Focus and Scope
Zootaxa is a peer-reviewed international journal for rapid publication of high-quality papers on any aspect of systematic zoology, with a preference for large taxonomic works such as monographs and revisions. Zootaxa considers papers on all animal taxa, both living and fossil, and especially encourages descriptions of new taxa. All types of taxonomic papers are considered, including theories and methods of systematics and phylogeny, taxonomic monographs, revisions and reviews, catalogues/checklists, biographies and bibliographies, identification guides, analysis of characters, phylogenetic relationships and zoogeographical patterns of distribution, descriptions of taxa, and nomenclature. Open access publishing option is strongly encouraged for authors with research grants and other funds. For those without grants/funds, all accepted manuscripts will be published but access is secured for subscribers only.
Peer Review Process
All manuscripts will be subjected to peer review before acceptance by editors.
Author ethics. The authors must ensure that the submission is an original one that has not been published before and is also not under consideration for publication elsewhere. Duplicated submission is not permitted and will result in the rejection of the manuscript. It is the authors’ responsibility to ensure that the manuscript contains no unlawful statements and does not violate the rights of any third parties. If the authors need to reproduce figures, tables, or other copyright materials that were previously published, they must obtain the necessary permission from the copyright holder(s) and provide proper attribution as required by the copyright holder(s). For manuscripts by multiple authors, each listed author must have contributed significantly to the manuscript and all authors must agree to the final submitted version. Authors are encouraged to add a statement to declare conflicts of interest or competing interests.
Plagiarism in any form (including self-plagiarism) is a violation of copyright law. A submission will be automatically rejected when our editors and reviewers detect any signs of plagiarism: copying text(s), figure(s), or any other copyright materials without proper attribution or permission by the copyright holder(s).
Reviewer ethics. The peer-review process is essential for safeguarding the quality and scientific integrity of academic publications. It must be fair and free from any personal attacks or conflict of interest. Potential reviewers may be suggested by authors who may also indicate reviewers who have conflicts of interest. Invited reviewers who have a conflict of interest with any authors should inform the editor and decline to review the manuscript. It is our policy to make reviewers anonymous, although we respect reviewers if they prefer to remove anonymity. Reviewers must keep unpublished information in the manuscripts in strict confidence before publication.
Editor ethics. The Editor serves as an arbiter in the discourse between reviewers and authors. He/she must remain neutral in any debate between authors and reviewers. The editor should enforce ethical standards of behaviour in the review and response process. The acceptance of manuscripts should be based on merits alone. Editors must keep unpublished information in the manuscripts in strict confidence before publication. When an editor is an author or a co-author of submission, he/she must ask another editor to manage the peer review of his/her manuscript. Editors should also avoid editing submissions from other authors who have conflicts of interest.
Conflict of interests declared. In addition to potential conflicts of interest by authors, reviewers and editors outlined above, journal staff may also be involved. Declaration of conflict of interests is the primary means to reduce this bias for all parties.
Special code of ethics. For manuscripts dealing with zoological nomenclature, we recommend that the authors, reviewers and editors follow the Code of Ethics in Appendix A of the International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature (https://code.iczn.org).
Dealing with unethical behaviour. We are firmly against any unethical behaviour including any form of falsification or fabrication of data and plagiarism and will treat any breach of ethics standards seriously. Anyone can report suspected unethical behaviour or any type of other misconduct by writing to the editors and/or publisher with necessary information including evidence. Editors will use all available evidence and may consult experts from outside during investigation. The accused will be invited to respond to any charges against them. For minor misconduct, a letter of warning may be issued to the offender, or an erratum may be published. For major misconduct, a formal notice about the misconduct may be published or an official letter may be sent to the offender's employer. In the extreme case such falsification or fabrication of data, an announcement for the retraction of publications may be made to correct the mistake while upholding the scientiifc integrity. This is not a punishment for authors and we will ensure it is done with the agreement of editors and authors.
Experimental animals. For manuscripts reporting research using live vertebrates and higher invertebrates, the authors should provide a statement confirming that all relevant institutional and national animal welfare laws, guidelines and regulations were followed in the care and use of experimental animals.
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