The British Herpetological Society

Instructions to Authors - The Herpetological Bulletin

The Herpetological Bulletin is produced quarterly and publishes, in English, a range of herpetological articles. These include full-length papers, book reviews, natural history notes and other items of general herpetological interest. Emphasis is placed on natural history, conservation, captive breeding and husbandry, veterinary and behavioural aspects. Articles reporting the results of experimental research, descriptions of new taxa, or taxonomic revisions should be submitted to The Herpetological Journal.

Submission Guidelines

Contributions should be submitted in electronic form by e-mail in Windows format. File size on first submission should not exceed 5 MB.

Authors will be informed promptly of receipt of their manuscript and given a time-scale within which it will be published if and when accepted. Acknowledgement of the receipt of work does not indicate acceptance for publication. All contributions are subject to peer review by at least 2 reviewers and will be judged on reports supplied by referees. These will usually include comments on scientific rigour, originality and the degree of general interest of the subject matter.The decision of the editor(s) will be final. The Editor reserves the right to shorten or amend a manuscript, although substantial alterations will not be made without consultation with the primary author. Contributions are also assessed for ethical issues, for which the advice of one or more external referees may be sought; in particular, work that has involved the killing or other use of animals, collection of endangered species or disturbance to their habitat(s), will require full justification.

Please find our Ethics Policy here: BHS Ethics Policy.

Full Papers should be no longer than 6000 words but longer papers are possible at the Editor (s) discretion.

Short Notes should be based on a single data set and one figure or one table but can have a short abstract with a maximum 100 words. Layout is similar to a full paper (see below).

Natural History Notes should have the form of an unusual single observation of a species or event that would not normally constitute a short note.

Authors should consult a recent edition of the Bulletin for general guidance. Free issues are available for download on the British Herpetological Society website.

All submissions should be sent by e-mail to: -

General text layout. All pages should be single column. Section headings are in uppercase, bold, centered – see below. First paragraph of each section is not indented. Following paragraphs start indented.

Title (example).

A hypothesis to explain the distribution of the great crested newt Triturus cristatus in the Highlands of Scotland

Authors (example)


1Address of First Author. 2Address of Second Author.

1Corresponding author: e-mail address


This should not exceed 10% of the papers length and begin: -




Any sub-section headings are bold.


Any sub-section headings are bold.


Any sub-section headings are bold.



For a guide to formatting references authors should consult a recent issue of the Bulletin. Example formats are given below. Note journals are full titles.

Phelps, T. (2002). A study of the Black Mamba (Dendroaspis polylepis) in Kwazulu-Natal, South Africa, with particular reference to long-term refugia. Herpetological Bulletin 80: 7-19.

Pitman, C.R.S. (1938). A Guide to the Snakes of Uganda. Kampala: Uganda Society. xxi + 362 pp.

Seigel, R.A. & Ford, N.B. (1987). Reproductive ecology. In Snakes: Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, pp. 210-252. Siegel, R.A. Collins, J.T. & Novak, S.S. (Eds.). New York: Macmillan Publ. Co.

Attention is drawn to other format details:

1. References in the text should be given as in the following examples;

Golay (1985); Golay et al., (1993); Kuch & Schneyer (1991).

2. Units of measurement should be given in abbreviated form and separated from

values with a space (e.g. 10 m, 10 Km, 10:00 hrs, 10 °C, 16º 43'95" N, 88º

59'17" W).

3. Regions of the world should be typed in lower case without hyphenation (i.e.

southeast Asia).

4. Dates in the text should be given as in the following example; 21 February 2001.

5. Spelling should be that of the Oxford English Dictionary.

6. Sentences within the text should be separated by one character-stop only.


Tables should be submitted as text separated by tabs within the text file of the submitted article. See an example of the Bulletin for layout.


Legends for figures should be shown as Figure 1, Figure 2 etc. When referencing in the text show as Fig.1, Fig. 2 etc except at the beginning of a sentence when it is Figure 1 etc.

Images (photographs, graphs, illustrations) should be submitted as PDF (preferred), TIFF or JPEG files. They should not be embedded within the text file of a submitted article. Images should be entirely relevant to the text and numbered sequentially with Arabic numbers (i.e. Figure 1. etc.).

Natural History Notes

These features shorter-style articles documenting a single unusual observation made of amphibians and reptiles mostly in the field. Articles should be concise and may consist of as little as two or three paragraphs, although ideally will be between 600 and 800 words. Preferred contributions should represent an observation made of a free-living animal with little human intrusion, and describe a specific aspect of natural history. Information based on a captive observation should be declared as such in the text and the precise geographical origin of the specimen stated. With few exceptions, an individual 'Note' should concern only one species, and authors are requested to choose a keyword or short phrase that best describes the nature of their observation (e.g., Diet, Reproduction). The use of photographs is encouraged but should replace words rather than embellish them. Contributions are accepted on the premise that they represent an original and previously unreported observation, and may be edited prior to acceptance.

Standard format for this section is now in line with Full papers and Short Notes. Text; there are no constraints on how information is presented but the date, time and locality (with full map co-ordinates if possible) must be included, as should precise details on the nature of the observation with some discussion of its significance, and references to pertinent literature. If the information relates to a preserved specimen, its catalogue number and place of deposition should also be given. References should be cited in the style described for main articles). Then leave a line space and close with name and address details in full.

(Revised April 2014)