Australasian Journal of Herpetology
ISSN 1836-5698 (Print), ISSN 1836-5779 (Online).

Guidelines For Contributors.

Australasian Journal of Herpetology welcomes submissions for publication on all aspects of herpetology and the biological sciences and is aimed at all levels ranging from professional, through institutions such as zoos and keepers to those who have a stronger than average interest in reptiles but (as yet) little detailed knowledge. We publish articles on subjects as diverse as keeping in captivity, legislation and comment, natural history, results of field trips and surveys, literature reviews, taxonomy, (including formal descriptions of taxa at all levels), important herpetological notes, observations, newsworthy items and other matters deemed to be of interest.

Readership varies from professional biologists, state wildlife officials, school teachers, zoo keepers, private keepers and others, although most readers fall into the categories of those who work professionally with reptiles or those who hold reptiles in captivity as licensed private keepers.

We accept submissions from persons in their “private capacity” in the event that such publications may be contrary to employer policy, or if such author is not employed by an institution or corporation.

Our essential requirements for potential authors are as follows:

- All material must be original work.
- Any non-original work, quotes, citations and the like must be appropriately cited and credited.
- We publish material that makes a new and positive contribution to the understanding of the biological sciences.
- As a rule we DO NOT publish material that merely rehashes what is already known and has been previously published elsewhere and makes no substantive advancement on this unless it is a major review-type publication or similar, in which case a decision to publish will be made on the relative merits and benefits of such a publication.
- Where practical, all material must comply with zoological, copyright, intellectual property, national, state and local laws, rules and the like, noting that in doing so this does not imply either authors or editors necessarily agree with them. 
- Where material is of a taxonomic or nomenclature nature, ICZN rules and conventions and those of other ruling/governing bodies should be followed.  Where there may be confusion in terms of names used to describe a taxon/taxa, this should be resolved in the text via appropriate citations and/or explanations.
- Authors note that all legal responsibility rests with them and not the publisher and this is agreed by submitting material for publication.
- Notwithstanding the general minimum intervention policy of the editing of this publication, editors changes are final, although authors will have right of refusal to publish to the point of receipt of peer reviewers comments and changes indicated by the editor.

- There is no limit to size of submission, however those likely to run in excess of 500 pages at normal font sizes should be broken up into parts running 600 pages or less, with the 600 page maximum strictly enforced.

- English is the only language material will be accepted in (as submissions) and material published in.

- As a rule we don’t publish book reviews and the like.

Before reading further, authors should ensure that their potential publication/s will be able to comply with the above.
If interested in making a submission, all that follows should be read PRIOR to preparation of material for submission.

We have printed detailed guidelines here as an aid to both experienced writers and those who may have never previously written or published before. The guidelines are particularly useful for the latter group as they detail finer points such as citing references and other things, that may otherwise be unfamiliar. Experienced authors using word processors and computers will have few if any difficulties with the guidelines printed below. We will refuse work not presented as requested in digital formats. This includes work replete with citation and other errors to an extent that are indicative of failure to read and adhere to the requirements below and are necessary for the continued high standard of the journal.  Please note it is not the role of reviewers or editors to rewrite and do a wholesale “tidy up” of material to get it to the editing phase.

The following guidelines may appear tedious (and to an extent off-putting), however we ask that all prospective authors read them so that they understand fully what is and is not done in relation to publications in Australasian Journal of Herpetology. Author's guidelines have also been formalized in order to prevent potential misunderstandings between contributors and Australasian Journal of Herpetology and to legally protect contributors and ourselves in the event of copyright and other disputes.

It is suggested that upon completion of material to be submitted, the author re-read these guidelines, in their entirety, ensuring that what is being submitted is as consistent with these guidelines as possible, making corrections at this stage as necessary, using what follows as a checklist as necessary.

Australasian Journal of Herpetology is a high quality publication and routinely cited by authors elsewhere. The format in which articles are produced conforms with accepted conventions while being as reader-friendly as possible. Articles, letters to the editor, etc. (including captions for illustrations, etc.) should be submitted in typed form (two hard copies) as well as on CD-rom, memory stick or similar (see below) in digital format. We can also accept material via e-mail under many circumstances (usually as an attachment or via FTP), however contributors should enquire first with the editor, before sending articles in this manner. The editor can be contacted at . Authors should always retain copies of their articles on disk and hard-copy. Hand-written material IS NOT accepted.

Author contact:  We shall only deal with the senior author as listed on the paper.  They must include all means of contact including (mandatory), phone, e-mail and postal. Secondary means of contact (like fax number, mobile phones, etc) are also preferred at time of first submission. All correspondence between secondary authors shall be by the senior author unless otherwise arranged and agreed by all parties.  One of the advantages of our publication is the shortened potential time-frames between first submission and publication.  Any unreasonable delays on the parts of authors in the pre-publication phase may result in a decision being made to reject publication.
All reference/s to author/s in these guidelines, will generally refer to only the senior author, unless applicable to others when multiple authors are involved.

Author contact in publication:  This shall as a rule be set by the author/s.  However it is mandatory to provide a means of practicable contact for interested parties who read the material.  In the event no preferred contact details are specified, we shall usually provide all we have in final publication.

Disk/Formats Accepted: Our preferred format is for documents submitted as Microsoft Word 6.0. If authors have multiple save options available, it is asked that they attempt to save and send files to us in that format. We do however accept other formats and if sending in other formats, please check we can receive it first. Do not send material as Pagemaker or Quark Xpress files.

Illustrations: Photos, diagrams and the like should also be submitted in digital form as either jpeg (high quality) or tiff format. It is suggested that potential illustrations be sent with articles and letters at the same time. For all photos and illustrations we seek the following caption information:- Details of photo, etc. (caption), Photographer/producer (name). Because this will be printed with illustrations used, we seek this material to be submitted as hard copy text and on disk in the same manner as the articles themselves (as a separate file). When multiple photos/illustrations are used, these are to be numbered, with the numbers correlating with the captions. Contributors are asked to submit as many illustrations as possible for articles (photos, etc.) allowing the editors to use as many as is practicable (not all will necessarily be used). If one or more illustrations are deemed by the author to be of greatest importance, this should be indicated in a covering letter that accompanies the article. Obviously high quality images are more likely to be printed rather than those of poorer quality. Also note that the journal routinely is published or copied in both colour and B/W. On that basis, authors should be mindful that their diagrams, illustrations and the like should be clear and decipherable in both formats, regardless of format submitted in. If diagrams and the like have contrast issues, these should be rectified prior to submission.

Fonts: Use a plain and commonly used font such as Times New Roman, Roman, Times, Arial (preferred) or similar. Avoid variations in sizes of letters in text or for headings. Do not vary font in the article. This includes headings. All headings and subheadings should be in capitals only. Author name and address details should be in lower case, except when capitals are used in the normal way for names and so on. If possible, centre all headings, subheadings and name and address details. All other text should be presented either justified or aligned left. Avoid use of bold type. Also avoid use of colored or unusual fonts.

Measurements: The metric system is to be used only. If there is no metric means to give a particular measurement, then the SI system is to be used. Imperial measurement equivalents may be given in brackets in articles if the author chooses.

Style of writing: In preparing articles, all authors are advised to make the text as reader friendly as possible. It asked that unnecessary use of long or complicated words or jargon be avoided if/when there are simpler alternates. However we ask that text be as concise as possible without use of excessive and unnecessary words. Having said this, we ask that accuracy and/or specific detail of information not be sacrificed in order to appear reader-friendly. Authors are responsible for the factual accuracy of material submitted. If in any doubt of the accuracy of a given measurement, statement, etc., this should be indicated in the body of the text of the article. Use of extensive data is not only allowed, but welcome.  However in order to maximize readership, in text explanations of data and results should be made, including explanations of interpretations in areas that may not be familiar to readers.

Opinions: Authors are welcome to express their opinions on matters. However it is asked that at all times "facts" and "opinions" be readily delineated by the author, so that any reader can distinguish them. We insist on factual accuracy at all times and material that is demonstrated to be factually incorrect will be automatically refused and not published, with no further correspondence entered into.

Grammar and spelling: These should always be correct. If in doubt consult The Style Manual For Authors, Editors and Printers, Fifth Edition, published in 1994 by The Australian Government Publishing Service Canberra, ACT, Australia. As a rule we use English as opposed to American spelling, but this is not always enforced. For acronyms, e.g. NPWS, do not use full stops between letters. If acronyms are to be used, their full name is to be given in the first instance, giving the acronym in brackets, then simply use the acronym in the usual manner. For example .....National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS).....NPWS.....For everyday acronyms, such as state names, time, etc, it is not necessary to give their full name in the first instance.

Names and Scientific Names: Scientific names should always be in italics - no exceptions. Do not underline them. All species when first cited, should be first listed with their common/colloquial name (normal type), then scientific name in the first instance. Following this, one or other (only) may be used. Repeat scientific names may be abbreviated when there is no ambiguity (e.g. Litoria aurea becomes L. aurea). When there is no accepted common name for a species, then it is asked that a generalised descriptive term be used in lieu of a common name at the first mention of the species, after which the scientific name only be used. (e.g. small skink (Calyptotis ruficauda)). We seek initial use of a common or colloquial name so as not to alienate novice readers and allow them to more easily understand the content of articles.

Choice of names: For a given species it is asked that the most commonly used "common name" be used in preference to all others. Likewise for scientific names unless the article itself is of taxonomic nature and proposing or supporting changes. Where there are well-known alternates, it is asked that this be indicated at first time name is given (e.g. ...Antaresia (=Liasis) perthensis...or ....Antaresia (formerly Liasis) perthensis....) with the more recently accepted version given precedence (given first). Authors are asked take special care with spellings of scientific names as it is likely that the editor may not be familiar with the species being discussed.

Taxonomy - Rules: (Applicable to those who may be writing on taxonomic and nomenclatural matters). These should conform with those in the most recently published and effective "Rules" published by the ICZN and on their website. If in doubt, copies are held by most state museums in Australia, most major Universities, or can be purchased from ICZN, C/O The Natural History Museum, Cromwell Road, London. SW7 5BD, United Kingdom.

Locations: Lat. Long. should be given for all locations cited in articles. For articles talking about a given geographical area (e.g results of a field trip), authors should consider submitting one or more maps. These maps must be free of copyright restriction and in a form that is digitized for publication (see above). We cannot manufacture maps here from generally available maps. Please realise however that Australasian Journal of Herpetology has world-wide distribution and not all readers may be familiar with the subject area. Good atlases can be found in most major libraries.

Headings: Articles do not need to conform to a set number or style of headings, (such as introduction, material and methods and so on). However it is asked that longer articles (1,000 words or more) have the text broken into subsections by use of headings.

Citations: These guidelines are of utmost importance to all contributors. References are to be cited in the text in the usual manner, (author and year, as well as page number if necessary), with full citation in alphabetical order at the rear of the article, (refer to recent issue of Australasian Journal of Herpetology for details. Specific page numbers, if referred to, are always to be cited in the body of the article, NOT at the end. Books and publications cited, should where possible have the number of pages given in the final citation. In the case of books, the relevant edition number should be given if it is not a first edition. Do not use bold type for citations or part thereof. Some publications publish papers cited in text as numbers and listed at rear of paper numerically. Australasian Journal of Herpetology does not do this - no exceptions. Papers submitted without proper information and/or incorrect citations will be returned to the authors for correction. No citations at the end of articles and papers should be listed as "ibid.". This is forbidden and a likely cause of rejection of material.

Personal Communications should be cited as name then date in the text of the article only, not at the end, as well as the form (letter, e-mail, verbal, or whatever). Letters, tapes and documents should be cited in full at the end of the article in the usual manner. Personal letter citations, including those not addressed to authors, should have no italics.

Examples of citations: (in text) ....(Storr 1981)....(Hudson 1979, Storr 1981).....Cogger (1992)... (at end of paper)

Cogger, H. G. (1992) Reptiles and Amphibians of Australia, Ed. 5. Reed, Chatswood, NSW, Australia:775 pp.

Hudson, P. (1979) On the breeding and birth of Death adders in captivity. Herpetofauna, 11(1):11-13.

Storr, G. M. (1981) The genus Acanthophis (Serpentes: Elapidae), Records of the Western Australian Museum, 9 (2): 203-210.

For multiple entries by the same author, please cite author name in each entry. Not all journals do this, but Australasian Journal of Herpetology does. For multiple entries by the same author in the same year, they are to be cited and listed as "name"a"" and in chronological order of publication if known. (e.g. ....Hoser 1993a, 1993b).....).

Publications should not be abbreviated. In other words don't use things like Rec. W.A. Mus..

The following types of citation are strictly forbidden:

'in press', 'in preparation', ‘in prep’, ‘pending publication’, 'ibid', ‘source confidential’. These are not to be used in any circumstances!

Citation of uncredited news clips from readily accessible news clips or print newspapers, such as those that travel via the wire services and are commonly derived from them, if required, should be cited as “Anonymous” following by the other relevant identifying material.

In summary references to be cited should be that which are available and accurately identifiable as at time of submission and publication, which should be treated as one and the same by prospective authors.

Internet citations: These are most welcome and often appropriate.  However they must all conform to the following criteria.  Internet addresses or “URL’s” should be listed as a full address, starting as http://. In some cases we shall accept server ID’s simply starting as “www”.  It is mandatory that at some point in the paper all download dates for each URL is indicated as content on URL’s frequently change and material cited may no longer be available at the reference point given, which as a rule is beyond the control of the authors of papers here.  As a rule, text citations of URL’s should also be referred to in the references at the end of the paper, referring to the author of the material as best as possible.  Web forums and the like should have authorship attributed to the person making the post.  If the author/person cannot be identified from the post or website, the best available identifying information must be given.

Authors must also archive and save to disk all internet sites, e-mails and the like that are to be cited and these must be forwarded in full and unaltered to the editor of this journal, labeled appropriately and preferably on CD-rom or similar although not necessarily for publication.  The format of our journal does allow latitude in terms of what can be printed, and if appropriate internet and e-mail material or similar may be printed either in the body of the paper or as appendices.

Quotations and the like: These must be accurate and in context.  If the editors or reviewers become aware of misquoting, quoting out of context or quoting in a manner that changes or alters the original meaning as originally published, the entire submitted publication will be rejected.  If quoting an unseen publication from a third party source, this should be made known in the text of the submitted paper.  Small amounts of irrelevant material may be quoted if it accurately sets the context of other core material quoted, especially if the purpose is to remove doubt or ambiguity as to the original meaning as intended by the quoted author.

Footnotes: Avoid use of them.

Tables and diagrams: When submitting on disk, please ensure that these are saved individually and as SEPARATE FILES on the disk/s - not on the same file as the article. Please specify format in which they are saved in the covering letter. Our preference is as Word or Pagemaker importable files.(Compatible with Pagemaker 6.5 or earlier). These include high resolution tif and jpeg images.

Symbols and the like: Symbols (such as “male” and “female” symbols) are not to be used unless there is no alternative and where possible supplied in appropriate digital format.

Reliability of information: If and when the author cannot guarantee the reliability of information, data, the source or similar, this should be made clear in the text of the paper.

Acknowledgements: Please keep these brief. Do not cite every man and their dog. This section, if included should state what given persons have done, not the fact that you are grateful for it or any other subjective types of statement. Do not cite things like car company for making your car, your mother for giving birth to you, the local wildlife department for giving you a licence, BP for selling you petrol, etc.

Author details: With all material submitted, authors are asked to ensure that the following information be provided immediately following the title header of the article: Name, address for correspondence, phone number, fax number, and e-mail address. If any are unavailable, then please leave blank. All will be published unless the author specifies otherwise.  Senior authors should have their name and address details listed first.

Author Summary: At the end of all articles, papers, etc., the author is asked to write two short sentences detailing their past in relation to herpetology or the subject of the article ("author summary"). The author is also asked to provide a recent head photo of themselves (or as near as possible similar) for possible publication in Australasian Journal of Herpetology. When multiple authors are involved, it is asked that each do the same, however whether any of this is actually published rests with the editor, who must consider factors such as space and other matters. The "author summary" is to go after all other parts of the article including references, etc. and must also be submitted in the same format as the article itself (2 hard copies and on disk), best sent as part of end of article.

Subarticles: (Often called boxed articles): These are welcome. Authors should indicate what text is "boxed" at time of submission and they should be presented as a separate paper and separate file on disk. If by the same author, please do not submit author summary with subarticles.

Abstract and keywords at foot of abstract:  Both should be provided in the standard manner as Australasian Journal of Herpetology is regularly reviewed by biological abstracting services and the like and these are a mandatory part of all submissions, even if extremely short.  Abstract should be concise and informative.  Keywords should include those not necessarily in the paper’s title and separated by a semi-colon.

Contentious Issues: Articles deemed by the editor to have controversial subject matter, legal ramifications or similar will as a matter of course be referred on for legal advice for comment and appropriate action prior to any publication. This is not to say they may not ultimately be published. Australasian Journal of Herpetology welcomes material on any relevant matter including that regarded as “too controversial” to publish elsewhere. We also do not respond kindly to threats and the like from outsiders trying to censor what we publish. However the publisher of Australasian Journal of Herpetology, retains the right to veto or vet any publications without correspondence. For Contentious Issues, comments, etc, the contributor's guidelines are the same as above.

Language: While we do not censor out “bad language” when appropriate for the accuracy of the paper, the general rule at other times is for authors to refrain from such.  This journal regards considerations of accuracy over and above those of potential to offend due to words or language used.  At times it is clearly appropriate to report on exact words used elsewhere.

Refereeing: All papers will be refereed (peer review). This is standard for Australasian Journal of Herpetology. Our refereeing guidelines have been formalized. The process should not be seen as a deterrent for prospective authors. The role of the referee is to correct obvious mistakes and potential ambiguities only and if they deem necessary. They may offer input as to potential improvements to the paper or article. Although the author is asked to incorporate all or most of the referees suggestions into the final draft of the article, this decision rests with the author. Referees have been asked to avoid being unnecessarily interventionist in their reviews of submitted work. They do not re-write papers.

Final decision to print any paper or article remains with the editor. Names of referees of papers and articles will not be printed with the article. Should an author wish a particular person/s not to referee their article or paper this should be indicated at time of first submission. No reason is sought or required to exclude a particular person as referee. The entire refereeing process has been made transparent to allow for improved accountability of the whole publishing process of Australasian Journal of Herpetology as it maintains it's position as one of the world's pre-eminent herpetological publications.

Advertising: Under limited circumstances, Australasian Journal of Herpetology may accept advertising. Australasian Journal of Herpetology promotes products and services it sees of benefit to readers, however if/when adverts, advertorials, etc., are printed, they are usually in such manner as to fill what would otherwise be blank space, such as at the end of articles. Australasian Journal of Herpetology does not accept advertisements for sale of live reptiles or related products such as live food. Whether or not adverts are accepted and/or printed is the editor's decision alone and it is final. Notwithstanding the previous, Australasian Journal of Herpetology  cannot and will not guarantee any products or services advertised in it’s pages and advises readers to make any “purchase decision” based on their own independent inquiries.  Products and services advertised may also not be legally allowable in all jurisdictions.

The publishing process:

  1. After material is submitted to Australasian Journal of Herpetology a hard copy is passed on to a referee who indicates changes and improvements as they see fit. This may then be passed on to one or more other referees, each of whom must use a different colored pen (not black) to mark corrections on the same copy.
  2. The marked paper is returned to the author to make final corrections.
  3. The corrected paper is returned to the editor along with the marked version.
  4. The editor then has the article proof read for typographical and style errors only.
  5. At both times the article is sent by contributor to the editor a disk (memory stick or similar) must accompany hard copies (two hard copies at first time, one at second plus marked copy). Disks must contain same text details as the hard copies.
  6. The editor will send final page proofs to the author for final corrections only.
  7. The author returns final proofs with corrections marked. Australasian Journal of Herpetology is published, indicating first submission date, acceptance date after corrections and publication date.
  8. Due to the number of separate authors involved it is essential that contributors return corrections, proofs, etc., at each stage as soon as possible after receipt.
  9. Authors should note that articles are not retyped prior to publication in Australasian Journal of Herpetology, but rather taken straight from disk, through design program to final proof, hence the above process and requirements. It is also the most efficient way to do things at the present time.
  10. Following publication of Australasian Journal of Herpetology, authors are allowed to copy their own papers for any legitimate purposes they see fit, providing Australasian Journal of Herpetology remains cited as the source. This includes republication on the internet, including reposting of supplied pdf files of the papers, which is encouraged. For any other republishing of the papers, (except for private distribution) permission must be sought from the editor of Australasian Journal of Herpetology.

These guidelines are published on our website and may be downloaded by any person.

Submission of any material to Australasian Journal of Herpetology is taken as consent to the following publishing terms and conditions:-

Australasian Journal of Herpetology

Editor's Address For Correspondence:
Raymond T. Hoser (Editor Australasian Journal of Herpetology),
PO Box 599, Doncaster, Victoria, 3108, Australia.
E-mail: Please use the e-mail address at "Snakebusters" bookings webpage page at:
E-mails not replied to are deemed “not sent”.

Within Australia: Phone: (03) 9812 3322 Mobile: 0412 777 211 Fax: (03) 9812 3355
International: Phone: +61 3 9812 3322 Mobile: +61 412 777 211 Fax: +61 3 9812 3355