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Instructions for Authors

Museum of Comparative Zoology Bulletin & Breviora
Authors' Guide

The Museum publishes the Bulletin of the Museum of Comparative Zoology and Breviora. Appropriate papers are original contributions concerned with systematics, evolutionary biology, ecology, and other aspects of organismal and comparative biology.

Longer contributions, those over 30 printed pages, should be published in the Bulletin; Breviora carries shorter papers. Both publications are issued at irregular intervals. Both are mailed to domestic and foreign subscribers, and are automatically copyrighted with the Library of Congress.

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Who May Publish

Current and retired staff members, students, and MCZ resident associates may submit manuscripts; work by others based on MCZ specimens is also appropriate. Occasionally, special arrangements may be made with the Editor for others to submit manuscripts reporting on work done at, or in some way associated with, the Museum.

MCZ Publications will not carry a series of short papers that could be combined and published more economically as one article, or very short papers more suitable for publication in specialized journals.

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Manuscript Submission & Acceptance

All submissions must be prepared digitally and submitted through the following website: Authors must also include names, post and e-mail addresses of four potential reviewers with their submission.

First-time users must register by going to and clicking "Register Now" on the homepage. Upon successful registration, you will be sent an e-mail with instructions to verify your account. If questions arise about the submission process, please contact the Editorial Assistant.

Upon acceptance, authors are asked to fill out a transfer of copyright form, which must be completed before the manuscript is sent to press.

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Manuscript Preparation

Manuscripts may be submitted in DOC or PDF formats. Papers should be formatted with one inch margins and 12 point font. All material, including reference lists and legends, must be double-spaced with the page and line numbers clearly labeled. Line numbers must run consecutively throughout the manuscript.

Recent issues of the Bulletin or Breviora may serve as guides in planning text and illustrations. Both MCZ journals strive for consistency in overall format. Authors should refer to the 5th edition of the CBE (Council of Biology Editors) Style Manual for diction, style, and technical writing guidelines.

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Keep titles short and explicit; include a separate title page. Also provide us with a running head (a shortened version of the title to be placed at the top of each printed page).

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Abstract & Summary

An abstract is required and must briefly state the purpose of the article, the methodology used, the results obtained, and the conclusions drawn. Summaries at the end of the text are optional and may be more detailed than the abstract.

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Taxonomic procedures must conform to the accepted standards. When in doubt, refer to Mayr and Ashlock, Principles of Systematic Zoology (1991), and the International Code of Zoological Nomenclature, 4th Edition (1999), available online.

Each original description of a new animal species must designate at least one type specimen, which constitutes a physical specimen—and not simply a digital image—deposited in a permanent institutional collection or repository that is accessible to the scientific community.

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Table of Contents & Index

Longer papers should have a concise table of contents and an index. It is the author's responsibility to prepare an index.

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Illustrations must be submitted electronically, and uploaded to the website along with the manuscript. Acceptable file types are EPS, TIFF, JPEG, PDF, and PSD.

Figures should meet resolution standards. Grayscale/halftone: 300 dpi; color: 450 dpi; and line art: 1200 dpi. All color figures must be submitted in CMYK color mode. Remaining questions about appropriate format or file quality should be directed to the Editorial Assistant.

Color illustrations are permitted only when the use of color is necessary. The Editor may ultimately decide when the use of color is appropriate and may apply a charge for extensive color usage. Please mention any color figures, full-page figures with facing legends, or other detailed illustrations that you plan to use upon submission.

Authors are responsible for obtaining permission to use copyrighted illustrations and other materials. Please submit the copyrighted permissions with the manuscript. For more information on the usage of MCZ copyrighted material, please refer to the Copyrights section of our website.

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Within the text, cite references in ascending chronological order as follows: (Adams, 1960), (Adams and Dawson, 1976) or (Adams et al., 1976)

When an article has three or more authors, cite it as first author followed by "et al."(Jones et al., 1963)

When citing a string of references, arrange them by year with semicolon separators: (Adams, 1963; Smith, 1978; Jones et al., 1999)

Be sure references mentioned in the text are included in the literature cited.

Molecular Data

When the conclusions of a paper are based on results derived from molecular data, the raw data must be deposited in a publicly accessible repository, such as GenBank, and the accession numbers must be provided in the article.

Additionally, all molecular data and homology statements (e.g., multiple sequence alignments) leading to the results should be deposited in a public database, as should other data forming the basis for results presented in the paper.

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Style Preferences

Indicate a new name by the use of a term such as "sp. nov.," "gen. nov.," "fam. nov.," "nom. nov.," rather than an equivalent term in another language.

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Literature Cited

Under literature cited at the end of the paper, list references alphabetically by author and chronologically under each author. Spell out journal titles fully and list all authors (no em dashes). For sample citations to help prepare the literature cited, click here.

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Editing Process

All manuscripts are sent out for copyediting. However, the author remains responsible for checking and ensuring that all changes are properly made. All responsibility for accuracy belongs to the author.

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Authors will be provided with an electronic version of their paper. Reprints may be ordered at the time of publication.

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If you have any questions about editorial procedures or author guidelines for MCZ Publications, please contact:

Jonathan Losos, Editor

Catherine Weisel, Interim Managing Editor


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There is, in general, no charge for publication in MCZ journals. However, publication of exceptionally long manuscripts may require contribution toward publication costs.

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