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African Journal of Herpetology - Instructions to Authors

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Aims and Scope

African Journal of Herpetology is an interdisciplinary journal that publishes from diverse fields and disciplines (e.g. systematics, genetics, performance, physiology, ecology, behavioural ecology, ethology, and morphology) that pertain to African reptiles and amphibians. The aim of the journal is to serve as an outlet for original research on the biology of African amphibians and reptiles. The journal appears biannually.

African Journal of Herpetology publishes original research articles, reviews (including mini-reviews) and short communications. Anecdotal life history notes, range extensions, faunal lists, and teratological notes are not suitable for publication in the journal. Faunal lists are only considered when they include a biogeographical interpretation and the results are of broad zoological interest. In case of doubt, please contact the editor.

Manuscript Submission and Handling

Submission of a manuscript implies that the work has not been published before, that it is not under consideration for publication elsewhere, and that authors and any co-authors abide by the ethical guidelines of the journal (see below). Manuscripts must be submitted through ScholarOne: http://mc.manuscriptcentral.com/ther, or via email in the case of an unreliable internet connection. Manuscripts are all peer-reviewed by a minimum of two reviewers.

Manuscript Categories

African Journal of Herpetology publishes original work in the following categories:

Original articles are full-length manuscripts exceeding 10 pages of double spaced text.

Short communications are more concise reports less than 10 pages in length that lack headings, with the exception of Abstract, Acknowledgements and Literature Cited. Note that short communications do have abstracts.

Reviews (including mini-reviews) may be solicited by the editor. Reviews should be within the aims and scope of the journal and include original commentary and/or insight on a coherent topic. Authors wishing to submit a review are advised to contact the editor prior to submission. Mini-reviews are less than 10 pages of double spaced text.

Manuscript Format

Cover sheet (required for all contributions; please follow carefully) includes manuscript title; a suggested running header; 5–8 key words; and number of pages, tables, and figures. To facilitate double-blind reviewing, DO NOT include names or addresses of authors.

Text should be typewritten in English (UK spelling), double-spaced and left justified. Words should not be divided at the righthand margin. Use the active voice in the first person where possible. The passive voice is your enemy and should not be used. Authors should consult the Council of Biology Editors Style Manual, 5th edition (1994) for style and abbreviations. Sentences should be separated by a single space (character). Genus and species names should be italicised. Centre major headings in small caps. Subheadings are in bold and left justified (also in title case). Footnotes are not accepted. The International System of Units (Systeme Internationale; SI) should be followed. Use decimal points rather than commas. Measures should be in mm, m or km rather than cm or dm. Integers less than 10 should be spelt, while those greater than 10 (including 10) should be given numerically. Group integers of thousands together with a space and do not use a comma (e.g. 10 500 and 1 230). All statistical symbols should be italicised. Follow the Fourth Edition (1999) of the International Code of Zoological Nomenclature. Original articles should be arranged as follows: Abstract, Introduction, Materials and Methods, Results, Discussion, Acknowledgements, and References. Appendices, Material Examined, Tables, legends to Figures, and Figures must follow the References. Supplementary Electronic Material (SEM) should be submitted as a separate file. The Abstract should not exceed 300 words and must be in English, although a translation in French or other local language is encouraged.

The Introduction should be concise and provide the aims and context of the study in relation to other work done in the same field, but should not give an exhaustive review of the literature. Materials and Methods should provide sufficient information to allow the study to be replicated. Results should be presented with clarity and precision. Discussion should deal with the interpretation of the results, pointing out their significance with reference to the reason for undertaking the research.

Short communications follow the sequence of a major article, but lack major headings, with the exception of Abstract, Acknowledgements and References.
Reviews follow the sequence of an original article but major headings may be determined by the author.

Acknowledgements should be brief and should not list titles and institutions, but should include the first name and surname in full. Institutions should only be listed where individuals are cited as pers. comm. in the text. Authors must acknowledge collecting permits and animal care protocols together with which author they were granted. Any mention of authors should refer to them by initials only (e.g. GJA for Graham J. Alexander). To facilitate double-blind reviewing, DO NOT include Acknowledgements in the original online submission.

References should be listed in alphabetical order and should refer only to publications cited in the text. References should be in the following format:

Formatting should be achieved with paragraph settings rather than tabs or spaces. Literature citations should be in chronological order: (Jacobs 1952, 1966; Edwards & Holmes 1965; Rosen et al. 1990). When a paper with more than two authors is cited, only the first appears in the text (Taylor et al. 1993). Cite unpublished data as e.g. Alexander (in press), which then appears in the list of references, or as G. J. Alexander (pers. comm.), in which case Graham J. Alexander’s name and institutional affiliation should appear under Acknowledgements. Unpublished reports are cited as personal communications. Abbreviate journal names in the References in the standard way. Standard abbreviations can be found at various web sites such as: www.bioscience.org/atlases/jourabbr/list.htm or home.ncifcrf.gov/research/bja/

Tables should be in Arabic numerals, double spaced and on separate pages with a legend at the top. Lines should only be used to separate headings. Table formatting is most convenient when ‘table commands’ are used to separate columns. Do not use vertical lines. Tables should be composed with the limitations of the journal page size in mind.

Figures must be restricted to the minimum needed to clarify the text. Consult the most recent issue of the journal to see appropriate sizes of figures. The same data should not be presented in both graph and table form. All figures and tables must be mentioned in the text. All figures must be numbered consecutively (Arabic numerals). Electronic versions of graphs, regressions and histograms are most useful when they are in object-oriented file formats (e.g. ai, wmf, cdr, wpg or pre) rather than as bitmaps. If figures are supplied as bitmaps, the best formats are bmp or tiff, and jpeg for colour plates. Bitmaps should have a resolution of at least 300 dpi. Labelling in figures should be in Times New Roman where possible. Issues from 2010 (vol. 59) should be consulted for format and style. Always use the latest available issue for instructions. Photographs may not be credited in the figure legend, but the photographer may be mentioned in the Acknowledgements.

Statement on ethics Authors are required to adhere to the African Journal of Herpetology statement on ethics. This can be found on the African Journal of Herpetology website (http://www.tandf.co.uk/journals/ther), the HAA website (www.africanherpetology.org) or when submitting a manuscript on ScholarOne.

DNA Sequence Registration

Authors must deposit sequences referred to in African Journal of Herpetology in EMBL or GenBank Nucleotide Sequence Databases. Sequence accession numbers should be included in submitted manuscripts.


Huth, E.J., M Brogan, B.P. Dancik, T. Kommedahl, D.E Nadziejka, P Robinson & W. Swanson. 1994. Scientific Style and Format: The CBE Manual for Authors, Editors, and Publishers. 6th ed. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge. INTERNATIONAL COMMISSION ON ZOOLOGICAL NOMENCLATURE. 1999. International Code of Zoological Nomenclature, Fourth Edition. International Trust for Zoological Nomenclature, London.

References in Articles

We encourage the use of a tool such as EndNote or Reference Manager for reference management and formatting.

The EndNote style for the AJH can be uploaded here

Editorial Address

Dr John Measey, Department of Zoology, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University
Port Elizabeth, South Africa
Research Associate: DST-NRF Centre of Excellence for Invasion Biology, South Africa
E-mail: john@measey.com


It is a condition of publication that authors assign copyright or license the publication rights in their articles, including abstracts, to the Herpetological Association of Africa. This enables us to ensure full copyright protection and to disseminate the article, and of course the Journal, to the widest possible readership in print and electronic formats as appropriate. Authors retain many rights under the Taylor & Francis rights policies, which can be found at http://www.taylorandfrancis.com/info/permissions/n. Authors are themselves responsible for obtaining permission to reproduce copyright material from other sources.


Corresponding authors will receive free online access to their article through our website (www.informaworld.com). Reprints of articles published in this journal can be purchased through Rightslink® or alternatively on our journals website. If you have any queries, please contact our reprints department at reprints@tandf.co.uk

For further information about Taylor & Francis journals please visit www.tandf.co.uk/journals. For further information about Unisa Press please visit www.unisa.ac.za/press.

If you are unable to access our website, please write to: African Journal of Herpetology, Editorial Department, Taylor & Francis, 4 Park Square, Milton Park, Abingdon, Oxon, OX14 4RN, UK.