Instructions for Authors

The Belgian Journal of Zoology is an open access journal that publishes research papers, reviews, opinion and technical papers and short notes in Zoology focusing on "Biodiversity and adaptations". Purely descriptive papers will no longer be accepted as analytical or hypothesis-driven research is a prerequisite. Only manuscripts in English are processed. They should contain significant, new findings or a novel point of view for review and opinion papers and must not have been published elsewhere (except as part of a thesis, lecture note, report, or in the form of an abstract) nor be simultaneously under consideration for publication elsewhere. Submitting a manuscript implies that the publication has been approved by all co-authors as well as by the authorities of the institute where the work has been carried out, and that permission for reproduction was obtained by the authors for material derived from other copyrighted sources.
Manuscripts must contain significant new findings of wide interest and must not have been published elsewhere (except as part of a thesis, lecture note, report, or in the form of an abstract) nor be simultaneously under consideration for any other publication outlet. Submitting a manuscript implies that the publication has been approved by all co-authors as well as by the authorities at the institute where the work has been carried out, and that a permission of copyright holders was obtained by the authors for material used from other copyrighted sources (this permission does not need to be included with the manuscript, but is the responsibility of the author).

Concerning open-access, authors benefit from a waiver of page charges for up to ten printed pages for members of the Royal Belgian Zoological Society and staff members of the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences, and six pages for non-members (colour plates not included) (info with respect to memberships, see below). Additional pages will be charged to authors (see table (PDF)(*) 11 KB / (HTML) for prices). A high resolution PDF file of the published version will be made accessible on-line through the journal web site. Reprints can be ordered when sending the corrected galley proofs and will be charged at cost price (see table (PDF)(*) 11 KB / (HTML) for prices).

1. Preparation of your manuscript

Manuscripts must be submitted electronically to the editorial office at (not to any editor’s email address) and should have the format as given below. For the correct layout, the BJZ template has to be used which can be downloaded (dot or rtf). Manuscripts not corresponding to these guidelines will be returned to the authors and not further processed.

2. Content and structure (for short notes, please see below)

All papers have to be in clear, concise English. Manuscripts with insufficient English will be returned to the authors. For the format of short notes, see below. All files have to be submitted in a single pdf file for reviewing purposes. After acceptance (see below), files have to be provided in their original formats for high resolution printing. Research manuscripts, reviews and opinion papers should be divided into sections in the following order, each starting on a new page:
- Title page, with running title and author affiliations.
- Abstract (summarizing the essential results and conclusions) and max. 5 keywords.
- Body of the paper, with Introduction, Material and methods, Results, Discussion, Conclusion, Acknowledgements.
- References
- Tables with titles in Excel format
- Legends to the figures
- Figures (numbered) and in high resolution

a. Title page

The title must cover the content of the paper and should be short and precise. The title page should also contain:
The full name (starting with the first name) and address of each author as well as the e-mail address of the corresponding author.

Also, the total number of text pages, tables, and figures, each in a separate line, has to be provided.

b. Abstract

The abstract should summarize the most important results and conclusions of the study in a concise way with a maximum of 250 words. The broad scientific public of the Belgian Journal of Zoology should be especially considered. The abstract should not include any references to published papers. Also a short running title and maximal 5 key words, separated by commas, should be provided.

c. Main text

The main text of primary research papers has to be divided into the sections Introduction, Material and Methods, Results and Discussion. Please note that results and discussion have to be clearly separated. Opinion papers and reviews do not need to follow this format but should instead provide a general introduction and thematic subdivisions.

• Page layout:

Manuscripts have to be in double spacing, with page and line numbers and margins of at least 2.5 cm. We strongly recommend using the template file with the correct layout (dot or rtf) as this facilitates font use and capitalization of the Belgian Journal of Zoology style for sections and sub-sections. Words should not be hyphenated at the end of a sentence and sentences should not start with abbreviations. The word 'figure' should not be abbreviated in the text, unless between parenthesis, for example (Fig. 5; Figs 1-2).
After punctuations, a space should be used, not before them. Italics is only permitted for genus and species names, latin names of anatomical structures, standardized expressions, for example, of gene or gene cluster names, and in references according to journal layout and must be formatted as such. No underlined or bold text formatting should be used.

A template (Word dot or rtf) with the accepted formats can be downloaded here.

• Metric units:

Units must follow the SI-system, without space separating the value from the unit and may not be followed by a period. Temperatures must be in degrees Celsius. Metric abbreviations should not be followed by a period.

• Species names:

Phylum and class of the investigated species should be mentioned to inform the readership about the taxonomic origin of the animals under investigation. Only species names and the names of genera should be in italics. Names of species should be followed, on the first occasion of use, by the name of the author who described the species or introduced the taxon name (NOT in small caps) and the year (for example: 'Clarias gariepinus (Burchell, 1822)'). This rule does not apply for names of plants. If a table of all the species names used in the text is provided, the author names can be mentioned there. The genus name on its own should not be used to describe a species or individuals of a species. Thus, instead of "Astacus was found at two occasions" but " Individuals of Astacus spec. were found... or "Two Astacus species were found..." should be used.

d. References

• In-text citations:

Author names should be in SMALL CAPITALS and in the following format: NAVAS (1996), LAUDER & LIEM (1980) for two authors, or WILSON et al. (1987) for more than two authors. A citation such as "NAVAS (1996) found that..." is correct as well. Consecutive references must be separated by a semicolon (;), and should be ordered chronologically.
References to more than one paper by identical author(s) and publication year should be cited as for example LAUDER & LIEM (1980a, b). Unpublished data should not be cited. Citations based on a personal comment should be accompanied by a written and signed statement by the referred person.

• Reference list:

All authors quoted in the text should be found in the reference list and all references in the list should be cited in the text. References should be ordered alphabetically by author's surname(s). Multiple author combinations of the same first author should be ordered as following: (1) single- author papers, (2) author and one co-author papers, and (3) author and multiple co-authors. Within each subset, papers must be ordered chronologically. Separate rules apply to short notes (see below).
The simplified format of the citations should be as in the examples below. Author names are in SMALL CAPS and only species or genus names are in italics (this has changed since 2007):

o Journal article citations:
NAVAS CA (1996). Implications of microhabitat selection and pattern of activity on the thermal ecology of high elevation neotropical anurans. Oecologia, 108: 617-626.
(Journal should not be abbreviated - see "World list of Scientific Periodicals" for correct spelling of journal names).

o Book chapter citation:
MALLEFET J, VANHOUTTE P & BAGUET F (1992). Study of Amphipholis squamata luminescence. In: ALERA-LIACI & CANICATTI TI (eds), Echinoderm Research, L. Balkema, Rotterdam: 125-130.

o Book citation:
BELLAIRS R (1991). Egg incubation: its effects on an embryonic development in birds and reptiles. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.

o Web site citation
SABAJ MH, ARMBRUSTER JW, FERRARIS, JR CJ, FRIEL JP, LUNDBERG JG & PAGE LM (eds). 2003-2006. The All Catfish Species Inventory (Internet address:

A Ph.D. thesis is considered as references and should be included in the reference list. Please note that this does not apply to a master thesis, project report etc. Author names that only appear in the text after a species' name are not included in the reference list..

e. Tables

Tables are referred to in the text by "Table n" (with capital T) in a logical order (thus, Table 1 is mentioned first, followed by Table 2, etc.). The legend to a table is given on top of the table. The page size of the Belgian Journal of Zoology is 17 x 24.6 cm, in two columns of 8.2 cm each. The sizes of tables should take this page width and length, into account. The preferred location of each table in the manuscript should be indicated. Upon acceptance, tables should be submitted as Excel files.

f. Figures

The BJZ will only accept electronic versions of illustrations (see below). Figure files should be in JPG, PCT, PSD, Ai or TIFF format and scans should have a sufficiently high resolution of at least 300 dpi. Figures are referred to in the texts by "Fig. n" (capital F and full stop) or "Figs n-m" (no full stop) with 'n' and 'm' being consecutive numbers. Similarly as with tables, figures have to be mentioned in the text in a logical order (thus Fig. 1 is referred to first, followed by Fig. 2, etc.). Drawings should be clearly readable after reduction to page and column width. Photographs should be sharp and with good contrasts. Label size should be adequate and similar in all illustrations. Magnifications or reductions should be accompanied by a scale bar. The preferred location of each figure in the manuscript should be indicated. Figure captions and legends should be provided on a separate page. Colour prints are at additional charge (see price table(PDF)(*) 11 KB / (HTML).

• Colour prints:

Colour prints need to be paid by the authors (see price table (PDF)(*) 11 KB / (HTML). When the manuscript is received by the editor, authors will be informed about an estimated printing cost and payment will be required before final publication (for hardcopies only, no extra costs for PDF's).

• Cover illustration:

An illustration relating to a paper of the current issue will be selected for the cover. Authors are encouraged to submit additional illustrations, if possible in full colour free of charge (drawings, photographs, ...) for the cover, together with a short explanation.

• Additional on-line information:

Additional information can be put on-line after publication. This should be limited to information that cannot be included in a manuscript (such as movies or additional figures in colour) or is too elaborate to be included (such as extensive data tables). The additional information should be submitted together with the manuscript for reviewing purposes. The editorial board has the right to reject the possibility that additional information is put on-line.

3. Short Notes

Short notes do not exceed two printed pages (incl. title, figures and tables - approx. 10 000 characters minus the figures and references). They are the appropriate form for new findings, comments on papers published in the journal, important new records of alien species invading Belgium etc. bearing the journal focus ('Biodiversity and adaptations') in mind. They should be written as a continuous text without the various divisions of regular papers and without an abstract. References for notes must be indicated in the text by numbers in the order they are cited. Short notes will be reviewed like full research papers.

4. Format of electronic submissions

An electronic version of the manuscript as pdf including the text, tables and figures should be sent by e-mail to as an attachment, together with a submission letter indicating a branch editor and suggesting up to three referees. It is strongly advised to use the BJZ template file when preparing the manuscript (see links above). The pdf file should be named with the name of the first author and should also include the MS number once it has been allocated by the editorial office of the BJZ (see below).

5. Animal Welfare concerns

All animal experimentation reported in the Belgian Journal of Zoology must have been conducted in accordance with the pertinent national statements regarding the care and use of animals in the country of residence of the first author.

6. Reviewing process

On receipt of the manuscript, the corresponding author is notified and will receive the number under which the manuscript has been registered. Authors will also receive a price estimate, to which the author must agree before the manuscript can be forwarded to the branch editor. The manuscript will be sent to at least two referees and a reply can be expected four weeks after submission or later, depending on the response of the referees. Manuscripts might be accepted immediately, with minor or major revision or rejected. If the decision is 'revision', the authors are requested to take the remarks of the referees and editorial remarks into account and submit the revised version within three months. A second reviewing process might follow. Upon final acceptance, the authors provide a final version of the manuscript in appropriate file formats (not a pdf) and send these to the desk editor. The authors will then be notified in which issue the paper will be published. Only one galley proof will be sent as a PDF file to the corresponding author. This proof must be carefully corrected and sent back within 2 working days.

7. Copyright

The Belgian Journal of Zoology is an open access journal that wishes to distribute its paper as widely as possible without additional costs. All published papers will be put on-line in open access as low resolution PDF. Copyright thus remains with the authors.

Scratchpads developed and conceived by (alphabetical): Ed Baker, Katherine Bouton Alice Heaton Dimitris Koureas, Laurence Livermore, Dave Roberts, Simon Rycroft, Ben Scott, Vince Smith