Instructions for authors

BioGecko aims to publish scientific research and life history observations relevant to the herpetofauna of New Zealand, or New Zealand herpetologists and ecologists. It is often an ideal starting point for a student's first paper, or surveying or monitoring outcomes by local communities, biodiversity officers and other stakeholders. We aim to facilitate the exchange of ideas and knowledge between professional and amateur herpetologists and ecologists, conservation managers, students and amphibian and reptile keepers. Despite the frighteningly precise guidelines below, do not be afraid of submitting an article at all, as we aim to publish information wherever relevant, and we will work with you improve your articles for publication. Manuscripts may cover any aspect of New Zealand herpetology, including original research (field or laboratory) on the life history, biology and conservation. Reviews of relevant topics are also welcome.

BioGecko offers the following publication categories:

  1. Paper or Case Study — original research involving concise empirical or theoretical study relating to New Zealand herpetology. Includes meta-analyses (up to 5,000 words).
  2. Report — a short report on field work, including survey results, relating to New Zealand herpetology (up to 2,000 words).
  3. Review — a significant review of topics in New Zealand herpetology, including a summary of unpublished work hitherto unavailable to the scientific and conservation community (up to 8,000 words).
  4. Brevities — a short essay on anything relating to the life history of New Zealand herpetofauna (up to 300 words).
  5. Anecdotes — a short paragraph on an interesting observation relating to the New Zealand herpetofauna (up to 100 words).
  6. Datasets — raw datasets (as public restricted supplementary material). A description of the datasets' contents and context should be provided such as: species, SVL, weight, location, trap type, number of trap days, reason for study, etc.
  7. Photo Galleries — a collection of photographic images on a topic of New Zealand herpetology, or taken by a New Zealand herpetologist.

Submission instructions

  1. Identify the category under which your publication likely falls under, and try to keep to the recommended word count for this category.
  2. Word counts exclude title page, abstract, literature cited, tables, figures or appendices.
  3. Submit the manuscript by email to the Editor ([email protected]) as a Word document (Text aligned left, with line numbers, Font: Times New Roman or Arial, size 12).
  4. Images: Authors may submit full colour images for consideration in publication. These images should be attached to the email separately from the Word document with the file names as Figure 1, Figure 2, … Figure n. (as JPG or TIFF files over 300 dpi). The citation within the text is the same as the file name. Very high quality images are preferred. Please attach a table of Figure Legends at the end of the manuscript, as captions for each image.
  5. Tables & Graphs: We also welcome tables and graphs showing results. Please add these at the end of the Word document as Table 1, Table 2, … Table n, similarly so for Graphs (i.e. Graph 1, and so on). The citation within the text is the same as the label. Please attach a table of Figure Legends at the end of the manuscript, as captions for each Table or Graph.
  6. References: Accuracy of references are the responsibility of the author(s). References must be checked against the text to ensure (a) that the spelling of author’s names and the dates are consistent, and that (b) all authors quoted in the text (in date order, if more than one), are given in the reference list, and vice versa. References must be arranged first alphabetically under author(s) surname(s) and date, then in chronological order, if the same author has produced more than one paper in any one year. Use a, b, etc, after the year to distinguish papers published by the same author(s) in the same year. For two authors, use both names and the year. For three or more authors, on first citation, use first author’s name followed by et al. and the date. Further details on reference style are included in the print-version of the instructions.
  7. All submissions are subject to peer review by two anonymous reviewers. Authors will be notified of the editorial decision to send the manuscript out for review within a month of submission. Authors may suggest peer reviewers for their paper.
  8. Authors can expect to hear about the outcome of the review process, or receive an explanation of delay, within three months of submission. If a revision is required, authors will be provided with reviewer's reports detailing all relevant comments as seen appropriate by the editor. Authors should endeavour to address reviewer's comments in detail and re-submit the manuscript within a month of receiving the reviewer's report.

Category instructions

The content of your manuscript for each category must be structured as follows:

Paper or Case Study, or Report: Title; Author(s); Abstract; Introduction; Materials & Methods; Results; Discussion; Acknowledgements; References; Appendices

Review Title; Authors(s); Abstract; Introduction; (Body of text); Discussion; Acknowledgements; References; Appendices

Brevities: Title; Author(s); Abstract; (Body of text); Acknowledgements; References

Special Reports: Please contact the Editors

We suggest that your submitted manuscript should consist of the following content:

  1. Title: The title should be concise, and to the point. Quirky titles which are effective in catching the reader’s attention and interest are welcome.
  2. Author(s): The author’s names and initials should be listed in the appropriate order, along with the addresses for each author. The corresponding author must provide an email address.
  3. Abstract: An abstract of no more than 300 words should provide the main results and conclusions.
  4. Introduction: The introduction should give the background context of the research carried out within, and introduce the reader to the aims of the work carried out.
  5. Materials & Methods: This section should describe the experimental design under which the work was carried out, and should be detailed enough so that independent replication is possible.
  6. Results: This section should describe the findings as a factual account but not draw conclusions.
  7. Discussion: This section should draw conclusions on the outcome of the work within, and point to other outcomes or knowledge elsewhere which is relevant to the topic.
  8. Acknowledgements: Please acknowledge those whom have supported the study, either financially, or by providing assistance in field work, logistics or other. Peer reviewers may be acknowledged with their permission.
  9. References: As appropriate.
  10. Appendices: Please discuss with the Editor.

Style and scope of articles

BioGecko aims to be an outlet for herpetological research relevant to New Zealand. The journals Notornis and Herpetofauna are good examples to refer for the style and pitch of articles for BioGecko.

Review process

At present while we are still in the start-up phase, each manuscript will be reviewed by the editor and one anonymous reviewer. However, as the journal and our body of reviewers grows, we aim to have each manuscript reviewed by two anonymous reviewers.


The corresponding author will receive an email from the Editors with a PDF file attached as the first proof along with an invitation to download Dropbox, from which tracked changes within the latest version of the manuscript in a Word document can be followed between the Editors and the Author(s).

All authors will receive a free PDF copy of their article.

Copyright: Authors of articles published in BioGecko retain copyright of the Article, and give the Publisher an exclusive license to publish their article. Authors must return an Exclusive Licensing Form to the Editorial Office upon the paper’s acceptance.

You can download a PDF version of these submission guidelines here.