, or alternatively in a parenthesis (Smith 1999; Smith & Liu 2001; Smith et al. 2001).

A list of references is a brief historical survey of a question. For this reason, any string of references within a parenthesis must present them in chronological, not alphabetical, order (if several references are from the same year, they may be given in alphabetical order if their chronology is unknown): (Linnaeus 1758; Darwin 1859; Mayr 1942; Hennig 1950; Eldredge & Gould 1972; Gould & Eldredge 1972).

Citation in reference list

All literature cited in the text must be listed in the references, and vice versa. All references, from whatever kind of source, should be given according to the same structure:

Author(s) or Editor(s) [surname in full, initial only for first names] ● Effective publication yearTitleVolume reference [either issue of periodical, or city and publisher of book, etc.] ● Publication year as printed in publication [if different from effective publication year] ● Pages range [e.g., i–xiii + 1–612] ● Plates range [e.g., pl. 1–13] [if numbered separately from text pages].


Article in periodical:

Smith, A. (1999) Title of article. Title of periodical in full, “1998” [if relevant], (series number) [if relevant], volume number (issue number) [if known]: page range, plate range.

Book or any isolated volume (thesis, dissertation, report, proceedings, etc.):

Smith, A., Smith, B. & Smith, C. (ed.) (2001) Title of book. Volume number [if relevant]. City (Publisher) [if known]: page range, plate range.

Chapter in collective book or special issue of periodical:

Smith, A. & Liu, M. (2001) Title of chapter. In: A. Smith, B. Smith & C. Smith, C. (ed.), Title of book, volume number [if relevant], City (Publisher) [if known]: page range of chapter, plate range of chapter.  

Internet resources:

Liu, C. (2002) Title of website, database or other electronic resource, City (Publisher) [if known]: page range [if known]. <; accessed on xxx>.



Important points

(1) The meaning of “Anonymous” for a reference should be rigidly construed. In Bionomina, this term is given the sense it has in Article 50.1 of the International Code of Zoological Nomenclature, i.e., to designate a work the author or editor of which “cannot be determined from the contents”. Authors and editors in this definition refer to persons (even if signing under pseudonyms), not to collective entities like corporate bodies, commissions, committees, boards, the full list of the members of which is not provided in clear in the work itself. The fact that authorship can be determined from external or subsequent evidence does not prevent the work from being and remaining anonymous. If a work is signed by an anonymous collective entity, the title, abbreviation or acronym of the latter may be indicated between square brackets, as follows:

Anonymous [International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature] (1985) International code of zoological nomenclature. Third edition. London (International Trust for zoological Nomenclature): i–xx + 1–338.

Anonymous [ICZN] (1999) International code of zoological nomenclature. Fourth edition. London (International Trust for zoological Nomenclature): i–xxix + 1–306.

(2) The “effective publication year” of a work is the year of its public distribution, not of its printing or any other date. It may be different from (and then usually subsequent to) the publication year as it appears printed in the work itself.

(3) In titles of works and of periodicals, capitals must be used only for terms that would have to bear capitals in a text, even if written differently in the actual publication.

(4) Titles of periodicals must be written in full (not abbreviated).

(5) Volumes of periodicals and books are in bold.

(6) The publication year as printed in a work, if different from the effective publication year, is given between quotation marks: e.g., “1985”.

(7) The pages and plates of the work cited appear always at the end of the reference, preceded by a colon (:).

(8) For a website cited in the References, it is important to include the last date when it was accessed by the author of the manuscript, as it can be moved or deleted from that address in the future. For this reason, whenever a work is available both online and as a paper printed document, the latter should always be cited, followed optionally by the online reference, and if a choice exists between two equivalent references, the printed one should be preferred.

Other important points

Legends of illustrations

Legends of illustrations should be listed after the list of references. Small illustrations should be grouped into plates. When preparing illustrations, authors should bear in mind that the journal has a printed area size of 25 cm × 17 cm and is printed on A4 paper. For specimen illustration, stipple, shaded or line drawings are preferred, although good quality black and white or colour photographs are also acceptable.


Tables, if any, should be given at the end of the manuscript. Please make the table in the simplest way, i.e., only using the Tab key, not the Space bar, so the cells, rows and columns can remain aligned when font size and width of the table are changed. Please also avoid to draw solid lines, either horizontal, vertical, or as borders. Our typesetters can easily convert this to a proper format.

Problems with figures and tables

If you have problems preparing your figures or tables, please contact our Technical Editor in charge of figures and tables.

Footnotes and Appendices

Footnotes are authorised in Bionomina, but should not be too long. Long comments that are not indispensable for the understanding of the text but that provide useful additional information can be presented as Appendices at the end of the paper.


Citations from other works should be provided between quotations marks and in italics (in which case terms in italics in the original revert to roman), to distinguish them from mere placement of a word or phrase between quotation marks for other reasons. Citations should be given ne varietur, but with possible deletions clearly indicated by […]. Misprints or other errors may be pointed to by [sic].

Use of dashes and other connectors

(1) Hyphens (-) are used to link words such as personal names, some prefixes and compound adjectives (the last of which vary depending on the style manual in use).

(2) En-dash or en-rule (–, the length of an “n”) is used to link the minimum and maximum values of a range. In the context of our journal that mainly means numerals, most frequently sizes, dates, page and plate numbers (e.g. 1977–1981; fig. 5–7). They can also be used for geographic or name associations (Murray–Darling River; a Federal–State agreement).

(3) The use of a en-dash to connect two figures points to a span or range. It means “from… to…” or “between … and …”. Thus, “pages 17–23” means “from page 17 to page 23”. Thus this sign includes the word “from” or “between”. It is therefore fully incorrect to write, e.g., “the body length ranges from 17–23 mm”, “the study was carried out from 1984–1986” or “between 1984–1986”. There are several possibilities to write such statements correctly: “the body length ranges from 17 to 23 mm”, “the body length’s range is 17–23 mm”, “the study was carried out from 1984 to 1986” or “in the period 1984–1986”, etc.

(4) Page and plate ranges are connected by “n dash” (–), not hyphen (-), which is used to connect two words. Whenever two distinct numberings of pages appear in the same work, they should be connected by an addition sign, and plates must be indicated as such: i–xvii + 1–363, pl. 1–7.

(5) Em-dash or em-rule (—, the length of an ‘m’) are used far more infrequently, for breaks in the text or subject, often much as parentheses are. However, in contrast to parentheses, an em-dash can be used alone, e.g., “What could these results mean—that Niel had discovered the meaning of life?” En-dashes and em-dashes should not be spaced.  

(6) For the separation of items within a paragraph, in order to avoid starting a new paragraph, dashes should not be used but either sequencial numbering or lettering, such as (1), (2) or (a), (b), or the following signs can be: black circle ●, black square ■ or black triangle ►. This is particularly useful whenever several successive paragraphs follow the same plan (e.g., in a glossary or in a synonymy). Examples:

In a glossary:

Onomatophore. ● Greek: νομα (onoma), “name”; φέρω (phero), “I bear, I carry”. Objective standard of reference of inclusive ostension determining the taxonomic allocation of a nomen: the nomen can be potentially applied to any taxon that includes the onomatophore. In the species-series, onomatophores are specimens (see onymophoront), whereas in the genus-, family- and class-series they are taxomina (see nucleomen). Simpson 1940: 421. Code: type, name-bearing type.

Onymorph. Greek: νομα (onoma), “name”; μορφή (morphe), “form, shape”. Any particular association between genus-series substantive(s) and species-series epithet(s), used to designate a species-series taxon. A combination is a particular case of onymorph. Smith & Pérez-Higareda 1986: 422. Code: no term.

In a synonymy:

Scutiger (Scutiger) boulengeri (Bedriaga, 1898)

Leptobrachium boulengeri Bedriaga, 1898: 63. ● Onomatophore: Original symphoronts, 2 specimens, juv. ZIL 1609.a, SVL 27 mm, and ad. ZIL 1609.b, SVL 49 mm (Bedriaga 1898: 68). Lectophoront, by subsequent designation of Liu (1950: 184) as “type” but mentioning the second specimen as “paratype” (Art. 74.5 of the Code), juv. ZIL 1609.a. ● Onymotope: Banks of Dy-chu River (33°00’N, 97°13’E), Tongtian He (upper Yangtze Kiang), Qinghai Sheng, China (Dubois 1987a: 16).

Cophophryne alticola Procter, 1922: 583. ● Onomatophore: Holophoront, by original monophory, BMNH 1947.2.22.73 [ex BMNH 1922.3.3.1], ♀, SVL 52 mm (Dubois 1987a: 17). ● Onymotope: Kharta valley (5030 m), Xizang Zizhiqu Dixing [Tibet], China. ● Synonymisation: Anonymous 1977a: 60; Dubois 1987a: 17.

Aelurophryne tainingensis Liu, 1950: 11, 132. ● Onomatophore: Holophoront, by original designation as “type”, FMNH 49395 (Liu 1950: 132; Marx 1958: 425; Dubois 1987a: 17), ♂, SVL 51.0 mm (Liu 1950: 133). ● Onymotope: Qianning [Taining] (30°30’N, 101°40’E; alt. 3500 m [11500 ft]), Sichuan Sheng [Sikang], China. ● Synonymisation: Anonymous 1976a: 1, 1977a: 60; Dubois 1987a: 17.


Units, abbreviations, punctuation

(1) Units of measurements should always be spaced from the figure that precede them: “1 km” or “17 h”, not “1km” or “17h”. This fully applies to the sign “%”: “35 %” is correct, not “35%”. The same is true of the signs “>”, “<”, “+”, “–”, “×”, “=”, etc., that should be spaced from the figures they connect.

(2) Units and abbreviations are invariable and should not bear an "s" in the plural: "1 kilometre" is "1 km", "10 kilometres" are "10 km", not "10 kms". Thus, one should not write "10 figs.", but "10 fig.", or "eds.", but "ed.".

(3) Not all abbreviations qualify as acronyms. An acronym is an abbreviation that can be pronounced as a word, such as “NATO” or “AIDS”. Most so-called “acronyms” such as those often used for museums (e.g., “MNHN” or “MCZ”), cannot be pronounced as words and are abbreviations, not acronyms.

(4) The comma “,” and the word “and” play the same grammatical role of conjunction. Therefore, except in very special situations, it is redundant and useless to write “, and”, e.g. at the end of an enumeration. It is enough and more correct to write simply “and”.



Please follow the above basic guidelines and check if your manuscript has been prepared according to the style and format of the journal. You are encouraged to submit manuscripts by e-mail as attachments to the appropriate Subject Editors. Manuscripts within the scope of the journal but without proper Subject Editors should be submitted to the Chief Editor.

Prior to submitting a manuscript and figures to an Editor, please check our website if there are two or more Editors per subject, and then contact one of these to announce your intention to submit a manuscript for review. Do not contact two or more Editors for the same manuscript. Please indicate the size of the manuscript, the number of figures and the format of these files. The chosen Corresponding Editor can then respond with special instructions, especially for the submission of many image files.

When you submit your manuscript to an Editor, it will be more expedient to the review process if you offer the names of three or more potential Referees with their complete postal and e-mail addresses. Reasonable requests to exclude some potential Referees will usually be granted, and if not, the Referee will be considered “hostile” and the Corresponding Editor will take this into consideration when making his or her decision. It is also important to include the following statements in your cover letter: (1) All co-authors are aware of submission of the manuscript under this version, and all agree on the Corresponding Author. (2) This article has not been published before and is not concurrently being considered for publication elsewhere (including with another Editor at Bionomina). (3) This article does not violate any copyright or other personal proprietary right of any person or entity and it contains no abusive, defamatory, obscene or fraudulent statements, nor any other statements that are unlawful in any way. Otherwise, your manuscript will not be processed.

The illustrations should be saved into a single PDF (Portable Document Format) file for the initial submission. You should retain the original figures in a higher resolution (in TIFF, JPG, PNG or EPS format) for the final production of the accepted paper. For the text, a PDF file along with an RTF (Rich Text format) file is preferred. The advantage of submitting an RTF file for the text part of the manuscript is that the reviewers can emend the manuscript electronically. If you cannot prepare PDF files, then submit text in RTF and the figures in TIFF (line drawing scanned at 600 dpi and half tone at 300 dpi; please use LZW compression, if you can, to reduce the size of e-files for easy transmission); if half-tone TIFF files are too big (exceeding 2 MB), then submit them in JPG (jpeg). Vector files (charts, maps etc) are best submitted as EPS or EMF.

If you do not have access to e-mail, you can send three copies of the manuscript by post, preferably typed in Arial or another Sans Serif font (e.g. Helvetica), more suitable to make an OCR treatment. Please double-space your manuscript and leave ample margins. 

Authors of accepted papers will be asked to submit an electronic version of the manuscript so that the publisher needs not to re-key or scan the manuscript. At this stage, the text part of the manuscript must be submitted as RTF or MS Word files and figures as TIFF files. Please be aware that line drawings must be scanned at 600 or 900 dpi as line art (1 bit: 2 colours). They must not be scanned as 8 bit or full colour images (256 colours or more).

In submitting the final version of a revised manuscript to Editors, please provide the following information for all proper typesetting and indexing of the manuscript: (1) Corresponding Author name and e-mail. (2) Author surname and running title (less than 60 characters; to be used in header). (3) Number of figures, plates and cited references. (4) If relevant, higher taxon allocation.

Authors need to complete and return an Assignment of Copyright form when paper is accepted for publication. Authors of institutions that do not allow transfer of copyrights to publishers (e.g., government institutions such as USDA, CSIRO) should attach a copyright waiver or similar documents.


Review process

Each manuscript will be sent directly by the Corresponding Author to one of the Editors of our Editorial Board (EB), who will act as Corresponding Editor (CE) for this paper. The CE will first check whether the manuscript does indeed fall within the editorial scope of the journal, and, if so, send it for advice to two or more peers qualified to evaluate the manuscript. The CE normally asks the Referees to complete the review in one month. However, the reviewing process will often take longer, depending on the length of the manuscript and Referees’ responses. For each manuscript, final decision will be taken by the CE, if necessary following consultation of other members of the EB.

Members of the EB of Bionomina agree to review manuscripts submitted to the journal according to a distinction between two different kinds of comments: mandatory suggestions and simple recommendations.

Factual mistakes (e.g., concerning the Rules of the nomenclatural Codes, or regarding the history of concepts and terms) will be the matter of objective proposals of change. These must be followed by the authors when revising their manuscripts, and not doing so will lead to rejection of the paper. Recommendations regarding the clarity of language and argumentation may also fall in this category, if the original is too obscure for a candid reader not being highly specialized in the field covered by the paper.

On the other hand, subjective recommendations, based on differences of opinions between the author(s) of the manuscript and the Referee(s) or CE, can be offered, but as advice aiming at clarifying the paper, replying to some potential criticisms and/or making it more convincing. Refusal to follow these suggestions should be clarified by the Corresponding Author to the CE, but cannot be alone a reason for refusing the manuscript. In other words, no censorship will be exerted on the opinions of the authors. We consider that the author(s) of a paper, not the CE or Referees, is or are alone responsible of its content. However, another reason of rejection of a paper may be that it just paraphrases previous contributions on the same question, without bringing any new information or data. Opinions may be strongly defended by an author against different opinions expressed in another contribution. However, ad hominem attacks against living or deceased colleagues, or against groups or institutions, will not be published in Bionomina.


Once the manuscript is accepted by the CE, the final files, produced according to Bionomina requirements, will be forwarded by the CE to the Chief Editor, who will then interact with the Corresponding Author and the Managing Editor to ensure that the paper is published without unnecessary delay. Normally the proof will be sent to the author for checking 1 to 3 weeks after the final files are accepted. The paper will usually be published within two weeks (for larger papers it may take longer) once the corrections to the proofs are received.

Page charge and colour plates. There is no page charge for publishing with Bionomina. Publication of colour figures/photographs in online edition is also free of charge (print version in black and white).  If colour plates in the print edition are desired, authors will be asked to contribute towards the full cost. Current rates are 300 USD for the first colour page, and 200 USD for each additional colour page.  

Open access. Bionomina endorses the open access of its content. Authors who have funds to publish are strongly encouraged to pay a fee of 20 US$ per printed page to give free online access of their papers to all readers at this site or their own site.  Open access papers are read by more people and are expected to have higher citation rates.

Reprints. Each author will be given a free e-reprint (PDF) for personal use (printing a copy for own use or exchange with other researchers, but not for deposition in a library/website/ftp-site for public access). 

Printed copies of each paper/monograph in the form of the regular reprint can also be produced by the Publisher for purchase by authors at their cost, with a discount based on the number of copies ordered. 

Interactive links can be set up for authors at US$ 10.00 for the first five links and US$ 1.00 for each additional link for the online edition of their paper. Typical links are: to an e-mail address, to another online paper or website and to other parts of the same document [e.g. linking “Smith 2000” cited in the Introduction to the full details “Smith, A. (2000) Title of paper. Journal title in full, 0: 000–000” listed in the References]. All details and instructions (what to mark and where to link) should be provided when the final revision is returned to the Corresponding Editor.

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Copyright © 2015 Magnolia Press Published : 25 Jan. 2011