Copyediting Instructions

Revising your article

Authors must submit the revised version of the manuscript using Track Changes/Comments tools of Word so that the Subject Editor can see the corrections and additions.

Authors must address all critiques of the referees in a response letter to the editor and submit it along with the revised manuscript through the online editorial system. In case a response letter is not submitted by the authors, the editor has the right to reject the manuscript without further evaluation. When resubmitting a manuscript that has been previously rejected with resubmission encouraged, authors must include the response letter to the article text file, and the pdf review version, so that it gets to the Subject Editor and the reviewers during the peer review.

When submitting corrections to proofs (during the layout stage), authors must upload the latest proof (in PDF format) containing their revisions as track changes.

Concise Copyediting Instructions

The copyediting instructions below represent a concise summary of the journal's formatting requirements. The instructions are intended for use by the authors during preparation of the final revised versions of their manuscripts, technical editors, copy editors and typesetters.  

Author names

  • Omit titles, degrees, etc.
  • Provide ORCID if available


(Department,) Institution, City, Country

Article title

Title of article: Subtitle of article

  • Title: Sentence case
  • Colon between title and subtitle (if any)
  • No footnotes
  • No bold (use when needed sub-/superscript, and/or italics only for the terms in Latin)
  • Higher taxa within the title should be separated with commas and not with a semicolon

Running head

  • A short version of title up to 50 characters (including spaces); normally the short title should have been suggested by the authors and checked for clarity by the copy editor


  • No references to tables, figures, etc., no footnotes
  • No citations (preferably)
    • If citations unavoidable: Complete citations, allowing unambiguous identification of cited publication!
  • Should be written consistently in either third or first person
  • Note: The abstract has to be a stand-alone entity, to present a really well written and concise summary of the article! A special care for copy editors to check!
  • Designations of nomenclatural novelties should be in bold and spelled in the way suggested (sp. nov., gen. nov., comb. nov.)

Keywords (up to 8 words)

keyword a, keyword b, keyword n

  • Do not repeat words from the title
  • Listed in alphabetical order and separated by commas
  • Lowercase letters, except proper names
  • No bold font
  • Without any punctuation marks after last keyword


  • Table caption: Start with label "Table N." in bold. Sentence case, i.e.:
    • Table 2. Table caption text.
  • Numbered consecutively with Arabic numerals
  • Heading for every column (including the leftmost!)
  • No shading of cells, rows, columns; no colored fonts
  • No horizontal or vertical lines in table body
  • Same number of decimal places for same statistics (usually within same column)
  • Text formatting in the cell without paragraph and line break
  • Table must be in an editable format (.docx, .xlsx, etc., not as images)
  • Caption and footnotes as texts (not as part of a table)


  • Figure caption: Start with label "Figure N." in bold. Sentence case, i.e.:
    • Figure 6. Figure caption text.
  • Numbered consecutively with Arabic numerals
  • Figure parts: Use capital letters in bold. No punctuation separator, i.e.:
    • Figure 1. Figure general caption text. A part caption text B part caption text N part caption text.
  • If abbreviations are used, these are placed after the parts with a colon, i.e.:
    Abbreviations: xxxx
  • If there are scale bars on the figure parts, reference to them is last and in the format: Scale bars: 20 μm (D, N, O, Q); 50 μm (F, K); 10 μm (G, P); 5 μm (H); 100 μm (M).
  • High quality (at least 300 dpi)
  • Text sharp and readable (e.g., no overlap of text and graphical elements like lines)
  • White or transparent background
  • No image border
  • Caption as text (not as part of the image)


  • Article title: Sentence case
  • Running head: Sentence case
  • Section and subsection titles:
    • For separated titles (usually H1-H3): Sentence case
    • For paragraph titles (usually H4): Sentence case
  • Table captions: Sentence case
  • Headings of table rows and columns:
    • Sentence case or lower case (check for consistency only!)
  • Figure captions: Sentence case
  • In text body: Nouns followed by numerals/letters (citations of figures, tables, appendices and supplementary files) e.g.:
    • Fig. 4; Figs 1, 2; Table 2; Appendix 1
  • In text body: Titles of articles, book chapters, books, tests
  • In references: Sentence case

Equations and statistical symbols

  • Typeface
    • standard typeface for Greek letters, sub-/superscripts, and abbreviations that are not variables
    • italic typeface for all other statistical symbols
  • Space before and after equal/inequality signs
  • Same number of decimal places for decimal values
  • Omit the zero before a decimal fraction, when the statistic cannot exceed 1, e.g., p = .34
    • Alternative A: Omit the zero before a decimal fraction only for the following statistics: pr(and R 2), α (Cronbach’s α), η2 (Eta-Square, also ηp 2) .
    • Alternative B: If zero is omitted before a decimal fraction, this should be done consistently for the respective statistic.
  • Standard formats for common statistics, e.g., t(23) = 3.51, p = .002
    • commas (not semicolons!) between test statistics and p values
    • exact p values, if p not less than .001

Text body

  • Regular font usage:
    • Main text
    • Abbreviations e.g., i.e., et al., etc., cf., vs.
    • Greek letter e.g., α, β, γ, δ, ε, σ, φ, χ, ω
  • Italic font usage:
    • Scientific names of taxa of species and genera (authorities in regular font, not in italics)
    • Long direct quotations
    • Symbols for variables and constants, such as pFUTNr, but not for SD (standard deviation), SE (standard error), DF (degrees of freedom), and NS (non significant). These symbols in illustrations and equations should be in italics to match the text.
    • Do not use italics for emphasis
  • No underlining
  • Bold font usage:
    • Subheadings, sections and subsections
    • Figure captions – For the label and designation of figure’s parts:
      • Figure 1. Figure general caption text. A part caption text B part caption text N part caption text.
    • Table captions – For the label:
      • Table 1. Table caption text.
    • In systematic sections for specimen designation such us: holotypeparatype, syntypelectotypeisotype, etc.
    • Abbreviations of institutions or morphological characters or indices listed alphabetically in the section Materials and methods, i.e.:
      • NHML Natural History Museum, London
      • MW Naturhistorisches Museum, Vienna
      • EL length of elytra
      • EW maximum width of elytra
      • TL total length (PL+EL)
    • In species descriptions – designation of main anatomical structures followed by a colon mark, i.e. Head:…, Thorax:…, Legs:…, Abdomen:, etc., in this case these should be followed by a section describing other anatomical organs and structures attached to these.
    • Subsection "Specimens examined" - the preferred order is as follows, HOWEVER THESE FINE-GRAINED FORMATTING GUIDELINES ARE NOT COMPULSORY. Authors who follow the guidelines will benefit from the submission of their specimen records to GBIF after publication. The records on GBIF will bear the article citation details contributiing to a wider dissemination and re-use of the published data.
      • COUNTRY • specimens [e.g. 1 ♂, size ]; geographic/locality data [from largest to smallest]; coordinates; altitude/elevation/depth [using alt./m a.s.l. etc.]; date [format: 16 Jan. 1998]; collector [followed by "leg."]; other collecting data [e.g. micro habitat/host/method of collecting]; barcodes/identifiers [e.g. GenBank: MG779236]; institution code and specimen code [e.g. CBF 06023].
        For Example: Holotype: CHINA • ♀; Sichuan, Kangding; 30.04°N, 101.57°E; 15.VI.2017; Yanzhou Zhang leg.; Hyp-2018-06, original number ZYZ-2017-28. Paratypes: CHINA • 1♀1♂; Sichuan, Kangding; 29.VI.2017; Yanzhou Zhang leg.; Hyp-2018-01, Hyp-2018-02, original number ZYZ-2017-08 • 1♀; Sichuan: Kangding; 2.VIII.2017; Yanzhou Zhang leg.; Hyp-2018-03, original number ZYZ-2017-20 • 1♂, Sichuan: Kangding; 29.VI.2017; Yanzhou Zhang leg.; Hyp-2018-08, original number ZYZ-2017-029.
      • Punctuation:
        A bullet point "•" (unicode: 2022) is used to signify the beginning of a material citation. Within each citation, the different fields are delimited by a semicolon. A single field can be composed of several elements, which are separated by commas (e.g. the details region, area, town and street for the ‘locality’ field). Semicolons should not be used elsewhere in a material citation.
      • Repetitive data: Authors can indicate repetitive data with indications such as "same data as for holotype", "same data as for preceding", "same locality", "ibid", etc. as long as the same method and wording are used consistently throughout the paper.
      • ‘Missing’ elements: It is not necessary to include information such as "no date" or "no locality data"; just list the elements that are available.
      • see more details here
  • Quotation marks
    • Avoid quotation marks except for direct quotations, words defined by the author, and words used in unusual contexts.
    • Short quotations should be embedded in the text and enclosed in double quotation marks ("). Long quotations should be on a separate line, italicized, but without quotation marks.
    • Single quotation marks are to be used only for a quotation that occurs within another quotation.
  • Hyphen and dash characters
    • Consistent use of (-, –, —).
    • In contrast to parentheses an em-dash can be used alone.
    • En-dashes and em-dashes should not be spaced.
      • 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)
      • En-dash (–) or en-rule (the length of an 'n') is used to:
        • link spans.
        • link numerals, sizes, dates and page numbers (e.g., 1977–1981; figs 5–7; pp. 237–258)
        • geographic or name associations (e.g., Murray–Darling River; a Federal–State agreement)
        • character states combinations (e.g., long–pubescent or red–purple).
      • Em-dash (—) or em-rule (the length of an 'm') should be used rarely:
        • only for introducing a subordinate clause in the text that is often used much as we use parentheses.

Section hierarchy

  • No more than 4 levels, from hierarchical level 1 (H1) to hierarchical level 4 (H4)
  • Unambiguous hierarchy levels
  • No numbering of hierarchical levels

Section titles

  • Capitalization:
    • For separated titles (usually H1-H3): Sentence case
    • For paragraph titles (usually H4): Sentence case

Mandatory statements

  • Funding
    • If missing, add the following statement (depending on the number of authors):
      • The author has no funding to report.
      • The authors have no funding to report.
  • Competing interests
    • If missing, add the following statement (depending on the number of authors):
      • The author has declared that no competing interests exist.
      • The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.
  • Acknowledgments (= non-financial support)
    • If missing, add the following statement (depending on the number of authors):
      • The author has no support to report.
      • The authors have no support to report.
  • Data Resources (mandatory for empirical articles)

Geographical coordinates

One of the following formats should be used:

  • Degrees, Minutes and Seconds (DMS), i.e.:
    • 36°31'21"N; 114°09'50"W
  • Degrees and Decimal Minutes (DDM), i.e.:
    • 36°31.46'N; 114°09.84'W
  • Decimal Degrees (DD), i.e.:
    • 36.5243°S; 114.1641°W
    • −36.5243; −114.1641 (using minus to indicate southern and western hemispheres)

In-Text Citations

  • References
    • 1-2 authors
      • Jackson and Miller (2012) found out that...
      • A recent study (Jackson and Miller 2012) confirmed that...
    • 3 or more authors
      • Jackson et al. (2012) found out that...
      • A recent study (Jackson et al. 2012) confirmed that...
    • Multiple sources in chronological order:
      • same authors different years - separated by a comma:
        • Jackson and Miller (2012, 2015) found out that...
        • Recent studies (Jackson et al. 2012, 2015) confirmed that...
      • different authors - separated by a semicolon:
        • (Smith et al. 1998, 2000, 2016; Brock and Gunderson 2001; Felt 2006)
      • two or more fully identical citations (the same authors and years) are distinguished by adding the letters 'a', 'b', 'c', etc. after the year:
        • Jackson 2008a, 2008b
        • Jackson and Miller 2014a, 2014b
        • Reyes-Velasco et al. 2018a, 2018b
    • Sources with page numbers
      • Jackson and Miller (2012: 120–121) found out that
      • A recent study (Jackson and Miller 2012: 120) confirmed that
  • Figures:
    • Fig. 1
    • Fig. 1A, B
    • Fig. 1A–D
    • Figs 1, 2
    • Figs 1–3
    • Figs 1A, B, 3F, G, 7A
  • Tables:
    • Table 1
    • Tables 1, 2
    • Tables 1–3
  • Appendixes:
    • Appendix 1
    • Appendices 1, 2
    • Appendices 1–4
  • Referenced materials from other sources:
    • All figures, tables, etc., from other sources should be written with small letters i.e.: see fig. 2 in Author (Year) ...


  • Author names: surname first; all given names abbreviated, no full stops, commas or spaces, i.e.:
    • Lyal CHC
    • van Tol J
    • de Albuquerque PRA
  • Different authors separated by comma
  • Year in brackets; no comma or full stop after it
  • No italics (except for Latin terms)

Published papers:

Polaszek A, Alonso-Zarazaga M, Bouchet P, Brothers DJ, Evenhuis NL, Krell FT, Lyal CHC, Minelli A, Pyle RL, Robinson N, Thompson FC, van Tol J (2005) ZooBank: The open-access register for zoological taxonomy: Technical Discussion Paper. Bulletin of Zoological Nomenclature 62: 210–220.

Accepted papers:

Same as above, but ''in press'' appears instead of the year in parentheses.

Electronic journal articles:

Mallet J, Willmott K (2002) Taxonomy: Renaissance or Tower of Babel? Trends in Ecology and Evolution 18(2): 57–59.

Paper within conference proceedings:

Orr AG (2006) Odonata in Bornean tropical rain forest formations: Diversity, endemicity and applications for conservation management. In: Cordero Rivera A (Ed.) Forest and Dragonflies. Fourth WDA International Symposium of Odonatology, Pontevedra (Spain), July 2005. Pensoft Publishers, Sofia-Moscow, 51–78.

Book chapters:

Mayr E (2000) The biological species concept. In: Wheeler QD, Meier R (Eds) Species concepts and phylogenetic theory: A debate. Columbia University Press, New York, 17–29.


Goix N, Klimaszewski J (2007) Catalogue of Aleocharine Rove Beetles of Canada and Alaska. Pensoft Publishers, Sofia-Moscow, 166 pp.

Book with institutional author:

ICZN [International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature] (1999) International code of zoological nomenclature. Fourth Edition. The International Trust for Zoological Nomenclature, London.

PhD thesis:

Dalebout ML (2002) Species identity, genetic diversity and molecular systematic relationships among the Ziphiidae (beaked whales). PhD Thesis, University of Auckland, Auckland, ## pp.


BBC News (2012) Island leopard deemed new species [Accessed on]