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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 submission file is in OpenOffice, Microsoft Word, RTF, or WordPerfect document file format.
  • Where available, URLs for the references have been provided.
  • The text is single-spaced; uses a 12-point font; employs italics, rather than underlining (except with URL addresses); and all illustrations, figures, and tables are placed within the text at the appropriate points, rather than at the end.
  • The text adheres to the stylistic and bibliographic requirements outlined in the Author Guidelines, which is found in About the Journal.

Author Guidelines

Biodiversity Observations is an open-access e-journal which focuses on the publication of descriptive papers which report observations relating to biodiversity. During its first six years of life (2010-2015) it was published under the title Ornithological Observations (volumes 1 to 6). There is a summary of the activities of the journal for the period 2010-2022 here.

Biodiversity Observations accepts papers containing faunistic information about biodiversity. This includes descriptions of distribution, behaviour, breeding, foraging, food, movement, measurements, habitat and colouration/plumage. It will also consider for publication a variety of other interesting or relevant biodiversity material: reports of projects and conferences, annotated checklists for a site or region, specialist bibliographies, and any other interesting or relevant material. Papers should be the original work of the author(s) named. Submissions should be reader-friendly to specialists and non-specialists alike and accessible to readers for whom English is not the first language. Biodiversity Observations use UK spelling. The author(s) must ensure that the manuscript is grammatically correct.

Editorial process: Papers are published online on the Biodiversity Observations website after they have been accepted by the editor. An editorial advisory committee will assist the editor in screening papers for publication. Papers are not refereed or peer-reviewed.

Formatting: Look at papers on the website to see the style that is followed. Each paragraph should start flush left (no tabs or indents) and paragraphs must be separated by a line space.

Photos, drawings and tables: Images should be clear and of high quality and provided with clear, descriptive captions below the image, numbered Figure 1Figure 2, etc. Images can form part of the "suggested" layout of the submitted paper. All images must also be submitted as separate files with the paper. Colour and line drawings should be scanned and saved at 300 dpi and submitted as separate files. Images can be submitted in JPG or PNG formats.

If tables and spreadsheet graphics (with captions) form part of the document and they should also be submitted separately as files, preferably in Excel or Open Office formats.

Common names should be followed by the scientific names in italics when used the first time in the text. Acronyms and abbreviations should be defined in parentheses the first time it is used in the text. Thereafter the short form is sufficient. Metric units with the decimal comma should be used in the text. Dates in the text should be in the long form “1 August 2010“ and time given in the 24-hr format. There should be one space between sentences, and one space between a digit and a unit term (e.g. 5 kg, 5 cm). No space before %. The ampersand "&" may not be used in place of "and". Ranges should be indicated with a hyphen, e.g. 1985-2001, except in situations such as the "2007/08 breeding season".

References should be added alphabetically at the end of the paper. Correct punctuation should be used. Footnotes should not be used as a form of referencing. 

  • Names of authors should appear in the order they appear in the source and be in bold. 
  • Body text citations: no punctuation after author name (i.e. Crawford 1997);  use "&" between names of authors (i.e. Brooke & Prins 1986); use not italicized "et al." for citations with tree or more authors (i.e. Ducatez et al. 2013).
  • Titles of books and journals are not italicized. Journal titles should be given in full. 
  • Refer to the samples below for the reference patterns for a journal article, a book, a book chapter and an online document.

Brooke RK, Prins AJ 1986. Review of alien species on South African offshore islands. South African Journal of Antarctic Research 16: 102-109. 
Ducatez S, Audet JN, Lefebvre L 2013. Independent appearance of an innovative feeding behaviour in Antillean bullfinches. Animal Cognition 16(3): 525–529.
Hockey PAR, Dean WRJ, Ryan PG (eds) 2005. Roberts Birds of Southern Africa. 7th edn. John Voelcker Bird Book Fund, Cape Town. 
Crawford RJM 1997. Kelp Gull Larus dominicanus. In: Harrison JA, Allan DG, Underhill LG, Herremans M, Tree AJ, Parker V, Brown CJ (eds). The Atlas of Southern African Birds Vol 1. Non-passerines. BirdLife South Africa, Johannesburg: 462-463. 
Author AA, Author BB 2003. Title of document. [Title and details of online journal - if applicable]. Available from: full web address/URL (Accessed on

Editorial process: Submissions to Biodiversity Observations should be in the prescribed format, otherwise it will not be considered for publication and returned to authors.

Enquiries and submissions for publication All enquiries and submissions should be addressed to The Editor, Biodiversity Observations:

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