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Author Guidelines

You can send us a completely unformatted Word document and we'll format for you - or you can follow the guidelines below - but please don't devise your own unique way of formatting your submission, as we'll only have to re-format it! 

Authorship/ Title

  • Author(s) names – use full name(s). 
  • Address/ affiliation (this is optional): town/ city & country only, NOT full postal address.
  • Corresponding author: one corresponding author only; email address only.
  • Title in bold and centred; author(s) centred; otherwise unformatted.
  • Include plant family name after species name in title, but do not include authority.
  • Please do not italicise families.


Must also be uploaded separately (for indexing).


  • Up to six words or expressions, each separated by a semi-colon; no caps except for proper nouns.
  • Should not duplicate words which appear in the title. 


  • 12 point, Roman, bold, lower case.
  • Sub-headings: 12 point, italicised, not bolded, lower case.
  • You may wish to use the standard format of Methods, Results, Discussion, or you may prefer to use alternative section headings - either is acceptable. 


  • Font: Tahoma, 12 point.
  • Italicise species name, i.e. Bellis perennis.
  • Avoid common names, except for an initial mention if necessary, in brackets following the species name , i.e. Bellis perennis (daisy); only capitalise proper nouns.
  • Scientific names should follow the 4th edition of Stace's 'New Flora of the British Isles'.
  • Scientific names should be written in full the first time they are used but may subsequently be abbreviated, e.g. B. perennis except when they are used to start a sentence.
  • Authorities may be used but only once in the abstract and/ or once in the text, after initial mention of the species.
  • Use “subsp.” rather than “ssp.”
  • Please DO NOT insert double spaces after full stops or lines in between paragraphs.
  • Please use line numbering.
  • Text should be left-justified, first line of section not indented, subsequent first lines of paragraphs indented by 1cm only.
  • Citation of types: “TYPE: <locality, date, collector, collection no. (holotype acronym barcode).” 
  • Values and units should be separated by a space, e.g 10 cm.
  • Abbreviations: for vice-counties, please use the format v.c.xx (i.e. lower case and no spaces); for c. (circa) please italicise and don't leave a space between the abbreviation and the value, i.e. c.10. 
  • Please avoid footnotes unless they are essential but where used, they should be in the footer and in Tahoma 9 point.
  • When citing papers by three or more authors, please use 'et al.' throughout, including the first citation.

Figure and Table captions and images

  • Bold, roman, 11 point, followed by 1 space, e.g. Figure 3. <legend>
  • No full stop at end of caption.
  • In the text refer to “Fig. 1” etc.
  • Column headings in Tables should be in bold please.
  • Legends for Tables go above the Table; legends for Figures go below the Figure.
  • Images should be submitted as jpegs and at as high a resolution as possible. Add scale bars where necessary.


     No lines  between references.

    First line not indented; hanging lines indented by 1cm. 

    Citation in text – (Bloggs, 2010) / (Bloggs, 2007; Jones, 2008) / (Bateman & Sexton, 2008) / (Rich et al., 2009) / Jones (1997a,b)

    Full citation at end:

    Journal articles:

    Dean, M. & Ashton, P.A. 2010. Ecology, distribution and fertility of Carex recta Boott (Cyperaceae) in the British Isles. Watsonia 28:33-42.

    Suda, J., Weiss-Schneeweiss, H., Tribsch, A., Schneeweiss, G.M., Trávnicek, P. & Schönswetter, P. 2007. Complex distribution patterns of di-, tetra-, and hexaploid cytotypes in the European high mountain plant Senecio carniolicus (Asteraceae). American Journal of Botany 94:1391–1401.

    Online-only journal:

    Meadows, R. 2010. Stress may drive plant patterns. PLoS Biology [online] 8 (October 2010) [accessed 12 December 2010]. Available at: < article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal. pbio. 1000517>.

    Insert URL wherever possible.


    Glime, J.M., ed. 1988. Methods in bryology. Nichinan: Hattori Botanical Laboratory.

    Stace, C.A. 2019. New Flora of the British Isles, 4th ed. Middlewood Green, Suffolk: C & M Floristics.

    Chapter in a book:

    Tutin, T.G. 1968. Fragaria L. In: Heywood, V.H, Burges, N.A., Moore, D.M., Valentine, D.H., Walters, S.M. & Webb, D.A., eds. Flora Europaea, 2: 47-48. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

    Thesis or dissertation:

    Brummitt, N. 2004. Patterns in the diversity and distribution of flowering plant genera. PhD thesis. University of Edinburgh.


    Cibulka, R. 2008. Carex cespitosa L. [online]. [Accessed 28 November 2011]. Available at: < carex-cespitosa>.


    Lockton, A. 2010. <Title> (Lecture). BSBI Recorders Conference, Shrewsbury, UK. 20 September. 

Submission Preparation Checklist

All submissions must meet the following requirements.

  • The submission has not been previously published, nor is it before another journal for consideration (or an explanation has been provided in Comments to the Editor).
  • The submission file is in OpenOffice, Microsoft Word, or RTF document file format.
  • Where available, URLs for the references have been provided.
  • The text is single-spaced; uses a 12-point font; employs italics, rather than underlining (except with URL addresses); and all illustrations, figures, and tables are placed within the text at the appropriate points, rather than at the end.
  • The text adheres to the stylistic and bibliographic requirements outlined in the Author Guidelines.
  • We will assume that authors have read, and agree to, this journal's copyright and licence notice:

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