ISSN: 1659-438X

Contribuciones Zoológicas UCR



Instructions to Authors

Editorial Committee




Instructions to Authors



Contribuciones Zoológicas UCR is dedicated to the publication of lists of species, lists of type specimens, range extension, and natural history notes of Mesoamerican animal species. Parallel to this, there is “Listas Zoológicas Actualizadas UCR”, where authors can maintain an updated species list, citing the original publication.

Manuscripts will be considered on the condition that they have not been published elsewhere, nor have they been submitted, in part or entirety, for publication elsewhere. Manuscripts may be in English or Spanish. If the chosen language is not your native language, please have a competent person check your writing before submitting the manuscript. Consultations regarding the submission of a manuscript can be directed to the main editor or the editor of the taxonomic group. Publication, including color images, is free of charge; although the author will not receive reprints, online access will be free of charge and in high resolution PDF format.

All manuscripts will be reviewed by at least two external reviewers and the editor of the respective area. Authors should suggest at least three reviewers when submitting their manuscript.

FORMAT and style of the MANUSCRIPT

Manuscripts should be sent in digital format by e-mail (in a .doc or .rtf file) and will be reviewed digitally. They should be single spaced, including references and tables, on letter-size pages (21.59 x 27.94 cm) without any color background. The font should be Times New Roman, size 12. At the end of the document you should place tables and graphs produced by Excel or other programs in an editable format with access to the numbers. Digital photographs or drawings should be in separate files with the name of the figure (e.g. Figura_1.jpg). Color figures are preferred, although they should produce recognizable patterns when printed in black and white.


For both lists and notes pages should be numbered, starting with the first page. The number should be positioned at the bottom right. All manuscripts should have:

1. Title of the paper, centered, in bold, in a single paragraph. In the case of lists or distributional notes on species, the title should specify the taxonomic group and geographic region.

2. Name and email address of all authors, in a single centered paragraph with the format: surname, name (s) (only one written in full, the others with initials), and e-mail address in parentheses after the name, followed by a superscript number to identify the address of the author (when there are several authors with different addresses); an asterisk to identify the corresponding author, which should be stated at the end of the addresses. Two authors (or the penultimate and last author when there are more) should be separated by “and”; when there are three or more authors authors a semicolon should be used to separate the names. Example:

Bolaños, Federico ( 1*; Savage, Jay M. ( 2 and Chaves, Gerardo ( 1

3. Institutional address of the authors, each in a centered paragraph and preceded by the appropriate superscript number. Use “/” to denote a new line in the address. Example:

1 Escuela de Biología / Universidad de Costa Rica / San Pedro, 11501-2060 San José / Costa Rica
2 Department of Biology / San Diego State University / San Diego, California 92182-4614 / USA
* Corresponding author

4. Shortened title, for placing on every other page; the other pages will have the names of the authors.

LISTS of species and of type specimens of collections

The above should be followed by an Abstract of not more than 150 words, three to eight Key Words, and then the same translated into Spanish and placed under RESUMEN and PALABRAS CLAVES. If the authors are not fluent in Spanish they may ask the editor of the group for help with the translation. The Abstract, Key Words, RESUMEN and PALABRAS CLAVES should be written thusly in bold, followed by a colon and what follows without bold.

The text should include the following sections: introduction, materials and methods (when appropriate, a description of the site, how and when the data were obtained, citing collecting/research permits if necessary; also briefly describe the data analysis, without citing references unless little-known statistical procedures were used), results (suggesting where figures and tables should be placed), discussion, acknowledgements and bibliography (include only references cited in the text). Each section should be written in bold with uppercase letters and center justified. If a section has subtitles, this should be  in bold, left justified and only the first letter in uppercase.

Manuscripts with another structure may be accepted upon approval of the editor of the group. Tables and figures go in this order and after the bibliography.

NOTES oN distribution and NATURAL history

After the title, authors and author addresses comes the text of the note, without sections but following the sequence of a scientific paper, and then the Acknowledgemtns followed by the bibliography. If there are tables and figures, these should be placed after the bibliography and in the text you should suggest where these are to be inserted. Other formats should be discussed with the editor of the respective group.


Scientific names are in italics in the text and bibliography. The first time a species name (and optionally for names of higher taxa) is mentioned, include the author(s) of the name and the year in which it was first used; however, do not include this author in the bibliography unless it is a reference that is cited in the main text. Although all manuscripts are reviewed, remaining errors are the resposability of the authors. Authors of species names should be used as follows: one author Atelopus chiriquiensis Shreve, 1936; two authors Incilius aucoinae (O'Neill & Mendelson, 2004); and three or more Silverstoneia Grant, Frost, Caldwell, Gagliardo, Haddad, Kok, Means, Noonan, Schargel & Wheeler, 2006. Notice that all authors are cited, and the last and penultimate authors are separated “&”; also, use a comma between the last author and the year. Remember that authors in parentheses indicates that the species was originally described in another genus.

In numbers, a period is to be used for the decimal point and comma for thousands (except in citing years). When citing statistical tests in the results include the value of the statistic used, degrees of freedom, and the probability with three decimal places (if the probability is less than 0.001 it should be p < 0.001 not p = 0. 000). Exact probabilities are preferred. A significant result is one having a probability of less than 0.050; this need not be mentioned except when another significance value is used, which must be justified. Units should be in the international system of units (for questions see; there should be a space between the number and the unit, but a period is not used after the unit, unless it is at the end of a sentence.


Two authors are separated by “and” (“y” when you write in Spanish) and when there are three or more authors et al. is used after the first. Examples: “Vargas (1983)” or “(Cortés 1975)”, “Breedy and Vargas (1998)” or “(Springer and Umaña 2005)”, “Janzen et al. (1987)” or “(Savage et al. 2004)”. When there is more than one references they should be listed in chronological order “(Vargas et al. 1985, Sasa 1993, Villa and Valerio 2005)”. When there are two or more publications by the same author: “(Solórzano 1995, 1996)” or “(Solórzano 1994a, b, 1995)”.

FORMAT of references

Each reference should be a separate paragraph (in the word processor) and without indentation. All authors of the publication should be included; the penultimate and last author are separated by the ampersand, “&”.

Scientific journals: The complete name of the journal should be the used (i.e. not abbreviated). Citation of papers in press are only acceptable when the publication date is known and a copy of the acceptance letter is provided to the editor of the group.

One author in a journal:
Hoffmann, H. 2006. Some ecological notes on Agalychnis annae (Anura: Hylidae). Brenesia 65:73-77.

Two authors in a journal:
Blaustein, A. R. & D. B. Wake. 1995. The puzzle of declining amphibian populations. Scientific American 272:56-61.

More than two authors in a journal:
Whitfield, S. M., K. E. Bell, T. Philippi, M. Sasa, F. Bolaños, G. Chaves, J. M. Savage & M. A. Donnelly. 2007. Amphibian and reptile declines over 35 years at La Selva, Costa Rica. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 104:8352-8356.

Chapter in an edited book: Notice the use of In: before the editors of the book.
Bolaños, F., F. Castro, C. Cortez, I. De la Riva, T. Grant, S. B. Hedges, W. R. Heyer, R. Ibáñez, E. La Marca, E. Lavilla, D. Leite-Silvano, S. Lötters, G. Parra-Olea, S. Reichle, R. Reynolds, L. Rodríguez, G. Santos-Barrera, N. J. Scott, C. Ubeda, A. Veloso, M. Wilkinson & B. E. Young. 2008. Amphibians of the Neotropical Realm. Pp. 92-99. In: S. N. Stuart, M. Hoffmann , J. S. Chanson, N. A. Cox , R. J. Berridge, P. Ramani & B. E. Young (eds.). Threatened Amphibians of the World. Lynx Ediciones, Barcelona, Spain.

Savage, J. M. 2002. The Amphibians and Reptiles of Costa Rica: A Herpetofauna Between Two Continents, Between Two Seas. University of Chicago Press, Chicago. USA. 934 p.

Material from the Web
AmphibiaWeb. 2009. Information on amphibian biology and conservation. Berkeley, California, USA. Seen: June 7, 2009.

Unpublished work
Citation of unpublished work will only be accepted in justified cases. In the case of scientific or technical literature available on the internet, the online address should be provided. In other cases unpublished work can be cited as “unpublished data” or “personal communication”. You should consult with the editor of the taxonomic group in question regarding the use of unpublished work.


Tables should be numbered consecutively with arabic numbers and placed after the bibliography in the manuscript (but suggest where they should be located in the text). With very few exceptions tables will be vertical. Refer to the tables as Table 1, Tables 3 and 4, or Table 2-4. We suggest that the tables be done as spreadsheets with programs such as Excel, and then copied and pasted in the document as a table, not as an image.


Figures should be numbered consecutively with Arabic numbers and placed after the bibliography and tables (but suggest where they should be located in the text). Each figure should be a separate page or file (.jpg, .tiff, .bmp or .gif) in high resolution and uncompressed. In the case of photographs we ask that the authors do the required composition and send it in a resolution of 300 pixels per inch, 16 cm maximum width and 23 cm maximum height. Scanned drawings should have a minimum resolution of 600 pixels per inch. With very few exceptions the figures will be vertical. Cite the figures as Figure 1, Figures 3 and 4, Figures 2-4, or Figure 1A. In figures that summarize data make sure that the legends are in a readable size. It is preferable that graphs and maps be done with a graphics program and that they be pasted in the document with access to the information. When they are figures in separate files, legends should be included after the tables or bibliography and before the figures that come in the same text file. When the figures are part of the text file the legend goes with the figure.


The layout of the publication will be done and sent to the corresponding author for final verification.


Please verify that the following files are sent:

• Text file (including tables and figure legends)

• Files of figures,

• Names and e-mail addresses of least three suggested external reviewers.

Manuscripts should be sent by e-mail to the editor of the appropriate taxonomic group.