Cover image for Vol. 48 Issue 3

Edited By: Emilio Bruna

Impact Factor: 2.084

ISI Journal Citation Reports © Ranking: 2014: 65/145 (Ecology)

Online ISSN: 1744-7429

Author Guidelines

BIOTROPICA Author Guidelines

Categories of manuscripts
Preparing your manuscript
Submitting your manuscript
Accepted manuscripts
Download the manuscript template here

Biotropica is a leading source of original research on the ecology, conservation, and management of all tropical ecosystems, and on the evolution, behavior, and population biology of tropical organisms. Manuscripts for consideration in Biotropica may cover any aspect of tropical biology and conservation, but be of general interest to the global community of tropical biologists, with contents of lasting value and significance.

IS YOUR MANUSCRIPT SUITABLE? The number of submissions to Biotropica far exceeds the number of papers that we can publish. As a result, we must be very selective in what we choose to send out to review, and many manuscripts are rejected without review based on an evaluation of suitability by the Editors. Before submitting your manuscript to Biotropica please consider the following:

· Does your manuscript address a topic of broad general interest?
· Can you clearly describe the novelty of your study?
· Does it test clearly defined hypotheses and is advancing an ecological, evolutionary, or conservation concept of broad relevance?
· Will your study be relevant to readers in other tropical regions?
· Manuscripts that are taxonomically or regionally focused or summarize observations of natural history are generally better suited to a more specialized or regional journal.

Categories of manuscripts

The following types of articles are published in Biotropica. Word counts exclude title page, abstract(s), literature cited, tables, figures, or Supplementary Information.

Paper (up to 5000 words): studies that will advance our understanding of evolutionary, ecological, or conservation theory in tropical systems. The data used to test hypotheses can be collected using any rigorous approach (e.g., experimental, observational, genetic, etc.).
Insights (up to 2000 words & up to two figures or tables with additional material published as online Supporting Information): Submissions to this category concisely summarize a particularly interesting or original development in the field.
Review (up to 8000 words): a significant synthesis and interpretation of a major topic in tropical biology.
Commentary (up to 2000 words): an authoritative opinion on current issues in ecology or conservation, or a thought-provoking commentary on a previously published paper.

Note regarding “Methods” Papers:
Biotropica has shifted away from publishing papers whose primary focus is detailing new research methods unless they are major advances or the methods will be of use or interest to a large proportion of tropical biologists. If you are interested in submitting a methods paper, please enter in contact with the Editor-in-Chief to discuss if Biotropica is the proper outlet. Note that papers using newly developed methods to test broader hypotheses are welcome as regular submissions, however, with the new methods described in the main text or Supplementary Information.

Preparing your manuscript

Language: All articles must be in English (US spellings.) However, we strongly encourage authors to provide a second abstract in the language relevant to the country in which the research was conducted. The second abstract will be published with the online version of the article.

Pre-submission language editing: The Biotropica Editorial Office can provide the contact information of scientific editors familiar with Biotropica style that will provide a discount for authors submitting manuscripts to Biotropica. Please contact us if you wish to make use of this service. The service is paid for by the author and use of a service does not guarantee acceptance or preference for publication.

Formating your manuscript: For accurate assembly of your manuscript, our detailed Biotropica Manuscript Template can be downloaded here.

· Use 8.5" x 11" page size (letter size) with a 1" margin on all sides. Align left and do not justify the right margin. Number all pages starting with the title page and include continuous line numbers.
· Double space throughout the manuscript, including tables, figures and tittle legends, abstract, and literature cited
· Use Times New Roman 12-point font throughout except in figures, for which Arial is preferred.
· Use the abbreviations provided in the Biotropica Manuscript Template throughout the text.

Assemble manuscripts in this order:
Title page
Abstract (s)
Key words
Data availability statement
Literature cited
Figure legends
Supplementary Information

Submitting your manuscript

Format your paper according to the instructions below and and submit it via: Contact the Biotropica Office at if you have any questions or need assistance.

Submit the entire manuscript, including figures and tables, as a single Microsoft Word document (*.doc or .*docx), or equivalent for Linux. Do NOT submit papers as pdf files.

COVER LETTER: Include a cover letter that details the novelty, relevance and implications of the work, and a brief explanation of the suitability of the work for Biotropica. The number of words in the manuscript should be given in the cover letter.

In the event that a manuscript has been declined for publication after review by another journal, authors are welcome to submit these earlier reviews and a detailed description of how the manuscript has been revised to accommodate earlier criticisms along with their manuscript. Please inform us you have done so in the cover letter accompanying your manuscript; be sure to include the name of the journal to which the article was previously submitted. Submission of prior reviews will not prejudice any editorial decision made by Biotropica. All manuscripts will still be reviewed by Biotropica, but Editors may choose to accept manuscripts without sending for external review (if the manuscript is deemed to have been appropriately revised) or send to fewer reviewers for feedback on specific issues.

Accepted manuscripts

Manuscripts that are scientifically acceptable but require writing to improve clarity will be returned to authors with a provisional acceptance subject to rewriting. Alternatively, the authors may pay for editing by our editorial service (the current fee for doing so begins at $185 per manuscript). Authors choosing this option will always be contacted should there be any uncertainty about scientific meaning,and the edited version will be sent to authors for final approval before proceeding with publication.

Biotropica requires, as a condition for publication, that all the data supporting the results in the paper and metadata describing them must be archived in an appropriate public archive such as Dryad (, Figshare (, GenBank (, TreeBASE (, or NCBI ( Authors may elect to make the data publicly available as soon as the article is published or, if the technology of the archive allows, embargo access to the data up to three years after article publication. A statement describing Data Availability will be included in the manuscript. A Data Availability Statement follows the Acknowledgements and must have the following format:

Data Availability: The data used in this study are archived at the Dryad Digital Repository ( and Genbank (accession numbers FJ644654.1- FJ644660.1).

Authors waiting for article acceptance to archive data can insert the DOI or Accession Numbers when submitting the final accepted version. However, the article will not be sent to press for publication until the data availability statement is complete. Exceptions to the required archiving of data may be granted at the discretion of the Editor-in-Chief for studies that include sensitive information (e.g., the location of endangered species). Our Editorial explaining the motivation for this policy can be found here; a comprehensive list of data repositories is available here.

Promoting a culture of collaboration with researchers who collect and archive data: The data collected by tropical biologists are often long-term, complex, and expensive to collect. The Board of Editors of Biotropica strongly encourages authors who re-use archived data sets to include as fully engaged collaborators the scientists who originally collected them. We feel this will greatly enhance the quality and impact of the resulting research by drawing on the data collector’s profound insights into the natural history of the study system, reducing the risk of errors in novel analyses, and stimulating the cross-disciplinary and cross-cultural collaboration and training for which the ATBC and Biotropica are widely recognized.

PREPRINT POLICY: To provide an opportunity for authors to get feedback on their work from the scientific community and stimulate the exchange of ideas, Biotropica allows authors to deposit manuscripts currently under review or intended for submission to Biotropica in pre-print repositories (e.g., ArXiv, bioRxiv, PeerJ PrePrints). The authors should provide the name of the preprint server and accession number in the cover letter accompanying submission of the manuscript. If the manuscript is accepted for publication in Biotropica, the authors must provide a link to the final manuscript alongside the original preprint version.

ARTICLE PROCESSING CHARGES (APCs): Article Processing Charges ($100/article) will be waived for first authors who are members of the Association for Tropical Biology and Conservation, although voluntary contributions are welcome. First authors who are not ATBC members can request waivers if they are from the countries listed here:

If your paper is accepted, the author identified as the formal corresponding author for the paper will receive an email prompting them to login into Author Services; where via the Wiley Author Licensing Service (WALS) they will be able to complete the license agreement on behalf of all authors on the paper.

For authors signing the copyright transfer agreement: If the OnlineOpen option is not selected the corresponding author will be presented with the copyright transfer agreement (CTA) to sign. The terms and conditions of the CTA can be previewed in the samples associated with the Copyright FAQs below: CTA Terms and Conditions

For authors choosing OnlineOpen: If the OnlineOpen option is selected the corresponding author will have a choice of the following Creative Commons License Open Access Agreements (OAA):

a. Creative Commons Attribution License OAA
b. Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License OAA
c. Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial -NoDerivs License OAA
To preview the terms and conditions of these OA agreements please visit the Copyright FAQs hosted on Wiley Author Services and visit

If you select the OnlineOpen option and your research is funded by The Wellcome Trust and members of the Research Councils UK (RCUK): you will be given the opportunity to publish your article under a CC-BY license supporting you in complying with Wellcome Trust and Research Councils UK requirements. For more information on this policy and the Journal’s compliant self-archiving policy please visit: