African Herp News (AHN) is a peer-reviewed publication of the HAA that publishes short communications, natural history notes, geographical distributions, book reviews, husbandry tips, announcements and other news items related to African herpetology. AHN began in 1983 as part of the association’s journal (African Journal of Herpetology), but due to the growing number of relevant submissions, the newsletter became its own entity and the second publication by the HAA.
AHN is published digitally and is made available to HAA members as a PDF twice a year. To receive AHN hot-off-the-digital-press become an HAA member.
Older issues are available for download below.
Editor: Darren Pietersen – firstname.lastname@example.org
- Reference Style Guide: AJH-Reference-Style-Installation-instructions.pdf
- Mendeley .csl file: African-Journal-of-Herpetology-CSL.zip
- Instructions for Authors: Instructions For Authors 2023 (PDF)
- Editorial Policy: See Below or Download PDF
- Taxonomic Principles: See Below or Download PDF
Please send all submissions and queries to email@example.com
PREVIOUS AHN ISSUES FOR FREE DOWNLOAD (1 year or older)
Editorial Policy for African Journal of Herpetology and African Herp News
- The research must be original work and the authors must be accountable for the work presented. Manuscripts not written by the original, listed authors will not be considered for review.
- All listed authors must have reviewed the final manuscript and agreed to the content prior to submission. In addition, all authors are expected to have reviewed substantially modified versions of the manuscript.
- To qualify as an author, individuals are expected to have made a substantial contribution to the final product. They may have contributed to several of the following areas: conceptualising/generating funding/project oversight, lab/field work, analyses, interpretation, writing and/or significant re-drafting. Researchers who do not meet the authorship criteria should be listed in the acknowledgements.
- The corresponding author is required to inform all authors of the content of the reviews and the revision process. In addition, the corresponding author must ensure that the manuscript and the co-authors comply with research ethics (see below).
- To improve author transparency and unambiguous contributions, authors and co-authors are required to provide their Open Researcher and Contributor Identifier (ORCID) identification numbers when submitted to the African Journal of Herpetology. ORCID identification numbers are not required for the African Herp News but are encouraged to be supplied where possible.
- Large-Language Models (LLMs) (artificial intelligence tools such as ChatGPT or similar) do not adhere to these authorship criteria, and therefore may not be used to prepare the manuscript text, nor included as authors.
Data handling and methods
- Data and analyses presented should be transparent and reproducible.
- Specimens and associated metadata, where applicable, must be made available in a public repository (e.g., museum) and the accession numbers provided.
- Data and observations (e.g., DNA sequence data or observational records) must be made available in a public data repository (e.g., GenBank, Dryad, Open Science Framework, iNaturalist, GBIF, ReptileMap or other relevant repositories) and the accession numbers, dataset DOI, link or other unique identifier included in the manuscript.
- Metadata for DNA samples must be included, and DNA sequences deposited in a data repository (e.g., GenBank, EMBL).
- We strongly encourage the corresponding physical DNA samples to be deposited in a publicly available DNA bank and the accession numbers included in the publication.
- The availability of custom written code or modifications to available code that was central to data analyses must be acknowledged, provided as supplemental material, or deposited in a public database (e.g., Dryad, FigShare) and the relevant link included in the manuscript. The use of any LLM as a methodological tool to produce code is allowed but must be fully disclosed in the Methods section of the manuscript.
- Research ethics practices must be adhered to, and where applicable the relevant ethics clearance certificate number(s) must be stated in the Acknowledgements. Several international ethics bodies have published their guidelines or regulations and authors should refer to these to ensure that best practices are followed. This includes ensuring the 3Rs (replacement, reduction, refinement) are adhered to. Authors can refer to the British Herpetological Society ethics guidelines (https://www.thebhs.org/images/stories/BHS-ethicspolicy.pdf) for advice.
- Authors are expected to comply with the permitting regulations of the country where the work was carried out and to include relevant permit numbers in the Acknowledgements
- The authors must declare any conflicts of interest such as competing interests that might have biased the content.
- All funding sources and affiliations must be stated or acknowledged.
For further advice, authors can consult the following publication regarding transparency and integrity in scientific publishing: https://www.pnas.org/doi/abs/10.1073/pnas.1715374115
Statement Regarding Taxonomic Publications
Among many herpetological topics, the African Journal of Herpetology publishes papers of a taxonomic nature, including taxon descriptions and other nomenclatural acts. Authors, editors and reviewers should recognize that taxonomy and nomenclature are separate but intimately intertwined disciplines. In keeping with the International Code of Zoological Nomenclature we recognize that “taxonomic freedom” should be respected, while nomenclature should be consistent with the latest version of the Code.
As a publication outlet, AJH respects differences of taxonomic opinion, but takes into account the expectations that modern works of a taxonomic nature should be peer-reviewed, should avoid conflicts of interest (or be transparent in acknowledging where conflicts might be suspected), and should be published in accredited journals or journals with clear and ethical policies with respect to plagiarism and other forms of professional malpractice.
At a minimum, authors are expected to publish original results and data in an ethical manner and taking into account data integrity, sound and thoroughly explained methodology, full attribution of sources, reproducibility of results, crediting of participants in the research endeavour and their contributions, and acknowledgement of funding and any institutional support.
The editors and editorial board of African Journal of Herpetology, comprising responsible experts who seek to maintain the integrity of the journal, reserve the right to reject submissions that are inconsistent with these principles. Within taxonomic works, the provisions of the Code should be followed. However, the editors of AJH are cognizant of the issue of taxonomic vandalism which can place taxonomists in the impossible position of having to reject the words of the Code in order to maintain its principles.
AJH welcomes differences of taxonomic opinion by authors and reviewers but only when all participants engage in civil discourse rooted in sound and ethically conducted science.