Research articles

Instructions to authors

Bonn zoological Bulletin (BzB), formerly “Bonner zoologische Beiträge”, is an international, peer-reviewed, open-access, free-of-charge journal publishing original research articles, reviews, scientific notes, and book reviews.

The scope of BzB includes biodiversity of terrestrial animals (including freshwater taxa), with special focus on (1) taxonomy, (2) evolutionary history, (3) biology and distribution of species, and (4) notes and news from scientific zoological collections. Contributions in related fields such as ecology, morphology, physiology, genomics, behaviour or history of science are welcome when of clear relevance to the focal topics.

BzB is published by the Zoological Research Museum Alexander Koenig (Bonn). We aim to provide a platform for organism-focused, collection-based research, fostering easy distribution of and access to the latest findings in taxonomy and other aspects of zoological biodiversity research.

Publication in BzB is free of charge, including colour illustrations and photographs. Authors retain full copyright of their published papers, and are encouraged to share them with colleagues and post the original pdfs on their personal website or elsewhere for non-commercial use. All material must be original, unpublished work and not under consideration for publication elsewhere.

BzB is published biannually, with online-first publication of articles immediately upon acceptance. Articles should not exceed 50 printed pages. For more comprehensive manuscripts, monographs and theme issues, BzB publishes a Supplementum series (now BzB Supplementum, formerly “Bonner zoologische Monographien”).

Research articles: Manuscript preparation and submission

Manuscripts should be written in English. For serving readers from the organism’s country of origin, bilingual abstracts are welcome. If you plan to submit a manuscript of more than 50 manuscript pages, please contact the editor-in-chief in advance. Please submit your manuscript as electronic file (see paragraph on electronic submission below). Manuscripts should strictly follow the instructions specified below. Manuscripts not compatible with these guidelines will not be taken into consideration.

Format. Typing should be double-spaced in 10 pt throughout the text, including tables, figure legends, and reference list. Pages and lines should be numbered consecutively. Short subheadings may structure the text into sections. Do not number headings or subheadings.

Structure. Research articles should be organized as follows: Title, Author(s), Address(es) including email address, Abstract, Key words, Running Title, Introduction, Material and Methods, Results, Discussion (or combined Results and Discussion), Conclusions (optional), Acknowledgements, References, Tables, Figure Captions, Figures (separately numbered and identified), Appendices (if necessary). Footnotes should not be used except in Tables.

Title. The title should be brief (30 words limit, ideally shorter) and indicate clearly the field of study and group of animals investigated. The systematic position of taxa listed in the title must be indicated (e.g. “Squamata: Colubridae”). A Running Title (maximum 45 characters inclusive of spaces) should describe the paper’s core topic.

Abstract. Each manuscript should contain a concise abstract as single paragraph (max. 300 words) summarizing the significant findings, followed by not more than six key words.

References. In the text, cited sources should be referred to as follows: Ax (2001), Kim & Lumaret (1989), Holm et al. (1997) – for three or more authors, or, if cited consecutively: (Ax 2001, 2002; Holm et al. 1997; Kim & Lumaret 1989) – please follow exactly the use of commas and semicolons. Do not use commas between authorand year (only exception: taxonomic names, in which a comma is placed between author and year).

The list of references should be arranged alphabetically according to the surname of the first author; all authors should be included. Citations of two ormore authors should be arranged alphabetically according to the first- and then the following author’s surname. When more than one reference is given for a single author or the same combination of authors, these should be arranged chronologically. If citing more than one reference by the same author(s) published in the same year, use a, b, etc. after the year in both, text and reference list (e.g. 2006a, b). The names of journals in the References should be given in full. References “in press” shall only be cited when they have been accepted for publication.

Examples of reference style

Kottelat M, Whitten T, Kartikasari SN, Wirjoatmodjo S (1993) Freshwater fishes of Western Indonesia and Sulawesi. Periplus Editions, Hong Kong

Mayr E (2000) The biological species concept. Pp. 17–29 in: Wheeler QD & Meier R (eds) Species Concepts and Phylogenetic Theory – A Debate. Columbia University Press, New York

Parenti RP (2008) A phylogenetic analysis and taxonomic revision of ricefishes,Oryziasand relatives (Beloniformes, Adrianichthyidae). Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society 154: 494–610

Sullivan J (1994) Bufo boreas. In: Fire Effects Information System (U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory). Online at html last accessed on December 28, 2009

Sztencel-Jablonka A, Jones G, Bogdanowicz W (2009) Skull morphology of two cryptic bat species: Pipistrelluspipistrellus and P. pygmaeus– a 3D geometric morphometrics approach with landmark reconstruction. Acta Chiropterologica 11: 113–126

Authors are kindly requested to make sure that sources listed in the references match those cited in the text. Names of persons who provided unpublished information should be cited by including the initial(s) and city as follows: “(JG Frommen, Bonn, pers. comm. 2009)”.

Tables & Figures. Tables and Figures should not duplicate information provided in the text. Tables should be numbered consecutively in Arabian numbers in order of their mention in the text (Table 1, Tables 1–3; do not abbreviate “Table(s)”). A brief self-explanatory title should be typed directly above each table, not on a separate page. Do not insert frames, vertical rules, dotted lines or footnotes. Figures (maps, graphs, charts, drawings, photographs etc.) must be numbered consecutively using Arabian numbers in order of their mention in the text (abbreviate “Fig. 1”, “Figs 1–3” etc. in the text, but use the full term “Figure(s)” in the captions. If referring to illustrations in cited sources, use “fig. / figs”. Grouped figures should be lettered with a lower case block letter in the lower left corner. Scale should be indicated on figures by a scale bar. A fully descriptive caption of each figure should contain all relevant information; captions are to be typed together on a separate page. Colour figures will be published free of charge if contributing significantly to quality and / or readability of the manuscript. The decision to print in colour or black and white any figure submitted in colour will generally be based on the referee’s and handling editor’s recommendations, but remains with the editor-in-chief and publisher. If appropriate, authors may be askedto group single colour figures into plates. For review, tables and figures should be enclosed to text (preferable one electronic file per manuscript), but may alternatively also be submitted as separate files (jpg, pdf, tiff). At this stage, illustrationsof low resolution allowing the referees to follow the contents are sufficient; high-resolution files (jpg, pdf, tiff of photographs, maps etc. at ≥ 300 dpi; line artwork etc. at 600 dpi or in eps format) will be requested after acceptance. Unless otherwise agreed with the editor, single electronic submissions should not exceed 6 MB file size.

Appendix. Appendices should be numbered consecutively in Roman numbers, in order of their mention in the text (Appendix I, Appendices I–VI).

Abbreviations. Except of very common abbreviations such as mm, kg etc.; all abbreviations should be explained in the Methods section or figure legend if appropriate. Hyphenation or upper case letters for entire words are not permitted. All measurements must be metric units and given to the same decimal, i.e., 5.3–6.0 mm (not: 5.3–6 mm).

Taxonomy. Names of animals and the description of new genera (gen. nov.) or new species (sp. nov.) must follow the current version of the International Code of Zoological Nomenclature (ICZN, Type specimens should be deposited in recognised institutions; deposition at ZFMK is highly appreciated. Italics are required for species names which are written in full the first time they appear in the text, e.g. Carassius auratus (Linnaeus, 1758), but abbreviated at subsequent mention, e.g. C. auratus. List names in synonymies as follows: Attelabus asparagi Scopoli, 1763 (Scopoli 1763: 36, fig. 113.), and list the source under References. Dichotomous keys are desirable intaxonomic papers.

Statistics. Statistics presented should include the name of the test, number of observations or degree of freedom, and probability level (P > 0.05, P 0.001, P < 0.001). Values of test statistics are not required.


Notes should comply with the instructions given above, but have to be (1) confined to a single point or issue of progress, (2) must be short (typically no more than three printed pages including illustrations and references), and (3) do not include headings or subheadings. A brief abstract of no more than three lines is required.

Review papers

Reviews should be concise, critical and creative, seeking to summarize the state-of-the-art of complex topics, and stimulate debates and new research initiatives. Review papers should comply with the instructions for preparation of Research articles, with the exception that the main body of text may be structured as appropriate.

Electronic submission

Manuscripts should be submitted as text files (*.doc or *.rtf; *.pdf is welcome for the review process, but for production *.doc or *.rtf will be required) via e-mail ( This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ) to the editor-in-chief. The file name must start with the submitting author’s last name.

Review process

Each manuscript will be peer-reviewed, generally by two or more referees. Manuscripts should be submitted to the editor-in-chief, and will be handled by the editor dealing with the respective taxon or topic (see list of editors). Authors are encouraged to suggest potential referees for their manuscripts. Final acceptance for publication is in the responsibility of the editor-in-chief. This decision is mainly based on the referees’ report and the handling editor’s recommendation. Revised manuscripts received more than six months after the reviewers’ comments had been sent will be treated as new submissions. After acceptance, authors are encouraged to submit suggestions for a cover image.

Ethical & legal aspects

Authors are obliged to state clearly that they followed the legal regulations and laws for the collection and ethical treatment of animals.

Publication & open access policy

Accepted manuscripts will be published online first at as soon as the authors have returned the corrected proofs and published in print later in the printed issue of BzB. Prior to online publication, papers as well as newly described species and other nomenclatural acts will be registered at ZooBank by BzB, and the LSID numbers will be provided in the respective publication. Immediately after publication, the corresponding author will receive an e-mail containing the final pdf. Reprints can only be purchased on demand and on the author’s cost. All published content is freely available without charge to the user or his/her institution. Authors are invited to place the final pdf on their personal or institutional website.